Podcast – Episode 0343 – Dealing with Trauma in Your Auxiliary Copilot Cognitive Function

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about dealing with trauma in your auxiliary copilot cognitive function.


In this podcast you’ll find:


  • When our upbringing damages our Auxiliary (Co-pilot) cognitive function.
    • How our Auxiliary function can be disowned or undermined.
    • Why suppression is just one kind of Auxiliary wounding that happens.
    • What is happening to our cognitive function mental wiring in childhood?
  • Why negative feedback hurts our Auxiliary so much.
  • Ways our Auxiliary function gets undermined in childhood.
    • The painful downfall of an INTJ’s Extraverted Thinking (Effectiveness) due to unhealthy ENTP and INFJ parents.
    • Why Auxiliary function undermining starts loops.
    • Antonia (ENTP) recalls the shutdown of her Introverted Thinking (Accuracy) as a child.
    • The Introverted Feeling (Authenticity) suppression Joel (ENFP) experienced as a kid.
  • Auxiliary function trauma based on type:
    • How IxTJs get shut down over and over.
    • When ExTPs get told they are bad people.
    • Why ExFPs keep hearing their feelings don’t matter.
    • How IxFJs face too much disconnection.
    • When ENxJs get continually discredited.
    • Why INxPs are told they don’t make sense.
    • How ESxJs struggle to deal with the past.
    • When ISxPs face constant disapproval.
  • Ways to heal your Auxiliary.
    • Identifying your damage.
    • How the H.A.T. model helps.
    • Why acceptance makes the difference.
    • The power of reframing your Auxiliary function.
    • How you can love this part of yourself.
    • The empowering exercise to start your healing.
  • Moving towards Auxiliary growth:
    • Why we are so sensitive with our Auxiliary function.
    • What happens when you take your Auxiliary for granted.
    • How your Auxiliary function growth is so valuable.
    • Should we let our Auxiliary function make mistakes?
    • When we stop trying to grow our Auxiliary.
    • What growth comes after the Auxiliary?
    • Dr. Dario Nardi’s cognitive function growth model (See Episode 0349)
  • Why healing your Auxiliary is disruptive…and so worth it.

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Showing 18 comments
  • Steve

    I am a male ISFP(I think?) My mother is an INTJ. My parents got divorced when I was very young so my father didn’t have much to do with me as a child, developmentally. I am also from a very traditional italian-american family. As I was growing up, my mother was frequently very busy with work and grad school. I know she was trying to provide a better life for me and I am very grateful. However, whenever I tried to express myself emotionally I always got the impression that she didn’t really know how to deal with it and was exasperated. Also, as an italian boy/man emotional expression was not encouraged unless it was involving sports. So I felt that I didn’t have the permission to express myself so I kept everything inside. This drove me so deep into an Fi-Ni loop that I usually test as an INTJ. However, recently I’ve started seeing a therapist and exploring mindfulness. I have finally begun to accept that I am an ISFP or, at least, Fi primary. Does this sound like trauma in Se? Does that all make sense or have I missed something important?

  • Jeff

    Male Infj. Here is a general list of some of the things I am thankful for.

    1. The interaction between harmony and accuracy
    2. The quiet strength of perspecitves
    3. The tolerance of harmony
    4. How anger and sadness work together
    5. How success works with anger
    6. How accuracy is offensive

  • Rachel

    “Don’t take someone’s offense at your auxiliary function as a sign your auxiliary function is offensive.” Thank you, Antonia! 😊

  • Danielle

    I definitely agree with Antonia’s comment that having healthier parents with unideal types is often better for someone than having healthier parents with more ideal types.

    I’m an ENFP who is the daughter of an ESFJ and ISTP. These don’t seem to be very ideal types to raise a small ENFP. However, my parents were mature and healthy enough to respect my personality as they appreciated and found admiration for the strengths my Ne and Fi bring to the world. That’s not to say there isn’t tension and we don’t drive each other nuts sometimes, but it’s a surprisingly good dynamic.

  • Mj fanta

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this podcast is the reason I was able to support my ISFP daughter through her “ponytail on the*front* of my head” fashion phase.

    • Simon Tucic

      As a INFP, what really hits me while you guys are talking is that I have alot of trauma in my dominant function, Fi.
      Growing up with a ESFJ mom and a ISTJ dad, I feel like there wasent enough space for that Fi process to blossom. To be fully understood of who I was as a person. Resulting in me pushing away all my feelings and believing that there was something wrong with me.

      I feel like for me personally, there sure is alot of work to be made in the dominant function before I get to the auxiliary.

