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Thread: Faux INTJ Curious about Functions.

  1. #1

    Exclamation Faux INTJ Curious about Functions.

    Once upon a time in a thread far, far away I posted in the NT section of these forums about discrepancies I saw in myself, who tests routinely as INTJ, and what some people viewed as very common INTJ traits and tendencies. As the conversation continued, it transgressed that I learned that I actually know very little of how the Myers Brigg works and how it is understood. I'm ignorant, no surprise. Everyone posted some very useful resources and information to help me out (Daemon Corax introduced me to a YouTube poster who has been informative to me), and so I set out to understand the functions and which ones were my dominate ones. Those of you with too much time on your hands can find the original thread here
    TL;DR : I'm less ignorant now, and now I have questions about functions.

    Now my understanding of this subject is still a bit hazy.While I feel this is important, the subject of understanding the self is something I go back and forth to every other month or so. I'm a little hyper as I write this, so feel free to tell me if I say something stupid.

    Ok, the sixteen personality types are just huge generalizations for the four functions each person has. The dominate, auxiliary, tertiary, and the inferior. For an INTJ this would be; (Ni) Introverted Intuition, (Te) Extroverted Thinking , (Fi) Introverted Feeling, and finally (Se) Extroverted Sensing. For an INTP it would be; Ti, Ne, Si, Fe. To play to your strengths you need to develop your primary and auxiliary as much as you can. I get all this, but there are some things that I'd like to know a little more about.

    1. Shadow functions. I can find little about these but they are mentioned from time to time. From what I can understand its simply a function that is on the opposite side of the extrovert/introvert fence from your normal function. Example, ENTJ has Te as their primary function. Does this mean that Ti is their shadow function?
    Also I get the impression that trying to use these shadow functions drains and fatigues a person, is that right? I understand that society and daily functions might force us to engage in our shadow functions, but is it at all conceivable that people routinely use them on their own? Could they be doing this without realizing that they are doing it?
    Finally, if using a shadow function drains you, does the shadow of the primary function drain you more than the shadow of the inferior? For example, and ENTJ's primary is Te, so (if I'm correct) the shadow function to that would be Ti. Thier inferior is Fi, the shadow inferior Fe. Would trying to be a introverted thinker tire them more than trying to be an extroverted feeler?

    2. Is there anywhere I can go, or could someone give me an example of some of these functions in action? I get a couple of good sites that explain functions, but sometimes its over my head. Other times I understand it, but I'm not quite grasping the immediate implications. Phrases like "Sees underlying patterns" doesn't give me much of a reference point, that is to say, I'm not entirely sure what that means in the day to day life.

    I feel as if I'm getting very close, and understanding about how these functions manifest in my day to day life will help me understand a great deal more about myself.

  2. #2
    No Array Thalassa's Avatar
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    May 2009
    6w7 sx
    SEE Fi


    Start here:

    At first, skip over the beginning blah blah blah part and just read the sections that say things like "Introverted Feeling Type" and "Introverted Sensing Type" which will help you to truly understand what the functions are, a bit, because it tells you how they manifest in the dominant position.

    You must do this first. People on line can say all kinds of misleading things, don't even listen to "smart sounding NTs" who use big words, because trust me there's more than one delusional young INTJ running around presenting a text book example of egocentric, immature or neurotic Fi all the while claiming they're "pure Ni/Te" or "have almost zero Fi." It's a total laugh riot once you realize what the functions actually are.

    Then go here:

    AGAIN...scroll down past the blah blah blah at first and start where it says "Hero (Dominant)" and read down all eight function positions from there.

    If you get started with these basic primers on Jung and Beebe, you can at least move around to learn more detail from individuals on forums and books.
    "Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." - Edward Abbey

    SEE-Fi /Gamma

  3. #3


    Ok, I've done some reading and stayed up way later some nights than I should have. To be honest I've visited more than the sites your linked me. I'm sorry I'm good at reading comprehension, but I'm just not used to reading non-fiction. You have to talk down to me sometimes. I think I understand the primary functions. Just barely. I'm replying to this again to answer the question am I correct in my understanding. So here goes.

    The dominate function is the one developed early as children. This is why I'm told that if you want to type someone, you need to understand what they were like as children. The easiest to use, and the most frequently used. Its sort of our go-to function. How we take things in and we ruminate on those things .

    Auxiliary works to support the dominate function (or should). If the dominate is extroverted, it helps you stop and reflect a moment. If the dominate is introverted, it helps you act on those inner world ideas and thoughts. It sort of helps you act upon the world, again, supporting the dominate. If the dominate is a picture your drawing, the auxiliary is the inking and coloring. (Warning: this maybe a horrible analogy)

    Tertiary I have less of a grasp on. What I understand is that is a relief role. It supports the auxiliary role, though I don't understand how. I also keep reading that it is how we express creativity? No idea what that means

    Inferior is the least developed (of course). I have a very weak grasp on this one. Its not developed until later in life, it gives us a sense of relationship to everything else. It usually displays itself negatively, (possibly because its the least developed?) Combine the whole 'sense of relationship to everything' and 'displaying itself negatively' is possibly why its called inferior (yes, I am just conjecturing here. Feel free to correct) Because when it is displayed negatively, you feel lost, frustrated, and out of place?

    So, let me blunder on in my understanding and give you an example from what I understand of all of this-

    Lets take an ESTJ. Their dominate function is Te, so they are relaying those ideas as they come. They are throwing them into the world first thing. Its not saying whatever pops into their head first, its manifesting those ideas into the outside world instead of letting them sit in the inner world first.
    "This should go here because of that. Yes, ok now you two do this, it will help. Now we place this here, and that should work with this perfectly, when I pull this lever"

    The auxiliary then allows the ESTJ to reflect for a moment, because that auxiliary is Si. The ESTJ starts to look at the current situation and runs it through similar things that have happened to him. Doing this to verify these ideas are going to work. On the inside it goes like,
    "Ok yes, this is a lot like that time we did that other thing. This worked well then too. But then we had that problem half way through, so I should watch for that in this situation"

    This is just a broad example of what I understand this to be, I'm not going to get into tertiary and inferior, as I said I have less of a grasp on those two.
    I'm just trying to see if I'm understanding all of this correctly. Not everyone was blessed with an academic aptitude like some of the people on here

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