Podcast – Episode 0227 – Developing Intuition As A Co-Pilot (INxP & ENxJ Types)

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about developing intuition as an INFP, INTP, ENFJ, or ENTJ.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Car Model article
  • Car Model Podcast
  • Why We Resist Developing The Co-Pilot In Our Personality
  • We gravitate toward our driver and marginalize our copilot  
  • If we are introverts, our copilot is extraverted
  • If we are extraverts, our copilot is introverted
  • INPs copilot is Extraverted Intuition (Ne) – “Exploration”
  • ENJs copilot is Introverted Intuition (Ni) – “Perspectives”
  • Intuition is a perceiving process, which means you use this function to take in info
  • What could be happening behind the curtain?
  • What is the pattern of the things I am observing?
  • Ni vs. Ne podcast
  • These types lead with a judging function, so they are going to have a proclivity to be more decisive or understand how they feel or think about things
  • Perceiving processes force us to open up our perception and take in more info
  • INPs and ENJs should use their intuitive processes to round out the decision-making functions they lead with
    • INPs struggle with their copilot because it forces them to take in more territory.
    • If you are leading with Introverted Feeling (INFP), it can take a long time to determine the right decision.
    • It relates to identity
    • For INTPs, it also takes a long time to determine the good data vs. the bad data, because the bad data may be related to info that we absorbed from childhood.
    • INPs can use Extraverted Intuition (Ne) when they are having to problem solve.
    • The real gifts of Ne come from exploring.
    • Getting outside your comfort zone.
    • Always looking for the new experience.
    • This type of exploration takes a metric ton of energy and can seem intimidating to the INP.
    • INPs know how they think or feel about things, but they have to generate a lot of energy to use Exploration.
    • Exploration burns the most resource.
    • It takes awhile to get into it, but once you are using it you consume energy because you are breaking new ground.
    • Ne is not a rational function.
    • Sometimes it doesn’t make sense.
    • And it has lots of false starts.
    • Exploration does not allow you to manage your image as much as you may want.
    • The things you do may look unstable to others.
    • Your credibility may even take a hit or two.
    • Extraverted Intuition is probably the most optimistic function of all eight cognitive functions.
    • Joie de vivre
    • You will burn out the self-consciousness and discover extraordinary freedom.
    • INTX Unleashed – INTP gained “Bouncy” energy.
    • INTPs who crave connection can find it through their Copilot.
    • Online research can give you a tiny hit of Ne, but it is only a snack – not a meal.
    • Online research allows you censor the info that comes in, but if you are in a real situation with info coming in that you can’t deny it is much harder to ignore the data.
    • Resonance vs calibration
    • Because INPs lead with a judging function, they tend to pre-calibrate the info they absorb.
    • Extraverted Intuition post calibrates though.
    • INPs need to speed up to keep pace with Ne.
    • Turn off the calibration and act rapidly.
    • Real-time adjustment & absorption of data.
    • This will require immense amounts of energy, but it prevents you from pre-calibrating and keeps you open to new data.
    • Post-calibration can happen in tertiary – Introverted Sensing (Si) “Memory”
    • When you are doing online research, you are collecting data in your Si process and doing enough post-processing with the info to involve Intuition more passively.
    • This is the opposite frame you want to come from because it uses Memory as the data gathering mechanism and lets Exploration help out.
    • Lead with Exploration and get real-world experiences, then use Memory as a tool to support Ne.
    • Ne is an extraverted process, so you have to get out in the real world.
    • What is uncomfortable to one INP may be easy for another.
    • Every INP is going to be different.
    • They need to head towards discomfort.
    • Discomfort should be your guiding light.
    • Then the discomfort becomes comfortable.
    • Being out of your comfort zone becomes your new comfort zone.
    • Throw yourself in and post calibrate.
    • Sometimes you may overdo it. Other times you may under do it.
    • Calibrate after – always.
    • Image management is your enemy as you develop your Copilot.
    • Is the life you built providing you the opportunity to grow?
    • You may need to go somewhere else to exercise your Intuitive Copilot.
    • One of the things you need when practicing Exploration is Joy. It is a big piece for providing the stamina you need to exercise Ne.
    • Exercise:
    • Set an alarm for one minute.
    • Lay down in bed like you are going to sleep.
    • When the one minute alarm sounds, jump out of bed with enthusiasm and put a big beaming smile on your face.
    • Throw your shoulders back. Open your arms and take a big prayer of gratitude out to the universe (or your divinity of choice).
    • Repeat this exercise again and again (7-10x), until you create the muscle memory that ritualizes how you get out of bed every morning.
    • This will help you generate energy to make getting into your copilot easier.
