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Humanistic Personality Approach of Pierre Elliot Trudeau

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Humanistic Personality Approach of Pierre Elliot Trudeau

Much can be said of Pierre Trudeau and his personality, in fact, much was. Trudeau was known to embody many contrasting characteristics, such as being charismatic and cut-throat at the same time. To highlight a main issue within the humanistic personality approach would be the idea of personal responsibility; Trudeau had always made mention of not regretting any of his mistakes, he simply did not wish to repeat them - he was an individual who took control of situations around him and strived to become better. Pierre Trudeau is an excellent example of what Maslow called the self-actualization concept (Burger, 2004). This concept outlines the development of a person's personality to a state of being that is ultimately satisfying to them if no roadbloacks are encountered. The important point of the humanist approach as it applies to Trudeau is his ability to deal with roadblocks and still become the person he wanted to be. His natural charisma, among other characteristics, allowed him to more easily evade obstacles that would usually cause problems. It is in this that Trudeau's personality gained it's popularity, his antics combined with his results left people in awe because he accomplished things many thought were not possible, especially not through the unconventional means employed by Trudeau. Carl Rogers also illustrated a similar point which can be illustrated by Trudeau's personality: the fully functioning person - a process of striving for an optimal sense of satisfaction with one's self (Burger, 2004). Both these theorists overlap their ideas on personality, in fact borrowed, and can be summed up by the following: "more what one idiosyncratically is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming" (Burger, 2004). The feats achieved by Trudeau shed light on what he was capable of during his time in power - he achieved his fully functioning self through means that no one had seen to those days. The following excerpt from Trudeau outlines what was so unique about the way he used his position of power: "Well, there's a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don't like to see people with helmets and guns. All I can say is go on and bleed. It's more important to keep law and order in this society than to be worried about weak-kneed people who don't like the looks of helmets." Pierre Trudeau Oct 1970 (War Measures Act invoked).

Trudeau's mention for the lack of regret he had for the mistakes he made illustrates what humanists tag as anxiety and defense - a trait that he managed very well. His low anxiety and defense allowed him to manage high-pressure situations while remaining oriented to his goals. Many people are temporarily socially dismantled by their anxieties, Trudeau, however, was not. His ability to keep his personality constant under any circumstances

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