Introverted Sensing, or “Si” for short, is a cognitive function directly related to an individual’s experience in the world. Oddly enough, this function also heavily relates to the long term memory and the past of an individual or collective. Furthermore, the function is tied to discipline, endurance, and patience. Si is an observing function, meaning it’s tied to how we perceive the world.
This article will help you understand how to see which of your peers are using Si using real world examples, we will also discuss the strengths and weaknesses that Si users carry, as well as important information regarding how Si combines with other functions.
What Is Introverted Sensing & What Does It Look Like
Introverted sensing is one of the 8 cognitive functions in Carl Jung’s theory of personality types & part of the MBTI. Introverted Sensing is characterized by the individual’s focus on gathering and processing information from previous experiences, memories, and stored data. It focuses on subjective recall of concrete details & facts, as well as pattern recognition & familiar experiences. People with a dominant or auxiliary Introverted Sensing function have a strong memory for specific details and are often described as “detail oriented”.
In terms of what it looks like, it can be seen or perceived in contrast with extroverted sensing, which is attention grabbing & in-your-face. Introverted sensing however, is more subtle, enduring, and traditional. An example can be that of Guy Fieri’s fiery button-up shirt we’ve all seen him wear (Se); contrasted with the manner in which someone like Mike Rowe dresses with unassuming style such as a blue shirt, brown khakis & some work boots (Si).
If you’re on the road a lot, you can also generally pick out the Se & Si drivers. Extroverted Sensing drivers being totally impatient & reckless on one extreme & Introverted Sensing drivers being immovable or oblivious of other drivers around them due to fixation on their own comfort & experience.
One aspect that we strongly associate with Introverted sensing, is that of comfort vs discipline and routine. Those with Si can be extremely disciplined & show an obligation to a set-way of doing things. However if they struggle with this function, they can also become some of the laziest types, simply because they have formed their habits & routine around comfort instead of endurance.
Examples of Si
Si users are very fond of upholding family and cultural traditions aka doing things “because that’s the way we’ve always done it”. This can take the form of decorating the christmas tree the same way every year, going out for ice cream after a baseball game might be the repeated actions Si users in your family enjoys, or showing reverence to the past in any which way.
Holding Onto Memories
Si users like to hold onto momentos, totems, and photos of past events. They might also hold onto objects for their sentimental value. You can really tell an Si user when you go to their house. Old but comfy decor, outdated styles, curio cabinets, and lots of clutter are clear signs of a Si user home. Si users are walking story books full of all of their past experiences & wisdom picked up along the way.
Si users are loyal to their families, work, church, and other obligations. Their loyalty, faith, and dedication can be unwavering. High Si users are dependable & you can always count on them to be there whenever you need them.
Obligation & Duty
Those with high introverted sensing can also have a strong sense of duty & value service. You can often find them in fields such as policing, nursing, military, law, and accounting. They are also true to their word & can take their obligations very seriously.
Strengths & Weaknesses of Si
Enduring & Hardworking
Si Heros & Parents are probably some of, if not the hardest working people out there. This is due partly because of their incredible endurance of hardship. Yes they value comfort highly like any other Si user, but paradoxically can sustain the most pain without a single gripe.
Dependable & Dutiful
As mentioned above, Si users can be dependable & take their duty to do the right thing very seriously. If you need someone who is loyal & that you can depend on to be there during the highs & lows, you want to seek out an introverted sensor.
These people have the sharpest long-term memory. It’s like their brain is constantly making connections to sensory experiences such as what they were doing on this day, at this time, what they were wearing, what conversation they were having, and so on. This can come in handy with remembering important dates, details, and maintaining skills they’ve learned along their lifetime.
Can Get Too Comfortable
Si users are all about habit & routine. You can train yourself for endurance or you can train yourself for comfort. It’s a paradox that they love their comfort but too much of it can cause them to form a negative loop that can be difficult to break. In this case, you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, know you are one of the most enduring types & find the courage to take on your obligations head-on.
Won’t Embrace Change
The unwavering mountain’s steadfastness, being the immovable rock, has its drawbacks. That’s when Si struggles to balance its Extroverted Intuition axis; the “change” and “go-with-the-flow” function. This imbalance can manifest as stubbornness, rigidity, and a refusal to try new things, leading to stagnation… and, like stagnant water, it can become toxic or completely evaporate, leaving behind a desert where nothing can grow.
Loyal To A Fault
Being loyal to the wrong person, organization, or idea can be a pitfall for introverted sensors. They can overwork themselves without recognition & simply keep trucking on but these situations are inherently unfair. They must learn to be loyal only to those who value their hard work, dedication, and insights.
Relation To Extroverted Intuition Ne
If you have Introverted Sensing in your function stack, you automatically have Extroverted Intuition (Ne). That’s because these two functions work together on an axis. In this article we mainly referred to those with high Si & low Ne as being a bit too rigid. On the other hand, those with high Ne & low Si offer an incredible amount of intuitive insights but sometimes lack the organization to keep their routines in check.
