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I've noticed that I'm an incredibly sensitive person, however, in the midst of a conflict I sort of experience a sort of emotional shut down. I become very matter-of-fact and almost cold even, the opposite of my warm and passionate self.

Have you guys experienced this? I'm assuming this has to do with inferior Ti, because I sort of end up acting like an unaffected ISTP.

Perhaps someone who knows more about the work of the inferior can explain this. Anyone else have this experience?
 

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Here's the theory:

Inferior Ti

Some Extraverted Feeling types mention becoming uncharacteristically logical and analytical, with a tendency to think before they speak, when they are in the grip of their inferior function. Such experiences of Introverted Thinking are not generally seen as either positive or negative— merely as strangely different. Perhaps the prevailing societal favoring of Extraversion over Introversion makes Introverted forays into Extraversion (note the comments for Introverted Feeling types and Introverted Thinking types) more appealing to Introverts than the converse experience of Introversion for Extraverts.

For Extraverted Feeling types, the more obviously distressing aspects of “losing” their dominant Extraverted function seems more prominent. Falling into the grip for them is preceded by a diminution or an absence of characteristic Extraverted Feeling qualities. General optimism, enthusiasm, and interest in people give way to low energy, pessimism, and depression. Uncharacteristic withdrawal from usual activities and becoming highly critical of others are consistent responses for male and female ESFJs and ENFJs. “I’m different in being Introverted. I don’t make contact, call friends, go to social events, meetings, the theater. I may accept an invitation, but only if someone urges me. I get concerned about my health. I have no plans, no vision, the future is bleak. I am numb, without feeling or zest for life,” said an ESFJ. An ENFJ said, “I am quiet and withdrawn and want to be alone and reflect on what is happening.” Commented another, “I feel phony and uncomfortable, like a fish out of water. I am unable to be my usual spontaneous self.” Another ENFJ said, “I don’t make eye contact. I can’t share what is going on inside me. I feel tight and negative.” An ESFJ said, “I want to be alone—I’m uninterested in anyone else.”
Jung’s (1976a) comment on the inferior function of Extraverted Feeling types touches on all three of these features:

The unconscious of this type contains first and foremost a peculiar kind of thinking, a thinking that is infantile, archaic, negative. . . .The stronger the conscious feeling is and the more ego-less it becomes, the stronger grows the unconscious opposition. . . . The unconscious thinking reaches the surface in the form of obsessive ideas which are invariably of a negative and deprecatory character. (p. 359)

Tertiary Sensing and Intuition serve to support the negative judgments that are made. The tertiary Intuition of ESFJs generates vague, negative “hypotheses” that affirm their convoluted “logical” critical stance about themselves and others. ENFJs bring their tertiary Sensing to bear by coming up with negative past and present “facts” that support their complicated and largely illogical critical judgments. As energy continues to be withdrawn from the dominant and auxiliary functions, inferior Introverted Thinking intrudes in the form of excessive criticism, convoluted logic, and a compulsive search for truth. The comparison between dominant and inferior Introverted Thinking is shown in Table 8.

Ti-dominant Types
• Impersonal criticism
• Logical analysis
• Search for accuracy and truth

Ti-inferior Types
• Excessive criticism
• Convoluted logic
• Compulsive search for truth


Excessive Criticism

Effective dominant Introverted Thinking types critique ideas, products, systems, and methods. The inferior Introverted Thinking of Extraverted Feeling types appears in the form of a sweeping condemnation of people. In the grip of inferior Thinking, ESFJs and ENFJs may “dump” on other people, slam doors, yell, make biting comments, and say terse, blunt, or even cruel things to others. They often become physically tense, grit their teeth, clench their fists, and appear visibly agitated. Both Extraverted Feeling types frequently mention “laying a ‘guilt trip’” on those closest to them as responses to being in the grip. An ESFJ said that her automatic response to anyone’s “excuses” about his or her work is to state emphatically, “Well, it’s not good enough!”

A hostile, negative atmosphere can elicit sharp, biting, even vicious comments from Extraverted Feeling types. They seem to dig in their heels, becoming impervious to either logical or feeling arguments. As one ENFJ described, “I become cranky, judgmental, and angry. I mistrust myself and others. Normally, I instinctively trust everyone. I am different when I am not acting from trust. Often this occurs when I feel I am not trusted or understood, or when there is conflict and tension around me.” An ESFJ reported becoming steely and caustic; another described herself as being coolly objective when her strongly held feelings were violated. One ESFJ was convinced that everyone took advantage of her good-natured, helpful ISFP husband. She persistently berated him for his weakness and loudly condemned his family and friends for their rude behavior.

