Each personality type has four Cognitive Functions. Functions put language to the way they process information and make decisions, and their order is based on personal preferences. Thinking and Feeling are used to make decisions, while iNtuition and Sensing are used to process information. Each type is referred to by their top two functions. Internal functions are the ones you use in your head, and external functions are the ones you use to interact with the world around you.
The SiTe’s functions are:
1. Si - introverted Sensing
SiTe’s naturally use Si to catalogue experiences and information they deem important. In particular, they remember their impressions of experiences they’ve had. They have an organized internal world and their mind can easily put similar pieces of information into appropriate categories. They learn straightforward, practical systems, rules, and strategies with ease and grace and love when something is done right. Si gives the sense of the SiTe being grounded and having a linear, black and white way of thinking about things.
2. Te - extroverted Thinking
Te is the primary way SiTe’s interact with the world around them. Te makes them loves efficiency and getting things done, and can enjoy a bit of healthy competition at times if they feel like they have a chance at winning. It is the SiTe’s primary decision-making process, which means that if a decision is needed in the moment, they tend to rely on what makes the most sense logically. They are more concerned about moving forward than they are about it being the perfect solution. Because Te is the primary external function, it is usually the first thing other people will notice about SiTe’s.
3. Fi - introverted Feeling
Fi is the SiTe’s third function. Fi is sensitive to the feelings of others and the atmosphere they’re in, and they use it to assess situations to see how things match up to their values and beliefs so they can act accordingly. They may think of their Fi as their gut instinct. It can act as a warning system when Te thinks a decision makes sense logically, but somewhere inside, Fi knows it’s a bad idea. Since Fi is internal, SiTe’s need more time to mull over the details of decisions that involve their beliefs or values. Because Fi is right after Te in order of preference, SiTe’s can be quite balanced between their action-oriented analytical side and the side of them that ponders their beliefs and values and the meaning behind things.
4. Ne - extroverted iNtuition
Ne is the SiTe’s last function. Ne is the small part of the SiTe that craves new experiences and ideas, but because it is their weakest function, it can only be used in simple ways or for short periods of time. For example, when coming up with an idea to execute a project, they can take a lot of details they’ve gathered from previous experience and put them together to form a really great concept, but coming up with an idea about a project when they have no relevant practical experience catalogued away can be very difficult. Ne can also fuel sudden “lightbulb” moments where an idea strikes them out of nowhere as they’re talking.
Dominant Function and Core of the Internal World:
SiTe’s are a practical, strategic thinkers that love pulling the best out of people and projects. Whatever they decide to do, it will probably involve maximizing potential.
Si is all about real-world experiences. SiTe’s, often without noticing, pay a lot of attention to how things that engage their 5 senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, seeing, smelling) affect them. They value their own experiences very highly, and typically have a very good memory or catalogue of details about them. They tend to store their impressions of experiences rather than direct memories of the experiences themselves. They use this information to help them make the best decisions possible in the future. Some examples could be noting the details of the expectations their boss has of them at work or the methods they’ve used that seem to work best for making a good impression on someone. A more specific example could be a lawyer noting the particular elements that always need to be in place in order to convince the jury that someone is innocent.
People with strong Si naturally become ritualistic in their everyday behavior, because they find positive experiences that work for them and want to continue having those experiences. They also might highly value “traditions” in the personal sense. Perhaps they like having a certain kind of cake on their birthday every year, or they always go on vacation to the same place every summer. However, Si is very subjective, which means each person who uses Si might value vastly different “traditions” or rituals from the next person.
Despite some popular stereotypes, SiTe’s do change their minds, though it might take longer for them than for other types. They often have a quirky sarcastic sense of humour and care deeply for those close to them, though they are far more likely to show their love in practical ways rather than being sappy and overly affectionate.
SiTe’s are generally pretty in touch with the physical world around them. They usually take care of life’s daily needs either through an organized schedule or a to-do list (which could be on paper or kept in their heads). Because the to-do list in their head is often being added to just as quickly as they check things off, they may feel that they haven’t accomplished much unless they are able to see tangible results from their efforts. When they get off balance in their daily life and stops being able to keep track of everything that needs to be done, sometimes just writing out their to-do lists and schedules helps them to get back on track. It can also reveal tasks or events that really aren’t worth keeping as a high priority.
