What Is A “Shadow” In Myers-Briggs Theory?

Like An Anchor

When you’re browsing the internet reading about Myers-Briggs types, you’ll probably see people talking about “shadow functions.” This is a confusing concept, because people use the term “shadow” to refer to several different things related to personality types.

What Is A "Shadow" In Myers-Briggs Theory? | marissabaker.wordpress.com background photo credit: Georgie Pauwels, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

Inferior Function

Every type in the Myers-Briggs system has what we call a “function stack,” which describes how they interact with the outer world, process information, and make judgements. There are 8 possible functions (extroverted and introverted versions of Sensing, Intuition, Feeling, and Thinking), and each types uses four functions:

  1. Primary Function
  2. Auxiliary Function
  3. Tertiary Function
  4. Inferior Function

The primary and auxiliary functions are the ones we use most comfortably, the tertiary function develops as we mature, and the inferior function is largely outside our conscious control. Much of what makes one type distinct from another has to do with how we…

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Toxic stress from childhood trauma causes obesity, too

These studies were pretty robust in the late 1990s. Why is this only getting attention now?

ACEs Too High

HBO’s four-part series, “The Weight of the Nation”, says a lack of exercise, genetics, an overabundance of sugar and food marketing cause 78 million Americans to be obese and morbidly obese. But HBO missed something significant — the link between obesity and adverse childhood experiences. For millions of people, it’s more important than all the rest.

More than six million obese and morbidly obese people are likely to have suffered physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse during their childhoods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ACE Study. It’s likely that millions more can point to other types of childhood trauma – including loss of a parent through divorce, living with an alcoholic parent or a mentally ill family member – or other traumatic experiences such as rape or assault — as a starting point for their weight gain.

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A song for constant strangers

This beautiful poem by Astropistachio is essential for anyone who’s ever experienced unrequited love.


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I wrote this for someone who was going through love withdrawal symptoms, by remembering something similar that I had experienced.

A love that felt so true and strong,

A love that could not be,

but for a time,

A love that felt like fate and destiny.

A song for constant strangers,

and unrequited love.

A song for heart connections,

suddenly dissolved.

My life was changed the day we saw’

that brilliant shining star.

We witnessed it together.

Me here.

You so distant, so far.

Although I never met you,

I thought you really cared.

The ecstatic joyous feelings

I thought we really shared.

I thought I really knew you,

and that you really cared.

This love, this poignant feeling.

This pain of loves descent.

From soaring heights to emptiness,

A gift of love now spent.

From bliss and happiness,

to bruised heart,

questioning what it meant.

When all was said,

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My Two Cents on the Medical Writing /Ghost Writing Issue

With regard to the recent New York Times article about ghost writing for the pharmaceutical industry, I have been laying low and just seeing what happens. I worked for a Medical Communications company for 4 years as a Medical Writer. It is really incumbent upon the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA, http://www.amwa.org) to be the … Continue reading My Two Cents on the Medical Writing /Ghost Writing Issue