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    Default integration of the inferior

    Do you all think that knowing about Jungian type actually speeds up the course of progressing through the stages of integration? Not that it's a process that ever ends. But would a person who learns of mbti at age 20 have a bigger advantage than one that learns at age 30 say?

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    Im not sure. I was almost thirty when I got into MBTI and it took years to understand a lot of it and correctly type myself (I typed as INFP on the official MBTI I paid for). However through the boxed social environment of internet forums I was able to observe patterns in my own behavior and learn from others, and I realized my "Te" force was just my Se desire to impact and be attuned to whatever environment I focus on, and that any Te I showed was in reality a spot on caricature of the IXFP in the grip of the inferior, acting out defensively like a little Hitler when Fi is crossed.

    Meanwhile my room looks like the colorful and ecclectic victim of a small hurricane. I don't like to expend energy externally quantifying, but I still rely on Te for my measure of logic.

    Honestly I really don't know that we fully integrate the inferior or that it can be sped up, but we can learn to be a healthier version of who we are.

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    I think that integration of the inferior requires some need for it(conflict between dom and inferior functions that needs to be solved by ego letting go of the dom a bit and learning to consider the opposite). People who know typology can do it easier, since obviously they have some idea what needs to be done. This conflict can arise in 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's or never. For me it hit me when i was 23 and im glad i got into typology more after it hit me, instead of learning about it later..
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    In my own opinion, giving too much weight to anyone's theory about "integrating an inferior" is liable to stunt emotional growth rather than inculcate it. I think it's best to take in information lightly and to listen primarily to one's own experience, letting the latter be more the guide.

    Learning about personality types has been helpful to me in that, in listening to other NiFe'ers, I have gotten a better idea of what my authentic needs are. Many people show up here and proffer theory after theory about functions (sometimes it's their own theory, sometimes it's their interpretation of original text on theory- it's usually some amalgamation of the two, and quite often it seems like they don't realize how much they've added in their own interpretation)- but I personally haven't really gotten much from the generic formulations people apply to function theory; e.g. "focus on X task to strengthen Y function." The only time the 'inferior function' is a problem for me is when I am stressed- and ultimately self awareness (being aware of my needs and taking care of them) is what makes having Se as inferior less problematic for me. Reading other NiFe accounts and realizing sometimes my own experience is similar- cultivating self awareness from that- is how learning about 'cognitive functions' has been most helpful to my overall cognitive/emotional development.

    tl;dr version: Yes, learning about cognitive functions has been helpful- but only when it's all taken with a grain of salt. eta: Ultimately I think Jung would say the purpose of all of it anyway is to help people integrate their unconsciousness/shadow- and I think knowing a little something about cognitive functions does help....but like anything else, if you learn it through rote instead of introspection (rote = memorize and regurgitate), it's likely to just add to the unconscious clutter instead of helping clean it up. That's my understanding, anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    In my own opinion, giving too much weight to anyone's theory about "integrating an inferior" is liable to stunt emotional growth rather than inculcate it. I think it's best to take in information lightly and to listen primarily to one's own experience, letting the latter be more the guide.

    Learning about personality types has been helpful to me in that, in listening to other NiFe'ers, I have gotten a better idea of what my authentic needs are. Many people show up here and proffer theory after theory about functions (sometimes it's their own theory, sometimes it's their interpretation of original text on theory- it's usually some amalgamation of the two, and quite often it seems like they don't realize how much they've added in their own interpretation)- but I personally haven't really gotten much from the generic formulations people apply to function theory; e.g. "focus on X task to strengthen Y function." The only time the 'inferior function' is a problem for me is when I am stressed- and ultimately self awareness (being aware of my needs and taking care of them) is what makes having Se as inferior less problematic for me. Reading other NiFe accounts and realizing sometimes my own experience is similar- cultivating self awareness from that- is how learning about 'cognitive functions' has been most helpful to my overall cognitive/emotional development.

    tl;dr version: Yes, learning about cognitive functions has been helpful- but only when it's all taken with a grain of salt. eta: Ultimately I think Jung would say the purpose of all of it anyway is to help people integrate their unconsciousness/shadow- and I think knowing a little something about cognitive functions does help....but like anything else, if you learn it through rote instead of introspection (rote = memorize and regurgitate), it's likely to just add to the unconscious clutter instead of helping clean it up. That's my understanding, anyway.
    I agree that integration of the inferior is highly individual thing and that there isnt some guide you can follow to gain the power of the inferior or something like that.. However there are some things that people can do and which depend on the type. For example mindfulness meditation for Ni doms is good, because it puts focus on Se purely. This sort of activation of Se due to meditation techniques can help Se to flourish more freely without dominant Ni getting on its way(which is the point in developing inferior), since mindfulness meditation basically is that, focus on sensations as they are and try to get rid of all thoughts, associations and feelings that the unconscious tries to evoke from the sensation.

