Chris WrightChris Wright is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. He sees clients in the Washington, D.C. area and has telephone clients from all over the world. He also has over 35 years of experience as a trainer and workshop leader in human and organizational development across the U.S. and Canada. Chris was founder and director of the Human Relations Institute in Houston, Texas. He was also the Director of PAIRS International -- training psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists in couple’s skills programs. As an innovator in the field, he has developed a unique blend of tools that increase the effectiveness in relationships -- for couples and in the workplace. He has Masters Degrees from the University of Arizona and Antioch University in Los Angeles.
Host: Do we need to be self aware of the issue in our personality? Chris Wright: In the psychological and therapy community, it s considered to be important to become aware of the issues that affect your personality. Unresolved issues come from experiences beginning in childhood that leave an impact on your personality, so that, maybe as an adult, let s say that you grow up and you felt like you did not get enough love, or that you learnt that you can t trust women, and that these experiences now as an adult carry a lot of tension or pressure for you, and affect your behavior and your thinking, but that is where your issues are. Some partners in a relationship consider very meaningful and important to be able to discover these issues and analyze these issues together. Other partners find that it s off putting, that it actually feels offensive and alienating, when their partners are always psycho-analyzing them or analyzing their parents or analyzing how he was brought up and so it can create a sense of tension to have a person do that. In this orientation, the focus is on the underlying operating system in the personality that you are born with. The reason is that, that provides the foundation for how these issues actually show up, I mean, you are born with a certain personality, and then in the enneagram, a certain quality that you have but to the extent that you just touch with that quality inside yourself, it creates a pressure that split happens and it happens early on and so from then on, if you are brought up in a family that s very difficult or traumatic, it further breaks up that split, it deepens the split, it creates even greater emptiness and bigger hole inside, a pressure inside yourself in that personality type. So for example, a one, a perfectionist who is brought up in a very difficult childhood is going to find that it makes them even more obsessed about perfection. They could find that they get so unhealthy that they become what s called Obsessive Composite Personality Disorder.
A three, for example who has a fear of being nobody and has to always feel important that I am somebody, if they are brought in a very traumatic environment or a difficult childhood, they could throw them over the edge, where they develop what s called a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, where I just grand the other sense of myself to counteract that feeling of insecurity, that I am nobody. Each type, a four, for example, who is very sensitive and dramatic in a difficult childhood could find that they go very unhealthy and become what s called a Borderline Personality Disorder, where one day I love you, I love you, I love you and the next day, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, that level of volatility, and so what happens is, is that when you have a difficult childhood, it tends to exacerbate that split, make it even greater. So those people tend to have a lot more content, a lot more stories they can tell that explain what s in that emptiness, why there that emptiness.
But what you are going to see is that, that sense of separation from yourself, that split, that that goes much deeper than the issues of your childhood and through your adult life, that it goes beyond that, that it s really at the core of your being, because there s many people who have been brought up in wonderful families, who had a lot of love in their families, and yet they too have big empty places, insecurities in their lives that affect them, but they don t have a story about it, they don t have they can t find a reason where are those tensions coming from, so in some sense it could even be seen as some kind of an existential split. So regardless of where the tensions come from, it s important to gain awareness of the operating system that s affected be these and your personality. So you have self awareness that how they show up in your personality, whether you are brought up in a wonderful family or not, whether they come from specific issues or not, isn t as important as being aware of how these pressures show up in your personality and doing something about it.