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PHQ | QUESTIONS FROM COMMUNITY: In this episode Joel and Antonia answer a listener question about how personality types show up unhealthy.



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Showing 5 comments
  • Albin

    Great episode.
    Can you share a link with the book about inferior cognitive functions Antonia is talking about?

  • Ruth

    I really appreciated the question and thoughtful responses. I thought it was great to let everyone know your intent isn’t to focus on the variety of ways any type can show up unhealthy, but rather to move towards using our functions in healthy ways. Most air time is given to problems rather than solutions, so your approach is refreshing.

    Your responses also helped me clarify questions I’ve had about the car model concept. In particular instances it hasn’t worked for me. While I could just be an edge case, I think my story isn’t too unusual so I’m curious as to your thoughts.

    As an INTJ, most my life I followed what you’ve coined a ‘templatized life’ (I really love that phrase) – chemical engineer, regulatory analyst, computer engineer, project manager. Because it is highly rewarded in the corporate/technical environment, my co-pilot Te became exceptionally well developed. Searching for relief, I developed healthy habits with my 3 year old: mainly diet & exercise. Yet, with shining physical exam results each year, I still wasn’t happy and couldn’t explain my chronic exhaustion.

    Starting a new life outside of that structure helped me give air time to my dominant and tertiary functions, Ni and Fi. Discovering PH and the Intuitive Awakening group this past year has been quite a boon. Before then, I didn’t understand the need to feed my intuitive side. I was starving but didn’t know why.

    What I found I needed to do was to bring my driver and 10-year old into balance with the other functions that were more heavily relied upon, Te and Se. So, the general advice to learn to use one’s co-pilot in coordination with the driver wasn’t what I needed. I suspect this could be true for at least other INTJs or heavy Te users who’ve followed a template life and found it lacking.

    It has also been confusing to visualize the 3- and 10-year olds as functions to be cautious about. For example, I see lots of talk about the ‘dangers’ of the Driver & 10-year old loop. In my case, developing this relationship, and moving Te (co-pilot) to the back seat has been instrumental to my personal growth and sense of peace. I find my optimal process for creating and decision-making is to employ Ni & Fi, and then bring in Te afterwards to figure out the most effective way to get things done. To think outside the box, I need to leave my co-pilot out of the early stages. Otherwise, Te (or Fe, for my INFJ friends) can easily be used to talk oneself out of an innovative idea.

    An overlay or guiding principle for all of this is what Joel described as Playing to Win. I call it ‘checking in’ to see if I’m being motivated by fear or joy. Either way, I think this overlay is crucial for moving towards a healthy balance. However, it’s not at all visible in the car model. I think somehow making this prominent, and also giving healthy examples for the 3- and 10-year olds (rather than what not to do) would clear up some of the confusion I’ve felt, and seen in the IA forum. Currently the youngsters are recommended to only use ‘in times of play’ but as a parent I know children can be powerful teachers. Using a family structure as an example, I have found harmony is more easily achieved when each member also develops separate relationships with each individual.

    I know it’s hard to put everything into one diagram, but, to summarize, here’s where I see the gaps:

    1) Emphasis on the Driver & Co-pilot, leading to a perception that the 3- and 10-year olds should be somewhat marginalized and only taken out to play. Maybe rather than a car, I see a white water raft, where everyone’s ongoing contribution is important 😉
    2) Focus on what not to do for the 3- and 10-year olds, rather than healthy examples of balanced integration
    3) The missing overlay of ‘playing to win’ that shifts the focus away from fear and towards happiness

    I love the work you do and the overall mission, so I hope you see this comment as a way towards either fine tuning what you have built, or helping me (and possibly others) see where I might have interpreted something incorrectly.

  • Renae

    In this podcast Antonia had mentioned something about intuitive types who can see further down the line to step ten, but not feeling ready for that, they don’t even get on the path to start step one. Story of my life. So many times while I was growing up I just wanted to already know things, to already be intelligent and wise. I’d do that paralyzing dance of skipping ahead, and it wasn’t until much later (maybe even just within this past year, in a lot of ways) that I realized that I have to start somewhere and that I’ll be ready for the next step when I get there because I will have gone through the preceding steps. But it can be so hard to let myself be a beginner. I love to learn, but I also want to be and appear competent. I’m thinking about how Buddhist texts often praise and value ‘beginner’s mind,’ and how helpful those ideas are to remember–to be a beginner is such a ripe opportunity to learn and observe and often feel very vulnerable/allow vulnerability. (INTJ here.)

    • Renae

      Maybe a big part of my experience, too, was knowing that the only way to get to step ten was to go through steps one through nine first, and all of the toil and struggle (vulnerability) that that would entail. I think I still somehow continued to do it, even when it seemed like I was avoiding it, but now I’m getting to a place where I feel more open to the process, feeling/knowing/intuiting that the struggle is the joy is the richness is the way. My insider’s view now shows me that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it looked when I was standing outside; it’s different–not as terrifying and unmanageable–than what I’d feared it would be. …now I’m just journaling in the comments section.

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