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  1. #11
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by truth View Post
    ...
    Ego Strength relates to the ego's ability to function despite these dueling forces. A person with good ego strength is able to effectively manage these pressures while those with too much or too little ego strength can become too unyielding or too disruptive (rigid).

    Tell us about your ego strength. Are you balanced or not? Why or why not?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I find the paradigm very useful for some people, where the three aspects are more pronounced.

    To make it even more simple:

    ID = impulses and desires
    Superego = conscience
    Ego = mediator between id and superego

    When the ID dominates, the person can become hedonistic and impulsive, self-indulgent. When the superego dominates, the person is very restricted and confined in behavior, also very judgmental.

    ...
    I've heard these terms before but never knew what they meant.
    It's interesting to finally find out what they mean.
    I think I've had an overdose of "reality" and no longer have the ability to hope or dream.
    My "ID" has been squelched by the disappointments of "real life",
    so I would think I'm not balanced.

  2. #12
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    See my last post where I described the intellectual debate.

    You can intellectually like or dislike something and make your own choices about what you want or don't want. But as soon as you begin to get emotional about the debate (i.e., experiencing frustration that the other party doesn't seem to be hearing you), then inevitably your reactions are going to become increasingly emotionally tinged.
    Oh, yes... I think that's what irritates me most when I get mad. I feel like I'm making perfect sense, and they're just being oblivious or basing their decisions on values I don't agree with, and thus trying to impose those values/beliefs on me, and those values/beliefs seem disagreeable to me because they don't mesh with how I see reality. And when they keep insisting, it just feels like they're trying to impose their will on me, and make their belief (which I've rejected) apply to me when I don't think it should. So I counter by trying to apply something I know is equally uncomfortable to them.

    How would that reaction be described?

  3. #13
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    my roommates a few years ago and I had a running joke that we were all three parts of Frued's psyche- I was the Id, the ESTJ was the ego and the ENTJ (a very sanctimonious ENTJ ) was the superego!

    I'd say that I have a strong Id and a dreadfully annoying Super Ego that occasionally pops up and reminds me "be nice- wouldn't you be unhappy if someone did that to you?" occasionally when I'm set out to do something especially wicked ...... damn superego, always ruining all of the fun ... I'm stuck between the child and parent with a lesser adult lurking around not caring somewhere
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Oh, yes... I think that's what irritates me most when I get mad. I feel like I'm making perfect sense, and they're just being oblivious or basing their decisions on values I don't agree with, and thus trying to impose those values/beliefs on me, and those values/beliefs seem disagreeable to me because they don't mesh with how I see reality. And when they keep insisting, it just feels like they're trying to impose their will on me, and make their belief (which I've rejected) apply to me when I don't think it should. So I counter by trying to apply something I know is equally uncomfortable to them.

    How would that reaction be described?
    Let me get back to you on that. I'll detail how an INFJ would presumably regress and get emotional in a debate using infantile MBTI functions. But it will take a few minutes to write up.

  5. #15
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    my roommates a few years ago and I had a running joke that we were all three parts of Frued's psyche- I was the Id, the ESTJ was the ego and the ENTJ (a very sanctimonious ENTJ ) was the superego!
    A memory that has stuck with me was when a friend in high school came up to me and said they talked about me in Intro to Psych class that day -- they were discussing the superego. I still didn't know why he said it, he was not particularly interested in psych at all or too people-astute... but he was right, and I wonder how obvious it was to other observers.

    I'd say that I have a strong Id and a dreadfully annoying Super Ego that occasionally pops up and reminds me "be nice- wouldn't you be unhappy if someone did that to you?" occasionally when I'm set out to do something especially wicked ...... damn superego, always ruining all of the fun ...
    hee... yup. We is the Boot Stomping On Your Head.

    (it's a dirty job but someone has to do it!)

    honestly i'd trade u for a day if I could... but i doubt you'd want to.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Oh, yes... I think that's what irritates me most when I get mad. I feel like I'm making perfect sense, and they're just being oblivious or basing their decisions on values I don't agree with, and thus trying to impose those values/beliefs on me, and those values/beliefs seem disagreeable to me because they don't mesh with how I see reality. And when they keep insisting, it just feels like they're trying to impose their will on me, and make their belief (which I've rejected) apply to me when I don't think it should.

