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Thread: Dom-tertiary loops and personality disorders

  1. #1
    won't be missed Array /DG/'s Avatar
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    Default Dom-tertiary loops and personality disorders

    This was a very interesting post from another site. I do not take credit for any of the content below.

    original post

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld
    Dominant-Tertiary Loops and Common Personality Disorders

    People often ask, why can't my top two functions both be introverted (or extroverted)? The answer is that they can, but that this invariably causes personality imbalance/disorders, and if this is the case for you, you may not be the type you think you are.

    Lately I've been noticing that a lot of typological mistakes and misreads are the result of a couple of incorrect assumptions about functional structure. I'd like to dedicate this article to describing the phenomenon known as Dominant-Tertiary Loops, where the natural secondary function is suppressed, poorly developed or otherwise not valued as highly by the individual's ego as the tertiary function.

    First let's remember that the standard function arrangements of the 16 types merely represent the ideal balances for each of sixteen different ways to conceptualize ourselves and reality. In reality, they don't always show up in exactly that order of emphasis. Let's look at an example:

    To start with I'll use my own type, ENTP. Here's our functional breakdown:
    Dominant Ne
    Secondary Ti
    Tertiary Fe
    Inferior Si

    But what happens if Ti is poorly developed? This most commonly happens because the tertiary function's common directional orientation with the dominant can make it seem more comfortable than the secondary! Our perception (obviously) relies on Ne, but with Ti not doing its job, we're forced to relinquish judgment to the tertiary (and less able) Fe.

    We end up with Ne+Fe as the most dominant attitudes. If you don't see why this is a problem, consider the significance of intro/extroversion:

    A balanced psyche requires significant influence from both internal and external stimuli--too much introversion and we retreat entirely into ourselves and ignore all outer world influence to an unhealthy degree; too much extroversion and we are not able to remain in touch with what is important to our subjective internal selves, and become far too dependent upon external conditions and attitudes of others.

    All too commonly I see people make the mistake of assuming that using T more than F automatically makes an xxTx type. In a healthy, balanced individual that's true, but when an ego becomes more dependent on the tertiary than the secondary, that's no longer the case.

    For instance, I once mistook an INFJ for INTJ because he had poor secondary Fe and relied primarily on Ni+Ti. At the time I used only MBTI sliding scales and didn't know functions yet, so since I saw primarily N and T I figured he would be an NT type. To the casual observer he would appear to be using N over S, and T over F, so he must be an NT type, right? Wrong! He is not an NT type unless his iNtuition and Thinking are oriented in opposite directions.

    One really interesting result of this confusion is that each dom-tert loop type starts to look very similar to the dom-tert loop form of the type sharing only its first letter! For example:

    INTJ: Ni (Te) Fi Se

    ISFP: Fi (Se) Ni Te

    This is exactly why many unbalanced personalities have difficulty fitting themselves into a single Jungian archetype. Unsurprisingly, if the INTJ above would improve his Te, and the ISFP would improve his Se, each would balance out the monopoly introverted attitudes currently have on his perspective and lead himself to much greater personal balance and contentment.

    For example: A certain user on typologycentral agonized over her type for months, creating numerous long threads and repeatedly changing her mind. My initial impression was ENFP, which I shared but which she promptly rejected. After reading about function attitudes she described Te and Ne as her most prominent functions--at this point I changed my guess to ESTJ, which may seem like a bizarre jump if you don't understand dom/tert loop functions, but it's really not:

    ENFP: Ne (Fi) Te Si

    ESTJ: Te (Si) Ne Fi

    So if you pick up mainly Ne and Te in someone, don't presume that he's an NT type--in fact, he's probably not. Depending on which is dominant, he is most likely either ENFP (Ne+Te with poor Fi) or ESTJ (Te+Ne with poor Si).

    Ironically, this user's primary personality imbalance was poorly developed secondary Fi--it turned out she actually was an ENFP providing a perfect example of over-dependence on extroverted attitudes. She reported placing far too much emphasis on the approval of others and couldn't introspect enough to figure out which type was really her. Without a strong introverted function she was left a poor sense of individual self, and showed it through her dependence on the opinions of others to determine her type. She was looking everywhere but the right place--inside.

