(Auxiliary: Extroverted Sensation (Se))
(Inferior: Extroverted Feeling (Fe))
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ISTP, or Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiver, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Ti, Se, Ni, Fe}.
ISTP, or Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiver, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Ti, Se, Ni, Fe}.
==Tertiary: Introverted iNtuition (Ni)==
Interestingly, despite their (somewhat accurate) reputation as apathetic loners, ISTPs typically feel strongly enough about their principles that they may even resort to vigilante justice in order to set things right with the world when legitimate establishments of law enforcement have failed to produce a just or consistent result. They're typically quite mindful of not stepping on other people's toes, but if you step on theirs, be prepared for a swift and unexpected backlash. Somewhat like INFJs, who share all of the same function attitudes, ISTPs in the grip of Ti+Ni may fantasize about using their superior strength and physical prowess (Se) to take revenge on people who unjustly bring harm to the innocent. "Eye for an eye" is often seen as the purest and most physically real affirmation of the sense of justice that factors so heavily into the ISTP's personal value judgments.
When undeveloped, tertiary Ni most frequently manifests itself in terms of semi-paranoid distrust of "the man" or of authority figures or anyone who may have the power to force the ISTP into any situation or role from which he does not have the option to escape when he wants to. This kind of cynicism may even lead the ISTP to claim some sort of supernatural foresight; he may doggedly insist that he "just knows" something to be the case despite total inability to explain why or display any physical evidence thereof. He may come to believe anything he does is simply playing into exactly what some unseen, evil "puppet master" of sorts wants him to do, and thus may insist that the situation is hopeless because he already knows how it's all going to end up.
When applied more positively in a more developed state, tertiary Ni should bolster the ISTP's natural fluency with sensory cues by giving him deeper insight into the symbolic or suggestive meaning of the constant flow of outward sensory information he is normally attuned to. Rather than simply note what is and move on to noting something else that is, he will begin to consider the assumptions inherent in the set of rules he assumes must govern the way he interprets and evaluates that information, which, in time, will grant his "gut instincts" far more substantial meaning and accuracy by linking them to a deliberate purpose with much more far-reaching implications.
Ni should ideally help the ISTP to feel even more completely free: she will realize she can adapt not only her present actions, but also her entire outlook and attitude according to whatever the immediacy of the moment demands: nothing can ever shake her composure because she can simply change her mindset to fit her surroundings.
When Se is poorly developed, and a TiNi loop results, the ISTP loses all desire to connect or exchange information with others in any meaningful way. He becomes extraordinarily self-centered, acting out his subconscious Se desires through increasingly impulsive (and possibly even dangerous or violent) outbursts, insistent that he is the only one who "has it all figured out", that all the small-minded fools surrounding him are running a pointless rat race for nothing, and that he does not and should not ever have anything to prove to such unworthy and insignificant creatures.
He may delve further and further into bitter cynicism and conspiracy theorist behavior, as Ni develops increasingly outlandish interpretations to justify Ti's all-important desire to view the self as the only remaining bastion of consistency and truth in a purposeless world that cares for neither. Nihilism and hopelessness invariably result.
Ultimately, tertiary Ni should grant the well-balanced ISTP a unique sense of worldly wisdom. Already generally subdued by nature, his calm, quiet confidence will be nearly unshakable, as he will find the ability to separate himself from the tribulations of everyday problems enough to realize that eventually, everything is going to be fine, so we may as well just focus on dealing with what's in front of us and trust that everything else will fall into place the way it's supposed to. Development of tertiary Ni often coincides with a time in the ISTP's life where he retreats into a period of serious self-reflection and emerges with a far more calm and stable sense of philosophic purpose and global awareness.
==Inferior: Extroverted Feeling (Fe)==
As the weakest point in the ISTP's cognitive hierarchy, Fe presents some substantial issues for the "lone wolf" persona in which he so often finds himself entrenched. Insistent on figuring things out for himself and living life his own way, the ISTP is prone to ignoring his emotional and interpersonal needs as long as he can possibly get away with it. He may become increasingly stressed as he realizes that without some form of permanency or obligation, some sense of connectedness to a group or purpose larger than himself and his own personal needs and desires, he feels as though his life is simply running in circles and never reaching any meaningful conclusions.
Inferior F types (IxTP, ExTJ) tend, by nature, to be utterly clueless when it comes to expressing or even acknowledging their emotional needs, and may resort to displaying them through rather bizarre, confusing, and even childish behaviors. For most ISTPs, Se serves as the only comfortable link to the external world, the only way they understand how to bridge the gap between their internal ideals and the expectations and aesthetics of others. Thus, Fe is often expressed in a way that becomes slanted by Se's tendencies: ISTPs care a lot more about their family and friends than they are able to express verbally, and since actions speak louder than words, in moments of extreme stress, they may demonstrate their cultural and familial obligations by physically attacking or forcibly removing anyone or anything which threatens the sense of moral fiber upon which their families, social groups, or communities are founded.
This may simultaneously impress and disturb others, as friends and family are often surprised to see that the ISTP even cares enough about them to do anything protective in the first place, but also upset that s/he chooses such directly physical means of expressing the importance of his relationship to them. The ISTP may often be seen as emotionally unaware and even incapable of emotional expression, and while she may resent this suggestion, she often does little to nothing to counteract it until the perfect moment arises: in a flash of daring bravado, a selfless act of unexpected chivalry or intense but unexpressed loyalty will allow the ISTP to release the build-up of subconscious tension and guilt over her insensitivity to the collective needs and ethical expectations of her loved ones. She simply cannot respond to or consciously acknowledge these needs easily because they seem to threaten the sense of individually-defined identity and freedom that she holds so dearly.
The central conflict for ISTPs struggling with inferior Fe is their insistence upon absolute personal freedom at all times, and the seemingly disingenuous nature of participating in familial or cultural ritual when dominant Ti can't see any reasonable or logical purpose for it. Accepting objectively derived concepts of morality or interpersonal obligation threatens the prized ability to change or escape any undesired situation on a moment's notice. The ISTP feels threatened by expectations of others upon him to behave in ways he does not find reasonable; however, he must confront the fact that he does require some relationships with others to feel completely fulfilled, and that eventually most people will tire of his simultaneous expectations to be accommodated and refusal to accommodate their needs in return.
Again, it's most important to remember that for ISTPs, actions speak louder than words. Expecting them to verbalize their feelings on a regular basis is likely to meet with condescension and resentment; however, leaving them enough space to do as they please will almost invariably produce enough appreciation that, in time, their occasional shows of good faith will develop into a more complete awareness of the needs of their friends and family, as they will gradually realize that coming to collective moral agreements for defining and strengthening interpersonal bonds actually makes all the logical sense in the world.
Learning to accept and embrace some degree of cultural expectations will grant the ISTP both a more objective method of self-evaluation, and a much more balanced sense of consistent reliability. (It also doesn't hurt that, as they get older and social expectations change, accepting more responsibility actually makes them look a lot cooler and more aware of external reality!)

Latest revision as of 23:28, August 5, 2011

ISTP, or Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiver, is a label borrowed from MBTI nomenclature and now applied to the Jungian Cognitive Function set {Ti, Se, Ni, Fe}.

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