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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay, so the other day, I took the cognitive functions test - and turns out I'm lacking in a function I'm probably not supposed to be lacking in so much: Extraverted Sensing.



What is up with my Se?

It's starting to make sense, however, as a number of weaknesses of mine seem to suggest this problem:

- I'm terrified of criticism in the real world, especially when it comes to my art/writing/creations

- I can never 'enjoy the moment' as others would put it. I can never understand why yoga is considered 'relaxing' for this very reason. It's not. It's a sequence of poses that I have to memorize and I can't concentrate on 'breathing right' because I'm putting too much energy into getting the pose just right and this is pointlessly stressful and... ARRRGH

- I'm always too anxious about what comes next, or what I've possibly forgotten to do beforehand

- A night out 'dancing' with friends always ends up with me standing in a corner with a drink, thinking about how gruesome chunky peanut butter actually conceptually would be if I were a peanut.

- I'm absolutely horrific at anything that requires smooth finger-eye coordination or mutitasking e.g. playing musical instruments, some particular team sports, 'listening' portions of English language tests/exams, etc.

There's many more examples, but I'm suspecting I've had this deficiency in Se pretty much all my life.

What can I do to develop my Se? I feel like my underdeveloped Se is killing my drive to do what I really want to do (writing and acting). Someone please help before I destroy my own chance at a fulfilling life.:crying:
 

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Well, I don't think it's really Se you should be developing, since it's a shadow function. So, yes, you kind of are "supposed" to be lacking at it.

You should be developing your weaker functions of the four, which means Te and Si. If you have the four developed, they'll make up for the lack of Se. What you are describing sounds like your Te and Si don't work well together. And the function tests are misleading anyway.

I can only give you an overall answer, which is quite obvious: you should do exactly the things you're weak at but want to be good at. There's no short cut.

Being terrified of criticism shows lack in the Te department, so you should seek criticism (maybe about something you aren't SO passionate about at first) and then try to objectively decide whether it's valid or not. Strong Te users are good at this, and when the criticism is valid they also know how to do better, so it's hard to hurt their feelings.

Yoga could be relaxing if you went back to basics and only did the poses you can remember. You have that strong Ne, so instead of memorizing you should go with the flow, and use the poses you now and move from one to another with your Ne association, the way it makes sense to you. That way you should eventually be able to remember more poses, and use your strength to develop your weakness.

Don't jump to things that overwhelm you and kill your motivation right away. When you feel something is too much, don't give up on what you're doing but instead, try to make it a little more simple. Let your Fi and Ne lead you. If you really want to play a musical insturment, don't give up because you think you should be developing faster, it gets even harder and more stressful if you skip and don't get a strong basis.

By the way, if you're and INFP, I suspect you don't have a highly developed Ti. Instead, I think you have good access to your Te when you're doing abstract stuff, aka it works well with your stronger functions. However it doesn't work well with your Si, so you have trouble with it in the physical world. The function test is confusing because your four functions together are supposed to mimic what the shadows functions would do.
 

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Why would you expect to have high Se? Se isn't a useful function for INFPs, it would be expected that it would be very low.

My advice is, if you're trying to develop Se it's more or less trying to be someone you're not. You can be good at anything you want to, but you have to work to your own strengths and find the right way for you to achieve what you want. Work on functioning as well as you can with Fi and Ne, as an INFP that's your best way of dealing with the world, and everything else should follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I don't think it's really Se you should be developing, since it's a shadow function. So, yes, you kind of are "supposed" to be lacking at it.

You should be developing your weaker functions of the four, which means Te and Si. If you have the four developed, they'll make up for the lack of Se. What you are describing sounds like your Te and Si don't work well together. And the function tests are misleading anyway.

I can only give you an overall answer, which is quite obvious: you should do exactly the things you're weak at but want to be good at. There's no short cut.

Being terrified of criticism shows lack in the Te department, so you should seek criticism (maybe about something you aren't SO passionate about at first) and then try to objectively decide whether it's valid or not. Strong Te users are good at this, and when the criticism is valid they also know how to do better, so it's hard to hurt their feelings.

Yoga could be relaxing if you went back to basics and only did the poses you can remember. You have that strong Ne, so instead of memorizing you should go with the flow, and use the poses you now and move from one to another with your Ne association, the way it makes sense to you. That way you should eventually be able to remember more poses, and use your strength to develop your weakness.

