The Staphysagria Surprise!

Nicky Holiday

“He’s an irresponsible parasite, with categorically noooooo prospects!”

Nicky Holiday 2

Nicky Holiday–The Great Muppet Caper

Mati, Staphysagria! I know we’ve discussed this before, but I feel we have a great opportunity to see the remedy close up. I have a client, “Joy”, who grew up with a father who yelled at the top of his lungs–everyone in the household was scared to death of him; so, probably not surprisingly, she married a Staphysagria. Yes, I know; Staphysagria’s supposed to be so sweet, so kind, so deferential; but, that extreme of self-sacrifice implies the opposite as well! Polarities, remember?

Joy is willing to share her husband with us for the sake of science! Joy is a Pulsatilla, she’s very yielding, as you might guess. She didn’t want to marry this Staphysagria, but, he CRIED! He begged her to marry him! She thought, “If he’s crying, he must really love me, and I couldn’t possibly hurt his feelings!” Now, surprise-surprise, the husband turns out to be immature, bossy and controlling. When she visits her in-laws, the husband bands together with them and they all gang up on Joy. It’s as if the husband is trying to bond with his parents at her expense! He was no doubt abused by them in some way. Now he attempts to curry their favor by jumping on the Joy-bashing band wagon! Staphysagria’s mother’s position is that Joy has stolen her son away from her! Below is Joy’s recitation of her last visit to the in-laws. She was supposed to have gone to her sister-in-law’s wedding but didn’t because Staphysagria picked a fight with her at the last minute–again! Mati, feel free to comment where appropriate in Joy’s letter below:

Hi Elaine,

I am back from my visit. I didn’t have access to internet connection for some time and then I forgot my password and I couldn’t get into my mail. 🙂

I had a great time at my parents’ place. I was feeling very happy and looking forward to being home. I had a very pleasant and peaceful time at home. But as the time to visit my in-laws started nearing, I started getting neck and back pain, feeling scared and not getting any sleep. Then my husband came to visit me from visiting with his parents, and we had a pleasant day but at night he started fighting with me over rather trivial things and it went on and on. And again, he took back all the things he promised previously about his parents, how he would side with me, and said that nothing is their fault, they had a different set of expectations, etc. and I am the one who is being very unadjusting!


Elaine, it’s Mati jumping in here; Staphysagria is so tuned in to what others expect from him that he can’t see things from anyone else’s point of view. Let me tell you a story about a client of mine named “Tina”, whose husband was Staphysagria: Tina and her husband went to visit his mother in Florida many years ago. Tina’s son was 18 months old, and still nursing. The husband freaked out when he realized that his wife would be nursing in front of his family members. He told his wife that his younger sister thought nursing was “gross” and he couldn’t imagine her nursing in front of his mother and all her old- fashioned friends. He demanded that Tina quit before the trip so nobody would get embarrassed. What if they got a glimpse of her breast??? God forbid!

Tina told him that stopping nursing was out of the question! She agreed to wear huge, lose tops that would drape down and cover any “indecency”.

This is definitely a Staphysagria trait – he was more concerned with what others would think of him, and about the possibility of public humiliation, than about what was best for his own baby! “Humiliation” is a big word in Staphysagria. The funny thing was, the family didn’t mind Tina nursing at all, it was all in his head! So, back to Joy’s letter.


“Lots of people don’t like their inlaws,” he told me, “so what? They deal with them and don’t behave like you do!”

I got very upset after he left for his parents’ home. I decided that I am going to break it off with him and I didnt answer the phone for 2 days. When he finally got a hold of me, he cried so much over the phone at his parents’ house, begging and pleading with me, etc., and his parents, of course, were shocked because he had always taken up with them against me, that they swore they would never interfere in our lives again.


I’ll jump in here. Trying to please his parents and ruining his own relationship with his wife in the process is typical of Staphysagria. Then the wife rejects him, and the rejection makes him realize that he is about to lose her if he doesn’t shape up. So, he has to quickly change sides.

