Let's cut to the chase: Every type can be broken down in four processes
1. Ni: Introverted Intuition
- Dominant Function
2. Te: Extroverted Thinking
- Auxiliary Function
3. Fi: Introverted Feeling
- Tertiary Function
4. Se: Extroverted Sensing
- Inferior Function
Processes one to four are the main ones, so to speak; there are another four, which are even further down and we don't really have a conscious hold on; they're sometimes called Shadow Processes. This isn't relevant to this theory, but here they are. They show opposed attitudes regarding the first four, for example:INTJ:
5. Ne: Extroverted Intuition
6. Ti: Introverted Thinking
7. Fe: Extroverted Feeling
8. Si: Introverted Sensing
Every type has a different order for their processes, and if you look closely, you'll notice the first two are an information-gathering
(Ni) process and a decision-making
(Te) process. Same as with every following pair, so it's not just a matter of jumbling them all up. Read more about it
if you want.So, what's my problem with statements like "sometimes I'm an S, sometimes an N"?
I used to tell myself this a while ago, but now I realise what a mistake it was. Saying that would mean that sometimes I act as an INTJ and sometimes as an ISTJ. If we look at the ISTJ order of processes, we find this:
Alright, the Auxiliary and Tertiary are the same, you'll say. I'll give you that. But what about the Dominant? (You do know why it's called "Dominant", right?) In the ISTJ case, it's Introverted Sensing. Now, where does this process place regarding the INTJ?
It's in eighth place.
Do you see it now? How can an INTJ claim they can behave like ISTJ "sometimes"? That's nearly impossible, process-wise!
Let's see it from a different angle, shall we?
ISTJs are part of the Guardian
category, according to Keirsey (someone who developed this system even further). What do Guardians do? What do they "guard", so to speak?
are the cornerstone of society, for they are the temperament given to serving and preserving our most important social institutions.
Guardians have natural talent in managing goods and services -- from supervision to maintenance and supply -- and they use all their skills to keep things running smoothly in their families, communities, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses."
Everything concerning tradition, right?
Now, INTJs are part of the Rational
category. What's it about?
"In working with problems, Rationals
try to find solutions that have application in the real world, but they are even more interested in the abstract concepts involved, the fundamental principles or natural laws that underlie the particular case. And they are completely pragmatic about their ways and means of achieving their ends. Rationals don't care about being politically correct.
They are interested in the most efficient solutions possible, and will listen to anyone who has something useful to teach them, while disregarding any authority or customary procedure that wastes time and resources."
Not a lot to do with respecting tradition, right?
I really shouldn't need to say more. Even though INTJ and ISTJ's Auxiliary and Tertiary are the same, the Dominant, the one that matters, shoots each temperament into completely different directions. Any INTJ required to behave like an ISTJ would stress very badly, having to follow through with things they don't give importance to, and likewise, any ISTJ asked to behave like an INTJ would see it grim when it came to trying to change something they are firmly convinced is fine as it is. So don't come tell me that you can switch between these two types because that's bullshit.
Now, I ought to give an option, right? This is my take: some people are smart enough to develop their lower processes better than others. For example, INTJ's Sensing process is Extroverted, and it's in fourth place. Hard to reach but not impossible. An INTJ with a well-developed Se would be aware of their surroundings, instead of lost in their thoughts. That might look like a Sensing type, and that's probably what's confusing people. But, notice the Tertiary: Introverted Feeling. It stands to reason that a person develops their Tertiary better than their Shadow function. Now, if we combine Fi and Se, we have the ISFP temperament, which is pretty similar in appearance
to the INTJ. Their differences are huge, but they go unnoticed, as both types are secretive; everything happens in the background. My theory here, then, is that an INTJ would be more similar to an ISFP, if they developed their lower processes, than they could ever be to a ISTJ, for the reasons already stated.
I still have to develop this theory further and cover all the bases regarding Attitudes and Lifestyles, but I'm pretty confident I put my point across with this so far. Consider this incomplete, I'll come back at a godly hour (it's 2:55 AM, people!) to finish this.
And if you have questions, ask away.