SiTe’s might relate to the idea of their brain being like an internal filing cabinet that stores the information they gather from the world in an organized fashion. Once they learn the details of how a system works, they are unlikely to forget it quickly. They are easily able to map out the details of what needs to happen to make an idea a reality, as long as the idea isn’t overly vague and opaque, as they have naturally linear thought patterns. They usually enjoy work where a key part of their role is to learn and become the expert in a set of procedures, a piece of software, a machine, or anything else that runs in a clear, linear, systematic way. Many SiTe’s are editors, lawyers, or accountants because they can keep track of all the rules and make quick logical decisions when they’re needed.
SiTe’s manage concrete practical information more easily than abstract concepts. Because they are linear thinkers, they naturally ask themselves “What is the next step?”, and because they are detail-oriented, they are often able to manage or design highly complex systems and highly detailed projects with incredible grace. This could look like managing all of the orders and customers for a business, or keeping track of all their kids’ activities for the week and finding a way to make sure everyone gets where they need to go.
They tend to live knee-deep in the details which helps with managing high levels of complexity, but they may struggle to zoom out and give a big picture view of something. It can be frustrating when they can understand and see all the steps needed to complete a project, but others around them can’t seem to see the work and details that will be necessary - especially when it’s the people who they need help from in order to accomplish their goal.
When someone in front of them needs help, SiTe’s are often very helpful in plotting out the specific steps they’ll need to achieve that goal. When they're intentionally planning for the future they can have good long-term perspective if it's in areas they're familiar with. This is because when they've learned the rules from their own and others' experiences and they've seen how different choices and actions affected the outcome, they internalize how the whole system works. If they have enough resources and the rules don't change that much over time, they can be unshakeable.
People with strong Si like to know what to expect and to plan accordingly. Routine is one of the their best tools, and they wield it well. When they know what is expected of them, they can accomplish really great things. However, they may not do well with vague instructions or surprises that affect the task at hand. If they spend enough time with a particular person, whether it’s as a partner, parent, employee, boss, or child, they may be able to find ways to interpret a vague idea into the details they need, but they nearly always need a lot of detail and clarity in the beginning of a relationship. They are also very reliable, and it’s hugely important to them that the people in their lives are dependable.
It’s important for SiTe’s to have time to make their decisions. A good default response to any important question is typically something like - “Let me think about that and get back to you tomorrow.” It’s important that they aren’t pressured into giving a response right away when it’s not necessary, as it may not be nearly as good or accurate as it would be if they had more time to process it.
SiTe’s can feel uncomfortable when faced with an entirely new situation where they have no past knowledge or experience to rely on. They aren’t likely to do something too far outside what their experience (or related experience of people they trust) has proved positive in the past. They greatly prefer having a set of criteria or a specific way to complete tasks that they know works for them. If they decide to take on something big and new, they usually feel a lot more comfortable taking it slowly and getting used to one element at a time, rather than jumping in head first and figuring out the details later.
SiTe’s are generally very organized people. This is not to say they’re all tidy by any means, as they can range from OCD-level cleanliness to “How am I supposed to get across this room without stepping on things?”, but when it comes to something that matters to them, they plan, organize, and execute their plans in a very linear fashion. When they put their all into a project and have the right tools and resources, you can be sure it will be very well executed. It can be very frustrating for SiTe’s who don’t realize that some people aren’t capable of thinking through details in the same way they are.
SiTe’s are great at seeing areas for improvement in people’s lives. Because highly detailed systems naturally make sense to them, they may see a problem someone is having and try to help the person implement their system as a solution. When they’re younger, they might try to apply their solutions to any potentially relevant problem they come across, thinking, “If it works for the me, of course it should work for the person I’m helping!” As they gain more experience in life, they learn to recognize when their help is welcome and where their solutions are the best fit and they become a lot more strategic about the way they help people.
SiTe’s tend to have very high internal standards for themselves, which can cause them to focus on where they feel they’re falling short, even though those around them probably don’t demand the near-perfection they demand of themselves. At times they may even get fixated on doing things “right” according to the rules they’ve internalized about how the world works, and in their younger years it’s not uncommon for them to try to impose these rules on their kids or people they’re trying to help. At times they may not even realize that the world has changed and that it doesn’t work according to the rules they learned anymore. This can be a little disorienting when it hits them that it’s no longer the way they thought it was.
They may not have an easy time seeing their own intelligence because once they learn a complex, detailed system, they operate within it very well and it becomes simple to them. However, this is a talent that comes far more naturally to the SiTe than most other types.
They can become near perfect at random things like wrapping gifts, and they are one of the main types that can get through years of rote practice to reach mastery if they’re working on something that matters to them.
