What Archetype Am I and Does It Even Matter?
What Does That Even Mean?
The Definition states:
the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype.
(in Jungian psychology) a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.
For the purposes of this article we will be discussion the latter definition. This is some of the coolest psychology ever codified and gives rise to more pop-culture than you can imagine. This is the psychology of our story on the planet. Archetypes form the basis of not only our favorite characters in literature and entertainment, but can give us unprecedented understanding of ourselves on the deepest levels.
What is An Archetype?
Put simply in the context of this article, an archetype is a pattern of thought that we draw personality traits from. This is the basis of the Meyers-Briggs personality survey. It’s one of the cores of modern psychological thought, originally contextualized by Carl Jung. These are the hidden forces behind all human behavior and form the basis of civilization itself.
Archetypes exist in our individual and collective sub-conscious. They often manifest through our personalities, and have both light and dark sides. This is duality.
The 12 Jungian Archetypes
The Ego Types
These are the eternal optimists, and are always searching for happiness. They like to feel connected and well adjusted, and often seek to please others.
The Orphan/Regular Guy or Gal
These are the Debbie-Downer types who often feel disappointed and pessimistic. They are hurt and wear their emotion on their sleeves. The often play the victim and can be cynical and manipulative, as driven by their mood.
These are the overachievers. They strive to win at all costs. Power, honor, and ego are primary drivers for this archetype. They never give up, and this can be seen on the downside as a controlling and ludicrously ambitious personality.
These are the true empaths. They love to take care of others, often at the detriment of self. The protect and serve people in the truest sense. The downside to this archetype is they can become boastful of their own personal sacrifices in taking care of others first. This can push people away.
The Soul Types
They are travelers. Adventure is no stranger to them, nor is air travel. They love to discover new and exciting places, and are always bent on self-discovery as well. In the midst of adventure looms the unfortunate fact that they are never satisfied and always strive to be perfect.
These are the contrarians. They also love to provoke people and “tell it like it is”, whether true or not. No one can influence or pressure them, and while these traits can be useful, they can become self-sabotaging as well.
Lovers can be the sensitive types. They seek love and beauty in their lives and the lives of those whom they share love. They are sensual and revel in matters of the heart. Empathy is strong with this one, for better or worse.
The artists and inventors fall into this archetype. These people love to create new and fresh work. They are usually non-conformists, but not like rebels, and are led by imagination and dreaming. The downside is that they love to do “big-picture” stuff but often may lack follow-through.
The Self Types
Ahhh… the comedians. They seldom take themselves seriously, and like to laugh at themselves. These types are the class clowns. They can often take things too far and become, or appear, lewd.
These are free-thinkers. They are the ones who are always ready with facts, logic, quotes to back up their arguments. They see the world through their own intelligence and analysis. Some may call them the geeks or nerds?
This archetype is about growth, change, and personal transformation. They are revolutionaries and highly progressive. They love to affect change in themselves and the world.
These are the leaders. They want people to follow them and often seek power. Some fall for tyrannical tendencies, and always have a reason why they are right and everyone should follow their lead.
What’s My Archetype?
Based on these descriptions, you may resonate strongly with one in particular. This is common. You will also most likely notice that others resonate with you as well. This is normal and most of us are a mix, with one dominant and others close seconds.
This is in-fact the basis of the Meyers Briggs personality assessment survey that labels you with a four letter descriptor. I’ve taken this numerous times in my life and always land on the same four-letter combination. This is over a few decades, and has fit my personality and career choices well.
If you want to learn more, you can take this quiz. It leads you down a path and then sends you a personalized report. It’s interesting and leads to a decent course on archetypes that’s pretty solid if you want to learn to use archetypes and discover a whole lot about yourself that you might not know.
Or you could just practice mindfulness and meditation and take the longer way through self-realization. There’s always both in tandem 🙂