Hi! About the list of questions your INFP friend gave you, can you please tell us how to look for the other functions in the answers of those questions?
That sounds like a lot of work. How about a practical example or two, and then maybe you can see how the process leads to cognition?
So. Renard and Adalind, from Grimm.
1. What are they fighting against?
Renard: is fighting for control, against others who also want it (Te). On a more personal level, Renard is fighting to protect his life and the lives of the select people he cares about (Fi).
Adalind: is fighting against others’ attempts to control her, for the right to raise her children like she wants to raise them (Fi).
2. Afraid of?
Renard: afraid that his decisions, or other people’s actions, may prevent him from getting what he ultimately wants; afraid of not accomplishing what he wants to accomplish / his hidden agenda (Ni).
Adalind: not having control over her life / dying / not having allies to help protect her against what she knows is coming. (Hmm, Te/Ni?)
3. What is the most “them”?
Renard: being in control of the situation, making unemotional decisions, hiding his true motivations, and benefiting either politically or financially from his investments (Te).
Adalind: using her feminine wiles to get what she wants / living in the moment and enjoying it / feeling comfortable with her sensuality (Se).
4. What are they comfortable with?
Renard: conflict, negotiations, and decision-making (Te).
Adalind: influencing other people, using aggression to get what she wants (Se).
5. What do they hide?
Renard: his true feelings.
Adalind: the pain of rejection.
6. What is their motivation?
Renard: power, the right to rule (Te/Fi).
Adalind: her emotions / what she wants / pleasing the one person she cares most about (Fi).
7. What am I seeing? (What am I NOT seeing?)
Renard: lack of emotion. Easily takes on a position of leadership. Hides his motives and agenda from others well. Comfortable with conflict. Makes rational decisions over emotional ones, even when it comes to sacrificing his child. Good at planning and has long term goals. Casual in his sexual conquests. (Te/Ni/Se/Fi.)
Adalind: bold and physically comfortable. Lives in the moment. Makes impulsive decisions on whatever she is feeling. Highly emotional and opportunistic. Trouble seeing the long-term consequences of her actions. Emotional decision maker. Cares mostly about Renard, but no one else. Tends to plan things out and scheme. Worries a bit in retrospect about what she knows is going to happen next. (Se/Fi/Te/Ni.)
8. What matters to them?
Renard: protecting his vision for the future. Keeping his alliances intact. Staying alive and in a position of power. (Te, Ni, and Fi.)
Adalind: her child. Her relationship with Renard. Staying alive. (Ambiguous.)
9. What are they willing to deny?
Renard: willing to give up his child, to save his life and protect her future; willing to deny his desire for the keys to forge an alliance with Nick and earn his trust (Te/Ni/Fi).
Adalind: personal likes and dislikes, to please her mother/Renard. (Fe/Fi)
10. What do they compromise on?
Renard: situations that involve tactical positions; Renard compromises only if he can see where it might benefit him in the long term (Ni).
Adalind: ditto, but her emotions often get in the way (Fi/Ni).
11. What bothers them?
Renard: other people’s emotional outbursts; Nick feeling more guilt about killing a human than a Wesen (as a Zauberbiest, Renard is offended by that – Fi).
Adalind: betrayal; it hurts her that Renard slept with her mother and gave Diana away, when she trusted him (Fi).
Conclusion: Renard has inferior Fi, with Te-dominance - ENTJ. Adalind has inferior Ni (inability to foresee the consequences of her actions), with Se-dominance - ESFP.
Why is it impossible for a person to use both Ti and Ni dominantly?
It’s possible to use primarily use Ti and Ni, with Ni much stronger than Ti (an INFJ in an Ni-Ti loop) or with Ti much stronger than Ni (ISTP in a Ti-Ni loop), but that does not just happen organically, like that state of being is a result of a type being warped, there’s isn’t some type that is just always like that. It isn’t a healthy state of being because it is not a normal, healthy thing to completely depend on introverted functions.
It isn’t possible to use any two functions dominantly. There is always a hierarchy. First of all, your dominant function is pretty much there right off the bat, it is extremely ingrained in who you are, it cannot be suppressed.You cannot have two functions that are the same level of developed because that hierarchy is how you function, otherwise you would come to a standstill. Do i take info in first or make a decision on information first? Don’t fuckin know, because my perceiving function (Ni) and judging function (Ti) are totally equal. Like you wouldn’t be able to do anything, ever. Do i prioritize insight or analysis? i dont. i do nothing. i don’t even exist, what is real
what particular things do you look for when trying to spot cognitive functions in people? Like what are the tell-tale signs for each of the cognitive functions? I already read about them to death but it's hard to spot them without knowing real life examples of each type.
