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Discussion Starter #1
Hello INFJs!

I am trying to understand Ni a bit better. As an INFP I naturally have more natural preference toward Ne, but it seems that I have been experiencing Ni more over the past few years, but to understand it more, I am asking you all to share some experiences that give a good description of Ni operation in your life. To make it a bit more interesting, I thought it might be good to separate the experiences into different categories.

For example, if you were to give 5 experiences, you might separate them to explain your Ni experiences when Cooking, Nature Walking, Sharing One-on-One, Making Art, and While Applying Deodorant...whenever it is that you tend to have good examples of Ni. For me, everything just makes sense in the shower *shrug*.
 

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Creative Writing...I will get a good idea and write excitedly...and then I will hit a wall mentally and can go no further. I wait and wait and wait for further inspiration to come, and if it comes, I write some more...if it doesn't come, I put that particular work aside and wait for some fresh idea to strike me. *sigh* I have so many unfinished novels I know I will never get to complete. But, they're always fun while they last :D

Friendships and Relationships...I can't say that I always know right away which friendships will last and which ones won't-- I'm not psychic, no matter how much the INFJ type descriptions may try to make us come across that way. But, I can often tell within a short time of knowing someone, whether or not the relationship is worth pursuing further. Most of my best and most lasting friendships just seemed to "happen" with very little conscious effort from me (though looking back,of course, they did require some effort, I just did so without realizing). I knew I could marry and be happy with my husband after we'd only known each other for just over a month.

Problem-Solving...whether it be deciding on a school research topic, selecting a gift for a friend's birthday, choosing a career, etc., I will let the "problem" simmer in the back of my head until almost the last possible moment, and then all of a sudden inspiration will hit, and boom! I'm off. And sometimes the result is brilliant, and sometimes it's not, but at least it's "good enough." Except if I believe from the start that no inspiration will come in time, I have a tendency to drop the project before it's even begun; this is a big failing of mine. If I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, in my less-mature moments, I may even throw a tantrum.

Fixing Dinner...I don't like to think too hard about meals, and I don't like following recipes. When I go shopping I will buy a variety of ingredients, fruits, veggies, grains, etc., for the following week. Each day, around 4:30 or 5:00 I'll start thinking about what I have on hand that might make a good meal. Often I will fall back on favorites, like tacos, or spaghetti. If I can't or don't want to make something standard, I will just start throwing stuff together that I know (or suspect might) go well together. It usually turns out pretty good, but on the rare occasion when an experiment fails, it can be BAD.

Good thread! I'm looking forward to reading other people's responses now :)
 

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Fixing Dinner...I don't like to think too hard about meals, and I don't like following recipes. When I go shopping I will buy a variety of ingredients, fruits, veggies, grains, etc., for the following week. Each day, around 4:30 or 5:00 I'll start thinking about what I have on hand that might make a good meal. Often I will fall back on favorites, like tacos, or spaghetti. If I can't or don't want to make something standard, I will just start throwing stuff together that I know (or suspect might) go well together. It usually turns out pretty good, but on the rare occasion when an experiment fails, it can be BAD.
Me too! I hate following recipes. I learned to cook the way I do now by watching my mother in law, and also watching cooking shows and absorbing the basic principles of cooking. I then just use those priniciple to make something good with whatever happens to be on hand.

I've had some pretty dramatic examples of Ni in my life, some of which do border on the clairvoyant. But I will describe the more mundane ones because people tend to think I'm loo loo when I tell them about the other stuff.

I usually know which people to befreind and which to stay away from. I'm usually right in the end too.

When reading about a new concept, I usually know within a short while whether the idea is sound or not. I quickly compare it to what I already know, common sense, basic principles of physics and biology, what I know about people and how the world works. When I decide, I'm usually pretty insistent about my opinion unless someone can give me some really strong evidence that shows otherwise.

