Extraverted and Introverted Thinking

Ti vs Te: The Difference Between Extraverted and Introverted Thinking

Being able to use logic and reasoning is essential to living a fulfilled life as a person. Every single Myers-Briggs® type uses thinking, even if they got a feeling result on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®.  If we didn’t use thinking we wouldn’t be able to have any logical basis for our decisions, and we’d all be in a pretty bad place.

There are two different types of thinking: introverted and extraverted thinking. One is focused more internally, organizing the inner world and applying rational thought to an inner set of principles; the other, extraverted thinking, is more externally focused, applying rational thought to the outside world.

Not sure what your personality type is? Personality Hacker has the most accurate free online personality indicator I’ve been able to find. Click here to take it.

I need more details! What is Extraverted Thinking? Do I have it?

Personality Types with Dominant Extraverted Thinking:

Personality Types with Auxiliary Extraverted Thinking:

The above four MBTI types are going to be the most advanced at using extraverted thinking; with ESTJs and ENTJs being the most obvious and skilled extraverted thinkers.

Personality Types with Tertiary Extraverted Thinking:

Personality Types with Inferior Extraverted Thinking:

Types with tertiary and inferior extraverted thinking will usually look to introverted feeling first to try to make decisions. If a problem can’t be solved with feeling, they will then revert to extraverted thinking. Under stress, INFPs and ISFPs can fall “into the grip” of inferior extroverted thinking. This can cause them to become uncharacteristically harsh, critical and negative towards others. This is unlike them, and usually will only come out during cases of extreme or chronic stress.

How Extraverted Thinking Works


Extraverted thinking is the process of understanding and organizing the external world through rational, logical thought. Te (extraverted thinking) users want everything to make sense, be in order, and want tasks and projects done quickly. They have little patience for digging into the details or mulling over decisions, but like to come up with quick, workable plans that they can enforce or get done right away. They are excellent at planning, scheduling, and organizing the environment, sometimes using charts, graphs, outlines, and so on. They are wonderful at delegating to get a job done, and organizing people to make plans and ideas get accomplished. The dominant extraverted thinkers (ENTJs and ESTJs) are take-charge people who have a commanding, in-charge style.

INTJs and ISTJs, who have auxiliary extraverted thinking, will take a little longer to make decisions. This is because they will process information through intuition (for the INTJ) or sensing (for the ISTJ) before they come up with a conclusion. That said, when they think through problems logically, it is usually for the purpose of putting something out into the world or accomplishing a task. Nikola Tesla, Stephen Hawking, and Warren Buffett were all people with auxiliary extraverted thinking. They could absorb vast amounts of information, but then be very quick and decisive when the time called for it.

Empirical thinking is at the core of extraverted thinking; which is why many extraverted thinkers highly value the “scientific method”. The extraverted thinker can see a plan, an idea, or a concept and quickly come up with a way to make it happen.

Napolean Bonaparte, an ENTJ, once said “Ambition is never in a greater hurry than I. It merely keeps pace with my way of thinking.”

This accurately describes the swift-thinking nature of the ENTJ, and the drive and ambition so common to them. Te-users tend to think rapidly and are usually very decisive. They are constantly analyzing the pros and cons of various decisions and trying to determine which choice makes the most logical sense and will lead to optimal results.

Extraverted Thinking is very action-oriented, because it focuses more on the outer world of people and things than the internal world. This is why ENTJs and ESTJs will seem extremely goal-oriented, motivated, and ready to push forward when making a decision or devising a plan. Those with auxiliary Extraveerted Thinking; INTJs and ISTJs, will consult the inner world of Intuition or Sensing before they access Extraverted Thinking. This makes them seem a little more quiet and reflective before they move forward into action or decision-making.

Extraverted thinkers are often very intelligent, and love to study and learn. However, they also love to get things done. They not only get the ideas, they put the plans into action. They will almost always have a project they will be working on. Maintaining control of their outer environment is very important to Te users; keeping things organized, up-to-date, and efficient is key.

Am I an Introverted Thinker? How Can I Know?

Personality Types with Dominant Introverted Thinking:

Personality Types with Auxiliary Introverted Thinking:

These personality types are going to be the most skilled introverted thinkers; with ISTPs and INTPs having the most proficient use of it.

Personality Types with Tertiary Introverted Thinking:

Personality Types with Inferior Introverted Thinking:

The personality types with tertiary or inferior introverted thinking will rely on it after they have first accessed extraverted feeling. When it comes to decision-making, these types are much more interested in harmony and people-oriented decisions before logic and rationality. Types with inferior introverted thinking may fall “into the grip” of this function under prolonged stress; becoming uncharacteristically harsh, calculating, and cold; displaying unhealthy introverted thinking.

