Knowing your personality type is a way to explore your deeper story. Here’s a brief overview of personality and Introverted Intuition as a starting point.
As an INTJ Myers-Briggs MBTI® type, Introverted Intuition is my dominant function and preference. I wrote about this function recently on a guest post on Life Reaction.
It’s certainly a mysterious one though and it’s taken me time to really trust and learn from it. Becoming certified in personality type assessment via the Majors Personality Type InventoryTM based on Jung/Myers-Briggs theory has enabled me to dive more deeply into the way it works.
This training has helped me to understand that 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.
The landscape of personality
So where does ‘Introverted Intuition’ fit into the landscape of personality?
It’s a deep and complex topic but here’s a brief overview. I look forward to continuing to explore these areas of personality in future posts here and elsewhere including in my coaching interactions.
For context, The Myers and Briggs Foundation provides the following key advice:
The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.
Carl Jung’s theory of personality identified eight functions – four are Perceiving functions and four are Judging functions. The functions are used differently depending on whether they are expressed in the internal world or the external world.
The summary overview 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 into the picture – Judging and Perceiving. From this work, the four pairs of preferences were developed that form the basis of the 16 x four letter MBTI® type references we know today:
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 and these are dynamic frameworks within which our personality plays out and which we can use as points of orientation.
For my type, INTJ (Introverted, Intuition, Thinking, Judging), for example, Intuition is introverted and Thinking is extraverted. As I and other people of my type prefer introversion (I), Intuition is the Dominant function and Thinking is the Auxiliary function. INTJ types typically use Intuition to make sense of the world from an inner, reflective and symbolic perspective and use Thinking (logic) in the outer world to organise, frame and structure things.
In terms of the eight Jungian functions, people are able to develop all but some are more instinctive for each type than others. Understanding your type and your preferred functions helps you make sense of the way you perceive and organise the world, internally and externally.
You can read more MBTI® personality basics here.
Personality types and functions
So what does all this mean for understanding Introverted Intuition and whether it applies to you?
As I say in the Life Reaction article:
If you identify as an INTJ or INFJ (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®) personality type, Introverted Intuition is typically your dominant function; if you identify as an ENTJ or ENFJ, it’s your auxiliary function; for ISFP and ISTP types, it’s the tertiary function and for ESFP and ESTP types, it’s the inferior function. It plays out in a lesser way for other types. You can read more here. And if you don’t know your type, it’s not a huge issue; if the words ‘Introverted Intuition’ speak to you, chances are they are natural preferences for you or areas on your radar for development.
So if you don’t know about personality types or know your type, trust your intuition and if it feels like something you’d like to know more about, read the article!
If you do know your personality type and you’re not sure how the functions work in terms of your type, Angelina Bennet has a fabulous analogy in ‘Shadows of Type’. She describes them in terms of a car analogy: the dominant function is the driver of the car; the auxiliary function is the passenger in the front helping with navigation; the tertiary function is the teenager in the back; and the inferior function is like the baby in the car seat occasionally screaming for attention especially from the driver!
So Introverted Intuition, for example, could be playing out in all sort of ways in your personality and life even if it’s not the dominant piece, just as all functions in your particular type have the potential to do.
A deeper dive into 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 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 implicitly or explicitly.
With my training and professional background, it’s something I can 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.
Knowing your personality type is a way to find your deeper story. It’s a fascinating journey to go deeper into its threads and mysteries.
And as Isabel Briggs Myers has said:
It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences.
So personality is a story you write with the natural preferences you have been given.
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.
But for starters, head on over to Life Reaction and read about how Introverted Intuition has helped me pull the threads together and write my personality story.
Happy reading and welcome any questions and thoughts on personality, story and Introverted Intuition.
As well as my Life Reaction piece, you can read more about the fascinating world of Introverted Intuition here:
Introverted Intuition (Ni) – Dr A J Drenth (Personality Junkie)
The Magic and Mystery of Introverted Intuition – Susan Storm (Psychology Junkie)
Introverted Intuiting (Ni) Explained – Michael T Robinson (Career Planner)
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