The whole thing is very childish! Being more interested in pleasing the parents than in standing up for his wife shows that he is still more of a boy than a husband. Husbands don’t need to please their parents. They are grown up and are more interested in living their own lives. But Staphysagria hasn’t grown up. He is still just a kid who is afraid of what his parents think.


He kept pleading with me that this time things are going to be different since now his parents know how much I mean to him and last time they didnt know. I am a soft hearted person so is my mom and I couldn’t take all the crying and begging and so, I went back to him but I refused to go to my in-laws place, nor attend the wedding. That’s that. And on the way back home, I got lot of neck pain and now again am having lot of shoulder and neck pain.


Her husband is “a pain in the neck!” He has to stop being such a pain. The pain in the neck is a reflection of the fact that she is not expressing to him what a pain he is all the time. The neck is 5th chakra, which is the chakra of self expression and voice. Voice it, and the neck will clear. (The relationship may not survive it, but the neck will feel a lot better.)


I don’t think my husband would agree to fill out the whole questionnaire for you to treat him. He saw a part of my partially filled out questionnaire and got angry saying that I am bad mouthing about him to strangers and now uses it every time he wants to make me feel guilty. He is always spying on me trying to check my emails, my chat conversations and he listens to my phone conversations very alertly whenever he is around.


Staphysagria is so oversensitive emotionally that he is very defensive about anything that is said about him. This is why counseling is useless for a Staphysagria. They won’t even listen to the counselor because they are so defensive the counselor can’t possibly get their trust. Defensive, suspicious, afraid of being misrepresented.

It is all about upholding an image or a reputation so they won’t end up getting humiliated or disrespected in any way. They basically trust no one!


Oh, he was always very possessive about me. Doesn’t like me wearing very good clothes to the office or wearing new clothes when I visit family or friends with out him.


This reminds me, the same client I mentioned earlier, Tina, after she had her baby, she had lost enough weight that she was able to buy herself a new two-piece bathing suit so that she could visit the local swimming pool. She called Staphysagria into the fitting room and asked if he liked the bathing suit. He told her he loved it, but then all of a sudden asked, “You are not planning to wear that thing in public, are you?” She said, “Of course I will!” He was obviously uncomfortable about that. She wore it to the swimming pool once, and on the way home, he said that she should never wear it again if she wanted to go to the pool with him. He told her she looked like one of those Victoria‘s Secret models, which according to him, was a horrible thing and he was horribly angry about it! He even told her that her skin was too pale to be wearing a two-piece bathing suit.


He doesn’t like me going alone to visit my family or friends. He always wants me to be available to him. But I have noticed his spying behavior only after I walked out on him.


Talk about “spying behavior” – a few months after Tina and her Staphysagria husband broke up, she found a new boyfriend. Staphysagria quickly found out about it and did everything he could to get rid of him. He took two weeks off from work so he could come over to her place and look in the windows! He went through the trash looking for beer bottles, and he went into her shed and rummaged through her stuff. Not surprisingly, the new boyfriend disappeared after only three weeks of this, and the ex felt very proud of himself. He said he was just looking out for his son’s best interest (nice excuse).

Then, when she met her current husband, he tried to do the same thing again! He came over, took her stuff, screamed in the fiance’s face, etc. but the fiance, who had gone to school in a bad neighborhood in England, was just waiting for an opportunity to flatten this guy! Luckily, Staphysagria finally realized this and backed off.


He keeps trying to check up on what I am telling my family and my close friends. And this time when I went to visit my family he kept wanting me to call every few hours and later confessed that he felt that my parents might be arranging for me to meet with some other guy since he is not good enough for me!!! He feels that he is lower than me in looks, education, family, etc.

This is the core issue with Staphysagria: “I’m not good enough!” This is what is driving all their insane behavior, wanting you to constantly prove to him that you respect him so he doesn’t have to feel so useless. And, always comparing himself with others who are better than he is.


Other than this, the usual: he doesn’t talk back to his parents and sister at all and bullies me. He gets totally influenced by them. His mom asks him everyday, “What did you eat today?” and then she says, “Is that all?” and then he comes and gets mad with me!