“I am like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” said an ENFJ, describing his reaction to extreme stress. “My humor becomes inappropriate, meant to shock people. I’ve even been known to throw things while in this frame of mind.” An ESFJ said he becomes “angry, out of control, critical, responding too quickly to others with impatience, cutting a person off when they speak.” “I’m critical rather than seeking harmony, self-protective rather than ‘giving,’” said an ENFJ. As their Extraverted energy further diminishes, their criticism is internalized, resulting in self-deprecatory judgments. Turning the criticism inward encourages depression, low self-esteem, and guilty embarrassment at revealing what they view as their alien and unacceptable side. An ENFJ related the following story, which illustrates a natural progression from using dominant Extraverted Feeling to projecting inferior Introverted Thinking onto others, then to turning that judgment on herself, and finally returning to reasoned Extraverted Feeling judgment.

“When my father died, at first I thought I was okay. I was buoyed up by all the support I was getting from others. Also, he’d been sick a while. But then I had a delayed reaction. First, I started finding petty little faults with everything and everyone around me, like people on the subway. But then I became very self-critical. As an example, at the time, I was taking a facilitation workshop, in which I had to be videotaped. I was so sure I’d bombed that I cried in the bathroom after the taping. When I finally (reluctantly) watched the video, I saw that I actually had done pretty well.”

Convoluted Logic

In the grip of inferior Thinking, the Extraverted Feeling types’ attempts at logical analysis take the form of categorical, all or none judgments that are often based on irrelevant data. A highly idiosyncratic “logical” model may be developed internally, but the resulting conclusions may violate good logic. In describing this quality, Von Franz (1971) stated that because Extraverted Feeling types’ Thinking is neglected, “it tends to become negative and coarse. It consists of coarse, primitive Thinking judgments, without the slightest differentiation and very often with a negative tinge” (p. 45). “My thinking becomes rigid and I insist on solving problems alone, with none of my typical sharing,” said one ENFJ. “I maintain a front, even though I feel unworthy. I am verbally critical, organize more, and become rigid, perfectionistic, and angry. I want the world to go away.” Another ENFJ described being “inside my head analyzing—adding two and two and getting five and knowing its right.”

Elaborate, logical “plots” may be developed by the Extraverted Feeling type in the grip of negative Introverted Thinking. These take the form of complicated and improbable scenarios for dealing with or eliminating the distress or disharmony in question. ESFJs and ENFJs frequently describe making up “stories,” the goal of which is to explain some upsetting event or solve some nagging problem. An ENFJ recalled that at the age of twelve, she was required to participate in a field day of sporting events. Convinced of her lack of skill in this area, she wanted to avoid embarrassing herself in front of her peers. She plotted various ways to break her leg or ankle, such as falling out of a tree or being run over by a car, but she abandoned her plans, reasoning that she would probably suffer more than minor injury. She also recognized that a lot of pain could be involved. Ironically, her forced participation resulted in her placing third in the broad jump.

Often the source of the problem stimulating the “story” is meanness or criticism directed at the Extraverted Feeling type or a close associate. An ESFJ with a long commute to work was frequently distressed by other drivers’ rude, inconsiderate behavior. He found himself “making up a long and involved story about one particular rude driver, in which I imagined the kind of work he did, his family relationships, the daily events that affected him, and the possible mitigating circumstances that caused his meanness to me.” The imaginary explanation served to restore harmony and allowed the ESFJ to retain his positive valuation of people.

Compulsive Search for Truth

Dominant Introverted Thinking types value truth as the criterion for judgments and decisions. They use logical analysis to arrive at the most objective truth possible. For Extraverted Feeling types in the grip of inferior Introverted Thinking, seeking absolute, ultimate truth can become an obsession. Many report turning to experts for advice but requiring them to have the “real truth,” or at least the latest knowledge and thinking on the subject. When an expert is not immediately available, they may attempt an internal logical dialogue, often ending up recognizing that their logic is convoluted. This may make them feel frightened, out of control, and despairing of ever extricating themselves from their negative logical conclusions. An ENFJ said: "I become stuck on an idea and don’t have any perspective about it. The devastating truth of my conclusion is overwhelming. I try to think my way out of this tight box I’m in, but there is no escape from my conclusion. I feel compelled to find someone to tell me what to do."

Instead of searching for a specific person who might provide them with needed answers, many Extraverted Feeling types report turning to lectures or books relevant to their current problem or isolating themselves to contemplate about issues that concern them; these types are often avid readers of self-help books. ESFJs and ENFJs agree that when stress occurs in some area of their lives, they search bookstore shelves for answers. One ENFJ had a wall full of books in his office. His colleague wondered how he could possibly have read all of them. The ENFJ reported that when under pressure to solve a big problem, he virtually devours the books, having many of them open at once, searching for expert advice on the problem at hand.

