INFPs & INTPs: Ni in the id

INPs Ni is shown in their experiencing of their inner perceptions with great conviction, great sage-like wisdom and sense of knowingness, but they privately and unconsciously manage their Ni, which exists in their id. Unless you direct their attention to their own Ni, they may not even realize they do it. As an INFP, it took me a month to figure out it is constantly on in the background of my mind. INPs often seem quite reflective, spacey, and distracted by their internal world, and this is because they are experiencing the inward intensity of Ni as they get sucked into this function, which can make them feel psychotic. This inwardness is not simply the result of Fi or Ti, but trains of intuitive hunches that go deeper and deeper in to the subject. They can sense the profound implications of certain ideas.

However, they avoid appearing psychotic, prophetic or knowing for they believe that Ni comes off as too arrogant and certain of itself. INPs attempt to get out of this Ni state because their hidden agenda (tertiary function) is Si. They seek to be relaxed, tranquil, and in tune with the subtle charming pleasantries and aesthetics of the physical world (Si), which they can have trouble doing. However, Si and Ni cannot be simultaneously on—when one is on, the other has to be off. However, for INPs, their Ni is constantly on, and that is why their Si suffers.

INPs spend a lot of time in their head creating their inner worldview with Ni. However, they like to use Ni for themselves, not feeling as obligated to share it with the world like INJs, and if they do share Ni insights, it is indirect—they present it via Ne and their dominant judging functions. As rational types they don’t like how irrational Ni presents itself to the outside world—Ni must submit itself to principles via Ti or values via Fi (some sort of “standard”). All sides of the story and alternatives must be presented via Ne in a relaxed manner, and Ni ideas (though felt with a strong knowingness) can only presented as a “could be”, allowing others a sense of choice.

The advantage of a very strong and unvalued Ni (id Ni of the INP) is that they present Ni in an indirect and unserious, and thus harmless “no big deal” matter, and thus people actually are more willing to consider it as it is more palatable.

The disadvantage is that their Ni can have a somewhat negative tint to it. When Ni insights are presented by Ni-valuing types, INPs will unfairly ridicule them with their own Ni. Ni works both positively and negatively in INPs, but when things are going swell INPs are not inclined to talk about Ni, preferring Ne. But when prompted by negative “premonitions”, they will feel inclined to warn people, or when someone is annoying them they will unleash their negative Ni “knowing” insights about them. The id nature makes the Ni come out as unpleasant outpourings from the unconscious. The unconscious nature of the Ni makes their Ni more difficult and way too complex to explain, compared to INJs who can more consciously explicate it in a simpler form. This last part I garnered from Stellar Maze.

In certain ways, as Stellar Maze has pointed out, this id function (6th function) is more powerful than the dominant ego one (1st function). This is because the id/unconscious is experienced as an incredible force. It cannot be as controlled as so overwhelms the being. INJs have the power of more conscious control of the function, but imagine The Hulk here it comes to INPs.

Ni is very much present in INPs’ ideas either in speech or writing, but must be indirectly ascertained. Others do see INPs as wise and highly intuitive and can see both the positives and negatives of their Ni. It is important for INPs to know this. This is because INPs mostly perceive their Ni in a negative light, and thus seek to get away from it (which they attempt to do via Ne and Si). Exploring the world of outer possibilities of Ne, and the small pleasures of Si has an alleviating effect on their intensive Ni.
Ni is like a treasure box in the attic of their mind that needs to be dusted off and unlocked. When INPs start consciously embracing it, Ni can actually be an incredible tool, as it is already very strong. It is the lack of trust in it that makes it seem weak. It would be good to balance out their Ne. Ne will give an endless list of options, but if they allow themselves to tune in and trust their hunches, they will know what intuitively are the best options to take.

*Wait for INFJs to leave the room*

Don’t tell the INFJs, but a good example of an INTP who embraced his Ni is Carl Jung himself. There is a video of him in old age in which he pretty much says that he is an INTP and his life reveals inferior feeling tendencies (Jung on his type), and yet for some reason people really want to argue otherwise, and even say he can’t type himself with the type system he created. Obvious in his writing is a good deal of Ti. He has unlocked Ni in himself, his wise-man function (according to Dr, Beebe). Ni is the wise-man or wise-woman function of INPs. The reason why people argue he is an INFJ is that they don’t understand that the Ni of INTPs is actually very strong. When they choose to embrace it, it comes quite naturally.

