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  1. #1
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Default Acting like the opposite type in the times of hardship and depression

    While observing people, I noticed a strange thing: when people have hard times, they might start acting like an opposite or quasi - opposite of themselves. First I noticed it in literarature with fictional characters( spoilers! take Count of Monte - Cristo before and after his imprisonment: before he was something of an IxFP, and after that he started to act like an ENTJ, which is almost the opposite person) , but I didn' t pay much attention to it because well, they' re fictional characters, and not real people. But then I started to notice a similar behaviour pattern in real people. My best friend, who is an ENFP, was acting ISTJ - ish after she found out her boyfriend cheated on her. She, who generally was a dreamy, flamboyant, short tempered and idealistic individualist, started to be the calm by - the - book with an overly direct approach. Finally, I noticed this in myself. 1 - 2 years ago I was seriously depressed. I' ll leave the reasons that caused it behind the pages, since I consider it too personal. I felt horrible, and the inability to solve that problem made me feel even worse. I tried to repress it and not let it influence my life, but it only made things worse. Then, that thing got really critical. I was constantly thinking about it, I felt unbearable, it made me so upset that even when I tried to do something in order to distract myself, it got in the way. It didn' t help that I had no one to really ask for advice( yes, contrary to a stereotype, INTJs aren' t know - it - alls who can always solve all their problems on their own, they sometimes might ask for advice when they need it) , since the advice my friends were giving me didn' t quite fit with my view on the world and principles( which I was reluctant to abandon) , and my parents weren' t the ones who would understand. As always, I was completely alone in fighting my demons. I generally got used to fighting them on my own, even though others might have offered unnecessary help. Yet, this time I needed help the most, and it didn' t come. This made thinking unbearable. Then, I started trying to repress my pain, hide it from others, displace it with something else. It was like " don' t think, because thinking is no longer safe" . From my childhood, I was good at bottling up my emotions for later, and releasing them in the right moments to fake the expression I needed and make others believe me( it was helping me back when I used to play in a school theater) . Then, I started releasing all of these emotions, acting much more emotionally than I used to. I tried to shift my attention to everyday and mundane things, trying to focus only on here and now istead of the demons inside my mind. I was glad to get out anywhere from my house just not to feel the pain thinking of that problem brought to me. I, who hardly ever puts make up on, started using it just to distract myself. Luckily, I managed to find a way to cope with my problems, and I got back to my original personality as I recovered from it, and now I am okay.
    But now when I look back and analyze my state at that time, I also see this same pattern. In a stress situation I started acting like a total opposite of myself, an xSFP, I would say. I believe the explanation to this is that in the times of hardship, our natural dominant brain functions handle the problem for more efficiency( since they are mostly our preferred brain processes from birth, and we are more accustomed to using them). Yet, when the processes are overloaded and still unable to solve the problem, the brain temporarily swaps the order of the cognitive functions, making the ones less used dominant and the dominant ones less used to unload the brain and keep it functioning normally, it results in a person acting reverse to their original thought process. If the problem is still not dealt with, the reverse cognitive function order might become permanent.
    I wonder if something ever happened to any of you people? Do you believe cognitive functions order can swap during stress or mental load? What do you think?

  2. #2
    LadyLazarus
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    Yes this phenomenon is referred to as the shadow, we use our inferior functions more/ use our functions in backwards order during times of stress. For example, as an INTJ you would be my shadow and I yours, as we use the same functions in reverse order.

  3. #3
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    An ENFP experiencing their shadow would resemble an unhealthy INFJ.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    Wait, isn't an INTJ's shadow ENTP? This is like 3/14 the reason I chose INTJ.

  5. #5
    LadyLazarus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nights and Days View Post
    An ENFP experiencing their shadow would resemble an unhealthy INFJ.

    @LadyLazarus
    I see, I've always thought our shadow was what I just mentioned but I read that online so I'm not secure in trying to defend this information, in addition to the fact that I have also heard our shadow is the type that uses our opposite functions(ie. ESFP and ISFJ) instead of the same functions is reverse order like the first theory suggests. Honestly, I'm not sure which one is the valid theory.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    My understanding is that your "shadow" is functions 5-8, so an e/i inversion of your first four functions. INTJ's NiTeFiSe become ENTP's NeTiFeSi.

  7. #7
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Default

    Still, I' m sure that I am not ISFJ(In fact, I find Si the hardest function to relate to, and this leads to complications in communicating with my SJ family members. As for Fe, I got how it works, but I still don' t get how can one treat such subjective things as morality and traditions as if they are objective. It' s like understanding the way a mechanism works, but considering the technology it was made with unreliable. No offense meant to Fe - doms. ) . As for my friend being an ESTP, it' s blurred, but I' m still pretty sure that she doesn' t use Fe either.
    As for using shadow functions, I believe I can occasionally use Ti and Ne( I guess that' s where the messy cognitive functions test result and the INTP/ INTJ confusion in me comes from) . I got how they work, I consider them pretty logical, and I might use them if it means achieving what I want.

  8. #8
    Senior Member yeghor's Avatar
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  9. #9
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    If it is necessary for the pursuit of any objective, my Te-Ni is easily accessible. In this stage, I relinquish control to my shadow due to my dominant and auxiliary functions not being very effective. It manifests mainly as a struggle between Te directness and Fe diplomacy.

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