The Lone Ranger
Dr. Charles Parker, a noted psychiatrist who specializes in addictions, wrote in his book Deep Recovery: How to Use Your Most Difficult Relationships to Find Out Who You Are! (Hawkeye Press, 1992), "Remember how Clayton Moore became the masked avenger of the West? Think about the relationship characteristics of the Lone Ranger. Did he greet people warmly? Did he have a happy family life? Did he talk much? Did he really connect in his personal relationships? No. The Lone Ranger was a metaphor for the prototypical warrior-hero. He avoided relationships and worked on controlling external reality."
The key to understanding the psychology of the Lone Ranger lies in understanding his vulnerabilities. He was riding with his Texas Ranger friends, when they were ambushed and all the Rangers were killed, except him. Nursed back to health by a kind American Indian, he swore revenge on the lawless in the West. With a mask, a white horse, and silver bullets, he dedicated his life to seeking vindication after a traumatic event. Afraid of being caught off guard again in a situation in which he could be killed, he decided to go on the offense in the hope of wiping out external evils. By focusing on action, he continued to avoid coming to terms with the evil on the inside (the effects of his trauma) and never learned to lead a happy and balanced life.
Says Dr. Parker, "He was hiding his feelings. He was drawn to a higher-order principle outside of himself – survival. He became the caretaker and values enforcer of the West. He was out of balance because he felt victimized by reality. But ultimately he became a victim himself, by being alone, having no family, no ranch with a warm bed, and no circle of friends."
The Relationship Addict
Many pursue a career in selling because they like to meet other people. New relationships often carry the promise of new sales, a better future, and the potential of a dream turned into reality.
Although there is nothing wrong with feeling pleased about connecting with new prospects, some salespeople become emotionally gratified to the point that they actually avoid doing business.
To relationship addicts, fresh new sales leads are always a source of excitement. When new leads appear, they can't wait to get to the relationship rush. They immediately call to set up a meeting, regardless of existing priorities. It is not uncommon for them to schedule a series of appointments, travel from coast to coast, meet a dozen clients in a couple of days, promise those clients the moon, and then fly back – but hardly follow up with any of them.
Relationship addicts like to press the flesh, schmooze people, and push prospects’ hot buttons. Instead of building profitable business relationships, they only use prospects to satisfy a need to connect on a personal level.
While relationship addicts are on a roll with the personal relationship, they feel powerful and worthwhile, but at the same time they feel ill at ease with advancing the sale.
Why? Doctor Parker explains that relationship addicts worry about spoiling the warm and comfortable feelings when they have to cross the boundaries from personal matters to discussing business. Their fear of rejection and their excessive need to relate will block the way to the sale. In fact, relationship addicts actually stall the sales process when many customers would prefer that it move forward.
Doctor Parker asserts, "Relationship addicts are, metaphorically speaking, drunk on having the relationship. To them, other parts of the sales process don't offer an equal amount of gratification. That is why they often neglect vital steps of the sales process, such as closing the sale."
The alcoholic prefers having another drink to going home and facing the reality of life. The relationship addict prefers schmoozing the client to dealing with the business at hand. Even when their customers steer the conversation toward business, the relationship addicts’ addictive impulses often throw the switch from the business track back to the relationship track. This out-of-balance behavior is doubly unproductive. After a typical sales call, relationship addicts will not have solved their relationship problem, and their customers will not have solved their business problem.
Many relationship addicts are order-takers at best. When customers call in with their orders, the relationship addicts brag to everyone in the office that they've "closed" another sale. They naturally assume that they got the orders because of the strong, personal bonds they’ve formed with their customers. If they fail to get the orders, they often feel victimized, angry, or disappointed.
Relationship addicts like to be part of the sales team; however, other team members are often put off by their excessive need to talk and "relate."
The Helpless Victim
According to Dr. Parker, helpless victims want the nurturing part of their childhood to go on forever. Afraid of being alone or abandoned, they are dependent and cling to relationships. In their hearts they believe that they aren't capable of taking care of themselves. They are frightened of the real world and feel helpless when faced with reality and constant change. Their solution to coping with life and calming their fears is to become dependent on another person.
Helpless victims avoid dealing with the realities of life by manipulating others to care for them. They refuse to take action, avoid responsibility, and expect others to come to their rescue in order to ensure their survival.In selling, the helpless victim seeks the comfort of a protective relationship. Since they are afraid of rocking the boat, they decide to avoid the realities of asking for the business. Such salespeople often allow customers to take advantage of them. They give too much of themselves and have a hard time establishing boundaries.
While helpless victims exaggerate their dependency, lone rangers deny it altogether. While helpless victims over dramatize their feelings, lone rangers refuse to talk about them. What do both have in common? They fear aspects of reality, are afraid of change, and are essentially dependent on the outside world for feelings of self-worth. While the lone ranger depends on action, the helpless victim depends on words and emotions. While the lone ranger works too hard at controlling reality and avoids relationships, the helpless victim works too hard at forming relationships and avoids reality. While the helpless victim leaves everything open and fails to close, the lone ranger closes everything and fails to open up. Both types are living out of balance. They have learned to react to life with a protective, self-defeating illusion.
More information on Dr. Parker
Please share your comment on this post.
Email this blog to a friend