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I can't tell the difference between S and N in myself or others. Help.

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This is a discussion on I can't tell the difference between S and N in myself or others. Help. within the Myers Briggs Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; Originally Posted by Aelthwyn In my observation of the Ss and Ns I know here's some basic differences. I'm not ...

  1. #21
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aelthwyn View Post
    In my observation of the Ss and Ns I know here's some basic differences. I'm not sure if it follows the official definitions properly, but I think it's close.

    Sensing: primarily concerned with the outer world of physical sensations. Their primary action is in the world of the body, not the mind. Their body, and particularly hands are their tool to observe and act upon the world around them.
    Thus it follows that Sensing is more related to Judging and Percieving which are also concerned with how you act in the world. (Hence SPs and SJs)
    Ss seem more driven to action. They seem to get bored when they can't be Doing something, when there isn't something entertaining to see-hear-taste-feel-do. They are 'tuned in' to the world around them and like to engage with their physical surroundings. They want to know Who What When Where and How. They want to see theories in action. They want to see ideas made real. They seem to focus on experiences. This doesn't mean they can't like Fantasy, or can't be idealistic or creative. But they seem to have more of a drive to Make the dream come alive. They like practical application and seem to value usefull things. They seem to not like days when they've just been sitting around not accomplishing/experiencing anything.

    Intuition: primarily concerned with the inner or immaterial world of emotion and thoughts/concepts. Their action is mental/spiritual action. Their tools logic and emotion.
    Thus it follows that Intuition is more related to Thinking and Feeling which are inner methods of dealing with the world.
    (Hence NFs and NTs)
    Intuitives seem more contemplative. To them, the action takes place in the mind. They are always finding their minds drawing them in from the outside to think about things - to process and analyse. Thy are always asking Why. Their brains are wired to make connections between things, see relationships, and search for the underlying causes. Thus they naturally jump from single case scenarios to 'the grand scheme.' They seek Understanding, and thrive off theories and ideas. Their ideas don't always galvanize them into action in the outer world however. They tend to live much more in their heads than in their hands.
    I agree with The Waffle...I think you're mixing sensing and intution with a bit of introversion and extroversion. These aren't quite the descriptions, but these almost sound like descriptions of Se and Ni.

    I for example, have dominant Si, and this is very driven by a lot of personal thought and emotion. I do a lot of contemplating. But, what I'm contemplating about is a lot more realistic and sensory...I focus a lot on past, real memories. It's just not as "big picture" and theoretical and imaginative as intuition is.


    So I generally agree with your descriptions here, but not quite.

  2. #22
    Unknown Personality

    *sigh* I'm starting to think that I straddle the borderline between sensor and intuitive so much that it's not even funny.

    The thing with me is that I only use intuition when I want to. When I see a chair or an onion or anything else, I don't think that much about it. However, if I felt like it, I could use it. Surely intuitives don't constantly get ideas from everything they see, do they? I mean, sometimes it happens with me, but it doesn't always happen.
    Last edited by Angelic Gardevoir; 01-16-2011 at 06:45 PM.
    Tony, Neon Knight, davisk and 2 others thanked this post.

  3. #23
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelic Gardevoir View Post
    *sigh* I'm starting to think that I straddle the borderline between sensor and intuitive so much that it's not even funny.

    The thing with me is that I only use intuition when I want to. When I see a chair or an onion or anything else, I don't think that much about it. However, if I felt like it, I could use it. Surely intuitives don't constantly get ideas from everything they see, do they? I mean, sometimes it happens with me, but it doesn't always happen.
    Um, I think it would be really overwhelming if you went full intuition on every object you see.

    I think the majority of the time, *everyone* sees a chair as a chair. There's no reason for me to contemplate the meaning of life everytime I see a chair.

    I'm not sure I can speak for other intuitives, but I think I have an off-on relationship with intuiton. Maybe this is Se vs. Ni? In certain moods, things are what they are - and I have little need to analyze the heck out of something. In other moods, I can't help but think of every possibility that exists.

    For example, I love modern art. Sometimes seeing a Pollock inspires a range of thoughts like: action, break from tradition, ground, reexamining the use of foreground in paintings, etc. I want to read about his life, and understand his motivations. I want to watch the movie of his life and watch how his painting technique evolves.

    And sometimes, viewing a Pollock just looks like pretty splotches of paint on a canvas.
    Tony, davisk, Angelic Gardevoir and 4 others thanked this post.

