Characteristic Attitudes of the Achiever (Rigid) Male

Because the rigid character achieves genitality, adult sexual feeling and biology comes into play very strongly in character formation, and functioning differs strongly along gender lines. This is consistent with folk wisdom and everyday observation of rigid characters (as opposed to other 'pre-genital' characters). The men appear manly and the women appear feminine. This view, that human sexual dimorphism, where it exists, is natural, good, and a characteristic of maturation, is, of course, inconsistent with the political correctness of the present day. The male achiever or rigid character, is named the 'phallic' character, because he is thought to exhibit 'male' aggression, perhaps a substitute for full sexual release and satisfaction. The female rigid character is known as a 'hysteric', because strong sexual feeling builds but can only find expression in outbursts or conversion symptoms. Below is a description of the male character.

The male achiever copes effectively with the world. This character organizes his life around accomplishing goals. In business this means increasing margins where possible. Without being deceptive, the achiever tries to put as little into a situation or association as possible while getting out as much as possible. This is not about domination, however, the achiever assumes others can push back in their own self-interest. He is not resentful when they do, and can relent at times, although the achiever can also push back even more strongly and become very competitive and aggressive. Pre-oedipal characters may consider achievers bullies.

The mind is developed, with an efficient, but unyielding intellect that is trusted much more than feelings or impulses. Thinking tends to be very linear, with good concentration, but little capacity for or interest in abstraction. Creativity is controlled in favor of soundness. In large organizations, achievers often team with creators or communicators. The achiever, as boss, provides the aggression and reality contact to implement the creativity and abstraction of the latter characters.

The ability to make decisions and take action is valued by others, and achievers often assume leadership positions. Traditionally, achievers have been the heads of industry, government and law enforcement. (Although, with trends in society moving toward narcissism, these roles increasingly go to inspirer or psychopathic characters).

Pride is the driving force in this structure and great efforts of the will are directed towards performance and outer appearances (always being attractive and never appearing vulnerable or foolish). There is stubbornness that is not in the service of spiting others but rather in the service of avoiding looking foolish.

Achievers are often athletic due to graceful movements and intense competitiveness. They often favor sports that combine face to face competition with controlled movements, such as handball, tennis, or golf.

PREDOMINANT NEGATIVE CORE BELIEFS “If I love, I will be vulnerable.” “I will get love by appearing invulnerable and attractive.” - “If I desire sexually, I will be rejected.” “I will get sexual gratification by controlling my sexual longings.” “No one surrenders to another.” “I will survive by never surrendering.” “The world is a rejecting, competitive place.”

Characteristic Illusions: "If I hold back my heart, It will never be broken again" "If I don't give you my heart, I can be sexual."

Primary “falling” fear: Falling forward or on one's face

Primary holding pattern: Holding back

Primary longing: to surrender in love.

Primary Struggle: the right to love sexually

Illusion of Contraction: “I will be loved if I am attractive and accomplished.”

Illusion of Release: "I will be rejected if I fully open my heart"

The Male Achiever Character in Relationship

Achievers tend to be very attractive to women, partly because of external features but mostly because of the 'energy' they give off. Relationships are often treated the same as a business, in that it is deemed rational to try to get the most out of it while putting only the necessary minimum in. Having a relationship with an unmitigated male achiever can be like constant re-negotiation with a hard-driving boss. This means that in personal affairs, achievers often become dominant de facto. Love and erotic feelings are strong, but are controlled by the mind and will. Achievers have intense fears of having their “heart broken” in love Surrendering to another is deemed unacceptable and collapse is unthinkable. Dificulty surrending of course may support the work function but interferes with the love function. Achievers may have a less than complete sense of self caused by the separation of love feelings from sexual feelings. Male Achievers may become 'womanizers' to reinforce a sense of virility without the need to commit to love. Achievers may marry several times, as the intent is there to commit to one woman, but once in a committed relationship there is holding back, and then a search for love elsewhere. Alternately, achievers may be actually quite 'moral' about sex, because there is enough feeling to experience modesty.

Sexual Functioning

The achiever is usually erectively potent. Premature ejaculation is often a problem. Outlet of sexual discharge through the genital may be limited. This can lead to several acts of sex in a single day, because a large amount of sexual excitement remains in the pelvis after each act of sex. The achiever may identify with this as being superior as a man, and develop 'Don Juan' behavior around it. Inspirer characters often also develop Don Juan behavior due to incomplete discharge, but in the case of that character, the pelvis as well as the genitals is restricted. In any case, achievers often receive only ego and not body satisfaction from sex. This lack of satisfaction is of translated into a dissatisfaction with the feminine partner. The juxtaposition of high sexual drive and limited discharge may be responsible for the drivenness of this character.



Overall, the body is well-formed and proportionate. There is a distinct aliveness: bright eyes, good skin color, good skin turgor, graceful movement and gesture. Movement may command attention. Facial features are very 'masculine' Hair tends to be well groomed. There is frequently a receding hairline. There is a tendency to hold the head high and the back straight. In fact, the back may appear 'overly straight'. Alternately there may be a slight backward displacement of the torso, as if to keep the heart from being captured ( as in the illustration to the left). There is a stiffness not related to any one joint but overall muscular function. This stiffness can be considered 'good bearing' and imitated by people who wish to thought important. Overall this rigidity prevents the achiever from participating fully in love or work


The overall energy level is good. In movement, there is grace but also a certain bias in maintaining a very vertical posture. There is a fairly strong charge at the surface, which supports good reality testing. The holding back is at the surface (rather than at the core or muscular layers as with other characters.) This allows energy to flow within the body, but limits its expression in the world.

The rigidity of the body may cause the torso to function as a tube, forcing energy to bounce from the head to the pelvis. In this instance the head and the pelvis may act as reservoirs, holding expression back at the 'final step.' The charge in the pelvis plus the tendency to hold the pelvis back sometimes leads to a 'charged bladder' and an urethra that used at times to discharge energy and aggression (after sex, after meetings, etc) This is possibly the origin of the term 'pissing contests' to describe struggles to establish dominance.


Origins of the Achiever Character

(Developmental Period – 4-6 Years)

This character is believed to have had 'good enough' nurture up to 4 years of age or the start of the oedipal period. At that point, love feelings for the mother were rejected, and or the father interfered with this relationships. This 'heart-break' resulted in a stiffening against disappointment.

Possible Difficulties for the Achiever Character