Each of us has weak spots, and while some of these probably have nothing to do with personality type, some probably do! When it comes to personality type, each of us has a hierarchy of functions, and while certain functions tend to be (but aren’t always) more healthy and conscious, other functions tend to be weaker and more unconscious. In most cases we rely primarily on our dominant function, support that function with our auxiliary function, find relief with our tertiary function, and our weak spot is our inferior function. You can see this in the illustration below:

INTP cognitive functions

Usually at least one of our weaknesses stems from unhealthy development or suppression of the inferior function. If we spend all our time ignoring input from our inferior function we can overwork our dominant function and fall “into the grip” of our inferior function. When this happens we become stressed, irrational, and anxious. Proper, balanced development of the inferior function can help us to have a more balanced viewpoint, be more understanding of people different from us, and can help us to experience less stress in our lives.

So what’s your weak spot? And how can you strengthen it and enjoy a more balanced life? Let’s take a look!

Not sure what your personality type is? Personality Hacker has the most accurate free online personality indicator I’ve been able to find. Click here to take it.

The Weak Spot of Every Myers-Briggs® Personality Type


The Introverted Sensing Personality Types: ISTJ and ISFJ

Introverted Sensing Weaknesses

ISTJs and ISFJs have inferior Extraverted Intuition (Ne). This means that they’d rather focus on realistic, practical realities than theoretical or abstract possibilities. Their focus is more on the actual, tangible world than the world of what “could be” or “what if’s”. They like to trust tried-and-true methods and can shirk away from untested approaches. When they plan they like to look at what has worked before and use those same approaches in the future. ISJs who spend a little bit of time each day working on development of Ne can experience immense personal growth. This tends to be easier as they enter later life, as all types naturally tend to work on developing the inferior function at that point. But no matter where you are in life, there are some great ways to promote healthier extraverted intuition.

It’s important to remember that you should only practice these techniques in times of low stress. If you are stressed, focusing on your inferior function can only make you feel more anxious and stressed.

Ways to Develop Extraverted Intuition:

– Start noticing patterns in your life. Do you see any patterns in the way you interact with people or the world around you? Do you notice any unusual relationships or patterns between the people you love and the objects they use?

– How would your life be different if you only had one day left to live? What would you do differently? Are there any patterns or bad habits you wish you could have avoided? How would you wish you had spent your time?

– Think of a problem you are currently experiencing. List ten possible solutions. The problem can be small (how to get an extra fifteen minutes of sleep in the morning) or big (how to handle a bad relationship).

– Is there a place you’d like to visit someday that you’ve never been? Is there a project you’d like to do someday that you’ve never done? How could you combine these two life goals and make them a reality? Is there more than one way you could do this?

– Once a day try to stop yourself before taking action. Ask yourself if you’ve considered any alternative possibilities or solutions that might be an improvement.

– Think of something negative that bugs you. How could you turn that into a positive? Is there any good lesson to be learned from that?

– Try something new in your routine; whether it’s a new hairdo, a new genre of movie, a new shade of lipstick, or a new recipe!

The Extraverted Sensing Personality Types: ESTP and ESFP

Extraverted Sensing Weaknesses

ESTPs and ESFPs have inferior Introverted Intuition (Ni). They prefer the world of current realities to the world of “could be’s” and “will be’s”. They prefer to focus more on now than the distant future. Practical, tangible realities they can see, smell, touch, and taste are always more appealing and exciting than theoretical possibilities and unconscious, abstract imaginings. ESPs who spend a little time each day working on development of Introverted Intuition can have stronger instincts, better strategic planning abilities, and make wiser long-term decisions. ESPs naturally start to develop Ni in later life, especially in their 50s and 60s. However, any ESP can get a head-start at developing Ni if they set their mind to it!

It’s important to remember that you should only practice these techniques in times of low stress. If you are stressed, focusing on your inferior function can only make you feel more anxious and stressed.

Ways to Develop Introverted Intuition:

– Write down random ideas and “visions” that just pop into your head out of the blue. Draw a picture of them if you’d prefer.

– Spend a little time in quiet contemplation or meditation each day.

– Imagine your life as a movie or a novel. How would that movie or novel play out? Would you be the hero or the villain? How would you want that book or movie to end?

– Think of someone you know. Write a list of their negative qualities. Now rewrite the same list with a positive interpretation of those same qualities. It might be hard, but see if you can come up with a different perspective on each quality you listed! Do any pictures pop into your head while you’re doing this?

