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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.

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