How To Discover The Shadow Side Of Your Personality Type

How to discover the shadow side of your personality type seems appropriate as the zombies, ghosts, and grime reaper are near. Maybe we need to rethink Halloween. Can it be a time to reflect on the aspect of the shadow self instead of falling headfirst into a sugar-induced coma? 

Reels, Toks, and Shorts Oh My!

In this day and age of reels, toks, and shorts, it’s easy to ignore that we are all multifaceted individuals. We all have aspects of our personalities that we’d prefer not to post on social media. It goes beyond the stuff you’d rather keep private. It’s those personality traits and patterns of behavior we cringe at. In fact, we’d be embarrassed or deeply ashamed if someone else knew about them. Instead of facing them, we tuck them away. We put our masks on and pretend it isn’t so, causing our shadow self to dig in a bit deeper.

That hidden side of us, the shadow self, faces the dark. It’s waiting for us to awaken to the light. What remains hidden remains dark, lost in the shadows of self. While you won’t ever defeat your “dark side,” understanding how it operates can make life much easier. When you make peace with it, you can make room for infinite growth and a healthy and more balanced mindset.

No Time to Read The Shadow Side of Your Personality Type?

No worries. Click here to get the recap. I suggest you bookmark this page and come back to begin the shadow work process. I discuss your shadow side and provide journal prompts to bring light to your situation.

If you’re so inclined, join me on Pinterest or Instagram, and I’m on Medium, too. Want front-row seats? Join Nina’s Newsletter for inspirational weekly word prompts, personal stories, and book recommendations. It also puts you on the list to be the first one of the first to pre-order my book. Yes, it’s finally coming. I’m over-the-moon excited: Unpack Your Personality Type: Myers-Briggs Takes a Spiritual Detour.

“I believe we are complicated, messy, trauma-filled human beings with light-filled, soul-centers and shadowy outer layers. We are here to teach each other how to bring the dark into the light, to become our best selves, and help others do the same. Nina Zapala, book excerpt.

Pulling Off the Mask: What Does The Shadow Side of Your Personality Type Mean

The idea that we have a shadow self came from Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, who focused on the unconscious human psyche. As you have probably figured out, the shadows self represents traits of yourself that you find disturbing or unpleasant. Parts of your personality you don’t consciously recognize. Many of us fear these unknown aspects of ourselves. The shadow self is our fear-based selves; ego-ridden, envious, greedy, believing we are lesser than or unworthy. These are false beliefs; nonetheless, we must bring them into the light and make them conscious to understand ourselves better. It’s not easy, as most of us tend to repress or ignore our shadow aspects altogether. If your tummy is getting queasy just thinking about this, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

We All Live With A Shadow Side Of Our Personalities

Regardless of your personality type, shadow work starts with self-reflection, self-awareness, and understanding. Knowing which behaviors are genuine and which ones you use to protect your true Self from harm. Here’s a hint: triggers signal a whisper from your spirit mind that a personality trait is unhealthy. Please attend to it. And for heaven’s sake, don’t be like me. I ignored these whispers for decades, so it’s no wonder I experienced a hellish, 7-year life tsunami.

We all have a shadow side. There is no denying this fact. Honestly, I believe the shadow side of our personality type is why our soul is here. It wants to evolve beyond our weaknesses to become more Godlike. To live a spiritually led life, to be of service, to co-create with all there IS. It’s a rising up; beyond our unhealthy egos, fears, and prejudices. Preach, sister, preach! 😉

Become More Aware and Discover The Shadow Side Of Your Personality Type

Here’s a brief look-see at each personality type and their shadow behaviors. All shadow behaviors need to be explored, examined, and released. It’s a process, so please know it’s not an overnight thing.

I speak about triggers a lot, but if you missed my musings on the topic, here’s a brief recap. Triggers signal an unhealthy or out-of-balance personality trait. It’s a lingering behavior or a habit that continues to disrupt our lives. Taking steps like these and learning about your shadow side can increase your self-awareness and social awareness – two vital pillars of emotional intelligence. The benefits of doing shadow work can increase the likelihood of healthier relationships with yourself and others. It also releases negative emotions making room for more positive ones.

