Posted April 7, 2012on:
For the life of me, I couldn’t find where I had read the following concept of Jung, though i am relatively certain it is Jung authored. The concepts are that of “expansion of personality” and “contraction of personality”. It sheds some light on the oft used cliche of “be yourself”. When we think of “the real me”, we prefer to see ourselves in the situations in which we thrive, while it is equally true that we are still our own person when in situations we recoil from. When our personality is “expanded” we assimilate contents of our environments into “me”. Everything that happens around us is a part of “me”, and reinforces our sense of “me”. On the other hand, when our personality is contracted, we tend to define ourselves in exclusion. Things in the environment threatens our sense of “me”, and we define ourselves in negative terms as a contrast. When you have a self esteem problem, the latter seems to be a strong force.