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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading the ENTJ descrption on Personality Page (Portrait of an ENTJ) and found the following statement interesting:

ENTJs are very forceful, decisive individuals. They make decisions quickly, and are quick to verbalize their opinions and decisions to the rest of the world. The ENTJ who has not developed their Intuition will make decisions too hastily, without understanding all of the issues and possible solutions. On the other hand, an ENTJ who has not developed their Thinking side will have difficulty applying logic to their insights, and will often make poor decisions. In that case, they may have brilliant ideas and insight into situations, but they may have little skill at determining how to act upon their understanding, or their actions may be inconsistent.
What I found most interesting was the bolded part of the quote. It has always been my understanding that our dominant function was the one that came most naturally to us, thus I assumed that it would always be the strongest, always. However this statement seems to imply that it is possible, at least in some cases, for the dominant function to be under developed compared to the aux function.

Is it possible for an aux function to be (or seem) more developed than a dominant function?
Has anyone observed this in their experience with typology?
Is this just an ENTJ phenomenon? Or could this happen with other types as well?

Any insight, thoughts, opinions, etc are appreciated.
 

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MOTM August 2012
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In short no. Otherwise it would not be the dominant function. He's taking behavior and trying to make the theory work to fit an observation not the other way around. It is perfectly plausible though for the aux to be almost as developed as the dominant, and potentially during this process a person may come off as being their aux type (so an ENTJ might appear to be a Ni-dom as they are developing Ni, this would probably happen while the person was a teenager or so), but Te is still the dominant function.
 

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In short no. Otherwise it would not be the dominant function. He's taking behavior and trying to make the theory work to fit an observation not the other way around. It is perfectly plausible though for the aux to be almost as developed as the dominant, and potentially during this process a person may come off as being their aux type (so an ENTJ might appear to be a Ni-dom as they are developing Ni, this would probably happen while the person was a teenager or so), but Te is still the dominant function.
That's interesting. Do you think it's possible for the functions (dominant + aux) to blend together and look like another function completely?
 

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MOTM August 2012
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I dunno about blend since the dom and aux are characteristically very different from one another, one a judging function, one a perception function. But they do function like a captain and his first mate. Remember they still exist for separate reasons, a function to tell us what is (Sensation), a function to define what it is conceptually (Thinking), a function to tell us whether its good or not (Feeling), etc. So blending two would be sort of like blending the fingers on your hand. Each performs its own role.

The tertiary, in Lenore's analogy is something like a rogue crewmember on ski's behind the ship trying to get everyone to have a little fun and the Inferior function is mutinous who threatens to upset everything the dominant is doing and who the dominant would much rather pretend doesn't exist or kick off the boat altogether.
 

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Ace of Spades
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In short no. Otherwise it would not be the dominant function. He's taking behavior and trying to make the theory work to fit an observation not the other way around. It is perfectly plausible though for the aux to be almost as developed as the dominant, and potentially during this process a person may come off as being their aux type (so an ENTJ might appear to be a Ni-dom as they are developing Ni, this would probably happen while the person was a teenager or so), but Te is still the dominant function.
I know that was just speculation, but this may be what happened to me as a teen. To be fair, I also suffered mental illness so that could've been the cause of my withdrawal.

To the OP, my answer is that this can certainly apply to MBTI, but it cannot apply to Cognitive Function theory. The statement you bolded is exactly the issue I've had up until recent years. To the untrained eye, I appear ENTP-ish apparently. If I were to predict my behaviour in JCF terms, I may currently be beginning to express my tertiary Se.
 

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MOTM August 2012
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Here's the actual quote from Psychotherapy where Von Franz describes what happens
Once a person has experienced the problem of the functions, the next step in the process of psychic development is to assimilate the two auxiliary functions. One must not forget that the assimilation of these functions is such a difficult task that people generally spend a very long time at it. Sometimes people actually become a certain type, which was not their original type, for eight or ten years.

To assimilate a function means to live with that function in the foreground. If one does a little cooking or sewing, it does not mean that the sensation function has been assimilated. Assimilation means that the whole adaptation of conscious life, for a while, lies on that one function. Switching over to an auxiliary function takes place when one feels that the present way of living has become lifeless, when one gets more or less constantly bored with oneself and one's activities. Generally it happens that one does not have to come to a theoretical conclusion about which function to switch to. The best way to know how to switch is simply to say: "All right, all this is now completely boring; it does not mean anything to me anymore. Where in my past life is an activity that I feel I could still enjoy? An activity out of which I could still get a kick?" If a person then genuinely picks up that activity, he will see that he has switched over to another function.

However, touching the Inferior function resembles an inner breakdown at a certain crucial point of one's life. It has the advantage, however, of overcoming the tyranny of the dominant function in the ego complex. If someone has really gone through this transformation he can use his thinking function, if that is the appropriate reaction, or he can let intuition or sensation come into operation, but he is no longer possessed by one dominant function.

