Carl Jung on Extraversion and Introversion

Bill McAneny's picture
Published on Fri, 02/14/2014 - 08:51 by Bill McAneny

Carl JungWe all know what Jung meant by Extraversion and Introversion, but do we know what he actually said?

It’s strange how many people are bought into the theory and practice of Jungian type but haven’t ventured to read the words of the great man himself. The primary source materials provide an excellent insight into his thinking on personality differences and he gives us colour, flavour and lots of humour! We all know that Jung was clear what he meant by Extraversion and Introversion: where we draw our energy from. However when we read his words we can see not only his take but also his opinion. On Extraversion:

Extraversion is characterized by a desire to influence and be influenced by events, a need to join in and get “with it,” the capacity to endure bustle and noise of every kind…the cultivation of friends and acquaintances, none too carefully selected…He has no secrets he has not long since shared with others.  Should something unmentionable nevertheless befall him, he prefers to forget it…all self-communings give him the creeps.  Dangers lurk there which are better drowned out by noise. 

Clearly written by an Introvert. And then on Introversion:

He holds aloof from external happenings, does not join in, has a distinct dislike of society as soon as he finds himself among too many people. In a large gathering he feels lonely and lost. The more crowded it is, the greater becomes his resistance.  He is not in the least “with it,” and has no love of enthusiastic get-togethers.  He is not a good mixer…For him self-communings are a pleasure.  His own world is a safe harbour, a carefully tended and walled-in garden, closed to the public and hidden from prying eyes. Crowds, majority views, public opinion, popular enthusiasm never convince him of anything, but merely make him creep still deeper into his shell.

When we read his actual words we get a superb insight into Jung’s head and his direct, blunt and well…INTP style provides us with something so raw and colourful that we can never find in a psychology textbook. Maybe have a look at “Psychological Typology” CW 6, pars. 960-87 and get a superb insight, and a great laugh.

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