There is always this conflict in Staphysagria of which side he needs to be on – his mother’s side or his wife’s side. And this is no simple decision to make. He is on his mother’s side most of the time, because he fears losing her good will more than he fears losing his wife’s good will. But then, when the wife has had enough of the nonsense and threatens to leave, he panics. He knows that living a life with his mother is worse than living in hell, and he knows that he is better off with his wife. He is just too scared to stand up to his mom and tell her to back off, even though that is the only thing that can put an end to his extremely unhealthy relationship with her. But, that is the lesson Staphysagria is here to learn!

Back again to Tina, after her son and his dad went back to Florida to see her mother-in-law, the son said that his grandma kept criticizing and yelling at his dad until he was in tears! And then she insulted him for crying! And why is he still putting up with it? Who knows. Maybe he hopes she will leave him money when she dies, which of course would never happen. In real life, Staphysagria always has to be the victim; so, she’ll probably leave the money to his two sisters instead.


He has a very controlling nature and keeps calling every 2 hours from the office. He is very suspicious about my male friends and doesnt like them at all. All his friends like me a lot and he doesn’t like that and feels jealous.


Staphysagria gets jealous if anyone is better than he is. It makes him feel like a victim even before anything bad has happened.


Nor does he like any of my close friends, girls or guys since he knows that I talk to them about his and his mom’s behavior.


Fear of being misrepresented, dishonored, and humiliated….


He always has to give me a sarcastic comment whenever I tell him that someone gave me a compliment.


He will insult her to put her in her place.


He later said that he feels I will think too much of my looks.


If she looks too good, she might have a chance to find someone better than he, and he’ll be the loser again….

It is all just patterns, and patterns, and patterns – all totally predictable. And Pulsatilla’s core situation is that she has lost her lover, and she is so very sad about it. She is always afraid that it will happen again. So, the lesson Pulsatilla is here to learn is that losing a lover is not the end of the world. She is perfectly capable of being alone, and she might even be better off finding a new lover… (Unless she can miraculously get through to Staphysagria and get him to grow up!)

Let’s hear another Staphysagria story!

This is the story of a woman, “Katie”, who was divorcing her Staphysagria husband. After their divorce, things actually got worse. Staphysagria felt extremely sorry for himself, and decided that since he didn’t get any part of the house in the divorce, he became determined to take the son away from Katie instead. This wasn’t very hard to do. They had shared custody at the time, so all he had to do was continually tell the son what a horrible person Katie was! In a very short time, he succeeded in alienating him from his mom. The mom ended up with a son who hated her, and there was nothing she could do about it. All she could do was watch him slip away. To make a long story short, they ended up in court. Katie told the court that the dad had turned her son against her, and that she wanted full custody so the son wouldn’t have to listen to the father’s constant badmouthing of her. The father lied in court about absolutely everything. He even contradicted himself on several occasions, and he also influenced the mom’s main witness so she wouldn’t testify for her. But, in spite of all the contradicting statements, the court still decided in favor of the father, and gave the father full custody!

Instead of getting swept into the emotional drama of this story, we need to look at it from a homeopathic point of view instead. These are the remedies we are dealing with:

Father – Staphysagria
Mother – Carcinosin
Son – Lycopodium

Lessons to learn:
Staphysagria – needs to grow up and become responsible.
Carcinosin – always wants to save everybody and be in control – needs to let go and let people learn to save themselves.
Lycopodium – feels very insecure – needs to learn to stand up for himself.

Staphysagria got his wish, but realized very quickly that he had wished for a lot more than he was prepared to deal with! Taking care of a small child full time requires a lot of RESPONSIBILITY (which he didn’t realize until it was too late)! He had to work and make money, he had to cook and clean, he had to get up early and get the boy ready for school, and he couldn’t go out partying all night whenever he wanted to. He actually had to grow up! What his mother, his wife and all his previous girlfriends couldn’t get him to do, happened effortlessly, without nagging, quarrelling or being insulting, with the help of just a small boy.

The boy, who was afraid to stand up for himself, had no problem standing up to his mother. It was the father he was afraid to stand up to, and now he had plenty of opportunity to do so, without any interference from his well-meaning carcinosin mom who would always step in and “save” him.

