Description of the Rebel Pattern

You tend to rebel against people in authority by resisting or fighting against what they want from you, whether it is actually bad for you or not. You tend to oppose people by being rigid and confrontational, and this often leads to arguments or power struggles. You feel like people are trying to control or dominate you even when they aren't. You then get angry and defiant just for the sake of being right. Of course, it is healthy to oppose an edict that really isn't good for you; or one that is imposed in a high-handed way. But you tend to think that everyone is doing this, or at least all authority figures. You haven’t learned how to distinguish between when you really need to defend yourself from being dominated, and when you can let it go.

You may also react with defiance when you feel like you are being intruded upon or smothered. However, you tend to see almost everyone as intentionally doing this to you. You don't just set limits when they are really necessary; you set them most of the time. And you tend to do it in an angry, self-righteous way.

You like to play devil's advocate and you almost automatically argue the opposite side of any point of view that is put forward. It is very difficult for you to simply agree with someone, even when you truly do, inside. You may actually enjoy engaging in arguments or fighting against what you consider to be injustice. Of course, there is plenty of injustice in the world. But do you like to get righteously angry about harmful actions without making any proactive attempts to create harmony and fairness? If this is true, you may have a Defiant Pattern.

When someone is overly controlling, can you respond to them in a way that will be most effective in getting them to change? Or do you tend to get hostile, or dogmatically dig in your heels? Even if you are justified in fighting back, do you do this in the most effective way to get what you really want? Or do you engage in a power play just for the sake of rebelling?


The Rebel Pattern is transformed by the Cooperation Capacity.

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XCooperation involves the ability to be receptive and work well with others. You are open to other people's ideas and desires while not ignoring your own. You can assert yourself while also being able to go along with what other people want, and you can determine which is more appropriate for any situation. Most important, you can harmonize with others when working together or making joint decisions without giving up on your opinions, feelings, or desires.

You can empower other people to contribute their skills to a project. You can follow someone else's lead when appropriate, and you can take the lead yourself if that is what is needed. You can facilitate other people working together well as part of a community or team. When there is conflict, you can compromise or find solutions that are best for all concerned.

When someone has greater knowledge or expertise in one area, you can follow them and learn from them while still retaining your power to disagree or opt out when appropriate. When you have the greater knowledge, you can use it for everyone's benefit while still allowing others to have their say and retain their autonomy.