If Si is the weakness that INPs try very hard to exaggerate and present to others (and others see right through it), Ni is the great strength that they try very hard to hide (and yet others uncover it). Te, Fe, and Se are so hard to work at for INPs. Pull out that Ni and start to love it!

19 Comments on “INFPs & INTPs: Ni in the id

  1. This is illuminating, thank you 🙂
    Whenever i get what are probably these Ni hunches, out of the blue (e.g. Waking up, walking at night) I get really scared and have trouble breathing. Then, as you aptly described, my Ne acts up to present other possibilities. I am not aware how Si response manifests in my case…

  2. Interesting, but….I do not have a clear piture yet. Can you give some specific examples of an unlocked/dusted/embraced INP Ni ? The reference to Yung and general trusting “hunches” is too nebulous (for me), even with my Ne on overdrive! How do you, a. Find it (distinguish from irrational thought patters), b. Unblock it, c. Trust it, And d. Let it function? What form(s) does it take? How does it influence writing and speech in Ni-embracing individuals? What are the results? Have you measured your own success, because in the general population (excluding infj’s, of course) hunches usually lead to incorrect conclusions. What you are saying is lovely and I would like to embrace it, but need more information, please.

    1. There will be more content on my channel on this topic. Ni is already very strong, so it is a matter of recognizing its presence and accepting it. It does not have to be deliberately strengthened. Once its strength is recognized, your ability to cultivate it will be automatic, as you already have a good sense of how to use the function. The problem is a matter of value–Ni is not valued, and so even though it is strong we might ignore its input. You cannot necessarily distinguish it from irrational thought patterns, as it is irrational by nature, and also it is not necessarily accurate. If you ask a self-realized INJ they will say their Ni can be spot on, but also inaccurate as well.

  3. Don’t you think an INFP can become proficient in Se or at least train themselves to be very athletically inclined? I know I sometimes don’t notice things but I am very physically fit and carry myself in a strong manner. I find this article confusing.

    1. Physical fitness itself is not necessarily Se, and you will find it in Si. If you carry yourself in a strong manner that would be Se. I personally enjoy fitness a great deal. For an INFP, there will be difficulties in terms of using force–that is getting people to do things.

  4. Hi Leon,

    Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge on MBTI! I’ve typed myself as an INTP a few years back, and it’s really your content that has deepened my grasp on the whole MBTI typology. So, thank you for that. Now, this article is a first in making me consider my own Fi. Mostly INTPs tend to get advice that boils down to “go develop your inferior Fe”, so I never really considered what role Fi might play in my life. And this article actually brought back a personal memory of mine, about which I wonder whether you’d agree that this may have been a rare conscious flash of Fi:

    A few years ago, I was having an online discussion (I think on Facebook) with a few friends about some thing we would go do together (forgot what it was). People were at the point of letting the group know whether they could be there or not. So, I had just talked to one of my friends about this in person. And he told me he wouldn’t be able to be there. He had some big trip planned instead, about which I could tell he was very excited. But neither one of us had already responded to the group whether we’d be there or not.

    So, when I was about to send my response (before my friend had had a chance to), I thought “let me just bring everyone up-to-date here”: share all the knowledge I have at this point. It’s what I do, I’m an INTP. But while formulating that my friend wouldn’t be there because of other plans, it suddenly struck me out of nowhere that he wouldn’t like it if I told this to the group instead of himself. Normally I wouldn’t care at all about such a thing, like “Hey, I’m letting people know, so that you don’t have to anymore”. Usually, such a thought wouldn’t even come up in consciousness for me. But I remember this as a hunch that just came out of nowhere, and I eventually did restrict my comment in order to let him tell about his trip himself (even though I still thought it was somewhat silly to do so). Yet I did find there was some deeper, hard-to-grasp sense of propriety that made me act this way, instead of mindlessly sharing all the information I had at that time. And, even though we never actually spoke a word about this afterwards, I do believe he really appreciated my not telling even though I already knew.

    So, do you think that story qualifies as a glimpse of my Ni? Or is that still just my inferior Fe that made an appearance?

    1. Hi Kristof, I definitely do see this as the operation of Ni–having forethought into the consequences, paired with your Fe, your sensitivity towards others. Thanks for sharing! ~Leon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *