Podcast – Episode 0199 – Your Personality 3-Year-Old Inferior Cognitive Function (Part 2)

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia continue talking about the 3-Year-Old inferior cognitive function for each of the 16 personality types (part 2).


In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Part 1 of this two part podcast series
  • Aspiration – something that informs the bigger game plans you want to make in the world and requires you to make peace with it.
  • Inferior cognitive function – 3 yr old
  • Opposite our Driver
  • This podcast we are talking about IJs and EPs – types that lead with a Perceiving process.
  • Too much time with the inferior can cause depression, but 5-10% is ideal.
    • Drive with Extraverted Sensing
    • Inferior function is Introverted Intuition – “Perspectives”
    • As an aspiration, ESPs use this by looking to help people shift the way they see things.
    • To see a more significant principal in life to improve quality of life.
    • ESPs may tend to push this away because the future seems scary and unpredictable.
    • When ESPs integrate this part it conquers their paranoia. They recognize what is possible.
    • Instead of fearing what the future holds, harness action right here and now to project yourself into the future you want.
    • ESPs are stereotyped as not very serious. Too playful. No introspection.
    • 5-10% – spend a little bit of time every day meditating or journaling.
    • Journal about where you are going in the future. What does the future hold?
    • Bodybuilding – meditate on the muscle. Focus on it becoming stronger.
    • Tiny meditations on the things you are already doing.
    • Drive with Introverted Sensing
    • Inferior function is Extraverted Intuition
    • This inferior function shows up as them avoiding anything that is new or out of their comfort zone.
    • Locked down routine. Rut.
    • There is a part of them that seeks adventure.
    • Aspiration: Wanting a life that is not so mundane. Start a new business. Do something creative.
    • ISJs like to travel.
    • 5-10% doing something a little different a couple of times a week, like trying different types of food.
    • Explore outside their comfort zone.
    • Drive with Extraverted Intuition
    • Inferior function is Introverted Sensing
    • Introverted Sensing causes ENPs to fear the mundane or routine and see it as limiting their freedom.
    • Si is very in touch with protocols and standards.
    • As an aspiration it helps the ENPs see the need to change the standard protocols and improve them.
    • It’s good for ENPs to integrate the importance of the institutions.
    • Lots of things are built upon these traditional structures, and they need to be honored.
    • The question is, How do we make everything better?
    • 5-10% Accept reality as it is. Be more patient. Things can’t change overnight.
    • Journaling is very powerful for people who have an introverted inferior function.
    • Accept certain situations in life for what they are. Just because they aren’t optimal for you doesn’t mean they are not optimal for someone else.
    • Routinize basic things in life, like a 5 step morning routine.
    • The driver is Introverted Intuition
    • The inferior process is Extraverted Sensation
    • Aspiration is a tendency toward mind-body connection with an emphasis to body: massage, yoga, martial arts, training, etc.
    • INJs may tend to neglect their bodies due to the Se blind spot.
    • They may struggle with eating the right foods and getting the exercise they need.
    • INJs sometimes struggle with reading body language because that is a strength for Extraverted Sensing.
    • NLP – neuro linguistic programming – encourages reading body language.
    • Understand the mind better by making the body a better instrument through exercise and nutrition.
    • 5-10% would be getting a little bit of exercise every day.
    • The inferior may feel scary or icky, but there is a lot of power in this part of you.
    • Your aspiration lives in this part of you. It helps you answer what your purpose is.

In this episode, Joel and Antonia continue talking about the 3-Year-Old inferior cognitive function for each of the 16 personality types (part 2). #podcast #cognitivefunctions #MBTI

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Showing 12 comments
  • susan gleeson

    Wow! I found it fascinating that a clue to why I am on this planet may be found in my inferior function, because that is the feedback I have received! I am an INFJ, so I am a writer, an artist, a life coach and recently retired as a family physician for 37 years. I have been stunned over the past 11 years to be told that of all the things I have offered to people, teaching Nia has been the thing that has helped them the most. WHAT? I am so awkward at it, though I love it, because to be really proficient, you should have a well developed extraverted sensing, I always thought. I am just now beginning to get an inkling of why people feel this way. Cool that my aspiration does seem to lie in extraverted sensing!

  • Mel Tartaglia

    ENTP here. I can think of at least two institutions that I dislike tremendously and it baffles me that most people don’t detest them like I do. I guess after reading this I should try to see the benefits they may provide some people. But then, if I do that, whatever will I focus my cynicism on?

  • Peter Schiller

    I’m a 54 year old INTJ. I tend to work tirelessly at jobs to meet client deliverables, or to rewrite processes so there isn’t a nearly constant feeling of everything being behind schedule. If that meant working 60 hours per week, that’s what I did. That excessive use of Te (Effectiveness) at work comes at the expense of Se (Sensation) at home. If I’m spending too much time at work, I tend not to exercise and I find it hard to get motivated to do projects around the house. It’s far less about actual time constraints than it is about feeling drained by my job.

