Podcast – Episode 0219 – 3 Styles Of Cognitive Function Loops (Part 2)

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the 3 styles of cognitive function loops. In this second of a two-part series, we cover the four judging functions of “Effectiveness” (Extraverted Thinking), “Authenticity” (Introverted Feeling), “Harmony” (Extraverted Feeling), and “Accuracy” (Introverted Thinking). We show how each of these cognitive functions show up at the 10-Year-Old (or Tertiary) position in the cognitive function stack for the ENFP, ESFP, ENTP, ESTP, INFJ, ISFJ, INTJ, and ISTJ types.
In part 1, we talked about the four perceiving cognitive functions.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Car Model
  • Part 2 of a 2-part series
  • Part 1 is here
  • Cognitive functions are mental processes that are part of the wiring of your mind.
  • They help you learn information and make decisions.
  • A cognitive function loop is when your dominant cognitive function loops with your tertiary function, which can cause issues.
  • Last podcast we talked about all the IPs and EJs – Tertiary perceiving functions.
  • This podcast we will cover EPs and IJs – Tertiary Judging Functions
    • 10 yr old is Extraverted Thinking – “Effectiveness.”
    • ENFP Loop – Extraverted Intuition (“Exploration”) and Extraverted Thinking
    • ESFP Loop – Extraverted Sensing (“Sensation”) and Extraverted Thinking
    • Judging functions are intended to evaluate.
    • We pick up info in the outside world, and we have to make decisions on what that info means to us.
    • What should we be doing?
    • What is important?
    • For EPs, Copilot and 10 yr old are their judging functions.
    • When we get into a loop, we avoid our copilot because the copilot explores a different world than our dominant.
    • Tertiary is the same attitude as the driver, so it looks like an echo chamber.
    • EPs in an extraverted loop are avoiding Introverted Feeling (Fi) – a subjective metric.
    • Fi is a slow process, and it may feel unstable compared to Extraverted Thinking (Te).
    • Instead of resting into their self evaluation, EPs hand over their decision making to others.
    • The outside world is more concrete than the subjective inner world.
    • EFPs have different drivers so their loops will be slightly different.
    • ESFPs drive with Sensation – here and now. Physicality. Being in the moment. Reaction. Responsive. 5 senses. Very kinesthetically aware.
    • ENFPs drive with exploration – messing with the environment to find disparate connections between seemingly unconnected things.
    • Both let the outside world give them the feedback they want.
    • Whether it be a streamlined action (Sensation) or a hidden pattern (Exploration)
    • A loop strategy is a tool we pull off the shelf which can become a lifelong habit.
    • Joel (ENFP) uses anxiety as a motivator when he is in a loop.
    • The First style of looping is an explosive, in the moment, response to something.
    • It can look very random with EFPs. Literal explosions.
    • Whatever the outside world has done to remind them of a personal evaluation they don’t feel good about, they will go into an explosive stance to cast off the trigger as fast as possible.
    • It can look like a verbal or physical explosion to make an in-the-moment impact.
    • They don’t necessarily lash out at people. It is more about lashing out at the environment.
    • When an EFP is looping with their tertiary Te, they can depersonalize people.
    • They are running away from their Copilot which personalizes people.
    • They can intentionally hurt people to get the behavior they want.
    • The second strategy is massive busyness. Can’t slow down.  
    • A single overwhelming emotion can suppress all the nuanced emotions that the EFP is avoiding.
    • EFPs tertiary likes to find emotions to support the activity they are doing.
    • They make their copilot support their tertiary, instead of the reverse.
    • The third style of looping is more integrated into the day to day lifestyle and is more difficult to detangle.
    • EFPs aren’t sure how they should be feeling about themselves because they haven’t taken the time to cultivate their Copilot.
    • Usually looks like full sail outsourcing of self-esteem and values.
    • They stop living for themselves and start living for the resource – outside metric.
    • Lots of praise and positive feedback comes from the outer world, so they keep doing it, but it is a hollow existence.
    • No one really knows them. They don’t even know themselves.
    • Noble distractions.
    • The EFP can’t do enough to fill the void inside.
    • 10 yr old is Extraverted Feeling – “Harmony.”
    • ENTP Loop – Extraverted Intuition (“Exploration”) and Extraverted Feeling
    • ESTP Loop – Extraverted Sensing (“Sensation”) and Extraverted Feeling
    • Harmony users like to create harmony with everyone. The needs of other people are always on their radar.
    • Harmony as a 10 yr old wants to connect with other people, even when the connection isn’t ideal.
    • Praise is a strong motivator.
    • ETPs Copilot is Introverted Thinking – clean data. Usefulness and truthfulness of info.
    • ETPs bypassing the Copilot is an attempt to avoid cognitive dissonance.
    • The first loop is an explosive emotional stance.
    • Aggressive, angry, blame-casting or joking dismissiveness.
    • Derisive. Mocking.
    • It looks to other people for approval with bullying derision.
    • To get away from whatever inner truth is haunting the ETP.
    • An attempt to manufacture discord so the other person will see the need to create peace.
    • The second loop is compulsive praise seeking.
    • More about status mongering to get large groups of people to like you.
    • Bragging.
    • The ETP seeks praise to separate from a personal evaluation that is harsher than the real world.
    • Intellectual laziness.
    • Takes feedback personally and seeks praise to offset any negative feedback.
    • All the praise in the world doesn’t matter if the ETP isn’t speaking their truth.
    • They can own the negative feedback and amplify it as a protection mechanism.
    • Part of their social identity.
    • Society sometimes rewards assholery.
    • The third style of loop for ETPs is outsourcing their beliefs, ideas, and values to other people.
    • A lifestyle loop.
    • Could be a career or a paradigm.
    • The ETP Outsources their entire life to people’s opinions and ignores the cognitive dissonance of introverted thinking.
