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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I am still trying to learn about how the MBTI functions "look like" in real life and I am having a hard time visualizing how some of the functions operate in the real world. I have a few random questions about various MBTI functions.

1. I'm kind of confused about how it's possible to not use Si (which is weird because I've been typed as an INFJ and Si is supposed to be my last function). Isn't using Si, which is all about using your previous experience to extrapolate things that will happen in the future, or how to do things, an integral part of being human? (or this applies to most other animals, really) Like without Si how would people learn from their mistakes, or learn what they do and don't like, or remember that something is dangerous and to avoid it? I must be missing some piece of the puzzle here. Does Ni fulfill the same functions of Si, but do it in a different way, or something?

2. What function, if any, does this fall under: using your previous knowledge of subject matter in order to devise a strategy or plan for how to tackle a problem. Like for example I intern in a molecular biology lab, and whenever we do a new experiment, invariably we have lots of issues getting the experiment to work in the early stages. Therefore we have to do lots of troubleshooting, going back on our prior knowledge of concepts in biology and of general concepts relating to the experiment we're doing to determine what could be going wrong. Is this Ni, or Si? Or Ti? Or none of the above?

3. I know that I'm dominant N, but I'm still kind of confused about whether I use Ni or Ne (so basically, whether I'm INFJ or INFP) because honestly it feels to me like I use both. So from what I know about the functions, Ni takes various pieces of completely different concepts and synthesizes it into something completely new and unrecognizable. While Ne takes existing concepts and extrapolates onto them in order to make them into something new. However, aren't these kind of the same thing? Like if an Ne-dominant extrapolated onto a concept enough so as to make it unrecognizable from the original concept, wouldn't this superficially resemble Ni? So isn't Ni just a faster-acting Ne? I mean even Ne is working from a knowledge base of stuff it already knows in order to extrapolate upon something.

Also, even though I do use Ni a lot of the time, sometimes I feel like I use Ne. Like for example, today I was in class where we were learning about the evo-devo of fish, and the professor showed us a picture of this weird fish called a "blobfish" (http://also.kottke.org/misc/images/blobfish.jpg). I immediately thought upon seeing this, "I wonder if that fish tastes as weird as it looks?" Is this Ne or is it Ni?

Thanks for anyone who was able to get through all my weird questions and answer :)
 

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1. You're taking it too literally. (Are you sure you're not an Se dom? :p)

2. Any function really, I guess. Depends on how you get to your conclusions. An Fi type might go by what feels right, a Ti type might rely on his/her procedural memory, a Te type might rely on facts, an Fe type might ask someone... Or something like that. The functions are more about how you take in information and decide/prioritize.

3. I don't think anything is faster acting than Ne in conceptualizing. :O Ne users are typically masters of lateral thinking. I'm not quite sure how to describe Ni users.

4. Se. (Though probably any type:p)

NOTE: My brains are fried. If I feel recharged later, maybe I'll type up some better responses to your questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1. You're taking it too literally. (Are you sure you're not an Se dom? :p)

2. Any function really, I guess. Depends on how you get to your conclusions. An Fi type might go by what feels right, a Ti type might rely on his/her procedural memory, a Te type might rely on facts, an Fe type might ask someone... Or something like that. The functions are more about how you take in information and decide/prioritize.

3. I don't think anything is faster acting than Ne in conceptualizing. :O Ne users are typically masters of lateral thinking. I'm not quite sure how to describe Ni users.

4. Se. (Though probably any type:p)

NOTE: My brains are fried. If I feel recharged later, maybe I'll type up some better responses to your questions.
I would be the world's worst Se dom if I was one. I literally have no skill with anything that requires being in the real world. Sports, visual art, making on-the-spot decisions, being aware of things, having the slightest amount of spatial ability, being able to draw a line on a piece of paper and accurately cut along that line...I am markedly worse than the average person with all of those. Basically all I know how to do is analyze stuff to death. And I'm getting somewhat better at making people like me.

Is that really Se? Just because it deals with sensory stuff? Wouldn't an Se-dominant person just be like "ew, that fish looks weird" and leave it at that? Or like...draw the fish or something? I don't know.
 