    When work isn’t competing for so much of my energy, I actually have a well developed Se side. I started running 10 years ago and even qualified for the Boston Marathon five years ago, I love snowboarding, and I got my motorcycle license two years ago. I designed and built my own house, barn and workshop, including running the excavator, cutting the timberframes, wiring, plumbing, installing metal roofing, etc., using my Te and Se in tandem I guess. Even with all of that experience, I’ve been finding it very hard to get motivated to do home improvement projects at my current house. As Antonia has expressed it so well, it’s much easier to just live inside my head, thinking about what I want to do, without executing it. More recently, I’ve been thinking about not wanting to be that dying person someday with lots of regrets, for the things that they didn’t do. So, I finally got up the courage to quit my job. I gave them eight weeks notice and my last day was a couple weeks ago.

    After getting my motorcycle license, I’ve been intrigued by going on a long (possibly multi-year) motorcycle trip. I’ve read countless travel blogs of people who have done that. One of the biggest challenges for me will be for me to open up more and connect with people, which is a huge weakness of mine. Without doing that, and growing in that sense, I think that a long trip would get boring quickly, regardless of how much amazing scenery you pass. Once it’s safe to travel again outside the U.S., I plan on taking Spanish language lessons in Guatemala for at least four weeks, then making a slow journey back up through Mexico, then down to Panama, around the Darien Gap, and down through South America. I’m not sure what any of that has to do with my cognitive stack, but I’m hoping it makes me a more well-rounded person, and leads me to some new fulfilling opportunities.

    I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life in terms of a career. I majored in chemistry. I took lots of math classes. I ended up doing computer programming and consulting work, and a bunch of other things. When I was in my 20s and 30s, I would have appeared as a mature INTJ, quickly moving up to jobs of more responsibility and higher pay, but looking back at it now, it feels more like I was a character in an Ayn Rand novel. I don’t want say that I don’t like the person that I was, because I was honest and moral, and I felt at ease with the confidence I had in myself and my abilities, but I like the person I’m becoming better. There are aspects to me now that could be described as me devolving from that mature INTJ stage, but I’ve developed a much more compassionate view toward people, and a more balanced sense of what’s important to me. After I go on my exploration journey, I’ll need to figure out how to couple my strengths with something that satisfies my Fi desire to improve people’s lives.

    Antonia and Joel, thanks for all of the work you’ve put into the podcasts and articles, although I especially want to mention Antonia’s ‘The INTJ Mastermind Personality Type’ and ‘INTP vs INTJ: 5 Ways to Truly Tell Them Apart’ articles, which are spot on for me, both the good and the bad aspects of my personality.

  • Kate

    INFJ here. I’m 32 and although it’s hard to get an excercise routine going, I really enjoy hiking and feel somewhat balanced in my physical health considering the fact that I love foods that happen to be healthy. More than excercise, I feel more “icky” about social situations and the thought of self marketing. I would give so much to “fix” that part of me. I’ve never felt comfortable speaking in front of others because it seems impossible to actually verbalize my thoughts in an organized fashion. The idea of physically and mentally being connected in a more formal/serious setting while being entirely calm sounds like a dream come true. I wonder still if this has to do with sensation or if it’s just an unrelated phobia. Would love to get your opinion and hear if you’ve come across other INFJs with this issue.

  • Allison

    Can you guys please do a podcast on INTJ females?

  • Lisa

    I’m an INFJ with Se 3 yo. In my early-mid twenties, I was very focused on my health and weight. I was overweight until that point, but became obsessed to the point that some were concerned it was becoming a disorder since I had lost so much weight and I was so focused on my health. I suspect I was in an Se grip and and not really integrating my Se. In my late twenties I began the parenting journey through foster care. The last 10 years have been traumatic ones as a result and now I really struggle with caring for my body. I just don’t seem to have the motivation. Is it possible to integrate your 3 yo function, then lose it? I’m trying to find a strategy that will be motivating for me that doesn’t become an unhealthy obsession.

    Thanks for such an informative podcast!

    • Lukas_with_a_k

      I’m in the same boat as you Lisa. I, too, am INFJ (25 years old now), and I’ve gone through periods of losing a bunch of weight due to a strict diet to now not treating my body very well at all. It’s like an all or nothing attitude with food and exercise. I wish to know more about how to help control this 3 ye old Se neglect/indulgence.

