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Thread: Ni - What the hell is it?

  1. #181
    Alchemist of life Array Coriolis's Avatar
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    This discussion has been fascinating. I've used and appreciated my Ni-dom all my life, but was as hard-put as anyone to explain it, since I have always just taken it for granted. PeaceBaby asks: does Ni give you comfort? I was about to answer yes, of course, remembering all the times it has shown me the way, like a light at the end of the tunnel. Uumlau, however, reminded me that I was jumping the gun, focusing on the results. There is unsettledness, even angst, in the time between the initial flash of insight, and the rigorous vetting and fleshing out of the idea using other functions. Waiting for implementation or results is also a stressful time. The tendency for contingency planning assuages this significantly, though one must then wait to see which contingency will need to be played out.

    We may be attempting to do the almost impossible here, however: to define a function in a vacuum. That's not how we use them. Even our dominant function always works in conjunction with other functions. The interrelation will vary with the strength of the other functions and their appropriateness to the situation (degree to which we are calling upon them). Perhaps the trust I have learned to have for my Ni comes from its demonstrated track record when properly supported by other functions, particularly Te, Fi, and Se (logic, values, observations).

    Here are a few examples of my own use of Ni:

    1. Several things were going wrong at work. Colleagues in a different facility were being uncooperative about a collaborative effort. Beancounters and other "ancillary folk" in my building were making it increasingly difficult to get work done on a related project. On top of it all, a major reorganization was looming. Everything was a huge muddle. I was sitting in a dull meeting unrelated to any of this, when I heard a stray, tangential remark from someone I barely knew. It was like the magic missing piece of the puzzle. I instantly saw how all three problems could be productively addressed through one unorthodox but forward-thinking venture. Within minutes, the broad outline of a comprehensive plan formed almost on their own in my mind. Several weeks later, extensive research supported this basic framework, and sold it to immediate and middle managers who were impressed with what I had come up with so quickly. The proposal finally stalled when the senior manager was replaced by someone with no foresight and no courage.

    2. Someone was hired at my workplace almost 5 years ago, on the condition that he would eventually relocate to one of our other facilities. I knew then that he never would, and he didn't (quit last month).

    3. I was briefly introduced to a student several years ago, during a large meeting at her university (her involvement was tangential). I knew we would cross paths again. Two years later, she contacted me about a job. Her skills were a poor fit with my group, but I knew she would find a place somewhere, and already had contacts to whom to refer her. She was hired a few months later.

    4. I recently had the master bath/dressing area in my house reworked, including moving walls to be more space efficient and to allow expansion of the next room which was uselessly narrow. I sketched out the new floorplan, but couldn't fit in a door between the bathroom and the closet/dressing area; there was no room left on any wall, but I didn't want it left open. When I realized I didn't need to have the walls intersect at right angles, I saw instantly that a very convenient door could be placed at 30 degrees to the neighboring wall. (I made other modifications to my house based on similar use of non-standard angles.)

    5. Toward the end of a long dry spell in my spiritual life, I stumbled upon a notice online for a prayer group meeting that piqued my curiosity. It was a group I had never heard of, about an hour away in an area I had never been to, no one I knew would be there, I had another commitment that evening, etc. etc. Somehow, though, I knew I would attend. If this was prophetic, it certainly had a self-fulfilling aspect to it. I went because I made it happen, but everything fell into place effortlessly for me to do so. It turned out to be a major turning point in my spiritual life. (Now that part I did not forsee.)

    6. Very simple: the phone rings, and most of the time, I have a good idea who is calling, and I don't have caller ID. I just somehow instantly cross-correlate who ever calls me, who has called too soon to be calling again already, what time of day it is, what might be going on to prompt a call from a specific person, etc. etc. A couple years ago, my SO's father was fighting cancer. He was doing reasonably well in treatments, but when the phone rang one evening, I knew right away it was to tell us that he had died.

