Podcast – Episode 0215 – Stages Of An Intuitive Awakening

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the stages of an intuitive awakening and call for you to share the stages of your awakening story.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Intuitive Awakening program
  • Intuitive Awakening Community
  • Sensors can have an intuitive awakening.
  • Everyone has intuition somewhere in their cognitive function stack.
  • We foresee a wave of Intuition much like the recent introvert wave.
  • The intuitive awakening is going to happen on a societal level, but it also occurs on a personal level.
  • What stages of an intuitive awakening have you experienced?
  • 25% of the population in intuitive – 75% is Sensor.
  • The world is set up for the majority of the population – Sensors.
  • It’s like being left hand dominant in a right-hand dominant world.
  • Intuitives are always going to feel kind of alien.
  • Intuition may show up as intelligence or awareness.
  • You may feel more aware and intelligent than everyone else at times.
  • Other times, you may feel utterly inept with things other people do with ease.
  • You think different. You see things others don’t understand.
  • The first level of the intuitive awakening is Pre-awareness.
  • This is where someone knows on some level that they are different.
  • a lot of people live their entire lives in this pre-awareness level.
  • Some intuitive blending may occur at this level.
  • Intuitive Blending: The tendency to ignore your intuitive abilities and try to blend in with others.
  • Ignoring the pattern recognition or doubting it because other people don’t mirror it back.
  • SPs in the pre-awareness phase call themselves Instinctive.
  • SJs in the pre-awareness phase define themselves as Creative.
  • For some intuitives, the pre-awareness phase can come with some bitter narrative because of the feeling of isolation and alienation.
  • Once someone awakens to the concept of intuitive vs sensation, most intuitives see it as a game changer.
  • It explains why they have always felt different.
  • The iNtuitive/Sensor dichotomy is powerful.
  • Like the Introvert/Extravert dichotomy.
  • Once people realize why they feel different, they tend to blame the other side.
  • Introverts blame extraverts for making them feel flawed.
  • Intuitives blame sensors for the same thing.
  • Once we go from pre-awareness to actual awareness, it is the intuitive awakening.
  • A lot of people get stuck here, too.
  • “I’ve been oppressed my whole life!”
  • Not all Extraverts are sociopaths.
  • It is hard when someone is in pain not to project intent.
  • Most things are not a people problem; it is a system problem.
  • Gregory Bateson “When we don’t see systems, we break them.”
  • Once someone becomes aware that their mind is wired differently, it is easy to go from bitterness to superiority.
  • Superiority gives us an emotionally satisfying hit.
  • This level of awakening is merely awareness. Not a lot of effort involved.
  • Another part of this stage is the awareness that there are others out there like you.
  • The next phase is to move into skill development with your intuition.
  • There are two flavors of intuition – Extraverted and Introverted Intuition
  • Skill development puts practical discipline with your intuition.
  • It’s not about raw talent.
  • The second level is about the raw talent. That is why there is bitterness.
  • Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom
    • Data = Pre-awareness —> Unconscious Incompetence
    • Information = Intuitive Awakening —> Conscious Incompetence
    • Knowledge = Applied information —> Conscious Competence
  • Information has limitations.
  • Having info at first feels like a game changer, then it doesn’t.
  • Once we pass the relief phase, information stops doing anything for us.
  • Info doesn’t move the needle on happiness or improving a person’s life, especially if there is bitterness.
  • Just because you are intuitive doesn’t mean your intuition is always right.
  • Push it to its limitations. Allow it to fail, then calibrate. Push again.
  • It isn’t just a god given right; it’s a muscle that requires exercise.
  • You know in which context your intuition does the best.
  • Developing judging processes compliment our intuition.
  • Intuition is limited without those judging processes.
  • Self-esteem develops in this third level of skill building.
  • The final stage of the Intuitive Awakening – Intuitive Integration.
  • Wisdom = Intuitive Integration —> Unconscious Competence.
  • After the skill development, we integrate intuition in our entire persona.
  • The ebb and flow in a world that isn’t designed for you.
  • The world is getting more complex.
  • Our honed and skilled pattern recognition will help the world become a better place.
  • Wisdom knows when to use knowledge.  
  • Sometimes your intuition isn’t the right tool for the job.
  • You can tell somebody has integrated their intuition when the world around them is accommodating to them.
  • You stop seeing the world as a Sensor world tailored only to Sensors.
  • You create an intuitive world around you.
  • There are plenty of opportunities to craft the life that is right for you.
  • Stop apologizing for yourself and seeing yourself at the receiving end of other people’s behavior.
  • Start seeing yourself as a creator of your reality.
  • Recognize what in your life needs to change to accommodate your intuition and what doesn’t need to change.
  • In integration, we loop back to pre-awareness and stop seeing the distinctions in the world.
  • We integrate all the aspects of life and realize that all of us have some level of intuition and sensing.
  • Sensors may start out denigrating intuitives or wish they were intuitive.
  • “Don’t think I’m not smart just because I’m a Sensor.”
  • There can be some pain in the pre-awareness phase for Sensors, too.
  • Their awakening is that they have a form of intuition themselves.
  • Skill development can come with visiting their intuitive process and exploring the tension between it and the Sensing function.
  • Make space for the intuitives in your life to shine.
  • Sensors can also use intuition as part of their aspiration.
  • They are going to get messages from the intuitive part of them.
  • ESFP Profiler Training student teaches language.
  • Introverted Intuition is usually really good at understanding the abstraction of language.
  • The ESFP integrated her intuitive part by teaching language in a more interesting, physical way.
  • Spanish Lessons with Emily
  • In pre-awareness, sensors may either reject their intuition or overvalue it.
  • In integration, a Sensor can calibrate their intuition and know when to listen and when to reject.
  • If you are a Sensor that feels you have gone thru an intuitive awakening, please tell us your story.
  • Is there a phase we missed in our discussion about the intuitive awakening?
  • Share your story.

In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the stages of an intuitive awakening and call for you to share the stages of your awakening story. #podcast #intuitiveawakening #intuition

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  • Jeff Klassen

    I appreciate what is going on here. I am an INFJ. I feel I have progressed from preawareness to awareness and beyond. One phrase that has been used to described me more than once, is I tend to advance socially ‘under the radar’.I have learned to create an ‘appropriate’ intuitive space for myself. One of the key aspects of this process is to not be afraid of disagreement. This process is honed in on time after time in my mind.

  • Di

    This was totally different to my own experience. I am a sensor girl that was raised by an intuitive father, he sparked my curiosity to read and learn. I did very well in school because of my memory but I always felt that I wasn’t that smart, I just was a human memory card. I was always inclined towards science (which is an intuitive’s world) I eventually did a career in biomedical science and for many years I felt I was not bright enough, I did survive and actually did well but I was so scared of me not being “as smart” as my colleagues that seem to have ideas and be so creative. Years later, in my late 30s I had a boss that really challenged me, I also started to feel a urge about reading philosophy and questioning so many things. I started to realize that I did have the potential to have ideas and ask good questions. It’s not natural for me but I see I have some potential. I have come to accept I am not and won’t ever be as my brilliant colleagues but I have other gifts to offer. It’s hard being a sensor that grew up thinking it was an intuitive, being rejected by sensors (since playing an intuitive role made them confused) and intuitives for not being at their level.

  • Cody

    I’m not sure what my type is but i will share my experience i had. When i was very litte i wanted to be a christian, mainly because of the good feelings i experienced with a group of christians at a christmas parry. My parents told me the next day i was not allowed to have a religion until i was older and could think more for myself. In middle school age 12 a girl approached me and told me about wicca and i got really thrilled. It was a way to fight back against all the harm that was being done (mainly to me. I was bullied to an extream growing up) but it gave me a power to control my life. Later during high school i would have semi out of body experiences where i would speak to people without knowing i was or what i was talking about as if someone was speaking through me. I also saw certain people as special. I was seeing colors and light surround people in specific moments and didnt understand what it meant. I tried to keep these people close by as i thought they were special. When i found out about mbti i tested as an ENFP and saw somewhere that the INFJ is the ideal match. Low and behold when i looked at the INFJ page i had a similar experience where the page sort of glowed in front of me. I became very obsessed with the idea of INFJ and being an INFJ. Through my journey since then i have related to INFJ a lot and believed i was one and somtimes still do. Perspectives sounds like a very interesting process but im not sure i use it. I am a litte confused at this point and would love some help on the subject. These experiences i’ve had mean that im different because i’ve never met another soul who “sees” how i do. Does this mean im INFJ or somethjng else. Always wanted to know why certain people glow to me and why the INFJ description glowed as well. Is this my intuition giving me direction? All speculation. All i know is the experience i have had has happened. Beyond that im not sure. Today i am far less bullied and through a combination of spiritual projection i have been able tk shape decent thjngs in my life. I can write stories about fictional characters only to manifest them into my life. I know all this sounds silly and unreal. And i havent heard anything in the podcasts that talks about my specific intuitive experience. How does it fit in? Maybe someone can reply and let me know what is going on or what type they thjnk i am. Sometimes all the information is confusing and i can’t relate enough to think i am any of the types. Also! Cheers! Im loving the podcasts and FULLY agree that our society could use more intuition.

