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  1. #31
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    .... It seems contrary to Andy's theory though that I should be comfortable with it since it's #5.
    Quote Originally Posted by highlander
    Well, functions are really interesting and play a part in it all but this is probably the best practical view of one's shadow.
    The reason I find function theory - no matter what the theory - in the end kind of silly is kind of illustrated by your first statement I quoted above. X number of people might relate very well to Andy's theory, but Andy's theory will break apart or be inapplicable to another set of individuals who won't identify one bit. Whereas a different cognitive function theory might resonate strongly with the experiences of Y number of people, and the original X plus another category of Z people won't identify with it.

    So, yes, I do in the end scrap function theory (to the depth of labeling each of the 8 and dilineating a set order by type) because I know no matter what the theory, at the very least a minority of people will not relate, thus the 20% (or whatever) of INFJ's who don't relate to the other 80% of INFJ's in terms of 'shadow' responses, or inferior, or 'trickster' functions (lol), or whatever theory is being discussed, will be left scratching their heads saying.. I don't do that at all, I do this instead.

    Your INTP example is interesting. It's another reason I prefer more general psychological things, rather than typology when it comes to personal growth or devolution (ha!), because there are a LOT of traits that are outside of cognitive theory which influence behavior, perception, and whatnot, to a significant degree and function theory simply doesn't account for them.

    I'm sorry, I realize you're interested in discussing function theory so I promise I'll back out of this thread now; had you excluded bullet point 1, I would never have stepped in.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  2. #32
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Well, functions are really interesting and play a part in it all but this is probably the best practical view of one's shadow.

    As an example. I know one INTP who is quite successful in his career. He is someone I very much like and respect. Unfortunately, he does have a tendency to operate out of excessive self interest/greed. Everybody else sees this. He can't see it. It has gotten him into some trouble over the years in spots but has not yet resulted in a crisis. I predict that it will if he is not able to address it. This has nothing to do with typology or the fact that he is an INTP.
    When I’ve actually perceived the shadow- in myself or someone else- it’s always related to my/their personal fears. Sometimes the cognitive function/shadow theories make sense on a theoretical level, but I don’t see a whole lot of direct relation de facto. How and why a shadow manifests really seems (to me) to be far more contingent on one’s upbringing (and all its surrounding unresolved issues) than one’s type. To be sure, several unresolved issues will likely be as result of a person’s type- but the issues are still going to vary greatly according to who incited the issues in the first place (i.e. an INFJ with ESTJ & ESFJ parents is going to have very different shadow manifestations than an INFJ with two INTJ parents).
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  3. #33
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    And I agree with cascadeo. When I read about the relationship between functions & the shadow- I can often find an example of how it's true in myself if I look hard enough. That makes the theories about it interesting. But the thing is- where someone's shadow is obvious to me, or when my own shadow actually interferes with my own life (when I don't have to look for an example of it)- it doesn't seem to be function related.
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  4. #34
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    The reason I find function theory - no matter what the theory - in the end kind of silly is kind of illustrated by your first statement I quoted above. X number of people might relate very well to Andy's theory, but Andy's theory will break apart or be inapplicable to another set of individuals who won't identify one bit. Whereas a different cognitive function theory might resonate strongly with the experiences of Y number of people, and the original X plus another category of Z people won't identify with it.

    So, yes, I do in the end scrap function theory (to the depth of labeling each of the 8 and dilineating a set order by type) because I know no matter what the theory, at the very least a minority of people will not relate, thus the 20% (or whatever) of INFJ's who don't relate to the other 80% of INFJ's in terms of 'shadow' responses, or inferior, or 'trickster' functions (lol), or whatever theory is being discussed, will be left scratching their heads saying.. I don't do that at all, I do this instead.

    Your INTP example is interesting. It's another reason I prefer more general psychological things, rather than typology when it comes to personal growth or devolution (ha!), because there are a LOT of traits that are outside of cognitive theory which influence behavior, perception, and whatnot, to a significant degree and function theory simply doesn't account for them.