    • 10 yr old is Introverted Feeling – “Authenticity”
    • INTJ Loop – Introverted Intuition (“Perspectives”) and Introverted Feeling
    • ISTJ Loop – Introverted Sensing (“Memory”) and Introverted Feeling
    • ITJs copilot is Extraverted Thinking “Effectiveness.”
    • Avoidant question is What is good enough?
    • All of us need to do some work at dialing in our evaluations.
    • IJs are trying to determine what is good enough for the outside world.
    • Because they are introverts, they over-rely on their subjective criteria to determine what is good enough.
    • With IJs, they consult their inner calibration to determine what is enough instead of using external measurements.
    • Extraverted Thinking is about getting into action in the outer world.
    • First explosive loop, is pride with hurt underneath.
    • They don’t want to do something. They fear something won’t work.
    • Authenticity, when done well, is great at reading intent.
    • ITJs will often use this as a projection of bad intent upon others.
    • “You Can’t tell me to do that. You don’t have good intent. You just want what is best for you.”
    • “You can’t make me do anything. I know what is good for me.”
    • It ends up looking like a shutdown.
    • The walls go up, and they become impenetrable and unreachable while they stew in their pride.
    • It doesn’t necessarily have to show up as bad pride. It can be conviction about something.
    • It may still be an avoidance of action.
    • One of the challenges some types have is that the outside world rewards their loops.
    • ITJs may look strong and get rewarded for it when in reality they are just lazy.
    • A lot of times this shows up in relationships because Effectiveness isn’t always encouraged in relationships.
    • The second style of loop can look like a feeling of overwhelm or avoidance.
    • Effectiveness avoids over complicating things. It wants to set up a system and forget about it.
    • If an ITJ hasn’t set up an effective system and they don’t want to, they will get stubbornly avoidant.
    • Most ITJs do a lot of mental work as they think through the systems before implementation.
    • But they may never set up the system.
    • They may be waiting for someone else to set up the system.
    • Then they get criticism from the outside world and get overwhelmed.
    • They hit this event horizon of persistent inaction which only becomes more overwhelming and usually results in total shut down.
    • Analysis paralysis.
    • They will dig in their heels and refuse to act.
    • They may break contracts or avoid people.
    • The third long-term loop looks perfectionistic.
    • “This has to be perfect. Once it is perfected, I will get into action.”
    • Nothing is ever perfect. So seeking perfection keeps you in perpetual inaction.
    • ITJs are smart enough to know when they can fool others. Perfection is a great one.
    • To other people, perfection looks noble.
    • In reality, they are fooling themselves.
    • They don’t want to rely on outer world feedback for pass/fail metrics.
    • They aren’t sure what good is because they haven’t developed that skill yet.
    • Authenticity tends to be idealistic as it is, so ITJs lean on an idealized concept of themselves.
    • Time won’t wait. Effectiveness realizes that time is limited. But Authenticity isn’t tapped into time.
    • ITJs waste extraordinary amounts of time in the desire to be an idealized version of oneself.
    • We have been harsher with judging functions because our “should” statements lie in the judging functions.
    • These loops can be a lot harder to break.
    • 10 yr old is Introverted Thinking – “Accuracy.”
    • INFJ Loop – Introverted Intuition (“Perspectives”) and Introverted Thinking
    • ISFJ Loop – Introverted Sensing (“Memory”) and Introverted Thinking
    • Both IFJs are avoiding their Copilot of Extraverted Feeling “Harmony.”
    • Harmony is about understanding the social culture of the world.
    • Very much about emotional expression.
    • Introverted Thinking is about data collection. It is about being right.
    • The first style of explosive loop is cold for an IFJ.
    • They get too overwhelmed with emotion, and they haven’t built enough skill to be able to get through conflict to harmony.
    • The emotion overwhelms the IFJ, and they go to a cold, critical place.
    • The walls come up.
    • Not a bad strategy if it didn’t also come with judgment.
    • Not about boundaries. It is about avoidance.
    • Cold burn instead of hot burn.
    • Door slam
    • The second loop is less about judgment and more about research and righteousness.
    • Both IFJ types have a scientific side. They like info and data.
    • But if they are overwhelmed with relationships, they hide away in books or DIY projects.
    • This can look like righteousness.
    • “Nobody else is doing things right. I’m going to get more info about how things should be done; then I’m going to project that righteousness onto the world.
    • This doesn’t create harmony. It creates divisions.
    • The third style of loop is perfectionism, like the ITJs.
    • ITJs pursue an idealized version of self.
    • IFJs perfectionism is more technical.
    • Like the IFJ who puts plastic on their furniture to keep their home looking pristine.
    • That strategy doesn’t create true harmony because it prevents people from being comfortable.
    • They take this same concept and lay it over every relationship.
    • The belief that everything needs to be perfect.
    • So, it creates a lot of discomfort with other people, which is the opposite of Harmony.
    • Harmony creates warmth and welcome.
    • Accuracy creates a plastic environment.
    • It forces people out of your life because they don’t know how to engage with you.
    • Engagement is only acceptable on a synthesized level.
    • Can result in loneliness.
    • Not just a self-perfectionistic streak but can come across as critical of others.
  • Other people have a hard time calling you on your loop.
  • You are the only one who knows if you are living in a loop.
  • You may be getting praise for these loops, which reinforces your behavior even when you know it isn’t you at your best.
  • Have patience with yourself and get good at spotting your loops.
  • Then figure out what the point of your Copilot is so you can get back into it to avoid the loop.
  • The Copilot has the map.

