Each personality type has four Cognitive Functions. Functions put language to the way we 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 NiTe’s functions are as follows:
1. Ni - internal iNtuition
Ni is like a background processor that can compute and process information without needing to consciously work through each part of the thought. It’s easily able to see ten steps ahead and predict what might happen in the future because. Ni-dominant types are able to access many parts of their brain at once to find an optimal solution to new problems. Because Ni is the NiTe’s main function, everything else is said to serve it.
2. Te - external Thinking
Te allows NiTe’s to operate efficiently in all areas of life. It is the NiTe’s primary decision-making process, which means that if a decision is needed in the moment, they will rely on what makes the most sense objectively. Because Te is the primary external function, it is usually the first thing other people will notice about NiTe’s.
3. Fi - internal Feeling
Fi is the NiTe’s third function. It is the NiTe’s secondary decision-making process and can take longer to come to a conclusion than Te does. Because it’s an internal process, it likes to mull over all the details before deciding. Fi is what tells the NiTe how they feel or how others might feel about a particular thing. It can act as a warning system when Te thinks a decision makes sense but Fi knows it’s a bad idea.
4. Se - external Sensing
Se is the NiTe’s last function. As a last function, it is inherently not as strong as the other functions. Se is the NiTe’s more concrete side that lets them connect to the world around them. Having Se last means that NiTe’s can easily get drained if they have to actively engage with the people or the world around them for long periods of time.
NiTe’s have a very deep internal world. They are extremely intuitive and can often see all the possibilities for how a particular situation will play out. They are then able to analyze all the options and refine them down until they arrive at what they feel is the most likely one. They may even be able to use this to predict the future in a sense.
Some NiTe’s are so involved in their internal world that their version of the world differs from what most people would define as reality. This can foster a powerful imagination which lets them come up with completely novel ideas because they simply aren’t tied to thinking about things in terms of the normal limits others consider. They may even end up accomplishing things others would deem impossible. However, this imagination also has the ability to be detrimental if they become isolated from input. They need feedback from others to help determine when their ideas are genius, and when they are just a little too far out there.
A common strategy that can be especially helpful for NiTe’s is to create a stripped down beta version of their idea and then get it out there to see how people respond. If all goes well, they can start adding on more of the features and incorporating other ideas they had. Otherwise, they may want to go back and work on the base concept again, or try a different idea entirely.
NiTe’s really like improving things. They tend to enjoy work where they get to combine their ability to see ten steps ahead with their drive to make things better and more efficient. Some examples could be engineering, product design, architecture, or the sciences. They also tend to be interested in solving big practical issues like pollution or overpopulation.
They can be very all or nothing. NiTe’s tend to be very deliberate about the choices they make and they like to do things with excellence when they’re working on something they care about. This means that doing the right work, they are extremely responsible and determined. With the wrong work, they may get irritable and apathetic about the way the job is done, or may focus too much on little details without being able to see what’s most important in the context of the big picture. It’s important that they gain the self-awareness needed to know the difference. Figuring this out sooner rather than later can prevent years of frustration, both on the part of the NiTe themselves and their bosses and co-workers.
In any experience, they may get irritated at times if they feel like the person in charge doesn’t know what they’re doing. Over time they can learn how to tell when it’s actually just a difference from their own leadership style, which they can respect, versus a real problem that is going to have significant negative consequences. Generally they’re able to start seeing this difference in young adulthood, but it can take a long time to give the benefit of the doubt to the person in charge.
When it comes to making life transitions, NiTe’s like to think things through and implement them one step at a time. This way, if something doesn’t work out like they thought it would, they can adjust or redirect the path they’re on to take the new information into account. It also might take NiTe’s a little while to process something before they really know how they feel about it. Especially with big decisions, it’s usually beneficial for them to have at least a day or two to think things over before giving their final decision.
NiTe’s may generally expect things to stay the same in their relationships, even if they haven’t talked to the other person for a while. They may also have a clear expectation of how something will play out based on past experiences with the other person. However, there are times they reconnect with someone and realize that the other person forgot to inform them that things had changed. An example could be an old friend that didn’t mention they were dating someone and brought them along to a planned hang out. If it’s something that their Ni wasn’t able to predict, it can feel very abrupt.
Because Se is last, the NiTe’s ability to just go with what’s happening in the moment usually isn’t very strong until they’ve had a chance to develop it more. This usually happens in their late 20’s and beyond. Although it’s different for each NiTe, unpredicted interruptions can feel disruptive to their flow for the day. They are likely to get into a certain state - an organized or a relaxed state for example - and they prefer to stay in that flow for a chunk of time rather than switching back and forth between errands and relaxing. Being able to stick to the same types of activities for a chunk of time can help the NiTe better deal with the external world.