Below are each Myers-Briggs® personality types and the shadow aspect of each type. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to email me. I read all of my emails. 🙋🏼‍♀️

SPs: The Shadow Side of Your Personality if You’re a Sensing Perceiving Types 

David Keirsey, the author of Please Understand Me, describes SPs as artesian types which make up 30% of the world’s population. These types pursue the pleasures of art. Not with a desire to make money but to explore a theory or an ethical viewpoint through artistic endeavors. I caution you not to stereotype using one word, artesian. It’s too confining, but it does give a glimpse into the world of SPs.

Magnetic Types (ESTP)

The Spirited ESTPs love a good fight for its own sake, focusing on the here and now. You’re extraordinarily adaptive and resourceful. You’ll prefer to put your energy into present action rather than waiting for a long-term plan to develop. Your tertiary Fe gives you exceptional powers of persuasion and encouragement. Yet a repressed Ni makes you aversive to academic pontificators.

When you overestimate the power of a repressed, likely unconscious trait, Ni, you’ve neglected the power of discernment. Get to know this trait, and be mindful of its benefits and weaknesses, so you’ll see it and learn how to address it for the best outcomes. #journalprompt

Active Types (ISTP)

Active ISTPs are masters at figuring out the logical systems of reality. You’ll perform any task confidently, giving you a fearless vibe and a cool head even in hopeless situations. You’re intensely focused, while your tertiary introverted intuition Ni collapses ideas into simple, elegant principles. It may be why your communications may be terse, simple, and to the point! With a repressed extroverted feeling trait, Fe behaves bluntly and directly, wanting to cut to the chase and sometimes unintentionally hurting others. A repressed extroverted feeling trait, Fe can respond bluntly and directly. It wants to cut to the chase and can sometimes unintentionally hurt others.

When you bring light to Fe, you bring harmony and empathy into your life, helping build interpersonal relationships. When this trait becomes conscious, you naturally extend it to others. Of course, use discernment, as this trait is not your primary one, but it can bring personal growth. #journalprompt

Playful Types (ESFP)

Playful ESFPs have high-vibing energy and say yes to life, living it to the fullest. You’re spontaneous, passionate, and free-spirited, with a soul-inspiring positivity that motivates others. You’re not simple-minded as some may think. You have a serious side using your powerful extroverted thinking trait, Te, to accomplish your many goals. However, you’re unconscious introverted intuition; Ni can create disturbing paranoid thoughts that come to you with great intuitive certainty.

Bring light to Ni as it has the power to help you see patterns and possibilities within your own and another behavior to inspire others even more. It’s an unfamiliar trait, so you must become intimate with it to understand its strengths and weaknesses. Use discernment when applying it, and know it does offer transformative benefits. #journalprompt

Expressive Types (ISFP)

Expressive ISFPs tend to excel at specific tasks inserting an uncompromising sense of what they like and don’t. It’s a sum total of genuine aesthetic expressions linked to your non-judgmental understanding of others. However, you repress Te, which clouds your reasoning skills, making it difficult for you to form and accomplish specific goals.

Give your Te the light it needs so you can avoid situations where you fail to act or draw logical conclusions about your circumstances. #journal prompt; go back in time and put yourself in a situation where you didn’t act; now journal a new outcome as if you took action. 

SJs: The Shadow Side of of Your Personality if You’re a Sensing Judging Types

David Keirsey, the author of Please Understand Me, describes SJs as guardian types, which are said to occupy 45% of the world’s population. These types go to great lengths to meet the needs of others, keeping us all from harm or wanting. I caution you not to stereotype them into one word, like a guardian. It’s too confining, but it does give a glimpse into the world of SJs.

Dutiful Types (ESTJ)

The Dutiful ESTJs are responsible, bowing to logical conclusions while expecting nothing less of your selves and others. You’re not a complainer, no matter the workload, and expect others to do the same. You can be clever with a great sense of humor. Unfortunately, you have trouble recognizing your own and others’ personal values and feelings. You can be insensitive and likely to offend others or roll right over them. 

A repressed introverted feelings trait, Fi needs light for you to better understand yourself and others as it gives you access to your emotions and others. Become an observer. See how others are interacting with one another and what feelings arise within. Do this often and journal your feelings #journalprompt

Grounded Types (ISTJ)

The Grounded ISTJs will patiently determine the reliability of situations and people, always with a nod to prepare for an unpredictable future. Unfortunately, your mistrust of the future can make it difficult for you to accept change and ingenuity without audacious inspection.