    So how does this over-dependence on introversion (or extroversion) manifest itself in each type? I believe this phenomenon is responsible for (or at least involved with) a lot of common personality disorders:

    ENTP/ESFJ: Ne/Fe or Fe/Ne--Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This type often behaves impulsively and manipulatively, needing constant approval and admiration from others, running around investing in new thing after new thing but never developing the self-confidence of a strong subjective perspective. Fe used negatively may use its awareness of the cultural standards of others to intentionally offend or upset them, in order to service Ne's curiosity about the patterns in their responses. If Ti/Si were working properly, it would give the user a balancing sense of personal, subjective importance and free him of his dependence upon the adulation and unconditional acceptance of others. (Horrible example: Patrick Bateman from American Psycho.)

    INTP/ISFJ: Ti/Si or Si/Ti--Schizotypal Personality Disorder. I see this most commonly in INTP dom/tert loops (Ti+Si), resulting in totally giving up on attempting to obtain the social/interpersonal connections that inferior Fe drives them to unconsciously desire. Schizotypal people are seen (and typically see themselves) as having such unusual thoughts and behaviors that widespread social acceptance is nearly impossible. Ti thinks, "I cannot find any logical explanation for social rituals" and Si reinforces this self-isolating, risk-averse behavior by constantly reminding the user: "Remember how badly this went last time you tried?" If Ne were doing its job, it would remind the user to continue experimenting to find a new approach. In the ISFJ version, Si becomes ultra risk-averse and refuses to try anything new or unfamiliar. If Fe were doing its job, the ISFJ would learn that some risk is necessary in order to uphold obligations to others and avoid living in total solitude. Deep down, these types really do want social connection and ritual (Fe), but have found themselves so poor at it that they simply give up trying.

    ESTP/ENFJ: Se/Fe or Fe/Se--Histrionic Personality Disorder. This tends to manifest itself in terms of exaggerated, aggressive sexual behavior and physical impulsiveness. Since reflecting the outer world is the only thing that matters, whatever will shock, impress, or otherwise affect others enough to include the user in their social rituals is what has to be done. Real empathy is rare as this type requires constant thrills or conflict--in the ENFJ version, this often results in excessive sensitivity to perceived "rudeness" or failure to respect the user's preferred cultural custom (Fe), combined with tertiary Se responding aggressively through implied threats of brute force. (e.g., Vito Corleone: "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse"--gives a surface appearance of respecting the cultural standards of negotiation, but implies that refusal to accept this "offer" would be quite unpleasant for the recipient!) If Ti/Ni were doing its job, the user would find a sense of balance and comfortability with himself, granting him the ability to discover what is subjectively important to him, rather than constantly shifting with the tide of cultural and social trends.

    ISTP/INFJ: Ti/Ni or Ni/Ti--Schizoid Personality Disorder. These types are socially incompetent for lack of trying, because they see little to no value in significant interaction with others. They live in their own abstract worlds, constantly second-guessing themselves as Ti poses a framework for a problem and Ni shoots it down as too definitionally precise. Without any real external input, these two functions will dream up all sorts of elaborate systems and implications for them, only to repeat their own self-defeating behavior, never bothering to emphasize putting any of its intense ideas into practice. Frequent disregard for rules, laws and other forms of behavioral standards is common, as no function provides any significant sense of external influence. If Se/Fe were doing its job, the user would recognize the value of connecting with others and of paying attention to their needs, preferences, habits and appearances.

    ESFP/ENTJ: Se/Te or Te/Se--Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (not the same thing as OCD)! I've seen people mistake ESFPs in Se+Te dom-tert loops for ESTPs because they can be so insistent upon controlling their surroundings. These types epitomize enneagram type 8, as they are aggressive, blunt, confrontational and not the least bit afraid of hurting anyone's feelings. Inside they require the approval of others to a much higher degree than they let on, as Te insists on controlling and organizing external surroundings to ridiculous proportions, while Se pushes any naysayers out of the way with aggressive force and a take-no-prisoners attitude. Territorial and looking for any reason to display their power, these types are some of the most difficult to deal with of all dom-tert loops. If Fi/Ni were doing its job, these types would stop to consider that their actions have negative implications for others, and that aggressively taking charge is not always the best solution in every situation.

