Emotional Patterns & Stacking


The following is some speculation around a set of ‘types’ quite distinct from the enneagram, developed by Australian psychotherapist John E. Warren; he in turn notes some of the structure was previously published [in article Paul Ware’s “Personality Adaptions (Doors to Therapy)” in Transactional Journal (1983)]. Warren’s work is probably not commonly known beyond Australia, AFAIK. Before finding the enneagram, I went looking for other typing systems of interest; this was one I did some work with late in the 1990s, before finding the enneagram and leaving it – although I was still convinced it held some value . By then, I had as well developed a number of ideas that built on the original ideas given by Warren, such as seeing how the types normally formed in response to parental types or form relationship pairs.
No correlation is particularly apparent with enneagram types – as far as I know any of Warren’s “Hidden Career” types could also have any enneagram type, and enneagram type doesn’t seem to inherit in any particular patterns the way the hidden career seems to (I think); for example both I (5w6) and my mother-in-law (2w1) would have the ‘suffering’ type – over time I’ve worked on a number of behaviour patterns related to that. While considering just 3 instinctive variants (SP, SO,SX) no real correlation was discernable, but at some point (after 20 years…) the idea of the six instinctual stackings occurred to me as potentially correlated; some of the types he describes have an emotional structure that suggests particular stacking, although it would probably not be the sole determinant of overall stack. See discussion later.

Summary of Warren’s theory

Warren’s background is in Transactional Analysis, but the theory he put forward in his book is somewhat different. He suggests that there are four main primary emotions – anger, sadness, excitement and fear – childhood environment and experiences create a tendency to block particular feelings which are unacceptable within the family environment, instead operating from dysfunctional patterns.
A feeling is blocked by generating a different feeling that is acceptable; for instance fear may suppress excitement or anger can suppress sadness. The distortion is connected to internal experiences of guilt or shame from internalized parent ‘energy’.  Distorted emotions are destructive (I think aggression fuelled by sadness can’t actually be resolved through aggressive behaviour), while genuine feelings -including assertive anger are harmless. Dominant feelings are somewhat apparent through body temperature – people who feel cold are generating fear (e.g. suppressed anger), while those who generate warmth have suppressed sadness.

Warren describes six patterns or “Hidden Careers”, which have varying different repressed feelings.


Brief Summary of Hidden Careers.

I would recommend Warren’s book highly, although  his descriptions are extremely and even sensationally negative, and so here I’m using somewhat more neutral terms (I also don’t want to trespass on any copyrights by directly rewriting his descriptions). His analytical stance is fairly bleak in that he assumes people are generally dysfunctional and will have some behavior across multiple patterns, with one dominant; I think that’s pessimistic and many people would have just the one dominant pattern; which at best may be weak enough that it is difficult to discern, from relatively good upbringing or because the HC pattern is to some extent in conflict with the enneatype pattern.

Warren’s six types in brief could be described as:

*antisocial – anger repressing sadness

*withdrawn – also anger repressing sadness (self-punishing)

*suffering – fear repressing excitement

*self-denying – confusion covering anger

*passive – sadness covering anger

*grandiose – excitement covering fear
-The antisocial type can be relatively outgoing, but feels rejected, responding with punishing behaviour; “He/she believes he/she has a duty or a right to be honest with people, particularly about their shortcomings. His/her conversaiton is generally punctuated with snippets of sarcasm, criticism or condemning comments, or punishing behaviour.”  

-The withdrawn type feels they ‘don’t belong’ and likewise has an internal experience of anger, but attempts to repress it – giving tendencies toward violent fantasies. “In contrast to the anti-social…[he/she] punishes himself/herself rather than other people and denigrates himself/herself in his/her exaggerated sense of being honest about himself/herself.” i.e. a pretext of intimacy through excessive honesty about themselves.
-The suffering type feels they ‘won’t make it’; they experience internal anxiety, with a pattern of overwork or worrying and a need to do things perfectly (or at least not appear incompetent). The type worships self-sacrifice, feeling ‘dedicated’ when engaged in their patterns of helping others. Can be judgmental, cynical; paranoid [about criticism]. “Excessively dedicated to please others, makes them think they are irresistible”.

-The self-denying type [“saints” in Warren’s terminology] is probably the one I ‘get’ least; he describes them as excessively “good”, with an internal experience of superiority and a pretense of being reasonable or attentive, covering tension or confusion as a result of repressed anger. He describes this type as being ‘pseudo intellectual’, with a tendency to long meaningless conversations to defend themselves.“Excessively good in order to do what other people want.”

-The passive type has a tendency to fail to take responsibility for themselves; generating a tendency for others to want to take care of them. They can appear sad and withdrawn (sadness repressing anger). Behaviour can be childlike in an effort to get attention.

-Finally, the grandiose type has an emotional pattern of pseudo-excitement covering fear. “Excessively special in order to attract negative attention. They think they are being humorous”. Behaviour includes insulting others, pretending to be happy, funny or joking. Under stress, becomes increasingly manic – rapid speech/action with increasingly poor judgment. May laugh when discussing serious danger or death (“gallows laughter” in Transactional Analysis).


Hidden Career probagation cycle

Not described as such in Warren’s work but from what I’d seen, the career positions work in a complementary way.