    • Work on strategies to ritualize your morning routine: drink a glass of water, journal, meditate, exercise, etc.
    • The ritual will set you on the right trajectory for the day
    • This exercise will calm down your 10 yr old Memory process and open you to opportunities for using your Exploration process.
    • Take a different route to work
    • Eat a different kind of food
    • Pick a new part of your city or country and get lost
  • ENJs – ENTJ & ENFJ
    • Copilot is Introverted Intuition (Ni) – “Perspectives”
    • Perspectives has spent so much time watching its mind form patterns that it sees the patterns in its own mind and the patterns in other people’s minds.
    • We call it Perspectives because it is excellent for understanding other people’s perspective.
    • ENJs rely on this for problem-solving, but not as much as they should.
    • Ni encroaches on ENJs by forcing them to slow down.
    • This can be uncomfortable for action-oriented ENJs.
    • ENJs love to impose order on a chaotic world. Ni is very free and chaotic. We cannot impose order on the inner world of Ni.
    • ENJs love to close loops.
    • Ni gets in the way of closing loops because it injects a massive amount of data which complicates things.
    • Introverted Intuition helps the ENJ to close better loops.
    • Otherwise, how do you know you are closing loops in the right way?
    • ENJs driver function looks for weaknesses in systems – organic and inorganic.
    • Stress points
    • Needs going unmet
    • Ni forces the ENJ to go inside their mind and determine stress points and unmet needs within the ENJ.
    • Sit with yourself and look at how your mind is set up.
    • Extraverted Thinking (ENTJ Driver) – once it makes a decision it creates a neurological superhighway. Set it and forget it.
    • Ni adds long game data.
    • Extraverted Feeling (ENFJ Driver) believes their agenda is the best agenda. If they question themselves, they may find that they don’t have everyone’s best interest at heart.
    • If you have ideas that are deemed dangerous, Perspectives does its own censoring.
    • Our minds may want to go to places we have blocked out.
    • The conclusions that your mind may reach when you explore the scary bits may turn your life upside down.
    • ENJs will have more energy than INPs.
    • ENJs are good at getting things done and getting into action.
    • ENJs may struggle with monkey mind in an attempt to get everything accomplished.
    • Harness that energy. Keep it centered instead of dispersed.
    • Exercising Introverted Intuition requires you to sit still, get quiet, and go inside your mind.
    • Perspectives gives the ENJ the ability to see the eventuality, or long term results, for the things they are doing.
    • Longer timelines.
    • Ask questions like “To what end?”
    • Broaden categories you apply to people.
    • Some of the ENJs perspectiving may be serving their own agendas or end games.
    • You may have specific definitions of what an A player is.
    • Or what makes up a healthy man or woman.
    • You may have narrow definitions you have culled from jumping into other people’s perspective for a short time then coming back to your mind with assumptions based on limited data.
    • When you can the thoughts in and see others in 3D, you will improve your compassion and skill level for talent scouting.
    • Exercise:
    • Take an hour a day and choose a quote you can explore profoundly, like Carl Sagan’s, “We are a way for the universe to know itself.”
    • Go to a quiet place. Maybe even dark. Close your eyes, reduce sensory input.
    • Ruminate on that quote for an hour.
    • When your to-do list pops up, bring your mind back to the quote.
    • After an hour, take out a piece of paper and write down some of the insights you had.
    • This exercise will start training your mind to develop that Ni process.
    • Wander the garden of your mind.
    • Let go of self-censorship.
    • Stop yourself from censoring your mind and let it go where it wants to go.
    • It will likely be uncomfortable.
    • You may have outsourced a part of your life to others.
    • You may not be in control like you think you are.
    • Once you can explore the parts of your mind you keep hidden you take real control of your life.
    • Stop making big leaps/assumptions with limited info.
    • ENJs tertiary Extraverted Sensing (Se) needs to be a servant to Introverted Intuition (Ni).
    • If you make Ni a servant to Se, you will shorten the timelines of your speculations.
    • Exercising Ni on a daily basis will make it more available to you throughout the day, so your observations are more profound.
  • INTP & INFP:
    • Copilot Ne
    • Generate lots of energy
    • Speed up
    • Seek out Freedom of experience
    • Copilot Ni
    • Slow down
    • Harness energy
    • Sit with it.
    • Wander the garden of your mind and sit with uncomfortable thoughts
  • INPs might like what ENJs have to do and vice versa
  • But it won’t be developing their Copilot
  • Developing the Copilot in the right way changes your life – and it may be painful to make the changes that are necessary.
  • The way out is through
  • When you get to the other side, the changes you make are more authentically you.
  • The fruit at the end of all of this is well worth it.
  • The application of these principles is unique and individualized.
  • How are you using some of these principles to move the needle in your life?