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I would be the world's worst Se dom if I was one. I literally have no skill with anything that requires being in the real world. Sports, visual art, making on-the-spot decisions, being aware of things, having the slightest amount of spatial ability, being able to draw a line on a piece of paper and accurately cut along that line...I am markedly worse than the average person with all of those. Basically all I know how to do is analyze stuff to death. And I'm getting somewhat better at making people like me.
This is how I would describe myself that way too. I used to think I was an INFJ too. I was wrong. The problem is that I have such a good use of logic and reasoning that I can rationalize just about anything and have it make sense. :S

I finally realized I wasn't an INFJ when I tried to understand how my girlfriend, who is definitely an xNFJ, sees and interprets the world. Here is a post that I wrote on another forum about my realizations:

So the realization I had was in exploring what Sensing vs Intuition meant. I summed it up as using the five senses vs seeing what is not there. When they talk about using the five senses, people tend to focus on kinesthetics; however, what they actually mean is what you can literally see (smell, hear, taste, feel).

So, in my opinion, my girlfriend is without a doubt an xNFJ. I showed her this picture wheat field sunset - explore # 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! and asked her to write everything that she sees in it.


I see what is literally there. Green grass, cloudy sky. She described it as vast, empty, and some other words that I don't remember now. I finally understood what they meant by seeing what is not there. They are abstract descriptions about concrete reality. It's not that I can't interpret reality the way she does, but I don't do it naturally. 'I can do it', is not quite the same as 'this is how I do it'. I think of 'seeing what is not there' as noticing what's missing. What I did not realize before, is that I notice details that are missing. Sensing is described as detail-oriented, which I confused with the personality trait. Kind of in the sense of being meticulous, which I am not. I am fairly oblivious to things. However, they mean detail-oriented in a more literal way. I tend to focus on the facts and details of things. More specifically, I tend to notice inconsistent details. All other details are fairly oblivious to me. Noticing inconsistencies is not a function of Intuition, but of Thinking, and more specifically Introvert Thinking. This is not to say that the other types can't do this, it's just what Ti does naturally, at least as I understand it.


I questioned her further on her point of view on things. She told me that she creates stories about everything she sees. She sees everything in an abstract way. She was going to write out her response to the picture in story form too, but opted for bullet points instead. She attributed this to her shorthand training as a nurse. I, on the other hand, most definitely see things in a very literal concrete way.


I found this information very interesting. From my understanding, xNFPs are also story driven to some degree. They tend to be fascinated with reading, tv, story-driven video games, people stories. I know 2 ENFPs that love soap operas and two INFPs that sort of live vicariously through stories that people tell them and video games. They are all big on reading, especially historical readings. It's almost like one enjoys stories from without and the other from within, or something like that. Further investigation is required. I just found the notion fascinating.
NOTE: I am not suggesting that you are not in fact an INFJ. I am just explaining my realizations in hopes it might help you to solidify your own understanding of functions by having someone to compare notes with (whether you agree or disagree). And this is just my opinion. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@PaladinX actually I responded to that thread you started with that picture yesterday, and here's what I wrote about it:

A teenage girl lies in the grass feeling the curvature of the Earth and sky closing in on her. It's late and she has miles to walk home, but she doesn't want to get up. The spikes from the blades of grass dig into her back (or at least I think they do...I can't tell how low to the ground this shot was taken). They will leave red and white marks there, eventually. The clouds look like they are being pulled into a vortex by the Sun. I have no idea what time of year this is, since I know nothing about wheat farming (shame on me, I took a crop science class in college, too), but it looks like a time of year that has a chill in the air, like mid-spring or early fall. It says it was taken on February 19th though. I think wheat grows in winter. Anyway. She wishes it was summer so this lying in the grass thing would feel more romantic and less foolish. She runs all the way home in the twilight, afraid of coyotes and serial killers.

I guess technically that isn't "describing what I see in the picture," but that's describing what stuff happened inside my brain when I looked at the picture. I guess, like, what the picture reminded me of. "Story-oriented" is probably the best adjective to describe me, really. Even now as an adult I am constantly making up stories in my head just like, when I'm bored. If not fictional stories then my own life story and what I might do later in my life. As a kid I did this so much that I often wondered what people who didn't make up stories in their heads all the time did with all that unused brain-space.