Similarly, if someone says something that that the NiTe wasn’t expecting to hear, they may feel confused as to why the person is sharing that particular thing with them. An example could be a co-worker mentioning that a parent died. Because the NiTe’s Feeling is internal, they usually don’t have enough time in the moment to know how they feel about it. They may even ignore it completely because it’s an uncomfortable situation, and they’re not sure how to respond. In these situations they may find that it helps to ask the person a question so that they have enough information to feel like they’re on the same wavelength. This can also give them an easy way to avoid talking if they’re not sure what to say.
When NiTe’s are younger, they don’t have enough past experience in various areas of life to pull from in order to know which reactions would be appropriate in social and relational settings. They might say something and get a negative response, but while they may be aware that it didn’t go over well, they can struggle if they don’t know exactly what they should replace the old behaviour with. Their safest bet is often to try a small tweak to see if it makes a difference, rather than trying an entirely new approach.
Although some people may simply try to step into the other person’s shoes to handle this, Ni and Fi as a pair can create an extremely subjective perspective. This can also mean that NiTe’s may offend people unintentionally at times.
NiTe’s are quite private and generally don’t show their real feelings often and are often accused of not having much empathy or emotion because of their lower levels of expression. When they do get emotional, it’s usually because they’re talking about something that matters to them deeply. It can be useful for them to take note of the times they get emotional or passionate about something, as these can be clues to their values and core mission in life.
At times Ni can get overwhelmingly intense. When it’s stuck in a loop of examining every thread of possibility on either a particular topic or simply everything the NiTe encounters throughout their day, they can get really exhausted. They can also end up in Ni-Fi loops where they create an entire subjective reality in their mind based on a fairly small amount of evidence. It’s important for NiTe’s to have good people around them to draw them back into the real world and prevent them from getting too lost in these kinds of situations.
NiTe’s can come across as fairly serious around most people, with the exception of the few people they feel close to. They often prefer to be autonomous in their day-to-day life and are unlikely to cater their whole life to try and make people happy. They feel really good when they know that they have the option to be completely independent of other people and their decisions. However, when it comes to a significant other, they can be extremely devoted and loyal as long as their trust isn’t betrayed.
NiTe’s can make great managers if it’s worth it to them, but it’s important for them to recognize the types of people they work well with and develop their ability to delegate tasks to those working for them. Although they can usually train someone to do a particular task, they tend to prefer teaching people who pick it up quickly so they can move onto the next thing. If the other person comes back to them every five minutes asking for more help, they can start to feel frustrated. The NiTe may forget that not everyone is able to tackle tasks independently like they can.
In casual conversation, they may be tempted to correct what they feel are inaccuracies stated by others, or point out information they feel is being left out. They can usually see why someone is coming from their own perspective, but they like to bring up alternative perspectives so the person can see it from a different point of view. If you’re close to one, you can trust an NiTe to tell you if they think you’re being stupid. Although it might not be surrounded by fluffy language to make you feel good, it’s likely they are doing it from a genuine place of caring about you.
They also tend to need to talk through their thoughts or at least externalize them by writing them out to feel like they’re fully fleshed out. Generally the thoughts in their head exist in a very abstract form, so talking them through or writing them down can help to solidify them. They may find it frustrating at times if people assume that the thoughts they’re sharing are fully formed and decided on, when often they’re just talking to work out a thought and they haven’t quite arrived at a conclusion yet.
NiTe’s internal world has a certain intensity to it that they may feel is lost once it’s brought out through verbal communication. They tend to be more at ease communicating through images, sound, written word, or some other form of expression where they are able to explore the full depth of an idea and expand on it before presenting it to public scrutiny. They are also usually more interested in finding the meaning behind things than taking them at face value, which means they may take some time to process new opportunities or unusual circumstances they find themselves in.
It’s important for the NiTe to not spend too much of their day in an environment that demands their focus on real world details that don’t have a clear and obvious structure to them. They naturally operate well in circumstances where they know exactly what they’re meant to do in concrete terms. However, because Se is last while Ni is driving so to speak, if they have yet to be trained on exactly how to do something and it’s not clear to them intuitively, they may freeze up. This is because Ni can see so many ways of doing the same thing that they can struggle to pick one option over the other. As they age and develop Te, they tend to get better at just picking an option and going with it and then analyzing it afterwards to see if a change needs to be made the next time around.
It’s not uncommon for them to have strong abilities that they don’t really show off to people. You may be surprised to stumble across a drawing and learn that an NiTe you know is excellent at drawing manga characters but never mentioned it to you before.
Too much time being forced to engage with the real world can get really exhausting for them. Finding ways to minimize this drain is a good way to allow them to focus their creative abilities on the things they are best at. One of the biggest drains is when real world things are unstable (like not having enough money to pay the bills) and the NiTe needs to think about all the little practical details of staying alive, it can be especially stressful. Having to actively think about finding work, doing paperwork, playing the social games, cooking their food, and making money can get old really fast. Another common drain can be having a lot of emotional demands from people around them that they simply don’t have the energy to meet.