Feeding Functions | INFJ Forum

Feeding Functions

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by VH, Jun 22, 2010.

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  1. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    I've been thinking again. Yes, I know how dangerous this is.

    One of the most defining factors for whether or not someone is an introvert or an extrovert is how they 'recharge'. Do you gain energy from being alone or around others? This sensibility is fairly well established and accepted, and from what I've seen is very valid.

    However, if this theory is valid and cognitive function preference theory is also valid, then they have to overlap. Cognitive function theory states that people have dominant and secondary functions. One of them is introverted and the other extroverted. The assumption is that the orientation of the dominant function dictates how someone recharges. If their dominant function is introverted then the person recharges by being alone. If their dominant function is extroverted then the person recharges by being around other people.

    Here comes the paradigm shift... as I bring both of these theories into focus with one another and expand them...

    If the above statements are true, as they seem to be, then this means the individual is actually feeding their cognitive functions directly, not their inherent nature. For example, an INFJ who has very clear function preference will need to recharge their Ni most often by being alone and allowing it to process. But, they will also need to recharge their Fe by being around others in proportion to how well developed it is. Then they will need to withdraw to recharge their Ti, and if need be recharge their Se by engaging the world.

    Each of these functions has a recharge need in proportion to their preference and usage because the opposite is also true. Being around others drains introverted functions, and being alone drains extroverted functions. The more an Ni dominant person is around other people, the more they will need to recharge their Ni by withdrawing because being around people is very taxing to Ni's need to focus on all the little details. However, being alone is very draining on Fe's need to care about others. Meanwhile, being around people is draining on Ti because it needs to understand how everything works on the most intricate scale possible, and withdrawing is very draining on Se because it needs to see the world.

    These principles explain the ebb abd flow of introversion and extroversion in people. Obviously, no one is 100% introverted or extroverted, and all of us shift back and forth between needing contact with the outside world and withdrawing to collect ourselves. The difference in our needs for these factors is in proportion to our individual preferences and development with our functions. The more developed someone's introverted functions are, the more they need to withdraw and process. The more developed someone's extroverted functions are, the more they need to engage the world around them.

    I think the best proof of this theory is ambiversion. The more cognitively developed people become, the more they develop both introverted and extroverted functions, and therefore a need to recharge each of them. The more these functions are developed, the more balanced the ebb and flow of need to withdraw and engage. Over and over again, we see this as people develop and mature.

    So, to recap, and extrapolate...

    The stronger your functions are, the more you need to feed them in order to recharge them, and you can take a reverse self inventory by assessing how often you have to recharge them. If you have to withdraw a lot, then you probably need to work on developing your extroverted functions. If you have to engage the world a lot, then you probably need to work on engaging your introverted functions.
     
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  2. OP
    VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    How to Recharge Each Function...

    Ni - I've found that almost nothing works better than laying on my bed and staring at the ceiling. However, anything that allows my brain to go on autopilot also works, like highway driving alone, going for long walks at night, taking a long shower. Ni will process at any point you allow it to.

    Fe - Caring about people, talking to them, helping them, listening to them, but also focusing on how things should be, developing a core group of friends and running with them like pack mates. Do things to engage your sympathies, like volunteering at places that help people.

    Ti - Puzzles, logic problems, and tinkering with just about anything, whether mechanical or intellectual. Give yourself problems to solve that require intricate focus and lots of steps. A really good source for this is instruction manuals that have step by step guides that require you to do things to follow along.

    Se - Go out and take in the beauty of the world around you. Engage it. Be part of it in real time. Follow your instincts and ride the wave that transpires. Physical activities, especially competitive sports are amazing for recharging Se. Put yourself in positions where you have to react to an unpredictable environment.

    Fi - Engage in right brained artistic activities like drawing, cooking, music, scrapbooking, etc. Focus on your feelings. Focus on what is good, and being a good person.

    Ne - Brainstorm with other people. Springboard off of each others' creativity, and let your mind run wild. Try to keep the creative tangents going as long as possible.

    Si - Memory games, but most importantly routine activities.

    Te - Focus on the big picture and how things relate, and find people to talk about them. Keep yourself open to changing your rationale to adapt to changes, and focus on where things have changed and what that means for everything else, and then talk it out with others.
     
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    #2 VH, Jun 22, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  3. sassafras

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    So in essence, you become more like at what you do and practice. If you want to get stronger in an area, you have to challenge yourself and open up to the experience.

    Sounds like almost everything else you do in the world, doesn't it?

    I think this is one of my favourite of your epiphanies, VH. I look forward to you elaborating on each function.
     
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  4. OP
    VH

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    Very much so, and it also implies that personality type is in fact variable, not only by choice but also by circumstance. Personality type is an effect, not a cause. We are the sum of our functions, and our functions can be enhanced through personal effort or external demands.

    In other words... while there is a pattern that can be defined, each of us is unique and entirely adaptable.

    Thanks hun. Elaboration on each function edited into the post above.
     
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  5. sassafras

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    Anymore tips on developing Te? That's the function I want to focus on the most now.
     
