What’s Your Character Archetype?

For those of us who paid attention in Psych 101, Carl Jung’s 12 character archetypes may sound familiar. Defined as “the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied,” or more simply as “a prototype,” archetypes exist subconsciously within every person.

More recently, Carol Pearson has built upon Jung’s work and come up with her own system of archetypes. She believes that through understanding your personal archetype and, thus, your strengths and weaknesses, you can build your life around your true purpose. That true purpose gives way to our own hero within, helping us to become as inspiring a person as Michael Jordan or Mother Teresa.

Here’s a list of the 12 archetypes and their traits:

1. The Innocent

Goal: Remain safe
Strengths: Optimism, trust, faith
Pitfalls: Naiveté, denial, dependence
Addiction: Sugar, cheerfulness
Example: Dolly Parton

 2. The Orphan

 Goal: Regain safety
Fear: Exploitation
Strength: Empathy, resilience, realism
Pitfalls: Cynicism, chronic complaining, tendency to be the victim or victimize
Addiction: Powerlessness, worrying
Example: Jimmy Carter

 3. The Warrior

Goal: Win
Fear: Weakness
Strengths: Courage, discipline, determination
Pitfalls: Fear of impotence leading to ruthlessness, arrogance
Addiction: Success
Example: Lone Ranger

4. The Caregiver

Goal: Help others
Fear: Selfishness
Strengths: Compassion, generosity, nurturance
Pitfalls: Martyrdom, enabling others, guilt-tripping
Addiction: Care taking, codependency
Example: Mother Teresa

 5. The Seeker

Goal: Search for better life
Fear: Conformity
Strengths: Autonomy, ambition, identity
Pitfalls: Chronic disappointment, alienation, loneliness
Addiction: Perfection
Example: Amelia Earhart

 6. The Lover

Goal: Bliss
Fear: Loss of love
Strengths: Passion, commitment
Pitfalls: Objectifying others
Addiction: Relationships, sex
Example: Rudolph Valentino

 7. The Destroyer

Goal: Metamorphosis
Fear: Annihilation
Strengths: Humility, revolution
Pitfalls: Anger, doing harm to self or others
Addiction: Suicide attempts, self-destructive habits
Example: Che Guevara

 8. The Creator

Goal: Identity
Fear: Inauthenticity
Strengths: Creativity, imagination, individuality
Pitfalls: Self-indulgence, poverty
Addiction: Work, creativity
Example: Martha Stewart

 9. The Ruler

Goal: Order
Fear: Chaos
Strengths: Responsibility, control, sovereignty
Pitfalls: Controlling behaviors, elitism, rigidity
Addiction: Control
Example: Alan Greenspan

 10. The Magician

Goal: Transformation
Fear: Evil sorcery
Strengths: Personal power, transformation
Pitfalls: Manipulation of others, disconnection with reality
Addiction: Power, marijuana, hallucinogenic drugs
Example: Martin Luther King

 11. The Sage

Goal: Truth
Fear: Deception
Strengths: Wisdom, skepticism
Pitfalls: Overly critical, lack empathy, pomposity
Addiction: Being right, tranquilizers
Example: Carl Jung

12. The Jester

Goal: Enjoyment
Fear: Non-aliveness
Strengths: Freedom, humor, joy
Pitfalls: Irresponsibility, sloth
Addiction: Excitement, substance abuse
Example: Tina Fey

Curious which archetype category you fall into in Pearson’s system? For $19, you can know: http://www.capt.org/catalog/archetype-assessment-personal.htm.


Or, if you want a free assessment that differs a bit from her definitions: https://www.archetypes.com/user/register.

Additional image: Poissy Design



Emily Koo
Emily Koo
Emily Koo is a writer & musician living in Seattle, WA, by way of Randolph, MA. She’s a huge fan of her dog, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia references, and tea tree oil-infused toothpicks. Learn about her mundane life on Facebook.