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Cracking the Codes Behind MBTI: Improving Your Extraverted Intuition

Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.

You can see the forest for the trees.

You can see the forest for the trees.

Who are the ISTJ and ISFJ?

In Myers Briggs personality testing, there are eight possible functions -- everyone has four of them. Today we are going to focus on extraverted intuition, which are the inferior functions for ISxJ personality types. What this personality excels in is introverted sensing. This means the personality is an information gatherer, because it's dominated by sensing rather than feeling or thinking. Introverted information gatherers tend to be chill, they do enjoy spending time by themselves, they are fairly clean, and they like to have interpersonal connections. They tend to want to think first and act later. Some of the smartest personalities are the introverted information gatherers which include INFJ, INTJ, ISFJ, and ISTJ. In a lot of ways, these four personalities have a lot in common, but in some ways... as with any Myers Briggs family, they do not. These four personalities are mostly amicable, smart, fairly chill, and detail oriented. INFJ and INTJ are dominated by intuition, so they are more abstract, risk taking personalities. Those two are great at philosophy, coming up with new approaches, and a whole other assortment of talents.

ISFJ and ISTJ are often misunderstood and undervalued. Their dominate skill -- Si -- isn't exactly the most western developed skill or appreciated of the bunch -- which is bizarre considering these are in large numbers in our society. These two are constantly gaining new insights through their five senses -- sounds, smells, tastes, textures, and visuals. They are great at observing what is in their physical surroundings. They are more internal of creatures and very aware of how their bodies feel. These tend to be people who are balanced when it comes to their body -- they eat right, sleep right, and keep their metabolism going. They don't want to screw up what is to them one of the greatest gifts of all -- their bodies. These are traditional folk who are very loyal, to the core, to those around them. ISFJ can come off a lot softer than ISTJ, which can get called out for not being as personal.

ISFJ is considered the martyr. They have a big heart for hospitality, are central in families, great at being sensitive to other's needs, anxious by unnecessary noise, bothered by too many distractions, and worried when those they love are too far away.

ISTJ is the inspector. Their minds are filled to the brim with questions, they are dutiful guardians, loyal to their families, and want to have a high sense of honor. They are independent and want to be able to do things on their own. They get worried when things are changing too much, when people are inconsistent, when they have to deal with too much, or they have to try new things and end up failing. They really don't like failure, and need to be encouraged to fail in order to succeed.

Improving Extraverted Intuition

What the ISxJ is lacking is developing its Ne. This is easier said than done. Ne helps people to think more open minded, to take risks, and to have faith. The opposite of these two are the ENFP and ENTP -- your outspoken hippie and outspoken lawyer type. These two ENxP struggle to take care of their daily, physical needs while simultaneously they are able to conquer life with an amazing amount of zest. They can conquer theory as long as they put their minds to it. ISFJ and ISTJ can build a stable environment, keep things balanced, and allow things to prosper. If all four of these individuals lived in a house -- they might go crazy. But they would learn a great deal from each other.

If we don't grow our inferior function, it will weaken our dominate function. It is difficult to develop your inferior function, but as an adult it should be feasible. You don't want to stay focusing on your inferior function for too long, because you will naturally go back to your dominate function. If you jump around these two too much, it'll stress you out. Use your auxiliary function to give yourself psychological relief. To develop your inferior function you'll need to get comfortable with opening up your memory bank, making risks, and thinking outside the box.

Try going to places and engage your memories. Intuitives are constantly asking themselves -- what does this remind me of? How can I see this in the future? For extraverted intuition, you need to put yourself into external realities. You have to get out of your cozy den and go places. Using the extraverted qualities means you need to find external stimuli. This will take some practice, and pressure from yourself to do it. You may feel awkward at first.

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  • Try going to a museum with a friend. Have them stop and explore the artwork with you and try to say what memories it conjures. Try thinking about your past, your childhood, your family, try using the recall button rather than avoiding it. Talking out loud will help you.
  • Go to a counseling session, therapy, somewhere that you can talk out your memories. If you haven't been doing this actively, you may need a professional who can help you in a safe environment. Sometimes when you dust off the memory archives -- surprising things can happen.
  • Go to new places that are not your usual. It may seem pointless, but go for a walk in a new location, try picking up a new talent, and get involved in a social community. This will help you develop Ne.
  • Try talking to yourself at the end of the day to review what you went through. Then try talking to yourself about what happened one week ago, a month ago, a year ago, two years ago.
  • Try talking to yourself at the end of the day and ask yourself where would you like to be one day from now, one week from now, one month from now, and one year from now.
  • If you have a preference for logic, take breaks from intuition and do things strictly for your logic, play puzzles, read books, clean your house, organize. Do these things with others. Ask questions out loud. Your extraverted thinking will help guide your extraverted intuition.
  • If you have a preference for feeling, go spend time with friends, watch movies that make you feel emotions, and try getting out of your room to spend time with others. Make crafts with others, be silly, let your hair down. You need to express it all out to get somewhere.
  • Don't be afraid to focus on inferior function development -- just like children have to learn how to use their emotions, adults have to figure out how to develop this part of themselves so as to arrive at optimum mental health.

Handling Information

(I) Information Actants(I) Information Gatherers(E) Information Actants(E) Information Gatherers

















The key isn't to stress yourself out, but to arrive at optimum health and stay there consistently. When you are better prepared to think things through, you are better able to process the world around you and make superior decisions. Learning the inferior function isn't always easy, and can be quite surprising in what it'll do to you and how to may bring you out of your shell. It may help to find an ENFP or ENTP. These personalities can be found just about anywhere. ENFP and ENTP both regularly open up their homes for parties. They like to invite people into their homes, they like for people to be friends. This is likely worlds of difference for an ISTJ and ISFJ who prefer to keep their homes only for very special guests. In order to meet the ENFP and ENTP, venture out into their turf. Observe how they handle things. Your presence will be much appreciated because you'll also be helping them to become more grounded, which they need very much.

ISTJ and ISFJ are amazing personalities, they are great at relationships, great at careers -- they are some of the best souls for others who are needing help finding grounding in this world. Your efforts at stability are much appreciated -- and your chillness compared to the ESFJ and ESTJ is also appreciated. You may feel a strange amount of dissonance to these two who are information actants and are much more commanding of the people around them than observant.

© 2016 Andrea Lawrence


Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on April 05, 2018:

Thank you! And what a bizarre typo.

I'll have to study more to really understand the ENTJ, but INTJ I grasp pretty quick. ENTJ usually likes to get crap done, and sometimes misses some pretty significant emotional cues.

Masoud from Qatar on April 02, 2018:

In the fourth paragraph, you wrote INSJ. Change that to ISTJ for clarity.

Since you've now written on the most common types in society, will you write on the least common types? How about xNTJs. I'd get a kick from that.

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