– “Zoom out” of your life. Look at a problem you are currently experiencing and imagine how everyone is affected or sees that same problem. How does your mom see it? How does your best friend see it? How does your enemy see it? Write down each perspective and see if an image or symbol comes to mind that synthesizes all the perspectives combined.

– Imagine your life in ten years. What images do you see? What possibilities do you notice? What seems likely or unlikely?

– After watching a movie or reading a book, reflect on what the story meant to you or symbolized. Could this story be a catalyst for change in your life?

– Pick up a magazine and look at the advertisements. What is the real intention behind the words? What are the advertisers trying to “sell” you? Is it accurate or are they being deceitful? What ways are they manipulating the audience? Are they using any symbols or colors to subconsciously influence people?

The Introverted Intuitive Personality Types: INTJs and INFJs

Introverted Intuition Weaknesses

INTJs and INFJs have inferior Extraverted Sensing (Se). They prefer to focus on the abstract world of unconscious visions and possibilities over the practical, tangible world they can see, smell, touch and taste. They tend to tinker with ideas, perspectives, and theoretical possibilities in their minds and they are pulled towards a vision that they feel their life should be. They tend to look down on “living in the moment” and prefer to focus on the future. They may lose sight of present realities and details as they toy with ideas in their minds. They can become so focused on what “will be” that they lose sight of what’s needed right now. It’s important for INJs to spend a little time each day developing Se so that they can experience greater personal growth and enjoy life more fully.

It’s important to remember that you should only practice these techniques in times of low stress. If you are stressed, focusing on your inferior function can only make you feel more anxious and stressed.

Ways to Develop Extraverted Sensing:

– Play the blindfold game. Have a friend blindfold you and hand you something to smell, touch, or taste. Focus on tasting, feeling, or smelling the item fully and giving that experience your full attention. At first don’t worry about guessing what the item is, just worry about taking in the sensation and staying in the moment.

– Look around you. Does anything excite your senses? Is there a candle you could light? A food you could taste? A spice you could experiment with? A person you could hug? How could you embrace the moment you’re in and experience something tangible right now?

– Look at a piece of artwork for fifteen seconds. Now turn away and try to make a list of each specific detail you remember. Don’t write what the details symbolize, just write what they are.

– Eat slowly. Savor each flavor and try to enjoy it fully.

– Do something practical to help someone; cook them a meal, pull weeds for them, shovel their snow.

– Try to learn a new sport such as tennis, soccer, or even dancing! Try to stay in the moment and pay close attention to what’s happening around you.

– Try a new outdoor recreational activity. Go white-water rafting, hiking, or skydiving!

– Think of a tangible problem you are facing. How can you solve that problem using actual resources already at your disposal?

– Take a walk and notice the fine details of everything around you. Bring a camera and try zooming in on pieces of nature as much as possible.

The Extraverted Intuitive Personality Types: ENTPs and ENFPs

Extraverted Intuition Weaknesses

ENTPs and ENFPs have inferior Introverted Sensing (Si). As a result, they tend to favor new possibilities and theoretical innovations over “tried and true” methods or routines. They can become so focused on the future and what “could” happen that they forget to notice what they need now. This can result in them forgetting to eat, forgetting to sleep enough, or missing current details that are important. Where sensors are at risk of not seeing the forest for the trees, intuitives are at a risk of not seeing the trees for the forest. ENPs who work on developing Si can be more aware, more physically healthy, and better able to pay attention to details that are important for their daily life. All types tend to develop their inferior function in later life, but there’s no reason you can’t start earlier than that!

It’s important to remember that you should only practice these techniques in times of low stress. If you are stressed, focusing on your inferior function can only make you feel more anxious and stressed.

Ways to Develop Introverted Sensing:

– Take a moment to reflect on how you feel in detail right now. How do you feel physically? Are you tense anywhere or relaxed? Are you hungry or tired? How do you feel emotionally? Are you stressed, happy, sad? Take moments throughout the day to check in with yourself and really understand what’s going on inside your body and mind.

– Next time your brainstorming, see how many solutions you can find that have been successful in the past.

– Think of a favorite memory. Where were you? What did you feel like? Were there any sights, sounds, or smells you can recall? Close your eyes and try to immerse yourself in that memory.

– Tell a story in a sequential order. Start at the beginning and make sure you don’t bounce around in time.

– Remember exactly what you did that made someone happy before. Do that same thing again.

– Take up a hobby like knitting, crocheting, or cross stitch. Pay attention to how the repetition involved can make you feel relaxed.

