INFJ Cognitive Processes
While many learn the four letters representing their MBTI personality and then search for information regarding those letters, there is truly no substitute for learning what those four letters represent. Each personality type has a specific order of cognitive functions, or processes, which help explain how one’s brain operates. The cognitive functions are the blueprint of what makes each Myers-Briggs personality type. While it may seem a little more scientific and technical than some general descriptions, the functions are actually a very practical depiction of how you function in everyday life.
There are eight cognitive functions which every personality type carries. What makes each type different is the order of these functions. They can be split up into two groups:
- Primary functions which are more developed and make up the majority of your cognitive processes.
- Shadow functions which tend to work on a covert level in the subconscious.
The order of the functions can tell you a lot about how a type’s brain works, particularly how they receive, process and deliver information. In this article, let’s take a look at the four primary functions of an INFJ.
introverted iNtuition (Ni)
The first, or dominant, function of an INFJ is introverted iNtuition (Ni). The Ni function is the biggest part of what makes INFJs so unique. It essentially means that we have an amazing ability to think more abstractly, globally, thoroughly and complexly. This allows the INFJ to easily see and understand things in the past, present and future that others may struggle to comprehend.
Being the dominant function, an INFJ’s Ni process comes naturally to their line of thinking, often used consciously and thoroughly, and almost always in a positive way. The aspects of their lives that seem to come easily or in which they excel are usually rooted in their dominant function.
extroverted Feeling (Fe)
The secondary, or auxiliary, function of an INFJ is extroverted Feeling (Fe). The Fe function is what makes INFJs eager to please those around them. While their sense of self is wrapped up in their intuition, their sense of others runs mainly on a desire to connect with them through feelings. Extroverted Feelers tend to act in ways that make others feel comfortable and pleased, mainly through warmth, graces and good manners.
The auxiliary function is usually well-developed early on in life and works strongly in conjunction with the dominant function. These combined processes lead the INFJ to be people-oriented on a global level, causing them to take on quite a bit of personal responsibility for those around them.
introverted Thinking (Ti)
The third function of an INFJ is introverted Thinking (Ti). This process is rooted an analyzing, internal reasoning and categorizing. While the dominant and auxiliary functions come naturally, the third function usually remains poorly developed until later on in life, exhibiting itself as a weak or negative point in one’s thinking. Because of this, younger INFJs are more likely to struggle with internal logic, leaving them controlled by their Ni and Fe functions.
extroverted Sensing (Se)
The fourth INFJ function is extroverted Sensing (Se). There is some debate on how personalities use their fourth function. Some think, just as the third function, that it remains poorly developed until one ages. Others believe that it is fully develop and accessed on a subconscious level from a ripe age, leaving it working in pristine fashion without conscious knowledge.
While we cannot be sure which theory is accurate, one thing that most agree on is that consciously, the fourth function seems to be very weak and exhibits the negative traits of our behavior. Because of this, the INFJ is less apt to be actively aware of or interested in the physical world around them.
These four primary functions make up the majority of who each individual is on a day to day basis. With the knowledge of one’s primary functions, it becomes easier to understand and, in some cases even predict, someone’s actions in any given situation.