                   Antisocial >Passive >Suffering   >Withdrawn   > Antisocial again


Self-denying >Grandiose > Self-denying
*The antisocial type, which has a withdrawn parent, expects helpful gestures to be scorned; it also reacts negatively to a withdrawn types’ attempts to self-punish in order to generate affection, being likely to agree if someone is too modest about themself.

*The antisocial type in turn partners with or produces the passive type – which has behaviours partly designed to avoid negative behavior from the parent.

*the suffering type is produced by the passive type, having helpful behaviour that fits in with the passive types’ helplessness and/or emulates antisocial types’ behaviour when being good (as far as their parent is concerned). The type is paranoid and hypersensitive to passive-aggressive criticism.

*the withdrawn types’ self-punishing behaviour is generated by suffering-nurturing behavior; such as modesty giving an opportunity to make a ‘no I’m sure you’re fine” type comment.
With the other two patterns, self-denying and grandiose, the intellectual position is one of being good by ‘taking the joke’, or of pointedly ignoring the other.

(Generally I believe that the grandiose and self-denying patterns are rarer, but of this I’m not entirely sure).

I think that someone’s main ‘type’ will be the type following on from that of their parent in the probagation cycle. In most cases, the parent thats primarily bonded with would be the mother; if you believe say Riso’s theory that the ‘compliant’ types, One/Two/Six are ‘father-oriented’ then these would probably have a pattern instead following from the father’s (I believe I have observed e.g. siblings with different types  as predicted e.g. a 1 passive + a 3 suffering).
In the case of the antisocial or self-sacrificing types the patterns evolve naturally, while for the others (e.g. grandiose, withdrawn, passive) they may partly model behaviour based on one of the parents.


Romantic Relationships

The Antisocial, Suffering and Self-Denying positions generally feel more dominant; in a relationship, generally it seems someone of the ‘dominant’ type partners with someone of the successive type – the pattern of that type’s main parent (A dominant type generally won’t put up with their own parental patterns; if an antisocial type spots a withdrawn type’s mouth-slightly-open expression, which I gather is something to do with repressing an urge to do murder you, its off.).
This then gives the following relational patterns:

Antisocial + Passive: children are passive or suffering

Suffering + Withdrawn: children are withdrawn or antisocial.

Self-denying + grandiose: children same (reciprocal to parent)

In part ‘chemistry’ derives from this sort of relation; for example, different types have a different set of ‘voice tones’ which indicate actual mood. Because of the four successions here, the antisocial and suffering types are reversed in how they ‘hear’ voice tones. A passive person by default uses a ‘sad’ voice in greeting, but may sound excited when genuinely happy to see someone; conversely the withdrawn type sounds happy and has a ‘sad’ voice is genuinely concerned. (Meanwhile, the self-denying type has a generally flat voice tone). Generally I found at one time, I could recognize that the set of voice tones I tend to deliberately use in order to convey particular feelings, is slightly different to the set of voice tones that I “recognize” in others as meaning particular feelings. The two sets of ‘tones’ correspond to what I expect my parent to respond to (the pattern of the preceding type) and my own pattern. The following type, however, intrinsically sees through my voice patterns and generally knows when I’m being insincere.

Types also respond in characteristic ways to other types behaviour – a passive person likes helpful or caring behaviour, while the withdrawn type intrinsically distrusts the motivation of this (a transparent attempt to win its affections).  They will sometimes however act in self-destructive ways to generate sympathy (I can remember one girl I knew at university, a withdrawn type, running down stairs then saying she was tired, for instance).The normal partner patterns can explain some sorts of relationship dysfunction; someone of the passive type will compulsively attract antisocials; they might be attracted to the suffering type, while it instead is chasing after withdrawn types.


Stacking Correlations – Hypothetical

As noted, the ‘hidden careers’ have different patterns of distorted expression of core emotions, as defined above.Warren correlates excitement to sex, and sadness partly to the ‘social self’; while fear would seem to connect to self-preservation.

That then suggests a hypothetical relation to dominant instinct ‘stacking’, although at this stage this is hypothetical.
We might then expect actual stacking to be a compromise between the ‘default’ stacking by type/wing, and the stacking generated by hidden/career; then modified further by individual background factors or genetics, etc. The type would also indirectly would affect the stacking (since it can set what their hidden career is, by determining whether they orient primarily to the father or mother).


Category                    Primary          Last Instinct            Implied stack

*Antisocial                       sx                        so                         sx/sp

*Withdrawn                    sp                        so                         sp/sx

*Grandiose                      sx                         sp                        sx/so

*Suffering                        sp                         sx                        sp/so

*Self-denying                  so                          sx                       so/sp

*Passive                            so                         sx                        so/sp

Possibly, people of the “Countertype” instinctual variant would be those with a ‘hidden career’ most opposed to the default attitude of the normal type. So, for instance a ‘counterphobic’ Six would be of the ‘grandiose’ type, while a passive 8 would be the ‘social’ 8.

As an example say, I’d generally have thought SP as primary type for myself, while being more unsure of full stack; an internal experience of anxiety (worrying when maybe you should be excited) is characteristic of the suffering type); that in turn suggests low sx. Compared to actual antisocials, I can see my social may be might be better than I’d thought, if I discount introversion that’s fairly standard in a five.
If this does work, it opens various ways to determine stacking, since the HC types have characteristics – tone, body language, etc. – that are discernable; as well as explaining more about how instinctual types are determined.


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