Why don't functions work well together if they're both extraverted/introverted?
Two extroverted and two introverted functions can work well together to preform specific tasks, but too much emphasis on your dominant and tertiary function and neglect of your auxiliary function for a long period of time creates an unhealthy imbalance in your personality, often referred to as a “loop”.
Healthy Function Dynamics vs. Loops
This first diagram displays the average amount of mental energy 1) devoted to each function and 2) oriented in each direction for both extroverts and introverts with a healthily functioning personality.
As you can see, the directional emphasis of your functions (introverted vs. extroverted) is relatively balanced, though extroverts display at least a slight preference toward the outward orientation, while introverts have at least a slight preference for looking inward.
The auxiliary function’s opposite orientation from the dominant and tertiary function is key - it counteracts the dominant and tertiary function’s directional emphasis by ensuring that the individual “check back in” either with the internal or external world.
However, what happens when the auxiliary function is damaged, ignored, or unfit to deal with ongoing challenges in that person’s life?
The tertiary function takes over. This is troublesome for multiple reasons:
1. The overall personality now HEAVILY skews extrovert or introvert
This means too much objectivity/action and not enough reflection for extroverts, and too much reflection and not enough objectivity/action for introverts.
2. The tertiary function is inexperienced at being the lead perceiver/decision-maker
This function played a supporting, complimentary role for so long that it’s had very little experience developing its skills, so now that it’s in charge it actually doesn’t really know what it’s doing.
3. The tertiary function will never get to truly lead because it can’t rid itself completely of the influence of the auxiliary function
The auxiliary function is still there, it’s just… temporarily crippled, yet still whispering advice in the tertiary function’s ear. This means the tertiary function will never actually get free reign to lead the perception or decision-making process, because it’s dragged down and ultimately exhausted by the aux function’s ball and chain.
This tertiary function takeover is referred to as a loop and is considered an unhealthy psychological state.
Here’s an idea of what a loop would look like for the different types:
ExFP (Fi-Te): OMG, I’m SO DONE with these feelings. Introspection has gotten me nowhere and only caused more pain. Morality is subjective, I’m over it, I don’t care about doing “the right thing” anymore, I’m just going to be objective and get shit done without caring about who gets hurt along the way.
IxTJ (Te-Fi): Oh no, I feel like I’ve been a little bit… harsh. Now that I’m going through this thing, I’m realizing that there’s no way to be truly objective.. ok I’m just going to withdraw and ponder the meaning of this for a bit. But I hate that this pain is affecting my performance. Poke me and I’ll MURDER you.
IxFJ (Fe-Ti): I’m so done being hurt, unappreciated and rejected. Maybe I’m just not that valuable to others… but what I CAN do is withdraw and analyze the shit out of this. Maybe then it’ll make more sense. But for now here’s a complex fantasy novel I could lose myself in instead.
ExTP (Ti-Fe): Why don’t people like me?? I just want to be part of the group, to be accepted, to have fun. Screw what makes sense to me personally, maybe I should just act like everyone else. I’ll be all up in everyone’s face with my sweet sweet kindness. Or maybe I could just manipulate them to get what I want…
INxP (Ne-Si): Eh, you know what? I’ve realized that novelty and new experiences are overrated. I’m just going to stick to what I already know, and analyze or introspect the shit out of it. Is it hot in here? I think I’m coming down with something…
ESxJ (Si-Ne): Screw traditions, societal conventions, social norms - throw it all out the window!! It’s time for the new me!! All those things I used to want seem so meaningless. I’m already organizing my whole worldwide journey exploration, beginning with living spending 2 months living in a Tibetan monastery pondering the meaning of life.
ENxJ (Ni-Se): Purpose is overrated. Who knows what I want to do with my future? All this emphasis on meaning and planning has just been getting in the way of experiencing life to the fullest. Plans are overrated - I can still achieve my goals by just adapting to whatever life brings. Now pass the vodka and let’s party!!
ISxP (Se-Ni): The outside world was great and all, but like… what does it all mean? I can’t escape the feeling something terrible is going to happen… I must withdraw figure out what makes sense, what feels right, what’s true. Yup, meaning is an elusive son of a bitch, I’ve made no progress on this quest. Ah, I’m getting all existential… and oh great here comes the anxiety.