In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the 3 styles of cognitive function loops. In this second of a two-part series, we cover the four judging functions. #podcast #cognitive functions #MBTI #personalgrowth

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Showing 22 comments
  • Emma

    Thank you so much for your podcasts! I am still having a hard time determining what my type is. I know I’m in a level 3 loop…I’m not in a healthy place at all. INFP, INFJ, and INTJ loops all sounded true for me though.

    My loop looks like isolating myself and deep diving into research – for example, after a bad breakup, I learned about every psych book and personality test to try and make sense of why the relationship – “was I bad? was he bad? how could he have treated me that way?”. I also numb out in front of the tv, and abandon all of my responsibilities. I get overwhelmed by texts/emails, but will still be there compassionately for my best friends if they are struggling. I have always been good with data and have been learning coding. I don’t keep to-do lists, but I do have very specific ideas of how things should be done or how a plan should go and people often express that I can’t handle something not going my way. I am seen as demanding and over sensitive (though I think people don’t recognize this is a loop). I’ve also been working on starting my own business for a long time, and while I have actually done the work, I’ve kept it internally close because “I wasn’t ready” and then “I need it to be perfect”, and am really scared of external criticism. I feel like a thinking type, I absolutely love logic games and sudoku and I’ve had therapists tell me that I talk about bad things that have happened to me as if I’m telling a story about someone else and not as if it was something that happened to me and was painful. But I’m also a feeling type that won’t do something if I’m not in the mood. If I’m in a healthy place in life, I do not like to be hugged or for people to be emotional with me, but when I’m in stress, I am as fragile as china and need constant hugs. But even then, I think friends think that when I’m struggling that I’m at home crying all day, but actually if you asked my parents they would be like we never see her cry she just sits at the table for 12 hours either on a computer game or researching psychology and will forget to make herself lunch. That’s my deep pain state. The question that I often grapple the most with that causes me pain is “how could evil win?” and I definitely worry about that question of intent and always feeling like despite my best intentions, and my internal heart of gold that doesn’t know how to hate and would never want to make someone feel bad, I end up the bad guy, and the people who were actually mean are seen as the good guy. I never intend to come off as bad, and usually it happens when I feel neglected and I’m demanding to be seen/heard and that my needs matter too.