  • Rachel

    Ti for an ENTP female
    Really rough collection of things I’m grateful that Ti brings me

    1. Facilitates debate
    2. Naturally clean slices information to teach others
    3. Clean slices information in real time (same thing basically) but to be good on the spot
    4. Finding credible sources and deciphering good info vs propaganda
    5. When used properly creates a lot of truthful and painfully funny jokes
    6. Lots of painful truths as well, when showing others that I see these in myself they’re then in turn shown it’s okay to feel them as well and they usually express them.
    7. If focused on properly creates a great pathway for growing information and hobbies
    8. With age makes a very well rounded ENTP, when healthy Ti allows slowing down to be enjoyable because you can build
    9. Allows us to get inside another persons head by facilitating pattern seeking, which supports Fe and makes for a more understanding person
    10. Just gotta day again it makes for just an absolutely cut throat opponent in any kind of battle of wits, I love seeing people’s faces change when they realize I’m not only an attractive blonde woman, but that I can talk them under the table (I don’t think that’s the right saying, but you get it)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Joel and Antonia. You both bring different perspectives to these podcasts, and I am deeply appreciative of both your approaches. Keep it up!

    Listening to your podcasts on the Car Model has been deeply healing for me.

    I am a female _SFP. Grew up in a largely restrictive (even abusive) home where discipline was used on manifestations of Fi/Se. Culture also played a part, my background culture is one which encouraged Si/Fe for women. But my parents pushed me to become as Te/Ti as possible, wanting me to excel academically (which I have). The wound has not healed – even today I hear my parents’ voices and society’s push to discourage Fi. I feel the most alive when I am creating art and performing music, but I don’t pursue it because even today I see these as time-wasters – when I perform I do it for ‘good’ reasons – i.e, rationalize the activities in some way.

    Culturally I also feel a strong push to develop Fe (to manage others’ emotional needs) – I look forward to a future podcast where you discuss the role of the sixth function.

  • Liz

    I really appreciated this episode for laying out so clearly observations that I’ve had running around muddled in my mind. I’m a female ENTP with ISTJ and ISFJ parents, who also grew up primarily with ESFJ, ISFP, and ISTJ friends. In most of my professional life, I’ve worked primarily with NFJs and NFPs.

    As a child I came to distrust my Ti co-pilot because if I said something too incisive or curious, it was seen as offensive, obtuse, or purposely mean-spirited. Indeed, sometimes it was purposely mean-spirited, because I would become so frustrated about having no visible “safe” way to express a thought or observation to another person. I still lash out at the people closest to me at times, using Ti in a cruel way, because I just want an outlet for observation and analysis. I get tired of feeling like I have to walk on a desert of everyone else’s eggshells that always take precedence over my need for honest expression. Dramatic, yes, but it’s really how it can feel.

    I generally funneled Ti into achievement related to academics. I became a perfectionist in school, and used Ti in analysis for cultural, literary, and linguistics-related classes that I took. I wrote pretty good papers and gave pretty good presentations. But across all that time, I never felt safe using Ti skills in interpersonal relationships or really any context beyond an assignment for a class.

    Dissatisfied with my social path in academia, I turned to nonprofit and advocacy type work, using my Ti skills in the areas of education and program development/coordination. Again, this function helped me to do some parts of my job very well; however, I remained terrified about being honest with co-workers about any problems, or about challenging any hierarchies or groupthink situations in organizations.

    Everywhere I go, I have the fear that unleashing Ti in non-structured environments (like, outside the context of a term paper) would lead people to see me as a bad person, who is purposely negative, and who nitpicks about things that don’t matter, instead of “getting stuff done” or sucking it up and fitting in with the group.

    My “solution” (semi-conscious, usually poorly thought out) has been to flit from place to place, job to job, seeking an imaginary autonomy or space where I will finally be able to let Ti free. But this has left me feeling more and more isolated, and more and more reliant upon tertiary Fe. At this point, I really don’t know how to interact with people in a way where I feel I can authentically share my thoughts. It’s terrible to feel this way–frozen, and ever-reliant upon well-work masks.

    As much as I want it to be, using Ti in a healthy way is never going to be a frictionless affair. I have to just take the leap. But indeed, until I listened to this episode, I didn’t consciously associate trauma and freeze response due to social fear with my inability to use Ti in ways outside of achievement or perfectionism.

  • Bill Maynor

    INTJ – male

    I believe that when I was younger my Te was probably overvalued by an unhealthy mother (ESTP) and unhealthy stepfather (EN_P). They depended on me to take care of a lot of adult tasks for the family when I was in my teenage years. As I matured, I realized that I had been living with the notion that I was a developed adult at a young age when in reality my copilot was not fully developed at all. It was strong, but in only a few areas.

    I do recognize though that terrible feeling of having Te disregarded. It really hurts when its criticized by people who don’t have Te as a dominant function.

    Currently, the thing that gives me the most trouble is my inferior function (Se). I have a very hard time being present in the moment and in my body. I struggle with being in groups, public speaking, work meetings, etc. Also really struggle to recognize and correct physical and health problems.

  • E

    As a female INTJ who was raised by Ti-Fe and Fe-Ti parents and who worked for more Ti-Fe/Fe-Tis than Te-Fi/Fi-Tes, this episode was exactly what I needed to hear. INTJ women usually have a harder road to travel than INTJ men and Antonia’s description of Fe-derailment of INTJ’s Te ordered, empirical, planned, methods-driven mode of being spoke to me. Dozens upon dozens of instances of that happening in my past flooded my brain. I’m certain I’ll have a list of more than a hundred within days.

