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Inferior Function

16970 Views 53 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Casus Belli
How do you experience your inferior function? Is it a blindspot? A weakness? Your preoccupation when unhealthy? Or simply an area of life you don't care much about?

Si causes problems for me...stuff like getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising,'s just time I'd much, much rather spend I put it off until it seems stresses me out.

But, when I consistently address Si concerns, I feel great!...until it starts to block time for Ne and Fi...and then I snap back.

Sometimes Si is also the only introverted function I can really get to work...for example, "eating my feelings" (Fi is out of balance, so Si compensates.)

I don't know how to define or apply meaning to any of this...I just know that my inferior function causes me problems, so I thought I'd ask and see how you guys deal with your own inferior functions.
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What a brilliant comparison! That is exactly what it is.

But what I don't understand is...How is it even possible feel that way about Se, the most straightforward, honest, uncomplicated function in existance? It makes so much sense for me that Ni is my inferior function because it is confusing and paranoid and dark and vague, but Se!? So simple. I mean, obviously that has much to do with me BEING an Se dominant, but how? I know I just kind of asked you this in my thread, but how does Se feel to you? Or anyone reading this with Se as their inferior? Does it feel the same for everyone? Being "in the grip" of your inferior function? What is it about Se that makes you UNCOMFORTABLE?
I hate having to deal with too many facts/details at once, because I don't know what to do with them. I don't know how to order them or what's supposed to be important or what can be ignored. I have very little, or no, preface for the intended purpose of this information. It's like someone coming up to you and dumping a load of firewood in your arms without so much as a howdy-do. All you're left with is an armload of firewood and a lot of confusion. "What am I supposed to do with all this! What was that all about anyway?"

I also don't always trust what's in immediately front of me. I cannot easily believe that what's right there in front of me is all I need to concern myself with. Surely there is more to it than that. It must mean something. There must be some kind of connection between this thing right here and some other thing I've perceived. To be told there is no connection is to cause me to scoff and think, "Yeah right. You just haven't seen what that connection is. Worry not, I'll find it for both of us."

When Se does see it's day, it's usually overused to the point where Ni is almost eclipsed from the process. It's an infantile reaction to what I'm perceiving through that function. I may make a decision too quickly and without considering the consequences simply because I felt pressured to decide right at that moment. I may create a project, only to neglect a number of important details that were irrelevant to the main goal, but vital to allowing that project to properly function simply because I didn't even notice those details missing. Properly incorporating Se into my life involves recognizing that I will probably miss something of that nature and I should forgive myself for not getting the real-world application of whatever it was right the first time. I should make myself double check my work and run it through several test runs to be sure I haven't forgotten anything (though I dislike doing this, because I inherently find any bug testing tedious and annoying). Or, even better, have a friend be my eyes and help me see what I cannot.

When stressed, my experience will be over-detailed, over-saturated with facts that have little bearing on the matter at hand, over-complicated. I have to use the mantra "Keep It Simple Stupid" quite often in order to reign in my need to apply far too much information where it isn't necessary, because I'm worried that someone won't understand my meaning.

When Se works for me, it works amazingly. For example, I learned to paddleboard by mentally applying what I understood from kayaking to this new sport. As soon as I had the paddle in my hands, I was going just fine as if I'd done it all my life. Or the time when I snatched the basketball right out from under the school's star point guard. I did it without thinking and it happened so smoothly even I was surprised (we were playing co-ed, so, mind you, this was also a 6 1/2 foot tall young man). Moments later, Se "crashed" and I passed it clumsily, didn't notice where the ball was, and generally went back to being very mediocre at the sport.

So, when Se works, it works just fine. I'm able to apply concepts and models in a practical fashion such that the result is both functional and meaningful. But that's the problem with Se being inferior. It either works and is absolutely amazing and something miraculous happens that no one, not even me, could have expected, or it doesn't work at all and I'm floundering until I get my head wrapped around the current environment.
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How do you even function without the details? I've never quite understood how that works. If I am to make an informed decision, I obviously need all the details. For me to come to any conclusion, it would be reckless of me to do so without having all the details. So how does Ni work without a lot of attention to sensory/immediate details? I may never understand. D: It's like you just draw conclusions from thin air, or because something feels right...That doesn't seem like a very reliable method! Perhaps intuitives are simply able to look at things from differing perspectives and draw original conclusions outside of the obvious? So do you often ignore the obvious?
I don't need all of the details, just enough to get the pattern of what I'm looking at. You can tell me just the bullet points, and I'll go "Oh, so it works like X" and usually that'll be rather close to correct once the details are revealed. The problem with this is Ni-doms are sometimes prone to looking for confirmation bias to support their patterns rather than forcing themselves to address the details that defy what they've assumed. This is also part of learning to incorporate Se: learning to understand that you aren't always going to be correct in your assumptions (preposterous as that may seem to us...even right now as I write this, part of me is balking at the very idea).

