The Self-Sacrificing Personality Type identifies people with low self-esteem who attempt to measure their self-worth by how they are treated by others (Morris 1995). They tend to sacrifice their own needs and comfort in a desperate attempt to win approval, but even when they are praised for their actions they search for ways to turn that positive reaction into something negative. Those who treat them well are often rejected in favor of those who will feed their need to support their overwhelming feeling of failure and inadequacy.
Because they often make bad choices in the people they wish to help, they are often easy targets for taking advantage. Carrie was such an individual, having tried unsuccessfully to please her parents in a dysfunctional family, then continuing the behavior throughout her school days and into adulthood with her husband and children. She defined herself by how others reacted to her need to be needed, Recommendation: Carrie needs to build her self-esteem using a practical step-by-step method (SAMHSA, 2008).
Some questions to ask Carrie:
• Can you pay attention to your own needs and wants, instead of worrying about what’s missing in everyone else’s lives? • Can you improve your diet, get regular exercise, and spend more time on your personal hygiene and grooming? • Are there activities you enjoy, that you can do just to have fun? • Do you have special talents or abilities, or interests you’d like to explore? • Are there special treats you can give yourself, such as a bubble bath or an ice cream sundae? Conclusion: Carrie may need counseling to help her realize her needs are just as important as everyone else’s.
Oldham, John M. , and Morris, Lois B. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love and Act the Way You Do. New York, NY: Bantam, 1995. method (as outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Unites States Department of Health and Human Services. United States. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Building Self-esteem: A Self-Help Guide. Rockville, MD, 2008. http://mentalhealth. samhsa. gov/publications/allpubs/sma-3715/things. asp