Every personality type’s cognitive functions are set up to work in perfect harmony with one another. When our functions are all working together, our thought patterns become a picture of health.
But when one or two functions step out of their place in line, overshadowing the rest, our mind enters an imbalanced state. This can occur in many different ways depending on the individual, situation or life experiences affecting personal growth.
A common example of out-of-whack INFJ functions is the Ni-Ti loop. This loop occurs when our auxiliary extroverted Feeling (Fe) function is overshadowed by our tertiary introverted Thinking (Ti) process.
Instead of a healthy balance of introverted and extroverted functions, the INFJ becomes stuck in their introverted processes, keeping them trapped within their own mind in a seemingly endless loop of thought.
As our introverted iNtuition (Ni) ponders theories, concepts and possibilities, it feeds these ideas to our Ti which seeks facts and logic to back up and solidify these thoughts. As it obtains this information, it feeds it back to our Ni which creates even more theories and concepts.
Each time this loop goes full circle, the thoughts become more and more radical and outlandish, pushing us further from reality and deeper into our minds.
The worst part is that this cycle only perpetuates itself. The INFJ can begin to feel that they have too much to think about as their loop cycles endlessly, causing them to retreat and seek additional solitude and additional information, only making the entire process worse.
Derailing the Cycle
The longer an INFJ stays in the Ni-Ti loop, the harder it becomes to hop out of the cycle. Just like a muscle, the more we use a function, the stronger it becomes. So the longer we stay in the loop, the weaker our extroverted functions become, never being consciously exercised.
The best way to get out of the loop is to engage in something that gets your extroverted functions jump started. Since this loop can put you into a darker mental state, simply engaging your inferior extroverted Sensing (Se) function may push you deeper into the darkness, bringing out your ESTP Shadow and forcing you into a different kind of grip.
Instead, it is best to activate your extroverted Feeling (Fe) function which is more likely to bring you back to conscious awareness of the reality which surrounds you. The fastest way to engage this function is to interact with other individuals. Fe comes as second nature when an INFJ is speaking with others.
Speaking is important to note here. If you are not actively engaged in the external activity, you remain in your head and simply obtain additional data to feed your Ni-Ti loop. Speaking about any topic will jump start your Fe function, but to strengthen it, it is best be emotionally and intellectually involved in the conversation.
Talking about the theories your Ni-Ti loop has created is the fastest track to ceasing them. By simply stating them out loud, you immediately see them from a different perspective which offers clarity.
If speaking with another person is not a possibility, there are still other ways to engage your Fe function. Writing a letter to someone (even if there is never an intention to send it), working on a project where your actions affect other individuals, expressing yourself in art or music or any host of tasks which require you to step outside of your mind and focus on those around you.
Recognizing what is happening can help you seek ways to activate your Fe in order to cease it in its tracks as the biggest struggle of the loop is its ability to make us believe it is beneficial and even necessary to remain within the loop.
By engaging in these activities on a regular basis, you can prevent remaining stuck inside the Ni-Ti loop. Keeping your cognitive functions working in the order they were intended will help you achieve a more balanced life as an INFJ.