Light & Dark Side of each Cognitive Function

As you are probably aware, we all possess a dark and light side within us. This internal duality represents our inner heaven and inner hell. Demons exist within us. Against common belief, those demons are strong and hence primarily fueled by stronger cognitive functions.

It is often falsely assumed that our weakest functions will tend to be “more dark” or negative in some way, or that we will descend into them when we are stressed.

However, our truly weakest functions are simply too weak to yield much demonic power. Especially the “inferior” in MBTI, or simply the opposite function to your first, is essentially not substantiated enough. It lacks form. It’s more like an echo of your first function. People tend to mistake the dark excessive energy of the first function to be a manifestation of the weakest function, but that is actually not the case.

So whenever someone claims they are “in the grip of their inferior function”, most often than not, they are actually in the demonic grip of their first or second, or another strong(-ish)*, function.

Most people who reside in their dark side – which, in other words, is mainly their own psychologically wounded self – will use their stronger functions for their “dark” aims. Certainly, this isn’t always conscious, often times it is quite unconscious and against the person’s own will. But they will follow the negative manifestation of their functions, simply because that is easier – and it is the stronger functions that are “easier” for you, not the weakest ones.

The weakest functions are too hard to grasp, like sand running through your fingers. Other people will find your efforts in those areas somewhat laughable.

Thanks to stories like Star Wars, everyone knows that both the light side and dark side can be powerful in their own ways. In the case of Jungian Cognitive functions, the powers of each reside in your stronger functions. You are most capable of using your light and dark power with your strongest functions.

So please, forget about the “inferior” or “seeking” being the demonic functions. Ironically, it’s actually your strongest functions (and their blindspots) that carry the greatest demonic (or angelic) potential.

On the other hand, you won’t be able to do much good nor much evil in your weakest functions, that’s why it’s best not to fixate yourself on them.

Especially the pinnacle of the light side requires the most psychic power, more than the dark side, interestingly enough. It’s much easier to succumb to the darkness than it is to find the light, as you are probably aware.

Some of you might find the idea of demonic power and the dark side most enticing. This is for you alone to decide, but typically, residing in the dark side of a cognitive function will cause much internal and external destruction, which usually results in either a spiritual/psychic or literal death of yourself and/or others, so I wouldn’t advise going down that path.

Without further ado…


Introverted Feeling (Fi)

MBTI Types: IxFP > IxFJ > ExFP > ExFJ >> IxTJ > IxTP

  • Light Side: morally conscious and morally conscientious; living a life suited to their personal ideals and standards; naturally aware of and understanding of others’ and their own internal feelings, attitudes, and moral standards/values; creating and upholding beneficial moral codes and values that transcend time and improve interpersonal relations; honoring the individuality of themselves and others from a (self-)loving perspective
  • Dark Side: overly self-righteous; unforgiving; harboring overly negative or positive personal feelings for someone based on prejudice; obsessed with personal revenge, “an eye for an eye”; unable to separate their personal feelings from reality; rejects anything that contradicts their own feelings; treats someone solely based on how much they personally (dis)like them; demeans differing morals and values; gets lost in musings over their own feelings; bases their sense of personal identity entirely on their own feelings; takes everything personally; deep (self-)hatred

Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

MBTI Types: ExFJ > ExFP > IxFJ > IxFP >> ExTP > ExTJ

  • Light Side: unifies people through shared emotional moods and modes of (emotional) behaviour, suitable to the environment & occasion; bolsters, improves and elevates emotional atmospheres/”vibes”; brings emotional vibrancy into interactions; in control of their own emotions/moods and employs them appropriately, for a fruitful exchange with others; accurately detects and improves the moods of others and themselves, even if they’re feeling very low; highly attuned to “emotional energies”
  • Dark Side: emotionally manipulative (e.g “fake crying” to get needs met); emotional pressure (e.g withholding or exaggerating visible displays of emotion to make you suffer); influencing and shaping other’s (or their own) emotional states/moods for their own twisted agenda; presents external emotions that contradict their true internal feelings, in order to fool you (e.g laughing, even though they hate you); “emotional parasitism”, whereby everyone else’s emotions/moods become your own; excessive and destructive mockery

Introverted Thinking (Ti)

MBTI Types: IxTP > IxTJ > ExTP > ExTJ >> IxFJ > IxFP

  • Light Side: logical coherency and clarity; understanding the intricate inner workings of phenomena; creating valuable systems and frameworks (that make sense of life); employing logical discernment to dispel misleading and harmful errors of thought; based on logical structure and insight; simplifying the logical understanding of the world and/or the lifestyle of themselves and others
  • Dark Side: black-and-white thinking, “It’s either 0 or 1, no in-between”; cannot comprehend “grey zones” of understanding or behavior; forcing a logical structure unto everything; unable to express their feelings and moods (in an appropriate manner); rejecting everything that does not fit into their personal logical blueprint of how the world works; creating misleading systems and theoretical models divorced from reality for their own gain

Extroverted Thinking (Te)

MBTI Types: ExTJ > ExTP > IxTJ > IxTP >> ExFP > ExFJ

  • Light Side: uses lots of accurate logical evidence and external data to provide a comprehensive, unbiased picture of an issue; (re-)creates solid logical procedures with a provable track record of them working, for the benefit of all; increases the efficiency and factual knowledge of others and themselves to a higher level; encyclopedic knowledge; mind like a “database”, able to supply and recall a vast amount of necessary information and data on the spot
  • Dark Side: “facts don’t care about your feelings”; disregards and demeans anything that is not founded on logical data or evidence; overly reliant on external source materials, to the point of having no personal judgment of their own; solely focusing on efficiency for their personal gain, thereby harming other people’s (emotional) lives or livelihood; being a slave or making others a slave to logical procedures with no flexibility

