Question: What Does Se and Si Look Like? | INFJ Forum

Question: What Does Se and Si Look Like?


Midnight's Garden
Nov 1, 2008
First of all, is Si overall concerned with tradition to such an extent that is portrayed in most MBTI sites/profiles? Could Si just be used as a information gathering function? Like, remembering details and such? Would an example of Si be being able to recite numerous articles you've read on a variety of subject and compiling them to make an opinion of their own? Also, what would Si look like as a primary function, auxillary function, tertiary function, and inferior?

Is Se always connected with being conscious of the body and excelling at sports and such. What does it look like as a dominant function, auxiliary function, tertiary function, and inferior function. Is it possible for someone to not know there are Se dominant/auxiliary/tertiary/inferior.
I've had EXACTLY the same question, and I've never gotten a satisfactory answer to it. There do seem to be different definitions of Se and Si floating around. One of Si that's just stored sense impressions and memory, and another that makes the leap to valuing tradition as a result of that. One of Se that's just noticing/appreciating the external environment, and another that's more about being active and engaged. Add that to the fact that Socionics (a similar system) has yet MORE, similar definitions of these same functions, and you have a recipe for confusion.

I think that it ultimately depends on the user... SJs and SPs themselves will identify with different versions of the descriptions, or sometimes with both. Other functions like Fe, Te, Fi, and Ti might well "flavor" the S enough to distort definitions in one direction or the other.

That said, you'll probably find this interesting:

It at least tries to give an idea about how Dominant, Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior Se and Si would manifest.
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Si has more to do with automatically comparing and contrasting current input with stored memories. In SJs, this sense of contrast between current sensations and remembered norms can be very strong, distracting, and uncomfortable, creating a desire to see things adhere more strongly to tradition. However, in NPs (or at least NTPs) Si is more likely to be bothered by how closely things are adhering to traditions for no good reason.

Socionics functions are defined differently. Its Si and Se each deal with about half of MBTI Si and Se, and its Fi and Fe are reversed.
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Se as a dominant function from what I have seen makes extraordinary athletes. My friend Jay is 33, hes an ESTP he is a born natural at anything athletic or physically involved, he nails every 3 pointer, throws footballs 60 yards no problem, nails home runs every time. He works in a machinists shop. He spends a lot of time also hiking in the woods, rock climbing, riding his ATV, off roading, fast cars, etc.
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Si likes predictability, while Se prefers novelty.

A person with a dominant Si function likes routine because they're able to compare what worked in the past and using it over and over again for efficiency and practicality. They don't do very good on an unpredictable environments because they won't have a storehouse of what is working and what is not. They are portrayed as valuing tradition because in a sense, it's predictable and it has been shown that a society has been able to function because of it. It really does take a long time for them to accept something innovative, but if you show them that such innovation is practical and efficient to their every day lives, then they would have no problem coping with it. That's why they're portrayed as "the guardians", because they think that whatever tradition or concept has worked for eons, it must mean because it has been proved for their reliability and their function in a civilization and they'll do anything to protect it at all cost. They want harmony through an everlasting possession of a status quo.

Real life example of how I use Si: I always run through the same street every day on the same time because I already figured that on that street, people rarely go through there and it's always very quiet and the road is in good shape. It would take a lot of effort to change the road I run every day because this one isn't bad at all, so why would I change it for another one?

Se, on the other hand, likes unpredictable environments and do really well with on- the- moment crisis. As a result, these types get really bored with routine tasks. A quote that really describes them is "SP's sees ideas as pawns to reality", so ideas to them are not at all that far-fetched of what they can do. Every time I hear Se, I imagine James Bond from 007 and his ways to deal with situations. These types are not afraid of crossing through fire, or jumping on a bungee because they are great masters of their environment. They're able to gather all the data from their environments and come up with last minute plans of action immediately. Unlike a person with a dominant Ni, who are very cautious of what a situation may imply for, dominant Se users disregard future consequences for the opportunity to do the impossible. Se is a very action-oriented function, which is always striving for new ways to experience new things.

