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Inferior Function

16973 Views 53 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Casus Belli
How do you experience your inferior function? Is it a blindspot? A weakness? Your preoccupation when unhealthy? Or simply an area of life you don't care much about?

Si causes problems for me...stuff like getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, organizing...it's just time I'd much, much rather spend elsewhere...so I put it off until it seems overwhelming...it stresses me out.

But, when I consistently address Si concerns, I feel great!...until it starts to block time for Ne and Fi...and then I snap back.

Sometimes Si is also the only introverted function I can really get to work...for example, "eating my feelings" (Fi is out of balance, so Si compensates.)

I don't know how to define or apply meaning to any of this...I just know that my inferior function causes me problems, so I thought I'd ask and see how you guys deal with your own inferior functions.
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According to MBTI, my inferior function is Te as an INFP. I'm still learning about it all, but I think I have enough of a grasp on functions to reply.

I rather like Te, to be honest. It has its good and bad, like most all functions. But Te drives me to finish stuff up, to do things in a logical pattern. It helps me to rationalize things, to see why things happen the way they did (the events leading up to...). A lot of my friends think I'm a Thinker--though not in MBTI terms--simply because I'm fairly comfortable with Te, enough to show it to people.

At its worst, I can be extremely critical, impatient, and cynical. I hate days when I get into this mood. My head starts thinking, quite rudely, "Why didn't they do it this way?" or "It isn't that hard!" Another bad part I find about Te is that it can be hard to break out of its cycle. In some ways, it's easier to stick with Te than with Ne... but I'm not happier with a Te outlook.

In a month or so, some of this may be outdated (and/or I'll be like, "crap, I totally got half of that post wrong"), but 'tis my two cents for now. :crazy:
I question whether or not this is inferior Te or Se - they can look rather similar at times (your whole focus on "ways" seems more perception-related to me (sounds familiar to inferior Se in me as well) - I'm kind of thinking inferior Te might be less focused on the moment or the reverberations of the moment and what could be done to have prevented it and more on literal intellectual judgments. I think inferior thinking would be more related to universal doctrine (or what supposedly is) than to a momentary happening like inferior perception functions (e.g. if the Fi dom. hates school, they might get really close-minded about any of the actual benefits that might exist in the concept of education, for instance, and act juvenile all like "I don't care, I hate it anyway").They might consist of those people who if you try to present them with facts, they get all pissy and close-minded and refuse to try to see the potential value in them (so, they become like a very crude charicature of Te dominants). Actually, it seems common for people to think only the inferior T or F functions come off as rude (as if dominant F automatically makes you a nice person, which is not actually true at all), but actually, people tend to be mean and rude around ALL of the inferior functions (and pretty nice around their dominants, generally, obviously where their personas are as well).
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The inferior is merely the place where you're forever kind of touchy (amenable to influence by others there), "all-or-nothing," (what you do there has to be meaningful to you or otherwise, you have doubts about even bothering) tend to exaggerate the efforts of using it, as well as the reality of it, sort of have psychologically distorted relationship with it that tends to rest on your self motivation more than your rational aims for action and ego choices. It's not a matter of exercising it (other than perhaps training yourself to care more about goals related to it just to make you more well-rounded and better able to cope with the things that might "be you" and a psychologically healthy escape from your own egotism) - it's a matter of just learning not to project it or deny it's influence - some people might naturally be better at this than others (you get some of those people who's lives are almost completely rooted around their projections, which somehow gives them an excuse to be egotistical, while others might combat these head on). It was largely the actual shadow of a person Jung was interested in with the inferior though, not necessarily the inferior itself (which isn't always inferior anyways, unless specific ego-related aims for action come into play with it - the things you wouldn't want to see in yourself, in other words - these ultimately come from a person's shadow though, not their inferior function - they just get amplified through the inferior, but the actual psychoanalytically accessible personal content and personally held IDEAS behind the projections originate SOLEY from the INDIVIDUAL's shadow, either as fears, inner desires the person has, but can't seem to actualize, etc.). You can have two people with the same or different inferior functions who have the same or totally different projections. The inferior function manifests in tendencies, especially when a person is under stress. It's sort of the first function "to go" under periods of extreme self-defense - it's pretty much the last way a person would choose to defend their ego, and this couldn't be more obvious than when a person is under an immediate threat of sorts. They might snap at you if you try to appeal to this function when they're dealing with an immediate threat to their ego (e.g. inferior F types might tell you to stop being so emotional, inferior S types might totally shrug off detailed explanations and snap at someone for not just giving an idea, inferior T types might hate you for not considering their immediate feelings, inferior N types might be ready to bite your head off if what your saying isn't perfectly relevant to the situation, etc.)
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It's important to note as well that projections from the inferior function are going to be ego syntonic ones (what you can still handle not rationalizing toward your ego so-as-to disturb yourself - the ones that you can publicly get away with talking about without any fear of repercussion - in fact, you might pass them off as fact if you're just not in a very rational, conscientious or considerate state of mind) - the ego dystonic ones will come from the unconscious (the ones that rub you the wrong way and you try as hard as possible to actually repress, rather than project). The inferior function is just one part of projection - projection can go much farther than that, but the inferior kind of channels how you rationalize your projections, since it serves as the block of unconscious content that may interrupt your life on some level, good, bad, or even rather neutrally (in truth, most projections are largely harmless psychologically and come across as "other" to a person, yet potentially disruptive to their sense of identity (not necessarily in any bad ways at all, but maybe in ways that might ruffle their self-confidence or shake their world-view a bit). People who are super into a public persona might get easily disturbed by their projections if they run too counter to how the person is deliberately trying to see themselves (we all know those people who are a little too into their personas). The inferior function is kind of where the person might end up seeing something so extremely counter to their conscious aims (based on the current circumstances of their life), and depending on a lot of factors concerning their state of mind and whatnot, they might overreact to it (not think they can deal with it). The topic goes much deeper and into much more psychologically significant places from here, but I'm not going there because that's where things get pretty irrelevant to type and more relevant to psychological matters (which Jung sort of emphasized more with introversion/extraversion than with functions - how people might be suddenly forced into situations where defending themselves subjectively no longer works, and they are suddenly confronted with the task of defending themselves objectively, and vice-versa - the functions themselves aren't really all that important here, although they might help to explain seemingly uncharacteristic experiences a person might have involving their own thinking and ability to pass off as "normal").

