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Thread: Ni - What the hell is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    Wow, your reading comprehension is terrible.
    I don't see how, since I had a 35 on the ACT reading comprehension and a 3.9 as a Literature major.

    Just because someone doesn't see things your way or understand doesn't mean their reading comprehension is poor. Maybe you should go hang out with TG.

    And I'm not sure what's been up with the personal attacks ever since last night, but I re-instate that I implore you to find some sort of release for your personal tension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    But the flashes from Ne come out of the blue, out of the ether as it were.
    vs

    As I expressed above to uumlau, waiting for me means ... waiting.
    It's not really waiting. It's "sitting with". The process is on-going and constantly productive, but tends not to take part in deadlines, so finding out where one train of content is going, or even what the true nature of that content is, is in some sense not the priority. One "waits" on the answer. Meanwhile one is shaping it by seeing it take shape.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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    Quote Originally Posted by stormyapril View Post
    Ne patterns result in an end universal Si generalized rule. The ENFP will dance using Si, not Se. Ne patterns of movement practiced over and over and over again become Si muscle memory-Si generalized rules to dance by. Much like Ni, the Si will never be seen past the surface-yet it lies underneath.

    Once in Si, it removes the need to think about what comes next-the subconscious memorized pattern dictates the next step. Thus the dancer becomes one with the dance.

    Same result-different path.
    I realize this is a metaphor, but there are not "Ne patterns of movement". That still sounds like Se. Those are tangible patterns. Or maybe it's just cuz I'm crap at dancing that I call foul here... :P
    Seriously though, Ne devalues the object (external things) to see what it implies as opposed to what it is. That can involve patterns, but it's not all it amounts to, and it's often not considering literal, visible patterns. Tangible patterns are too obvious, & so they seem dull to observe & create. When it comes to music, for instance, the longer it takes for a clear rhythmic pattern to emerge, the more interesting I may find it. Instantly "catchy" music can get boring quickly. If it has to "grow" on you, then I'll probably like it more in the long run.

    Si as backup amounts to understanding the past to AVOID it in the future. I suppose Ne sets trends, but it also seeks to basically destroy what is current and create something new for the sake of new; only Ji can give it "noble" motive & restraint. Ne opposes Si, which is why they exist within the same individual for balance. This is why Ne people like to test current concepts (ie. often appears as semi "rebellious") to see if they hold true, and why we tend to be far less externally structured than Je people. We're tearing the structure down to see what's really behind it. It's like...people say this is "true" or "good", but my Ji questions that, and Ne is sent forth to uncover the truth. I don't think this is really conscious either...only upon analyzing all of this did I even note how much it applies to my thinking.

    I was thinking about how Jung says that Ni also devalues the object, but it's the inner object. So if Se values the external object, and Ne devalues it to see the invisible side of it, then Ni is basically devaluing the object Si values, or the images of the past, to see what they imply rather than what they are; and what the past always implies is the future (since it leads to it...). So Ni sort of converges impressions from different time periods (personal past & collective past), creating a picture of the inevitable for the future, and thus "predicting" it. I suppose all these images slowly form a composite in the unconscious, and the "aha" moment strikes when it's complete. Ne avoids the past & seeks to (in a sense) destroy the present to create something new from the possibilities it sees. So neither is really more future-focused (just as neither Fe or Fi is more empathetic, or Te or Ti is more logical).
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    Administrator Array highlander's Avatar
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    OMG - I am not wierd. Other people do these things too

    What a great thread. These comments are awesome!


    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Yes, this is how I think. Here's where it gets tricky: if I try to think, my thinking sucks. The information isn't there. I keep pushing the same bits of info around and they just don't fit. I can't do anything with it.

    However, if I don't push, but instead just let the thoughts flow ... if I just "not-think", instead of think ... THEN I get results, and it feels like magic. The ideas/thoughts reorient themselves without my pushing, and suddenly they fit together. Sometimes this self-reorientation is comical, ludicrous, absolutely silly ... but sometimes it's a huge insight that gets me what I need. This is where the judging function comes in, especially the extroverted judging: the judging differentiates the nonsense arrangements from the insightful ones. The new insights are "insightful" precisely because my judging determines them to be so, not because Ni does something magical.

