Friday, May 3, 2013

MBTI #8: The Shadow and online resources

This last post will be much shorter because there are a wide variety of opinions out there about what one's "shadow" is, what it does, and when it's used. I'm going to focus on the one that makes the most sense to me.

John Beebe's shadow structure
Dr. Beebe's argument is that the shadow is comprised of the four functions that don't appear in your MBTI preferences list, in a particular order complete with spiffy names and a theoretical structure.

He has a point, I think, about those four other functions having their uses but being uncomfortable and, in some cases, downright upsetting. Particularly the "demon function", the opposite of your inferior MBTI function. For me, that's Si -- internal analysis of past events and situations -- which in me always takes the form of obsessive ruminating about some bad thing that happened, some opportunity missed.  Always depressing and pointless.

There's a nice, clear run-down of this idea over at It rings true to me: I do use my Ti to shoot people down ("here are the holes in your argument") and don't pay much attention to my Fe (other people's emotions are not my problem).

Your character's shadow
Of these, the "demon" may be the most useful in a story, as it can be a source of conflict and uncertainty for your character.

Online resources
If you poke around Google, you'll find tons of books, forums, videos -- and tons of different, sometimes conflicting, opinions about MBTI. Here are some that I've found useful.

Personality Cafe -- a lot of my links go to this chat board. I'm active there under a different name. MBTI is only one of the personality systems they use there, but it's a nice community where you can ask questions and get advice on specific MBTI types. I've used it to fine-tune my understanding of what my MCs would consider important, or stressful, in very complicated situations.

Personality Cafe on Youtube -- there have been various video challenges over the years and most of them are on Youtube somewhere.

Cognitive Types on Youtube -- a series of videos demonstrating how to "read" personality type from body language. Fascinating stuff. They post new ones every so often.

DaveSuperPowers did a series of videos on various types, but sadly he stopped.

A frequently referred-to book on PerC is Was That Really Me? by Naomi Quenk.

1 comment:

The Golden Eagle said...

Thanks for the links! Those should be really useful.

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