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The Types At Their Worst

By Ryan Harris

Se doms (ESFPs and ESTPs) at their worst lose their ability to separate their surroundings from themselves. Jung says: “[they develop] into a crude pleasure-seeker, or else degenerates into an unscrupulous, effete aesthete. Although the object has become quite indispensable… it is none the less devalued. It is ruthlessly exploited and squeezed dry… Repressed intuitions begin to assert themselves in the form of projections. The wildest suspicions arise; if the object is a sexual one, jealous fantasies and anxiety states gain the upper hand. More acute cases develop every sort of phobia, and, in particular, compulsion symptoms. The pathological contents have a markedly unreal character, with a frequent moral or religious streak. A pettifogging captiousness follows, or a grotesquely punctilious morality combined with primitive, ‘magical’ superstitions that fall back on abstruse rites.” My ESTP coworker is a pretty typical, perhaps over the top, Se dominant type. Lots of parties, motorcycles, ridiculous stunts, etc. Also, he likes to talk about how Ragnarok is coming. The “pettifogging captiousness” comes up a lot when you argue with ESTPs. They like to break down every tiny detail of your argument, no matter how small, in an attempt to beat you.

Fe doms (ESFJs and ENFJs) at their worst become incredibly critical of things that don’t need to be criticized. Jung says: “[Thinking] is repressed only so far as its inexorable logic drives it to conclusions that are incompatible with Feeling. It is suffered to exist as a servant of feeling, or rather as its slave… the unconscious thoughts gravitate round just the most valued objects and mercilessly strip them of their value… thinking reaches the surface in the form of obsessive ideas which are invariably of a negative and deprecatory character… This negative thinking utilizes every infantile prejudice or comparison for the deliberate purpose of caster aspersions on the feeling value.” My ESFJ friend is always picking apart people that she doesn’t like. “Here’s 80,000 reasons why this person is incompetent/stupid/bad.” When Fe is invested in something positive, like Chemistry for example, Ti will be along for the ride and EXFJs can be incredibly intelligent at something. When Fe is over invested in something negative, like a friend not being nice to them on their birthday, the EXFJ’s Ti will use “nothing but” thinking to completely tear apart the person by using made up rules and “logical” points.

Ne doms (ENTPs and ENFPs) at their worst find that their lifestyle’s stability is completely out of whack. Jung says: “If only [they] could stay put, [they] would reap the fruits of [their] labours; but always [they] must be running after a new possibility, quitting [their] newly planet fields while others gather in the harvest. [Their sensation takes] the form of intense projections… such as sexual suspicions, financial hazards, forebodings of illness, etc. These make themselves felt when, for instance, the intuitive suddenly finds [themselves] entangled with a highly unsuitable [partner]… because these persons have stirred up the archaic sensations.” I’ve known several Ne-doms with similar problems. Showing up, making an incredible impression, everybody loves them, they leave, not purposefully cutting ties but leaving behind a group of people who really care about them. I’ve also known several ENXPs who project the “forebodings of illness.” Unable to take care of their own bodies half the time, they can’t help but give terrible medical advice to other people. A complete project of their own inadequacies.

Te doms (ESTJs and ENTJs) at their worst when their unconscious Feeling takes the reigns of their conscious Thinking. Jung says: “The intellectual formula… becomes rigidly dogmatic. The assertion of the personality is transferred to the formula. Truth is no longer allowed to speak for itself… the critic is demolished… and no argument is too gross to be used. It assumes the essential religious quality of absoluteness. It becomes an intellectual superstition. The more it tires to fend off the doubt, the more fanatical the conscious attitude becomes. This explains those bigoted and ridiculous vies well-know in the history of science which have proved stumbling-blocks to many an eminent investigator.” Jung actually also gives a really great example: “A dream, for instance, is no longer just a dream, but an experience ‘on another plane.’ The hitherto inexplicable fact of telepathy is very simply explained as ‘vibrations’ passing from one person to another.” This pattern of simple explanations to complex phenomenon will happen whenever an unhealthy EXTJ is more worried about defending the status quo of their viewpoint over defending the truth.

