Introverted intuition, also called Ni, is the ability to recognize patterns and foresee future events and possibilities extremely clearly. It takes in the information it receives in the present and forms conclusions based on implications and consequences.
Because of this, it’s often described as a visionary or prophetic function. It’s also why some INTJs and INFJs feel as if they have pyschic powers.
As the dominant function of INFJ and INTJ personality types, Introverted Intuition is the primary way that they make sense of the world and their role in it. It’s their happy place — where they feel the most satisfied and gain the most energy.
However, since only a small percentage of individuals have the skillset that dominant introverted intuitive types possess, the world isn’t set up in a way that plays to the natural strengths of the INFJ and INTJ. Even psychologist Carl Jung, who developed the theory of psychological types, said that to the outside world, Introverted Intuition is the “strangest of all” the cognitive functions.
Because it is so under-appreciated, INFJ and INTJ personality types struggle to develop their intuition. Instead, they often repress it for the more externally-rewarded auxiliary functions — Extraverted Feeling in INFJs and Extraverted Thinking in INTJs.
They may also become so frustrated at the lack of ability in others to understand their intuitive process that they give up on developing it and focus energy on improving the weaker parts of their personality instead. They do this as an attempt to “fix” themselves — to be more of what the outside world appreciates.
While it’s important for INFJs and INTJs to develop their weaker functions, it’s crucial that they don’t neglect their dominant intuitive process.
How INFJs and INTJs Can Strengthen Introverted Intuition
Here are four ways INFJs and INTJs can develop their Introverted Intuition.
1. Accept your intuition
The first step to developing intuition for many INFJs and INTJs is simply learning what Introverted Intuition is and how it impacts their personalities.
Introverted Intuition in INFJs and INTJs is the heart of their personality. It’s always “on,” always working and impacting every other element of their personalities. Repressing it entirely is nearly impossible, so it’s much more beneficial to work with it rather than against it.
INFJs and INTJs will often experience conflict between their intuitive process and their feeling or thinking process. For example, an INFJ may feel confident in a decision because of its future significance but still struggle to make that choice if they know it will hurt others.
This isn’t to say that INFJs and INTJs should always allow intuition to make decisions over feeling and thinking — those functions also exist for essential reasons! — but if they find themselves constantly ignoring their intuitive insights in favor of external acceptance, it’s probably being repressed too often.
2. Challenge your intuition
Just because the dominant function is always “on” doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to use. Since we are complex individuals with a myriad of personality traits, we use a healthy mix of our cognitive functions every day. There may be several situations in daily life where Introverted Intuition isn’t easy to use.
As an INFJ myself, this challenge often happens to me at work. I allow my intuition to guide me throughout the work day, but the second someone challenges me and doesn’t understand my explanation, I feel frustrated and want to do whatever it takes to avoid conflict. It’s incredibly draining to explain the intuitive process to people who don’t lead with it.
However, each challenge to your intuition is a chance to help it become stronger. Instead of viewing it as a frustration and giving up because “no one will understand,” take the time to clearly examine how you got from point A to point B. Not only will this help you explain an intuitive leap to others, but it will help you more deeply understand how the process works.
3. Spend time with other intuitive personality types
Many INFJs and INTJs probably find themselves frequently surrounded by people who don’t share the introverted intuitive skillset. This makes it easy to ignore or avoid it. They end up only accessing it when they have time alone.
There are few things more exciting for an INFJ or INTJ than diving into intuitive conversation with someone who also leads with an intuitive process. In personality typology, these types are INFJs, INTJs, ENFPs and ENTPs (the latter two lead with Extraverted Intuition).
Finding and spending time around other intuitive-dominant personality types can help INFJs and INTJs strengthen their intuition. It can also help them view the function not as an external frustration but a part of their personality that is accepted or even admired.
They may also discover a surprising amount of appreciation from personality types who have weaker Introverted Intuition, such as ENFJs, ENTJs, ISFPs and ISTPs.
4. Enjoy your intuition
Every INFJ and INTJ should have an outlet for their Introverted Intuition that they truly enjoy. For many INFJs and INTJs (including myself), this outlet is writing. I get immense energy from slipping into the flow state of writing, where the words come from nowhere and are somehow also exactly what I want them to be.
I also enjoy reading books and listening to podcasts that get my intuitive wheels spinning and lead my mind down the rabbit hole of intuitive thoughts and ideas.
If there is one hobby or interest that makes you happier than anything else and makes you feel the most like the real you — it’s probably one that allows you to use your dominant function freely. Whatever it may be, allow yourself to spend plenty of time enjoying it — both to develop your dominant function and also for self-care.
Developing Intuition Will Help You Grow
INFJs and INTJs are always going to face challenges that most people can’t relate to and don’t understand. However, if you’re one of these personality types, you’re best served by developing your strengths in spite of the external challenges you face.
You can do this by learning what Introverted Intuition is and how it impacts your personality, challenging yourself to truly understand how it works, spending time with like-minded people who value your strengths, and spending plenty of time enjoying what this unique part of your personality has to offer.