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sunlover

Anyone had an "In the Grip" experience?

27 posts in this topic

What I'm referring to is a theory that when people are under enough stress, their inferior function takes over. I recently read "In the Grip-Understanding Type, Stress and the Inferior function" by Naomi L. Quenk. Found it quite interesting and really did a good job explaining a couple of times in my life where I definitely acted out of character, and not in a good way. For INTJ's Se is generally considered our inferior function. Anyone familiar with the book, the theory or any examples they care to share?

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Are you referring to the 'shadow walk'? There are a couple of older threads that have some interesting stuff in that direction.

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Possibly, I know I've actually ruined 2 friendships due to that. I think you're correct it is also referred to the shadow function as well. If you want to read a good book on the topic I highly recommend it.

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I have both "Beside Ourselves" "Was That Really Me". Essentially they're both the same book. I pose this challenge to read the INTJ/INFJ section, then read the ENTP/ENFP section and honestly assess which fits while in the grip. Naomi Quenck is the ultimate MBTI enthusiasts (authored the MBTI Step II assessment).

All MBTI enthusiasts follow Briggs-Myers four function theory. As an example INTJ will be Ni-Te-Fi-Se. Lenore Thomson at least uses all eight functions. Her lasagna for INTJ is something like this: Ni-Te-Si-Fe-Ti-Ne-Fi-Se. The problem with her lasagna is that teritiary literally means in the third place or spot. Unless you do not believe that all eight functions are used, Fi-Se cannot be the 7th and 8th functions for INTJ. They are where Briggs-Myers put them at 3rd and 4th. In that case the Beebe theory makes better sense: Ni-Te-Fi-Se-Ne-Ti-Fe-Si.

The true opposite of Ni is not Se, but Si since Jung says you cannot use two judging or perceciving functions to compliment one another and per the laws of physics, two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. You can actually Ni-Se, but you truly cannot Ni-Si simultaneously.

In fact Dario Nardi theorizes that Ni-Se can be used in tandem by saying,

We can get impressive results using introverted Intuiting in tandem with extraverted Sensing. We might try out various tangible experiences and activities to catalyze realizations for growth. The more varied and undigested experiences one has, the more material there is for the unconscious to draw upon. We might look inward to envision how we can transform something, then gather data and take actions to realize that goal—to make real what is envisioned. For example, we might visualize how people will one day journey into space, and then take the actions necessary to design and build a spaceship to accomplish that goal. This might take many years of action, including activities to sustain the vision. Another tandem relationship involves engaging in a physical activity so that body, mind, and environment merge to become one, perhaps experiencing a great sense of calm or energy.

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I was told once, at a management seminar that involved personality testing--not MBTI or Keirsey, but something similar--could have gone all the way back to Jungian typology for all I remember, this was back in the early '90s--that under stress, we are liable to "flip" from our superior to our inferior preferences. Ie., that a strong extravert could introvert, strong sensors launch into wild intuitive speculations, and thinkers be completely overtaken by feeling for days or weeks, when in crisis.

I would say I've seen this in myself and others, a few times over the years,

most frequently I/E and T/F 'flips' in people reacting to unforseen deaths of friends and family

so I find it a credible notion, but here's my problem: I can't say I've ever seen this idea in print anywhere. Is this actually anything that's out there in personality theory, that anyone else has heard? Any validity in terms of any present theory? Or just something that the seminar instructor likely conjured up on his own, possibly a '90s-transiting idea that has since fallen by the wayside?

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Seems possible, this sort of points in the direction...

The most striking instance of this that I know of, came from one of the tradesmen at a hospital where I used to work. Delightful character, absolutely textbook high-energy, fun, bouncy, capital-E Entertaining Extravert. When one of his friends, another of the trades crew, was drowned in a canoeing accident (out fishing, solo, on one of the less travelled lakes in the area) his reaction on hearing the body had been found, was to take his own small boat out alone on the main lake by the town, and quietly float around by himself for most of 6 hours. Absolutely 100% atypical introversion! but as he told the biggest table at lunch in the cafeteria a few days later, that was what he felt he needed to do at the time.

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Spend lots of money, drive fast, and party in downtown? Yeah.. been there...

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I suppose the theory makes sense but I don't think I have ever experienced it myself. I often feel stressed but I either use the superior function even more or just completely zone out. I think a lot just depends on a persons individual reactions to stress or ways of dealing with it.

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And how old/free you are... Being in the 20s with few responsibilities (out of school and all that.. I've got 5 degrees, what do I have to worry about. *smacks head* It's worth it though...) pushes things along too... But the shadow function comes out as a strict independence of mind to support Ni ("I'm right and you're not") as well.

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Up until a point I will just get more and detached and analytical while under stress but I definitely think that when I totally loose it my coping mechanisms shift more towards an Si-Fe or Fe-Si centric personality. I become very sentimental, outwardly emotional, and melancholic. Mostly I will brood in my room and pine over lost love, or opportunities left unexplored. I tend to become fixated on "what could have been if only" I had know this, or done that. To be honest it probably does looks a lot like an upset ISFJ. Which I believe is the ENTP shadow, but I am borderline ENTP anyway, so that really isn't so surprising.

