Connection Reflection

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 4 Comments A+ a-

This has been a really long day. (sigh)
How I felt earlier today...

I read countless news and blog articles, posted on my other blog, cut my disabled son's hair and got him in the tub, cleaned up all the hair, vacuumed, and did laundry. Respite worker showed up at noon, and my son was squeaky clean (temporarily, anyway). When my other two kids got home from school early, we all packed up and headed to our local forest preserve, making stops for soda and worms on the way (sounds odd, doesn't it?). We fished for a couple of hours in the wind and sun, and by the time we got home, I was exhausted. I actually slept on the couch for a bit, which is not my usual style.

Now that I've gotten in a couple of winks, though, I think I'm ready to tackle the next topic:

While INFJs are deeply theoretical, they are less impressed by theories built by a mere assemblage of facts or data. Rather than being “fact” oriented, INFJs concern themselves with forging new connections and reconciling opposites by way of their Intuition. They feel that everything is somehow connected to everything else, forming a vast and interconnected web. For INFJs, discovering truth involves getting a better handle on the nature of this connectedness and the holographic patterns of the universe. In fact, this happens to be one of the signature strengths of their Ni, which subconsciously processes and synthesizes copious amounts of information, wraps it up in the form of a symbol or metaphor, and proceeds to upload into the INFJ’s consciousness.

Okay, maybe not as ready as I thought. Hmm.

This seems rather technical. I had to look some of these phrases up, since I wasn't exactly sure how to define 'holographic patterns of the universe.' It appears to have something to do with quantum gravity and string theory. Not my area of expertise.

Well, let's dive in anyway.

I agree with Dr. Drenth that instead of being fact-oriented, I use my intuition to make mental connections when learning a new theory. Basically, I form connective images in my head. As a strong visual person, this puts those annoying little facts into a meaningful template with which to draw from as I move on to the next step. Writing them out or drawing them is even better, if that option is available. As I find connections, I also recognize patterns for some reason. They often jump out at me in startling (and sometimes irritating) clarity.

Once in high school, I signed up at the last minute for some sort of testing being administered by a random military group from a nearby academy. Honestly, I was bored and did it just to get out of class! The tests were mostly based on questions and scenarios involving logic and patterns. When the scores came back, I was intrigued to find myself in the top percentile of every category, scoring especially high where patterns were concerned. I recall some pretty heavy efforts to 'recruit' me, which I had no interest in. But the test results stuck in my memory.

A few years back, I went on a road trip to Chicago with three other ladies. We spent the night at one lady's parents' home and slept in their basement. Having forgotten my white noise machine, I spent at least two hours trying to block out the sound of their furnace so I could get some sleep. The thumping, though faint, had a rhythm to it that my brain latched onto and wouldn't let go. Grrrr. Drat my overly-sensitive brain! My son has somehow inherited this (will be interested in seeing his Myers-Briggs type someday) and has the same issue. While a benefit to learning, recognizing patterns can be terribly distracting at times.

Jake Bohm - the quintessential INFJ?
So...connections and patterns are extremely important to my way of thinking. Recently I posted on my other blog about the new TV series called "Touch" and how fascinated I am with the storyline. At the beginning of each show, random people throughout the world are pictured. Their stories and troubles are highlighted as the show progresses. In the process, a mute disabled boy (possibly autistic) uses numbers to guide his father in seemingly miraculous ways that eventually brings all of those disconnected people together, even if they don't realize it. Is he clairvoyant? Are we all connected in some way and he just notices it? Is he the quintessential INFJ, magnified by his placement on the autistic spectrum?

Hard to say. But here's what I posted about connectedness and the universe:

I do like the idea of being connected with other people in ways we aren't aware of. It's kind of cool to think that we're all like pebbles thrown into a pond, our ripples reaching further and further out, touching the lives of countless others in ways we can't even imagine. The things we do, good or bad, affect the world around us, and it's kind of refreshing to be reminded of that now and then.
Someone once told me that our lives are like a beautiful mosaic wall hanging, only our view is from the back. We see the messy stuff...the snarls, knots, and uneven stitches...broken threads criss-crossing one another, re-routed trails where tears have been mended. But a glimpse of the other side would amaze us. The patterns, the swirls, the designs and colors...everything comes together to form one big extraordinary picture that couldn't have been made without us. What we think is random has a higher purpose.

