Ni vs. Se or N vs. S? | INFJ Forum

Ni vs. Se or N vs. S?

Gaze

Donor
Sep 5, 2009
28,265
44,749
1,906
MBTI
INFPishy
Ni vs. Se or N vs. S?


Whenever I've taken the MBTI in the past, my results always leaned more towards N than S, but i've never really understood the real, daily, and observable difference, meaning "how this is seen or apparent in my personality everyday." I took it for granted that I was N, assumed it was true (since the test said so) but didn't really know the difference. I know that for the last 1 1/2 years posting online, I've developed Ni quite a bit, but I'm not sure N developed because i've been exercising N (meaning that I am S, but with Ni pratice, both N and S balanced out), or is it that I was always N, and that my Ni has just gotten better because of engaging in Ni related activities/exercises. Going to college developed Ti which maybe indirectly helped Ni.

So, i'm interested in learning more about N v. S. Of course, N-S is a spectrum so i know it's not as simple as you're either N or S, since we all have both and varies along that continuum.

But i welcome some descriptions of N vs. S.
 
Last edited:
no takers? hmm
 
N is "Why" and S is "Is"
 
Forests and Trees : What makes iNtuitives and Sensors different

This pair describes how you gather information from your world. Many trainers call N's the "forest" people, and S's the "trees" people. N's tend to see the forest - the big picture - while S's tend to see the trees - the details.

It's important to remember that neither view is "right" or "wrong."

N's are more likely to say that their opinions are based on "gut feelings."

S's are more likely to notice details and individuals parts of the puzzle, then to base their conclusion on what they have gathered through their senses.

N/S in the Real World

Here's an example of the differences in how N's and S's view the world. Nancy, an iNtuitive, and Sam, a Sensor, go into an antique store to pick out a new desk for their home office.

When describing the desk to her friends, Nancy tells them how much it reminds her of the desk her father had, how much she liked sitting at the desk, and how this desk makes her think about the wonderful years she spent in her dad's office.

Sam describes his desk by telling his friends how tall and wide the desktop is, and can describe in detail the color and special carving on the desk.

iNtuitives and Sensors in Business Meetings - How to use N/S to get the most out of meetings

Recognize that N's and S's have different needs in preparing for a meeting or getting started. When introducing or beginning a meeting, N's need to have the overall goal or purpose stated: "The purpose of this meeting is to give you an orientation to applying MBTI in your meetings."

S's need to have more details: "We will learn about each component of the MBTI, then you will have an opportunity to apply your knowledge by planning a meeting that puts this information into practice."

S's tend to like having a posted or printed agenda - and to follow the agenda - while N's will not rely on the agenda as closely.

As you can probably guess, N's typically don't need as much hands-on practice and probably enjoy pulling everything together in discussion at the end of the meeting, while S's want to spend more time in hands-on practice or experiential activities (and probably will become frustrated with N's need to spend time talking about it).

However, in some instances, N's are the ones who jump into the project or activity without needing much explanation; they can be more open to relying on their own intuition to get things done.

Sensors can be overwhelmed when presented with lots of details at once. This is a common issue with S's when taking standardized tests. In fact, most Merit scholars are N's, even though approximately 75% of U.S. population are Sensors, while only 25% are iNtuitives.
http://www.squidoo.com/intuitive-sensing
 
Last edited:
So are you thinking you're a Sensor?
 
One thing i've been confused about is the truth vs. the feeling. How do you know that when you sense something as an intuitive, you're not simply processing information derived from the environment at a fast speed which would seem to be Se. I think this where my confusion lies.

The difference between the Intuitive as a function and being intuitive(using intuition) can be difficult to differentiate.
 
S is a person taking apart a car to see how it works. They find each part, identify it using research, help from others, or experience and once they've figured out how it works everything is hunky dorie in their world. They can safely move onto something else.

N is asking why that car works. Why does the gas tank need to be so far away from the engine? Why does gasoline have to be vaporized in order to combust? They aren't satisfied that something just does something, they want to know why it works and if it can be another way. Ne will flit to each why and try and figure it out, or try-on many possibilities of configurations of a car within a shorter time than Ni, which will hone-in on one question and figure that sucker out till its good and dead.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: BlinkandThink
One thing i've been confused about is the truth vs. the feeling. How do you know that when you sense something as an intuitive, you're not simply processing information derived from the environment at a fast speed which would seem to be Se. I think this where my confusion lies.

The difference between the Intuitive as a function and being intuitive(using intuition) can be difficult to differentiate.
Se = you are seeing things as they appear to be right then, no questions asked. An apple is an apple. You move on. Or you eat it.
Ni = You see it as a "whole", full of meanings or feelings. The apple is an object once living, now food, once part of a tree, edible, occupying space, makes you feel [anything] to see it or be near it. You know its Ni when you don't even acknowledge that an apple is all of these things, because you took all these "facts" for granted. Ni = [to the above attributes of the apple] "Well duh, of course it is". Ni is full of rediculous depth that runs automatically.
 
