Interacting with others: the 'energy' mechanism
According to James Redfield, author of the bestseller The
Celestine Prophecy, we are constantly in competition with others
to receive different forms of energy: love, attention, support,
approval. Since childhood, we try to obtain energy by
adopting very specific behaviours. The behaviours that we find are
successful at obtaining what we need and want from our family are
reinforced and subsequently used over and over throughout our life
influencing the way that we interact with others. For this reason,
Redfield stresses the importance of trying to understand our
childhood as a way to understanding our present behaviours.
We tend to interact with others in the way that was successful
during our childhood at obtaining energy from our family.
Redfield identifies 4 main types of behaviour-person: the aggressor,
the inquisitor, the withdrawn and the victim.
These individuals obtain energy from other people by using anger or
even physical aggression. They obtain energy through people's fear
and by constantly being at the centre of people's attention. Their
behaviour tends to create other aggressors or victims (i.e. people
around the will become themselves either aggressors or victims).
These individuals constantly put down other people and will always
try and make them feel that they (the other people that is) are
always wrong. Regardless of how hard someone is trying and how well
s/he is doing, the inquisitor will always find something wrong. In
this way the other person will constantly try to do better in order
to show their own value and will probably feel constantly under
examination thus dissipating their own energy in favour of the
These people often have "inquisitors" as parents. They are often
detached and reserved and tend to do everything by themselves never
asking others for help, being afraid of receiving unconstructive
criticisms. In order to receive energy from other people, they adopt
an evasive behaviour so that people will have to 'chase them' to get
to know them better and so on.
These individuals try to obtain energy from others by appealing to
people's compassion, crying and constantly asking for help. If they
are quiet, they always make sure that their silence is not ignored.
They make other people feel guilty and in this way they 'zap' their
If we understand this 'energy' mechanism, we can understand
other people behaviour and our own behaviour better. If
necessary, we can also decide to change the way we behave and
improve who we are.