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  1. #1
    Member roastingmallows's Avatar
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    Default How does your inferior function manifest?

    Now, I've got this theory that is already basically accepted among believers of JCF, but here it is in my own words. Take a look!

    The inferior function is of course in direct opposition to the dominant function. When you are under intense stress or rather, "in a funk" and feeling out of sorts (you have probably heard it referred to as being "in the grip"), it can often be explained by your inferior function. Similarly, if your dominant function is starved/stifled, your inferior function will have no choice but to come out and take control. Since your inferior function is so under developed, its emergence can cause the user much angst and confusion, or anger and annoyance, depending on the person and the function.

    My question to you is this: What is your inferior function, and how does it manifest?

    For example: My inferior function is Ni, and in my case (and I'm sure a lot of you feel the same way), my inferior function is SEVERELY underdeveloped to the point that I'm not even entirely sure what it does or what use I have for it. Recently, I quit both my jobs in restaurants for a cushy cubicle job while I attended community college. Well, lo and behold, sitting on my ass all day, first in a classroom and later in a cubicle, quickly drove me bonkers. Turns out, my Se requires me to have an active job where I can move around a lot and interact with people, face-to-face. In my brief stint as a call center representative, my Se was so starved that I started having horrible, existential thoughts. I started questioning everything I had always accepted at face value to be true. I started thinking more abstractly, which did not agree with me in the slightest. My mind is just not meant to work that way. Physical activity and interpersonal interaction is important to my state of mind for many reasons, mainly just keeping me occupied and sane.

    Have you ever had an experience like this?

    My brother in law says that under the influence of his inferior Se, he becomes overly sensitive to external stimuli, particularly noises. You see, he is perfectly comfortable pondering the meaning of life or theorizing about God knows what. He is accustomed to abstract thought, therefore it doesn't make him uncomfortable. However, he doesn't work under pressure as well as I do, and he is easily distracted by external stimuli when he is stressed. He is not stimulated by settings that are thrumming with activity like I am. He needs to work in silence and solitude.

    My sister and girlfriend both have inferior Te, and I have seen it happen to both of them. They are usually easy going and open minded, but under stress become dogmatic and critical.

    My mother has inferior Si. She is usually whimsical and carefree, but under stress becomes very anal and overly attentive to minor details.

    My father has inferior Fe. He is usually detached and logical, but under stress becomes clingy and needy.

    So in conclusion, it seems that under stress, people are likely to behave quite contrary to the way they would usually behave, and it is not a pretty sight. I'm not entirely sure how we are supposed to "develop" our inferior functions, besides through age and experience, but it seems like a useful thing to do. It might make life a lot simpler.

  2. #2
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Hmm. Interesting. I call Se my inferior function because of the 8, it is the least used. I don't buy into that 4th function is the inferior function crap. I have noticed of late that when I feel good, like celebrating, I like to give my Se leeway. I think it's because Ni wants to kick back and mull over whatever has made it happy. So I listen to music, drink some wine, dress up, or do various other Se-type things.

    Now. When I'm sad or down, I'm not really doin the Se thing that I've noticed. I usually just zone out in a mild depressive state, not thinking about anything, or maybe doing the Ni/Ti/Fi? loop thing. Having said that, I WILL morph into an aggressive ESTP hot head when stressed beyond what I can reasonably handle, and that would be Se/Ti so yeah. But it's a different variety of Se.

    So, yeah.
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  3. #3
    Member roastingmallows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Hmm. Interesting. I call Se my inferior function because of the 8, it is the least used. I don't buy into that 4th function is the inferior function crap. I have noticed of late that when I feel good, like celebrating, I like to give my Se leeway. I think it's because Ni wants to kick back and mull over whatever has made it happy. So I listen to music, drink some wine, dress up, or do various other Se-type things.

    Now. When I'm sad or down, I'm not really doin the Se thing that I've noticed. I usually just zone out in a mild depressive state, not thinking about anything, or maybe doing the Ni/Ti/Fi? loop thing. Having said that, I WILL morph into an aggressive ESTP hot head when stressed beyond what I can reasonably handle, and that would be Se/Ti so yeah. But it's a different variety of Se.

    So, yeah.
    But it makes sense by four function theory that Se is your inferior...What do you think your fourth function is, then? I used to fight that concept too, but it makes sense when you think about it. If your dominant function is Se then your inferior function (which is the same as your fourth function) has to be its opposite. Ni can't exist without Se, like Fe can't exist without Ti.

    Have you ever felt Se come out in a negative way?

  4. #4
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I think my inferior function is Te, even if I'm an ENFP and not an INFP. I'm usually pretty laid back, but Te comes up in these big raging flairs of temper if I think people are invading me somehow. I'm normally pretty good with the Si, too. But I go through phases where that doesn't work, either, and in that case I just get really bad about following through with basic life tasks and it comes out in this severe anxiety about "all the things I have to do" (when in reality, when my Si is good, those things take like 2 minutes and there aren't as many of them as I thought.)

