While having lunch with my co-worker the other day the topic of cognitive functions came up. Eventually we started discussing the shadow functions that have been popularized by John Beebe. I have been intrigued in general by cognitive functions and have looked into them a bit more for the last few months. Studying a persons cognitive functions says a lot more about them then their MBTI does. While they are both related, the cognitive better explains why people get the percentages of each letter they get. Near the end of the meal I started thinking about what types shared my shadows but as their four main functions. What i found was quite interesting.
ESTP has the functions Se Ti Fe Ni and the shadow are Si Te Fi Ne. While checking out the cognitive functions I was quite shocked at what I found. The four types that use the ESTP shadow functions were ESTJ, ISTJ, INFP and ENFP. The commonality you see is STJ and NFP. This significance for me was nothing short of profound. I have had three women who I can say I have been truly in love with in my 36 years. My ex-wife who is an ENFP and two girls after the marriage (ESTJ and INFP). The only one lacking is an ISTJ, but I did meet one and I admit to having strong desires for her. Given time it too might have blossomed into more deep relation. Could this be a coincidence? I really have a hard time thinking it is. My relationships with these women went beyond mere infatuation and sexual attraction. I still think of all four even now.
So this brings up a few questions. First and foremost; is this just a fluke? Would the relationships really last or is it a fleeting infatuation. Can I date other MBTI types and really love them as much and in the same way? To really prove this theory correct I need more data and that means you! In order to do this correctly though you will need to tell me the people you love and their types. If they have not taken the test then please ask them to take it. No guessing! I can say my ex-wife falls into three of hers just as I did. She (ENFP) has loved an ESTP (me), ISTP and INFJ.
Remember this is a theory and most important I am not saying you can't love any MBTI type no matter what type you are. I am just pointing out (For better or worse) that I am attracted to my shadows. I truly believe of the 4 shadow mates I would be best off with ESTJ and ISTJ purely due to the sensing. That said there is no doubting the powerful draw I have to all four types. To help you all out I created a handy chart to connect you to your possible "soul mates".