Introverted Sensing (Si)

‘What Was’

brown wooden drawer

What Carl Jung said about Introverted Sensing Types:

The predominance of introverted sensation produces a definite type, which is characterized by certain peculiarities. It is an irrational type, because it is oriented amid the flux of events not by rational judgment but simply by what happens…the introverted type is guided by the intensity of the subjective sensation excited by the objective stimulus.

Above all, his development alienates him from the reality of the object, leaving him at the mercy of his subjective perceptions, which orient his consciousness to an archaic reality…he lives in a mythological world, where men, animals, locomotives, houses, rivers, and mountains appear either as benevolent deities or as malevolent demons…(He) has an amazing flair for all the ambiguous, shadowy, sordid, dangerous possibilities lurking in the background. The real and conscious intentions of the object mean nothing to it; instead, it sniffs out every conceivable archaic motive underlying such an intention. It therefore has a dangerous and destructive quality that contrasts glaringly with the well-meaning innocuousness of the conscious attitude. 

What does Introverted Sensing (Si) do?

Introverted Sensing (Si) looks to the past in order to verify the current environment. In contrast to Ni, which is future thinking, Si looks backwards in order to ascertain if something is right/wrong, good/bad, safe/unsafe.

Types like the ISTJ and ISFJ that use Introverted Sensing as their dominant function, tend to view the world through impressions. This means that external objects provide internal feedback to the Si user. For example, walking into a room and seeing the game Cards Against Humanity will either provoke a memory tied to that game, or provoke uncertainty because there is no experience to draw from in order to get a reading. 

In this way, new experiences can be daunting. However, familiar experiences aren’t necessarily comforting unless they’ve left a positive impression. A great experience at a restaurant leaves an imprint on the Si type that will have them coming back. A bad experience in a city will have them never returning. 

Because they are constantly scanning the background of their experience, Introverted Sensing dominant users hardly ever make the same mistake twice. A mistake, especially if it was embarrassing, will not happen again. TRUST ME.

Si is sometimes referred to as the Memory function, though that doesn’t encapsulate the full range of it’s capability. More than simply having tremendous recall abilities, Si has the greatest barometer of what’s going on in the body. Si recognizes burnout, approaching sickness, and pain immediately. It’s highly attuned to the signals from the body and responds accordingly.

How Si Develops

Introverted Sensation in its healthiest form is prudent, measured, and reliable. It has the ability to recognize that new experiences are positive, and not treacherous and dangerous. 

The Si user is the foundation of any great relationship, business, or society and keeps it grounded and stable. Introverted sensing won’t build society, but it surely maintains its longevity.

In its most unhealthy form, Si is stubborn, unmovable and — in the same vein as Ni– paranoid about impending doom. Introverted Sensing can be unwilling to change, adopt, or go “off script,” and the reasoning behind such stubbornness is not rational in the slightest. 20 years ago, if they owned a car that had a bad transmission, well, forever that brand is tainted. 

brown concrete buildings under gray sky

“Change” is not a welcoming word to an unhealthy introverted sensor.

John Beebe, world renowned Jungian author and Typology professor, revealed in his book Energies and Patterns in Psychological Type, the ways in which each of the 8 cognitive functions develops.

For Si, it goes implementing-> verifying -> accounting

Put another way:

Implementing: Following tradition; the way things have always gone.

Verifying: Double and triple checking experience; making sure.

Accounting: Taking inventory of all data points; leveraging the best one  

Introverted sensing reminds us what has worked. It keeps the score of our wins and losses. It desires to show us stability and safety to keep our homeostasis intact. Metaphorically, it’s the foundation of our psychological home, and gives us a place to stand firm.

When we choose to ignore it, we as individuals– and more broadly, as a society– are sorely misguided and lost at sea.

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Extraverted Sensing (Se)

‘What Is’

woman carrying barbell

What Carl Jung said about Extraverted Sensing Types:

No other human type can equal the extraverted sensation type in realism. His sense for objective facts is extraordinarily developed. This type—the majority appear to be men—naturally does not think he is at the “mercy” of sensation. He would ridicule this view as quite beside the point, because sensation for him is a concrete expression of life-it is simply real life lived to the full. His whole aim is concrete enjoyment, and his morality is oriented accordingly. Indeed, true enjoyment has its own special morality, its own moderation and lawfulness, its own unselfishness and willingness to make sacrifices. On the lower levels, this type is the lover of tangible reality, with little inclination for reflection and no desire to dominate. His lively capacity for enjoyment makes him very good company; he is usually a jolly fellow, and sometimes a refined aesthete. 

group of people dancing

What Does Se Do?

