If wishes were horses, your personality would ride

Monday, 6 May 2013 - 8:21am IST | Agency: dna

Our inadvertent actions reveal so much about us – how we think, what motivates us in life and what is the payoff we seek from it.

Our inadvertent actions reveal so much about us – how we think, what motivates us in life and what is the payoff we seek from it. Forever a fan of pop psychology, I have always been fascinated about how our collective responses to certain questions tend to be similar in nature and make us belong to not more than four archetypes.

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist and is known to be the father of the archetype concept. Perhaps the best modern-day depiction of these archetypes comes out in “Dil Chahta Hai” and “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” – the dominant leitmotif in both is Farhan Akhtar.

Both these films have four key characters, each representing a different archetype.

In fact, Twitter trends is another great way to interpret the Jungian concept in today’s context, one that can lead to interesting observations. Trending since last month has been #sometimesiwishthat hashtag which gives one an insight into the four archetypes. Analyzing the wishes can lead us to a better understanding of these typologies.

Some people wish to do something which science has not made possible, yet they wonder what the feeling would be like were they to experience it in examples like #sometimesiwish I could actually talk to God. Not just prayer, but like take a walk with Him and just talk to Him one on one.

Or they may want to do something they have never been able to do and take it as a challenge to think about the possibility of that achievement. Like wishing for a time machine and returning to earth by evening. Let us call them ‘Discoverers’.

The second set of people are those who want to break free from the current burdens and shackles, or not conform to current ways of working. They have regrets but want to start afresh. 

They love fantasies. For example, someone wished “I could undo the past and fix my mistakes”, or that “Life had a(n) ‘unsend’ button, an ‘unsay’ button, an ‘undo’ button, a ‘rewind’ button and a ‘pause’ button.” These belong to the ‘Dreamers’ typology.

Then there is the third segment that seeks inner peace and happiness, evident in their tweets of “I could rewind back into happy memories of past years or past relationships.” Or better still is the wish that “I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.” They value relationships and always see the funny side of life even in a difficult situation.

What better name but to call them the ‘Sanguines’.

The last are those who wish for the moon, like lots of money, fame, luxuries, etc. They like the finer things of life and cannot stand ugliness of any kind. They appreciate the beauty of nature and the glamor of the celebrities – which is evident in tweets like “I wish my idols would reply or follow me back on Twitter.” Or “that fat whales wouldn’t try and squeeze into yoga pants.” Or a little offbeat ones who wish “I had more kids, I’ve already got 12, but you need 16 before you get on the telly!” Anything that makes them popular amongst their group is what they desire. They are the ‘Bon Vivants’.

DCH’s Akshay Khanna’s character is the quintessential Discoverer. Preity Zinta is the Dreamer, Saif is the Sanguine and Aamir is the Bon Vivant. Similarly, ZNMD’s characters represent the above archetypes respectively in Katrina, Abhay Deol, Farhan and Hrithik.

For some of us, the experience of knowing and accepting their unique personality qualities is a great relief; by knowing the personal typology, we can value who we are more. But again valuing the significance and relevance of this concept may differ for each archetype. What do you think?

(The writer is managing consultant at The Key Consumer Diagnostics Pvt Ltd,a Mumbai-based qualitative research company.)

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