RI Week #3: The Major Motives of Behavior


“Behavior is guided by motives. There are two main types of motives: service and domination.

The motive of service produces love, friendship, admiration, neighborliness, good citizenship, patriotism, honesty, ethical conduct, loyalty, and courtesy. The motive of domination produces anger, hatred, contempt, disagreement, jealousy, envy and discourtesy.

In average life, the motive of service and the motive of domination do not exist in their pure state. A person inspired only by the spirit of service would be a saint; one inspired only by the urge for domination would be a monster. The average person is inspired by both motives and tends both to serve and dominate.

How can two opposite motives of behavior be expressed by one person? The answer is, by means of a healthy balance. A healthy balance of the two major motives makes for healthy group life.  IF those in a group insist on domination only, group life turns into endless struggle. If service is the only motive, group life is monotonous, colorless and lifeless.

You know the game called, “Tug of War”. One set of people tug at one end of a rope, another set of people tug at the other end. If the pulling strength of the two groups is equally balanced, there will be no action. On the other hand, if the distribution of forces is too unequally balanced, there will be no contest.  One of the groups will have a runaway victory. A healthy contest occurs only if the pull of the one team just over balances the pull of the other. So a balance is healthy if the opposing forces are neither equally matched nor too unequally matched. With motives, a healthy balance is maintained if service over balances domination without overwhelming it.

It is a popular belief that the spirit of service is most fully express in the home and that the spirit of domination is expressed more with strangers. In other words, it is thought that family is usually dealt with in the spirit of service, while strangers are dealt with in the spirit of domination. If this were true, irritation would be rare at home and common among strangers.

However, if you think of your own life, you know that most of your irritations come from your close relatives and friends. A smaller amount of irritation comes from people you know less well at school or work.  The strangers you see in the store or on the street are only occasionally a source of irritation. In other words, the average individual tends to be polite with strangers but loses his temper frequently with those close to him and is likely to be rude and impatient with them.

You all know of the person who frequently is late for dinner at home but on time when he meets his friends. When he is late for the outside date, he offers an apology. No apology is even thought of for being late to the dinner at home. The promptness and the apology to the friend are expressions of a spirit of service. The lack of courtesy to the family is an expression of domination.

In this persons pattern of behavior, there is no healthy balance between the two sets of motives. Domination wins at home and service wins outside. I call this kind of behavior “devil-at-home-angel-outside.”

Too many people save their best behavior for social contacts, but tend toward the domination when dealing with members of their own family. Your family life will greatly improve if you learn behavior and attitudes that express a healthy balance, with the spirit of service stronger than the spirit of domination.”


Day 6: BPD Challenge (Love Life)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 6: How’s your love life?

My love life sucks. I am a heart breaker and have destroyed every relationship I’ve been in.  I am currently single for the first time in my life. I have always gone from one relationship to the next since I was 15 years old. I have never had the chance to love myself, or be alone. My current goal is to be single for as long as I possible, taking it month by month. I want to over come my fear of being alone and I want to battle out these episodes alone. I am so tired of hurting people, I am tired of being this way. Deep down, all I want is a healthy, honest, happy relationship. But, I need to be healthy, honest and happy with myself first in order to have a successful relationship later down the road.

I get lonely at times, but I have been keeping myself busy with working out, quit drinking, therapy, this new website of mine, working and spending extra time with my kids working on projects together. I’ve even lost 10 pounds! There has been so much self-pride lately and I hope it stays this way.

Recovery International


I’ve recently joined an RI group (Recovery International) through meetup.com. It is a weekly meeting with a handful of other people struggling with depression, anxiety and mental health. I joined this group for mental health reasons.

The RI group was founded in 1937 by Abraham Low. He was a neuropsychiatrist in Chicago, Illinois. It is a non-profit organization that helps people deal with self-control, self-confidence and the determination to act. You can find a group located near you through meetup. I encourage anyone with these struggles to check it out.

I have a huge fear of being in a new setting or atmosphere with people I do not know, by myself. However, when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom emotionally, you have to stand up and push forward. I over-came my fear and attended an RI group nearby. It was very interesting, I loved the organizer (who are mostly experienced non-professionals). There were several people who attended, including new comers like myself. I purchased two books, “The Wisdom of Dr. Low”, which are the quotations from the works of Dr. Low, and the second book I purchased was the RI discovery participant workbook. Each week we read a chapter out of the workbook and discuss as a group what we thought about the teachings. After we proceed to talk individually about the constructed 4 step outline to help us with a situation we may be struggling with.

Step 1: Report a single situation or event that caused you to get yourself worked up. Give a brief description of what happened, what triggered temper and symptoms?

Step 2: Report the symptoms you experienced, both physical and metal. (Fearful thoughts, angry, confusion, disturbing impulses, tightness in your chest, lowered feelings, sweaty palms, etc.)

Step 3: Report your spotting of fearful or angry temper, use the RI tools to spot yourself and give self-endorsement for your effort.

Step 4: Begin with “before I had my RI training,” and describe the temperamental reaction and symptoms you would have experienced in former days. What would have happened then versus what would have happened now?

After discussing all four steps with the group, the group then volunteers to endorse you for your effort as well. This is a great way to help me calm myself down when I get myself worked up with anger. I am still new to this group, however I encourage anyone to try it. I am going to take notes in each group and write out my thoughts each week.


“The one and only goal of the patient must be to regain his mental health.  In order to achieve it, the goals and whims and wishes of “human nature” must be held down with ruthless determination.” – Dr. Low