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Midlife Transition Instead of Midlife Crisis – Using Personality Typing to Understand

July 13, 2013 on 12:01 pm | In History and Beliefs | No Comments

by Dr. Toni LaMotta, Guest Blogger

I must prefer the term ‘Mid-life transition’ to mid-life crisis. And, once we get through a transition, we experience true Midlife Transformation. And, then the cycle starts all over again.Carl Jung

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychoanalyst, told us that around 40, this natural process takes place as a normal part of maturing.

Feelings in this transition range from what I call divine discontent to semi or full blown burnout. Of course, the more positive feelings of newness and adventure are also possible. It is definitely a time of asking ourselves more seriously than ever before, “Who am I?” and “Where am I headed?” or “What have I accomplished in life?”

Understanding our “TYPE” Helps

It can be very helpful and less confusing to understand a little bit about the process. One way of doing that is through understanding our differences based on personality.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a wonderful and practical study of Jung’s original psychological types. I taught it for years and I, myself, felt so relieved when I took it, because I found out things I KNEW were true about me, but no one else understood. Specifically, that I am an introvert who appears for all purposes as an extravert.

The Myers Briggs model tells us that our preferences are innate – they are with us from birth and not influenced by the environment. The environment has an influence on our behavior as well as on our perception of ourselves.  As children, we often adapt our personalities to please our parents who may be quite different types. I know I did.

We learn to adapt to what our teachers, our ministers and our peers think we should be. Jung called this Accommodation. It’s like putting on masks that hide our true type preferences.

Extroversion got me the attention that I sought as a child, so I learned to adapt. Once I truly saw this, I was able to understand my own feelings and share them in ways that were helpful to so many other introverts who often feel misunderstood.

Jung spent much of his life counselling people who had ‘accommodated’ to become people different to their inner preferences. If you are an accommodator, mid-life transition can be somewhat difficult. When there is little difference between our ‘true selves’ and the mask we present to others, the  mid life transition a less difficult.

Original Author: Dr. Toni LaMotta Full Bio

Whatever your experience is about your self-perception, there is always room for kindness and understanding. We’ve been given so many messages that who we are is not ok. I would like to offer a support system to help you accept yourself in Midlife. In fact, I’m all about creating a new Midlife paradigm. When you subscribe to my free Reinvent Midlife newsletter, you’ll receive instant access to a special report called, “7 Secrets for Reinventing Midlife from the Inside-Out”. Go now to http://www.reinventmidlife.com

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