Because Introverted Sensing (Si) looks to the past, the natural mirror to that function would be Extraverted Sensing (Se), which looks to the present. Se desires to stay in the moment as it exists in reality, with little energy expanded towards seeing the hidden patterns behind things. Se does not care about the elements, themes, or motifs present when engaged in an activity. The movie is the plot, the piece of art is what’s on the canvas, and my spouse saying “Everything’s Fine” is Everything’s Fine. Looking into things is what complicates life.

Extraverted Sensing types like the ESTP and ESFP truly live out the Latin phrase Carpe Diem, and “seize the day.” Whereas other Types might be wary of how certain actions will lead to disastrous ramifications, Se dominant Types aren’t especially concerned. As the late Mitch Hedberg said, “Well I won’t eat this apple because eventually it will become a core!” is certainly NOT the way an Extraverted Sensor views life.

woman in white and red crew neck shirt eating ice cream

As Jung says of the Extraverted Sensor, life is meant to be lived, not contemplated. Life becomes fuller by the experiences you have, not by the thoughts you have.

The push to experience life in all its sensuality comes with a price, however. A long night out with the boys leads to being hungover at work, a spontaneous shopping spree leads to an empty wallet, and an overindulgent sweet tooth leads to brain fog and weight gain.

The best word to describe Se is immersion. In all encounters and experiences, you could say, there is a Zen attitude that is adopted. When I am cooking, I’m COOKING, when I’m playing, I’m PLAYING. There aren’t 16 other thoughts and plans bouncing around in my head that pull me away from the task at hand. This is a serious advantage in the world.

grayscale photo of woman hugging baby

How Extraverted Sensing Develops

Se in its healthiest form is fully immersed in the moment and pays attention. It’s hyper-observant and astutely aware of its surroundings. With that, it tends to be the most comfortable in it’s own skin. The best Extraverted Sensors are known to be great actors, dancers, performers, and showmen.

man singing on stage white wearing brown crew-neck shirt

In it’s unhealthiest form, it’s indulgent, gorging, and insatiable in all things pleasure and pain, and fulfills the stereotype of being thrill-seeking. If something doesn’t have the chance of being dangerous, risky, or precarious, Se isn’t interested. Underdeveloped Se is also the most obviously impatient of all the functions, always needing stimulation.

man in blue t-shirt and blue denim shorts sitting on concrete stairs during daytime

John Beebe, world renowned Jungian author and Typology professor, revealed in his book Energies and Patterns in Psychological Type, the ways in which each of the 8 cognitive functions develops.

For Se, it goes engaging-> experiencing -> enjoying

Put another way:

Engaging: Participating in whatever comes my way

Experiencing: Seeking out experiences for my own understanding

Enjoying: Contentment with ‘normal’ experiences

We move from simply life happening to us and reacting accordingly, to being an active and satisfied participant in all aspects of life, be it dazzling or mundane.

Using Se appropriately is about striking the right balance between fully participating in the moment when needed, and being cognizant when it’s trending towards overindulgence and excess.

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Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

‘What Could Be’

What Carl Jung said about Extraverted Intuitive Types: 

“Because extraverted intuition is oriented by the object, there is a marked dependence on external situations…The intuitive is never to be found in the world of accepted reality-values, but he has a keen nose for anything new and in the making. Because he is always seeking out new possibilities, stable conditions suffocate him …. So long as a new possibility is in the offing, the intuitive is bound to it with the shackles of fate.

silhouette of road signage during golden hour

What does it do?

It helps to look at Ne in relation to Ni (introverted intuition) to make the concept stick. Whereas Ni is looking to filter and concentrate data into a singular point, Ne is fundamentally expanding and compounding data into many points. You can say that Ni has a goal in mind while Ne does not. It’s what could be-ness focuses on novelty and newness, rather than the tried-and-true.

white flower in macro shot

Extraverted Intuition, from my experience, is one of the most verbal functions. We call Ne the “brainstorming” function for this reason. If you’ve ever spent time around an ENFP or ENTP, which has Ne as their dominant function, it’s very easy to see the ease in which they can rattle off ideas endlessly. 

