PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes Main Interests of the Personality Types Adventurous Type

Self-Confident Personality Type

The interests of the Self-Confident Personality Type include (Oldham, pg. 86):

  • having faith in yourself
  • being committed to your own purposes
  • attracting others to your goals
  • knowing how to work the crowd
  • knowing how to motivate the crowd
  • knowing how to lead the crowd

Main Interests of the Self-Confident Personality Type

  1. believing in yourself and your abilities

  2. not doubting that you are unique and special

  3. expecting others to treat you well

  4. being open about your aspirations and possibilities

  5. taking advantage of the strengths and abilities of other people

  6. being shrewd in your dealings with others

  7. identifying with people of high rank and status

  8. being able to visualize yourself as the hero, the star, the best in your role, or the most accomplished in your field

  9. having an awareness of your thoughts and feelings and your overall state of being

  10. being able to accept compliments, praise, and admiration gracefully and with self-possession

Characteristic Traits and Behaviors

Dr. John M. Oldham has defined the Self-Confident personality style. The following nine characteristic traits and behaviors are listed in his The New Personality Self-Portrait.

  1. Self-regard. Self-Confident individuals believe in themselves and in their abilities. They have no doubt that they are unique and special and that there is a reason for their being on this planet.

  2. The red carpet. They expect others to treat them well at all times.

  3. Ambition. Self-Confident people are unabashedly open about their aspirations and possibilities.

  4. Politics. They are able to take advantage of the strengths and abilities of other people in order to achieve their goals, and they are shrewd in their dealings with others.

  5. Competition. They are able competitors, they love getting to the top, and they enjoy staying there.

  6. Stature. They identify with people of high rank and status.

  7. Dreams. Self-Confident individuals are able to visualize themselves as the hero, the star, the best in their role, or the most accomplished in their field.

  8. Self-awareness. These individuals have a keen awareness of their thoughts and feelings and their overall inner state of being.

  9. Poise. People with the Self-Confident personality style accept compliments, praise, and admiration gracefully and with self-possession.

Source: Oldham, John M., and Lois B. Morris. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam, 1995.

Idealized Image

I did conceive of "character strengths and virtues" in a positive way as Martin Seligman does in his Positive Psychology, but now see them as images of perfection that inflate the idealized self theorized by Karen Horney.

Character Strengths and Virtues (what the Narcissistic type is proud of)

The "Character Strengths and Virtues" are attributes of the idealized self, or ego ideal. As "conditions of worth" they are idols.

  1. Self-regard, self-respect, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, self-belief.
  2. Self-love, self-esteem, dignity.
  3. Ambition, aspiration.
  4. Political prudence, artful management, sagacity, shrewdness, suavity, smoothness, urbanity, diplomacy.
  5. Competitiveness, stamina, resilience.
  6. Magnificence, high-mindedness, stature.
  7. Purposefulness, imagination.
  8. Self-awareness, truthfulness.
  9. Poise, self-possession, self-assurance, self-command, aplomb.

Top Strengths*

"Perspective [wisdom]: Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people"

"Persistence [perseverance, industriousness]: Finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles; "getting it out the door"; taking pleasure in completing tasks"

"Vitality [zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy]: Approaching life with excitement and energy; Not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated"

"Social intelligence [emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]: being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick"

"Leadership: Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the same [time maintain] good relations within the group; organizing group activities and seeing that they happen"

"Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]: Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about" (Peterson & Seligman, 29, 30).

* Selected from Christopher Peterson and Martin E. P. Seligman, (2004). Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. Oxford: Oxford UP.