    When I don't try to think, my thinking falls into place. If I try to think hard, it just doesn't. By "not-thinking," I get my best thinking done. And this attitude works in other aspects of one's life.
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    @bold: that's enough for me to work with, and all of your examples were great. I am not interested in picking them apart, so I have no questions of them. I do see aspects that have an Ne flavor, especially example 4. That's like having all the pieces of a puzzle in front of you, and to most they appear as a single color, yet you can still quickly assemble the puzzle and provide a solution.
    I see what you mean about 4. I think there is a difference with Ne though. The Ne dom will tend to want to talk more about possibilities and options whereas the Ni dom will want to start writing the answer (or otherwise communicate it) and decide. The course of action can't be made real till it's clear. Ne is stuck with many possibilities whereas Ni chooses (with Fe/Te). It might be good to have both working on it together because the Ni user might eliminate good options too soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    You are interesting to me Kalach ...

    That's not fully resonating with me ... there's nothing linear by how I experience Ne anyway. I would agree Ne is about the concrete, about the real-world per se. But the flashes from Ne come out of the blue, out of the ether as it were. Something I may have been pondering weeks ago will be solved in a flash of insight prompted by a singular piece of real world data. Or I will see several pieces of seemingly unrelated data and fit them together. Just see the patterns between things. Unlike Ni, it doesn't provide inspiration to make a NEW thing, previously unimagined. Any insights of that nature for me revolve around Fi.

    To use a metaphor, you're trying out various ingredients to see what new creation will be cooked up, what new flavors will be experienced. That is what is sounds like to me. It sounds alive.
    Ne seems to like Metaphors more than Ni. It's a clue for me - if somebody uses lots of metaphors, it's a clue to Ne.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    For Ni, Te/Fe is what gets our butts out the door and working on stuff. The dictum you relate about fishing is about e vs i.

    So let me re-metaphor phor you.

    Ni is the continuous thought stream. Underlying currents that indirectly contain everything we've ever observed or thought.

    To fish, I could use a pole with bait, or I could use a spear, or even my hands, but none of these is close to what Te does. For me, Te is a fishing net. The fish that are too small pass through the net, the big fish are caught. I just need to wait.

    Then when I've caught a few fish, I don't need all of them, just one. So I look for the best fish among the several I've caught. I may have also caught some sticks or rocks or ducks, determine that they're "nonsense" in terms of my Te search for fish, and toss them out without thinking about it.

    So, your style of waiting has you drifting with your thoughts, which results in no action because Ne is your objective process, which you use to paddle through them. My style of waiting is to "let the river do all the work." I simply sort out what is in the river. My net is to simply frame the question and let it settle in my mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    This was actually phenomenal, Seymour.

    Very much in line with how my mind works.

    Just a week or two ago, in describing to my girlfriend why I and other Ni doms sometimes have a somewhat "blank" look on our face, I said it was because my thoughts on the matter are still forming.

    The stuff inside my head has still not congealed into any solid substance, it hasn't yet reached that crystallized state, the lightning has not yet struck. But then, all of a sudden, *boom* it's there. And I've got something in mind.

    Any pushing or forcing, either by ourselves or by external sources, tends to cause whatever had been forming to now be perturbed and, in general, creates some perversion (in my case, often tinged with resentment and anger for having its natural process be disturbed) of what had already been forming, that is now less insightful and valuable then what had been forming in the first place.

    I believe this explanation came in the context of asking her to just let me finish figuring out what it is that I had to say, with the necessary time and silence in order to do so.


    This, of course, is only when I'm letting Ni drive the car.

    If I want to to whip back with some quick response, or make sure I "have a look on my face", I can let Te or a TeSe loop do the driving, and they will be up for the task.
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    It's how I recognize Ni-ers IRL ... a certain look in the eyes, distant and not quite present. The flash that occurs when the thoughts are interrupted, like a hailing back to reality.

    Do you set aside time especially so you can ponder / float without any intrusions? Is it easy to access your Ni space even when in the middle of a group of people?
    It's why I don't mind driving - 3 hours just tonight to the middle of Illinois. There must have been a 45 minute stretch where I was zoned out thinking about something related to work.

