Introverted Intuitive (INXX)

Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2022 by Sri.Tagged TROPE

On Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI) scoring exams, I score either as an INFP or INTJ depending on the context: If I am at home and comfortable, I'm an INFP. If I'm negotiating with the external world, then I'm INTJ. I've taken this instrument in various forms since my sophmore year in college in 1988, and it's held consistent as a preference toward one or the other. While the MBTI is not considered part of serious personality science, I find the Jungian-derived archetypes broadly useful in labeling aspects of my personality as they correspond quite well to my lived experience.

I think of myself as having a squishy feeling core that is protected by armor; the core is INFP and the armor is INTJ. At my core, I'm a values-based person that wants harmony and beauty between people in supportive and forward-looing existence together. However, I also believe the world can be a dangerous and uncaring place, so I have a data-driven analytical persona is the interface responsible for "reading" the state of the world and protecting the fragile core. It is noteworthy that my data-driven side is not values-based, and is free to evaluate courses of action from an amoral perspective as a matter of practicing due dilligence. It is the values-based core, however, that makes the decision on what to do. I once saw this described by someone (citation lost) as Logic driven by emotion, and that is very accurate.

In my MBTI testing, I type about 60% Introverted on the Extraversion/Introversion axis and 75% Intuitive on the Sensing/Intuition axis. It's in the Thinking/Feeling and Judging/Perceiving axes that I tend to approach a 50/50 ratio (the 'X' indicator) but tip into INFP or INTJ depending on the context in which I imagine myself when taking the test (I use "at home by myself" and "at work with others" as the two contexts).

Interestingly, I don't seem to type as INTP or INFJ, which are the other two archetypes possible with INXX. There are "four dichotomies" in MBTI. Reviewing each individual axis from the Jungian perspective:

  • Extraversion vs Introversion is the "dominant function", describing the preference you have for where you put your attention. Extraversion is characterized by acting, reflecting, then acting again which gains energy. Introversion put reflection first, followed by action, then more reflection, which expends energy. I very much process the world for insights and concepts, and am usually not "in the real world" because of that.

  • Sensing vs Intuition is the preference for how one gathers information (perceiving). Sensing emphasizes information that is in the present, tangible, and concrete data. The data is the information. Intuition by comparison trust information that can be associated with other information or observed patterns; underlying theory and principles are the data. I am very strongly oriented toward concepts as a way of understanding the world.

  • Thinking vs Feeling is the preference for how to make decisions. Is it based on emotion or some system of reason. Here I can go either way.

  • Judging vs Perceiving is the MBTI-added dimension for preferring sensing/intuition (perceiving) or thinking/feeling (perceiving). Likewise here I can go either way.

My preference changes depending on the situation. I always tend toward introverted-intuitive processing, but I prefer data gathering (S vs I) over decision making (T vs F) in some situations and vice versa in others:

  • As an INFP, I am receiving information with my heart and optimizing for positive emotion

  • As an INTJ, I am making decisions based on data I have gathered and processed to optimize for a particular result

  • If I were an INTP, that might mean ?

  • If I were an INTP, that might mean ?