Intuition is one of the hardest functions to explain in words; some people describe it as a “sixth sense”. Unlike sensing, which is focused on the concrete and the practical, the “sensory” world that we can see, hear, smell and taste; intuition is about unseen things; meanings, possibilities, and concepts. It’s a way of being able to know something without being able to explain exactly how you arrived at that point.
Intuitors and sensors are going to have some pretty obvious differences, and to find out more about how to identify one, you can click here. But here’s the thing…
Everyone Uses Intuition
Even the ‘S’ personality types use intuition; everyone has to use it to get by in life. Every function; thinking, feeling, sensing, intuition, is essential to leading a balanced life. People with a sensor preference just use sensing before they use intuition; so their intuition isn’t as advanced. Sensors will use intuition as their third or fourth preference, and it will be their least-preferred method of perceiving the world around them.
Okay, so how do I know if I use extraverted or introverted intuition?
Well, if you’ve figured out your Myers Briggs type then it’s easy. If you don’t know your Myers Briggs Type, you can keep on reading and you should be able to figure it out. We’ll start with extraverted intuition, then go on to introverted intuition.
MBTI Types With Dominant Extraverted Intuition:
ENFP and ENTP
MBTI Types with Auxiliary Extraverted Intuition:
INTP and INFP
The types above are going to be the most skilled at using extraverted intuition (or Ne for short), with ENFPs and ENTPs having the highest mastery of this function.
MBTI Types with Tertiary Extraverted Intuition:
ESTJ and ESFJ
MBTI Types with Inferior Extraverted Intuition:
ISTJ and ISFJ
The four types listed above are going to rely on sensing before they access extraverted intuition; however they will still prefer extraverted intuition to introverted intuition, which they will hardly use at all (or never).
So what is extraverted intuition?
Extraverted intuition is the ability to see possibilities, potential, and hidden patterns everywhere. Where extraverted sensing is about taking in information through the five senses and acting on it, extraverted intuition is about taking in information that is largely theoretical; concepts, thoughts, ideas. This is why, usually, extraverted sensors are skilled at sports, weaponry, cooking, or anything that involves the physical world. Extraverted intuitors are skilled at coming up with ideas, concepts, and possibilities. They’re the Dr. Seusse’s, the Oscar Wilde’s, the Walt Disney’s of the world.
Extraverted intuitors (or Ne users as we’ll call them for short) are always looking to the future to see what could be. They love the world of limitless possibilities, and keep their minds open to constant growth and improvement. They tend to be very creative people, which is why the world of artists, musicians, and writers is full of Ne users. They desire new and novel experiences, and often become restless if left in a routine, unchanging place in life.
Ne users are often groundbreaking entrepreneurs and visionaries; they have a desire to make things happen and make their mark on the world. They get a rush of excitement when they’re able to pursue their dreams and plans, and their naturally charismatic personalities makes it easy for them to find others to join them.
Another trait of Ne users is their ability to make obscure connections between seemingly unrelated things. The Ne user can see two very different topics and bring them together in a way that can be surprising to many, and often gives the Ne user an off-beat sense of humor.
Ne users are slow to finalize decisions and form judgments; they like to keep their options open and their minds open so that they can constantly be evolving their thought processes. For this reason they are often very open-minded, accepting people who aren’t quick to impose their judgments on other people.
The minds of Ne users often move at a frenetic pace. They often seem restless, scattered, and are sometimes plagued with ADD or ADHD. They want life to be exciting and full of fun and discovery; and often times find sleep to be a boring waste of time. For this reason, they can have erratic sleep patterns or suffer from insomnia. They want to constantly be taking in new information, and don’t like to ‘shut off’ their minds. Trying to sleep with a Ne user can be frustrating for a sensor, because they will constantly be bringing up new ideas when the sensor is more likely to be shutting down and quicker to fall asleep.
People with auxiliary extraverted intuition (INTPs and INFPs) will probably relate to most of the things above; but it may not be as extreme. They will channel the intuition first through either introverted thinking or introverted feeling. This can make them seem a little more quiet or focused than ENFPs or ENTPs, who use Ne as their dominant function.
How do I know if I have introverted intuition?
MBTI Types with Dominant Introverted Intuition:
INFJs and INTJs
MBTI Types with Auxiliary Introverted Intuition:
ENTJs and ENFJs
The types above will be the most skilled Ni (introverted intuition) users; with INFJs and INTJs having the highest mastery of this function.
MBTI Types with Tertiary Introverted Intuition:
ISTPs and ISFPs
MBTI Types with Inferior Introverted Intuition:
ESTPs and ESFPs
The four types above are going to prefer sensing before intuition, but will still try to use it from time to time.
Understanding Introverted Intuition
Introverted intuition is similar to extraverted intuition; except that it is more of an internal process, and it is more focused. Where Ne users generate unlimited possibilities that they put into the outside world; leaping from one idea to the next, Ni users are much more internally focused. They like to connect the dots, take in a plethora of information, and find a hidden pathway or ‘insight’ into the future. They love the world of ideas and visions, and often think in images, symbols, and metaphors. They notice patterns easily, and are excellent strategists, often coming up with a “master plan” or forecast of the future. They are the Nikola Tesla’s, the Stephen Hawking’s (INTJs) or the Leo Tolstoy’s and the Carl Jung’s (INFJs).
Ni users are more concerned with “the big picture” than any other type. They are the most abstract and forward-looking of any of the types; and have very little patience for the “here and now”. For this reason, they are very frustrated when having to deal with monotonous, day-to-day tasks. Ni users often have strong “gut” feelings and have a hard time explaining these feelings to others. They take in and analyze so much information at once, trying to find the common thread that ties it all together, that sometimes they’ll intuitively come to a conclusion, or have an insight, that they can’t fully explain yet.
Ni users need to “zone out” of the world around them quite frequently; more than any other type. They are highly sensitive to the external sensory world, and are easily over-stimulated. They like to delve deep into the recesses of their mind and analyze all the information they’ve picked up and create a trail or pathway that leads to one main idea or insight. They are very reflective, and need a lot of quiet and alone time to process their thoughts.
The thinking Ni types will come across as very blunt and sarcastic; they will be obsessed with finding the absolute truth behind an idea, and consider themselves realists. The feeling Ni types have a more accommodating communication style; still often sarcastic, but often at their own expense. They will feel other people’s emotions and be much more heavily affected by them. They often internalize other people’s feelings, and absorb them, which causes them to be heavily weighed down by an atmosphere that isn’t harmonious.
Both types internalize emotions and commonly experience health problems as a result. They are easily overwhelmed and burned-out; largely because the world is more accommodating to sensors and extroverts than it has ever been to introverts and intuitors.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Ne Users – Strengths:
– Energetic and enthusiastic
– Good at communicating
– Excellent brainstormers
Ne Users – Weaknesses:
– Poor practical skills
– Bad at day-to-day tasks
– Can overthink and obsess over things
– Independent to a fault
– Prone to procrastination
– Turbulent emotionally (more with the feeling types)
– Can look down on other, more practical types and see them as “narrow minded”
– Poor follow-through skills.
Ni Users – Strengths:
– Highly creative
– Passionate and determined
Ni Users – Weaknesses:
– Overly analytical
– Loathe structure
– Highly sensitive (more common with feeling types)
– Overly sarcastic
– Judgmental (more common with thinking types)
– Extremely private
– Easily burn out
– Prone to over-indulgence when stressed
– Gets lost in foreseeing, ignoring the needs of the “here and now”
What are your thoughts?
Do you use extraverted or introverted intuition? Can you relate? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.