Jung quotes again and again this old saying of the legendary alchemist and author Maria Prophetissa: "One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth."...Out of the third comes not the fourth but the One
What she is saying is that the (rare) person who is able to truly assimilate their functions essentially becomes type less. As type is a differentiation or splintering of the ego, assimilating the inferior function removes the need for one function to dominate. Of course this is highly rare, maybe some monks and the like have achieved such a thing, but the inferior function carries the power to overtake the whole of the conscious sphere (which is why most people never get that far as it would mean the swallowing up of everything you thought you were).

Also she is not saying that types change. Because I know a bunch of people will run off and say "hey Von Franz said my type can change and I was an ENFJ and now I'm an INTP" or some other nonsense. What she is saying that while you are assimilating a function you will take up the corresponding issues related to that function (so someone integrating thinking will have the corresponding issues regarding Feeling. A person assimilating Intuition, may have the same sensation hang ups as a dominant Intuitive will). They may effectively look the part of a Intuitive or Thinking type for a moment, without actually being either (this is why MBTI-type tests don't really tell us much because the process of type is much deeper than can be revealed on a self-report test. Jung would spend years with patients before declaring them a type and even modern Jungians are quick not to simply say "oh Feeling type" because it may not be as apparent as you think. Many people end up being the exact opposite of what they claim they are.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know that was just speculation, but this may be what happened to me as a teen. To be fair, I also suffered mental illness so that could've been the cause of my withdrawal.

To the OP, my answer is that this can certainly apply to MBTI, but it cannot apply to Cognitive Function theory. The statement you bolded is exactly the issue I've had up until recent years. To the untrained eye, I appear ENTP-ish apparently. If I were to predict my behaviour in JCF terms, I may currently be beginning to express my tertiary Se.
When you say "up until recent years" do you mean for your entire life (or as much as you can remember)? Or that there was a time when you didn't have this issue, then had it for a number of years, then came back out of it?

Also, if you do mean your entire life, how did you arrive at ENTJ for your type? It seems to me that someone who would have difficulty applying logic to their insights (or just information they are gatering) would be an introvert. So I'm curious as to how you realized that your dominant function was extraverted and not introverted because to me it seems the most logical conclusion based on that pattern would be that your dominant function was introverted. Yet this is apparently not the case for you.
 

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Ace of Spades
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When you say "up until recent years" do you mean for your entire life (or as much as you can remember)? Or that there was a time when you didn't have this issue, then had it for a number of years, then came back out of it?

Also, if you do mean your entire life, how did you arrive at ENTJ for your type? It seems to me that someone who would have difficulty applying logic to their insights (or just information they are gatering) would be an introvert. So I'm curious as to how you realized that your dominant function was extraverted and not introverted because to me it seems the most logical conclusion based on that pattern would be that your dominant function was introverted. Yet this is apparently not the case for you.
Great observation! I still think I might be Ni-dom. I only recently settled on ENTJ, being self-typed as INTJ before. The answer to this is complex, as well-balanced people tend not to fit neatly into typology. I can't say if that was a temporary thing or not, as I wasn't aware of it as a child. I think it's more a matter of personal growth and learning to adapt to the world, not "developing certain functions". My preference is for the realm of the abstract, but I'm outward-focused in the sense that I like to experience, not just contemplate.
 

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@Spades

So, if you like to experience, you think Se isn't your inferior function? That seems believable enough by far, at least hearing this as an inferior Se user myself (I find that I tend to underrate physical experiences often, such as going for walks and whatnot), although it would definitely depend on what you mean by this.
 
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Ace of Spades
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@Spades

So, if you like to experience, you think Se isn't your inferior function? That seems believable enough by far, at least hearing this as an inferior Se user myself (I find that I tend to underrate physical experiences often, such as going for walks and whatnot), although it would definitely depend on what you mean by this.
It might be function-related, or not at all. I see value in experience. Experience confirms theory, experience gives new perspective, experience inspires new ideas and wisdom. I see life as one big science experiment. By theorizing, you are only getting half the story. By only action and no reflection, you are also getting only half the story. I see it as a synthesis of both, to give the most complete and fulfilling interpretation of life.
 

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@Spades

Okay, now I'm not thinking that this is particularly type related, other than it has a heavily T flavor to it, which I find highly relatable as well, most likely Te.
 