  2. #182
    Moving to the BVI Array highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    Before I've reached 'resolution'/clarity, I must say I think it's similar for me. Just stuff floating around up there. Quite a lot, and rapidly sometimes. Much of it would probably be nebulous impressions - half-formed notions, maybe. The beginnings of something, but just the blip/suggestion of an idea. I can't tell you how much of my existence has been spent doing absolutely nothing -- just sitting in this zoned-out state of what I'll call musing, contemplating, one impression or another popping through my head, sometimes simultaneously, and if I'm really anxious about a specific thing, in that moment it feels like a mess of craziness up there, it's like I 'wait' for things to settle of their own accord or something... letting things sift around and flow around. That's perhaps the most elemental level.

    Then when it becomes more conscious/active, that's where active shifting and looking through different lens and viewpoints and perspectives starts kicking in - being more aware of trying to nab what's coalescing in my mind. Then, on top of that, when I'm actively trying to crack something that I'll have more of a dialogue running in my head, where I'm actually trying to pinpoint specific things and analyze them. Dissect things, etc. But without the analyzation aspect it's kinda what highlander describes, and it's not specific full-formed thoughts or sentences, rather it would be analagous to phrases or complete Impressions - or an instant-flash total full-picture view of something, without the need to have all of the sentences there in my head, the sentences are implied and 'known' based on my already-formed Clarities of other things I've already worked through and that tie into this current thing (because it's rare you're ever starting from scratch, you can grab pieces of previous constructs to incorporate into whatever you're currently musing over)..

    And, writing is one of the few mediums that actually works for getting all of the stuff out. Except as I already mentioned, apparently even when I think I'm outlining every little detail, it seems I'm not.
    I think this is it exactly.

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  3. #183
    Senior Member Array Neutralpov's Avatar
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    Counseling is Ni in serious action.

    I see a patient who is a student with talk of metal instability and has been abused. When meeting with them you have to pull from counseling theory the mental stages, the progression of the mental illness and extrapolate the seriousness of the case and future implications for the person's health (is this person likely to commit suicide in the next gap in visits in severe cases based on their ramblings that are unhealthy?), where is this person in mental understanding on what abuse is (do they not know they can escape it), where is this person in social development and what are their peers saying to them and pressuring them, where are they in developmental stages of self-agency? Are they independent in thought, or do I need to call a caregiver in? also a big one here in Texas with a large Mexican population is the cultural paradigms of collectivism and that the minor in front of me will disrespect his family if he acts independently.

    Of all the paradigms of counseling I unusually can A-ha what one is predominant but I have to chart and go back and prove which I needed to address this week. In this situation with a Hispanic minor the most important case was calling the collective decision makers in to help them understand what was going on. Collectivism and being in a stage on dependency were the immediate counseling need. The next week or session it will be immediate problem solving for mental illness followed by follow-up on what it means that the minor is mentally ill, next that abuse is NOT okay and they are not educated in that they don't have to accept it.

    Another example: Marital counseling. relativism at it's most full blown. Both sides have stories that are extremely colored by emotion, their perspectives, and I have to listen and piece their perspectives, motivations for them, and pressures, and usually neither side is central. I have to see both perspectives and show them their paradigms and help them come to a decision.

    Also and I think Ni manifests with NF in general in the form of introjection. This is why i am not going to fully finish my LPC is that I cannnnnnnot separate from what I am hearing enough in the long term (I can in session). Ni does detach and that is what is needed but I cry and break down when I realize and snap out of "counseling mode" and realize what I just problem solved, and looked at was a patient talking about breaking a child's jaw in a intense abuse situation. My introjection just seeps through the cracks and explodes later on when reality hits me. And unfortunately I love counseling when I can handle the subject matter of the more sever cases, but you cannot chose who insurance send to you to see or only be partially proficient in counseling because you don't like some parts of counseling and want only minor cases.
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  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    ...it's like I 'wait' for things to settle of their own accord or something...
    Does this resonate strongly with other Ni doms?

