Can you develop all 8 MBTI Functions?

“Can you develop all eight functions? If so, how would one go about doing that?”

Can you develop all 8 MBTI Functions?

That would be an excellent idea if you want to go nowhere in life.

I would not recommend trying to develop all eight functions, and here’s why.

You have four functions that you utilize on a regular basis, but occasionally, when you’re extremely stressed out, you can lapse into using all opposite functions (aka, your shadow functions).

For instance, I as an INTJ, typically use NiTeFiSe, but when I lapse into my shadow functions, I start using the functions of an ENTP (NeTiFeSi). Shadow functions pop in on rare occasions to give you a moment of surprising, out of character insight, but typically, they pop in to make your life miserable.

You’re naturally keen to using your four type functions, and over time, you get better and better at using them. Everyone is born with natural affinities. If you deliberately try to use your shadow functions, you’re not going to end up superhuman or good at everything. In fact, it’s going to take you in the opposite direction.

You’re going to end up doing a lot of things but not being good at any of them.

On the other hand, if you focus mainly on developing your four natural functions, you’re going to be much more successful in life. Geniuses are not necessarily balanced in all areas. Albert Einstein was a genius academically, but he couldn’t tie his shoe laces.

Watch this video if that didn’t make sense (or if you’re an auditory learner).

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3 thoughts on “Can you develop all 8 MBTI Functions?

  1. On Si: “This is why you hate school.” Haha. I’m INTJ and my older brother is ENTJ. We did well enough, but we function a lot better outside of school. Actually, I got lucky in college having many classes that were more conceptual instead of details, though my ISTJ suffered. Meanwhile I had a love-hate relationship with people I think were XNTPs. They seemed so elaborately intelligent and brought bizarre discussions to class, but they never focused.

    Thanks for listing the full eight function stack for types. I’ve been reading conflicting (and rare) comments about what order the shadow functions are. Ni Te Fi Se – Ne Ti Fe Si makes more sense to me individually than Ni Te Fi Se – Si Fe Ti Ne (the other mirrored order some have suggested).

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  2. I think I’ve been developing my shadow functions and they’ve helped me to ease my superego constraints a bit. I am relatively more spontaneous now as well as more scatterbrained and less disciplined.

    HOwever, I liken the process to developing ambidexterity.

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