  • Samantha

    I felt like you somehow had a little spy glass into my life. My exact experience, actually. I am an ENFJ and after some recent friendship trauma/drama and some internal processing I have become very bitter as I’ve gained insight and become more aware of my intuitive nature. Feeling that sense of ‘if you’d just listen to me we’d have this solved in a day’. Feeling attacked for being so misunderstood and taken advantage of and criticized despite having managed and held together so much that went unnoticed. I had started to find myself getting to a point of literally telling myself to look at the bigger picture. To “pick my battles” but id spiral right back but I couldn’t, and still cant seem to get past the resentment and sense of superiority.
    Also, wondering if you could do a podcast or simply give some relationship insight and tools for an ENFJ female and ISFJ male.

  • Leanne

    I found this podcast very useful and love the idea of crowdsourcing stories about intuitive awakening. My story certainly follows the pattern suggested. I spent my teenage years in pre-awareness, knowing I was different but putting it down to the fact that I was partially-sighted and therefore more interested in inner experience than outer experience. I became very involved in music at my church, which gave me a creative outlet and a context in which to develop my “spiritual sensitivity”. Awareness came much later when I began to question my faith and look at the world from the perspective of science. Because I was so busy rejecting my religious ideas, there was no relief associated with discovering I was intuitive by nature. In fact, it was rather chaotic. On the one hand, I was tossing out visions, interpretation of dreams and discernment of spirits, while on the other hand, I was trying to own my ability to detect patterns and foresee outcomes. Bitterness, however, was definitely a feature of this period, as was depression. Feeling misunderstood and under-appreciated, I sought solace in the company of people like me. That phase could have gone on a long time except that, in an effort to put more distance between myself and my religious friends, I joined an amateur dramatics company full of sensors. Looking back, I may have just been trying to blend in, but the experience was extremely useful in that it taught me how to play again, how to put on a mask instead of always trying to be real and honest, and how to relate to people in a way that was neither spiritual nor intellectual. I believe it was the start of my intuitive skills development. Since then, I’ve tried hard to exercise intuition in my personal life while exercising plain speaking in my public life. In other words, when I journal or make decisions, I consult my inner wisdom, and when I discuss my ideas or explain my decisions to others, I avoid heavy metaphor and symbolism. I find it useful to listen carefully for feedback about what others appreciate about me. Often, when talking one-on-one, I pose what-if questions and present different scenarios, which others seem to value. Whereas before, in my pre-awareness days, i tried to show how “deep” and “advanced” I was, I now aim for clarity, only embellishing an idea if the person seems open to esoteric concepts. It seems to be working well, although I still feel I could contribute far more if I had more guidance.

    • Samantha

      when you reference “plain speaking”. I find that when I do this (mainly out of a desire to just fit in) I am bored then exhausted and then it turns into irritability. I find myself feeling worse about myself. I feel like a little piece of me dies. Have you experienced this? How do you find serenity in not going deeper? How do you hold that piece of you back without feeling like your wearing a mask?

    • Jeff Klassen

      I appreciate the public – private dichotomy that you have developed. Lately, I have learned to speak my voice or ‘perspective’ into a situation privately. I record a brief message to myself, and come back to it later. In this way I can find a place to reflect, but also participate in public.

  • Dee

    (INFJ) As I read down the list of points posted for the podcast, I found myself saying “I agree”….repeatedly. However I feel there is MORE to this story my friends. I have ALWAYS wanted it to be that simple…but to me…it’s not. And YES I remember the very moment of my awakening. It was all of a sudden. I was 14. I had converted my walk in closet into a sanctuary where I could be alone to “think/read” in a busy household/life. I was reading Henry David Thoreau…. Civil Disobedience and listening to Pink Floyd. I may or may not have smoked something. I was DEVISTATED/FURIOUS when it first hit me. “None of this makes ANY sense”. Crushing realization….and then I began to “see” things as “they really are”. Initial awakening = ouchy! I always “ksuspected I was a bit different” but this sealed the deal”. The truth of “the world” destroyed me for a time. I was disgruntled. In my twenties I had honed some of my “skills to “know” things…and accepted them within myself. BUT…the world I met outside myself tended to disagree…often. So I questioned my own sanity. Perhaps I am the one who is “thinking wrong”? Insecurity hurt me then. Close to 30 I was presented with MBTI. I took the test. I was upset about my results. I was an INFJ…the “oddball”. Yay. As if I needed the reminder! However…it took me on a long slow journey…YAY..I NEEDED the reminder! NOT alone it said…it’s okay I found…vindicated I felt! “Perhaps it is not me”…I dreamt. My thoughts and ideals formulated stronger than ever with this freedom. Deeply grateful, I went on to research and ponder. I LOVE to ponder….for years and years as INFJ’s do. I watched humanity and myself grow through the time of my life experience while researching and learning about our past. I make connections…see patterns. I am no less in love with our possibilities but it can be…well…depressing…lol Having felt a bit more satisfied with my education I began to look for ways to “be of service”. I make a lot of sacrifices for the “greater good” and all I ask is a small fraction of what I do from others. In recent times I have had another small awakening. I do NOT blame it on the sensors….lol Wait do I?…hmmm…no. Look in your wallet…what do you see? Plastic and paper…right? The only reason any of that means anything is because we ALL agreed it does. THIS is how I se things. So tell me HOW to bridge the gap between INFJ thinking and “the world at large”. I am good at harmonizing and making lovely my emendate surroundings (work/group/home)…but HOW to truly make an impact as I “feel compelled” to on a culture? THAT is a tall order my friends. What else besides plastic and paper can we agree upon to “make it better”? It’s killing me…lol

    • Kmarie

      I completely understand what you are saying. I am an INFJ too. Honestly, I had an existential sort of crisis around 5 and every few years after. Growing up in conservative christian religion and being literally surrounded, it was weird for me to have these epiphanies and completely different shifts in thought. I learned to listen to my intuition in my teens. It has rarely ever failed me and I trust it. I feel the same about money ( Monoculture by FS Michaels changed my perspectives years ago on that.) Anytime I needed to switch perspectives the right book, song or moment came along and I simply leaned into it. Sometimes I am wrong, but it’s rare. I know, without a doubt, that I have had growth many 80 year olds have not. I have learned age does not matter in growth. This does not make me better, but it does make for some interesting thoughts, choices and ways of Being in the world.
      I don’t feel my intuitions need to ‘teach’ the world though. I simply feel I can share a few to try to make it a better place, but overall to live MY best life. Sometimes this sounds like teaching ( when I write certain blogs) but most of the time it is simply sharing and by sharing there is that possibility.
      Maybe we don’t need to “agree” on things to make the world better? Maybe if we simply LIVE our stories to the best of our ability, and then tell them when we can ( our stories) we can make the world a better place? That is my hope at least.

  • Patricia Eddishaw

    I am an intj and per my mention in a separate post on this podcast, there were two specific examples that I particularly related to.

    The first was your discussion about how intuitives try to find bodily reasons to excuse why at least some of our sensing is not strong. I have several times almost convinced myself that I’m really an isfp and not an intj – and I do realize they share functions, just in different order. I would reason about how strongly visual I am and not just in the sense of having internal visualizations. For example, if I walk into a room and the objects are not balanced in place, if the colors are off, if the textures seem wrong. etc it drives me nuts. So I think I must be a sensor. On the other hand, I have always been a total klutz when it comes to any athletic skill – zero zip none. And I would try to excuse that component of sensing with various physical reasons. Well, it was because I had lazy eye as a child, which affects eye hand coordination. Well, I had kidney disease as a young child and spent a lot of time sick and in the hospital. So of course if it hadn’t been for those things, who knows, I might have been a fantastic athlete lol. And then I would try to convince myself that I’m really a happy little isfp who just happens to have no athletic skill but a boatload of abstract mathematical skill and managerial chops lol.
    So hearing that example and that other people do the same thing was very helpful.