    I know it does for me: regarding both my own mind, and the external world...
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  5. #185
    i love Array skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    1) Ni is responsible for the estimation of the passage of time, the understanding of a course of processes in time, and forecasting;
    2) Ni understand how things change and evolve over time and throughout history;
    3) Ni is acutely aware of events that are occurring outside of the immediate perception of the moment, and sees events as part of a continuous flow;
    4) Ni perceives the inevitability of future events and notices ties to the past.

    No, this is not my definition. I brought this forth from the Intertardz.
    if this is true, then shit, i had some Ni as a kid. i'd always hang around and watch things happen... i felt like i was an outsider watching things take place around me, even as i was participating. i could also usually guess the time to a minute (used to creep out my tennis teacher) and i could wake up at an exact minute i decided on the night before. i felt less ADD as a younger child in general anyway. less all over the place and more like an observer than a participant. interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Maybe I'm an exception. For me, there is this jumble of impressions, concepts, information, ideas. thoughts, perspectives, etc. I sometimes have a very hard time making sense of it all. I can't articulate it into words easily. Writing things down helps to crystallize the thinking a lot.

    Is Fi like that?
    yes.

    i think Te is helpful for me to get Fi out, but it still doesn't do a great job of expressing everything. i feel like i have to reclarify and reclarify and reclarify until i get something decent.

    [QUOTE=Robopop;1369417]Ne could branch off with numerous possibilities and implications from the concise Ti starting point/idea, could the Ti+Ne combo mimic Ni in certain situations? Sometimes I have those "aha" moments too, especially if I'm walking somewhere(I have came up with entire storylines and plots unexpectly/random while walking to the store), could Ne have aha moments like Ni?

    same with Fi+Ne, i think. and i also think yes. but i guess the way to tell the real Ni moments is that you really have no idea why the hell you know something.

    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    Before I've reached 'resolution'/clarity, I must say I think it's similar for me. Just stuff floating around up there. Quite a lot, and rapidly sometimes. Much of it would probably be nebulous impressions - half-formed notions, maybe. The beginnings of something, but just the blip/suggestion of an idea. I can't tell you how much of my existence has been spent doing absolutely nothing -- just sitting in this zoned-out state of what I'll call musing, contemplating, one impression or another popping through my head, sometimes simultaneously, and if I'm really anxious about a specific thing, in that moment it feels like a mess of craziness up there, it's like I 'wait' for things to settle of their own accord or something... letting things sift around and flow around. That's perhaps the most elemental level.

    Then when it becomes more conscious/active, that's where active shifting and looking through different lens and viewpoints and perspectives starts kicking in - being more aware of trying to nab what's coalescing in my mind. Then, on top of that, when I'm actively trying to crack something that I'll have more of a dialogue running in my head, where I'm actually trying to pinpoint specific things and analyze them. Dissect things, etc. But without the analyzation aspect it's kinda what highlander describes, and it's not specific full-formed thoughts or sentences, rather it would be analagous to phrases or complete Impressions - or an instant-flash total full-picture view of something, without the need to have all of the sentences there in my head, the sentences are implied and 'known' based on my already-formed Clarities of other things I've already worked through and that tie into this current thing (because it's rare you're ever starting from scratch, you can grab pieces of previous constructs to incorporate into whatever you're currently musing over)..

    And, writing is one of the few mediums that actually works for getting all of the stuff out. Except as I already mentioned, apparently even when I think I'm outlining every little detail, it seems I'm not.
    ^ huh. that's really interesting. thanks yeah it's still kind of... vague? but i get it in relation to Fi. there's so much to explain and not very many good words for it.

    thanks for the examples too highlander!

    also, can i pay your Ni to select an appropriate career path for me?