Ne Communication Style

I see the Ne speaking style to, more often than not, start a response with, “Or what you could do…you could try this or that…one thing you could consider is…” It’s not always something they truly believe themselves, they simply cannot NOT respond with an alternative to what you are suggesting. 

With Ni, it’s almost entirely a background process that is nonverbal. You will notice as you study type that extraverted functions are much easier to spot than introverted ones (not a shocking revelation).

Ne types often are great storytellers and will weave many different layers into a narrative to enhance its weight. Typology and neuroscience expert Dario Nardi has called Ne types “trans-contextual” thinkers, which is made abundantly clear in the way they tell stories. You’ll notice how stories take a roundabout path to the finish line, traveling down curvy trails and bumpy roads until finally arriving. 

How it Develops

Extraverted Intuition in its healthiest form can innovate, solve problems, and bring new light to an old concept. It’s a tremendous sounding board for new ideas. If your question is “what business I should start”, “what marketing should we try”, or “what new restaurant should we try”, Ne is absolutely the go-to function to aid you.

In its negative form, Ne can be impossible to wrangle. It can talk too much, ramble, become long-winded, etc. It can result in never settling down and constantly chasing a new job, lover, or hobby. Ne users can reject good information simply due to the fact that it’s old or traditional.

John Beebe, world-renowned Jungian author and Typology professor, revealed in his book Energies and Patterns in Psychological Type, the ways in which each of the 8 cognitive functions develop.

For Ne, it goes entertaining -> envisioning -> enabling.

We move from simply having interest in something happening, to being a part of it happening. 

Put another way:

Entertaining: “That would be interesting if that happened.”

Envisioning: “I can see that happening.”

Enabling: “I can facilitate that happening.”

white wooden pathway near body of water under blue sky


The key to wielding Ne correctly is to know when you are adding for the sake of positive momentum, or whether it’s just for the sake of ‘being suffocated by stable conditions.’ A good question to consider: “Am I helping this person by adding more options, or am I confusing the situation even more?” Towards yourself: “Is this new idea going to truly take hold, or am I just bored and want something new?”

Being aware of when to unleash or restrain Extraverted Intuition is how one develops it skillfully.  

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The Merry-Go-Round

I have always likened my awakening to personality type to the moment I first got glasses. I didn’t even realize what I hadn’t been seeing previously. I didn’t understand how I was even functioning in the world without glasses. Should have gotten these years ago!  It was a tectonic shift in my internal world. 

This article attempts to show how the understanding of your own personality type can lead to major changes in your relationships with others.

animal-themed merry go round

When you have an uncommon personality type, most of your early life is spent trying to translate yourself to others. You don’t understand what’s not to understand. You like what you like and I like what I like, what’s all the fuss about? For an outlier, you are forced to conform in uncomfortable ways that lead to constant exhaustion and frustration.  

The continual process of trying to explain yourself can be so tiresome that you simply give up entirely

Especially within internal family systems, this leads to members feeling like the Black Sheep and withdrawing. 

two white and one black lambs beside road

You are going to find this frustration overwhelmingly represented amongst introverts. “My parents don’t know what to do with me…I’m basically an alien…they don’t get that I’m not interested in what they are interested in.”

A recent client relayed to me her frustration with her mom. 

“She wants me to go to the mall with her. I hate the mall. She’s the one that likes shopping, not ME. I tell her, ‘Mom, you know I hate shopping, I’m not going.’ And she responds, ‘Why do you have to be so grumpy, you should like going to the mall.

What do you do with this? Change your personality on the spot? Some would say so, but this is not a serious solution.

Personality Type

We start with the assumption that we are generally understood. Most people think like we think or can be brought around to thinking our way. The way we see the world is universally understood. 

This is why the benefit of understanding Personality Type is so crucial. It gives us shared language and definitions that we can plainly see and identify. Humans love to categorize and do it unconsciously. There’s no way to avoid this. What Typology does is explain the differences that lead to misunderstandings.

monitor showing Java programming

As Dr. John Beebe said in a YouTube interview we did together, the formulation of Typology stemmed from our need to make sense of all these “psychological bewilderments.”