Introverted Intuition (Ni)

MBTI Types: INxJ > INxP > ENxJ > ENxP >> ISxP > ISxJ

  • Light Side: prophetic or inspirational; discovering universal meaning and cyclical occurrences; providing a sense of purpose for themselves and others; (spiritually) insightful; aware of the collective unconscious and/or the (temporal) path of existence; natural wisdom; distills valuable, universal lessons out of everything; anticipates developments that will occur and thereby limits harm or evokes hope; uses metaphor and symbolism as valuable tools to mirror reality; a “bird’s eye view” on life and existence that improves one’s perspective
  • Dark Side: seeing and sharing twisted meanings and interpretations that mislead others for their own gain; unable to connect their symbolic interpretation of the world to actual reality; “seeing” and supporting meanings that prove to be harmful to others or themselves if followed/applied; painfully unaware of current events and happenings in life; lacking presence, excessive absent-mindedness; succumbing to a state of powerlessness and no impact; unable to take necessary action; believing their view of the world to be omniscient

Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

MBTI Types: ENxP > ENxJ > INxP > INxJ >> ESxJ > ESxP

  • Light Side: combining separate aspects, elements, and concepts to create something innovative, world-changing & world-improving; illustrating and viewing a concept from a myriad of compatible and valuable angles; generating new lines of thought, new concepts, new ideas, new alternative “worlds” (fictional or metaphorical), or manners of perception for the improvement and enjoyment of others’ lives
  • Dark Side: “split minded” or scatterbrained – thinking about everything possible, but nothing substantial at once; “ideas explosion”, too many ideas, impressions and associations that jump up in the mind at once; entertaining too many opposing concepts or possibilities, without any real benefit; playing devil’s advocate with continuously shifting, differing concepts and viewpoints to confuse and mislead others (and themselves); getting lost in the conceptualization of a (twisted) utopia; being “all brain and no body”; living in a mental parallel world, a warped idea of reality

Introverted Sensing (Si)

MBTI Types: ISxJ > ISxP > ESxJ > ESxP >> INxP > INxJ

  • Light Side: boosts and exalts health and/or physical relaxation of themselves and others; restores the states of people and/or things to a higher level; keen awareness of what is “pleasing to the senses”, whilst regulating sensorial overload; spots and eliminates discomfort, harm or physical imbalance; sophisticated “gut feeling”; (physically) grounded (within); unified and calibrated “organism” with a deep perception of the “movements” of inner nervous system(s)
  • Dark Side: obsessed with administering and/or using an excessive amount of pharmaceuticals and/or other drugs as “personal medicine”, even if harmful; (physical) hypersensitivity, overly aware of every “(physical) ache and pain”; psychosomatic to a fault; purposefully misleads others in areas of health or physical wellbeing for their personal gain; “creature of habit”; unable to entertain or follow novel ways of behavior; overly attached to (familiar) objects, tokens, smells etc.; excessive & depressive nostalgia (related to personal experience & memory); infantilizing others

Extroverted Sensing (Se)

MBTI Types: ESxP > ESxJ > ISxP > ISxJ >> ENxJ > ENxP

  • Light Side: energetically pushes others and/or themselves to take action to meet a worthy and challenging target/goal; easily withstands external pressure in the face of an attack, thereby protecting something valuable; embodying “life force”; ensures movement in others and themselves, limits stagnation; actively “shapes” bodies or other matters, significantly improving their strength, endurance and/or external aesthetics to a higher level
  • Dark Side: excessive physical restlessness; initiates physical altercations or verbal fights (to gain power over the other person); bullying; gets lost in chasing after “the next thing” or “the next kick”, like “a dog chasing a car”; wallowing in a feeling of meaninglessness; “destroys” or tortures others (physically or figuratively); corporal punishment; overly materialistic and/or “shopaholic”; continuously and deliberately oversteps personal boundaries or invades personal space; treating and seeing people as mere objects; believes themselves to be omnipotent

The more items from the “light” lists you possess, the more “evolved” your personality type (currently) is. The more items from the “dark” lists you possess, the less so. Of course there can be temporary mood fluctuations, based on current (and sudden) negative life events, like the death of a family member, or even hormonal imbalances (e.g during a woman’s period or pregnancy). Besides that, for a more well-rounded overview, look at your overall behavior that has been consistently a certain way for at least 1-3 months.

For the sake of humanity’s “evolution” as a whole, you’d be advised to strive for the light side of your (strongest) cognitive functions. In this overview, those would be the types that are featured in the first three spots for each function.

For example, (standard) ENxP, ENxJ, INxP in MBTI (and IxE-Ne, xIE-Ni, xII-Ne in Socionics) would be most advised to employ the light side of their Extroverted Intuition (besides other cognitive functions) for ultimate fulfillment, improving the world, and “type•volution”.

You can read more about my overview of the “purpose roles” for Jungian types here.

If you want me to type you or help you figure out how to explore your type-related purpose, go here.

*I deem the top 3 levels as more or less “strong” and potentially yielding light or dark force, as mentioned in my article “The Effect of Subtype one Functional Strengths and Weaknesses”. In that same manner, you won’t yield much light nor dark force in your 4th and 5th levels, as they are too weak. If you still believe you are engaging a lot in the dark sides of what should be those functions, you are most likely mistyped. If you are correctly typed, your “inferior” function in MBTI and 4th/5th level functions in the article above should be used the least often by you, compared to all other functions. (Almost) none of the traits in either list, especially not from the light side (because that requires more psychic strength), should apply to you for your weakest functions.

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