I pick up on subtleties in conversation that tell me things about people. And I can read your mood so fast it will make your head spin!:laughing:
 
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Creative Writing...I will get a good idea and write excitedly...and then I will hit a wall mentally and can go no further. I wait and wait and wait for further inspiration to come, and if it comes, I write some more...if it doesn't come, I put that particular work aside and wait for some fresh idea to strike me. *sigh* I have so many unfinished novels I know I will never get to complete. But, they're always fun while they last :D
So it's more of a waiting, alert process, where you aren't actually individually exploring the variables to seek out the creativity, but rather wait for the inspiration to exhibit itself, at which point you take hold of it and use it? Is your capacity to finish a creative writing project dependent on the continuance of your Ni inspiration?

Friendships and Relationships...I can't say that I always know right away which friendships will last and which ones won't-- I'm not psychic, no matter how much the INFJ type descriptions may try to make us come across that way. But, I can often tell within a short time of knowing someone, whether or not the relationship is worth pursuing further. Most of my best and most lasting friendships just seemed to "happen" with very little conscious effort from me (though looking back,of course, they did require some effort, I just did so without realizing). I knew I could marry and be happy with my husband after we'd only known each other for just over a month.
When you get these intuitions when you are around people or meeting people, do you identify the nature of the intuition; the particular information that is being interpretted and try to investigate it further on a conscious level to understand it and search for other reasons for the intuition, or are you content with the intuition and allow the interpretation to prove itself in time?

Problem-Solving...whether it be deciding on a school research topic, selecting a gift for a friend's birthday, choosing a career, etc., I will let the "problem" simmer in the back of my head until almost the last possible moment, and then all of a sudden inspiration will hit, and boom! I'm off. And sometimes the result is brilliant, and sometimes it's not, but at least it's "good enough." Except if I believe from the start that no inspiration will come in time, I have a tendency to drop the project before it's even begun; this is a big failing of mine. If I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, in my less-mature moments, I may even throw a tantrum.
What kind of conscious processes are involved to arrive at these solutions? Or do the multiple options connect themselves subconsciously and manifest into a conscious recognition and solution?

Fixing Dinner...I don't like to think too hard about meals, and I don't like following recipes. When I go shopping I will buy a variety of ingredients, fruits, veggies, grains, etc., for the following week. Each day, around 4:30 or 5:00 I'll start thinking about what I have on hand that might make a good meal. Often I will fall back on favorites, like tacos, or spaghetti. If I can't or don't want to make something standard, I will just start throwing stuff together that I know (or suspect might) go well together. It usually turns out pretty good, but on the rare occasion when an experiment fails, it can be BAD.
I'm not sure I understood how you were explaining Ni activity in this one. Did you mean that when you have a collection of ingredients, your mind naturally comes up with the desired combination without having to deliberate too much on the options?

Good thread! I'm looking forward to reading other people's responses now :)
Thank you for your response!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Me too! I hate following recipes. I learned to cook the way I do now by watching my mother in law, and also watching cooking shows and absorbing the basic principles of cooking. I then just use those priniciple to make something good with whatever happens to be on hand.

I've had some pretty dramatic examples of Ni in my life, some of which do border on the clairvoyant. But I will describe the more mundane ones because people tend to think I'm loo loo when I tell them about the other stuff.

I usually know which people to befreind and which to stay away from. I'm usually right in the end too.

When reading about a new concept, I usually know within a short while whether the idea is sound or not. I quickly compare it to what I already know, common sense, basic principles of physics and biology, what I know about people and how the world works. When I decide, I'm usually pretty insistent about my opinion unless someone can give me some really strong evidence that shows otherwise.

I pick up on subtleties in conversation that tell me things about people. And I can read your mood so fast it will make your head spin!:laughing:
Thank you for your response. When you are reading people, and judging as to whether someone is a good companion, do you just pick up on it and understand it, or does your mind seek to identify further the reasons why you have that impression? I am trying to understand what processes are taking place that lead to these intuitions you have in social settings. I read people very well, too. I usually see when someone is hurting inside...I know it, but my Ne usually takes over at that point to investigate the circumstances ("Her eyes seem discontent, like she's trying to connect to the real world, but she's struggling with some major issues...that smile, though sweet, seemed very strained. She really seems like she needs someone to talk to. It looks like she isn't sure that anyone will want to hear about her problems, because she hesitates every time I ask her something about herself, and then she gives me a very basic, evasive answer."). Would those things all be processed for you subconsciously, and then lead into the concentrated conclusion, "She needs someone to talk to."?
 

