The Opposing Role
The opposing role is the 5th function and the first shadow function in the Beebe model’s extended 8-function stack. This function’s role manifests as a reaction towards the ego and especially its heroic dominant perspective when being opposed or obstructed. Obstruction might also be when the ego’s connection with the anima (or inferior function) is obstructed. This function refuses to “play” and join in whatever is going on at the time. Your 5th function is used mainly as a defense and manifests as unfriendly, rude and uncooperative.
“The opposing personality is a primary resource of defense, a part of us that tends to lurch forward first when we feel our heroic superior function and it’s most cherished values to be under attack”. (p132) It is “oppositional, paranoid, passive-aggressive and avoidant”, (p. 41, 58, 132) and also ‘easy to project onto others, especially a person of the opposite sex”. “Projecting the opposing personality will cause a man to see the woman in a negative or troublesome light as she seems to embody the man’s own antagonistic traits”
It might be easy for us to develop skill in the process that plays this role, but we are likely to be more narrow in our application of this skill, and it will likely take more energy to use it extensively. In its positive aspect, it provides a shadow or depth to our leading role process, backing it up and enabling us to be more persistent in pursuit of our goals.
Opposing Role: Extroverted Thinking
- Tries to beat others at their logic using their own principles.
- Tries to promote their frameworks as being the most efficient, and in some way get them implemented.
- Think that agreed upon logical rules are stupid and a waste of time.
- Spunky Te types might be sexy.
- Recognizing the need for external efficiency.
- Feel obstructed in or become stubborn about the way the environment is organized, and other mechanical things.
- Can become critical, disgruntled with disorder, illogic, or inefficiency.
- Can become stubborn about organizing things and insist on a systematic approach.
- Lashes out if others criticize their logic with emotional arguments, and make subjective arguments.
- Spend unnecessary time establishing order, planning, and misguide themselves and others in the process.
- “The environment should be ordered in a way that makes sense to me”.
- Orders the external world according to what makes sense to the “hero” (dominant function). Opposes those who order it differently.
- Will back up the ego’s internal technical model of how things should be, and thus when the principles are violated, it will be “stubborn” about how things are technically organized.
Opposing Role: Extroverted Intuition
- Turns toward external stimuli to back up their internal perceptions.
- Feel obstructed in or become stubborn about emergent meanings and hypothetical possibilities.
- Probably think that multiple possibilities are absurd. The patterns point to one right conclusion.
- Over-reading between the lines, often misinterpreting someone’s actions and seeing negative intentions where there are none.
- Interpret situations in a naive way, inferring malice where none exists.
- Oblivious to unspoken potentials and get off track with inferences and interconnections.
- Stubborn about responding to emerging information and locking on to a hidden meaning.
- Veers away from likely outcomes according to internalized conceptual patterns and merges with the objects themselves, using their open, multiple meanings or possibilities to toss out at others, perhaps sarcastically.
Opposing Role: Introverted Intuition
- Feel obstructed by or become stubborn about their perceptions of unconscious images and meanings.
- Taking only one possibility derived individually instead of the multitudes from the environment, is stupid and limiting.
- Will “lock on” to an internal negative perception of what will happen.
- Make dire predictions with certainty and mistake deep symbolism as a guidepost for life.
- Envision how something will play out and ignore signs that it won’t work out, foreseeing disaster or nothing at all.
- Stubborn about perceptions of how the future will be, and lock onto a vision that won’t happen.
- Indulge negative thoughts of how events will unfold.
Opposing Role: Introverted Thinking
- Feel obstructed in or become stubborn about individually understood technical principles and robotically following them.
- Breaking things down into [individually assessed] trivial detail is stupid, inefficient and a waste of time.
- Steps aside from the means to the end of implementing efficiency, to referencing the inherent “universal” principles, explaining why this is the way it should be, or why others should understand or act accordingly.
- May make statements or believe in ideas that are contradictory and illogical.
- Caught up in pointing out others’ inconsistencies, with a dogmatic tendency to adhere to one principle rather than seeing its distinctions.
- Can be stubborn about the models and principles they’ve adopted, categorising everything simplistically and robotically following the principles.
- Prefer not to articulate operating principles and can get stuck in models and frameworks they have learned or adapted.
Opposing Role: Extroverted Feeling
- Feel obstructed in or become stubborn about environmental [human] group standards.
- Think that agreed upon ethics do not get to the real needs of people; affect them negatively, etc.
- Will appeal to external societal values to defend personal valuations.
- Over-address others’ concerns and feel disappointment over a false sense of closeness.
- Convinced others don’t like, appreciate, or need them, and over-accommodate others needs.
- Stubborn about how others affect them and resist being pulled into being responsible for others feelings and choices.
- Can be quite critical and disgruntled about the expectations of the group to the point of rebellion and disengaging.
Opposing Role: Introverted Feeling
- Feel obstructed in or become stubborn about individual personal values.
- Tailoring everything to individual personal needs is too much trouble.
- Retreats to their own personal values (as a defense), which they normally adapt to accommodate others.
- Inverts their value system erecting a hard stiff wall of what is important and desired to themselves personally.
- Rigidly following a belief system or what they personally think is important, with accompanying childish and/or selfish behavior.
- Spend money and time on things that are unimportant and care little about the value of things.
- Be stubborn about values as they crusade for a particular cause, turning off people instead of mobilizing them.
- Dwell on conflicts in beliefs, being critical, and locking into their desires by bulldozing others.
Opposing Role: Extroverted Sensing
- Feel obstructed in or become stubborn about tangible/practical reality.
- Think that living in the moment is irresponsible. (However, some who do it are sexy).
- Focus is shifted to current, emergent reality to backup past knowledge.
- Stubborn about going on impulse and insist that they have an accurate read of the situation.
- Excessively seek physical stimulation or following the urge to do nothing; zero in on isolated details, acting impulsively on them.
- Dwell on the perceived “realities” of a situation; act highly impulsively.
- Go on about “facts,” blocking others’ proposed actions, or get caught up in the moment and engage in impulsive behavior.
Opposing Role: Introverted Sensing
- Feel obstructed by or become stubborn about their perceptions of how things once were.
- Memorized rules and such are stupid and limiting of freedom.
- The past (stored tangible data) is used as a reference to how it links to the present, which they will stubbornly cling to.
- Can become stubborn about their perception of the past and fixated on its relation to the present.
- Prefer not to focus on the past but can be quite critical of past performances and overuse negative experiences to inform decisions.
- Cling to what they are used to; repeat themselves in ritualistic fashion.
- Get stuck in impressions of how things were and resist change; waste time reviewing the impact of the past.
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