Extroverted intuition is linked to pattern recognition, the collective unconscious, and it’s all about perceiving archetypes (the main topic of this entire site). It’s also about giving other people options and predicting their futures.
This power of predictability, on the other hand, is directly related to Si, or the past. The more historical data you have, the more likely you are to be able to predict the future. It all comes down to the adage “history repeats itself,” which means one must study the past & use Extroverted Intuition to predict where things are in the “cycle” and where things will be in the future.
Which Personality Types Have Introverted Sensing Si
ISFJ (Si Fe Ti Ne)
The Si hero of the ISFJ is loyal to their family as well as to institutions such as school and the church. This is a quiet type that endures a lot for the sake of their families.
They sacrifice a lot to give to their children and to meet their obligations. Si hero’s are very disciplined; they might workout, clean the house, cook breakfast, all before taking the kids to school.
ESFJ (Fe Si Ne Ti)
The Si parent of the ESFJ enjoys providing wholesome experiences for their friends and families. Their Si is rather responsible, and because the ESFJ loves bringing people together, they love to have parties & cook the best traditional dishes for all of her friends & family.
INTP (Ti Ne Si Fe)
The Si child of an INTP is great for recalling facts learned in books, podcasts, and conversations with friends. They use their Si to add to the web of knowledge in their minds. Not only that, but they make many judgements based on past experiences, using their Si to collect data that helps them predict the future and understand the present.
Also very nostalgic, they might collect action figures, novels, and old music that made them happy growing up so they can experience them again and again.
ENTP (Ne Ti Fe Si)
The Si inferior of an ENTP can be a major pitfall at the beginning of their lives. They aren’t the sporty type, and this can leave them feeling left out as children.
As they grow older, having a consistent routine and healthy habits can be a never ending struggle that they just learn to endure.
Later in life, ENTP’s can make others laugh by telling funny stories and teach others by sharing their wisdom derived from their past experiences.
ISTJ (Si Te Fi Ne)
“It ain’t much, but it’s an honest living!” The Si Hero of the ISTJ is the perfect embodiment of Si.
ISTJ’s are the stereotypical “dad” archetype. You’ve seen him, dad hat, cargo shorts, new balance shoes… cooking up barbecue or mowing the lawn. He is a quiet and contemplative individual who prefers fishing to partying. He always draws a lesson from life’s events, and his personal experiences shaped him into the man he is today.
ESTJ (Te Si Ne Fi)
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can sure buy comfort. The Si parent of the ESTJ is an honest and traditional type. ESTJ’s enjoy providing for their families so they have everything they need and want. They have the patience and endurance to work hard and acquire wealth in a traditional manner such as investing.
They might have extensive practical knowledge in topics such as economics, mechanics, and health & wellness. This is because they like to be reliable and knowledgeable for the sake of their friends & family.
INFP (Fi Ne Si Te)
The Si child of the INFP remembers everything. If you dissed them in 1995, they remember, and they still don’t like you.
The temperament of an Si child is very nostalgic. They love to reminisce about things that remind them of their childhood. They listen to old hits, collect their favorite movies, and collect toys that make them feel safe and at home. Additionally, INFP’s can be very loyal to their partners and their jobs, being reliable day in and day out.
ENFP (Ne Fi Te Si)
Si Inferior of an ENFP can be a major struggle for this type. They have a difficult time having a consistent routine and stable lifestyle.
Additionally, they may struggle with feeling uncomfortable all the time, and need to dress in clothes that make them feel safe. This personality type may also prefer artistic endeavors over hard laboring in the sun.
ENFP types often struggle late into their lives with daily tasks such as cleaning, going to bed early, waking up, and being on time.
On the bright side, ENFP’s are some of the most loyal types. They make great helpers, will always be there for their friends and family, and tell great stories!
7 Signs That You Might Be an Introverted Sensor
1. You remember literally EVERYTHING.
2. You’re stubborn & get annoyed when people move your stuff
3. You have nostalgia for the good ole days. Take me home, Country roads – Need I say more?
4. People say you have good taste in coffee, wine, food, clothes, etc.
5. Blanket, check + PJ’s, check + Netflix, check + Snacks, you bet. Si users are all about MUH COMFORT
6. You own a pair or multiple pairs of crocs (looking at you INFPs with all those shoe charms)
7. You identify with Hank Hill and are pro-pain.
Introverted Sensing is the process of gathering and processing information from previous experiences, memories, and stored data. Individuals who have a dominant or auxiliary Introverted Sensing function demonstrate traits and behaviors such as loyalty, endurance, hard work, sharp long-term memory, discipline, and a strong sense of duty.
Si users value long-term relationships & commitments, place a high value on maintaining strong connections with family, friends, and organizations, and devote time & effort to nurturing these relationships. This cognitive function influences how they interact with others, approach challenges, and navigate their surroundings.