    Like an INFP loop, I keep myself small and safe so I’m not challenged and if someone has criticism where I am confident I am right, I won’t even read their critical text and just delete it. I only do this if I know I am right though like people saying its wrong to feel emotion and I’m like “actually I just had therapy an hour ago and she told me to feel my feelings” so I’m not going to listen to what you have to say.
    Like the INFJ loop, I research a ton, use data to make sense of emotions, and act self righteously (I also door slam after I’ve reached the final straw with someone after 100 chances and realize we won’t be able to come to an agreement. I have only door slammed people who blame cast and who egotistically maintain they are right and I am wrong and will not compromise. I will never door slam someone who is open to hearing what I have to say, or agrees to disagree and doesn’t try to convince me I’m wrong. I do often have healthy conflict with close friends where I welcome their criticism to help myself grow, just as long as they can meet me halfway and be like you know what I can probably learn something about my behavior here too).
    Like an INTJ loop, I use perfectionism and it’s now been years of just sitting on my finished business but not bringing it into the world so that I don’t have to deal with external feedback. I’d definitely say I have a naive 10 year olds idealism of what the world could be and all that I could accomplish.

    Any ideas on which type this sounds like? I would so appreciate your insight! I am inclined to think ISFP because when I’m healthy I loveee to adventure and explore and take risks and my friends often tell me they don’t know how I’m still alive with the trouble I get myself into. But I’m not even leaving my house these days for that. My only beef with ISFP is where is all of this analytical side of me coming from? If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would say idealistic, empathetic, analytical, in that order. I am happiest when I see the world as my oyster, and saddest when I’ve lost faith in the goodness of humanity.

  • Job

    Hello Antonia and Joel,

    Great podcast again!
    I was kind of feeling like i didn’t recognize the negative loop stages for the ENTP. I really couldn’t resonate with the bullying or bragging even though I recognized wanting the approval from others.
    Then I got anxious nervous when i recognized the pattern. I was never bullying others, only “criticizing” myself very publicly, so I could get indirect praise from others telling me I was actually good (or not bad) at —-fill insecurity here—-.
    Im just bullying myself and doing the opposite of bragging for exactly the same purpose and it works way too well to avoid/postpone having to use my accuracy.
    I wish I wasn’t still doing this, but I guess even with this remark I am haha.

  • CareBear

    Hey A&J,
    This is great information!

    Quick question,
    In Part 1:
    EJ Loops are rooted in “Impatience”
    IP Loops are rooted in “Fear”

    Would you narrow down the root cause of the loops in part 2 for me?
    I think I missed them.

  • Bailey

    Ok. So this will be my first post on this website. I’m very new to Myers Briggs, in the sense that I’m truely diving into it for the first time. I’ve taken the test multiple times throughout my life, but have never given it any real credence. Based mostly on the fact that I usually always tested as a different type every time, and they all resonated with me enough to believe they provided some well intended tips on life, but nothing truely foundational.

    I have been listening to this podcasts and reading these articles every chance I get. I do research on the web to supplimement but I must say I feel like Personality Hacker is the best resource I have found thus far on using Myers Briggs to practically facilitate self growth and development. So, super thanks to you guys for being very foundational in my journey of healing personal growth. You guys rock!

    After a few months of this I have come to two conclusions….1. I definitely need therapy. lol. I have a lot of childhood trauma that I need to work through, and I truely believe my whole life I’ve been stuck in unhealthy cognitive loops.
    2. I keep testing types that seem close but aren’t quite right, like INFP, ENFP, and INFJ. I have always identified most with INFJ, and up until this very podcast had about settled on INFJ as my type. But then I listened to your feeler man thinker woman podcast. And suddenly I realized why I am so drawn to Antonia. I THINK! Like, all the time. I’ve always known it but I never felt smart enough to be a thinker, but I think I’m a thinker who has probably lived my whole life in an Perspectives – Authenticity loop, and even a Authenticity – Sensation loop. I think I test as a feeler, because I’m actually a very unhealthy version of what ever I am.

