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From Childhood to Puberty:
Development of Introverted Intuition



As a child, the INTJ will develop the Introverted Intuition function. They will be most fascinated by stories that stretch their imagination and will often ask their parents to repeat fairy tales or myths to them.

They may also prefer to stay at home to read and learn instead of heading out to socialize with other children. They may also show intelligence beyond their age in understanding the world.

If they have not properly developed this function in their youth, they may not develop sufficient insight to make good decisions, thereby becoming stubborn or narrow-minded.


From Puberty to about Age 30:
Development of Extraverted Thinking



During puberty, the INTJ will start developing the auxiliary function, Extraverted Thinking. They will develop the ability to make judgment calls and decisions according to external, objective criteria that are easily observable to all.

They become straightforward, frank and objective teenagers who are generally not concerned about popularity or peer pressure.

If they have not been allowed to develop this function, they may not know how to use their creative insights to achieve their goals or make their decisions.

Areas for INTJ Development

Assuming an environment is supportive to their development, most INTJs would have developed Extraverted Thinking and Introverted Intuition by the time they’re above 20 years or so.

Their areas of improvement will most likely come from the underdeveloped sides of Extraverted Sensing and Introverted Thinking.

Here are some suggestions for improvement:
Break your big ideas down to specific tangible steps
Learn to give negative feedback constructively
Share your insights early and in specific language so that others can understand
Learn to be more comfortable with uncertainty
Socialize and network with people more



From Age 30 to Midlife:
Development of Introverted Feeling


If these behaviours have not been developed by the age of 30, the INTJ will feel the tension to continue growing and start developing the Tertiary Function Introverted Feeling.

The INTJ may start to show compassion and sensitivity toward those around them; they may even surprise their loved ones with their new-found expressions of love and emotion.

The INTJ can further develop the Introverted Feeling function through these simple exercises:
Think about a good quality of another person; find an appropriate time to praise and appreciate that person.


If you have a conflict with another person, think about what is important to that person in that particular situation and ask yourself if you can suspend your need to be right in order to preserve the relationship.


In a group meeting, observe the verbal and non-verbal cues of others and try to gauge the thoughts and feelings of people by observing their body language.




From Midlife onward:
Development of Extraverted Sensing



From midlife onward, the INTJ’s focus turns toward the inferior function, Extraverted Sensing.

Their underdeveloped Extraverted Sensing comes out in a childish and undeveloped way when they are under stress, causing them to over-indulge in material pleasure or put their focus on unimportant details.

But in midlife, there is an unconscious shift and desire to develop that inferior function in order to achieve wholeness and continual growth. It is an uncomfortable but necessary transition.

Here are some simple exercises to consciously develop the Extraverted Sensing function:
Pick up a new skill or sport which requires full total present focus and attention.


Eat a food leisurely, fully appreciating its texture, its flavour, its smell as you consume it.


Purchase something you like (not too expensive!) without thinking about what you need it for or where will you place it. Let yourself enjoy having it before keeping it or giving it away.


INTJ Development: The Unique Growth Path of the INTJ
 

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Here are some simple exercises to consciously develop the Extraverted Sensing function:
Pick up a new skill or sport which requires full total present focus and attention.


Eat a food leisurely, fully appreciating its texture, its flavour, its smell as you consume it.


Purchase something you like (not too expensive!) without thinking about what you need it for or where will you place it. Let yourself enjoy having it before keeping it or giving it away.
Why would anyone want to do any of this? This sounds awful.
 

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Excellent, thank you for posting this.

I definitely recall actively working on my 'F' in my thirties. I used to pray to develop compassion for others.

And now in my 40s, I've been taking up 'S' hobbies. I try to be fully present while eating.

Nice to see I'm following a developmental chart. lol
 

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I find this very much in line with my own developmental path throughout the years. For instance developing my F functions (both Fi and Fe) in my 30's was definitely true for me, to a point where I actually consistently register as an INFJ in various online tests now. And more recently, I've taken an interest in various Se pursuits and found great enjoyment in them. It started as a curiosity to explore uncharted territory for me, but it gradually became more and more of a mindful quest to develop that side of me.

As an example, although naturally slender, I'd never been into practicing sports regularly or any kind serious physical activity in general. However I recently discovered the joy of strength training, and I am at a point where I wouldn't feel whole without it. I feel more fit and stronger than I've ever been, and I find myself thinking of taking up other sports/activities like kayaking, stand-up paddling, skiing, etc. which before I never thought I would have an interest in. It really has been a surprising mind shift for me, because although I was previously conscious of the value of being physically active, I was never able to get myself to do it.

Another example is eating and appreciating natural foods mindfully, and fully enjoying their flavor/texture/smell -- it opened up a new and very pleasurable world for me.

I tend to live quite a bit in my head, and my recent mind shift towards engaging my Se and generally being more aware of my sensory input has been a new and very enjoyable experience.
 

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This was really interesting, thank you for posting it. So strange how it has been in line with my natural growth path.

I'm turning 40 in just two months and it's strange, but lately I've been thinking about how I'd like to join in a competitive team sport (highly unlike me). I'm trying to work up the courage, face my fears and challenge myself in learning new physical activities. Enjoying foods hasn't ever been an issue for me.... hence the deep thoughts of needing to be more active in new ways.

A bigger challenge might be to purchase something I like, without analyzing the purchase first!! EEEK!!
 

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I'm turning 40 in just two months and it's strange, but lately I've been thinking about how I'd like to join in a competitive team sport (highly unlike me). I'm trying to work up the courage, face my fears and challenge myself in learning new physical activities.
By all means, do it if you feel the call!! This reminds me of myself when I started weight-training. At first I felt quite a bit intimidated grabbing those dumbbells and getting on a bench, but it didn't take me long to get into the groove. I felt so empowered!

Go ace it, girl! You're a strong INTJ and you can do whatever you set your mind to!
 

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What about going all in and trying to develop all of these functions at once at a young age? Would it turn out well, have no effect or be a waste of time?
 

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What about going all in and trying to develop all of these functions at once at a young age? Would it turn out well, have no effect or be a waste of time?
I developed my Fi and Se in my late teens and early twenties respectively once I learned about them. Like any other skill set you have learned, you are rewarded by what you put into developing it, and I highly recommend it. My life got ridiculously easier and happier once I started making significant progress on Fi and Se. Cherish these functions; they are your friends!
 
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