This is the second article of a series, check it to have a better understanding of the topic:
How to identify your personal strengths, weaknesses, talents, competencies, emotions, and
fulfillment path to have a better balanced and happy Life?
Each one of us has a different Life road. Different personalities and skillsets drive us to distinct ways. Knowing yourself you will be able to make better decisions that will support you towards your dreams.
Archetypes are tangible ways to understand the deep and complex concepts of the psyche. They describe scenarios that repeat themselves over and over again. Through observation of human behaviour, it was possible to notice that several patterns happen in the same way, presenting the same cycle and main characteristics. By studying them it is possible to better understand what is happening, communicate better and also predict the possibilities to the future. These patterns can be represented by people, characters in a story, situations, institutions, brands, nations, families or any other organization of people. If I describe an archetype of an explorer, for example, I can be talking about my curious nephew, or about NASA. Both will carry the same emotional characteristics as courage, planning and problem-solving skills. They will probably have similar values and Life drivers.
Archetypes can bring complex concepts to a simplistic way and make them more understandable. And what we can understand we can recreate. With that in mind, we can use archetypes to give Life to an inanimate object, brand or to bring emotion to a speech. The bottom line is that we need people, we need to understand ourselves and the others. The better we do that the better is our communication, which creates opportunities for you and supports your Life strategy.
How to use it...
When we communicate we goal to achieve something from our listeners. This goal can be to have a simple answer, to convince someone to do something, to have acceptance for your invitation and many others. These things we want to achieve depend on someone’s approval or collaboration. What you say, and (even more important) how you do that, can determine your success having what you need.
If you have a special request to do, before you approach the person, take some time to understand his or her personality. Use the characteristics you know about the person and try to fit it into one of the twelve Jungian Archetypes. In general, we have all of them, however, one is predominant.
After identifying it, try to list what drives this person. It could be money, success, beauty, pride, love. Each personality has a different value in Life. So you can use these guidelines to adapt your speech highlighting the values and goals your listen has. It will make your listener pay more attention to your message because you will be bringing interesting information to your listener. Everyone likes to talk about their own goals, hobbies, lifestyle.
Shaping your message to your audience you will be able to:
Have more attention to your message;
Convince people to support you in your own goals. Giving you opportunities, taking chances, hiring you, starting a business with you, buying what you are selling or lining up their ideas with yours, somehow;
Convert them in closer relationships as friends, partners or customers, or even a finance
Bring more people together to help a cause
Make people help you to spread your message, scaling your reaching potential
Create authority in a topic, since people will understand easier what you are explaining they feel you have great knowledge about it
Fewer misunderstandings, confusion or discussions. Because there is less noise on the communication
The communication can be shaped by adapting the symbols. It means that you need to make a homogeneous image when delivering the message. So, the words you use, the tone you use to say these words, the clothes you were, the pictures you choose to show, or any other element used to spread the message needs to be aligned to the archetype you are talking to. For example, if you are going to a job interview in a very formal place where the company’s image is a classical straightforward ruler that values organization and discipline. Your speech and body language should be of someone who has moral and behave seriously. However, if your meeting is in an entertainment company, where your potential boss is a Jester how to make jokes all the time, who values people who take risks and defend their ideas. Maybe your positioning should be different.
Step by Step
Determine your goal
Examine the listener
Match the listener’s personality to one of the 12 archetypes
Study what drives this archetype
Shape your message (=adapt your symbols) highlighting your audience’s values and personal goals
Show how you can help them if they help you
People, products, ideas and any other message or entity can be branded. Branding is the action to acknowledge someone’s image and apply it in a way to reflect better the main idea that we are communicating. In other words, it is the major characteristic we can see in something. In companies, they are very easy to be recognized. Virgin for example is a rebel, what drives the company is the constant change, the innovation. Coca Cola, on the other hand, is an Innocent that sees value on good old-fashioned values (on which we used to rely…).
Branding is one application of communication, so it has the same main advantages we listed before. In this case, although, the message is responsible to shape a whole image. Every time the brand appears or people makes reference to it, it has to carry the same meanings, the same core message. Virgin is always innovating and criticizing the traditional. Coca Cola is always standing for familiar love and friendly living. By repeating themselves over and over again, we understand deeply the message and start to feel that we know the brand. We know what expect from them, we know how they can react to different stimulus, we know what we think about them. The stronger this connection, the stronger will be the relationship between brand and audience, which can lead to sales, engagement and trust.