Si doms (ISFJs and ISTJs) at their worst have odd neuroticisms and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Jung says: “[they live] in a mythological world, where men, animals, locomotives, houses, rivers, and mountains appear either as benevolent deities or as malevolent demons…the archaic intuitions come to the surface and exert their pernicious influence, forcing themselves on the individual and producing compulsive ideas of the most perverse kind. The result is usually a compulsion neurosis, in which the hysterical features are masked by symptoms of exhaustion.” Small things become huge deals. My ISTJ coworker texts me the other day and asks me to take thirty minutes to go back to work to move her purse? Why? She accidentally locked her purse in a secure room and wanted me to make sure it wasn’t stolen, even though there were far more valuable things we keep in there all the time.

Fi doms (INFPs and ISFPs) at their worst have their own very special brand of drama. Jung says: “[They begin] consciously to feel ‘what other people think.’ Naturally, other people are thinking all sorts of mean things, scheming evil, contriving plots, secret intrigues, etc. In order to forestall them, [they are] obliged to start counter-intrigues, to suspect others and sound them out, and weave counterplots. Beset by rumors, [they] must make frantic efforts to get [their] own back and be top dog. Endless clandestine rivalries spring up, and in these embitter struggles [they] will shrink from no baseness or meanness, and will even prostitute [their] virtues in order to play the trump card.” In my organization there is an ISFP and an INFP and they are both doing this constantly. Ms.-conflict-averse INFP will confront people over small interpersonal issues. Mr.-uppity-pretentious ISFP gathers allies and influence for petty scheduling disagreements.

Ni doms (INFJs and INTJs) at their worst unconsciously try to overcompensate for their airheadedness. Jung says: “[their] language… has become too subjective… [they] lack the power of reason… the unconscious goes over to the opposition, giving rise to compulsive sensations whose excessive dependence on the object directly contradicts the conscious attitude. The form of neurosis is a compulsion neurosis with hypochondriacal symptoms, hypersensitivity of the sense organs, and compulsive ties to particular persons or objects.” I know several Ni-doms who are constantly dealing with symptoms like nausea and other forms of pain. Attachment disorders are pretty common for these types. Ni doms often revel in their obscurity; they enjoy that they are difficult for others to understand, but when they push that too far their “archaic” Sensation starts to push back.

Ti doms (INTPs and ISTPs) at their worst become overwhelmed with dealing with people on a day-to-day basis. Jung says: “his convictions become all the more rigid and unbending. Outside influences are shut off; as a person, too, he becomes more unsympathetic to his wider circle of acquaintances, and therefore more dependent on his intimates… once [his thinking has become] mythological and [not based on the known facts of the time] it ceases to be relevant and runs on in itself… the various protective devices and psychological minefields which such people surround themselves with are known to everyone, and I can spare myself a description of them (I wish he had). They all serve as a defense against ‘magical’ influences- and among them is a vague fear of the feminine sex.” My ISTP friend is incredibly stubborn intellectually. Everyone in the room might be against him, but he’ll fight until he fucking dies. Occasionally, because he has the Se to pull it off, he’ll try to enforce his personal structures on those around him (to the frustration of many of us). Also… we all know an INTP or two who is scared of girls.

How This Can Help You (outside of just figuring out a person’s type):

How do these differ from being “in the grip?” The core pattern Jung is describing here isn’t, “The person gets stressed and turns to the inferior” it is, “The person pushes too hard on their dominant function so the inferior function unconsciously overcompensates.” Jung says that these descriptions are about a purer version of the types and that most people have stronger aux/tert functions to balance out the dominant. People might be tempted to solve the problems that arise through the inferior with the dominant function, but that will only make the issue worse. Instead, focusing in on the auxiliary and tertiary functions are key to breaking these patterns.

Published in Ryan Harris