INFJ Fantastic Four - Sensing

Saturday, July 23, 2016 2 Comments A+ a-

Howdy, folks! I'm pulling over the last Fantastic Four post, and this will be it for the Gillicrist transfers. Then...on to new stuff!

Take care and enjoy :)


INFJ Fantastic Four - Sensing
11/4/2014 via The Gillicrist Pen

Hey, guys! This post is looooong overdue, but I'm going to try and get through it, despite the sinus pressure threatening to pop out my eyeballs. My special-needs son has been battling a nasty cold, and somehow those little germs formed an elite attack force that snuck past my hand sanitizer and vitamin regimen. They messed me up good, and they still have their claws in my son (whose immune system is a lot like Steve Rogers...before he was turned into Captain America).

And since I didn't have much control over my sense of smell last week, this is a good time to bring up the last function in the INFJ stack: Extraverted Sensing (Se). It's been a while since I posted, so to bring you back up to speed, here's a list of the INFJ preferences:

Dominant: Introverted Intuition (Ni)
Auxiliary: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
Tertiary: Introverted Thinking (Ti)
Inferior: Extraverted Sensing (Se)

Our most powerful function is our Intuition, followed by its vital sidekick, Feeling. Third on the list is Thinking. Last...but certainly not Sensing. And I always smirk whenever I see the word "inferior." The INFJ's Se is anything but.

Allow me to explain. Sensing refers to the way people physically take in data. You know, the old taste-touch-sight-smell-hearing thing your science teachers told you about. It's purely biological and happens whether we like it or not.

Like all the other functions, Sensing can be introverted or extraverted. Introverted functions are very much involved with making connections, such as past and future events, or mulling over the origins of the universe. So if you happen to smell something that evokes a memory, you're using Introverted Sensing.

Extraverted Sensing, on the other hand, is all about the here-and-now. It allows you to enjoy the thrill of the moment, like when you're bungee-jumping or riding a roller coaster. Se doesn't focus on abstract possibilities. It's thrilling and very concrete. People with dominant Se are often adrenaline junkies.

Yeah, this takes hardcore
Extraverted Sensing

As an INFJ, my Se doesn't overtly affect the way I perceive the world. My Ni and Fe are too busy doing that, while my Ti internally processes the results. So my Se is often very...subliminal. I'm so involved with what's going on my head that I don't usually pay attention to the color of someone's coat, their cologne, a missing button, etc.

But my body picks that stuff up, anyway. And in a strange-yet-fascinating way, those sensory details are fed instantly into my Intuition. Example: several years ago, I was driving home and felt like something was "off" about my car. I couldn't put my finger on it. Just a feeling. When I got home, I told my husband. He started the engine and checked under the hood, but couldn't find anything. He thought I might have imagined it...

...until the next day, when the car up and died in the middle of an intersection. Some problem with the alternator belt. We laughed about it, because he couldn't figure out how I knew the belt was about to break. I didn't know, either. But obviously, my Se picked up a subtle change in noise or vibration, and it sent a signal to my Ni, giving me the impression that something was wrong.

That's just one example. It actually happens to me a lot. Call them hunches, gut feelings, or sixth-sense experiences. For an INFJ, this is the norm. Our Se is constantly picking up data---especially if it occurs in patterns---and feeding that data to our Ni. It gives the INFJ a predictive quality that others will say is psychic or spiritual. Although it could be related to those things, it's probably more likely that our Se and Ni work together in a way those people just aren't used to.

Is this a blessing? Sure! The Ni-Se connection, when we're fully utilizing it, is an amazing superpower. Channeling concrete data into an abstract imagination can lead to all kinds of possibilities...ideas, insights, solutions, system-building. It also lends an air of mystery to our already-very-secretive personalities.

Can it be a curse? Absolutely...because Se takes up a huuuuge amount of energy. You know how extraverts get all charged up by being in a crowd? Introverts are the opposite. Being in stimulating environments drains us. Part of this is because we can't turn off the Se. It chugs along without stopping, like the Energizer Bunny, and our Ni can easily get overwhelmed by the data feed. That's when you'll find us sneaking out of the wedding reception to hang out in the lobby with our laptops.

Not that I've ever done that. *coughs, clears throat*

Anyway, that concludes my little mini-series about the INFJ functional stack. I hope you've enjoyed learning how we work. We can be odd creatures, so sometimes it helps to know that there's a method to our madness, lol.

Blessings! :)


Write comments
Marissa Baker
July 25, 2016 at 11:03 AM delete

Your story about the car sounds so familiar. I'd been trying to convince people something had changed and was "off" about my car for a while but they couldn't find anything. Finally, I managed to explain what I was sensing well enough that the mechanic found the problem several months after I knew something was wrong. Thankfully it was fixable and didn't strand me anywhere.

July 25, 2016 at 4:42 PM delete

Typical superpower one takes you seriously. We're those people in horror movies that no one will listen to until it's too late, lol. Glad you weren't stranded! :)