Activated Roles

When we are triggered by stress, we may take on different personas. We call these personas Activated Roles. Depending on our perception of the threat, we may embody one (or several) of these Activated Roles. The same individual may operate from different Activated Roles depending the person’s current internal state and the situation they are in. It’s also common that one Activated Role may emerge as a response to another Activated Role. For example, Alex, below became angry and lashed out. Alex then felt ashamed and remained passive for the rest of the meeting.


Someone who believes that they must always be right, correct, or accurate.
Role 1

Role 1

Alex (Always Right) walks into a planning meeting with planning binders from the prior company. Alex questions the meeting lead on the process and gloats about Alex’s past experience at a prior company.

Bully others

Exploit Others

Appear Superior

Impresses with Status and Accomplishments



Complaining or Non-Performance

Strict Order, Tight Self-Control, Excessive Routines