“Those who are very mindful of the needs of others, they tend to be over-full of care for children; relatives, friends, always finding something that should be put right. They are continually correcting what they consider wrong, and enjoy doing so. They desire that those for whom they care should be near them.”
– Edward Bach, The Twelve Healers & Other Remedies, 1936
Chicory is often associated with very negative characteristics. “Possessiveness” and “selfishness” are the keywords typically used to describe the Chicory type. However, to give a true Chicory picture, we need to look at the positive traits as well as the negative. That way we get a more balanced impression of the personality and outlook of this type of person.
Positive Chicory people have an abundance of love to give. They are kind, generous with their time, always willing, always offering to help. What would we do without those Chicory mothers who insist on making pies and pastries and cakes, and presenting us with them at every opportunity? Or Chicory fathers who just seem to “appear”, ready to dust or take rubbish away or weed the garden? Parents like these are like guardian angels.
Sometimes, however, the Chicory desire to give can be overpowering. Recipients may interpret their generosity as interference rather than genuine helpfulness. Chicories take pleasure from the thanks they receive, but they can be quick to take offence when the gratitude they expect isn’t readily forthcoming. It is in this area where we can best understand the motivation behind negative Chicory behaviour. They offer service out of love and concern for others – this is absolutely true – but there is also a need for reciprocal love and acknowledgement of their kindness. This is why, when Chicory people feel snubbed or unappreciated, they tend to say things like, “after all I’ve done for you, this is how you treat me…” They might even store up their indignation and resentment and use them as ammunition to use later on.
Chicories, then, will do anything for you. But they often find it hard to see that in their attempt to do what they can for you, they are actually taking control of your life and trying to make you live the life they want you to live, rather than allowing you the freedom to live your own life and make your own mistakes. People close to Chicories sometimes feel suffocated by their constant devotion, so much so, that they begin to resent their apparent interference. This can bring about a vicious circle in which the Chicory tries to heal the wounds by being even more attentive. And if you hurt their feelings in your frustration, you will probably find yourself feeling guilty and apologising and encouraging them to do even more for you in your attempt to make amends.
A balanced Chicory is someone who is loving and giving but also appreciates other people’s need for independence and allows loved ones to find their own way in life so that they grow and develop their own set of values, beliefs and experiences. A balanced Chicory will always love and nurture and be there, but will equally recognise and respect others for the choices they have made in life and understand that we all have our own paths to follow.
Chicory/Centaury: The Chicory willingness to help other people may be confused with the willingness of Centaury. The difference is that Centaury people are are more selfless. They are gentle individuals who can’t say no and their lesson is to learn to stand up for their own needs. They need strength to make other people let go of them, something which is quite the opposite to the Chicory type whose lesson involves learning to let other people go. If Chicory people are trapped it’s by their own neediness, whereas Centauries are trapped by the demands of others.
Chicory/Willow: The resentment and self-pity experienced by the negative Chicory state can easily be confused with Willow. Indeed, at times both remedies are required together because there is a natural drifting from one state to the other. However, the vital difference is in the expression of the woe. The Willow state is sulky and very introspective. People who experience this state feel the world is against them: “Why me?” What have I done to deserve such misfortune?” The Chicory state is more scheming and active and any “sulks” are done for effect. Just as a child might sulk in order to gain sympathy and get his own way, adult Chicories sometimes use their own emotions to manipulate other people’s feelings and responses and thereby get what they want.