CHAPTER 10: ADULT MATURATION & THE P-C-H MODEL OF PERSONALITY
DEVELOPMENTAL FEATURES OF PERSONALITY ILLUSTRATE VARYING
DEGREES OF REASONING AND MOTIVE
This stage in maturity is an end point. Claims of character are
now based upon an objective working knowledge of personality. Individuals
may intellectually understand the value of maturing beyond the limits
of racial thinking. However, many adults open their hearts when
they age after observing the pain in life that is driven by personality
and not by race. False claims of character are no longer driven
by the race card.
Parents from all backgrounds differ in terms of how racial issues
are managed within their homes. There are extensive elements of
racism in terrorism. Parents with limited or biased information
regarding personality may be limited when discussing complex relational
challenges in adulthood with their children.
The adaptive and maladaptive features of personality shape the
lives of every child and they significantly influence whether or
not cultures can address their social decay. These dynamics of personality
say a great deal about human nature in terms of the
struggles between evolution and social decay.
Americans today are not worried about having indoor plumbing or
bringing electricity to their homes. Therefore, knowing more about
personality and how it limits or supports adaptive change may be
one of our most modern psycho-social challenges. Curious adults
increase their adaptive potential by becoming more aware of their
own personalities as well as those of important people in their
lives. The same principle occurs within cultures.
Maybe this is one reason Congress is in such low favor since some
of our leaders do not seem to seriously understand the threats to
our cultural stability in terms of terrorism. These leaders sound
like spouses who fail to understand the threats that challenge marital
stability. If you think most leaders in Washington have a thorough
working knowledge of personality, you will be mistaken.
Leaders who manufacture questionable political rhetoric sound like
elite or desperate spouses who aggressively oppose or misinterpret
the adaptive demands of marriage, divorce, parenting, failing businesses,
etc. I have often wondered why members of Congress are immune from
having to attend continuing education classes where subjects such
as abnormal psychology and personality may decrease their psychological
naiveté regarding domestic and foreign threats to our national
Members in Congress are highly educated; yet their resumes have
very little to do with understanding and addressing the dark sides
of human nature. Just as some parents hope that other institutions
will supplement their parenting, maybe Congressional members hope
the agencies they supervise will adequately perform.
Parents who avoid increasing their knowledge of personality may
fear that it will threaten their own sense of adult competency or
the stability of their marriage. Some leaders will do the same when
adaptation threatens their cravings for status, image, control,
power and financial security. Spouses who manufacture needless aggression
or disregard the adaptive demands of divorce abhor having their
cravings examined or challenged.
This may be one reason why some politicians complain, assassinate
character, over exaggerate and avoid difficult subjects. This defensive
posturing helps them hide their legislative agendas which usually
have serious ties to their personalities. Seductive politicians
who cleverly hide their legislative motives may increase their odds
of not being divorced or voted out of office. A similar dynamic
occurs among potential spouses who also disguise their marital motives.
Having the private right to hide marital motives is a serious reason
why adults oppose pre and postnuptial contracts.
When trying to increase one’s psychological sophistication,
some individuals may defensively retreat with deprecation, anger,
anxiety or apathy. Adults may always disparage personality since
the dark sides of history have always been shaped by individuals
who were entitled to define reality and do things their own way.
Mocking or vilifying personality will always be associated with
other defamatory themes in history.
Antisocial motives found in dark history range from primitive authoritarianism
to blinding conformity. Blinding conformity refers to humans who
attach to ideas, leaders and partners, regardless of their integrity.
These attachments throughout history have always helped humans manage
their fears and anxieties associated with survival.
Here you have individuals who have been influenced by the norms
of society. They do not participate in the overt oppression of others.
They grew up during times when racism was normalized in their cultures.
Many were limited in their ability to examine the hidden motives
that supported the surface expression of racism. There may be benign
features associated with conforming racism when, for example, a
Vietnamese-American parent wants their son or daughter to marry
someone with a similar ancestry. With life experiences, conforming
racists have the capacity to mature.
This form of subjectivity is very stable and rigid across time
and all cultures. Primitive subjectivity has the power to shape
the minds of conformists who outnumber primitives. There are two
types of primitive subjectivity. The first is the subjective kind
that drives domestic oppression, lost opportunities and criminal
behaviors. This subjectivity drives the antisocial oppression found
in primitive divorces among all races.