Self-confidence: "Confidence in onself or one's abilities." (AHD)

Synonyms: "confidence, assurance, self-assurance, self-possession, aplomb" (MW, 720)

"Confidence, self-confidence, assurance, self-assurance, self-possession, aplomb are comparable when denoting either a state of mind free from diffidence, misgivings, or embarrassment or the easy, cool, or collected bearing or behavior resulting from this attitude. Confidence stresses faith in oneself and in one's powers; it does not as a rule imply conceit nor preclude the suggestions of support from external agencies or influences or of modest recognition of that assistance ... When self-sufficiency is connoted, self-confidence commonly replaces confidence ... Assurance is distinguishable from confidence only by its far stronger implication of certainty and its frequent suggestion of arrogance; thus, one meets a situation with confidence when one's belief in one's powers is strong, but with assurance when one never questions the outcome or the rightness of what one is saying or doing ... Self-assurance implies an assured self-confidence ... Self-possession implies an ease or coolness arising from command over one's powers; it connotes, usually, controlled but not repressed emotions and actions, or speech free from flurry and appropriate to the situation ... Aplomb describes the behavior or, less often, the bearing of one whose assurance or self-possession is conspicuously but not necessarily disagreeably evident ... " (175)

Analogous: "composure, equanimity, sureness, sanguineness" (720)



The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1981, c.1969). William Morris, Ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Merriam-Webster (1984). Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms: A Dictionary of Discriminated Synonyms with Antonyms and Analogous and Contrasted Words. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Careers and Jobs for the Self-Confident type

Google Answers: selecting the right career for me

This list represents careers and jobs people of the Self-Confident type tend to enjoy doing.

real estate broker
land developer
physical therapist
stock broker
news reporter
fire fighter
budget analyst
insurance agent
management consultant
franchise owner
electrical engineer
aircraft mechanic
technical trainer
EEG technologist
radiological technician
emergency medical tech.
corrections officer
flight attendant

Source: U.S. Department of Interior, Career Manager - ESTP.

Noteworthy examples of the Self-Confident personality type

Many people (and not just those of the Self-Confident personality type) have self-confident traits or behave in a self-confident manner. The traits and behaviors of the Self-Confident personality type are not so inflexible and maladaptive or the cause of such significant subjective distress or functional impairment as to constitute

Narcissistic personality disorder.
The noteworthy examples of the Self-Confident personality type are examples of a *type*, not of a disorder. It is my opinion that the ideal type which is described above is best characterized as self-confident, and that the Self-Confident personality type represents the pervasive and enduring pattern of the personalities of the people listed below better than any other type.

Famous persons on this list may serve as ego ideals, idealized images, and idols for individuals of the Self-Confident type.

Noteworthy examples of the Self-Confident personality type are: Index of noteworthy examples

A vain man can never be utterly ruthless: he wants to win applause and therefore he accommodates himself to others.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

  "Gradually it has become clear to me what every great philosophy so far has been: namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir" - Friedrich Nietzsche.

I hypothesize that the personality theories of personality theorists best describe themselves and those of their own type.

Melanie Klein

I believe that Otto Kernberg, a leading psychoanalytic theorist of the narcissistic character, relies very much on the work of Melanie Klein. For example, the defenses which Kernberg identifies as typical of the narcissist: denial, projection, identification, projective identification, splitting, idealization, and omnipotence (Aruffo, pg. 439), seem to have their origin in Klein. I also believe that, though Klein did not make the case explicitly, her personality theory will turn out to be a very good theory of the Narcissistic personality.

The work of Melanie Klein has had a considerable impact on psychoanalytic thinking, not only on the work of her pupils and followers, but also in a more or less acknowledged form on psychoanalytic work in general. Her early research, mainly in the psychoanalysis of children, which brought to light the existence of an early and severe superego of pregenital stages of the Oedipus complex, and the importance of the role of aggression in the primitive layers of the child's mind, met, to begin with, with a great deal of opposition, but with years, much of her work, some of it confirmed by independent workers, has become part of widely accepted developments in psychoanalytic theory. (O'Shaughnessy, pg. 293)

Her colleagues developed and extended her ideas in their own researches in psychoanalysis, most notably in the fields of psychosis, narcissism and borderline states, as well as in related applied fields, such as aesthetics, group dynamics, social relations, and political and ethical theory. (pg. 292)

In the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry/VI, Weiner and Mohl write:

Melanie Klein agreed with Sigmund Freud that aggression and libido are the two basic instincts. She also agreed with Freud that the aggressive instinct is an extension of the death instinct and libido an extension of the life instinct. Klein differed from Freud in the assumption that the ego exists at birth. She believed that the death instinct is translated after birth into oral sadism, which, projected outward, gives rise to fantasies of a bad, destructive, devouring breast. Both aggression and libido are expressed from birth on by unconscious fantasies. Klein differentiated envy, greed, and jealousy as manifestations of the aggressive instinct. Envy is the angry feeling that someone else has and enjoys something desirable; the envious response is to take it away or spoil it. Oral envy, for example, results from the fantasy that the frustrating breast withholds deliberately. It leads to efforts to spoil the frustrating breast and make it less desirable. That primary envy gives rise to other forms of envy, including penis envy. At a more mature level, envy is directed toward others' creativity and frustrates the development of personal creativity because of the fear of envy projected onto others. Greed is the manifestation of human insatiability; its aim is destructive taking in of the desired object. Jealousy is the fear of losing what one has. It develops from triangular relationships, as in the oedipal situation; the third person is hated because that person's receiving love or attention potentially diminishes the availability of libidinal supplies. Although the death instinct is largely projected as paranoid fears, part of it fuses with libido, giving rise to masochistic tendencies.

From the time of birth, the ego attempts to preserve a view of itself as only a source of pleasure and positive feelings; tension and displeasure are projected onto objects that are then seen as persecutory. The infant is grateful when it is physically or emotionally satiated. That gratitude, the earliest manifestation of the life instinct, is the basis of love and generosity. Libido is invested in objects such as the breast. The gratifying breast is then introjected as the basis for a sense of the self as good. Projection of the good inner object on newly experienced objects is the basis of trust, which makes learning and the accumulation of knowledge possible.

Janet Sayers describes a Melanie Klein who was "supremely self-confident" even as a child and young woman.

[The death of her older sister] may well have contributed to Melanie's life-long tendency to depression. But she was also very forthright, never shy, and immensely self-confident from her first day in school, where she proved extremely ambitious, got many distinctions, and learnt 'all the things that a girl of good family was expected to know'. Perhaps her self-assurance was fueled by the pride of her favorite uncle Hermann and her mother in her beauty, as in Emmanuel's creativity, and by the latter's approval of her literary efforts, beginning with a patriotic poem she wrote when she was nine.

Aruffo, Roy N. (1977). Narcissism. International encyclopedia of psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis, and neurology. Vol. 7. Ed., Benjamin B. Wolman. New York: Aesculapius.

O'Shaughnessy, Edna (1977). Klein, Melanie. International encyclopedia of psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis, and neurology. Vol. 6. Ed., Benjamin B. Wolman. New York: Aesculapius.

Sayers, Janet (1991). Mothers of Psychoanalysis : Helen Deutsch, Karen Horney, Anna Freud, and Melanie Klein. New York: W. W. Norton

Weiner, Myron F. and Paul C. Mohl (1995). Theories of personality and psychopathology: other psychodynamic schools. Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry/VI. Eds., Harold I. Kaplan, Benjamin J. Saddock. - 6th ed. New York: Williams & Wilkins.

Oscar Wilde

  • Oscar Wilde: An Overview

  • Dorian Gray as Symbolic Representation of Wilde's Personality

    The novel can thus be defined as a symbolic representation of a dialectic between two aspects of Wilde's personality. Dorian is an archetypal image by which both aspects are fascinated. This suggests that his behaviour symbolizes Wilde's unconscious (i.e. unacknowledged) attitudes. Dorian is characterized by his evasiveness and his obsession with objets d'art. For example, when Basil comes to console him about Sibyl's death, he is unwilling to discuss the matter. He does not want to admit the possibility that his behaviour was reprehensible. He tells his friend: "If one doesn't talk about a thing, it has never happened. It is simply expression, as Harry says, that gives reality to things" (107). Later, after murdering Basil, he again seeks to avoid acknowledging what he has done: "He felt that the secret of the whole thing was not to realize the situation" (159).
  • Narcissus and Echo

    Like Narcissus, Dorian is "pale, proud, and indifferent" to Sibyl's love (p. 84). He treats her equally cruelly: "You simply produce no effect," he tells her. Echo pines away for love of Narcissus. Sibyl commits suicide for love of Dorian. Just as Narcissus cannot gain the thing he loves (his own reflection), so Dorian is punished with "mad hungers" that grow more ravenous the more he feeds them (p. 128). Narcissus is infatuated by his own too muchness, just as Dorian grows "more and more enamoured of his own beauty" (p. 128).

