As a refresher take a moment to check out the basics of personality types above!
In part one we dived into how introverts & extroverts differ in their essential personality, and now we will explore the theories that later became the Meyers-Briggs personality type system. By the end of these article you will know your personality type and be able to analyze other types: whether that’s a significant other, a friend or someone you just can’t stand. By understanding our personalities, we learn our strengths, weakness and how to get along with & understand others better. If you haven’t read part one on introversion vs. extroversion here’s a link to have a full understanding of these personality types as introverts and extroverts express themselves and relate to the world quite differently. Link here. Now that you’re up to speed let us talk about the meaning of the 6 psychic functions and how to know which types you belong to when it comes to experiencing the world and other humans. These types are pairs of opposites such as sensation/intuition, thinking/feeling, perception/judgement that refer to the habitual ways we perceive our world, how we make decisions, and how we make sense of things. It is key to reiterate that every human has all of these 6 psychic functions and the ability to use these ways of perception, but the functions which are most dominant in your personality are what constitute your unique personality type. These types are key to understand because they allow us to enrich our relationships and our knowledge of how types that are opposite to us perceive the world differently. In fact most fundamental differences in values, world views, beliefs and behavior come from these underlying psychic functions. It is common that a thinking type misunderstands a feeling type and vice versa, and that a sensation type finds an intuitive type to be “airy fairy” in their views while the intuitive finds the sensation type to be somewhat dull and unimaginative. None of these types are “better” they are just different in how they experience reality, and we have the potential for all these psychic functions. According to Jung, much suffering is caused when someone acts contrary to their type, or when they are imbalanced in which type is dominant. For example, someone who is 100% thinking type (this is perhaps impossible, it is only theoretical) and does not develop their feeling side will often have a great difficulty in relating to people, following their desires and understanding human emotions. Jung believed that to be a balanced person it was necessary to understand your type and to work on weaknesses that come from our natural inclinations to an overuse of a function at the expense of the others. When we understand our type, we begin to see that we see the world from a certain perspective, a kind of innate bias, that can get us into all sorts of trouble if we are not aware of it. It is common for opposite types to have a difficult time understanding each other and deciding which way of perceiving is “wrong” and which is “right”. By now you may know whether you are more an I (Introvert) or an E(extrovert), now let’s get on to how you can discover the rest of your personality type. In the Meyers Brigg’s system, you are either an Ixxx or Exxx so far, with the x’s being placeholders for the other personality attributes. What kind of introverts and extroverts are there, and how do they differ? Sensation (S) vs. Intuition (N) According to Jung these functions are how we perceive the world, do we perceive the world primarily through our senses or through our intuition? Jung defines these two opposite types as follows: Sensation: to establish that something exists, perception with sense organs Intuition: perception by way of the unconscious, or perception of the unconscious contents
Sensation Types: Those who rely on sensation tend to be very focused on facts, they want to know the “what is” of a situation and rely on their senses to see what is an actuality. If they can’t perceive it, it isn’t real; that’s the motto of the sensation dominant type. They are not as interested in possibilities as intuitive types are, but rather focused on the actualities of life. The sensation type manifests differently in extroverts vs. introverts to a considerable degree, so it is important to understand the distinction if we are to understand your personality type in its depth.