These bewilderments have been addressed time and time again in many excellent book titles such as:

If you explain your personality type and those receiving it are even mildly open-minded to the information, you can make real progress, if only to have them become more sympathetic. 

If there is still a “what is this buffoon talking about?” look in their eyes, then you move to the stage of Accommodation. Simply put, you use your knowledge of Type to cater to their operating style in order to reduce conflict. In this way, you have to do all the work, but at least you have the right tools. This is the real fork in the road with personality conflicts in relationships.

woman wearing maroon spaghetti strap dress

Do you say, “Well if they don’t want to try and change, then why should I?”

Or do you say, “Well if they don’t want to try and change, then I will use personality type despite their resistance?”

People won’t believe in personality. And that’s fine. But denial doesn’t erase the existence of a thing. It simply means they can’t use the power of Type like you can.

Where do we see misunderstanding

One example where that is a large misunderstanding comes from the N vs S dichotomy (iNtuition vs Sensation). These are two opposing ways of gathering information that cannot be reconciled. It helps when we think of N vs S as simply different opposite data points.

Intuition is seeking connection points, either for how something is going to be or how something could be. Themes, motifs, trends, and forecasts are what the N types are seeing when this function is activated. Jumping ahead or to conclusions can be the most fascinating or debilitating part of using Intuition.

black and white polka dot pattern

In communication, this is often a frustrating exchange:

S: “Honey?”

N: “Yeah, yeah, I know I forgot to walk the dog, I’ll do it right now.”

S: “No, that’s not even what I was going to say at all.”

Jumping ahead, assuming, predicting, and guessing can be easy conflict areas for intuitives.

Sensation is seeking concrete and tactile information. It sees both what is and what was, and attempts to immerse itself fully in the current environment.

person touching purple petaled flowers

Sensation tends towards seeing what is tangible and real, and filters out the rest.

Again, in conversation this can be frustrating:

N: “We need to revamp our product training for the team.”

S: “No need, it’s always worked fine for our purposes.”

N: “It could be so much more fun and engaging.”

S: “If it’s not broken, why try to fix it?”

N: “Because I just know it has much more potential.”

S: “People get nervous when you change things on them.”

This sounds like they heard each other, but we know they truly didn’t. 

This very simplistic example can be replicated endlessly because we all have moments in our lives where it shows up. What is important to remember is that not knowing this part about personality type will always be a missing link in understanding.

Getting off the Ride

At a certain point, the merry-go-round is no longer fun and it’s time to get off. You’ve explained your personality, the differences in your likes/dislikes, and yet the conversations all stay the same. “Yeah, I know you told me but…”

If accommodation works, then that seems to be the best method of keeping things amicable and digestible for the outlier. Though the impetus is on you, you now wield the correct tools to make the relationship better.

lighted carousel

If accommodation does not work, then really it’s like getting out of an abusive relationship — you have to leave. Physical removal of yourself from the situation (either by moving out of the house, in the case of family, or by moving out of the state, in the case of friends) is the healthiest way to maintain your own identity and still have a relationship with the person (if so desired). I have seen countless examples of one party physically moving away that led to a marked improvement in the relationship.

When you aren’t willing to utilize all the tools available to know yourself and others, you will have more strained relationships than fruitful ones. It is more than a fun test you take on Buzzfeed, it’s a moral obligation to yourself and to others.

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Typology and Psychology

Personality Type and Mental Illness Follow the same methodology

yellow and brown leaves on white ceramic tiles

This article is nothing more than a thought experiment which has as its central question: 

Is Typing somebody the same as a psychologist or mental health professional diagnosing a patient? 

If you look at how a psychologist evaluates and then makes a diagnosis, it’s hard to see a major difference in the way a personality professional evaluates somebody’s Type.

How does a psychologist diagnose a patient?

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the ways, outside of a physical evaluation and a blood test, is a psychological evaluation:  “A doctor or mental health professional talks to you about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns. You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire to help answer these questions.”

woman sitting on black chair in front of glass-panel window with white curtains

Referencing the DSM and other resources, professionals look to see what boxes can be checked that match up to a specific illness, complex, etc. Not all people will exhibit ALL the symptoms and mannerisms, but patterns will be repeated enough that an expert will be able to narrow down a possible list of diagnoses. 