 In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about developing intuition as an INFP, INTP, ENFJ, or ENTJ.  #MBTI #myersbriggs #ENFJ #ENTJ #INFP #INTP

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Showing 37 comments
  • Marcy

    Hi, 39yo INFP here.

    Given the joyful and positive nature of Ne, do you think one can be forced into this Exploration through circumstances that are not inherently joyful and positive? (Sort of like a hobbit being made to go on an adventure?)

    For example, when my mom was dying of Alzheimer’s and later on when I was grieving the deaths of both of my parents, I often felt like I didn’t know how to “do” this, and like I wanted a predictable path forward but there was none to be found. Others, and especially my therapist, reminded me that of COURSE I didn’t know how to do this, I had never done it before, it would be kind of scary if I did know. *The Orphaned Adult* by Alexander Levy talks about (often subconscious) identity and behavior shifts in this new territory, and suggests this parent loss might be the real root of the “midlife crisis.” He also talks about that image management piece, and the clumsiness of the newness of it all, saying something like, “no one has ever told me they regretted their grieving process was not captured on film for posterity.”

    Between that, various bouts of postpartum depression, discovering I have ADHD, and all the extroversion that comes of having small children in the house (especially during quarantine!), I think my Ne may be pretty well developed? I don’t know, quietly doing my research sounds pretty appealing still, but again: living with small children. And my life is fairly social right now. That energy piece, man…

    So… how can you tell when your Ne is developed, uh, “enough?” I can tell I grew a TON in the last ten years, with all the different hard things that happened. So… now what?? 🙂

    • Marcy

      Uh, never mind, apparently I’m an ENFJ, after all. O_o See episode 194, and my comment there. An ENFJ who grew up in a big family with a VERY high intuitive cultural preference, and, less strongly but still there, an INT preference. Add in some trauma and ADHD, and voila, I’m not good at looking like a J, but great at looking like an ambivert. And blending in.

      I already journaled and wrote throughout my life to figure out what I thought about things, but when you can’t “turn off” the Fe and you become a stay-at-home mom to three littles and can’t hear yourself think, well. Quiet time, whether journaling or taking a walk around the block or occasionally NOT listening to the podcasts you love when you’re alone in the car, it’s absolutely crucial. Otherwise I go into sensory overwhelm and either explode or numb in time-wasting, unsustainable ways.

      I think I loop by getting so caught up in present feelings and needs that I push aside the 100% predictable future feelings and needs. So I don’t close the loops I want to close, I don’t look like a J, and I don’t think of myself as meeting needs because I’m not an Enneagram 2, and I’m bad at meeting the *tangible* needs, much better at only trying to “fix” by listening and holding space, meeting those emotional needs. Tend to be pretty genius at validating other people’s experiences, I think. (Yeah, it’s the water I swim in, but I’m 39, and that seems to be what the feedback points to!)

  • Dr Jason T Baker

    ****Co-Pilot PROCRASTINATION!***
    As a hard-nosed, ex-military, Chiropractic business-owning ENTJ, I recently bought the Personality Hacker ENTJ Starter Kit….Happy to report it’s already showing real-world results…If you’re on the fence, JUST DO IT! I especially love the video on ENTJ’s relationships with the other 16 types. Believe me, I need this!

    **Here’s my experience which you may find Helpful…
    I kept putting off working on my Co-Pilot of Introverted Intuition (Ni) because I couldn’t wrap my brain around it, or come with up with a logical reason for why I should, although I innately KNEW it would help. I get in “the zone” while running, so to kill 2 birds / 1 stone, I found music on YouTube called “852 Hz > AWAKEN INTUITION” (Meditative Mind Channel) and did a 5-miler with my dog. I simultaneously repeated a presumptive question-style affirmation (à la Noah St John’s book “The Secret Code of Success”…he calls them “afformations”). I ran, listened, let go of conscious thought, and just mindlessly repeated the question, “How am I always so incredibly intuitive?” On this run, my Co‐pilot automatically reformulated a more personally usable definition of what the heck Introverted Intuition actually was (which totally satisfied my logical Te), why I should use it, along with other business insights about my next practice location. These things amazingly surfaced fully-formed without any logical deductive reasoning or conscious brain effort. This event has inspired me to do daily mindfulness meditation or a guided intuitive meditation with YouTube.

    Since getting the ENTJ Starter Kit and working on my co-pilot, this past month I’ve earned more money and had way more new patients calling our office out of the blue without any advertising! I’m also becoming less abrasive and more calm and poised. So thank you so much, Personality Hacker! Joel, your dynamic & vivid illustrative examples and smooth topic transitions really keep the podcasts rolling. Antonia, I absolutely love your voice tone, inflection, and powerfully clever and concise use of the English language…I often press “pause” and repeat your statements aloud because they are so filled with nuanced layers of meaning. I could listen to you talk all day. You two make a forceful podcast team, & you clearly know your subject down cold, which enthralls my ENTJ sensibilities.