  • Katie

    As an ENFP I listened to this podcast with great interest, because I knew Joel and Antonia as ENxPs, would hit the nail on the head for Si. I really liked what Joel said about fostering a little routine everyday. I’ve found that it has been really hard for me to keep routines, since I strongly resist being “tied down” to anything, yet when I don’t, my daily life descends into chaos. But over the years, even developing the simple habits like washing dishes right after I eat, cleaning the whole apartment once a week and doing the laundry once a week (same day every week) makes a huge difference and actually makes me more free. I’m not there yet, but I really need to establish more daily routines and systems that set things I need to do in place so I don’t actually have to think about it. 80% of my stress comes from thinking about all the shit that needs to routinely get done ? some of the stuff I want to do is: make a bunch of food one day a week so I don’t need to worry about all meals during the week; practice music everyday; clean my car once a week; set the coffee maker at night so it makes coffee in the morning; tidy up my desk every day; call my parents every week; go to bed earlier every night so I can get up early (this one is tough) etc etc. These things sound extremely simple and easy to do but why are they hard for an ENFP? Lol. I’d love to hear how other inferior Si users deal with rountines and organization, and see some resources for developing habits and routines! Thanks Joel and Antonia for providing this platform!!

  • Marcella

    I have recently discovered your website after many years of only having had a superficial understanding of my INFJ personality type. The information on the cognitive stack is intriguing and I am completely absorbed! I have listened to a few podcasts now out of order. After listening to this one, I just have to say you are spot on with your description of how the three year old “sensation” process, when integrated, can truly benefit the INFJ.
    I’ve had a complex relationship with my body my entire life. I intuitively understand the mind-body connection, knowing I need physical exercise for mental clarity. As a former runner, I would enter a meditative state while running that would free me from thought and allow me to face the day with more focus. I’ve discovered the benefits of yoga as I’ve gotten older. One of my favorite things about it is the permission I feel to be playful. I’m 41 years old and am doing handstands like I did in gymnastics class as a child. It’s fantastic! In the past when I would get too busy or stressed and didn’t engage in any form of exercise for several days, negative behaviors would start to emerge, mindless eating being the main one. I’d end up feeling uncomfortable in my body and unable to show up in the way the world needed me. This still happens sometimes but I’m much more aware of why it is happening and try instead to soothe myself with movement, nature, or music. Anything that will keep me feeling healthy in my body rather than sabotaging it with foods that are not good for my system.
    Thank you for this podcast. I completely recognized my 3 year old self and will give it the 5 to 10% attention it needs daily. 🙂

  • Danielle

    As an ENFP, I can definitely relate to the feeling of wanting to torch systems and start over from scratch. I know deep down it’s impractical and would end up hurting more people than it ever could help. But that inner gut reaction is still there. I suppose I have a vision, and I want to be able to implement it 100% fully now even if I’m not even sure what that vision entails.

    I personally try to foster Si by taking time to revisit something familiar. I’ll read a favorite book or watch an episode of my favorite TV show. Or I’ll try to reflect on what I could have done to make something better or the things I have consistently done right (though the latter I can’t seen to identify, I just sort of do things).

    I find that talking to and interacting with ISJs also really helps me conceptualize that Si isn’t all this uncomfortable thing. This works especially well with ISTJs (ISFJs are a bit harder as sometimes I am completely baffled by Fe-in a good way most of the time). I find the admirable parts of their personality that are connected to Si. I can then use that to see Si as something helpful by using Ne to make connections between Si and the individual’s positive qualities.

    For me, I suppose, seeing examples of strong, well-developed Si and the things Si doms have achieved or their positive qualities helps me to see the value in that part of myself.

  • Hal Goldstein

    I really appreciate and enjoy your podcasts. Through the years (I’m a 69 year old INFJ) I’ve flirted with Meyers Briggs. Getting an understanding of Cognitive Functions with your car model has really opened up things for me. Your eight names really help.

    Questions for podcasts:
    1. It could be an interesting and informative podcast if you revisited the naming process for the cognitive functions. For example, how/why did you select Memory for Si rather than say, Structure. Talking about the naming process could deepen our understanding of the 8 functions.

    2. You sort of covered this with the 3 year old inferior discussion, but perhaps you can go more deeply into opposites which are relevant for Driver/3 year old AND Co-Pilot 10 year old

    3. I think you may have touched on this in the past, but what is the relationship between the 4 functions not part of your makeup and your personality. So for example is 3 year old function stronger than a function not in makeup. (eg as an INFJ, Se vs Fi)


  • Catherine Eimer

    I’m an ISFJ, so my 3 yo is Ne (Exploration). I find ways to encourage this part of me by (don’t laugh) moving furniture and decorating for seasons/holidays. I’m starting to dip my toes into Exploration more by starting different kinds of crafting, which is kind of scary for me. What Antonia said about ISFJs wanting to nest really resonated with me, and this is how I use Exploration to personalize my home. Thanks for ideas on other ways to interact with the world too; I definitely like my comfort zone a little too much!

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