From An INFP’s Perspective – Introverted Sensing

Sorry for the delayed post, I’ve been away the past week. Things should go slightly back to normal after this post.

In the previous two posts, I discussed Extraverted Intuition and Introverted Feeling both from my personal, INFP perspective. In this post, I’ll take a look at Introverted Sensing again from my personal perspective. Many personality profile sites have a tendency to explain the cognitive functions in a textbook fashion, expressing the function by definition rather than, perhaps, perception. I find that I can relate more to and understand better these observations rather than just simple definitions. My mind can be very abstract and many of my perceptions may take abstract form, so it’s hard to translate concrete definitions to abstract perceptions or vice versa.

My hope is that with the previous two posts,  this post, and the future one on Extraverted Thinking, my personal observations will strike true and relatable to most of you. If not, this post will better explain my personal observations and previous or future observations that seemed unusual.

And so on to Introverted Sensing. “Si” is the INFP’s third function, and its use or presence in the INFP’s consciousness will be more conscious than Introverted Feeling or Extraverted Intuition. As it is the third function, it is not used as often as the previous two cognitive functions.

So, when using “Si”, I will very often notice myself engaging in it. A few of these observations are ones I have discussed before, and if I reach an observation I have discussed previously I’ll discuss it in summary. I will also put a link at the end of the observation to the previous post in case anyone wants to read more.

1. Memories & Stress

Introverted Sensing deals directly with memories, data, internal senses, and emotions. Whenever I am in a stressful, traumatic situation, my brain begins sending emotions and feelings, firing them off, causing “Si” to store them. “Si” will take in all of the data and information streaming in around me, creating a vivid memory of the stressful event.

After the event takes place and I can think in a quiet environment, especially immediately after the traumatic situation ends, my brain will feel the need to replay the memory over and over. Perhaps it does this as a defense mechanism, telling me I can learn from what happened. As I will discuss down below, “checking-up” on my body’s functions through “Si”, especially my memories, can often relieve stress, and so replaying the memory over and over can calm me slightly.

2. Memories & Feelings

As I’ve talked about before, the INFP associates feelings with everything through “Fi”. The INFP will take in events and store them as memories. If the INFP remembers an event where a particularly strong emotion was currently being felt, the INFP will remember the emotion as well. Often times, the INFP will unintentionally associate feelings with sounds, tastes, smells, and many other senses. When taking in those senses, the INFP will remember the feelings as well.

Concerning my personality in this act, I will discuss two personal observations.

The first observation concerns my job. During my first few weeks I felt very stressed out because I was new and didn’t know how to do anything there. Of course, now I feel fine working there, but during the beginning stages, stress and fear were always present. My workplace has a particular smell to it (not a bad smell, just a different environment smell). The smell would get on my clothes, and if I went home, stress-free, and caught the odor off my clothes, my whole body would be washed down by the feeling of stress.

Now, I can’t smell that aroma anymore because I’m used to it, but if I happen to remember the smell, fear and stress will wash over my body even if I am in a very relaxing environment.

The second observation concerns music. I have already discussed emotions and its relationship to music in a previous post (link below). In many cases, when I listen to a song after a long period of having not listened to it, all the emotions I had when I first heard the song will come rushing back. I find that when I’m stressed out, listening to songs I haven’t heard in a while will generate emotions that will mask the stress.

The Emotional Life of the INFP

Music & Emotion

3. Making Connections

Like I discussed in my post on Extraverted Intuition from an INFP’s perspective, “Ne” works in tandem with “Si” on many occasions. Though “Ne” is rather dominant in this personal observation because it’s making connections with the outside world, “Ne” needs the data and memories of “Si” to make those connections.

Here’s part of what I wrote in that one post that highlights the “Ne”/”Si” pair working together:

On rare occasion, I can “see” the inner workings of “Ne”. Again, on one particular occasion, I was feeling extraverted around my friends. One of my friends said something funny, and I tried to think of something funny to say back to him. For an instant, during this one occasion, I accidentally stumbled back into my introspective self and “watched” the “Ne” process happening before. Though I didn’t actually see anything, I could almost feel my brain rapidly flipping through images, memories, moments, experiences, working in part with “Si”. It was as if several thousand synapses were firing in my head, but for this one moment, I was conscious of all of these synapses. I could feel my brain “clicking” through the different memories, searching for the right phrase or word. All of this happened in a matter of seconds, and all of a sudden a phrase was dropped into my field of consciousness, and the phrase seemed like the perfect thing to say in reply.

Many times now, when using “Ne”, I can feel my brain searching through the “Si” databases until certain, perfect key phrases and memories are sent to my conscious thought. It’s very weird, very cool, and very interesting.

Most of the time, when I’m in the right mood or mental state, “Ne” will “turn on”, and I’ll find myself getting “sent” phrases and memories that fit my current state perfectly.

From An INFP’s Perspective: Extraverted Intuition

4. Quiet

Many times, the most notable moments when I notice myself using “Si” is when I’m doing nothing or doing something that doesn’t require much mental work. Especially if I’m in a comfortable mood and environment but doing nothing, my mind will feel the need to entertain me or think about something. Random memories and thoughts will flash in my head, giving me something to think about. Even if there’s noise around me like if I’m mowing the lawn, or even if I’m somewhat focused on a physical exercise, if my mind has nothing to do, “Si” will send many memories my way.

Sometimes, “Si” will work in tandem with “Ne” again, so physically engaging but mentally dull activities like mowing the lawn or biking can be the perfect time and environment to brainstorm good ideas.

5. “Check-ups”

Introverted Sensing is the third function, thus, giving it the role of the relaxing function. Like I’ve talked about, “Si” will perform many “check-ups” in order to help the INFP relax.

I will notice that when I have a chance to check up on my emotions, my mental state, the memories of the day, and the current feelings like pains or hungers currently going on, I can relax a little bit. Especially when the memories of the day are jumbled up or if my feelings are out of order, once I get the chance to process the memories and “send” the emotions to Introverted Feeling to make judgments about the day, I can relieve some stress and relax a little.

Introverted Sensing & Relaxing

 

That concludes the personal observations I had concerning Introverted Sensing. There may be a few observations I might have forgotten in typing this, so if I remember them, I’ll update the post and notify of any changes. The next post will explore Extraverted Thinking from my personal, INFP perspective, and it will finish off this series.

 

Resources:

http://www.cognitiveprocesses.com/Cognitive-Functions/Introverted-Sensing.cfm

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