Extroverted Sensation Type (ESxx): This type can be best described as above all a realist that loves objective facts and perceives the world in terms of concrete objects and sensory experiences. To them the world of the senses is either all that exists or all they care about, so they are often found in the world as those that appreciate the sensual pleasures of life, and seek to enjoy what to them is the real world- the world of the senses. This love of sensation can manifest as a kind of hedonism where sensual pleasure is sought to the detriment of all else, or it can be an enlightened aesthetic taste for the beautiful and the harmonious expressions of the physical world. Being that they are an extrovert, once they experience the sensation of the object there is little else to reflect on, and they are focused primarily on the external world of sensation, what to them is the only true reality. An extroverted sensation type lives through the body, and the senses in a flow with the world. Extroverted types are outward focused, so they gain energy through interaction with people and this type wants to sense the world. The Extroverted Sensation type: ESxx – Determines the value of an object or person by the intensity of sensation that they provide them – Is mostly focused on the world that exists to the senses and is often well adapted to the environment/society due to this – Is often seeking an experience to the senses, something new, something that excites them – Holds the primary aim of life to be enjoyment and sensual pleasures – Is typically good company due to their jolly nature and capacity for enjoyment – Is always reducing internal psychic experiences to objective happenings (ex. I feel anxious today because I haven’t slept, or my blood sugar is low) – At its worst is a kind of crude pleasure seeker that only cares about stimulating sensations- good and bad, as long as they are intense Introverted Sensation Type (ISxx) The introverted sensation type differs from the extroverted in that it is the subjective sensation that is focused on in any experience. When we perceive an object in the world, we do not truly see it as it is, but rather have an image that is formed by our psyche with our own unique experience of it. The introverted sensation type is focused on this subjective factor in their perception of objects, so to them things are not as they are, but things are how I perceive them to be. Naturally they are now aware that this is how they perceive reality, as with many of these other psychic functions they are difficult to be aware of in oneself and are significantly easier to perceive in others. In a sense, these types are more aware of their internal experience of external sensations such as how a work of art effects their senses, rather than being more focused on the sense as it is like the extroverted type. Jung says “Introverted sensation apprehends the background of the physical world rather than its surface. The decisive thing is not the reality of the object, but the reality of the subjective factor, of the primordial images which, in their totality, constitute a psychic mirror-world.” This points to the fact that introverted sensation types are more aware of the internal image of an external experience, the archetypal form of it if you will. The Introverted Sensation Type: – Is guided by the intensity of the subjective sensation that is excited by the external environment – Will often be deeply psychologically influenced by sensations throughout their day – Lives in a sort of “mythological world” where people, trees, mountains, etc. are either beneficial spirits or demons (this is not conscious but how they act as if) – Often sees the world as unreal if they overemphasize their subjective experience of the world – Is fundamentally focused on the internal sensation that an external event or person causes – Is enriched by giving artistic expression to their internal sensations of the world – Tends to isolate themselves (as other introverted types) to their internal images of the world Intuitive Types: (xNxx) Intuition is a kind of unconscious process that leads the person to find possibilities, patterns and solutions in the external world in ways that often cannot be explained. As opposed to the sensation type which perceives the world as it is, the intuitive type perceives the world as it could be. The intuitive type sees the world in terms of relations, patterns and potentials rather than through the senses. The senses of course are the starting point for intuition, but this type sees beyond the objects and comes to conclusions from reality and situations that are not explicitly observed. Intuition is of the opposite function of sensation so that when one is perceiving through sensation, they are suppressing intuition and vice versa. The value for an intuitive is not in the sensation that is the strongest but rather the sensation which has the greatest value by the unconscious mind. Intuitive types tend to seek new experiences and new outlets for their creative energies because they quickly feel trapped by any situation that doesn’t seem to offer new possibilities. Hence, they are found going from one activity to another, not because anything is wrong with them, but because they have difficulty dealing with the limitation of possibility that comes with commitment to any person, event or thing.
Extroverted Intuitive Type (ENxx) Extroverted Intuitive types are people who are constantly on the “cutting edge” of reality, seeking new possibilities at every turn. They commonly will become intensely enthusiastic about new things, new situations and new people but soon abandon those pursuits as soon as they lose interest to them. Any kind of stability quickly becomes a prison for the ever searching extroverted intuitive. This type often finds success in careers that allow for expression of their natural abilities in seeing patterns and starting new enterprises.