    How would that reaction be described?
    As I see it (using my ideas about MBTI functions as Ego/Superego/Id):

    1) As an INFJ, if you are in a debate and you don't seem to be making any headway, you'll get frustrated and regress to Wounded Ego mode. This is the stage where you feel frustrated, worn down, and feeling kind of intellectually/emotionally wounded that the other person is treating you so unfairly. In Wounded Ego mode:

    A) You project your own Tertiary and Inferior (stressed-Se and stressed-Ti) onto your opponent. That is, in Wounded Ego mode you have a tendency to see all opponents as doing one certain thing and playing one certain role: "He is just trying to overwhelm me with his viewpoint and won't even hear mine" (stressed-Se), and "He has totally negated me, thereby ridiculing me" (stressed-Ti).

    B) Still in Wounded Ego mode, and having projected such an unlikable picture of your opponent in your head, you yourself increasingly process all his arguments through your own Shadow Dominant and Shadow Auxiliary (stressed-Ne and stressed-Fi). IOW, you will say, "Since he is just trying to overwhelm me, this debate is a waste of time" (stressed-Ne), and "Since he is totally negating/ridiculing me, I feel shamed by him" (stressed-Fi).

    2) If you continue the debate, you will regress to the next mode: Superego mode. This is the place where you get insistent and bossy. In this mode, you are actually projecting your own Id onto him and acting out your own Superego (IOW, you are playing the role of bullying Superego chastising the rebellious Id):

    A) You project your own Shadow Tertiary and Shadow Inferior (stressed-Si and stressed-Te) onto your opponent and say: "He is obsessed/fixated on a few small points and is unable even to hear me" (stressed-Si), and "He is bullying me" (stressed-Te).

    B) Still in Superego mode, and having projected such an unlikable picture of your opponent in your head, you yourself increasingly process all his arguments through your own Tertiary and Inferior (stressed-Se and stressed-Ti). IOW, you will say, "Since he is fixated on his own point, I'm going to try to overwhelm him with my viewpoint" (stressed-Se), and "Since he is bullying me, I'm going to negate him and thereby ridicule him" (stressed-Ti).

    3) If Superego mode doesn't have an effect, you are going to regress to your own Id. This is where you blow up and break relations with him entirely. You process him and the world through Shadow Tertiary and Shadow Inferior (stressed-Si and stressed-Te) and say, "I will obsess and fixate on petty details about him and his argument" (stressed-Si), and "I am going to bully him." (stressed-Te).

    And that is pretty much the end of the debate.

    There is a lot going on there. At each stage, you are projecting an J-P loop onto him, and you are processing his arguments through another J-P loop of your own. That's a lot of different functions in play. But that's what makes emotional arguments (and emotions themselves) such a muddle.

    I'm married to an INFP like me, so I've been watching how my wife and I interact when conflicts arise: How we see each other, how we hear each other. I've been trying to pull apart the various "stressed functions" and see them as separate entities. Here are the separate functions that I described above for you as an INFJ:

    Stressed-Se: Overwhelm/have a tantrum
    Stressed Ti: Negating/ridiculing

    Stressed-Ne: Get stuck in a rut
    Stressed-Fi: Use shame

    Stressed-Si: See everything through tunnel vision, obsess/fixate
    Stressed-Te: Bully

    Each J works in tandem with one P as a closed loop. And as you regress to each stage, you see your opponent through one standard J-P template and react to your opponent through another standard J-P template (reflecting the conflicts you had with your parents at that developmental stage). It's standard Freudian philosophy: The conflicts we have in our developmental years become templates for how we deal with conflict in our adult years.

    Of course, a lot of this is guesswork. I'm mainly extrapolating from my wife and me (both INFPs). The definitions of some of these stressed-functions could probably be tightened up*. But I've done some debating with argumentative, stressed-out INFJs in the past, and the picture seems pretty close.

    Anyway, see how it works for you.

