This is the function by which a person estimates him/herself. Psychology has a concept of a reference group - a group of significant people in one's life (first of all parents, then – other respected people) who evaluate him: “you are good” or “you are bad”. Thus he receives energy from the society. Gradually interiorization takes place, i.e. a kind of virtual 'transfer' of the reference group into the psyche. Psychologically this group of important adults turns into one of the blocks of one's evaluation thinking, the self-estimation block. When it becomes a part of our consciousness, there is no place to hide any more.
People subconsciously organize their behavior in order to secure positive feedback on this function. Positive self-appraisal is an enormous energy source for a person. When an individual perceives himself as “good”, he or she gets enough enthusiasm, inspiration, and energy for further performance. Function number three provides reasons for good or bad attitude to oneself; therefore it can become a source of various neuroses and psychosomatic disorders (self-justification neuroses in particular). In short, it is a double-edged social weapon.
This area can be labeled 'the zone of problems'. It is of great significance to a person and therefore it is a problem. Here people do not understand humor, they are simply not ready to joke about these issues. As a rule, these jokes cause somatic reflex of autonomic nervous system, frustration, and stress. People tend to simplify and clarify to the maximum a situation when possible. There is no place for taking risks. Usually situation is made clear through simplification: better “in a minus” but clear. Simplification of situation according to function number three is a psychological shield, which compensates lack of discernment in this sphere. Here people are very attentive, they demonstrate increased uneasiness. In this sphere conflicts are not infrequent; petulance is often demonstrated because according to the third function people need freedom and assurance of psychological safety. Impacting a person through the third function as a rule causes inadequate (in others' opinion) behavior.
People constantly protect their third function; each person has his own strategy. There are two kinds of protective devices: "in plus” and “in minus”. Thus, answering a question regarding one's health someone can say: “I am absolutely healthy” or, on the contrary: “I am so unwell, it is a surprise I can still walk”. If external relations prevail on the third function, the negative defense may look as follows: “Yes, I am bad, I am even worse than you think”. It is at least clear: “I am the worst”. Positive defense is displayed when a person basically could not stand any exacerbation and tries to sort out attitudes: “Do you love me?” or, “Did I offend you? I did not mean to. Let's sort it out. I am a good person worthy of your love”. People put a lot of effort in putting up a defense around vulnerable areas. If the logic of the objective world prevails here then I should know precisely whether this territory is mine or not, whether this job is mine or not, i.e. to know definitely where the borders of the social structure are.