Example of how I use Se: Actually, I rarely use it. My Se is that bad that I can't actually come up with a good example. So I'll just say this, whenever I'm dealing with a new situation/environment I'm practically very nervous and anxious of that new place. I may suppose that an Se user would be the opposite of me in that sense.
Si is essentially concrete and detail-oriented. A person with primary Si, say ISFJ or ISTJ, is often very good at noticing and organizing the details -- they remember dates and names, they excel at categorizing information, and they can organize and process facts like it's nobodies business. ISFJs, for instance, have a great knack for interior design and office work. Because of this, they end up relying a lot on their organization, which ends up turning into a routine. They are geared towards remembering things and steps that worked in the past, which is why tradition becomes so important. It works, and you don't fix what already works. Si is grounded, but because of that it is also a bit stubborn.
In auxiliary, it is fairly similar, except a little downplayed. Kind of like the difference between INFJ and ENFJ -- it's still there as the dominant perceiving function, but the extroversion comes first. So an ESFJ might be a very good secretary or other human relations worker.
Tertiary Si, in ISxPs, appears as a sort of grounding in their personal values, in my opinion -- their Ne works to think of possibilities, and their Si looks at their storehouse of data and facts to compare how well such-and-such a concept might have worked in the past. If you notice an INTP, for instance, they may come up with a lot of different theories, but at the same token, they can be rather amazing at finding the odd facts to support them.
Inferior: ENxPs. These are less obvious. If a ENxP is pushed a lot or in crisis situations, especially, you'll notice they tend to become more obsessed over the little details and bits of organization. That's Si at work. I'll admit, I don't know as much about this one.

Se is different. Se is about the world around you in the present moment. It can seem a little ADHD at times. It's about experiencing the world and the physical sensation of it, and of being aware of all that that involves. For primary users, ESxPs, this often appears as a great knack for things like sports and physical activities, or it can show for a love for all things "new" or interesting: the next fad, the next sensation. Whatever is exciting and stimulating.
For auxiliary, it's a little different. Se is not just about sports and physical activity -- it's also about being absorbed in the moment or the activity. Hence, ISTPs are often known as the mechanics, and ISFPs are known as the artists. These people can get into a project with all of their being; they are drawn into the physical trance of it. Drawing, painting, music, tinkering with an object, whatever makes you totally absorbed in an activity -- that's Se. They often don't finish their projects, though -- it's about the moment and the doing, not really so much about the final result.
In tertiary, ENxJs, Se appears as a motivation to do. ENxJs often use physical exercise to relieve stress, and they are often very excitable when they have something to concentrate on and work towards. They are more in the moment than their INxJ counterparts because their Se is closer in balance with their Ni.
Finally, inferior Se users are INxJs. Se appears either later in life or when stressed or pushed, usually. INxJs are known to really take charge in crisis situations -- that's Se at work. I recommend trying to work with Se to help balance Ni -- when used correctly, it can really help ground INxJ types.
I think Si's also generally more thorough than Se. So to speak, Si's examining all visible criteria / aspects of the past to result in several specifically competent data, while Se's not looking at those but giving new data instead. When we talk about Sensory in its basic meaning, it's about Se. When we talk about Sensors in the conservative, old-fashioned traditional sense, it's about Si.

From that, the order and the mastery of the Si & Se itself gave differences to how it's being manifested. Having Si as dominant sounds similar to Ni, in a way; you're not having 'much' data to work on. Hence people using Si (ISFJ/ISTJ) can be pretty stalwart at best, orthodox at worst within time to time, just like how INFJ/INTJ can be very determined or stubborn about their intuitions

Se as dominant function means giving lots and lots and lots of raw, somewhat unprocessed data to other functions, which then might cause what others had described as "flightiness" due to SO MANY things to process.
By extension, Se as inferiors.... if well-developed, ain't gonna do much but to do the other three functions' bidding. They are going to gather lots of data, but all of these are probably already under supervision of Ni's insight, Fe/Te's standard, and Ti/Fi's personal opinion.

In short, "do it."