    So this podcast series really opened my eyes. I love that you guys are all about the positive. That’s really helpful to listen to throughout the day when I’m on a journey of learning how to love myself and stop unhealthy thoughts. However. I analyze everything and understanding my mistakes teaches me more about who I am. Unfortunately I usually tend to obsess on my failures and self punish, but listening to how these loops show up in our everyday lives, truely filled in so many missing gaps! Thoughts I’ve been obsessing about, like, “why do I shut down?”, “why am I avoiding these things or these people?”, “why do I obsess on the idealistic?”, “why am I so prideful?” and “why must I appear perfect?” were ALL instantaneously answered. So. Here’s my newest running theory, based on just now finishing this podcast serious. I resonate so hard with both the INTJ and INFJ profiles. For the first time I’m starting to think I’m not wired the way I’ve always thought. I’m not a feeler. I’m a thinker. My issue arises in this. I really don’t feel smart enough to be a thinker. I’ve always felt dumber than most, like in the IQ kind of way, but I can’t deny that I’ve also always had this idea that I can see things no one else can, like predict people’s motives and behaviors. Is it possible that I’ve overdeveloped my INTJ 10 year old? Or maybe that I just obsessively “think” about behaviors and emotions and that makes me “understand” them. All of this feels very unconscious and abstract and I feel so stupid trying to explain it but hopefully someone understands it. If anyone has any helpful insight I would greatly appreciate it, seeing as how I won’t grow if I can’t learn to accept feedback, without letting it crush my soul. Lol.

    Apologies for the plethora of grammatical and spelling errors. I’m on a time crunch and my brain is applesauce today.

    • Emma

      I am so glad I scrolled down to read your comment because I think the exact same is happening with me. I tested as ENFJ, but thought I was INFJ, then I tested again as INFP and have been trying to figure out which type I am listening to these podcasts and learning about the loops. And then I heard the INTJ loop and I was like wait maybe I’m that?? So I agree it’s a really interesting perspective to be like is this part of me who I really am? Or is this only me because I’ve been in a loop for so long?

  • Attlas

    Antonia, I don’t think you are annoying. I love to ear you both. You explain things very clearly. To me, you and Joel provide the best explanation of the functions. If you want to see an annoying ENTP stuck on a loop and talking about mbti check C.S. Joseph on youtube. Your podcasts are so much better.

  • Mary

    Enneagram 2

    Within my personal interior system, I need to have Harmony co-parent with my Perspectives. Together these interior Parents care for my 10 yr. old accuracy and her 3 yr. old sibling.

    In our family system, my husband and I need to work together as a team. Together we parent , so that the children (now grandchildren) have the freedom to reside in their most natural state of childhood rather than being parentized.

    On a personal , interior level, I need to deal with the conflict that arises when my interior 10 year old is disappointed at change of plans, is over tired, or is being annoyed by the three year olds whining. My ten year old argues based on the wants of the three year old . Example: Demanding ice cream and staging how unfair she has been treated and becoming critical of how unfair life (or parent) is. She also can argue anytime she feels misjudged or justice has not been done.

    My Harmony then holds Perspectives hand for a moment and grounding ourselves we draw strength from our common adulthood. We work together rather than Perspective catching the 10 year old arguments as rationale and Harmony being left out . Harmony and Perspective with experience have worked this scenario out beforehand. With a hand squeeze from Perspective , Harmony says ” Well that is interesting that you want ice-cream. Ice Cream is on the agenda for this evening. Perspective and I thought you might like ice-cream and Perspective also saved money with coupons. Ice Cream is waiting for us in the refrigerator when we get home.. And if you think it is a good plan, we also got the cones we can use too, and stay up a half hour later and sit on the porch.

    And guess what I have right now to hand out if people want it? ”
    10 year old accurately knows what it is. She had helped Perspective the night before. Harmony continues: “Wow Accurancy you are right again ” Perspective would you like a piece of the banana bread Accuracy correctly made last night with you for the trip? Thank You Accuracy and Perspective. Anyone else for some bannana bread. Without nuts for Sensation but with Walnuts for those who can chew well. ” Harmony now an older grandmother joins Sensation in the bread without nuts to a bit of laughter. Perspective has been coached to add “Thanks Harmony for organizing everything and keeping us going so well”

    I found that my 10 year old catches the critical attitude/feelings of others, so I need to be careful that I associate a good deal, with those who are operating from a desire to have an attitude of recognizing the good within others, while acknowledging the defenses people have built up from their childhoods . Often these defenses protected their tender childhood spirits/egos from shattering. I recognize with tenderness my own protective devises of retreat and shutting down emotional expression for self protection . Now I can find safe places to be more me, and am stronger when I am triggered into childhood reactions when I am in more challenging situations. By stronger I mean more tenderhearted and courageous at the same time… and sometime slacking off and indulging too.

