Questions 7 & 8

RH - Redeeming Honor

A distinction needs to be drawn between our healthy intention to honorably succeed in our endeavors and the maladjusted intention to prove oneself and win admiration. This maladjusted coping mechanism habitually seeks to redeem oneself from dishonor or underestimation. The conditional assumption associated with this compensatory theme is: "if I am triumphant, then I will be OK. But, if I am not triumphant, then I am not OK." This coping mode may compensate for feeling dishonored, underestimated, or abused. Thus being "OK" means avoiding dishonor.

The person using this coping mode will habitually imagine him or herself being honored for heroism or achievement. These ruminations are not harmless. They validate the idea that we require redemption from dishonor. So in daydreaming about redemption, we reinforce a false and deprecating notion. The anxiety attacks occur when the mode is frustrated. In other words when we try to come out triumphant, or especially smart and end up exposed as limited and insecure.

This mode sometimes clusters with other Other-Directed compensatory modes. These modes focus excessively on the opinion others have of us. In other words, a person using this mode may also seek vindication, recognition and admiration. The conditional assumption associated with this compensatory activity functions as an imperative. It is as if one must triumph or be condemned. This leaves the personality in a brittle condition.

The intent to triumph can become almost compulsive. Sometimes people who rely on this coping mode enter professions that are not fully suited to their personality. They may misguidedly enter professions that suggest their ideal. Once in the profession, they find that they are not fully confident and integrated resulting in confusion and ironically dishonor.

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