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    Not in the middle, anywhere but the middle. We end up having to continually pull ourself back into reality and it is a constant effort not to phase out trying to keep up with what is going on. If its a large group one would prefer to pass through without contact and unnoticed; this has the same effect as being alone and is preferred. This is why only communicating with 1 or 2 people is ideal at any time, we can either stay with Ni or without because we aren't being 'overwhelmed' into Ni by just a few persons.
    Someone just criticized me a few months ago for this very thing - or drifting off. I find it exceptionally hard in meetings. What do they say to you ? Hey! Stop thinking and listen??? It would probably work but nobody's ever done it.



    Last edited by highlander; 10-21-2010 at 07:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    OMG - I am not wierd. Other people do these things too
    No, you're still weird.

    It's just, we're weird too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Someone just criticized me a few months ago for this very thing - or drifting off. I find it exceptionally hard in meetings. What do they say to you ? Hey! Stop thinking and listen??? It would probably work but nobody's ever done it.
    I usually doodle in a pad as if I'm taking notes. Gives me something to reorient against. Generally people complain because you give off signals that you don't look outwardly 'busy'. The same people won't say a word if someone brings a laptop into a meeting and sits typing through the whole thing.

    It can be difficult to maintain the narrative however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    I usually doodle in a pad as if I'm taking notes. Gives me something to reorient against. Generally people complain because you give off signals that you don't look outwardly 'busy'. The same people won't say a word if someone brings a laptop into a meeting and sits typing through the whole thing.
    Hah! The pretense of note-taking is difficult though. I just doodle. It's a standard doodle too--variations on shaded circles. If I do doodle in this way, I find I can listen to long stretches of otherwise mundane procedural stuff I'd normally drift away from. If I don't doodle, my attention to what's going on fades in and out. It has often seemed to me that the doodling is a fairly literal aid to listening. I'll break off from the doodling when something noteworthy is said or some insight is important enough to jot down.

    Sitting in front of someone and looking at them, along with all the smiling and nodding and interacting, I actually tend to end up having heard less of what they were saying, most particularly if I'm supposed to be interviewing them. It seems to me in such moments that the limited sensing resource is being used up in spotting, mimicking and maintaining conventional interaction cues and isn't serving as a source of input for the higher function. I actually don't get a chance to "think". Can't find the novelty and build on it.

    This'll sound weird, I guess, but it is easier to hear an SP speak.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    I usually doodle in a pad as if I'm taking notes. Gives me something to reorient against. Generally people complain because you give off signals that you don't look outwardly 'busy'. The same people won't say a word if someone brings a laptop into a meeting and sits typing through the whole thing.
    Ah yes, the doodling. I did that all of the time in meetings. I don't know what I would have done without it. Mostly a series of 3D geometric shapes and such; just doing that sort of thing continuously. It also takes me back to junior high and high school.... I'd be doodling nearly the entire time for most classes - any class that didn't require my full attention (social studies and history..gah) - and would make elaborate maze/brain-like patterns on my folders, slowly filling them up week by week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach
    Sitting in front of someone and looking at them, along with all the smiling and nodding and interacting, I actually tend to end up having heard less of what they were saying, most particularly if I'm supposed to be interviewing them. It seems to me in such moments that the limited sensing resource is being used up in spotting, mimicking and maintaining conventional interaction cues and isn't serving as a source of input for the higher function. I actually don't get a chance to "think". Can't find the novelty and build on it.
    Ah, I can actually kind of relate to this. So much effort put into maintaining an outward demeanor, that that takes up the majority of my consciousness. I think it depends on the setting; I don't know that it's always a big problem but it's something that does happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    It's not really waiting. It's "sitting with". The process is on-going and constantly productive, but tends not to take part in deadlines, so finding out where one train of content is going, or even what the true nature of that content is, is in some sense not the priority. One "waits" on the answer. Meanwhile one is shaping it by seeing it take shape.
    Thanks for the clarification. If I just maintain a "sitting with" posture, I'll just be sitting there forever. In stress, it's too easy for me to try to surround myself with Si comforts to crowd out Fi angst ... and it's not a bad thing, occasionally, in moderation. It's like a zoning out of sorts until one is reenergized and more ready to tackle the issue. But the key is Ne - to stir that space and get me out of that funk.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Si as backup amounts to understanding the past to AVOID it in the future. I suppose Ne sets trends, but it also seeks to basically destroy what is current and create something new for the sake of new; only Ji can give it "noble" motive & restraint. Ne opposes Si, which is why they exist within the same individual for balance. This is why Ne people like to test current concepts (ie. often appears as semi "rebellious") to see if they hold true, and why we tend to be far less externally structured than Je people. We're tearing the structure down to see what's really behind it. It's like...people say this is "true" or "good", but my Ji questions that, and Ne is sent forth to uncover the truth. I don't think this is really conscious either...only upon analyzing all of this did I even note how much it applies to my thinking.