– Think about your daily routine (if you have one). Is there anything you could do to add more consistency to your routine and therefore less stress?

– Smell a piece of fruit or a flower or a perfume. What exactly does the smell remind you of?  What do you experience or think of?

The Introverted Thinking Personality Types: INTP and ISTP

Introverted Thinking Weaknesses

INTPs and ISTPs have inferior Extraverted Feeling (Fe) and as a result may struggle with being aware of other people’s feelings and values. They are extremely analytical and logical and prefer the world of reason to the world of feelings. They are drawn to the world of their mind where they can categorize and sort out thoughts by their principles and core truths. When it comes to the world of emotions and understanding how other people feel, ITPs can be a little lost or confused. They tend to suppress this function and as a result they may struggle with social relationships and understanding appropriate behavior. They may have difficulty being tactful or understanding other people’s emotional states and responding in a way that is understanding. ITPs who develop Fe can have stronger relationships, feel more confident socially, and can also become more in touch with their own values. The inferior function naturally tends to develop in later life, but an ITP of any age can take a few minutes each day to work on some techniques to strengthen Fe.

It’s important to remember that you should only practice these techniques in times of low stress. If you are stressed, focusing on your inferior function can only make you feel more anxious and stressed.

Ways to Develop Extraverted Feeling:

– Pick a place where you can quietly observe other people. Notice how they interact and try to pick up on any clues that would show how certain people are feeling. Do you notice any social customs that people are displaying? Does anyone seem to be hiding any particular emotions? What does their body language tell you?

– Think of the people in your life who have helped you and hurt you. What values did they encourage or violate? Write them down. Notice what your values are as you do this exercise.

– Talk to people who have different values from your own. Ask them (tactfully) about them and if they’d be willing to share why they believe and value those things.

– E-mail someone you care about or write them a letter to ask them how they’re doing!

– Bring coffee or snacks to your co-workers. Find out what kind of coffee they like or what kind of snacks they enjoy. Try to remember that.

– Do you notice anyone in your family or workplace who seems excluded? Why do they seem excluded? Is there anything you can do to encourage them or make their day better?

– Listen to music (with singing). Try to identify the emotions the singer is feeling in detail.

– In your family consider what you could be doing to make your partner’s life easier. Have they displayed any non-verbal cues about what they need or desire? What values are you instilling in your children? Are these the values you want to instill in them?

The Extraverted Thinking Personality Types: ENTJs and ESTJs

Extraverted Thinking Weaknesses

ENTJs and ESTJs have inferior Introverted Feeling (Fi). As a result they tend to favor the world of logic and objective data over the world of personal values and meaning. They can be so focused on action and getting things done that they lose touch with what they feel is right or wrong or how things are affecting them emotionally. They can struggle with understanding other people’s emotions and needs in their efforts to be productive or strictly objective. ETJs who develop Fi can become more aware of how they feel and what lines up with their values, they can be more conscientious with other people, and they can have a deeper understanding of their conscience and personal morals. The inferior function naturally tends to develop in later life, but ETJs of any age can spend some time each day working on developing it.

It’s important to remember that focusing on your inferior function during times of very extreme stress can make you feel more anxious and stressed. Try to practice these things during a time of low stress.

Ways to Develop Introverted Feeling:

– What do you passionately care about? What values have you caught yourself vigorously defending? Write them down. Think about why those values are important to you and write your reasons down.

– When you watch a movie or read a book and you see something bad happen to someone else, imagine how that would feel if it were you. Try to experience the emotions and feelings that the character might be having and try to empathize completely.

– Pause a few times a day and pay attention to your emotions. What do you think they’re trying to tell you? Is there a value of yours involved? Does something feel “right” or “wrong”?

– Make a lists of your beliefs and values. Which ones would you adhere to even if everyone you loved didn’t share them.

– Next time someone does something that goes against your beliefs or ideals, take a moment to think how you can handle the situation with integrity.

– Each time you make a decision, pause and consider whether that decision aligns with your values and is consistent with your ethics.

– When people talk to you or share their problems with you, stop and actively listen. Try to put any arguments or other thoughts out of your mind. Don’t try to formulate your response to them while they’re talking. Just listen with your full attention.

– Find a cause that coincides with your values. Do you care about the homeless? about the environment? animals? Find a way to volunteer to help these causes.

