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The LJ INFJs
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finding_helena
infj_mbti
finding_helena
Do you make mental leaps?
Survey question: when faced with something that might require you to change your plans, what's the first thing your mind jumps to?

For clarity, this is the scenario my husband (INFP) and I (INFJ, natch!) discussed. You reach into your pocket where you think your keys are, and they aren't there. In my case, my mind immediately, without any conscious input, jumps to what if I don't have my keys, who I'd have to call, what I'd do in the meantime, and it goes through all these possibilities and settles on how to handle them in the instant it takes to check my other pocket to see that my keys are there. He says that his first thought is "Okay, I have to find my keys" and the other stuff does not flash through his mind.

I think there is some Ni/Ne thing in play here, but maybe it's just me? I'm struggling to understand what Ni actually *is*, because all of the descriptions sound like gobbletygook but I'm fairly certain I do use and prefer this function. I'm trying to identify the ways in which I use it because they aren't immediately obvious to me.
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Comments
antigone_k From: antigone_k Date: January 7th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always put my keys in the same place, so usually my reaction is cold panic for 30 seconds until I find them ;-)

Ni tends to be more internal than Ne. So, for example, in my philosophy papers (I'm a grad student) I may make mental leaps in the sense of seeing a connection between two disparate ideas that otherwise has not been established. Other things I'll do is interpret dream symbolism and make connections between some symbol to an event in my life, or perhaps some other method of meaning. I'll do the same thing with tarot cards--take the symbolism of the card and see how it connects with either other cards, patterns in my life where that card tends to come up a lot or other schools of thought that may tap into that sort of symbolism.

As a general rule, Ne is external whereas Ni is internal.
howeverbrief From: howeverbrief Date: January 7th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear lord, yes. I'm almost constantly thinking about bad scenarios and how to deal with them if they happen. Recently, I've been making a concerted effort to not consider all the bad things that could happen if I, say, slip on the stairs (omg, I live alone, I'll have to figure out how to get to the phone if I break my leg, but what if I crack my head and am unconscious, damn will have to figure out how to call emergency somehow or hope my mother/work notices I'm gone, etc.); but it's very difficult. I can leap to ten different levels of bad and ratchet up my anxiety all the way up to ridiculous if I don't find what I'm looking for or figure something out right away.

I think this may also be a product of introverted thinking, which I've been working to understand because it's still something I don't have a handle on. I don't really like that my thinking spirals inward and can get very detached from reality and the occam's razor approach to problems, and I think it can get out of control if I leave it unchecked.
cactus_rs From: cactus_rs Date: January 8th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
As far as your car keys example goes, I immediately start feeling around in my brain for where else my keys could be. (What pants did I wear yesterday? Are they in those pockets? Are they on the key holder downstairs? Are they in the car?)

I agree about the descriptions of Ni sounding very "woo." The best way I have to think about it is, Ni is about following Ariadne's thread through the labyrinth of your own inner world.
tabular_rasa From: tabular_rasa Date: January 8th, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I relate to your mental leap. I often get ahead of myself speculating about possibilities in the future before I've determined the actual outcome of the current step. I might be scrambling to look for my keys at the same time, but my conscious mind would be focused on, "Will my boyfriend pick up if I call him right now? Is my neighbor home that she might drive me? Do I have time to look up the subway schedule and see if that's viable instead?"-- all questions which become moot when I find the keys. I've also had this problem with, say, job interviews where I start thinking about how I would go about moving apartments to be closer to work, etc, before I even find out whether I got the job.

From what I understand, a lot of speculating possibilities and making internal connections that may not/need not be expressed externally has to do Ni. Though I think for me at least there's also an aspect of anxiety in there, where I get way ahead of myself just for the sake of panicking about it, lol.
jenny_evergreen From: jenny_evergreen Date: January 10th, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I read the Ni you linked you, I nodded my head to the description. Oh, yes, I do that all the time. When I read the Ne, I had trouble at first seeing how it was different, but then I saw it...and can't tell you what it was, other than "it's more external", which is incredibly unhelpful!

As far as the key scenario goes, I'm with cactus_rs, down to the turn of phrase "feeling around in my brain"!
I'm not sure this is a good Ni/Ne example, though.

I think Ni is about the way that we take disparate things (like, say, information from two different disciplines, like mathematical theory and anthropology) and suddenly see a link in them that leads to a conclusion that we "just know" is correct. We can usually see the train of thought, at least temporarily, but explaining it is...long and tedious at best, if able to be done at all. We pull information/knowledge from an internal source and use it, internally, in unusual ways, and then pop out with an end result that other people go, "wow, how did you do that?" about.

Ne...isn't that. *rereads that page* Okay, so the first bit I do when I'm stressed or feeling suspicious or mistrustful; it's about looking outside myself at OTHER people's inner selves, which is generally less accurate than the Ni stuff that's internal to me, but I'm good enough at it to be alarming to other people. As part of that, I do the kind of juggling of possibilities mentioned in the second bit; I kind of bounce them around the person/event/situation till one sticks. Again, this is when I'm stressed and not trusting my own internal intuition so focusing on outside data, which equates to this being a shadow function. I'm good at it, but there's a negativity to it that belies the end of the paragraph on it; that bit is probably the bit for people for whom this is a primary function.

There, I didn't just give you useless information after all! :)
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