General Characteristic of Functions in the Structure of IM Type
Function number one.
The level of personality organization, or the principle of existence. "Good"
This area of psyche is rather conservative and could hardly be changed. In the area of the first function lies person’s self-confidence. Here the question 'Do I exist or do I not exist?” is answered. The first function covers everything that I am confident about, everything I know about myself. This sphere is very important, deliberate and guarded. Actually it is the system of values. We label it with the word "good".
Cartesian principle, Cogito ergo sum (“I think, therefore I exist”) is actually valid perhaps for only two types whose subjective logic corresponds to the first function (i.e., Maxim and Robespierre). For other types different principles of existence can be valid: “I am loved, therefore I exist”, “I am healthy, therefore I exist”, “I feel, therefore I exist”, “The world is in order, therefore I exist”, “I act, therefore I exist”.
Usually in the area of the first function a person demonstrates good grasp and management of the situation. Here people rely on their own authority and have deep subconscious confidence that they are right: “I have a good grasp of this area of life”
If this function is "under attack" (for example, someone declares doubts in one's basic values), the person demonstrates aggression because the area of his life has been invaded where lies the criterion which determines whether he/she exists or not.
As a rule the person ignores the feedback in the area of the first function. Therefore, facing a situation requiring to change something pertaining to the first function an individual tries to change as little as possible or not to do it at all. Any attempt to influence the level of personality organization is perceived as an attack on the principle of existence, an attempt to destroy ME.
Everyone needs positive feedback on the first function. It helps a person to think that everything is all right. It is not difficult to do a competent infusion through the fourth function if you do a simultaneous positive feedback on the first function.
Function number minus-one.
Area of ignoring. Minus values. "Bad"
The area of ignoring. Here an individual demonstrates uncertainty. This part of reality a person does not recognize, he ignores it; therefore his psychological space is limited. If elements of this area become apparent in person’s life they are perceived as objective evil. Each type ignores a certain part of reality, it bars it from consciousness. Usually it does not see it.
Function number two.
Creative function. The level of functioning. " Necessary"
It is the area where an individual acts as a functional system. The second function is also labeled as the risk zone because in this area a person may take a risk, i.e. has a lot of freedom for self-realization. Here it is possible to take physical or intellectual risk, or risk in the internal state. Each IM type has its own risk zone.
The second function could be labeled "it is necessary", or "I need to", because it consists of means and conditions helpful in self-expression, demonstration of one’s potential & creativity. There is place for both creation and destruction. A lot of internal freedom to chose strategy leads to making very “radical” decisions.
Specific character of verbal behavior is in many ways connected with the second function. The second function means creativity, demonstration of opportunities and things 'that I can do', and at the same time it is the most easily rationalized sphere.
Function number minus-two.
Area of behavioral norms, standards, stereotypes. "Unnecessary"
Here a person demonstrates conservatism, in this area he is not creative, here the 'self-evident norms' and most rigid patterns exist. Maintaining of these patterns takes efforts, and behavior of other people who break these norms irritates him.
Function number three.
Principle of self-appraisal. Area of least resistance. "Problems"
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.
As it has already been said, the third function is a place in the structure of personality type through which the individual gets energy from the society. The constant negative self-appraisal is unbearable for anyone. People go to extreme measures to deny the bad traits in himself/herself. It is interesting to examine the development of neuroses from the point of view of putting up a defense according to the third function when self-justification leads to an “escape to illness”. Trying to avoid the judgment of his/her consciousness: “there is nothing good in me”, a person begins to justify him/ herself: “There is nothing wrong with me, I am just ill”. Then the block of self-estimation starts to work in not-so-strict mode making allowance for the illness, and in order to validate the allowance the person 'supports' the illness. The analysis of the third function helps to better understand the neurotic mechanisms of escaping from reality.
The more we protect the third function the more we detach ourselves from the world and the more 'reasons' we have for various disorders. Any defense in this area leads to fixing boundaries, to dividing, splitting the whole world into parts and areas. Any splitting causes inner contradictions and eventually results in the inability to adapt, loneliness and illness. The result is not always dramatic, but this mechanism works, and such scenario can be observed quite often.
If a person is successful in the sphere of the third function he or she may flaunt and seek for approval of close ones, because success is a reason for good self-esteem. According to the third function people are in need of clear confirmation that “they are all right”. “People really admire me, they need me” (Don Quixote and Zhukov). “This is in fact my territory, and my soldiers are loyal to me” (Napoleon). “I truly understand this all, and my understanding is confirmed by experts and authorities in the area” (Dumas). If suddenly something goes wrong, efforts are made to clarify the situation. For an onlooker these actions seem superfluous, not adequate at all to the situation. Uncertainty, ambiguity in issues pertaining to the third function is subjectively experienced as a loss of energy, that is why this area takes person's close attention and becomes a favorite topic for discussions. If only people realized how much time they spend supporting psychological comfort according to the third function!
Function number minus-three.
Zone of problem solving.
This function suggests ways to solve problems of a particular IM type.
Function number four.
