What is Introverted Intuition?

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just taken the TypeFinder Personality Test or you’ve known about the 16-type system for some time—there’s always something new to learn. One of the least understood details of the 16-type system is type dynamics. Each personality type is made up of four type dynamics, and one of these is the primary cognitive function that determines how you view the world and interact with it. For example, for INFJs and INTJs, their primary function is something called Introverted Intuition. 

So, what is Introverted Intuition, and how does it stand out from the other dynamics? To help you understand what Introverted Intuition is, it’s best to use the INFJ and the INTJ’s traits and preferences as examples. 

What is Introverted Intuition in a nutshell? 

The INFJ and INTJ have Introverted Intuition (Ni) as their dominant cognitive function. You may also experience the Ni in your life if you’re an ENTJ or ENFJ since it is your second-favored dynamic, the auxiliary function. If you’re another type, you may have Introverted Intuition as your third (tertiary) or fourth (inferior) functions, which are less influential but may come up in stages of your life under the right circumstances, like stress in tertiary. 

In a nutshell, Introverted Intuition combines introversion with a sharp, pattern-seeking intuition. So, the primary way the INFJ or INTJ thinks and analyzes the world around them is hidden from others. The Intuition portion is a perceiving function, which means someone with Introverted Intuition will identify patterns and enjoy research, metaphors, symbolism, and hidden facts. These factors combine to make the INFJ and INTJ hyper-sensitive to stimuli others might miss. Their observational skills, in addition to an inner sense of “knowing,” makes these types perceptive on a seemingly psychic level. 

How Introverted Intuition works in INFJ and INTJ types

As the primary cognitive function of the INFJ and INTJ, Introverted Intuition works as the inner blueprint of the personality types. Imagine each of the 16 personality types includes a schematic specific to their primary function, with other details to fit their auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior functions as links. The INFJ and INTJ appear similar in the main overview, but they have major differences upon further inspection. 

The main points of the blueprint are the Introverted Intuition, which the INFJ and INTJ share. Overall, this primary function represents the preferential cognitive processes of the two types, which means they’ll both resort to this way of thinking, analyzing, and viewing life and their decisions where possible.

Introverted Intuition is an almost automatic process. As an INFJ, I don’t spend time wondering why I reached an impression until it’s retrospect. Because of the subconscious “knowing” present in INFJs and INTJs, they’re often given credit for being borderline psychic or attuned to energies around them. 

For example, when solving a problem, an INFJ or INTJ might strike an odd balance between hard facts and the patterns, emotions, and connections they make. Of course, others can’t get into an INJs’ head, so they see this astute analysis as almost magical. In truth, an Introverted Intuitive doesn’t pull information out of thin air. However, if you’re an Introverted Intuitive, you may not always understand how the process occurs. Nonetheless, the idea that these intuitions come out of nowhere isn’t true. An INJ subconsciously sees and recognizes a pattern more often than not, even if they don’t know it. 

How Introverted Intuition translates to day-to-day life

Introverted intuitives spend much of their time thinking about the big picture, the deep meanings behind people’s actions and words, and the whys of life. Although INXJs are the cream of the crop in planning for the long term, their “big picture” focus leaves less room for small details. They seek out the deep symbolism behind life events and often analyze the people around them based on impressions and insights.  

Introverted Intuitives are also sensitive to beauty and the natural world around them. These types are all about knowledge, learning, and personal growth in so many ways, but sometimes introverted intuitives struggle to implement changes in their own lives. 

The gut feelings Introverted Intuitives are famous for differ a bit depending on which type you are. If you’re an INFJ, like me, you’ll find your subconscious detects many patterns in people-oriented issues. INTJs, however, tend to have gut feelings about the physical world around them, whether it’s a concept, career matters, or otherwise.

A day in the life of an Introverted Intuitive

As an INFJ, I find ideas popping into my head at the most random parts of the day. Whether I’ve had an epiphany about a friendship or someone’s true intentions, or it’s something as simple as a spark of inspiration. It also seems to happen a lot when I’m offering advice to someone--I may know nothing about their situation, but the minute I’ve detected a pattern, it’s like a light bulb goes on.

And, yes, it can be as strange as knowing something is going to happen. For example, once, I said goodbye to one of my friends, and the thought popped in my head, “This is the last time I’ll see them in a long time.” It wasn’t a magical moment of prescience—I was understanding a pattern and recognized it. There was no hard evidence to confirm my thought during that moment, but later, we did experience years of separation.

I also credit Introverted Intuition for fueling my empathetic nature because I understand people’s emotions much faster than I can process my physical reaction to them. 

Introverted Intuition isn’t always a great advantage. I’ve also had it backfire on me. Because INJs are so pattern-oriented, it’s easy to think an idea is your own. When attempting something creative, such as writing a story or song, I’ve found a plot point or lyrics “poof” into my head. Weeks later, I realized it was from something I’d heard or read. I was, of course, filling in the blanks by detecting a familiar pattern.

Common signs you have Introverted Intuition

  • You’re an INFJ or INTJ.
  • You prefer abstract subjects and concepts.
  • You’re future-minded.
  • You trust your gut more than first impressions.
  • You could spend hours analyzing the symbolism of a book, movie, or song.
  • You’re a truth seeker and prefer authenticity.
  • You see problems in jobs, relationships, or concepts before others.
  • Your hunches about people and situations are generally correct.
  • Too much new information overstimulated you. 

Summing it up

People tend to shroud Introverted Intuition in a cloak of mysticism, but it doesn’t have to be. Although it feels like a magical gift when epiphanies come to you as you’re brushing your teeth or taking a shower, the main component of Introverted Intuition is a subconscious awareness of patterns that bleeds into your everyday life. This careful, subconscious analysis makes you an excellent “seer” of events, intentions, emotions, and otherwise.

Introverted Intuitives’ love for deep meaning, patterns, and connections makes them excellent conversationalists, good planners, thoughtful friends, and great givers of advice. Once you understand how Introverted Intuition rules your perception, it will become easier to recognize your dominant function at play in your life and ways to fine-tune it to your advantage.

Cianna Garrison

Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.

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