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Thread: Signs of Ni

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    A pretty good description, although many things you characterize as certainties are more like issues that Ni doms are likely to deal with.

    How they deal with them is then up to the individual: some do better, some do worse.

    But, as something must be expressed, that was one of the more insightful portrayals I've seen of Ni-doms from a non-Ni-dom.

  2. #272
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    This is a very good description, especially from an outside point of view. I hope I can help provide an "inside-out" view, bouncing off of your input.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Ni-dom spin perspectives a lot. Things become what they want it to become. Sometimes its insightful & illuminates a better way to interpret reality, but other times it's disturbingly delusional & extremely self-serving (ie. taking no responsibility for bad behavior by justifying it via perspective shift).
    One should understand it's likely not even a "spin", but it certainly seems so to an outside perspective. A theme I try to make clear to non-Ni types is that Ni isn't that fuzzy, it just seems so because it doesn't translate into concrete definitions that well. The Ni "building blocks" are just as fundamentally rigid as Si or Ti or Fi "building blocks", and other types sense this in terms of our stubbornness.

    The "spin" observation derives from the fact that while the building blocks are fixed, the particular questions are not. Keep dropping electrons onto an atom, and they don't just fill the inner s orbitals: they eventually start filling p, d, f orbitals, each of which has a very different qualitative shape. The equations (Ni building blocks, in this analogy) are the same, but the resulting answers tend to differ by a lot, even though from a more "Si" perspective, nothing has really changed: we're just putting identical electrons on an atom, so why should subsequent ones behave any differently?

    Ni doms tend to change their answers based on the question being asked. One of the more interesting things that Nardi notes in his book as that Ni doms seem to excel at answering a single question. The single question sets the parameters and boundary conditions for that particular case, and Ni "solves" for that case.

    The selfishness comes from the question being asked is very often, "How do I get what I want?" Change the parameters, but the question stays the same, so it looks like opportunistic angling, and hence, "spin." The way to deal with this is to change the question. Here's a sneaky way: "Are you sure that's what you want?"



    They don't tend to easily trust other's ideas. From a Fi-dom perspective, I don't easily adopt others' valuations & there's like a knee-jerk reaction to keep them uncorrupted from external things. It's a similar thing (to me) with Ni-dom, except it's ideas/perspectives/interpretations. This often comes off as unfairly dismissive to others' ideas or as having tunnel vision. Yet, unlike a Ji-dom, there is little association of the idea with themselves, which is where the arrogant vibe many get from them comes into play. It's as if they just see their interpretation or idea as reality.
    You have some very good observations, here. I should note, however, that you're treating Ni-understandings as if they were Fi-valuations. Mature Fi types understand that you need to accept others' valuations as valid for themselves, with the exception of a select few values that should be universal. That isn't what a mature Ni should become at all.

    Ni is more like Si, in that both should converge on a mostly-shared worldview that is "true." Si highly prioritizes social conformity, even for STJs. The difference with Ni is the sheer difficulty of sharing one's own worldview. You ask us why thus and such is true, and we end up looking stupid with a complete loss for words, or the words jumble out and don't make any sense to you at all, or we pontificate on a general thesis, saying things that appear to be obvious-but-irrelevant or clever-but-oh-so-self-serving (through your Fi lens).

    Why do Ni doms so easily dismiss others' opinions and points of view? Because they often dismiss ours, first, since we couldn't really "prove" our point in their terms. We don't "trust" others' ideas because the connection by which we'd actually share ideas has not been made, period. It doesn't always happen this way, of course; I'm just pointing out the dynamic of how it occurs when it occurs.

    ...
    On average, I don't find Ni-dom openly analytical though. There's almost a dismissal of it as "too obvious". Trying to engage an INJ in person in an intellectual discussion for its own sake doesn't seem to get anywhere. ISJs are easy in this way....they're especially easy to impress, or annoy enough to engage anyway. ENJs are easy too....they love to spout opinions, being J-dom. But INJs seem to just write this off as noise. They seem more interested in analyzing trends & how things will develop in the future, as well as what something currently happening means for the long run. It's waaaaaaaay less whimsical & playful than an NP. It has a practicality to it that would shame an SJ, but more big-picture & future-oriented. Often times it resembles paranoia, but at best, it's a good head start in preparing for what you need to be in order to deal with some pending reality or an interpretation that clarifies a formerly fuzzy idea of reality.
    Very good observations, here, especially with respect to noticing how Ni, which seems so fuzzy, can clarify fuzziness. This is what Ni doms aim for. Note, however, that this is usually the result of a huge amount of work. Newton, for example, had to invent calculus just to "clarify" his ideas about physics and gravity in particular.