    I’m curious if your “Intuitive Awakening” program would help grow my copilot?
    Thank You & Keep Up the Great Work!
    ~Dr. Jason T Baker, owner Family First Chiropractic, Ultra Health Chiropractic

  • Melissa

    Just working through the exercise for Inxp to set the alarm and wake up smiling and would dear love and be inspired by having the PH intro music as an alarm tone. Any chance of sharing an mp3 of the sound byte??
    Love all you do

  • Tiasha

    Is it normal to feel scattered when developing Ne? I have been avoiding developing it because when I use it, I feel like I am all over the place, and it gives me a slight tinge of anxiety.

  • Terese

    I’m an ENTJ and I could’nt help but to laugh at my self when I heard the exercise to develop my co-pilot and how PAINFUL it sounded to me. It’s not that I quickly make a final decision about something and then never revisit that thought again, but usually I make quick decisions about the information I currently have and then think “I bet it’s like this!”, then make a decision to gather more information.

    I have a question for you, Antonia and Joel, and for anyone else who can shed a light on it:
    I’m a long distance runner and have been for years. The reason why I fell in love with running, and still love it, is that it feels like I can think insanely good when I run. I can “sit” with one thought/question for an intire run without necessary thinking about solutions or what action to take. I almost always have pre planned routes to run, so I go into autopilot with my run and “goes inwards”. Running have also helped me heal from things I experinced as a child, in the way that I could process it in the way I couldn’t do when not running (In the beginning I could’nt even think about it without running).

    The question i, can running be a way for using/developing intuition as a co-pilot?
    (I promies to do the painful exercise you mentioned in the podcast either way, haha)

    • Luke Garner

      Hi Terese,

      I’m an INFJ; so, I use that same Ni process as you do but as my driver instead of co-pilot. I think you’re onto something with your observation about running being healing for you. I’ve also experienced running as a means to explore my mind’s eye. I remember being super stressed out and finding such a physical release from running as well as a mental relaxation of sorts. I find that I can free up my mind by running, too.

      Do you have any suggested as an ENTJ on how to encourage Ni use? My husband is an ENTJ, but works all the time. He never takes time off for hobbies or vacations but maybe once a year. He has the ability to “hold space” for others viewpoints, but he isn’t into yoga or mediation. How can I encourage him to explore his inner side? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

      • Michelle

        I just shared this podcast with my partner, who is an ENTJ. I introduced it by pasting a few quotes from the overview episode on why developing Co-Pilot function is imperative for self-development — a key interest of the ENTJ. He was hooked from the quotes, listened to the ENxJ specific episode, and immediately practiced the advice on his ride to work. Once he saw the benefit and decided it was worth it, he didn’t need any “convincing” or “encouraging”; he just found a way to make it work within his schedule. The beauty of interacting with ENTJs – so refreshingly straight forward!

  • Aerin

    Given my quiet-but-cheerful disposition, that particular exercise is unnecessary for me. However, I have found that experiencing lighthearted, “bouncy” music or film is almost a requirement to maintain my energy – not on a daily or even weekly basis but with enough regularity to feel that the outside world is congruent with my inner world. I play what I call a “journey” soundtrack on infinite repeat while I’m running errands. It keeps me in the Ne frame of mind, with a spring in my step, hopeful to find some nugget of truth while grocery shopping.

    My sister is an ENFJ. She’s outrageously upbeat in the mornings in comparison to me. To wake me that girl has literally sung “Wake up sleepy head!” with all the gusto of a Disney princess. As a Ti-dom, what I have found of greater difficulty for her is that even when she sits down and writes very seriously in her journal, she will occasionally come to conclusions that lack logical consistency. Her Ni still functions through a biased lens, even as she approaches 40 years of age. Yes, ENFJs should stop and write, but I imagine it would also help tremendously to run their conclusions by the empathetic truthtellers in their lives for accuracy and practicality.

  • Nigel


    I really love this podcast, while I might have been doing a few things from my Ne function, I could rarely explain it ’til I listened to this. Now I find myself in a position where I can use them better. To ensure that my Fi function does not implode, I do a lot of writing on social media and I tend to write poems and songs, but I realize that I can do much more. I can see that smiling exercise as really effective. I’m not really the most joyful-looking person to everyone, but even if you are, it can really help and open things up. I can do so much more than just getting to sleep and waste time for the mere sake of it. Looking forward to doing this!

