How do you take in the world around you? Do you notice brilliant colors and sounds and smells? Do you regard the past with reverie and wonder? The world of sensing is a beautiful and captivating thing. If you’re a sensor, you have a heightened awareness of the concrete world around you. Concrete sounds boring, right? Well, it isn’t. You notice the shifting sands of nature or the complex systems of a computer. If you’re an intuitive you also rely on sensing; although you prefer to start with intuition. You still may notice and adore the world around you, but you filter it through a lens of ideas and concepts and thoughts.


Se or Si Sensing

How do I know if I’m an extroverted or an introverted sensor?

Let’s start with extraverted sensing (or Se for short). Extraverted sensing is about taking in the details and sensations of the world around you. The SP personality types are the most skilled Se users. They notice sensory details and sensations like no other type. They are very aware of what’s going on around them, and can react quickly and spontaneously without being as easily startled as an intuitive type would be. Those with inferior Se, like the INTJs and INFJs, are extremely sensitive to the sensory world and are easily overstimulated. Dominant Se users, on the other hand, can easily take in a lot of sensory information and act accordingly. They are often skilled at juggling, sports, dancing, or arts and crafts. Anything involving the awareness and manipulation of the physical world.

Extraverted sensors live life in the moment and love surprises and spontaneity. They often are excellent in a crisis, because they can think so well on their feet. They tend to have a strong physical presence because they are so aware of their bodies and move with a fluidity that many other types may struggle with. They excel in the hands-on world and like to be in an active environment. They are often adventurous and love excitement and thrill-seeking.

MBTI Types with Dominant Extroverted Sensing:

MBTI Types with Auxiliary Extroverted Sensing:

The four types above are going to be highly skilled extraverted sensors; with ESFPs and ESTPs having the highest mastery of this function.

MBTI Types with Tertiary Extroverted Sensing:

MBTI Types with Inferior Extroverted Sensing:

These four types are going to have less mastery over extraverted sensing. They will like beautiful things and be sensitive to sensory stimulation, but prefer the conceptual world of intuition and can often lack sensory awareness.

What about introverted sensing?

Introverted sensing is the dominant or auxiliary function of the SJ types. Introverted sensing types have an awareness and reverie of past experience. Introverted sensors learn from a plethora of personal experience and readily recall facts and tried-and-true techniques. They believe in carrying on the traditions and methods that have worked well before, and this provides a certainty and stability in their lives. For those with tertiary or inferior introverted sensing, like the NP types, it helps them to place trust in their personal experiences; making them more individualistic and idiosyncratic than many types. Dominant introverted sensors (ISTJs and ISFJs) have effortless and accurate memory and are excellent at relaying information. They can easily compare present experiences with past experiences, and can tell if something is out of place or “not right”. They store their memories vividly within their minds; and because of this can often think back to a time in the past and reflect on exactly how they felt, what it was like, and remember every detail beautifully. Thinking introverted sensors will be better at remembering the details of systems, projects and things; whereas feeling introverted sensors will be better at remembering the details of people, and events involving them.

Introverted sensors tend to like things planned out and in line with their traditions and beliefs. They are usually good at organizing events or gatherings or planning ways to get tasks accomplished. They are often very careful and thoughtful, making sure things are done right. They often love holiday and family traditions and can make them very special for everyone involved. They have a nostalgic quality to them because they love the past and hold their memories so dear. They often enjoy learning age-old techniques and skills like sewing, candle-making, organic farming, etc,…

MBTI Types with Dominant Introverted Sensing:

MBTI Types with Auxiliary Introverted Sensing:

The above four types are going to be the most skilled introverted sensors, with the ISTJs and ISFJs having the highest mastery of this function.

MBTI Types with Tertiary Introverted Sensing:

MBTI Types with Inferior Introverted Sensing:

The above four types will have less mastery over introverted sensing, but they will use it to be individualistic and to have faith in their past experiences.

Extraverted Sensing – The Good
(These will most apply to those with dominant or auxiliary Se)

– Highly aware of surroundings
– Lively and energetic
– Spontaneous
– Concrete and practical
– Confident
– Observant
– Skilled with hands-on tasks
– Often excellent  artists or crafters
– Coordinated
– Enjoy life and living in the moment
– Optimistic

Extraverted Sensing – The Bad
(These will mostly apply to those with dominant or auxiliary Se – however, they can apply to anyone)

– Can be overly-indulgent in sensory pleasures (food, sex, alcohol)
– Easily bored
– Impulsive
– May struggle with poor long-term planning ability
– Not always good at finishing projects
– Can be risk-prone
– May miss the bigger picture
– Can be unstructured

Introverted Sensing – The Good
(These will mostly apply to those with dominant or auxiliary Si – however, they can apply to anyone)

– Detail-oriented
– Responsible
– Excellent memory
– Concrete and practical
– Creates order and organization
– Reliable
– Observant
– Hard-Working
– Makes family traditions special

Introverted Sensing – The Bad
(These will mostly apply to those with dominant or auxiliary Si – however, they can apply to anyone)

– Reluctant to change
– Stubborn
– Hesitant to seek out new ideas – has to do things “by the book”
– Prone to being judgmental
– Inflexible
– Reluctant to innovate or improvise
– May be too concerned with social status

In Conclusion

Sensing is an incredible function that is so important in the world we live in. Sensors are often the “doers” who keep things running and moving smoothly. They can be talented artists, crafters, performers, presidents, and philanthropists. If you’re a sensor I hope that you feel this post accurately describes how you use your function. If you disagree, or if you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments!

Want to know more?

Find out what type of intuitor you are, what type of feeler you are, or what type of thinker you are.

MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and Myers-Briggs are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Myers and Briggs Foundation, Inc., in the United States and other countries.

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