Your operating system

The functions and function model are what makes up your operating system. The car trip analogydifferences may be small between types, such as the ENTJ and INTJ where the only thing that differs is the order of their functions. Or they may be rather large for instance an INTP and ENTJ, where the functions are identically flipped.

Your operating system consists of 8 such functions put in a hierarchy that decides your preference in using them, how confident you feel in each one, and how other people will perceive you when you are engaging in them.

For instance, we’re all usually comfortable and confident when using our leading function, but less comfortable when using our inferior function.

This can be likened to a car, with a father, a mother, a 10 year old and a 4 year old.

If dad (dominant) is driving, everything is fine and the trip is going as planned. If dad gets tired and mom (auxiliary) takes over, the trip is still going to be progressing quite nicely. However, if for some reason the 10 year old (tertiary) is suddenly driving the car, the trip becomes more unsteady, less safe and less comfortable for everyone involved and the same degradation of the trip quality happens when the 4 year old (inferior) takes control.

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The cult of the Networker

This is one of those posts that I was somewhat hesitant to write, because it may come off networkingas being hostile, bitter, angry or whatever else people who disagree with the common social conventions are described as. The cult of the networker is the slow evolution of thought where the importance has shifted from being a “good worker” to being a good networker.

While a certain degree of self-promotion is often a requirement to advance. After all, if nobody knows who you are, what you do, what you aspire to and most importantly what you can do for them, then you are a potentially great product, that nobody knows about.

Think about it like this, many of the biggest fast food chains in the world do not serve the best food within their area. I’ve had my best hamburgers at small, often hidden stores in some alley, and the same goes for pizza, kebab and various other foods. Someone may have invented something that’s better than sliced bread, but if nobody knows about the invention, then it does not matter.

What I mean when I talk about the “cult of the networker” I speak about people who are great at networking, but little else. I’m talking about the accountant who has 500 connections on Linkedin and is a “thought leader” when you know that every day you’ll have to correct half of their invoices. I’m talking about the person who claims to be a competent business strategist yet has never heard of Michael Porter. In short, the people who are mediocre or worse at what they actually do, but are great at marketing themselves.

However, more importantly, I’m talking about the tendencies in the Western world of “form over function” of “Tact over fact” and “baffle them with bullshit”.

I’m sure the 2 or 3 people reading this may think “this is some guy who’s bitter about not being good at networking” and you would be half-way right, I’m not bitter, but I’m really bad at networking and self-promotion. I don’t begrudge people who are good at networking their success. What I do, is worry about the future of a society that competes with other societies, where the one that prefers form over function will be the inevitable loser.

What is the point in appearing great at what you do if you’re not? Shouldn’t everyone aspire to greatness over time?

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How do you value success?

I realize that success gives an internal image of the high flying, wealthy, famous and great looking person in western society, but this Imageimage in and of itself is external to the person having it. Is this the image of what you deem as success or what society around you tells you is success? Is this image an end in itself or merely a means to an end? 

I have a range of books on my brimming shelves that deal with this “7 Habits of highly effective people”, “How to win friends and influence people”, “Covert persuasion”, “48 laws of power”, “The Prince” and while they all aspire to the same thing, they all fall woefully short of their goal, of giving you a system, a raison d’etre, they all fall in the category of means, not ends. Their applicability is far from universal, unless you plan to rule your household by fear, continuously stay aware of your own body language and the body language of others, or wish to take part in the cult of the “Networker”. 

Wouldn’t the very idea of success be derived from a goal or set of goals, and level of success the sum of key performance indicators of movement towards accomplishment/fulfillment of those goals? 

I’ve always been obsessed with knowledge, and thus have had a range of obsessions within different fields. I call them obsessions because I develop a single-minded focus towards that field for the time period it takes me to grasp the central ideas of it. I don’t claim to know the intricacies or central contributors to French 18th century philosophy, but I don’t need to. I need to know the central practices and thinkers within the whole field so I can build on it. 