The second refers to how the race card is played to erroneously
project blame upon other individuals, institutions or nations. These
adults are adept at “turning the tables” and assassinating
character. It is common in low level political rhetoric. Recently,
a French leader claimed “racism” when a small percentage
of Americans boycotted France during the Iraqi war.
And most Americans are familiar with the shouts of “racism”
after Hurricane Katrina that distracted many from the failure of
local, state and federal leadership. The motives associated with
using the race card today parallel the character assassination of
Black-Americans before the 1970’s.
When politicians or voters misuse the race card, they should consider
the fact they are repeating history in terms of misjudging character
and its associated motives. These Americans have disregarded or
skipped over Dr. King’s maturational request that encourages
individuals to examine social matters by character and not by race
Of course, there are incidents where race seems to be a significant
factor. And our future will involve cases of interpersonal abuse
where race will still seem to play a role. Our history of racism
was always driven by primitive personality and conformists who were
ambivalent about this primitive social decay.
When a biracial couple divorces and one partner oppresses the will
of another, will anyone claim that this behavior is racist? Was
9/11 a racial incident? Dr. King asked our nation to stop being
preoccupied with skin color. We should never forget that our political
correctness and collective naiveté prior to 9/11 was an over
preoccupation with skin color that severely limited our ability
to examine primitive motives.
Primitive subjectivity promotes dangerous political passions and
blind loyalties. Passionate primitives find it easier to psychologically
seduce immature minds and normalize illegitimate hatred. The drive
to control and manipulate information is a stable generational motive
that is shaped by personality, not by race.
With primitive subjectivity, there is an absence of accurate information
regarding one’s self and others. These individuals are quite
content with misinterpreting the value of life. Late term abortions
where a child could survive outside of the womb have been normalized
in our culture. This dehumanization is even more difficult to accept
when you take into account the numerous opportunities for adoption
today. There is a valid argument when late term abortions are equated
with the oppressive and homicidal history of personality that stabilized
racism throughout our history.
We still have lingering myths about minorities, just as we still
have many myths regarding men and women and how they should interact.
The “gender card” is commonly played during divorces
that are influenced by primitive personality.
By becoming a good listener in life, you will start noticing individuals
who are impressed with their subjective views of reality. Sometimes
their stories are just too neat and organized. It sounds like these
individuals shape their stories just as they may compulsively organize
their homes or daily routines. Adults may over organize their thoughts
and analytical processes just as they over organize their day-to-day
The point to remember is that ritualistic behaviors are somewhat
like ritualistic thinking. Their stories make sense in their own
minds but not in the minds of listeners. Some adults experience
significant levels of pseudo-competence when they discuss life events
and they are rigidly certain that A leads to B, B leads to C, and
C leads to D, etc.
This simplistic causal linkage is often found in primitive forms
of political rhetoric and parenting. As mentioned earlier, our culture
allows for individuals to freely express their views of life and
it can be quite interesting to observe how their arguments are primarily
based in the subjective limits of their own personality rather than
This is another reason Freud did not want to control or contaminate
what his patients said. When his patients were “free”
to disclose their actual concerns or perceptions, Freud could examine
the nature of their conflicts that limited their adaptive potential.
Remember, many adults go through life over controlling what they
say. These adults do not want others to know who they are and they
want to hide the nature of their adaptive struggles.
Even today, recovery in psychological treatment is expedited when
clients embrace the safety of disclosing information while not worrying
about what the clinician will think. Disclosure alone has adaptive
value since many adults have been running or hiding from their stories
Once the anxiety of disclosure has declined, clients are more likely
to benefit from the therapeutic alliance in terms of examining one’s
maladaptive conflicts and misperceptions regarding their relationships.
If you remember, too much anxiety limited your performance during
exams. The same dynamic can limit the benefits of psychological
We often underestimate the discomforts and risks associated with
maturing, accountability and accurate perceptions regarding interpersonal
realities. While maturing, adults lose their ability to tolerate
their own misperceptions of reality as well as those of a partner.
The adaptive nature associated with refining one’s capacity
to make more accurate judgments regarding reality has always helped
humans evolve beyond threatening or hard to understand environments.