The Sixteen Types – Ego, Shadow, Subconscious, and Superego Dimensions

Ever had trouble determining your personality type?

In less mature years, I tested as INFJ (which is not, in any way, to imply that INFJs are less mature. I got that result, however, during a period in which I was still – largely unwittingly – copying others).

Then, during an existential crisis, I tested as INFP. Exiting that season (or at least having achieved some more inner clarity), I tested as INTP. And yet, sometimes I also feel like an INTJ (note: that’s probably actually my ENTJ shadow at work, with an introverted flair). When I took a test for the eight cognitive functions (extroverted/introverted intuition, E/I sensing, E/I feeling and thinking), I scored almost equally between the extroverted and introverted functions for each letter (for example, 50% Te and 50% Ti). The write-up for the results suggested I could be an INTJ or INFJ. On that same site, however, I tested as INTP when taking the “normal” personality test.

What’s a person to think?

Have you experienced similar confusion about your type, or discrepancy between test results?

If so, there’s a reason for that.

Personality tests are not generally 100% reliable and accurate. One reason for this is that people may answer questions during a period of stress, in which they are manifesting sides of themselves which are normally suppressed.

What are these suppressed sides?

We’ve explored shadows a bit in the context of INTP compatibility, and we’ve also covered the INTP shadow (ENTJ) specifically, but what about the other sides of personality? And what about the other fifteen types?

When it comes to Jungian personality, we each have two additional facets beyond our egos and shadows: the Aspirational self (or Subconscious) and the Superego (or “Parasite”).

In fact, we each have four four-letter types:

The ego is our “main” personality type – often the one with which we identify the most, and the one we get on personality tests (if our results are accurate).

Our shadow or unconscious type is one which we may slip into during periods of prolonged and/or intense stress (or even temporarily during more stressful periods of the day).

Our subconscious or aspirational self is linked with the inferior function of the ego. The top or dominant function of the aspirational type is the same as the inferior function of the ego. The subconscious or aspirational type represents the type of person we aspire to be (and potentially already think ourselves to be) – an aspiration which we may or may not have presently achieved.

Like the shadow, the superego is a part of ourselves which we have often suppressed, and which we tend to dislike and resist recognizing in ourselves. It may be an identity we felt pressured to espouse – or not to – in our childhood. When faced with problems, we often try to solve them with our ego, shadow, and aspirational sides first. If all of these fail, we may resort to our superego (which can potentially be pretty destructive, but isn’t always an entirely unhealthy side).

Studying the last table in this post, you’ll notice a pattern.

The Shadow or Unconscious type always has the same two middle letters as the ego, with the E/I and J/P flipped.

Example: The shadow of INFJ is ENFP.

The Aspirational or Subconscious type is always the complete opposite of the ego in letters.

Example: The INFJ’s subconscious or aspirational type is ESTP.

The Superego is the shadow of the Aspirational type.

Example: The superego of INFJ is ISTJ (which is the shadow of ESTP).

Ego (Conscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)
INFJ

Ni

Fe

Ti

Se

ESTP

Se

Ti

Fe

Ni

Shadow (Unconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ENFP

Ne

Fi

Te

Si

ISTJ

Si

Te

Fi

Ne

For better understanding of function stacks, see How to Remember Myers-Briggs Function Stacks.


At the top of the table below, we see INTJ (Mastermind). The INTJ’s shadow will be the ENTP (Inventor) (same two middle letters, other two flipped).

The INTJ’s aspirational self will be ESFP (Performer) (completely opposite letters).

The INTJ’s superego will be the shadow of the aspirational ESFP type, so ISFJ (Protector).

(Admittedly, these nicknames or labels are pitifully limited. If you find them so, not to worry! There are more limiting labels listed at the end with which you can swap the one I decided to use for your type.)

The INTP’s (Engineer’s) shadow is the ENTJ (Fieldmarshal), they have an ESFJ (Caregiver) aspirational side (which fits with INTP’s inferior function of extroverted feeling, which is the dominant function for the ESFJ), and their superego is the ISFP (Artist).

When it comes to the four sides of the mind, C.S. Joseph again explains things pretty well. (Check out his work! He started creating and posting content when he was anticipating a potentially shortened life expectancy due to liver problems. At that time, he had already been studying typology for about ten years. He wanted to share his expertise with the world so it wouldn’t die with him.)

Below are listed the corresponding three types for each ego:

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
INTJ

(Mastermind)

Ni

Te

Fi

Se

ENTP

(Inventor)

Ne

Ti

Fe

Si

 

ESFP

(Performer)

Se

Fi

Te

Ni

 

ISFJ

(Protector)

Si

Fe

Ti

Ne

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
INTP

(Engineer)

Ti

Ne

Si

Fe

ENTJ

(Fieldmarshal)

Te

Ni

Se

Fi

ESFJ

(Caregiver)

Fe

Si

Ne

Ti

ISFP

(Artist)

Fi

Se

Ni

Te

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
INFJ

(Counselor)

Ni

Fe

Ti

Se

ENFP

(Innovator)

Ne

Fi

Te

Si

ESTP

(Entrepreneur)

Se

Ti

Fe

Ni

ISTJ

(Inspector)

