Ni - A Sacred Gift

Friday, June 08, 2012 3 Comments A+ a-



Man, I am soooooo glad it's Friday. The sun is shining, my coffee steaming. I had Milano cookies for breakfast.

Yep. A good way to start the weekend!

My last post felt a little tedious...sort of spread thin. So today I'd like to zoom in on the dominant function in our stack and find out what it means in the daily routine of an INFJ.

Our dominant function?

Ni - introverted iNtuition

The only two personality types that have Ni as their dominant or primary function are INTJ and INFJ. Oddly, as I was doing some research on this, I discovered that male INFJs and female INTJs are the rarest of these already rare groups. If you're either of these, consider yourself extremely unique :-)

In trying to find a good definition of Ni, I found very little on the internet that actually defines it. Most sites just try to describe it. From what I can gather, Carl Jung described intuition as an "irrational function" or "perception by the way of the unconscious."

According to the Wikipedia page on intuition, Jung said "that a person in whom intuition was dominant...acted not on the basis of rational judgment but on sheer intensity of perception...An introverted intuitive type orients by images from the unconscious..."

Wikipedia also defines intuition as "the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason."

So what I'm gathering here is that the INFJ has a high level of perception - so high that it bypasses rational thought and allows us to make decisions based unconsciously on perceptive knowledge.

Have you ever done something, or believed something, because you just "knew that you knew?" Some people refer to this as a "gut" feeling. I get gut feelings all the time. And I make decisions based on those feelings, even when it seems crazy or irrational to others around me. The funny thing is that those decisions will often result in what's best for me or those around me. Or it will help me solve a problem that others are floundering with.

Ni - A Sacred Gift

I remember a time when my co-workers were arguing about a receipt that had disappeared. They couldn't figure out where it had gone, because it was supposed to have been filed away. Perhaps it had been filed incorrectly, they said. Perhaps it had been misplaced beneath some other paperwork. And so on. After exhausting all the obvious options, they were scratching their heads. The whole time they'd been arguing, I'd been quiet. Just listening. Then an image of the receipt popped into my head.

"Did you try looking between the filing cabinet and the wall?" I suggested.

Lo and behold - it had slipped off the cabinet and was lying precisely where the image in my head said it would be.  And my co-workers were amazed.

Now...how did I "know" it was there? Honestly, I can't tell you. The brain is a complicated thing, and sensory perception a powerful conduit for data. I think they probably worked together, bypassed the reasonable assumptions of incorrect filing and misplacement, and jumped right to an irrational conclusion. The result? An image of the sandwiched receipt. Not an option that had crossed their minds. But it was the right one.

My gut feelings don't always turn out to be right. But I pretty much always follow them because it comes naturally. To deliberately stop and rationalize isn't instinctive. This drives my husband to distraction at times, because he likes to look at things rationally. And I agree that his approach works well for many household issues like finances, insurance, etc. That's why he's in charge of paying the bills!

There are occasions, however, when my gut tells me one thing and his rational mind tells him another. Obviously we can't always do both. So I'll stop and rationalize, which I can do quite well. If my gut keeps niggling at me, though, I'll argue with him. In the end, we make the decision together. Whether it's the best one will remain to be seen. Sacrifice is part of the relationship game, and I'm willing to live with decisions that don't always "feel" right to me.

According to a neat article I found on FamousType.com, people with dominant Ni's get lost in their minds easily and don't even realize how introspective they are. They pull out "ingenious ideas and insights", are "extremely rare" and "confidently trust their intuitions, insights, ideas and inspirations - often no matter what others say."

So there you have it. Of the four mental functions that we use, our Ni is the strongest. We tend to live inside our heads, constantly thinking and making connections, sometimes sensing the future with eerie accuracy. We move through our day with a strong independence that's based on the confidence we get from our intuition. And it all comes as naturally to us as breathing. Is it any wonder the shallow world looks at us a little funny?

Yeah, we're odd ducks. But I think the world needs ducks. They're hardy, require little attention and thrive well in just about any environment. They're amazingly productive at laying eggs. And when fully feathered, they can survive pretty much any kind of weather. I always thought Warner Brothers didn't give Daffy enough credit. His world was constantly lined up against him. How else was he supposed to respond, lol?!?

Well, this Daffy's going to wrap things up and try to make the most of a beautiful Friday. Am seriously considering going to see Prometheus at the theater tonight. The movie promises a twisted, conspiratorial plot with lots of thrills and jump-out-of-your-seat moments. I enjoyed the Alien franchise and am curious to see how many questions this prequel will answer. As far as the ones that don't get answered...I'm sure my Ni will come up with something ;-)

Have a terrific weekend, folks!

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Anonymous
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June 27, 2014 at 9:39 AM delete

All types make use of the unconscious in different ways. Ni dominant is not more special than any other type. Ni works the opposite way from NE. NE immediately brainstorms possibilities before coming to a conclusion. Ni reaches a conclusion and then starts reasoning possibilities. Imagine a square peg and a round hole. Ne will start listing all the ways you can attempt to put the peg through the hole. This often sounds like rapid fire ideas which are rattled off until they finaly say make the peg round. Ni will first think: round. Then it will slowly develop into: make peg round. The same solution achieved two different ways. Both ways are equally advantageous, and both equally have limitations and potential issues. You mentioned practicality sometimes being an issue for Ni, and I concur. It's also worth mentioning that everyone uses both Ni and Ne, but which one dominates, and where it is ordered makes a big difference in how it is perceived and used by an individual. You should also consider the paring: Ne/Si Si/Ne or Ni/Se Se/Ni. For example someone who is Uses Se, like an ISTp, will also use Ni. The Ni for ISTp will appear more as hunches that are considered by dominant Ti. An INTj or INFj will not have a hunch, they will have an immediate conclusion, and then have to work backwords to find a cause. This is why much time is spent alone, and why it can be difficult to communicate immediately, because we have to develop reasonable explanations for others.
-lee

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Anonymous
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June 6, 2015 at 7:29 PM delete

ENFP lead with their Ni too.

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Anonymous
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June 30, 2015 at 3:10 PM delete

um... you might want to double check that

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