Don't jump to things that overwhelm you and kill your motivation right away. When you feel something is too much, don't give up on what you're doing but instead, try to make it a little more simple. Let your Fi and Ne lead you. If you really want to play a musical insturment, don't give up because you think you should be developing faster, it gets even harder and more stressful if you skip and don't get a strong basis.

By the way, if you're and INFP, I suspect you don't have a highly developed Ti. Instead, I think you have good access to your Te when you're doing abstract stuff, aka it works well with your stronger functions. However it doesn't work well with your Si, so you have trouble with it in the physical world. The function test is confusing because your four functions together are supposed to mimic what the shadows functions would do.
Admittedly, I'm not the greatest at understanding how the functions work.

I'm both somewhat relieved and confused at the same time. So I have to focus mainly on developing my Te? I think my Si is actually quite developed compared to other typed INFPs that I know. It does make sense, though. My Te isn't exactly doing great. I've been mistyped time and time again as INTP as well, so that doesn't really help clear up matters either.

I do think it's my lack of patience/fear of disapproval of my work that keeps me back. So your advice on taking up musical instruments slowly makes sense. I should probably be more opportunistic than cautious about things as well. I just feel like whatever I'm lacking is keeping me right below the surface of the water, when I could be exploding upwards with confidence and enjoying the fresh air.

Thank you for the advice. Maybe I could finally show that short story I spent so much time on to my fianceé. Or a couple friends. Start there. *shudders* My under-active Te definitely needs a kick in the butt.
 

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You can be good at anything you want to, but you have to work to your own strengths and find the right way for you to achieve what you want. Work on functioning as well as you can with Fi and Ne, as an INFP that's your best way of dealing with the world, and everything else should follow.
Excellent advice. People tend to get caught up in the whole "well I'm XXXX type so I can't be good at Y or Z, only A" but I think that's missing the whole point. Instead I see it in a more mechanical way, like, "well I take in information this way, and I process it in this way. I have trouble doing it in these other ways." It doesn't exclude me from behaving in a certain way, or from acquiring certain skills. It just means that when I'm taking in information I find it more natural to use Ne and Si, and when I'm judging the quality and the nature of that information I use Fi and Te.

If I'm struggling to understand something, Ne gives me excellent bullshitting abilities, provided I have enough time to think about it. When I'm stressed enough, Fi isn't allowed to give a damn because Te recognises it as the most efficient way to achieve the results I want. I suggest that as one potential coping mechanism for an INFP, @AmisAmora.

@StoneMoon is bang on about what you should be developing. If you're an INFP you show an innate preferences for using Fi, Ne, Si and Te. The last two are weaker and want to be stronger, but you'll probably always have Te as a bit of a weak spot as it's the inferior function. If you start trying to develop the other functions, you'll probably run into problems because you don't value them. By their very nature they oppose the functions that you do value. If you're looking at it like "I want to develop Se because I want to be more aware of my environment", then you can always do little exercises to help improve your observation skills. It's not going to make you prefer Se, but it'll stop you from tripping over so many things. Basically I'm trying to say that while behaviour can give clues as to what functions a person prefers, certain behaviours aren't the sole domain of a certain function.

I was actually pretty good at music, but then I only played one instrument and was pretty terrible at anything else I tried. I'd hazard a guess that it would just be a matter of practising, though, because my INTP brother has the annoying tendency to become very good at any instrument he picks up and he has equally low Se. Learning a new skill is often very difficult and time-consuming. I think the challenge for strong Ne types is to not become bored before we make enough progress. :)
 

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I test similar to you except for Si, it is even weaker. I do not think so though. Also, my Ti and Fe show as strong but my Te much lower than my Ti. Some confusion must be going on.
 

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I don't have a really good Se either :kitteh:. Se is not something that INFPs should use. It's actually quite useless as Si fits them more. So pretty much in order to have a full sense of maturity in your personality, you would have to develop your Si and Te. That's the part where INFPs lack and their goal is to develop that throughout their life. And for the most part, I strongly agree with this. As Fi is so heavily dominated, there needs to be a balance between Te also.
 

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7th functions are typically right at the bottom of test results, alongside the inferior.

Your results are very normal for an INFP.
 
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