For me (Ne), the apple is a story ... which connects to another story ... which connects to another story ... until we're on the moon.
 
S is a person taking apart a car to see how it works. They find each part, identify it using research, help from others, or experience and once they've figured out how it works everything is hunky dorie in their world. They can safely move onto something else.

N is asking why that car works. Why does the gas tank need to be so far away from the engine? Why does gasoline have to be vaporized in order to combust? They aren't satisfied that something just does something, they want to know why it works and if it can be another way. Ne will flit to each why and try and figure it out, or try-on many possibilities of configurations of a car within a shorter time than Ni, which will hone-in on one question and figure that sucker out till its good and dead.

Ok. i think i understand. The technical stuff went way over my head though :D

But i get what you're saying about Se vs. Ni approach. So, sounds like Se is a sequential learner while Ni is a global learner.

Se = you are seeing things as they appear to be right then, no questions asked. An apple is an apple. You move on. Or you eat it.
Ni = You see it as a "whole", full of meanings or feelings. The apple is an object once living, now food, once part of a tree, edible, occupying space, makes you feel [anything] to see it or be near it. You know its Ni when you don't even acknowledge that an apple is all of these things, because you took all these "facts" for granted. Ni = [to the above attributes of the apple] "Well duh, of course it is". Ni is full of rediculous depth that runs automatically.

This makes a ton of sense. So Ni takes things for granted? It knows so it assumes the knowledge or knowing is obvious?
 
Ok. i think i understand. The technical stuff went way over my head though :D

But i get what you're saying about Se vs. Ni approach. So, sounds like Se is a sequential learner while Ni is a global learner.



This makes a ton of sense. So Ni takes things for granted? It knows so it assumes the knowledge or knowing is obvious?
It only takes its conclusions for granted, because we don't actively need to create them, they just appear. As for things outside of itself, or perhaps the internal stuff as well, not necessarily taken for granted. Just our millions of tags we stick on the world.
Ni likes to turn things into an amalgam of concepts, so each object almost has "life".

So yeah pretty much what you said about assuming the knowing is obvious. Which is why we tend not to get why others don't see all we see in an object. We assume everyone must see these things.

A common S vs N conflict is this: N asks why, S says "what do you mean why? Stop being a dick!" Lol, not as harsh, but S's tend to not get why we have to question everything, or know more when they don't see all things as having more to them, or don't see how it gets you anywhere turning everything into more than it is at face value. S's with developed N will value it more, but still smack N back to a purpose if it gets out of hand.
 
Last edited:
Which is why we tend not to get why others don't see all we see in an object. We assume everyone must see these things.

A common S vs N conflict is this: N asks why, S says "what do you mean why? Stop being a dick!" Lol, not as harsh, but S's tend to not get why we have to question everything, or know more when they don't see all things as having more to them, or don't see how it gets you anywhere turning everything into more than it is at face value. S's with developed N will value it more, but still smack N back to a purpose if it gets out of hand.

thx Dove

Yeah, i tend to get frustrated and impatient *bad Anita* with someone if they don't "get it" or if it has to be explained using too many steps. I know i shouldn't but i think because some things are grasped so easily or seem more easy to understand, i take it for granted that if it's obvious to me, they should be able to see it too. I struggle with this big time, because it's important (for work) that i know how to explain things clearly so that others understand and apply. And I find that more and more I need to break things down to explain a concept which, to me, seems simple (not because i think that i'm somehow more capable) but because i assume they'd be able to pick up on it and see it too.

Thing is, it's hard to verbally explain something you intuitively know; especially information you learned by the natural intelligence you have compared to something which you learned by breaking it down in separate pieces of information. For example, when i write an academic paper, although i may plan out the paper/structure, etc., I can't write a good paper unless I freewrite and put my thoughts down based on what i think is important/relevant or valuable. there's a sense that i can't really write a good paper unless i can "feel" through my ideas, what sounds or seems right or perfect to my Ni. I intuitively know when something i'm writing or saying is incomplete or inadequate whatever my intentions.
 
Last edited:
N is "Why" and S is "Is"

I'm going to have to interject at this point.

Both S and N want to figure out the "why" of things. The difference is the way of learning.

The reason why S seems to take a "because it is" attitude over things is because S uses sequential learning. We don't try to take in the whole lot at once. We'll learn one thing, move on to the next, and so on. Whatever is out of squence we'll leave and come back to when it makes more sense.

Take us both learning about MBTI for example. You were trying to take everything in at once, as if you wanted to know it all immediately. I on the other hand didn't bother with the cognitive processes until I was absolutely sure of the basics.

To put it in basics, S is sequencial, seeing things as they come up and in detail. N is looking at everything at once.

When we say "it just is" what we mean is "it just is... for now".