I’m slowly getting back into the swing of blogging regularly again… I’ve been discussing The Thomas Concept and the patterns of strength identified in the system. I use them for creating believable characters. There are eight patterns, and today’s post deals with Pattern V personalities. If you do the math properly, you’ll see we have three left after today. But enough of math.
Pattern V has a special place in my heart because long ago, when my employer first introduced our office to the Thomas Concept, my arch-enemy/co-worker (name deleted to protect the guilty) was a Pattern V. After learning all about her and what she expected from her co-workers, I was able to adjust my work performance to give her what she wanted and create a more harmonious work environment. That’s all bunk, because we still fought like crazed howler monkeys, and I felt slighted that she couldn’t accommodate MY personality pattern to make a more harmonious work environment, but I think that’s a discussion for another post.
Here are the basics for Pattern V people:
They are outgoing, giving, friendly, helpful, sociable, flexible, cordial, gregarious, talkative, cooperative, generous, accommodating, caring, adaptable, empathetic, big-hearted, supportive, and likable. They facilitate communication and others find them easy to talk to. (And, after that amazing introduction, you’re wondering what kind of harridan I am for not being able to get along with this gal… wait for the “Wants Others To” section and you may understand better.)
Relationship Strengths: Pattern V folks focus their attention on other people, seek to please others, want to interact and be involved, put emotions out on the table, draw people into relationships, and avoid making enemies.
Vocational Strengths: Pattern V people coordinate practical projects, work in “helping” professions, do personnel work, seem a “warm” counselor, and would be an excellent “soft-sell” salesperson.
Wants Others To: The Pattern V person wants others to give them recognition every day, show warm appreciation, accept their help with gratitude, trust them, and let them “talk out” their problems.
This pattern reminds me of the INFJ (Counselor) from the Myers-Briggs system, yet there are differences. The Counselor usually doesn’t share their feelings with others, whereas the Pattern V person likes everyone to know what they’re feeling. Also, the Counselor has strong empathic abilities and are often accused of reading people’s minds because they’re so in-tune with what others are thinking. The Pattern V person doesn’t always go that extra step. I think the biggest difference is that the Counselor does not insist that others recognize them and their awesome work performance. Famous Counselors include Fanny Crosby, Mother Teresa, and Luke Skywalker.
(This famous INFJ photo courtesy of wikipedia)
Want to introduce stress to a Pattern V character in your novel? Pit them against someone who is independent, confident, and reserved. If this person is like me and finds “offering validation” to be a total waste of time, as anyone needing validation is weak-willed and incompetent, you’ll really have some wonderful sparks flying. Another way to introduce tension is to have your Pattern V character interact with someone who refuses to be helped–either they will not admit they need help, or they know they need help but refuse to seek it.
Can you think of other ways to introduce stress in a Pattern V character’s life? Share in the comments section, please.