chapter  3
The Development of the Life Style
Pages 16

D An Overview of the Concept of Life Style The life style is the individual's characteristic way of thinking, seeing, and feeling towards life and is synonymous with what other theorists call "personality." Adler (1956, pp. 187-188) wrote that

From this passage and throughout Adler's writings, it becomes evident that Adler conceived of the child as both the receiver and the creator of his or her own world. As Wordsworth alluded to in the opening quote for this chapter, the child is "creator and receiver both,/Working ... in alliance with [ that] IWhich it beholds." The child is exposed to "a certain amount of training," but that same child is active in his or her creation of the meaning of that training. A story might clarify the issue:

The message Mother was intending to send was "clear," to her: Don't swear! The message the 5-year-old heard was just as clear: Don't order cereal! As we explore here, development is an interactive process between people, not just from parents to children (Mosak, 1980). Parents may do everything "right," but that does not mean that that is how the children perceive it. Many times we have heard clients turn to spouses during marital sessions and utter something akin to, "But that's not how 1 meant it. 1 was trying to protect you," to which the other typically replies, "I didn't know that. I thought you were telling me I was stupid." It is not an instance of parent to child, but the principle still applies. People are affected by their perceptions of the facts, not the facts themselves.