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  1. #1
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Default "Enigmatic" types

    I believe that the "enigma" witnessed in some types is due to the disparity between personal vs impersonal factors in some of them.

    Personal (relational): Feeling, informing, motive focus
    Impersonal (task): Thinking, directing, structure focus

    For the FP's and TJ's, all of these are in sync.
    It is the TP's and FJ's where they do not all line up

    STP Thinking, directing, motive focus
    SFJ Feeling, informing, structure focus
    NTP Thinking, informing, structure focus
    NFJ Feeling, directing, motive focus

    All Feeling types are informing except the NFJ's.
    This is perhaps why they have taken on the biggest reputation of being "enigmatic".
    Feeling is usually connected with the "responsive" people-focused social skills Keirsey dubbed "role-informative", yet this one pair of types still manages to be role-directive like most Thinking types.
    Directive is more than just issuing directions, though they probably do that enough. Keirsey, in Portraits of Temperament identifies it as "defining the relationship". Basically, it's an attitude of "don't call me; I'll call you", as described for the corresponding "low Wanted Inclusion" in the FIRO and APS systems. It conveys more of a "criteria" for social responsiveness.

    Hence, the types seem a bit aloof, distant, and perhaps unapproachable to most, even though they are still a Feeling type, and an extraverted Feeling at that. This (coupled with the misty introverted iNtuition that tends to make them directive in the first place).

    All Judging types are structure focused except for NFJ's
    Likewise, structure vs motive is sort of "directing/informing" on another level (conative action and leadership skills instead of social interaction skills), and Judging is usually structure focused (fitting people into structures such as organizations or plans), but this one pair of types manages to be motive focused (take into consideration "why people do what they do, in order to work with them"; this factor identified by Berens, connecting SP with NF and SJ with NT).
    Hence, the types still have an inner warmth, inside of the intuition and outward spunk of directiveness.

    So basically, NFJ's are task-focused where we would expect them to be more people focused; and people focused where would expect them to be task focused.

    All Thinking types are directing except the NTP's.
    These types are probably considered "enigmatic" as well, and a big part of that is probably the "informing" nature making them a bit softer than other Thinkers. The biggest result of this is many struggling with the T/F dichotomy and being confused with NFP.

    All Perceiving types are motive focused except for NTP's
    This also creates an interesting mixture, of the non-seriousness and openness of P with the seriousness and tough-mindedness of T.
    So they too are task-focused where we would expect them to be more people focused; and people focused where would expect them to be task focused.

    The S's don't get the tag of "enigmatic" (for fairly obvious reasons), but here's the disparity as it continues onto their side:

    All Feeling types are motive focused except for SFJ's (hence, their much noted strictness)
    All Thinking types are structure focused exept for STP's.
    All Perceiving types are informative except for STP's.
    All Judging types are directive except for SFJ's.
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  2. #2
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Interesting post. I noticed that all FJ and TP types are "enigmatic" in some way while none of the FP or TJ types are. Do you think FJ and TP are more likely to have problems with figuring out their own type because of this?
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  3. #3
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Yes, I think that's part of what happens. We expect Thinking types to be directive and structure focused, and for Feeling types to be informing and motive focused. Only for TJ's and FP's does that all line up, for TP's and FJ's, it is mixed, and directiveness or structure focus might be interpreted as T for FJ's, and I know an NTP's informativeness is part of what makes them seem like Feelers.

    I could have also added in terms of the matchup with what I call "social image". E/I and T/F matches the Interaction Style for S's and NTJ's and NFP's, (EF=Sanguine/Get Things Going, ET=Choleric/In Charge, IT=Melancholic/Chart the Course, IP=Behind the Scenes) but it is again the NFJ's and NTP's who differ (INTP=Behind the Scenes, INFJ=Chart the Course, ENTP=Get Things Going, ENFJ=In Charge).

    I/E and T/F seem to be one thing that is readily picked up as we see people, and T/F does match directing/informing to some extent, so they are likely conflated, and it does work until you get to those types, so it's like something seems a bit "off" about them.
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  4. #4
    Member amazingdatagirl's Avatar
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    EricB, I enjoy your insights. It usually takes a couple of read throughs to understand your POV but it is worth the effort.

    Question: when you use the term "enigmatic", are you referring to the first person subject who has difficulty determining their own type or an observer who is applying MBTI to another person?

  5. #5
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    It's usually a general perception of types that I have noticed in discussions. Enigmatic is usually what people call others who do not fit some sort of norm, not what a subject calls themselves.
    APS Profile: Inclusion: e/w=1/6 (Supine) |Control: e/w=7/3 (Choleric) |Affection: e/w=1/9 (Supine)
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  6. #6
    Member amazingdatagirl's Avatar
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    Is this an accurate summary? Please forgive the CODE tag - it is the only way that I have found to approximate a tabular display using BBCode.
    Code:
                Structure    Motive
    Directive   xNTJ/xSTJ    xNFJ/xSTP 
    Informing   xNTP/xSFJ    xNFP/xSFP
    Enigmatic Types
    Code:
    INFJ Ni Fe Ti Se Directive/Motive 
    ENFJ Fe Ni Se Ti Directive/Motive
    ISTP Ti Se Ni Fe Directive/Motive
    ESTP Se Ti Fe Ni Directive/Motive
    ISFJ Si Fe Ti Ne Informing/Structure
    ESFJ Fe Si Ne Ti Informing/Structure
    INTP Ti Ne Si Fe Informing/Structure
    ENTP Ne Ti Fe Si Informing/Structure
    So... you are suggesting that Fe types are enigmatic (or more difficult to type on a casual basis).