The Introverted Feeling Personality Types: INFPs and ISFPs

Introverted Feeling Weaknesses

INFPs and ISFPs have inferior Extraverted Thinking (Te). As a result, they favor the world of subjective values and meaning over the world of objective logic and data. They may lose sight of reason when they become immersed in their personal feelings, or they may struggle with being as efficient and productive as they want to be. They may struggle with giving or receiving objective criticism because they are worried about how other people feel or they take things personally. IFPs who develop Te can be more productive, logical, and handle criticism (and give it) more smoothly and effectively. The inferior function naturally develops in later life, but IFPs of any age can spend a few minutes each day developing and strengthening this function.

It’s important to remember that focusing on your inferior function during times of very extreme stress can make you feel more anxious and stressed. Try to practice these things during a time of low stress.

Ways to Develop Extraverted Thinking:

– Think of all the activities that you are currently doing that aren’t necessary to reach your goals. Are there any that you can spend less time on?

– Think of a goal you have and break it down into bite-sized steps. For example, “I want to write a book”. Make a list starting with “Write an outline for the book”.

– Create a plan for your day that focuses on your most important goals and needs. Think of how you can structure your day to meet your goals but also meet your personal needs.

– Practice being assertive. Say what you need without being afraid. Say what needs to be done without feeling like you’re being “bossy”.

– Ask for constructive criticism from someone you trust. Practice taking the criticism impersonally and objectively. Is the criticism accurate? In what ways can the criticism help you make positive change? Communicate your thoughts to the person who gave the criticism.

– Plan a debate with someone you love and trust. Find an area of disagreement that isn’t extremely personal (you don’t want to damage your relationship). Try to win the debate using pure logic. Work on convincing your friend of the evidence of your claims. Find inconsistencies in their logic and point them out.

– Reorganize a small area of your home, office, or car.

– Find a way to make a normal chore more efficient. Is there a way you could exercise and spend quality time with your kids simultaneously? Is there a way your laundry-routine could be more efficient?

The Extraverted Feeling Personality Types: ENFJs and ESFJs

Extraverted Feeling weaknesses

ENFJs and ESFJs have inferior Introverted Thinking (Ti). As a result they would rather focus on their values and the harmony of others than impersonal logic and analysis. They have a fine-tuned understanding of other people and how they think and feel, but they can struggle with focusing on pure factual data and making decisions that are based on logical pros and cons and not personal needs and harmony. EFJs who develop Ti can be more balanced, effective, and reasonable in their decisions. They can feel less tossed and turned by the needs of other people and more able to make objective, logical decisions. The inferior function naturally tends to develop in later life, but EFJs of any age can start developing this function in their daily life.

It’s important to remember that focusing on your inferior function during times of very extreme stress can make you feel more anxious and stressed. Try to practice these things during a time of low stress.

Ways to Develop Introverted Thinking:

– Make a list of all your friends, enemies, and family members. Now sort that list into categories that are distinct and don’t overlap with each other.

– Learn a strategy game and think about the underlying purpose and structure of the game. Pre-determine your moves and consider how they will play out.

– Write a report about something you’re interested in. Use as precise language as possible. Read your report and remove any extraneous language or unnecessary words. Keep making the report as precise and truthful as possible. Think of alternate words (or use a thesaurus) to write with as precise and clear an intention as possible.

– For one day practice answering questions with only what you were asked. Don’t add anything. For example, when someone asks you how you are doing, you can say “I’m tired.” Don’t add “I’m tired. It’s been a long day. I was up X late at night and almost missed my alarm this morning!”

– Think of a way you can categorize your recipes, your filing cabinet, or your books. Re-organize using these categories.

– Think about your principles. What are some truths that you adhere to in every part of your life? What principles do you consistently live by?

– Think about all the people you know. If you had one day left to live, who would you prioritize seeing and spending time with?

– When you’re listening to someone talk, notice their principles. What truths do they hold to no matter what? What categories do they use to support their arguments? Are they equating things from different categories? Are there any flaws in their argument?

What Are Your Thoughts?

Have you found any ways to develop your inferior function? Share your thoughts with other readers in the comments!

Sources (These links are affiliate links):

Functions of Type: Activities for Developing the Eight Jungian Functions

Building Blocks of Personality Type: A Guide to Discovering the Hidden Secrets of the Personality Type Code

Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type

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The Leadership Skills of Every Myers-Briggs® Personality Type

Discover Your Superpower – Based on Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type

Strengthen your weaknesses according to your personality type! #INFJ #MBTI #INTJ #INTP #INFP #ESTJ #ENTJ #ENFP #ENTP #ISTJ #ISFJ

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