I can be a very literal person, but usually I just do that to be facetious. And it really depends on the subject matter when it comes to whether I am good at noticing inconsistencies or not. A lot of times I display a complete lack of common sense, or leave out completely obvious and necessary details because all I'm thinking about is the "main idea." On the other hand I also remember tons of random facts and I can be very observant if I'm in the right mood.
 

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@PaladinX actually I responded to that thread you started with that picture yesterday, and here's what I wrote about it:

A teenage girl lies in the grass feeling the curvature of the Earth and sky closing in on her. It's late and she has miles to walk home, but she doesn't want to get up. The spikes from the blades of grass dig into her back (or at least I think they do...I can't tell how low to the ground this shot was taken). They will leave red and white marks there, eventually. The clouds look like they are being pulled into a vortex by the Sun. I have no idea what time of year this is, since I know nothing about wheat farming (shame on me, I took a crop science class in college, too), but it looks like a time of year that has a chill in the air, like mid-spring or early fall. It says it was taken on February 19th though. I think wheat grows in winter. Anyway. She wishes it was summer so this lying in the grass thing would feel more romantic and less foolish. She runs all the way home in the twilight, afraid of coyotes and serial killers.

I guess technically that isn't "describing what I see in the picture," but that's describing what stuff happened inside my brain when I looked at the picture. I guess, like, what the picture reminded me of. "Story-oriented" is probably the best adjective to describe me, really. Even now as an adult I am constantly making up stories in my head just like, when I'm bored. If not fictional stories then my own life story and what I might do later in my life. As a kid I did this so much that I often wondered what people who didn't make up stories in their heads all the time did with all that unused brain-space.

I can be a very literal person, but usually I just do that to be facetious. And it really depends on the subject matter when it comes to whether I am good at noticing inconsistencies or not. A lot of times I display a complete lack of common sense, or leave out completely obvious and necessary details because all I'm thinking about is the "main idea." On the other hand I also remember tons of random facts and I can be very observant if I'm in the right mood.
This all sounds very similar to my girlfriend.

This is why I like comparing notes!!

There are too many surface level descriptions of type floating around that just confuse people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah I guess my problem is that I'm still not 100% convinced that I'm an INFJ rather than an INFP. I understand Ni and Ne conceptually but in practice I feel like they kind of end up amounting to the same thing. Not to mention that I'm still not sure if I use Fi or Fe. People have told me that I use Fe because I'm afraid of disappointing people and let people walk all over me a lot of the time, but I've heard that INFPs do this too. Plus I'm socially awkward like an INFP, and sensitive to criticism. I don't have the social skills or "magic ability to read people" skills that INFJs are supposed to have. Or at least, I don't think I do.
 

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Ne vs. Ni - I am Ne dominant (ENTP), my husband is Ni dominant (INTJ). My oldest is Si dominant (ISTJ). The way I experience Ne is that I just get random jumbles all the time. My sense of humor is to simply spit out random reactions and they are typically very funny and relate in an odd way - because that is how I live, in the centre of a spiderweb of impressions of the world around me. I segue and tangent a lot (in my response on the ocean, I talk about the ocean, its impact - literally, figuratively and trademarkedly...). Ne weaves around a topic. Ni, on the other hand, isn't characterized by these tangents. Ni is characterized by flashes of insight. Nothing, nothing, nothing AHA! It all comes together - and, well, they aren't sure of how it happened. Typically an Intellectual Ni dom will fact check their insights (using Te) to ensure they are right. I don't know how Fes learn to trust their Ni (I don't know a lot of them). Si, on the other hand, learns through experience. There are some major differences between Ni and Si. One thing that I have noticed is that Si doms often need to experience a problem in order to get why it is a problem. Learning from the mistakes of others isn't really an innate thing - Si children have a really hard time with it... The things that Si doms tend to think about tend to be more focussed on immediate environment - especially dealing with their experience. Typical philosophizing by Si doms tend to be regarding things like: Do you see the same colour red that I see? (Ns do this, too - but do you see how centred on the self it is?) For example: My son tells me that I couldn't possibly understand what HIS stubbed toe feels like - his stubbed toe is totally different from every other stubbed toe - BECAUSE it is experienced by HIM. To get to the idea that everybody is unique, he builds on the intimate knowledge only he has on all of his personal experiences. This kind of defensiveness of personal experience of common ails is something that really stands out to me in those who have Si in a dominant or auxiliary position. Does that help?
 