    ISFP/INTJ: Fi/Ni or Ni/Fi--Paranoid Personality Disorder. These types are your typical conspiracy theorists; they cling deeply to their personal values and can find a conspiracy to assault or attack those values everywhere they look. Chronically distrustful of others' intentions for no legitimate reason, these types are certain they are the only ones who really know "the truth." The inferior function, Te or Se, can sometimes lead to an unconscious desire to attract the attention of or lead/organize others in efforts to expose the nefarious conspiracies they invariably see everywhere. If Te/Se were doing its job, these types would be able to look around them and observe empirical evidence that most of their theories are probably not reflected in reality, but as they rely almost entirely on internal validation, Ni will go to any lengths to justify Fi's emotion-based suspicions. (I mentioned Dale Gribble from King of the Hill in a previous article--he's a perfect example.) There's also this guy Victor on typologycentral who's such a perfect example of this it's absolutely ridiculous.

    ENFP/ESTJ: Ne/Te or Te/Ne--Borderline Personality Disorder. The ENFP I described above may have been one of these types. They simultaneously desire to control and dazzle others with their extraordinary leadership and grandiose performances. For the ENFP, this tends to take the form of insisting on consistent, scheduled attention from others for his/her artistic or creative gifts, while for the ESTJ it tends to manifest itself in terms of indignation when others refuse to follow every detail of the user's "visionary" leadership style. This combination, ironically, makes the user extremely dependent upon others for meaning, never really finding a sense of internal balance, no matter how hard he works to create and delegate. While Te leads these types to desire structure and discipline, Ne continually contradicts it by insisting on impulsive displays of creative freedom. Often self-denigrating over the inability to control Ne's impulsive explorations, Te will go to any lengths to keep the user in a position of power and influence, where others must defer to his authority. If Fi/Si were doing its job, these types would recognize that what they're looking for cannot be found outside themselves--they must learn to sometimes live for themselves and only themselves, and forget about external results for a moment.

    INFP/ISTJ: Fi/Si or Si/Fi--Avoidant Personality Disorder. Often scarred by some intensely negative past experience with opening up too many of their private emotions, this type compulsively avoids social situations and interaction with others. They are fiercely sensitive and may exaggerate or misconstrue perceived negative emotional intent in the words or actions of others. They will sometimes project their negative feelings onto others (Fi), as Si tells them that if I were to behave this way, I would have to be very upset, so anyone who behaves that way must also be. These types often have a chronic problem with trusting the intentions or motivations of others, refusing to share private information with even their closest friends and family. They are so deeply sensitive that they refuse to risk being hurt by attempting deep connections with others--you'll see this a lot in ISTJs with Asperger's. If Ne/Te were doing its job, these types would maintain a heathy grip on the importance of letting go of the past and trying something new in the name of accomplishing a greater goal, but some of these remain total recluses for most (if not all) of their lives.

    I guess that about covers it for today. If anyone wants to share their experiences with any of these or suggest a different personality disorder to associate with any group, knock yourselves out.

    Until next time,

  2. #2
    All Natural! All Good! Array
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    Jun 2010


    This is an awesome post...thanks for posting here DG.

    I think I have been stuck in an Si/Ti loop...
    Strychnine is all-natural,
    So strychnine is all good.
    It's Godly and righteous,
    So eat it, you should.
    Who are you to refuse nature's will?

    Don't use the multiquote; it was planted by the devil to deceive us.

    Social Role: Asscrack/Piece of Shit/Public Defecator/Spiteful Urinator

    A different type everyday - so no need to type me anymore. But feel free to enjoy the sound of your own asscrack.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Can we get a tl;dr version?

  4. #4
    won't be missed Array /DG/'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xNTP View Post
    Can we get a tl;dr version?
    You could skip to the personality disorders I guess. It's not my work, so I don't really know what I can do to trim the fat.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Chloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xNTP View Post
    Can we get a tl;dr version?
    it'd go something like this:
    "ya'll are nuts"

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array IndyGhost's Avatar
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    4w5 sx/sp