And, the mom got the opportunity to let go and allow the boy to fight his own fights.

This outcome, even though it was heart-breaking for the mother at first, was actually the best thing that could have happened, if we look at the situation from the larger perspective. Basically, this is the only solution that allows everyone involved to grow.

If the courts had given the son to the mother, Staphysagria would have still been irresponsible, the boy would not have learned to stand up to the father, and the mother would still have been in control, and very pleased with herself for having “saved” her son from his “horrible” dad. But nobody would have learned anything! There would have been no spiritual growth!

So, this is a new way to look at what happens in life from a homeopathic point of view. First, we identify the remedies and the patterns of each remedy. Then we look at what lessons each remedy needs to learn. Once we know what the lessons are, only then can we view the situation with clarity. And, once there is clarity, the amazing thing is that nobody is the victim anymore! Look at the situation again: everyone involved came out of it learning a lesson that led to a higher level of understanding and consciousness! Can anyone be called a victim when the outcome elevates each person’s spiritual growth?

If we can use our homeopathic knowledge to share this kind of information with our clients, the understanding alone will create half the cure. The other half can be cured with a remedy, but the understanding itself is the most important thing because it takes us out of victim-consciousness onto the road of recovery. This is because seeing the bigger picture always changes our perception of what happened, and when the perception shifts, so does our feeling about it, and when we are no longer stuck in old misery, healing happens. This is why I say; time doesn’t heal, understanding does.

Mati, let me just ask you, I have a feeling that people are mistaking Staphysagria for both Lycopodium and Lachesis. Do you agree? Do you want to do a differential diagnosis among the three?

Oh, boy! Where do I start?

Excuse me, that was the oven timer, Shana’s pizza is done.

Is this an interview, a soap opera, or a cooking show?

Is there really any difference, Mati? You see, this is what professionalism is all about. I should caution our readers not to try this at home.

Try WHAT at home? And now if I can return to why I’m here (and if anyone knows, please drop me a line at [email protected]) ….The first thing I would think, in terms of what they have in common –

And that would be Staphysagria, Lycopodium and Lachesis…

…yes, thanks…they all love to get attention, but for different reasons! Staphysagria thinks that he is “The Greatest” but he needs constant reaffirmation of this, similar to what Phosphorus needs (Staphysagria needs to know he is great, Phosphorus needs to know she is beautiful). Now, we have to keep in mind that there are different types of Staphysagrias – some are more introverted, and others love to talk, but both types will do whatever they can to impress you! Some talk a lot about their own greatness, often exaggerating or making things up as they go. Others will keep showing you their portfolios if they are artistically inclined. One Staphysagria, who was a very good singer, went to an event were a band was playing and immediately went up on stage and asked if he could sing a song. So, they had to stop their own performance and play for him while he sang, and he was very happy after the performance when people came and told him what a great singer he was.

The reason why Staphysagria does this is that his feeling of greatness is totally dependent on other people’s opinions! Without this kind of confirmation from others, they often feel worthless or humiliated. So, Staphysagria can even appear like a Sulphur at times, especially if he is bragging too much. But, it is still easy to distinguish between the two. The main difference is that Sulphur already knows how great he is and he doesn’t care what others think of him, but Staphysagria cares as if his life depended on it! So, in Staphysagria, we often see someone who is bragging about themselves one minute, and expressing how small, worthless and humiliated they feel the next. Anytime we find both of these extremes, we should always think of Staphysagria.

Thanks for the great tip!

Lachesis also needs attention. In a snake, the need for attention has to do with survival. The snake gets the attention of the prey, hypnotizing and distracting it, before striking. No attention means no food, and we see the same in people who need Lachesis. They talk a lot, very fast, and they are so vivacious that the listener may feel “spellbound”, giving Lachesis their undivided attention. This kind of attention puts Lachesis in complete control in every situation, and, if you don’t give them the attention they want, they can “strike” at you with a very sharp tongue and hurt your feelings.

Fascinating, quite fascinating!

