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Type Opposites: ISTJ Meets ENFP

One of the programs I attended at the APTi 2011 conference today was called Learning From Introverted and Extraverted Sensors. The presenter, Wendy Horikoshi, led the group through a variety of exercises demonstrating the difference between sensing and intuition. Although everyone uses both sensing and intuition, which one you naturally lead with is not an insignificant matter. As an ENFP, I tend to encode my perceptions in large, abstract, conceptual chunks rather than giving great attention to details.  Likewise, when I am accessing information, I pull it out of my head the same way, in large pieces with some of the details wanting.  My type opposite, the ISTJ, would encode and access in a different way. The details would be dead on but perhaps abstract interconnections that I so readily provide would be lacking.

This workshop was particularly enjoyable because even as I am intellectually well-versed in type differences, it’s still fascinating to see it in action.  It is truly like I am visiting a foreign country and interacting with a different culture…. the culture of details, the Evil Empire!   One of the exercises in this workshop was to go out and exercise our sensing function in groups.  One of our stops was in an office supply store.  It was notable that the ISTJ in our group was drawn to the simple, clean lines of the black and white thank you cards.  In fact, they were a nice compliment to her elegant and neat appearance. Meanwhile, I fell in love with the multi-colored cards with 4 different fox drawings!

Upon our return to the workshop and couple other interesting exercises illustrating differences in perception, I still kept thinking of those thank you cards.  Why am I drawn to such things?  Could it be that my mind has to have enough varied stimuli to stay active and alert?  The colors reminded me of Arizona.  The foxes made me think of my fox terriers.  I immediately started thinking of who might think these cards were cool. Then I thought, hmmmm, well maybe get them tomorrow…. I am just not sure I could extract that type of mental jolt out of a black and white card!

Well anyway, that’s what is one of the many benefits to being at the type conference.  You get to play around with type, see it in action. Then, more often than not, you walk away for something to mull around in your mind. As for me, I am going back to the store to pick up those fox cards because I keep thinking about all the ways I could use them.   Meanwhile, my decisive ISTJ counterpart bought the black and white ones right on the spot.  Mission accomplished.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I know an INFJ who would have purchased those black-and-white cards (provided they were on a high enough quality paper stock) and then felt compelled to customize them with witty/goofy captions, photos, etc. … The “N” factor would have made anything “store-bought” inadequate as a final form.

  2. So true! Nothing like an INFJ to improve on a product making it more personalized and whimsical! Thanks for adding this excellent comment.

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