When a stressful area is chronic or serious, Extraverted Feeling types tend to be attracted to support groups. In the company of others having similar experiences, they can find validation for their perceptions, as well as the latest expertise and thinking about the problem area.

http://www.the16types.info/vbulletin/content.php/135-MBTI-Form-of-the-Inferior

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Yup!

It's the shadow. An unhealthy version of an ISTP!

When they are affected by stress, an ISTP will often…
• Develop a firm and unwavering focus on logic
• Respond poorly when others provide helpful ideas
• Become overly sensitive to how other people perceive them
• Feel alienated from the people around them
• Use a tone that is underlined with complaining or sulking
• Under excessive stress, express emotions through outbursts of anger or tears

This is how I seem to be like if I am really stressed. The website then says that:

An ISTP can reduce stress by…
• Evaluating the facts in a situation to gain new insight
• Participating in independent activities that diverts their attention from the stressor
• Focusing on what they value
• Spending time on their own to reenergize
• Ignoring their concern of how other people perceive them

I think these things can apply to really stressed ENFJs too!
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Here's the theory:

Inferior Ti

Some Extraverted Feeling types mention becoming uncharacteristically logical and analytical, with a tendency to think before they speak, when they are in the grip of their inferior function. Such experiences of Introverted Thinking are not generally seen as either positive or negative— merely as strangely different. Perhaps the prevailing societal favoring of Extraversion over Introversion makes Introverted forays into Extraversion (note the comments for Introverted Feeling types and Introverted Thinking types) more appealing to Introverts than the converse experience of Introversion for Extraverts.

For Extraverted Feeling types, the more obviously distressing aspects of “losing” their dominant Extraverted function seems more prominent. Falling into the grip for them is preceded by a diminution or an absence of characteristic Extraverted Feeling qualities. General optimism, enthusiasm, and interest in people give way to low energy, pessimism, and depression. Uncharacteristic withdrawal from usual activities and becoming highly critical of others are consistent responses for male and female ESFJs and ENFJs. “I’m different in being Introverted. I don’t make contact, call friends, go to social events, meetings, the theater. I may accept an invitation, but only if someone urges me. I get concerned about my health. I have no plans, no vision, the future is bleak. I am numb, without feeling or zest for life,” said an ESFJ. An ENFJ said, “I am quiet and withdrawn and want to be alone and reflect on what is happening.” Commented another, “I feel phony and uncomfortable, like a fish out of water. I am unable to be my usual spontaneous self.” Another ENFJ said, “I don’t make eye contact. I can’t share what is going on inside me. I feel tight and negative.” An ESFJ said, “I want to be alone—I’m uninterested in anyone else.”
Jung’s (1976a) comment on the inferior function of Extraverted Feeling types touches on all three of these features:

The unconscious of this type contains first and foremost a peculiar kind of thinking, a thinking that is infantile, archaic, negative. . . .The stronger the conscious feeling is and the more ego-less it becomes, the stronger grows the unconscious opposition. . . . The unconscious thinking reaches the surface in the form of obsessive ideas which are invariably of a negative and deprecatory character. (p. 359)

Socionics - the16types.info - MBTI: Form of the Inferior

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I've read this before. I guess I don't really see it as me falling into the grip. I could be completely healthy, but if forced to face a conflict not of my choosing I become this way as well. I'm just interested in what triggers the inferior and to what extent it manifests and why.

I mean, can you fall in and out of the grip while in an overall healthy state? Can you healthily use the inferior?

I'm simply saying that I see it manifesting outside of extreme stress situations....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yup!

It's the shadow. An unhealthy version of an ISTP!

When they are affected by stress, an ISTP will often…
• Develop a firm and unwavering focus on logic
• Respond poorly when others provide helpful ideas
• Become overly sensitive to how other people perceive them
• Feel alienated from the people around them
• Use a tone that is underlined with complaining or sulking
• Under excessive stress, express emotions through outbursts of anger or tears
Isn't the description of an ISTP under stress them falling into their shadow, which would be the ENFJ?
 
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I've read this before. I guess I don't really see it as me falling into the grip. I could be completely healthy, but if forced to face a conflict not of my choosing I become this way as well. I'm just interested in what triggers the inferior and to what extent it manifests and why.

I mean, can you fall in and out of the grip while in an overall healthy state? Can you healthily use the inferior?