    Re: confused about Ni, it is one of the most difficult ones to understand IMO, I think it's just like when you envision something happening in the future based on the past and then in some temperaments they work to achieve those visions. I think of someone like Barack Obama and his vague visions of a perfect country. It connects all time together so that that being in the moment is more difficult. "The moment"= "all of time." They tend to focus on few topics in depth, (rather than Ne doms, lots of topics all mixed together). In ESxP, lack of Ni may end up in lack of discipline because they can't see the consequences of their actions so much, don't make the connections about what kinds of things may result in what is going on now, making them super action oriented and less likely to think about things. Under stress, may be highly anxious about the past or future, draw incorrect conclusions about things, and lose the moment and become reserved and upset.
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  5. #5
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    I think my inferior function is Te, even if I'm an ENFP and not an INFP. I'm usually pretty laid back, but Te comes up in these big raging flairs of temper if I think people are invading me somehow. I'm normally pretty good with the Si, too. But I go through phases where that doesn't work, either, and in that case I just get really bad about following through with basic life tasks and it comes out in this severe anxiety about "all the things I have to do" (when in reality, when my Si is good, those things take like 2 minutes and there aren't as many of them as I thought.
    Can definitely relate to this.

  6. #6
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roastingmallows View Post
    But it makes sense by four function theory that Se is your inferior...What do you think your fourth function is, then? I used to fight that concept too, but it makes sense when you think about it. If your dominant function is Se then your inferior function (which is the same as your fourth function) has to be its opposite. Ni can't exist without Se, like Fe can't exist without Ti.

    Have you ever felt Se come out in a negative way?
    My fourth function is the one I use 4th most. In tests this has proven to be....Si and Ne. My list is thus based on the tests in the Hartzler book:

    ZOMG> I just added up my scores again when I took this test years ago and this is what I got:

    Ni 4.7
    Te 4.25
    Fe 3.8
    Si 3.625
    Ne 3.5
    Fi 3.44
    Ti 3.3
    Se 1.875


    Maybe I am an INTJ? I will review those sections and comment in a moment...
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    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

    songofmary.wordpress.com


  7. #7
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Ni Fe Ti Se

    Some say that under stress, INFJ can behave like an ESTP. I will attest to this, in some ways. I am highly introverted/intuitive, so it sorta comes off outwardly [verbally] like some sort of IxTP. But, anyway - back to Se - my actions in of themselves, especially under stress, are noticeably Se-oriented. Become more physically sensitive in general, if highly fatigued. Will sleep a lot, or - if I'm feeling weighed down, but high energy/restless, I will more readily give in to risk-taking impulses. Or, rather, I have, in the past.

    I [mistakenly] justified use of self medicating for a period of a month or two with cocaine back in early 2004, a little after my brother's homicide. I wanted to be aware, still, and engage- distract myself- but be able to think so fast, that, I couldn't feel. Suffice to say, it was effective, in the short term, but it's terrible for your health, illegal, and expensive. And.. you can only run for so long. Everything catches up, in time. This is an example of extreme emotional denial being supported by Se risky behavior. Not saying ESTPs would all do these things, obviously, but in my experience, Se-doms tend to be low on impulse control, which is why I draw the comparison. (I realize that's not fair to healthy SP's, hence my disclaimer.)

    I am a thrillseeker, still, these days, but I only seek the thrill for the joy, as a release, not as an escape from emotion. Examples include things like rollercoasters, exploring creepy places, cliff-diving. Most people find this side of me surprising, because I don't share it, or plan it. I just do it.

    On the upside, in general, my Se tends to be engaged by enjoying the little things. Warm, long showers. The stars and ocean at night. Breathing in that distinctive musky scent of fall leaves. Driving-I love driving. Traveling/adventuring. Listening to MUSIC.. god, that's my drug. Live or listening to an album. Singing, if that counts separately.

    My involvement in performing arts tends to have an Se-feel to it, in some ways. I mean, the imagination, & mental prep for it uses all my functions, but in the moment on a stage, it feels like Se- just an everlasting 'now.' There's no thought, there's just being.
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  8. #8
    Member roastingmallows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    I think my inferior function is Te, even if I'm an ENFP and not an INFP. I'm usually pretty laid back, but Te comes up in these big raging flairs of temper if I think people are invading me somehow. I'm normally pretty good with the Si, too. But I go through phases where that doesn't work, either, and in that case I just get really bad about following through with basic life tasks and it comes out in this severe anxiety about "all the things I have to do" (when in reality, when my Si is good, those things take like 2 minutes and there aren't as many of them as I thought.)

