Ni types are often analyzing people's hidden intentions/motives.
Whenever I am having a conversation with someone, I often find myself wondering, "Why did he/she said that? What is their intentions?"
For example, my boyfriend told me that I am skinny and I should eat more, and I started wondering, "Why did he say that to me? Is it because he has a fetish for fat girls and he doesn't find me attractive and he is trying to mould me into his ideal girl image, or is it because he is concerned about my health?"
As an Ni type, I rarely take words at face value. Whenever people says something to me, my first reaction is, "Why did he/she say that to me? What is their intentions behind saying those words?"
And it doesn't matter how long I know them, or how much I trust them, no matter how close someone is to me, I also have this same reaction toward them. I am constantly analyzing everybody around me, constantly analyzing their motives. Even people whom I love and trust, I am also analyzing their intentions all the time.
I also described Ni as having a tendency to "know" things without knowing why. For example, there was once when this person who is wearing casual clothes walked into the doctor room at the clinic.And then this lady beside me was shocked, she asked me who is he and why is he walking inside the doctor room. Then I told her he is the doctor.
And bingo! I guessed correctly, he really is the doctor. Then the lady beside me kept pestering me asking me how I knew it. I don't know I knew this either, but I just knew it
heh, this is nice when it's true. But sometimes people give off auras of being something that they aren't. I've embarrassed myself like this before. But I'm the same; I take nothing at face value. Everything has a context to me and I will take time to read the context before jumping to any conclusions about anything. To me all communication carries different forms of implications and I suppose it's in my DNA to read what those are. Because unfortunately, often what people say is quite different from how they feel or what they mean. I guess it would be nice if we all could make our intentions and thoughts clear and explicit, but that would require people to understand themselves as a prerequisite. And there always seems to be things about ourselves that we are not aware of until after-the-fact.
I looked it up in the book.
But this shows exactly the problem I mentioned regarding the term "unconscious". It's also used for introversion, and that's why it might hold for Si types as well.
It seems in the orignal Jungian concept, the most "conscious" awareness is external tangible experience. Anything internal, or intangible (and internal is technically intangible for the most part, though internal body sensations aren't) is considered not "conscious", along with any function not developed.
So it's like
Se: conscious consciousness
Si: unconscious consciousness
Ne: conscious unconsciousness
Ni: unconscious unconsciousness
I'm in the process of trying to come up with a better concept of "generic" functions, which are what everyone does regardless of type. Like basic seeing, hearing, etc. (which by itself isn't "using Se"). The undifferentiated functions are all "mixed together" (hence, not differentiated). When you "use" one, you're separating out the particular elements associated with the function, but the other functional elements are still there; just not separated out. Like when Ti comes up with something elegant, and you "like" it. Not true Fi, but is based on the same elements (internal personal valuation).
So then perhaps "unconscious" impressions might be the generic counterpart to Ni, that is involved in other introverted functions.
I don't think "unconscious" is a useful synonym for introversion, or even a useful property with which to describe introversion. A while ago I played a similar game with objective vs subjective, where extroversion is objective and introversion is subjective, obviously, but T vs F is a different kind of objective vs subjective, and S vs N yet another kind of objective vs subjective. But all of this is just word games. It's like saying 1+9 = 10 and 2+8 = 10 and 3+7 = 10, etc., all of which is TRUE, but none of which adds any more meaning than just saying "10". What matters is context, what matters is what is being described, e.g., 10 fish is not the same as 10 fingers.
I kind of read Jung's version of "unconscious" as being kind of like "dark energy", in that it exists as a placeholder to label what is observed, but to also indicate that we don't know what the heck it really is. I believe that when we root through all of these things that are classified as "unconscious", we're sort of making them literally conscious, all the while keeping Jung's label in mind as a general placeholder, perhaps finding additional meaning for "unconscious" as we investigate. The important thing is to remember that saying something is "unconscious" doesn't really explain it. Why is it unconscious? Is it unconscious because it's like breathing, autonomous on its own? Is it unconscious because it's repressed? Is it unconscious because it hasn't been developed or differentiated? Which KIND of unconscious is it?