  • Missy

    I’m an INFP and like many people commenting here get super drained easily. I live with chronic illness and have to manage my energy hugely or literally risk not getting out of bed for four days. Currently I can have a few hours out of the house every second day, and that’s to fit in time at the office and getting life chores done..not a lot of room at all for Exploration! I have times of far more wellness, but are there any suggestions for working on Exploration with these current limitations? I also feel I need a bit more guidance in finding what type of Exploration is my edge..basically do I think of what horrifies me and go for that?? A lot of classic extroverted things I super enjoy, but for limited amount of times or I hit the wall (partying, public speaking, travelling etc). Thoughts on how to feed Exploration with illness welcome! I get so much from your work Joel and Antonia, thankyou hugely.

    • Aerin

      You don’t have to leave your home to associate with people online – and as you know, people are mini worlds of their own. I’ve gained greatly from the dating site OkCupid, not to actually date anyone, but to correspond with people around the world. I set my profile to “friends only” and specified that I seek correspondents. In certain aspects, it’s superior to travel when you and your partners have answered the deeply personal questions (sans sex section) that not even most spouses are made privy to. You are both already rather exposed allowing for a connection that you would not have as quickly as a tourist.

      • Missy

        Thanks for your comment, I’ve just seen it! Yeh this is very true (: I think I have this one down haha, still open to other suggestions!

  • Shelby Nicholson

    I recently experienced a mind-broadening Ne thing that made me adjust my reality to a new fact. It was an odd experience. Based on observation, my limited INFJ experience taught me that pretty much everybody in the world is a Sensor. An Extravert, however, told me I was quite wrong about this. When I first started accepting the idea, what made me open my mind to it was not observation, ironically, but the fact that I am an Introvert. What did I know about the world, I asked myself. How do I know who lives in this house or that house around me; I never get out of the house to meet anybody… What right did I have to judge? It gave pause to the largeness of the Extravert’s world, compared to my own, and I took information from that.

  • Andrea

    Hi. INFP here. I notice my energy levels plummeting when I go into Ne. Its fun while I am engaged in novelty but the next day I just lay in bed because it took so much out of me. My one concern is–does this get better? Over time will I stop loosing the energy and start gaining energy with novelty experiences? I would feel much better about excersizing my co-pilot if I knew it wouldn’t be this way forever. Thanks!

    • Antonia Dodge

      It does get easier and less energy-demanding, though make sure after intense Ne time you get quality introverted Fi time.

      Also, small steps leading to larger ones are usually easier to maintain. 🙂


  • Josh Bascom

    I experimented with letting others tell me what to do. Actually asking friends “I will do whatever you tell me to do today.” Or getting various ideas for the weekend from a few trusted sources, and always picking one without telling it.

    This was good for my intp self anyway, letting go, if ever so briefly , of being self-determined. But doubly good, bc my friends sent me out to do wacky things, boring things, pointless things (ugh), embarrassing things, expensive things (ugh), risky things. Ok, only a couple of those things so far, but more are coming. . I sell these activities to myself as tolerable because I should always be able later to see how things are all interconnected, almost magically so. And how I benefited from the activities in ways I love discovering but could never have planned.

    This experiment seems like weakly developed Ne, but at least it’s getting me somewhat out of Thought mode.

  • Tom

    One thing I found that helped me a lot (in hindsight) develop Ne (as an INTP) is video games. My game of choice was World of Warcraft (2004-2007 really) and I found it to be less threatening to engage with my Ne in that environment. The game itself really lent itself to interaction and the people I played with used a voice chat service where we could actually talk to each other. So I was able to get pretty good practice with it and I suppose I experienced growth to an extent, but it wasn’t until I started engaging with my Ne in the real world that I really experienced personal growth. That being said though, I think my experience in video games though really took a lot of the fear out of it for me because I was able to practice with my Ne and also got positive feedback from others (usually in the form of laughter) when I used it. The video game environment was basically a safe place for me to practice before trying it our in the real world.

    • Josh Bascom

      Great point. Me too, another MMO. Hits on Fe through using chat (esp if audio chat). Then I can force myself to just explore. Not accomplish a mission (well , maybe hit one side quest) , wander, wander. I found I stopped playing the game eventually. Somehow the wandering made the real game less important or worth doing. But wandering wasn’t fun enough.

  • Moe

    Hi Joel and Antonia. INFP here. So I have been working on my co-pilot these past few months and my energy gets drained pretty quickly. I am so tired afterwards that sometimes I spend the next day just sitting in bed. This has been my biggest pitfall, loosing energy and not being able to do anything else as a result. I’m wondering, how long would it take to start getting energy from Exploration rather than loosing it? It will get better, right? Because I am not sure if I can keep this up in the long run.


  • Yukito

    This will be a rather abstract post, but hopefully a useful one for you, Joel and Antonia. As an INFP, one of the things that I have noticed that has most prevented any “exploration” has been limiting identities that I have decided for myself.

