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Thread: Unhealthy Leading Function

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    Default Unhealthy Leading Function

    I have a theory that people with an underdeveloped / unhealthy leading function appear similar to their supervisees. This is based on a couple people I know (I didn't just pull it out of my ass), and I'm curious whether it meshes with your experience.

    If the development of the leading function runs up against obstacles, the individual will retain acute sensitivity to that particular information aspect without developing the corresponding confidence / ease of active use. Therefore, on a superficial level, the individual's use of this function might appear similar to an exaggerated PoLR, and the person in question will fall back on their creative function. Eg:

    An LII is sensitive to the logical structure of things but becomes hypersensitive to their own perceived ability to generate logically consistent and structurally sound ideas -- so they fall back on Ne, and their pronounced sensitivity to combined with their insecurity in Ti makes them look like IEEs with exaggerated PoLRs.

    An EIE remains very sensitive to Fe, but their confidence in their ability to actively "manipulate" / "create" / "influence" Fe aspects of reality is impaired. So until they're able to realize their leading function, they fall back on Ni and have a prominent insecurity in all things Fe-related, so they come across as a fucked up ILI.

    Same thing works for any type -- theoretically. Does this line up with your experience?

    If it's true, it makes typing significantly harder because it contradicts the idea of behavioral typing. Then again, behavioral typing is probably a dead-end anyway because if we see socionics as just a way of modeling behavior instead of a method for understanding how people tick underneath the surface, then it becomes pointless, irrelevant, and tautological.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    An EIE remains very sensitive to Fe, but their confidence in their ability to actively "manipulate" / "create" / "influence" Fe aspects of reality is impaired. So until they're able to realize their leading function, they fall back on Ni and have a prominent insecurity in all things Fe-related, so they come across as a fucked up ILI.
    I think you're right. I can really identify with this.
    What do these signs mean—, , etc.? Why cannot socionists use symbols Ne, Ni etc. as in MBTI? Just because they have somewhat different meaning. Socionics and MBTI, each in its own way, have slightly modified the original Jung's description of his 8 psychological types. For this reason, (Ne) is not exactly the same as Ne in MBTI.

    Just one example: in MBTI, Se (extraverted sensing) is associated with life pleasures, excitement etc. By contrast, the socionic function (extraverted sensing) is first and foremost associated with control and expansion of personal space (which sometimes can manifest in excessive aagression, but often also manifests in a capability of managing lots of people and things).

    For this reason, we consider comparison between MBTI types and socionic types by functions to be rather useless than useful.

    -Victor Gulenko, Dmitri Lytov

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    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    If it's true, it makes typing significantly harder because it contradicts the idea of behavioral typing.
    But typing is hard. It's easier for mature and healthy persons for sure.

    Yes there are cases like what you describes, severe traumas, long term conditionings due to childhood or family / group pressure, persons not living the life they wanted and ending up not being themselves...

    The ones I've encountered and tested proved indeed to be way more difficult. Many times the person was unaware of their strong functions or even very under-confident, even though it was clear for observers that they were good at it.

    Making them acknowledge their real strengths is often a good step on the path of their personal growth.
    "Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.
    At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions."

    C. G. Jung


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    Unhealthy Leading function? Is this MBTI?

    I think a better term for your theory is insecurity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    I have a theory that people with an underdeveloped / unhealthy leading function appear similar to their supervisees. This is based on a couple people I know (I didn't just pull it out of my ass), and I'm curious whether it meshes with your experience.

    If the development of the leading function runs up against obstacles, the individual will retain acute sensitivity to that particular information aspect without developing the corresponding confidence / ease of active use. Therefore, on a superficial level, the individual's use of this function might appear similar to an exaggerated PoLR, and the person in question will fall back on their creative function. Eg:

    An LII is sensitive to the logical structure of things but becomes hypersensitive to their own perceived ability to generate logically consistent and structurally sound ideas -- so they fall back on Ne, and their pronounced sensitivity to combined with their insecurity in Ti makes them look like IEEs with exaggerated PoLRs.

    An EIE remains very sensitive to Fe, but their confidence in their ability to actively "manipulate" / "create" / "influence" Fe aspects of reality is impaired. So until they're able to realize their leading function, they fall back on Ni and have a prominent insecurity in all things Fe-related, so they come across as a fucked up ILI.

