This thread is a proposed hypothesis on distinguishing between weak function and the weakest function, and the danger that each type may encounter when using the weakest function. MBTI enthusiasts believe we use four functions, considering our 4th function as our weakest. However Beebe and Berens/Nardi believe we use all eight functions to some extent, depending on the circumstances.
As pointed out in the thread located here, the dominant and fourth functions are not true opposites. They are antagonistic since two perceiving functions or two judging functions will oppose one another including Fi-Fe, Ti-Te, Si-Se and Ni-Ne. Jungís prize pupil Marie-Louise von Franz, was quoted as saying that Fi opposes Te, but is completely antagonistic to Fe. On the other hand Ti although will suppress Fe, they can and do work in together. Going back to the thread on functions working in tandem located here, the Ti-Fe can be used this way:As Naomi Quenck presents in her theory, the use of attempting to handle matters calling for the use of our 4th function creates ďgripĒ episodes. Generally we are quite aware of those circumstances that may result in such episodes since not only are they foreign to our basic natural function (T vs F, S vs N) but our less preferred attitude (E vs I). So we may easily avoid putting ourselves in such situations. Se dominant types may choose not to get into purely theoretical discussions, Ti dominant types will avoid functions calling for Fe such as funerals, weddings, etc.We might draw on a nugget of reasoning or theoretical framework to make adjustments for the welfare of others or the good of the group. Applying principles of human behavior and applying leverage at key points can help us to manage divergent values, feelings, and opinions. We might nurture relationships with a network of respected peers while clarifying a framework, or disclose personal data to gain clarity and precision for a topic. Or we might feel passionate about the value of people everywhere learning to use a particular framework as a problem-solving tool to improve human relationships. We communicate this framework to others as a helpful gift.
But what if we are unable to see the circumstance clearly because it is masked? I have a strong preference for introversion so I am comfortable using my Ti and Ni. I do not fear my Si since I can have wholesome nostalgic thoughts of my past. But there is a inherent danger when using my Fi that I may be little aware of since it is also introverted. The 8th function is similar to our dominant function and in every way, but the most antagonistic to my dominant function. Jung was specific when defining each cognitive function that it must suppress itís opposing function. What Jung does not specify is the energy direction of that function being suppressed. As stated above our 4th function is compensatory and the only function that can bring equilibrium to the dominant function. I believe the function he is proposing we suppress is the 8th function as you will see below:
Te (used by ETJs) Ė Helps us organize our environment and ideas through charts, tables, graphs, flow charts, outlines, and so on. When circumstances call for the use of itís 4th function (Fi), ETJs may be able to determine what is important to them personally. However since ETJs naturally use the extraversion attitude they are susceptible to unconsciously using their 8th function Fe. When this occurs the ETJ types may begin over accommodating others needs and feel put upon. Myers-Briggs says this type uses their Te to run as much of the world as may be theirs to run. However as a result of allowing Fe to masquerade as Te, ETJs may determine later how much their well run organizations have fell into disrepair due to allowing what others think of them to affect their decisions.
Fe (used by EFJs) Ė Considers others and responds to them. When circumstances call for the use of itís 4th function (Ti), EFJs will become less locked in to the personal connections and step back to analyze and classify problems as problems. However since EFJs naturally use the extraversion attitude they are susceptible to using subjective idiosyncratic logic which may result in attacking anotherís values with ad hominem slights. We may not find a better mediator than the ESJ types since they take everyoneís opinions into consideration. That is why when the extraversion they are accustom to is later determined to have been the use of Te, they may find relationships they cherished irreconcilably torn apart.
Se (used by ESPs) Ė Experiencing and noticing the physical world, scanning for visible reactions and relevant data. When circumstances call for the use of itís 4th function (Ni), ESPs may develop a sense of optimism that the future will be positive. However since ESPs naturally use the extraversion attitude they are susceptible to unconsciously using their 8th function Ne. When this occurs the ESP types may over-read between the lines and begin misinterpreting the meaning of someoneís actions. These types are called the ďUltimate Realists. Being unable to distinguish realism from subjective miscues can lead to mistrust by those who have always considered them the go to guy or gal.
Ne (used by ENPs) Ė Inferring relationships, noticing threads of meaning, and scanning for what could be. When circumstances call for the use of itís 4th function (Si), ENPs may develop a sense of nostalgia for how things were before, usually with romantic notions. However since ENPs naturally use the extraversion attitude they are susceptible to unconsciously using their 8th function Se. When this occurs the ENP types may get caught up in a binge of being in the moment, causing for excessive seeking of stimulation. It has said that Ne types can either be on top of the world or lose their shirts. One must wonder whether excessive binges of some sort may have been a leading factor.
Ti (used by ITPs) - Analyzing, categorizing, and figuring out how something works. When circumstances call for the use of itís 4th function (Fe), ITPs may be able to determine what is important to others.However since ITPs naturally use the introversion attitude they are susceptible to unconsciously using their 8th function Fi. When this occurs the ITP types may spend too much money or waste time on things that are their undoing. What can I say, been there, done that. ITPs may die in poverty or never accomplish anything if they mistake a use of Fi as using Ti.
Fi (used by IFPs) - Evaluating importance and maintaining congruence. When circumstances call for the use of itís 4th function (Te), IFPs may conform their thinking to what is observed as measurable fact and lay out reasonable explanations for decisions and conclusion made. However since IFPs naturally use the introversion attitude they are susceptible to unconsciously using their 8th function Ti. When this occurs the IFP types may become caught up pointing out others inconsistencies and will miss fine distinctions between principles and dogmatically adhering to one they adopt whole. The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference. And once someone has become indifference toward another person, they will not piss on them if they saw they were on fire. IFPs should be careful of mistaking their natural affinity for introversion as a use of Ti, especially when they find their need to use Te for excessive periods.
Si (used by ISJs) - Recalling past experiences, remembering detailed data and what it is linked to. When circumstances call for the use of itís 4th function (Ne), ISJs may become more patient with brainstorming and learn to trust what emerges rather than having it all figured out in advance. However since ISJs naturally use the introversion attitude they are susceptible to unconsciously using their 8th function Ni. When this occurs the ISJ types may make dire predictions with detailed certainty or mistake some deep symbolism as a guidepost for life. I canít come up with a better example than the economic crisis going on in the US currently or the unnerving catastrophic predicaments being made if the budget is not balanced. This may be the result of Si being replaced with Ni.
Ni (used by INJs) - Foreseeing implications, conceptualizing, and having images of the future or profound meaning. When circumstances call for the use of itís 4th function (Se), INJs may start paying more attention to the physical world and their physical selves, looking for the mind and body to become one. However since INJs naturally use the introversion attitude they are susceptible to unconsciously using their 8th function Si. When this occurs the INJ types may waste time reviewing the impact of the past. What we witness here in the INJ types may be an unraveling of their impenetrable trust in their own intuition, resulting in paralysis analysis in being afraid to move forward.
For clarity, we may never develop our 4th function and have a good use of our 8th, or at least be conscious for a need to consult someone when circumstances call for use of the weakest function. This again is a proposal that although circumstances calling for the use of our 4th function may cause us stress, attempting to resolve matters using our 8th function may have dire.