When a person is actively using his base function, the role function
is essentially turned off. The two cannot both be "on" at the same time, because they represent two opposing approaches to similar things. Because of this opposition, the more one gets carried away with one's base function, the more the role function is ignored or suppressed. People are generally somewhat aware of this suppression and perceive it as a personal weakness that needs to be "worked on" in order to meet other people's expectations and achieve something in society. It is typical for people to periodically work on their role function in order to correct imbalances in their life and improve their weak areas. However, these attempts are generally sporadic and are forgotten as soon as the perceived problem begins to go away and the person once again becomes carried away with their usual lifestyle which is dominated by their base function. Thus, development of the role function is more like patching up leaks than building a complete, self-sufficient structure. Often individuals wish they could build up their role function and become "supermen", but an excessive focus on this unreachable goal brings disappointment, because the base function always wins anyways.
When people are criticized for their lack of attentiveness to their role function, they are often irritated because they are already well aware of the deficiency and have already tried and failed to correct it. When problems arise with the role function, energy flows away from the base function, the individual brings his usual activities to a halt, and tries to pick up all the tasks he had been neglecting. Directing energy through the base function is effortless; working with the role function requires effort and concentration. Thus, people's concept of self-development is often centered on development of the role function and the Super-Ego block in general.
Compared to the vulnerable function, role function criticism is easier for a person to respond to or dismiss, since they believe that it has some value, in theory. The role function is triggered situationally, when individuals are met with situations that oppose their base aspect of reality
. The base function only accepts information relating to its information aspect, and other information cannot be produced into new data with the creative function.