    ISFP/INTJ: Fi/Ni or Ni/Fi--Paranoid Personality Disorder. These types are your typical conspiracy theorists; they cling deeply to their personal values and can find a conspiracy to assault or attack those values everywhere they look. Chronically distrustful of others' intentions for no legitimate reason, these types are certain they are the only ones who really know "the truth." The inferior function, Te or Se, can sometimes lead to an unconscious desire to attract the attention of or lead/organize others in efforts to expose the nefarious conspiracies they invariably see everywhere. If Te/Se were doing its job, these types would be able to look around them and observe empirical evidence that most of their theories are probably not reflected in reality, but as they rely almost entirely on internal validation, Ni will go to any lengths to justify Fi's emotion-based suspicions. (I mentioned Dale Gribble from King of the Hill in a previous article--he's a perfect example.) There's also this guy Victor on typologycentral who's such a perfect example of this it's absolutely ridiculous.
    a few years back, i was sure i developed paranoid personality disorder or avoidant personality disorder. this makes perfect sense. once i finally looked into mbti and saw i should not suppress my Se, i became a healthier and happier person again.
    "I don't know a perfect person.
    I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."
    -John Green

  7. #7
    Intriguing.... Array Quinlan's Avatar
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    In high school I was about as SP as you can get and also had a lot of SP friends. In school apart from when it's being channeled into sports, Se means trouble. Eventually I just thought "I give up!" and totally retreated into myself. I became very introverted, what you'd call a Fi-Ni loop I suppose, I still test as pretty much a blanket "INTROVERT" rather than any specific type. The teachers loved it! and my grades improved but it has taken a long time to get back to being comfortable being an SP again.
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

    Quinlan's Creations

  8. #8


    What Sim didnt really get was the influence of the inferior function. It isnt as straightforward as aux and inf always growing hand in hand. They can develop in two parts to two different extents-at least in Ne doms...I spent last year dissecting ENTPs and this year with my own ENFPness

    I can speak to his ENFP example considering he is describing me. Little douche.

    In his ENFP example he states that I use NeTe predominantly. That is true and it is what I extrovert. It is what you will always see. What sim missed was the exceptional importance of the inferior function.

    In an Ne dom it is Si-think of it as historical in nature. A historical lattice that we reflect back upon to make up our minds as to what is the best Ne path to follow forwards. We will bounce back and forth looking forward and backwards to compare and make a choice with the judging functions.

    In an ENFP, I suggest you see two Si development paths...

    Te to Si...development of logical lessons. These are easy to learn from watching others and trial and error and are relatively pain free. A difficult childhood will force accelerated growth of REAL Te and will grow REAL Si to accompany it. I have an fairly good TeSi matrix. Not to the point of an ESTJ, but it is quite good. It is what enables me to lead a relatively productive life, have a good career and be a very stable person actually. It wasnt until i came here last year that i realized I wasnt quite like the other enfps

    A typical Ne-Te-Si interaction looks like this:

    Te-I need to get a car loan
    NeTe-I can get a loan from five sources...Ne explores...
    TeSi-Dont get a loan from the dealer as the interest rate will be higher. watch out for exrta fees, compare multiple banks, consider trading the car in vs keeping it, watch out for extra GAP coverage you dont need...and so on.

    Based on that sort of back and forth I reach the best choice. Works pretty well given as a single mom I finished a BS and MS, own my own home and will make over six figures this year. Not exactly a typical BPD case...

    Fi to Si
    ...this aux to inferior pathway is much harder to build. You have to use that aux function to build the Si connectivities. But using it means putting the aux function-the source of an Ne dom's ego-at risk. For me I have to expose emotions-Fi, for Sim he has to expose his ideas-Ti. Scary shit either way. I have seen both Ne dom types not take this risk. I skipped this step at about 8.

    Thus my Fi is as simplistic as an 8 year olds. It is EXCEPTIONALLY strongly felt internally, very pure, very childlike, very simple guidelines of good and bad-but is almost all Ne in it's outlook on the world. Given I dont expose it, I have no Si matrix to fall back upon to understand the best Fi choice to make. My Fi lacks resolution. I forgive too readily, accept others too much, accept too much self blame, and make dumb choices regarding love. I assume others intentions are pure-when they are not. I assume that everyone is a childlike and loving as I am. This is incorrect as others have Si matrices that teach them through experience that you cannot love results in great pain. That you can only open yourself up so much...or be hurt greatly by the carelessness of others....