    We're not "openly analytical" as you put it, but when you get that clarifying answer, do not doubt there was a lot of analysis put into it.

    As you can probably tell from this, Ni appears much narrower than Ne to me, but I suppose its deeper. Ne wants to play with all the patterns, all the contexts. Ne gorges itself on ideas & interpretations & perspectives. Ni seems to focus on likelihoods, but without discounting the unexpected - how the pattern is likely to shift, how the current context is likely to change into something else, what something really is at core, etc. Apparently, there are archetypes from the unconscious mind - a sort of innate library of how reality generally works in the most fundamental sense - that is sourcing these ideas, but I don't know about that end of it so much. I think introverts generally explore ideas of the unconscious via imagination, or at least, that's how I see it/experience it myself.
    Very good, @bold. Those are the Ni building blocks. Note how there are no words for it. One minor difference, from my perspective: it isn't "what something really is at core", it's "how these things really behave at core". The particular "thing" doesn't matter.

    Ni is associated with a meditative state of thinking, and I see this as observable in them. Ask them a question, and they pause in a way that looks like a meditative state. Again, many introverts do this, but the type of question can clue you into it. If it's an idea question, an NP gets 500 lightbulbs over their head, and again, you can witness this in their demeanor & often quick response. If that NP is a Ji-dom and you ask them something which requires a judgement, then you get a pause also, but it's less meditative (it's more like wheels churning, ideas being connected into something that makes sense, the connections being ordered & fit into a bigger idea, consistency of it all being tested, etc). Si-dom look like they're reviewing (the way your face looks when you scan a book for a previously read section) or comparing notes of the past to what is at hand.
    Good answer to the OP, here. Look for that meditative state when you ask a question.

    IMO, Ni seems very narrow, as it often discounts other likely possibilities to focus on developing one. The typical Ni-dom offers no explanation for their idea either. There is often no line of reasoning to back anything up. This is key to knowing you're dealing with a dominant perceiver. They just "see" things as they are (or as the interpret them subjectively), and they expect others to simply accept it as a fact, as if it's a concrete object in front of your face. When people don't, they pout like babies (INFJs) or dismiss everyone else as stupid (INTJs). This focus can be beneficial in weeding out useless paths others might explore, but it can also be detrimental when the person, unaware of their own bias, clings to an idea that is more flattering or beneficial to themselves, not necessarily more REAL or more accurate of an interpretation.
    Ni is "narrow" because it's only answering one question at a time. It is the question that both provides focus and excludes possibilities.

    Mature Ni often asks a meta-question, namely, "Am I asking the right question?"

    Even less mature Ni do this to a large degree, usually by walking away from a problem after working on it without solving it. After we stop thinking about the problem, we get to "reset" the question, and come back to it a while later with an ever-so-slightly different question, and it's the different question that provides the instant "a-ha" style answer.

    They also seek to regulate reality to their ideas, whether passively (sometimes even unaware of it themselves; ie. self-fulfilling prophecies) or intentionally. The intentional method can amount to only exposing themselves to realities which align with their views; so they deny those which don't, or cause actual change to make it fit their view, or they simply put a strange spin on it to make it align. This can range from actual situations to factual knowledge. The passive method seems to be acting or provoking others to act so as to indirectly affect events, and then what they expected actually happens. Obviously, there's some Je going on here too, especially when they act in some way. They often don't see their own hand in it though, which to me, as a Fi-dom, comes across as disturbingly void of personal responsibility.
    Good observations, here. Though I would suggest that there isn't so much a passive or intentional attempt to regulate reality. Rather, it is opportunism. The same way an athlete keeps ready, waiting for the ball to come his way and react appropriately, an Ni-dom keeps an eye on the inner dynamics (the Ni building blocks), and acts when the dynamics are favorable.