Perhaps intuitives are simply able to look at things from differing perspectives and draw original conclusions outside of the obvious?
That's a good way of considering Ni right there. Ni is very much about looking at perspectives of things. Just as you might turn an object in your hands to look at all the sides, Ni turns ideas in our heads to see the different sides.

I don't so much as ignore the obvious as classify it was less important than other potential meanings. The obvious is usually the last part I consider, because I make the assumption that most people do not intend the obvious. Usually this is true. Furthermore, it aids me in finding a shortcut in doing something. Maybe I don't have to do anything in sequence. Maybe if I look at what this obvious item means and link it together with some other concept that's similar, I can skip a bunch of steps ahead and save myself a lot of work.

Not only that but I find details and facts fascinating. If I am interested in a topic, I want to know every little fact and detail. If I listen to a song or look at a painting, I try to notice everything there is to notice.
I can be that way as well. I've finally accepted that when something interests me, I get seriously obsessive about it and overdose on experiencing it (this was something I've always been a bit ashamed of). My reasoning is not only do I physically enjoy what I'm experiencing and absorbing the actual knowledge, but I've found a wellspring of meaning in whatever it is. So, in say, listening to that album over and over and over, I'm trying to assimilate as much meaning as I can possibly gather from this experience. It's almost a synthesis of the actual experience as it's happening and the meaning I'm deriving from it at the same time. I'm connecting this meaning to my internal perception of the world, myself, and my place in it.

How can you not trust what is in front of you when it is RIGHT THERE??
Lol, well it's just not as important as what isn't there. Perhaps a very good thing for Se-doms (and Ni-doms in the reverse) to learn would be to learn to see what isn't there at the same time they see what is there. Often times what isn't said is even more important than what is said. There are lots of gaps in between things we see, and that's where some really interesting things lie.

Do you think that Se doms are more likely to pick up new skills with ease, but Ni (or Ne?) doms are able to quickly grasp a concept? I too can quickly grasp a concept, but that is because I will do extensive research in search of every little detail to help me understand it better.
Yes, I think that's very likely true more often than not. I'm good and picking up what you're generally supposed to do with a skill, but the execution is what will cause me trouble for some time until I've really practiced it enough. So, I can do something almost right if it's my first time doing it, but getting the proper technique takes me a lot longer. I have to find my own way of physically doing whatever it is, rather than just doing what someone tells me to do (for some mysterious reason, that just never's like my brain cannot follow those directions to the letter if I already think I know what to do). And once I have the actual execution down (which takes me much longer than it might take an Se-dom), I take that idea and apply it to other things to make learning faster.

I don't need to know all the details for how to do something because I've already noticed a pattern, made an assumption, and am now either working off of that assumption or waiting impatiently for further details to confirm my understanding.

I must admit that if I'm not watching myself, I fall into the same traps your brother does when teaching someone something. For that reason, I preface almost any teaching session with: "If you are confused, lost, or need more detail at any point, just stop me and ask for clarification. I don't always know when I'm being too vague." Because I really do want people to ask me if they get lost. I have no problem retracing my steps and going into further detail, solely because I know I will forget to do so if I'm not careful.

It's really, really hard for me to put every single detail into consideration in this context, because I'm fighting my natural impulse to skip over stuff and say, "Oh, that's easy enough to see right there. They don't necessarily need to know that part." When, in fact, there are quite a few people who do.

Edit: On that note, I seem to have written you another book, good lord. But I am rather enjoying this interplay we're discussing. It's like we need to come to the same place in order to achieve balance in ourselves, but we're coming from opposite directions. I find that fascinating and strangely wonderful.
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I definitely believe that to be true, but can we do both at once? Can Ni and Se work simultenously?
I don't know; that's a good question. I think it's possible in that such a thing happens when I create artwork. I enter a space where interacting with the concept and the application of that concept occur at the same time. As I paint, I make adjustments to my idea to better fit what I'm painting, but what I'm painting is a reflection of that idea. Or some such hard-to-describe loopy thing. Maybe that's Ni-Se interaction? Hmm..

You could definitely do one then the other, though!

Oh I wholeheartedly agree, and appreciate you input! We could both benefit from learning a little more about our inferiors, I'm sure. And funny story, I for some reason assumed you were an INTJ at first and I was wondering why you were being so co-operative and patient, and then I was like ohhhh. INFJ, that makes more sense. XD No offense, INTJs.
No worries. ;)
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