I've been thinking about why people have so much trouble typing themselves and why socionics seems so ambiguous. I think part of the problem is that we don't have a clear definition of how to tell whether a function's in the ego block. So I wanna go back to the basics and get some perspectives on this. What does it mean for a function to be in the ego block?
The simplest answer is that it means we're good at using this function. But this way of looking at it won't necessarily work for unhealthy representatives of types -- the people who have the most to gain by discovering their socionics types!
The same goes for trying to define function order in reference to external behavior. Plus, the "outside-in" way of looking for type dismisses the fact that different people do the same things for wildly divergent reasons.
Some people say we should just pay attention to which functions people use most often. But again, this is a problem for unhealthy types -- different environments can repress or exaggerate certain functions.
I know there was an old test that defined ego functions as the ones you're most "attentive" too. But there's a lot of different ways you can be attentive to something. In the case of a function, maybe you revel in the use of that function, or maybe you're scared shitless by it and can't stop thinking about it. Either way, you're attentive to it.
I'd propose another way of looking at functions: which function energizes you the most when you use it? (And maybe, for weak but valued functions: which function energizes you the most when used by other people?)
Or maybe a more abstract definition like... in the context of which function do you evaluate the other functions? Hmm, I hope that makes sense - it probably wouldn't be an effective basis of determining type without some good concrete examples.
So - what's the best criteria for determining function placement? How d'you tell whether a function is "strong" -- and conversely, whether it's weak or just repressed by an individual's environment?