I'm really getting tired of this. Everyone has their own private understanding of the functions, and discussion seems meaningless.
I'm more confused than ever now. I agree or I disagree, or both. Or I don't care anymore, MBTI suddenly seems to make little sense.
I have always thought of the functions as putting you in different "ego-states", that is, when we are in the grip of a shadow function we feel like "not ourselves". I'm a bit lazy so I'll just quote this:
So, if you see it this way, the functions can't "build upon one another" (each of the ego-syntonic functions also play specific roles). If you see it some other way there is no point in discussing it. ><Here's a new wrinkle: the first four functions listed above are what Dr. John Beebe calls "ego-syntonic." That means when we access these functions, we are in "synch" with them. They feel comfortable, they come naturally to us, and we feel "normal" when we use them. When we access them, our "ego" says, "Yep, that's me."
What about those last four functions?
Dr. Beebe calls those functions "ego-dystonic." That means those functions do not come as easily or naturally to us, and we do not feel "normal" when we use them -- in fact, we feel like we're alien, not ourselves. When we access them, our ego says, "Who was that? That doesn't feel right. That's not like me!"
As a result, we naturally tend to be more deft and graceful at using our first four functions than our last four functions.