Podcast – Episode 0309 – The Perceiving Functions You Are Compelled To Use

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the perceiving functions and how we are compelled to use them when they are part of our personality.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Perceiving functions – Learning styles
  • We have a compulsion to use these functions no matter where they lie in our cognitive function stack.
  • The more we use a function, the more proficient we get at it, unless it is a back seat function.
  • Discretion is knowing when and how much to apportion something.
  • Our discretion grows as we master one of our functions.
  • Perceiving functions are the Intuitive and Sensing functions in our cognitive function stack.
  • Perceiving functions are the way we view the world.
  • What captures your attention?
  • How are you attempting to take in info?
  • There is neutrality to the Perceiving functions that makes it difficult to wrap our heads around.
  • There are two sets of perceiving polarities:
  • Extraverted Intuition is the polar opposite of Introverted Sensing (all NPs and SJs)
  • Introverted Intuition is the polar opposite of Extraverted Sensing (all NJs and SPs)
  • Extraverted Sensing or “Sensation” Desires to merge itself with the experience.
  • SPs feel compelled to merge with their environment, so they are proficient with kinesthetic movement.
  • SPs often show a lack of fear physically and are often adrenaline junkies.
  • Fear for SPs pops up when Introverted Intuition starts popping up
  • “What is the future consequences of this action?”
  • When we see Sensation as a three-year-old function, as used by INJs, it shows up as an awareness that they can’t neglect themselves physically anymore.
  • They can’t see their body as a vehicle for their brain anymore. 
  • They want to be present in the environment instead of being divorced from life.
  • Be in the moment.
  • Some INJs can be adrenaline junkies.
  • Others are highly sensitive and start pursuing nutrition or yoga.
  • Sometimes Sensation in the back seat can show up as an abuse of substances (food, alcohol, etc.)
  • Or they don’t have a sense of where they’re at physically.
  • But INJs have a compulsion to be in their bodies and often feel inclined to overindulge in food or mind-altering substances to get out of their heads and into their bodies.
  • For an INJ to obey the compulsion to be in their body, they have to amp up the substance to shut off the mind.
  • Fearing physical safety is fairly consistent for NJs, but if an SP has physical fears, it means they are spending too much time in the back seat of their cognitive function stack.
  • NJs love things that give them goosebumps, like ASMR.
  • Extraverted Sensing compulsion is making love with the world all the time.
  • Introverted Intuition’s compulsion is to separate from the world, even itself, and live in a realm of imagination.
  • By definition, Ni is not merged with reality, so anything can be imagined.
  • Fantasy and sci-fi 
  • What are the predictable patterns inside all humans?
  • SPs will be into a bunch of stuff that looks like intuitive stuff, which makes them look intuitive.
  • Like astrology, numerology, Tarot, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones.
  • Discretion improves the more mastery someone has over the function.
  • So, an INJ will use a tool like Tarot with a bit of discretion, whereas someone who has Perspectives in the back seat may put way more faith in Tarot, astrology, and numerology because they haven’t built up the discretion.
  • Introverted Sensing “Memory” is used in the back seat by NPs and the front seat by SJs.
  • In the back seat, it shows up as a fascination with infrastructure, record keeping, and history.
  • For Antonia and Joel, it shows up as a weekly podcast to record their ideas and voices for posterity.
  • What has worked in the past? What is the precedent?
  • Extraverted Intuition can innovate when it knows what came before.
  • The higher up Memory gets in the stack, the more a person is going to be able to have their finger on timelines and evolution.
  • In SJs there is a phenomenon to review what they have experienced, which brings them the Intuitive Ahas.
  • There is a stuckness that comes with Introverted Sensing. 
  • What didn’t change with time, and how can we preserve that for the present?
  • Tradition
  • If something creates positive experiences for people, it should be replicated.
  • People with Si in the back seat prefer some things to stay the same way.
  • Ne wants to innovate to have a better experience.
  • Not innovation for innovation’s sake. 
  • Ne has a compulsion towards novelty.
  • In the backseat, Ne can become about collecting things that are new or novel.
  • SJs make themselves feel better by buying something.
  • In the past, SJs yearning for something new would be stamped down by culture – get a good job and stay with your family.
  • In the Pixar movie Up, the man is probably an ISTJ and his wife, an ENFP.
  • ISJs have a compulsion to have an adventure and do something bigger.
  • When Ne in the back seat can’t get a healthy expression, it looks like catastrophizing. 
  • Not like paranoia, which Ni in the backseat looks like.
  • Its more like pattern recognizing the worst-case scenario.
  • Ne in the front seat is about seeing the best-case scenario.
  • Both intuitive functions in the back seat can be into conspiracy theories.
  • Ni tries to create meaning from the things it is seeing.
  • Ne can create some stellar stories to explain what is happening by putting 2 and 2 together.
  • Thinkers with Intuition in the copilot or tertiary seat are usually into conspiracy theories

In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the perceiving functions and how we are compelled to use them when they are part of our personality. #myersbriggs #cognitivefunctions

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Showing 6 comments
  • Dan McCaffrey

    As an INFP, I can fully relate to being interested infrastructure, in the sense of how things are set up and how they develop and degrade over time. I grew up in an area where there were many rock walls throughout the woods I played in. It always fascinated me that these woods were once fields and these walls were property and livestock separators. Finding old foundations of buildings from long gone makes me long to know about those people’s lives and what transpired here, which is seemingly now forgotten. I also have this thing about wanting my own life to be remembered- to leave a legacy. At the same time, I don’t have the strongest recollections from my childhood. In a way, since I find it hard to latch onto a catalog of memorable things, that pushes me to be proactive to create memorable experiences for others. It helps that I’m married to an ESFJ.