    I'm sorry, I realize you're interested in discussing function theory so I promise I'll back out of this thread now; had you excluded bullet point 1, I would never have stepped in.
    No - this is an important point. You can always prove it to be precisely wrong but on the whole some important data points or insights can be gained. If it's 80% right, I still think that's pretty good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    When I’ve actually perceived the shadow- in myself or someone else- it’s always related to my/their personal fears. Sometimes the cognitive function/shadow theories make sense on a theoretical level, but I don’t see a whole lot of direct relation de facto. How and why a shadow manifests really seems (to me) to be far more contingent on one’s upbringing (and all its surrounding unresolved issues) than one’s type. To be sure, several unresolved issues will likely be as result of a person’s type- but the issues are still going to vary greatly according to who incited the issues in the first place (i.e. an INFJ with ESTJ & ESFJ parents is going to have very different shadow manifestations than an INFJ with two INTJ parents).
    The point about fears seems very valid but I do think this does have some linkage to type though. I think there are other factors related to fear that have nothing to do with experience/upbringing or type. People have irrational fears for no obvious reasons.

    For the example of the INTP I gave, I believe one of the issues he has is a fear of failure - that any moment things could come crashing down - which leads him to operate in self interest and grab/hold onto more than he should - to plan for the future, hedge his bets, keep his options open. I know this is part of it because I've talked to him about these issues. That might be potentially type related come to think of it but it would certainly not be limited to his type. He won't change his behavior until it results in direct negative consequences that become obvious enough to him.

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  5. #35
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    In my understanding, the shadow side is both a great gift and our nemesis. Using our less preferred perceiving and judging functions gives our dominant and auxiliary a rest. Further, there's a childlike quality, free from overcontrolling perfectionism, that comes when we purposely use them for rest and re-creation. We aren't so sure what will happen, so delights come our way.

    But...no matter how far down the path to individuation one travels, one never arrives. When we fail to admit that there are functions we do not use as capably, they can rise up to haunt us.

    Leave aside for a moment whether there are 4 functions in 2 attitudes or 8 separate functions (still a matter of great debate, actually) and think whether you truly know of anyone who is equally good at reality and conjecture, or at objectivity and subjectivity. Yes we gain skills, and we can turn them on and off. But when stress, or emotions, or exhaustion, or other factors ply at our control, the shadow can truly cause trouble. As someone old enough to carry an AARP card, I can say that my friends and I talk more about how we HAVEN'T mastered our shadow than incidences of where we have. We're still ourselves even if we understand the value of and find it easier to sometimes use the other side.

    M Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled) wrote about an incident in his last book, Glimpses of the Devil, where he ignored the major weakness inherent in the shadow of INTJs (his type). The person who did his feedback session made him feel pretty cool with all of the intellectual and leadership style factors that describe INTJs. Then the person said, "But all someone has to do to take you down is point out an incompetency and you can fall apart if the chips are already down." The book describes the dire consequences when this happened...an interesting account from someone I'd consider well down the road to individuation...
    edcoaching

  6. #36
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    The point about fears is seems very valid but I do think this does have some linkage to type though. I think there are other factors related to fear that have nothing to do with experience/upbringing or type. People have irrational fears for no obvious reasons.
    I agree that type is probably a factor (I did mention that in the last sentence of my first post). Different people of the same mbti type are going to have certain strengths and weaknesses in common with each other- and those strengths and weaknesses play a key role in selecting which issues end up as unresolved baggage for us. I’m just also saying there are factors that aren’t related to one’s type which play a major role too (like the example of how an INFJ with two ESFP parents is going to have very different shadow manifestations than an INFJ with two INTJ parents; or how the shadow issues of an ISFP with two ESFP parents might resemble the shadow issues of an ENTJ with two ESFP parents). It just seems to me that the role functions actually play- in real life manifestations of the shadow- is really not as strong as the theories I’ve read make it out to be. But that, of course, is just my opinion.

    Really, like cascadeo, I’m not trying interrupt this thread- I just wanted to throw another perspective into the pot.
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  7. #37
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Check out the INFJs emphasising the content of people's lives over the value of abstract theory--did not see that coming.

