Se: Small Function, Big Impact

Monday, October 08, 2012 2 Comments A+ a-

G'morning and Happy Columbus Day! No school today, so it's a full house here again. The sun is shining and the temp is comfy. Got a shower in this morning and feeling pretty darn good about it :-)

I went to a birthday party for my mother-in-law on Saturday evening. Most of my husband's family are extraverts, so it was a loud, talkative event. Lots of children and babies attending as well. I kicked back with a glass of Reisling and talked one-on-one with others when I could. The noise level was bearable for about an hour and a half before I started getting uncomfortable. Wine can only help for so long, lol!

Do you guys get tired in a crowd? I wear out fast when surrounded by a large group of people. The only way to combat it is to put in earbuds and listen to music while working on my laptop. Blocking out the noise helps.

But I still get tired out by the presence and energy of others. The interesting thing about INFJs is that we have a hyper-sensitive Se. It's constantly working on our behalf, whether we realize it or not. Check out this excerpt from an article I found on

Because it does much of its work subconsciously, Ni can seem to have a certain magical quality about it. In fact, it is not unusual for INJs to be viewed as having some degree of psychic or prophetic abilities. Despite its magical appearance, Ni can be understood on a rational basis. What seems to be occurring is that many INJs have a highly sensitive inferior function, Extraverted Sensation (Se), which gathers copious amounts of sensory information from the outside world, including subtleties that other personality types tend to miss. Their Ni then subconsciously processes this data in order to make sense of it, like assembling pieces of a puzzle. Once finished, Ni generates an impression that seems to come out of “nowhere.” But the fact is that the intuition did not come out of nowhere, but from a synthesis of sensory data gathered from the immediate environment combined with information from the INJ’s own psyche.

Pretty cool how our Se works. Have you ever had an "aha" moment where people looked at you funny and said, "How could you possibly know that?" That always makes me laugh. Or when I'm watching television and suddenly blurt something out, only to have the TV character repeat what I just said, word for word. My family finds that amazing, but it comes naturally to me. I don't realize I'm doing it.

I do disagree with the author that all our intuitive revelations can be understood on a rational basis. Our Se might be able to pick up a lot from our environment, but because I believe in the supernatural, I think it picks up on those cues as well. I think there's more to this world than meets the eye, and INFJs are good at hearing/seeing/feeling it.

So while at the party, my Se was working overtime as I watched different scenarios play out. I saw a little boy disappear beneath a table and the sudden, terrified expression on his mother's face when she couldn't locate him. I watched another introvert sit a table by himself and knew exactly how he felt. I talked with someone whose face always lit up when I asked about her children. My Se picked up on everything going on around me and slowly drained my energy as it fed my Ni, prompting thoughts, analogies, and connections. When I got home, I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Small function - Big impact

I think it's cool that we INFJs possess superpowers that work on a subconscious level. We truly have a "magical quality"--as the article put it--and whether it's based on rationale or something otherworldly doesn't matter so much to me. What matters is that we have it and can use it to help others.

As you walk around today, don't be afraid to be a hero. Remember, you were built for it :-)

Have a terrific day,


Write comments
Colin Machan
October 9, 2012 at 12:44 AM delete

I know exactly what you mean, but have a difficulty just walking away from it. I tend to take time to review my busy day, pondering all those little encounters, all those details, trying to put them all into context. Even though I'm tired, my mind won't let me rest.

I guess I know what is meant by "a blessing ... and a curse".

October 9, 2012 at 7:07 AM delete

You bring up a great point. My mind spins over encounters as well. Can't let things go, so to speak. I'll play conversations in my head, obsess over things I wish I'd said or done differently. That happened just recently with someone--I'm still cringing over the ghastly outcome of our encounter and it's been three days. The INFJ brain is great at focusing, but we tend to obsess over details.