Developing Cognitive functions not in your preference

Developing Cognitive functions not in your preference

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This is a discussion on Developing Cognitive functions not in your preference within the Cognitive Functions forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; Ok, so I'm still familiarizing myself with Myers Briggs theory and the cognitive functions particularly. I've just come back from ...

  1. #1
    Unknown Personality


    Developing Cognitive functions not in your preference

    Ok, so I'm still familiarizing myself with Myers Briggs theory and the cognitive functions particularly. I've just come back from a month long ban and noticed this new section. I'm happy it's here because I've had a lot of curiousities about cognitive functions. Particularly I would like to know about developing functions that aren't in your preference of dominant, auxilary, teriary, or inferior functions.

    I'm sure there's a whole lot of information on this so someone who knows more, can you please post here and tell me more about developing functions that aren't in your preferences. Thanks in advance
    scarygirl thanked this post.



  2. #2
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    It's very difficult if not impossible to develop them at least in the sense that you can use them consciously. These functions are essentially part of your shadow (the personal unconscious). I think the goal is less to try to make them conscious and more to assimilate them. That is, to recognize them as being part of yourself instead of projecting them on to others.

    The key to recognizing these functions is to understand their "shadowy" nature. When we unconsciously use our shadow functions, we use them in a disagreeable nature. Let me give you an example. According to Beebe, Freud was Fi-dominant. Here's a bit that he wrote about Freud's use of "demonic" Ti:

    What is the evidence for shadow introverted thinking? Introverted thinking involves naming things in fresh ways, in relation less to outer definitions already agreed upon than to an archetypal sense of the things’ unconscious resonance. A non-shadowy introverted thinking can often find just the right name for something, but a shadowy introverted thinking may choose a name that gives the thing named a disagreeable association.

    Thus Freud named the normal attachment that little boys have for their mothers the ‘Oedipus’ complex, and the normal interest we all have in our own self-image, ‘Narcissism’. But Oedipus actually slept with (and even married) his mother, and had to blind himself for the transgression of looking at her naked. And Narcissus fell in love with his image in a river and drowned trying to kiss it.
    The shadow functions often come out when you're mad or stressed for good reason: that's their use. But I think that if you recognize them, you can keep them from running amok and coming out at the wrong time. Indeed, Freud's "shadowy" naming of the Oedipus complex and Narcissism often causes people to misunderstand the concepts.

  3. #3
    Unknown Personality


    Quote Originally Posted by amnorvend View Post
    That is, to recognize them as being part of yourself instead of projecting them on to others.
    What do you mean by that? ^

    Also, I am a bit confused by the term 'shadow' function. Some clarification would be fantastic

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  5. #4
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by purplevelvetmask View Post
    What do you mean by that? ^

    Also, I am a bit confused by the term 'shadow' function. Some clarification would be fantastic
    "Shadow functions" are the functions you're talking about: the functions that aren't your primary, auxiliary, tertiary, or inferior. They essentially make up your Shadow.

    Let me give you an example. I am an INTP, which makes Te a shadow function. In general, Te will be concerned with people operating under a common set of logic to better meet their goals. However, shadowy Te might be concerned more with controlling people rather than getting them to work properly. And if I unknowingly use Te to that end, that's what I'll do. The thing is that it takes a great deal of awareness to see this. If we don't, we "project" it. I'll see people who are using Te as people that are trying to control me when in reality I'm just seeing the part of myself in them.

    You might want to see this thread if you want to know more about this.

  6. #5
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by purplevelvetmask View Post
    Ok, so I'm still familiarizing myself with Myers Briggs theory and the cognitive functions particularly. I've just come back from a month long ban and noticed this new section. I'm happy it's here because I've had a lot of curiousities about cognitive functions. Particularly I would like to know about developing functions that aren't in your preference of dominant, auxilary, teriary, or inferior functions.

    I'm sure there's a whole lot of information on this so someone who knows more, can you please post here and tell me more about developing functions that aren't in your preferences. Thanks in advance
    I think what you have described here, the development of our I/E opposing functions, is a very interesting idea.

