Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist proposed a theory that there are four archetypes which make up the personality as a whole.
Verwellmind.com states that he says that these archetypes are the basis of our behavior, actions and thoughts.
According to learningmind.com, each archetype has parts of a personality that people need to focus on and improve to be able to have a well-rounded personality.
Out of those archetypes, there is one that usually dominates a person.
Learning the four major archetypes and discovering how to deal with them will lead to a better understanding of the self.
What is an Archetype?
First is the laying down of the the definition of an archetype.
According to Verywellmind.com, Jung defined it as a person’s inherent tendencies that play a part in influencing their behavior.
Next, it is time to move to the analysis of these four major archetypes. These archetypes are based on the human psyche which is composed of three elements: ego, unconscious and conscious mind.
To start with, the section of the persona which deals mostly with how people are “externally” will be discussed.
The word persona comes from the Latin word which means mask, which this archetype essentially is. It is the way a person appears to everyone or the “mask” that they wear. This can also be known as a person’s public image or one projects oneself to the world.
Expounding on this, verywellmind.com says that this is the mask that people put on in different social circumstances and situations.
According to learning-mind.com, an individual’s Persona exhibits the traits that other people praise and involves a factor of people-pleasing. Psychologenie.com states that people use this to shield their ego from the outside world. They do this to avoid being hurt physically and emotionally.
This is also done to gain acceptance from their authority figures such as parents, professors and bosses.
Due to its people pleasing element, this part of the person that is said to be fake.
To continue, it is also essential to be able to learn to detach from the Persona which was formed based on the roles that individuals assume and not their authentic self.
Secondly, the shadow archetype which most people have a hard time addressing will be explained.
This archetype includes the part of our personalities that we hide from other people or what most people refer to as the “dark side”.
These are traits a person would rather not have or would ignore. Basically, this includes all the shortcomings, wants, concepts, fears, instincts and flaws which we try to supress.
Negative attitudes and thoughts which include hate, jealousy and aggression are part of this archetype.
The Shadow is often pushed down because it is considered the immoral part of the person and it is part of the unconscious mind.
It is also said to manifest in dreams as some kind of monster or demon.
People should acknowledge the existence of the Shadow even if this is the part themselves which they despise the most.
In recognizing this, a person will learn to face everything that makes them imperfect like their weaknesses and fears.
Thirdly, the dual archetype which is the anima/animus will be explored.
This is known as the masculine (animus) and feminine (anima) characteristics that people are said to possess. Jung theorized that men have dormant feminine qualities and women also have hidden masculine qualities.
It is also important to keep in touch with both one’s Animus and Anima. These masculine and feminine aspects to our personality enable a person to be more flexible and adaptable to circumstances. For every need that arises, a certain trait of each gender can be used, depending on what the situation calls for.
For instance, a father may require a man to be nurturing which is considered a female trait. On the other hand, a woman in a managerial position will need to be more authoritative, a characteristic often associated with males.
The fusion of anima and animus is called the syzygy which means the divine couple.
When the syzygy is formed it shows that an individual’s personality has reached completeness, unification and wholeness.
Lastly, the self, which is the integration of all the parts of the psyche.
This is the combination of both the conscious and unconscious self where both of them cooperate with each other.
When appearing in dreams, the self manifests itself as a wise figure which symbolizes that a person has or has almost achieved self-actualization.
As for the Self, it is vital that a person knows the conscious and the unconscious influence each other, so they must keep their mind and actions in check.
To wrap it up, a person must be able to balance the Shadow, Persona, Anima/Animus and the Self. When an individual is finally able to address the archetypes which are part of them, they will finally be able balance their conscious and unconscious mind. When these two work together in harmony, they will be able to develop a more balanced personality.
These archetypes, which are viewed as models of the psyche will help a person, as Jung expressed, decide on their actions instead of impulsively reacting to situations. This will assist them in identifying their weaknesses and their strengths.