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There is some controversy on the impact shadow functions play in your life, but I believe the only way for your top functions to work properly, is the placement and awareness of the shadow functions. That is why the order of someone's functions can make a huge difference. If you look at an ENTP and an INTP for example, the difference is a lot greater than just introvert vs. extrovert, because the order of the functions depends on how they are working together. I believe that once we are able to understand the 6th function well enough, that can make the greatest difference in whether someone is an unhealthy version for their type, or a healthy version. Thoughts on this? I know it's a bit all over the place. If we are undeveloped, it can cause more loops to occur, but the 6th function is what helps us get out of the loop (not our aux).
 

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There isn't much accessible or reliable information on this model, but wouldn't the 6th function be of the same attitude than your dominant and tertiary are? Then how can it help you get out of a "loop"?

That is why the order of someone's functions can make a huge difference. If you look at an ENTP and an INTP for example, the difference is a lot greater than just introvert vs. extrovert, because the order of the functions depends on how they are working together.
Well, partially the differences in functional order can be explained specifically because of extroversion/introversion; a habitually extroverted type would noticeably use all of their functions with an extroverted focus and vice versa. Of course you can choose between stack-based theorizing and the explanation of general attitude, but typically the simpler some claim is, the easier it is to verify or falsify.
 

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I just type by 2 strongest functions. I don't think function stacks are as finite as people would like to believe
 

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I understand the appeal of wanting to fit all 8 funtions into a single model, but I really see no reason to. S, for example, is how we process sensory information. We only have 1 way of doing that right?

Of course, this is all speculation. My hypothesis is that our brain has networks that do sensing, intuition, 'feeling' and 'thinking'. These networks can only do one or the other right?

Of course, I could very well be wrong but I see no reason to just assume there is even a 6th function. I really want to see some neurological data on stuff like this.

Sorry for doing this in your topic, I know that's not what you wanted to talk about. Feel free to ignore this post if you want to, it's just something I wanted to get off my chest for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I understand the appeal of wanting to fit all 8 funtions into a single model, but I really see no reason to. S, for example, is how we process sensory information. We only have 1 way of doing that right?

Of course, this is all speculation. My hypothesis is that our brain has networks that do sensing, intuition, 'feeling' and 'thinking'. These networks can only do one or the other right?

Of course, I could very well be wrong but I see no reason to just assume there is even a 6th function. I really want to see some neurological data on stuff like this.

Sorry for doing this in your topic, I know that's not what you wanted to talk about. Feel free to ignore this post if you want to, it's just something I wanted to get off my chest for a while.
Hi, yes I completely understand the skepticism. It does seem like it is pulled out of nowhere. But the reason why shadow functions play an important role is because the cognitive functions cannot work on their own. They do not exist or function that way. Shadow functions are the functions that work under the radar, we do not exactly have a grasp on them, but that doesn't mean they aren't working with our top four functions. The functions are not traits, traits come into play when looking at preferences. But in terms of how the human brain works, we are all processing information and we are all making decisions, and that comes from every function. The functions are meant to describe everything the mind has to offer, but the reason why we have four preferred, is because we prefer a type of feeling over another, we prefer a type of sensing over another, etc. But we HAVE all of them, like introverted feeling, that is what you are feeling. It would not be possible for someone not to have introverted feeling, but Fe users have a weak awareness and grasp on it. I hope that makes sense, and again, the theory of the cognitive functions has not been tested in a manner that would have comforting results.
 

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What are you referring to as the 6th function here? I am only familiar with a 6th function in the framework of Socionics, which is the same as the tertiary function in MBTI. Given that you talk about this as helping the user get out of a loop, that can't be what you mean.
 

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6th function is the opposing attitude to your auxiliary function, i.e Ti in an INTJ.

Here's a solid writeup on the 8 function model:
Understanding the Archetypes involving the eight functions of type (Beebe model)

This is a writeup on the 6th function specifically, in numerous types - pretty broad, but it's good:
Power of the 6th Function – Leon Tsao

If anyone wants to get further into John Beebes 8 function model, I would highly recommend a book called Depth Typology by Mark Hunziker - it does not describe the functions in detail, we can understand the functions easily enough by ourselves or with the aid of about a million other books - but it goes into detail regarding what the 8 function model is, why it's a better alternative to the 4 function model, and it explains how each of the 'shadow functions' manifests - what their role is, how they work, when they might appear etc etc, it's a brilliant book.


