Podcast – Episode 0284 – Why The World Needs Extraverted Intuition

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia become advocates for the cognitive function of Extraverted Intuition (“Exploration”) and talk about why we need it in our world.

In this podcast you’ll find:


In this episode, Joel and Antonia become advocates for the cognitive function of Extraverted Intuition ("Exploration") and talk about why we need it in our world. #MBTI #extravertedintuition #ENFP #ENTP #INFP #INTP

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  • Michelle

    Loved this series and particularly this podcast.
    I loved where Antoinia quoted Samuel Beckett. In a similar fashion, I love a quote by Jon Acuff ….”Be brave enough to be bad at something new”. In the past i have used this quote as motivation to step out and try things i wouldnt normally have the courage to try, for fear of failure (life drawing etc). It has been used as a prompt to step into Ne!


    This ENFP loved this podcast. I am very very lucky to have my buddies to discuss life with, including a friend who has reawakened me to MB via Ne / Si etc – I don’t know what this build is called? – and others looking at how we develop our shared profession through values, gender, good leadership. One issue is how to move forward while curbing unthinking novelty – people wanting to (literally) build shiny new things (railways, roads, power plants) instead of maintaining what we already have, or without asking what are we building for. So this podcast was really useful. And I need to work on my Si. I have subscribed enthusiastically, and I have to confess it’s the first podcast that’s ever made me want to do that – my iPhone 6 analog? warm wishes, Ruth

  • Michael (A.A)

    I got introduced to MBTI as a preteen, and ever since then, I’d been growing up while seeing the framework of MBTI, and honestly, as an NP, I found I get really frustrated with Ne and all its flaws. So I’d like to share something to all of you, and I don’t mean to do some overly sappy emotional stuff, but I think this might help with both my and possibly whoever is reading this’s development. Though I’m not sure it would make much of a difference, but oh well.

    An Open Letter to the Ne Function :

    Dear Ne,

    Here is a list of things I want to say to you. I’m not going with the usual greetings for a letter. That would be boring. So let’s cut to the chase.

    1. You’ve really contributed to my lack of attention span over the years. I can’t ever seem to function with much of a schedule. With you in my brain, I can go throughout a day reading about the most random stuff, but somehow, this lack of attention span has really contributed to my creativity. When other people get stuck in a rut from focusing on trying the same solutions over and over again harder and harder, I get distracted, and somehow while getting distracted, I find some inspiration in some unrelated subject to help with my daily problems. So thank you for that.

    2. You’re a rather energetic type of person, aren’t you, Ne? I find your constant desperation for some kind of novelty has really allowed me to take a lot of risks and learn a lot of new things in life. Growing up, I find that I’ve been nagged about things that have the smallest risks, and I seem to have this constant pressure that risky things shouldn’t be done at all. I made music when bored in a class, using pencils as drum sticks, and somehow other students are immediately convinced that the pencils would somehow go all the way across the table to somehow poke my eye. That’s not how physics works. I don’t have as much of a fear of risk because of you, and I find that this has benefited me greatly in life.

    3. I find, that listening to your advice, Ne, has really allowed me to stand out in social situations. Growing up, people make the mistake in believing that people like you more because you’re the same, but what happens is that in being the same, people become more easily bored around you. I didn’t realize on a deeper level how hard creativity is for some people. I thought people were somewhat like me. Creative, but unwilling to show it. Now I realize people really don’t have new ideas of what to say and try in their head, and that’s why they’re always repeating the same things.

    4. I can’t ever stop personal growth because of you, Ne. Other people often go at the point where, “I’ve learned enough, and I’m mature enough. Now let me live a peaceful routine life,” but I’m not like that. I always want to grow, and to learn more. I hate how easily bored you make me sometimes, but boredom can be a positive emotion, in that rather than calling you to get attached to unhealthy exciting addictions, boredom can push you to try something novel on a meaningful level. I find, deep within me, you’ve given me a sense of existential boredom, and I need to explore new ways of thinking that shatter my belief systems to change everything. If I have not learned something lifechanging every year, that year was a failure. You, in many ways, often get a reputation of being “childlike,” and so “immature,” when really having the wonder of a child is a type of wisdom in itself.

    5. I find I can be spontaneous because of you. Growing up, I took this for granted, but other people can’t seem to be as spontaneous because of this. I don’t mind things having an unexpected turn because often I can quickly thing of something to try out. Unexpected emergency? I can think of something. Unexpected social argument? Let me improvise a speech on the spot to convince them. I’m not without creativity blocks, but I find I have much less than most others. Other people always seem to plan too far ahead in the future, when really, I realize, you’re the type that has the wisdom to view that we can’t always plan everything. Life is full of surprises. If anything, my way of dealing with future fears is not in emphasizing specific plans, but in strengthening my ability to improvise. Other people see “not planning” this way, “irresponsible” or “immature,” and yes I do recognize that a general outline of planning is needed, but to fill in too many details is a type of immaturity in itself in believing that everything will go to plan, or your own likes and dislikes will stay the same. Many other types, in fact, lack the maturity to accept the world is always changing, and you will always have to evolve or adapt to change with it.