So, for sort of an example of projection around the inferior, it's often something that might happen to kind of upset a person's self-confidence - some idea that might come into their head that sort of threatens them by being really absurd, fitting their ideas of embarrassing, or what have you (it might run 100% counter to something you're doing and pop up when you're under stress to kind of scare you away from confidently pursing an action or imagining pursuing an action IRL or accepting an idea IRL). The extent to which people actually FIGHT AGAINST THIS is pretty much the extent to which they have accepted their shadow and are not trying to repress this from consciousness - in other words, someone who isn't too egotistical. Repressing this kind of stuff is what Jung considered bad, psychologically, because later, it will just get too unreasonable to repress it when enough experiences come up that just reaffirm it's existence - it becomes denial, and like in all cases of denial, it will become psychologically crippling the more a person tries to pretend it away.
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Sheldon...I don't think those represent any function. What people often express with relation to their shadow is not really going to clearly represent any function - that function is often the very thing they would never dream of publicly talking about - it might consist of ideas that might seem in some way, someone random or uncharacteristic of the person's public persona, but it takes a ton of intuition and strong powers of inference to really link it up to any function. I'm not sure if Sheldon's actually an inferior F type - I don't know what he'd be (there's speculation that he might be inferior intuition though - I honestly don't think there's any real way you can definitively tell - it could be any function sort of taking on an archetypal character you would associate with inferior intuition, but may in fact, be any other function) - the show is rather unrealistic anyhow being a sitcom, so it's unlikely you'll really have a consistent-enough glimpse of his character actions to really gain any real idea.
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Also, a lot in the way of "behaviors" can only really be linked to a person's I/E status, not functions. For instance, you might often get introverts who tend to like to work alone to get things done, introverts who might be reserved about speaking up in groups, etc. and extraverts who seem to need to be chained down just to reflect long enough on their own feelings and reservations about taking action or going along with something. Functions have very little to do with how a person comes off IRL, contrary to MBTI stereotypes (I mean, I would think this is just common sense anyway, especially for those who haven't already been injudiciously inculcated with MBTI "lore"). On the persona level, you might not be able to tell an ENTJ from an ENFP at all.
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