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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

So from various discussions around PerC, I'm noticing that it seems to be all the rage in some contexts to dismiss cognitive functions as the underlying structure for MBTI type. I've recently been seeing various posts that implicitly call into question whether someone like me even exists – specifically, an INFJ who has a recognizable Ni-Fe-Ti-Se cognitive function stack.

I'm beginning to feel like some sort of mythical creature. Which I know is not the case because, well, I'm me and I know I'm real.

So I'm starting this thread to see if there are others in this sub-forum who also have a recognizable Ni-Fe-Ti-Se cognitive function setup. I use the word “recognizable” deliberately. In my case, I identified my cognitive function setup by looking (with someone else who has a very different cognitive configuration but only one letter difference in MBTI type) at my actual lived experience and the dynamics of how I actually process and assess information. I also tend to come up as INFJ in cognitive function based tests (and MBTI tests), but I feel like there are limits to those tests given how questions are set up and interpreted

All of which to say:

Hey! Hi! Are you an INFJ who has a recognizable Ni-Fe-Ti-Se cognitive function stack? If so, how have you come to recognize this, and what uses has this information had in your life?

I'll start – behind the spoiler for the sake of length:

 
This description comes from another thread in which someone asked what is the purpose of even looking at cognitive functions. This was my reply:

So, for a very long time I have spoken about an "organic landscape" in which I perceive and have said over and over again that it functions in me like a sense-perception just not with the usual five senses. This usefully maps to Ni.

And while my mate also uses intuition as a mode of perception, her way of doing it is about expanding outward into a huge (to me) range of possibilities. In contrast, my intuitive perception hones in on one or a small number of things in great depth/detail in a focused way - breadth versus depth. This difference between us has caused us difficulty in the past but now we have a way to talk about it that can move us past the frustration and into understanding and better use our intuitive knowledge despite how differently it shows up for each of us. I'm Ni-dom. She's Ne-aux.

Ni is my organic landscape, but its "physics" are very different from the assumptions of dominant culture where I live. Fe emerged as a way for me to 1. Assimilate into an alien system enough to function within it and 2. Not shut out the actual reality that this insane system can exist.

My mate responded to her "otherness" in a very different way. She developed and strengthened her own inner value system that stood in opposition to some insanity in her immediate surroundings (her family and the town in which she grew up). She is Fi-dom and it shows. We've had lots of struggles around how Fi-dom and Fe-aux interact in a close relationship like ours. Having language to name what's going on has helped us immensely when the dynamics emerge.

Also, Ni-Fe and Fi-Ne require some different ways of moving in the world as intuition-primary (in terms of perception) introverts - Her aux extroverted intuition requires contact with the world as a way to keep Fi from being blocked and static, while my dominant intuition requires more of a withdrawal from others after periods of open contact. I take in a LOT more than she does in terms of external human value systems. Anyway, this stuff shows up in how we each need to structure our days and our respective necessary alone time, and again it has been helpful for us to have some language and concepts for the differences.

The problem that comes with Fe-aux in my case is that the loud "noise" of the highly valued external cultural material can get kind of intensely bad inside of me. With Fe, I internalize cultural values that are not only alien to me, but opposed to the basic ways that reality operates inside my Ni landscape. This means that with Fe active, I often end up with a double vision in which I simultaneously am myself and am "other" in my own perception. The system that positions me as other is actually quite toxic to me.

This situation could easily destroy me. However Ti serves as my failsafe. When the harm from Fe-aux gets to be too much for me (and it always gets to that point after time), Ti becomes available and begins analyzing the material that I have taken into myself and attending to how it opposes the way reality operates in my Ni landscape. After an often painstaking analysis, I am able to eject the harmful material's visceral energy from me while retaining a non-harmful cognitive understanding of what it is.

My mate finds this whole process a waste of energy. As a Fi-dom, she sees no point in allowing external human values to affect me so much and she doesn't see why anyone would need to to the Ti-analysis process I do. Having the cognitive function language has allowed me to not see what I do as deviant compared to her (that Fi-dom/Fe-aux dynamics between us) but rather to understand and to some extent articulate what this is in me, how it connects to other things about me that she recognizes as essential to my being (and thus, as a Fi-dom, respects).