My own, admittedly limited, understanding of the 6th function is that it basically makes you irritable and grumpy if you're forced into it - a simple example would be the one in the book - an INTJ who has to microscopically examine virtually every phrase to comprehend it's meaning, as well as the basis for the statement, all it's implications, and the possible unintended consequences of saying it one way versus another.

On the surface, people with a limited and flawed understanding of typology might think that looks like Ni, dude isn't an INTJ, wah wah wah, but no, it's Ti that he's having to use - Ni doesn't want to microscopically examine shit, it wants to sum things up and get the gist, it doesn't want to explore in detail and then dissect all possibly meanings of a statement and search for all possible implications and unintended consequences - it just gets the 'gist' and comes to one singular meaning.

In that example, essentially, the INTJ is forced into "defining" words and phrases to an extreme degree - defining is the realm of Ti. That kind of in-depth scrutiny is something an INTJ will not want to do for extended periods of time, or it'll piss them off and make them grumpy.
An INTJ would want to read something, just think boom, here's what it means, here's the long-term ramifications, and be done with it (Ni-Te).. they don't want to be forced into that kind of defining work, where they're going over every word, every phrase, dissecting any and all meanings and possible implications etc etc.

Imagine say.. and INFJ having to use their Fi instead of their Fe? Oh right, easy to imagine due to the infinite mistypes.

Okay try again. Imagine an ISFJ forced into making a decision via Fi rather than Fe - having to rely entirely on their own interpretations of what is good/bad etc, they would feel lost and get irritable, it's not natural for them, it's not what they want to do.
To go full hardcore stereotype, picture an ISFJ mum who has to buy something for a kid - no problem, right?

Now picture they have absolutely no idea what that kid likes. That kind of thing right there would irritate an ISFJ (and an INFJ :D)
They would be forced into buying something they personally like and see value in, rather than what someone else would value - this is hard for them, they don't want to do it.. "how do I know what little Johnny likes?" "will he like this?" "is he into Paw Patrol?".. it's a terrible stereotype and example but I'm hopeful it conveys the message relatively accurately.


With the 6th function, comes fear and shame. The INTJ in the above example would feel shame for not being able to to that kind of defining work (Ti), the way it needs to be done (Te).
The ISFJ would feel shame for having to buy something she personally likes for someone else (Fi), rather than something she knows they would appreciate (Fe).

IMO, the fear comes in as a fear of how will this be received - how will the work they've done using their 6th function be received in the outside world, how will the INTJs defining work be received? How will the ISFJs Fi present be received?

The 6th function is highly critical of yourself and others as well, it's not a function you want to use at all, if possible, it's not a function that should be developed or worked on. It should be replaced with your auxiliary function at all times, if you can recognise yourself resorting to your 6th function.

So an INTJ might use Ti when criticising someone - dissect their arguments to the enth degree and make them feel stupid.. this isn't their Te being blunt, Te in an INTJ is positive (usually), it's their Ti being a prick, for example, and it will also criticise the INTJ themselves which is why they feel the fear and shame associated with the 6th function - this kind of behaviour will appear when ones competency is questioned - that's when the INTJ would shift into Ti mode to tear your argument re: their competency to smithereens.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
6th function is the opposing attitude to your auxiliary function, i.e Ti in an INTJ.

Here's a solid writeup on the 8 function model:
Understanding the Archetypes involving the eight functions of type (Beebe model)

This is a writeup on the 6th function specifically, in numerous types - pretty broad, but it's good:
Power of the 6th Function – Leon Tsao

If anyone wants to get further into John Beebes 8 function model, I would highly recommend a book called Depth Typology by Mark Hunziker - it does not describe the functions in detail, we can understand the functions easily enough by ourselves or with the aid of about a million other books - but it goes into detail regarding what the 8 function model is, why it's a better alternative to the 4 function model, and it explains how each of the 'shadow functions' manifests - what their role is, how they work, when they might appear etc etc, it's a brilliant book.


