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Discussion Starter #1
Hey. I am new to Jung's typology and the MBTI personality types overall. And my English sucks so please bare with me.

What's the difference between Ni and Ne as far as lyrics are concerned? There was another thread about this but people discussed all kinds of creative writing (which includes books and etc.) and i'd like to focus on music specifically since songs are typically short and unlike the material in (fictional) books, they don't necessarily need to embody "a story" if that makes any sense.

Sure, there are plenty of musicians that incorporate a lot of storytelling into their writing but not all of them do that. Lyrics (outside of the mainstream trashy pop realm, of course) often contain vague accounts of the past, statements and phrases that are random or somehow connected (or both). So... how does one spot different cognitive functions in music lyrics?

I know that Ne is really abstract and that it can present itself as a random/chaotic usage of metaphors. For ex. Kurt Cobain's songwriting style. Whereas Ni seems more focused and to-the-point. Jerry Cantrell's songwriting comes to mind.

But isn't Ni abstract too? What's the main difference between Ni and Ne? I know that Ni is more focused and often embodies a stream of consciousness a.k.a. it isn't as random/messy as Ne but can a Ni-dom write lyrics similar to Cobain's if they're trying to be cryptic on purpose and if every single one of these random combinations of weird metaphors have a specific meaning to them? How would one then understand whether the musician is using Ni or Ne?

I know that Kurt's lyrics obviously had some kind of a meaning, some of his songs were actually quite thematic (polly, r*pe me, Frances Farmer will have her revenge on Seattle, been a son) so i think that him downplaying the meaning of his lyrics so heavily was partly a way for him to add more to the "slacker" and "punk" factor of the persona that he had on. But a large amount of his lyrics were indeed simply random metaphors and sentences/phrases that weren't connected in any way thrown together and he has often talked about how he doesn't care about the lyrics as much as the energy and the feeling of the song. But i don't get why a Ni-dom wouldn't do the same thing on purpose if they're trying to be cryptic and weird (and obviously if they've added a specific meaning to all of these phrases and metaphors, unlike Cobain).
 

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Interesting question, though I don't have much to say myself at the moment. Just the thought that it might be easier to talk about in combination with Fi/Fe/Ti/Te. Like that description you wrote about Kurt Cobain's lyrics and music, it seems to me that it is largely about introverted feeling, with extroverted intuition perhaps providing an assortment of metaphors etc and ones humming well with the feeling of the song are chosen. (I don't know much about Kurt Cobain, just guessing from what you wrote).

With Ne, I think there is quite often a tendency to skirt around the subject somewhat, providing tangents, images as examples, various perspectives, not going head-on. Perhaps throwing out a bunch of images, and let the listener find how they connect. But I guess lots of lyrics are like that aren't they?

But I hope there will be more answers providing more thoughts on the topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Interesting question, though I don't have much to say myself at the moment. Just the thought that it might be easier to talk about in combination with Fi/Fe/Ti/Te. Like that description you wrote about Curt Cobain's lyrics and music, it seems to me that it is largely about introverted feeling, with extroverted intuition perhaps providing an assortment of metaphors etc and one's humming well with the feeling of the song are chosen. (I don't know much about Curt Cobain, just guessing from what you wrote).

With Ne, I think there is quite often a tendency to skirt around the subject somewhat, providing tangents, images as examples, various perspectives, not going head-on. Perhaps throwing out a bunch of images, and let the listener find how they connect. But I guess lots of lyrics are like that aren't they?

But I hope there will be more answers providing more thoughts on the topic.
Yeah, i can see the Fi in his lyrics. But how would the lyrics differ if the person's MBTI type still has a lot of Ne and no Fi? Like.. let's say an INTP's lyrics? Their Fe is inferior but all of the types in most cases often subconsciously explore the emotional side of themselves when writing songs. And i personally don't see how Ti can manifest itself in lyrics.

And speaking of Ni vs Ne again, INTJs are in most cases straightforward in their lyrics but just like i said, the Ni can be really abstract too and if they're trying to be cryptic and/or weird on purpose a lot of that abstractness might heavily resemble Ne. And just like i said above when talking about INTPs, even if the type has Fi/Fe as their auxiliary or inferior function they'll be more prone to use it when writing songs. Trent Reznor's Ni is obvious in his songs but they're also full of Fi.

So it's confusing as to how one could possibly type musicians accurately by solely analyzing their songwriting and lyricism. For example, i get seeing Si/Se in someone's lyrics all the time and coming to the conclusion that said person is probably a sensor and/or definetly not a type with Si/Se inferior or auxiliary. And no, the same thing doesn't count for feeling functions because just like i already said, humans are prone to exploration of the emotional side of themselves while writing songs because they come naturally us, regardless of whether one's a feeler or a thinker. Whereas it'd be really strange for an INTJ/INFJ to have tons of Si/Se lyrics.

But other than this example, i think that as far as abstract lyrics are concerned, especially when the musician is consciously trying to be cryptic/weird it's impossible to type them solely based on the nature of their lyrics. It'd be interesting to hear other people's input on this.
 