Shine the light on Ne, a trait that’s generative, connecting various ideas and opportunities. This trait can have you theorizing about politics, religion, or pop culture, which can be future-focused. Mediate, pray… ask to be shown the best ways to utilize this trait. #journalprompt

Organized Types (ESFJ)

Organized ESFJs are accommodating and good at fostering collaboration. You are fiercely focused and highly sensitive to the subtleties of peoples’ connections with each other. Unfortunately, a repressed introverted thinking trait, Ti, means you may dismiss your sense of right and wrong to please another. You do this in an effort to align with your friends, family, or associates.

Waking up to Ti gives you the power to discern what is truthful and reasonable, providing insight. But this trait is also independent and objective, very different from Fe, which is personal and interdependent. Again use discernment and study this trait. Sometimes logic trumps a feeling decision; not always, but sometimes. Be inspired to get to know this trait intimately. #journalprompt

Reliable Types (ISFJ)

Reliable ISFJs are dedicated and will coalesce detailed impressions of the world using Fe/Ti, a concern for humanity. You’re recognized as someone who diligently takes care of the mundane for others with thoughtfulness and grace. You have a distinct sense of decency and can be severe when others violate it. Your Ne, a repressed function, sometimes has trouble venturing into the unknown realms of creation. You will either refuse or struggle through it.

Awakening to Ne, which behaves as patterns, possibilities, and opportunistic, yet is also playful, could be a beautiful way to connect with children or your own inner child. Meditate on this trait and ask to be shown how to best use it. #journalprompt

NFs: The Shadow Side of of Your Personality if You’re a Feeling Perceiving Types

Intuitive feeling types. David Keirsey describes NFs, author of Please Understand Me, as idealists, with 15 percent of the population. Kindhearted, loving, and authentic; these types seek to learn their truth. I caution you not to stereotype all NFs into one word, idealists. It’s too confining, but it does give a glimpse into the world of NFs.

Harmonious Types (ENFJ)

Harmonious ENFJs are uber persuasive, with open hearts, wanting to unite humanity to a common cause. You’re Se, extroverted sensing, is an excellent barometer, as it appreciates the material world using a keen adaptability to reality. Your repressed, often unconscious, introverted thinking (Ti) makes it really easy to exaggerate the truth. To tell a better story, be mindful of exaggerating the truth.

When you bring light and awaken your Ti, you won’t need to exaggerate the truth because you’ll use a nuanced logic layered in feelings that always lead you to your truth. Know this is your unique logic elixir. Become accepting of it. #journalprompt

Insightful Types (INFJ)

Insightful INFJs are idealistic. Developing holistic, perfected systems based on intuitive perceptions, it’s your gift to the world. You’re very empathic. Unfortunately, you struggle to pay attention to the real world and can be overwhelmed by it all, either overindulging or never indulging. This either-or is unhealthy work to bring this trait into balance.

Extroverted sensing, Si, is a repressed trait filtered through extroverted intuition; Ni, it’s your primary trait. This filtration system gives you more of an impressionistic sense of the world versus a concrete view. What helps you awaken your Si is practicing daily grounding techniques. It could be as easy as noticing numbers, how many times you see something in a day. Becoming grounded gives you greater peace of mind. #journalprompt

Enthusiast Types (ENFP)

Enthusiasts ENFPs have a child-like vibe, craving what’s new. People find you quirky and imaginative, a quick thinker, and creative. Sometimes you’re gregarious to the point of over-attachment. Your repressed introverted sensing Si trait makes it difficult for you to give the future the respect it deserves. 

Funny enough, the unknown is where the new and novel exist. Bring this trait into the light to gain fresh perspectives, and ask how to do so in an upcoming meditation or prayer sequence, then journal on the topic. #journalprompt

Seeking Types (INFP)

Seeking INFPs are pure light chasers, emotional, sentimental truth seekers. You’re a champion of becoming authentically you. Regrettably, your extroverted thinking trait Te is repressed. This makes it hard to break away from your dream world and accomplish your visions. You may even ignore evidence that contradicts your values. Ignoring another’s values separates you from the truth, yours and theirs. You see the world through your eyes only, which is inauthentic.

