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Do All The Types Idealize Their Shadow Self?

  • Published: 07-26-2016 Edited: 07-26-2016
  • Do all NFJs love the inherent exciteability and moral character of NFPs? Do all NFPs admire the inherent enthusiasm and passion of an NFJ? Carl Jung wrote extensively about the concept of an anima: and while some say the anima is the fourth function (Beebe) the anima could also be the opposing other, the shadow self. I personally think the anima/animus is the representation of the unconscious feminine in a man or the masculine in a woman: the unconscious self within us that we are trying to integrate in ourselves through interacting with the world around us. The unconscious representations that we find in our work, in our dreams, in our relationships, with people who have sides, personality traits that we lack, but desire. And I do not think that an NF desires sensing or thinking: I think they just desire greater depth and creative and social immersion. This theory could help explain why INFPs and ENFJs can experience great attraction to one another.

    I think if we think of the four types as driven by different responses to the four primary neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin, endorphines, and oxytocin, it would be accurate to say that an NTJ who has an easier time producing their own dopamine (physical interest) and endorphines (stress relief and physical control) will have a higher need for finding people who produce and spread serotonin (abstract interest) and oxytocin (social control) in their environment: the judging INTJ finding the explorer: ENTP. Not to say there isn't some degree of hostility too: creativity can clash, values can be divided: a judger can show too much control, and an extrovert can be too smothering: the road to integrating your ideal self is laid with obstacles you need to pass. Theirs and your own.

    What we need from them is not their extroversion or perceiving nature: but their neurotransmitters. Yes, the need for certain neurotransmitters could explain why we idealize the other types. If we find that some types have a greater hunger and viscerality (STPs) then being around them and being connected to them could help us become more attached and attuned to those instincts in ourselves. For the ISTJ, the ESTP presents the relief of viscerality, attentiveness, social power, pleasure, prestige, and passion. For a brief moment when together, we can find some neurochemical balance, a higher state of being which we didn't have before. Is this a part of what love is? The stabilization of neurotransmitters, the experience of finding the lost, hidden part of ourselves that we seem unable to reach on our own?

    What's more is, we tend to admire this anima/animus: we tend to admire and want to integrate that in ourselves. We want to be as passionate as they are about the future. We want to be as hopeful as they are, we want to be as funny as they are. We want to spread their energy like they spread it. We want to make their abilities our own. And to some extent this is possible. through reading books, through interacting with others, through being engaged with the world, we can find and we can make this our own. So alot of people say the INFJ and the ENFP create an ideal match. Others suggest something similar, and instead pair the INTJ with the ENFP. This because I think alot of people deem the differences in the nature of Feeling extroversion and introversion irresolvable. (Yes, alot of people talk frequently about the many conflicts between Fe and Fi. Me? I think the conflict is healthy and to a high degree stems from resolvable misunderstandings)

    We should ofcourse touch upon the question of if introverts are compatible with extroverts. Are judgers compatible with perceivers? Yeah. Introverts often say extroverts "activate" them - and get them out of their own heads. Judgers often say Perceivers give them new ideas and new inspirations and help them find new openings when they get stuck somewhere. And perceivers often applaud the judgers for their focus and for providing some stability and direction to their shared lives. But if both are more or less ambiverted, this tends to become less important. And if both are highly goal-flexible types, in between on judging and perceiving, the differences tend to become gradually less important too. All relations require a balance of energies: two judgers have to divide leadership and responsibility with one another. Two introverts need to make sure both get necessary adventure.

    The real, true threat to any relationship is: long-term stress (losing track of what you want and need) and long-term loss of focus and clarity (loss of awareness and clarity of the thoughts and life events of yourself and the other person) Try to stay centered and happy - you have a responsibility both to yourself and to the people around you to try to take care of yourself.

    Me? I think any relationship is possible, as long as you love the other person, that is all that matters: the feeling of love and attraction represents your body's higher logic and your body's desire to integrate the personality traits and quirks of the other person in yourself. Love can be about finding who you are (INFJ-INFJ) or about finding out more about the world (INTJ-ENTP) Love is really all you need to know and judge that another person is important to you: the chance of success of a relationship has more to do with factors outside the MBTI, such as your emotional stability, your self esteem, your passion for the other person, and how much you are ready to make it work.