Archetypal nouns 

When we refer to someone in conversation, sometimes we have to explain who they are. Brian my husband, my son James, my boss Dillan, my wife Jean. The noun is the label to describe the relationship to others. 

I have noticed that when someone persistently refers to a character in their life using the noun, usually they have mixed that person in with an archetype. 

For example, if I say: my son James is a lawyer. My son really knows what he’s doing. In fact, my son will own the place one day. 

That’s the archetypal son. My son, my glory. 

You may think it’s done to keep reinforcing to another person who the subject of the conversation actually is. But notice, people do it for much longer than they need to even when you actually know the character well. Furthermore, sometimes that same person will slip into a “name” of another character and that person gets their applied name. 

For example: my son James and my daughter Clare. My son is a genius. Clare is brilliant at piano.

There’s nothing wrong with this archetypal referencing expect that it’s a clue. A clue to the persons psychology. And a clue for the self that you have an archetype intruder. 

The intrusion of the archetype could be because you have feelings tied up with that archetype that are tied to a personal need. What I mean is  feelings toward the archetype “my brother” might be more complex for the archetype than the actual person. You may feel a brother provides safety and family, whereas Ben is just Ben. By giving him the label “brother” you meet your own need. Empower him somehow. 

The reverse might be true. Referring to someone as my wife, my wife, my wife, might actually be preferable than saying Debbie. Debbie as a person might be irritating and annoying whilst “my wife” may have a fondness in the archetype. 


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