Every man has self-esteem. During our life, we develop our specific life position. Yet we do not lose sight of the fact that man is sociable. In one way or another, each man has at least one relationship with others. And he cannot have a relationship without communication because Communication is the foundation of any society.
In truth, every person comes into contact with the other according to the convictions and certainties that she has of herself. This allows him to have self-esteem and the other; to evaluate one’s own knowledge and that of the other; and to consider the type of exchange, that is to say, of the relationship it can have with the other. We are talking about Life Position. It is a concept that has its source in the theory of Transactional Analysis.
For this reason, is it not wise for each of us to know what life position it is? Otherwise, should not everyone ask such a question: What position in life am I? The practical and open answer to this question justifies the purpose of this article that offers Weddingincana.com through the pen of Thomson Dablemond.
Whenever we enter the field of communication or relational, personal development, even in that of fulfillment: we find it important to talk about life positions and self-esteem, which are two related concepts.
Life positions arise from the need we have in childhood and then in adulthood to position ourselves and to situate ourselves and our values in relation to others and to the world.
Depending on the life position I chose in childhood, I will have beliefs, make choices and cause situations that will go in its direction and confirm these choices throughout my life.
It is appropriate to call the Life Position (Life Positions): the attitude of a person toward others, engendered by the way in which she perceives herself, perceives others, and her relations with her last ones. In other words, it is the sum of the certainties that every person acquires since childhood on himself and others, which gives him a certain esteem of who he is and what he knows about others. It so allows him to have a posture in his relationships with others.
A life position is made of two components:
– The first indicates the perception that I have of my own value (positive value “OK+,” the negative value “OK -“).
– The second indicates my perception of the value of the world and others, which is also expressed in the form of the positive value “OK +” or negative value “OK -.”
Thus, we have 4 combinations that give 4 types of life positions, namely:
• I am ok / you are ok (+ / +),
• I am not ok / you are ok (- / +)
• I am ok / you are not ok (+/-)
• I’m not ok / you’re not ok (- / -)
Each life position has characteristics. In concrete terms, what does each type of life stand for? In these lines, you will necessarily find yourself in a life position. This will help you know yourself and how to behave for a better life and an ideal relationship with others.
Dr. Harris describes how we can understand our behavior using simple terminology in the book “I’m Ok, You’re Ok: A practical guide to Transactional Analysis.” He also explains why people don’t live as well as they know how to live and often act against their self-interest.
Life Position 1: Neither Overvaluation nor Devaluation (++)
Symbol: I+, YOU+ / OK+, OK+ / I am OK, You are OK
Generally, the slogan that guides the character ++ is: ” Nothing is worth living.” This is the position of humility.
This is the ideal life position according to Transactional Analysis. In this life position, the individual has high esteem for himself but also others. Just as he thinks that others must learn from him, so he acknowledges that he can learn from others and behave as such. Therefore, the individual is aware of his responsibilities and acts realistically by considering others as partners with whom he can collaborate without competition or rivalry.
In addition, I recognize that I have value and those of others too. I am a winner in a winning world. This life position leaves room for all the major emotions, which are considered constructive. I am in an attitude of trust, balance, and openness. I’m also balanced enough not to let myself be tempted by psychological games. I deal with problems through mediation, dialogue, justice, and negotiation. I know how to grant and accept simple and sincere signs of recognition according to people and situations.
Also, I respect myself and you; I accept you as you are, and I am aware of my value and of yours: we are equal. This implies that I consider what you are telling me, that I am speaking to you in an adult way, which I consider our report from the point of view of cooperation and sharing.
Life Position sought by the followers of the personal development, the ++ is the situation in which the individual sees himself as positively equal to the others.
I am neither perfect nor better than others; I have my qualities and faults as my neighbor. The person will then be able to see himself in positive terms and as participating in the harmony (or improvement) of his social universe.
