The Form of the Inferior - ITPs - Typology Central
The following is an excerpt from Naomi Quenk's book "Was That Really Me? How Everyday Stress Brings Out Our Hidden Personality":
The Form of the Inferior Function
Like Introverted Feeling types, Introverted Thinking types often report becoming uncharacteristically sociable, outgoing, and expressive of feelings as part of their inferior function experience. This is reported by both males and females of these types and by individuals of all ages. However, the loss of social inhibition is likely to emerge eventually in easily expressed anger, being loud and perhaps inappropriate and obnoxious.
Introverted Thinking types seem to report less pleasure in losing their inhibitions than do Introverted Feeling types, perhaps because they are uncomfortable extraverting their normally introverted critical Thinking. It may be that their naturally unspoken critical stance emerges more quickly than it does for ISFPs and INFPs. As the Introverted Thinking type's conscious control of differentiated Thinking starts to diminish, use of that dominant function along with auxiliary Sensing or Intuition becomes increasingly difficult. The internal struggle for control may be largely unobserved by others. But as time goes on, others may notice a certain slowness, vagueness, and distractibility replacing the sharp acuity that they are used to seeing in the ISTP or INTP.
Introverted Thinking types report becoming illogical, inefficient, unfocused, and scattered. An INTP described becoming 'emotional, edgy, disorganized, obsessive about details, confused, closed. Usually I am easygoing, centered, and creative and see lots of options.' An ISTP reported becoming 'confused, disorganized, and unable to focus. I lose track of my organizational strategies and get messy.' A young ISTP described himself as 'slow and dimwitted, forgetting stuff all the time.' And a youthful INTP said, 'I lack the mental energy and clarity that I ordinarily maintain. I'm not able to concentrate at all. I become completely illogical.' As inferior Extraverted Feeling becomes more prominent in the demeanor of the Introverted Thinking type, it comes out in the form of logic being emphasized to an extreme, hypersensitivity to relationships, and emotionalism. For ISTPs, tertiary Intuition may aid and abet these forms, appearing as a conviction of some imagined 'pattern' of others' uncaring neglect of the ISTPs needs and feelings. For INTPs, tertiary Sensing takes the form of an obsessive review of the facts and details that prove that others neglect the INTPs needs and feelings.
The comparison between dominant and inferior Extraverted Feeling is shown in Table 6. Jung (1976a) touched on a combination of these characteristics as they can be seen in their inferior form:
Because of the highly impersonal character of the conscious attitude, the unconscious feelings are extremely personal and oversensitive, giving rise to secret prejudices�a readiness, for instance, to misconstrue any opposition to his formula as personal ill-will, or a constant tendency to make negative assumptions about other people in order to invalidate their arguments in advance�in defense, naturally, of his own touchiness. (p. 350)
Logic Emphasized to an Extreme
Effective dominant Extraverted Feeling types are quite comfortable making decisions that are not logical. Introverted Thinking types in the grip of inferior Extraverted Feeling may become passionately insistent on the application of logic, becoming quite emotional about their approach. As an extension of their loss of control over the Thinking function, the Introverted Thinking type begins to engage in excessively logical, unproductive thinking. There may be an obsessive quality to this thinking. One ISTP feels compelled to 'prove' the accuracy of his perception of things. An INTP said, 'If a problem comes up that I'm unable to resolve, I work at it anyway and can't let go of it, even if I know I can't solve it.' Other Introverted Thinking types report becoming less articulate, speaking rapidly and disjointedly, and using sharp, clear, but 'paranoid' logic.
Dominant and Inferior Expressions of Extraverted Feeling
As Dominant Function of As Inferior Function of:
ESFJs and ENFJs
� Comfortable inattention to logic
� Sensitivity to others' welfare
� Sharing of emotions
ISTPs and INTPs
� Logic emphasized to an extreme
� Hypersensitivity to relationships
They may find that they forget things, misplace objects, and engage in futile projects that don't accomplish anything and are marked by disorganization. One INTP described becoming rigidly stuck on a false belief that at the time seemed totally supported by logic. Later, he was able to reassess his conviction as an inferior 'Feeling judgment masquerading as logic.' 'I am very impatient, demanding, and extremely logical,' said another INTP. 'I am obsessively analytical,' said another.
Hypersensitivity to Relationships
Effective dominant Extraverted Feeling types value their relationships with others. They carefully consider the well-being of others in making decisions and devote energy and enthusiasm to personal and social interactions. In the grip of inferior Extraverted Feeling, the Introverted Thinking type experiences increasing hypersensitivity to 'Feeling' areas. And just as Extraverted Thinking types struggle to maintain controlled efficiency and competency when in the initial grip of the inferior function, so ISTPs and INTPs valiantly try to hide their formerly alien concerns with being liked and appreciated. In this unfamiliar state, they over-interpret or misinterpret others' innocent comments or body language. 'I nail someone and babble forever about my feelings and all the terrible things 'they' are doing to me,' said an ISTP. However, to the Introverted Thinking type, the perceived slights are accurate and authentic.
Something as innocuous as someone failing to say hello upon entering a room, or briefly interrupting a conversation to greet a passerby, may be interpreted as an indicator of dislike and disapproval.
ISTPs and INTPs tend to feel discounted when others do not listen to them attentively.
'I tend to be emotionally hypersensitive when I'm 'not myself.' It's extraordinarily different from my usual state of logical 'emotional detachment,'' said an INTP. Others are usually slow to catch on to the altered state of the Introverted Thinking type, as was noted earlier for Extraverted Thinking types. Distress, anxiety, and annoyance are typically expressed with minimal cues a raised eyebrow, a distant look, or other subtle body language may be the only signal. Further, family, friends, and colleagues, who are in the habit of trusting the person's careful, objective analysis of people and events, are likely to take the ISTPs or INTPs conclusions as objectively true. They have little reason to doubt, for example, that the boss doesn't appreciate the INTP and won't let him do a particular project. They are therefore unlikely to inquire about the evidence used to reach this definitive-sounding judgment.
