A “serious” attitude in this definition means that the person is interested in things because of the penalty that will occur if he is not. He is trying to avoid penalty, rather than to pursue reward.
For example, he goes to work because if he doesn’t, he won’t get paid. If he doesn’t get paid he won’t be able to pay his rent, and he’ll be evicted. He doesn’t want that – so he goes to work! His interest in work is motivated by his avoidance of penalty.
Another example: a man is careful of what he says to his partner because he does not want her to explode. He is serious.
This condition shows itself in a Low Responsibility trait. It’s very common to find a low Responsibility on profiles, and you can expect that when your candidate sees this he will react in a negative way. He tries so hard to avoid penalty that he accepts any variance as something he failed to avoid!
In fact, this condition means the person is quite fragile. He gets upset easily when he hears he has “done something wrong.” He sees a low responsibility trait on his profile as meaning he does not care about what is going on, and this is just not true. Especially to him!
You can count on this person to show up on time for an appointment because he is so concerned about missing it. The appointment time, the moment it hits his calendar, is running him. He thinks about it- even worries. He will remark about how many responsibilities he has, and this low trait is just not real to him.
But the Low Responsibility profile is just not running his life. It runs him. As he hurries to “keep up” with things he will experience the stress of not being able to cope. He is breakable.
His orientation is in the direction of avoiding penalty rather than pursuing accomplishment. He pays his rent because if he doesn’t, something bad will happen. He is not casual and insouciant about his approach to things. (“Insoucient” means an almost careless attitude towards life.) He takes things so seriously.
This will be real to the Low Responsibility. He knows he “over thinks” things and finds it hard to turn off the voices in his head. He may lose sleep over it.
Suggest to him that he needs to “take a walk.” Just go out and notice his environment and LOOK at things around him. He needs to relax. Do something that is completely unimportant and which he can enjoy without concern. He needs to EXTROVERT his attention.
He’ll feel better with this, and more back in control.