    Such opportunism makes people think INTJs are great strategists, or that INFJs are great manipulators. Obviously, if events worked out to be so favorable to themselves, they must have planned the whole thing, right? No. We only have a vague idea how things will work out. We just wait until they're virtually certain to work out. I bring an umbrella because I know it will rain today. I didn't make it rain. See the difference?

    They know a lot more about you than you've told them or that anything tangible could communicate, but they still don't know as much as they think they do. This can be problematic when their idea of you & who you really are conflict. They project stuff onto you a lot - you become some symbol to them of something (in romance, you're often the essence of womanhood or whatever), and all of its associations then become equated with you. It seems like they seek to sum people up quickly, but the healthier ones will take unexpected aspects more in stride & even be amused/entertained by it.
    I sense you're talking more about INFJs, here. INTJs are well aware that we don't understand other people as people. (We do understand them as "objects", at first, but the people-understanding is hard-earned.)

    Every now & then, life blind sides them & it hits them harder than most, because they're not used to it, I guess.
    No, we're very used to it. We just happen to dislike it very, very much.

    It's why we are prepared, more often than not, because we really hate being unprepared. Even more than boy scouts.

    Since, we're INTP bashing , I will say that INTJs are easier to converse with when it comes to accepting other people's opinions. You can make a statement & they'll accept the main point without interrogating you over every detail. It's so exhausting to talk with an INTP & have to prove every word choice as accurate. They drive me nuts! On the other hand, the sad little masochist that lives within me (and every Fi-dom) likes being driven a bit nuts sometimes, so INTPs can be more fun in that way. When they disagree, INTJs just smirk or something, and I'd rather have someone just argue with me & give me an opportunity to explain myself thoroughly.
    Yeah, we INTJs only want to argue if we think it is worth our time to argue. You have to make the connection first, idea-wise, to earn the argument, and then you need to not instantly back down when it gets intense. We have two goals when arguing: 1) to learn something new, 2) to learn how to communicate our ideas better. (I can hear several people saying, "No way," even as the INTJs nod their heads in agreement.) Recall that our primary difficulty is communicating our ideas clearly. It is by communicating them clearly that we get others to understand them. And once someone else understands our idea on our terms, and then offers criticism that recognizes those terms, we learn something new. But yeah, unless we make that idea-connection with someone else, we can be real dicks if we're not careful.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  3. #273
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Late to the party....but I'll post anyway.

    From an outside view:

    Ni-dom spin perspectives a lot. Things become what they want it to become. Sometimes its insightful & illuminates a better way to interpret reality, but other times it's disturbingly delusional & extremely self-serving (ie. taking no responsibility for bad behavior by justifying it via perspective shift).

    They don't tend to easily trust other's ideas. From a Fi-dom perspective, I don't easily adopt others' valuations & there's like a knee-jerk reaction to keep them uncorrupted from external things. It's a similar thing (to me) with Ni-dom, except it's ideas/perspectives/interpretations. This often comes off as unfairly dismissive to others' ideas or as having tunnel vision. Yet, unlike a Ji-dom, there is little association of the idea with themselves, which is where the arrogant vibe many get from them comes into play. It's as if they just see their interpretation or idea as reality.

    Like most introverted functions, Ni tends to come off negatively like 99% of the time, except the few moments when it manages to have a unique insight or idea that is actually valuable & not just deluded stubbornness.

    I personally associate heavy metaphor, idea spewing, perspective exploring, etc, with Ne. When all this is really visible, IMO, then you're dealing with an NP. Paradoxical expressions & allegorical stories seem more common with NJs. It's a lot more indirect or cryptic. As with most Ns, there's a fondness for any absurdity that expresses a truth, whereas sensing types just like to mock absurdities because they're absurd.

