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The dominant function is supposed to be a natural focus and strength. But are there exceptions? Can the dominant function be underdeveloped and not used enough for the person to become skillful, perhaps due to environmental or psychological influences? Can a person's own natural traits and temperament clash and interfere with the development of their dominant function (such as an introverted temperament but an extroverted dominant function, or being a Thinking type but being very emotionally sensitive)? Can periods of intense stress cause the dominant function to stop working the way it normally does and behave more compulsively, out of control, and ineffectively like the Inferior function?
 

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Of course. The dominant function is the function we feel most comfortable with using when solving problems or dealing with new situations. However, if the dominant function doesn't yield positive results, then we'll end up suffering feelings of discomfort, drop in self-esteem and lack of self-fufillment. We can develop distrust towards it. Likewise, if a person lives in an environment where the use of his dominant function is restricted or looked down upon (let's say parents don't want their kid to be this or that way), you will develop a problematic relationship with your dominant.

People who are prone to inferior grip issues can believe that their inferior function is dominant even when they dislike using it or do not use it all that well. If your personality has not developed well due to various impediments, you might use the dominant function in a negative manner, unable to tap into its strengths, but the key is that you really NEED to use it well because doing so means that you are being authentically you, which will result in good psychological well-being.
The Principles of Cognitive Function Theory @MBTI-notes - Type Theory
 

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Yes to all of those, I've heard it being described as the gate keeper. If the dominant function isn't working properly, then none of them will. It could also cause us issues just because we spend so much time on it, that we almost have a subjective perspective on the very function we find to be our greatest strength.
 
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