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  1. #1
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Default Another way of looking at the functions

    "The use of a particular function is the unconscious act of avoiding its opposite function."

    For example: Dominant Ni types use, and rely on, their dominant function, precisiely because they know that their inferior function (Se) cannot be trusted or relied upon. The opposite can be said for Dominant Se users.

    And so on, with the other three pairs: (Ti - Fe), (Fi - Te) and (Si - Ne).

    This can also be extended to the tertiary and auxillary. The difference here is that these two functions are easily interchangable in everyday life, whereas the dominant and inferior are not. For example, INPs tend to go back and forth between "I need to be avoid the unknown, who knows what might happen?" (Si) and "I need something new to think about so that I don't stagnate" (Ne).

    So every type has two pairs of functions, both in their own tug of war. One is more competitive (and thus, perhaps you're more aware of this one) and one is more one-sided.

    I figured this could be a nice way for people to really understand their behaviour, and thus be sure of their type. It might be a nice way of writing up some type descriptions and getting a good understanding of a type's behaviour, rather than just the same old soundbites you get in every description. Thoughts?

    (I apologise if this is badly written, I wanted to share it before I forgot about it again.)
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  2. #2
    Reptilian Snuggletron's Avatar
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    this applies to me 99% (the other 1% is room for error).

  3. #3
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    And how do shadow functions fit into this model?
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

  4. #4
    Retired Member Wonkavision's Avatar
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    I agree with this.

    And I'm working on something at the moment which could further illustrate the point.

    To be continued......
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  5. #5
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew_Z View Post
    And how do shadow functions fit into this model?
    They don't, because I'm not convinced the shadow functions are anything more than arbitrary.
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  6. #6
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    They don't, because I'm not convinced the shadow functions are anything more than arbitrary.
    How so? Why?
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

  7. #7
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew_Z View Post
    How so? Why?
    I'm just not yet convinced that they help illustrate anything.
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  8. #8
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    OK, to understand the shadow functions, let's go back to the opening statement of the discussion:
    "The use of a particular function is the unconscious act of avoiding its opposite function."

    This can apply to either the function (T vs F, S vs N), the orientation (i vs e), or both.
    Now, to go from the dominant to the inferior, you just switch both at the same time.
    Fine, you have a function you basically reject; both the function itself, and the orientation.
    But you can also change only one of those two variables.

    With your dominant function, its opposite orientation is also rejected. So this is a rejected aspect of the ego's self-advancing "hero" complex, and what's left over is basically "oppositional", yet it backs up the dominant and fills in its blind spots.

    Now, if you keep your dominant orientation: the opposite function is rejected. It after all, is the inferior, and is normally rejected also into the rejected opposite orientation. Since the inferior is the most rejected function, then what's left over from that (in the dominant orientation) is the most negative to the ego of all, however, it is also the brain's natural alternative to the dominant function in certain situations, since both processes lie in the same hemisphere.

    Now with the auxiliary and the tertiary, and their shdows, this is not as pronounced, because these functions are initially rejected in the very beginning, when the ego has chosen only its dominant function and orientation. They are gradually accepted as the person grows. And with their shadows, it's the same thing. Initially, all the rejected functions are discarded into the rejected opposite orientation, but when the tertiary develops, a "Child" or "puer" complex also develops and orients it in the dominant attitude. The auxiliary remeins in the opposite attitude. Both of those functions in the opposite attitude will still be rejected and therefore take on negative "parent" and "child" roles.

    So there are all the shadows as well as the primaries.
    Basically, the best way to understand the eight functions is to realize there are really only four functions, and that orientation is really a property of the ego (not the functions), whichit employs the functions in.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    I understand the mechanics behind the shadow ordering, I just don't think they help illustrate anything.

    Also you mention that types initially reject the tertiary function, which I can't help but disagree with entierly. From my understanding the tertiary offers a reason not to accept the auxillary, since the auxillary offers a way of dealing with the world that is opposite the type's dominant introvert/extravert orientation. So I've always looked at it that people have to out-grow the tertiary function, not grow into it.
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  10. #10
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    But the tertiary does not develop at the same time as the dominant, so that's what I meant by it being initially rejected. The ego's primary identity is the dominant, and it is at first the only thing accepted. (see Temperament Part 2: The MBTI's 16 types and Cognitive Functions) When the tertiary (or the puer complex using it) develops, then, yes, it maintains the dominant attitude in contrast to the auxiliary, or "gives the ego an excuse to remain in the dominant attitude" as I think Lenore Thomson has said.
    Since it is a child complex, that's why it seems like something you need to grow out of!
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