    For purposes of personal development in the future, the main J-P loop to keep an eye on is the Superego mode. For INFJs, that's your Tertiary and Inferior (stressed-Se & stressed-Ti: "Overwhelm/have a tantrum" & "Negate/ridicule"). That's the one you're going to keep using when you get combative and start insisting on your point of view. It pops up a lot in most people, depending on their stress levels from one day to the next.

    Developmentally speaking, your Superego mode is also the one that determines the profile of your Dominant/Auxiliary J-P loop (Ni & Fe). By mastering your Inferior (Se) in its healthy uses, you can broaden your Dominant considerably and also increasingly defuse your Superego mode when stressed and limit your abuse of infantile stressed-Se.

    Standard disclaimer: IANAS. I'm just playing around with some ideas.

    * [Edit: I should mention that I'm weak on stressed-Se & stressed-Ti in particular; they are Id functions for INFPs and don't pop up much for INFPs except in extreme circumstances. Being Superego functions for INFJs, you could probably define them better.]

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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    As Of course, a lot of this is guesswork. I'm mainly extrapolating from my wife and me (both INFPs). The definitions of some of these stressed-functions could probably be tightened up.
    One quick follow-up point.

    The pattern of escalating regression can be derailed by a number of things. For example, I mentioned that I've drawn many of my descriptions of individual functions in part from my own interactions with my wife. I also mentioned that I'm a little unsure about the descriptions for stressed-Se & stressed-Ti functions. That's because they are Id functions for INFPs, and my wife and I don't go there with each other. (We work off that kind of irritation in other ways.)

    Another way that things can get derailed is the phenomenon of "shutting down." The more avoidant personality types may never progress much beyond the "Wounded Ego" phase in debates and arguments, because they may shut down when conflict begins to arise.

    But it's worth noting that the conflict isn't concluded by a shutdown. Those people are probably going to "churn" the details of the debate or argument using the stressed-J function of their Superego or Wounded Ego modes--possibly for days or even weeks--especially if they are not good at letting go of things. This represents getting stuck in a stressed-function mode, and it's why they say people shouldn't bottle up their emotions. You don't want to get stuck in that mode indefinitely.

    My wife tends to shut down and engage in stressed-J "churning" of irritations for days and even weeks. It's almost hilarious when she finally brings the issues back up days or weeks later--the details or arguments have morphed into something rather more paranoid (reflecting a long period of "tunnel-vision" stressed-Si churning). In the meantime, while she's bottling up her mood, she's not a happy camper. She is effectively fluctuating between Wounded Ego and Superego mode in all her daily affairs for that period of time.

    To sum up, I just wanted to point out that there are variations on the basic pattern. For example, the more avoidant types may claim that they shut down rather than regressing to more infantile modes. But in fact, they are often just bottling their regressive reactions and "churning" in stressed-J mode for a period of time afterward. And they'll tend to have a higher stress level in all their daily affairs for that period, showing a lot of Superego behavior toward the world around them. Typical "bottling-up" behavior, in other words.

    [Edit:] Finally, let me distinguish between A) "shutting down" and B) "dropping it."

    Ideally, one doesn't want to to get angry and regress. So it's fine to call a time-out or drop the argument, as long as you have the ability to drop it and move on. Ending the conflict and moving on is a perfectly healthy response, as long as you don't fume over the conflict indefinitely afterward.

    Of course, the best and healthiest response is to have the tools to remain engaged in the conflict (because one can't always run from conflict every time) and defuse the conflict as one talks. Better "healthy" command of one's Tertiary and Inferior functions is the key to the latter part.

    In my own individual case, as an INFP, the way to defuse conflict while staying engaged in the interaction is: Quit worrying about the other person's intentions (so that I stop projecting); use my "healthy" Tertiary (unstressed-Si) to hear what the person is saying--so I pay attention to the details of the argument and not get caught up in the mood or read malicious intent into the other person's words; and use my "healthy" Inferior (unstressed-Te) to frame my response--IOW, keep emotion out of my response and stick to a reasoned, reasonable clarification of my point.

    That seems to help me a lot.

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