"The House that Jung Built" | INFJ Forum

"The House that Jung Built"


Sep 5, 2009
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The House that Jung Built

This month we're showing you how purchasing a house can work as a judging exercise and can help your client decide which judging function he or she prefers (Extraverted Thinking, Introverted Thinking, Extraverted Feeling or Introverted Feeling). The exercise can assist your client in either identifying or confirming his or her type code.

Tell your clients: "You are going to purchase a house (and sell your current home if you are a homeowner). When searching for your new house, how will you know which house is the one?"

It is essential to let your clients know that their answers will not be shared. This is important because Introverted Feeling is rarely shared with anyone who is not very close to the individual. If your clients think they have to share their answers, those with a preference for Introverted Feeling may not access it for fear of having to share it.

When you debrief this exercise, understand that you may find more than one function woven into the responses. This just proves that we don't solely use the function we prefer. When this happens, ask your client which one is most natural. Expect to find Extraverted Thinking and Introverted Feeling used together and Extraverted Feeling and Introverted Thinking together. If you see this in your client's response, you may want to ask which one is used to support the other. For example, Extraverted Thinking can be used to support Introverted Feeling and vice versa. Or, ask your client which one is more important.

Extraverted Thinking (Te) will look at the logical aspects of purchasing a home. It identifies objective criteria and chooses the home that meets the criteria best. For instance, how far away is the house from work? How many cars will fit in the garage? The houses will be compared to one another based on the objective criteria. None of the houses may meet all the criteria, but whichever house meets the criteria best will be the one that is chosen.

Introverted Thinking (Ti) will use an internal framework of what a house should be to evaluate the houses. It establishes categories for assessing the home and uses subjective criteria. Questions will be asked to continuously refine the data. For example, does the house have a garage? Is it a three car garage? Is it an attached garage? What criteria are considered will depend upon the person. For instance, attractiveness may be considered important. To determine if the house is attractive, the individual may ask: Is it stucco? Is the landscaping good? To decide if the landscaping is good, more questions are asked. Are the bushes trimmed? Is the lawn well manicured? Notice how 'well manicured' is also subjective and will require more questions - Is the lawn weed-free? Is the grass green? There is constant refining until it is certain each criterion is met. The houses that do not meet the important criteria are rejected. If the focus is on the framework and the subjective criteria the house needs to meet, it is likely an Introverted Thinking response.

Extraverted Feeling (Fe) will consider external harmony. It evaluates by focusing solely on the relationship. Thus, if the house will make others happy, it will be the house that is purchased. The focus is external - on how others will be impacted by the purchase. For example, being in a good school district may mean traveling farther to work for the client, but the need of the child will be the priority. If it will benefit the child, that's what matters. If the focus is outside the client, on pleasing or helping others, it is likely an Extraverted Feeling response.

Introverted Feeling (Fi) will consider one's unique core values. However, core values are often so protected they will not be written down. Furthermore, they are often abstract and hard to define. Thus, the responses your client will write may be similar to the following: "I'll just know." "It'll just feel right." "It'll be everything I want." "It'll be the perfect house." The reasons will not be up for debate or discussion. Introverted Feeling may stay mostly invisible and may not be seen until it is applied to stop the purchase of a house. In this instance it may be so absolute and unwavering that the rigidity may even shock the individual using it. If the focus is internal, on what feels right on a values level, it is likely an Introverted Feeling response.

After your clients have had a minute or so to write their response, explain the following:

"Extraverted Thinking tends to make a checklist of logical, objective attributes a house should have. If each house is then applied to the checklist, and the one that has the most items on the list or best meets what's on the list is the one selected, you have used Extraverted Thinking in your decision to buy a house.

"Instead of examining each house to see which has the required qualities, Introverted Thinking creates categories and puts each house in each category. If you found yourself considering subjective qualities and deciding whatever house ranked the highest in your important categories would be the house to purchase, you have used Introverted Thinking in your decision.

"Extraverted Feeling considers relationships and external harmony in making a decision. Thus, if you found your focus on other people, whether it be family or friends, and how the purchase of a house affects those individuals and/or your relationship with them, you have used Extraverted Feeling in your decision.

"Instead of focusing on the impact of others and external harmony when purchasing a home, Introverted Feeling focuses on the impact on oneself and internal harmony. Thus, if you found yourself considering what you deeply and uniquely value and how the home will affect how you feel, you have used Introverted Feeling in your home purchasing decision."