Suggestive function. The principle of "place assessment". Motives. "I want to"
This is a function through which a suggestion might be done most easily. In the fourth function area an individual is open for external influences. Depending on which type the person belongs to; different outer signals have more or less impact on him or her. It is often thought (often confirmed at public hypnosis sessions) that 7 to 10 % of people yield to hypnosis while others do not. I believe that it is just not so. Each person is subject to suggestive psychotherapy. The problem is that the techniques of trance induction used at public sessions work effectively only with one or two out of sixteen types, the rest of the audience does not respond.
While the first function is about "things I have sufficient knowledge about", the fourth function is about "what other people know". Here a person is prone to be guided by others, to lean on external authority. In practice of suggestive psychotherapy and hypnosis a concept of rapport is used: the concept of connection between the hypnotist and the object of hypnosis. Each type has a 'built-in' rapport with the external world. This is the core of the fourth function. Here the person is most gullible and open for external information, he takes it in without discernment.
Each IM type has an area open for suggestion, so everyone has this breach for gullibility. And I believe it would be good for people who are, so to speak, interested in inner their mechanics, to know about this feature of their type. It is useful to know what happens when the external world somehow manipulates you. It is good to be on guard be able to detect, recognize and correct such influences, it does not mean you are on defense (in my opinion, it is not good to be on defense from the external world); it means that your behavior is conscious.
Good knowledge of one's fourth function is very important from the point of view of increase of one's level of awareness. As a rule, in this area people are hypochondriacal. Strange things happen here. For example, other people know whether I am ill or healthy. Others tell me whether I am in love or not. In this sphere a person is not discerning. As a rule he/she simply does not pay attention to a suggestion. It might be recognized later, when experiencing a new quality of state. Usually it is not recognized at all. However, when I know this trait of my personality, I have a chance to discern an attempt to manipulate me at an earlier stage. And as soon as the attempt is discerned, it is not unconscious any more. Then I am in control, allowing or blocking certain influences. It is a very interesting research – learning about the areas where I am open, hypochondriacal or unprotected. To begin with when exposed to certain influences pay attention to your automatisms.
Usually people are unaware of the fourth function, and are prone to create situations where 'programming' occurs. Often such behavior appears to be a process of collecting of strategies, estimations, and information processing techniques. And in the same area uneasiness and anxiety are frequent. Even gross flattery and obvious disinformation presented through the channels of the fourth function have good chances to pass without criticism.
If the active set of stereotypes and habitual reactions in this sphere is extensive enough, the person may look rather effective in corresponding area. Unlike the situation with the second function, this efficiency is discrete – when facing unusual, non-standard environment all efficiency may disappear.
The subject matter of the fourth function is often used as the criteria for assessing a place, for example: “I am loved here, so the place is good ” (Maxim). Here person's motivation ("I want to") is detected: “I want to be loved”.
The third and fourth functions affect the choice of the social niche. As a rule, we look for a place in a society where these functions would be protected in one way or another. It happens instinctively.
Why do I need to know the fourth function of the type? The better I know the programming channels, the less I am exposed to external influences. It is a challenge for everyone with any IM type.
Function number minus-four.
Area of fears. " I do not want to"
The opposition to "I want to …" is "I do not want to …" ("I am scared"). This is the zone of fears. As a rule, people tend to avoid these disturbing and strange issues. Although there is nothing that a human cannot know or understand.
It is interesting to examine career orientation from the point of view of this function. For many occupations there are lists of desirable personal qualities. It is important that important qualities do not fall in the zone of fears or in the zone of negative values. Of course, people are more than an IM type, they can master any trade. (In Soviet Russia slogans like “No one is irreplaceable”, “If you do not know how – we will teach you, if you do not want - we will force you” were very popular.) But people of different types pay a different psychological price: for some an occupation may be a source of enormous energy, for others – a cause of a heart attack!
People subconsciously seek for an occupation, which can satisfy the needs of their type so that the second function is fulfilled, the third function is protected as much as possible and the fourth function is satisfied. There is no exact conformity, we cannot say: this job is for that type, and that profession – for another one. Nevertheless, type analysis provides an interesting perspective for a research in this area.
Today the subject of work classifies occupations. For example, person - person, person - nature, person – sign occupations. Into the last category fall both a typist and a mathematician. In my opinion, occupations should be classified according to types and psychological traits of character best suited for the job. Motives and aspirations, strong and weak traits of character of certain type should be examined with the reference to professionally important and professionally unwanted qualities. Of course, the same occupation could be quite suitable for people of different types.
Currently a study of occupations with reference to types is conducted. Knowing their type people can make better decisions when choosing a trade or a profession.
Certainly, any person can be engaged in any activity, but as we have already said the psychological price of the activity would be different. Napoleon, for example, is well suited for the role of a leader, he constantly gets additional energy, psychological rewards from the job, and he is the right man in the right place. For Don Quixote, on the contrary, the psychological price of the job would be devastating simply because of the manipulations implied in area of his third function and the zone of fears. Therefore, as a rule, Don Quixote tries to avoid leading positions; he looks for a place of a consulting expert or something of the kind.