There Are No Opposites in MBTI

One common misconception-or just opinion-among many people is “If I’m INFP, then it should be impossible to relate to someone that is ESTJ.” Or for instance, if one is prone to being prideful, then one may think that their own type is special, and the opposite type’s way of life and thinking is pointless and unreasonable.

But really, there are no opposites in Myers Briggs.

To start out, no person is perfectly one type or another. You may be 50% more introverted than extroverted, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely introverted. Because no one person is completely one type, there is still a little bit in you that sides with your opposite type.

INFP Cognitive Functions

The cognitive stack for INFP is “Fi”, “Ne”, “Si”, “Te”.

As you can see, there are extroverted parts to the introverted INFP. When an INFP acts extroverted, Extroverted Intuition kicks in, making the INFP act quirky and witty around others.

Also, the INFP has Introverted Sensing. Though the INFP is more concerned about the hidden patterns in the external world, sometimes the INFP is concerned about the internal, concrete details, like “What emotions am I feeling” or “I’m feeling hungry, I can’t think straight without food”.

And then onto Extroverted Thinking, the stress function. Though the INFP is more concerned about individual morals, feelings, and values, the INFP easily gets concerned about the external organization of things, the logic in the external world.

That’s the cognitive functions of the INFP.

Opposite Order of Functions

What about the cognitive functions of ESTJ?

This is the interesting part. The cognitive stack for ESTJ is “Te”, “Si”, “Ne”, “Fi”.

INFP, but reversed.

So INFPs and ESTJs both share the same functions, its just that the order is different for them.

Whenever an INFP stresses out (“Te”), the INFP turns into an ESTJ. Whenever an ESTJ stresses out (“Fi”), the ESTJ turns into an INFP.

Reversal of Functions

That’s interesting and all, but what about having “Fe” instead of “Fi” be the opposite?

Well, if the INFP’s cognitive stack was reversed like that, the stack would be “Fe”, “Ni”, “Se”, “Ti”.

Which personality type has that stack?

Well, a dominant, extroverted judging function equals E _ _ J.

A dominant Feeling function equals E _ F J.

A secondary Intuition function equals ENFJ.

Even though INFPs and ENFJs have reversed functions, they share NF, and NF personality types share a lot in common.

http://www.keirsey.com/4temps/idealist_overview.asp

Opposite Order of Reversal of Functions

Let’s go even further. What if we reverse the opposite functions to make the stack “Ti”, “Se”, “Ni”, “Fe”?

Using past logic, that would be the opposite of ENFJ, which is ISTP.

Now, ISTPs really don’t share much with INFPs, concerning the opposite and reversed functions. However, they share I _ _ P. Though that’s not much, they aren’t polar opposites.

In Conclusion

So really, there are no opposites in Myers Briggs. You can be unique in your own way, however, its impossible not relate to others. While you may think one type is too cruel and heartless, or too emotional and soft, there’s at least one other thing your two types can agree on.

The thing is, whenever you hear of someone being a type that isn’t your type, don’t automatically think, “Oh, that person is extroverted. I don’t think I could possibly understand that person”. Even though you don’t share introversion or one other component, or even you share none at all, there is still something you two can relate to.

In reality, even though everyone and every type is unique, we all share something with each other.

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