The development of a viable social persona is a vital part of adapting to, and preparing for, adult life in the external social world. “A strong ego relates to the outside world through a flexible persona; identification with a specific persona (doctor, scholar, artist, etc.) inhibits psychological development. Thus for Jung “the danger is that [people] become identical with their personas—the professor with his textbook, the tenor with his voice.” The result could be “the shallow, brittle, conformist kind of personality which is 'all persona', with its excessive concern for 'what people think'”—an unreflecting state of mind 'in which people are utterly unconscious of any distinction between themselves and the world in which they live. They have little or no concept of themselves as beings distinct from what society expects of them'. The stage was set thereby for what Jung termed enantiodromia—the emergence of the repressed individuality from beneath the persona later in life: 'the individual will either be completely smothered under an empty persona or an enantiodromia into the buried opposites will occur'.
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