    The other example I related to was about when you talked about the abstraction of language. I started my career as a computer programmer. Coding itself is incredibly detailed and most of it fairly boring – neither of those my strong points. What I loved about programming was understanding the languages themselves and their connection to linguistics theory. When you find a programming language that is both logically consistent and elegant in its simplicity and power, it is truly a thing of beauty. Most commercial programming languages are neither of those. But at a base level, computer languages, linguistics and mathematics share much in common and I have always loved playing around in their interconnections.

  • Jess Visher

    I think I’m coming out of the first stage and just starting the walk in the second. I’m successfully getting to the time I’ve carved on to work on bettering my Ni and I feel like all the bitterness and superiority I felt a few weeks ago is fading.

  • Meena

    Hi. Thank you for the podcast. It was great. I’m an INTJ. I think I went through a rough preawareness, followed by enormous relief and then yeah, I was bitter (more like angry) at people who I saw as the ones responsible for my miseries. I think I’m still a bit bitter, because when you talked about the complaints sensors have, I was like, “They have all the fun in the world and they outsmart us all the time!” I know I’m being unfair, but I’d be lying if I said I sympathize with Sensors for not having developed their intuition. Hell, if they had intuition, they would be unstoppable. I understand that’s a good thing… For sensors.

    So at present, I’m not yet there. As in, I still feel vulnerable using my intuition to affect the way things are around me. I use it for my own stuff. For things that will affect me and me alone. So, I guess sometimes, I feel like I’m too self-centered. I think INTJs, no matter how introverted, want to create an impact on the world and not doing that makes me frustrated. Not that I’m idle. I use my intuition indirectly, for little things. I test it out. A lot. It’s like everything’s become an experiment. I give suggestions based on my intuition. I watch when people follow/ don’t follow it. I predict things just to see if I’m right. I do things contrary to what my intuition says (eg. I follow rules/ social customs instead of what I think should be done). It became kinda out of control, because I realized that I was experimenting even with serious stuff. Then I wondered if I was justifying not using my intuition, by calling the mistakes my ‘experiments’. Because most often, I would be like “What happens when I don’t use my intuition?” rather than like when I use it. I don’t know.

    I’m at a stage where – I don’t blame the sensors, but I do feel bitter. I don’t feel ‘safe’ using my intuition to impact people around me, so I’m using it only for myself. I don’t feel superior or particularly more intelligent than anyone.

    I’m working harder to get to the point where I’ll stop feeling vulnerable, where I won’t have to hide my intuition away. But there is a problem here, because my strategy is flawed. I ‘think’ that once I’m successful enough, people won’t ostracize me for being different. That my intuition won’t be flawed. That’s not true is it? You say it’s like a muscle that has to be used constantly for it to grow. At this rate, mine will just go for disuse atrophy.

    Anyways. I understand that I’m at second level. And I need to use my judging processes to help develop my intuition, so I can integrate it into my life, use it everywhere and then the world around me won’t seem quite so stiffling. I’ll be this happy butterfly with intuition for wings. Even if that’s all just theory, I’ve seen that all it takes is a slight shift in perspective and direction to change where I’m headed altogether.

    So I hope just knowing all this will help me reach the desired goal.

  • Andy

    Hi guys, this was a great episode of the podcast. The notion of an intuitive awakening certainly resonates for someone who recently discovered they are an INFJ.

    I cannot help but see the dichotomy between sensors and intuitives as having a parallel with the perennial conflict between materialism and spiritualism. Most likely, both sides have a part of the truth. As you point out, intuitives need to see that they are not always right. On the other hand, sensors need to try out their intuition more often. The healthiest way forward for everyone will be an integration of the two.

    The description of the integrated state where we no longer see distinctions in the world sounds very appealing; very Zen!


    I have know since childhood that I processed differently. I remember telling my Mom and Dad that I was a human antenna for other people’s emotions (Pre-awareness). I tend to see connections that other people don’t pick on as quickly; things that I know as fact, but can’t always explain to others how I know.

    As I moved into my 30s, I learned that I was a INFJ, and began to be more conscious of my intuitive nature. Despite this awareness, I often find myself trying to blend with others and ignoring my gut (Intutive awaking). This has caused endless heartbreak and missed opportunities.

    This past year, after ending a toxic, emotional romantic relationship and finding myself distancing myself from old friends and associates….It’s has been a “bitter” season, but I feel a shift happening, that is calling me to find balance and make peace with my intuition and my relationship to others.


    A bit late to the party here, but I just discovered PH and listened to this episode of the podcast. As an INTJ girl in an artistic, emotional family, I had the hardest time coming to terms not with the intuitive aspect of myself, but with the thinking part. I was the family intellectual, the Brain, and in my Mid Century Modern childhood there just wasn’t much of a model for being both.

    I was so unclear on who I was or should be that even when I came to the MBTI (for work, in my 30s), I tested as INFP. At that time in my life, I was very woo-woo, exploring metaphysics and mysticism (it was the 80s).

    A rigorously rational, materialist, atheist phase followed, during which I embraced that cold intellectual. THEN when I’d take an online test, I started coming out as INTP.

    Clearly, the MBTI was bullshit. I couldn’t make the profile description fit the person I felt myself t be.

    For my 60th birthday I got a tattoo saying “I am not done with my changes”. Materialism was depressing. I came back home to the metaphysical. I became a novelist and a fiction editor. A few weeks ago, in working on some business branding, I came across Craig Filek’s Purpose Mapping, and he asked for my MBTI before our consultation.

    Sigh. Okay. But since I never did figure out whether I was INTP or INFP, I took the damn test again. I came out INTJ.

    I swear to God it was like angels singing. Really brainy angels. With books. Singing Renaissance polyphony. Precisely on-key, dammit.

    So there was my intuition all along, telling me to keep searching, keep being an intuitive, reconcile spirit and science, make logical sense of my woo-woo self. And I finally did. Thanks, you guys.

    By the way, my three-word Purpose Mapping statement from Craig Filek came out as “Connecting Anomalous Insights.”

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Craig’s a great coach for finding purpose. Thanks for telling us your story Anne. It’s amazing how it makes everything click when you get a type that resonates with you. Hope to see you around the community.

    • Amy

      I’m a 41 year old left-handed INFJ? which for most of my life was very painful. As a child and just until fairly recently I felt that there was just something intrinsically wrong with me. When I was in my twenties I found massage therapy as traditional college never seemed to work for me. While I was enrolled in this alternative kind of schooling I felt like I had met my tribe. The instructors and students were talking about and participating in the kinds of things that I was also into! I guess I finally felt validated. Massage therapy was fun and all but I was young and didn’t figure out how to make it viable so I gave it up. Around this time I guess I realized that yes, I was intuitive but that wasn’t getting me anywhere except for knowing that o was good at “reading” people and energy in a room. It was time for me to grow up! I left all of it behind me. I looked at it as a phase in my life that I was done with. I married an ESTP, who in so many ways is a beautiful balance to me but also solidified (in my mind) that was a better way to be. When I look back I realize that for most of my life I had been trying to be like what I thought everyone else wanted me to be. I was always trying to blend in and the more that I did blend in I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I’m done blending in and now I feel a bit like I don’t know what to do with my intuition. I want to put it to work, I want to develop it and help others as well. I feel that my son (9) may be an INTP, and I want to help him and also my daughter whom I believe may be an ESTP, to grow this part of themselves while they’re young. What an amazing world we could live in if our kids grow up honoring and developing this part of themselves!

    • Patricia Eddishaw

      Great comment.
      Like you I have also tested intp and infp but am pretty sure I’m an intj. I’m a 75 year old female who came of age in the 1950’s and 60’s. Back then the world simply did not recognize someone like myself – intuitive introverted thinker – and they were pretty good at trying to force me into the standard female role. It was still a world of Help Wanted Male and Help Wanted Female and contraception had just become legal if only for married women. I would surely only work for a year at a low level bookkeeper job and drop out as soon as I became pregnant.
      But but but I would say. I have a graduate degree in mathematics. And see, here’s my new bottle of birth control pills. I was simply laughed at and stuffed back in the stereotypical female box. There was no box for me – anywhere.