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I would say Ni focuses on one underlying theme throughout the song but it has one point to make. Hotel California is a good example, lots of weird shit going on there but it's ultimately a critique about the excess and materialism during the 70's. There's even a beginning and an end told in sequential story-like manner.

Ne is more about exploring a theme under various angles, often playing with words, being weird and vague in order to keep people guessing or come up with their own interpretation. Radiohead is a very Ne band. Look at Karma Police, it's supposedly about bullying and even that's up for interpretation but the lyrics are weird, unhinged and never seem to make a clear point. You do with them what you want.

Ne is an objective function so look at the lyrics, find the theme and make the pieces fit however you please.
Ni is a subjective function, so feel free to interpret it the way you want, but the artist had a very clear message in mind
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I would say Ni focuses on one underlying theme throughout the song but it has one point to make. Hotel California is a good example, lots of weird shit going on there but it's ultimately a critique about the excess and materialism during the 70's. There's even a beginning and an end told in sequential story-like manner.

Ne is more about exploring a theme under various angles, often playing with words, being weird and vague in order to keep people guessing or come up with their own interpretation. Radiohead is a very Ne band. Look at Karma Police, it's supposedly about bullying and even that's up for interpretation but the lyrics are weird, unhinged and never seem to make a clear point. You do with them what you want.

Ne is an objective function so look at the lyrics, find the theme and make the pieces fit however you please.
Ni is a subjective function, so feel free to interpret it the way you want, but the artist had a very clear message in mind
That makes sense, thank you.
But just like I already asked, what separates the lyrics of different types abundant of Ne?

Let’s use an ENTP, an INTP and an INFP for example. All of their songs will obviously contain tons of Ne. INFP’s Fi would be easy to spot because it’s easy to include introverted feeling in lyrics. But what about INTP and ENTP? Both of them have a lot of Ne and Ti. How would their Ti manifest itself in their lyrics? And how would the songwriting of all of these types possibly differ? Would it be really hard to tell?

That’s why (just like I already said) typing someone solely on the basis of their songwriting and lyricism seems kind of stupid to me. While their music should obviously be taken into account, people should pay more attention to the interviews of artists.
 

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This is just my opinion/speculation, but I believe an overwhelming amount of lyricists are FP types because it's right down their alley. T types will either mimic emotions in their lyrics because it appeals to people, thus a good marketing strategy or will choose an avenue where they are able to use very cold truth telling Ti lyrics in genres that thrive on this such as rap or glam rock, in which the lyrics tend to be very unapologetic, sometimes offensive etc.

I don't know what type Beck is, but I find his lyrics to be very NTP-ish: Very weird, random, self-deprecating, light-hearted, sarcastic, ironic etc.

Here's a good example:

In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey
Butane in my veins so I'm out to cut the junkie
With the plastic eyeballs, spray paint the vegetables
Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose
Kill the headlights and put it in neutral
Stock car flamin' with a loser and the cruise control
Baby's in Reno with the vitamin D
Got a couple of couches sleep on the love seat
Someone keeps sayin' I'm insane to complain
About a shotgun wedding and a stain on my shirt
Don't believe everything that you read
You get a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve
So shave your face with some mace in the dark
Savin' all your food stamps and burnin' down the trailer park
Yo, cut it
Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me? (double barrel buckshot)
Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?
The forces of evil in a bozo nightmare
Ban all the music with a phony gas chamber
'Cause one's got a weasel and the other's got a flag
One's got on the pole shove the other in a bag
With the rerun shows and the cocaine nose job
The daytime crap with the folksinger slop
He hung himself with a guitar string
A slab of turkey neck and it's hangin' from a pigeon wing
You can't get it right if you can't relate
Trade the cash for the beef for the body for the hate
And my time is a piece of wax fallin' on a termite
That's chokin' on the splinters


As much as I despise them, I would also add Weezer as a very NTP-ish lyrics band.
 

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what sort of type are these lyrics?

Dragged ya down below
Down to the devil's show
To be his guest forever
(Peace of mind is less than never)
Hate to twist your mind
But God ain't on your side
An old acquaintance severed
(Burn the world your last endeavor)

Flesh is burning
You can smell it in the air
'Cause men like you have
Such an easy soul to steal (steal)
So stand in line while
They ink numbers in your head
You're now a slave
Until the end of time here
Nothing stops the madness,
Turning, haunting, yearning
Pull the trigger

You should have known
The price of evil
And it hurts to know
That you belong here, yeah
Ooh, it's your fuckin' nightmare

(While your nightmare comes to life)

Can't wake up in sweat
'Cause it ain't over yet
Still dancing with your demons
(Victim of your own creation)
Beyond the will to fight
Where all that's wrong is right
Where hate don't need a reason
(Loathing self-assassination)