For Ni, it might be best to say that it doesn't draw its realizations from "the unconscious", but rather to say that Ni works in an unconscious manner, that while it is likely drawing upon real knowledge and experience, the way it accesses that knowledge and experience is kind of automatic and even "magical". But it's no more "magic" than my thinking words in my head, and my fingers just type them without any conscious effort.
An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.
A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.
Yeah; "subjective/objective" is exactly the same way. (Always noted that one). Another such ambiguous term is "concrete/abstract" (often used for S/N, but can appear to mean an extraverted or introverted function, and really indicates an undifferentiated function, which is "mixed togther" with the others, which is concrete, and when differentiated, they "abstract", or separate out the particular elements they deal with).
It seems the kind of "unconscious" Ni deals with is stuff repressed from memory. (Obviously not "because it hasn't been developed or differentiated" for someone who HAS differentiated it, and on the flipside, not "because it's like breathing, autonomous on its own" which would also fit someone for whom it has differentiated, but NOT fit others who have access to it, like when it's auxiliary or tertiary).
So while Si will draw on tangible data that can be consciously brought up from memory, Ni will extract the dats in a more symbolic form from the unconscious. (Which is what would make its awareness seem "magical").
But yes, the ambiguity or multiple use of these terms is part of what makes Jung so hard to understand.
Now I have no doubt I am a Ni-dom, and used to have strong tertiary Fi that changed to a more properly use of auxiliary Te. My enneagram followed this change, reflected on my wings and integration cycles. It seems that I was a confused INTJ long time ago. I think I just found something useful to my personal puzzle. Thank you.
Just read this quote. It's the first one that has actually helped me understand the difference:
"The difference between Ni and Ne is that Ni has an idea first, then gathers data second, whereas it's the other way round with Ne."
This is indeed true as far as it goes, as Ne is extroverted and Ni is introverted, and is a good first-order description/distinction, especially as regards to how Ni and Ne handle scientific hypotheses. It is, however, somewhat incomplete, as it fails to account for a few subtleties:
Ni is always gathering data, just not entirely consciously.
It doesn't entirely apply to Je-Ni types (ENTJ, ENFJ), which tend to act first based on their dominant function, and reflect upon that action with their auxiliary.
Ni doms tend to have a lot of subjective ideas, not just one, but use external context (real life data) to determine which idea applies. If there isn't enough data to select an idea, the Ni dom tends to stay silent, rather than openly speculate like an Ne dom. If there is "too much data", the Ni dom will say that "something doesn't add up", as the data is inconsistent with the patterns they know. This leads to a search for a new valid pattern or an error in the presentation of the data. Only if a single idea arises as the only possible one that applies do others see the "magical" Ni "ah-ha".
An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.
A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.
Meh... I'd say as far as filtering (which is, one admits, a kind of judging) it might go (least filtering to most): Se Ne Ni Si
I'd say Se being less filtering than Si is fairly indisputable.
Whether Ne vs Ni is more filtering kind of depends on perspective. I'd say Ne generates a large number of (single hop at a time) alternatives. Then a judging function (Ti or Fi) prunes from there, but in a way that pretty invested once it chooses.