Si

Te

Fi

Ne

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
INFP

(Healer)

Fi

Ne

Si

Te

ENFJ

(Teacher)

Fe

Ni

Se

Ti

ESTJ

(Supervisor)

Te

Si

Ne

Fi

ISTP

(Craftsman)

Ti

Se

Ni

Fe

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ISTJ

(Inspector)

Si

Te

Fi

Ne

ESTP

(Entrepreneur)

Se

Ti

Fe

Ni

ENFP

(Innovator)

Ne

Fi

Te

Si

INFJ

(Counselor)

Ni

Fe

Ti

Se

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ISTP

(Craftsman)

Ti

Se

Ni

Fe

ESTJ

(Supervisor)

Te

Si

Ne

Fi

ENFJ

(Teacher)

Fe

Ni

Se

Ti

INFP

(Healer)

Fi

Ne

Si

Te

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ISFJ

(Protector)

Si

Fe

Ti

Ne

ESFP

(Performer)

Se

Fi

Te

Ni

ENTP

(Inventor)

Ne

Ti

Fe

Si

INTJ

(Mastermind)

Ni

Te

Fi

Se

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ISFP

(Artist)

Fi

Se

Ni

Te

ESFJ

(Caregiver)

Fe

Si

Ne

Ti

ENTJ

(Fieldmarshal)

Te

Ni

Se

Fi

INTP

(Engineer)

Ti

Ne

Si

Fe

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ENTJ

(Fieldmarshal)

Te

Ni

Se

Fi

INTP

(Engineer)

Ti

Ne

Si

Fe

ISFP

(Artist)

Fi

Se

Ni

Te

ESFJ

(Caregiver)

Fe

Si

Ne

Ti

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ENTP

(Inventor)

Ne

Ti

Fe

Si

INTJ

(Mastermind)

Ni

Te

Fi

Se

ISFJ

(Protector)

Si

Fe

Ti

Ne

ESFP

(Performer)

Se

Fi

Te

Ni

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ENFJ

(Teacher)

Fe

Ni

Se

Ti

INFP

(Healer)

Fi

Ne

Si

Te

ISTP

(Craftsman)

Ti

Se

Ni

Fe

ESTJ

(Supervisor)

Te

Si

Ne

Fi

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ENFP

(Innovator)

Ne

Fi

Te

Si

INFJ

(Counselor)

Ni

Fe

Ti

Se

ISTJ

(Inspector)

Si

Te

Fi

Ne

ESTP

(Entrepreneur)

Se

Ti

Fe

Ni

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ESTJ

(Supervisor)

Te

Si

Ne

Fi

ISTP

(Craftsman)

Ti

Se

Ni

Fe

INFP

(Healer)

Fi

Ne

Si

Te

ENFJ

(Teacher)

Fe

Ni

Se

Ti

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ESTP

(Entrepreneur)

Se

Ti

Fe

Ni

ISTJ

(Inspector)

Si

Te

Fi

Ne

INFJ

(Counselor)

Ni

Fe

Ti

Se

ENFP

(Innovator)

Ne

Fi

Te

Si

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ESFJ

(Caregiver)

Fe

Si

Ne

Ti

ISFP

(Artist)

Fi

Se

Ni

Te

INTP

(Engineer)

Ti

Ne

Si

Fe

ENTJ

(Fieldmarshal)

Te

Ni

Se

Fi

Ego (Conscious)Shadow (Unconscious)Aspirational (Subconscious)Superego (“Parasite”)
ESFP

(Performer)

Se

Fi

Te

Ni

ISFJ

(Protector)

Si

Fe

Ti

Ne

INTJ

(Mastermind)

Ni

Te

Fi

Se

ENTP

(Inventor)

Ne

Ti

Fe

Si

In order to make this chart aesthetically pleasing, I was only able to include one label per type. However, in case you didn’t find some of these incredibly myopic labels applicable to your four types, here are some alternative titles that have been used for the sixteen types (beginning with the ones I used):

INTJ – Mastermind/Architect

INTP – Engineer/Logician

INFJ – Counselor/Advocate

INFP – Healer/Idealist/Dreamer

ISTJ – Inspector/Investigator

ISTP – Craftsman/Artisan/Pragmatist

ISFJ – Protector/Defender

ISFP – Artist/Artisan/Composer/Adventurer

ENTJ – Fieldmarshal/Commander

ENTP – Inventor/Innovator/Visionary

ENFJ – Teacher/Giver/Mentor

ENFP – Innovator/Champion/Campaigner

ESTJ – Supervisor/Executive

ESTP – Entrepreneur/Dynamo

ESFJ – Caregiver/Provider

ESFP – Performer/Entertainer/Politician

Most of us access multiple sides of our mind on a daily basis. However, much of this tends to transpire beneath the plane of consciousness.

Did you find your four types relatable?


P.S.  Check out my book, Time Management for the Free Spirit: Flexible, Fun Time Management for Creatives, Young Families, and Those with Chronic Illness, available in e-book and paperback!

Written lovingly by my INTP ego, ENTJ shadow, ESFJ subconscious, and ISFP artist superego, with particular aspirational extroverted feeling for P types. ❤

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