The Thomas Concept with its patterns of strength are useful for building fictional characters. Check out my previous posts for Patterns I – V. Today’s pattern is VI.
(This Pattern VI photo courtesy of wikipedia)
The Pattern VI person is “diplomatic, humorous, gracious, cheerful, hospitable, soft-hearted, sympathetic, expressive, open, liberal, responsive, idealistic, compassionate, hopeful, warm, affectionate, trusting, and demonstrative.” He wears his heart on his sleeve.
Relationship Strengths: The Pattern IV person focuses his attention on relationships, trusts others, shows feelings openly, seeks “closeness” and “intimacy”, makes others feel warm and accepted, and leaves self unprotected and exposed.
Vocational Strengths: The Pattern VI person entertains people, works in public relations, is active in volunteer organizations, is a diplomat and a performer.
Wants Others To: The Pattern VI person wants others to be receptive, show warmth and compassion, share feelings, help them feel good about themselves, and give them compliments.
On the surface, the Pattern VI person seems like an all-around nice guy, the gal everyone loves, the life of the party. Reminds me of the ESFP (Performer) from the Myers-Briggs system. Famous ESFPs include Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, and Marilyn Monroe. What’s left out of the Thomas Concept is the darker side of the Performer. They crave an audience. What if they don’t have one? They love to party. What if the party’s cancelled? They’re impulsive and self-indulgent. What does that mean to the family budget?
There are a ton of ways to introduce tension to your Pattern VI character. Put her in a room with a bunch of serious, no-nonsense people who just want to work on the project. Or give her a spouse who expects her to be faithful (ESFP’s have trouble with this, as they fall in love often, and every time is the first time). Or simply take away his credit cards–the Pattern VI person NEEDS to be spontaneous and loves to give gifts–the idea of “affording” something is a foreign concept. A great way to introduce tension is to add confrontation. Pattern VI people tend to run from or ignore confrontations. By not allowing your Pattern VI character to run or otherwise avoid a sticky situation, he/she will automatically feel uncomfortable.
Can you think of other ways to stir up the Pattern Vi character’s life? Share in the comments section.