Psychiatry On-Line, 1995.
Vol.1, Issue 2, Paper 3.
The MBTI assumes that each of us has 'true' preferences. However, there are many influences on us that, if different from our 'true' preference can cause a "tug o' war" in our perception of our own preferences. Major influences include parental figures, employment, and social pressure.
In this example, looking at just one preference, the influences may be so strong and concerted that the extrovert believes he or she really does prefer introvert behaviour, thoughts and feelings. However, the extrovert may find life very stressful, and not understand the reasons why. The mid life crisis is a process of finding one's true preferences, and breaking the stranglehold that other influences have on our own behaviour, thoughts and feelings.
Steve Myers (Consultant, Team Technology) Return to Psychiatry On-Line