      Consequently, my young adulthood was terribly confusing and frustrating. Not only was I not allowed to be myself, I was explicitly told that in fact that was not who I was. I’m reminded of one of the PH podcasts where the parents are saying to the psychologist “fix this kid, he’s broken.”

      I was saved by the advent of computers. Companies were desperate to find anyone who had the abstract logic skills to write code – desperate enough to even hire women lol. It got my foot in the door even tho I am not particularly good at the detail work that constitutes a lot of programming.

      Like you I also tested infp (official mbti test) in the 90’s when I was in a similar woo -woo phase. But it never seemed to fit nor did it match up with my variety of jobs and particularly those where I felt strong and confident and “free to be me.”
      And then later I self tested as intp. Then I worked on the cognitive functions and have finally settled on INTJ. One disadvantage of being 75 years old and also having to hide myself for so many years is that I can take probably half the mbti types and say, “yep I could do that.”

      Through it all, I did learn by my mid twenties to trust my intuitive sense – whether it was a life decision, or how to approach a project, or how to reorganize a department at work. And probably all the battles I had with the outside world actually helped to strengthen my internal intuition. Once I started getting real world results from trusting my gut and doing it my way in spite of opposition, I got progressively better and more confident.

      I actually started out to make a couple short comments about this specific podcast – before I apparently decided to write my life history – but I’ll save that for a separate post.

      In the meantime I am thoroughly enjoying the comments from other intj women here. As much as the world has changed over the course of my life, it can still be lonely for us.

      • Anne Hawley

        Patricia, I don’t see any way to contact you directly (nor would I want to intrude) but I would like to figuratively shake your hand and say “Hail, fellow senior INTJ lady!” I enjoyed reading your story and knowing there’s someone out there whose path has been so similar to mine.

  • Greta

    47 yr old INTJ female here.

    I realized I was INTJ about 20 years ago and it helped. But, like you said, it did give me a sense of superiority. Now I know that was a defensive mechanism for the “aloneness” I felt. I call it the invincible cover persona. We’re all so complex I don’t think everyone of the same type shares an identical growth pattern, necessarily, but your podcast about “Type Advice: Vulnerability” struck a chord. I struggled with vulnerability for years. My family of origin was full of narcissists – did that make me a self-protective introvert? It certainly caused me to develop a hard outer-shell, but which came first? It’s a chicken and egg debate.

    Regardless of a person’s origin and all the “whys” that make us who we are, we are each responsible for the full development of our Selves. I think INTJs, more than others, have an advantage of being able to watch our minds as an observer and even call ourselves out on crazy behavior or ineffectual thought patterns. We have that inner censor. We can call BS on ourselves and that can lead to some amazing growth, if we have the gumption to do it. That’s what you’re calling Intellectual Integrity. Searching for truth – however uncomfortable. Too often we turn it outward and pick others apart (we’re expert at that!). We profit more, though, when we analyze ourselves – not too critically, but with loving acceptance and a good sense of humor!

    What’s helped me most is visualizing how I want my future life and then taking steps to get there. Sounds simple enough, right? But I’m talking about SOUL, not just tangible acquisitions. I ask “Who am I fundamentally created to be?” (realizing my Self) and then take steps to develop in that direction. Jung would call it self-actualization. I feel deep down that I have a responsibility to do this. For instance, I was already cerebral (that came naturally). I had to find and face what was missing: patience, kindness, effectiveness. Twenty years ago I developed panic attacks (severe). I think the source of my anxiety was that my life was so far from the path destined for me, and I had no idea how to reconcile the two. In tarot, Knowledge is represented by the High Priestess; Action by the Magician. The whole person (the fool’s journey, or Hero’s Journey, as Joseph Campbell would say) is a reconciliation of the two. You know what you know, but how the hell do you put it into practice in the real world? A world that doesn’t even seem to value what you know? That’s been my primary frustration. I’m guessing a lot of INTJs feel this.

    Appreciating my intuitive side was the beginning of my awakening. Being INTJ (cerebral) combined with my learned-terror of vulnerability made me shun everything soft, feminine and gentle. Sure, I looked ultra-feminine from the outside, but inside prided myself on being smart, capable. Invincible. But it wasn’t really leading to happiness. I just kept finding myself in situations that required me to be “tough”. I got exactly what I expected to get. I was a self-fulfilling prophesy. I was imbalanced. I was rejecting my anima (feminine side) and overvaluing my animus (masculine side), as Jung would say.

    No surprise, my relationships sucked. Common denominator: me. Not that everything was my fault, but I was the one choosing my partners, choosing my jobs, choosing, well, everything. The good news is that I also had the power to choose differently. But I had to retrain my brain and also start to incorporate my whole Self in my choices – not just my brain. We INTJs live upstairs in our heads, but our whole Self is so much more. “Eastern Body, Western Mind” helped me tremendously to incorporate my feminine side and find balance.

    The more my feminine side (my intuition) has grown, the more difficult I find it to be around others, however. My life-long studies in psychology and philosophy, combined with my strong intuitive sense, allow me to understand the motivations and behavioral patterns of others very quickly. This isn’t always fun. It can feel overpowering. During this period of my development, I worked in an open-office environment. Are you cringing, INTJs? I was, too. In fact, I believe once we start to heal and understand ourselves, we do develop a greater understanding and, hopefully, compassion for others. For very intuitive types, however, you can also sense more than you care to know about folks. The heightened awareness increases the potential sensory overload experience – especially an open office environment! Agh!!

    So, like a typical system builder, I had to ask myself how to make this special skill I have (intuition) work for me. How do I build a system (my life) in a sustainable way that utilizes my natural abilities and contributes to the greater good? By the way, the “greater good” seems to be part of the awakening process. What good is being effectual unless it makes the world better and/or helps others?

    My life, which will be unlike anyone else’s in detail, although perhaps of similar pattern, seems to have unfolded almost magically once I began to open to all sides of my development. I let go of all my “shoulds” and embraced who I am. I’m an artist. I work all day alone in a quiet studio overlooking the river. I translate the knowledge I have accumulated into symbols in my art ( http://www.glatchford.com ). In this way, I am communicating concepts which are not usually discussed in a way that seems to reach people on a subconscious level. This fulfills my need to be effectual and put my concepts into practice. It also helps me to relate to others. In fact, the more detailed and personal my artwork, the more universal it seems to be. I can be introverted, spend time researching and studying abstractions and yet not feel guilty that I’m wasting my time!

    I have a social life of a few great friends who come over for dinner parties occasionally (yes, it helps to be the host). More importantly, I have a wonderful partner (ISTJ) who “gets me” and I totally admire and respect him. I practice Reiki which allows me to use my intuitive sense to help cancer patients manage their pain (it’s like counselling but without all the talking!). Bottom-line, it’s a full life and I wish I had known 20 years ago how good it was going to get.

    Being INTJ can feel lonely, but only if you compare yourself to what you think you’re “supposed to be doing”. Trust your gut, aim for integrity and know yourself fully (the good, the bad and the ugly). In knowing yourself, you may find you have more in common with others than you think.

    • Lisa

      Greta, I’m an INFJ but I resonate with everything you have said. I”m currently in the growth pains of learning to incorporate my whole self and focus on soul as I visualize who I want to be and the impact I want to have in the world. I hope to soon have the peace with self that you appear to have. It sounds like I could learn a lot from your experience and insight!

    • Sheila

      Wow, Greta! Thank you for taking time to post your comments. I felt as if you could have been my older, wiser self talking. I know I’ve been stuck in the same song and dance for so long, convincing myself it’s different each time, only to come collapsing to my knees (so to speak) about a year into each process.

      I’ve always wondered if I was truly an INFP or INFJ, both types have shown up on tests I’ve taken almost equally so. And I can relate strongly to both as well, perhaps one more so depending on the time in my life.

      Anyway, you offered some wonderful insights and I was right there with you as I read each word you wrote. The life you describe (I know, such small details) is the type I wish to have, hopefully before I endure too much more anguish (self-inflicted usually).

