Mark me down as another who's not only a believer that shadow exists but experiences it daily. It's not only the unhealthy child but also something worth developing, since each of our primary four processes can utilize the talents of our shadow processes as another perspective or methodology. It only becomes childish under stress.
Is the shadow as troubling as an eruption of the inferior? Because I can see points where I have displayed what could very well look like "unhealthy ISTJ" (in fact I comically had someone on here once suggest that was my type!) particularly during periods of my life where I felt out of wack or not balanced...so it could happen momentarily, in a flash, or I could even go through a period of my life where the inferior erupted more than it normally would.
Shadow doesn't seem like it would necessarily look as "unhealthy" and might be even more comfortable to slip into (for example if ENFP goes INFJ or INTJ goes ENTP, staying within your same little group i.e. NF, NT) doesn't seem like as much of a traumatic stretch, but maybe would just become more and more obvious later in life?
I don't know. I don't fully understand.
Generally speaking, I suspect that the shadow functions is less of a problem than the inferior. The inferior is troublesome largely because it is supressed by the primary, but is still a active desire within the person.It's the bit of themselves that the person often wont own up to. While it is surpressed, the person doesn't act upon the desires associated with it, and so they build up over time until you get the sudden, explosive backlashes associated with it.
The shadow functions are, by comparisin, rather dead and inert. Acting upon the desires brings little psychological reward. They usually only cause problems by leading the person away from the conciouse functions because people often struggle to tell the lower order shadow functions (5 and 6) apart from the lower concious functions (3 and 4). THe opposing function facilitates the suppression of the inferior, for instance. It is not so foreign to the primary, and so looks attractive when that attitude is needed (When an IP requires a Je mindset, for example) however, acting in the opposing function is bit boring and the person soon moves away from it, accidently writing of the inferior function as well because they don't have enough experience in that attitude to distinguish between the two. THat ability to distinguish between the two functions of the same attitude (Pi, Pe, Ji, Je) is often called differentiation, I think. Certainly, I often call it that, right or wrong.
The critical function can act in a similar way. Just like the tertiary, it can often be expressed as an alternative to the auxillary. Unfortunately, as I shadow function it never satisfies, which means the person using it is never entirely satisfied when expressing it either. Hence the name, critical function. ITJs, with critical Ti, can be excessively hard judges of what is technically good when it gets the better of Te.
This part makes a lot of sense to me, especially in terms of Fe/Ti, more so than Ni...they get boring to me, that's so true. Especially Ti.
Thanks for the entire explanation, I do appreciate it. It confirms what I suspected about the shadow being less of a catastrophe than eruption of the inferior.
Actually, there is a definitional question. I don't think the shadow functions represent a person's "shadow". In my opinion, a person's shadow is far more important than their shadow functions. You can look at the shadow through an MBTI lens or completely without it.
I think it would be wrong to say that an eruption of the inferior is a bigger concern than your shadow. It seems to me that the relationship between the shadow and an eruption of the inferior is much closer than the relationship between the shadow and your shadow functions.
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This pisses off inferior Te. I demand some consistency.
First I've heard the IFP shadow is ETJ
Then it's ITP
Now it's EFJ.
It's ETJ in four-process theory, in which the inferior is called the "shadow", and anything below that is never dealt with.
It's ITP and EFJ in eight-process theory, depending on which order you are listing the functions (same order, but with the attitudes reversed (EFJ), or the functions in the reverse order (ITP)).