  6. #186
    Senior Member Array wedekit's Avatar
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    Excerpts from Personality Types: An Owners Manual by Lenore Thomson:

    "Whatever types we happen to be, we use all four means of Perception in one way or another. For example, imagine we are spending a day at the beach:

    • Extraverted Sensing would prompt us to go with out sense impressions as they occurred: to lie in the sun, play in the surf, listen to the gulls piping overhead.
    • Introverted Sensing would move us to stabilize our sense impressions by integrating them with facts we knew to be consistent. We might bring our favorite book, or snorkel and flippers, a bag of snacks, extra towels because someone will probably forget one, and a watch to make sure we beat traffic at home.
    • Extraverted Intuition would move us to unify our sense impressions with their larger context, thereby creating new options for meaning and response. For example, as we lie on our blanket in the sun, perhaps we hear music in the distance. Someone passing by mentions a great restaurant in town. Suddenly we're thinking: Hey, there must be an amusement park nearby. If it's on our way to tow, we can check out the rides before look for that restuarant that passerby was talking about. In fact, maybe the guy knows other places we should consider. Where'd he go?
    • Introverted Intuition would prompt us to liberate our sense impressions from their larger context, thereby creating new options for perception itself. For example, we might find ourselves wondering why people feel so strongly about getting a new tan. We remember reading somewhere that before the Industrial Revolution, being tan marked one as a manual laborer, because it suggested work outdoors. After the Industrial Revolution, it was pale skin that suggested manual labor, because it indicated work in a poorly lit factory. Such correlations aren't relevant today, but a good tan is still considered attractive. Why is that? We consider raising the question as a topic of conversation, but we're pretty sure our friends will think we're observing a situation rather than enjoying it." (This is the story of my life, btw. -_-)




    Some other quotes from the same book that might be helpful:

    "Extraverted Intuition versus Introverted Intuition

    Extraverted intuitives are right-brained types who deal with their sense impressions by unifying them into larger outward patterns. Am ENxP physician, for example, may realize, with sudden insight, that several unexplained symptoms are actually part of a single disease. As an extraverted type, the physician has no doubt that the disease syndrome really exists. The pattern was always there, waiting for someone to discover it. What's important now is telling others about the discovery--getting people to see that the new model offers more options than the old.

    Introverted intuitives don't think this way. For INJs, patterns aren't "out there" in the world, waiting to be discovered. They're part of us--the way we make sense of the riot of information and energy impinging on our systems. A disease syndrome is a useful construct, but that's all it is--an aggregate of observations attached to a label, telling us what to see and how to deal with it.

    Given their real-life consequences, mental constructs don't strike INJs as imaginary or irrelevant. They're merely arbitrary, derived from a particular view of life. For this reason, they can trap us into holding that view--say, that physicians are in the business of cure rather than prevention--without being aware of its effects."



    And finally, another tidbit of interest:

    "Most types rely on [Ni] to contend with ambiguities of meaning and perception--that is, to see that a situation can be interpreted in more than one way. We may use it, for example, to acknowledge the possibility of both scientific and religious positions on life after death, or to deal with incompatible experiences of self and solidarity at work, home, and among friends.

    It may seem peculiar, therefore, to depend on this function for one's primary understanding of reality. If INJs are seeing things from many (sometimes conflicting) perspectives, on what basis would they ever take action?

    It should be emphasized that INJs are very much like ENPs in this respect. Where [Ne]s see many behavioral options, INJs acknowledge many conceptual standpoints. They experience no need to declare one inherently better than the other. Indeed, these types have a disconcerting habit of solving a problem by shifting their perspective and defining the situation in some other way."


    I really recommend this book for anyone trying to understand Jungian types on a theoretical/conceptual level. =)
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  7. #187
    Filthy Apes! Array Kalach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Honestly Kalach, what do you think I am trying to do here?
    Extract a collection of statements to see what connections they spark so you can begin finding out what Ni really is. It is currently mysterious and therefore interesting as an object in the network of all meanings. There's a problem of competing intuitions, though.