  • Lisa

    As an INFJ, I can relate to each of these steps and find them to be quite accurate, though I’m still working on integrating Ni. In addition to these stages, I’ve spent the last 13 years in almost perpetual unhealthy conflict with others who have Ni and Fe in their stack in professional settings, and who outrank me in job position. I feel threatened by them, interpreting their actions as their inability to see my “brilliance” (ha ha). Each of these individuals have pushed me to the sidelines, not allowing me to participate in discussions and decisions except at a very minimal level, if at all, even though I’m a subject matter expert and the decisions affect me significantly. I’m trying to figure out why this is, how I’m contributing to these situations, and how much I need to assert myself and hold them accountable for their actions. These conflicts are especially painful because these individuals often understand me more than most, so when they refuse to acknowledge my contribution, it is especially degrading. Maybe there is another stage of conflict that happens with other intuitives. Are we threatened by each other, especially when we have different ranks within an organzation?

  • Dimitris Hall

    Thank you for another great podcast guys. I have neglected to join the Intuitive Awakening community until now. This is soon to change!

    I’m a 29 year-old INFP male, a child of two pre-awareness intuitives (an INFJ and an INTP, to the best I’ve managed to type them), so for the longest time I felt as if I just didn’t fit in, just like my parents stick out in their environments in their own ways.

    My parents split up when I was a toddler and I never got any siblings. In ’90s Greece, that was still pretty unusual. In my own pre-awareness phase I would desparately try to be loved and accepted by my parents, friends, classmates etc in different ways. I would humiliate myself and not mind being made fun of as long as it would make me ‘be part of the gang’. I would tell tales and lies to make myself sound interesting, or try to be a pet of virtually every teacher. I also really enjoyed learning from a very early age, so was great at school without really trying, which created resentment and alienation from my peers.

    As the years passed and I entered my teenage years, I continued having problems with bonding with sensor kids, who just wanted to play soccer or talk about girls. Approaching sensor girls was of course no less a project doomed with failure from the outset. I was pretty awkward, man. I still am. I retreated further into my own world of stuffed animals, exploration, video games and fantasy, which slowly morphed into a world of sad rock music, video games and science fiction. For many years it was chiefly video games all I would care about. I did find a group of ‘uncool, geeky’ friends, and that helped isolate myself from being ‘normal’ even further. At the time, I thought we were different and that we’d found one another: now, I can see we were losers sticking together and calling it a party.

    Not studying and still getting good marks also stopped working. I could never really see the point in studying –my ambitions, if any, weren’t in line with ‘get good grades so you can go to a good university and get a good job’, so I started failing classes, and I’m sure my parents were disappointed.

    I would still try to be accepted through my intuitive blending and receive love in a very unhealthy Enneagram 2ish kind of way (‘look at all the attention and love I’m giving you, please give me some back’), which was only making me miserable and very insecure.

    How confused I was: both feeling so special, yet trying to play it down as much as possible. Typical Enneagram type 4 behaviour, come to think of it. Unhealthy 4s go to 2, isn’t that right?

    I started seeing that looking at the world differently had its perks when I was around 17-23 years old, when I left home and went to university in Mytilini, a different city in Greece. That’s where my feeling special turned from seeing myself as an outcast and alien to feeling somewhat elite and better than everyone else. It was my rather narcissistic, self-centered phase. I shifted my jealousy of ‘normal’ people to being envious and thirsty for the attention of ‘special’ people — those I deemed were even more special, creative, or interesting than I was.

    In this pursuit, I started really discovering my Ne and coming out of my shell by trying things I would be dead scared or would have zero interest to try out before, such as travelling alone, Couchsurfing, doing my Erasmus in Denmark, joining university groups and experimenting with certain substances, or even (casual) sex and different polyamorous arrangements that I look back to in shame.

    At the end of this period I really discovered how MBTI works and that I was an intuitive, and all the pieces finally fit together. I felt as if I had found my tribe, my ultimate definition, and that I would have to play on my individual strengths to bring my contribution to the world. That strength was precisely what I would think was my ultimate weakness when I was a kid: my rare/unique way of seeing the world.

    Consciously or not, I started dating another INFP for a couple of years. During this time, we would play with eachother’s Ne and created a very tender but ‘autistic’ relationship, building our own dictionary of cute animal sounds, inside jokes and multi-lingual puns.

    We went down this weird path of INFP self-indulgence where everything we would do was self-referential.

    Intuitive integration:
    I’m no longer with this INFP girlfriend. We both understood that being with each other was very comfortable, but not really contributing to our evolution in a meaningful way, and allowed our lives to take us away from one another.

    If I had to attribute this shift in direction to a specific thing, that would be the realisation that, after all the exploration and trying to find what I was missing, I realised that this could easily take up the rest of my life. I would never be interesting enough for every person in the world; never well-travelled enough, or knowledgeable enough. Getting over resistance to cliches was also part of it, so here it is: I discovered I was complete just the way I was. Not perfect, just wholesome. Personality Hacker helped with this realisation.

    I no longer think I can only really communicate with intuitives, though I do have a soft spot for them. I understand that every type has its purpose, like the parts of an ecosystem.

    I hope to think I’m less susceptible to envy of special people. Now I’m sort of ‘envious’ of balanced, conscientious, eloquent and calm people, but never to the point I would be jealous of others in the past.

    I realised early in life that my purpose in life would be hard to find. Now I understand that it will not be handed to me — I’ll have to create it for myself. Money, which I used to think was evil, will have to be part of it. Ideology will have to be part of it. My 10- and 3-year-old will have to be part of it. Sensing will have to be part of it.

    Perfectionism and elitism will not be part of it.

    I guess I’ve come into the interdependence phase of intuition, to use another system I’m very happy to have learned about through PH.

    I’m very excited about this journey!

  • clara

    Thanks a lot for this great podcast Antonia and Joel, and for giving the chance to share some bits of experience with the PH community!

    > Pre-awareness

    This first memory dates back to a few decades now. I’m chatting with my adorable 2-year older brother. At that time, he is 14-15, I’m 12-13. Our conversation turns around the meaningfulness of an upcoming party with good friends. Music, games, dancing are on the plans. My face expression must convey some hesitation probably, doubt or suspicion (disdain maybe). His reaction: “well look, we’re not going to spend the evening talking about how to save the world, you hear me?”

    > Awareness

    Fast-forward, +20 years later. A very long period of stress at work: lots of expectation, huge workload, tight budget, but willingness to achieve. Repetitive tasks, promotion policy frozen, feeling stuck, health affected. Letting an “achiever” sink is no good publicity for the bosses. I’m proposed to benefit from a skill assessment program. I take a mbti test and learn I’m an infj. I search the Internet and come across Personalityhacker website. All I read and hear rings true and right to me. I purchase and follow several PH programs. Enlightenment and a sense of intuitive awakening from my side of the Atlantic. Relief. I now see how the conversation with my brother fits in.

    > Questioning and reassessment

    Especially, of relationships with siblings and parents, with life-long partner, with friends and acquaintances… and with myself.

    There can be anger and blame towards those Sensors who do not see where the problem is with relying over tangible, concrete and proven facts only, who consider that what is not expressed nor articulated is just not real or does not make sense (there are exceptions to this, of course). But how to blame? They are probably the last ones who would need to question the dominant models, even less to find new wording to describe phenomenons they would discard…

    And there can also be compassion and self-compassion. “No wonder no one gets me if I do not even honor my own needs, if I don’t express them, and do not consider them at least as important as those of people around me”… Even closed ones who are Introvert and Intuitive may not get the needs of another fellow Intuitive – Introvert, if they are not explicitly told that these needs are…

    It’s basically a 360-degree switch that has to occur and this is sometimes so unnatural (for infj-s) that it can be painful: making room for one’s inner voice and intuition, making oneself a priority when your entire life has revolved around the needs of others. Despite the self-development injunctions that surround us, it often feels easier said than done. Besides, one can be held back by culture and upbringing, as well as the people around who might prefer that things remain (in the old) “normal”.

    Awareness is gradual and takes time. However, once a certain level has been reached, it then feels counter intuitive not to do anything about it.

    > Intuitive integration

    Establishing new routines via a series of baby steps in all areas of life is how I started to integrate intuition in my everyday life. A few examples.

    . Developing a new normal where one’s priorities are as important than others’
    At the beginning, I felt it hard to impose this to my partner but I managed to get over this self-hesitation: “if I can’t make the person I share my life with, understand and accept what my fundamental needs are (alone time, dedicating time to my own interests), how am I going to make things happen in the external world?” I’m now about to go overseas and leave home for several weeks.