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I find Ni and Ne to be VERY different - perhaps because I am an ENTP living with an INTJ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ne vs. Ni - I am Ne dominant (ENTP), my husband is Ni dominant (INTJ). My oldest is Si dominant (ISTJ). The way I experience Ne is that I just get random jumbles all the time. My sense of humor is to simply spit out random reactions and they are typically very funny and relate in an odd way - because that is how I live, in the centre of a spiderweb of impressions of the world around me. I segue and tangent a lot (in my response on the ocean, I talk about the ocean, its impact - literally, figuratively and trademarkedly...). Ne weaves around a topic. Ni, on the other hand, isn't characterized by these tangents. Ni is characterized by flashes of insight. Nothing, nothing, nothing AHA! It all comes together - and, well, they aren't sure of how it happened. Typically an Intellectual Ni dom will fact check their insights (using Te) to ensure they are right. I don't know how Fes learn to trust their Ni (I don't know a lot of them). Si, on the other hand, learns through experience. There are some major differences between Ni and Si. One thing that I have noticed is that Si doms often need to experience a problem in order to get why it is a problem. Learning from the mistakes of others isn't really an innate thing - Si children have a really hard time with it... The things that Si doms tend to think about tend to be more focussed on immediate environment - especially dealing with their experience. Typical philosophizing by Si doms tend to be regarding things like: Do you see the same colour red that I see? (Ns do this, too - but do you see how centred on the self it is?) For example: My son tells me that I couldn't possibly understand what HIS stubbed toe feels like - his stubbed toe is totally different from every other stubbed toe - BECAUSE it is experienced by HIM. To get to the idea that everybody is unique, he builds on the intimate knowledge only he has on all of his personal experiences. This kind of defensiveness of personal experience of common ails is something that really stands out to me in those who have Si in a dominant or auxiliary position. Does that help?
Hmm I see...in that case I'm wondering if I might be INFP instead of INFJ. I definitely go on a lot of tangents and talk constantly because of it. See, the problem is though that sometimes I do get these flashes of insight or like "impressions" of something. Like when I looked at the picture of the field of wheat discussed above, then that entire impression of that story with the girl just came into my head all at once, and then the process of me writing it was the process of me unpacking that impression and seeing what things were there.

The other problem is that I only get these "impressions" when I'm thinking about some kind of theoretical concept. In the real world, it doesn't work. I don't get "hunches" about the correct way to solve a complicated problem, or about what people are really thinking, like INFJs are supposed to. Usually if I have to solve a problem, like a question on an exam, I just try to come up with everything I can think of on the topic and then try to sort through which things might have something to do with the question, and how. And as for figuring out what people are thinking...I still haven't figured that one out.
 

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Perhaps @littleblackdress can explain her random jumbles more concretely? And perhaps what she means by 'impressions of the world' around her?

I also think in random jumbles. My thought process is intermingled with words, movies, music, logic, kinesthetic, etc. They interweave continuously. Kind of like listening to a bilingual person switch back and forth between both languages within a few sentences of speech. :S
 

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Being an Si user, I like talking about Si. A lot.

Si is about creating familiarity with a subject. Si user, such as me, seek to have something we deem as familiar to hold on to, so their actions can be taken according to their own personal perceptions of reality. This contrasts with Ne, which is exploring many options, disregarding what's stable and familiar. Ne's are way more in the present than us, Si users, because Ne, being an extroverted function, is concerned with adapting to a given input. Si, being an introverted function, focus on preparing to answer to an input (just as Ni).

Thing is, while Si does its preparing in a tangible, concrete way (it focuses on a specific path), Ni does its preparing in an abstract, self-actualized way. That is, while Si users focus on having a reliable source of information (that is, something familiar and concrete) to guide them, Ni users focus on having a meaningful source of information (that is, something that shares a common meaning with the input) to answer the given input.

I mean, I've written it better in another post. I'll quote it here.

I'd say that sensing is a matter of pragmatism.