And speaking of tert functions, my mate initially assumed I moved like the other people she has known in her life. She misinterpreted a fair amount of things about what I do and why because she mapped the patterns she had developed through observation onto me. This is what we call her "Si database." The problem is that I didn't fit many of those patterns, and she has needed a long time of interaction with me to get enough into her Si database to be able to NOT map those other patterns onto me. This helps prevent serious misunderstandings. (that said, the Si database in her also sometimes drives me nuts and it's helpful to have a name for it so I can avoid just feeling a vaguely floating sense of grrr-annoyance).

Se-inf is hardest for me to write about right now. I'm in a transition phase. I have this really strong desire for what I call a "Ni-Se" mode of perception. This desire has emerged during the time I have had access to the language and concepts of the cognitive functions. Having this information has helped me to pinpoint this desire for what it is and probably shortened the amount of time it took me to embrace it fully.

Ni-Se is a state of wonder for me. I am curious about this situation because it feels to me like I was rather often in a Ni-Se state as a young-ish child. I had a traumatic and physically harmful experience at the age of 10 that disconnected me from my physical self in significant ways, and in retrospect I think that disrupted my Ni-Se mode and pushed me into the more artificial (to me) mode of Ni-Fe-Ti. I suspect that I would have had to develop Fe and Ti anyway - in fact more than suspect, I know it for sure - but I wonder if I could have retained Ni-Se as another mode of perception had it not been for that physical trauma.

In any case, I'm returning to it now and it's just .... I can't even describe it, the desire and longing and beauty of this Ni-Se mode. I don't know if there's any theory that would map to this particular experience but it is no doubt happening for me.

As for my mate's Te-inf, I can just say I've seen it show up in various ways, from how she can relax by playing with numbers to a sometimes scary rigidity and black and white "hyperfocus" to ways that she makes Fi arguments poorly but intensely "supported" by Te that can drive me nearly insane in the moment (especially given my Ti-tert). It's useful for me to have a concept/name for this "thing" about her, it helps me to know her better, and to better understand what's going on.

And I can say that having language for me being Se-inf has also helped me articulate to her why certain things that don't bother her or that she can block out can nearly incapacitate me. Certain kinds of noise. Physical clutter and chaos. Figuring out how to move things from a storage space to a house. She is a very physically grounded person, loves working with her hands, has been surrounded by others who are that way as well. I'm different, and that Fi-dom/Fe aux dynamic can come in and position me as not just different but inferior if we're not careful. So having the language of "Se-inf" really helps mitigate that.

So that's relatively detailed one case study to answer your question. I'm not ever going to claim this will be as useful for others as it is for me and us. But it has clearly been extremely useful in our lives, both for self-understanding and for understanding each other.

And I got into cognitive functions after we each typed in MBTI - me as INFJ, her as INFP. It was that first piece, the different yet similar seeming types - that led me into exploring cognitive functions to begin with (and I was initially pretty alienated just by the language of it - Ni, Fe Si Te .... WTF?")


Really hoping to hear from other Ni-Fe-Ti-Se INFJs! I know I'm not the only one here (right??)
 

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Well for starters I definitely relate to this 100%:

"The problem that comes with Fe-aux in my case is that the loud "noise" of the highly valued external cultural material can get kind of intensely bad inside of me. With Fe, I internalize cultural values that are not only alien to me, but opposed to the basic ways that reality operates inside my Ni landscape. This means that with Fe active, I often end up with a double vision in which I simultaneously am myself and am "other" in my own perception. The system that positions me as other is actually quite toxic to me.

This situation could easily destroy me. However Ti serves as my failsafe. When the harm from Fe-aux gets to be too much for me (and it always gets to that point after time), Ti becomes available and begins analyzing the material that I have taken into myself and attending to how it opposes the way reality operates in my Ni landscape. After an often painstaking analysis, I am able to eject the harmful material's visceral energy from me while retaining a non-harmful cognitive understanding of what it is."