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Would those things all be processed for you subconsciously, and then lead into the concentrated conclusion, "She needs someone to talk to."?
Yes. I don't process those kinds of details consciously. I may become aware of them later, but I usually just have a very strong feeling that the person is in distress and needs to talk.

Sometimes I get impatient with people who don't use Ni, because it takes them longer to understand things, or to come to conclusions. It's because they are consciously plodding through all the details and weighing pros and cons, while my Ni has already quickly done that for me under the radar. That's not to say that Ni is infallible. It has to be tempered with Ti. Usually I will get a strong impression from Ni, then check it with Ti. Sometimes Ti will disagree, and then I have a difficult decision to make.

Do you ever watch the show Bones? Well, I believe Booth uses Ni. Bones doesn't. Although she is technically a genious, she sometimes doesn't understand the things that Booth does because he is using Ni, and she depends more on facts and evidence. But facts and evidence don't help you quickly read people in the moment.

Ni is kind of hard to explain. I hope that made sense to you.
 

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Originally Posted by vocalist
Creative Writing...I will get a good idea and write excitedly...and then I will hit a wall mentally and can go no further. I wait and wait and wait for further inspiration to come, and if it comes, I write some more...if it doesn't come, I put that particular work aside and wait for some fresh idea to strike me. *sigh* I have so many unfinished novels I know I will never get to complete. But, they're always fun while they last :D

So it's more of a waiting, alert process, where you aren't actually individually exploring the variables to seek out the creativity, but rather wait for the inspiration to exhibit itself, at which point you take hold of it and use it? Is your capacity to finish a creative writing project dependent on the continuance of your Ni inspiration?
I write endings a lot better than anything else. I can always see where I want to go in a story, but following a linear path to get there proves daunting. I write snippets, scenes, conversations, important parts of the story, but then I have trouble linking them all together into a readable format that will be understandable by readers. I get bogged down in the details, and if something comes along in RL to drag me away from my endeavor (as it always does), it's often difficult for me to get back to it later. I really should write more short stories, I do a lot better with those. I've also noticed a lot of INFJ's on this forum seem to enjoy writing poetry.



Friendships and Relationships...I can't say that I always know right away which friendships will last and which ones won't-- I'm not psychic, no matter how much the INFJ type descriptions may try to make us come across that way. But, I can often tell within a short time of knowing someone, whether or not the relationship is worth pursuing further. Most of my best and most lasting friendships just seemed to "happen" with very little conscious effort from me (though looking back,of course, they did require some effort, I just did so without realizing). I knew I could marry and be happy with my husband after we'd only known each other for just over a month.

When you get these intuitions when you are around people or meeting people, do you identify the nature of the intuition; the particular information that is being interpretted and try to investigate it further on a conscious level to understand it and search for other reasons for the intuition, or are you content with the intuition and allow the interpretation to prove itself in time?
Sometimes the reasons are pretty self-evident, other times not so much. But I don't have to know a whole lot about a person before I can decide whether or not I like them. My husband and I were married within nine months of first meeting each other. I am still learning new things about him, but nothing I've learned yet after five years of marriage has made me think that maybe I shouldn't have married him; if anything, the more I learn about him the more sure I am that my intuition was right from the start.


Problem-Solving...whether it be deciding on a school research topic, selecting a gift for a friend's birthday, choosing a career, etc., I will let the "problem" simmer in the back of my head until almost the last possible moment, and then all of a sudden inspiration will hit, and boom! I'm off. And sometimes the result is brilliant, and sometimes it's not, but at least it's "good enough." Except if I believe from the start that no inspiration will come in time, I have a tendency to drop the project before it's even begun; this is a big failing of mine. If I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, in my less-mature moments, I may even throw a tantrum.

