Fi or Ni as the
I asked some experts for help sorting out whether Fi or Ni is
someone's favorite function. I mean, how can you tell the
difference inside yourself? Here's one idea that was offered by an
INFP expert (using Fi as a decision tool no doubt):
This is a quick and dirty for the individual to
answer, it's pretty hit and miss (50/50?), but when it works it's
usually an "aha".
Ask the person which of the two -- intuition or
feeling -- would they first agree to give up or lose, if such a thing
Sometimes, the value of one over the other
appears very clearly to the individual. My supposition of course is that
one would 'let go' of the auxiliary before the dominant.
It seems to work when people answer
spontaneously, not when it is pondered to any great extent.
Hmm, interesting viewpoint she offers. I take it
she assumes an individual would know immediately which of these processes is
more "important" to them -- a characteristic of introverted
Feeling. But what about those of us who don't operate that way?
Of course, I
can't describe Dominant introverted Feeling from firsthand experience, but I think much of the
Type literature that describes Feeling actually describes extraverted Feeling not
Here is how Type Expert Danielle Poirier (INFP)
There is something inherent to introverted
feeling that makes it difficult to define, it is true.
Culture: When I first came into contact with
North American Aboriginal culture, it was my first experience of having
INFP *culturally* acknowledged. It wasn't in the words, but in the
silences that I found my cultural "home" or match. The
indirectness of the contacts, the understated but unmistakable warmth,
the sensitivity around subtle aspects of life and living, the knowing of
inter-relatedness with all sentient beings... these were all things I
'knew' but found no echo in my everyday life. With my Western European
heritage, I felt very insensitive and rather like a bull in a china
shop. Everything is relative. I always wonder what it must be like to be
a Native ENTJ.
Individuality: Something about INFP is adamant
about not being like anyone else, so being lumped into a category with
others itself creates anathema. I was always surprised, when I first did
type workshops, that INFP's were often the ones who had as many type
'portraits' as there were individuals in that particular type
In the interviews I have done requesting that
people describe what the function "feels" like, or to provide
images, the feeling function is more grounded, deeply rooted, stable
than the introverted intuitive function. Images for Fi are about soil,
roots, and covenants. For introverted intuition, it is more free
floating, moving - layers of beautifully coloured water floating on top
of each other, colourful eels or spaghetti strands all intermingled,
Lenore [Thomson]'s image of an open loft concept with moving furniture.
Perhaps by guiding people to describe what their inner life / world is
like, it could provide an image of whether it is a rational world that
provides continuity (Katharine Myers' image was similar to tightrope
walking, a function that let her know whether or not she was "in
tune", in or out of balance) or a world based on
But of course, it may not be possible to help
the person unless you gather lots of responses to compare with. And if
you do, oh please... send them my way!!! :)
Reproduced with permission from Danielle