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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    [...] Maybe the key is to concentrate on working on our dominant so that it extend to our second function, then work on our second so that it extends to our third, then work on our third so it extends to our fourth. Isn't that what they say happens as we age? That would make sense in FineLine's case since they are older and have probably reached that part in their development. [...]
    As for when our functions come into use, these days a lot of sources cite recent research by Harold Grant stating that our Tertiary comes into regular use at age 20-35, and our Inferior comes into use at age 35-50. Example: http://www.personalitypage.com/development.html

    A couple experts have even surmised that mid-life crises may be partly the result of development of the Inferior and a desire to explore and restructure one's life in accordance with the new function.

    As for whether we should deliberately develop our non-Dominant functions, it seems like the some of the older experts frown on it--they indicate that premature exposure to the non-Dominant functions will be too scary for most people and smacks of pushing "type falsification" on people.

    On the other hand, some of the newer experts and books are taking the opposite tack and encouraging people to play around with the non-Dominant functions, saying that as long as people have a good grasp of how functions work they can explore their non-Dominant functions as a creative or self-development exercise. BestFitType.com is kind of a clearing house on anything to do with functions, and it's pushing a book on that very subject:

    The activities included in this book were compiled so you can consciously and purposefully increase your ability to appropriately use the skills that are associated with each of the eight Jungian functions. As you perform any one of these activities, first assess how comfortable you are with the skill set, then learn how to incorporate the skills into your behaviors.

    http://www.bestfittype.com/functionsoftype.html
    Also, I ran across a couple articles elsewhere describing how recognition and exploration of non-Dominant functions (and specifically the Inferior) is being looked at as a therapy tool for people as young as college age to help them deal with anxiety and stress issues.

    So clearly there is a wide range of thinking on the subject.

    I'm not pushing anyone to do anything they don't want to do. But a lot of members of this board are at or close to their 30s. Might as well be aware of what's coming. Clinging to one's Dominant function just because "That's who I am!" isn't very realistic. As we get older, we take on more responsibilities and need to be more adaptable. It's increasingly looking like development of one's non-Dominant functions is a natural part of the aging process anyway, whether we like it or not.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    Just out of curiosity, why do you want to?
    Marriage, kids, responsibilities, jobs, mortgages, and so on. All those things that go under the heading of "growing up."

    As I said in my previous message, "As we get older, we take on more responsibilities and need to be more adaptable."

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jive A Turkey View Post
    As much as I don't want to, I have to agree with you on that point. After years of development do you find yourself paying for your bastard's actions in the form of Fi? Or have you also learned to drop it completely?


    My Fi is still in play as always. I just develop a more nuanced outlook on the world where Fi might well be expressed by enforcing Te-oriented rules.

    For example, as I move into management, I find that I have to mediate between the higher management, my subordinates, and the clients. If any of those parties are being ripped off by another party, I'll happily go to bat for them and help them to get what's due them. But if everything is in balance, then I'll mainly concentrate on keeping things in balance, which mainly consists of enforcing rules and doing things according to regulations and procedures. It's those Te-oriented official rules, regulations, and procedures that define everyone's piece of the pie and how to maintain a balance so that everyone wins.

    So I incorporate Te administrative measures into my vision of what's "fair." Sometimes that means giving my subordinates a hard time when they're slacking off and not carrying their fair share of the load. On the other hand sometimes it also means acting as an advocate for my subordinates and speaking to the higher management on their behalf. But in any case, my Fi is still active; achieving balance and harmony among the various parties remains a key priority.

  4. #34
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    As for when our functions come into use, these days a lot of sources cite recent research by Harold Grant stating that our Tertiary comes into regular use at age 20-35, and our Inferior comes into use at age 35-50. Example: How we Develop our Personality Types

    A couple experts have even surmised that mid-life crises may be partly the result of development of the Inferior and a desire to explore and restructure one's life in accordance with the new function.

    As for whether we should deliberately develop our non-Dominant functions, it seems like the some of the older experts frown on it--they indicate that premature exposure to the non-Dominant functions will be too scary for most people and smacks of pushing "type falsification" on people.

