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The following is a description of behaviors most common to Te.
Like all types, the Te user is motivated by a desire for truth which they pursue in a unique way. The Te user will instinctively understand reality in a process-oriented manner; seeking to answer questions of truth as a relationship between the antecedent and consequent. The space between the input/output and what happens within it is the core curiosity of Te, making Te an altogether causality-oriented process. While all people can — if their attention is so turned — reason out a causal sequence, the Te user will do so with far greater speed and regularity. They will love theories, systems, models and languages where interactions between variables can happen and actions can result from their calculations. This often leads to a magnetic attraction to computer programming, which is the art/language of pure logical computation. The relationships between objects — whether they be physical or intangible variables (digits, numbers) — becomes the primary focus of the Te user. And when this habit becomes excessive, it can lead to a very mechanical mind that always tries to make sense of things through logical sequences. The Te user may try to apply the same computational approach to other more human domains of life and come across as robotic to family or friends. They may develop a reputation as a code junkie or nerd as they spend a great deal of their time engrossed in technical pursuits. The Te user wants more than anything to understand “how things work”; how the pieces fit together and how is it that all of this comes about through the collision of variables. The Te user is not content with a general answer but desires to know the precise order of operations that leads necessarily to the actions we see resulting before us.
Te: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
Because of this attitude, the Te user quickly develops a thirst for scientific questions. Their pursuit to know the dynamic workings of things leads them to ask “how do bacteria create organic matter out of chemical reactions at the bottom of the ocean?”, “how do moons like Titan fit into the formation of the early solar system?” or “where do ultra high energy particles come from?” The Te user will commonly develop an affinity for domains such as astronomy, biology, chemistry and physics; the latter offering a concise platform and language for understanding causal and objective relations. The Te user is highly pragmatic in their pursuit and framing of truth; often evaluating the reality of a thing by its observable effects. They will tend towards empiricism and will highly value clear measurement in their understanding. Quantification is key to the Te user, as it allows for the rigorous study of phenomenon and their interactions. This proclivity often blossoms into an appreciation and immersion into engineering, which presents a practical operationalization of those essential laws. The Te function is responsible for much of our scientific advancement in the past century and there is little more stimulating to the Te user than to achieve ever higher orders of aptitude through the discovery, creation and application of elegant logistical systems.
Te: Economics & Business/Law
But their understanding of causal relations is not limited to the sciences. Indeed, many Te users will forego the sciences and apply their logistical comprehension directly into the financial sector. They will gravitate to fields like economics, law and by extension government for its interconnection to the former. And just as the scientists do in their respective domains, the Te economist will come to understanding the social world as a system of variables which, if rightly maneuvered and arranged, will give certain predictable outcomes and revenues. Numbers, graphs and statistical reports may populate stacks on their desk as they wrestle with all manner of bureaucracy. Many a Te user will start their own business enterprise, taking the road of the entrepreneur and businessman. More than a few Te users develop an acute interest in politics; campaigning for positions of office both high and low. And while they can be seen from all stripes, the strong Te politician more naturally aligns with a classical/laissez-faire economic policy where people and business owners are allowed to trade willingly based on an agreed value/demand without the need for government interventions. Over-regulation and over-taxation, the Te user may protest, is an unethical exploitation of the efforts of business owners. The Te user may hold a meritocratic view and wish for their (or anyone’s) financial success to depend solely on their own hard work and not have their assets appropriated by ideological infringements.
