Through a Jungian Lens

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A Psychological Compass

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These things

These things are our electronics in Mexico

“The four functions are somewhat like the four points of the compass; they are just as arbitrary and just as indispensable . . . But one thing I must confess: I would not for anything dispense with this compass on my psychological voyages of discovery. [Jung, CW 6, par. 958]

The photo for today’s post was taken at the suggestion of my wife so that there would be a visual record of our electronics should we become the victims of a break-in. I would have never thought of this possibility, so it’s a good thing that my wife is in my life to add to the complete package of awareness in the world. I am introverted and she is extroverted. That should be enough differences to make life interesting for both of us. But, of the four functions – thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition – we are again at polar opposites. Where I look at life and see possibilities (intuition), she sees the facts (sensation). These are our dominant functions, irrational functions. Our rational functions, thinking and feeling are also in opposition making for two very divergent world views.

Rational and Irrational functions in opposition.

Rational and Irrational functions in opposition.

As I understand it, my secondary function is extraverted thinking while hers is introverted feeling. Our tertiary functions are the reverse which makes for a similarity of functions, which are simply different in degree, meaning that we draw on them in reverse order from each other.

Now, just to add another layer of difference based on the Myers-Briggs, where I tend to make decisions based on “perceptions,” she draws judgement to make decisions. Obviously, I am much slower in making decisions and typically defer to others who seem to have more at stake with decisions. For me, decisions are relative as I can always see positives in all sides. I am not a very practical person in the final analysis which makes it simpler and more frustrating for others around me who wish that I would just make a quick decision, especially decisions that they already see as the right decision. Oh well, it is what it is. My wife had learned to cope with it and somehow it works out, and that is all that counts in the final analysis.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

January 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm

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