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  1. #1
    What is, is. Arthur Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    Default A paradox with the shadow functions?

    Wait... So, if I'm an unhealthy INTJ, then my shadow is an unhealthy ESFP, right? But wait... Wouldn't an unhealthy ESFP be an INTJ - due it being shadowed? I don't know if I'm explaining this correctly. It's a contradiction. Maybe not though, whatsup with this?
    INTJ | 5w4 - Sp/Sx/So | 5-4-(9/1) | RLoEI | Melancholic-Choleric | Johari & Nohari

    This will not end well...
    But it will at least be poetic, I suppose...

    Hmm... But what if it does end well?
    Then I suppose it will be a different sort of poetry, a preferable sort...
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  2. #2
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentMind View Post
    Wait... So, if I'm an unhealthy INTJ, then my shadow is an unhealthy ESFP, right? But wait... Wouldn't an unhealthy ESFP be an INTJ - due it being shadowed? I don't know if I'm explaining this correctly. It's a contradiction. Maybe not though, whatsup with this?
    It's a bit of pat description, isn't it? Essentially what it means is nothing more than under stress, someone can slip into the teriary and inferior functions, which are normally associated with the anima type.

    To be honest with you, I think that reaction is rare and rather extreme. I suspect that it is more common just to slip into the tertiary temptation. An put upon ESTP is more likely to slip into a Se - Fe loop, becoming hotted headed and reactionary to percieved slights, rather than to go all the way into an introverted, dillusional Ni - Fe state.

    To go into "INFJ from Hell" mode on a regular basis, an ESTP essentially has to loose control of their prime function. Given that it is the strongest of them all, if it goes than the person is probably on the edge of a complete nervous break down. If you've seen it, a film called "The Machinist" is a pretty good depiction of an ESTP about to do exactly that. It's an enjoyable film as well.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

  3. #3
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    It's a bit of pat description, isn't it? Essentially what it means is nothing more than under stress, someone can slip into the teriary and inferior functions, which are normally associated with the anima type.

    To be honest with you, I think that reaction is rare and rather extreme. I suspect that it is more common just to slip into the tertiary temptation. An put upon ESTP is more likely to slip into a Se - Fe loop, becoming hotted headed and reactionary to percieved slights, rather than to go all the way into an introverted, dillusional Ni - Fe state.

    To go into "INFJ from Hell" mode on a regular basis, an ESTP essentially has to loose control of their prime function. Given that it is the strongest of them all, if it goes than the person is probably on the edge of a complete nervous break down. If you've seen it, a film called "The Machinist" is a pretty good depiction of an ESTP about to do exactly that. It's an enjoyable film as well.
    These are interesting comments.

    I think you're right that slipping into tertiary temptation happens a lot. It seems to be even more difficult to deal with than an eruption of the inferior because it is somewhat insideous. Eruptions of the inferior are much more obvious.

    However, as far as frequency goes, I believe that eruptions of the inferior are actually very common as well - though there may be different degrees of it. Think of a dominant introverted intuitive that temporarily loses sight of the big picture and becomes anal retentive about some details. These kinds of things happen a lot. In a sense, you can use such tendencies to your advantage, by channelling negative emotions towards positive ends.

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  4. #4
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentMind View Post
    Wait... So, if I'm an unhealthy INTJ, then my shadow is an unhealthy ESFP, right? But wait... Wouldn't an unhealthy ESFP be an INTJ - due it being shadowed? I don't know if I'm explaining this correctly. It's a contradiction. Maybe not though, whatsup with this?
    Calling the shadow an "ESFP" is shorthand. It mostly means that the INTJ, for reasons of some importance, finds that intuition and thinking DON'T provide answers. Maybe the environment doesn't need them, or whatever is going on repeatedly tells the INTJ that everything he's doing is failing. And he wants to not fail, so he resorts to feeling as the judgment function. And, more importantly, none of his imaginings are producing any pathways out of the mess, so he resorts to sensing to try and see the way forward. To actually have the shadow rise up and take precedence, the situation has to be on going and inescapable. Being emo for a bit or going on a binge once and a while isn't the shadow. It's a hint of the shadow, because the shadow's always there, but for the shadow to rise up and take over, that's something different. The shadow is when normal functioning isn't possible, and hasn't been possible for some extended time. It's when you have to seek a solution by running from your normal solution seeking measures, using the energy of distress to power whatever's left of your ability to function. It's an "unhealthy" ESFP because it's unpracticed and immature, but mostly because it's a driven response, and unnatural. The priorities are for escape, not for being normal. Your personality becomes a means rather than an end in itself.

    Possibly over-emphasising stress and take-overs here. The shadow is always present inasmuch as the lower functions are always present. Teh Shadow<tm> is a state where the higher functions abdicate.
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  5. #5
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    Calling the shadow an "ESFP" is shorthand. It mostly means that the INTJ, for reasons of some importance, finds that intuition and thinking DON'T provide answers. Maybe the environment doesn't need them, or whatever is going on repeatedly tells the INTJ that everything he's doing is failing. And he wants to not fail, so he resorts to feeling as the judgment function. And, more importantly, none of his imaginings are producing any pathways out of the mess, so he resorts to sensing to try and see the way forward. To actually have the shadow rise up and take precedence, the situation has to be on going and inescapable. Being emo for a bit or going on a binge once and a while isn't the shadow. It's a hint of the shadow, because the shadow's always there, but for the shadow to rise up and take over, that's something different. The shadow is when normal functioning isn't possible, and hasn't been possible for some extended time. It's when you have to seek a solution by running from your normal solution seeking measures, using the energy of distress to power whatever's left of your ability to function. It's an "unhealthy" ESFP because it's unpracticed and immature, but mostly because it's a driven response, and unnatural. The priorities are for escape, not for being normal. Your personality becomes a means rather than an end in itself.

    Possibly over-emphasising stress and take-overs here. The shadow is always present inasmuch as the lower functions are always present. Teh Shadow<tm> is a state where the higher functions abdicate.
    I love this description but think it's too narrow. We seem to be over-stressing the breakdown scenarios. I think the shadow can rise up and take precedence for short periods of time - a few minutes or an hour for example - with recovery shortly following.

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  6. #6
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I love this description but think it's too narrow. We seem to be over-stressing the breakdown scenarios. I think the shadow can rise up and take precedence for short periods of time - a few minutes or an hour for example - with recovery shortly following.
    Technically, when an INTJ has planned something and then sets out to make it happen, they're getting down to shadow areas, probably feeling pretty good that things have started and reaching out and touching things (like telephones, or office doors to walk through, or a shovel to do whatever it is people do in gardens). So it's not as if what gets called Teh Shadow<tm> is completely alien. It includes functions we use every day. And I agree, the lower level functions can and do put in grumpy, short-lived appearances as well. So it's true, Teh Shadow<tm> is composed of normal processes. And it does come and go from prominence according to some dynamic struggle with Ur True Type<tm>.

    So actually, the term "Teh Shadow<tm>" can be used in two different ways. The first use refers to the normal unconscious functions. The second use refers to that condition a person finds themselves in when they have to for reasons of cognitive survival siphon conscious energy away from their normal functioning and into an exaggerated functioning of their less preferred side.


    EDIT: the point is, seems to me, it takes a lot of personal energy to keep the shadow as your primary conscious mode. It has to be some kind of survival mode. (Survival against what? There are a range and variety of things to survive against, and if there weren't psychotherapists would have to invent them.) But such assertions depend on how primary one thinks fixed function orders really are.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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