(Speaking for myself, now) I feel like that, as a sensor, I'm more willing to act on what's likely to be there than the possible ramifications or interpretations of a thing. One of my friends says that I have a "mind of a scientist" - If I don't know something, I will research the hell out of it before trying to put it in practice (A little sixness there too). But once I'm aware of 'what's expected', you better be sure that I will act according to what is expected and nothing else.

I mean, I understand that things may go awry and that things could not happen 'as expected', but my mind tells me "why bother?". It's concrete information, something that I can rely and apply in the situation at hand. It's tested and reliable - it have to work and it will probably work. For me, as a sensor, there's no point in indulging in extrapolations of what it is.

Given my grasp of the functions, I'd say that an Ni user would be concerned with the many possible ways this very situation could represent, while an Ne user would be concerned with the many possible ways this very situation could be exploited, but for me, an Si, there's no need to do this. I'm fairly sure of what I expect that will happen and will act accordingly. Similarly, I think an Se user wouldn't bother with this either, but rather, exploit the situation as it is.

Regardless of how cliché it may sound, when you take a look at this issue in the question of a test, saying:

Are you more prone to: a)Seeing things as they are; b) Seeing things as they could be;

Sensing and Intuition are about this. Not that a sensor won't think of things as they could be, but it's not really important to them to think so (unless pressed to do so - like being in the grip of the inferior). Intuition has it shortcomings as well. While the sensor tends to neglect the many possible possibilities of an event, giving an impression of 'closed-mindedness', the intuitive is prone to neglect the 'realities' of an event, giving the impression of indecision or absent-mindedness.

Being under the influence of the inferior for a dominant intuitive must feel like being forced into something - bound and pushed into a path that they haven't had the choice of going into. It's restrictive, because, when healthy, the intuitive feels safe in knowing that there are many paths before settling on the one they want. On the other hand, being under the influence of the inferior for a dominant sensor is like being shown a plethora of information. It's desperating, because, when healthy, the sensor feels safe in knowing that they are taking a path rather than being stuck deciding on where to go.

I personally think it makes more sense to group Sensors and Intuitives in Introverted Perceivers and Extroverted Perceivers. These groups share the same goal, but with different approaches.

For Introverted Perceivers (Si and Ni), the theme is Preparing and Planning. They want to review the situation before responding to it. While the Si user is focused on establishing familiarity (preparing and planning for 'what's expected'), the Ni user is focused on establishing significance (preparing and planning for 'what could mean'). Let me exemplify:

Tom (a Si user) and Peter (a Ni user) have received a gift from an acquaintance at work. They don't know this person very well to receive such gift, and are embarassed in thinking in a way to properly thank this person. Tom recalls reading somewhere that it is "common courtesy to accept and thank the gift from the person, and retribute it when possible" - thus, he establishes familiarity with the situation and is able to respond to it. Peter, on the other hand, thinks that the gift-giving is "similar as when you receive a compliment, because you are receiving something from someone" - thus, he establishes a common significance from this situation and is able to respond to the situation.

(Here, I'm able to address two misconceptions about these functions. First, Si isn't about memory, but familiarity. Tom hasn't memorized what he should do in this situation, but was forced to bring forward the most relevant information about this situation, one that could bring familiarity - hadn't Tom read this somewhere, he would be clueless, and would have to engage in inferior Ne to make something out of this.

Second, when they say Ni users are able to take conclusions 'out of thin air' is because they are taking an information that is out of context with the situation at hand, but that somehow, share a significance with the situation they're dealing with. In this example, compliments and gifts have nothing to do with one another, except from the response he withdrew from it. Hadn't he succesfully created this similitude, he would be forced to face the situation as it is be engaging in inferior Se)

For Extroverted Perceivers (Se and Ne), the theme is Responding and Adapting. They have the need to give an output to a situation in the moment, instead of evaluating it before doing. While the Se user is focused on spontaneous response (responding and adapting to 'what's there'), the Ne user is focused in tentative response (responding and adapting to 'what could be there'). Let me exemplify again.