By comparison, I'd say that Ni tends to filter down to a single (or small number) of likely "nearly inevitable" or "convergent" perspectives. Then Te or Fe prunes (in a way that is fairly flexible in terms of new input) from there.
i understand the thought process here and mostly agree (especially the awesome verbiage of "hop" for Ne), but i wanted to add my two cents.
while we are very top-down thinking, that alone doesn't mean that we are filtering "more." we are filtering an aspect more, sure, but not EVERYTHING more. for the theory to make sense, filtering is inevitable. filtering would describe how cognitive functions specialize in different modes of filtration.
to me, it seems we Ni types are filtering the momentness most of all while employing a greater aggregation of filter iterations in order to do so. those convergent perspectives aren't that we get rid of more information. it's that we hold the essence of something stable by exploring how we can continually cross-contextualize it through different combinations of filters and investing a shit ton in filter creativity in every thought process in order to do so. we send more information back to the source of the process, which is the consciousness of the filtering process itself. this is also where we are most playful, and where all those transcriptions and weird evolutions of key/tonal center keep shape-shifting so we can keep the dream of the thing steady in our defocalized not in this space anymore but more in the hyperspace now gaze.
for me, what gets me stuck on a perspective has more to do with a vague question or purpose in my thinking, which is usually emotionally driven. some kind of value attraction or need that is being met. while sometimes the stuckness of these frameworks results when i forget how to come back to the moment bc the baggage of the process builds up until my mind is exhausted from carrying it (just exhaustion from trying to mind-read complexity too long), more often than not it's simply because i have a need i do not recognize, that i am not emotionally realizing (which would be the best way to realize it), where i'm just too attached or aversive to something to be able to let go enough to keep a balance sense of now clean and aware of the sequence of what has been happening overall. so the flow is gone, and so catching the wave of situational relevance flowing through me all the way through the bones of my body and through others takes a little bit of balancing and falling when trying to stand up again. kinda gotta get a sense of hereness, where gravity and spin are meaningfully happening really in only one direction (and one thing that Ne types seem to never have to reduce their presence to, a kind of lame biggest force first order of operations).
The most profound Ni-state I have experienced was reached through quiet contemplation one mid-Summer afternoon. I was sat in my garden, half mulling things over, half taking in the sounds and sights of nature. From seemingly nowhere there was a sudden onset of stillness, a complete quieting of my mind and of the world around me. In that moment it was as though time stood still and reality unfurled before me, my layers of subjectivity peeling back; I began to view the world in what seemed to be a truly objective manner, completely devoid of any human filter. My consciousness expanded exponentially.
There was, for lack of a better phrase, a sense of ego-death. I was no longer an individual human being – I was a part of the ‘flow’ of the natural order, and I realised that up until this particular point, my entire world view (and also the world view of others) had been shaped so profoundly by our own subjective or shared values and perceptions. It was an incredibly humbling experience.
The whole focus on "contemplation" reminds me of Beren's description of Ni in Dynamics of Personality Type (where the little excercise tells you to wait for some "universal meaning" to come up), which is perhaps the first in depth descriptions of the functions I had read, but it focuses on the whole "getting a sense of 'what will be'" aspect, which is what made the whole function seem totally "mystic" and hard to grasp or digest as something real, for me.
The description didn't say where these "universal meanings" come from; only that they can come when "we have no sensory data to go on". So that made it even more confusing (for someone starting out on trying to understand the functions), as to "what exacty this is".
Of course, the answer is that they come from "the unconscious", but when I soon afterward saw descriptions of Ni (including from Jung himself) as dealing with the "unconscious", that made it all the more confusing, because unconscious I had just learned was what undeveloped functions are. (and then, I would see the term used on both attitudes of iNtuition, and then all introverted functions, as I've probably mentioned).
I guess it's Ti looking for some consistent defining terminology before a concept will "register".
Yeah - it's a puzzling one for sure. Also, if I'm not mistaken we have spoken at reasonable length in the past (over on PerC). Apologies if I'm mistaken, but if you are the same person I believe you to be, thanks - you helped me quite a lot back when I most needed it I eventually submitted myself for professional typing, but the advice 'you' offered was pretty much spot on. I think you *may* have slightly edged towards ENFJ, but if I recall correctly you later retracted that and said that I must be an INFJ. It was quite a confusing time.
Vague memories, but you helped me to clarify things.
Oh, I just noticed your avatar. Ha! Yeah - it was you ;p