Lachesis’ need for attention is different from Staphysagria’s in that Lachesis simply “feeds” off of your energy. It is not a matter of self confidence, as in Staphysagria’s case, it is just Lachesis’ way of putting themselves in a superior position and enjoying your attention and your energy.

I remember one Lachesis client who demanded that I listen to her whole story, because I couldn’t possibly understand her case unless I first knew every detail of her story. For three hours, she kept talking, and talking, and talking, and wouldn’t let me interrupt or ask any questions! At the end, I had a whole list of questions that needed to be asked, and she refused to answer any of them!


I suspect that she refused to answer my questions simply because it was no longer on her terms, but it didn’t matter because her attitude confirmed my remedy choice!

So just her refusal to answer spoke louder than what she might have said. Interesting, very interesting. What about Lycopodium?

Like Staphysagria, Lycopodium’s need for attention also has to do with wanting to establish his own greatness, but there are still differences. Lycopodium feels small and wants to become big and important. He is ambitious and wants to achieve goals and become capable so people will look up to him. Once he achieves his goals, he spends the rest of his life trying to secure his position. He has a natural instinct for always putting himself in a superior position whenever possible.

While Staphysagria tends to talk a lot about his own personal greatness, Lycopodium talks more about his great achievements. Lycopodium also tries to impress people, but it is still different than Staphysagria. They try to impress people with their knowledge or what they can do, rather than with who they are. This has to do with a difference in their delusional perceptions of reality. Staphysagria believes that they aren’t going to be loved unless they can convince others of how great they are, and Lycopodium believes that he won’t be loved unless he achieves something great. This difference is easier to spot if you look at how they do things.

Staphysagria wants others to respect him without having to do anything to earn it. So, he tends to sabotage his own efforts causing people to insult him. I saw an example of this one day when I was invited to somebody’s house for dinner. I didn’t know the way, but a friend of mine told me that her husband said he knew the way, so I could follow their car. Her Staphysagria husband didn’t bother making sure he really knew the way first, so we all ended up getting lost and going around in circles for about 1/2 hour before we finally found the place. And, of course, his wife told him what an idiot he was!

Lycopodium doesn’t sabotage his own efforts like this. He is very capable and sincerely wants to achieve, and he isn’t afraid to put in the necessary effort it requires. So, you’ll find that Lycopodium doesn’t attract insults the way Staphysagria does.

Very interesting!

So, therefore, he doesn’t feel as victimized as Staphysagria, either.

We can also look at jealousy issues. Lachesis is jealous if someone else is in the top position, and they are willing to fight to get it back.

Lycopodium is jealous if someone else has achieved more than he has. This could be a better degree, more money, a bigger house, a more expensive car, and so on. Lycopodium needs his status symbols because they are symbols of how much he has achieved, and how superior he is. The more he achieves, the better his self confidence becomes. So, his achievements are basically a way to compensate for his naturally low self confidence. Even though he may stretch his credit a little more than he should, he is still basically responsible and good at managing money.

Staphysagria is jealous if someone gets more respect and recognition than he, even though he isn’t willing to do what it takes to get it! Staphysagria is like a kid in many ways. He wants nice things because he thinks he deserves them, but he isn’t necessarily interested in earning the money first. Therefore, he can easily get addicted to using credit cards, and he isn’t too worried about whether he can pay the bills when they come, either. He just trusts that somehow it will all work out. (Lycopodium would never just “trust.” He would plan and use logic and a calculator, so he is much more sensible than Staphysagria could ever be).

About the author

Mati Fuller

Mati Fuller

Mati H. Fuller, DIHom (Pract) was born and raised in Bergen, Norway and came to the United States in 1985. She lives and practices in Colorado and is author of "Beyond the Veil of Delusions, Understanding Relationships Through Homeopathy." [email protected]

1 Comment

  • Well qualified Homeopaths are so rare in USA.

    My friend/love has has many staphis indications but not so much the mentals but I may not be objective enough or she may be more mature and still be in need of it Victoria Snelling in Louisville KY is closest Homeopath. I enjoyed the insights into staphisagria. I am also looking for practioner. I spend half my time in Boca Raton, FL and half in Lexington, KY.