Susan (a Se user) and Gabe (a Ne user) have to prepare a presentation for a project that they have been developing at work. Susan makes sure that she has everything that she needs at the presentation, however, her presentation is focused on only what area is her work and how is she going to perform it. Susan is adapting and responding to what has been asked of her - her presentation includes exactly what she was asked to include, and didn't dwell on possibilities and speculations. Gabe, on the other hand, gets very excited in writing his ideas for the project in the presentation. He talks about what could happen in 15 years, and makes a vast number of predictions in terms of plans for the future and how it could change the company. Gabe is adapting and responding to 'what could be there' for him, but didn't focused on streamlining the presentation to meet the reality of the situation.

Does it mean that one approach is inherently better than the other? Not at all. The CEO could look at Susan's presentation and say that she's lacking foresight and being overly simplistic on her approach. But he could say that Gabe's presentation lacks focus and isn't answering the questions it was supposed to answer.

Repeating the model of the above example, Susan would be forced to reconsider the significance of her work - What's her place on the company, how is her work important for the company and what's the meaning of it? And Gabe would be forced to establish familiarity for his work - How does my work relate to what is happening now? From what standpoint am I trying to improve and what's the likelihood of it happening?

Sensors and Intuitives aren't that different, but their approaches are. As long as they are willing to see the other side of the coin, they can have a balanced view on life. It's the overindulgence in a preferred way of seeing that creates this so called Sensor-Intuitive communication gap.
What i wanted to say is that Si isn't just about recalling experiences, but having a tangible guide to follow in life. We feel that, if we're not following a guide, we're out in the open - there are just too many options that we could follow. While a Ne user would thrive in this environment (and feel completely vulnerable in a restricted environment), we're the opposite - having a (personal) guide allows us to do more in better quality than playing with options. It's a matter of preference, in the end.
 

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One of the best explanations I've ever heard is to think of cognitive functions like living in an 8 room house. As an INFJ, your "favorite" room is Ni and your second favorite room is Fe. Doesn't mean you won't need to "go into" the rest of the rooms, but these are the ones in which you are most likely to hang out. If you're super anxious or stressed, you may find yourself "locked in" your Se room. (Reversal theory.)

Another thing to consider is Grant's & Beebe's type progression. INFJs typically "journey" through type progression as follows in order to more fully explore all the functions during a lifetime.

Ni - 6-12 years
Fe - 12-20 years
Ti - 20-35 years
Se - 35-50 years
Over 50 years... Ne 1st, then Fi, then Te, then Si.


Hope this helps!
Jen
 
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Perhaps @littleblackdress can explain her random jumbles more concretely? And perhaps what she means by 'impressions of the world' around her?

I also think in random jumbles. My thought process is intermingled with words, movies, music, logic, kinesthetic, etc. They interweave continuously. Kind of like listening to a bilingual person switch back and forth between both languages within a few sentences of speech. :S
I do think that Se and Ne behave similarly in that regard (I only posted about the three because I don't have anyone to experiment with in regards to Se...). I continue conversations in my head, long after they have stopped - WHILE continuing to go about thinking about 4 or 5 different other things. Not always all at once, sometimes in a fashion like - a couple of minutes focus on one thing, a bit from another, and a bit from another. Thank you for posting your experience, because I do think that there is a relationship between Ne and Se - a similar jumble. I have always described my Ne as curiosity - wanting to understand. A movie will stay in my head IF there is something about it that nags, or something novel in its approach for me. I want to "get it." I don't actually pay much attention to things like signs or background detail - but sometimes it will nag and I will realize that there is a difference and it means something. Like, if I were in Brazil, after a while, I might notice the lack of billboards... and then suddenly by very vigilent about the kind of advertising that does happen there. When I lived in Spain I noticed that the shopkeepers were generally rude... but I didn't stop there, I kept watching for situations in which they were rude, and for general patterns of politeness - a whole country of people can't just be rude - right? Then I realized that general helping (customer service) was not societally typical behaviour - there isn't fake helpfulness in order to get your money... you need a level of intimacy to get honest helpfulness. So the jumble of stuff kind of provides me stuff to then sift through and think about. But there isn't just one of these threads happening - there are as many threads as I "notice" in the jumble that I get - and more keep coming in all the time. That is my Ne experience. But that is Ne dominant. Ne in an Aux position - like INFP is much less obvious - because my INFP friend, it appears, has to pay attention to notice things or patterns - then hones in. I don't have to pay attention - my attention is taken. I can then pay additional attention... but that is almost like hyperfocussing. I suspect you @PaladinX have a similar experience of having your attention pulled in many directions?
 

