The MBTI inventory classifies iNtuitive types as those who place more interest (and often more value) in theories, abstractions and the exploration of possibilities than they do in the concrete realities of the world around them. iNtuitive-dominant personality types (mainly ENFPs, ENTPs, INTJs and INFJs) are almost always more interested in what isn’t being said or considered than what is.
But since we live in a sensor-dominant world, intuitive behavior tends to stick out like a sore thumb. Almost every iNtuitive personality will be able to recall many experiences in which their loved ones were thoroughly confused by their reasoning or behavior. Here are ten behaviors people often don’t understand are associated with being an iNtuitive personality.
1. Spurring debates.
iNtuitives don’t fully understand an issue until they’ve considered it from every possible angle. These types aren’t debating because they want to be difficult or impolite – they’re debating because they need to test the validity of the topic by arguing it from every side.
They want to see if any holes arise in their reasoning as they go, and some of their best learning takes place through the process of debate.
2. Obsessively planning for the future.
iNtuitives live almost exclusively in the future – they love considering which options may arise for them, which goals they ought to set for themselves, what their lives may look like in twenty or thirty years, etc.
Of course, it’s impossible to plan every detail of one’s life… so the plan is subject to getting readjusted. For extroverted iNtuitives (xNFPs and xNTPs), the readjusting happens almost daily. For introverted intuitives (xNFJs and xNTJs), readjusting happens as needed – but the need tends to arise regularly.
3. Viewing the rules as suggestions.
4. Over-analyzing everything.
For the iNtuitive, it isn’t enough to understand how a given issue applies to them – they have to also understand the globalimplications of the issue, or the underlying theory that ties is all together.
iNtuitives want to know the intangible explanation for every tangible problem, and it can drive those around them a little bonkers.
5. Placing little trust in authority.
iNtuitives types trust competence over qualification, and they want to make their own judgments about how competent they find others to be.
iNtuitives are highly aware of the human tendency to favor convenience and prestige above analysis, and they aren’t quick to trust any established system simply because it’s been in place for a long time.
6. Relentlessly seeking variety.
iNtuitive personalities are naturally drawn to the abnormal, the uncouth and the unconventional. These types spend their entire lives attempting to piece together a comprehensive worldview, which means that they seek to understand as many different oddities as possible.
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Whether they’re seeking novelty in their studies, their lifestyles or both, these types are always on the hunt for new lenses through which they can view the world.
7. Developing obscure interests.
Since what they don’t know is almost always more interesting to the iNtuitive personality than what they do know, these types are likely to take an interest in niche topics or theories.
Many iNtuitives enjoy exploring conspiracy theories or other such ‘unfounded’ methods of reasoning, as they enjoy the ‘mental gymnastics’ aspect of linking seemingly unrelated things together (even though they often don’t believe the actual theories themselves at the end of the day).
8. Socializing selectively.
Extroverted iNtuitives (mainly ENFPs and ENTPs) are considered the most introverted of the extroverted types. Introverted iNtuitives (mainly INFJs and INTJs) may be more traditionally introverted in nature, but put any of these types around in a room together and the conversation is likely to flow on for hours (if not days, if not endlessly)!
iNtuitive-dominant types are often quickly exhausted by engaging with their physical environment, but they are endlessly energized by quality conversation. These types tend to consider themselves to be ‘selectively social’ – they’d rather be alone than around people they don’t connect with, but put them around other iNtuitive types and their social side suddenly emerges with fervor.
9. Playing devil’s advocate.
If there’s a sure-fire way to get under an iNtuitive’s skin, it’s to insist that basically any issue is black or white. These types are quick to assume the role of devil’s advocate in any situation where they feel as though the opposing party is forming an opinion without considering the alternative point of view.
These types are prone to vehemently arguing points they don’t even agree with, just to prove that an issue is more complex than those around them are assuming it to be.
10. Pursing an unconventional life course.
iNtuitives are naturally drawn to the strange, the provocative and the unconventional. They may be more prone than sensing types to have an entrepreneurial streak, to engage in non-traditional relationship structures or to experiment with lifestyle choices that are outside the societal norm.
Because these types take a ‘why not’ approach to their lives (or in the case of introverted iNtuitives, their research and learning), they often find themselves unintentionally rebelling from the rest of society. It’s not that they want to do everything differently – it’s just that an iNtuitive’s lifestyle tends to reflect their mindset – and the mind of an iNtuitive is a very strange territory indeed.
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Author: Heidi Priebe is a staff writer at Thought Catalog. She drinks too much coffee and criticizes all Myers-Briggs types equally. Buy her books or follow her on social media.