I'm simply saying that I see it manifesting outside of extreme stress situations....
I honestly don't think that being in the grip of an inferior necessarily means an extended stay in it. From what I've gathered is that it's temporary and stress induced. Conflict induces stress [until and unless one's a Type 8 and then that's a different matter altogether] - and stress requires one to access the unconscious ... the aspect of the mind one is least comfortable with.

Interestingly, you're making some statements I'd expect an ENFJ to make [even I do from time to time]. It took a lot of unlearning for me to realize and accept that having access to my inferior function is something I like to believe I have ... it's something I like to believe I have control over --- but at the same time, I've always felt uncomfortable with it.

I know my short-comings specifically when I'm faced with Ti-doms ... but it's harder to see them when I'm in situations where I don't need to use it.

I believe that you could be perfectly healthy emotionally [in medical terms] - but still be in the grip of inferior Ti.

However, I'm at the limit of my understanding of this.

I'd like to summon @LiquidLight to this thread to shed more light on this.

And ironically, I've just done what it's written an ENFJ typically does ---- is call in an authority for consultation.
 

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From how I understand it, I think only under "extreme" stress do we become like how ISTPs are when they are just affected by stress that isn't soo extreme?

And if ISTPs are under "extreme" stress, they become stressed ENFJs.

"When they are affected by stress, an ENFJ will often…
• Feel negative or cynical and become inflexible
• Doubt their abilities or intelligence
• Become unfriendly, inconsiderate, or aggressive towards others or themselves
• Minimize their contact with family or friends
• Rely solely on logic to form critical and judgmental opinions of others or themselves
• With significant stress, focus on the faults of others and become excessively critical

An ENFJ can reduce stress by…
• Addressing their personal needs
• Spending time resting and reflecting
• Participating in activities and interacting with friends
• Delegating some of their tasks
• Refocusing on their spiritual values
• Gaining insight into a situation by discussing their thoughts with others"

It is like, it depends on the "degree" of the stress. The more intense it is (and with no healthy way of coping), the more different our personality becomes. Or maybe not...I don't really understand the shadow thing that well. In most cases, I really identify with the description of how ENFJ's act like when they are stressed. Especially the causes of our stress:

"An ENFJ will often experience stress when…
• Feeling that their values are challenged or violated
• Encountering situations where they feel demeaned, put down, or misinterpreted
• Working with difficult and uncooperative people
• Focusing solely on others and neglecting their own needs
• Feeling responsible for causing a problem or conflict
• Confronted with unexpected changes
• Receiving excessive criticism
• Required to complete a task within a limited timeline"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Interestingly, you're making some statements I'd expect an ENFJ to make [even I do from time to time]. It took a lot of unlearning for me to realize and accept that having access to my inferior function is something I like to believe I have ... it's something I like to believe I have control over --- but at the same time, I've always felt uncomfortable with it.
I'm not too clear on what you mean. What statements are you talking about? I'm not insinuating that I have continuous access to my inferior function....I'm attempting to figure out how exactly it manifests and why.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
From how I understand it, I think only under "extreme" stress do we become like how ISTPs are when they are just affected by stress that isn't soo extreme?

And if ISTPs are under "extreme" stress, they become stressed ENFJs.

"When they are affected by stress, an ENFJ will often…
• Feel negative or cynical and become inflexible
• Doubt their abilities or intelligence
• Become unfriendly, inconsiderate, or aggressive towards others or themselves
• Minimize their contact with family or friends
• Rely solely on logic to form critical and judgmental opinions of others or themselves
• With significant stress, focus on the faults of others and become excessively critical
This actually happened to me my first semester of college this past year due to a combination of unwanted environmental changes and doing solely work that required me to isolate myself. I wasn't getting energy where and when I needed it. I became excessively critical, nit-picking and withdrawn.

I think at one time I spent almost five days without spending time with others, other than in class interaction. I would just hide in my room and watch T.V. series and sit online....pretty much anything to escape the reality of my situation.

People thought I was a mean person, and were uncomfortable approaching me. I tried to ignore my emotional health and by the end of it I experienced emotional and mental burnout. I was miserable. This was my experience of being in the grip for a prolonged period of time, in which I became somewhat acquainted with my inferior.

Actually, right now, I feel as though I'm still in the process of returning to continuous, healthy Dom Fe. I get excited when I get passionate and emotional about something, I think "Is this it? Is it coming back?"
 

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Aw. I see. This happened to me too. By learning some of the stress reduction techniques made for ENFJs and even ISTPs, I think I am learning how to be a healthy person again, too.
 