Shed light on this outward-facing trait, as Te can gift you with welcoming, untamed energy in the here and now. You may even find it inspires you to open up to another’s point of view while seeing your own as different, not good or bad, just different. Examine, study, and observe extroverted thinking to bring about self-awareness. #journalprompt

NTs: The Shadow Side of Your Personality if You’re a Thinking Judging Type

Intuitive thinking types. NTs are described by David Keirsey, author of Please Understand Me, as rationals, coming in at 5 to 6 percent of the world’s population. These types are known as strategic realists who desire to create a social order in science, technology, and the natural world. I caution you not to stereotype them into a word like rational. It’s too confining, but it does give a glimpse into the world of NTs.

Assured Types (ENTJ)

Assured Type ENTJs can dominate. They seek to control the environment by leveraging their leadership and ruthlessness against any opposition. Your tertiary Se provides you with a transparent and real-time relationship with events. It also offers perceptive adaptability to changing conditions. Your repressed introverted feeling trait, Fi, can make you dangerously numb to your own values and the values of others.

Wake up to the benefits and wonder of Fi; yes, it’s highly individualistic, but it can also help you realize the individuality of those around you. You may see your opposition can provide you with fresh perspectives. #journalprompt

Inventive Types (INTJ)

Inventive INTJs are visionary, tenacious, and impatient. You’ll strive to accomplish your future-oriented vision. Many see you as independent, self-confident, and a tad unsocial. What they don’t see is how you hold specific values and ideas close to your heart. Your suppressed extroverted sensing trait, Se, leads to a susceptibility to sensual binges — overindulging. 

 To bring light to Se, you must first study it and realize its potential. Does it have the power to accomplish your future-oriented vision? It may or may not, but seeing the world, in theory, using a more external worldview may help you gain an expanded understanding. #journalprompt

Inquisitive Types (ENTP)

Inquisitive ENTPs have multidimensional perspectives. Insanely curious and wanting to investigate every viewpoint around an idea or thing. Skeptical and forever questioning to discover even more possibilities, with a charm or brilliance when presenting things made possible by extroverted feeling Fe. However, your repress introverted sensing; Si often has them ignoring the “small stuff” that a new idea demands.

Bring this trait Si into your consciousness to understand how it can derail an idea, yet it can also help you incorporate the details to bring your vision to fruition. #journalprompt

Impartial Types (INTP)

Autonomous INTPs are abstract. You strip away the nonessential to get to the core of an idea, its foundation, its pure potential. You promote a sense of universal morality, honesty, and a thirst for knowledge for its own sake. Your tertiary introverted sensing trait, Si, supplies meticulousness and appreciation of routine. At the same time, your repressed extroverted feeling trait, Fe, presents a dislike of superficial appearances and emotional displays, and you’re awkward in handling these matters.

Awakening to your Fe will enhance your desire to get to the truth and pureness of people and things. Feeling your feelings beyond sensations can be brought about by observing others and being in the present moment. #journalprompt

Recap: How To Discover The Shadow Side Of Your Personality Type

  • Social media is a great place to hide our shadows
  • The Shadow Self Where did it get its beginnings
  • We All Have a Shadow Side
  • Pulling off the Mask
  • SPs
  • SJs
  • NFs
  • NTs
  • Journal Prompts

Your Relationship with Yourself Is Your Life Purpose

Make understanding your personality type a priority. It’s one of the best relationships you can cultivate in this lifetime, and I believe it is your life purpose; learning to love, understand and accept yourself so you can do the same with others!

Of course, with all good things in life, if you do the work, take responsibility, and make personality typing with a spiritual understanding a daily ceremony, realizing the two can’t exist without each other, you’ll move closer to your truth. You’ll be ready for any occasion, situation, or event, be it travel, relationships, career, and your sacred life path. Even better, it unshackles you from a purposeless existence.

I know this to be true because this is precisely how it worked in my life.

It’s Time to Discover; Spiritual Personality Typing ©️ – Nina Zapala, the Inquisitive Type, ENTP.

Photo credit: Unsplash



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