When you know, and you know you know,
confidence replaces fear.
gotten email from people wanting to know whether I have ESP, because they read
about it in Keirsey's INFJ type description and wonder if it's true.
"know" the bicycle I've left outside on the patio is going to
rust. I'm absolutely certain of it.
I dated a man who I just "knew" was never going to marry me.
nights I know what my husband is going to want for dinner without even
asking. I just "know."
had email correspondence with people where I asked them to let me know about
something, and I just knew they weren't going to follow-up... and they didn't.
"know" if my husband leaves the portable CD player in the car where
it's visible, somebody is going to break a window and steal it (and they did).
when I pull up behind a car at a traffic light, I just "know" they're
going to make a right turn even though they aren't signaling. Maybe it's
because of the car's angle, or the head movements of the driver that give me a
clue, or something else I can't put my finger on...
got an email once from somebody who was compiling a listing of certain events in
Los Angeles that he planned to update every month and distribute to
people. He wanted my opinion, and I told him I thought it was a great
idea, but I didn't see how he would keep it up for very long. I got one
more email from him with the listings, and never heard from him
since. I just "knew."
ago, I dated somebody who thought he was out of shape physically, and I just
"knew" he needed to join a health club and go 3x a week to feel good
about himself again. I found a nearby club and used a timer to figure out
how long it would take him to drive there and back for lunch hour
workouts. He was resistant to my idea, but I browbeat him into trying it,
even buying a temporary membership myself so I could hold his hand and drag him
there. That was 12 years ago, and he still works out regularly -- plays
racquetball and even goes skiing now.
same friend's ex-wife worked in Marketing at a major movie studio. She hobnobbed
with the likes of Mel Brooks and Steven Spielberg. She was a Big Deal in
Hollywood. There was a "poison pill" in her contract that if the
studio fired her, they had to pay a huge penalty -- it was like $25,000 -- and
in return she couldn't work in her industry for 5 years. She got a new
boss she was unhappy with and, together, they agreed to exercise that option of
her contract. At the time I felt it was a mistake, but I didn't say
anything because everyone thought it was a wondrous thing how she was getting
this huge bonus. Last I heard, she was moving to Colorado to sell survival
supplies, after having tried several different careers and eventually running
out of money. Oh how the mighty had fallen.
time I was working with a writer on a script. We had put together several
scenes for "pick-up shooting" in a movie that had already been shot
and we desperately needed the same cast to come back for a day or two. One
of the actors demanded that a friend of his re-write the script before
shooting. The writer I was working with was incensed, and thought the
request was an insult. It was, but the actor had us over a barrel because
we needed him. I consulted my iNtuition, and suddenly declared to the writer,
"Say yes. Just tell them yes." The writer got very upset, thinking
that I had turned against him too. But then I said, "He won't do
anything. It's an empty threat. Saying your friend will rewrite the
script and actually rewriting the script are two different things -- he won't
actually do it!" Fortunately, my writer trusted me enough to put
faith in my prediction. Sure enough, shortly before shooting, this writer
friend turned in his changes. He had added a couple of French phrases and
changed one or two sentences. It was laughable how little had been
done. ...Of course, what I did not predict was how the actor would show up on
the set without even having looked at the scenes, much less memorized
them. All that fuss, and for what? Weird.
had a writing partner once who got married, and suddenly I started getting mixed
signals. (I think his wife was terribly jealous and insecure.) One
day he asked me why I was being so solicitous, and I said it was because I was
afraid he was going to stop working with me, even dump me. He looked me
straight in the eye and said, "It'll never happen. Do you know how
good a friend I am to you? I'm such a good friend that you don't even have
to be nice to me, that's how good a friend I am." And he meant
it, too! So I left him alone so things could cool off, and a few weeks
later I get a distant message from him on my answering machine that he didn't "owe me anything" and to "stop bothering him." (Mind
you, we'd written eight scripts together, and I had trusted him to the extent
that I didn't even have copies of them, much less a written contract.) It took me
years to realize my intuition had been right despite his sincerity -- I sure
didn't want to believe I was right. It was a bitter pill to
I got married at
Stonehenge, I just "knew" it was going to be awesome,
even though I had to plan the whole event from overseas. I also
"knew" the experience was going to
impact all of our family members who attended as guests. In fact, that was
one of our motivating reasons for holding it there. And it worked!