    But with other types it might be more tricky, especially those with J functions as dom/inferior. I havent looked much in other self-development techniques which could be helpful for other types, but mindfulness meditation seems like its made for INFJs. Then there is the battle of aux/tert as well, which imo at least in the case of INFJ needs to come from realizations in life. Like what i have seen in many INFJs is the Fe's need to be there for others, help them, support them etc. then one day realizing that it seems to be the only thing that people you have surrounded yourself with wants from you or they want it more from you than you can give, yet you give and give even tho it tires you, but maybe there is no one to give that to you. Or some variation of that. What this comes from is leaning on Fe too much instead of focusing on analyzing these people from logical point of view for example "If X only calls me when he needs a shoulder, then i am nothing much more than a shoulder to him. Being a shoulder for X makes me drained(= negative), i get nothing in return(=negative) and i am being treated as a shoulder only, even tho i am much more(=negative).". I know that the example is a bit black and white and i am sure that in clear cases like that, many INFJs even if they havent developed much TiSe will see as something not to do. But the thing is that real life is never that black and white, but its all shades. So what no book or technique can teach is where goes the line between acceptable and not acceptable in these shades of life.
    I have also seen an INFJ irl go too deep into cynical mode because learning to lean on Ti too much because Fe "betrayed" her when she was only trying to be nice, but it just drained and gave nothing in return..

    But the main thing in developing any functions is not just to train the function, but learning to consciously make decisions based on both thinking and feeling. The preference for in my case thinking doesent have to disappear, but the ego needs to learn to value feeling as well and what feeling says on stuff instead of just automatically 98% of the times choose thinking and not even hear what feeling says from all the thinking or ignoring what feeling says if its heard. What i strive to do with my T and F when they both have something to say(which ofc isnt always) is to stop and be like "okay thinking says this and that, then feeling says that" and from that start the evaluation of the situation and try to find a way that incorporates both or violates neither if possible. But to learn more trust in Fe in me and developing it to a level where it is at least somehow worthy of that trust is again something that is not as simple as stop and both think and feel..
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    Do you all think that knowing about Jungian type actually speeds up the course of progressing through the stages of integration? Not that it's a process that ever ends. But would a person who learns of mbti at age 20 have a bigger advantage than one that learns at age 30 say?
    My type is INFP, and my Inferior is Te (extraverted thinking). Te "governs" a significant number of daily skills and systems: productivity, organization, and management/leadership, including everything from filing systems to scheduling to time management.

    So here's a chronological breakdown of how I "integrated my inferior":

    In my twenties and thirties, I didn't know anything about MBTI or cognitive functions. But I was in the military and later in leadership and management posts, so I had to gain at least a passing familiarity with various individual Te-related skills as the need arose. Often I mastered those skills with great difficulty, IOW, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. I didn't really know what the problem was or why those skills were so difficult for me; I just knew that some skills were easy for others and difficult for me. I generally side-stepped Te-related skills as long as I could, and then attained some passing proficiency in them when I absolutely had to.

    In my mid-40s, I learned about MBTI but didn't learn anything about cognitive functions. So at that point I mainly focused on delving into what it meant to be an INFP: Posting to INFP message boards and that sort of thing. As for the material dealing with Inferior Te that I was reading about in MBTI books: The descriptions of what happened to INFPs when stressed weren't of much interest to me; I had been there and done that. I didn't really see much to learn there, other than to be more aware of when I was getting stressed and try to manage it better.

    In my early 50s I finally started delving into cognitive functions. And that was a real eye-opener, especially as I started investigating my weaker functions (Fe and Te in particular). Finally I could see Te and Fe activities holistically, IOW, I could see them as related "complexes" of skills and see why they had always been such a headache for me. And with that new outlook, I suddenly became much more interested in learning more about them. Having already mastered some of the skills associated with those functions, I became interested in seeing how all the Te or the Fe skills related to each other. I've been reading lots of self-help books on time management or personal organization or whatever (Te) or on networking, social strategies, and sales (Fe). And with that new knowledge, I started looking for opportunities to practice Te and Fe skills in my daily life.

    And that's pretty much where I'm at today.

    Naturally, it's hard to say what I would have done if I had had all this same knowledge in my 20s. I don't think that learning about MBTI by itself really helped me in my 40s with "integration of the inferior"; instead, it took an in-depth study of the cognitive functions in my 50s to get me to look past my strongest functions and really start investigating the weaker functions.

    But once I undertook that in-depth study of the cognitive functions in my 50s, I found it very useful. At that point, more than anything else I just needed time and leisure to undertake the study of the functions and sort out the new material in some way that would make it useful on a daily IRL basis.

    But just to answer the question in the OP: Yes, I imagine that if I knew in my 20s what I know now about cognitive functions, that knowledge would have made it a hell of a lot easier to master skills related to inferior Te, resulting in more maturity and self-confidence.

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    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    Do you all think that knowing about Jungian type actually speeds up the course of progressing through the stages of integration? Not that it's a process that ever ends. But would a person who learns of mbti at age 20 have a bigger advantage than one that learns at age 30 say?
    Simply knowing it may not do very much. There can be some gain simply from knowing. It depends on the person. I don't think learning at 20 or 30 makes a difference. It depends on whether or not the person is ready to hear these truths.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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