Second Function and the Core of the External World:
SiTe’s are very efficient problem-solvers, naturally seeing the best course of action for the best outcome. They are highly logical and are can make good leaders when they have the right team, easily seeing what everyone should be doing to accomplish the task at hand.
SiTe’s like to plan things out as much as possible, but they always know they can rely on their Te to quickly do a spur-of-the-moment analysis if their ‘Plan A’ somehow falls through. In these situations, if they have the right knowledge, they don’t need to spend lots of time refining and reevaluating things to make a decision. They just pick something and go with it, not worrying about whether it’s perfect, but rather whether it’s good enough for now.
At times, SiTe’s can be impatient with others as they don’t know what it’s like to not be equipped with such a quick, decisive process. They also tend to push through without much complaint in very distressing situations, and they can’t understand why others moan and complain when faced with much smaller difficulties.
SiTe’s value autonomy and tend to be very hard, diligent workers at whatever they set their minds to. They commonly end up in things like law, or government where they can navigate through all of the rules and red tape more easily than most. They are very goal-oriented and results-driven. Because of their high value for efficiency, you aren’t likely to see them continue with an inefficient method for long.
Although it may not always be accurate, it’s very obvious to an SiTe what they think is or isn’t going to work, and it can be frustrating when others don’t see solutions as obviously as they do. They can be quite stubborn when they think they’re right, and they may be accused of being bossy at times, but when they’re healthy they don’t bother correcting someone unless they value that person or their work.
Although the “stubbornness” of an SiTe can frustrate others, the truth is that they’re often the only ones willing to stick to something even when it gets tough and no one values their efforts. There are likely thousands of hidden victories won every year by SiTe’s that aren’t celebrated by anyone, and yet make a significant positive impact on the world we live in.
It can get very frustrating for SiTe's who are constantly doing things out of loyalty to their family or their company and to realize that it's not being seen. They really appreciate being recognized and thanked for their work. Although this is true to some degree for everyone, it's particularly true for them as their work is very often glazed over.
SiTe’s thrive in systems of hierarchy, whether they are leading or taking instruction from those in charge (provided those in charge are competent and effective leaders). If no leader is apparent, the SiTe will usually step up to unite the group and see that things get done. They often don’t want to be the leader in the long-term, but they are masters at getting new things started and filling in the gaps when no one else will.
They work most effectively when they know what boundaries and expectations they can operate within. When they are under a smart and effective leader who brings out and values their talents, they thrive. When they are under an ineffective leader, they will become very frustrated and are likely to do everything they can to either have the leader replaced by someone competent, confront them to help them be more effective, or go find a new leader.
Although no one truly likes it, SiTe’s don’t shy from necessary confrontation. When it comes to interpersonal conflict, they are apt to want to resolve issues in a quick, efficient manner and then move on with life. Only when they feel someone has wronged them or wounded them very deeply will they feel the need to cut people out of their lives. In most instances, they prefer to resolve an issue and move on, without lingering too much in any emotional aspects of the conflict.
SiTe’s are very opinionated people, and while they may be introverted, they are always not shy about expressing their opinions in mixed company. However, if someone starts becoming overly emotional and illogical with their arguments, or cannot articulate their points accurately and concisely, they will likely become frustrated.
SiTe’s like to play “by the book”. Any risks they take are likely to be very calculated, to the point that they probably aren’t very risky from their perspective because of their ability to conceptualize the logistics of the way their plans will work out. While they can be very innovative and idea-oriented, they are more likely to try new things within the context of an area they already have a level of knowledge and experience in.
Third Function and Supporting Role in the Internal World:
Introverted Feeling (Fi) is a slower decision-making process than Te, but many SiTe’s will alternate back and forth between this internal, value-oriented process and their quicker, logic-based decision making. Because their logical side is what people see about them first, it can be easy to miss their more sensitive side. Since they often put more emphasis on the the logical, blunt, take-charge side of themselves, especially when they’re in public, they may view extremely soft-hearted people as being too sensitive.
For example, they might think, “If I wasn’t being effective in that area and didn’t know it, I would want someone to point that out to me!” As a result, they offer up a sincere critique without first making sure to soften the blow - when someone reacts poorly to this, they can get offended or confused. It can take time, (sometimes decades), for the SiTe to know or take into account that others don’t operate like they do. Until that happens, others may view the SiTe’s version of helpfulness as hurtful.
Although they can unintentionally hurt people they care about in the moment while trying to help, upon reflection they’re likely to realize that they may have hurt the person. However, it can take some time for the SiTe to know how to rectify such situations. Because their main method of operation is doing what is logical and efficient, they aren’t as inclined to ruminate at length over how their words and actions will affect others.
