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Step 3 - Stop Judging, Start Loving (again)

Picture Credit Ananth Narayan My favorite Jung quote has to be

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

I know from my own experience that when you tick me off, it's probably because you're doing something a) I was always told not to do, or b) I want to do, but am too chicken. Either way, my knee-jerk reaction is going to be petty, begrudging, and resentful. I'm going to want to put you down so I don't have to feel so bad about myself. You're triggering something in me that still needs work to be integrated.

Type knowledge is really helping me understand the so-called Shadow functions, those that are unconscious, active below the surface, mostly bubbling up when I'm sick, tired, or stressed. You know those moments, when words are leaving your mouth as soon as you hear them you're aghast and wonder, "did I really just say that?" I've had plenty of those. They are great learning moments. Tough, but easy to remember, thanks to the strong emotions connected with them.

Let's take a moment to clarify that people with a "J" in their type code are not necessarily judgmental. Yes, J is short for Judging, but what that means in MBTI® theory is the function expressed in the extraverted attitude, what you're letting others see, is either Thinking (Te) or Feeling (Fe). When you have a P in your type code, it doesn't mean you're necessarily more perceptive, but that you're showing your perceiving function, Sensing (Se) or Intuiting (Ne), to the outside world.

How prejudiced are you, really?

Our cultural upbringing is going to play a big role in what is important to us; shaping our values. Someone violating those values will also trigger a judgmental response. Since our limbic brains are still conditioned to operate with a "Be Like Me" program, it's much easier to call someone "lazy" or "incompetent" if they do things differently. Believe me, when you're moving to another country or start working with an international team, that's going to happen a lot.

To appreciate the validity of the different approaches, we have to activate our neocortex and start considering the context that the other person is operating in. This is a conscious exercise, and our brains generally don't want to do a lot of work, so the judgmental or stereotypical response is easier to stick with. My opinion is that a stereotype in and of itself isn't bad, only insisting on it without examining the circumstances or accepting evidence of the contrary is.

Project ImplicitHere's a free online quiz you can take to see how much your unconscious is influencing your judgments:

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

You'll be asked to associate descriptions (good / bad) with e.g. race (black / white), self (you / others), size (big / small), and other items, depending on which assessments you choose to try out. It's truly insightful, so I hope you can take some time and perhaps even share your results with us.

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Extraverted Thinking Te

Hello! Thanks for visiting and please enjoy the free info below! 

Just fyi, you can find me over at www.dorisfullgrabe.com from now on, where I'm making custom lettering and calligraphy. 

This archive will be discontinued next month. 

Te doodle
Te doodle

You're using extraverted Thinking or Te when you're organizing thoughts or things. When you're being effective and efficient. When you use systems and sequences to help you do your work. When you reach conclusions easily and objectively. When you plan for success, and notice if something isn't in order. 

ESTJ
ESTJ
ENTJ
ENTJ

For people with Te as their dominant function, they cannot not structure their inner and outer environment. They are likely to take charge, supporting their decisions with logical facts and leaving personal or subjective feelings at the door.

Expats using Te to decide on an assignment are likely to trust factual data over personal feelings, and may rush to conclusions. Since an international relocation is a complex decision with many factors, it is helpful to take time thinking through various angles and consider the impact on all family members. An attractive relo package in the short term may not compensate a career break for your spouse in the long run.

If Te is in different positions in your type dynamics, below is an overview pieced together with only a few items taken from Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to the Personality Type Code, by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi. Let me say this again to be very clear: the description of how Te can be expressed in the different positions is not exhaustive and only meant to give you an overview. I would love to have you comment below how it shows up for you.

extraverted Thinking Te
extraverted Thinking Te

If you'd like to practice your Te skills, start by using tools like step-by-step checklists, your calendar, or Excel spreadsheets. Focus on objective arguments, facts, and data when presenting information and making decisions. Pay attention to specific words those around you use. Try finding a place for everything and keeping everything in its place, e.g. starting with your desk.