    On the other hand, some of the newer experts and books are taking the opposite tack and encouraging people to play around with the non-Dominant functions, saying that as long as people have a good grasp of how functions work they can explore their non-Dominant functions as a creative or self-development exercise. BestFitType.com is kind of a clearing house on anything to do with functions, and it's pushing a book on that very subject:



    Also, I ran across a couple articles elsewhere describing how recognition and exploration of non-Dominant functions (and specifically the Inferior) is being looked at as a therapy tool for people as young as college age to help them deal with anxiety and stress issues.

    So clearly there is a wide range of thinking on the subject.

    I'm not pushing anyone to do anything they don't want to do. But a lot of members of this board are at or close to their 30s. Might as well be aware of what's coming. Clinging to one's Dominant function just because "That's who I am!" isn't very realistic. As we get older, we take on more responsibilities and need to be more adaptable. It's increasingly looking like development of one's non-Dominant functions is a natural part of the aging process anyway, whether we like it or not.
    Yeah, I understand that, and thanks for the link that helps enlighten me on the situation. I have noticed that since I have come to college my Fe has boomed (making me so much less awkwardly shy) and my imagination has been sufficiently tamed when compared to what it has been. Clinging to Ni was never healthy for me to begin with; I ended up daydreaming during classes and work rather than paying attention. If it's possible to skip a function, I could see myself as having skipped Fe and attempted to poke at my Ti in high school because of insecurity.

    As I think about it, maybe that's why Thompson seemed to be opposed to it. When I'm using Ni, there is obviously a lack of Se possibility. Is it possible for them to be used at the same time since they are as opposite as you can get? By using more Se I'm using less Ni, which is the dominant piece of my personality. Since it is supposed to be my most draining function, would "developing" it cause it to be less draining?

    Ok, maybe my biggest question would be what exactly do you mean by "developing" it? Maybe that's were my confusion is stemming from.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    Ok, maybe my biggest question would be what exactly do you mean by "developing" it? Maybe that's were my confusion is stemming from.
    Three points:

    1) The description of that book at BestFitType.com refers constantly to "developing" one's non-Dominant function. You could read that description and/or order the book to see what the experts have in mind.

    2) In my response to Jive A Turkey, I describe how I reconcile Fi and Te. That might help elucidate things.

    3) As for my own development of Te, it was just a function of life itself. During seven years in the Marines some Te/Si things were thrust on me and I had no choice but to work with them as presented to me. Other times I fought tooth and nail and insisted on doing things my way; but eventually I got tired of doing things the hard way (my way) and finally yielded ungraciously and tried out the way that everyone else was doing things.

    Eventually I gained a certain amount of confidence in Te/Si ways of doing things in certain environments and largely quit fighting them. I moaned and groaned about the hassle of having to deal with situations and procedures that were new and uncomfortable, but I went with the flow. Finally, after learning about MBTI and then more recently after learning about functions, I've become downright fascinated by the thought of picking up new ways of doing things.

    Nowadays when the boss comes to me with some new responsibility, I groan inwardly at first out of habit, but then I remind myself that it might be an opportunity to practice a new function in action (or work an old function from a new angle) and I get kind of excited. I even had fun analyzing my last big argument with my wife a while back and noting all the stressed functions that came into play.

    So it's just a process of trying out new things and gaining confidence that they'll really work as billed. In the early years, I tended to do things my way until they failed before trying things the new way. Nowadays, the novelty of trying things a new way becomes an attraction all by itself.

    Hope that helps!

  6. #36
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    I have alwats tried to develop my Te side because I like the order and I'm such a messy person. I'm still not really good in Te althought I manage with my Te well. Fi has always been very strong in me so it really don't need as much developing. Fi needs more balancing because it's overpowering "strenght".

    And Si then. I think Si is my least used function of all my function even if it "should" be my fourth. Si is details for me and I hate details. I don't remember details even how hard I try. Even past experiences are sometimes hard to recall. I really do not have any desire (at the moment) to develop my Si because it would be too time consumig and tiresome.

