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Ne and Ni in Feeler Types

4407 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Once a Ghost
Sorry if this has been done to death in other topics, but I didn't encounter a thread specifically dealing with what I'm looking for.

So the last couple of days I've been thinking about the differences between Ne and Ni. Seeking to understand them in their isolated forms I looked up various descriptions, threads dealing with the differences, visual representations of the functions... and although I think I have a good idea about the 'manifestations' of each function (Ne: 'seeing possibilities', Ni: 'shifting perspectives', 'sudden realizations'), I haven't been able yet to integrate all those tidbits of information into a model that makes sense to me. o_o

The reason for making this thread is that I'm trying to figure out which one I *really* use, as opposed to explaining my behaviour parting from the assumption that I use Fi and Ne. Out of the two, Ni seems to be the most mind-boggling, but that doesn't necessarily mean I don't use it, as it could simply arise from a lack of understanding. Se and Si are both easy to understand conceptually, but obviously I don't use both of them at the same time.

Some threads on this forum and have been very helpful to me in understanding the differences, but most users who commented in these threads were NTs, so I couldn't *totally* relate. After having read their insights, I'm more interested to hear how XNFPs and XNFJs understand their Ne / Ni, and how these functions concretely manifest themselves in their lives


My current understanding (or lack thereof) of the functions:
- Ne: external stimuli triggering certain threads of thought or associations. Unlike Si, the triggered associations aren't usually concrete bits of information that are directly related to the stimulus (for example: someone mentions a Twingo => urban car, manufactured by Renault, price range, people I know who own one, places where I can buy one, in what colours is it available), but ideas or scenarios which are related in one way or the other (someone mentions a Twingo => "if I had a Twingo, I would paint it purple" or "wouldn't it be cool if James Bond drove a Twingo with built-in rocket launchers in his next movie". Or perhaps the word 'Twingo' would remind Ne of the word 'Bingo', which would remind him of games of chance in general, which would remind him of his latest statistics class...).
Ne can serve to combine two seemingly unrelated pieces of information, or can serve to use one property of a bit of info as a trigger to jump to an 'unrelated' bit of info (as in my example: the fact that Bingo rhymes with Twingo permits our Ne user to jump from the realm of automobiles to the realm of odds & probabiliy).

I visualize Ne as a little squirrel, sitting in a tree with almost endless branches. The squirrel can go from the trunk of the tree to the end of a branch, without knowing its destination. Confronted each time with various possible paths, the squirrel will simply choose one on a whim, or decide to sit still and evaluate the different possibilities. The squirrel can also jump from one branch to a totally unrelated branch, as long as they're close enough to eachother.

- Ni: external stimuli are deconstructed into various tiny fragments. These fragments are not put into boxes and 'filed' as Si would do; instead, the 'pieces' are all put together and combined in a whole new way, resulting in an ever-changing, fluid mosaic, this mosaic being the peculiar world view of Ni-users which they draw their data from.
Ni users can choose to direct their focus to 1 piece in the mosaic. The meaning of the piece depends on the surrounding pieces. A blue piece surrounded by other blue pieces is not the same as a blue piece surrounded by red pieces. Because of the fluidity of the mosaic, Ni users can see how the meaning of a piece changes when the surrounding pieces change...

After re-reading my improvised analogy, I feel I've complicated things instead of clarifying them (for myself and others), but yeah... I'm trying to understand this on a conceptual level...

The easiest thing to understand about Ni, is that it enables people to look at things from various angles or perspectives. From what I've gathered, Ni-users consider our perception to be inextricably linked to our biases and assumptions. They try to shake this up by 'redefining the rules of the game' every once in a while, throwing off certain assumptions and looking at things in a different light. Could this, perhaps, be a good description of the Ni way of evaluating a problem... "Playing the same game several times, but using different rules each time"?

Thoughts? Personal experiences? Any concrete examples, analogies or abstract ideas that will help me (and others) differentiate between these two pesky buggers? Post them plz.
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Thank you both for your responses! I had already read the "Ne/Ni Interaction" article, but I hadn't read the rest of the thread until now, and it gave me some new interesting information to digest. Lara, in that thread you actually addressed something which had been bugging me: I was (and still am, in a way) struggling to intuitively understand how a perception function can be introverted. InvisibleJim's answer of Ni serving both a perception role ('seeing the realm of the minds eye') as a judgemental role ('filter of thought'), made me realize that these things just aren't as simple as I'd want them to be. xD

Are you sure you shouldn't try and decide whether or not you use Fi? That may be easier for you.--It's extremely hard, as you seem to realize, to describe either of the N functions without going into their accompanying judgment functions.
Yes, the more I read about it, the more I'm thinking that it's bordering on insane to describe Ne or Ni without taking in account the accompanying judging function. Your description of Ne was very helpful (A little repetitive maybe, but in a good way. :tongue:). It gave me a clear idea of how Ne works in you, and I could very much relate to parts of it. But yeah, it seems an amount of Ti (inevitably) crept in there. And of course Ne as a dominant function differs greatly from Ne as an aux, tert, inferior...

I personally think it may be helpful for me to read in-depth descriptions of each of the 16 types and how the functions (co)operate in them... because although I can vaguely understand what Ni does, I think it would probably make more sense if I understood how it worked together with Te or Fe. I read SolitaryWalker's INFP Profile, which is quite wall-of-texty, but still a great read as it allowed me to form a picture of how an INFP mind works... this could be because of the familiarity, but yeah. I'll definitely look up his other profiles. Do you, by any chance, know of good in-depth type descriptions that also deal with the workings of the cognitive functions, instead of solely describing the 'symptoms'? ^_^ I already know of this site: , which seems quite good, but I'm interested in collecting as much material as possible.
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Thanks again to the two previous posters. ^^

I was going to log out, but I had to comment on this, as I was dying for an INFJ to respond:
As an INFJ.
I often tell others that life is an idea that they've created and continually redefine. For instance, my 'lens' in which I examine life at this moment can be through the lens of an 'INFJ' or a 'Type 3', but when I go to volunteer I see through the lens of the role of 'prospective doctor' or when I go and spend time with my family I see through the lens of the role of 'close friend'. But these roles are terms that I'm defining or re-defining day after day. If, say, the role doesn't work or the lens isn't beneficial then I redefine it. The world 'out there' is the same, but my idea of the world isn't.
I like the lens analogy. So you examine the world through a lens, or rather an internally crafted vision or idea of life? I guess you could also describe Si as seeing life through an internally created 'lens', but it would be more 'rigid' or based on concrete facts, while Ni would be more fluid and abstract.

I also liked how you described how you 'express' your introverted function through Fe and Se. And I'm flattered you liked my analogy of Ni, because many neurons died in the process of combining what I read about Ni into something tangible. XD I may be closer to understanding and actually relating to it, but I'll need to take in more info.

One question tho, Superunknown Vortex. In almost every description of Ni I read, it seems to be associated with a sense of "knowing" or "being certain of something". Do you relate to this? Or would this be more of an INTJ thing?
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