Self-Sacrificing personality type

Basic Desire/ Pleasure:* being needed
Basic Fear/ Distress: being unloved

Basic Passions of the Types

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

Careers and Jobs for the Self-Sacrificing type

Google Answers: selecting the right career for me
This list represents careers and jobs people of the Self-Sacrificing type tend to enjoy doing.

social worker
flight attendant
medical/dental assistant
exercise physiologist
elementary school teacher
retail owner
officer manager
special education teacher
merchandise planner
credit counselor
athletic coach
insurance agent
sales representative
massage therapist
medical secretary
child care provider
bilingual education teacher
professional volunteer

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

Noteworthy examples of the Self-Sacrificing personality type

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

Masochistic Personality Disorder

The noteworthy examples of the Self-Sacrificing personality type listed below 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-sacrificing, and that the Self-Sacrificing personality type represents the pervasive and enduring pattern of the personalities of the people listed below better than any other type.

Noteworthy examples of the Self-Sacrificing personality type are:

Index of noteworthy examples


The World of Dr. Leo Buscaglia

Arts > Humanities > Literature > Authors > Literary Fiction > Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

Entertainment:Music:Artists:By Genre:Rock and Pop:John Denver (1943-1997)

Arts > Humanities > Literature > Authors > Literary Fiction > Charles Dickens (1812-1870)below

Sandor Ferenczibelow

Society and Culture:Religion and Spirituality:Faiths and Practices:Christianity:People:Jesus of Nazarethbelow

Entertainment:Music:Artists:By Genre:Rock and Pop:Barry Manilow

Entertainment:Actors and Actresses:Marx Brothers, The - Harpo Marx.

Arts > Humanities > Literature > Authors > Literary Fiction > Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949)

Entertainment > Actors and Actresses > Mary Tyler Moore

Health > Medicine > People > Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)


Reik (1941) perceives the masochistic character as a composite expression of aggressive, ambitious, revengeful, defiant impulses revealed in fantasy or circuitously in action and directed against an actual person or persons, though often with what is termed a "reversed sign." He emphasizes the importance of the sadistic fantasy, citing it as the "soil in which masochism grows." Far from feeling , as Reich did, that in masochism we see an "inhibited exhibitionism," he maintains that the "demonstrative" quality in parading one's harmlessness, generosity, ineptness, or suffering is, indeed, actual exhibitionism, with the aim of concealing something else: "hostile, stubborn, vain-glorious tyranny." "Victory through defeat" is his summation of this construct.

Shirley Panken, The Joy of Suffering.
Copyright © 1998-2003 Dave Kelly