Knowledge synergies is how I value success. This was not a concept that I was aware of 5 years ago but something that has started to come to me over time. Imagine a cluster of islands with no form of communications between them. Each island is it’s own micro-cosmos. In come cases, there is a form of evolutionary convergence of ideas, such as most cultures coming to the understanding that permitting theft, murder and rape being the undoing of any society. However, there are also divergences in each island about when murder, theft and rape are permissible.

As bridges and boat traffic slowly increases between the islands the ideas of each island form a sum greater than the whole, not only from the variety of ideas, but also from being able to apply ideas across contexts and situations. This is the core idea behind a knowledge synergy.

How do you value success?  

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Suggested reading list for personality types

If you would like to learn more about personality types and go deeper into the subject matter, here is a suggested reading list. You can find more information on each book in the book review category.

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The John Beebe 8 function model

Before going into more detail and adding additional complexity to my explanation, I thought I’d take a «time out» and introduce you to the model I’m going to be using to organise the functions in this book. This model was introduced by John Bebee a Jungian analyst and ENTP and is usually referred to as the “8 function model”


The model is in two parts, the conscious self and the unconscious self, with the unconscious also being referred to as “The shadow” self.

The conscious self consists of your dominant function (Hero), auxiliary function (good parent), tertiary function (eternal child) and inferior function (Anima). These are the functions that you have varying degrees of control and comfort in engaging in your day-to-day life.

The dominant function or hero is the function you are the most comfortable using. Engaging it costs little energy, you are competent at using it, and feel competent while using it. If your dominant function is extraverted thinking, you most likely feel very competent when putting things in logical order, directing and marshalling resources. Think of your dominant function as Batman, he can do anything and defeat anyone.

Your auxiliary function acts as the “good parent” to your dominant function (or Hero). It will be the opposite orientation, meaning that if you extrovert your dominant function, your auxiliary function will be introverted. It’s nicknamed the good parent, because it’s supportive, we use it when we help ourselves, others and we use it to compliment ourselves. This is Alfred the Butler, always there to pull Mr. Wayne back up, trying to protect him from taking on too much and nursing him back to health when the bad guys get the best of him.

The third function (often called tertiary or eternal child) is a function where we’re comfortable messing up, being childish, and teasing others with. We’re simply not all that competent with this function, but we’re comfortable with not being overly competent at using it and we’re ok when other people make fun of us for it.

The fourth function (inferior or anima) borders on being unconscious but not quite. When we use this function, we use it in an immature or childish way and are frequently prone to over-indulging in it. For instance, someone who has inferior feeling may have an outburst of feeling or someone who prefers intuition may over-indulge in sensory activities such as eating too much or working out too much.

The shadow self consists of your opposing function, which is the same type of function as your dominant, for instance if your dominant function is extraverted thinking, your opposing function would be introverted thinking. If your dominant function is introverted feeling, your opposing function is extraverted feeling.

The next function is your critical parent, and works in the same type of support to your opposing function, but is so called because it is a critical function; it’s the one we use to criticize ourselves and others and is frequently projected at other people.

The third function in your shadow self follows the same pattern and is the “trickster”, so called because we use it to trap ourselves and others. Like the rest of the shadow functions it’s critical and negative in nature. An example would be someone who has introverted feeling as their tertiary function, may use extraverted feeling to criticize and trap others. For instance, criticizing someone else for deviating from social norms, and interrupting social cohesion while being guilty of that exact thing in that exact moment.

The final function in the model, is referred to as the demon, and is a function that is in direct opposition to our dominant function. An INTJ or INFJ who has a trademark wide, future oriented and long range vision, may be in the grip of their introverted sensing demon and lose this perspective and get hung up on details and the past.

The placement of the functions in this model is quite significant in that functions are dynamic systems that influence and change each other. Not only do the manifestations of the functions change based on their position in the hierarchy, but also based on which functions they are operating alongside.