    Same thing works for any type -- theoretically. Does this line up with your experience?
    I haven't really seen this at all. I don't see any reason why someone would doubt their capabilities in the area of the leading function. Rather, what can happen is that you don't understand how your type-related strengths are desirable from the perspective of *other people*, especially if you're surrounded by people that you have a bad socionic relationship with. This can lead people to act in strange ways, over-using weak or unvalued functions usually. This can happen with the creative function too.

    If it's true, it makes typing significantly harder because it contradicts the idea of behavioral typing. Then again, behavioral typing is probably a dead-end anyway because if we see socionics as just a way of modeling behavior instead of a method for understanding how people tick underneath the surface, then it becomes pointless, irrelevant, and tautological.
    Well, duh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeroZen View Post
    But typing is hard. It's easier for mature and healthy persons for sure.

    Yes there are cases like what you describes, severe traumas, long term conditionings due to childhood or family / group pressure, persons not living the life they wanted and ending up not being themselves...

    The ones I've encountered and tested proved indeed to be way more difficult. Many times the person was unaware of their strong functions or even very under-confident, even though it was clear for observers that they were good at it.

    Making them acknowledge their real strengths is often a good step on the path of their personal growth.
    I wonder if there's a pattern in the tendency for people who have their type skewed in the way you describe to resemble other types. It stands to reason that if socionics has potential in terms of understanding the way people think, act, and feel, then it also has potential in terms of understanding the way thoughts, actions, and feels go awry in relation to socionics. That's what I was trying to get at specifically in my original post, but so far my observations don't seem to ring true for many people, either because it's not something that's easily observable or because it's just not accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by thehotelambush
    Well, duh.
    Yeah, this seems obvious in theoretical terms, but when it comes to figuring out what it means on a practical level, socionists tend to be completely lost. It's so damn hard to look beneath the surface, so too often socionics turns into an absurd exercise in trying to force people's external behavior and appearances into neat boxes instead of understanding the complex interactions between type and the environment, realizing that model A is a structural condensation and approximation of fluid patterns that react to external forces in a wide variety of ways.

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    I don't relate to this idea. I have leading Ni and sometimes think that it is not very well expressed, that I have not fostered and nurtured it or found proper outlets for it. But I don't act like an ESFj as a result--very, very far from it.

    If, rather than just being an unhealthy version of one's own type, a person can take on qualities of some other type, wouldn't that be more likely to result from environmental pressures, such as growing up among people whose types are way different from yours and trying to adapt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden View Post
    I don't relate to this idea. I have leading Ni and sometimes think that it is not very well expressed, that I have not fostered and nurtured it or found proper outlets for it. But I don't act like an ESFj as a result--very, very far from it.

    If, rather than just being an unhealthy version of one's own type, a person can take on qualities of some other type, wouldn't that be more likely to result from environmental pressures, such as growing up among people whose types are way different from yours and trying to adapt?
    Possibly. I think one might even take on their shadow type to adapt -- in fact, I suspect I did, myself.
    What do these signs mean—, , etc.? Why cannot socionists use symbols Ne, Ni etc. as in MBTI? Just because they have somewhat different meaning. Socionics and MBTI, each in its own way, have slightly modified the original Jung's description of his 8 psychological types. For this reason, (Ne) is not exactly the same as Ne in MBTI.

    Just one example: in MBTI, Se (extraverted sensing) is associated with life pleasures, excitement etc. By contrast, the socionic function (extraverted sensing) is first and foremost associated with control and expansion of personal space (which sometimes can manifest in excessive aagression, but often also manifests in a capability of managing lots of people and things).

    For this reason, we consider comparison between MBTI types and socionic types by functions to be rather useless than useful.

    -Victor Gulenko, Dmitri Lytov

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    I think you're right. I can really identify with this.
    me too

    Quote Originally Posted by thehotelambush View Post
    what can happen is that you don't understand how your type-related strengths are desirable from the perspective of *other people*, especially if you're surrounded by people that you have a bad socionic relationship with. This can lead people to act in strange ways, over-using weak or unvalued functions usually. This can happen with the creative function too.
    how is this different from OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    Possibly. I think one might even take on their shadow type to adapt -- in fact, I suspect I did, myself.
    what is shadow type??

