Through a Jungian Lens

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Jungian Typology – a Model of Personality, Not of Behaviour

with 4 comments

On a walk through this beach village, I came across this tree which for all appearances looked to be dead.  Then, I noticed two little new bits of growth.  One of them stood proudly out in the open and the other stood quietly behind the centre stage occupied by the other.  It made me think of One being an extravert and the other being an introvert.

Appearances are deceiving for us most of the time.  We see how people act and then we draw conclusions about the nature of those people.  We don’t understand that an introvert could very likely find himself or herself in a career that requires them to be present in significant ways with coworkers and clients.  Take two active and dynamic workers and beneath the behaviours one might be an introvert in spite of the behaviours.  So how does one know?

In Jung’s model, introversion and extraversion are psychological modes of adaptation.  In the former, the movement of energy is toward the inner world.  In the latter, interest is directed toward the outer world.  In one case the subject (inner reality) and in the other the object (outer reality) is of primary importance.  Whether one is predominately introverted or extraverted – as opposed to what one is doing at any particular time – depends on the direction one’s energy naturally, and usually, flows. (Sharp, Jung Uncorked:  Book One, 2008, p. 61)

Too much quiet, inner time wears an extravert’s system down.  My wife is predominately an extravert.  She is able to gain energy in interaction with others.  I, on the other hand, find that too much time, or even too many people fatigue me.  If I am to recharge, I need quiet, alone time.  Then, I am able to connect with the subjective inner world, a world that was drowned out when I was behaving as though an extravert.  For me, the opportunity to allow my thinking pattern, fantasy thinking, free reign finds me building an inner excitement.  Whereas in a crowd, after a time, I feel overwhelmed with directed thinking and become quieter and quieter as I have worked too hard in an area that is not my natural state.

I am an introvert, but I do operate as an extravert whenever possible, for as long as possible.  Anyone watching me when I am “present” and “engaged” actively would not hesitate to think that I am an extrovert.  So much for behaviours being predictors of psychological typology.


4 Responses

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  1. I liked this short post; it really does highlight how people tend to use the terms incorrectly. People tend to deem people as introverts and extroverts purely from the way they come across to other people. Really, however, it’s all hidden under the surface.


    January 20, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    • Thanks for visiting this blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I hope that you found enough here to make it worth your while to return.

      Robert G. Longpré

      January 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I am myself an introvert whose job requires a lot of interaction with various types of people. In a number of situations I have to perform the role of a mediator. I’m quite convinced I do my job pretty well, but it consumes almost all of my energy. I hardly feel the need to communicate with people outside work with the exception of very few dear friends. I often get frustrated when I have not been able to ensure time on my own for a significant period. If this continues for a very long time, I just get sick. It seems my organism has worked out this way of providing some isolation for me.


    January 21, 2010 at 3:43 am

    • Thanks Shiona, you explained very well what I was trying to say. I’m glad that you are finding something of worth here. I hope that more will yet come that is interesting for you.

      Robert G. Longpré

      January 21, 2010 at 5:58 am

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