    For example, I am a classical musician and have always viewed myself as a kind and thoughtful person, and so I would avoid being critical whenever possible. In actuality, this is quite counterproductive to improving in any skill, especially music, as our perceptions are limited and criticism is one of the only ways to effectively callibrate ourselves. So I eventually realized that, in this specific context, it is in fact unkind and unthoughtful to refuse giving criticism and thus withhold from someone the ability to build their skill and confidence.

    So perhaps the one tidbit I might add from the point of view of an INxP is that part of truly using Ne seems to involve not being too attached to the ideas that we use to identify ourselves. Letting go of these ideas and simply experiencing reality without censor seems to make it possible to see things with much more clarity. Thus we can better live out the ideals that we strive for by callibrating how we embody them to reality and not to our own internal interpretations of reality.

  • Steve

    This podcast was really revelatory for me. I think what made it so valuable was the discussion around the edges. What it is, what its not, and how we (INFPs in my case) can fool ourselves with faux-intuition. I’d heard a lot in other PH pods about how important it was to exercise the co-pilot, and even heard examples in the premium personality description (really good). And frankly I’d been soaking up as much intel as I could (basically an expression of the ‘internet research’ Antonia cracks down on in this episode). But this was really what I needed.

    But, it is SO HARD. And I’m learning that the amount of resistance I have to exercising my Fi is actually an indication about how much it could potentially be a beneficial experience.

    Thanks guys, you are amazing.

  • Kathryn Lilly

    Female 45 year old ENFJ hell bent on developing my copilot. I ruminated on the idea “The Only Out is Through”. I wrote it at the top of a sheet of paper to stay focused and jotted down my thoughts “journal style” to stay focused. Lasted 45 mins and 3 full pages written. My question is, does this count since I was writing as I went along? Is journaling different than rumination?

  • Kris

    After a second listen, I have to admit that I’m a bit conflicted about this podcast.

    On one hand: I spent huge chunks of the INXP section reminding myself to actually pay attention despite part of my brain going “nope, nope, can’t do that, it feels awful just thinking about doing that, how am I supposed to make myself do this when it feels so…off?” The suggestion of diving into things without ruminating over them, of deciding quickly to try and outrun the urge to make a judgment call beforehand, of dealing with the outside world on the fly? I shuddered the first time I heard it.

    On the other hand: I suppose I can stop wondering, “Am I sure I’m an INFP?” now. 🙂
    (Granted, I’ve also started reading up on the Enneagram recently, and I suspect that I’m a 9…so it’s possible that my brain is throwing out kneejerk “that sounds too different and dangerous for my tastes, let’s never talk about this again” responses for that reason instead.)

    Even with that said, I’m doing things now that I could never have imagined doing in my teens. The sheer amount of time I spend directly interacting with people for work would have gotten disbelieving laughs from my childhood self. And it’s not all effort with nothing to show for it; I like what I do, and if I hadn’t been pushed out of my shell some, I would have missed out. (I’m starting to wonder if my father has Exploration as his driver, with all the advice to stay out of ruts and deal with the “real world” I got as a child…) So on one level, I think you’re right. It’s just very hard not to dig my heels in and follow that resistance reflex.

    “I deal with strangers at work all the time! You mean I have to do more or it doesn’t count?”
    “Cheerful…about waking up? Hah! That’s not me, I’ve never been a morning person.”
    “I don’t have time to go somewhere else and be unreliable and weird where no one can see me. I’m too old for that kind of thing anyway, right? Even if I do it on vacation, what if someone finds out, or something bad happens, or I hate it?” “…What if I don’t hate it? I can’t afford, emotionally or financially, to rock the boat too much. Can I?”
    “Ugh, I don’t like getting lost, it makes me feel like a failure…I like staying where I have landmarks.”
    “But, if online research doesn’t count, how will I have time/energy for this and my hobbies? I don’t want to stop having solo hobbies, they motivate me when getting up and dealing with people is the last thing I feel like doing.”
    “If I do go out there and do new things, and my identity shifts to deal with the new knowledge…won’t that make me a hypocrite, for building an identity and some self esteem around the things I thought I wasn’t? That’s scary on its own.”

    So, I suppose I don’t have a positive example here? But at least anyone else feeling this way doesn’t have to feel alone. 34 here and struggling to seriously try implementing the ideas, rather than focusing on other things until I forget these challenges.

  • Crystal

    Yep, id say this is it! I’m a female INFP and in my opinion, this hit the nail on the head.