    To begin, we need to recognise that each of us does exercise all of the eight different functions to some degree and level of maturity, but in different situations.
    It is generally understood that when we become extremely stressed in the normal use of our cognitive functionality, we can to 'switch' to an alter-ego type state. For the purpose of coping with a set of stressful circumstances, we attempt to associate our selves with a personality type that is better suited to dealing with the circumstances, and dissociate ourselves, or 'pull back', from our normal type. The personalty that we take-on is referred to as our shadow type.

    For example:
    The normal cognitive function model of an ENTP is Ne Ti Fe Si.
    The shadow cognitive function model of an ENTP is Ni Te Fi Se.
    The normal cognitive function model of an INTJ is Ni Te Fi Se

    What can be seen from this example is that the ENTP when under extreme stress exhibits the normal cognitive functionality of an INTJ. Developing, and thereby maturing, our shadow functions is by no means an easy task, but could be useful as it is likely to reduce the duration and effects of extreme stress on us, and make us more resilient to whatever life throws at us.

    As I have said, developing these functions is not likely to be an easy task. This is because we associate the use of them with stress, and most of us don't like stress. If you are going to attempt such an exercise, it is STRONGLY recommended that you do so under supervision, and that the supervisor has enough insight and self discipline to maintain an objective perspective while allowing you to explore another side of yourself. It is not enough that an ENTP is supervised by an INTJ. You may wish some instruction and guidance from your 'opposite' type, but a supervisor needs to be just as familiar, and comfortable, with your normal and shadow types as with their own, so that they are able to recognise if it is getting too much for you and can help bring you 'back to reality'.
    It is also important that you follow some sort of a plan, such that you are allowed time to prepare, time to explore, and time to recover. This plan is, by necessity, very personal, and your supervisor should help you to set goals and prepare methods that will be helpful. (I'm sure that for some, the process of preparation will be as much of a learning experience as the actual execution of the task.)

    I hope this helps. :)
    clairdelunatic thanked this post.

  7. #6
    INTJ - The Scientists

    [QUOTE=amnorvend;799588]"Shadow functions" are the functions you're talking about: the functions that aren't your primary, auxiliary, tertiary, or inferior. They essentially make up your Shadow.

    Let me give you an example. I am an INTP, which makes Te a shadow function. In general, Te will be concerned with people operating under a common set of logic to better meet their goals. However, shadowy Te might be concerned more with controlling people rather than getting them to work properly. And if I unknowingly use Te to that end, that's what I'll do. The thing is that it takes a great deal of awareness to see this. If we don't, we "project" it. I'll see people who are using Te as people that are trying to control me when in reality I'm just seeing the part of myself in them.
    QUOTE]

    What you've described here is not development of the Te function, but immature use of it. It is easy enough to recognise the immature use of a function, but it is quite another matter to attempt development of it.

  8. #7
    Unknown Personality


    I think what you have described here, the development of our I/E opposing functions, is a very interesting idea.
    Thanks, it's actually been bugging me as to whether or not this is possible and if so to what degree. I wanted to see what others thought and if anyone has any experience with this.

    To begin, we need to recognise that each of us does exercise all of the eight different functions to some degree and level of maturity, but in different situations.
    If we all use the eight functions to some degree under some circumstances, perhaps developing our I/E opposing functions is easier than it may appear.

    For example:
    The normal cognitive function model of an ENTP is Ne Ti Fe Si.
    The shadow cognitive function model of an ENTP is Ni Te Fi Se.
    The normal cognitive function model of an INTJ is Ni Te Fi Se

    What can be seen from this example is that the ENTP when under extreme stress exhibits the normal cognitive functionality of an INTJ. Developing, and thereby maturing, our shadow functions is by no means an easy task, but could be useful as it is likely to reduce the duration and effects of extreme stress on us, and make us more resilient to whatever life throws at us.
    So you're saying that developing our shadow functions will only be useful in so much that they'll help us deal with life's stressful events? What about fullfilling your potential as a human being? What about living life to the fullest by experiencing all facets to your persoanlity even those that you thought were inaccesible? The question is to what degree do we shape our own personality...

    As I have said, developing these functions is not likely to be an easy task. This is because we associate the use of them with stress, and most of us don't like stress. If you are going to attempt such an exercise, it is STRONGLY recommended that you do so under supervision, and that the supervisor has enough insight and self discipline to maintain an objective perspective while allowing you to explore another side of yourself. It is not enough that an ENTP is supervised by an INTJ. You may wish some instruction and guidance from your 'opposite' type, but a supervisor needs to be just as familiar, and comfortable, with your normal and shadow types as with their own, so that they are able to recognise if it is getting too much for you and can help bring you 'back to reality'.
    It surely can't be that dangerous, can it?