    . Trusting my gut feeling when spotting Introverts – Intuitives and building a support network has added to the pleasures of life…
    I once met an Introvert – Intuitive, and after many months of hesitation, finally arranged a dinner and invited this person… who has become one of my best friend ever since. Mbti test taken, profile confirmed. When we talk to each other, ideas just flow so easily, effortlessly, comfortably…

    . Less inhibition (or more confidence depending on how we want to see it) in sharing with Sensors how Intuitives work, thus enriching their experience that effectiveness (or efficiency) leadership, authority can also be displayed in a quieter fashion. Two conversations come back to mind.

    One with a former boss who was trained in mbti and was clearly an Extrovert and Sensor: “well, you may have to consider that you’re not made for large organizations after all?” I once heard… One should get prepared to counter such arguments!

    A (supposedly) ESFP female colleague recently got married to a person who by her description could be an Introvert and Intuitive gentleman. She fell for his charm and pleasant sense of humor but found his quietness a bit unsettling. “He’s not the super self-imposing type, you see”. Taking advantage of her keenness for psychology, I sent her an mbti quiz.

    . Giving oneself the chance to develop a professional activity that resonates with a personal interest
    It took me more than a year to operate a mental switch and learn to accept that it was okay to work on something of my own. What helped a lot was the support network I built in the first place.

  • lee garrett

    Means is equally important to ends. Both must be morally just and effective, or the goal is unworthy. A saying I like is: it is not the holy war that sanctifies the means, but holy means that sanctifies the war.

  • Carol T.

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for a great podcast.

    I feel like this podcast triggered so many thoughts for me that my INFJ brain started firing off in so many directions!

    I’ve been on a journey for the past few years. Although I now identify as an INFJ I grew up in a family of Sensors and now realise most of my friends and the environments I’ve worked has mostly been this way too.

    So actually years ago I identified as an ISFJ. I think I answered profiling questions how I was from how I felt I should be. However wasn’t aware of this until later. I’ve always felt different and so years later when I realised I am an INFJ this was a massive thing. It answered the question as to why I felt different. I could identify with what other people shared and felt like I wasn’t alone.

    But it wasn’t really until I started to understand the cognitive functions a couple of years ago & finding the car model that I really started to understand how important my Intuitive thinking is. Leading with it means that I now understand why I can feel so stuck in my head and have really taken steps at trying to get better at getting into action and developing my copilot.

    I think a barrier for me has always been confidence and when you don’t feel understood then this can keep you in your head even more. I could never understand why people couldn’t see how things were going to pan out. I though people just lacked logic or maybe didn’t care. But I would get frustrated that no one seemed to listen to my concerns of future impacts. Then when those things occurred they would pretty much totally overlook the fact that I predicted them and was trying to be proactive!

    Once I realised that my brain fundamentally thought differently to a lot of people. I could start the process of not taking things personally. I found before I would get myself into a cycle of “no one listens so I won’t bother sharing.”

    A great step forward to me has been to understand the differences and attempt to explain to others about how my brain naturally links together like a web and seems to be operating with 100s of tabs open at once. And how I will be future focused. However I do think an important development area is around learning how to communicate in the most appropriate ways with sensors.

    The nature of the difference means that it’s probably easier for intuitives to understand the difference. If I were a sensor I doubt I would really ‘get it’ 100%. Even though everyone does have it somewhere in their stack. I wasn’t even aware of it for probably 25 years of my life! And I’m still learning about it!

    I also have come to totally understand the value of using my sensing to keep myself grounded and my brain in check. I regularly indulge in activities that help balance my intuition which also gives my brain a rest! I think it’s important for intuitives to understand the importance of sensing and vice versa.

    I think it’s really important to recognise, your comments, it’s not being a straightforward dichotomy.

    So how other people have worked with the sensors in their life to help each other understand each other and communicate better would be really interesting to understand.

    I’ll leave my comments there! But good luck with the work on this. It’s very exciting and a really glad I found your site.

    • Kmarie

      I understand as my husband’s family is almost completely sensor.As an ENFP he grew up in that and mistyped as an S too at first. He HATED personality studies because it always felt “wrong and depressing” to him. Until finally I tested with him (and almost for him) because I knew it wasn’t accurate and he ended up with ENFP. He read the description and cried. Because it was so accurate. He had this pressure to be an S.
      I wrote a post about family relationships between S and N ( can be found by clicking my name) It also has Personality Hacker’s Podcast on it. We have been fans since almost the beginning stages of this podcast. Each time we take an hour trip ( which is quite normal in our life) our family, including our children who were little at the time, listen on everyone’s personality, so we can understand more.
      I think first you need to overcome, reconcile and forgive the wounds. Because there ARE wounds from being a minority. Even if it is understandable and not purposeful. Then build a common dialogue focusing on subjects that are considered “ok” by both parties. Then, not expecting much actually unless both parties are open to change and communicative understanding. I actually have a few good friends who are Sensors. They teach me so much about my inferior function. They are brilliant. But, it DOES take more work to relate, to grow and to be together. I do find that I am the one who focuses more on sensory based topics or events for them. Because it’s just easier that way. And since they are the majority, it takes more to stretch the other way. Which is understandable too. I have learned that I still can grow from this and then use my other friendships with intuitive to fill in any gaps I wish to discuss with. My best friends are my ENFP husband and INTJ gal friend because we just “get” each other. Any type can be close or enemies. The typing is there to provide a bridge and not a chasm so in that, if a sensor in your life is not open to speaking about it, maybe find another way?
      I like that you said your brain works like a web…that is exactly how it feels- everything interconnected:)

  • Chad

    I was SO excited to hear this. I have labeled this “enlightenment” in my life, and because I’m an ENFP, I have become WELL aware of it and its development and learned to use it to my advantage.

    ** I am lying by a fireplace in a cabin while writing this on my phone so I’ve decided to follow the stages as discussed and post when back to civilization:


    For me this was in early childhood. I grew up in a very rural place with very little opportunity to make money yet something inside of me always said “YOU can have what you want” which allowed me to spot opportunity. At 7 years old I opened my first checking/savings account (after multiple rounds of debate with my parents) and started filling it by selling deer hides and aluminum cans to a guy who showed up in the grocery store parking lot every other week. From then on I always noticed things that others didn’t seem to and always had more than I needed. That is still with me and over the 29 years has really allowed me to live an amazingly abundant life (by my standards). In my 20’s I found opportunities that allowed me to live in many areas and explore many cultures to further develop this. In my 30’s I’ve taken it to a whole new level by creating “blue ocean” companies to provide real value to the world and capitalize on opportunities that have been hiding in plain sight for decades.

    My blind spot in this period was in sports. I played soccer, basketball and football all through school. My teammates always seemed to know where to be and what to do while I never figured it out well enough to consider myself an athlete. It was certainly not for a lack of effort. I believe I tried harder than anyone on any team I played on, and I was a starter, but I never could get the same grasp on the games like the best players had.

    Intuitive blending for me in this stage included just about everything I did until College. My hobbies were mostly the hobbies of my culture.


    This came after my freshman year of college. I went from using intuitive blending to embracing my differences. Being part of a bigger population and having the opportunity to observe the behavior of others allowed me to confidently move into my own. I adopted a strong “I’m different and that’s okay” mentality. I became an honor student but also hosted the biggest parties in town every Thursday. This is where I realized that few people had such a broad range of interests as me and that created even more curiosity for me to explore my behavior as compared to others.


    This is where I really deviated from my friends and family. For me it was my Sophomore year of college (19 yrs. old) and it started with me deciding to be a cowboy on a ranch in WY even though it was illogical. I didn’t have the money to get out there, I wasn’t really a cowboy, I decided to do it last minute and everyone told me I was crazy and shouldn’t do it. That trip didn’t work out as planned and I could have easily chalked it up as a failure and let it push me back into conventional behavior. Instead, I saw it as a perfect outcome and a good decision which reinforced the use of intuition and catapulted me into a new way of thinking and decision-making that has resulted in a very exciting and unconventional life that not many people understand.

    Intuitive Integration:

    This is what I have called “enlightenment” in my own life because I didn’t have any material like your podcast to allow me to put a label on it until now. I have grown to a level where I trust my intuition over logic and it has allowed me to “create” a world that provides everything I’ve ever dreamed of. It has allowed me to accept myself and look at the world in an entirely different way. I take full accountability for the “good” and the “bad”, I have no regrets and don’t apologize for being a “weirdo” anymore. I realize that Everything Happens Perfectly (#EHP) and fully trust that everything happening for me is because of me, even the “bad things”.

