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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Ne/Ni Jungian Cognitive Function Interaction

    Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I decided it was time to introduce something that hasn't been discussed on depth in any of the major mbti type forums that I've frequented over the past year. It's one of my particular pet topics which people often come to ask me about in various guises. I've talked about it in some depth before but I thought it may be time to document it for posterity.

    One of the great complications on this type of interaction is that people often have their own definition of what Ne and Ni are; therefore it is best to start by letting you know how I have come to define and understand these cognitive functions.

    Ne Preference and Interpersonal Interaction

    Ne is the easier to understand of the two; Ne has the attitude of preferring to extrapolate ideas from external stimulus. As the dominant Ne types you will see in ENTPs and ENFPs have a tendency to seek out stimulating ideas from interaction with others.

    These types often lament that they feel like 'knowledge thieves' taking others ideas and seeing alternate uses for them; of course what they may not realise is that they have a greater ability to spontaneously modify this idea (sometimes wildly) and find a new idea that few others may have brought to fruition before.

    This therefore teaches dominant Ne users that interpersonal reaction and stimulus giving is a 'good thing'. Thus if they feel they wish to improve their interactions with another person (shower them with love/make friends etc.) they will have a natural reaction of delivering large amounts of stimulus to that person and expect the same in return.

    Ni Preference and Interpersonal Interaction

    Ni has a more complex definition that I have failed to see anyone accurately define at all. Ni has the attitude of preferring to interpolate optimum systems from ideas based upon internal stimulus. This gives the dominant Ni types, the INTJ and INFJ's a focus on 'key symbolic ideas' which can be brought forward and optimized to build structure. Because Ni reacts to internal stimulus, these types will be external stimulus avoidant (sic. human interaction) as they would prefer space to help them solve whatever symbolic problem is running in their head.

    In human interaction these types often appear acutely observant; although they may have phased out to deal with some lingering internal conundrum. The support function adds considerably more definition to interaction as it is the external aspect. INTJs when they flip from Ni to Te will appear critical, viewing ideas as systems to be interpolated and optimized to solve any outstanding problems or to develop their understanding of ideas, with Ni providing a symbolic focus on the key aspects. INFJs will appear giving, with Fe actualising a need to empathically share what they view are the iconic themes that are driving them; expect lots of subtle but powerful emotional gestures based upon others needs.

    Therefore, dominant Ni users view intrapersonal thinking and blocking out external stimulus as the preferred opportunity available to them. If they they feel they wish to make friends or express love to another they will do so by interacting via. their secondary external aspect while dotting it with key iconic themes that their Ni prefers. They will then retreat to allow the other time to digest the concept as they would do themselves, regardless of the partner's preference. As they wish significant space and time to flex their Ni, they expect others also to wish it as a consequence.

    Opposing Interpersonal Interaction

    To summarise where we are at this point it is important to note that:
    Ne types will prefer to receive and give stimulus as is their preference
    Ni types will prefer to have and give space as is their preference.

    These two functional attitudes to interpersonal interaction are directly opposed which can lead to communication confusion between Ni and Ne users.

    I have often stressed that as a dominant Ni user I often feel that any interaction with an Ne user is immediately a loss. Because my preference is to sit and ponder and introvert to have a lengthy conversation with an ENxP I lose a large portion of my ability to do so while I feed their Ne. In effect, they love it, but I lose doing what I prefer to some degree.

    The side effect of such positive interaction for the Ne dominant is that they may choose to like the Ni dominant so much that they shower them with attention, without realising that this makes the Ni dominant feel at even greater of a loss as opposed to allowing time for the Ni dominant to recover and ponder. They may then become offended because if the Ni user wishes to be friendly with them they may receed into their shell because that is the Ni preference.

    As a result it is very important to find some kind of type interaction balance between Ne and Ni users and an understanding of how the other shows affection is the flip side of what may be naturally expected.

    Personal Note

    I have always had significant difficulty doing so in my own life; often having at least one ENFP around bombarding me with what I would view as mild dramas that I wish they would go away and solve themselves (and yes, they definitely have a lot more energy that I do to solve it!); of course this is my misunderstanding their ultimate sign of affection 'Look at this problem! Stimulus' without realising that it is a sign of belligerence to the Ni user. Also note that the Ni user shows love in a way the Ne does not necessarily reconcile 'I love you now I give you space!' they will say 'where is the interaction'.