  9. #8
    Unknown Personality


    Quote Originally Posted by amnorvend View Post

    The shadow functions often come out when you're mad or stressed for good reason: that's their use. But I think that if you recognize them, you can keep them from running amok and coming out at the wrong time. Indeed, Freud's "shadowy" naming of the Oedipus complex and Narcissism often causes people to misunderstand the concepts.
    So, if you learn to develop them so that they are accessible to your personality and you grow to use them outside of stressful situations or 'shadow' modes, are they likey to be more under your control so that the next time you break up with your girlfriend you have 4 drinks instead of 8 on an Se rampage?
    Neon Knight thanked this post.

  10. #9
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by purplevelvetmask View Post
    If we all use the eight functions to some degree under some circumstances, perhaps developing our I/E opposing functions is easier than it may appear.
    The ease with which one can develop a particular function is directly proportional to the mental energy, or willpower, required to exercise it.
    We all have one function that comes naturally for us, all other functions require proportionally greater quantities of willpower to use.

    Quote Originally Posted by purplevelvetmask View Post
    So you're saying that developing our shadow functions will only be useful in so much that they'll help us deal with life's stressful events?
    Yes, I believe that is correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by purplevelvetmask View Post
    What about fulfilling your potential as a human being? What about living life to the fullest by experiencing all facets to your personality even those that you thought were inaccessible?
    Fulfilling your potential as an individual human being is about developing your natural abilities in a healthy environment. It is about filling the potential of your natural endowments, not about seeking to replace them. Only one can be master, all others must be subjected to it. Development of the shadow functions requires the I/E opposing function to usurp the place of your natural preference. Prolonged exercise of the shadow functions is not healthy for the individual, nor for those around.

    Quote Originally Posted by purplevelvetmask View Post
    The question is to what degree do we shape our own personality...
    There are many influences on our personality, (biological, psychological, sociological, psycho-spiritual...) The degree to which we are masters of our own destiny is an open debate.

    Quote Originally Posted by purplevelvetmask View Post
    It surely can't be that dangerous, can it?
    Yes, it is that dangerous! I can't emphasise this enough!

    Most cases of clinically diagnosed Depression are due to induced periods of sustained stress.
    Do Not attempt such exercises without proper support and planning.
    clairdelunatic thanked this post.

  11. #10
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    Hang on a moment - we are jumping the gun a little here with talking about developing the 4 shadow functions.

    Let us talk about the first four functions

    Our dominant we will use naturally

    Our auxiliary is very important to develop as it gives us balance, i.e. the ability to apply judgment to our perceptions, or the ability to collect current or future information for our judgment function to use.

    Our tertiary is a little more tricky. It will be directly opposed to the auxiliary in the way it operates i.e. thinking or feeling, and also in attitude: extroverted if the axillary is introverted and vice-versa. Its use precludes the use of the auxiliary, i.e. they will not be used simultaneously i.e. you either use thought or feeling to make a decision, you either perceive the forest or the trees. Depending on the situation one may be more appropriate than the other, so developing the tertiary rounds out a persons abilities. Nevertheless it will require more willpower and awareness to use than the auxiliary.

    The inferior function is our achilles heel, the areas in life we have an inferiority complex about. Trying to strengthen this area is worthwhile, but often doesn't happen until mid-life. Often you will have no wish to operate this way, or may be scared to do so. It will take a great deal of willpower and will be a little like using your left hand if you are right handed. Prolonged periods using the inferior function may lead to breakdown.This function will be in use everyday, but by and large you will not be aware of it. Because it is completely unconscious it is wild and uncultivated by conscious use - it will usually express itself in a negative fashion. It may burst though if you use your dominant to excess - this is the psyche re-balancing itself. It may also come through from stress or other triggers such as tiredness. Family and friends who know how to 'press your buttons' can put you into this state,which has been called 'in the grip'.

    As someone has already mentioned we tend to project this function onto others, seeing flaws that are unknowingly our own. There is so much more to say on this, and we have not even touched the four archetypal or shadow functions!!!!


     
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