Today I want to focus a little on tertiary loops. Those familiar with MBTI may have some idea of what I mean, but I’ll give a brief description anyway.
Each MBTI type has their own function stack. I’m primarily going to be addressing my personal experience here, so for the purpose of this post, as an INFJ, my function stack is Ni-Fe-Ti-Se.
Tertiary loops happen when a person relies too much on their preferred orientation (Introvert/Extrovert). Sometimes this is stress, sometimes it’s need. It really depends. It can be a beneficial state at times, but it can also be very damaging if we stay in the loop for too long.
As an introvert, my tertiary loop is extreme introversion in which I turn in on myself. My Ni and Ti feed off of one another, though usually not in a productive manner.
For example, when I’m in a loop I I close in on myself; I tend to cut myself off from people, even those I’m close to (removal of Fe). I get extremely self-deprecating/critical with so many self-defeating thoughts. I also get very impatient and irritable, especially if someone interrupts me. And I begin to see people as systems rather than humans. I can be very cold and unfriendly or even judgmental.
Because of the self-deprecating, and the fact that I know I DO care about people, I can start to feel pretty depressed. It’s like I turn into a black hole, destroying myself form the inside out, and there’s nothing left in me.
Now, there’s another side of it too, although it is far less common. I have times where the Ni-Ti loop will help tremendously with my writing. If there’s something I really need to figure out about the world or if I’m really stuck on a problem, Ni and Ti working together can give me a solution I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
This just goes to show how important balance is in our lives. Without the proper balance of our individual cognitive functions, we can get ourselves into some pretty sticky situations. But with a little understanding for what’s going on, we can manage to climb out, and who knows, maybe we’ll even use it for good.