    What did you miss?

    This was a great podcast. I really look forward to hearing more as you develop this. I am very curious to hear how this correlates with spirituality for others. I grew up in a God-fearing Methodist church and through the first 2 stages of Intuitive Awakening I was a devout Christian. However, as I developed I carefully observed and considered the perspective of the people I was meeting or reading about and started to test my beliefs against theirs and against my intuitive feelings. I’ll say that I feel closer to God than ever now, even though I totally reject all religion. For me, I didn’t think there could be a stronger certainty than what I labeled “my faith” as an adolescent. Now my beliefs are only based on my own experience and intuition and the “faith” I have dwarfs my previous feelings. It has been very freeing but, like many other aspects of my life, very few people can comprehend my beliefs at this point.

  • Karen

    INFJ here. I feel like I have been on this journey for a long time – I seem to process things quite slowly.
    My intuitive awakening was actually years ago, when I first heard the PH podcasts on intuition and INFJs. As you say in this podcast, the major effect of this awakening was relief. Although I immediately recognised myself in your descriptions, it did take me a while to really see how I was using intuition (Ni) in my everyday life, and that Harmony (Fe) really was a major motivator for me.
    So a stage of awakeningfor me was really seeing how I was using my cognitive functions.
    A difficulty in getting beyond this stage has been my tendency to be a perfectionist. I tend to rub my hands together and want to make a 10 point plan for how I am going to NAIL this transformation in the least possible time. I want to use Accuracy (Ti) to get this thing done!
    Something that is helping me move past this obstacle has been focussing intently on compassion and healing. In particular I have been working through the book The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert. The blend of investigation of the evolution and value of compassion in the human mind, and exercises for integrating compassion into your life appeals to my Accuracy and my Harmony equally. This feels like it has gotten me both into my head, to understand Harmony, and out of my head, to bring the healing and compassion needed before and whilst I move forward.
    Thanks for this opportunity to share!

  • Peggy

    I am a spiritual director, meditation teacher, INFJ. I was a scientist, now Im a mystic. I use my sensor thinker very well – its what the culture and science coursework cultivated. In my 40s I ran into the Christian mysics and they spoke my native language…intuition. I was taking spiritual direction training at the time and we all took a Myers Briggs. All 30 students were NTs or NFs. I later did a small research project to see if intuition and mysticism correlated. They did. Mystics are always intutitors (either F or T). Intuitors are not always mystics – maybe they never read the mystics or encountered a more poetic or mystical text – or they did (the Eastern religions are very intuitive) and they didnt relate that to mysticism or intuition. So, when I learned I was very much intuitive and feeler it explained all kinds of disparities between my mother, bother, husband – all of whom are Thinkers – 2 sensor thinkers and one intuitor thinker. My other bro is SF and I can totally understand our differences also. Its been very very helpful to me to be able to embrace my INFJ and also “see” my ST. So my main point is this: when we talk about spiritual growth, spiritual deepening, it means to move toward a greater balance of Myers Briggs functions and because Ns are only 1/4 th of the populations and we have all been encultured to use our ST, spiritual practices like meditation drive us within – toward the NF. So finding your intuitor/feeler is the goal for moving toward what we spiritual folks call nondual perception. The feeler is cultivated in order to expand our capacity for compassion toward others….see the Buddhist literature and work going on through Mind and Life and the Max Plank inst.

    Thank you sso much for all your do, Joel and Antonia!! Understanding Myers Briggs has helped me tremendously to know myself and to better understand others and be able to counsel my clients effectively. I talk to MANY INFPs who really do feel like outcasts and because they are care givers, they are burned out and often depressed because they cant relate through their feeler to the world in general.

    Intuitors – if you ask yourself habitually, “What does that mean?” as you go through life, you are using intuition. Meaning is all about intuition – it is beyond the concept/symbol/fact and into the context. Value and meaning are intuitive capacities. Thanks again! I’ll share this with my intuitive friends on my Ecumenicus Facebook page!!! Love, Peggy

  • Janne Moeller

    This is such a powerful podcast with a lot of insight. Thank you :-).

  • Angie

    It is not easy for me to write in response to the podcast but I want to do this because I respect your call for us to share our stories about our intuitive awakening and because I think you’re right about the need to bring awareness to intuition on a major level.

    I had been doing searches that related to disintegration of friendships & relationships, introversion, and the general continued alienation I had been feeling when I stumbled onto Personality Hacker. It took me a little while to do the personality test but I finally did it and came out as an INFP. In terms of the pre awareness phase y’all mentioned in the podcast, I would describe my feelings upon learning that I was an INFP as Complete Liberation first. This new insight explained so much about my life and in a good way. I felt proud that I was always a person who just did what I felt was right for me even as a young child and throughout my adulthood. In fact, I remember thinking as a high schooler and college student that the whole point of life was meant to be that we all go out and do what feels right to us. I took Latin in college as my foreign language because if felt right and because I wanted to yet I watched my friends take spanish while they hated it – I wondered to myself, why would they do that?

    After the Liberation part of my awakening I slipped into Sadness. I thought about all the relationships in my life that had suffered deeply because of my shortcomings and my cluelessness about myself. I frequently hurt my ex girlfriend with a sharp tongue because I had a wealth of information against her that I racked up and self righteousness at my disposal when an argument began; she once told me that I could slice people up verbally when I got going. Had I been a healthy version of myself I would have understood her needs as well as mine. When she tried to talk to me I couldn’t hear her.

    Regarding the skill development part, as I carry on throughout my day I feel that I am in full authenticity mode where I don’t hesitate to touch on a semi serious or serious topic with my clients that tie into our casual conversation. Meaning, after general pleasantries when I get to their house in the morning to work I might tell a quick story about parenting, kid’s different needs or my concerns for my niece and nephew. I work as a contractor and I am around families very often so I have moments in brief conversations with the homeowner where I’ll share insight about my thoughts on how our kids today are up against a litany of challenges like being heard in our overly busy culture when they are needing to talk and digital life addictions that even their parents contend with themselves. How can we teach kids healthy balances with a digital lifestyle when adults themselves are fully addicted? There are other topics that I hit on too but these have been on my mind a great deal lately and I’ve been in a number of homes recently that have young kids.

    I would say also, in terms of my skill development, that the few friends of mine that really know me know that I can’t help but go to deep subjects that are on my mind if we are having coffee or hanging out. I have these concerns all the time about how we as a culture are in no way able to keep up the technological explosion and it is diminishing human relationships of all types. Most people don’t even answer my phone calls anymore; but they’ll respond to my call with a text message and send me 4 pages of text as a substitute for talking on the phone. I have concerns about that – it’s not because those folks are introverts either. They don’t fear talking on the phone. They just have become accustomed to their overly busy schedules/days/lives and our connection suffers. But I train myself to give space when I make attempts to see my friends & connect in real life and they don’t reciprocate – I know some of these ladies quite well and I know some of the pressure in their lives so I exercise compassion from a distance. Then I eventually reach out again in a meaningful way saying directly that I’d like see them and when we meet up they get the sense that I intend for us to have a high quality moment. They know I have a lot on my plate as well, creatively speaking, but I also live a very simplistic lifestyle. I don’t have cable and I don’t have a tv. When I sit down face to face with them they can really see it in my eyes that I am deeply grateful that they took time out of their day to hang out. I say it exactly that way too – “It means alot to me that you took time out of your busy day to have this moment. I’ve missed you”. I talk that way to my niece and nephew also – I tell them directly what’s on my mind and how it relates to them specifically; it comes out in a deep way, I can’t help it. I look them in the eye and it’s as if there is an energy exchange between us when that happens. I can tell that they love our visits. A fifteen year old girl and 13 year old boy don’t always get excited to see their family members come to town so I feel like they understand my genuine love for them. I’ve always been this way with them so we have been nurturing meaningful love for each other for a good while. (I didn’t know until recently that it related to my intuitive personality). That’s important to me as an intuitive: I go out of my way to express myself to people I love where they understand how much I value them. This includes my Dad who has a history of being non communicative to me for years. But I still believe in doing my part.

