Hello and welcome to a new Series I want to make about the 8 Jungian Psychological Functions called “Why [Function name here] Sucks”. Don’t know if I’ll cover all the 8 functions, but I really wanted to cover this one.
If you’re the kind of person who takes things personally and gets offended easily, then this is NOT FOR YOU so please, do us both a favor and simply don’t read this.
But if you’re a light-hearted non-judgmental, fun-seeking person, then welcome, this heresy of a Series is for you. I’m not literally saying any of the 8 functions “is bad”, because they all have a very strong point and use, at the same time sacrificing other areas in order to operate as it does.
I will be poking fun at the functions, starting with my dominant function. I feel it’s only fair that I make fun of my functions first. I will be as merciless on my own functions as I will on the rest, so don’t think I have favorites. I love (and hate) all the functions, maybe not equally, but equitably.
So here goes nothing.
If you’re an ENFP or ENTP and so have Extroverted Intuition (Ne) as your dominant function, then you’re a Spineless Prick with no real loyalty to anything or anyone and no ability to keep your attention and interest with any one thing or person for too long. Yes, I’m over-exaggerating; it’s my job to do so.
How you can get away with it is beyond me. Must be that people find you so interesting and are so delighted by how interesting you find them for a while that they are willing to forgive the fact that 5 minutes later you’ll abandon the deadline project that’s due that very night or your childhood friend that “will be just fine without your interest and attention” for video games or for a new person you haven’t yet met.
For you NEW and INTERESTING is king. You’re novelty’s bitch and you wonder why the hell others seem to have no respect for you and call you “Flighty”, “Undependable”, “Flirty” or “Childish”. And you ask why people around you resent you and always seem to play the role of the grown-up who scolds you.
No, they’re not Mean People. And no, they’re not like that with every person they meet. YOU bring that out from them with your “All in good fun” spoiled brat attitude. And your insistence that they “Open their mind” to see the multiple ways they are wrong and you are right, what do you think, that they will thank you for that?
NO, newsflash, they won’t. Ok we get it that you’re the SELF-ENTITLED “Most open minded and flexible people out of all the 16 types” and you think that somehow makes you a saint and non-judgmental and people should kiss your feet and raise you a statue for being so open-minded and admitting that “You could be wrong”.
How about stating it directly and with all your heart? Not an “Well from your point of view I see how I did something I shouldn’t have, and I’m sorry, but see, from all the other points of view….” How about saying directly and without over-complicating “I was wrong, and there’s no other view-point than this”.
You can stay in your head and think of the 1001 possibilities of anything. You can look at a single thing from any angle, I got news, IT DON’T CHANGE THE THING NONE.
You can debate that from this angle an apple is like this and from another angle it’s like that and if you taste it with your eyes closed it tastes better, and if you eat it with friends then it tastes even more spectacular.
But at the end of the day, STOP SPECULATING BITCH, an apple is an apple and it tastes like an apple. I know you get high on nuance and tone, and I know how you like music and anything harmonious, and yes, you can pick up on hidden relations, connections and causes between things that others don’t even care to notice.
But for real, STOP BOOSTING YOUR EGO OVER IT. When was the last time those abilities made any real significant difference in the real world. Yeah, it really sounds nice to be able to see anything from multiple angles and to entertain a plethora of conflicting opinions and be able to see a vantage point from where you may be wrong.
But leave the “may be” or “maybe” out of the question and state something unequivocally for once. Can you do that? NO, no you can’t! Cause you’re scared. When things get real, you’re lost.
Yeah, I know, I know you thing of yourself as some sort of Genius, like Einstein, and you pride yourself that he used Ne as his primary function. He did, but you’re not him, so stop giving yourself credit for what you didn’t work for.
Oh, and by the way, how about that subject. I know it freaks you out to even hear it mentioned, cause “It’s too real”. Let me spell it out for you (and myself) in capitals WORK.
Honest Labor, not brainpower, not Mental Gymnastics you’re an expert in. No, WORK! Seriousness, professionalism, formalism.
Yeah, I bet. For you all of those words might as well read DEATH!
