# Thread: The Role of Shadow Functions in MBTi Type

1. Originally Posted by MerkW
Although I have read a little bit about the role of the shadow functions, this reading has been limited to only insignificantly small blurbs on the internet, as I have actually not yet had the opportunity to get my hands on any professional literature dealing with this subject (such as Lenore Thomson's book).

For those who have had the opportunity to research this, what precisely are the theorized functions of a type's shadow functions? Take INTP for example. What is the specific role that the 5th (Te), 6th (Ni), 7th (Se), and 8th (Fi) functions?

Feel free to explain in great detail.
There is no brown in the rainbow.

2. Originally Posted by wildcat
There is no brown in the rainbow.
But my friend told me there's a pot of gold at the end.

3. Originally Posted by wolfy
But my friend told me there's a pot of gold at the end.
I already took the pot

4. Originally Posted by wolfy
But my friend told me there's a pot of gold at the end.
Rainbow has two ends.
But only one gold.

5. Originally Posted by wildcat
Rainbow has two ends.
But only one gold.
Commitment is scary.

6. Originally Posted by wolfy
Commitment is scary.
Yes.
It is borders insanity, too.

In which box is the cat?
Wrong question.
Why?

Object does not subject.
Why?
The object does not look back.
You do.

7. Originally Posted by wildcat
Yes.
It is borders insanity, too.

In which box is the cat?
Wrong question.
Why?
Because you can only choose one?

How can we attract the cat from the box to us...?

8. Originally Posted by wolfy
Because you can only choose one?

How can we attract the cat from the box to us...?
Point counter point.

Look at the night sky.
It is behind you.

You are ahead of the night sky?
No.

And why not?

Is what is possible?
Possible is what is not.

9. ## Reflections

Originally Posted by wildcat
Point counter point.

Look at the night sky.
It is behind you.

You are ahead of the night sky?
No.

And why not?

Is what is possible?
Possible is what is not.
The moon shines brightly.
The dark side.
Dimly.

10. All hai-ing ku aside,

The Roles of the Processes:

The Leading Role (Dominant) (sometimes referred to as the 1st function)
The process that plays the leading role is the one that usually develops early in childhood. We tend to engage in this process first, trusting it to solve our problems and help us be successful. Being the most trusted and most used, it usually has an adult, mature quality to it. While we are likely to engage in it rather automatically and effortlessly, we have much more conscious control over it. The energy cost for using it is very low. Much like in the movies, the leading role has a heroic quality as using it can get us out of difficult situations. However, we can sometimes “turn up the volume” on this process and become overbearing and domineering. Then it takes on a negative dominating quality.

The Supporting Role (Auxiliary) (sometimes referred to as the 2nd function)
The supporting role is how we are helpful to others as well as supportive of ourselves. Once we have developed some facility with our leading role process, we are more likely to feel comfortable engaging in our supporting role process. In its most positive form, this can be quite like a nurturing parent. In its more negative aspect, it can be overprotective and stunting rather than helpful. When the leading role process is an extraverted one, the supporting role process is introverted. When the leading role process is an introverted one, the supporting role process is extraverted and may be quite active and visible as it provides a way of dealing with the outer world.

The Relief Role (Tertiary) (sometimes referred to as the 3rd function)
The relief role gives us a way to energize and recharge ourselves. It serves as a backup to the supporting role and often works in tandem with it. When we are younger, we might not engage in the process that plays this role very much unless our life circumstances require it or make it hard to use the supporting role process. Usually, in young adulthood we are attracted to activities that draw upon this process. The relief role often is how we express our creativity. It is how we are playful and childlike. In its most negative expression, this is how we become childish. Then it has an unsettling quality, and we can use this process to distract ourselves and others, getting us off target.

The Aspirational Role (Inferior) (sometimes referred to as the 4th function)
The aspirational role usually doesn’t develop until around midlife. We often experience it first in its negative aspect of projecting our “shoulds,” fears, and negativities onto others. The qualities of these fears reflect the process that plays this role, and we are more likely to look immature when we engage in the process that plays this role. There is often a fairly high energy cost for using it—even when we acquire the skill to do so. As we learn to trust it and develop it, the aspirational role process provides a bridge to balance in our lives. Often our sense of purpose, inspiration, and ideals have the qualities of the process that plays this role.

The Opposing Role (sometimes referred to as the 5th function)
The opposing role is often how we get stubborn and argumentative—refusing to “play” and join in whatever is going on at the time. It might be easy for us to develop skill in the process that plays this role, but we are likely to be more narrow in our application of this skill, and it will likely take more energy to use it extensively. In its positive aspect, it provides a shadow or depth to our leading role process, backing it up and enabling us to be more persistent in pursuit of our goals.

The Critical Parent Role (sometimes referred to as the 6th function)
The critical parent role is how we find weak spots and can immobilize and demoralize others. We can also feel this way when others use the process that plays this role. It is often used sporadically and emerges more often under stressful conditions when something important is at risk. When we engage it, we can go on and on. To access its positive side of discovery, we must learn to appreciate and be open to it. Then it has an almost magical quality and can provide a profound sense of wisdom.

The Deceiving Role (sometimes referred to as the 7th function)
The deceiving role fools us into thinking something is important to do or pay attention to. The process that fills this role is often not trusted or seen as worthy of attention, for when we do engage it, we may make mistakes in perception or in decision making. Then we feel double bound—trapped between two bad options. Yet this role can have a positive side as it provides comic relief. Then we can laugh at ourselves. It can be refreshing and join with the relief role as we recharge ourselves through play.

The Devilish Role (sometimes referred to as the 8th function)
The devilish role can be quite negative. Using the process that plays this role, we might become destructive of ourselves or others. Actions (or inactions) taken when we engage in the process that plays this role are often regretted later. Usually, we are unaware of how to use the process that fills this role and feel like it just erupts and imposes itself rather unconsciously. Yet when we are open to the process that plays the devilish role, it becomes transformative. It gives us the impetus to create something new—to make lemonade out of lemons, rather than lament their sourness.

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