My sister-in-law became determined to return someday with her daughter (and
did); her son
suddenly took up serious study of Computer Science; my parents enjoyed
themselves enough to take another trip overseas to The Netherlands last
summer. My sister and her children display more pride and self-confidence
than they did before. Everyone's "world view" shifted
imperceptibly, and every one of them was affected in a
positive way, just as I predicted.
couple months ago I had a problem with Amazon.com that escalated all through
Customer Service. I even pushed it to the Executive Team, where they began
citing fine print and legalese and infuriated me beyond expression. I felt I had
done all that any reasonable person could do. Eventually, I gave the
problem over to my iNtuition and went to bed. The next morning, I just
"knew" how to solve the problem. My thinking adjusted 90
degrees. I altered something on my end,
wrote an email to the Executive Team explaining my radical solution, and made my request
again. This time it was granted immediately. (Even my husband was
stunned.) Thank goodness my iNtuition came to the rescue before I angrily burnt
to Dr. Dario Nardi, every IN_J was practically born knowing the trick
about turning a problem over to your iNtuition before bedtime and waking up in
the morning knowing the answer. He thinks that's practically second nature for
us. And it's true that it's something I've done my whole life -- sometimes
consciously; sometimes unconsciously. Certainly it works with an
amazing degree of regularity. Is that ESP?
me tell you what kind of ESP I don't have. I didn't predict the
1996 Northridge earthquake. I didn't know one of my boyfriends was
secretly married. I can't predict futures with palm-reading, tarot cards,
crystal balls, or tea-leaves. 9/11 caught me completely by surprise, and I
had no idea who would win the U.S. Presidency. I've never encountered extra-terrestrial aliens,
bent spoons with my mind, "freed" lost spirits in Sedona,
passed through magic "portals" at Stonehenge.
don't believe I'm mystical or clairvoyant -- as oblivious as I am to stuff, I think I'm
INFJs I've met seem as normal as apple pie to me and are about as far removed from
"woo-woo" as they come. (Truthfully, IN_Js are sometimes
scornful of people who claim to do "woo-woo" things.) Most IN_Js
I know use their iNtuition to do financial planning, or courseware designing, or
project management. They are often steeped in classic business practices,
and use their iNtuition effectively in that realm.
when I was younger, I used to read delicious
Gothic romances, and sometimes they featured a historic female "visionary" -- usually someone of Irish descent with gorgeous,
flaming red hair. And they would whisper how she had the "second sight." And oh! how I wanted to
be her! Or there would be a kindly "witch" dwelling in a tiny thatched cottage who knew which herbs and flowers in the forest possessed healing powers, and maybe she knew how to cast a "spell" or two...
very nearly sent off a check of some inconceivable sum to order an appealing Booke of Spells and Magick I found offered through a tiny black &
white ad buried in the back of my teen magazines, interspersed amongst ads for
breast enhancement creams. But I could never quite bring myself to
actually mail the check, though some part of me desperately longed to be blessed
with "special gifts" and possess secret knowledge!
Witchcraft, Palmistry, Tarot, and even Astrology intrigue and mystify me. But I don't
actually engage in any of these -- at least not for more than occasional casual
recreation (like at a party). I don't "rely" on them in any way --
and I've yet to meet a dominant introverted iNtuiting type who does! Like
I already said -- most INFJs seem as normal as apple pie. You wouldn't
likely mistake one for a gypsy!
INFJs have ESP? Well, if you define
E.S.P. as "an ability to foresee the future," then I'd say the
answer is "yes." But not in any kind of weird, magical way --
but rather in a kind of ordinary, predictable way. To those of us who
actually do this, it isn't "mysterious" at all, and mostly we just
feel normal about it.
other INFJs who do this same sort of thing all the time -- the foreseeing thing
-- and yet they feel
guilty because they "don't have ESP" like Keirsey says they should! And I
know exactly where they're coming from. I believe anyone can do what we
do. It's automatic and unreflected. Me -- I'm not even comfortable being
called a "visionary," because I don't want to be mistaken for a
"dreamer," or considered a "seer" who can be found
practicing divination whilst concentrating on a crystal globe. And yet my
interaction style is "Chart-the-Course," which is all about
anticipating the future, and my favorite function is introverted
iNtuition, which is defined as:
implications, conceptualizing new ways of seeing things, and getting a sense or
image of the future or of profound meaning.
question I regularly
put to myself is:
What are the
implications for the future?