It’s also important to note that as they grow, many SiTe’s end up quite balanced between their emotional and logical sides. Although they won’t walk on eggshells to make someone happy, they learn how to carefully phrase their opinions in ways that make them more likely to be accepted and less likely to be hurtful.
Fi is the part of the SiTe that is quite vulnerable and sensitive. While others might view them as blunt, sarcastic, outspoken people, inside they have a soft heart. Their emotions, while sometimes less frequent and complicated than they are for other types, are felt very deep down. They can be very uncomfortable in situations where they're supposed to act really happy and excited while everyone is watching them - a surprise party is a fantastic example of a way to make an SiTe very uncomfortable.
They don’t have very many emotional buttons, but when pushed, those they do have can bring them to their knees. Talking about their emotions in any situation - their innermost fears, their failures and regrets, their hopes, their love - can be quite difficult for the SiTe.
It can be easy, especially in their younger years, for SiTe's to shut out their pain and rely on their Te to protect them. This can make them seem cold, critical, and even outright mean. But as they grow, they tend to realize that ignoring their feelings will never being peace or closure, and they learn to find healthy ways to process those emotions.
They are rarely comfortable with physical affection outside of very close family and friends, but they tend to have a very high value for quality time with those they love, and they really appreciate when others do practical things to show that they care.
Their morals are decided without too much influence from others, although they always take their experiences with others into account. The more experience they have with a person, the more they are able to understand how to interact with them in an effective and caring manner.
Ultimately, they value their own opinion very highly, which is much of what lends to their stubbornness. If they believe they are doing the right thing, they will be able to rationalize almost anything. This aspect of an SiTe’s personality can actually be a hidden strength. They can make advancements in areas that others might be afraid to venture into because they aren’t as worried about what others think of them. Their own interests and values can keep them going on the path towards their goal, even in the face of disapproval from those around them.
Last Function and the Supporting Role of the Internal World:
Ne is the SiTe’s last function. Each SiTe will develop this function at a different pace, but usually it can be observed more and more into adulthood. Ne is the SiTe’s weakest function, so they can struggle to come up with new ideas and concepts when they feel like they don’t have enough real life data to work with. However, they can come up with brilliant plans when they have the right kind of people, experience and skills to work with.
In contrast to Si, Ne is a more abstract, idea exploring function that needs external stimulation (An example of what this looks like for the SiTe is they enjoy discussing big-picture ideas with other people in order to verbally work through how they could make their idea happen, as long as the idea isn’t too unrealistic). It’s common for Ne-first types to be labeled as ADHD early on in life. However, since it comes last for the SiTe, doing things outside of their comfort zone can be draining for them. They might prefer having an aspect of adventure within an already familiar experience; for example, going on vacation to the same destination they go to every year, but going ziplining or horseback riding for the first time. For the most part, when left to their own devices, an SiTe will typically be quite happy with roughly the same daily routine.
It can be relaxing for them to do small-scale Ne things that they can be in control of in the day to day. For example, coming up with a new route home from work to get around traffic, figuring out a new strategy to clean their room/house faster, or cooking a familiar dish with strategic changes to make something new and delicious.
When an SiTe is forced to have a lot of new experiences at once or operate in areas that they have zero practice in, it can be extremely draining. Si is what drives them - it likes to know what to expect, and it doesn’t appreciate surprises. SiTe’s are pretty good at combining their past experiences and knowledge with their Ne to predict what people around them are going to do, or how certain things are going pan out. When their ability to predict what is going to come next fails them, they can become mentally drained trying subconsciously to figure out what to expect anyway. Not knowing what comes next can feel like getting dragged down mentally and like they have to be on high alert for the next unexpected event, because they still want to be prepared… Somehow.
Risk is particularly uncomfortable for SiTe’s. Any type of high risk life decision is likely to be hard to process as no option feels predictable. Whether it’s quitting a steady job to start their own business or moving to an unfamiliar place where they don’t know anyone, they need time to prepare, research, and warm up to these kinds of changes. While they’re not likely to instigate crazy activities, they will often go along with them if someone they know presents the opportunity in an enticing way.
They do best with Ne situations when they have time to plan and prepare. Those around them should understand this and find ways to work with their planning and preparing process. Once an SiTe has researched and planned things to their level of comfort, they can be quite agreeable to new experiences.
Special thanks to my SiTe mother for being the inspiration for this profile, checking it for accuracy, and pointing out all my grammatical mistakes. ;)