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It might be function-related, or not at all. I see value in experience. Experience confirms theory, experience gives new perspective, experience inspires new ideas and wisdom. I see life as one big science experiment. By theorizing, you are only getting half the story. By only action and no reflection, you are also getting only half the story. I see it as a synthesis of both, to give the most complete and fulfilling interpretation of life.
lol... sometimes peoples' explanations on their own personal life-philosophy can be more revealing than any test. what you said could very well mark you as one of two things (in my own opinion): either you're a rare person that can appreciate their dominant and inferior to an extent at which they can now "integrate" it within their personal view on life, or, you just described the joy of having two perception functions fall into your auxiliary-slots and are now beginning to see the value in both aspects of perception--as in trying to bring the two away from the idea of "completely separate planes" and into realm of "two sides of the same coin".

looking at the function combinations like that has (i think) gotten me closer to figuring out that my judgement-functions are my auxiliaries (as opposed to my dominant--a few years ago i was certain i was an INFP before i even found out about the functions). before i read your post i was actually thinking, "why does everyone attempt to separate values from logic--it's like everyone is under the misconception that they two can meet and become something else entirely--as if we're forced to choose between being mindless emotional conduits or emotionally-dried-husks who fear certain aspects of humanity--one cannot truly exist fully-formed without the other because both are only partial truths".

now i'm not saying i know what my type is, or that i somehow magically realized the "formula of types", but that maybe that mode of attack might help you or someone else.

anyhow how, ramble over and out.
 

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Ace of Spades
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@celticstained

I've gone through the exact thought process before - and that's how I concluded INTJ (with a chance of ENFP). I thought for sure that I was an N-dom and that my Te = Fi. Even on tests (which I know, are silly), I get extremely N or Ni > Ne > the rest, but perhaps the issue is I'm giving my Ni co-pilot too much credit, while Te is the actual Captain? I don't subscribe to the function ordering theory much anyway. How can I, when none of these functions are measurable (yet) or even proven to exist in the first place? I am not without values. I am not without feelings. I am human, and as I said in my returning Intro post, ENTJ cannot fit my entire being, but it's the closes thing, I guess. There's nothing more I could gain from the label.

Thanks for the discussion =) Excuse me for taking over the JCF forum with my personal blabber =P
 

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Bear in mind it's a text description, rather than a technical manual.

Generally speaking, no, your dom remains your dom, at all times. However, just being dom doesn't necessarily translate into maturity, thus while it remains your dom, it could still be underdeveloped or immature, while still in charge of every decision you make. Sounds dreadful, admittedly.

Still, no idea if that is practically possible, most people here seem to excel at their dominant functions and at best lack in their aux/tert.
 

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Nope, neither have I implied that, since I've said 'at best', which isn't the equivalent of 'only'.
If they're "lacking at best", it would seem obvious that they're nil at worst. A lack to nil of aux/tert use would produce relative one-dimensionality (one cognitive function in severely overprominent use) - would it not?

Anyhow, if that is not what you see, then what is?
 

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If they're "lacking at best", it would seem obvious that they're nil at worst.
Exactly, but in the same run it's up to you to decide who that would apply to.

People that excel at their dom can obviously still be very versatile with aux/tert (my statement didn't even exclude that to begin with), but they can also instead be one dimensional if they're lacking in the latter department.

I'm not particularly interested in your interpretation of the statement I've made, make of it what you will.
 

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This thread caught my interest, so I'll exhumate it from from the depths of time.

Why this is of particular relevance for me, is because my dom and aux functions seem to come to about the same strength. Or possibly, my aux seems to be better developed, or I rely on it too much, which makes my typing in various systems somewhat confusing.

My backstory: So, I believe I am an ESFP, however, to many people, I come across as an introvert, because I am somewhat shy, and it's true, that I use my Fi a lot, and in function tests, it comes out stronger than my Se. However, the thing is, as a child, I have been quite abrupt, and would get into trouble all the time, for acting on impulses, or interrupting people, or often even for drawing attention to myself, because peers and teachers alike thought I was a weirdo. So, even as a kid, I have started applying inhibitions to my natural instinct to do. Doing gets you noticed, and it gets you in trouble. And because I severely limited my natural desire and ability to get into action asap, I had to rely on something else. I started living in my head, with creating fantasy worlds and situations, to gratify my feelings, and developing a vivid internal world. Still, the primary instinct for me is to jump into action and observe without judgement, but I consciously stopped myself for so long, that it now keeps happening, and I doubt myself a lot.

Why I think I am an ESFP however, even with the Fi more used and worked on, is because still, my instinct is to observe and do, before, and snap decisions without introspection, before any judgement processes. I just stop myself, for fear of being punished, or getting in trouble. And because, my feelings are more affected by my enviornment, and can be changed by physical gratification, rather than vice versa, where my perception of the world would be colored by my feelings and values.

Obviously, this has caused me considerable issues, worse than having issues with self-typing. It's made me aloof, and overcautious, self-doubting, and self-sabotaging my natural abilities. It's also put me in the background, despite the fact that I need people, and I need a lot of attention, I'm just too scared to ask for it, or demand it. It has inhibited my assertivness.

Is this something someone else has experienced? Are there ways to work on this, even at age 28, so that I can improve my situation?

 
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