    I assume Ne works by understanding all input as concrete. Anything coming in amounts to a factoid or a mere present event. Something that happened. The real meaning of that factoid or event, and the real interest of an Ne user in having some concrete input, appears as content tracks, lots and lots of content tracks, that explode out from awareness of the factoid. The relationship of the factoid to Everything appears, and Ne-dom sees that it was good.

    But this waiting that the Ni people are talking about, that's where this practical problem of timing appears. By the time the Vision is ready to be spoken, not only as it been coupled with some utilitarian external world tool and turned about so that only the one aspect that works with the current circumstance is what shows (and what is wanted to be shown), but the actual broader vision that produced the local vision slips back below the surface, and while present and driving, is in a utilitarian sense irrelevant to the immediate context--actually explaining the whole vision is a monumental waste of time--only "action" is needed now.

    (Or, to put it another way, Ni works by understanding all input as concrete action: just as everyone else is Si for a Ne dom, everyone else is Se for an Ni.)

    I want to pull something out of you, something deeper, something that makes you dig to offer it over ... share your insight!
    You want something in the moment so your preferred content filter can start working? Mine already has been working and the benefit of going back to the beginning isn't apparent, most especially since the products of my content filter don't count as products for your filter, just stray content yet to be examined.

    You say you have "visions" - ergo you must SEE something, literally or metaphorically or predictively. I want to know what that is, how that process feels, what types of insights you have gained, how it manifests in your daily life ...

    Give it!
    Seeing is passive. That's what it feels like, waiting. One can do things to start the ball rolling, like immerse oneself in the content area, or go out and interact with the people and things involved, or get out a pen and paper and start making notes, but the seeing comes later, during the waiting.

    What it feels like is, as pointed out by others, either anxious or entertained. The anxiety is more a product of extroverted judging imperatives. The entertainment is, well, being one with a story that comes and goes and disappears and changes course, is dropped and picked up, and themes and meanings rise up to take control and then slip away to have a rest.

    But you're not going to be greeted with friendship and warmth if what you heard me say just now is by doing Ni I merely entered some activity that is now past. What I did was let the meaning of all things begin to appear. I ran through images, turned them over in my head, wasn't satisifed with repetition and instead sought new combinations of entities and devices. I sat still a lot just seeing what new parts came together.


    So, how does letting the meaning of all things appear fit into the meaning of all things? What does Ne see of Ni activity if a rule is made that you're not allowed to pretend Ni activity is just some local colour that happened in the past before the real meaning engineers arrived to begin understanding what was going on?




    The real reason for not being especially clear about The Vision is that to clarify is to limit. The only value of clarifying the vision right now is in the production of some interim but needed concrete action. At all other times the vision is an ongoing project in which the whole structure is meaningful less in terms of how it should be expressed and much more in terms of what new parts of the vision have arrived and how do they relate to the whole. Can't make no Si out of Ni and expect the Ni to like it.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeatherC View Post
    Counseling is Ni in serious action.
    Wow, thanks for typing that up! Counseling sounds stressful if you care too much...

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    if this is true, then shit, i had some Ni as a kid. i'd always hang around and watch things happen... i felt like i was an outsider watching things take place around me, even as i was participating. i could also usually guess the time to a minute (used to creep out my tennis teacher) and i could wake up at an exact minute i decided on the night before. i felt less ADD as a younger child in general anyway. less all over the place and more like an observer than a participant. interesting.
    Yeah if it's true, I have Ni too. On functions tests I always score highest on Ne, Ni, Fi, and Fe, not necessarily in that order, but Se is also high.

    I relate to a lot of Ni descriptions.

    But I'm way too....EXPRESSIVE!!!...OMG!!!...ATTENTIONWHOREALLC APS...to be INFJ. I've done some observation, and they seem to have a great deal of self-control, even the cool ones who have a dark edge that I can relate to. They also are less likely to confront people than I am.

    *sigh*

    ENFP or ISFP. Whatever.





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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    They seem to have a great deal of self-control, even the cool ones who have a dark edge that I can relate to. They also are less likely to confront people than I am.



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