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I can't really say I turn into a Se when under extreme stress or pressure, but I do turn into the biggest P your could ever imagine. My J just shuts down, and I refuse to think about anything, decide anything, or make any kind of decision.

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Maybe

I was 16 and just learning to fly gliders. During one of my early solo flights I was cut off on the approach to landing by another aircraft. I avoided it but was then too low to make the field.

My mind went immediately into a highly focused slow motion state and my sight seemed to be filtered by a yellow gauze. Due to this "altered state" I was able to make a safe forced landing in an impossible stump and rock filled field. We carried the glider back to the field and took off an hour later. I have found getting back in the saddle after an incident is the best medicine there is.

I have often wondered if this "highly focused, slow motion state" with a yellow tinged atmosphere is my immature Se function. I am INTJ and Se is my most distant and least used function.

As I understand it, Extraverted Sensory dominant people have the most direct contact with the real world. I certainly needed it that day.

A second slow motion state happened a few years ago when a drunk logging truck diver crossed the median and came right at me. We were both in 80KPH zones so the closure rate was immediate and intense. I did not avoid him but was able to control the situation enough to glance off the truck.

The two states of mind were identical.

Hope this helps.

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As someone who's currently "in the grip", Quenk does an excellent job of explaining it. Now how to get out of the grip is what I'm working on now.

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Sorry, my only experience of shifting from Ni to Se are in immediate, life threatening situations where an instant physical reaction is needed.

If the situation is not immediate and life threatening, I would have to question if the conscious mind could make a trip so deeply into the unconscious recesses.

Could you be in another state of mind, either Si or Fe?

After my divorce, I spent some time in an Fe state - exploring my emotions. Not something I particularly enjoyed or was good at.

I found Kubler-Ross's model for the stages of loss helpful:- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

I found I went through all the stages multiple times and eventually accepted the situation and got on with life. Just knowing that everyone follows the same pattern, and that acceptance was around the corner- after some work - saved me.

Maybe Nietzsche was right: what don't kill you, makes you stronger. Worked for me.

I hope that you find what you are looking for, all the best.

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I am still not so sure we behave in like a poor Se (for INTJ), Fe (for ITPs), etc. I propose that experiences where Fe is called or Se, then we may go into the grip behaving like Si (for INTJ) and Fi (for ITPs).

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I am still not so sure we behave in like a poor Se (for INTJ), Fe (for ITPs), etc. I propose that experiences where Fe is called or Se, then we may go into the grip behaving like Si (for INTJ) and Fi (for ITPs).

So you're proposing that INTJ's / ISTP's in the grip isn't Se / Fe but Si / Fi, nice proposal, but here's why I disagree ...

Si / Fi is our eighth therefore unconscious or least preferred function, we need to sufficiently be developed in say our first 4 or 5 or 6 functions before we can even start being conscious / aware enough of them to know what they do positively / negatively to us, what you're proposing assumes that a person has already developed atleast there first four functions well enough to start knowing what the other four are up too, which is good in my case & yours I am going to assume, my first six functions are all great to me, its my 7th & 8th that are my source of something ( not entirely positive nor negative, they are still in jungian terms undifferentiated ), but are not the same way as in the grip manner of Se, for very simple reasons :

Se triggers a shadow because an INTJ over relies on Ni, hence is far removed from sensory reality into a mental one, therefore creating the imbalance and the negative Se manifestations.

that said, the unconscious Fe & Si do an entirely different job because I'll never be a double dominant ( if there is such a thing ) of Ni & Ne, so that when I over rely on Ne, a Si shadow is triggered. our 7th & 8th function offer us something unique, although a complete opposite to our 1st & 2nd functions, they are also the most unconscious in that sense, differentiating them and integrating requires the transcendent function ( Jung's take on merging the conscious & unconscious contents, where by a transformation occurs creating a new third, I'll be discussing it in the shadow thread next week as I am reading on it now ), but what they do negatively would be much deeper than the shallow in the grip of the inferior does in comparison, inferiors easily gain conscious use by development because they are immediate in a sense, but 7th & 8th are responsible for a tension between you & yourself, since they are a part of you that is rejected on the basis of not fitting in your world consciously ... hope I didn't over complicate it ! :p

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I think I must be "in the grip" right now...broke up with the gf on Sunday after a year and have been a chocolate mess since. (she met somebody else and couldn't come over as planned so we broke up over the tele, second time in 2 months) I am usually pretty composed and rational, but this romantic emotional stuff...well, in searching for some help online, I found this site an joined after reading a few threads. Not sure about all the technical aspects of the four functions and how mine have changed for a while as a result of this experience, but I sure do feel and act different than usual right now.