    My thoughts are that I keep seeing the painfully negative effects of our culture becoming overly busy & hopelessly addicted to technology while I stand in the windstorm thinking of ways to teach those I love how to slow down and value this life meaningfully. And it’s more than that but I can’t go in to it right now. I’ve said plenty.

    For me, the integration is a lonely place to be yet a rewarding place to be. I can see the people in my life who are caught up in life at a frantic pace and I miss them all the time because it is not feasible to spend the time you want with those you love – they are in their life just as I am in mine. I keep returning to the notion of people being amongst each other because that is where real experiences reside…that’s where we really get to know each other. My story drastically changed when I stopped shutting people out and began letting down my barriers. More importantly, I began to open up and talk intimately with people I trusted and who cared for me. This set in motion a wave of near miraculous situation after situation. If only you knew.

    Antonia, I would like to add to your wisdom quote by saying this: A smart person knows what to say; A Wise person knows whether or not to say it. I don’t get it right all the time but I certainly try hard.

  • Candace

    Hey guys, thanks for sharing these knowledge and podcast. ENFP here. I often forget or deliberately remove myself from involvement with the development / personality community because there’s a lot of inflated egos around, a lot of cries for healing, and it gets too much for me to handle. It’s nice to just listen to you two speak authentically about things on such a grounded yet valid world.

    I had an intj mentor going into university and he introduced me to the mbti. I was a student leader where I got to see that my ideas played into reality, I was encouraged largely to expand the champion and inspirer energy an enfp has. So I never really grasped the dichotomy of an intuitive mind in a sensor majority world. However I think Ne when it’s too much in the clouds, is rather dangerous. A lot of questions were thrown about the validity of my ideas, what they would derive, results and paired with some insecurities about my mostly hype-py and fluffy leadership style I think that’s where I crashed and burnt really badly.

    Now as a graduate I still have a lot of the skills I learnt and identified roles which I can best contribute in. But I do know as well the competencies I have to build. I think that’s the compensation or permission or validation I seek in order to allow my intuition to not only show up, but show up in way it influences others. It’s something I’m struggling now with, this permission I seek.

    how I can “save the world”?

  • Graham P. Donahue

    I have recently started learning about cognitive functions, but it has been really helpful to learn how my brain is wired!

    I am an INFP so Ne is something I am trying to develop. I’m still a little confused by what it looks like, and how to develop it but the resources here are very helpful!

    For me, I never really thought much about how or why I was different. I just thought I had different interests. Growing up (and still) I always seemed to prefer interesting conversations over things like sports.

    For the most part people embraced who I was so that was nice. I suppose my family is predominantly sensors, but I do have a grandpa that’s an INTP, and my dad has some intuitive tendencies so it was never too bad. Any challenges I had probably came more from connecting with peers as I never really had a lot in common with them.

    Now that I am learning about Ne, and the importance of developing it, I have been working on that. One thing I have done is start taking acting/improv classes. It’s a lot of fun, and is helping me learn to communicate and be in the moment.

    Thanks for all of your work here!

  • Jan

    Hi, isn’t there a rather big difference between intuitive feelers and intuitive thinkers ?

    • Antonia Dodge

      When you zoom in and start slicing/dicing there are a lot of differences between all the types, cognitive functions, where they fall in function stacks, etc…

      This concept is focused on one layer, intuition, and primarily how it manifests as a dichotomy. To focus on a single angle doesn’t ignore all the other angles that can be taken.


  • Paul

    I can definitely relate to the idea of the pre-awareness phase as feelings of being “smarter” than other people without really knowing why. I felt like I understood things a lot faster and with less effort than most of my peers throughout high school and undergrad.

    I’m an INTP, but when I was first beginning to dig deeper into the Myers-Briggs system, I had a difficult time deciding between INTP and ISTP. I think I had become very proficient at “speaking a sensor’s language,” and there was definitely a part of me that did not want to be different. Ever since settling on being an intuitive a few years, I have felt a lot of inner tension be relaxed. I am able to focus my efforts in personal development a lot more effectively, and I have a language to explain to myself why I see the world differently, and that it is acceptable (and in fact needed). Having the freedom to consciously exercise my intuition has been very rewarding for me.

    This experience leads me to wonder if there is a step between the intuitive awakening and skill development, namely intuitive acceptance. Perhaps this is more a sub-step within the intuitive awakening (second step). Either way, I think an important change occurs not only in becoming aware that one is intuitive, but also in accepting and owning that fact for oneself.

  • Amy Francis


    My story might be a bit different in that I grew up in a family of intuitives. Half if not most of my extended family (first cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents) is intuitive, almost all of my high school friends were intutive. My problem in childhood was the way I saw myself: I felt like I wasn’t smart because I didn’t get A averages like my friends, I wasn’t “gifted” like my siblings, I couldn’t grasp psychics and metaphysics like my dad and sister, wasn’t as creative or artistically prolific as my brother, etc. etc. So, one issue was my self-esteem and another was equating sensor with intellectual deficiency, which is a bad idea.

    It took me until the age of 25 to recognize I wasn’t a sensor. I worked in an administrative position, where I got to experience more administrative-oriented sensors in their element. It became clear that they had a genius I not only didn’t share but actually felt quite clumsy trying to use. I retook the MBTI test in prep. for a Myers-Briggs workshop and announced I was an intuitive. “Of course you are,” said the instructor.

    Working with/for sensors helped me recognize my intuition. But what really helped me appreciate and own my intuition was my relationship with my faith tradition. In my early twenties I was heavily involved in ministry and had also grown up in a religious home. As I tried to live “the right way” in the context of my spiritual tradition as an adult, I noticed two emergents: (1) My life had become socially, experientially and intellectually insular. I started to feel stifled every day and longed for new experiences. (2) I noticed that many of the more devoted people in this religion acted like new, unfamiliar ideas were taboo and scary. “We need to be careful…” or, “Well, that’s just a theory” was what they’d start to say anytime I brought up something interesting I’d been thinking about. I sensed an underlying protectiveness against new ideas and I saw how people who wanted to breathe new life into spiritual concepts with their own original/convergent thinking were resisted and metaphorically boo’ed. The attitude seemed to be that any exploration of ideas that fell outside of what was considered orthodox had to be immediately explained away as wrong or dismissed as too dangerous. Like, “we’ve already figured everything out, you just need to figure out what WE’VE figured out and you’re good.” I have huge respect for the people in my life who happen to think this way, and, I came to a point where I could stop being pissed off and accept I simply disagreed with them and that was okay. It was more important for me to listen to myself and give my intuition some room to explore.

    To bring this story full circle, my experience with push-back against my intuition probably helped me trust in my own intelligence more than anything else. Childhood insecurity cured 😉

    <3 Amy

  • Aline Brännmark

    Amazing podcast guys! I’ve listen to it two times already and I can relate to it so much. I think my awakning started about 2 years ago.
    In my teen years I felt so lonly, that no one understood me and most of the time I felt like an outcast. This lead to alot of bitterness and that all others were just stupid sheeps that couldn’t think for them selfs, just followed the herd. Now when I look back I can see how arrogant I was, no wounder no one wanted to be around me.
    About 2 years ago I had a breakdown after years of depression and I spent a month in a phych ward, I had hit my bottom and then and there I made the concionss decision to change my way of looking at the world instead of waiting for the world to change.

    I started with creating a new way of thinking and my new life motto became “The only thing you reallycan know is that you don’t know everything.” I started to listen to other people, people that I before would have written of as stupid, I really listen to them. I started to appretiate people for who they were and found that most people have good characteristics if you just give them the chance to show it.

    The next step in my journey was when I found out about personality theorys, acually when I found peronality hacker around 3 months ago. I don’t remember but I think it was Antonia that said this, “people don’t wan’t to annoy you, they are just wired different” It was such a aha feeling when I heard that. That people don’t wan’t to be differcult, our brains are diffrent. I’ve read almost all articles and listen to all podcast here on PH.

    I definetly not saying that I feel totally awaken in my intution, but I will continue to work forward with it, and now I feel like I really have a tool to help me in the journey.

    Ps. I just wan’t to send a special thank you to Antonia, I’m also an ENTP female and it makes me so happy to listen to her thoughts and finally there is someone that firstly see things in a similar way as me, and secondly someone who have made me see that it is okay to be a thinking female (my family consist of 3 other feelers). So just, thank you so much to both of you for making an amazing work! Lots of love!

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