[INFJ] - Type: Assumed or Aquired Social Mask? | INFJ Forum

[INFJ] Type: Assumed or Aquired Social Mask?


Love Often & Absolutely ♡
Retired Staff
Jul 14, 2016
2w1, 2w3
The nature of shadow functions are that they are something that is used only sparingly or when in moments of stress, not typically as a primary mode of operation. Over time, when used as the primary mode, only results in tiring the individual out, especially if he or she is continually acting in ways that are uncomfortable or does not feel natural to their preferred normal state.

Please post your preferred function.

What personality type do you think you present in social situations?

Do you like or have you used your shadow functions as a preference while in a social situation (s)?

What were they?

Why do you think that it was your shadow, triteritary, or auxiliary function?

Please give stories and specifics if you are comfortable to do so.
Thank you. :)

Because when they are mentioned as 'preferences' it isn't meant in the sense of you consciously choose the function and then that becomes your dominant or aux or whatever. The preference refers to an inherency in thought processing and information gathering....although you can consciously try to enage in acts that could be associated with a certain function.....but this is not the same as developing your weaker than weak shadow functions into something of use.

As for the example you used to explain Fi being shunted off in favour of Ti.....just...no. Afterall Fi is the dominant, of all the functions for a type the dominant is the least mutable since it is almost the definer through which the others are filtered. So for example the way Fi appears in an INFP may be different than the way Fi appears in an ENFP. Because with one it is the defining framework of all the other processes and with the other it is playing second fiddle to the perceptions of dominant Ne.

This doesn't mean that an ENFP and INFP will not share some similarities in terms of values, (although of course we are still individuals regardless of type), but there will be differences.

As for the Ti side of this, since it was used as an example, i'll mention that Ti doesn't really work with details so much that it breaks things down and then builds them up again all the time allowing a person to pick apart the inconsistancies of something using subjective logic, this helps with classification and sub-classifications of principals and whatnot, it also allows for a preciseness and accuracy in the evaluation and construction of frameworks.

In any case, even if there were such an odd person as an INFP who favours Ti over Fi....they most likely would not be able to keep this up for any length of time without causing themselves stress and tiring themselves out. Eventually they would find themselves reverting back to Fi because it is a more established and well developed preference.

However I do agree somewhat with one aspect of function theory when it comes to developing some over others and that is this idea that you can develop tertiary over auxiliary or even inferior over something, (excepting the dominant which is like the bottom set of a house of cards), because of some sort of life experience that an individual might have been subject to.

Of course whether or not there is any real evidence for this is unclear, but then again evidence is often hard to find when concerning theories such as these, at least non-heuristic evidence.

Actually ive thought of something else since you asked about using two Ji functions. Within the way the theory was constructed using Jung's work it is put forth that if extraversion or introversion is the attitude of the dominant, then as a balance so must the auxiliary be the opposite.

This is because as Jung observed a person possesses a capacity for both introversion and extraversion even though they usually have a clear preference for one over the other. This does not mean, however, that they are incapable of playing into the opposite field.

If a person were to have two leading introverted functions, let's use judging ones since that is the example you used, then such a person would theoretically be incapable of outward expression and vice versa that a person with two extraverted judging functions would find him/herself unable to introspect to any useful degree and therefore lack an internal anchor to themselves.

It makes more sense that there is a balance of attitudes than that there isn't. But this doesnt mean I am not open to new evidence and a good argument towards the other side of this; if someone can present one.

ps: You aren't allowed to use those with brain damage or some other form of neurological impairment, that would be cheating. We're talking so called 'healthy' people here.
Please post your preferred function.

Ti/Ne with a smattering of Fe are my preferred functions. Si is lurking in the corner pointing & giggling at me whilst its detailed recollections elude my grasp by the narrowest of margins.

What personality type do you think you present in social situations?

It depends on the situation. If I'm among friends/loved ones and therefore relaxed, INTP. Some have mistaken me for an extrovert before (lol) so I may appear ENTP if I really get going on particular topics and the ideas start flying.

When meeting people I don't know in an informal setting, still INTP but noticeably quieter as I go into full listening/observing mode. I think the main reason I do this is to locate connection points (or disconnects, as the case may be). I tend to ask a lot of questions. I don't tend to volunteer a lot of personal information unless directly requested.

In business settings, I probably come across more ISTJ. People love stories so I work my ass off to datamine my Si (not easy) and to...talk..logic..stuff..speaking..like (Te, and it usually makes about that much sense when I try to do it :grimacing:).

Do you like or have you used your shadow functions as a preference while in a social situation (s)?

I find them to be unreliable, starting with Te as noted above.

One thing though - In stressful/hectic work situations, I have noticed my full shadow ENTJ come to the forefront. When I've got enough adrenaline blasting through me I'm pretty good at organizing tasks for others; it's a way to overlay my internal logic preferences into a real world setting. I do like efficiency which is generally seen as a Te trait.

I think this is also where I'm sometimes mistaken for an "effective leader." :smile:

Why do you think that it was your shadow, triteritary, or auxiliary function?

Because it's uncomfortable and tiring to be in that mode (ISTJ, ENTJ, etc) for long periods of time.

