Organising a life better suited to who you are.
Jung’s typology is the result of the work of Carl Gustav Jung and part of Jungian psychology. Often copied and imitated Jung’s typology is one of the worlds most established and well respected models on personality and behaviour and can help us to know and understand ourselves and others better if never completely as we are always in fluid process and ever changing. I know from personal experience it has been a revelation for me in learning to understand both myself and particularly Julie, my wife, better. I am far less judgemental and more accepting of both myself and others thanks to Jung.
I would say never judgemental but only a fool would expect that having become aware of the dangers of expecting any one-sided perfection – with a shadow lurking in the unconscious depths of our minds – full of the discarded opposite.
Long having been controversially and commercially adapted for recruitment and career planning, by matching personality type to suited vocations. A task that may be okay temporarily but due to the fluid nature of the personality process, extremely doubtful long term. The sweet spot for personality is forever changing and involves constantly adapting to our worlds as we go about the business of living day to day.
Personality can never be cast in stone, given a label and then that is it for ever. And that would be a limiting thing to do. We all change within our types, within different situations and across time. I know that within my type I have many moments of the opposite and others would never know my type, at times I still question it. But I just go back to times when I did not have so many personas created and there I can find myself before I donned so many of my disguises and armour. We contain all there is but tend to favour certain aspects as more natural and less draining.
Typology can be, and is best used as intended by Jung as one’s personal guide in expanding our self-awareness, in relating with better understanding to the significant people in our lives, in our creativity and most importantly in living comfortably according to our own true nature – without apology or regret – knowing how our psychology works within us according to our essential nature is a revelation. I know it explained much for me and provided healing, self-acceptance and great relief after decades of holding myself up to unrealistic standards put in place by our oppressive controllers for control and profit.
We spend too much time working to be someone we are not to fit all kinds of situations in work, rest and play. Typology allows us to know and accept more readily our strengths and weaknesses and to know better to which situations we are naturally suited and to which a special effort and greater energy expenditure may be needed. I wonder at how many people spens their whole life outside of their comfort zones. This is too extreme to be prudent. The occasional excursion outside of our comfort zone is a much wiser philosophy and less likely to leave one stressed and ravaged constantly. It is essential to regenerate within our comfort zone with the odd adventure. This will best develop the expanse of situations in which our personality type can find comfort over time.
We may discover we are drawn to some people and have found others difficult or impossible to relate to up to this point. Why we are attracted to certain activities and avoid others like the plague, why a certain relationship isn’t working, or why we dislike certain aspects of our job more than others or find certain aspects more energy draining. We can make choices that truly suit who we are and communicate with others with more depth, understanding and effectiveness. We begin to see our worlds more clearly and much of our history makes sense at last. We can then be more realistic in our expectations and test our limitations out in the world in a more controlled and progressive way towards self-expansion, rather than getting in too deep and diminishing ourselves.
Once I began studying personality typology it explained my relationship with Julie very well, there were many eureka moments. We are an attraction of opposites. The credibility for Jung’s typology came from the truths that it revealed for me after the fact. I had lived the life and felt the truth of the explanation for the life I had experienced. It was an Oh wow! Moment. Over 30 years ago there was a strong drive for me to be with Julie, over and above the normal attraction drive. I always thought the same old crap and that it was meant to be but I was not sure why. But the power of that initial attraction and drive has stuck with me as strange to this day.
This feeling is even what kept us together for me when our world was turned upside down and splitting up would have been the sensible choice, or at least the easiest at that time. It would seem that my unconscious mind doesn’t do common sense and intuition was the winner. There was definitely something keeping us together above and beyond the call of logic. Forces at work that I don’t understand. As it turns out our unconscious minds decided to take a short cut to psychic wholeness and found what each of us was lacking in another person. This happened at a level that neither of us were aware of but I was aware that the situation was a little bit special and a little confused. There are mysteries that we may never fully understand and even this meaning that I now comfortably attribute to my situation may be miles of the mark. It is funny that being opposites is what unknowingly attracted us but as seems to be the norm for any couple we then tried to change the other to be more like ourselves.
This plainly is not a great idea and it took us about 25 years to realise our mistake. Now we are aware we can both accept the other and work on those aspects of ourselves that are lacking whilst being grateful for the presence of the other. We have the added benefit of ongoing support and teaching by example of the other to ensure our success. It works. All we have to do is look at the other and work on those aspects of them that we find alien to ourselves. Understanding definitely fosters love. To be living with a flesh and blood example is almost the perfect scenario for getting better and towards becoming totally self-reliant. That being said, it is still not easy to introduce what feel like unnatural behaviours into our lives. Perhaps the greatest gain is in allowing others to be themselves through the understanding of their psychology and of psychology in general. Not living with the expectation of just one right way to be is in itself liberating. No longer expecting others to interact with the world in ways that are quite possibly contrary to their nature at this time. We are both changing, getting better in ways that expand who we are rather than diminish ourselves to fit others and society expectations.
Jung’s typology allows for the very real possibility of harmonising different personalities for the benefit of all involved through awareness and understanding of self and others and not expecting everyone to be like us when difference is natural and must be celebrated across the board. We are all the exception to the rule.
Two important questions concerning personality.
- Do you know who you are?
- Are you living your own way, authentically?
Jung’s typology and our own conscious efforts will bring us closer to our own personal truth.
I have no intention of dealing in detail with typology here in this blog as others have done that better than I ever could, however I would like to discuss just a small part of it to illustrate the difference this knowledge can make to our lives and to give you examples of how it works in reality from my life. I will briefly discuss introversion and extraversion and would like to reiterate here that we are not introverted or extraverted but rather contain both with tendencies to be more one than the other. I repeat this because I witness constantly people announcing that they are one or the other. I am guilty of this also and it is a hard habit to break. Attaching a label that then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I hate labels and I have on more than one occasion introduced myself as an introvert rather than as a man being prone to introversion. I can do a pretty good extravert at times also but I am sure that will never become a habit as it is just not as comfortable or natural and there are situations that I have never (yet) been able to overcome, such as dancing in plain view for all to see and judge. Comfort zones are vital to my way of life, whereas Julie loves to be in new situations.
I consider myself prone to introversion going well back into my childhood but I will never limit myself to being only an introvert with all that is included. I want to leave the door open to choose myself at any given moment. I want to explore the mysterious kingdom of extraversion where my wife likes to live.