Te: Challenge & Conscientiousness
And this financial proclivity arises from a deeper drive in the Te user; a native, and often powerful, compulsion towards agency. The strong Te user cannot stand being idle and may be plagued by a craving for challenge, action and achievement; impulses which are all the more facilitated by their procedural comprehension of life. They will tend to be efficient, wishing constantly to “get things done” and structure their life in an optimal manner. An affinity for order often develops from this compulsion, which drives many Te users to carefully regiment their energies, developing diligence and structure. Some may go as far as to organize their house/work by labels and folders, while others may have a disorderly house but a specialized protocol in their areas of interest. In all these manifestations, Te’s capacity for agency is combined with an insensitivity to feelings – particularly of one’s own weakness. Once a goal is set in the mind of the Te user, they may become a diehard busybody and be unyielding in their expectations of themselves to the point of physical exhaustion. Staying busy may have its own addictive quality to it, aside from the benefits of becoming self-empowered and achieve security. Thus, many strong Te users experience burnout at some point in their career as they push aside the body’s limitations and place their ambitions above moderation and their own health. This tendency may also earn them a reputation for being militant and unrelenting. Family members and loved ones may retaliate against what feels like an overly controlled home environment.
Te: Management & Leadership
Yet, despite what complications this potency may cause at home or with their intimates, the Te user’s conscientiousness is highly coveted in the workforce. So long as their tasks and obligations align with their long term goals, they can perform consistently and will have less problems than many in rising up the chain of command and landing in managerial positions. They’ll instinctively understand and accept the need to do what is necessary, and not just what is easy. Their solutions-oriented mentality adds a confidence, effectiveness and resoluteness to any leadership roles thay may undertake. But this added responsibility can also lead to frustrations for the Te user who, when in a group setting, is confined/limited by the motivations and wills of others who may not share their level of resoluteness. It can be challenging to negotiate duties with others, as the Te user often lacks the grace or tact to present their reasoning in a friendly and sensitive manner. Navigating the emotional landscapes of others is one of the Te user’s greatest difficulties. It may feel tempting and far more simple for them to take the reigns and finish the task by themselves than to mediate a middle ground with others.
Te: Bluntness & Argumentation
This difficulty with emotional negotiation is compounded in part by Te’s blunt articulation, which is often outspoken and unfiltered. In their pursuit for succinct and forthright argumentation, the strong Te user may develop a reputation for being tactless. Unless great efforts are taken to mitigate this bracing verbal effect, niceties will be omitted from the Te user’s delivery as they present their reasoning in a matter-of-fact way and with a deadpan expression. They will speak their minds even (or perhaps especially) in taboo or politically controversial topics. It is of less concern to the Te user that their opinion be popular with the crowd, than for it to be genuinely theirs. But this honesty can also be highly refreshing to others, as the Te user will not shy away from stating the facts as they appear before them with no compromise or dilution of truth – especially when others may be biting their tongue for fear of offense. However, many Te users learn over time to smooth the edges of their presentation by the incorporation of a dry or sarcastic humor. The Te user can be very witty, interjecting commentary at a moment’s notice and releasing the tension in the room that would otherwise be caused by their frankness.
Behaviors Under Stress:
Aside from the aforementioned behaviors, functions also display compensatory behaviors when the individual is under stress. The following behaviors manifest in the Te user when distressed or when accompanied by high levels of neuroticism.
Steamrolling refers to the continued advancement of an agenda through a series of obstacles with little, if any, consideration of what consequences or devastations may emerge. The Te user is usually aware of the proper steps needed for something to occur, but when plagued by distress all that matters is resolving the crisis. “I need to get to the other side of this” is the single phrase that echoes in the mind of the stressed Te user, and in those moments all consideration of complexity is lost as their mind completely narrows down to a single solution. They may say to others “it doesn’t matter how, just do it” or “if it can’t perform, it’s out.” If the setting is the workforce, droves of people may be cut away from their jobs without notice. Protocols are skipped over. There is a complete inconsideration of anything that doesn’t work here and now for the given goal. That which can’t output is eliminated. People may be treated as pawns and either kept or removed based on their logistical value. The Te user places 110% of their energy into manifesting their outcome and when the dust has finally settled, they are left to contend with the consequences of their decision. While they may have made it to the other side, friendships may be lost or irreparably damaged. Family members may be ostracized and new public enemies may have been created.