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Lecture 20

lecture 20

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Marc A Fournier

Lecture 20 Safeguarding Strategies distinctive in the lives of neurotic people Adler thought that the feelings of inferiority were universal there is something that makes everyone feel inferior, and then the compensatory behaviours arise to fix them. This tension between the feeling of inferiority and superiority is at the heart of neurotic behaviour, in Adlers view. Neurotic individuals are therefore expected to be extremely self-absorbed and self-preoccupied, because they have to constantly attend to their feelings of inferiority. The expectation than is that the neurotic individual has a much deeper rooted sense of inferiority. Fortunately, we have at our disposal a wide range of strategies with which to safeguard or protect our sense of self- esteem or security: Rationalizing Strategies, Aggressive Strategies and Distancing Strategies . Rationalizing Strategies refer to the tactical use of ones own symptoms to explain why one cant face up to various life challengesdemands. The neurotic individual excuses himherself from the challenges of life by the tactical use of their symptoms. Aggressive Strategies refer to devaluating others in comparison to oneself, blaming others for ones own felt sense of inferiority or blaming ones self in order to attract attention or sympathy from others. www.notesolution.comDistancing Strategies refer to the restriction of ones participation in life, therefore limiting the opportunities one has to fail. These are the strategies that are the hallmark of the neurotic functioning personality and all of these strategies would represent non-aggressive ways of keeping lifes challenges at a safe distance, where they cannot be harmful. Earliest Memories & Style of Life All of us have to interpret our inferiority and develop some way of coping with or overcoming that feeling. This idea that all of us are negotiating a relationship between our feelings of inferiority and the ways in which we handle them is what Adler called a Style of Life. Style of Life - the characteristic way in which we strive to handle, cope with, and overcome the things we feel inferior about. This is not specific to the neurotic person, its universal all of us have a style of life. Adler had the belief that in getting to know someone, the way in which to become acquainted with a particular individuals style of life, is to ask them about their first memories. Earliest life memories are meant to be revealing of this basic life attitude that we acquire. They are significant not just because they are the first things we remember, but also because of their meaning. They connote the style in which we handle our sense of inferiority. It doesnt matter if the memory is real or not, if its mostly fiction or factual truth. What matters is that when asked What is the earliest memory you have? this is the thing that you say. Within the style of life that you have fashioned for yourself, this is the earliest memory that resonates with that style of life. Summary of Part 2
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