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MOTM Nov 2009
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The tertiary function of ISFPs is Ni, or Introverted Intuition. Tertiary functions in general may seem interesting and mysterious to every type, as the tertiary function is the absolute opposite of the supportive function (for ISFPs, Se to Ni). Introverted Intuition is a difficult function to explain in the beginning, and when used in a tertiary position, it may be difficult or impossible to tell when the function is being used. For ISFPs, Ni will begin to be used in early teenage years and will typically be perfected in mid-twenties, barring any situations that may 'force' the ISFP to learn Ni beyond their natural capabilities.

Essentially, Ni is a perceiving function, taking in information. Unlike Se, however, Ni is not a conscious function - it takes in information without the discretion of the user, storing it for later in the 'back of the mind'. It typically may bring in information needed at sudden points, causing a large 'ah-ha!' moment when things finally click. The sudden clicking is more common in those who have Ni in a tertiary or inferior position. Dominant Ni users, having used the function most of their life, will not likely be phased by this sudden understanding, and may not even recognize it. When ISFPs develop their Ni, they may begin to notice that they understand things they had not before, noticing patterns and being able to single them out to understand things that had confounded them before. Ni can aid the ISFP's major perceiving function, Se, into taking a step back and understanding the content taken in, rather than taking in information of only the present, not concerned with the past or future.

It's not simple, as you can see. Was it just the tertiary function you wanted explained, or all of the ISFP's functions?
 

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Personally, I have some trouble understanding extraverted sensing.

For example:
Extraverted Sensing occurs when we become aware of what is in the physical world in rich detail. We may be drawn to act on what we experience to get an immediate result. We notice relevant facts and occurrences in a sea of data and experiences, learning all the facts we can about the immediate context or area of focus and what goes on in that context. An active seeking of more and more input to get the whole picture may occur until all sources of input have been exhausted or something else captures our attention. Extraverted Sensing is operating when we freely follow exciting physical impulses or instincts as they come up and enjoy the thrill of action in the present moment. A oneness with the physical world and a total absorption may exist as we move, touch, and sense what is around us. The process involves instantly reading cues to see how far we can go in a situation and still get the impact we want or respond to the situation with presence.
The only part of that I completely understand is the bolded.:confused:

I think what would help me understand it better that seems to be missing from descriptions I've read is concrete examples.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I agree with Brie, concrete examples would help me understand this, I need something to relate it to. That's how I get theories in my head. All of the functions with concrete examples would be nice, and also a brief bit on what tertiary etc means. I've read other posts and seen this come up though I have no idea what it means.
 

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While googling I found this at My MBTI Personality Type - Understanding MBTI Type Dynamics - The Tertiary Function

The third-preferred, or tertiary, function tends to be less interesting to individuals, and they tend to have fewer skills associated with it. The letter of this function does not appear in your type. It is the opposite function from the auxiliary function. If, for example, your auxiliary function is Thinking, then your tertiary will be Feeling.
Development of this function tends to come later in life (about midlife) after you have grown and feel comfortable with the dominant and auxiliary. As you grow and develop, you learn that there is a time and place to use your third and fourth functions.
About this time, the question arises in life, is this all there is? The tertiary function can guide you toward areas of your life you have avoided, areas that require skills you do not feel comfortable using. For example, a Thinking type with tertiary Intuition may begin taking literature courses. A Thinking type with tertiary Sensing may begin doing carpentry or weaving.
I don't know why it separated into two quotes, but this was all together.

This site also has simple explanations of the functions, though I still don't understand extraverted sensing. I am having trouble copying it so here is the link:
http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-...ype-dynamics/the-eight-function-attitudes.asp
 

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I disagree that the tertiary function emerges in mid-life. I believe that the tertiary function emerges, and comes on strong, during the early teenage years, especially with the confusion that is most common to teens. It takes a long while to get a hang of it (twenty to thirties, I'd say), but it's still there during the teen years.

Ni: You've been up all night studying for an exam. Although you've gone over all of your notes, and even your roommates', you can't seem to grasp the equation that you know is going to be on the test tomorrow. As you decide to take a break and get a drink, with your mind not directly focused on the exam, a piece of information occurs to you - and with that, everything comes together. You understand the equation, and you go back over the practice problems you'd been studying, seeing them with a whole new eye. You're now prepared.

