Questions 19 & 20

A - Acquiring

A distinction needs to be made between Acquiring as a compensatory coping mode and the common interest to secure status, lucrative employment, good investments, essential properties and luxury goods. The compensatory coping mode Acquiring is driven by a fear of rejection or personal defectiveness. In other words, Acquiring seeks to prevent feeling bad about ourselves. This mode also tends to magnify the importance of issues surrounding social status.

This type of compensatory activity is related to “workaholism” and hoarding. It is different from the intention to anesthetize bad feelings by overspending on stuff you want rather than need. On the contrary, those who depend on Acquiring are generally frugal. The person who practices Acquiring is subjugated to money and status. The practitioner of Acquiring will think: “If I can hold on and acquire more, I will be OK. But, if I can not hold on and continue to acquire, I will not be OK.

This activity functions more like a survival mechanism than a preference. Thus, when the coping mechanism is frustrated the practitioner can become seriously threatened and consequently hostile. Power or influence becomes a commodity. Practitioners become acutely aware of political realities. Some enter politics inappropriately because the intent to Acquire is not necessarily related to leadership.

This coping mechanism might be appropriate in harsh and depressed cultures. Some immigrant groups may sanction the behavior. In these cases it is not necessarily maladjusted.

The problem with the coping mode is that it is driven by the fear that we are innately alien, disconnected or defective. These unhealthy core beliefs are inadvertently validated as they drive our behavior. The compensatory activity is a form of anxiety. The person practicing Acquiring believes that the compensation is the cure when it is ailment.

This coping mode can cluster with other modes like Redeeming Honor or Lying and Fabricating. The practitioner of Acquiring is essentially invalidating his or her own natural state of being.


Record your answers to the following questions in your JOURNAL:

This Compensatory Mode is active in my life. The evidence that confirms this is as follows:

This Compensation Mode is not active in my life. The evidence that refutes this is as follows:

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