  7. #37
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I still think there's some merit in that approach. I think J and P functions tend to operate in tandem; therefore a quick fix for a an overactive Dominant function would be to strengthen one's Auxiliary. For example, a Dominant N or S who spends too much time and effort "churning" details in their mind (can't let go of re-hashing scenarios and making plans) could take fairly immediate steps to strengthen their Auxiliary T or F and use it to monitor and cut off excess N/S. And vice versa - strengthen one's Auxiliary N/S to curb close-mindedness of the Dominant T/F (solipsism, getting stuck in one's head) and get quick access to broader interaction with one's environment.
    The only function I have trouble balancing at the moment is my inferior function. I'm only just learning the value of taking a Feeling approach to certain matters. Until recently I saw little to no use for it. I feel I'm balanced in Extraversion and Introversion with a slight dominance in Extraversion (although I'm beginning to question this), I think I have a good balance between Intuition and Sensing with a preference for Intuition, and concerning Judging and Perceiving, I prefer Judging, but I'm not overly rigid or inflexible; I see many merits in spontaneity.

  8. #38
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    My suggestions to develop Fi.. feel free to comment if they're bad or good advice. I'm a high Fi user.

    This is a beginner's course.

    Fi: watch movies described as "drama", feel free to select any of your liking. Don't dismiss the character's emotional reactions outright. If their emotions elicit some feelings on you, all the better. Explore your feelings at will. If the movie seems too ridiculous (filled with too many emotions) for your taste, try to find something with less pronounced drama elements, something you can identify with.
    Examples: Babylon 5, X-files, Dark Angel are all great Sci-Fi shows with subtle drama elements.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Personalitypage.com suggests that most people tend to rely too heavily on their Dominant function, and that they can get a fairly quick improvement in quality of life and interaction with the world simply by working on their Auxiliary function.

    Just from my own experience, I tend to agree with them. IOW, it's fun to develop inferior functions at random, but you'll get the most bang for your buck (and the most alleviation of personality-related problems in life) by identifying and working specifically on your Auxiliary function.

    So I would suggest that people click on the following link, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the link for their personality type. The info presented under their personality type will identify their Dominant function, identify what problems crop up when they overuse their Dominant function, identify their Auxiliary function, and suggest ways to develop their Auxiliary function.

    Personal Growth

    For example, I can talk about INFPs and ENFPs since they have the same functions as their Dominant and Auxiliary functions (just switched around).

    *******

    For example in another thread I talked about how ENFPs (Dominant Ne) can end up strung out and exhausted from paying too much attention to external stimuli. They need to develop their Auxiliary function (Fi) as a filter. That is, they need to sort through external stimuli and decide what's worthy of their attention and what's not (as opposed to noticing everything occurring around them and getting burnt out from being bombarded by stimuli).

    It's kind of hard to describe how to develop one's Fi. But here is a rough picture of Fi taken to its greatest extreme:

    Imagine that your body and thoughts are big and heavy and colorful and real and palpable. Meanwhile, everything else in the world around you is filmy and semi-transparent and grey and dreary and unreal and barely noticed. You walk through the city and chew on your personal thoughts (say, irritation at something happening at work), and meantime you don't even notice the people or buildings around you. They're nearly invisible. You only notice them enough not to bump into them. Then you go home, and you walk through the house still playing with your thoughts, and the contents of the rooms are practically invisible to you. You don't even see the clutter or the crying kids or the wife trying to talk to you. All you care about is whatever is happening in your head.

    That's an extreme case, of course. In real life, it would work out this way: I'm walking down the street and I hear the screech of a car slamming on its brakes. But I'm up on the sidewalk out of harm's way, and there's no sound of a crash. So that stimulus is uninteresting to me and I don't even bother looking around. The only thing that would interest me about that particular stimulus is if it were followed by a crash. Then it might be halfway interesting and I would probably turn around and take a look to see what happened.