    Of course, we know from a development perspective that it would be foolish to ignore the interaction of this type as Ni users require this external stimulus to develop their supporting functions, therefore Ni users should seek out this type of interaction in a way they find manageable and Ne users should appreciate that the Ni user will require to retreat and introvert much more than they may be happy with.

  2. #2
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    Question: how do you think this dynamic would differ if you replaced the Ni-dom with a Ti-dom? Fi-dom? Si-dom?

    It seemed you primarily addressed the nature of an introvert/extrovert relationship or dynamic; I'm curious to see how you think the dynamic would change, depending on what introverted function is in the dominant position...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Question: how do you think this dynamic would differ if you replaced the Ni-dom with a Ti-dom? Fi-dom? Si-dom?
    This is off topic but lets see... I believe that you would see quite a similar effect with a Ti dom versus Ne, however it depends on the maturity of their Ne support function. The Ti dominant may not get so far into 'suffering' (for lack of a better term) Ne dominant interaction as they are so focused on the task at hand they may take what they wish from the Ne user then decide the rest of the interaction was a waste of time.

    I cannot sympathise with the Si dominants as I really don't have a basis to work from. In past experience, Si dominants tend to be more willing to suffer people extroverting towards them than Ni dominants (the opportunity cost of relating is less) as the Ne user provides direct stimulus to the Si function often due to the flurry of activity an Ne user posses and this feeds into the smokescreen of Si that they use most prominently. An Si user could in effect see the energy of an Ne user as quite symbolic and therefore enjoy their company.

    With regards to Fi dominants as their driving function is self defined belief and moral systems which are then related to the world using either Se or Ne they would likely find an Ni user quite dull after a while (not enough idea generation to judge) whereas an Ne user may be more stimulating, although potentially more offensive! The slow(er) idea generation and processing of Ni types often fixes the Ni user on a set internal path, therefore Fi dominant users can find this comforting or completely disagreeable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    To summarise where we are at this point it is important to note that:
    Ne types will prefer to receive and give stimulus as is their preference
    Ni types will prefer to have and give space as is their preference.
    I'm pinging around workplace meetings right now, but I'll have to revisit this thread.

    The quote above definitely resonated -- I think the most pervasive issue I've had with Ni-primaries is feeling like they didn't like me, or that we weren't connecting, because instead of reaching out to engage and/or accept engagement, they would always pull back and disappear on me, like turtles going back into their shells, as soon as things got going, and I never knew how to read any of it. It was confounding, and meanwhile left me rather speechless since I did not want to misinterpret thing or intrude where I was not wanted. I just had no clue how to read it.

    It's like they just lived inside a black box, in the typical sense of the word. I had no clue what was going on in there. I could only see the Je perspective, but to me that was just a "working costume/demeanor" and not really the core of who they were, which remained cloaked.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    I'm just having the realization that Fidelia talks about of "I need to reach out more," or "I need to initiate more." Huh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It's like they just lived inside a black box, in the typical sense of the word. I had no clue what was going on in there. I could only see the Je perspective, but to me that was just a "working costume/demeanor" and not really the core of who they were, which remained cloaked.
    I do live in a black box, so to speak. It's really challenging for me to articulate half of what's in my head; I'm so bad at elaborating in-the-moment. I've mentioned this in various threads on here before, but what all of you guys read here on the boards, in these threads, really doesn't see the light of day in real life. I simply cannot articulate all of my thoughts in the same way, verbally. Verbally things get reduced to summaries, vaguer statements, or one-or-two liners. A 'long' post of mine on here requires 15-20 minutes to compose, and that's with me fully concentrating. IRL, with another person looking at me, it's an impossibility -- for obvious reasons.

    I think this does improve with practice - the more I socialize, the better I am able to articulate and express myself. Also it's improved with age -- I've made a conscious effort, through my 20's til now, to try to open up more and externalize some of this. But, for the most part, I'm *used to* just being in my own head and keeping all of it in there.

    (Also, I by no means am saying all INFJ's experience this to the extent that I do, as I don't think they do. I think I'm a little extreme when it comes to this, and two of my INFJ friends and one INTJ that I know are pretty darn good at illuminating their inner thoughts.)