  4. #24
    Unknown Personality


    Quote Originally Posted by SarahWilliams View Post
    I'm not sure I can speak for other intuitives, but I think I have an off-on relationship with intuiton. Maybe this is Se vs. Ni? In certain moods, things are what they are - and I have little need to analyze the heck out of something. In other moods, I can't help but think of every possibility that exists.
    The letters that indicate our types are preferences. Any person is assumed to fluctuate between any functions depending on context, but there are the functions with which we will feel more at home and define us in the long run.

    I can be S when the situation calls for it or when my N is having an off day, but I do feel it is with my N that I really shine and have my best moments.
    SarahWilliams thanked this post.

  5. #25
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahWilliams View Post
    Um, I think it would be really overwhelming if you went full intuition on every object you see.
    Yes. Yes it would.

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahWilliams View Post
    I think the majority of the time, *everyone* sees a chair as a chair. There's no reason for me to contemplate the meaning of life everytime I see a chair.
    I suppose I was just generalizing. I mean, with the way it was written, it sounded as if anyone who doesn't automatically think of something when they see an object is not an intuitive. ^_^U
    SarahWilliams thanked this post.

  6. #26
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    I think that one of the key differences between the two is that Sensors generally don't seem to trust or understand that which they can't see, or more accurately, sense. If their 5 senses do not pick up on it then they often have difficulty understanding it and even if they come to an understanding they often cannot trust something until it is made concrete and observable in some way and rightfully so.
    Intuitives on the other hand have a hard time trusting the surface of things. The 5 senses for them do not readily supply them with all of the information they need to know about an object or situation. Their intuitive sense does. So they basically only use the 5 senses as more of a "vehicle" and not as a means of understanding.
    This generally leads to misunderstandings between the two types. Of couse when types cannot see beyond their own perspecive, Sensors see Intuitives as crazy or out of touch with reality and often feel they are imagining things or reading too much into things and Intuitives generally see Sensors as too trusting of their perceptions and somewhat naive or unfocused on the true meaning behind the the things they sense.
    Intuitive processes are nearly invisible and partially unconscious while Sensing processes are fairly visible and not only obvious but completely conscious so there are many many misunderstandings just based on this.

    and of course, one thing to mention is that Sensors are all about concrete details and Intuitives are more about the big picture and generalize details their intuition feels is unimportant to the big picture. (I'll also note that in this process of generalization the details not seen as important to the big picture become interchangeable: A small example of this is when attention is not given to the color of an object because it often doesn't matter to the big picture and can really any color can be attributed to an object, in most cases, without changing it's meaning to the bigger picture.)

    Now really I mostly, but not solely, speak of those with sensing as a dominant function which would be ESxP. ISxP aren't as involved in their sensing function although, of course, it does show up in a more obvious manner although it is under less conscious control than their dominant functions. They are slightly closer to some form of intuition as well which serves them some purpose although it becomes subordinate to their dominant and auxiliary functions and can even become "mixed in" with other functions being that it isn't entirely differentiated. So it becomes tricky to fully box ISxP's under sensing on a functional level although they still are more so sensing than anything else because their intuition is not pure and is not completely free of the influence of their dominant and auxiliary functions.

    EDIT: Also I just wanted to add I didn't mean to leave out Ni or Si. This actually applies to them as well but I was mostly thinking of Extroverted Sensing and Extroverted Intuition when trying to illustrate the differences between the types so I only really mentioned ESxP and ISxP. I guess though ESxx and ISxx can be substituted there really. And also I wanted to point out that the last paragraph about ISxP can also be flipped to some degree and used to assume how INxP's (or I guess really INxx) relate to sensing.
    Last edited by Ray Mabry; 01-21-2011 at 06:51 AM.
    Nymma, SarahWilliams, teddy564339 and 7 others thanked this post.

  7. #27
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Ray's last post was fantastic. I hadn't really thought about that, but it's true...Sensors do usually tend to take things at face value, Intuitives tend to look for deeper meaning. My brother, who I think is an ENFP, would always tell me when we were growing up that I never "looked beyond the obvious." When we were kids he thought I was stupid because of that.


    And Ray is also right in saying that it makes a difference whether not S/N is your dominant function or not. Someone with an auxiliary S/N function would not show these attributes as strongly as an S/N dom would. Like in the example with my brother and I, he has dominant Ne and I have dominant Si...so that would make that difference stand out even more to us. So that plays into the whole thing as well.
    Last edited by teddy564339; 01-20-2011 at 02:37 PM.

  8. #28
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    To continue with the chair example:

    My ex was an ESTP, and we both liked old furnature, but our aprouch was very different. We actually bought a chair from a junk shop while we were together and we had very different reactions to it.

