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Pulling-in Behavioral Personality Characteristics

Chapter 5: The Pulling-in

Behavioral Personality Characteristics
Laying the Foundation:

Personality Traits of Low Self-Esteem
By: James J. Messina, Ph.D.


Pulling-In Behavior Characteristics


Appearance to world of persons in the pulling-in behavior role:

  • The “lost child” of the family
  • Easily forgotten by others
  • Loners; spend lots of time alone
  • Make few demands on others
  • Bookworm, avid readers
  • Hobbyists
  • Day dreamers
  • Overweight
  • Escapists into computer, computer games, hobby, TV, music, etc.
  • Quiet and non-expressive
  • Independent
  • Aloof, stand-offish, distant
  • Hard to know
  • Withdrawn socially
  • Extremely shy
  • Non-troublemakers
  • Low profile, unobtrusive
  • Materialistic, take extreme pride in possessions
  • Self-reliant
  • Don't present a problem for others
  • See everything through rose-colored glasses, Pollyanna-like

Feelings inside persons in the pulling-in behavior role:

  • Feel like outsiders
  • Confused about what is occurring in their lives
  • Feel a need to look out for themselves, stay out of others' way
  • Feel comfortable alone
  • Feel like strangers in their families, peer groups, or work setting
  • Feel like they are unimportant
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feel isolated, alone, different, and socially inept
  • Fearful of social interactions
  • Fearful of not being accepted, fear of rejection
  • Hurt over being ignored and left out
  • Rage and anger over the problems in their lives that isolate them from others
  • Confusion sexually as to what is normal; suffer doubts about their own sexual adequacy
  • Feel ignored, unsupported, rejected
  • Repress negative feelings
  • Deep sense of loneliness
  • Expect little of themselves

Negative consequences of pulling-in behavior role:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Their feelings get ignored
  • They become more isolated and out of touch with the system
  • They become neglected
  • They escape into a “fantasy” world
  • Compulsive escapes into TV, music, books, etc.
  • Overweight, compulsive eaters
  • Prone to chemical dependency
  • Make poor judgments in situations in which interpersonal communication is needed.
  • Lack close, long-lasting friendships and personal relationships
  • Prone to allergies and asthma
  • Prone to illnesses and accidents
  • Prone to passive aggressive means of handling conflicts
  • Personal needs get ignored
  • Poor risk takers
  • Over-emphasis on importance of material possessions
  • Fearful of getting help
  • Sexual identity problems

Some beliefs of persons in the pulling-in behavior role:

  • No one loves or cares about me.
  • No matter what I do, I'll never get any recognition for it.
  • They all see me as a failure.
  • It is a waste of time to try reaching out to others.
  • I don't fit in this environment.
  • No one will ever help me, so I need to take care of myself.
  • People hurt you, so stay away from them.
  • If I told others how I felt about them, it would make no difference; they wouldn't change.
  • I don't deserve to be loved.
  • Reject them before they reject me.
  • The only pleasures available in life are imaginary and unattainable.
  • Avoid being hurt at all costs.
  • People are out to get you and to take advantage of you.
  • All women (or men) are predators and they will devour you once they get their claws on you.
  • The people in the novels I read are my best friends.
  • There is no reward in life except to survive.
  • Don't let anyone know your true feelings, because then they will take advantage of you.
  • Never open yourself up to be vulnerable because you will get hurt every time.
  • Don't ever let down your guard or you will be beaten down.
  • Avoid involvement with those who are pushy, nosey, or interfering.
  • I am at peace with who I am.
Turning negative pulling-in behavior into positive potential:


Negative Pulling-in Behavior: Independent

Positive Potential: With new direction they can turn this independence into an ability to solve their own problems without becoming clinging or being overly dependent on others for solutions.


Negative Pulling-in Behavior: Self-reliant

Positive Potential: When channeled they are able to utilize their well-honed personal coping style to face the challenges of life, feeling comfort in their ability to solve problems.


Negative Pulling-in Behavior: Unobtrusive

Positive Potential: Never having made problems for others, they have a good chance to gain others' loyalty and support once they are strong enough to ask for it.


Negative Pulling-in Behavior: Loner

Positive Potential: Since they find comfort in being alone, they can handle tasks that require extended isolation from others.


Negative Pulling-in Behavior: Distant

Positive Potential: They can keep themselves out of petty office politics and neighborhood gossip. They can be trusted with confidential information.


Negative Pulling-in Behavior: Bookworm

Positive Potential: If they have been wise in their reading, they have a storehouse of knowledge, facts, and information on which they can draw to be successful in the “work world.”


Negative Pulling-in Behavior: Non-troublemaker

Positive Potential: They are easy to be around. People seek them out since they bring no negative history with them.


Negative Pulling-in Behavior: Very quiet

Positive Potential: If channeled wisely can be excellent listeners, having empathy and not injecting their needs into conversations.


Negative Pulling-in Behavior: Escapist

Positive Potential: If channeled well they can redirect their escapes, such as hobbies, into tools to make their lives fully productive.


Negative Pulling-in Behavior: Passive

Positive Potential: If channeled, they can be more even tempered when they learn to be more assertive. They can be enjoyable partners and co-workers if encouraged to express themselves and protect their rights.