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Can you healthily use the inferior?
I do this, too, and I would not see it as unhealthy. In fact I found it a great coping mechanism. I am very good during a crisis, because I can shut my feelings down. If somebody is physically hurt it does not help him if I dissolve in tears, I have to do something and fast. I might go to pieces afterwards when I have time to deal with it.

It has helped me in all kinds of crisis situations both personally and in the job. You just have to make sure you do deal with those feelings once you have time. Bottling them up indefinitely is indeed unhealthy.
 

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Lurking and felt compelled to say, that although I'm not an ENFJ, this does happen to me from time to time as well.
 

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I do this, too, and I would not see it as unhealthy. In fact I found it a great coping mechanism. I am very good during a crisis, because I can shut my feelings down. If somebody is physically hurt it does not help him if I dissolve in tears, I have to do something and fast. I might go to pieces afterwards when I have time to deal with it.

It has helped me in all kinds of crisis situations both personally and in the job. You just have to make sure you do deal with those feelings once you have time. Bottling them up indefinitely is indeed unhealthy.
I feel the same way. I consider it a major strength that I can do this on the job. As a supervisor, when we had an injury, I was amazed how calm and collected and logical I was. It is a huge asset not to freak out during a crisis.

I heard the term "dissociation" somewhere to describe this sort of reaction.

I'm an ENFP lurker - but I have wondered about this aspect as well... and what causes it.

I'm also curious - if this is a shadow function - then do Thinkers go all emotional during crisises?? I am not sure it is simply a function of the shadow. But I haven't seen too many people in crisis mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm also curious - if this is a shadow function - then do Thinkers go all emotional during crisises?? I am not sure it is simply a function of the shadow. But I haven't seen too many people in crisis mode.
I have no idea if all thinkers do. However, I dated an INTJ for a long time, which is actually what sparked this. A lot of the time, we would get into conflict and I would become cold and rigid and he would become very emotional. He even said "I don't understand why, if you are supposed to be this extremely caring person, how you can become so cold and apathetic." I'm not like that in every conflict situation, more just when I feel as though I'm being forced into "unnecessary" conflict.

In other words, INTJs usually like to get things worked out, they are usually problem solvers, it gives them peace of mind. I however, sometimes just want to drop conflict. I don't want every conflict to turn into some heart-wrenching thing. Being completely honest with myself, if it's something I see as a little thing, I'd rather just brush it off. If I'm forced to discuss it, I often do become cold and aloof.
 

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Curious!
I wonder if feelers are more suited to emergency type roles.

Now that I think about it, I have seen ISTPs in crisis mode (workplace injuries, major equipment damage etc) and they seem the same ol' same ol'. Maybe those aren't crisis to them? Maybe their personal definition of a crisis is one of the heart.

For me, as an ENFP, I don't think I turn into an ISTJ but I do think my tertiary Te kicks the heck in. hehe maybe I DO turn into an ISTJ. Will have to observe in the future...
 
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For me, it has nothing to do with stress. If I'm having a debate with you, I will always be matter-of-fact and cold. Because only the facts matter. And if two people are fighting and I'm in the middle of it, I'll keep my emotions out of it, and logically explain how both people feel; I guess some emotion is involved, but I still remain relatively matter-of-fact.
 

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samewhen there's a crisis on the professional front my reaction is usually to prepare a sort of check-list in my head and ensure the job is done. IMO there's no point in getting all emotional at that point since it wont serve my purpose. after everything's settled i'll give hell to the idiot who may have caused itAs for conflict, I generally try to avoid them. But there were these two girls in my class who ALWAYS had to argue with me about stuff. I do become logical when i argue in that i rely entirely on cold real facts to support me, but there is a certain amount of enthusiastic 'feeling' that accompanies it. although if i were forced, i would prolly become coldly logical just to end the conflict fast and to ensure the other person doesn't feel that im being supportive or encouraging their opinion.
 

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I've noticed that I'm an incredibly sensitive person, however, in the midst of a conflict I sort of experience a sort of emotional shut down. I become very matter-of-fact and almost cold even, the opposite of my warm and passionate self.

Have you guys experienced this? I'm assuming this has to do with inferior Ti, because I sort of end up acting like an unaffected ISTP.

Perhaps someone who knows more about the work of the inferior can explain this. Anyone else have this experience?

I do this as well. If I feel that the person is forcing me into a conflict situation and it is not justified, meaning that I did nothing to provoke the situation, and they are being accusatory towards me I become very cold. It does feel like my emotions are completely switched off. I don't typically yell, or ever throw things; I become very quiet and when I speak it is very terse and cold. I think it must be scary for people to see me this way, as it is so different from my usual demeanor.
 
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