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I took the function development test and came out with odd results. My Ne is almost as well developed as my Ni which was extremely well developed. The Se/Si dichotomy was unused. I have noticed something about my Se use through photography.

If you do a project called one moment a day, where you take a picture, or use a video application to splice it together you might notice it too. You take a snapshot of a moment during your day and you take it exactly as you see it. Photography shows the difference between what you see and what the camera sees. The camera is extremely literal. Every now and again, I will take a picture that is congruent. In other words, how I see it and what the camera sees are the same. My best shots, are when I'm walking along and some tiny little detail jumps out at me. It seems almost magical when it happens. A wow... I would have never noticed that before kind of epiphany.

I've been working with photography for several years and as I have done weekly challenges I've noticed that it's a lot harder for some people to see the details. We look though 'zen' eyes. If that makes any sense...

We take good shots, but they tend to be more 'impressionistic' than 'realistic'.

Most of the time I'm trying to capture my own insight. I've learned to capture my sight. It's not easy and I have to be in a certain frame of mind. When I get it right, it's both relaxing and exhilarating. I can chase Se... but catching it is hard. It's like trying to catch a butterfly.
 

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Cognitive functions are really not functions, go figure.
They are really more like descriptions of cognitive processes. One of the best ways that I've heard is lenses. That cognitive functions are not something that we use, for instance as an entp I don't decide "Well I'm gonna put on my Ti hat and think about this critically because my Ne hat is just to scatterbrained". Cognitive functions change how we see the world, hence lenses, they are not something you use but are something that affects how you perceive reality.

Ne takes an external object and tries to find similarities between them, yes it does sound like it is a thing to use but that is only because it is more simpler to describe these processes through personification than actuality which is why there is often confusion.

Se is taking information as it is, and reacting upon that.

Ni is an internal framework that follows similarities in ideas subjectively, which is why it differs from Ne.

Si is an internal framework that subjectively processes current information by comparing it to older information, which is why it is often confused with memory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I finally found what I was looking for and confirmed my suspicion that I'm an INFP...I went to INFJ or INFP? a closer look and if you go to the navigation bar there's a page called "Rate Yourself," which gives you a bunch of exercises to do based on the Ni/Ne and Fi/Fe functions. The idea being that the easier set of exercises to do is reflective of which function you have. It's great because you can actually see what kinds of things are defined as Ni and what kinds of things are defined as Ne, instead of just trying to guess their real-world application. There are a bunch of other pages on that website about telling the difference between the two. This makes way much more sense and I feel much more comfortable about my typing being correct now.

Thanks for all the responses! You guys all had great and insightful answers. I'm glad we can all discuss this :) One more question though, would being an Ne-dominant with an anxiety disorder cause you to resemble an Si-dominant more? For example when I am having really bad anxiety, I become very limited in my worldview, like I am terrified of deviating from the "tried and true" or making my own decisions or doing anything that someone else hasn't "approved of" first. I think this is like what @Herp was talking about when he was discussing an unhealthy Ne user in the grip of the inferior, and I think this may be why some people think I'm a Sensor even though I know I'm not (I tend to get worried about my personality typing when I'm, well, worrying about everything else).

However my general lines of thinking are mostly Ne, and are about turning concepts on their head or thinking of new solutions for things. My INTP boyfriend and I were hanging out this afternoon and I was paying extra attention to our conversation to try to identify the cognitive functions, and most of our conversation was like "what if this happened," "what if this was like this," "what if this concept was the opposite of what it is now," about basically everything.
 

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I suspect you @PaladinX have a similar experience of having your attention pulled in many directions?
In Gifts Differing (I think?), Se is described as "attention riveted by the strongest stimulus". Sudden movements, sounds, lights, smells, tingles, etc immediately draw my attention. I don't always think about it though. It is more that I will look for the source of the sense disruption so that I can assess whether or not I need to alter the context of my focus to engage this new event. When a plane flies by over head, I will always look up for it, even when in a building and there is no skylight. Same if I feel a breeze, or see something flash out of the corner of my eye, or if a sudden smell comes wafting in.
 
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