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  1. #1
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Default Pardon Me, But Your Shadow is Showing. . .

    Our shadow side is the side of us that we try to keep hidden from other people. It's the well-spring of our defensiveness and the personality traits that keep us from peace with ourselves and others.

    We all have one and we've learned, rightly or incorrectly, that exposure of the dreaded shadow creates chaos for us.

    The path to health is recognition of the shadowy fella and a welcoming of him into the sunshine. This path is also strewn with the obstaces of fear, social disapproval, feelings of worthlessness and failure.

    But keeping him in the closet keeps a large part of ourselves cut off from the acceptance by others which we need. Denying our shadow thwarts our growth and self-esteem.

    Seems so counter-intuitive to think of acceptance of our darkness being the way to walk in the light, doesn't it? It should just be hidden away and then it doesn't exist, right?

    Do you see the shadow in others? Do you mention it? Can you see the shadow of yourself? Do you publicly acknowledge it?

    I posted this because sometimes when someone's shadow has suddenly popped out and caused them a problem, I will mention it. In social discourse that tends to be a no-no. And sometimes people will express their displeasure at my comments.

    It's like that old "elephant in the living room" story. It's there. Everything we are presently doing centers around it. But it is not nice to acknowledge its presence.

    The problem then becomes, "How do you solve a problem when you won't acknowledge what it actually is?" Generally we do this by projecting "His Ickiness" onto others. But that doesn't work so well. Usually it distracts us from the issue and off we go, once again fencing with shadows, everyone defensively denying their own.

    We can see this so clearly when others are doing it. And when we are, it takes a tremendous amount of courage and self-awareness to recognize it. Even more to publicly acknowledge it.

    I'd like to hear others' thoughts on how they deal with their own shadow or that rascally and problematic shadow that the other guy has. (It's worse than my own, you know! )
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  2. #2
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    If you think you actually can see a person's MBTI "shadow" behavior, you've taken the theory FAR too seriously. Stop spending so much time thinking about it. It's for this exact reason why I hate, hate , hate the subfunctions: they are broad blankets you can use to explain any human behavior. Not good.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Pardon, me, noz, but your shadow. . . Uh. NEVERMIND!

    Okay. There's an example. ^
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  4. #4
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    OK. I'll be fair.

    Do you think you don't have a shadow side, noz? You can call it something else, if you'd like.

    "Shadow" is just one definition we can use for that thing which you are resisting talking about.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  5. #5
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    I think I have variables I am less concious of than other, more familiar ones :P but that doesn't mean it should be understood via INTP "shadow functions". You could easily go freudian with it

  6. #6
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Some you aren't conscious of, some you are. Some others are conscious of but you aren't. Some no one is conscious of.

    Those who don't like MBTI can use any words they want for these concepts. Calling them something else doesn't take away from the concept at all.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  7. #7
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    i honestly don't think i do. i can't think of any time i have ever behaved like...thought like or could even relate in any way to an istj...i know one well...and our thoughts have never aligned.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  8. #8
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    I see the evidence of shadow functions in almost everyone I know really well. They're there, oh yes they are. What purpose they serve in each person's life--I dunno if I could say for certain. But they're there.

    At the very least, I know the "inferior Fe" qualities are blindingly present in myself.
    intp | type 9w1 sp/sx/so

  9. #9
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    I agree that shadow functions try to explain too much, but it seems the discussion here is just about shadow personalities in general.. not necessarily relating them to MBTI.

    I think I'm actually tending to live in my shadow at the moment, as if I'm facing my midlife crisis much too early. I'm striving for balance in my life and my personality, attempting to come to terms with my relative weaknesses as a person. I might also be too young to handle what I'm getting myself into, but I can't help but try to get a grip on it.

    "Strewn with the obstaces of fear, social disapproval, feelings of worthlessness and failure," indeed.

  10. #10
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    I'm a little unclear about your definition of 'shadow function'. It's my understanding that our opposite is the shadow function that comes out in stress.

    So for me, ENFP, my shadow is ISTJ.

    If INFP, it's ESTJ.

    Etc.

    Shadow functions are not necessarily unhealthy (ESTJ/ISTJ is great for getting things done when you are overwhelmed a work, for instance) though in a very stressed individual, *unhealthy* versions of our opposite type may come out.

    Or do you mean 'shadow type' as in traits we all have that we try not to excercise. Something that gets 'pushed' back.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

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