    (And the INTJs emphasising seemingly inanimate processes. It's a mystery how that so often happens.)

    But still...

    the content of a person's experiences... do the same experiences strike different people the same way? Obviously not, but what, say, if in some magical far off galaxy where human experimentation was not just mandated but actively enjoyed, there were two persons who had exactly the same upbringing and through a carefully controlled environment had exactly the same experiences... would they always arrive at the same point emotionally and intellectually?

    Let's skip to the end and say, obviously, type plays a role in a person's character. But let's wonder some more and ask, can two persons of different type arrive ever at the same state?

    The reason I wonder is because it seems obvious that people have deep seated cognitive priorities that undermine conscious attempts at rationalisation and accommodation. People do prefer to get information in given ways and make certain kinds of judgments, and these vary according to type. This, it seems to me, will always be prior to personal experience. Indeed, it will shape personal experience, and you will have partially predictable strengths and weaknesses, indeed preferences for how to handle that experience.

    Personal detail will vary, of course. And if that's the most interesting part of the structure for you, then go for it. But how determining is it? And determinant of what?

    Not that in the end I disagree with Casca's description of the shadow. In the end it sounds the same as the function description.





    Hmmm.... but then the only usefully mechanistic stuff to add is to wonder about early development and how function orders arrive. After that it's all people, people, people. Yuck.
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  8. #38
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    The Jungian concept of the shadow is pretty straightforward and seems sensible. Whatever unconscious desires and emotions are repressed by consciousness manifest in the shadow. This is how you get these situations where a man is so adamantly against something like homosexuality, for example, due to the suppression of homosexual urges. Then they sometimes find themselves operating under the thrall of the shadow. Consider Ted Haggard: Ted Haggard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    This is why we have to be on guard against active repression of genuine emotion.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by edcoaching View Post
    In my understanding, the shadow side is both a great gift and our nemesis. Using our less preferred perceiving and judging functions gives our dominant and auxiliary a rest. Further, there's a childlike quality, free from overcontrolling perfectionism, that comes when we purposely use them for rest and re-creation. We aren't so sure what will happen, so delights come our way.
    That's a nice idea.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  10. #40
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edcoaching View Post
    In my understanding, the shadow side is both a great gift and our nemesis. Using our less preferred perceiving and judging functions gives our dominant and auxiliary a rest. Further, there's a childlike quality, free from overcontrolling perfectionism, that comes when we purposely use them for rest and re-creation. We aren't so sure what will happen, so delights come our way.

    But...no matter how far down the path to individuation one travels, one never arrives. When we fail to admit that there are functions we do not use as capably, they can rise up to haunt us.

    Leave aside for a moment whether there are 4 functions in 2 attitudes or 8 separate functions (still a matter of great debate, actually) and think whether you truly know of anyone who is equally good at reality and conjecture, or at objectivity and subjectivity. Yes we gain skills, and we can turn them on and off. But when stress, or emotions, or exhaustion, or other factors ply at our control, the shadow can truly cause trouble. As someone old enough to carry an AARP card, I can say that my friends and I talk more about how we HAVEN'T mastered our shadow than incidences of where we have. We're still ourselves even if we understand the value of and find it easier to sometimes use the other side.

    M Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled) wrote about an incident in his last book, Glimpses of the Devil, where he ignored the major weakness inherent in the shadow of INTJs (his type). The person who did his feedback session made him feel pretty cool with all of the intellectual and leadership style factors that describe INTJs. Then the person said, "But all someone has to do to take you down is point out an incompetency and you can fall apart if the chips are already down." The book describes the dire consequences when this happened...an interesting account from someone I'd consider well down the road to individuation...
    Moving down the practical side then, what does one do to accept, embrace, use for recreation, or do whatever with the shadow to "mine the gold" and minimize it "truly causing trouble"? How does one even know for that matter what one's shadow truly is?

    On the second bolded point about the INTJ shadow - can you explain the quote a bit more about chips being down and incompetency? It seems like anybody would be sensitive to criticism at a point like that.

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