As we said before, we are multiple. The challenge to keep the same image is that, sometimes, it is hard to repeat the same message so often without making a mistake or creating noise. Another issue is that when we talk about a product of several different people -- like a company, a movie, an organization… -- determining a personality to this product needs to exclude the personality of each individual person on the project, or it needs to highlight just the common aspects in the group. Google aims to hire people who have the same Life approach as its brand. They love the rebels. But we cannot affirm that everyone inside the organization has that as his or her self image. As we said, people are diverse and we need this diversity to achieve goals and take fewer risks in new endeavours. However, this wide variety of personalities can make the product’s message confuse. To avoid that we use archetypes. They help us to create a fictional character who allows us to gift it with the values, characteristics and personality we choose. By chosen Rebel as their archetype, Virgin can hire people from different behaviours and mindsets, at the same time they can offer a consistent image for their products creating close relationships within the community they are inserted.
Step by Step
Determine where do you want to apply the archetype. It can be a business, your artistic persona, your new creation or even your personal branding
List what do you want to achieve with this archetype
List who you have as your audience that will help you to achieve your goal
Match the character you are drawing to one of archetype
Make a mood board. Relate all the symbols you can use to communicate this idea.
List your goals
Which are your values?
What do you like? Or don’t.
Who are your villains and heroes?
Which images represent better the feelings behind this personality?
Use the mood board as a guideline every time there is a reference to the brand
Shape your message (=adapt your symbols) highlighting your audience’s values and personal goals
Make the last editing in all pieces of communication this brand can have. It can be correct the words used, the colours presented in websites or logos, the fonts on flyers, the people represented on pictures or even the clothes and style of the ambassadors. Where the brand appears everything needs to reinforce the same core message. Use your mood board to do that.
...In everyday Life
Every single day we are exposed to interactions in Life. We need to convince people to hire us, to marry us, to create things together, and even to finish something and decide to go to different paths. Archetypes can help us to understand the situation we are inserted and the people we relate with.
I personally don’t advise you to apply archetypes consciously to every little interaction you have. It will work, but it will also be overwhelming. We have way too many interactions to stop to analyze each one of them. Also, it is not healthy to change your own personality at every single interaction. The most valuable lesson you can take from here is to determine which archetype is you. You can do that by choosing the main one. Again, we know we can be all of them under the right circumstances, but we also use to carry the main personality that carries the other adaptations we can have in Life.
Take a test. It is the easiest and fastest way to discover your type (click here to take it now)
List your goals and compare to the archetype’s main characteristics
You can build a Life strategy determining your major goal in Life and your 3 major values
Also, list your strengths and weaknesses. Combine them with the ones in the last topic and create your personal mood board and character sheet (similar to RPG games, you can create the character you are in Life, listing these items)
Adapt your speeches and overall symbols to communicate your goal and values
It can attract things that will support you in your goals, now that you are communicating them. It also can show you options more aligned to your personal values, since you are now telling people which are them.
This framework also helps in taking decisions. If you are not sure of what to do next, if you should get married or buy a bicycle, you can compare both options to your personal ‘character sheet’ and see which one fits better to your goals, values and desires
If you like this topic and want to create an image for yourself, your artwork or build an artistic brand, consider talking to me, request a call here!
First of all, we need to talk briefly about Jung. This amazing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst founded analytical psychology. Carl Gustav Jung was Swiss and lived between 1875 and 1961. (For more info about his Life click here). Jung’s work was discovered by Sigmund Freud (yeap! This guy!). However, Jung’s research and personal vision, made it impossible for him to follow his older colleague's doctrine, and a rupture became inevitable. This separation was personally painful for Jung and resulted in the establishment of Jung's analytical psychology as a comprehensive system separate from psychoanalysis.
He created some of the best known psychological concepts, including synchronicity, archetypal phenomena, the collective unconscious, the psychological complex, and extraversion and introversion. Jung was also an artist, craftsman and builder as well as a prolific writer (which shows how amazing this guy was). Many of his works were not published until after his death and some are still awaiting publication.
The Jungian Archetypes
The Jungian Archetypes are the fundamental resource for the study of personalities. First applied in psychology, later it was adapted to marketing. For illustrating a target market or representing the aesthetic of the brand (or its products), most of the companies use some kind of Archetype or Persona definition. It helps to identify clearly the two sides of the communication: the sender and the receiver. Identifying both, in a deep sense, can create a better understanding of them, which allows us to shape the communication as we desire.
Archetypes create a scenario where the Personas are inserted. They use representations of original patterns that repeat themselves over and over again. These patterns are universal (which means they have the same impact no matter where they happen) archaic symbols and images that derives from the collective unconscious.
Because they symbolize complex concepts, it is not possible to judge them. In the same way, it is not possible to restrict them or take them literally. When we use an archetype we comprehend that its meaning needs to be studied by an abstractive sense. It makes the concept as big as the possibilities it creates. For example, if I talk about the Explorer Archetype (the one we were talking about in the beginning) we can judge this personality as a good, and brave. At the same time, we can consider it selfish and uncontrollable. Both situations are true since this character has the possibility to take all the risks and never develop consistency in tasks, reaching nothing at the end; or it can be a great achiever being brave and facing challenges. Those are two extremes of the same personality shape. What will determine which one this character will be, it is the decisions that will be made.