Ideally decisions are made using all four of the judging functions. However, we naturally gravitate toward a couple of the judging functions and put most of the emphasis or energy on the judging function we prefer. This omission of other functions leads us to making a 'less than best' decision. However, with practice, we can learn how to make the best decision by using each judging function in the decision-making process.
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Edit: Though, according to this, I'm an INFP. My answers were most Fi > Fe > Ti > Te. Seems possible that dominant perception functions should be considered. My Ni 'just knows' - the same that is attributed to Fi. My Se takes a look at the big picture - the same as attributed to Te. Interesting proof of how our functions overlap.
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Edit: Though, according to this, I'm an INFP. My answers were most Fi > Fe > Ti > Te. Seems possible that dominant perception functions should be considered. My Ni 'just knows' - the same that is attributed to Fi. My Se takes a look at the big picture - the same as attributed to Te. Interesting proof of how our functions overlap.

I had a similar experience. My first instinct was a vague sense of "it will be right" (Fi), then I thought about all the various practical, but subjective, criteria I considered when purchasing a home years ago (Ti), but realized the final decision always comes down to considerations of how it all played into everyone's various needs (Fe).

I agree that the "it will be right" feeling is really more an Ni perceptual experience. That feeling is about my level of peace or comfort with a place, not a strong, "this is it, no more discussion" kind of judgment. Ti definitely has a place in the decision making, but is really more of a supporting role. It provides after-the-fact justification for the decision that gets made. In the end analysis, Fe is the decision making king for me.

I also did the perception exercise from the previous month's newsletter. My results were less consistent with type there.


I didn't have any answers that seemed Ni as they described the Ni experience. My answers were about sensation, the imagined cool feel of the water on my skin or the warm colors of the sky, or imaginations of scenes that could take place there. I wondered who was in the chair before the scene was left empty. I wondered what was happening inside the house. I wondered if a southern belle ever stood on the balcony, or just had fun imagining one standing there. I imagined a child's birthday party in the grove of trees to the side of the house. Not one thought was a simple Ni symbolic summary. Pretty Se/Ne. Not sure if that says more about me or the exercise though.
The House That Jung Built
A Perceiving and Judging Exercise
Part one of two
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Training and Facilitating Forum

Okay, so Jung didn't 'build' this house, but you can use this picture to access the theory he built. The picture itself can be used as an aid in helping clients discover what perceiving function they prefer (Extraverted Sensing, Introverted Sensing, Extraverted iNtuition or Introverted iNtuition). In addition, an exercise involving what one considers when purchasing a house can be used to help clients discover what judging function they prefer (Extraverted Thinking, Introverted Thinking, Extraverted Feeling or Introverted Feeling). These two exercises can assist your client in either identifying or confirming his or her type code. (This article will explain the perceiving exercise. The judging exercise will appear in next month's issue.)

For the perceiving exercise, display this picture on a slide and use the instructions, "Write whatever comes to mind when you look at this." Give your client(s) about 30 seconds. (Giving too much time may make the exercise flop since the objective is to get what is natural.) Then ask your client to share what he or she wrote. (If you have a large group it is not necessary for everyone to share, or if individuals are uncomfortable sharing you may just want to give examples of common responses.)

Extraverted Sensing (Se) describes the picture. Responses may sound similar to: 2 story house, deck that overlooks the pool, double deck, etc. Anytime a response gives detail about the what is in the picture and stays in the present, it is an Extraverted Sensing response.

Introverted Sensing (Si) recalls one or more memories. Responses may sound similar to: Reminds me of when I was at Joe's pool party. Jack and I had a long conversation standing on the south side of the pool about a new project at work that I was very excited about... When a response recalls detail from a memory and brings the emotion experienced at the time along with it, it is an Introverted Sensing response.

Extraverted iNtuition (Ne) generates possibilities. Responses may sound similar to: You could go swimming, float on a raft, read by the pool, build a grotto around it, put a swim-up bar in the pool, etc. If the response includes what could be (rather than what is or was), it is an Extraverted iNtuition response.

Introverted iNtuition (Ni) identifies the central theme. Responses may be brief and similar to one or maybe two of the following: Wealth. Summer. Relaxation. It's a vacation house. Retirement. It's capitalism. A lot to clean. Greed. The good life, etc. If the response describes what the picture represents or the significance of the picture, it is an Introverted iNtuition response.

Sometimes responses will include more than one function. When this happens, ask your client, "What did you write about first? How easy and natural was it for you? What responses were the most natural?" You will often find the two functions that are written about are the dominant and inferior or the auxiliary and tertiary. Understand that your client may have accessed both functions that are appearing in the exercise. Help them discern between what they have accessed and what is most natural.

It seems to me that you might have introverted and extroverted intuition reversed there. Wouldn't introverted intuition look forward to future possibilities of how to use the house while extrovetred intuition looks for connections to timeless concepts?