Is it an exact science? No.

Can the professional misdiagnose by not having enough information or by simply being misled by the patient? Obviously, yes

We have stories in our own lives to illustrate this point.

We nevertheless respect and admire these professionals as they categorize, label, define, and treat the pathology of their patients.

Is this different from evaluating Personality Type?

It’s not, but the perception is that evaluating a mental illness is an exact science, while something like personality type (evaluating the psyche), is pseudoscience. 

clear glass bottles in brown wooden box

Typologists (those that study personality type), use a similar methodology, systems, and evaluations to assess personality type. They start with observations and questions and listen intently to the responses. From these responses, they check off the proverbial boxes that align with the most likely Type of the person.

Trends will emerge. The picture gets clearer. Repeated patterns of perception, decision making, analogies, story-telling, citation of facts, figures, speaking styles, etc, will become obvious. The skilled Typologist will start forming thoughts:

“This person has a very similar set of personality characteristics that I’ve seen in both ENFJs and INFJs.”

“I’ve seen this repeated trend of INFPs describing their ideal world in this way.”

“This direct and straightforward manner of speaking sounds very ESTJ to me.”

Is it an exact science? No.

Can the professional mistype by not having enough information or by simply being misled by the client? Obviously, yes. 

Simply put, psychological evaluation and personality typing are based on the same principles of pattern recognition and categorization. Inherently, there is nothing wrong with this. It’s what we do with that information that reveals how effective the tools are for evaluation.

black and white damask patterns


Both psychological evaluation and personality evaluation are avenues for growth, healing, and development. Regardless of society’s level of respect for either profession, if you can live a better life through the use of a psychologist or typologist, that’s all that matters.

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Why Your Personality Type Makes You Poor

An article from Visual Capitalist shows the data behind your MBTI type and financial success

Visual Capitalist, in partnership with one of my favorite personality websites,, posted a very attractive-looking infographic with the headline, “How Does Your Personality Type Affect Your Income?” What it revealed was what many in the Type community, even going all the way back to Isabel and Katherine Myers, have already known. Certain personality types tend to make more money than others and it’s been true for as long as we’ve been measuring it.

Many will see this information and immediately rack their brain for someone who doesn’t fit this mold. A disadvantaged ENTJ and the super successful TikTok INFP celebrity exist, there’s no doubt about that. Time and time again, when we look at the average and not the outlier, we see the same personality types making it to the top financially.

ENTJs make the most; INFPs the least

It’s not a surprise to anyone that studies personality type that the 2 types with dominant Extraverted Thinking (Te), the ENTJ and ESTJ, make the most $$$. And the Types that have the opposite dominant function, Introverted Feeling (Fi), make the least $$$, that of the INFP and the ISFP. 

The data also shows a simplified breakdown that tells us that Thinking types disproportionately outearn Feeling Types in nearly the same gap as Extraverts outearn Introverts (by nearly $10k/year)

This isn’t new information that shakes the foundation of Type and Income. It’s been studied, replicated, and observed since the beginning of Typology. 

The way in which the Western world developed was primarily through -STJ and -NTJ energy. Building, growing and maintaining through hard work, determination, and unlimited willpower. You can see the same quest for dominance, power, and status that existed within Caesar and Napoleon as you do in the personality types that run the world today.

In a very simplistic way, it’s a self-perpetuating system that has yet to find an alternative. 

Your Personality Type Doesn’t Limit You

What’s crucial to note is that you aren’t stuck or confined to a life of poverty or despair because of your Type. This is absolutely the wrong way to look at it. Knowing where you can make the most impact in your community, family, and world is how you embrace the best parts of your personality and kick ass. Making money doesn’t equal value. That is the message that everyone should understand while reading this study:

“Some Types make more money. The End.”

Are the ENTJs and ESTJs happy? This is unaccounted for. We know that money provides comfort and stability, but does it provide fulfillment? Are they doing anything of value to push humanity forward? We can only speculate the answer to these questions.

three men and one woman laughing during daytime

Each personality type has the same ability to make a huge impact on the world. The fact that some make more money than others is hardly the only metric to showcase this.

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