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    It sounds like you're describing something similar to what Gulenko calls "accentuated functions". However, he describes such acute sensitivity as leading to that function being expressed more, not less, but in an obtrusive and unhealthy way.
    Quaero Veritas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinred View Post
    what is shadow type??
    In Jungian psychology the concept of shadows is often mentioned -- those being hidden parts of your psyche that arise under deep stress, as a coping mechanism. In MBTI it's debated whether the shadow consists of your two lower functions or of the opposite attitude to your four main functions (so the shadow of an ENTP would be INTJ for example); I'm leaning towards the latter myself. In Socionics I don't think a shadow function theory exists as such, but by my reckoning the best candidate for a Socionics shadow is the Id, as it consists of your hidden/ignored strengths.
    What do these signs mean—, , etc.? Why cannot socionists use symbols Ne, Ni etc. as in MBTI? Just because they have somewhat different meaning. Socionics and MBTI, each in its own way, have slightly modified the original Jung's description of his 8 psychological types. For this reason, (Ne) is not exactly the same as Ne in MBTI.

    Just one example: in MBTI, Se (extraverted sensing) is associated with life pleasures, excitement etc. By contrast, the socionic function (extraverted sensing) is first and foremost associated with control and expansion of personal space (which sometimes can manifest in excessive aagression, but often also manifests in a capability of managing lots of people and things).

    For this reason, we consider comparison between MBTI types and socionic types by functions to be rather useless than useful.

    -Victor Gulenko, Dmitri Lytov

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinred
    me too
    What type are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krig the Viking
    It sounds like you're describing something similar to what Gulenko calls "accentuated functions". However, he describes such acute sensitivity as leading to that function being expressed more, not less, but in an obtrusive and unhealthy way.
    Interesting read. I think the essential difference between Gulenko's theory and what I'm talking about is that while Gulenko examines how an abnormal sensitivity to any function leads to its over-expression, I'm looking for patterns in the way the natural sensitivity of a strong function (in conjunction with contextual variables) can result in the inhibition of that function.

    Also, when Gulenko goes into stuff like trying to explain autism in terms of a heightened focus on Ni, he is really overstepping his limits as a socionist in a massively stupid way. Shit like trying to reduce complex psychological phenomena to socionical formulas is what sometimes makes socionics look like a total fucking joke.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei
    In Socionics I don't think a shadow function theory exists as such, but by my reckoning the best candidate for a Socionics shadow is the Id, as it consists of your hidden/ignored strengths.
    I think stress also has a tendency to augment type characteristics -- people try to cope by retreating into the areas they are comfortable in, so their strong functions become more prominent and their weak functions fade into the background. Actually, putting someone in a very stressful and disorienting situation might be a more effective (if somewhat evil) way to type them because it would catalyze their strong functions and reveal their weaknesses.

    Of course, it's also important to remember that the degree to which a situation is perceived as "stressful" is probably linked to type. Situations that place more demand on weaker functions are going to come across as more stressful.

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    Beware that the "shadow wing" in MBTI is not the same as the "shadow archetype" in Jung, but the word is used in both cases in the "obscure" sense.

    Also don't make me say what I didn't say. I'm talking about isolated cases, too few to be anything more than statistical error, and there wasn't really any trend (each case traumas and problems were different and led to different compensation mechanisms each time) And all these persons were under psychiatric treatment at some point or still are.

    Also having "sensitive" or "devalued" functions doesn't mean you'll look like a nearby type when using the others. For instance, even if I force myself to stop intuiting at once and live in the "here and now" I won't become an SP type! So if I had for instance something in my past preventing me from using N and making me prefer S instead, I still would have N > S in terms of function strengths (I don't think weak functions can become stronger than #1 & #2)
    "Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.
    At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions."

    C. G. Jung


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    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    Interesting read. I think the essential difference between Gulenko's theory and what I'm talking about is that while Gulenko examines how an abnormal sensitivity to any function leads to its over-expression, I'm looking for patterns in the way the natural sensitivity of a strong function (in conjunction with contextual variables) can result in the inhibition of that function.
    I'm not entirely sure I follow. Do you mean like, an SLE who's grown up around Alphas suppressing his Base Se?