Actually I am having trouble these days shedding the toxicity of all these other values or view points of others than I normally would. I've never argued with "myself" so much in my life. It's exhausting. I feel like I become other people sometimes where I sort of lose my sense of self. It's weird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually I am having trouble these days shedding the toxicity of all these other values or view points of others than I normally would. I've never argued with "myself" so much in my life. It's exhausting. I feel like I become other people sometimes where I sort of lose my sense of self. It's weird.
That internalized toxicity can be truly awful, in my experience.

What do you think may be causing this? Do you think it's a matter of Fe getting too strong or Ti not showing up as needed or both or something else..?
 

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That internalized toxicity can be truly awful, in my experience.

What do you think may be causing this? Do you think it's a matter of Fe getting too strong or Ti not showing up as needed or both or something else..?
Once sound logic is established I find myself reverting back to the flawed logic so basically not trusting the conclusions I come to with Ti if that makes sense. I guess it is Fe getting too strong too. Then we have problems that are completely separate from personality type like shame and what not that screws with things.

Edit: It's possible there's an Ni-Ti loop going on too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Once sound logic is established I find myself reverting back to the flawed logic so basically not trusting the conclusions I come to with Ti if that makes sense. I guess it is Fe getting too strong too. Then we have problems that are completely separate from personality type like shame and what not that screws with things.

Edit: It's possible there's an Ni-Ti loop going on too.
Would it be useful to talk about the specifics? (it's ok if not)
 

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I'm probably one of those people dismissing cognitive functions as the underlying basis for MBTI. :happy: It's part of my attempt to refine my understanding of the system and try to find logical consistency in the theories. By pointing out some of the areas where the theory is lacking, I'm hoping to find out many of its strengths as well. Ultimately, I'd like to find a theory that accounts for everyone. I still think, however, that there are people who generally follow the Ni-Fe-Ti-Se pattern.

In the last few days, I've read some more function descriptions, and I like the way Dario Nardi looks at the functions in what's written on Keys2Cognition. There, he states, "Each cognitive process can be engaged in a basic, unsophisticated way reflecting our natural human capabilities. Almost everyone can engage each process in some basic way. Beyond this, you will engage some cognitive processes in a more sophisticated, developed way. This is usually the result of innate preference plus lifelong growth and practice, which equals development."

He also states, "According to Jung, development is more than basic or developed use of processes in isolation. Excellent use of a cognitive process involves both basic and advanced use as appropriate, and ability to deploy other processes in its service. Average to good use usually means we can use the process in limited situations or use it well but only with the aid of other processes. Poor use means basic use at most. Finally, we may get ourselves into trouble when we don't use a process at all. Jung advocated that we can engage in activities that may help us develop; ultimately, however, development is driven by unconscious processes, the sum of which Jung referred to as a 9th cognitive process called the transcendant function."

This really helped me wrap my mind around the theory much better. This makes logical sense. Based on type, we will use some functions better than others, but we can use all in a basic way, and we can work on developing these functions. However, there will always be certain preferences.

Looking at the descriptions there, I've come to the conclusion that my preferred functions almost match the Ni-Fe-Ti-Se pattern. The ones that resonate most with me are Ni, Fe, and Ti. These are the ones that I think I use in a more sophisticated, advanced manner. However, I struggle with Se, which leads me to wonder if the inferior is actually the least developed of the eight cognitive functions.

I think my Ni and Ti are working overtime at the moment, as I'm trying to synthesize the contradictions between the theory and people's experiences to come to a new understanding that I then test for logical coherence. I don't really want a ton of possibilities like a heavy Ne user. I'd rather take all these possibilities and condense them to one logical, intuitive theory. Yeah, I know I'm setting my expectations pretty high.
 

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I'm fairly new to this whole self-analyzing thing -- at least within the context of MBTI/cognitive functions. I'm probably going to be very wrong in the rest of this post. Let me know.

I have a knack for seeing patterns in things and what this means for the future (Ni), specifically with regards to identifying patterns in others and predicting their motives/future actions (Ni-Fe?).