My own, admittedly limited, understanding of the 6th function is that it basically makes you irritable and grumpy if you're forced into it - a simple example would be the one in the book - an INTJ who has to microscopically examine virtually every phrase to comprehend it's meaning, as well as the basis for the statement, all it's implications, and the possible unintended consequences of saying it one way versus another.

On the surface, people with a limited and flawed understanding of typology might think that looks like Ni, dude isn't an INTJ, wah wah wah, but no, it's Ti that he's having to use - Ni doesn't want to microscopically examine shit, it wants to sum things up and get the gist, it doesn't want to explore in detail and then dissect all possibly meanings of a statement and search for all possible implications and unintended consequences - it just gets the 'gist' and comes to one singular meaning.

In that example, essentially, the INTJ is forced into "defining" words and phrases to an extreme degree - defining is the realm of Ti. That kind of in-depth scrutiny is something an INTJ will not want to do for extended periods of time, or it'll piss them off and make them grumpy.
An INTJ would want to read something, just think boom, here's what it means, here's the long-term ramifications, and be done with it (Ni-Te).. they don't want to be forced into that kind of defining work, where they're going over every word, every phrase, dissecting any and all meanings and possible implications etc etc.

Imagine say.. and INFJ having to use their Fi instead of their Fe? Oh right, easy to imagine due to the infinite mistypes.

Okay try again. Imagine an ISFJ forced into making a decision via Fi rather than Fe - having to rely entirely on their own interpretations of what is good/bad etc, they would feel lost and get irritable, it's not natural for them, it's not what they want to do.
To go full hardcore stereotype, picture an ISFJ mum who has to buy something for a kid - no problem, right?

Now picture they have absolutely no idea what that kid likes. That kind of thing right there would irritate an ISFJ (and an INFJ :D)
They would be forced into buying something they personally like and see value in, rather than what someone else would value - this is hard for them, they don't want to do it.. "how do I know what little Johnny likes?" "will he like this?" "is he into Paw Patrol?".. it's a terrible stereotype and example but I'm hopeful it conveys the message relatively accurately.


With the 6th function, comes fear and shame. The INTJ in the above example would feel shame for not being able to to that kind of defining work (Ti), the way it needs to be done (Te).
The ISFJ would feel shame for having to buy something she personally likes for someone else (Fi), rather than something she knows they would appreciate (Fe).

IMO, the fear comes in as a fear of how will this be received - how will the work they've done using their 6th function be received in the outside world, how will the INTJs defining work be received? How will the ISFJs Fi present be received?

The 6th function is highly critical of yourself and others as well, it's not a function you want to use at all, if possible, it's not a function that should be developed or worked on. It should be replaced with your auxiliary function at all times, if you can recognise yourself resorting to your 6th function.

So an INTJ might use Ti when criticising someone - dissect their arguments to the enth degree and make them feel stupid.. this isn't their Te being blunt, Te in an INTJ is positive (usually), it's their Ti being a prick, for example, and it will also criticise the INTJ themselves which is why they feel the fear and shame associated with the 6th function - this kind of behaviour will appear when ones competency is questioned - that's when the INTJ would shift into Ti mode to tear your argument re: their competency to smithereens.
Not a function you should use at all? I see where you are coming from, but the 6th function is a critical "parent." It keeps our four preferred functions in check, and you do not really have a choice in whether you use it or not. However, it becomes problematic when the unconscious becomes the conscious, and it starts to take over our function stack. It is incredibly useful in helping us be critical to ourselves, but it should not be used in replacement of anything or as a conscious function.
 
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Not a function you should use at all? I see where you are coming from, but the 6th function is a critical "parent." It keeps our four preferred functions in check, and you do not really have a choice in whether you use it or not. However, it becomes problematic when the unconscious becomes the conscious, and it starts to take over our function stack. It is incredibly useful in helping us be critical to ourselves, but it should not be used in replacement of anything or as a conscious function.
I did say "if possible" - I understand the way the 6th function appears, you don't really have a choice - I wouldn't advise working on developing it, as it's not something you can really keep up, consciously, without getting stressed out ala INTJ trying to use Ti for too long.

I think if you recognise the 6th function taking over, you need to take a step back and have a real think about what's going on, and shift from wherever it is leading you.

I agree it's useful in it's role as a 'critical parent' to help us be critical of ourselves.
 
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