The sensation function emphasises perception using the senses. It notices details, likes to know how things are made and how they work, and likes to see the whole picture. This thorough and precise process of gathering information requires patience (which is frustrating to intuitives).
Extroverted sensates place value on external objects and have a keen sense of observation and detail. They can sometimes ‘be lost’ in the world, experiencing everything as it comes. They tend to be calm, easy-going and jolly, or either seek action, efficiency, power and prestige. Politicians, leaders, military and pleasure seekers are found here.
Introverted sensates are sensitive and imaginative. They are keenly in tune with their body sensations and thus, are often overwhelmed by external stimuli. This type tends to be attracted to myth, timeless images of the world and relationships. This type shows up in the engineer, artist and musician.
The intuitive function sees the whole picture. It imagines where situations come from, looks for historic connections and broad trends (which bothers sensates). More importantly, intuition looks for the implications; what are the possibilities of what I am seeing?
Extraverted intuitives envision the future objectively. They imagine solutions to problems, seeing the final state, but not necessarily the steps. They are often effective in new situations where there has been no established way. They dislike safe, familiar or well-established things. Examples include entrepreneurs, travellers and temporary leaders.
Introverted intuitives deal with the inner world of ideas and abstractions. They see human nature in its totality and deal with whole concepts before looking at details. This type often sees visions and is creative, artistic and poetic. Examples include mystics and poets.
We rarely fall into one distinct type and usual have what is known as a primary function which is modified by a secondary function. For example, we can be an introverted intuitive-thinking type.
Knowing our type helps us identify and embrace our strengths. However, if growth is to occur, we need to develop our opposite underdeveloped functions. For example, if we are primarily a “thinking” type, our capacity for “feeling” is least-developed (actual, it is our shadow). Our work is to occasionally get out-of-our-head and consider, “What do I feel like?”
In our often unconscious desire to fill our undeveloped traits, we often choose friends and partners whose type is opposite ours. When the typological differences emerge and challenge the relationship, it is key to realize there is no ‘my way’ or ‘your way,’ rather; there may be a need to consult and create a more integrated approach to the issue.
At these times, both parties are asked to incorporate some of the opposite type into their awareness and thus, increase their ability to respond in a different, albeit uncomfortable but reviving, way. Rather than fighting the opposite, this integration allows for growth in the people and in the relationship. And, at times when there is no movement towards the opposite, we may have to accept the right of others to operate from their most comfortable function, and us in ours.