    A typical Ne-Fi-Si interaction looks like this:

    NeFi-I really like that guy in australia. I think i should visit him!!!
    FiSi-doh. no historical data...
    TeSi-are you fucking nuts?
    NeFi-Weeee!!! off the cliff we go!!!

    while Te crosses its arms recognizing the sheer stupidity of the whole emo situation.

    Delayed Development-

    Now Jung said that if skip development of a doenst just sit WILL well up eventually and force itself into our conscious, even if bloodily and painfully. And thus we will be forced to grow into something more...This first happened to me last year and it surprised the hell out of me...I was hit with waves of emotion over a stupid ENTP boy. Talk about emo....Its funny as things the other enfps went through at 14 I am just dealing with now. I put off teenage angst until after grad school.

    The neat aspect is that with so much Te...I can analyze directly after the event, build a thread/theory/idea and then never repeat again. It is awesome, yet quite funny too. And it allows me to build a really neat toolkit to understand how to grow further.

    (Other ENFPs seem very manipulative...emo puke display of extraordinary magnitude...Oh, I see how this works, actually enfps seem subconsciously manipulative in a highly reactive way...Hmmmm, interesting...)

    Sim has caught me in a rather turbulent emotional four months...alas love gone astray...but BPD isnt really a good fit, just as NPD would be a poor fit for many of our ENTPs who hide their Ti away here at Type C.

    I'd suggest real BPD arises out of late teenage years where ENFPs get stuck trying to grow in Te while Fi is still forming-with a VERY poor Si matrix. Thus you see drastic shifts in judgment as Ne is fucking us over left and right. I'd even suggest that many ENFPs will seem BPD like in their late many ENTPs will seem NPD like in their late teens.

    So in sum...

    1.the aux and inferior functions do not develop equally as a pair. The inferior can develop along with the tert. However if you do not develop those aux-inf connections, they will eventually bite you in the ass.

    2. Real life devastating Personality disorders are more likely due to mis development of the aux/tert combined with a lack of development of the infoerior function to balance out the dom.

  9. #9
    AKA Nunki Array Polaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek
    originally posted by simulatedworld
    lol, I knew simulatedworld had written it the moment I scrolled down to and finished the section on INFJ/ISTP. Something about his writing style is very easy to identify.

    Anyway, I can relate to some extent to the Ni-Ti loop he described, with the major differences being that I like people, always want to put my ideas into practice, and am not openly rebellious, although I can be behind the scenes and with people I know won't get upset. (All of which is just a long way of saying that I don't suffer from very bad tertiary temptation; if I did, I can see myself relating to that description quite a bit.)
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Jaguar's Avatar
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    An ENFP can be represented as:


    And in many of the publications from CAPT, (found at that is in fact, how it is represented. The reason there is no attitude listed for the Tertiary, is it has been in dispute for decades. It has also been commonly theorized that a person has flexible use of the Tertiary function, so they could use both Te and Ti, depending upon the situation.

    To suggest or claim people have "personality disorders" based upon an alleged Dom-Tert loop, when the Tertiary function can be either introverted or extraverted in attitude, is baseless. If the Tertiary is intraverted, or "flexed," using either direction, there is no loop to begin with. It has never been accepted by the type community that there is only one way the Tertiary function attitude can point.

    I think it's unfortunate that of all the things a person could choose to create as a thread, someone chose a topic to make people feel badly about themselves, as if to suggest they are somehow unhealthy or broken. Meanwhile, they are merely developing their functions at different rates, and ages, as healthy and quite normal individuals. Just because people develop their functions at different rates, doesn't mean they have a personality disorder. As a person who holds a degree in psychology, I find this thread potentially destructive in nature.

    I think we can all do better than this. Jung's goal was to become a whole individual -by establishing a healthy dialogue between the conscious and unconscious parts of ourselves. Suggesting people have personality disorders serves no one, nor fosters any type of beneficial growth for us as individuals, and society as a whole.

    And to Orobas, no one knows for certain what functions you are using at any given moment in time. For someone to claim they know, would be as ridiculous as claiming which neurotransmitters were most active in your brain at a given moment, and in what quantities. That of course would be preposterous. But if they try to tell you, check to see if they are doing it with a crystal ball.
    When all else fails, claim it's rigged.

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