Se: You've always been a thoughtful person. Unfortunately, that's an understatement - you're so thoughtful that you have a hard time paying attention to the world around you. You stumble and walk straight into things all of the time, and for years, your schoolmates used to call you 'Scatter-Brained'. Additionally, when you try to focus on the world around you, you quickly find that you overthink things and miss the important parts, focusing on minor details instead. Resolved, you decide to focus on paying attention without paying attention -- that is, learning to focus on the environment without overthinking it. As you do this, you find marvelous success. Not only are you able to pay attention to the world around you, you find you don't over-focus on the details, learning to accept things as they come.

Those are examples of the behavior of the functions, and no more. It's hard to put them into concrete examples, as those who use the functions in first and second positions don't see a 'sudden change' that is described in the examples.
 

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Hmm Ni doesn't sound like me. What does Auxillary and tertiary function mean? I need the real basics here, before this makes sense. I may be a different type.
It's not really an MBTI specialized definition, lol, so you don't have to worry at all. The Auxiliary function is just your second most used function -- the function that acts as a support process for your Dominant function -- and the Tertiary function is just your third most used function. I think it's used most often as your "relief". It's always the direct opposite of your auxiliary.

You shouldn't get their roles (as in dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, inferior) mixed up with their type of function (as in judging versus perceiving), though. For example, Ti is my dominant function (and therefore has the dominant role), so most often I use Ti to analyze, categorize, etc. things, and Ne (my auxiliary function and auxiliary role) will act as a support process by helping me to recognize patterns and synthesize all of the new insights my Ti is coming to via its analysis. At the same time, Ti is a judging type of function and Ne is a perceiving type of function. Essentially this means that Ti will do something about the information, but Ne is the one who gathers it.

Another thing, if you don't already know, is that the functions and their orientations are written in shorthand with either E or I to signify their orientation (extroversion or introversion), and the beginning (uppercase) letter to signify its actual function (S for Sensing, N for iNtuiting, F for Feeling, T for Thinking).

Ti vs Te = Introverted Thinking vs Extroverted Thinking
Fi vs Fe = Introverted Feeling vs Extroverted Feeling

and so on, and so on.

Someone please correct any errors I may have made in this post.
 

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About Se:

We may be drawn to act on what we experience to get an immediate result. ... The process involves instantly reading cues to see how far we can go in a situation and still get the impact we want or respond to the situation with presence.
Is there another way to word this? I don't understand it at all; I think it's too abstract. I've seen these phrases used in Se descriptions before, and it just confuses me.:confused:

Also, do you other ISFPs see yourself using Se?

Too bad my tertiary Ni is not working for me on this; I could use a sudden burst of insight right now...:tongue:
 

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I'll try.

We may be drawn to act on what we experience to get an immediate result. ... The process involves instantly reading cues to see how far we can go in a situation and still get the impact we want
We don't overthink. We're inspired to immediately react to our surroundings and/or what we're currently experiencing in order to get an immediate result.

Doing that requires that we instantly read and pay attention to the signs that the external environment is showing to us in order to see just how far we can act/react while still obtaining the result we're aiming for.

or respond to the situation with presence.
This basically means that you're "taking on" the experience directly with your body. You're using your body and your senses to immediately respond to the environment without letting your mind restrict you. You're here. You don't take the time to step back and think about it before you do it -- you are thinking about it by doing it. When you're using Se, doing is your form of contemplation. Think about hands-on learning. Ni and Se are opposites, so I think Ni would be more like standing back and contemplating or playing with the subject via your mind.

I hope that makes sense.
 

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I'll try.

We don't overthink. We're inspired to immediately react to our surroundings and/or what we're currently experiencing in order to get an immediate result.

Doing that requires that we instantly read and pay attention to the signs that the external environment is showing to us in order to see just how far we can act/react while still obtaining the result we're aiming for.

This basically means that you're "taking on" the experience directly with your body. You're using your body and your senses to immediately respond to the environment without letting your mind restrict you. You're here. You don't take the time to step back and think about it before you do it -- you are thinking about it by doing it. When you're using Se, doing is your form of contemplation. Think about hands-on learning. Ni and Se are opposites, so I think Ni would be more like standing back and contemplating or playing with the subject via your mind.