    On average, I don't find Ni-dom openly analytical though. There's almost a dismissal of it as "too obvious". Trying to engage an INJ in person in an intellectual discussion for its own sake doesn't seem to get anywhere. ISJs are easy in this way....they're especially easy to impress, or annoy enough to engage anyway. ENJs are easy too....they love to spout opinions, being J-dom. But INJs seem to just write this off as noise. They seem more interested in analyzing trends & how things will develop in the future, as well as what something currently happening means for the long run. It's waaaaaaaay less whimsical & playful than an NP. It has a practicality to it that would shame an SJ, but more big-picture & future-oriented. Often times it resembles paranoia, but at best, it's a good head start in preparing for what you need to be in order to deal with some pending reality or an interpretation that clarifies a formerly fuzzy idea of reality.

    As you can probably tell from this, Ni appears much narrower than Ne to me, but I suppose its deeper. Ne wants to play with all the patterns, all the contexts. Ne gorges itself on ideas & interpretations & perspectives. Ni seems to focus on likelihoods, but without discounting the unexpected - how the pattern is likely to shift, how the current context is likely to change into something else, what something really is at core, etc. Apparently, there are archetypes from the unconscious mind - a sort of innate library of how reality generally works in the most fundamental sense - that is sourcing these ideas, but I don't know about that end of it so much. I think introverts generally explore ideas of the unconscious via imagination, or at least, that's how I see it/experience it myself.

    Ni is associated with a meditative state of thinking, and I see this as observable in them. Ask them a question, and they pause in a way that looks like a meditative state. Again, many introverts do this, but the type of question can clue you into it. If it's an idea question, an NP gets 500 lightbulbs over their head, and again, you can witness this in their demeanor & often quick response. If that NP is a Ji-dom and you ask them something which requires a judgement, then you get a pause also, but it's less meditative (it's more like wheels churning, ideas being connected into something that makes sense, the connections being ordered & fit into a bigger idea, consistency of it all being tested, etc). Si-dom look like they're reviewing (the way your face looks when you scan a book for a previously read section) or comparing notes of the past to what is at hand.

    IMO, Ni seems very narrow, as it often discounts other likely possibilities to focus on developing one. The typical Ni-dom offers no explanation for their idea either. There is often no line of reasoning to back anything up. This is key to knowing you're dealing with a dominant perceiver. They just "see" things as they are (or as the interpret them subjectively), and they expect others to simply accept it as a fact, as if it's a concrete object in front of your face. When people don't, they pout like babies (INFJs) or dismiss everyone else as stupid (INTJs). This focus can be beneficial in weeding out useless paths others might explore, but it can also be detrimental when the person, unaware of their own bias, clings to an idea that is more flattering or beneficial to themselves, not necessarily more REAL or more accurate of an interpretation.

    They also seek to regulate reality to their ideas, whether passively (sometimes even unaware of it themselves; ie. self-fulfilling prophecies) or intentionally. The intentional method can amount to only exposing themselves to realities which align with their views; so they deny those which don't, or cause actual change to make it fit their view, or they simply put a strange spin on it to make it align. This can range from actual situations to factual knowledge. The passive method seems to be acting or provoking others to act so as to indirectly affect events, and then what they expected actually happens. Obviously, there's some Je going on here too, especially when they act in some way. They often don't see their own hand in it though, which to me, as a Fi-dom, comes across as disturbingly void of personal responsibility.

    They know a lot more about you than you've told them or that anything tangible could communicate, but they still don't know as much as they think they do. This can be problematic when their idea of you & who you really are conflict. They project stuff onto you a lot - you become some symbol to them of something (in romance, you're often the essence of womanhood or whatever), and all of its associations then become equated with you. It seems like they seek to sum people up quickly, but the healthier ones will take unexpected aspects more in stride & even be amused/entertained by it.

    Every now & then, life blind sides them & it hits them harder than most, because they're not used to it, I guess.

    Since, we're INTP bashing , I will say that INTJs are easier to converse with when it comes to accepting other people's opinions. You can make a statement & they'll accept the main point without interrogating you over every detail. It's so exhausting to talk with an INTP & have to prove every word choice as accurate. They drive me nuts! On the other hand, the sad little masochist that lives within me (and every Fi-dom) likes being driven a bit nuts sometimes, so INTPs can be more fun in that way. When they disagree, INTJs just smirk or something, and I'd rather have someone just argue with me & give me an opportunity to explain myself thoroughly.
    This post is a riot. I love this.