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  6. OP
    VH

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    A really good way to develop any cognitive function is to spend time with someone who has that function in their dominant/secondary set but also has a function that is in your dominant/secondary set. For example, when an INFJ (Ni/Fe) wants to develop Te, they would do really well to seek out an INTJ (Ni/Te) or ENTJ (Te/Ni).

    Te has been without a doubt the most difficult function for me to develop. I'm still not sure if I can explain what I understand of it, and I'm fairly certain your Te is more developed than mine.

    I had the advantage of an INTJ friend to help me start it. However, I can see how the majority of my life, my Fe and Ti were very much getting in the way. It wasn't until I lost my wife that my Fe was damaged badly enough to allow Te to start developing. My external reasoning had to adapt to no longer functioning on an emotional level by developing 'emotionless' external reasoning. It felt like my Ti had to fill the void and expanded more and more until I started to get Te.

    The only thing that is coming to mind at the moment is a board game called Go. It has a rather steep learning curve, but I think it would be a great way to use your Ti to help develop your Te. It helped me a lot.

    [​IMG]

    I'll put my Ni on percolate, and post anything else that might come to mind.
     
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  7. Rogue

    Rogue Community Member

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    I absolutely love playing with Te. I always wondered why the INTJ was so much fun to me. ENTJ...could crush me pretty fast :-/ It feels like a fun exercise to engage in a complex topic with an INTJ... I just didn't know what I was exercising ;)
     
  8. Billy

    Billy Contents Under Pressure
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    Yeah hang out with an INTJ or an ENTJ TDHT, I have been hanging out with a few and their logical approach to stuff is awesome. Especially when it comes to making money.
     
  9. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    I so approve of this idea. Very well done!
     
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  10. sassafras

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    You know, it's funny. Had I been closer to my brother, maybe my Te might have been a lot stronger. Or maybe that's why it is the way it is right now.
     
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  11. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    I'm wondering how your defining cognitively developed? Because to me well devloped doesn't neccesarily mean ambiversion.

    Lets say someone has 16 "Ability points tm" to use.

    So they could apply them to one or two functions:

    Fi IIIIIIIIII
    Se IIIIII
    Ni
    Te
    Fe
    Si
    Ne
    Ti

    = Idiot Savant

    Fi II
    Se II
    Ni II
    Te II
    Fe II
    Si II
    Ne II
    Ti II

    = Total ambivert

    Fi IIII
    Se IIII
    Ni II
    Te II
    Fe I
    Si I
    Ne I
    Ti I

    =More stereotypical ambivert

    Fi IIIIII
    Se IIIII
    Ni III
    Te II
    Fe
    Si
    Ne
    Ti

    = Following natural preferences


    All with the same amount of ability points all applied in different areas.
     
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  12. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    whoop!!! this is great!!!!!!

    it is it, you have got it :D:D:D

    It explains a lot! For instance why I have so much difficulty with using my Fi when I'm amongst people. It seems to shut down and is taken over by other functions Fe, Te, Ne. I can only acces Fi fully when I'm alone and like you said am ingaged in artsy activities. Same for Te. I don't know how to use it when I'm alone. It is at work, amongst people that I know how to organize. Then I make graphs and sceduals and stuff like that. As for doing routine stuff, that can be very calming and energizing for me, but only when I do it alone. When there are people around I get to much distracted, probebly because my extraverted functions are trying to take over and so I make mistakes. And Ne, I can only brainstorm when I'm with someone. I can jump from topic to topic finding new solutions or viewpoints when talking with someone while when I'm alone I get stuck.

    so interesting. I'm going to ponder on that a bit firther!
     
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  13. DefectiveCreative

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    Good post VH, there're some amendments I'd make though.

    That 'following someone else's instructions step-by-step' stuff is Te, not Ti.

    "Extraverted Thinking
    - Organizing, segmenting, sorting, and applying logic and criteria. Contingency plaiming, scheduling, and quantifying utilize the process of extraverted Thinking. Extraverted Thinking helps us organize our environment and ideas through charts, tables, graphs, flow charts, outlines, and so on. One woman labeled the shoeboxes for her 100 pairs of shoes for color, height, style, and comfort. Sometimes the organizing of extraverted Thinking is more abstract, like a logical argument that is made to "rearrange" someone else's thinking process! An example is when we point out logical consequences and say, "If your do this, then that will happen." In written or verbal communication, extraverted Thinking helps us easily follow someone else's logic, sequence, or organization. It also helps us notice when something is missing, like when someone says he or she is going to talk about four topics and talks about only three. In general, it allows us to compartmentalize many aspects of our lives so we can do what is necessary to accomplish our objectives.
    "

    ( http://webspace.webring.com/people/cl/lifexplore/ ).

    Lots of "hands-on" work there, makes it sound to me like Fi+Se, rather than just Fi on its own.

    I'd say if you want to "recharge" your Fi then you won't go far wrong with this exercise from http://greenlightwiki.com/lenore-exegesis/How_to_Experience_Different_Function-Attitudes

    "Simply monitor how much you like or dislike something, and what in your nature is being fulfilled or frustrated to cause that feeling of like or dislike. Note that attending to your emotion alone is not enough; you must trace the emotion back to a need that is being fulfilled or frustrated. However, if you're having trouble with this, you might try just consciously noting your emotion for a while, as a starter exercise."