    Derailments by overturning my plans behind my back, by foot dragging, by belittlement tinged with bigotry and sexism (especially in business-centric contexts, especially by men but also by women who feel intimidated).

    I have often wondered why I feel such a strong affinity towards Te decision making yet, with every passing decade, I become more ALLERGIC to it. More triggered into anxiety by my own business planning documents as I write them. More avoidant of my goals despite being so incredible laser-focused goal driven with the same goals driving me for decades. Decades.

    This concept of trauma around our aux was such an eye opener and now it makes sense why Aux development is a lifelong process for most people and a contradictory struggle for some.

    This info also helped me understand why I am entirely INTJish yet feel doubtful at times about my type and why in my youth and early-mid 20s I **rejected** and **hated** the INTJ type so much and instead insisted I was ENTP or INTP. I now understand why this happened. I certainly didn’t have the confusing life of Antonia’s INTJ friend but so much about my NiTe nature was threatening to my parents, and doubly so in a female body. NiTe was something they didn’t approve of and it rubbed them the wrong way. I experienced inconsistent messaging, undermining, and derailment after derailment to the point that Te style behavior/decision making became a strange nemesis within me, a natural way of DOING things in the world that brought me problem after problem and disappointment after disappointment. Realizing now that I need to find female INTJ role models.

    Would greatly appreciate more future discussions on trauma and wounding associated with function growth and, perhaps, how it fits in with the shadow functions too, especially regarding the relationship between the 2nd and 6th functions.

    Thanks for a great podcast. Off to listen to the HAT model and to revisit every Te podcast you two have recorded in the past.

  • J

    Agh! I have to comment about the end chatter. Every time I hear Antonia go into her best mode, providing the highest value stuff, cleanly explained, and without any extraneous nonsense or mistaken analogies that confuse the argument, she apologizes for talking to much. Please stop doing that.

    I believe there are people listening to this podcast not for Antonia’s clean explanations, because I see reviewers appreciate Joel, and I have heard from friends who’ve attended workshops in person that people really adore Joel, and I am very sure he has a ton to offer the world. And I believe that his muddling of things on the podcast is probably valuable for me in that it allows me to understand what is not true and highlights better what Antonia is trying to say which Joel regularly makes blurry and less valuable.

    But like, for the love of god, pleAse stop apologizing for being articulate, clear, and very good at explaining things.

    And in turn I promise I will keep trying to work on appreciating enfps, something I admit I struggle with.


    • Mj Fanta

      Seconded. My husband is a Joel fan, but I hang on Antonia’s every word. I’ve never once thought she was talking too much.

  • Jonathan Hardin

    Ways I’m thankful for Se.
    I love being right here right now and not full of worry.
    I love being comfortable and confident in my own body.
    I love my resilient nature.
    I love that I have a quick learning process.
    I love seeing the quickest solution to any problem I love seeing the quickest solution to any problem
    I love bypassing possibilities to get an answer.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, this is awesome!
      (From a female _SFP)

  • Jennifer

    Loved this episode! I had actually been coming to a similar conclusion recently about myself through work I’ve been doing in therapy, although I hadn’t connected it to typology.

    As an INFJ who’s been studying typology for almost ten years, I thought I had Fe pretty well developed for awhile. But I was still just using it to put on a social mask and get other people’s approval, rather than actually make the kinds of connections and relationships that I actually needed. It got to the point where even with my partner and my closest friends, I still felt lonely and unseen because I was hiding myself behind the Fe mask so much.

    There was definitely a lot of wounding to my Fe throughout my life; in fact, every time I think I’ve gotten to the bottom of it, there’s yet another layer. It was so damaged at one point that it wasn’t until my twenties that I even knew I had natural abilities in relating and connecting with others. However, once I discovered that it was a skill, I jumped too quickly to using it for achievement, but it was fake achievement by other people’s standard of success rather than my own. I also learned how to use it to help other people’s healing, but not to heal myself. Ironically, when I didn’t know I had any Fe skills, I actually made more genuine relationships and expressed myself more authentically (although definitely also more unconsciously).

    I really appreciated the part of the podcast that related function development to the HAT model. It’s pretty clear to me now that I need to figure out how to develop Fe in terms of my own healing, and that after that I’ll be able to use it more for genuine achievement. I’d definitely be interested to learn more about how the functions can be developed at the different HAT levels in a future podcast!

  • Elise Allan

    Great timing. I’ve been diving into this topic for the last few weeks. I learned to keep my Ne copilot hidden most of the time; it became second nature as it was unacceptable to my family and to many of my friends. I disguise why I’m travelling and what I’m studying, and to some friends it might be said with a laugh – “you know how I’m into some weird stuff” – or to others I’ll refer to workshops I’m going to as being about a sort of “meditation”, because most people have heard of that and it sounds normal. Then there are a few intuitive friends for whom it all is normal, and I can remove the filters when talking to them.

  • Jonathan Hardin

    This is why it took so long for me to test as ISFP.

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