Letter: Introverts were around long ago

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The Independent Online
AS THEY say, nothing is new under the sun: a 1950s reflection in social philosophy can become a 1990s marketing tool. I was struck by Synergy Consulting's "innovative" post-modern classification of Inner Directed people and Outer Directed people ("Marketing for the Me Generation", 1 February). It uncannily echoes the archetypes described by Colin Wilson in his 1959 Age of Defeat.

Synergy's Inner Directeds want to "discover themselves", while "Self Explorers" are "tolerant, self-aware people" who believe in being "true to yourself". "Experimentalists" are creative and self-confident. Outer Directeds compare themselves to others, they are competitive and concerned with appearance.

Compare this with Wilson: "The Inner-directed type of man is the man with pioneer qualities; in an expanding and changing society he ... possesses the self-discipline to drive towards a goal he himself has chosen. The Outer-directed man cares more for what the neighbours think than for what he wants in his own person."

Ho hum, plus ca change.

Fizz Fieldgrass

St Albans, Hertfordshire

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