The way I view connectedness (and the images I form during the learning process) influences my perspective and allows me, as Dr. Drenth puts its, to process and synthesize copious amounts of information. And I do upload it using symbols and metaphors. For me to get a handle on a theory, I definitely have to have some sort of grid to build from. Symbols and metaphors work wonders. Again, my son is the same way. When I'm describing something new to him, he'll pull up a similar example from a book or movie that helps make the connections he needs to understand. He can't make sense of data and facts without a meaningful connection.

Wait - I just heard my son ask my husband for help with a math question in the back room. Then he said, "Can you draw me a picture? I need a visual here!"

LOL! Case in point :-)

Did I mention copious
amounts of information?

What does all this mean? I think it means that INFJs view the world in terms of a large spiderweb. Everything is connected in a meaningful way, and very little is random. Somehow we sense this on an intuitive level, even if we don't understand it. We take the facts that people give us and find those invisible connections, recognize those hidden patterns, forming a picture in our heads of the way their theory works.

The lingering question: are we seeing reality when we do this - are we getting the true picture - or just one that appeals/makes sense to us?

What do you think?


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November 17, 2012 at 10:28 PM delete

i find that i do this often too. when i interact with people and my intuition is at a high point, i form metaphorical images of them. for example, one of my friend's images in a neighborhood, and he visits all the other houses, but his own house is his little quiet space where no one can enter - not in a bad way, but just in a private, serene way. at the time i had not known what this image meant to me, and my image soon zoomed in into something not quite so pleasant that represented something of his life. there was a tug of war in the backyard that didn't involve him and was unwillingly taking part in his backyard. i soon confronted him with this image and he completely dissected the image and wondered how i was so insightful. i think this is very insightful of Ni - infjs particularly. we are able to synthesize all this image into a sentence or a visual image, and it's almost as if we have to backtrack to understand sometimes because our unconscious works faster than our conscious. i frequently feel like a recipient of insight, i don't believe that i am creating insight, nor do i believe i create meaning (such as Ne's might) rather i believe meaning already exists, and i am just uncovering it, seeing the patterns and connectivity and how it contributes to the whole. i've often thought of whether i create my own reality, say a utopia, or i am seeing life and people and patterns for what they really are. and i've generally come to the conclusion that i do see life for what it is. a lot of people have noted that i talk in observations, and they say this in a tone that my interpretation is in a way, not even my interpretation, but the truth of a matter. and while i often questioned the validity of my intuition, others have brought into clarity my intuition and seen it for is truth. i find that with Fe, i am able to engage in my own friendly world, and show people how much they mean to me, how lovely they are, so the connections i do create with people and what they mean are in accordance to me and my reality, but i often think that Ni is rather truthful, because we are able to uncover multiple realities and join it into one reality. i hope this has made some sense...i'm sure it does, since you are an infj :)

April 8, 2015 at 9:23 PM delete

I really like that you compared this process/ way of living to a spiderweb. One of my favorite poems, Walt Whitman's "A Noiseless Patient Spider", speaks to this particularly well, as well as the desire for constant improvement and growth that comes with being an INFJ. Thanks for your words!

April 16, 2015 at 8:39 AM delete

You're so welcome! Thanks for reading! :)

May 27, 2015 at 12:23 PM delete

lovely explanation! thank you so much for sharing. Your description here has helped me work through my own Ni observations from a new angle. I seem to use similies the most saying a complex idea is like something that may be familiar to the person I'm speaking to or, most likely, to me. Being able to visualize your intuition must be lovely, I need to verbalize mine which isn't always helpful to the person listening.