    Re: confused about Ni, it is one of the most difficult ones to understand IMO, I think it's just like when you envision something happening in the future based on the past and then in some temperaments they work to achieve those visions. I think of someone like Barack Obama and his vague visions of a perfect country. It connects all time together so that that being in the moment is more difficult. "The moment"= "all of time." They tend to focus on few topics in depth, (rather than Ne doms, lots of topics all mixed together). In ESxP, lack of Ni may end up in lack of discipline because they can't see the consequences of their actions so much, don't make the connections about what kinds of things may result in what is going on now, making them super action oriented and less likely to think about things. Under stress, may be highly anxious about the past or future, draw incorrect conclusions about things, and lose the moment and become reserved and upset.
    So...do you actually consider yourself and ENFP or an INFP? Or are you not sure? It seems to me that both inferior Si and Te both manifest in critical ways, causing the XNFP to snap at insignificant things, but in my experience, inf Te causes an INFP to fume, often silently until they can't handle it anymore. They think they can do things better than other people can, particularly regarding PROCESSES and established/defined standards.

    With inferior Si, it seems that ENFPs become picky about silly details, and almost anal retentive, but being so underdeveloped, they have no real sense for what is important and they stress themselves out. This seems to happen especially when they are forced to do a big project (such as a lot of cleaning or other mundane task in a certain amount of time) that goes against their scattered, whimiscal nature and forces them to pay attention to details they wouldn't normally care about.

    INFPs (or ISFPs) can easily get irritated in professional settings where their creativity has no place and they are forced to use Te by means of adhering to certain standards they have no say in. If that makes sense?

    Ni: I think you are spot on with that. Ni is definitely hard to pin down, and I think that is a good sign you don't use it XD and vice versa. Ni users never seem to have a problem with its definition.

    And you are right about certain manifestations of it as well. I have certainly been paranoid about the future while under its influence. Not acting presently forces me to think about the future in ways that I'm not always comfortable with, and many times, the outcome seems overly bleak. I have become paranoid and anxious and reserved in that state, fer sure.

    My best friend is an ISFJ who often refers to her past self or future self in conversation, saying things like "damn you, past me! You are so selfish!" or "future me is going to be so happy.", which is quite funny to me. I tend to ignore past and future me, just doing what I please in general and dealing with the consequences as they arise.

  9. #9
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    Whatever type I am (either I or E NFP), I feel very strongly that Te is my weakest function. It usually manifests as a desire for control over a situation. This is especially problematic with relationships. I want someone who's judgement I can trust and if I end up feeling like I can't trust him, then I want to take over. Or if a situation isn't going the way I want it to, I am very easy going and flexible for awhile... and then boom! I take over and want to be In Charge. I am not really a fan of this aspect of myself, but there it is.

  10. #10
    Member roastingmallows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    My fourth function is the one I use 4th most. In tests this has proven to be....Si and Ne. My list is thus based on the tests in the Hartzler book:

    ZOMG> I just added up my scores again when I took this test years ago and this is what I got:

    Ni 4.7
    Te 4.25
    Fe 3.8
    Si 3.625
    Ne 3.5
    Fi 3.44
    Ti 3.3
    Se 1.875


    Maybe I am an INTJ? I will review those sections and comment in a moment...
    You might be an INTJ :O Those scores are so close that I wouldn't make any rash decisions though! If I may ask, what test are those scores from? This is the test I like: http://similarminds.com/cgi-bin/cog_jung.pl

    My scores:
    Te (Extroverted Thinking) (65%)
    your valuation of / adherence to logic of external systems / hierarchies / methods

    Ti (Introverted Thinking) (80%)
    your valuation of / adherence to your own internally devised logic/rational

    Ne (Extroverted Intuition) (60%)
    your valuation of / tendency towards free association and creating with external stimuli

    Ni (Introverted Intuition) (15%)
    your valuation of / tendency towards internal/original free association and creativity

    Se (Extroverted Sensing) (90%)
    your valuation of / tendency to fully experience the world unfiltered, in the moment

    Si (Introverted Sensing) (75%)
    your valuation of / focus on internal sensations and reliving past moments

    Fe (Extroverted Feeling) (70%)
    your valuation of / adherence to external morals, ethics, traditions, customs, groups

    Fi (Introverted Feeling) (85%)
    your valuation of / adherence to the sanctity of your own feelings / ideals / sentiment

    This one is interesting too: http://www.keys2cognition.com/explore.htm

    The only score I'm ever consistently weak in is Ni, but these quizzes tend to tell me my "top four" are: Se Fi Ti Si

    Sometimes I even score Ti above Fi, but you have to really look at it from all angles. You see, I don't really USE Ti, despite quizzes telling me I do. I think I am mistaking Ti for Te, which I do have, though it isn't too strong. Could be one of those dom-tert "loops" people are always talking about, but I'm a little hesitant to acknowlege their existance. I have wondered many times if I am a thinker because I have been ignoring Fi for so long and just not understanding its place in my life. What I thought was Ti is most likely Te, because my thinking is analytical, but objective and outwardly focused. There are really four processes, everyone uses all of them. The question is this: which direction do they face? Therefore you can't really use Fe and Te...At least that is the way I see it. Your judging functions have to oppose each other. That's what is so confusing about cognitive function quizzes. It implies that we actually have ALL of them, but really we only have four, in either direction. Maybe there is some grey area. I'll have to look into that. XD It is quite confusing that I always score so high on Ti, yet I'm nothing like the Ti users I know. The quizzes are obviously flawed.

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