In its extreme form, the grip experience of Introverted Thinking types may manifest as a feeling of profound and infinite separateness from the whole of humanity. The ISTP or INTP is convinced that he or she is unloved and ultimately unlovable. Some relive childhood feelings of being extremely different from other children, marching to a different and unacceptable drummer, often with no clue about how others see things. The memory of childhood misery and helplessness may intensify the adult's inferior function experience.
Effective dominant Extraverted Feeling types readily share their values with others and are comfortable expressing their emotions. In the grip of inferior Extraverted Feeling, Introverted Thinking types may not differentiate between the expression of Feeling values and the expression of emotion. We may witness confusion between Feeling as a judging function and emotion as a state of physiological arousal. Jung (1976b) was explicit in his differentiation of the two:
What I mean by feeling in contrast to thinking is a judgment of value; agreeable or disagreeable, good or bad, and so on. Feeling so defined is not an emotion or affect, which is, as the words convey, an involuntary manifestation. Feeling as I mean it is a judgment without any of the obvious bodily reactions that characterize an emotion. Like thinking, it is a rational function. (p. 219)
Nevertheless, it appears true that dominant Thinking types, especially those who favor Introversion, do not have ready access to their emotions when they are operating in their habitual, dominant mode. Often they report not knowing or being able to describe a feeling at the time it is occurring. Some INTPs, however, report being able to infer the presence of a feeling by attending to intuitive cues; it may be recounted later in Thinking, analytical terms. They fear that once in the realm of intense emotion, they may become possessed by it and never be able to get out. That is why descending into 'the depths' is rare and entered into against the will of the Introverted Thinking type.
Lack of familiarity with felt emotion is probably due to the fact that Thinking judgment typically excludes subjective values and affective data from the decision-making process. How the Thinking type or others feel about things may be judged irrelevant to the problem at hand and therefore as interfering with logical decision making. In contrast, Feeling types typically consider such data entirely relevant to their decisions. Their primary decision-making criteria include personal values, feelings, and consequences for important people and institutions. Due to limited experience, therefore, Thinking types' emotional expression lacks the differentiation and subtlety of feeling seen in well differentiated Feeling types. When positive feelings are involved, they may seem maudlin and sentimental. One INTP said she becomes 'mushy, sentimental, very outwardly emotional, and unpredictably so.' A young ISTP said, 'At times I feel really emotional when I'm by myself thinking about things that normally wouldn't bother me.' With greater intensity, inferior Feeling comes out as raw, extreme emotion.
Feeling judgment seems to become increasingly exaggerated and obsessive, reaching a point where it no longer serves a judging purpose but becomes unbridled emotionalism. 'I am 'hysterical.' I believe that nobody likes me and I am worthless . . . [and] have nothing to contribute to society. Whereas normally I am very happy to be alone, when I am 'not myself' I seek affirmation from everyone. I call all my friends until I feel better,' related an INTP. An ISTP said, 'I talk about inner feelings and show emotions. I don't usually do that; I also express criticism toward others I usually keep it to myself.'
When the contents of this normally unconscious, primitive function rise to the surface, they appear as a loss of control over emotional expression. There are reports of irritability and difficulty in holding back frustration and anger. In early phases, the Introverted Thinking type may become fidgety, trembling, and sarcastic, stomping around and making verbal attacks, exaggerating and accusing others. In more extreme cases, there may be physical outbursts that include breaking things and attacking people.
An INTP college student was deeply involved in a research paper when some of his friends invited him to go to a carnival with them. He refused, but they persisted anyway. When one grabbed his pen and paper and teasingly refused to return them, he began yelling at her and grabbed her arm. Both he and his friends were surprised and frightened by the swiftness and intensity of his reaction. Although expression of anger is common, especially in younger ISTPs and INTPs, often there is increasing self-pity and a sense of feeling neglected, unappreciated, and even victimized.
With greater loss of control, Introverted Thinking types can burst into tears with no warning. One wrong word can trigger an emotional outburst accompanied by rage, crying, and rising emotionality. Some describe feeling as if all their emotions are all mixed up, released with uncharacteristic spontaneity. 'I start to notice my own feelings and become moody and impatient; I deny to others that anything is wrong, but all the while I feel like I am drowning in emotions,' said one ISTP. Another described being 'very emotional and unable to keep my reactions to situations under control.' Not only are their own emotions problematic, but so are the emotional reactions of others. Some Introverted Thinking types say they cannot truly understand something in the Feeling arena if they haven't actually experienced it. As a result, when they are in the grip of their inferior function, they find that emotions from others are upsetting and only intensify the magnitude of the situation.
The three manifestations of the inferior function typically appear together. One INTP feels martyred and cannot help snapping, whining, and complaining to people. She reports becoming very emotional and a little irrational, unable to organize or problem-solve with her usual efficiency and competence. Another INTP describes feeling numb, frozen, or enraged, as well as exhausted and unable to concentrate. Some describe an inability to keep their emotions to themselves, even though they wish to reveal little of their internal processes. In this state, said an ISTP, 'I act out my displeasure rather than keeping it to myself as I am inclined to do. The actual acting out is usually brief, but feeling stressed out about it may last longer.' An INTP described the shame she associates with experiencing extreme feelings; she also described blaming others for not appreciating or loving her enough. Paramount is a sense of being misunderstood, with no way to correct the misunderstanding. Other ISTPs and INTPs report similar reactions.