Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The development of personality types

Deb from facebook asks if the anti social personality is created as a defence mechanism.

Generally speaking most would see that to be the case along with all 10 personality types listed here in addition to the core belief of each one.

Personality type core beliefs

Most theories would say that as the child grows it makes decisions about life. It picks up stories it liked as child and uses these to create a template (or life script) about how to live and what life is going to be like for them. This would tend to be mainstream thinking on the subject and thus would tend to agree with the assertion which Deb makes. The child picks the particular personality type as a way of adapting or defending against what it sees as adverse circumstances in childhood. All children get stressed and suffer varying degrees of trauma. It is in these times especially that they choose which defence they will have and some of those are listed in the diagram above.

I however would suggest there is an exception to this and that is the narcissistic personality and to a lesser degree the anti social personality type. With all the other types the child grows into them as a defence but with these two it is different. Instead the child never grows out of them.

All children are born narcissistic and to a lesser extent anti social. Freud called this primary narcissism. All children are born completely narcissistic and the goal is to grow out of that narcissism. Thus one could say that the adult who has a narcissistic personality never achieved this. He didn’t grow into the narcissistic personality type as a defence instead he just never grew out of it. In this way the narcissistic personality type is unique amongst all the other personality types.

N picture

Back to the original point about the anti social. It is somewhat similar in this way to the narcissist but to a lesser degree. For instance many anti socials have very little empathy for others. All children are born with no empathy. They are out for number 1 and if others suffer along the way then so be it. People acquire the skill of empathy later in life. They have to grow into it. The anti social personality never does this. They do not grow into a lack of empathy as a way of coping instead they just never grew out of a lack of empathy like most others do.



  1. Nobody likes to imagine they would have any one of those personality types - however I know which one I am. I have worked with people I am sure had a narcissistic personality and they are AWFULLY difficult. Almost impossible to negotiate with. In hindsight (wonderful word) I wonder if there are ways one has to handle such a person to have some sort of good relationship.

  2. Hi Evan, It's kind of like owning up isn't it? I have always thought of starting an organization called PTA (No not the usual PTA). PTA = personality types anonymous.

    Hi, I'm Tony and I'm a narcissist.

  3. Hi Linda, Thanx for your comment. Ill put some ideas down soon. Ever heard of the guy called echo. Look up in the myth of narcissus.


  4. You could start a new type of dating site for diagnosed personality types. Professionally diagnosed as opposed to self-diagnosed. I think that is important.