There is a lot of confusion in the personality community about what introverted intuition is and what it isn’t. Some people I’ve met ascribe planning for the future to intuition, when in fact many sensing types also enjoy planning for the future. Other types consider intuition to be almost psychic or empathic. So what in the world is introverted intuition? How can we understand it in a simple way?
First of all, who uses Introverted Intuition?
Introverted Intuition, or “Ni” as type geeks call it (like me) is a cognitive function. That’s basically a fancy way of seeing it’s one of the ways we use our mind. For INFJs and INTJs it’s the most preferred way they use their mind. ENFJs and ENTJs also show fairly advanced use of Ni, then followed by the Sensing-Perceiving (SP) personality types.
You see, INxJs get excited when they can spot a pattern, notice a trend, or spot an insight that isn’t obvious to other people. They’re hungry for information about the deeper meaning of things or how momentary situations play out in the grand scheme of things.
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What Is Introverted Intuition?
Personality Hacker calls Introverted Intuition “Perspectives.” Why? Because Ni-users “naturally shift perspectives to solve problems until the solution becomes clear. If they become adept at using Perspectives, they may be able to guess at another person’s mood, problem, or mindset.” – Personality Hacker: Harness the power of your personality type to transform your work, relationships and life
Isabel Briggs-Myers said the greatest gifts of Ni are the “flashes of inspiration, the insight into relationships, the imagination, the originality, the access to resources of the unconscious, the ingenuity, and the visions of what could be.”
If you relate to the 10 manifestations of introverted intuition in this article then there’s a good chance you’re an NJ personality type. If you’re unsure, you can check out the 10 signs of extraverted intuition (the function NPs use).
In short, Introverted Intuition is an information-gathering process that focuses on patterns, perspectives, hidden meanings, and future implications. If you want to find out more about what it is, and what Carl Jung wrote on the subject, you can check out my post: The Magic and Mystery of Introverted Intuition.
This post is primarily concerned with looking at the signs of introverted intuition. Here you’ll be able to see what it looks like on the outside and what it feels like on the inside. These practical examples will hopefully make it easier for you to grasp this complex function.
10 Signs That You Might Be an Introverted Intuitive
#1 – I Am Driven By My Inspiration
Inspiration is what leads me. I have a certain sense of “knowing” and a vision for the future that drives my every step and energizes me. Sometimes my inspirations come out of nowhere and I have a hard time explaining them to other people.
#2 – The More Abstract the Conversation, the More I Enjoy It
I thrive on understanding complex processes and philosophies. The more obscure, abstract, and theoretical the conversation, the more I’m energized and excited by it.
#3 – I Am Individualistic and Independent
The new and unexplored is always more interesting to me than the tried-and-true. I regard authority with skepticism and like to decide for myself whether rules should be followed. I dislike constraints, repetition, and routine.
#4 – I Want To Know What’s “Behind the Facade”
I don’t trust first impressions or things said at face-value. I believe that there are layers of meaning to everything and my goal is to get to the deepest and most innermost layer.
#5 – I Need Time to “Daydream”
I need to know how new information fits in with the entire universe. My mind needs time to imagine and tinker with ideas and theories. I especially enjoy it if I can remove myself from all outside stimulation when this happens. Because most of my insights appear “out of the blue” and aren’t stimulated by things in the environment, being alone in a quiet, dark place allows my mind freedom. This is the time I can synthesize information unconsciously, and this is usually when I get my deepest insights and “aha!” moments.
#6 – I Trust the Unconscious World
To me unconscious images and symbolic dreams are just as relevant as tangible images and data. What I gather from my five senses is important, but mainly in how it gives me clues about the future, the universe, and the meaning of all things.
#7 – I Get Lost In Meanings
Instead of noticing the concrete details of the world around me, I notice everything’s symbolic meaning and significance. If I see a tree I think about its past, present, and future, it’s contributions to our world, it’s symbolic meaning as a life force. I think about the state of the environment and where this tree will be in 100 or 1000 years.
#8 – I Love Strategizing
My vision guides my strategic planning and I enter a “zone” like state when I can think about the future and how to reach a particular goal or vision. Strategy games can be very stimulating for me.
#9 – My Perceptions Are Hard to Explain in Words
Because a lot of my intuitions and insights come from the unconscious and inner world I can struggle with “bringing them out” into the open. When I try to explain I can suddenly become rambling, halting, or so focused on meaning and metaphor that it confuses people. This can be very frustrating for me.
#10 – I Long to Ask “Why”
I am driven to understand the “why’s” of the universe and how everything fits together. I long to ask deep and penetrating questions but I’ve learned through experience that many people feel uncomfortable when conversation gets into very complex, abstract, or uncharted territory.
Relate or Don’t Relate?
A lot of people who have tested as NJ types find that they don’t really relate to these points and that’s because most of the online tests out there are mistyping people. If you truly don’t relate to these types but still consider yourself an intuitive, then a good book like Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 6) (Bollingen Series XX) or Building Blocks of Personality Type: A Guide to Discovering the Hidden Secrets of the Personality Type Code can be very helpful. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
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