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Si / Fi is our eighth therefore unconscious or least preferred function, we need to sufficiently be developed in say our first 4 or 5 or 6 functions before we can even start being conscious / aware enough of them to know what they do positively / negatively to us, what you're proposing assumes that a person has already developed atleast there first four functions well enough to start knowing what the other four are up too....
Which is why I think we do not begin to behave like a low Se, Fe respectively user. I think the Si and Fi are what we behave like.
Se triggers a shadow because an INTJ over relies on Ni, hence is far removed from sensory reality into a mental one, therefore creating the imbalance and the negative Se manifestations.
I think we're on the same page. The fourth function triggers bouts of being in the grip, but contrary to Quenck's assessment, the manifestations come from INTJs using their Se and ITPs, their Fe. For us to come out of the grip, we have to begin using our auxiliary functions. Again just my opinion but nothing to base this on.

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Which is why I think we do not begin to behave like a low Se, Fe respectively user. I think the Si and Fi are what we behave like.

The more I read Jungian material, the more I see that our inferior isn't that much big of deal compared to our 8th function, for me Si is much more an enigma than Se, the same goes for Fe vs Te, " what we behave like " maybe this over concentration on behavior is the problem, if you're unconscious of a function, it wouldn't as much affect your behavior directly as the inferior ( which you are semi conscious of until its developed ), but how it affects your conscious directly, my Si wants me to radically self experience myself for example, but I still am " in the grip " with it because my self experience based on Ni is just the opposite, it doesn't affect my behavior ( external world ) as much as my self awareness ( internal world ), getting these to work together would require some serious self work and use of the transcendent function.

I think we're on the same page. The fourth function triggers bouts of being in the grip, but contrary to Quenck's assessment, the manifestations come from INTJs using their Se and ITPs, their Fe. For us to come out of the grip, we have to begin using our auxiliary functions. Again just my opinion but nothing to base this on.

we're on the same page, and as I said I'm going to write about transcendent function next week, I don't understand how MBTI researchers and Jungians alike miss it, its actually incorporated in alot of his works including " Psychological Types " !, as for auxiliary function use to regain balance, I agree, I think it was in lenore's book too ( or maybe another, I read alot so I lose count of references ), its just because we're comfortable with our auxiliary enough, and as Lenore said, our dominant & auxiliary need to be in charge to regain balance or develop through the functions, either way you're on the right track :D

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Ummm...yeah, emotional stress/depression/feelings of complete isolation last year lead me to basically neglect my studies completely and delve into a world fo self-pity which comprised of eating cheap, fatty takeaways on a daily basis for lunch and dinner, spending hours online in the University I.T rooms for no reason, just watching online T.V, going to bed at 4 A.M in the morning after hours of boredom in front of the computer screen, and sometimes sleeping for up to 12 hours (on a couple of occassions, 14 hours), so basically during winter that meant going to bed in the dark and waking up in the dark around 5:00 pm and still feeling completely exhausted. The whole time, I just felt numb and empty... It was probably one of the darkest periods of my life, and the closest I have ever come to completely losing it mentally (i.e. losing touch with reality) and commiting suicide- my life had no structure, I was missing lectures and tutorials, I gained a stone and barely spoke to anyone/socialised....How I managed to pass all my modules and do well in them is a complete mystery =/

The E aspect of the 'shadow type' never emerged, if anythign I became more introverted, however the excessive overating, overspending i.e about £60 a week on food- and oversleeping and the feelings of hypersensitivity that have been described as chracterising the ESFP negative shadow type, were definately present....

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I have read "Was That Really Me". Her description of the grip experience for INTJ seemed accurate to me but I was disappointed with her advice for how to get out of the grip experience. It seemed a little vague and short. I wish she would have devoted more of the book to showing how to get out of the grip experience.

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I have read "Was That Really Me". Her description of the grip experience for INTJ seemed accurate to me but I was disappointed with her advice for how to get out of the grip experience. It seemed a little vague and short. I wish she would have devoted more of the book to showing how to get out of the grip experience.

I agree, but it's not meant to be a self-help book so it wasn't her aim.

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I recently came across and read Quenk's book. Pretty interesting in that it caused me to rethink my type. I'm obviously unwell and have been so for quite a while, so I decided to read through all the grip experiences and maybe gain some insight into my type through a sort of backwards process. To my surprise, the ENTP/ENFP grip experiences really resonated with me. Isolation, withdrawal, depression, obsessions, and an excessive interal focus on the body (hypochondria says hi) describe my current state.

All of my friends say that I am a much different person now than I was even a year ago. I was never really a people person since most people don't interest me but apparently I used to be way more engaging. Certainly wasn't riddled with anxiety and worry like I am now.

I even began to question if all of the alone time I have is really helping me. I certainly don't feel energized. Between a completely non-intrusive roommate and a job where I work alone 95% of the time, I only have an hour of people contact a day. Introvert's dream right?

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Under huge stress I begin cleaning my space; I cook myself delicious and healthy food. I do sports and get my self as clean as possible (shower/hair wash). I do my make up and dress up nicely.. while doing it, I think that results will diminish my stress when I'm done. Not that it does anyway, but the process itself distracts me from thinking too much and yeah, it feels good when the space is clean and you see beauty in a mirror afterwards, so at least you've got snug environment to stress at.. It's exact opposite of normal me, when I'm not stressed, so I guess my case supports the theory.

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