In some scenarios of coaching people, we can see people getting stuck between two emotion states that are unresourceful, this is described as Crazy Eight Pattern. These emotional states can be defined in the following ways:

  1. Sadness, Depression, Self-pity, loneliness, not understood, guilt and regret.
  2. Anger, frustration, resentment, rage

Points 1 and 2 can work to relieve and trigger each other and go on indefinitely unless the person becomes aware of it and develops an understanding of what triggers it.

A person can be trapped between these emotional states (Mood Swings) and often engage in undesirable behaviours that distracts them from the root cause of the issue. This provides a temporary change in an emotional state which is short-term and can cause issues such as addictions, lack of fulfilment and poor quality of life.

Undesirable behaviours include:

  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Gambling
  • Smoking
  • Binge eating
  • Ex marital affairs

The person who is locked into a Crazy Eight Pattern will often communicate with themselves and pose the following questions:

  1. Why am I doing this?
  2. What’s wrong with me?

The person at this point, is unlikely to know that these types of behaviours form a Crazy Eight Pattern.
As a coach you will help the person become aware of these and create strategies to assist with breaking the cycle

Crazy Eight

As a coach we will help the person understand why they roll between the two states and help them understand the causes by asking questions that helps with processing. The coach must first try and identify which of “The 6 Human Needs” the person is trying to meet in order to understand which side of the Crazy Eight they are most likely to participate in.

For example when a person engages in emotions such as anger they will be trying to meet the need for certainty and significance. A person who values Connection and Love will have an emotional state of sadness or depression if these needs are not being met. Connection and love can also be interpreted as way in which a person gains a sense of purpose or meaning.

When the person becomes unconsciously bored of being sad or depressed they can, without warning flip to the other side of the Crazy Eight and change their emotional state, visibly showing emotions such as frustration or anger. This gives the person a connection with themselves, makes them feel powerful or in control. The types of scenarios that this may occur in is when a person feels some resentment in some aspect of their life and can blame a person or circumstance that has caused some pain.
I have observed this type of behaviour with people who have gone through a divorce, they suffer from sadness and depression because of their need for Connection and love (even if they deny this fact) is not being met and then swiftly move to an angry or resentful state because this meets the need for Certainty and Significance and attribute blame to the situation or person they feel is responsible for the quality of life they are experiencing. Once the person gets tired of the emotional states such as anger or resentment they go back to being sad and depressed, they will often express language both internally and externally with phrases like:

It’s hopeless
I’m helpless
It will never work

It’s too late to change
Nobody understands

The person will then move back to an emotional state of sad and depressed, and will exhibit low energy. They will continue to move between these sets of states in the Crazy Eight Pattern unless they become aware of it and understand the causes and the triggers.

A coach will get to know the person, understand circumstances, and then help bring the Crazy Eight Pattern to their attention. Once an awareness has been created and the person is consciously aware of it the coach can begin to help the person identify the causes and triggers and look at options to tackle the unresourceful behaviours.

The coach may ask similar questions to the ones below to help prompt the person to identify the cause and triggers.

  1. What thought are you having that is making you feel uncertain or insignificant?
  2. What would it be?
  3. What triggers it?
  4. What happens for you to slip between one emotional state to the other?
  5. What emotions get fired off?
  6. Which side of the Crazy Eight do you go to first?

The quality of somebody’s life is determined by the following:

  • The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can live with.
  • Our emotional states will directly impact the way we feel and this will affect the quality of our lives.

Escaping a Crazy Eight Pattern

As we’ve discussed, most people will try and distract themselves by exiting the Crazy Eight Pattern with some type of undesirable behaviours. The way to escape the Crazy Eight Pattern is to change your model (perception) of the world, change your rules, create some new beliefs and take accountability for what has to happen to meet your needs. I’ve added some resources below that help you understand how to change your model of the world to help break out of the crazy eight pattern. This could also be very practical steps such as changing job, finding new relationships, directing your energy into areas of your life you are passionate about and finding good role models.

Values and Beliefs

Values and beliefs are part of our human makeup and define our perception of the world around use. Sometime we need to come up with new values and beliefs to change our view of the world.

Action Signals

Emotions can be reframed as “Action Signals” By using the concept of Action Signals you can try and understand the message of that emotion and how it can serve you. Tony Robbins provides a good overview on this subject in this video

I hope this blog gives you a good insight into the Crazy Eight Pattern and gives you an awareness, maybe you know someone like this or have often wondered why some people exhibits the behaviours they do