    A Friend.

  • Cecile

    ENTJ here and I relate to SOOOOOO much said on this podcast. The bit about being judged about a misstep 40 years ago to assassinate their character is so dead on. Learning through mistakes is my mantra. Giving space to learn or else “we have a homogenized, milk-toast population” LOLOLOLOLOL. Why are you so in my head?

  • Drak

    That was a pretty good podcast and overall a good end to an excellent series I enjoyed immensely. As an INTP I do relate to many things that were said in the podcast.

    However, I don’t think I have much of an issue with distraction and saying no to things. That is probably a result of having it as a copilot instead of a driver; my Ti leads my Ne around to things I am currently interested in learning about. I do like the openness and open-endedness that Ne brings, it really encourages curiosity to dig deeper into a subject and learn more. I also agree that mature Ne becomes great at navigating novelty and is a productive force, especially when it is guided by an introverted judging function and tampered with a healthy respect and understanding of Si. As the podcast mentioned, I do think that the issue of novelty consumption is Ne manifested in an unhealthy way. It is mindless consumption without any processing. Additionally, it reminds me of the other extraverted perceiving function, Se – the unhealthy version of it. The internet seems to be a combination of unhealthy manifestations of both functions, which results in a lack of responsibility and consideration of consequences.

    One feedback I have about this podcast is that, it was very Ne-random. It seemed to be going off on tangents a lot. I appreciated the intuitive links and the literal example and demonstration of how the process works in the podcast, but I think my Ti was screaming about the lack of focused points. This podcast seemed a lot less focused comparatively, something which I appreciated as an intuitive myself – it gave me many links and things to think about. I would, however, appreciate a more focused podcast. (I think this sentiment might be shared by other listeners)

    Overall, thank you for this wonderful series! I really learnt a lot this time.

  • KC Starr

    I really enjoyed this podcast – thank you!

    I’m an INFP and I’ve had a complicated relationship on a personal level with my own extraverted intuition. In childhood, it was absolutely suppressed as I grew up in a very chaotic, turbulent environment where I didn’t feel any sense of safety and there was a lot of emotional conflict. (I also identify as an enneagram 4 self preservation). So I can see that I relied heavily on introverted feeling and introverted sensing to manage the emotions of those around me and to operate “strategies” to feel safe – learn not to do anything that would upset my parents. I became hyper vigilant to my own behaviour – which pretty much pours water on the fire of exploration. There was very little encouragement or opportunity to explore, to have adventures, to play, or to investigate new ideas.

    In my 20s I felt the pull of my extraverted intuition very strongly and remember feeling incredibly and extraordinarily frustrated constantly (I was on anti-anxiety meds for years to try and quell the ‘crackle’ I felt inside me). In reality what happened is I got into a lot of debt through compulsive spending on the next new shiny object, new gadget, new experience, new educational course. I craved newness but I was doing exactly what you described in the podcast – I was seeking to satisfy that with consumption. I can see now that this was me trying to satisfy two core motivations – one for newness and adventure and the other conflicting motivation of needing to feel safe (and I really didn’t) – because although unsatisfying – the consumption felt safer than genuine exploration as it didn’t affect the outside world (no one new what I was doing) and it didn’t upset anyone or rock any boats.

    Applying that to society at large, I think we live in a very frightening time and chasing new shiny objects is a great (temporary) distraction from fear. But it always wears off so we always chase the next new thing. Hence the ‘cult of novelty’. Maybe as a culture we are afraid to truly explore because we know deep down that means going to some difficult places and we are afraid we’re not up to the challenge. So I think that’s where truly healthy extraverted intuition is needed. My Ne is fearless and hugely optimistic for a better outcome/future but my Si is always fearful and convinced that the bad things that happened in the past will happen again – so it’s a balance between the two, I think.
    I have a much healthier relationship with Ne now (and am out of debt – yay!) – all of those ill-advised adventures have at least left me with a lot of qualifications and degrees (not sure I needed this many but there we go) so it wasn’t all bad.