    • Gonni

      Wow thank you Mary. You have given such a useful structure for me to follow <3

  • Lukas_with_a_k

    As I ponder on these past two podcasts on the three styles of loops, it appears (to me) that our loops lend an open lens into our Enneagram Types. I identify as INFJ, and my Ni-Ti loops has a lot of Enneatype 1 scenarios going on. However, this is just an association I’m making. What are everyone else’s insights?

  • Ellie

    I’m married to an ESFP and all of the things you say about the loops resonates strongly.

    One thing I would add, that sort of got mentioned in the first reaction, is the extreme Te criticalness. My husband will complain and fault-find to me about every single co-worker, every single customer he deals with at work in a really harsh, dehumanizing way. It’s like he can’t voice it to them (because he’s a ‘nice’ guy), so he releases it all on me, and as an INFP I am the perfect receptacle for this emotional dumping.

    I used to try and turn this criticism for him, try to get him to see the point of view of the other person, to ‘re-humanize’ them, but then he would lash out at me (essentially turning the Te criticalness on me) that I am against him, that I’m always feeling the need to disagree or be contrary, that I’m always defending other people and not him, so now I just respond along the lines of “Yeah, that must be difficult. I feel your pain, etc.” In other words, I no longer feel like I’m helping him see he’s being overly critical and harsh, but instead deflecting the criticism from being directed at me.

    I think that as a Fi-dominant I could really help him get in touch with his true personal values (because truthfully he IS a nice guy, he just diminishes his softer side when he’s feeling overwhelmed, and channels his feelings into anger- the emotion deemed culturally appropriate for men- an idea his father drilled into him from day one), but he often doesn’t want to see that, especially when he’s feeling defensive. It’s difficult to negotiate.

    • Joanna

      Elle, I am with an ESFP and I feel you so hard. Would love to hear updates (i.e. have you found a way to help him tune into his other emotions?).

  • Ken

    One question, probably off topic. You talk about Perspectives as an advanced pattern recognition, see into the future function.
    How does this manifest in the outside world?
    I would like examples on this because they would be helpful.

    • Ken

      Got it. Never mind. It’s explained in another podcast

  • Karen

    I agree that Antonia is not annoying! Don’t let the jerks get you down.

    This was a great podcast, and I’m a fan of all your work. I am an ESFP who spent decades in Loop 3. You’re right, that Loop 1 is pretty noticeable and therefore easier to resolve. Loop 2, for me, hasn’t been a huge problem, but Loop 3 definitely was, and it wasn’t until I was nearly 50 that the house of cards collapsed.

    One nuance I liked was your distinction in Loop 3 between self esteem (for FPs) and values (for TPs). That was consistent with my own experience.

    Thanks for your podcast and I look forward to your book!

  • Justine G

    Thanks I enjoyed this again, though I have to say I found the section about ITJs a bit too abstract and unclear, as I don’t really know how wide a net you are casting with the term ‘systems’, and I can’t grasp the essence of meaning or relate to that bit. I relate to perfectionism though and have some historic employment problems due to being too slow, precise and careful. I got the impression however that you were mixing ‘perfecting systems’ up with ‘perfecting oneself’ as if to mean the ITJ’s self image is conflated with their perception of whatever ‘systems’ (whatever that means) they have created. I don’t know if this was your intention.

    On the subject of perfectionism, which I shall carefully distinguish from OCD (that I also have tendencies towards so sort of know the difference), a lot of the reason I have for indulging it is because I love at least the attempt to perfect something, it is a way of potentially feeling ‘in flow’. For me it is as much about creating art as it is order from chaos, and one of the things I’m into at the moment is the art of communication in written form.

    So, if someone asked me to provide a critique on a draft copy of their book about one of my favourite subjects, let’s say theories of mind, to offer another opinion on when they are being too vague or too specific, they should really consider nit-picky pedant me as I’d currently do it for nothing. Hmmmm, who could possibly be releasing such a book round here?