What kind of conscious processes are involved to arrive at these solutions? Or do the multiple options connect themselves subconsciously and manifest into a conscious recognition and solution?
I don't really know...Sometimes I have had to force myself to just make a decision and start doing something before I can really know whether it's a good choice or not, and then if it's not then I'm back to where I started. I've changed my intended career path 4+ times since I graduated from high school, and I'm still not sure I won't change my mind again at some point; but for now, I have a plan that I am working towards, and will continue to follow that plan until and unless it proves itself to be a bad one.


Fixing Dinner...I don't like to think too hard about meals, and I don't like following recipes. When I go shopping I will buy a variety of ingredients, fruits, veggies, grains, etc., for the following week. Each day, around 4:30 or 5:00 I'll start thinking about what I have on hand that might make a good meal. Often I will fall back on favorites, like tacos, or spaghetti. If I can't or don't want to make something standard, I will just start throwing stuff together that I know (or suspect might) go well together. It usually turns out pretty good, but on the rare occasion when an experiment fails, it can be BAD.

I'm not sure I understood how you were explaining Ni activity in this one. Did you mean that when you have a collection of ingredients, your mind naturally comes up with the desired combination without having to deliberate too much on the options?
You're right, it probably wasn't a very good example of Ni...Ecxept perhaps that I will wait until the last minute to be inspired as to what I should make, and that it usually comes out just fine.
 

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I write endings a lot better than anything else. I can always see where I want to go in a story, but following a linear path to get there proves daunting. I write snippets, scenes, conversations, important parts of the story, but then I have trouble linking them all together into a readable format that will be understandable by readers. I get bogged down in the details, and if something comes along in RL to drag me away from my endeavor (as it always does), it's often difficult for me to get back to it later. I really should write more short stories, I do a lot better with those. I've also noticed a lot of INFJ's on this forum seem to enjoy writing poetry.
Endings are my thing as well (naming stories is my weakest point). I generally know where I want the story to go, and then work toward getting there. I typically see the big picture of the plot, at least as a general impression, and then work on the details, which often arise as I write. I have begun using outlines for major plot points, partly to achieve consistency and eliminate holes. It is also important for me to have a firm grasp of the protagonist; to really understand him, or, more often, her. I think Ni helps me in plotting stories, allowing me to connect seemingly incompatible elements, or take it in unusual directions. It is hard for me to get back into it when I am in the midst of a story, and I generally become irritated at being interrupted. Like you, I wait for inspiration to strike. I concentrate on the story and keep going over possible alternative angles until it either comes to me, or I abandon it altogether.

Travel:
Ni helps me greatly when I travel. Being able to "read" vibes comes in very handy in avoiding those who might wish to take advantage or who are not on the up and up. Of course, it is not infallible, and, if you travel the way I do you will inevitably be taken advantage of, but it help to minimize it and avoid potentially devastating consequences. Whenever I have found myself in a potentially dangerous situation, it has usually been because I was allowing someone else to lead and ignoring my gut. If I am alone, I never ignore my instincts, unless I am desperate and the return is worth the risk.


Translating:
I actually think it helped me in my old job with translating passages, mostly with gisting. I could sort of follow the general flow, see where it was going, and take what I needed and ignore the rest. It allowed me to instinctively know which parts were important and not to get lost on unnecessary details. Of course a lot of this is merely due to training.
 

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I write endings a lot better than anything else. I can always see where I want to go in a story, but following a linear path to get there proves daunting. I write snippets, scenes, conversations, important parts of the story, but then I have trouble linking them all together into a readable format that will be understandable by readers. I get bogged down in the details, and if something comes along in RL to drag me away from my endeavor (as it always does), it's often difficult for me to get back to it later. I really should write more short stories, I do a lot better with those. I've also noticed a lot of INFJ's on this forum seem to enjoy writing poetry.
Oh wow. This is exactly like me. But I'm not fond of poetry. :mellow:

In my head, I know what I want to write, especially in endings. It's only when I actually try to get it all down on paper that I freeze.
 

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But I'm not fond of poetry. :mellow:
Me neither. Though I like writing song lyrics once in a while, and I have written a few (and a few really does mean a few) poems as inspired. Prose is really my "thing." And dialog; I love plays. Especially reading other people's poetry...I just don't seem to "get it" like many other INFJs seem to.
 

