The Good Girl is the classic helper, a kind-hearted, gentle woman who lives to keep the peace and sustain those with whom she is in relationship no matter what the cost may be to her. The Good Girl is pleasant, but rarely alive.
Her internal world is full of self-contempt, which is usually private and hidden. she has a pattern of limiting and controlling emotion. She allows herself only a small portion of pleasure or pain. Her soul is disengaged from most feelings except guilt. The internal world of the Good Girl is controlled, lonely, passive, and full of self-contempt.
Her external world is usually organized (but never sufficiently in control), pleasant (but rarely alive), and sacrificial (but seldom inviting). She would rather allow her health to deteriorate than ask for help. She faces the world alone and usually manages well, until the inevitable limits of her physical and mental health are stretched beyond the breaking point. She is organized and competent in her lonely war, but she is aware that her unseen, fragile core may come unglued if deep realities are faced.
She is far more comfortable giving her hands than her heart. She is also likely to be a person who overworks at relationships. She will not rest until she thinks that others are pleased with her.
The effect of a Good Girl's style of relating is to gain superficial involvement from others without earning their deep respect. She is the good listener who is valued for her care and was used because she was quiet. She has handled the damage of abuse by faithfully enduring the repeated mistreatment by others with quiet, resilient, pleasant detachment.
She has disengaged herself from the wounds of her soul. In many cases, she will recall some elements of her past abuse, but will either mislabel them or believe they were her fault.
The Tough Girl
The Tough Girl is the classic take-charge, task-oriented, no-nonsense ramrod. The hardness is often the result of being controlled by other-centered contempt. She is a woman who lives behind thick, impenetrable walls that keep people from drawing close.
Internally, she is above her own feelings, suspicious of others' motives, and arrogant and angry in her evaluations of others. She views human need as childish and unnecessary. She views her longings as sentimental, sloppy, and weak. Emotions are to be conquered and controlled so that no one can cause her pain again. She is suspicious, critical, arrogant and angry.
Tough Girls can often spot a phony miles away. They are in control. They know how to run their families, invest their money, and run the youth group.
She may not "enjoy" fights, but she is willing to go toe to toe in heated combat for the sake of her black-and-white values.
The people in a Tough Girl's domain react to her hostile edge, control, and impenetrability by keeping their distance. Often they respect the accomplishments or boldness of her will, but they do not enjoy her presence or essence. She makes a great surgeon, trial lawyer, or prime minister, but not a desirable friend, spouse, or parent.
The Party Girl
The Party Girl is the classic easygoing, good-time lady, sometimes intense and other times mellow. she is predictably inconsistent, hard to read, and impossible to pin down in close relationships. One factor behind her capricious style is her ability to use competently both self-centered and other-centered contempt. She has the skill to easily draw a person into relationship and then, in an instant, turn her back on him.
She is complicated. She is usually fragile and funny, sincere and phony, blunt and dishonest -- a series of paradoxes. Her feelings are felt, but not deeply faced.
The external aspects of the Party Girl include fickleness and seduction in relationships and chronic dissatisfaction.
Styles of Relating
Quoted from The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Abuse by Dr. Dan Allener copyright 1990. Used by permission of NavPress - www.navpress.com All rights reserved