I even get answers back.
(an INTJ) has analyzed the function of introverted iNtuition, and says
Intuiting is more than a font of revelations, realizations, and inspiring
visions. It is a cognitive process that we can actively engage to produce a
sophisticated result. What happens varies depending on our psychological
response when called to engage it.
links our ability to use functions to learning stages
you may be familiar with.
iNtuition is Engaged as
awareness, conscious usage, or development
Incompetence - most aspects of the process are outside our awareness - we
do not even know what we are missing. We may arrange our lives to avoid
engaging the process or project negative aspects of the process on to
others. Sometimes have "beginner's luck" using it.
a mystical state
pulled to particular symbolic, fantastical or archetypal images
just “know” about a far-away event
Incompetence - we're aware of what needs improvement, use the process
awkwardly, and we do not understand the process from a wider perspective.
We often over-use, under-use and mis-use the process. Often used in
service of another leading process.
a vision or dream of how things will be in the future
on a focal device or symbolic action to predict or transform
“secret knowledge” or initiation into a mystery
Competence - we selectively focus attention and choose what aspects
of the process will be most effective, often knowing just the right way to
engage the process for success. Aware of how to link the process to other
processes. Sometimes overbearing.
produce complex insights into problems
one’s current self by bringing in other aspects of oneself
results of intuitive insights and pre-adjust
Competence - all aspects of the process are seamlessly integrated with
other functions, enabling the process to lead from the background through
other processes. We flow with effortless results by creatively breaking
the "rules" of the process.
by partnering with the unconscious
of novel ways to understand things that are universal
transcendent experiences (self, others, groups)
explains his chart thus:
"stages" are merely for organizational purposes and reflect points along a
continuum. Typically, if introverted Intuiting is dominant, then stages 1 and 2
show in childhood, stage 3 shows in adolescence and one’s twenties, and stage
4 hopefully shows somewhat later. Where we are is somewhat "fuzzy." A
thirty-something INFJ or INTJ may function at stage 3 on a daily basis, visit
stage 4 during peak moments of creativity and leadership, and respond from stage
2 when under stress or playing around. Other personality types mature into
introverted Intuiting more slowly and get less successful results.
goes on to describe ways in which anyone might engage the function of
introverted iNtuition. (Realize, of course, that IN_Js are most inclined to
engage it with the advanced expressions of Stages 3 and 4.):
human inheritance provides us with instinctual stage 1 experiences. For
introverted Intuiting, archetypes and a capacity for mystical experiences are
hardwired into the brain. For stage 2, culture provides both socially-normative
and alternative ways for us to engage each function. Most "magic guides"
such as tarot readers or secret societies are outside mainstream society but the
culture provides these for us. In contrast, stage 3 is our personalized
cognitive toolbox. It is diverse and sophisticated. We use it toward personal
ends, whether to help solve a scientific mystery, creatively build a business,
or further develop our human potential. Broadly, usage allows us to solve
problems that do not yet exist and provides insights into issues we have not yet
faced. (This is "active" foreseeing.) Stage 4 is a synthesis of the others.
The result of engaging it shifts people and paradigms, and produces heroic
you identify with Dario's characterizations? Boy I do, down to my childhood fascination with mystical things,
exactly like I described earlier! And
my experience with Amazon.com was surely a "Stage 3" experience, and I
think my Stonehenge wedding qualifies as a "Stage 4." Ergo,
given what Dario says, and given how I manifest his analysis in my own life, I accept (with great discomfort) my role as a
Visionary, or having ESP, if you will.
don't tell anybody -- please? I'll never live it down.
Fresh Understanding of Function Development, by Dario Nardi
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