Satir’s COMPUTER Role


I’M SAFE IN MY IVORY TOWER – so you can’t touch me



3. COMPUTERS (C) – a Twisted form of Intellect
STYLE: About 15% of the population uses this defense
✶ At first glance they may seem poised & self-assured, but do not mistake them for someone who is centered, grounded & calm. If they were, they would radiate presence, warmth, & compassion. Instead, Computers make others feel cold & alone – put off, not understood
• are detached, like a machine, talk in a monotone or a dry delivery
• are always thinking, evaluating, holding back, reserved, self-protective
• always very correct, very reasonable, very logical & in control – called Mr Cool or StarTrek’s Mr Spock by NPL-ers
• can sound like a dictionary, need to use the ‘right’ words as buffers to hide inner feelings
• continually stay in teaching mode OR withdrawn in contemplation
computr type• deflect any personal responsibility, always dissociated from what’s going on around them
• deny the value of everything except ‘facts’ & logical decisions
• focus on & prefer context, removing the human element
• generalize, omit/ delete parts of a thought, use long abstract words, speak in the 3rd person (“Someone needs to do it”)….. especially when questioned or confronted
• never let anyone know what they think or are up to, never commit to a definite position, afraid to make a mistake or not knowing something
• often make value judgments without indicating whose opinion it is, implying that = naturally everyone would agree

Unfortunately considered an ideal for men, discouraged from  experiencing & expressing feelings, so Computers work hard to appear super-cool on the outside, even when churning like mad on the inside.
Good for accountants & bureaucrats.

Energetic Description (from Dr.MJ Bulbrook)
• block out others & the context they’re in by creating rigid boundaries.  Undeveloped & with energy holes. Cold Spiritually
Potential harm to receiver: the shielding energy of the Computer is so strong it’s likely impossible to have an even exchange. Another’s opinion is not heard, or is over-ridden without considering the input

Statements: “I am ultra-reasonable, calm, cool & collected. I have all the answers ,  Rational thinking is superior to emotion , Say the right words, with no feeling, don’t react , Perhaps we should take a moment to step back & review the situation”

Stance: Use auditory digital cues (analytical, disconnected language)
• body square on or maybe tilted back a little, resting on rear leg
• can take on characteristics of other Roles
• experience tension in neck & shoulders
• head level, eyebrows slightly pulled in, arms crossed under chin to prop head up (like the‘Thinker’)
computer brain• physically separating themselves from any issue
• sit rigidly, not moving a muscle – pushing away feelings & people
• talk to themselves, learn things by making ‘sense’ of them

Gain Power: by pretending to know it all & making the audience seem dumb.  Similar to Blamers, since they both stress their superiority over others
Aim: to be seen as strong (hide feeling weak) AND provoke envy so others will ally with them

Reacting to a Computer: (via NLP) if you use a Blamer or Placating stance, they will switch to Blamer or Placater – the reverse of your strategy. Then you can recalibrate. The Distracter stance usually makes them worse

Reality: Computer types feel exposed when showing emotions, maybe because they have a hard time controlling their Es. They were probably shamed, blamed or emotionally overwhelmed as kids for having feelings
• When stressed, Computers desperately try to feel secure by intellectualizing everything, to stop from falling apart in case a real emotion ever broke through

Negative: • assumed to be cold-hearted & insensitive
• bore people to numbness by pontificating & using abstract
language or cliches
• can’t connect emotionally in any relationships
• can’t give love or provide the other’s legitimate needs – causing many problems & ending up isolated
• male Computers frustrate any attempts women make to communication feelings, & just can’t understand why “she’s getting so upset when I’m being so reasonable!”

Positive: A good person to go to when needing specific, detailed info on an topic (research, medical, school work, travel…), anything not emotion-related.

NEXT: ‘Controlling’ & Abandonment

PLACATER Family Role (Part 1)

I have to make nice


SITE: Conflict Styles


❧ PLACATER Role  – a Twisted form of Service
Combination of the Satir & Wegscheider versions

Placater’s GOAL
Provide soothing to make others feel better in general & specifically about themself


For Self: try to not keep getting abandoned, to feel safer = not get hurt & be loved – by calming everyone, preventing conflicts or any overt expression of anger
For Family:  When parents are impaired in some way, they become a surrogate. Born negotiators, they seem to have an uncanny ability to ‘read’ what others are feeling, but at their own expense. Learn early to smooth over potentially upsetting situations & take responsibility for everyone’s pain & emotional well-being

BIRTH ORDER: can be oldest child, usually the girl
IN SCHOOL : very compliant, well-liked, so-so students – preoccupied with other’s problems rather than studying
placater girlUsed as the family social worker, inappropriately told all the adult’s problems, ‘valued’ for not being any trouble

Few self-protective boundaries, don’t have a clear identity of their own, are not in touch with their own emotions & needs, so can’t get them met, are ‘lost’ without someone to please or fix

FROM: “If I’m nice, everyone will like me”
“Don’t rock the boat”
“If I focus on someone else, it won’t be on me & that’s a good thing”
“If I take care of you, you won’t reject or leave me ”
“I’ll do whatever you tell me to do. I’m here to make you happy.”

TO: “It’s ok to have a focus of my own”
“I am likable without having to take care of others”
“I don’t have the power to keep someone with me, but if they stay it’s because of who I am, not what I do for them”
“I can do whatever suits me best, in all situations”

• Actually believe they care so much about others & that no one cares for them. Can be great listeners
• Are mainly concern is on themselves & how they’ll be perceived.
• Develop a high tolerance for inappropriate behavior, will take the blame for things not their fault (ironically), thereby protecting others from taking responsibility for their choices & actions
• Efface & belittle themselves, while inflating others, to get brownie points & stop possible aggression
• React to stress or ‘uncomfortable truths’ by trying to ignore them, sometimes going to extraordinary lengths to avoid confrontations
• May sacrifice themself – willing to lose so others can win

Frustrated rage, fear, guilt, low self-esteem,  powerlessness. Show shame via depression, perfectionism, victimization

Deep sense of not being good enough just as they are, nor have the right to get equal attention & caring from others.  Denying personal needs, they’re unable to receive, have ‘false’ guilt, a great fear of conflict & anger, are hyper-vigilant with high anxiety

AS ADULTSover-giving
They’re often in abusive & one-sided relationships (with spouse, children, friends, bosses…), constantly giving without getting anything back.  Are overly responsible so become excellent enablers, marring addicts or other ‘broken’ people.

Often choose careers as helping professionals, which can reinforce the tendency to ignore their own needs, such as social workers, nurses, therapists…. (more likely in ‘supportive’ positions, so not often male doctors)

TO: Allow the child to focus on themself & not others, separate their personal worth from doing / care-taking, teach them to express emotions & playing

BY: Validating P’s intrinsic value (being vs doing), helping them develop ability to take care of & prioritize needs for themselves, so when child IS helping another – ask them what he/she is feeling at the moment)
• Parents talk about & act in ways that reinforce how adults take care of themselves & other family members, so the child can relax

NEXT: Placater #2