You've been lied to
Just to rape you of your sight
And now they have the nerve
To tell you how to feel (feel)
So sedated as they
Medicate your brain
And while you slowly
Go insane they tell ya
"Given with the best intentions
Help you with your complications"

You should have known
The price of evil
And it hurts to know
That you belong here, yeah
No one to call
Everybody to fear
Your tragic fate is looking so clear, yeah
Ooh, it's your fuckin' nightmare

[M. Shadows laughing]

Fight (fight)
Not to fail (fail)
Not to fall (fall)
Or you'll end up like the others
Die (die)
Die again (die)
Drenched in sin (sin)
With no respect for another

Down (down)
Feel the fire (fire)
Feel the hate (hate)
Your pain is what we desire
Lost (lost)
Hit the wall (wall)
Watch you crawl (crawl)
Such a replaceable liar

And I know you hear their voices
Calling from above
And I know they may seem real
These signals of love
But our life's made up of choices
Some without appeal
They took for granted your soul
And it's ours now to steal

(As your nightmare comes to life)

You should have known
The price of evil
And it hurts to know
That you belong here, yeah
No one to call
Everybody to fear
Your tragic fate is looking so clear, yeah
Ooh, it's your fuckin' nightmare
 

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I reckon the Ni/Se axis comes across as more direct, more straightforward and wants to make a realistic point in a song (even when it uses metaphors). The Ne/Si axis has a more fluid and expansive imagination, is more nonsensical and makes the usage of "untranslable", absurdist metaphors... this axis "feels" more distant from reality. The Smiths (Morrissey is an INFJ 4 IMO) is a great example of poetic Ni-Fe being used in songs. I agree Nirvana and probably Radiohead are good examples of aux Ne.

Examples of Ni/Se:

The Smiths and Morrissey (INFJ 4w3 sp/so):

Depeche Mode (INFJ, not sure of their E type):

Lorde (prob ISFP 4w3 so/sx):

Examples of Ne/Si:

Radiohead, Thom Yorke (INFP 5w4):

Amanda Palmer (ENFP 8w7 sx):
 

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Hey. I am new to Jung's typology and the MBTI personality types overall. And my English sucks so please bare with me.

What's the difference between Ni and Ne as far as lyrics are concerned? There was another thread about this but people discussed all kinds of creative writing (which includes books and etc.) and i'd like to focus on music specifically since songs are typically short and unlike the material in (fictional) books, they don't necessarily need to embody "a story" if that makes any sense.

Sure, there are plenty of musicians that incorporate a lot of storytelling into their writing but not all of them do that. Lyrics (outside of the mainstream trashy pop realm, of course) often contain vague accounts of the past, statements and phrases that are random or somehow connected (or both). So... how does one spot different cognitive functions in music lyrics?

I know that Ne is really abstract and that it can present itself as a random/chaotic usage of metaphors. For ex. Kurt Cobain's songwriting style. Whereas Ni seems more focused and to-the-point. Jerry Cantrell's songwriting comes to mind.

But isn't Ni abstract too? What's the main difference between Ni and Ne? I know that Ni is more focused and often embodies a stream of consciousness a.k.a. it isn't as random/messy as Ne but can a Ni-dom write lyrics similar to Cobain's if they're trying to be cryptic on purpose and if every single one of these random combinations of weird metaphors have a specific meaning to them? How would one then understand whether the musician is using Ni or Ne?

I know that Kurt's lyrics obviously had some kind of a meaning, some of his songs were actually quite thematic (polly, r*pe me, Frances Farmer will have her revenge on Seattle, been a son) so i think that him downplaying the meaning of his lyrics so heavily was partly a way for him to add more to the "slacker" and "punk" factor of the persona that he had on. But a large amount of his lyrics were indeed simply random metaphors and sentences/phrases that weren't connected in any way thrown together and he has often talked about how he doesn't care about the lyrics as much as the energy and the feeling of the song. But i don't get why a Ni-dom wouldn't do the same thing on purpose if they're trying to be cryptic and weird (and obviously if they've added a specific meaning to all of these phrases and metaphors, unlike Cobain).

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One more example. This is from another artist who I think is on the Ni/Se axis, but is a Fe dom.

Taylor Swift (ENFJ 3w2 sx/so).

Hey
It's all me in my head
I'm the one who burned us down
But it's not what I meant
I'm sorry that I hurt you
I don't wanna do, I don't wanna do this to you
I don't wanna lose, I don't wanna lose this with you
I need to say, hey
It's all me, just don't go
Meet me in the afterglow

Tell me that you're still mine
Tell me that we'll be just fine
Even when I lose my mind
I need to say
Tell me that it's not my fault
Tell me that I'm all you want
Even when I break your heart


This entire song is told from the POV of someone concerned to death about their SO's feelings. It has so much Fe lol. In INFJs (especially INFJ 4s I think), this tendency to "Fe" others and project feelings is more subdued and Ni metaphors take the lead of the lyrics (like in Morrissey's case).
 

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I see it unwise to reduce a person down to so little that you can categorize them based on the song lyrics they write.
 
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