    I have social anxiety and somewhere along the line I learned that it was important I don’t indulge it. A couple years ago I got a job as a lab assistant for the technical program I’d recently graduated from. I had to help people I didn’t know… . Groups of people would stare at me while waiting for my awkwardness to subside so that I could answer their questions. There were days I would break down…days I’d sweat profusely or times when I’d shake uncontrollably. I kept up with it and eventually found that all the interactions with people and jumping from new problem to new problem was actually working for me. It ended up being the best time of my life. The instructor thought it was so funny, as just a few years prior when I attended the program I was the quiet girl who never spoke and always had her headphones on. Now I was the bubbly, talkative goofball that loved everyone.

    It makes a huuuuge difference in your life. I work in a job now that still gives me many opportunities to flex my Ne, but I find that I miss the rush that I got from all that social interaction when I was a lab assistant.

    I have a different take on myself now. I’m much more competent than I once believed. I’m strong, flexible and capable. I’ve been letting myself indulge my SA a bit too often lately and I’m so glad I listened to this podcast. Honestly, this is the best advice anyone could give you.

  • Jordan

    I’m a 23 year old ENTJ male, and I’ve found that developing Ni is huge for my day to day life. When I neglect it, I end up in a rut of doing the same types of things, but feeling disconnected as to why I’m striving so hard toward them. As you’ve said, the best way to the 4th function is through the 2nd, so when I neglect my Ni, I ignore my Fi, which is why a failure to engage in Ni leaves me feeling disconnected from myself, my values, and the passion that got me steamrolling (Te) in my particular direction anyway. On the other hand, when I focus on Ni, I feel like my actions and lists and plans matter; they aren’t mere continued existence; I’m playing the big game, as you like to put it. I’m striving for something that matters. If I don’t take the time to connect the dots (Ni) between what I’m doing (Te) and what I want (Fi), then I often begin to feel that I’m working toward something only potential, only future, only at the end of the goal.

    As far as developing it, having times of quiet, stillness, and allowing my mind to think are absolutely key. Especially as a Christian, this means I absolutely need to take time to commune with God through prayer and reading of Scripture. In fact, I’ve often told other Christians that I feel like I need this more than they do — like I forget my purpose and what the whole point of this crazy world is if I don’t spend ample amounts of time with him. I think finding our meaning in connection with God is imperative for everyone — I think it’s a universal thing — but I don’t think that the silence and meditation bit are AS crucial to everyone.

    Some other things: I’ve often found that music can help my mind. I like to lie on my bed with headphones and listen to music, and just let my mind wander with the music. I don’t know how to explain it, but it sometimes feels like I’m allowing the music to push my inner eye around to imagine entirely new things.

    Also, reading is huge. ENTJs don’t often don’t have the same ability to self-generate new ideas. We do our best thinking when interacting with other people’s thoughts. So I found it helpful that you recommended meditating on a quote. But I’d expand on that: take a good book that’s on the more philosophical/theological/abstract side, and read it slowly, and just read until you feel that “aha” moment in your mind. And then put the bloody book down and THINK. There is a world of a difference between Te and Ni reading; Te reading just wants to finish the book and figure out “what was the argument.” Ni reading uses the book as a launching pad to whole new thoughts. Obviously, the two can go together. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re developing your Ni just because you’re reading. I did that for a long time; I was reading ten chapters from the Bible each day and jotting down super quick thoughts and observations on them. I’m trying to scale back, read less, but meditate more.

    Hopefully this helps!

  • Paul


    I am an INTP and I have to say that I was super excited for this podcast to come out because I have been looking for guidance and tips on how to develop my co-pilot. I loved the podcast, and then you got to the practical suggestion. When you said it, I literally cringed. A few moments later I laughed out loud because I realized that my reaction means that doing that exercise is going to be really good for me, even though, I am embarrassed to say, it sounds really hard.

    And you are definitely right about being more comfortable with the suggestion for ENxJ. I already do something like that everyday, and it is one of my favorite activities.

  • Rachel

    Thanks Joel and Antonia! I love what I’m learning through Perosnality Hacker.
    As a 41 yr old ENFJ I’ve been trying to develop my IN function over the past year. I’ve really found the advice to ‘slow down’ and allow myself to think particularly helpful when parenting my children. I often find helping them with their conflict with one another confusing and overwhelming. I just want to make a quick decision to make it better! I’ve been giving myself permission to delay making decisions and to go away and think about how to address the situation. I’ll say to the kids ‘go and sit in your rooms while I go and think about this’. When I allow myself this space it has helped me gain better perspective. Firstly it helps me gather my emotions. I can become calm and more level headed. Secondly, I often realise that I need to gather more information from the kids before I take action. So the process is often longer (as you said, it is slow!) but I am much more confident that I making better decisions and parenting them in a more compassionate and fair way.
    I also tried your advice to use my sensation function while I do the deep diving. I find going for a walk or having a bath calms down my need for sensation seeking and allows me to wander te garden of my mind.