  • Colin McGinn on The Picture of Dorian Gray

    In The Making of a Philosopher (pp. 219-21) McGinn writes:

    The other main theme of my book [Ethics, Evil and Fiction] is beauty. In The Picture of Dorian Gray beauty is set in opposition to morality, as Dorian supernaturally retains his exceptional good looks while his portrait takes on the signs of age and sin. An obsession with beauty leads Dorian into sin, as he tries to make his life into a work of art, even its evil parts. He elevates beauty above virtue, in short, with disastrous consequences. In Frankenstein the scientist's monstrous creation exemplifies the reverse of Dorian Gray—he is ugly on the outside, virtuous within (at least until the bitterness of rejection turns him violent and vengeful). Both stories emphasize the essential duality of human beings: their inner spiritual being and their outer corporeal appearance. [220] We tend to be taken in by appearance, entranced by the beautiful, repelled by the ugly. But a person's inner self can be radically at variance with their appearance, and is not so easily accessible. In my book I argued that Frankenstein is a kind of exaggerated parable of normal human existence, in which we are identified with the monster: We too have bodies that are not in every way aesthetically pleasing (especially under the skin); we too suffer the pangs of unfair rejection; we too are born without our consent into a hostile world, with death as the only escape. We constantly sense the duality of our outward appearance and our inner being, as we negotiate human society (think, for example, of skin color). This duality is the root of human self-consciousness, and much human misery.

    I also argued that the ugliness of Dorian Gray's soul illustrates what I called the "aesthetic theory of virtue": Virtue may well not coincide with outer beauty, but it is identifiable with inner beauty—beauty of soul or character. I devoted a chapter to this ancient Platonic theory of virtue, which is not much in favor with today's analytical moral philosophers, arguing that it was a plausible and illuminating way to understand moral virtue. Dorian sacrifices his inner beauty to his outer, giving off an illusion of virtue, but inwardly he is vicious and corrupt, as his repulsive picture attests. He devotes himself to beauty, seeking aesthetic value even in evil, but the irony is that [221] he creates for himself a soul whose ugliness is indelible. Thus beauty and virtue are not so separate after all; there is a harmony between them at a fundamental level.

    McGinn, Colin (2002).The Making of a Philosopher. New York: HarperCollins.

T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)

Lou Andreas-Salome

"Freud penned what is certainly the best psychoanalytic portrait of Lou, in his paper 'On Narcissism: An Introduction'...(Appignanesi & Forrester, pp. 259-60)."

Women, especially if they grow up with good looks, develop a certain self-containment which compensates them for the social restrictions that are imposed upon them in their choice of object. Strictly speaking, it is themselves that such women love with an intensity comparable to that of the man's love for them. Nor does their need lie in the direction of loving, but of being loved; and the man who fulfills this condition is the one who finds favour with them. The importance of this type of woman for the erotic life of mankind is to be rated very high. Such women have the greatest fascination for men, not only for aesthetic reasons, since as a rule they are the most beautiful, but also because of a combination of interesting psychological factors. For it seems very evident that another person's narcissism has a great attraction for those who have renounced part of their own narcissism and are in search of object-love. The charm of a child lies to a great extent in his narcissism, his self-containment and inaccessibility, just as does the charm of certain animals which seem not to concern themselves about us, such as cats and the large beasts of prey....There are other women, again, who do not have to wait for a child in order to take the step in development from (secondary) narcissism to object-love. Before puberty they feel masculine and develop some way along masculine lines; after this trend has been cut short on their reaching female maturity, they still retain the capacity of longing for a masculine ideal - an ideal which is in fact a survival of the boyish nature they themselves once possessed.

Appignanesi, Lisa and John Forrester (1992). Freud's Women. New York: HarperCollins.



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