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  1. #1
    Senior Member NewEra's Avatar
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    Default How do you use Si?

    Introverted Sensing: the reason we are in the SJ forum. My question is: How do you use Si? Basically, I'm addressing mostly SJ's here, but feel free to answer even if you're not SJ.

    I'll start off -

    Si is my leading function, has been for a long time. The way I use it is... let's say I see something - just anything - like... a tree, for example. When I look at the tree, I automatically think of any past associations I've had with that tree (my brain does this instantly, without me even thinking about it). Basically, it's like a built-in evolutionary instinct to find if I should continue with an activity that I have done in the past, or whether I shouldn't.

    Si for me can both be a blessing, as well as a curse. For example, if I have a job to do, before doing the job, I think of whether I have done this before. If the answer is yes, I think of what the performance was like last time I did. If it was good, then it sort of encourages me to do the activity. If it was bad, then it sort of discourages me a little. But when this happens, I usually tend to find the positives of doing the job.

    This is sort of why change, for me, is difficult. Because if I encounter a different situation, then I cannot relate it to anything in the past (since it was not part of my past). Therefore, the potential environmental and impact dangers are apparent to me for new situations.

    Another way I use Si is when I see or hear something, it can just stick in my mind, even sometimes for several years. If I force myself, I can capture a mental photograph of something and reproduce the same picture a short while later too. And of course, Si helps me in remembering any kinds of interesting facts or data.


    Anyway, how about the other SJs - how exactly do you use Si?

  2. #2
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    One thing that bugged me about the way websites described Si is the claim that "We judge a chair by what we think a chair 'should' look like." This is irrelevant if we've never encountered chairs before, of course. In fact, that's why new situations are tough for me, as you said, because I have no prior experience (I think "prior" sounds less negative than "past", even sounds official), and no expectations. At that moment, the world is in chaos, and I'm sitting back to see what order will finally come together. (Lenore Thomson says that about Si...don't know what you think)

    For things I have seen or done before, even just one or two times, it sticks with me and shapes my expectations, true. I think my opinions of people develop drop by drop in this way, too. First impressions matter for this reason, but also every time people do or say something, it's added to the whole picture of "who they are," which gives a slight change in my opinion about them every time. That would be Si giving stuff to Te or Fi, I guess.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NewEra's Avatar
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    Thanks Cimarron.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    One thing that bugged me about the way websites described Si is the claim that "We judge a chair by what we think a chair 'should' look like." This is irrelevant if we've never encountered chairs before, of course. In fact, that's why new situations are tough for me, as you said, because I have no prior experience (I think "prior" sounds less negative than "past", even sounds official), and no expectations. At that moment, the world is in chaos, and I'm sitting back to see what order will finally come together. (Lenore Thomson says that about Si...don't know what you think)
    Exactly, I don't relate to that part of the description either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    For things I have seen or done before, even just one or two times, it sticks with me and shapes my expectations, true. I think my opinions of people develop drop by drop in this way, too. First impressions matter for this reason, but also every time people do or say something, it's added to the whole picture of "who they are," which gives a slight change in my opinion about them every time. That would be Si giving stuff to Te or Fi, I guess.
    Yeah, Si is basically adding more and more information over time to create a complete picture.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    One thing that bugged me about the way websites described Si is the claim that "We judge a chair by what we think a chair 'should' look like." This is irrelevant if we've never encountered chairs before, of course. In fact, that's why new situations are tough for me, as you said, because I have no prior experience (I think "prior" sounds less negative than "past", even sounds official), and no expectations. At that moment, the world is in chaos, and I'm sitting back to see what order will finally come together. (Lenore Thomson says that about Si...don't know what you think)
    Well, yeah. The quote stays true to that I think. I do see that kind of mentality in Si users I know, for sure.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    Si is like an archivist. Any detailed information I receive will be stored deep down in depths of my mind, well classified and tagged. When I need to retrieve it, I just look for certain tags, and bring up anything I had stored under that tag.

    So, when I see a chair, I bring up all information I have on chairs. The good thing is that I can remember a lot. The bad thing is that it isn't very "intelligent" function. Sometimes I fail to see the object as anything else but a chair. You know, where a Fe would see "Oh, that chair is an invitation to sit down and feel comfortable", I only see a chair without any implications or deeper meanings.

    Actually, I think many Si's throw facts out without any meaning. I mean, they might say out loud something they noticed without expecting any response to it. And most of the time this might sound very trivial. Might make others ponder "why on earth he mentioned that?".

    I'm currently doing some perception training myself... I'm trying to spot license plate numbers in an ascending order. You know, keep a mental count on what number you are looking for next, and when you see it, search for the next number. What makes it difficult is that number below 100 are very rare here in Finland. I'm expecting this to take years before I reach 999... But we Si's tend to be very very patient.

    Oh... and I have near-extraordinary sense of directions. It's like build in compass. I've never lost, and especially with a map, I can find my way to anywhere, anytime. I can even picture a top-down view of a map (much like these fancy GPS-navigators) in my head when I'm walking in a city. It's really cool... sadly it's not that much of use as just anyone could buy that navigator.
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
    -Nikola Tesla

  6. #6
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    Well, yeah. The quote stays true to that I think. I do see that kind of mentality in Si users I know, for sure.
    I do mostly agree with it, it's just hard to see it from the weird way they put it. (shrug)

    And when someone asks me about a problem, in my head it is kind of like flipping through a bunch of pages looking for whatever's relevant.

