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Rose-Colored Glasses

Catalysts are fond of wearing rose-colored glasses.  There are two ways that this causes problems for them.  First of all, NFs can involve themselves in unhealthy relationships because their rose-colored glasses prevent them from seeing the negative aspects of another person.  Somehow, Catalysts manage to overlook the red flags that indicate trouble ahead at the beginning of a relationship.  Through the rosy glow of their idealistic lenses, NFs can ignore the fact that a potential mate is an alcoholic, or that he or she is abusive.  By the time reality hits, the Catalyst is often in over his or her head.

Even where Catalysts manage to involve themselves in relatively healthy relationships, the rose-colored glasses can be a problem.  Inevitably, there comes a day when Catalysts take the glasses off.  Suddenly, the mate's human frailties are all too apparent; what's more, the relationship's problems are painfully visible.  At this point, Catalysts are prone to conclude that the solution lies in ending the relationship and going off in search of a more ideal partner.  Too often, Catalysts hold the false assumption that an ideal relationship is problem-free.

It is essential that Catalysts learn to recognize and acknowledge those red flags that indicate potential danger when establishing a new relationship.  In addition, it is important that NFs learn that there are no perfect relationships, and that even the best relationships have their ups and downs.

Stopping the Rescue Mission

Catalysts are born rescuers.  This means that they tend to sympathize with the underdog, and that they often get caught up with rescue operations, trying to save someone whom they perceive as a hopeless, helpless victim.  The problem with this tendency is that it is often more harmful than beneficial to both the Catalyst and the other person.  For one thing, viewing someone as a helpless victim means seeing that person as powerless and incapable of solving his or her own problems; hence, the message inadvertently sent to the other person that he or she is inadequate or weak.  For another thing, the Catalyst is often engaged by the other types, who need a third player to complete their Victim-Rescuer-Persecutor triangle.  Improvisers are particularly good at engaging the Catalyst in feeling sorry for them and in trying to rescue them from some big, bad, persecutor.  The persecutor may be a parent, a teacher, a mate, an administrator, a boss, or even a whole school system.  As long as the Catalyst participates in this game, nothing will ever change.  The Catalyst wearing the rescuer hat is bound to feel not only frustrated but also increasingly responsible for trying to create change.  It is only by refusing to view someone as a powerless victim that the NF can really be helpful to that person.

-Excerpted/Adapted from Survival Games Personalities Play, by Eve Delunas

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