Now you get why I call you (and myself) Spineless Jellyfish?
Sure, every man needs to pump up his ego, and I pump mine up as well with all the “Virtues” of Ne.
I’m not saying it’s a good for nothing function. It ain’t. It has it’s niche. But unlike what you (and me) might think, let’s be honest. It’s not “God’s gift for humanity”, the Apex of Human Potential Development, the Panacea Universalis and the Holy Grail.
Do you think I don’t know you think of yourself as having Superpowers, as Saving the World, as charging in on your white Pegasus to save the day or the damsel in distress?
If you’re an Ne guy, believe me, no damsel needs your “Saving”. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s true. And I know you’re probably a geek on Personal Development, Spirituality or the New-Age Lifestyle (Most Ne’s are, because it’s New and Exciting nowadays), but SHE DON’T NEED IMPROVING!
I know you need to always be working on a science project, be it a person (ENFP) or an actual science project (ENTP). Whatever your theory is, it’s probably new and not very tested. Yes, I know “God whispered it to you via your extraordinary super-power: Extroverted Intuition”. But that doesn’t mean that listening to the voices in your head and calling them TRUTH makes your ideas true.
While there may be merit and even wisdom to what you say, you have no right to shove it down other people’s throat or expect them to come begging to you to swallow your Self-Righteousness and Words of Wisdom.
Nobody says you ain’t wise and a born Philosopher. But can you have a normal, non-philosophical conversation for more than 2 minutes without being bored to death and mentally checking off and pursuing something “More Interesting”.
You’re even worse than the persons you like to compare yourself with and secretly hope you were. No, you’re not an ESFP or ESTP. Sure, they have the same middle functions as you, but Ne is no Se.
For you it’s about the Mental Pursuit. You don’t want to get the girl (or guy) in the sack, like the ESFP with its Se does. And you think this makes you holy and him the Devil.
Se wants to shag, to get all sweaty and make sounds like an animal. For your delicate sensitivities, that’s all too real, too worldly. You want the Outer-World Extasy, the nectar of the Gods. You don’t want to make love to the body, but to the Soul (ENFP) or Mind (ENTP) of the person you’re with.
Like the ESFP or ESTP, you also hate commitment and strings attached. For you it’s all a fling, and you simply can’t understand that for some people it really is more serious than that, it’s a real investment. But unlike ESFP or ESTP, you’re neither Hot (ESFP) nor Cool (ESTP), although you secretly think you are (but you keep that to yourself). They at least let the other person know they have no real interest in forming a bond or making a fling more than it is. The other person knows what they’re getting into. It’s all fair game.
Not with you guys. You really take interest in getting to know a person, in connecting to that person, either on a Soul Level (ENFP) or on a deep mental level (ENTP). They feel interesting to you, they get addicted to someone seemingly “going to a place in their soul or mind where no-one has been before”.
And of course, this curiosity, intrigue or fascination that drives the need for connection in the first place gets exhausted and the other person, with good reason feels abandoned. You may remain in the relationship, you may even find the other person interesting.
But you’ll be pursuing whatever new hobby or interest, or whatever new idea happens to be crossing your mind at the time and making the whole world about that one idea. Only to leave it after a while.
Sorry to ruin it for you, but you know it’s true. Don’t expect any respect or stability (which I know you want) if you can’t stay with one thing long enough to earn it.
There, I said it, hate me for it if you want.
I know how deeply misunderstood, judged, unseen, and not respected you feel. But you had it coming. You can’t expect to treat projects, ideas or people like they’re a joke and then have them take you seriously.
Humor is nice, fun, play, jokes are nice. But please, DON’T BE A JOKE. Because at your worst you are. Ne can be Inspiring, but only as it matures. And again sorry to say it, after all it’s my main function as well so I’m in the same boat here. But I feel it’s the function less likely to want to mature.
Not saying it’s impossible, but for Ne, putting on the Business Suit and the Serious Mature Pants is too real of a leap. As long as the leap is imaginary, Ne users are Saviors and Heroes.
