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Understanding Typological Opposites

May 1st, 2014

In a great example of how one’s heroic or dominant function can block another function from filling its role, my introverted sensation hero has kept my Se opposing personality from doing its thing.  As a result, I was blindsided by my unawareness of what was happening.  More than 10 years ago, Type Resources started teaching there are three opposites that one needs to consider as one works at understanding type theory.  I quit pointing them out because they seem to be old news after so many years.  I now realize people who have recently started to use type theory are not aware of these opposites, so I need to restate them.  Here goes…

Opposite number one is when all of the letters of the type code are different.  We refer to this situation as complimentary opposites because type dynamics reveal the two type codes share the same four function-attitudes in consciousness.  One’s heroic function is the other’s soul/spirit and vice-versa.  One’s good parent is the other’s eternal child and vice-versa.  This interaction of function-attitudes provides the framework for very complementary interactions.  An example of this pairing is ISTJ and ENFP.

Opposite number two is when the two outside letters in the type code are different and the two middle letters are the same.  This was named Opposing Personalities because the dynamics reveal that the functions are in the same order but in opposite attitudes.  We only have to go to Jung’s Psychological Types to find the basis for this conflict.  Jung’s writes about extraverted thinking and introverted thinking being incessantly at war with one another in paragraph 581.  In paragraph 638, Jung states that introverted feeling and extraverted feeling differ in the same way as introverted thinking and extraverted thinking.  In paragraph 604, Jung writes of the differences between extraverted sensation and introverted sensation, and in paragraph 656, Jung writes of the differences between extraverted intuition and introverted intuition.  So what we find in this pairing is two types that are naturally oriented in opposition to one another in every dynamic position.  An example of this pairing is ISTJ and ESTP.

Opposite number three is when the two outside letters are the same and the two middle letters are different.  We named this pairing Dynamic Opposites because the dynamic pattern for one type was the reverse of the order for the other type.  When this pairing is engaged, the possibilities for misunderstanding is extremely high, and instead of the conflict that is present in opposite number two, confusion tends to reign.  It is this pairing we believe can lead to the greatest success when the two can work with respect to achieve understanding.  An example of this pairing is ISTJ and INFJ.  >>Post your comments>>

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