    This doesn't sound like Te to me, Te isn't really focussed on the "big picture" (that's the job of the intuitive functions). Apart from the description I quoted above, I think the exercise for Te on the Lenore Thompson wiki helps to clarify how it operates:

    "While engaging in some activity, define criteria of successful completion for each stage as you go. Make no move until you have stated clearly defined criteria--in words, out loud. For example, if you are washing the dishes, mentally divide the process into stages before you begin. If the first stage is to run water and get some suds going, then state how much water you're going to pour into the sink (perhaps point to the level in the sink at which you will turn off the water, but stating a numerical measurement is better), whether the water will be hot, warm, or cold, and where would be the best place to squirt the soap. If the second stage is to put the dirty dishes into the water, then say, before you begin, where you will put them to begin with and what sequence you will put them in. And so on. Do nothing until you have deliberately decided to do it and said out loud what you are about to do."
     
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  14. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    Ooooh, good post! :D It explains so much. I wonder if it's somewhat related to the degree of 'MBTI-ness' too ? (Not per function, but as per xx% E/I, xx% N/S, etc)

    I..have a different experience. In my case, it felt like only Ni (and mainly Ni) which needs to regroup and recuperate. My Ti doesn't run as free as it should when I'm alone. It's kinda restricted to several topics (in which it run in circles); I myself have to be in people for Ti to react, to notice what's wrong, to laugh or ruminate or whine at it. But it might be Ti grouping with Fe actually?

    or maybe Ti with Fi. I dunno.
     
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  15. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I missed your awesome theories, VH :D

    As of right now, I'm working on my Si, which is nice because I've been actually having a lot of fun with scheduling :B I'm out of balance with something right now though, and I'm having a lot of difficulty figuring out exactly what that might be. Fe, I think, but not just Fe. Or maybe just Fe. I dunno.

    And TDHT, start with INTJs if at all possible. They're easier to get along with, and we tend to get each other better. If you really want to dive into Te, become good friends with an ENTJ work with them on a project or job. It'll drive you absolutely insane.
     
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  16. Phoenix Down

    Phoenix Down Permanent Fixture

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    That would explain a lot. like why people come up with far better more pointed comebacks after the fact when they're alone thinking to themselves...

    Sadly I find this tendancy to be rather inconvenient...

    So, I think I'm going to have to solve this basically by strengthening and recharging introverted functions so that I can pull their abilities out at any given time...

    I'll tell you if it works
    -----

    the hardest part will be fighting off the ennui...
    but that shouldn't be so bad since I'll have things to do. :)
     
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    #16 Phoenix Down, Jun 22, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  17. DoveAlexa

    DoveAlexa Chaz's Lovey Bunny
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    Yeah my one elder sister is an INTJ (so very intj...) and I've always gotten along great with Intj's, so I have a pretty good grasp of both Ti and Te. They are still subject to Fe especially now in life, but I have often come out on a test as even on the F/T scale. I may suck at harder games like Othello (you call it Go) and Chess, but I kick ass at checkers, poker, puzzles. I categorize things to obsession on occasion, and often have a detailed plan of execution for any task I do, even if I do "free form" it a little. However, if I'm freaking out my T's still tend to shut down and off. :(

    So I still talk to INFJ's and other T type (hell, Chazzykins in Ti dominant and Se to boot!) so I never lose my T's.

    ***
    However, I still have yet to even KNOW how good I am at Se or not.
    I STILL cannot for the life of me separate Se from F-ing, T-ing or Si. I also don't see the difference between the "Ah ha" moment of Intuition and a gut instinct. Both can happen just as fast and just as "unthought of", so why is the one Ni and the other Se?

    ***
     
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  18. bagelriffic

    bagelriffic Community Member

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    ah this is a very exciting concept for me! thank you for this, i can't wait to try some of them out!
     
  19. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    My twin sister is ENTJ, so I know what you mean :D

    And as for Se -- Se involves being directly involved in the world around you. When find yourself totally absorbed in an activity in the here-and-now, that's Se. This could mean art, sports, little projects, etc. It's easier to see this when you look at ISxPs -- ISTPs can be totally absorbed in mechanical work (influenced by Ti), and ISFPs can get totally absorbed in artistic projects (influenced by Fi).
    Also, Se notices the world around you. If you just experience things through your senses (not like Ni "stare-at-a-wall syndrome" when you're deep in thought), you're using Se. It's easier to see in ESxP types; they are often very....spacy and excitable. It's hard to keep their attention sometimes, and they seem to just live in the now -- whatever is interesting, whatever is exciting, that's where their attention is.
    Ni just "knows" where Se "feels" -- Se isn't really thought so much as, well, gut instinct :B It's knowing when to make the move, when to turn the wheel before you crash, etc. Ni is more like understanding something is about to happen, feeling apprehension, a sudden insight, etc.

    Hope that helped....
     
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  20. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    Awesome GO!

    Perhaps Se is flow.
     
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