# Thread: 'Ambiverts' - relative strength of primary and secondary function

1. ## 'Ambiverts' - relative strength of primary and secondary function

Hi all

Apologies if this has come up before on the forum, I was not able to immediately find it. Something came up on facebook and made me think of it.

Some people identify as 'ambivert' ... xNFJ etc.

As the E/I preference determines which is the dominant function and which is the secondary (e.g. in my case ENTP and INTP both have Ne/Ti or Ti/Ne, same two functions) they are basically 'the same' other than this - so if you identify as ambivert then 'logically' they are of equal strength? Or is there still a preference for one or the other? (in which case I presume - though don't know - that it would be possible to identify as E or I?)

As I have put in another post - used to consider myself INTP (came out as such on the test and 'thought' myself to be an introvert based on the conventional (mis)conception that Es are the 'party' types and Is 'read books' (etc)) but realised a few years ago this was not right and am actually a pretty strong E with the definition that it is 'external influence' etc. In parallel - used to think Ti was my dominant function (and used to use it primarily) but Ne has "overtaken" it to the extent that it is now the dominant one that I use all the time... so this seems pretty clear to me

Apparently I am wrong in thinking this though, does anyone know better?

2. x means that they are not sure if they are i or e, not that they would be both types..

3. Originally Posted by INTP
x means that they are not sure if they are i or e, not that they would be both types..
Oh, ok - maybe my mistake in conflating 'x' and 'ambivert' ... some people do definitely identify as "bang in the middle" (vs "not knowing") though, it is these I am asking about.

4. those who are close to middle usually have hard time seeing what type are they. it doesent mean that they would be a mix of entp and intp for example, they are either intp with Ne nearly as strong as Ti(or Ti nearly as low as Ne) or entp with nearly as strong Ti as their Ne is.

5. Originally Posted by INTP
nearly as strong as
Interesting, so you are saying it is not possible to have 'exactly' (in as much as it can be measured / distinguished) equal preference for each?

6. I had the same problem, where I identified as an xnfp. Eventually, when looking at the roles your functions play in your life, I figured out that it is in fact Ne that gets me out of tough spots and that I'll use to figure out how to get around obstacles...not Fi. And it's not Ne I use to show my love and care for others..it's Fi. While both are about equally strong (I reign in my Ne coz I find it important to use Fi properly), I concluded I am an ENFP, from the role those functions play in the way I go about life.

The role doesn't indicate the strenght of the function, just the way in which you use said function. Whether that function is well developed or not is really irrelevant.

7. Originally Posted by annnie
Interesting, so you are saying it is not possible to have 'exactly' (in as much as it can be measured / distinguished) equal preference for each?
of course they cant be equally strong.

Originally Posted by intp profile
Here is an aspect where INTP and ENTP types differ strongly. The latter, with dominant iNtuition, are much more driven by shaping the world according to their ideas, ie. thinking supports and subordinates doing. For the INTP, doing supports and subordinates thinking.

8. i'm with INTP on this one... the point of MBTI is to put yourself on either side of a dividing line. one is simply going to fit better than the other - and there can certainly be time periods in your life where you rely on either function more, but over the course of your life, one is still going to be a lead and one a support. even if it's not obvious that the lead is a lead for a while - the aux is the "supporting parent", after all: it can be overprotective, and drown out the dom. but an ENFP mainly using Fi will be different than an INFP mainly using Fi. the former may seem like INFP on the surface, but they will not "feel" like an INFP below. they will not share all the motivations of INFP. take it from me; that's what drove me to this site.

i've always tested as INFP and upon learning the functions, thought i was Fi dom - and i definitely did utilize Fi a ton when i was little, but even looking back, Ne has always been my best function. it's gotten me out of the trouble Fi has gotten me into, lol. love Fi though i do, i've had such control over Ne that it was easy to assume that it was secondary and not just automatic. but as the awesome people on this forum pointed out, i am not an INFP. i am simply a quieter ENFP. just like you, all those dumb "are you the life of the party" questions were throwing me off.

so i'm sure it's possible to have functions that are all but equal in strength, and i'm sure it's possible to have a huge personality shift in life. but i think that, like you and i, almost everyone will end up falling to one side or the other.

i believe that this is because your top functions are cemented, barring a huge psychological change, pretty early in life. it's kind of a snowball effect. you like/use one function the most, so you use it the best, so you use it the most... but of course you can't only just use one, so you develop the rest, too. it's hard to break away from that pattern later in life because you've built a whole paradigm around those top functions, you know? someone who sees through Fi is pretty unlikely to switch to Ti anytime soon. someone who's typically relied on Fe in a crisis is unlikely to let Ni take over. what i think is more likely is for someone who is a quiet E, a social I, etc. to "come into their own" later in life. when we're children we're more subject to our environments and our parents' guidance. but when it comes time for us to cement our identities on our own... that first preference is more likely to come forward.

and i think that what is important is to think about is which function is your "driving force". i seek connection and it's like a holy idea to me. all is one, everything is connected. the Fi doms i know seem to take Fi similarly. internal experience and evaluation is the most important to them. both ideas are important to both of us, of course, but one rings more true. plus since I/E orders how the rest of your functions proceed, it's much more useful to try to place yourself on either side of the line.

this is my take on it thus far, at least.

9. Originally Posted by INTP
of course they cant be equally strong.
Strange - I respect what you are saying but we obviously see it completely differently in concept then - given a choice between (say) "taking in information" and "acting on information" (or however you define N/S and F/T type functions respectively) as the main M.O. - I could see that 'one' could have an about equal preference for each depending on circumstance, - but reason for posting the thread was to get input from others, so totally realise I could be wrong (I usually am - am constantly being corrected by co-workers on 'obvious' things....!)

Had a similar discussion with someone yesterday as to 'free will vs determinism' (that old chestnut) the solution to which seems obvious to me.. so no stranger to being pwn3d

10. My type is currently xNTP because I can't really figure out if I prefer Ti or Ne. My understanding has always been what you said about function usage.

But I think different people have different understandings of having an x in your type. (I just think they're wrong. or at least have an unnecessarily convoluted understanding of MBTI.)

edit: as for whether it's possible for them to be of equal strength -- I guess it's possible... it kinda doesn't matter anyway -- MBTI is a descriptive system. If using I or E to describe someone isn't useful, then just use the last three letters. It should just be about descriptive usefulness -- it's not so set in stone as everyone thinks, and doesn't really imply anything about ability. Someone who argues strongly that you CAN'T BE AN X is probably just using the system incorrectly.

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