Getting Out of the Box Series: An Interview with a High Mastery Type 6
“The world is a dangerous place, truth is hidden, appearances are suspicious, I need trustworthy allies”. This is the worldview of Type 6s. They need security and they look for it through relationships. Often times, they may go out of their way to please people they know, hoping to avoid the worse case scenario. They would care about what others think of them to the point where they might hold themselves back for the fear of losing that relationship.
One of the confusing traits of Type 6 is that they may behave in total extremes and opposites. They are known to be logical and think things through, and craft back up plans to troubleshoot any worst-case scenario that may arise. However, when anxiety kicks in, they may react in very illogical ways, especially when the situation is ambiguous and affects relationships.
I sat down with a professional who has done a lot of self-development work on herself for the past five years to ask her about her experience in moving up her self mastery level. I am interested to uncover how she progressed from behaviors that did not serve her to becoming more at ease with herself and how it changed the way she treats others and herself.
1. Shift the focus away from yourself
She mentioned that in the past she would worry constantly about whether what she said or did was the reason why someone reacted negatively. This is a common fear of Type 6. She was constantly having to ask those around her if the options she was considering was right or kept second-guessing herself. It got to a point where people started to notice, and she felt self-conscious. The thoughts would circle round and round in her head and cause more stress. The unending questions led to tension around her and were one of the reasons she decided to reflect.
Self-awareness and development work are very important, in terms of telling herself that the behaviors she was exhibiting were not benefiting her. An incident that became the catalyst for change was when she experienced betrayal and it shook her. She began to reflect on whether it was worth it to invest so much effort towards a person who just did not deserve her. She came to the conclusion that she is not (always entirely) responsible for another person’s actions. Another area that brought her comfort was religion. Her faith helped her to trust in others and herself, she felt comforted knowing God was watching over her.
2. Know when to put your foot down
She mentioned identifying areas that were worth putting her energy into and that everyone should choose their battles. There are some areas where she felt strongly about and would put her foot down, end of the story. She practiced this in the way she communicates with her daughter. As a responsible mother, she understood that if certain conditions were reasonable, it was alright to compromise. But if the request crosses her boundaries, she would put a foot down. And for other grey situations, she would ask herself if she would benefit from thinking too much on it. Would it be better to let it go because, in the grand scheme of things, it would not affect her as much or as badly as she thought?
For a Type 6s who constantly feel the need to please others and be assured by them, she now understood that she had to set limits as to how much she could help others. If it was at the expense of her work, she would tell the person that she could only help them later. She actively told herself not to dwell on the fact that she did not help them immediately. Prioritising her work duties above her need to help and please others requires her to let go of other’s expectations of her and put a foot down.
On the flip side of the coin, she recalls that she used to behave defensively in arguments. She would read their words in a certain way and she instantly reacts sarcastically. She cared too much about how others see or think of her, especially in a situation when things are ambiguous and she felt misunderstood, and the reaction may come off the wrong way. She came to realise that being defensive would only make the situation tenser. She candidly shared that that is an area she is still working on, to let go of what others say and be comfortable in her own skin, knowing that God is watching over her.
She added that she would never stop learning or trying to improve herself. You can never go wrong with being tactful in how you communicate with people. It is how she finds a middle ground in communicating what is important and necessary to her.
3. Become your own hero
Much of the changes made in her life was done by changing her perspective and becoming more encouraging towards herself. It meant developing her inner champion who could cheer her on and be positive. She realized that not everyone behaves the same and people can come into her life to teach her something. Whether they stayed or left was not always due to her actions. She began to see things from a point of view of what could serve her.
She enjoys interacting with people and that spurred her to pursue a career that made her happy. It was not easy to take risks but she relied on her inner voice to strengthen her confidence. There are times where she might mess up, but telling herself that she is not perfect has helped to lessen the self-criticism and the downward spiral of “what ifs?”. The constant dwelling on the past was something she has managed to overcome and realized that her energy can now be better spent elsewhere.
She would constantly check her thoughts to see if she was thinking obsessively about her decisions. But with all journeys of self-improvement, it was not easy. She found that making mistakes is normal but trusting herself was a gift that no one else could give her. Thus, she began to tell herself that she could make her own decisions without criticizing herself. She realized that her mission in life was bigger, and not to simply please people at the expense of herself.
Type 6s tend to worry about themselves and struggle to say “no” to others because they need the security that these relationships provide them. But happiness is not living for others. Rather, it is about finding your purpose in life. It does not mean neglecting the helpful streak the Type 6s naturally possess but to focus on your priorities. Type 6s would benefit from finding a balance between helping others and focusing on themselves. They would be able to improve their self-mastery by cultivating a mindset that life has ups and downs but both sides can help you to grow. Learning to count their blessings, gifts, and achievements can be the first step to building the inner champion — the gift of self-confidence that no amount of assurance from man can give.