But when it gets down and dirty they would gladly let other people work for them, provide for them, take care of business for them, take hits for them, and then be bewildered when the others think the Ne person “owes them”.
In their imagination, Ne users have Saved the Girl from the Dragon 1000 times, and boy was the dragon fearsome. But chances are if they get into a real fight, they will just be clumsy and will rely on their partner (boy or girl) to save them.
In their imagination, they took the leap and jumped over the Precipice, but put them to actually jump over one, do bungee jumping or even walk over a suspended wooden bridge, and you’ll see just how much “Courage” they have (I bet it’s not a lot). They may do it, but they will be scared shitless and you will never hear the end of how “Brave” they were to do that.
All is fine with Ne as long as things are non-concrete, ethereal, imaginary. They are masters of imagination and conjuration. Their use of words and metaphors are legendary and they can use their silver tong to get into or out of almost anything.
But sometimes, the circus show just doesn’t work. Sometimes, the world calls BS.
When faced with an Ni user who will question them, Ne users will get uneasy and feel they are under a magnifying glass. And they know their theories are probably not all that sound. They will hate Ni users and brand them “Too Serious”, “Heartless”, “Superior”, “No Fun”, “All Business”, “Bossy” or “Bitchy”.
In fact they just give due deference and acknowledge that while their imagination may conjure some wild and wacky ideas, their theories are anything but well-researched and they not only could be, but more than likely ARE wrong. Ne is not confortable with rules, structure and logic, witch Ni is a master of.
They don’t appreciate to be under constant supervision with somebody looking from above at how they go about things and even though it doesn’t say anything feel judged at every step.
And Ne is definitely not confortable with the clear-cut straight line black and white logical reasoning of Ni, always trying to cut corners.
What Ne users will not easily admit to is that secretly they feel inferior to Ni users who they see as more Professional, more Mature, more Respect-Worthy, more Smart, everything they wish they could be when it comes to intuition.
External Functions are always Supervised by internal functions. Ni supervises Ne, Fi supervises Fe, Si supervises Se and Ti supervises Te, in the sense of “keeping an eye on”
- Supervised by Ni, which it feels inferior to
- Opposed to Si, which when Ne is the first function it feels Si as necessary but boring, oppressive and dictatorial
- In competition to Se, because both Intuition and Sensation aspire to be the main way of learning from the world and collecting data. Ne silently thinks itself “Superior” and “Smarter than” Se, and dismisses Se values like health, fitness, action rather than words as being “unimportant”, unlike Si which it sees as important, necessary but goddam boring.
Now I know this can be cause for conflict if you have dear people who use or prefer functions Ne has a tense relationship to. Think of them like 8 brothers. There will be likes and Dislikes, but if all the brothers rise above petty conflicts and actually learn that while the likes and dislikes are what they are, everyone is part of the same family, everyone has value and one day the “brother” you dislike the most may be the only brother that can save you from a sticky situation, egos drop and love can unite the 8 shards of the personality.
I pray that you take it at that. This article isn’t meant to be used as a weapon to highlight “Why Ne types don’t get along with others”, but rather as a pressure valve to make fun of Ne and trim down that extraordinary big nose it has (and needs).
I personally encourage all Ne types reading this to take this and ponder on it (Ne is great at pondering, that’s why they make awesome philosophers), and then see if they can’t see how using this function as a main or even secondary function might blindside you from the values other functions could bring.
I know if you are an Ne dominant you tend to “Like” Fi or Ti and “Appreciate” Fe or Te, that’s easy for you.
What isn’t easy is letting the guard down and letting Ni, when it is used by other persons to “Clean up your Act”. You will be highly sensitive to Ni input and consider it Criticism, Unjustified Superiority, Meanness, Narrow-Mindedness. I understand you do not like being under a magnifying glass. I don’t either. But it will make you a better more efficient person. And yes, GRAMMAR IS IMPORTANT even if you dismiss it because “you talk however you like”. You need proof for your theories, you need conclusions, even if you hate them. Ni will always be more mature than you, and you will hate those who use it for that. But toughen up a little. That means you get to grow up as well. I know you’re tired of hearing “GROW UP and STOP CRYING (ENFP) or WHININH (ENTP)” from Ni users. But they are right, you know. We do need to grow up (to be read DEVELOP FULLY).