    I was thinking about how Jung says that Ni also devalues the object, but it's the inner object. So if Se values the external object, and Ne devalues it to see the invisible side of it, then Ni is basically devaluing the object Si values, or the images of the past, to see what they imply rather than what they are; and what the past always implies is the future (since it leads to it...). So Ni sort of converges impressions from different time periods (personal past & collective past), creating a picture of the inevitable for the future, and thus "predicting" it. I suppose all these images slowly form a composite in the unconscious, and the "aha" moment strikes when it's complete. Ne avoids the past & seeks to (in a sense) destroy the present to create something new from the possibilities it sees. So neither is really more future-focused (just as neither Fe or Fi is more empathetic, or Te or Ti is more logical).
    Another thought-provoking post OA. Very interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What a great thread. These comments are awesome!
    Thanks to all for sharing their responses to make it a great thread.

    I see what you mean about 4. I think there is a difference with Ne though. The Ne dom will tend to want to talk more about possibilities and options whereas the Ni dom will want to start writing the answer (or otherwise communicate it) and decide. The course of action can't be made real till it's clear. Ne is stuck with many possibilities whereas Ni chooses (with Fe/Ti). It might be good to have both working on it together because the Ni user might eliminate good options too soon.
    Well, true, Ne won't discount the possibilities seemingly as quickly as Ni - that happens after a self-initiated Te-style smack-down ("ok, we can't do ALL of these things, and some make more inherent sense than others. Let's narrow this down to only two options.") Then in a work environment, this works well because one option will always be your personal fav, but the bosses always like to feel they are making the decision, so you present the pros/cons of each best option, you weight your presentations of course to your logical fav, and poof, the way ahead.

    Ne seems to like Metaphors more than Ni. It's a clue for me - if somebody uses lots of metaphors, it's a clue to Ne.
    That may be an Fi/Ne thing, I don't know. It's definitely a PB thing.


    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    I usually doodle in a pad as if I'm taking notes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    Hah! The pretense of note-taking is difficult though. I just doodle.
    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    Ah yes, the doodling. I did that all of the time in meetings. I don't know what I would have done without it.
    Doodling ... interesting. I used to doodle all the time. Had to break it off at work though; I get too many Fi signals from all around me that people are interpreting it as I'm not really paying attention. And I can't ignore the Fi input. So I just make note of the Fi input more keenly, and make some notes on that, and then some fake work notes, and use the fake-note making time as a way to get away from having to pay attention to everyone or make excessive eye contact when I am thinking.

    Maybe this is an introverted thing?

    Sitting in front of someone and looking at them, along with all the smiling and nodding and interacting, I actually tend to end up having heard less of what they were saying, most particularly if I'm supposed to be interviewing them. It seems to me in such moments that the limited sensing resource is being used up in spotting, mimicking and maintaining conventional interaction cues and isn't serving as a source of input for the higher function. I actually don't get a chance to "think". Can't find the novelty and build on it.
    Ah, I can actually kind of relate to this. So much effort put into maintaining an outward demeanor, that that takes up the majority of my consciousness.
    Interesting too ... I need eye breaks, or I get too much feeling input from the other person and can't forge a path forward naturally. Fi needs a moment or two to process, and process my own output related to conversational input. It's a reason why I use pauses, rephrase what the person said back to them to get a few seconds of rest, make sweeping hand gestures at times to force an eye contact break. I need eye space too.

    Again, this may be an introverted thing, required by us each for different reasons?
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Again, this may be an introverted thing, required by us each for different reasons?
    Oh, certainly. We're starting to veer off into specific behaviors, which aren't the same as cognitive functions, so people across the board mbti-wise might do/experience the same or similar, just for different reasons or motivations.
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