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

Self-Sacrificing Personality Type

The interests of the Self-Sacrificing Personality Type include (Oldham, pg. 319):

  • serving others
  • giving to others
  • letting your needs wait until others' are well served
  • being selfless and magnanimous
  • being a saint
  • being a good citizen

Main Interests of the Self-Sacrificing Personality Type

  1. being accepting of others; being tolerant of others' foibles, and never reproving others harshly; sticking with others through thick and thin

  2. serving others; being helpful to others

  3. being long-suffering; shouldering your own burdens in life

  4. being humble; being neither boastful nor proud; avoiding being fussed over; avoiding being in the limelight

  5. enduring things; having much patience; having a high tolerance for discomfort

  6. deferring to others by being noncompetitive and unambitious; being comfortable coming in second, or even last

  7. being considerate in your dealings with others; being ethical, honest, and trustworthy

  8. being generous; giving others the shirt off your back if they need it; not waiting to be asked

Characteristic Traits and Behaviors

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

  1. Generosity. Individuals with the Self-Sacrificing personality style will give you the shirts off their backs if you need them. They do not wait to be asked.

  2. Service. Their "prime directive" is to be helpful to others. Out of deference to others, they are noncompetitive and unambitious, comfortable coming second, even last.

  3. Consideration. Self-Sacrificing people are always considerate in their dealings with others. They are ethical, honest, and trustworthy.

  4. Acceptance. They are nonjudgmental, tolerant of others' foibles, and never harshly reproving. They'll stick with you through thick and thin.

  5. Humility. They are neither boastful nor proud, and they're uncomfortable being fussed over. Self-Sacrificing men and women do not like being the center of attention; they are uneasy in the limelight.

  6. Endurance. They are long-suffering. They prefer to shoulder their own burdens in life. They have much patience and a high tolerance for discomfort.

  7. Artlessness. Self-Sacrificing individuals are rather naive and innocent. They are unaware of the often deep impact they make on other people's lives, and they tend never to suspect deviousness or underhanded motives in the people to whom they give so much of themselves.

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.

Synonyms: "abnegate, forbear, forgo, eschew" (MW, 707)

"Forgo, forbear, abnegate, eschew, sacrifice are comparable when they denote to deny oneself something for the sake of an end. One forgoes for the sake of policy, expediency, or the welfare of others something already enjoyed or indulged in, or within reach ... Often the word implies surrender or abandonment ... One forbears, through motives of prudence, kindness, or charity, doing or saying something one wishes or is tempted to do or say. Forbear usually implies self-restraint ... One abnegates what is intrinsically good but not consistent with one's aims, principles, or limitations ... Often abnegate implies renunciation or self-effacement, but this distinction is not as commonly maintained in the verb as in the derivative noun abnegation ... One eschews ... something tempting, sometimes on moral or aesthetic grounds but more often because abstention or self-restraint is necessary for the achievement of a more significant desire or end ... one sacrifices something highly desirable or in itself or great value for the sake of a person, ideal, or end dearer to one than the thing or person involved; the term typically connotes renunciation and self-denial and a religious or ethical motive comparable to that of self-immolation ... " (354-55)

Analogous: "renounce, abdicate: surrender, yield, resign, relinquish" (707)



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.

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

Charles Dickens

John Ashcroft, Leo Buscaglia, Lewis Carroll, Sidney Carton, Gray Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Ellen DeGeneres, John Denver, Charles Dickens, Sándor Ferenczi, Kathie Lee Gifford, Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Joseph Lieberman, Marsha M. Linehan, Barry Manilow, Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Margaret Mitchell, Mary Tyler Moore, Florence Nightingale, Pip, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mister Rogers, Mother Teresa

Sel-sacrificing Personality Type is derived from Masochistic Personality Disorder.



Summary - Personality Disorders
Copyright © 2012 Dave Kelly

Creative Commons License
PTypes Personality Types by Dave Kelly is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. (See Copyrights for details.)