  7. #7
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    It's both Fe and Ti. (those types with Fe in tertiary and inferior positions are Ti types).

    It's not necessarily more difficult to type, they just mix forms of responsiveness. That first matrix you created is the two types of responsiveness. TJ's are consistently low in responsiveness, and FP's are consistently high. TJ's and FP's are mixed, because they blend low in one dimension with high in the other. So they're inconsistent, and I believe this is part of what might make them "enigmatic". This is based on a temperament model (and Interaction Styles are a kind of temperament also), which focuses more on behavior observation, and responsiveness is the other main factor besides expressiveness (I/E, basically).
    APS Profile: Inclusion: e/w=1/6 (Supine) |Control: e/w=7/3 (Choleric) |Affection: e/w=1/9 (Supine)
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  8. #8
    Member amazingdatagirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    TJ's are consistently low in responsiveness, and FP's are consistently high. FJ's and TP's <edit> are mixed, because they blend low in one dimension with high in the other. So they're inconsistent, and I believe this is part of what might make them "enigmatic".
    Have you thought about why Fi users demonstrate consistency in responsiveness?

    Fi core values are insulated from the social pressure and resulting compromise of extroverted feeling. Thus, inferior Fi users like TJ's tend to come across as very cold when interacting with others. They do not seek external affirmation for the values that define their identity.

    On the opposite side of the matrix, FP's (dominant or auxillary Fi) express true altruism. Their interactions are not contaminated with ego or selfish motive because Fi (again) does not seek external validation.

    One could also argue that it is actually Te that causes these types to be "consistent". Opposing motivations polarize worldview dominants (like TJ) and extraverted Perceivers (FP). Ni/Si preference creates distance between the subject and the external world. Ne/Se types immerse themselves in intuitive or sensory experience. In either case, Te produces a consistent pattern of responsiveness.

  9. #9
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    As I forgot to mention, the most consistent in low responsiveness is Te, because it is both Thinking (impersonal), and it is a judgment that is turned outward (J). Judgment tends to be less responsive, because you want to make the decision, and are going by an external objective standard that "just is", and cannot be changed even if you wanted to [typical "directive" or nonresponsive language]; and will thus end up tending to resist others in that area.
    If judgment is turned inward, then it won't affect others as directly. Hence, Ti (and we're talking about preferred functions--top two--here) will be either directive, OR structure focused, but not both (like Te).

    Fe is Feeling, and is more personal or humane, and thus carries a kind of softness, or "empathy". However, it it is still a judgment turned outward (J), so it will have some element that is directive, or structure focused (but again, not both. And of course, anything that is not both, will also, on the flipside, be informing or motive focused, but not both).

    So to answer your question, Fi is Feeling, and it is turned inward (P). So the person infers from their own internal standard what others need (and thus, variable rather than a set "rule"). This makes them both informative and motive focused. On both levels, they are people-focused and tend to yield to the other person (unless a serious value is really violated. And even then, they might give in, and just internalize the resentment).
    Hence, in the temperament correlation I have done, it is most linked with the Supine, who is described as having a "servant's heart": http://www.temperaments.info/supine.htm (INFP would be the pure Supine, ISFP has Sanguine mixed in with it, in the area called "Control", but it is still similar. This temperament sort of fills in for the ancient Phlegmatic, which is basically moderate, but still similar).

    When I was first putting together this correlation four years ago, I wondered what it would mean for these "most friendly" FP's to have the totally opposite, directive Te next, in third or fourth place, and for the "most directive" TJ's to have the friendly Fi in third or fourth place.
    But this actually all the more supports the responsive behavior of the types! The tertiary and inferior are more "vulnerable" or less mature functions, compared to the type-defining dominant and auxiliary. We tend to look up to others with them!
    So the FP's Te will be what he looks up to the decisions, or at least way of thinking of the TJ's with. This will guide, for instance, the Supine's "service" to others. I have also seen where they will allow the more "Choleric" TJ types to dominate things, even when it goes against their values. I think of Joe the Plumber (probably an IxFP) as the example of a "loyal" aspiring capitalist, who while not on top himself (like the more commanding TJ types), still supports their interests by maintaining that to tax them is to tax him.

    For TJ's, Fi just gives them the inner sense of values that supports their Te. It is less about being friendly and supporting of others, than maintaining their own sense of what's personally important, making them likely all the more directive and structure focused.
    I know for older ISTJ women, the tertiary does make them look a lot like Feelers, as their dominant perspective retains the "traditional gender roles", and keeps them in touch with the humane. However, when dealing closely with them, the directive Te does make itself known, in actual decisions and interaction.

    So the tertiary and inferior (the "non-preferred" functions) just "mirror" the dominant and auxiliary, and ultimately support them.
    Last edited by Eric B; 04-12-2011 at 10:39 AM.
    APS Profile: Inclusion: e/w=1/6 (Supine) |Control: e/w=7/3 (Choleric) |Affection: e/w=1/9 (Supine)
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for the info Eric B.

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