Dr. David Keirsey

On Defensive Action

Madness is defensive.
That's its function.
Acting crazy is to defend a person from being found out as unworthy.
By others concerned.
They were ashamed of themselves.
And... this insured them that they would not be abandoned.
It is defense.

“Though this is madness,
yet there’s method in it”

Once asked what was the most important thing he wanted people to get from his work, he said: “I want people to understand that there is no such thing as madness.”

"I should have prefaced what I’m saying with this counsel. As long as you make yourself talk about behavior, which is to say what people do, and not talk about -except parenthetically – what’s going on inside, then there will be very little problem of communication and mutual understanding. It’s when people start talking about things that cannot be seen. For instance, desires, motives, feelings, thoughts, egos, ids and that sort of thing. When we talk to each other about these fictions, then we stop understanding each other because we have no understanding of what the other guy’s talking about or have very little assurance that we’re using the same words in the same way. I will speak to you at length, perhaps ad nauseam on the problem of words in the domain of madness." -- Dr David West Keirsey