Growing up is not Death, it is Destiny. I know you love destiny. You know as well as I do that we need to get a grip, clean up our act and act more professional, more structured. Not as much as Ni users are, we’ll never be that. We’re a mess and that’s awesome, but that doesn’t mean there has to be Chaos and Entropy. A little bit of Structure goes a long way. Really it does.
Now about Se. I know you need a scapegoat. Don’t worry, Se thinks itself superior to Ne just like Ne does to Se. They’re actually more alike than you might think. This is actually your “Brother” Function.
Si is similar to Ni, Fi to Ti, Fe to Te and yup, Ne to Se. They just “Get it”. They fulfill the same role.
In the case of Ne and Se that role is LEARNING FROM THE WORLD.
Se observes with its senses, Ne ponders with the senses beyond the senses. I want both on my team. I use my Extra Sensory Perception (cause that’s all Ne is really, it’s extra sensory perception), but I want someone who is attuned to the environment and ready to jump at any time.
You will not find any function you will have more fun with than Se. Really. I used to look down on Se, but something told me there’s more to it (what to do, Ne, there’s always more to it!). I am deeply ashamed I did. Ne uses Se as a scapegoat, just as Se uses Ne. They’re the only function you can take all the frustration out on. And of course it will fight back!
But Actually Pondering without doing (Ne) and Doing without Pondering (Se) go together like Salad and Dressing. This function is meant to be Ne ‘ s Chum. Yet more often than not Ne users get caught up in the story so much they start telling Se users how smart they are, how brilliant, how their theories are better and how their wisdom is greater. But when it comes to action… well, you know the rest.
Don’t be blinded by Ne. It hurts yourself and others. I know I did. Now I cherish Se and I have fun, real fun with Se users, out there, in the real world, not in the Virtual Space. Metaphorically life is a Video Game. But ONLY METAPHORICALLY. I do play Ashe in League of Legends and shoot a Bow or Jaina in Heroes of the Storm and Ice-Blast the hell out of my enemies. But in the real world, when I was a child, I actually built my own bows and slingshots and tossed real snowballs.
What’s the point of all that extroverted intuition if not to get you closer to your senses?
And talking about senses, I know Ne users don’t really like Si. Yes, it’s tradition, it’s the Tried and True, not the New and Exciting. We get that it’s necessary. Maybe one of your parents was a primary or auxiliary Si user, like mine were. My mom used Si secondary, my dad used Se secondary.
They didn’t really understand Ne and forced me to do things that are part of the Si not the Ne repertoire. I could lament that I was not free, but I would deny something sacred. It served me well to be raised by parents with different functions than mine. I found just how important Si things are. Unexciting, to be sure. But damn necessary. Whether I like them and find them interesting, intriguing or exciting or not, being well-organized, learning from the past in order to have a better future, and saving some money for a rainy day, also making sure to have supplies at all times, that’s just Sound Management.
Being a man of my word, finishing projects on time, that’s not the Ne way. But it’s the direction to grow. Hard – DEFINITELY! But totally worth it. And I wouldn’t have discovered the Hardships but also Blessings of other functions had it not been for all the people in my Life.
So even though the relationship is a bit tense with Ni, Se and Si, we need to Clean up our Act and Grow Up (Ni), we need to Stop Pondering and Start Doing (Se) and we need to really learn from the past, get organized and actually finish what you start (Si).
Don’t even dare preach “Full potential” to me if you’re still whining about being misunderstood, unseen and un-respected instead of doing something about it by developing the functions you don’t like.
The world does need heroes. In the REAL LIFE, not in the pressure-free fantasy world of Fairy-Tales and Video-Games where Ne loves to Dwell. You can rest in those worlds. As long as you don’t exclusively live there and join the world of the living where work gets done, things get built, and there is less talking and more doing.
Don’t worry. Azeroth will still be there, free from the Undead Scourge when you return from an honest day’s work.