    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    Also, when Gulenko goes into stuff like trying to explain autism in terms of a heightened focus on Ni, he is really overstepping his limits as a socionist in a massively stupid way. Shit like trying to reduce complex psychological phenomena to socionical formulas is what sometimes makes socionics look like a total fucking joke.
    Er... I got the impression he was saying that accentuated Ni can lead to behaviour that resembles autism, not that it actually *is* autism. Admittedly, the reference isn't clear.
    Quaero Veritas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeroZen View Post
    Also having "sensitive" or "devalued" functions doesn't mean you'll look like a nearby type when using the others. For instance, even if I force myself to stop intuiting at once and live in the "here and now" I won't become an SP type! So if I had for instance something in my past preventing me from using N and making me prefer S instead, I still would have N > S in terms of function strengths (I don't think weak functions can become stronger than #1 & #2)
    Right. Your personality is still your personality, your strengths are still your strengths, though unexpressed.

    Bear with me and reject all I have to say here, for it will not be received well by everyone: I see people as being in a state of gradual spiritual incarnation over the course of a lifetime. The more they are properly nurtured, guided, safe, or even properly challenged, the more of the self they can express in the physical world. When circumstances work too strongly against them, they may manifest their essential selves more weakly or may even "excarnate."

    That's just how I see it--mystical mumbo-jumbo to some.

    Given that I see human beings in this way, it's hard for me to imagine that someone would merely start looking like a totally different type--I mean, a person acting like their supervisee ... hard for me to grasp this idea.

    But I can imagine that if a person is not expressing Self very strongly, (1) he could begin to learn non-type-typical behaviors in response to environmental pressures, and conversely, such pressures could repress Self; and (2) maybe certain aspects of self could get out of balance as in the "accentuated functions" idea forwarded by Gulenko.

    I think I would need a real-life example of someone acting like their supervisee for me to understand that proposition more fully. I can't think of anyone I've seen who does this. limNol, is your theory based on experience of some kind?

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    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    Yeah, this seems obvious in theoretical terms, but when it comes to figuring out what it means on a practical level, socionists tend to be completely lost. It's so damn hard to look beneath the surface, so too often socionics turns into an absurd exercise in trying to force people's external behavior and appearances into neat boxes instead of understanding the complex interactions between type and the environment, realizing that model A is a structural condensation and approximation of fluid patterns that react to external forces in a wide variety of ways.
    So true. Socionics is hard, and to be honest most people on this forum aren't very good at typing (although I'm happy to see that the situation may be improving as of recently).

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinred View Post
    how is this different from OP?
    Well, the leading function is still "confident." It's a question of how socially adapted the functions are, not how confidently they are used. In any case, it's very hard to "look like" another type because of environmental factors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limNol View Post
    I have a theory that people with an underdeveloped / unhealthy leading function appear similar to their supervisees. This is based on a couple people I know (I didn't just pull it out of my ass), and I'm curious whether it meshes with your experience.

    If the development of the leading function runs up against obstacles, the individual will retain acute sensitivity to that particular information aspect without developing the corresponding confidence / ease of active use. Therefore, on a superficial level, the individual's use of this function might appear similar to an exaggerated PoLR, and the person in question will fall back on their creative function. Eg:

    An LII is sensitive to the logical structure of things but becomes hypersensitive to their own perceived ability to generate logically consistent and structurally sound ideas -- so they fall back on Ne, and their pronounced sensitivity to combined with their insecurity in Ti makes them look like IEEs with exaggerated PoLRs.

    An EIE remains very sensitive to Fe, but their confidence in their ability to actively "manipulate" / "create" / "influence" Fe aspects of reality is impaired. So until they're able to realize their leading function, they fall back on Ni and have a prominent insecurity in all things Fe-related, so they come across as a fucked up ILI.

    Same thing works for any type -- theoretically. Does this line up with your experience?

    If it's true, it makes typing significantly harder because it contradicts the idea of behavioral typing. Then again, behavioral typing is probably a dead-end anyway because if we see socionics as just a way of modeling behavior instead of a method for understanding how people tick underneath the surface, then it becomes pointless, irrelevant, and tautological.
    I don't know for sure, but Jung spoke about people becoming too engrossed in their leading function, for instance an Fe leading type who becomes so engrossed in the emotional standard that it becomes something like a procedure and looses the sense of 'feelings' with it, or a Ti leading type who becomes so engrossed in their fantasy related subjective thinking that it doesn't apply to the world at all, that kind of stuff, or something like it.

    You could be right in what you're saying or it could be the leading function has sunk too far into itself, kinda. Don't know but there's all sorts of people out there.

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