Right Down the Middle - A Balanced Type


#1

What would it feel like to have equal access to every function and it’s orientation?

When I first discovered my type, I enjoyed analyzing its “archetype” in extreme form, i.e. theoretically 100% on each function. It helped me assemble an idea of what a cohesive personality would consist of – like a set of responses that other people would know how to predict and respond to – like an “authentic” version of me. It enabled me to identify which of my behaviors were inconsistent with my presentation as that type.

“Ah,” I thought. “These are my preferred functions. I shall nurture them.” Then I looked into the shadow functions, and… Lo!, I saw that they were good. And I could benefit from using them, too.

Now, I have a different goal. I’m thinking, what if a person worked to achieve a perfectly balance personality? Right down the middle, 50/50 on every trait, such that every pair of functions would be equally strong, and every orientation would be equally operational when needed.

How would that present? At first, I thought, “That would be the most boring person ever.” Then I thought, “That would be a frighteningly, random person.” At last, I concluded, “That person would have access to the highest level of satisfaction and adaptability in life. I think I would like to try that.”

Granted, it would require constant self-monitoring. I realize such awareness would be difficult but not impossible. Foremost, and always, a moment of deliberation would be necessary before selecting a function to employ – whichever function would produce the most positive effect.

No, it wouldn’t be foolproof. Certainly many situations would arise when a thought would provoke a feeling, which would lead to the selection of a particular function. We are human, after all, not AI programs.

But wouldn’t it be interesting to feel that kind of 50/50 freedom? I think I could dig that. What do you think?

(Ironically, if I weren’t so INFJ, I wouldn’t be writing this terribly verbal theoretical post. So, I think I’ll go outside and take a bike ride and think about NOTHING in order to counteract all of this. Haha.)


#2

But Si sucks.

(P.S. Post some of your music in the other thread! I wanna hear).


#3

@SoundDesiign

Why does Si suck?

I feel like I still don’t get Si, and supposedly I have it. At this point I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on all the other functions, but Si still really confuses me. Some people talk about it as specificity in organizing data/objects/experiences (different than how Ti does that tho which is less literal/more theory-oriented), some as nostalgia/tradition, some as internal bodily sensations. I’m super interested in the role Si plays in being able to sense the subtle/energetic body as well as internal awareness. Feel like kinesthetic intelligence is maybe a big part of Si but on here I see that described more as Se? But Se would be the doing and Si would be physical awareness of the doing? I should start new thread about this but probably won’t.

@Christine_Hodges

I’ve wondered about balancing functions too. It’s an interesting thought, and my first response is similar to yours, that someone with perfectly balanced functions would be a robot, AI. It’s the direction we’re going in. But, as a human who does have function preferences, you see all the other functions through the lens of your preferred functions, so the process of balancing is far more subjective than it would be for a computer program that just has a pure form of each function. It’s kind-of related to what I’m talking about with Si above, which I see as deeply connected to mediation. If you’re INFJ, then that would make Si your weakest point (read on here that being stuck in Si is a kind of hell for INFJ when it is accidental or imposed, but perhaps not if it is intentional?), and maybe that would be the center-point or container for the moment of deliberation you are referencing if you are able to master accessing it.

Just thoughts. I don’t understand this stuff all that well yet but figure the next step to getting it is actually writing on here.


#4

Si doesn’t suck. It’s a valuable skill. SoundDesiign, have you ever been impressed by a museum exhibit? That’s pure Si talent. Do you think about experiences you’ve had? That’s Si. Do you take photos of places you’ve been? More Si. Post on social media? Yup. (Lots of Si people out there.) It’s interesting to watch a sporting event with someone who remembers players and statistics. It’s handy at social gatherings to recognize people, recall events, and relate a good anecdote. Si rocks.

(My electronic music is the only place where my autism still survives, in an area where I nurture and enjoy it with mind-blowing sounds.)

batshitty, T is not more theory-oriented. You can think about facts or imagine stuff that doesn’t exist. Balanced by F, it helps you make decisions.

I differentiate Si from Se like this: Si is about the past, experiences, people acting upon the world. Se is more about the present, instinct, the world acting upon people.


#5

It’s an interesting thought experiment, but not really practical. You’ve set yourself up for quite the task: master ALL the functions. Whew, it’s exhausting just thinking about it.

Indeed, and this is also to the point: the “value” of each function depends on the type. To an INFJ, Si sucks, to an ISFJ, Si simply is and to an ESFJ Si is the savior.

The beauty of Blake’s system is that it filters down all of the complex type development stuff into an elegant and practical solution: work on the auxiliary. This really is the saving grace for every type. But for some reason, this is difficult for us (probably because the tertiary is the demon on the shoulder), so we construct elaborate “solutions” that massively complicate something so simple.


#6

Oh, I don’t think it’s too complicated. It’s freeing in a way. Disengage the functions from the types, and pull them out of order in the function stacks. Cafeteria pick them when you need them.

You don’t have to go all the way. You don’t have to abandon the type you relate to the most. I’m not advocting “code-switching” from one MBTI type to another – just learn to use all the functions, in each orientation, when they are useful.

Example: You’re at a party. Imagine you’re an I. Find a chair in the back, along the side wall. Enjoy a deep conversation with a person you know well. Imagine you’re an E. Walk into the center of the room, smile at everyone, meet someone new, and dance. Both good. What fits the circumstances?

Example: You’re in a disagreement. Imagine you’re using Fe. Discern what the other people are feeling, relate to them. Imagine you’re using Fi. Clearly feel your point of view, be able to defend it and feel good about it. Imagine you’re using Ti, logically present the facts and explain how it works in an objective manner. Imagine you’re using Te, avail yourself of standarized method and accepted power structure. All good. Choose what works. Use them all in a congruent manner.

Exampe: You have a project to do. Imagine you’re a J. Organize your materials, make a list of your procedure. Be efficient, get it done. End up with excellent results. Imagine you’re a P. Don’t worry about how you will get it done. Work when you are inspired. Let the process guide you, make choices along the way. End up with excellent results.

I already talked about the usefulness of Si in this thread. As for Se, have fun with that: Go out in nature, breathe in the fresh, green-aroma of the air, feel the breeze, listen to the water in the stream, feel the rain on your skin. Be an animal. Act on instinct. Get down to your core survival skills. You like animals, right? They’re no bullshit. Se is good.

P.S. Why does the tertiary function have to be the “demon on the shoulder?” Only if you use it negatively. Learn to use it positively. Tweak the opposite function, and make it work instead of letting it nerf you. Why be limited like that? “As an INFJ, Fi is bad for me.” Yes, because I abandon logic when I use it. So, don’t abandon logic. “As an INFJ, I am uncomfortable with Te.” Well, it would be good if I had more power.


#7

Si is probably my least used function. I have a memory like a goldfish!


#8

#9

It would definitely be good to have a better memory! I wish it were easy (and therefore pleasant) for me to remember historical dates and statistics.

Whoops, I never mentioned Ni and Ne. I’m already too reliant on Ni, so all I can do is make sure my Se is functioning so I don’t miss something obvious.

As far as Ne goes, its a good example of how sticking to the function stack inhibits growth potential. The Ne dominant types are ExxP. Maybe it’s harder for an IxxJ, but an introverted person doesn’t have to become an extravert to employ brainstorming or stream-of-consciouness association. To the contrary, Ne seems highly useful for INFJ creativity. I could see the necessity of bending toward the P function in tandem with Ne, though.