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Especially reading other people's poetry...I just don't seem to "get it" like many other INFJs seem to.
I hate to admit this, but me too. I've written some apparently good poetry, but I often don't get other people's poems. It has to really resonate with my own experience for me to feel it. I think I'm a little too rational to really get deeply into poetry. I do have a few favorites though, one in particular by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

I guess what I enjoy writing more than anything are essays. Some of my essays have a flow and cadence, but they're really just prose. I've started a novel, but the plot became entangled and I gave up. I believe there are some rather good sections in it, but I feel pretty hopeless about ever finishing it.
 

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It's hard to say exactly when I am using Ni, as I use it all the time. It's my natural state, so I notice more when I don't use it.

I use it to see the wood for the trees, and I can quickly cut through things to the key message or point of a seemingly complex issue.

This goes for everything from philosophy and academic criticism to relationships and day to day problems.

I get used as a sounding board for everybody’s problems, because not only do I get to the heart of the problem, but I can think of ways to fix it too. I usually give good advice (or so I am told), and do well in subject areas involving lots of abstract theory.

I also can just feel if a person or place is alright or not. I just get odd vibes, the vibes are slightly different depending on what is going to turn out to be wrong or complimentary.

An example: I have a new work mate. Objectively, he seemed really nice and I wanted to like him, but I just got a sense he was not really a nice person.

I felt it in a space in front of my chest...I sort of feel this form of Ni in places that only exist mentally. It felt dark blue and...uncomfortable...tinged with yellow. His voice and mannerisms disrupted...something I can't express in writing. He sends out lots of disruptive little ripples in my mental work space, with his way of talking and moving. He unsettles me inside. He grates on me without doing anything, I can't point out objectively as wrong. I just know something in me doesn't like him.

Now objective reasons are emerging, and others have comented on how he is arogant and brash.

Ni is what happens when you just know, without any 2+2=4 actions or thoughts. I just know some things right away, and on closer inspection I and others see why I am right. Increasing my awareness of why I am just right sometimes, is something I think will help me develop better. I would say my Ni doesn't always find the best solution and isn't always right, and people can trick it if they are good at lieing or putting on a front. Often it is often close to the mark though.

I would say my Ni is stronger using verbal stimulus than written. When asked a question verbally at speed, sometimes it’s like all the files on the floor of my mental office flutter about and the exact one I am looking for pops up. I think this has a lot to do with my high verbal reasoning IQ.

I am not saying this to boast, I’m dyslexic, so I know my IQ profile as this is how you are tested. I was told my high verbal reasoning showed I could “see the wood for the trees.” If this is linked to Ni it means that it is very strong. (I score in the gifted range on this, though very low in other areas specific areas, which are indicative of dyslexia). I think of it as compensation for my literacy issues and other dyslexic problems.

Oh and I think it is what I use when I write and talk in metaphors, use visual language and lots of adjectives, which I can’t help doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you everyone for your wonderful responses. Very much appreciated. You have helped me to have a better understanding of Ni.

I would like to pose an additional question:

What is perhaps the most powerful, life-changing, or amazing Ni incident that you have experienced, and how did it happen?
 

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Ni helped me save my son's life when he was 4 months old. He was very ill, and I kept taking him to the doctor and the hospital, and being told that he just had strep throat and that he was slightly dehydrated. I finally insisted on having him admitted to the hospital, because I new that there was something going on that was far beyond an infection. It was that day that he stopped breathing and had to be given CPR. Immediately extensive testing was begun. The next day he nearly died of asphyxiation, and was finally put on a ventilator. He was transported to a children's hospital, where he was diagnosed with infant botulism.

He would have died if I had listened to the doctors and ignored my Ni.
 
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OMG so much stuff!!!!!

I don't want to read all this.
lol

ok.

some Ni experiences.
well considering the validity of typing. I don't really know what I am...

but I will say...
certain people, I know they will be in my life and important because they sorta glow when I see them.
and um. thats pretty much it right now.
I have an active imagination and moments of extream happiness when i am not really thinking about anything or talking to anyone. so something must be happening in my brain.
 