In the professional field, in particular, commitment, association, or seduction – are all behaviors from a life position ++. The idea is that by acting together, individuals will be able to create positive momentum and achieve their goals. This does not mean that the world is perceived as flawless or that everyone is benevolent and generous, but rather that the union will always strengthen whatever the situation. He has a democratic style.
The character ++ will generally be endowed with the entrepreneurial spirit to launch projects and mobilize his relatives to carry them out. He will show leadership and be sensitive to problem-solving through negotiation or a democratic voice. By exaggerating, he could also be narcissistic or self-righteous, obscuring the harsh reality of his vision of an enchanting world.
Life Position 2: Overvaluation (+ -)
Symbol: I+, YOU- / OK+, OK- / I’m OK, You’re not OK
The individual in this life position is overvalued. He sees himself as superior from every point of view to another one. Thus, he has high regard for what he is and knows and, on the other hand, considers others inferior. He thinks that the others have everything to learn from him and that he has nothing to learn from them.
I feel superior to others. I only believe in my own values. Others need me to guide, help or protect them. I readily adopt an attitude of aggression, domination, or arrogance, often showing me as critical and contemptuous. In a psychological game, I position myself rather as Savior or Persecutor. Pride and anger are my dominant feelings. I give condescending signs of recognition, but I’m mostly talking to myself. I do not accept them when they do not emanate from someone I consider important.
Here I think I’m better than you / the others. It manifests itself in two different ways: either I consider the other in a condescending way, ” My poor, you’re not able to get there, let me go to do, “either I consider it haughtily aggressive, ” You’re too bad, you’re incompetent, push yourself from there that I do it ” or ” You’re too bad, do as I do say and not otherwise. ” It is a position of devaluation or domination, of arrogance towards others.
In reality, the life position + – is adopted by the individual who considers himself “ok,” contrary to his social environment.
Inclined to a feeling of superiority over his fellows, he will then be subjected to a feeling of hatred or revolt (in the case of a position of subordination). If this life position is powerful, it may lead to acts of denial of others, such as torture or sadism, or even the destruction of others, i.e., murder.
All racist ideologies, advocating the superiority of one part of humanity over another, are a life position. By extension, the Nazi regime and its genocidal barbarism are absolutely characteristic of the idea that between the individual (or group of individuals in this case) and others, the latter is too much.
Without necessarily being an abominable Nazi, a character placed on a life position + – will have a strong tendency to contempt, the imposition of his point of view, the use of others, and possibly the violence directed against another unscrupulous no.
Generally, the character + – has the slogan: “I’m OK, you’re too much.” I describe this position in life as that of pride. People who find themselves in the life position of overvaluation tend to cherish each other. Because they feel far above the others to such an extent that they think they are the center of the world.
In the professional field: the character + – likes to impose and dominate over others. He is an autocrat – with the little end; he becomes quite demanding!
Life Position 3: Devaluation (-+)
Symbol: JE-, YOU+ or OK-, OK + or I am not OK, You are OK
This life position is that of depreciation. Here, the slogan of the individual is of the type: “I am too much, you are OK.” In this life position, the individual underestimates at the same time as he overestimates others. He feels devalued and thinks he cannot bring anything to others but has everything to learn from them. He is waiting for the solutions to come from outside. He is animated by a feeling of inferiority toward others. This life position demonstrates a relationship of dependence on others, submission, or even a complex of inferiority and a feeling of admiration for the other.
Indeed, it is a position that results in self-deprecation, the others are much better than me, they get there better, they are happy, and I will never be …: it is a depressive position that Gysa Jaoui sums up thus: ” I’m not worth much, anyone is worth more than me. “
The character – + is usually prone to depression. He has very low self-esteem.
Besides, I am inferior to the world. I do not trust myself and my abilities, doubt my value and leave the power to others to name and judge me. I often feel a sense of admiration for others, guilt, shame, fear, or sadness. In a psychological game, I readily adopt the role of victim. I often run away from problems. I give signs of gratitude that are often flattering to others but receive them with embarrassment and doubt and refuse them even sometimes. I tend to minimize my successes.