The Extroverted Intuitive Type: – Often has unconventional and unique views of reality and values – Is always seeking new opportunities and sees the possibilities in things – Often feels limited by stable situations and often goes from task to task as soon as the action or thing loses interest to them – Is usually fearless in the face of taking on new ventures – Is loyal to their own vision and their own views of morality – Can be very encouraging, inspiring and see the potentials in people – Has many dreams, visions and inspired plans for the future – Has immense passion towards goals but has difficulty with following through due to feeling “trapped” once no more potential is seen Introverted Intuitive Type (INxx) The introverted intuitive type is different from the extroverted type because their intuition is directed to the “inner objects” or subjective psychic phenomena. This type focuses on the inner images that arise from the external environment and sees this inner experience as being just as real as the external world. This intuitive sees the possibilities and patterns within their own psyche, rather than the external world as the extroverted type. They are in many ways a kind of visionary and their internal experience can even be prophetic in its highest forms because they perceive the unconscious mind and thereby the collective unconscious of humanity. They can be explained as a kind of “psychonaut” or an explorer of their own minds, and though this seems to many (especially extroverts) to be of little utility in the world, they find their purpose in understanding the archetypes of the psyche. The Introverted Intuitive: – Is often found amongst the artists, mystics, and dreamers of all kinds – Can be somewhat disconnected from the outside world as their focus is on the experiences of their own mind – See the patterns in their internal experience and focuses on the world of archetypes (archaic psychic images) – Is often misunderstood by others, and even those in their immediate social circle – Is focused on the “inner objects” and sees the world in terms of inner images which may be metaphorical – Often has little focus on their body or how their lives affect others, and lives in their own fantasies – Has an ability to foresee new possibilities in the world and in their elevated form can even have prophetic visions The functions that guide our decisions: thinking vs. feeling. We often hear that someone is a logical person with a “good head on their shoulders”, and that another “follows their heart”. These are expression of the difference between a thinking and feeling type. In their essence thinking is concerned with coming to logical conclusions about choices that need to be made, and feeling is based on deciding the value of something: good or bad and is directed by that. Hence the thinker says to themselves “I think I should do this rather than that” while the feeling type says, “ I feel like doing this” or “this doesn’t feel right”. As with the other functions they are opposites to each other, though every person has both of these functions. What makes us different however is which function we use the most, and that we have a natural inclination to- the function that we consciously use as our dominant mode of relating to the world. These types also express themselves in very different ways depending on if the person is more extroverted or introverted. Let us discover what the differences between the thinking & feeling types are, and which one you are!
The Extroverted Thinking Type:
– is often thinking up new ideas and loves discovering new facts about the world -is a progressive thinker, and is highly creative in intellectual terms -has a tendency to reflect before major decisions and can be prone to rumination over the past & future -usually rationalizes occurrences or internal experiences to mundane explanations -is the archetypal scientist type that seeks to understand the world with logical explanations -makes judgements about the world in terms of what is right and wrong according to a certain ideal -can be perceived as somewhat impersonal in their views and behavior -follows a moral ideal and believes in universal laws and everything in the universe having a rational explanation -tends to be an idealist, and is often consciously altruistic- seeking the good for humanity -makes decisions based on careful reflection of the data and follows a certain formula in terms of how they relate to the world- a “right way to live”. Introverted Thinking Type (IxTx): As with the other introverted forms of functions, the essential difference of the introverted type is that function is focused more on subjective, or internal phenomena. So where the extroverted thinking type tries to comes to objective data about the external world as their primary means of navigating, the introverted thinker is more focused on ideas of a subjective nature, epitomized by the philosophical type that “thinks about thoughts” and their own psychic experience. This type is fascinated by ideas but may have difficulties in putting them into practices or getting others to understand them or support them. Ideas and thoughts bring this type into themselves and can make them appear somewhat cold to others. The Introverted Thinking Type: – Is typically misunderstood by others and tends to live in their own world of thought – Thinks in mythological terms, archetypes and tends to believe in magical protections – May have difficulty putting their ideas into practice and sometimes does not even want to – Can be very stubborn about what they think is true and are not influenced much in their thinking by the external world or people – Thinks out their problems and may have tendencies to ruminate over them – Are very likable people once they are well known by a friend but otherwise seem unapproachable