I have a bad habit of seeing too many possibilities and being unable to sort out how I feel about them, instead turning to analysis (Ni-Ti?). Meditation has helped me curb this; if I focus, I can watch my thoughts float across the surface of my mind without following them back to the source and taking another exhausting, circuitous trip around. Possibilities become like lily pads spinning across the surface of a pond rather than a quartet of horses ripping my mind to the cardinal winds.

I think my inferior Se makes itself known by the way I either ignore or become completely captivated by my surroundings. When I can be arsed to notice it, the world around me always seems beautiful. Like, when on a walk, I may either listen to my music and let my feet take me where they may, or I spend the whole time marveling at the beautiful yellow-orange flicker of the street lights and the shapes I can see in stop lights.

I am drawn to extreme sensory experiences, like taking a dip in the ocean at 6 in the morning after an all-nighter. Or skydiving. I've always wanted to skydive. Alternatively, I don't leave my house for days on end because I'm busy exploring ideas and images in my own mind.

I could talk for days without really saying anything. I've heard that's an INFJ characteristic. I'm going to shut up and try to organize my thoughts a bit more before I get to rambling again.
 

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@INFJ_Guy

I can see that view of Se. Come to think of it, that might be how it manifests for me. It's all or nothing. I suppose I have trouble with Se, though, because it's difficult for me to tell whether my behavior is because of a cognitive function or because I'm hypomanic (I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder).
 

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I have typed as INFJ consistently, but I find when i'm in the grip of stress I can sometimes come off as INTJ and sometimes ENFP :/

I have done cognitive function tests, and it looks like this:

extraverted Sensing (Se) *************** (15.7)
unused
introverted Sensing (Si) ********************** (22.1)
limited use
extraverted Intuiting (Ne) **************************************** (40.3)
excellent use
introverted Intuiting (Ni) ********************************************** (46.5)
excellent use
extraverted Thinking (Te) **************************** (28.3)
average use
introverted Thinking (Ti) ************************ (24.1)
average use
extraverted Feeling (Fe) ********************************* (33.3)
good use
introverted Feeling (Fi) ***************************** (29.9)

Which looks like a clear Ni-Fe-Te-Se - but im still sorting it out. I've found that I tend to take on other peoples personalities around me, shifting to what others need/expect of me. I hate this. It's very difficult to sort through all of that to find what's going on below. I'm still working on it =(

Appreciate your insights on this @Aquarian you seem to know your stuff.
 

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Which looks like a clear Ni-Fe-Te-Se - but im still sorting it out. I've found that I tend to take on other peoples personalities around me, shifting to what others need/expect of me. I hate this. It's very difficult to sort through all of that to find what's going on below. I'm still working on it =(
I think that could be your Fe at work, possibly accompanied by Ni. Through Ni, you perceive the ways you'll need to act in certain situations, and through Fe, you decide to act out these behaviors to promote group harmony.
 

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Yeah, i'm a noob. Am i doing it wrong?

I thought it was Ni-Fe-Ti-Se (Se being the inferior, so the lowest, right?). Gah, I dont know.
I don't think there's a right or wrong way. It was just a new approach to me. Nardi's website itself seems to have a mysterious algorithm for turning the function results into MBTI code that might actually be close to what you have done here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just need to get a better grip on my thoughts/feelings so I can express them right.
I hear you.

(and a question - would trying to write them out to be read by fellow INFJ 6s possibly help you to get a better grip on your thoughts/feelings, if you approached as not needing to get it expressed completely right the first time and instead seeking dialogue among peers that might help with clarity through the process? Not saying it has to be this way, just curious to know if it might)

Yeah, all the self declared INFJ's :p
I could be wrong, but I've gotten the sense that there are at least a couple of different underlying ways people approach the process of typing as INFJ - one more focused on the dichotomies (I/E, N/S, F/T, J/P) and one more cognitive function oriented. Actually there may be a third focus, I don't know, just guessing on this one, but maybe something about seeing which general descriptions of personality types resonate.

So I really don't know if everyone who would self declare as INFJ would do so from a cognitive functions orientation, even after an initial learning period.
 
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