Introverted intuition for instance, is dominant in both INTJ and INFJ. Yet in the INTJ the auxiliary process is extraverted thinking, which is quite a pragmatic, externally oriented, blunt and critical form of thinking. Whereas in the INFJ the auxiliary process is extraverted feeling, which is warm, people oriented, focused on social cohesion, social values and maintaining the values of society. This means that the INFJ is frequently viewed as warm, compassionate, counsellors (their name in David Keirsey’s system) where INTJs are frequently viewed as cold, aloof, critical and as one INTJ described it “assholes”.

Introverted intuition in the dominant position, gives a certainty of visions, which imbues INFJ and INTJ with confidence in their perception of the world, whereas for an ESTJ where the function is inferior, may be a source of uncertainty and insecurity. In an ISTJ where introverted intuition is the demon, it may make the ISTJ just as certain about their inevitable failure.

Place in the hierarchy Bebee name Colloquial name



1 Hero/Heroine Dominant Organizes adaptation, initiates individualization Self
2 Good parent Auxiliary Nurtures and protects others, sets standard of care Others
3 Eternal child Tertiary Copes by improvising Others
4 Anima/Animus Inferior Gateway to the unconscious, creates ideals that are hard to live up to Self (Ego)
5 Opposite personality Opposite personality Defends by offending, seducing or avoiding, provides self-criticism Self
6 Critical parent Critical parent Defends by refusing, belittling and inactivating Others
7 Trickster Trickster Creates double-binds circumvents obstacles Others
8 Demon Demon Undermines self and others, creates opportunities to develop integrity. Self


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Finding your personality type

Finding your personality type can have many positive effects on myers_1your life. In addition to become aware of destructive patterns in your behavior, you’ll also develop a greater understanding of how you live and learn and what type of activity is suited for your personality. A little secret, when you use your dominant function, you have unlimited energy.

How do I find my type?

There are numerous test resources on the internet, you can find a link to a few at the bottom of this article. The unfortunate side to taking one of these tests without a qualified assistant, is that people tend to make mistakes when attempting to type themselves. This includes:

Answering how they want to be rather than how they are.

I’m a natural type B person, this means that I like staying up late and prefer getting up late. However, due to having to get up early for work most mornings, my natural pattern is forced to give to be replaced by a work-pattern 5 days per week. In the same way, many people may bring their “work-self” with them when testing their type, especially if the test is in a work-related context.

The natural pattern being suppressed

Sometimes during our lifetimes we are put into situations where we alter our pattern for some reason. If you’re taking the test under stress your shadow personality may be the one answering for you, or your self-perception may not be clear.

Social stereotypes

Male feelers and female thinkers may appear and perceive themselves as the opposite. It’s quite common for male feelers and female thinkers to mistype. Interestingly enough, it’s more common for feelers to mistype as thinkers than vice versa. Part of this most likely stems from people who prefer feeling to perceive their own process as highly logical, where it’s usually obvious that something is a thinking judgment rather than a feeling judgment.

Type descriptions

The type descriptions are in many ways the bane of personality typing because a set of types have a tendency to feel related to the description either due to it being what they ideally would like to see themselves as, or because they embody what they feel they should be. This leads to a range of mistypes because it’s like buying a car based on the salesman’s description.

So how do I find my type?

The best way is through using the concept of triangulation, which is a mix of self-study, reflection and test resources.

By using multiple test resources of varying types (both Dichotomy and cognitive function based) you eliminate the most common mistypes due to poorly defined concepts. The Myers-Briggs test for instance can cause a lot of judgers to score as perceivers and vice versa due to often deciding the “J-P” dichotomy based on “Do you have obsessive compulsive disorder or are you a total slob”.

By self-study, self-reflection and educating yourself on personality type code, you can identify poor or in-congruent results. I used to score as ENTP on MBTI when I was younger, and now score as whatever I want due to understanding how the tests are constructed. However, based on cognitive functions and self-study, it’s obvious that I’m actually an ENTJ.

To summarize:

The only way to find your correct type is by mixing the tests with self-study, and also being very honest and aware of your own bias and mental state when taking the test. I score as more of a perceiver if I’ve been in a context where I’ve had to deal with over-structuring or under-structuring for an extended period of time. I score as more of a feeler if I’m a bit depressed.

