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The INFJ Shadow

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by dneecey, Dec 14, 2009.

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  1. dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    Okay... So I am going through a lot lately.. And I am under a bit of stress... I have heard of this thing, called the shadow side. I know next to nothing about it, so I am doing a bit of research. I heard that occasionally under a certain amount of stress an INFJ can go into a shadow state, and was wondering if anyone could explain it further to me.. This is what I found.


    Does anyone else have experience with this, or been with someone who has experienced this?
     
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  2. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    Yes, I have faced many periods of extreme stress over the years. I'm fairly well-balanced though (long story, died a thousands deaths) so I'm not sure if my experience is typical or not.

    Yes, I do seek solitude when things are tough....and inner silence, too. And I have learned to keep up with rest and good diet lest I run out of resources. I tend to focus in, but on the crux of the matter. I seek deeper awareness as a more substantial framework/foundation for moving forward through the details. People may not see this as my lifestyle has always had ample time for solitude...my time with people is a small opportunity to disengage and clear the cobwebs a bit.

    As for the shadow side...no, not really. I am fairly consistent. Over time I have learned enough about the tools available for managing and engaging these times that I have pretty broad latitude and freedom. It's less frightening that way.
     
  3. OP
    dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    Well see.. I know I do this withdrawing, and recharging thing. However, I wonder how often I have slipped into this state without thinking about it, and how close I am to it. I don't really see myself doing this, and wouldn't want to because I fear the hurt it would inflict on others around me as well as myself..

    I think when it comes to stress, I mostly just shut down.. but it does say that we can often times be oblivious of it..
     
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  4. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    I am sure it is possible and/or has been observed perhaps. However, the description seems pretty extreme...one would have to be awfully out of touch with others/themselves to dive into that territory without some degree of moderation. Perhaps life experience helps with this.
     
  5. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    I have only gone shadow once, it wasn't pretty. My personality took two steps to the left, and I could see it. I was so strained that I was forced there. It was like I was watching myself behave through a video camera and I couldn't stop it. I could see my behavior had shifted, and I wasn't being true to myself. While I was there, something just seemed very "off". Once I came down from this after a month or so, I could see I was going shadow, and the recovery from that was painful. I actually came close to going shadow this semester, but I nipped it in the butt. I still see a slight unnatural shift in my personality, but it is weak enough that I know I am not shadow. Once I get home I will know for sure.
     
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  6. Afrelen

    Afrelen Community Member

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    +1

    I just got out of it a little over a year ago. It feels like coming out of exile when your personality gets back into the light.
     
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    #6 Afrelen, Dec 14, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  7. WellNoWonder

    WellNoWonder Peace Through Action

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    In my early 20s. I really want to expand but I'm feeling like a post-whore right now, so I'll come back and explain.
     
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  8. WellNoWonder

    WellNoWonder Peace Through Action

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    • acting very impulsively, making decisions without thinking them through
    • doing things to excess - e.g.: eating, drinking or exercising
    • being critical of others, and finding fault with almost everything
    • being preoccupied about unimportant details and doing things that have no meaning
    • acting in a very materialistic and selfish way
    • cutting corners, breaking the rules, and even contradicting the INFJ's own values
    I did all of these things in my early 20's. I was distraught over being a college "dropout". I was into a subculture that was not the subculture I was supposed to be in. I slept around, drank like a fish, was in a couple of abusive relationships, selling stuff I had no business selling, seemingly just so I could experience it, to outsiders anyway. But to me, It was all a very bad novel turned into a even worse movie, and I watched myself spiral downwards and kept going, though I was looking upward the whole time.

    Afterwards, I think I suffered from PTSD from the entire experience, but didn't know it.

    This is my first time reading about this Shadow, and now everything that I've gone thorugh makes a lot more sense.
     
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  9. NaeturVindur

    NaeturVindur Cuddlemaster
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  10. WellNoWonder

    WellNoWonder Peace Through Action

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    [QUOTE=N
     
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  11. OP
    dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    Oh this isn't my thread darling. I started it for all of us... Certainly I want to gain knowledge from it, but if it's eye opening for others as well then it served it's purpose wholly...
     
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  12. Matariki

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    Yes, Ive been a ENTP shadow before, the pain mentally and physically was crushing.

    I lost about 6kg due to stress, my blood sugar was all over the place, I became isolated, I would stay up for nights at a time, I would have regular mental break downs and I failed at art school.

    All of this happened this year. I'm still recovering from it, but after learning about my shadow self, It's starting to add up.

    In my dream state I actually switch personalities, I become a ISFJ. I thought It was just a coincidence but it seems to tie in well with whats been happening to me.

    Under extreme stress, fatigue or illness, the ENTP's shadow may appear - a negative form of ISFJ. Example characteristics are:

    • being pedantic about unimportant details
    • doing things to excess - e.g.: eating, drinking or exercising
    • expressing emotions in an intensive and uncontrolled way
    • being very sensitive to criticism
    The shadow is part of the unconscious that is often visible to others, onto whom the shadow is projected. The ENTP may therefore readily see these faults in others without recognising it in him/her self.
     
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  13. Imystify

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    I feel like I spend a LOT of time in the shadow and here I thought it was just the ADD.
     
  14. Feelings

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    I don't think I've ever been in my shadow state! Pretty dangerous, cuz it would be really cold and calculating and decisive. I sometimes imagine what I would be capable of planning and executing if I really wanted. Really scary! I've never been pushed into a corner though. I live with my parents :) So no financial strain pretty much. Any pressure I put on myself is self-imposed really. Oh and my parents generally leave me alone, they don't bother me too much.
     
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  15. Mina_Noir

    Mina_Noir Regular Poster

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    yes, I can totally relate to this behaviour.
    This is exactly the way I behave when I am stressed.
     
  16. Celsius100

    Celsius100 Community Member

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    • acting very impulsively, making decisions without thinking them through
    • being preoccupied about unimportant details and doing things that have no meaning
    • acting in a very materialistic and selfish way
    • cutting corners, breaking the rules, and even contradicting the INFJ's own values

    When I've gotten stressed enough, I've definitely switched over and started showing these traits, which I worry about a lot later since they're completely out of character. I worry that I start feeling a bit too full of myself at those points too...
     
  17. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I've been there. Maybe a little too much. Some of those traits are part of my inherent personality now :B
     
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  18. INTJMom

    INTJMom Community Member

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    That sounds like a good source of information. Where did you get that list from?
     
  19. INTJMom

    INTJMom Community Member

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    Ah... you got it from the Team Technology website.

    Naomi Quenk has an excellent book on the subject... "Was That Really Me"

    She discusses the "eruption of the Inferior" which for INFJs and INTJs is the same thing... Inferior Sensing.
     
    #19 INTJMom, Dec 20, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  20. blacksheep

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    I think I'm in that shadow right now. That's why I'm here. Feeling very disconnected. And I'm not sure what to believe anymore. I'm sorry for anyone else going through this. It sucks.
     
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