  • Theodore

    Joel and Antonia: You always use online research as an example of exploration that doesn’t count. Would you say that also applies to all forms of study, where you are alone with your books? What about writing? I just wonder how an INFP who wants to hone the craft of writing will find time to do so if they need to be out interacting with people and new situations on a regular basis?

    • Ana

      Hey !

      I have the same problem. I am an INFP who tried to develop my copilot and write regularly and I have found out that I can’t do both at the same time. Going out of my comfort zone just takes way too much energy which means that I don’t have anything left for writing. I kind of gave up developing my copilot because of that. Plus, althought I tried for three years to develop my copilot I haven’t been really succesful. It is frustrating. Now I wonder, should I invest time in my passion or chase discomfort hoping that somehow I will grow ?

    • Josh Bascom

      You’ll have more to write about if you use Ne a lot, right? Classic writer advice, write what you know, but expand what you know. Alternating doing and writing sounds good to me. After Ne maybe write a journal entry reflecting on your new experiences, then review that journal later, and make note of how any content affected your writing positively. Would that help?

      Also, I don’t think every use of Ne has to be mostly outside your comfort zone. Lots of Ne can be comfortable, if you stay aware of that fact,c and push yourself sometimes. Thoughts?

      • Ana

        Write what you know… typically that never worked for me. I tried to write a book following this advice and i never finished the book. It was too personnal, weird. I need some distance in order to write correctly.

        I tried to journal new experiences but… How can I put it ? It was just boring. I went out, tried new things, new foods… Then write about it… What do you write exactly ? I tried this and I liked it. I suck at journaling. It feels so useless. I tried to be positive and I end up feeling like a fake.

        I don’t know… I gave up exploration entirely now. Too tiring, too difficult. Most of the time, I don’t even know what I am meant to do ! I have the feeling I don’t even understant what exploration is.

  • Daniel

    I am an INFP working as a hospital chaplain. My job regularly exercises my extroverted intuition as I interact with others in a broad variety of environments and situations. I soak up a lot of input as I gather details and form big picture impressions. It can be overwhelming and draining, but I find that the emotional content of my work really feeds my core of introverted feeling once I am able to process my experiences.

    I also use the other functions to set and execute plans in order to fulfill institutional expectations. This often puts me on well worn paths that can be both comforting and limiting at the same time.

  • Tara Hill

    33 year old ENFJ here. What works for me is a really active type of yoga (power vinyasa or Bikram’s) followed by meditation. Or perhaps a good long run followed by stretching and laying in my hammock with just my thoughts. I stumbled into both of these, but found when I did either that I connected to the most important things in my life and got my physical energy out of the way. Since I’ve started I changed the direction of my career and am much more fulfilled. When I feel off balance I realize I haven’t been doing as much of this.

    Oh, and you were so right. I really wanted to do the activities you prescribed for the INxPs.

  • Amy Francis

    I thoroughly enjoyed the INXP exercise. 10/10 would recommend.

  • Ninette

    Hi Antonia & Joel,

    Middle-aged female ENTJ here – I’ve been working on my introverted intuition since I was little without realizing it. Most of the time it was just me sitting in the back of the car waiting on my parents to finish running an errand. There was nothing else for me to do back then before smart phones, so I started making up stories, inventing worlds, going on adventures and simulating discussions in my head. Sometimes it became really boring when I then got to have the actual discussions, because I had already been through them and their iterations beforehand.

    When I became older I became really interested in dreams. I started journaling and managed to lucid dream a bit. Later on I became a psychologist and really got into the gritty deal of ruminating about my psyche and the difference between my thoughts and others. All through it, I’ve been using my introverted intuition without really realizing it, but nowadays I use it with more focus through writing. I discovery write stories (stream of consciousness) and when I get stuck on something I sleep on it, or go for walks in nature or listen to music and then the solution usually comes (in its own time).

    My problem is how to stop analyzing all the time. My mind can’t help try to connect the dots all the time, and the only way I manage to relax is if I’m doing something physically challenging. Which can be something of a struggle sometimes, when the everyday life as a stay-at-home mom doesn’t include relaxing, only multitudes of opportunities to analyze everything to bits.

  • Chantrell

    Hi Antonia and Joel. I’m an INFP and have been actively developing my co pilot function over the last month. Indeed, my energy levels feel super drained after going out and exploring the world. For example, I spent the day in the French Quarter alone yesterday and I had such a good time, I met new people, I made some adjustments to my identity following that experience. However, today I was super drained of energy. I was sleep all day. And the same occurred after going to a concert alone a few days before. I say all this to say, y’all are right on the money with this information. Seriously, good stuff’

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