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Thread: The Function of the Shadow

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Mal12345's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    5w4 sx/sp
    LII Ni

    Default The Function of the Shadow

    I realize that there are four Shadow functions, and that these include the four functions that are neither dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, nor inferior. However, there is only one Shadow function that matters to your individual grouping, and that is your dominant function's Shadow opposite.

    The Shadow opposite is the function with the opposite attitude as your Dominant but with the same preference, for example, Fi to Fe, or Ti to Te.

    The Shadow opposite is the function that gives you the most trouble without your awareness of it even being a problem.

    For example, I know that, for an INTP such as myself, Fe is an issue, and that I often move contrary to objective social values. However, I do so with full consciousness of this fact. I am also conscious of the fact that I am different and that others see me as different. However, I also seek to escape from the Fe dilemma in my life because of how consciously painful the entire social realm is for me.

    A Ti-dom, having conscious awareness (at least to a degree) of this problem, can also control it to a degree. There are many outlets of escape, such as books and video games. Video games in particularly give a sense of accomplishment that is far easier and quicker to gain than any real-life achievement. And since most of those achievements involve some kind of social competition, it is easier just to drop out than to face losing again.

    When your Shadow opposite is personified in real-life (exemplified as the bully archetype versus the nerd archetype), the bully is not only telling us something about himself, but also about you (the nerd, in this case). He is telling you to stand up and face your fears, and moreover, he is trying to make you more conscious of them. I know that the vast majority of the time the bully is blamed, although he is just a tough person trying to face down his own fears instilled by a parental figure ("my son won't be gay," "my son won't be bullied by others," etc.). But in another way, the nerd brings it upon himself for being a nerd, that is, someone who hides behind scholastic achievements or, at its lowest, earning "achievements" in video games.

    We also have an "inner bully" that chides us continuously for not facing our fears, and that is our Shadow opposite.

    I would like to know, how does your Shadow opposite - your "inner bully" - affect you?
    "I absorb energy like a sponge everywhere I go. It allows me to see the world and my purpose in it." Zak Bagans, Ghost Adventures (INFJ)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array INTP's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    5w4 sx


    There are 4 functions; T, F, S and N. These four functions can either have introverted or extraverted orientation. With introverted orientation, the subjective side of for example T(logic) is the attitude(automatic and preferred way of responding) which guides the person. Ofc the person can be aware of objective logic, but just doesent see it as relevant and doesent automatically respond to it. So introversion of thinking just means that subjective logic is usually preferred over objective logic(or that the objective logic is compared against subjective logic before being accepted as true), not that there is only subjective logic.

    Shadow means those shortcomings of the person, repressed sides etc. for example a wish to kill someone might be repressed instead of actually being done. Its the opposite of the ego. For example a good nature man has a bad natured shadow which he represses, but which might appear in some instances.

    These qualities of the shadow usually come through inferior function because the qualities of the shadow are unconscious and thus undifferentiated. Because inferior is the most undifferentiated function, these aspects like the shadow are strongly linked to it and one easily activates the other.

    Also there is another side to this "shadow function" thing, which has to do with the repression i mentioned earlier. Because the dominant function is most favored by the ego and inferior is in direct opposite to it, the inferior will be repressed and pushed to shadow automatically(but can be assimilated to ego as other stuff in the shadow can be) when the ego is developing.
    -> Its Fe which is the shadow of Ti, not Te.

    When it comes for example to this objective side of T(which is not Te, because Te just means that objective is preferred over subjective) in INTPs, its not that the objective side gets repressed, its just that its not preferred. Usually(or at least in my case) INTPs are very aware of objective logic, when you are looking at some educational program and being the normal information sponge that you most likely are, this is exactly what you are bringing in your consciousness. Also im pretty sure that most of the new information that you come across, you dont automatically dismiss because it doesent go against anything you already know or any other subjective reasoning that you may do(as long as its not illogical). But thats because you might not have enough subjective reasoning to dismiss something or what you learn just seems reasonable to you.

    I hope this explains some of the basics of typology and jungian concept of the shadow to you.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung


  3. #3
    trapped in zoobilee zoo Array Osprey's Avatar
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    Jul 2008


    I think the bully shadow you mentioned manifests itself in my dissatisfaction. There's always the nagging feeling that I should be doing something more with my life. It's not that I don't think I'm capable, it's just that I'm not using those capabilities for things that would actually be useful for myself and perhaps even society. On some level, I recognize that it's odd. it's always getting on my about "wasting" my life.

    Given this, can the bully shadow actually be useful, as a motivational tool, if I was to see iit as something to overcome, and get rid of?

    I don't feel that this shadow is something that can never be satisfied, so perhaps if I were to pay more heed to it, it would stop bothering me so much.

    Is this also where your idea of Te, or the extraverted aspect of Thinking, as a "bullly" comes from?

    The attitude of this bully in me does seem very "Te"... it's obsessed with being useful.
    Free me from Zoobilee Zoo...

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