We can recognize the superior and inferior functions of others rather quickly.
However, we often fail to recognize them about ourselves.
So in this article, I will explain how you can identify your superior and inferior functions.
What has come naturally to you since childhood?
A superior function is a function you don’t particularly appreciate because you have taken it for granted since childhood.
For example, let’s say your superior function is thinking.
Then you would have been good at thinking things rationally since you were a child.
You may wonder the following question.
“Huh? when everybody thinks things, they are rational, which is quite normal, isn’t it?”
However, many people in the world can’t think things rationally.
Instead, they are good at thinking according to their moods and feelings of likes and dislikes.
When you were in elementary school, did you like to fantasize about something while looking out the window during classes?
For example, did you imagine that 20 years later, you would be an astronaut piloting a spaceship or that you would be a hero fighting the enemy?
If so, then you are good at fantasizing.
But you may think,
“Excessive fantasizing is a hindrance in life, isn’t it?”
However, many people have a hard time imagining even tomorrow, not to mention one year later.
They cannot be convinced until they check all results every time, even if it is something they can figure out with a bit of imagination.
So, your “ability to fantasize” is your great strength.
Since fantasy and imagination are related to intuition, your superior function is intuition.
Therefore, you are the intuitive type.
As I mentioned at the beginning, a superior function is one that you take for granted.
There is no sense of accomplishment in doing something that comes naturally to you without effort.
That’s why many people don’t find their superior function worthwhile and are totally bored with it.
You may be thinking,
“What’s the use of this ability?”
“It’s not worth it.”
But for those for whom your superior function is their inferior function, it is a difficult function to acquire.
Considering the above, you can make it your business to provide them with your “superior skills.”
Then you will find value in your superior functions.
Inferior Functions Are Difficult to Acquire Despite Efforts
I have discussed the inferior functions repeatedly in this series, but I will write the key point again.
Jung said the inferior function is the most infantile and archaic of the four personality functions.
Of course, it differs depending on the person.
In other words, it is a personality function that is in an undeveloped state within you.
Each of the four personality functions has a different role, so it is better to be able to use them all.
However, only the inferior function is missing, as if a hole exists.
You try to deal with it, but you don’t know how to do it at all.
No matter what you do, the fact remains that it is missing.
It isn’t easy to plug that hole.
The inferior function always stands as a big wall in front of you, and it is difficult to get over it.
From that perspective, however, the inferior function is easier to recognize than the superior function.
So, if you are unsure about your superior function, you should first identify your inferior function.
Once you know your inferior function, the other side is your superior function.
Some People Mistake Their Inferior Functions for Superior Functions
Again, you take your superior function for granted.
So you are often entirely bored with it.
Therefore, you may be tempted to start doing something challenging to feel a sense of accomplishment.
In this way, you will wander into the world of the inferior function.
Many of those people would be those who believe that life without effort is worthless.
However, we have been told by the adults around us since we were children as follows:
“It is crucial to overcome difficulties.”
“Don’t give up in the face of adversity.”
“Don’t run away from the hard things.”
As a result, some people have a preconceived notion that they cannot become great people without hard work.
When such people find a challenging goal, they think, “I will make this my life work.
And before they know it, they believe that this difficult path is a field in which they can utilize their superior functions.
Of course, it is commendable to face difficulties.
It is important to have the spirit of trying harder rather than giving up immediately.
However, if you continue to struggle in an area you are not suited for, you will only be wasting your life.
Remember Your Superior Function!
As mentioned above, many people are obsessed with their inferior functions and expend much time and energy on them.
However, most people realize their mistakes after a while, which is an instinct to know one’s true nature.
Some people become aware of their superior functions by taking someone’s advice before that instinct kicks in.
Or some people realize that they have been making efforts in the wrong direction, such as when they become ill, like my acquaintance in the last article.
In any case, many naturally return to fields related to their superior functions, even if they temporarily choose the wrong fields.
This is the usual pattern.
But some people are unable to return to the correct path.
Or some people experience an event that forces them to modify their lives, such as becoming ill, but they ignore the opportunity.
Why do these things happen?
There are many possible cases for this.
What follows is one of the most common examples.
Earlier I mentioned that people instinctively recognize their true nature.
However, the instincts of some people have become dull.
A typical example of this is people whose natural development of the personality function has been hindered in childhood by their parents, school teachers, or other adults around them.
For example, suppose very dreamy children love to read stories and fantasize.
What would happen if the adults around the children kept saying to them:
“Don’t just think about your dreams; look at reality.”
“You need to do your schoolwork properly to live a comfortable life in the future.”
These children are forced by adults to develop their sensations, that is, their inferior functions!
On the other hand, intuition is their superior function and will remain so throughout their lives.
Therefore, when these children grow up, they will not know whether their superior function is intuition or sensation.
This is the state in which the instinct to realize one’s true nature, as mentioned earlier, is dulled.
When these children become adults, they will have difficulty deciding how they should live.
They also do not know their true nature, so they do not know what job they are suited for.
One possible way for these people to know their true superior function is as follows.
Remember what you could do naturally without effort in your childhood!
That is your superior function.