Types Under Stress by I/O
Imagine the normally even-keeled ISTj who seeks out others to help emotionally rationalize a rejection, the caring ENFj who withdraws into petty logistics when overwhelmed, and the wouldn't-say-boo INFp who suddenly attacks an aggressor. Provided that primal instincts haven't taken over, this seemingly uncharacteristic behaviour can be attributed to cognitive processes trying to cope, self-correct, or regain stability.
When a type subconsciously perceives an inability to cope with a set of circumstances, whether they be real or imagined, processing tries to correct or adapt. Stable, data-control systems usually have the ability to maintain track and bring processes back to centre. Corrections are usually negative and 'first-order' ones are employed within the normal functioning of a type (note that X = S or N, and Y = F or T):
** EXYps stop their exploration or experimentation to rationalize whether or not they're on course or getting what they intended; if not, they'll modify their strategies so that further input is possible.
** EXYjs continually modify their internalized references to keep current. As new rationalization becomes available, the baselines, to which all input is compared, are modified in realtime to accommodate newly acquired ways of looking at things.
** IXYps will engage others in sort of defensive, brain-storming sessions to reconfirm or criticize rationalizations in a process to refine their own references, knowledge and skill.
** IXYjs will stop rationalizing and let their senses take over for awhile to get confirmation that everything is according to plan; they'll exhaustively search for corroborating evidence before changing any strategies.
Note that closed-loop types (IXYps and EXYjs) interactively apply feedback to correct processes ad hoc in realtime unlike the premeditated open-loop types (IXYjs and EXYps). Initially, E-types try to correct internalized references while I-types try to correct the externalized references.
When primary references and processes fail or are brought into question, a new approach is needed. The only option is to switch processing to the opposite, open or closed-loop configuration and to also switch ones preferences (N, S, T or F). These constraints on cognitive transformation serve to protect ones primary references.
In a 'second-order' configuration, the same output (j) or input (p) orientation is maintained and objectives are not brought into question. EXYp types can behave like I[XY]ps, and EXYjs exhibit I[XY]j behaviour (or vice versa, where [XY] means not X and not Y). This transformation can have varying degrees of success, and the resulting transformation into seemingly ones dual type can sometimes be rather unsettling. This switch can stimulate change or address a specific situation, or it can simply be a non-productive episode.
If second-order processing also fails to produce resolution, a third-order configuration is possible but it could be labelled the 'devil's advocate' mode. Ones objectives are being questioned when processes also switch to the opposite, p or j-preference. EXYp types may behave like E[XY]js while IXYjs exhibit I[XY]p behaviour (or vice versa). For example, in a stressful situation, an ENTj may try to put on the charm and adopt an ESFp-like attitude to widen perception and be less reactive – essentially transform into their activity partner.
These alternate modes are simply a means of viewing information from alternate sets of reference perspectives or employing different tactics toward a problem. These temporary type transformations are only possible within the same quadra:
** EXYp > I[XY]p > E[XY]j
** EXYj > I[XY]j > E[XY]p
** IXYp > E[XY]p > I[XY]j
** IXYj > E[XY]j > I[XY]p
Note that for self-preservation, only first-order processes can effect real change to the ego; any other mechanism must be non-threatening to the primary references, which means that alternate views should be accessible but also dismissible when in normal mode.
The following conflicting transitions cannot occur because the type pairs have identical input-output structures even though the pairs are opposite in fundamental processing priorities, objectives and preferences:
** EXYp <> I[XY]j
** IXYp <> E[XY]j
A separate super-ego configuration is also not possible since preferences (N versus S and T versus F) are already part of ones primary reference system. For example, ENTps can never show more ESFp behaviour than already exists.
One needs to be able to deal with complexities that are not necessarily suited to ones particular type. This may be accomplished through two additional, independent, data control-system configurations, each of which exhibit its own behavioural characteristics. Types are not necessarily proficient in alternate modes but these do provide different perspectives and tactics. All types will occasionally notice behaviours in themselves and others that seem a little out of character, especially when they're young, in difficult situations or environments, or stressed.
Stress order goes: Super-Id -> Super-Ego -> Ego -> Id. Id is the end because it is the culmination of one's life strengths, is entirely easy, and autonomous. If that fails, bye bye psyche.
muhtempus: I don't talk cryptic so the humour escapes me.......
Jeremy8419: Yes, that's what the pope says........