The Extroverted Feeling Type: – Jung believed this type was mostly found among women, with extroverted thinking types found among men – Follows their feelings as a guide to their life – Values things in harmony with traditional beliefs and general consensus – Tends to choose a mate because they are suitable by societal standard: i.e have a good job, are well respected, are the right age, etc. – Feels about things first, and thought is often in accordance with the feeling afterwards when making decision – Likes public gatherings, social events and is in tune with the fashions of the time – Openly expresses their feelings and seeks to emotionally connect with others – Does not like to think about things that disturb their feelings and any logical conclusion that is contrary to their feeling is rejected – Tends to be outwardly sympathetic to the world around them and responds with appropriate words and actions Introverted Feeling Type (IxFx): This type as opposed to the extroverted form has feelings that are intensive rather than extensive, and they are of a subjective nature- relating to themselves. These types have deep inner feelings that most never perceive as they are kept to themselves. Like the introverted thinking type they may appear as cold or apathetic to others, even though internally they have great depth to their feeling. As with other introverted types they are generally misunderstood by others and may have difficulties in interpersonal relationships due to their fundamental introverted focus. Because of the general apprehension towards external objects (people, events, etc.) that introverts experience, the feeling type generally acts in an indifferent way towards the external environment and may tend towards negative judgements of the external and overall negativity. Interestingly, this is the way the introverted feeling type makes themselves feel more safe, as they are often overwhelmed by the external reality. Like the introverted thinkers, they live in a realm of ideas such as god, freedom, or the like but rather feel these ideas rather than thinking them. The Introverted Feeling Type: – Tends to isolate themselves and is often perceived as being silent or quiet – Communicates with others through forms that bring up parallel feelings in them – May hide behind a “childish mask” and are inclined towards melancholy – Keeps to themselves and does not seek to outshine others in any way – Is mainly guided by their inner feelings, and have an inconspicuous outer demeanor – May have difficulty in dealing with the emotions of others and may react negatively to them as a defense mechanism – Has a tendency to strongly suppress any powerful negative emotion in themselves – Unlike the extroverted type they are unlikely to directly express emotions – May be secretly deeply religious in a way and hides the fact from others – Is often described as mysterious and provokes the fascination of extroverted types – Tends to “feel what others think” about them and may be suspicious of other motives The Final Personality Types: Judgment (J) Vs. Perception (P) By this time you should have a much deeper insight into the first 3 letters that make up your Meyer’s Briggs personality type, so you may be an INF (Introverted, Intuitional and Feeling Type) or an EST (Extroverted, Sensation and Thinking) for example, or all the other combinations that are possible and make express your fundamental uniqueness from others. It is key to reiterate that the personality type is a description of your natural tendencies, strengths and dominant psychic functions. So, if you’re having a tough time on figuring them out, think back to when you were 7 or younger, and how you were then. Often through life we learn and adapt to using different functions and may have a hard time understanding whether we are an introvert or extrovert because we may feel we are both at different times. This is exactly true, we flow between the different psychic function, everyone thinks, everyone feels, everyone makes judgements etc. But what is different is that we have a natural preference and are essentially “wired” as a certain type from genetics, environmental factors and all sorts of other mysterious factors that we do not understand. Jung’s system of personality types did not original include the judgement or perception type which is seen at the end of a Meyers Brigg’s type such as INTJ or ENFP and were added later on to describe the main extroverted function of the psyche, meaning the attitude towards the external environment in terms of structure & perception. There are types that are more perceptive, and others that rely more on judgement. Now these words do not actually mean just what we think of them as, namely someone being judgmental or someone being perceptive, but go much deeper in their psychological definition- just as we saw with the feeling and thinking types. The feeling type is more apt to feel out a situation, be led by feeling and to be more emotional but it goes much deeper in Jung’s original theory which we went through. In the next part we will get into the last two character types, so you can understand your personality type and begin to learn others personality types. This can be incredibly useful as you can see what your natural strengths are, and how best to relate to and understand others. I will go also go through my own personality to give an example of how to figure out your personality type and what it means. It is actually said that YOU are the most capable of understanding YOUR personality type, contrary to what certain psychologists say. We have the most experience with our own mind, so if we go through the type descriptions carefully and somewhat objectively (which may be harder for feeling types, so instead see which letters resonate with you feeling wise). If you are interested in learning your personality type send me an email :) email@example.com or direct message me on Instagram @Holistic_Psyche. I will go through a series of questions that will help you find out your type. Send your strange dreams to me for FREE interpretations! I truly love understanding the mind and helping others find meaning in their psyche, for with understanding of ourselves we find much happiness and fulfillment. Thanks for reading, sign up for the Holistic Psyche community as we journey through the depths of spirituality, holistic mental health and natural approaches to mental wellness and receive updates as to upcoming events, workshops and always free articles! If you’d like to read more about the personality types check out the main source of this article, from the great master himself, Carl Jung! Just because I love you guys I’m including a link to a free download but keep it on the down-low 🙂
Psychological Types, Volume 6 of the Collected Works of Jung, edited and translated by Gerhard Adler and F.C. Hull, 1957. Princeton University Press.