"The archetype concept derives from the often-repeated observation that myths and universal literature stories contain well-defined themes which appear every time and everywhere. We often meet these themes in the fantasies, dreams, delirious ideas and illusions of persons living nowadays". -- Jung
Universal: They happen the same way no matter where.
Numinous: That is to be able to arise deep and intense emotions in anyone.
Not shaped: Archetypes do not have a well-defined shape. We can say that archetypes resemble the instincts in that that they cannot be recognized as such until they manifest in intention or action.
Beyond judgement: Archetypes are both negative and positive, that is they have two sides. One may figure out the archetype dualism by comparison with the symbolism of the well-known yin-yang principle. Though Yin and Yang are parts of the same unity - the T'ai chi - they have separate and opposite meanings: decline and progress, below and high, night and day and so forth.
Psychoid: It shares both psychic and material aspects and acts as well on a psychic and/or material plane.
The 4 approaches
Archetypes refer to a concept "borrowed" from anthropology to denote supposedly universal and recurring mental images or themes. Jung's definitions of archetypes varied over time and have been the subject of debate as to their usefulness.
Archetypes are inborn tendencies which shape human behaviour
We are multiple. At the same time, we can appear to be a type of person, while we feel to be another and maybe act as a third one. Different environments change who we are and how we react to it. Jung defines four different approaches we can have of our archetypical personality. They are Persona, Animus/Anima, Self and Ego.
Persona is the image we choose to show to the world. It is our public image. Persona derives from a Latin word that literally means mask. It is the masks we choose to put on to face the world.
When we are young it helps us to avoid face uncomfortable or painful situations. We block the exterior using our mask. According to our personal development, we learn social rules. So we start to use them as social masks that make us fit into the group.
When we are exposed to highly emotional situations, traumatic experiences or strong feelings we can react to it by blocking it with masks (exactly as we use to do when we were children). We can change our Persona to preserve ourselves. At the same time, we can design and choose consciously which is the best Persona for us to achieve a certain goal.
Persona is the individual's system of adaptation to (or the manner he assumes in dealing with) the world.
At a psychological level, the Persona allows people to adapt to the world around them and fit in with the society in which they live. However, becoming too closely identified with your own Persona can lead you to lose sight of your true self.
Anima / Animus
Animus is the reason and spirit we have within ourselves. It the energy that drives us, give us the courage to face problems and fight for principles. It's considered a feminine characteristic. However, it is present in all of us. Animus is the deposit of all woman’s ancestral experiences of men. While the anima is the female aspect of the male psyche.
Like Ying and Yang Anima represents rationality, mentality, math and science (considered masculine traits). And Animus represents spirituality, metaphysics, intuition, emotional connection (considered feminine traits). Both need to reach a balanced state that is positive for the person. It doesn’t mean to have the same amount of both, but to have a good mix in a way to have a good productive Life. Different Life approaches need different skillsets and personalities to achieve success.
The shadow is simply the dark side of someone's personality. And what is dark is always known only indirectly through projection. It is the set of fears, insecurities, and dark feelings we have. When we are afraid or angry, in general, we transform ourselves into another person. This other person is our shadow showing itself.
The shadow exists as part of the unconscious mind and is composed of the traits individuals dislike/would rather ignore: repressed ideas, weaknesses, desires, instincts, and shortcomings. The shadow is the result of an individual's attempt to adapt to cultural norms and expectations (social and personal ones). Thus, this archetype not only consists of all the things deemed unacceptable by society but also those that are not aligned with one's own personal morals and values.
The Self is the archetype of the psychical totality or the wholeness. It is not identical with the ego but placed itself somehow above or in other words in the midst between ego-consciousness and unconscious. The Self is conjunction (union) of the consciousness and unconscious.
According to Jung, the experience of the Self on the personal level is similar to a religious revelation. Historically signifies the unification of consciousness and unconsciousness in a person, and representing the psyche as a whole. The Self-being, psychologically speaking, the equivalent of the concept of a supreme deity or God.
The main 12
Jung suggested that the number of existing archetypes was not static or fixed. Instead, many different archetypes may overlap or combine at any given time. However, 12 of them were listed and studied as our modern human behaviour.
They are :
1. The Innocent: Free to be you and me
2. The Everyman: All men and women are created equal
3. The Hero: Where there’s a will, there’s a way
4. The Caregiver: Love your neighbour as yourself
5. The Explorer: Don’t fence me in