MBTI – STACKS Basics (Part 2)

PREVIOUS: MBTI Basics (3b)

SITE: Guide to becoming awesome : MBTI edition


STACK levels
❤️ Dominant (DOM) = largest oval – the ego’s strongest orientation, which is in the driver’s seat of our personality (function & attitude). It’s what we rely on & use regularly, the most trusted part of our Self. When engrossed in any activity which fully uses our Dominant, we feel alert, alive – what we were “born to do”

• For Is, it will be hidden, while Auxiliary is what others see first until better acquainted – so they may be mis-typed
• For Es, it’s reversed – their DOM is immediately visible, while the Auxiliary is hidden – at first
(Dominant P & Dominant Js)

💛 Auxiliary (AUX) = #2 position – tends to show up once Dominant is clear, developing in the teens & early 20s. We rely on these 2 functions to grow skills & learn who we are – if allowed!  To fully use our MBTI type we need a well-developed Auxiliary that can support Dominant.

NOTE: Since each stack level alternates on the E or I side, then if the DOM is a P function, the AUX will be a J – or vice-versa, & the opposite attitude of the dominant.  This is for the sake of cognitive balance – to provide data for or “informing” the Dom’s J choice, or organizing the Dom’s P choice with rational assessments, keeping us in touch with both inner & outer experience

Auxiliary is in the ‘passenger seat’ of our personality, needed to determine how we use the DOM, serving as support & equalizer. At its best it can be fully available to us & therefore easy to use, such as only having to learn something once

💚  Tertiary (TER) = 3rd, the Helper Function, a somewhat reliable resource to be called on, ‘though each of us will vary on how often we use it. In some stacks it will work hand in hand with Auxiliary, while in others 2 & 3 will bicker, wanting different things. Auxiliary usually wins, since it carries more weight.

Tertiary doesn’t control or lead, but can offer strength & support to the 2 above it. It’s like having a teenager in the back of the vehicle, who’s growing up but not there yet, so sometimes it’ll rise to the occasion, but not dependably
• can serve as brakes, reminding us of past stressors & warning of similar problems in future
• can provide relief from mistakes, to let us psychologically off the hook, or suggest a ‘way out’, encouraging new ways of living
• isn’t that easy to access unless it’s deliberately developed – which can happen for some people, but usually not until middle age

💜 Inferior (INF) = the 4th is often called a “weakness”, which is a misinterpretation of what MBTI describes. It should be identified as a lower conscious function.
SO: the Dom is always on, 2nd is the creative (can be switched on), 3rd is the relief function (used for feeling better) AND the inferior is your subconscious driving force. (CHART of preference order by Type)

• Normally our brain will actively avoid it, but when forced to be engaged, it’ll feel unpleasant, stressful & very draining. For most of us – like the baby in the back of the vehicle – it’s what we’re weakest at, because it’s (usually) the least developed

• It can emerge as part of a developmental stage but undeveloped, so Dom tends to think Inferior gets in the way, shoving it aside as often as possible.

• It’s also called the ‘Danger’ Function, because under pressure it can pop up at the wrong time & misbehave, with negative consequences. It can start ‘crying’ when we’re stressed & tired, seen as childish, so we tend to shy away from using it.
If we spend too much time in the Danger zone (in a Loop), our Primary & Helper functions will step aside or burn out, leaving us at the mercy of the lesser ones

• However, Inferior is an under-estimated powerful Personality Factor. It can indeed be cultivated – usually in middle age – making us better off. Discovering Inferior’s gifts can provide positive opportunities & adventures (More in future posts)

NEXT: MBTI Stack Basics #3

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