    • May

      I think they kinda flubbed the IxTJ loops a bit. Maybe because they don’t talk about the shadow functions and ascribe the shadow functions acting out of sync to looping of the tertiary and dominant.

      Usually when they explain “1st level of looping” they are probably talking about the 6th function being triggered (in the case of IxTJ, Ti) and afterwards heading to the tertiary or dominant as “backup”. So for IxTJ, Antonia and Joel say “oh they are just being prideful or they see bad intent in others” when the real issue is that Ti is triggered and what the person wants/says “makes no sense” to the IxTJ. Ti as a shadow function is not exactly going to be in a place to “fully explain” itself, and since they are avoiding Te of concision or demonstration, they will eitehr zero response, head into Fi and “act angry/smug/etc” or head into the dominant and just stick to what they always have (Si) or see what they wanna see (Ni). That’s my explanation anyway. My Fi “angers” are usually 10% actual pure anger and 90% performance for communicative purposes haha. “Let me try to tell you how wrong you are!! But not really showing you why!!”

      2nd level of looping as explained by them is more pure dominant-tertiary looping. It’s masturbatory/enjoyable, has some productive use for the type, but they can burn themselves out on it. This is where IxTJ enjoy themselves too much and take pride in nurturing their pet theories (intj) or habits (istj). Endless worldbuilding/systems building in their head about “how the world works” and pure love or hate at its many facets.

      3rd level heads back into 6th function fixation (Ti in the case of IxTJ) but employing the dominant and tertiary in self-sustaining and self-destroying fashion. Enamored with the idea that everyone else is wrong or stupid or illogical, IxTJ continually explodes emotionally or pathetically nurses pride (Fi) if anyone/event dares attack the beautiful framework they have made of the world. Doubling down harder despite evidence to the contrary of what they think is true, trying to keep together whatever logical premises they hold as the foundation of their beliefs. But also afraid to “prove it” themselves because they secretly know they might actually be “wrong”.

      I feel if you start applying this to all the other types, it will hold true. This is because when we try to “avoid the co-pilot (auxiliary) function”, you just naturally go to its opposite polarity. If you run away from Te, you bash headfirst into Ti. Run away from Fe? You are fellating/triggered by your Fi in some way (judgment is an Fi thing, Joel. Ti is not really going to mistake your sweeping as “implied moral judgment on my precious housekeeping abilities how dare you!!” it will however probably reason “I don’t need the floor swept right now. The activity of sweeping up doesn’t fit in with clearing the table. What is he doing??”). ExTP have Te problems, they are often trying to cut people down/out of the way or get their way “fast” and then afterwards justify with Fe (people are clapping for me! so it’s fine!!). ExFP often have Fe problems where they seek validation from others too much, hoping they will LOOK like a “good person” of actually depending on Fi self-evluation. Sometimes this means making someone else to be the badguy to look like the goodguy in comparison.

      • May

        act as if my typos dontl exisy in this beautiful comment i left for i yam not enough of a perfectionist intj clearly lol

      • Antonia Dodge

        We try to avoid complicating things in a way that gives people an ‘out’ for doing personal development work. Making the concepts accessible and giving clear action steps – like getting into one’s auxiliary process – encourages people to focus on what we believe is the most important aspect of learning these systems: growth. Our goal is to avoid talking about type for its own sake.


  • D

    As an ENFP, I just have to say that you guys really nailed the Ne-Te loop. I have experienced the first two kinds, but I don’t think I’ve ever found myself in the 3rd. At my lowest, I tended to wallow more in the grip of inferior Si than loop between Ne and Te (though I think my main problem was that I felt that I couldn’t use Ne and unsuccessfully attempted to suppress it).

    I have always considered my explosive loop to be more directed towards people. Often it’s because they’ve been really cruel to someone and/or were treating them in an unjust function. Listening to you podcast, I though “Hm maybe I tend to Ne-Te loop at inanimate objects more frequently. I have on numerous occasions been seen by others screaming at inanimate objects and have gotten some strange looks.”

    I also think the explosive Ne-Te outburst is extremely noticeable. I have actually gotten feedback that has indicated that I scare and disturb the people who are just around me while I was basically verbally tearing someone down. I usually feel pretty crappy once I leave that headspace and realize that I acted out of line. But sometimes, I don’t necessarily justify it, but realize that I shed light on some things the other person probably needs to be more aware of. So that makes me feel better about it. There’s also a fair amount of righteous indignation there at times, especially when I know I am empirically correct and am more knowledgeable about whatever lies at the root of it.