    More to the OP - I definitely need to retreat and have my own space to formulate my thoughts, make sense of them, and reach conclusions.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I think this does improve with practice - the more I socialize, the better I am able to articulate and express myself. Also it's improved with age -- I've made a conscious effort, through my 20's til now, to try to open up more and externalize some of this. But, for the most part, I'm *used to* just being in my own head and keeping all of it in there.
    From the behavioural economics standpoint the INFJ projects and relates to others with more ease as Fe is the Extroverted Judging function rather than Te which only sees value in relations with others when there is qualitative (not quantitative) value in doing so (or so it feeds back to Ni in the case of the INTJ).

    With regards to quantitative value, INTPs are more likely to demand a discussion follows their line of inquiry although ideas which support this are allowed as Ne is secondary to Ti (in all occassions, Ti calls the shots).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm pinging around workplace meetings right now, but I'll have to revisit this thread.

    The quote above definitely resonated -- I think the most pervasive issue I've had with Ni-primaries is feeling like they didn't like me, or that we weren't connecting, because instead of reaching out to engage and/or accept engagement, they would always pull back and disappear on me, like turtles going back into their shells, as soon as things got going, and I never knew how to read any of it. It was confounding, and meanwhile left me rather speechless since I did not want to misinterpret thing or intrude where I was not wanted. I just had no clue how to read it.

    It's like they just lived inside a black box, in the typical sense of the word. I had no clue what was going on in there. I could only see the Je perspective, but to me that was just a "working costume/demeanor" and not really the core of who they were, which remained cloaked.
    I feel the same way with Si. Like it crawls back in its shell because I said something. The times they dont it comes across as critical. I notice this with ENTP at work and I started to use it as a sound board of integration ideas. Usually I end up walking off with a weird feeling about the way things went, then his Si puts stuff together and comes back with direction.
    Im out, its been fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    From the behavioural economics standpoint the INFJ projects and relates to others with more ease as Fe is the Extroverted Judging function rather than Te which only sees value in relations with others when there is qualitative (not quantitative) value in doing so (or so it feeds back to Ni in the case of the INTJ).

    With regards to quantitative value, INTPs are more likely to demand a discussion follows their line of inquiry although ideas which support this are allowed as Ne is secondary to Ti (in all occassions, Ti calls the shots).
    When in Ti mode and troubleshoot I do guide, always. I make the call on whats relevant and whats not, but its not to say that I dont accept input or paths from others to judge what is relevant. I always welcome input on paths that I didnt look at or just providing more info. 90% of the time the questions I ask are strictly objective and not related to who you are. Whats common goes out the window to what could possibly happen and eliminating paths.

    When I do decide to go down others path I generally dont see the relevance so I follow. I am not able to provide very many ideas as I dont see the relevence or paths.
    Im out, its been fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by poki View Post
    I feel the same way with Si. Like it crawls back in its shell because I said something. The times they dont it comes across as critical. I notice this with ENTP at work and I started to use it as a sound board of integration ideas. Usually I end up walking off with a weird feeling about the way things went, then his Si puts stuff together and comes back with direction.
    I don't think your ENTP is using Si to come back with a new direction; he is likely using Ti to rethink the root of the problem, then once satisfied with his own logic he will meet you half way using Fe. Si is very low down the ENTP food chain and all it practically acts is as a smokescreen to spot errors or similarities of things in his minds eye against past experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by poki View Post
    When in Ti mode and troubleshoot I do guide, always. I make the call on whats relevant and whats not, but its not to say that I dont accept input or paths from others to judge what is relevant. I always welcome input on paths that I didnt look at or just providing more info. 90% of the time the questions I ask are strictly objective and not related to who you are. Whats common goes out the window to what could possibly happen and eliminating paths.

    When I do decide to go down others path I generally dont see the relevance so I follow. I am not able to provide very many ideas as I dont see the relevence or paths.
    With regards to this I think there is some confusion; I did not state that Ti will always wish a narrow path to be chosen, but it is by definition a preference and a tendancy of the function. Fi and Ti (Ji) are both highly subjective and wish to follow their own path especially in the dominant slot. I think that if a new idea or avenue is pitched into a workplace scenario where you have already settled in to the problem you will give it 100% of your focus to close it out by pulling in external visions (Se); if you find the idea is surprisingly useful once you check it against system benchmarks you are of course going to discard the old system as it is illogical, but you will be annoyed having two systems 'messing about' rather than one - This is a rather different approach to an INTP - Ne subordinate to Ti. It is important to view the secondary support function when thinking of the dominant; most especially when the dominant function is introverted.

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