    Let's see...what else can we say?
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  7. #7
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Si most often manifests itself as general risk-aversion and a "play it safe" attitude in life.

    This happens because Si's perception process is rather like past-tense Se--it notices and remembers in great detail every single sensory process going on around it. Habba's description of Si as an "archivist is very good"--whereas Se notices what's going on around it and responds instinctively in whatever way seems most appropriate right now, Si takes in all this sensory data but doesn't immediately respond. It simply stores it away for future reference. SJs (primary users of Si) tend to have excellent memory for minor details and long lists and so on, and this natural memory for detail leads them to do very well via a rote memorization approach in many tasks, so they end up in this pattern of doing what they know from past experience to have worked before.

    People tend to blame Si for things like mindless traditionalism, but that's not really fair. Si doesn't care about traditionalism; it only happens to follow tradition because often the traditional/by the book method is the only thing they have any past concrete experience on, so it seems like the safest method--traditions don't get followed just because they're traditions. That's silly--Si is just trying to play it safe.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  8. #8
    Senior Member NewEra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    Si is like an archivist. Any detailed information I receive will be stored deep down in depths of my mind, well classified and tagged. When I need to retrieve it, I just look for certain tags, and bring up anything I had stored under that tag.

    So, when I see a chair, I bring up all information I have on chairs. The good thing is that I can remember a lot. The bad thing is that it isn't very "intelligent" function. Sometimes I fail to see the object as anything else but a chair. You know, where a Fe would see "Oh, that chair is an invitation to sit down and feel comfortable", I only see a chair without any implications or deeper meanings.
    Yeah, maybe a little innovation would have been good but I'm not complaining about having a superb ability to remember the past, haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    I'm currently doing some perception training myself... I'm trying to spot license plate numbers in an ascending order. You know, keep a mental count on what number you are looking for next, and when you see it, search for the next number. What makes it difficult is that number below 100 are very rare here in Finland. I'm expecting this to take years before I reach 999... But we Si's tend to be very very patient.

    Oh... and I have near-extraordinary sense of directions. It's like build in compass. I've never lost, and especially with a map, I can find my way to anywhere, anytime. I can even picture a top-down view of a map (much like these fancy GPS-navigators) in my head when I'm walking in a city. It's really cool... sadly it's not that much of use as just anyone could buy that navigator.
    That's an interesting experiment you're doing, and yeah be prepared for it to take a long time. Sounds good, but believe it or not, I'm an SJ with very little patience, lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Si most often manifests itself as general risk-aversion and a "play it safe" attitude in life.

    This happens because Si's perception process is rather like past-tense Se--it notices and remembers in great detail every single sensory process going on around it. Habba's description of Si as an "archivist is very good"--whereas Se notices what's going on around it and responds instinctively in whatever way seems most appropriate right now, Si takes in all this sensory data but doesn't immediately respond. It simply stores it away for future reference. SJs (primary users of Si) tend to have excellent memory for minor details and long lists and so on, and this natural memory for detail leads them to do very well via a rote memorization approach in many tasks, so they end up in this pattern of doing what they know from past experience to have worked before.

    People tend to blame Si for things like mindless traditionalism, but that's not really fair. Si doesn't care about traditionalism; it only happens to follow tradition because often the traditional/by the book method is the only thing they have any past concrete experience on, so it seems like the safest method--traditions don't get followed just because they're traditions. That's silly--Si is just trying to play it safe.
    Well said. Many people assume all SJs are traditionalists, this is not necessarily true in all cases. Si prefers the phrase 'better safe than sorry', thus doing what was reliable in the past.

  9. #9
    Senior Member wrldisquiethere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    Actually, I think many Si's throw facts out without any meaning. I mean, they might say out loud something they noticed without expecting any response to it. And most of the time this might sound very trivial. Might make others ponder "why on earth he mentioned that?".
    That is so, so true. There have been so many times I've delved into a story all about basic sensory facts and then looked at a person afterward and said sarcastically, "Yeah, so I'm sure you really wanted a play-by-play on what I ate for lunch" or whatever. I guess this is why other types get onto us for making boring and shallow small talk all the time.

    I use Si to help with directions. I almost always remember where things are or describe how to get somewhere by landmarks. It frustrates me to no end when people give very vague directions like "Turn left when you get to such-and-such community. My house is somewhere around a half mile up the road on the right. You can't miss it." I want to know things like if there's a fire station on the corner where the turn is, and what kind of car is parked in the driveway, and whether or not if I get to the bridge I've gone too far.

    Just a question for those who understand functions more than I do (basically everyone)...does Si help in creating memories to reminisce about later? Because I do this all the time. I'll say to one of my friends, "Remember when..." and I'll describe the moment, sometimes including things like what I was wearing, what music we were listening to, what the weather was like, what we ate for lunch, and other sensory details. Reminiscing makes me very, very happy.
    Si, Fe equal Fi & Ti

    "I had a bag of Fritos, they were Texas grilled Fritos. These Fritos had grill marks on them. They remind me of summer, when we used to fire up the barbeque and throw down some Fritos. I can still see my dad with the apron on. Better flip that Frito, dad, you know how I like it." -Mitch Hedberg

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