Individuation from Jungian Psychology – the maturity between being special and social acceptance

This post is also available in: 繁體中文

To outstand or follow? We all have both sides

All humans have both drives: wanting to be special, and wanting to be normal as well as following the majority. Upon that, genetic and personal experiential differentiate our personalities. In consequences, we tend to show more of one side in most of the situations, but still reveal the other side in the rest.

We need individuation which includes socialization

The concept, individuation, from Jungian Psychology talks about the process a person transforming into a distinct self. Giving that being a distinct self is one of the universal drives, wanting to be special is not special at all. C.G. Jung of course knew that. Thus, the individuation is not only individualize, but also socialize. Through individuation we develop and find the unique manifest we can become both for ourselves and the society. Since such development is distinct for each individual, individuation is a better term than socialization.

“Average” person or well-known asshole are both possible

However, social acceptance doesn’t mean common acceptance. For example, Donald Trump had to become the Donald Trump to be elected as the U.S. president fitting the specific era and region. Many celebrities like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Lady Gaga are also notorious for their quirkiness and craziness. Then we can see, the very “common” way to be publicly success contains some social unacceptable ingredients. Nevertheless, if you want to be special because you’re affected by those celebrity, you might not special enough. The drive behind you may still be craving popularity which is a sign of “following the majority”.

So, you can be a seemingly pretty normal person yet having great individuation. You may look normal. But, maybe you already reached the very unique personal manifest and the society needs this normal but special you. On the contrary, once your personal experience and society background had trained you as a social outliers, maybe you just keep going.

Our own endless individuation

Individuation can be multiple times or endless in a person’s life. Still, it’s a symbol of maturity. You feel higher affirmative about who you are and what social expectation to follow. To become the unique individual fitting the unique personal and social circumstances, we can all do it.