Have you noticed? Devaluing himself, he will logically be led to develop a feeling of despair, melancholy, even, in extreme cases, self-negation by acts of mutilation and masochism, or finally, self-destruction of suicide. Note in passing that suicide is not to be taken in the vital sense only and that it can be quite a professional suicide, a social suicide, a suicide media, or another, depending on the case.
The behaviors of submission or admiration pushed are usually the consequence of a life position – +, at least in part. This means that the fact of not revolting in the face of tyranny is evidence of a certain lack of personal or group self-esteem. And whatever the possible means of struggle he could have.
A character – + will usually be a follower with little decision-making or leadership ability. Inclined with admiration and self-denial, by forcing the stroke, he will be able to put himself in danger without heroism (which he believes himself incapable of) until eventually causing his own loss.
Life Position 4: Resignation (- -)
Symbol: I-, YOU- / OK-, OK- / I’m not OK, You’re not OK
In this life position, the individual manifests a feeling of despair in every respect. Thus, he has little esteem for himself and thinks of himself that he cannot reach any positive solution. But he also believes that nothing positive can resurface from the thought of others. He has an attitude of resignation towards reality.
This life position prevents me from considering any solution to problems or any form of relationship or constructive action. Confidence is generally absent, and the feelings and attitudes most present are those of resignation, sadness, cynicism, aggression, and even violence. In a psychological game, I take the role of Victim or Persecutor rather. I lament the problems and do not try to solve them. I do not know how to give or receive any signs of recognition except in the negative, sarcasm, irony, or disdain.
This life position of resignation is adopted by the one who considers himself and the world around him as only negative.
In his opinion, he is not “ok,” but no one is, either; who live in this position will develop a number of ploys designed to escape this reality he refutes. It will, therefore, be inclined to take refuge in various means of escape such as drugs, excessive video games at the expense of all social life, and generally all possible addictions at a pathological level.
Individuals seeking to avoid contact with the world, emotionally indifferent, and sociopaths without interest in their peers are symptomatic of this life position.
The character – will usually have a complete inability to attach to others and defend as much as possible the idea that no one is really worthy of interest, including him. He will do everything to escape from this world in which he does not recognize himself, for example, by indulging in addiction to all kinds of drugs. […]
Or, according to Gysa Jaoui, ” I’m not worth anything and you either “could be the position adopted by a child whose parents made him understand that he was not welcome, who grew up in a difficult environment, and who does not expect anything from anyone, it has an image of itself and the negative world, and in the extreme, this kind of position can lead to suicide or asylum.
For the character – the slogan is ” Life is worthless. ” This is the worst life position. It is neither profitable for the individual nor for society.
The society in which the characters evolve can influence their general life position or certain social groups. For example, in a society of the old regime, the nobles could be attracted by tradition and education to behave in + – compared to the peasants; while maintaining another position of life towards those, he considers their equals.
In the original theory of TA, which was designed to be used in business, the vision ++ is presented as an ideal to achieve. Paradoxically, the life position ++ would also give the most smooth characters.
Finally, we cannot put the pen of this article without highlighting the kind of life position we can adopt. Indeed, we can choose to have two main life positions. One will be our ” existential ” life position, and the other will be our ” social ” life position. Moreover, they will not necessarily be the same.
Our “ existential life position ” is that we choose early in childhood and will give a certain orientation of our fundamental beliefs and the feelings that will guide us, even in adulthood. It is more likely to stay inside.
Our “ social life position,” on the contrary, will be that which will be observable by others via our behaviors.
In short, we thus have a favorite existential life position (our deepest beliefs). Still, we can quite adopt, according to the situations, all four positions of social life – which can therefore coincide or not with the existential life position.