    Joel-you mentioned loving the historic elements of living in Gettysburg (I live nearby in Mechanicsburg :-)), you guys should totally go check out the Bedford Springs Resort (https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/bedford-springs) about 2 hours west. It is a little on the pricey side, but the history there is amazing, it is beautiful, and it’s well worth the trip.

  • Eric Tranq

    I am an INTJ and can relate to the section on Sensing as a 3-year old process. I am one who is really into nutrition and exercise. I am one who doesn’t like to be overwhelmed by sensory stimuli but still seek to understand and “know” my body. I think that whether or not you seek intense experiences depends on your brain chemistry. There is a guy in the fitness space named Christian Thibaudeau who you should check out who designed his own personality type framework for prescribing workout and diet/supplementation regimens based on brain chemistry. He based this off of the works of Robert Cloninger who studied the brains neurotransmitter functions to determine how to better treat addicts. I would check out both of these individuals as it may be a good adjunct to Typology in terms of seeing how different types will respond to different circumstances based on their brain chemistry. Here are some cool links to check out.



    Love your content as it’s the only Myers-Briggs description that really resonated with me as an INTJ!

  • Izzy

    Feel free to make some ASMR podcasts Antonia….. it was good😂

  • Drew

    I’m an INFJ, and I have to say that I’m less of an adrenaline junkie, and more of a dopamine junkie. It’s a small distinction, but as I grew up in an artistic family (which is weirdly full of STs), and am an artist myself, I often imagine that I can *feel* my pupils dilating in certain visual spaces. I really resonated with what you said about Se wanting to become “one” with its sensory experiences, as I have a very strong compulsion to be surrounded by beauty. For instance, it took me four months of living in a new house to perfect my bedroom, and now I’m trying to think of how best to negotiate the common spaces so that my housemates don’t find my antics intrusive.

    I feel that addressing this need greatly enhances my sense of safety, in a way. It’s kind of like my Ni only feels free to run when there’s aesthetic alignment around me. However, I do notice that my attitude toward aesthetics are somewhat authoritarian as a result. I therefore feel tension between my Ni-Se and my Fe-Ti polarities, as I know it’s necessary to accommodate others’ aesthetic preferences, but experience these issues as actual needs.

  • Justine G

    Thank Joel and Antonia,

    You described Ni as having a large ‘fantasy’ element, and this has just made me wonder about the relationship of Ne to fantasy as well.

    I’m only asking because I was under the impression that I was using Ne more than Ni, but I seem to discern and reflect on patterns at least as much through fantasy or other made-up scenarios (based to some degree on experience), as simply reflecting on what has happened.

  • D

    As an ENFP, I also have the compulsion of etymology when it comes to Si. I think etymology is a perfect word to describe it. The one I would’ve used initially is history, but I feel there’s a potential push back there. I find when I say “history,” people think of the school subject. And a lot of people didn’t like history in school, including many NPs and SJs. History as an academic field happens to be “my thing,” but that’s probably more rare than it is common. However, people who don’t like “history” in a school context can enjoy it outside of the educational context. They often will without realizing it.

    My Si compulsion a lot of the time manifests as a need to know I come from somewhere, that I didn’t materialize out of the void. Of course, I know the notion of just materializing is ridiculous, but I grew up very disconnected from any sense of heritage or even an extended family network.

    So, I tend to highly value whatever heirlooms I can acquire. This is mostly pictures. When my maternal grandmother passed, my first instinct was to claim her photo albums, her high school yearbook, and her high school diploma. I was the last person of her children and grandchildren to get into town, so I basically swooped in and said “These are mine.” Interestingly, the people I knew who would be interested in them the most were the minority of the group who use the Ne/Si polarity in some order—myself as well as two ESFJs. So my ESFJ mom and I teamed up to prevent the other ESFJ (my mom’s niece/my cousin who we don’t get along with) from getting too many heirlooms. She did get the heirloom furniture, but that was only because we couldn’t fit anything else in the cars. It probably seems petty, but after everything the other ESFJ (an extraordinarily toxic ESFJ) put us through, our mindset was “At least let us get something positive out of this.”

    It was the compulsion for both of us to persevere these parts of ourselves, where we came from. Neither of us wanted to lose that feeling even if we basically estranged ourselves from it in every other aspect of our lives.

    It’s strange how even though my mom did not have a positive childhood and I am essentially a stranger to all of my maternal blood relatives (or at least the adult version of myself is the stranger, some only knew me as a small child), we still latched on to that part of us.

    On the flip side, my dad is an ISTP and his response to the prospect of family heirlooms was “I don’t want anything” due to the fact he didn’t have a positive childhood either. He then proceeded to get pressured into taking something by his siblings, and then came home to a wife and daughter who complained that he was going to let old photos be thrown away. (They weren’t, my mom was particularly worried about photos of me getting trashed, but an uncle thought to save those). I can just ask my dad’s siblings for pictures, and I’m certain they’ll share; however, there’s something about having them in my own possession.

    My Si has also led to a deep respect for the past. I’ve always loved old buildings, for example.

    I also say the Si whispers in my ear are the only thing that keeps me from wanting to be a total anarchist. Well, that’s not entirely true. But Si teaches me the importance of systems, even when the systems go awry.

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