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Have you ever watched a movie so many times you know when to laugh, where the sad parts are , or anything else of the movie. You will be watching the movie then you start to laugh before the funny part comes on because you remember that part being funny from the last time you watched it and the same with the rest. Ni is sometimes like that except you never seen the movie before.
 

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Creative Writing...I will get a good idea and write excitedly...and then I will hit a wall mentally and can go no further. I wait and wait and wait for further inspiration to come, and if it comes, I write some more...if it doesn't come, I put that particular work aside and wait for some fresh idea to strike me. *sigh* I have so many unfinished novels I know I will never get to complete. But, they're always fun while they last :D

Problem-Solving...whether it be deciding on a school research topic, selecting a gift for a friend's birthday, choosing a career, etc., I will let the "problem" simmer in the back of my head until almost the last possible moment, and then all of a sudden inspiration will hit, and boom! I'm off. And sometimes the result is brilliant, and sometimes it's not, but at least it's "good enough." Except if I believe from the start that no inspiration will come in time, I have a tendency to drop the project before it's even begun; this is a big failing of mine. If I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, in my less-mature moments, I may even throw a tantrum.

Fixing Dinner...I don't like to think too hard about meals, and I don't like following recipes. When I go shopping I will buy a variety of ingredients, fruits, veggies, grains, etc., for the following week. Each day, around 4:30 or 5:00 I'll start thinking about what I have on hand that might make a good meal. Often I will fall back on favorites, like tacos, or spaghetti. If I can't or don't want to make something standard, I will just start throwing stuff together that I know (or suspect might) go well together. It usually turns out pretty good, but on the rare occasion when an experiment fails, it can be BAD.

Good thread! I'm looking forward to reading other people's responses now :)


Is that really all Ni ? Because I also do everything you say, even the problem solving thing often
 

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I usually know which people to befreind and which to stay away from. I'm usually right in the end too.

When reading about a new concept, I usually know within a short while whether the idea is sound or not. I quickly compare it to what I already know, common sense, basic principles of physics and biology, what I know about people and how the world works. When I decide, I'm usually pretty insistent about my opinion unless someone can give me some really strong evidence that shows otherwise.

I pick up on subtleties in conversation that tell me things about people. And I can read your mood so fast it will make your head spin!:laughing:
That 2 things I put in big letters are very much done by my sister. I thought she was an ISFJ... Maybe she's INFJ ? Often right away, she tells me "this person is not interesting to get to know better/hang out" When i am still in the "Ne" take information about the person mode. And most often I come to the same conclusion as her but much later....
 

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That 2 things I put in big letters are very much done by my sister. I thought she was an ISFJ... Maybe she's INFJ ? Often right away, she tells me "this person is not interesting to get to know better/hang out" When i am still in the "Ne" take information about the person mode. And most often I come to the same conclusion as her but much later....
Can she only do this with people, or can she do this type of thing in other areas?

Eg, is she good with abstract concepts? Does she respond well to figurative language and metaphores?

If it is only something that happens with people, she is probably just a good Si and Fe user. Ni isn't the only way of getting a good handle on people early into contact with them.
 

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I suppose there is still room for some more examples of Ni in this thread.

Projectile imagery can be vigorously apparent. I was talking with this one person who apparently pushed my Ni like there was a switch that she could just pull. While talking to her there was two separate visuals going on kinda above her head on both sides. One imagery was stuff that I wanted to talk about. That one was words scrolling through like a micro film projector. Which was moving so fast I could barley keep up with it and the subject or stuff I wanted to talk about or say kinda popped out of the pages. The other imagery was of stuff that she was talking about, she would mention something and all of the stored data of information about what she would be saying would come up like sheets of info about the subject. At time's the two imageries would correlate with each other as a cross reference.
I guess you can say she pushed my Fe as well >.<

That time reminded me of the story when Confucius meet Lao Tzu and Confucius's students asked what topics did he chose to debate towards Lao Tzu.
 
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