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There is a lot of debate as to whether shadow functions actually impact you or if you even have them, and this is just a rant/discussion (I'm willing to debate) about how shadow functions are just as important as your main function stack. If you're first getting into cognitive functions, I think starting off with the first four is a good idea, but you shouldn't stay there, because then you'll never end up diving deeper into it, or understanding why you are the way you are. Shadow functions work with our top four functions, and they work differently depending on the order of our functions. For example, looking at two sister types, an INFP and an ENFP, they will be a lot more different than just introverted vs. extroverted. People may be aware of their differences, but they aren't usually able to pinpoint why, and that's because they don't use shadow functions to support the differences. So an INFP has Fi, Ne, Si, Te and their shadow functions are Fe, Ni, Se, Ti. They have Se in the position of their blindspot, the blindspot is the function we are least aware of. It doesn't mean we don't use it! We use our shadow functions, we're just less aware of them, and we don't prefer them as much as our top four. However, other people can see you making Se mistakes as an INFP, but you yourself cannot. So how does an INFP see their Se mistakes? They see it through the lens of their inferior. Our inferior function is what we blame for everything, it's our excuse for everything, when in reality, it could be the blindspot causing the most trouble.

Why is it that the 7th function is blind and not the 8th? Well, it is perceiving and extroverted for an INFP (as an introverted judging dom), and their preferred perceiving extroverted function is Ne, constantly going back and forth between Ne and Si, there is no room for that 7th function. The 8th function actually works with our 1st function, the 2nd function works with the 5th, and 6th works with the 3rd as the critical parent role. For an INFP, their Ti is in the 8th position, which is why their Fi almost appears logical, because they hold it to a logical standard, but they prefer using emotion over logic to make decisions, which is why they are not an INTP.

Now onto the 5th function, it is used as defensive mechanism. It is where we may want to be better, but we tend to be quite stubborn about. For an INFP, it is extroverted feeling. Ever wonder why they have such great empathy, as Fi users? It's because it works alongside Ne, in order to help their Fi imagine what the other person is feeling. But sometimes they may not make decisions based on this, because Ne is a perceiving function, and that is where the stubbornness comes in. The unwillingness to extrovert in a specific way as an introvert, and vice versa.

The 6th function is incredibly important, a function we are better at than our 5th, because it keeps all of functions "in check." It is called the "critical parent" because it forces us to act in the way that the tiny voice in our head is telling us to. This is the function that gets us out of loops, and looks to reality, when our 2nd function was abandoned.

Lastly, the most misunderstood, the 8th function. It is called the "demonic" function, when in fact, that is far from the truth. It is the other side of our dominant function. Let's use another type now, an ESFJ. They have extroverted thinking as their 8th function, which is the other extroverted judging function, besides extroverted feeling (their dom). It is the drive that makes extroverted feeling doms appear forceful and assertive, even though Fe is warm and friendly. This is because there is an underlying need for Fe to be done, to be acted out. That can make it appear judgmental, because to them, Fe is something that is objective and universal.
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