Intuition is a powerful tool and a strong practice from both an introverted and extraverted perspective. Read more to understand how to work your intuition.
In my personality work, I’m interested in promoting balance, wholeness and acceptance of others. It’s great to understand our own type. It’s also valuable to learn from other preferences to be more well-rounded and respect other ways of operating.
In terms of cognitive processing, there is both Introverted and extraverted intuition. Both modes can help make intuition a strong practice. But understanding and deploying the strengths of both can provide access to new ways of working and interacting.
Intuitive is one of the five Core Desired Feelings that underpin Quiet Writing and its focus. The five feelings are:
connected, creative, flowing, intuitive, poetic
Intuition is a way of absorbing information and accessing wisdom I value immensely. I’ve worked on it over the years and especially this past year through tarot and oracle work on a daily basis. So it’s fascinating to deep dive into Intuition from both an Introverted and Extraverted point of view and learn more about the strengths of both.
Personality as story
Personality is a story, a life story, that can help us to weave and find our way in the world. It provides a framework that helps us understand our dominant preferences or gifts, why we love what we love and how we can work these gifts to shine brighter.
As well, it can provide an insight into the less developed aspects of our personality that we might illuminate to feel more whole. It can also help us to understand individual differences in orientations and why other people such as our partners and work colleagues may operate so differently to us in some ways.
As an INTJ Jung/Myers-Briggs type, Introverted Intuition is my dominant cognitive processing preference. So the more introverted ways of interacting with intuition and the world are very familiar to me. But I wanted to understand this way of operating more. It’s certainly taken me time to really trust and learn from it. Becoming certified in personality type assessment based on Jung/Myers-Briggs theory has enabled me to dive more deeply into the way it works. I’ve also been interested to learn about other ways of working with intuition such as those who rely on Extraverted Intuition as a preference.
Jung/Myers-Briggs personality frameworks
Where does Intuition fit into the landscape of personality? Here’s a snapshot view of Jung/Myers-Briggs personality frameworks. Carl Jung’s theory of personality identifies eight functions – four Perceiving functions and four Judging functions. The functions are used differently depending on whether they are expressed in the internal world or the external world.
The summary below is based on Mary McGuiness’s excellent book ’You’ve Got Personality’ including her keywords for the functions.
The four Perceiving functions are:
Extraverted Sensing – abbreviated as Se – Sensory Experience
Introverted Sensing – Si – Sensory Memory
Extraverted Intuition – Ne – Exploring possibilities
Introverted Intuition – Ni – Visionary insight
The four Judging functions are:
Extraverted Thinking – Te – Logical outcomes
Introverted Thinking – Ti – Internal analysis
Extraverted Feeling – Fe – Harmonizing people
Introverted Feeling – Fi – Universal values
Further work by Isabel Myers and her mother Katharine Briggs based on Jung’s work added the fourth dimension – Judging and Perceiving. From this, the four pairs of preferences were developed that are the basis of the 16 x four-letter type references such as INTP, ESFJ. They are the preferences from the pairs of:
Extraversion vs Introversion (E/I)
Sensing vs Intuition (S/N)
Thinking vs Feeling (T/F)
Judging vs Perceiving (J/P)
Each type has a Dominant, Auxiliary, Tertiary and Inferior function, dynamic frameworks within which our personality plays out which are points of orientation.
In terms of the eight Jungian functions, people are able to develop all but some are more instinctive for each type. Understanding your type and preferred functions helps you make sense of the way you perceive and organise the world, internally and externally.
Introverted and Extraverted Intuition
The personality types that rely on intuition as a strong suit are:
Introverted Intuition: INTJ & INFJ (dominant), ENTJ & ENFJ (auxiliary)
Extraverted Intuition: ENTP & ENFP (dominant), INFP & INTP (auxiliary)
In a video interview, Jung defines Introverted Intuition as “a perception by ways or means of the unconscious.”
In his 1921 book, Psychological Types, Jung explains the main characteristics of the Extraverted Intuitive function as:
…always present where possibilities exist…his eye is constantly ranging for new possibilities…
The Introverted Intuitive focus is visionary and insightful. Extraverted Intuitive cognitive processes focus on what could be, especially from an improvement perspective. The main difference is how interaction with the world occurs as a source of intuition. The Introverted Intuitive works via the inner world or unconscious in visionary and symbolic ways. The Extraverted Intuitive prefers interaction and a wide scope of external sources to maximise input.
It’s fascinating to deep dive into Intuition from both an Introverted and Extraverted point of view as quite different ways of interacting around intuition. There is much you can learn from your less natural preferences to make intuition a strong practice in your life.
You might rely on sensing and what’s right in front of you more, so intuition is a great way to take in information differently especially around seeing beyond what is. If you’re extraverted, you could try to learn from or observe more introverted intuition strategies. Where you are mainly introverted in orientation, practice more extraverted intuitive approaches to open up avenues of input from interaction and wider sources.
They may not be comfortable options initially. But taking ourselves outside our comfort zones can mean we are stretching and growing in new ways. Knowing more about the different cognitive processes means you can better understand how you and others operate.
Learn more about Introverted and Extraverted Intuition
To learn more about Introverted and Extraverted Intuition, here are two posts I have written on Intuition as a guest blogger for Life Reaction recently. One focuses on Introverted Intuition and the other on Extraverted Intuition:
To make intuition a strong practice, it’s worthwhile to review the different modes of cognitive processing. I hope you enjoy reading and comparing these two different ways in which intuition plays out in the world.
Exploring your personality type with a coach or person with certification in the area can help you work through the rich detail. This helps you know how to apply this valuable knowledge in a practical and enduring way.
Personality, story and life coaching
I’m loving exploring personality and story in the context of life coaching. Working with pro bono clients now, it’s amazing how personality type weaves its way into the conversation. With my training and professional background, it’s something bring to life coaching quietly or overtly. I love the framework for personal growth it provides.
Understanding our personality is a key to gaining insight into our story and working with our gifts. It’s a way of knowing what we can develop to be more wholehearted, calling on our less developed preferences.
As Isabel Briggs Myers has said:
It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences.
Personality is a story you write with the natural preferences you have.
I’m developing my personality offerings including identifying your type via the Majors Personality InventoryTM, and linking them with my Life Coaching offerings, so sign up to Quiet Writing via email to keep informed.
Plus you will immediately receive my free 94 page ‘36 Books’ ebook on the books that shaped my story and reading as creative influence. Or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the priority list for 2018 life and personality coaching opportunities.
But for starters, head on over to Life Reaction and read my most recent post on Extraverted Intuition or my previous post on Introverted Intuition. The posts taken together can help you make intuition a strong practice from an introverted and extraverted perspective. I hope these posts can help pull the threads together so you can more strongly write your personality story.
Happy reading and welcome any questions and thoughts on personality, story and Intuition.
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