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Function Attitudes 101

8 functions flower doodleJung used the term "function" to explain ways we use our brain to gather information and make decisions. Sensing and Intuiting are his "irrational", perceiving, information-gathering functions; Thinking and Feeling are his "rational", judging, decision-making functions. Jung described our direction and source of mental energy ("libido") as an Extraversion or Introversion "attitude". Since all functions can occur in both attitudes, we end up with eight function-attitudes (a term probably first coined by Henry L. Thompson).

They are:

Extraverted Sensing Se; Introverted Sensing Si; Extraverted Intuiting Ne; Introverted Intuiting Ni; Extraverted Thinking Te; Introverted Thinking Ti; Extraverted Feeling Fe; and Introverted Feeling Fi.

Over the next 8 days, we'll go into a little more detail about each of these.

You have access to and use all eight function-attitudes, but they show up differently according to where they are in the hierarchy of your personality preferences.

I got four letters on this test, but I don't remember what they are...

If you have taken the MBTI(r) or another personality type indicator, you probably received a four-letter code. Your type code is short-hand for the type dynamics and patterns that lie within. For example, someone with ESFJ preferences has Fe as their lead, dominant, first function; someone with INTP preferences has Fe as their inferior, aspirational, fourth function; someone with ENTJ preferences has Fe as their demonic, eighth function.

Type describes the patterns that those mental preferences bring to who you are and how you behave. Don't break the code into its segments (e.g. to describe someone as a "Sensor" or a "Feeler"), because it's only the context of the whole type that accurately reflects your personality and mental processes.

I can do all functions equally well

Congratulations! Sadly, you're probably kidding yourself.

The function you develop first as your dominant is usually the one you are most comfortable with and most skilled at. It is also the one that is most under your conscious control. The further we go down the list, the less ability we generally have, right down to the eighth function that we probably use with least effectiveness. Until we become aware of the processes and work at improving them, of course.

Dr. John Beebe, noted Jungian analyst, developed a model where he charted the eight function-attitudes to archetypes. Archetypes are universal images that represent the human experience. He calls the first four function-attitudes ego-syntonic, or experienced as part of the self, and the last four ego-dystonic, or experienced as foreign to the self. In other words, those are behaviors and attributes we may project onto something or someone else without recognizing that they are part of us, inside us.

My favorite Jung quote:

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

 

Here's an overview of the terminology, and how the functions show up(1).

Function Attitudes Overview

Understanding what these functions mean for your particular type can have tremendous impact on your personal development, how you deal with stress, with change, your leadership and communication style, and it can certainly improve personal relationships as well. I have found them most helpful in my own analysis of how I dealt with expatriation challenges, and I've successfully used it with some clients as well.

What's the difference between conscious and unconscious functions?

You have the most conscious access to your first two functions. Your preferred functions are what comes most naturally to you. This is you in flow, at your best, on a perfect day, when things come easy. These two functions give you strengths and abilities that you probably take for granted and can't believe others don't have the same. These first two functions are the ones that you will have developed during childhood and adolescence, and - in an ideal environment that nurtured your gifts - got to practice the most.

The third function comes into play in or around mid-life, and the fourth function after that, if at all. This is why we have so many people in "mid-life crisis". It's their third and fourth function demanding attention - a completely normal and healthy process on the road to "individuation", becoming your whole self. Again - once you're aware of your type dynamics, you can start consciously working on developing all functions so you get comfortable using them eventually. With some you may never attain a level of grace, but at least you'll notice when they're working you.

functions conscious energy doodle

Because guess what: you're not in control of all the functions all the time, some take control of you. Particularly those that are more unconscious. Especially at times when you are sick, or tired, or stressed, or all of the above.

When those unconscious functions take over, and even when you try to consciously use them more effectively, it takes mental effort. When you're stressed, you may feel quite literally beside yourself. "Was that really me?" is a title of a book dealing with type and stress, that's how common that question is.

When you're unhappy with who you are and think you have to change for some reason, you will have to overcome your natural preferences and force yourself. It's not easy pretending to be someone else, and it's certainly tiresome.

Thankfully, type awareness helps. Or as Linda puts it:

"When you know who you are, you are freer to be who you're not."

(1) Understanding Yourself and Others - An Introduction to the Personality Type Code, Linda V. Berens, Dario Nardi

 

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