However, over time as you dive deeper into personality type-code you’ll triangulate yourself to your actual type.

Personality tests: A dichotomy based test by Dr. David Keirsey, author of “Please understand me” and “Please understand me II” A cognitive functions test by Dr. Dario Nardi Author of “8 Keys to self-leadership” and “The Neuroscience of Personality”.

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Socionics: Intertype relations

Socionics has a system of intertype relations, which is based on how the cognitive relationsfunctions and their place in the model interact between types. For instance an Fe dominant type and a Te dominant type may has issues cooperating due to their difference in focus. Fe seeking to organize the environment for external harmony, with the Te type seeking to organize the external environment for logical efficiency.


This is the relationship between two people of the same type, this means that they generally get along and get to know each other quickly. However, this is also the catch 22 of this relationship, since both of them share the same strengths and weaknesses growth can rarely come from this relation. In the end, they often end up finding each other boring.


Duality is often referred to as an ideal relation, where the information elements of the involved people fit each other perfectly. They recognize the weaknesses and strengths of each other and each partner is ideally suited to make up for the other’s weaknesses.


Activation relationships exist when two people are the opposite on every dichotomy except introversion and extroversion. For instance, one partner may be introverted, intuitive, thinking and judging, the other introverted, sensing, feeling and perceiving. These relations are common in friendships and the activation partner often supplies the information expected, yet from a different perspective than expected.


Mirror pairs often share interests but each processes and judges in a different manner than the other. Thus, they are complimentary in that each tends to notice things the other would miss, however over time this tends to become an obstacle as they often perceive each other to be nitpicking, or focusing on inconsequential/unimportant things.


Kindred partners have the same dominant function but different auxiliary functions. This results in a similar understanding and ideas but differing opinions when it comes to how something should be used or executed. They tend to inspire and encourage each other’s leading functions but over time the difference in auxiliary functions can become a strain on the relationship. The different auxiliary functions can also lead to conflict as both partners may insist on going “their” way.


This is described by some socionists as “moth to the flame” unlike duality relations, the partners are drawn to each other, however may be prone to conflict due to misunderstanding each other or perceiving the other as “sabotaging” or intentionally making blunders.


These are the “look alikes” of the intertype relations, partners have half their functions in common. [which functions] This leads to similar approaches and methods, in addition to similar communication styles. Business relations are normally smooth and fluent, and partners do not require a long time to get to know each other. The psychological differences are normally large enough that they do not seek to know each other deeply.


Mirage relations are similar to duality in that many of the partners functions correspond to the unconscious expectations of the other. One of these partners are introverted, the other extraverted, and the relations range from understanding and compatibility to complete aversion to the other person’s lifestyle and approach.


Super-ego partners usually view each other as strange and curious individuals and if they share common interests the relationship may function smoothly. However, it can also be filled with strife if both partners end up wanting to express their own points of view rather than listen to the other’s view.


Extinguishment relations exist where the partners are opposite of the partners. This means that one partners conscious functions (dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior) correspond to the other partners unconscious functions (Opposing personality, critical parent, trickster and demon).


These partners usually have a lot to talk about as their interests tend to be similar, however they take different approaches to every subject. Each partner may want to redefine and correct the other’s approach in accordance with their perspective, while finding the other’s use of their leading function impressive.


Conflict relations are generally the least satisfying of all psychological compatibilities.


Benefit is an asymmetrical relation where the one with higher social status is called the benefactor and the one with lower social status is called the beneficiary. Usually the beneficiary will admire the benefactor from a distance.

The benefactor is generally supportive of the beneficiary, and seeks to help the person, but may become discontented with not receiving anything in return. All the while the beneficiary starts to become irritated with the benefactors apparent attempts at trying to “mold” the beneficiary’s person and behaviour.


Supervision is a relationship where the person with the higher status is called the supervisor and the one with lower status is called the supervised or supervisee. This relation occurs due to the person with higher status being able to put pressure on the supervisees trickster using their leading function while the supervisee is unable to “fight back”.

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