I hope that makes sense.
That does help, thanks. Relating it to our learn-by-doing preference helps me to understand it better.

I'm curious if other ISFPs are aware of their use of this function, Se. From what I've heard, I don't think I use it much, but I guess it's possible that I use it without being aware of it?

If you are aware, could you give an example?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That does help, thanks. Relating it to our learn-by-doing preference helps me to understand it better.

I'm curious if other ISFPs are aware of their use of this function, Se. From what I've heard, I don't think I use it much, but I guess it's possible that I use it without being aware of it?

If you are aware, could you give an example?
I usually have to cook a receipe a lot of times before I remember it, reading from a book doesn't usually help. Usually when someone gives me verbal instruction I often need something with my hands to get the rest of understanding the verbal only gets me so far. I also believe this is why I have trouble driving because I have to do it enough times, for example reversing around a corner may take someone ten tries to integrate it into their learning for me it takes far more.
 

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I usually have to cook a receipe a lot of times before I remember it, reading from a book doesn't usually help. Usually when someone gives me verbal instruction I often need something with my hands to get the rest of understanding the verbal only gets me so far. I also believe this is why I have trouble driving because I have to do it enough times, for example reversing around a corner may take someone ten tries to integrate it into their learning for me it takes far more.
I'm like this too. The parts of extraverted sensing that I don't see myself using are these:
(from one of the function analysis tests, also seems to match up with the previous description)
Instantly read visible cues to see just how far you can go.
Quickly move to take advantage of immediate options for action.
Spur action and pull off results simply by making your presence felt.
I think I'm way more cautious than these phrases imply. Is it possible I am just interpreting these the wrong way?
By the way, cardinalfire, did fiasco's post about dominant/auxiliary/tertiary functions help you? Or do we need to find more information on the subject?
 

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I think the descriptions you pointed out are more of a combination, or unrelated to Se at all - they seem to be referenced to Ti as well, which you may find you don't relate to in the least, being ISFP. I would take those parts with a grain of salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

By the way, cardinalfire, did fiasco's post about dominant/auxiliary/tertiary functions help you? Or do we need to find more information on the subject?
Well I got that:

Dominant - first function
Auxillary - second
Tertiary - third or 'relief' (i'm guessing a mini back up function? to use a metaphor)

The dominant function (like Ti in fiascos case) 'does' something with the information from the outside world and the auxillary categorises it. Is this correct?
 

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The dominant function (like Ti in fiascos case) 'does' something with the information from the outside world and the auxillary categorises it. Is this correct?
That's pretty true unless your dominant function is a perceiving type. Perceiving takes in, and Judging categorizes. Types like ESFP (dominant Se, auxiliary Fi) fit that description, so they may at times seek out information and new experiences more than they may 'judge' or categorize everything that they take in (at least compared to their introverted counterparts).

Types like ISFP (dominant Fi, auxiliary Se) have dominant judging type functions, so they seek out new experiences less than their extroverted counterparts. They analyze and categorize their experiences and the world more than the ESFP just "lives" them and enjoys it, as well. That's probably why the ISFP seems more careful than the ESFP -- they at first stand and try to get a feel for the environment by using their dominant Fi, whereas the ESFP might just charge in and explore it by using their dominant Se.

If I can say this without muddling everything: Dominant perceiving seeks new experiences most and usually relies on auxiliary judging to determine what is worth keeping. Dominant judging analyzes and categorizes most and usually relies on auxiliary perceiving to see and decipher the emerging patterns as their analysis goes on.

This is just my understanding. I really think Grey is more qualified to explain this.
 

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You, essentially, covered it to a good extent. If cardinalfire has any more type-specific questions, I'll be happy to explain - to try to explain the general idea without attaching it to a specific time can be tough at times.
 

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I am an ISFP, who, at the age of 12 tested as INTJ because I was encouraged to develop the intuitive function. My parents wanted me to be a writer. There was very little exciting going on, so I read a lot of books and spent a lot of time imagining things. Now that I actually have things going on in my life, though, I realize that I place other functions above it by choice.
 
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