It’s not enough to simply know the four letters of your type. It is highly important to understand the eight functions of your type, as well as the role each plays. We’ve gotten many requests for a free resource that lays this out in an easy to read chart, and we’ve done just that.
In the chart below, here’s how to interpret the abbreviations:
- S = Sensing (facts, details, physical reality, ground-view focus)
- N = Intuition (theory, abstract, concept, possibilities, aerial-view focus)
- T = Thinking (objective logic and end results-oriented)
- F = Feeling (subjective logic/values/harmony and means-oriented)
- e = Extraverted (geared towards the outside world, oriented to communicate externally)
- i = Introverted (inward focus, not designed for outward communication)
Each type will do the vast majority of their perceiving, processing, communicating, decision-making with their Primary Cognitive Engine (1st and 2nd functions).
The Helper Function (3rd function) is a somewhat reliable resource that can be called upon, though individuals will vary on how often they do this.
The Danger Function (4th function) is also know as the Inferior Function. Your brain will actively avoid this function, and, when forced to use it, the results are unpleasant, stress-inducing, and highly draining.
The Shadow Functions, regardless of orientation, are not well-suited for the limelight of conscious, mindful use. Unlike the Danger Function, your Shadow Functions are not so much dangerous as they are unpredictable. Typically, when the Shadow Functions are brought into use, they take on a playful (and sometimes mischievous) nature.
Side note: When you are heavily stressed and/or spending too much time in the Danger zone, your Primary/Helper function will burn out, step aside, and let the Unpredictable Shadow Functions take over. During these times, you will express your Shadow Type, and it won’t be pretty. Eruptions of the Shadow Functions can last seconds (e.g., blood sugar crash or highly annoying task) to decades (e.g., wrong career, toxic marriage).