How Introverted Thinking Works

Introverted thinking (or Ti as it’s called for short), is the process of organizing the world internally through logic and rational thought. Ti users form an internal framework of how the world works; and they constantly modify it to make room for improvements or new lessons they’ve learned. While Te users like to come up with decisions and stick with them, Ti users are always open for new insights and ways to perfect an idea.

Introverted thinkers want to create a vast web of knowledge, and find ways in which everything is interrelated. They like to learn for the sake of learning. It is less about putting something out into the world and more about making an independent discovery or forming an inner blueprint for how the world works. Ti users are skeptical of rules and the scientific method, whereas Te users like to take pre-established rules and use them to efficiently organize the outer world or make new discoveries.

Dominant and Auxiliary Ti users like to take things apart and figure out how they work, they like to troubleshoot and analyze and figure things out. They don’t want to be rushed, they want to get it right. While Te users often have a respect for leadership and like to take charge; Ti users are somewhat rebellious anti-establishment thinkers in comparison. Albert Einstein, an INTP, once said “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” He also said, “”To punish me for my contempt for authority, Fate made me an authority myself.”

Clint Eastwood, an ISTP, echoed a similar thought process when he said “Leave everybody alone. Let everybody else do what they want. Just stay out of everybody else’s hair.”

Even though they don’t like to be pressured, Ti users love finding ways to get things done efficiently. They also like to figure out how they can do things with the least amount of work; which can sometimes be confused with laziness. While it may seem “lazy” or like a shortcut to other types, their process is incredibly effective. This same rule applies to speech; introverted thinkers are not long-winded, and prefer to say what needs to be said in a concise, efficient manner. They “get to the point” quickly and effectively communicate what needs to be said. This can vary somewhat with ENTPs and ESTPs who use Introverted Thinking as their auxiliary (second-favorite) function; they can be a little more talkative and descriptive when speaking than ISTPs and INTPs with dominant Introverted Thinking. This is because they first access Extraverted Intuition or Extraverted Sensing before Introverted Thinking, and so this can lead to expounding more on various avenues or insights.

Introverted thinkers love to solve problems; and they are excellent at improving systems and making things run efficiently. They want to have a full, thorough knowledge of something before moving forward and fixing it. While a Te user likes to get a brief idea of the problem and then jump right into fixing it, a Ti user will want to know all the components and figure out the whole system before they fix it. For this reason, Te users can get a lot done more quickly, but may also make more mistakes and not come up with as perfected of a system as a Ti user.

Both thinking types are essential and have their various strengths and weaknesses. One should not be praised as being superior to the other. An easy way of seeing the difference between the two is that Te users will be much more quick-acting, vocal about their logic, and more concerned with organizing the outer world. Ti users will be more comprehensive and slow to make decisions, keep their logic more internalized, and be more concerned with deeply and intensively working on specific internal frameworks.

Thinking – Strengths and Weaknesses

Te Users – The Good:
– Logical and rational
– Organized
– Good at scheduling
– Good at delegating
– Dedicated
– Direct and honest
– Efficient
– Productive
– Excellent at following through on projects
– Strong leadership skills
– Hard working

Te Users – The Bad (Not all Te users will have these traits. They tend to be more common among unhealthy/unbalanced Te users):
– Can be tactless and harsh
– Can be seen as too controlling
– Impatient
– Inflexible
– Judgmental
– Bossy
– Can lack emotional intelligence
– Can trample other people’s needs in an effort to “get things done”.
– Can be condescending to people who don’t accept their views.

Ti Users – The Good:
– Logical and rational
– Efficient
– Good at building and constructing frameworks
– Excellent at troubleshooting
– Analytical
– Good problem solvers
– Vast store of knowledge
– Good at finding inconsistencies
– Good at improving systems
– Open-minded
– Objective thinkers

Ti Users – The Bad (Not all Ti users will have these traits. They tend to be more common among unhealthy/unbalanced Te users)::
– Often stubborn
– Can lack tactfulness and sensitivity
– Very private
– Loathe rules and guidelines
– Can be easily bored
– Can be insulting and condescending to others
– Can be paranoid about others controlling them
– Can start a lot of projects, and not finish them.

What are your thoughts?

How do you use introverted or extraverted thinking? Do you ever feel that you’re misunderstood because of your thinking preference? Let’s talk about it in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!

Do you use Extraverted Thinking (Te) or Introverted Thinking (Ti)? Find out the difference between these two thinking styles. For #INTPs, #INTJs, #ENTPs, #ENTJs, #ISTPs, #ISTJS, #ESTJs, #ESTPs

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  2. As an ENTJ/ENTP personality I found this article really informative and helpful in understanding the thinking processes of others, this has been helpful at work! I could take a cynical point of view which would be contrary to this but I won’t: thanks for a great article, it was worthwhile and I would advise keeping it up!

  3. Thank you very much Susan for this comprehensive and informative article. I had been searching for such a good article about Te/Ti for long time and now I learned a lot here from you.
    Many thanks

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