    I know my Ne used to annoy my INTJ a lot and he found it quite overwhelming for a long time – I would have all these ideas about things I wanted us to do and he would feel like he had to implement all of them. So he would get quite angry and try and get me to be as focused and single-minded as him (which is about as likely to succeed as asking a cat not to run around the house like a lunatic at 3am – they’ve just got to!) I think there is an element of that in society too. There are a lot of new ideas that don’t last and aren’t sustainable so I think there’s an element of novelty exhaustion as well where we expect 90% of things to fail (and maybe they do). There’s a lot of wastage with Ne as you say. And people get annoyed when they plough resource into things that don’t pan out. On a personal level, my INTJ has learned to wait – effectively to let me play with ideas – and then if one sticks for longer than a month, we’ll talk about it more seriously. I think society could benefit from that but there seems to be an aversion to ‘play’ – like it’s inefficient and wasteful and frivolous. I mean, look at the way we raise children – they’re being scored, assessed, and taking exams almost from the get go. I didn’t know this was where I was going to end up in this comment but I think a key point is re-evaluating our culture’s relationship to play AKA exploration. It’s absolutely vital to society at an individual and wider level but we do seem to frown upon it.

    Anyway, if you read all of this rambling – thanks! *Love* your Podcast. Thank you.

  • Danielle

    As an ENFP, I’ve been eagerly awaiting this podcast, and was super happy to listen to it.

    I think the greatest gift Ne can give the world is it’s ability to remain open-minded and consider other patterns and options. Because of Ne’s curiosity, NPs can extremely open and accepting of others’ choices and ideas. Now, other types can be accepting and open-minded and every NP has a place where they will morally draw a line in the sand. And this can vary from person to person.

    I do think the Ne that society seems to crave often lacks that ability to hold space and is too quick to have value judgements attached. In reality, knee-jerk value judgments with no consideration of the various outside factors really isn’t what healthy Ne is about. So, in a way, even though society seems to crave novelty and Ne, it doesn’t do Ne justice when certain scenarios happen. For instance, when someone thinks “Oh I disagree with you on this thing, so I’m going to discount everything you have to say and deem you to be a terrible person.” Sometimes, backlash and call outs are warranted. And some ideas as horrific (like if someone advocates for genocide or human rights abuses). Plus, I believe nothing is above criticism. Though, there seems to be a negativity bandwagon people jump on extremely quickly without taking time to examine the evidence and the possibilities. I think this is sometimes why NPs will play “devil’s advocate” because they are trying to get others to consider what they are considering as well.

    I grew up fairly close to Gettysburg, PA where of course a major Civil War Battle was fought in 1863 (for anyone unfamiliar with the American Civil War). So, it was a destination everyone went on field trips too at some point. More than a decade ago, in the 00’s, I was an elementary school student. My class and I took a field trip to the battlefield and we walked the route of Pickett’s Charge. It was sort of like a very tame, low key historical re-enactment and was a good way to sort of contextualize the actual event. The thing is, this would probably be completely seen as taboo nowadays because we were a bunch of mostly white fifth graders walking around a field with a large Confederate battle flag. In 2019, this seems like something that would get pounded on for being racist when there were no racist intentions. It was to add a little more realism to the experience. It would also be ridiculous to peg me or any of my former peers as racist for this, but I feel like without considering the context it could be. But, Ne can pattern recognize its way to understanding the possible contexts of the situation, the time period in which this took place, and how the flag was being used (basically as a tool for historical reenactment).

    And a lot of people have seemingly shady things like this in their past that could be interpreted as subscribing to a certain paradigm when they weren’t. Or maybe they did and have since made an earnest effort to change. Not everyone grows up in a “woke” context or is aware of why something might be problematic. Heck, for Halloween one year, I dressed up in what was advertised as a “Native American dress.” Is that cultural appropriation? Probably (it was definitely over generalized). Would I do that today? No. But we need to take factors into consideration such as the fact that I was literally 9, had never heard the concept of cultural appropriation, I’d wager a large majority of the mostly white conservative community I was raised in had never heard of it either, and my intention was not to mock anyone or deride other cultures. So, taking those factors into account. Should I be shunned by society? I’d say no. It was ethically dubious unintentionally and not reflective of the broader worldview I have as an adult. This is the kind of thing Ne can be really good at spotting and discerning when observing it from the outside. And that’s so important to have in a cultural context that changes as rapidly as ours does today.

    Obviously, Ne isn’t always going to be spot on when forming patterns. And I can see why people who don’t have strong and well-developed Ne could have trouble coming up with connections such as these on their feet and in the heat of the moment. But Ne’s polarity of Si helps build skill in Ne because it can recall past experiences so we can have that to inform us to possible options. And when Si is really well incorporated into Ne, the patterns Ne forms will have a higher chance of hitting the mark.

    And I mean I probably am guilty of putting Ne on a pedestal. But I also find it to be such an asset when navigating nuances and complexities. I once said to some friends that the biggest problem with our world today is the “lack of nuance.” Ne can seem random and silly and probably annoys the heck out of some people, and it can be at times, but I think it has the power to bring the world something it truly needs.

    Also, I sometimes think the over the top random imagery in advertising is made by a bunch of NPs playing on how people perceive them to act and think. It seems like something that would definitely come out of a board meeting filled with NPs.

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