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  4. #274
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    When they disagree, INTJs just smirk or something.
    Translation: "I don't know the answer, so I'll just smirk and act like I do. I feel that you're wrong but I can't prove it right now. I'm pretty weak on concepts, to tell you the truth. I'm a 99th-percentile genius but I almost flunked calculus."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    [idiotic trolling]
    I am an INTJ, my IQ is in the top 1%, I am strong with concepts, I got good grades in calculus (which was invented by an INTJ), and, if I give you that smirk, it's because I can tell that you're an idiot and aren't worth my time. Based on the idiocy demonstrated in your post, I doubt you qualify for more than one of these.

    You are a troll, tho. Congratulations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I am an INTJ, my IQ is in the top 1%, I am strong with concepts, I got good grades in calculus, and, if I give you that smirk, it's because I can tell that you're an idiot and aren't worth my time. Based on the idiocy demonstrated in your post, I doubt you qualify for more than one of these.

    You are a troll, tho. Congratulations.
    *SMIRK*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post

  8. #278
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    One should understand it's likely not even a "spin", but it certainly seems so to an outside perspective.
    Actually, I know I have done what @OrangeAppled says there. It is however balanced by a high degree of integrity and the need to be truthful. The thought of BSing someone is pretty repulsive. There are ways to frame things however. It's an interesting point she is making. Still, do we spin things more than ENFPs, ESTPs or INTPs? I doubt it.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post

    Ni is "narrow" because it's only answering one question at a time. It is the question that both provides focus and excludes possibilities.
    There is also Fe and Te that can chop off new information in service of Ni. so you have too look at Ni and how other functions work together.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Such opportunism makes people think INTJs are great strategists, or that INFJs are great manipulators. Obviously, if events worked out to be so favorable to themselves, they must have planned the whole thing, right? No. We only have a vague idea how things will work out. We just wait until they're virtually certain to work out. I bring an umbrella because I know it will rain today. I didn't make it rain. See the difference?
    Yes, exactly right.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    I sense you're talking more about INFJs, here. INTJs are well aware that we don't understand other people as people. (We do understand them as "objects", at first, but the people-understanding is hard-earned.)
    I don't understand this at all. I don't think I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post

    No, we're very used to it. We just happen to dislike it very, very much.

    It's why we are prepared, more often than not, because we really hate being unprepared. Even more than boy scouts.
    I could be wrong but I think @OrangeAppled's point is about being truly blindsided in a significant way in our lives and that when this happens, it has more of an impact than with other types. It's not that we really dislike surprises. I don't know if it's true but can only speak from personal experience. I think what she describes has happened a very small number of times to me in my life (count on one hand). When it has happened, I do not doubt that what she says is correct, that it has affected me in a disproportionate way. I don't know if this is a feature of Ni doms, Enneagram 6s, or the human race as a whole though. There are a couple of things here specific to Ni doms:

    1. As you say, we try and prepare for every possible scenario. On a personal level, as an enneagram 6, I'm probably doubly focused on this. When unanticipated things happen that we didn't plan for, we get aggravated that we didn't predict it and most importantly prepare for it.
    2. The advantage of Ni is that you can reframe a setback. You can turn lemons into lemonade. You can say to yourself - well this seems awful - but there are all these other benefits to what happened. So, it allows you to be resilient.

    On another note, an INTJ may hear and agree with 95% of what a person says. Then they will focus on the 5% of things they are not sure they agree with and pick on those .

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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    This is a very good description, especially from an outside point of view. I hope I can help provide an "inside-out" view, bouncing off of your input.
    Thanks....and your post was enlightening, particularly the focusing on one question & seeking the "right question" bits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I am an INTJ, my IQ is in the top 1%, I am strong with concepts, I got good grades in calculus (which was invented by an INTJ), and, if I give you that smirk, it's because I can tell that you're an idiot and aren't worth my time. Based on the idiocy demonstrated in your post, I doubt you qualify for more than one of these.

    You are a troll, tho. Congratulations.


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