    Me: Oh! look at that chair...it makes me feel nostalgic, and it captures a sense of comfort and whimsy. It makes me think of libaries, and cosy cottages...and that wicker part, that reminds me of a chair I had as a child, it's so delicate and lovly, it looks like lots of little stars...and the pattern on the cushion makes me think of William Morris, and his organic forms, growth and beauty...I could put it by the fire place and create a cosy little nook, infact I could use the fire place to store magazines rather than buy a magazine rack, and it goes with my mirror, and those curved arm rests, they feel so elegant. It is an expression of tradition, and warmth, and timeless style..I really want that chair.
    Him: I kind of like the variation in the coloure of the varnish...
    Me: why?
    Him: uh, because I do?
    Me: that's really it?
    Him: I...just think rustic things look cool.
    Me: so can we buy the chair?
    Him: isn't it sort of old ladyish?
    Me: not how I am going to do it, so it's like a grand study sort of thing...
    Him: *dubiousely* I'll take your word for it.
    *my INFP friend sees the chair when we bring it home.*
    INFP: that is amazing! It makes me think of libarys, and Sherlocke Holmes...smoking jackets...intelligence and style...god, I want that chair.Where did you get it? *note how the Ni user is more direct and cuts right to the heart of the issue, not expanding outwards constantly or going on major tangents, in comparison to my Ne response.*

    S users arn't looking at something and seeing all it's possibilities, or in terms of essence and connotations with ideas or archetypes. They see a thing, not abstractions from that thing, or it as respresenting anything other than what it literally is. It's a kind of old fashioned looking chair, good for sitting on, the variation in the varnish looks cool, what are those two N users going on about? When it's set up as the N users imagined, in a study envirment and with whmsical things, they can see what they were getting at more clearly...but's it's still just a chair. Silly N users.

    Though this is Se biased.
    SarahWilliams thanked this post.

  9. #29
    INFJ - The Protectors

    I don't think sensors' views necessarily lack depth at all. My husband is a sensor, and I'm intuitive. I notice a big difference when we shop. He can pick up an orange and spend quite a bit of time noticing its details, determining if it'll be tasty and wonderful. It's not that I don't notice the orange, but I can't stick as long with the experience itself. I watch him, wondering what he's experiencing, thinking about where we'll go next or about the social problems of fruit imports or trying not to interrupt him to ask him what he thinks of the problem of binary oppositions as a common worldview. Sometimes (I'm a little embarrassed to admit), I bring a book to read. No matter how hard I try, I can't be with the orange like he can. I admire that.

  10. #30
    INFJ - The Protectors


    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Mabry View Post
    I think that one of the key differences between the two is that Sensors generally don't seem to trust or understand that which they can't see, or more accurately, sense. If their 5 senses do not pick up on it then they often have difficulty understanding it and even if they come to an understanding they often cannot trust something until it is made concrete and observable in some way and rightfully so.
    Intuitives on the other hand have a hard time trusting the surface of things. The 5 senses for them do not readily supply them with all of the information they need to know about an object or situation. Their intuitive sense does. So they basically only use the 5 senses as more of a "vehicle" and not as a means of understanding.
    This generally leads to misunderstandings between the two types. Of couse when types cannot see beyond their own perspecive, Sensors see Intuitives as crazy or out of touch with reality and often feel they are imagining things or reading too much into things and Intuitives generally see Sensors as too trusting of their perceptions and somewhat naive or unfocused on the true meaning behind the the things they sense.
    Intuitive processes are nearly invisible and partially unconscious while Sensing processes are fairly visible and not only obvious but completely conscious so there are many many misunderstandings just based on this.

    and of course, one thing to mention is that Sensors are all about concrete details and Intuitives are more about the big picture and generalize details their intuition feels is unimportant to the big picture. (I'll also note that in this process of generalization the details not seen as important to the big picture become interchangeable: A small example of this is when attention is not given to the color of an object because it often doesn't matter to the big picture and can really any color can be attributed to an object, in most cases, without changing it's meaning to the bigger picture.)

    Now really I mostly, but not solely, speak of those with sensing as a dominant function which would be ESxP. ISxP aren't as involved in their sensing function although, of course, it does show up in a more obvious manner although it is under less conscious control than their dominant functions. They are slightly closer to some form of intuition as well which serves them some purpose although it becomes subordinate to their dominant and auxiliary functions and can even become "mixed in" with other functions being that it isn't entirely differentiated. So it becomes tricky to fully box ISxP's under sensing on a functional level although they still are more so sensing than anything else because their intuition is not pure and is not completely free of the influence of their dominant and auxiliary functions.
    Well thought out, thanks for this.
    Ray Mabry thanked this post.


 
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