    Or I'm walking down the hallway at work, and I pass a coworker, and the coworker glares at me strangely as we pass. I don't really care what the coworker is thinking because my job and status at the organization don't depend on his opinion of me. So I pay no attention to his glare--I'm not even curious. Maybe I check my zipper, just in case the cause of his glare is something obvious like fly being open. Maybe I even make a mental note to visit the bathroom eventually to check my appearance in the mirror and see if anything is wildly out of place about my appearance (though I probably end up forgetting about it five minutes later). Of course, if it was my boss glaring at me in the hallway, then I would perk up and pay attention and ask what's happening. The boss is worthy of my attention, because his decisions and opinions impact me directly. But mere coworkers aren't on my Fi radar screen. Their opinions simply don't have much impact on my life.

    That would be a pretty strong Fi. That is, I register what's going on around me but don't much care. I filter things. I see something happening around me and ask, "Does it really affect me?" If not, then I ignore it and forget about it.

    So that would be a way to work on Fi. Don't just react to stimuli. Instead, when a stimulus pops up, get in the habit of asking, "Does it really affect me?" If not, tune it out. And use that freed-up attention to play around internally with the concept of what "me" is. To the extent that you split yourself off from stimuli and the world around you, you'll want to increasingly define yourself and what's important to you.

    That's when you'll really get into the essence of Fi: If the world is insubstantial and ghostly and you're the only real thing, then who are you? What do you want from the world? How do you interact with the ghostly, unsubstantial people around you? (These are the questions that INFPs ask themselves when they get up in the morning and sometimes throughout the day.)

    IOW, it's a two-step process. First, play with tuning out the world and ignoring stimuli around you that don't have any impact on you. Second, once you've built that wall properly, then you'll tend to need to define yourself and start to enter the INFP world of self-questioning and self-definition.

    It may seem like a crazy game to play. But at least you'll finally get past the ENFP trap of being held hostage to any and all passing stimuli.

    **************

    Naturally, an INFP would completely reverse the process.

    INFPs (Dominant Fi) can end up trapped inside their own head, oblivious to the world around them, and poor at personal interactions. They need to develop their Auxiliary function (Ne) as a way of climbing out of their head. That is, they need to start paying attention to external stimuli, give "weight" and "realness" to the world around them, and eventually develop sophisticated tools for dealing with the complexity of the outside world.

    Personalitypage.com offers suggestions, so I won't go into it in detail. But basically it's a two step process:

    First, notice the world. Do data collection. Notice how people are dressed, what they're wearing, etc. Memorize those things. Pay attention to stimuli (sounds, smells, colors) in the world around you. It will interfere with the INFP's constant thinking, but that's exactly what's needed: To shut down the endless questioning and exit one's head and go out into the world of stimuli and sensation.

    From there, the second step will follow of itself. As the INFP learns to differentiate among people and stimuli, he or she will get more competent at reacting to them. The INFP should watch other people interact and then mimic that interaction. The INFP should practice greeting people, paying compliments, and engaging in small chatter. The INFP should read the paper and pay attention to local news. The INFP should try to live out in the world to the point where it overwhelms and shuts down the internal dialog.

    That may sound painful to an INFP, but that's the purpose of developing Ne: to make the world real and tangible and interesting enough that the INFP will learn to live "in the moment" and develop competency at dealing with the environment around them.

    ***********

    Other personality types would similarly follow suit with their own Auxiliaries.

    Naturally, everyone's mileage is going to vary. People will have different levels of need for developing their Auxiliary. The tendency is: As you get older, you have more need for your Auxiliary to balance you out and help you deal with an increasingly complex work and living environment. For younger folks, it may just be a fun game to play around with.

    To reiterate on the subject of developing inferior (non-Auxiliary) functions: It's fun to develop other functions beyond the Auxiliary. For instance I've had fun developing Si through sports and ballroom dance (trying to "sense" whether I'm doing a move or a step correctly just from the memory of how it should feel in my muscles and body). But it's the Auxiliary that will really create some progress in life and address the big problems that inevitably arise from over-reliance on one's Dominant function as we get older.

    Just my two cents (and also my own experience as an older INFP who has managed to get pretty good at dealing with the outer world).
    Just had to say that this is a fantastic post. The advice you give for INFP's personal development is dead on & resonated with me.

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