    Though, I do still have a degree of self-control in this state. I remember a time in high school where I held my tongue on some of the nastier comments I could have made. The target was an individual who had cussed my friend out for no reason and I was really emotionally exhausted. I think my Te was screaming “Tell him all of his friends hate him and he isn’t as popular as thinks. That’ll cut through him like a knife.” And I’m fairly certain this would have really done some damage. But my Fi interfered because I realized that doing so would likely lead to drama with those friends (because in my anger I would have likely named some of them). I was 3 months from high school graduation and just so completely done with high school drama that I knew I’d just be making my own situation worse and failing to keep myself balanced.

    Of course, I wasn’t exactly nice. I did still call him unlikeable and sent few curse laden insults his way. ENFPs do seem to have a way to really get to people, I haven’t really associated myself with that quality before but I realize I’m pretty good at it.

    Thinking back on the times I’ve had an Ne-Te outburst at another person, I’ve often done it to defend someone else. The one major time I can think of that I was defending my own ground, I was also acting the way I was because I was being used as leverage to bully one of my friends. I was about 16 or 17, and this one guy started telling people he had had sex with me. This wasn’t true, I had never even been in a room alone with this guy. I figured out that his motive was to upset a friend of mine who I knew had feelings for me. The idea of me being used as leverage against him enfuristed me and I basically full out, randomly, burst out screamed at him in a very cumcharacteristic manner. I then got a bit of a lecture from the gym teachers who saw me do it, because I was of course, screaming at the guy in a fairly crowded hallway where it was nearly lunchtime. I’m pretty sure they didn’t know what to make of it, so they told me not to use such unladylike language and to try to set a better example for the underclass men. The next day I reported the guy for sexual harassment to the Vice Principal, frankly what I should’ve done in the first place. Even in that moment, I found I twisted what the gym teachers said to make what I did better in my mind. I told myself, “Well if I have to set an example for the underclassmen, I want them to know that they shouldn’t take this sort of treatment.” Albeit, I don’t advocate doing what I did, I do think that everyone should stand up for themselves in this sort of situation.

    And you guys are both really articulate and well-spoken! Seriously, I’m not sure where that person was coming from, but people feel that they can be huge jerks just because they are on the internet. It’s one of the most frustrating things about it.

  • Jody

    You’re BOTH great — very enjoyable and informative! I discovered your site through my interest in the Enneagram and now I’m learning about my 9-ness / ISFJ-ness and how to recognize paths toward growth. Please keep it up and know that there are so many listeners who appreciate you!

  • Jenny

    I am always impressed with your knowledge about how our personalities work. And I will say that you both are very articulate in your podcast. Really a great skill! I listened to both parts of this podcast and recommended it to others. My only disappointment is it seemed like you spent the least amount of time on my type…INFJ.:-(. I anticipated a thorough analysis like you did for the others but it felt rushed, and I don’t feel like I came away with as much understanding as I did for the other types. Probably typical for my type to want that deep technical stuff, right? Haha!

  • Megan M.

    Wow… This hit remarkably close to home. I am an INFJ, my mom is an ISFJ, my dad is an ISTJ, an my younger sister is an INTJ so the second half of this podcast was eerily familiar. Especially the story about the woman who got offended about the sweeping… I have experienced that exact situation where I have been the one being triggered over someone cleaning (or when my mom bought us a new shower curtain and toilet paper) because it totally felt like a judgement about my ability to maintain my home. And I remember growing up, how my mom would have us cleaning the house for days if we were going to have any guests over soon. I’ve definitely adopted a similar routine or trying to create “Harmony” through attempting to perfect the external environment I am in, rather than focusing on the relationships themselves. (I feel like I’ve been working trying to have a better relationship with my Fe process and grow that but haven’t really gotten anywhere… Maybe this new book you’re writing will be helpful?)

    As for my dad and sister, they tend to butt heads a lot (particularly about politics and social issues) and this podcast was interesting in that it helped me to see that it is often because they are so attached to what feels authentic to them and they feel threatened by outer world feedback.

    Thanks again for another great and thought-provoking podcast!

    (And Antonia, you are not annoying! Keep doing what you’re doing!)

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