Please give stories and specifics if you are comfortable to do so.

I will later if I think of some (Si to the "rescue" again :blush:).
Please post your preferred function.

Ne/Te? :)

What personality type do you think you present in social situations?

Not sure. I think INTP or INTJ is actually pretty common when I'm being observant, analytical, or critical. I like dissecting or critiquing something, taking it apart. I also like offering possibilities or alternative views others haven't thought about. I like questioning generally accepted assumptions.

However, in education, you are responsible for encouraging, engaging, and socializing with others in a way that's external to your own interests or desires. So ENFP or ENFJ in teaching mode because I want them to feel relaxed and comfortable, and make it easy for them to feel I'm open enough to talk or interact. But during the break, I revert to my introverted self.
This is a pretty complex question, I appreciate that!

I am an Ni user through and through and it's very hard for me to move away from that base, and it seems that in social situations or during times of stress I tend to move either in the ISFJ or INTJ direction. So, essentially I stick to my Ni/Fe wheelhouse with my Introverted Sensing shooting up and slightly edging out my Ni in times of personal duress and my Extroverted Thinking shooting up over my Fe in times of social situational overload.

I'll have to think about this some more. Not sure I can answer more succinctly than that but I may come up with more thoughts later.
I am open, honest and myself around genuine people in small groups, only after feeling out the audience. I appeal to the prejudices of the crowd, if there is a reason to hide my true self. I'll mimic other personality types from the depths of my tactical toolbox. I've been doing this for years. You can, in many ways, control and manipulate people by wearing a mask. It has proven beneficial. Not many people deserve to see or know the real me. Call that behavior Machiavellian, but it has it's uses.

Most frequently, I'll employ my "T" arsenal.
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Please post your preferred function.

Ni, quite clearly. My most developed skill is philosophising and trying to come up with syntheses combining disparate ideas and images.

What personality type do you think you present in social situations?

When I'm with strangers I often seem distant one way or another; at times fiercely analytical, other times just reticent, or then I'm doing something unusual like climbing on fences, following an impulse that others might find peculiar. I think I may come across somewhat like an INTJ, although immediately when I'm more relaxed it's obvious that I'm not. This might also have something to do with the fact that most of my good friends have been INTJs, so I'm used to talking about their kinds of things, but meeting people who can emotionally understand me and are willing to talk about such things is much less common. It's my biggest problem, expecting that my emotions are not understood.

With people close to me I show the Fe side more openly. I care about people and the world a lot, and can be quite giddy at times, but I'm cautious about showing it for the fear of seeming strange, naive and gullible (which I suppose I am once I let my guard down, to be honest). Also if I'm in a place where people share an interest with me (like a museum) I can be more clearly an INFJ, approaching people, talking about my impressions, trying to be friendly to everyone.

Do you like or have you used your shadow functions as a preference while in a social situation (s)?
What were they?
Why do you think that it was your shadow, triteritary, or auxiliary function?
Please give stories and specifics if you are comfortable to do so.

Maybe I've used Fi when stressed, but I could be mistaken, and it was just me falling back to Ni-Ti loop. I've found that Fi users can be very warm when you get close to them, but if you do something they consider wrong they can be annoyingly judgmental, see the situation in black and white, and consider the dichotomy as being rational and logical. Normally I would say it's not rational at all; it's more reasonable to see the uncertainty in situations, and the way people are complex creatures that often make mistakes without wanting to. But sometimes when I've been hurt I've done what my Fi pals do, sulking alone, waiting for someone to rescue me even though I look like I want nothing to do with people.

But regarding the Ni-Ti loop. In my early twenties I went through a break-up that, while not particularly horrible as such, left me shattered for several years. It was my first longer relationship. As a result I became cautious, even scared of people for a while, and lived in a world of my own studying philosophy and art. It was not all bad, because I was at the university at the time, and the focus did help with my studies. But it seemed that I was denying a part of myself that was very important. It wasn't all denial; I used to spend hours and hours in bed, daydreaming about love, all the wonderful things I'd do with the right person. But only gradually I learned again to express that desire to others. And from an outsider's perspective I might have just looked like a Fi user with a tendency to overanalyse everything and not being able to relax in social situations.

The reason why I'm uncertain about what is the case here is that both unhealthy Fi users and INFJs in a Ni-Ti loop can be unreasonably critical to the point of alienating everyone around them. Even in times of stress I'm usually very open about my emotions and, if given the chance, want to talk about them and analyse them or then just let myself go and be in the flow of feelings. Yet if someone close to me, with whom I'd normally talk about feelings, has hurt me badly, I may resort to picking apart their arguments (Te) or retreating (Fi), using both functions in an immature way. I think the fact that I use these functions only when really upset and not in a constructive way reveals that they're shadow functions. But it's not that far from trying to appeal to generic rules in which I see consistency that others might not, and ignoring the more compassionate and outgoing functions, as is the case if I'm simply too scared to use extraverted feeling.

TL;DR: I might have used shadow functions when stressed, but it's also possible that I was using my main functions in an unhealthy way, because different types, if they're upset, may behave in similar ways even though their thinking preferences are dissimilar.