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16-25
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The Introverted Paradox
23 October 2007

by I/O

Myers-Briggs and Socionics are both right; the former identifies what we see in the personality of others while the latter identifies more what people see sometimes in themselves.

Socionics classifies the true order of dominant functions while Myers-Briggs classifies the order of dominant observed functions. In order to survive, introverts must operate successfully in the external world, as do extraverts. In order to do so, extroverted functions are pushed to the fore.

Secondary functions are forced to a dominant role when actively dealing with the external world; an introverted psyche learns this need very early in life, and the engagement of secondary functions becomes automatic. Thus, an IXXj can appear like an IXXp and vice versa; but for an extrovert, this switch is unnecessary because the needed functions are already engaged.

When isolated in their own world, the dominant introverted functions can take their rightful position. This is why introverts can be confused about what type they really are. In public, an IXXj and EXXp can be attracted to one another because the introvert is operating as an IXXp, and IXXp and EXXj can attract. However, when relationships become long term or intimate, the true dominant introverted functions surface and conflict can arise.

Myers-Briggs should take a page from Socionics about relationship determination, but Socionics needs to learn from Myers-Briggs as to how people appear in public and deal with the external world.
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