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  1. #1
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Default How can inferior functions be developed?

    How do people develop and strengthen their inferior functions. For example, for me, Se is naturally a fairly inferior function, but in the last few years I've developed it quite a lot from studying and playing music, and I've noticed the difference, too. What are activities people can do to strengthen their functions?

    Just... post your theories beside each function I guess.

    Si:
    Se: Study/play music
    Ni:
    Ne:
    Ti:
    Te:
    Fi:
    Fe:

  2. #2
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    Expose yourself to uncomfortable situations all the time. :-P

    If you couldn't infer, that was meant to be humorous, but I guess this whole topic is an interesting notion. For me, working w/in my jobs helped me strengthen my S functions a bit most likely. I do like some primarily S based things such as action based RTSs and poker, so I suppose that may help too. I think it's pretty hard to strengthen your N functions, unless you actually train to be psychic maybe or something along those lines (I realize intuition does not equate with psionic abilities but like I said, that's a really tough idea to consider). A lot of people are just viewed as naturally smarter; it seems to me that people who fall into that group always quest for more while the inverse group probably falls deeper into their hole. If N really is equated with greater level intelligence, this says a lot about S and N attitudes regarding the strengthening of the mind, and answers my perplexity regarding the strengthening of the N functions (I guess I can't speak for the rest of you but that notion did in fact help me a bit). I think the feeling functions can be strengthened but not consciously; if you're actually trying to strengthen your feeling functions it probably won't work. Feeling isn't contingent upon thinking and thusly feeling can only be strengthened by complete base and natural means IMO, such as expressing your love for someone of course (truly, obviously).

  3. #3
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    God thats wierd gza, I was going to ask this yesterday,in fact i've been reading about this today also. I need to develop introverted feeling and apply judgement to it any ideas?

    Ne....get creative with things around the house to start with, do something wacky with a broken plantpot or something.....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by shen View Post
    God thats wierd gza, I was going to ask this yesterday,in fact i've been reading about this today also. I need to develop introverted feeling and apply judgement to it any ideas?

    Ne....get creative with things around the house to start with, do something wacky with a broken plantpot or something.....
    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).

  5. #5
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    T - I've tried doing logic puzzles. While they're fun and engaging, I'm not sure how much effect they have.

  6. #6
    *ears perk up* wolfmaiden14's Avatar
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    Fineline - Thanks for that link!! I've copied the Ten Rules to Live By(for INFJs) - they're so true!

    I do have some advice for anyone who's trying this... don't try to work on too many weaknesses at once! I just realized not too long ago(before I even knew about types) that I had done this! I'm an INFJ who has mostly SP friends and knew I had to work on my E. I was trying to understand my sensor friends, working on my P in order to improvise for the acting troupe I volunteer with, and also because I had so many things on my plate I didn't have time to put everything in order for my J, and took on waitressing to become used to being extraverted... for about a year and a half this INFJ has been trying to be an ESFP! Work drains me, I feel like I don't fit in with my friends and I've become so disorganized and late for everything, and beat myself up for it. Plus school is dragging that T back out of me(kicking and screaming!) I'm stressed and mildly depressed because I've almost forgotten what it's like to be my natural self! X.x

    I've only recently started making some changes that should allow me to flourish again. I mean, I guess you can learn alot and quicker by just jumping in.. and I certainly feel like a stronger person, but I recommend developing a little at a time. I almost got absorbed in what I was doing, and it actually is going to be work to change my habits back.
    Forming characters! Whose? Our own or others? Both. And in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence. - Elihu Burritt

    Member of the Maverick's Biker Club - Now crashing through walls instead of just..walking into them.

  7. #7
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Posting here actually helps my Ti quite a bit. It's Se that I have zero control over. It's not the refined, aesthetically pleasing Se that results in mild snobbery and weekends at an art museum. Just trashy, tacky, overindulgent craziness.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
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  8. #8
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Te: Basically, learn to break tasks down into their natural step-by-step components, then DO them and mark off the checklist. The goal is to complete the task, not necessarily to do it the most "efficient" way possible, although you do want to think through the activity and come up with a list of rational steps by which to accomplish it. Adults who live on their own, who have children, or have thought-involved work will find opportunity to develop Te. (Just take that Microsoft Project and go to town!)

    Fe: This function comes into play when you consider the needs and expectations of those around you. When you are getting married or inviting people for Thanksgiving and you have to make decisions about who is coming, who they're going to sit with, who you are NOT going to invite (i.e., what do you say to them, what reasons do you give, how do you approach the topic), etc., then you are now using Fe to "organize your event." Being a parent also gives ample Fe practice, when you decide how to treat each child in a way that is appropriate and equal, yet tailored to their individual needs.
    "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

  9. #9
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Didn't read the OP.

    Fe/Ni: Actively search for ways to be helpful towards other people. Usually requires active listening. If they mention they like/dislike something, store that away in your memory bank. Notice if they've changed anything about their appearance and compliment them (only if you mean it). Look to see if their behavior deviates from what it normally is and ask if everything is alright. Ask people how they're doing (really doing). If they say things about themselves, family, friends, hopes, anxieties and fears, try to combine this information with what you already know about them and get a fuller picture of who they are. Don't let it be just a random assortment of facts about the person with no coherence. Be patient with people. Look for commonalities and bond over them. Ask probing questions (but don't be too invasive). Ask yourself and the other person what isn't being said. What other sides/perspectives are there? What is really at stake here? What's your motivation? Why do you want this to happen? Sympathize/Empathize. Help them find a solution if they want one, and if they don't just listen. Ask yourself how would I feel if I were in this situation.

    If you don't think you can do this and don't genuinely care, DON'T DO IT. Just say hello/goodbye and keep going. That's why Fe gets a bad rap, because people are being fake with it.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  10. #10
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I honestly wonder that myself.
    I worry about my weaknesses a lot, but I was reading some place that our culture was too heavily focused on highlighting and correcting failure, and not enough on making the best of success.
    Like, when ever a kid comes back with grades, the parents will always point out the F's sooner than the A's.

    A little aside from the question, but I think it's something worth pondering over.
    Last edited by Magic Poriferan; 11-05-2007 at 04:06 AM. Reason: Typo

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