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  1. #1
    garbage
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    Default Functions at war!

    One of my personal mottos is that there is a time and a place for everything. Every one of our "cognitive functions" has places where it's valuable, and wisdom entails recognizing exactly when and where we should use each one, drawing upon the strengths of all possible approaches. I suppose this is how a Perceiver can be seen as well-organized but still prefers to keep plans open and explore possibilities, for example.

    I suppose, then, that our preferences come to light (1) when we are drawn to certain environments and situations that allow us to use our natural skills, or (2) when we find functions at odds with each other and have to decide upon an approach, either consciously or subconsciously.

    Coming up with examples of the former is easy. Feelers are drawn to occupations that allow them to deal with other people; Si-users can, for the most part, actually create a routine and stick with it; and so on. To this end, I suppose I have the most apparent preference between sensing and intuition, although even this has relaxed itself recently. Specifically, the conflict appears to be best described as a conflict between Ne and Si. In short, I sometimes don't pay enough attention to the details in my environment enough to be able to recall them later; I often daydream and play with random connections of ideas inspired by my environment.


    We've had a lot of discussion on that, practically beating it to death, so I'd like to talk about the latter. So, functions at war.

    This is when we're faced with life situations or even small decisions that could be approached from a variety of perspectives; it's also when our preferences become apparent.

    Have you ever noticed conflicting internal advice from "functions telling you what to do"?

    Exactly when do you find your preferences actually manifesting themselves out of the ashes of a conflict between approaches dictated by different functions?

    Does this phenomenon even actually occur?

  2. #2
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Well, when dealing with children, there is always an internal struggle for me. For instance, my 2 year old niece was running wild and wasn't looking where she was going. She was making a beeline head first into the corner of a coffee table. As my brother watched in horror from the other side of the room, I quickly grabbed a seat cushion and put it in front of the table. I was so proud of my quick thinking when she slammed into that and fell to the ground, unharmed but aware. My brother has never forgiven me for this, as he believes I should have caught her or physically stopped her from running into anything at all. And that thought did cross my mind.

    But all my instincts were screaming at me, saying how will she ever learn if there is always someone to grab her. And while she needs to learn that she will hurt herself if she doesn't pay attention to where she is going, I don't want her to be brain damaged, so let me grab a pillow to soften the blow. Ok, his kid, his rules - I get it. But it's just not in my nature to issue an order or to teach without an example. Grabbing her would have amounted to telling her that she cannot run in the house because I say so, and she would never have understood why. And she never would have understood that no matter where she runs, she must look where she's going.

    Is this what you are asking?

  3. #3
    garbage
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    Is this what you are asking?
    Yeah, that's actually a pretty good example; even if it doesn't mention specific functions per se, you can see how the internal struggle manifested itself. It was an interesting observation on your part, at that!

  4. #4
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    I just didn't know what function served each thought. I want to say that Ti made me grab the pillow, but Ti also made me think about stopping her. I don't get how Ne or Fe or Si would have played into this scenario... This stuff is all very confusing for me since I can never tell how functions can operate independent of each other, except for the S ones. But the rest seem a bit ambiguous.

  5. #5
    Senior Mugwump Apollanaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    I just didn't know what function served each thought. I want to say that Ti made me grab the pillow, but Ti also made me think about stopping her. I don't get how Ne or Fe or Si would have played into this scenario... This stuff is all very confusing for me since I can never tell how functions can operate independent of each other, except for the S ones. But the rest seem a bit ambiguous.
    You response was driven by your dominant Ne function. It spotted all the possibilities and implications of the situation in a flash, then passed it on to Ti to carry out. Ti is great for making "in the moment" tactical choices, based on probabilities. If Ti was leading this process, it would have most likely made the choice to grab her arm, since this would be the most expedient way of preventing harm. It would then have drawn upon Ne to assess the long-term implications of the choice, but after the event.

    Ne+Ti is a very powerful combo for rapidly assessing future possibilities and probabilities and taking appropriate action. Did you know that most world class tennis players are thought to be ENTPs for precisely this reason?

    The difference emerges clearly when you think in terms of Informing vs Directing behaviour. Types with a preference for Informing (including ENTPs)dislike giving direct instructions or orders. Instead, they prefer to provide sufficient information to allow a person to make an informed choice. This can take the form of a lesson, for example using the pillow in the way you did. Directing types are the opposite. The two styles make for a big communication gap, as I'm constantly discovering with my ENTP partner (INFJs prefer Directing).

    I think you made a very good choice here. Your brother is wrong to hold this against you - it suggests that he has some "issues" around disciplining his children, and your action touched upon some sensitivities he may have in this area. Does this make sense?
    INFJ 9w1 sx/sp/so

    "A wizard is never late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to." - Gandalf The Grey

    And if I only could,
    I'd make a deal with God,
    And I'd get him to swap our places,
    Be running up that road,
    Be running up that hill,
    With no problems.

    - Kate Bush

  6. #6
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Yeah, my brother is a prick... (just kidding a bit) He's very by the book and lives a life of domination and rules that he often makes up as he goes along. He was upset because he didn't feel that I, as the aunt, did enough to protect his daughter. That I would sacrifice her safety for the sake of a lesson. Which isn't true because I did protect her, while teaching a lesson. It doesn't have to be mutually exclusive.

    Thanks so much for the breakdown of the functions. I know all about this in theory, but I have a hard time identifying some of it in action.

  7. #7
    Senior Mugwump Apollanaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    Yeah, my brother is a prick... (just kidding a bit) He's very by the book and lives a life of domination and rules that he often makes up as he goes along. He was upset because he didn't feel that I, as the aunt, did enough to protect his daughter. That I would sacrifice her safety at the expense of a lesson. Which isn't true because I did protect her, while teaching a lesson. It doesn't have to be mutually exclusive.

    Thanks so much for the breakdown of the functions. I know all about this in theory, but I have a hard time identifying some of it in action.
    Yeah, I thought it might be something like that! And think of this: despite his rules, his niece was still running wild (as you put it) potentially endangering herself and others. How can kids ever learn if we constantly take over? It's actually likely to make her MORE reckless, as she can rely on Daddy to protect her from herself.

    As for observing functions in action - it gets easier with time and practice. One thing to remember is that we can switch between functions very rapidly (multiple times a second) when required.
    INFJ 9w1 sx/sp/so

    "A wizard is never late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to." - Gandalf The Grey

    And if I only could,
    I'd make a deal with God,
    And I'd get him to swap our places,
    Be running up that road,
    Be running up that hill,
    With no problems.

    - Kate Bush

  8. #8
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    I know - she was out of control! But whatever, I'll still be who I am - and he can't change that, even though he's tried for many many years... (we're 2 years apart and he thinks he's my father)

    Cool to know about the tennis players, also. I'm an avid player and never considered that type may play a role in that. (not that I would ever compare myself to world class players, though!)

  9. #9
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    Like parents with your inferior function, bad call? My dad's an ISTP and always trying to rile me up

  10. #10
    Senior Mugwump Apollanaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemons View Post
    Like parents with your inferior function, bad call? My dad's an ISTP and always trying to rile me up
    Not necessarily. My mother is an ESFP, so we have opposite dom/inferior functions, but we've always had a good relationship. I don't think she really understands me, though, since a lot of my surface behaviours don't make sense to her. Sometimes she'll go away and think about it, then tell me: "Oh, so that's why you did that!".
    INFJ 9w1 sx/sp/so

    "A wizard is never late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to." - Gandalf The Grey

    And if I only could,
    I'd make a deal with God,
    And I'd get him to swap our places,
    Be running up that road,
    Be running up that hill,
    With no problems.

    - Kate Bush

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