If you see these traits strongly displayed in someone’s behavior, it’s quite likely that it’s their dominant or auxiliary function. These are more easily observable and they’re what I’d notice first when interacting with someone.
Ne: “The Mind Jumps” - NPs
They seemingly jump from one topic to another without obvious connection, or interrupt you to say completely unrelated things because something you said reminds them of something else. (Note: this is easier for me to recognize because my Ne is quite strong and I can understand connections behind the ‘mind jump’ other Ne users do.)
Some NPs are aware of this and will start with “This is completely unrelated, but…”
They see multiple possibilities and tend to talk in terms of possibilities and use hedging even if they sound confident: “maybe…”, “it’s probably…”, “usually…”, “pretty much”
They act younger than their age and come off as playful, childlike, and silly.
Te: “The Commands” - TJs
They talk in direct, commanding statements.
They use very few hedging, and they won’t turn a sentence into a question unless they actually want to ask a question (i.e. they won’t add “,right?” at the end of a sentence or have an upward intonation, or say “don’t you think so?”, etc).
There’s an intensity about them. They easily come off as intimidating.
They are not afraid to stare people down when they talk.
Fe: “The Warmth” - FJs
Usually very smiley and pleasant throughout the conversation.
They feel ‘warm’ and accommodating when you interact with them.
They naturally show socially appropriate non-verbal behaviors, e.g. laughing at a joke because someone told a joke, even if it wasn’t that funny; saying “aww” or make sad faces when you share your disappointment at something, etc.
They tend to reciprocate actions, mood, and tone of the person they’re interacting with.
Likely to be uncomfortable with silence because they don’t know what to mirror.
Se: “The Alertness” - SPs
You can tell from their eyes. Se dom/aux have the most attentive look in their eyes. They’re so present and right there noticing everything in the environment. It’s more of a wild, open and alert look, as oppose to Te intense intimidating stare.
They’re quite easily distracted by things that are going on around them. They will look in the direction of a small noise mid-conversation, or to look at someone entering a room or a bird flying pass.
(INTP-specific) I tend to have a zoned out look when someone is talking, and it’d be Se dom that asked me the variety of “are you there?”, “are you still following me?”, and occasionally glance behind them to see what I’m looking at (when I’d actually be zoning out).
You can mostly see these through the content of what someone says. Again, these are clearer as someone’s dominant or auxiliary function.
Ti: “The Analysis” - TPs
Ti dom/aux analyze how everything works. NTPs are more theoretical and STPs are more factual, but there will be many analysis, calculations and speculations.
They tend to be impartial, preferring facts and logical explanations.
They like to ask for clarifications, to categorize and define things in more precise terms.
They may stop talking mid-conversation, look down to analyze something in their mind (possibly to find the most succinct vocab), then perk up to talk again.
They want to “know” and tend to like reading.
Si: “The Extraordinary Memory” - SJs
They tell stories based on events in the past in vivid details. These details tend to be descriptive observable facts (where they were, what the place looked like, how did they get there, who was there, what did they wear, what did each person did), as opposed to nuances/mood/atmosphere.
They are amazing at remembering people’s names and information.
They can tell the same stories and jokes over and over again for years.
Fi: “The Feels” - FPs
They are brimming with “feels”. You can see it. Stories they tell are usually personal and filled with personal opinions. You can see that those are real and meaningful to them, and they are personally attached to what they say.
They readily take a moral stance and can have a hard time understanding how someone could take a different stand point.
They tend to “show off” their values quite a bit, which can make someone with different values feel uncomfortable, e.g. a vegan Fi-user may advocate it so much and make others feel guilty about eating meat, a humanitarian Fi-user may talk highly of themselves for helping other people, or a libertarian Fi-user may tell various stories to show how uninhibited they are and how unthinkable it is to live conservatively.
Ni: “The Future Predictions” - NJs
Ni is extremely hard to observe externally. Ni users tend to mention “following their guts/instinct”, but they don’t readily share that fact unless you’re close to them.
They tend to have a 5 years or 10 years or 20 years plans and goals for the future. They like to know where they’re going in life.
They like to envision the most likely future path with people or situations.
An example: My INTJ best friend told me about an older single mom who flirted with him. He said that he didn’t like her personality and wasn’t attracted to her physically. Then, he also mentioned that he’d like to focus on his career for the next 10 years and taking care of her kids would distract him from his goal, which prompted me to ask why he would think about a future with her if he didn’t like her to begin with, and he said he does this naturally with everything.
Another example: The same INTJ changed jobs twice, and both times he left his old work place even before he got a confirmation that he was hired at the new job. He said he just knew instinctively that he was going to get accepted at this company (he went to about 10 interviews during the same time period).
p.s.2 I would’ve linked to the Visual Typing website (a theory on how to visually recognize functions in real life), but unfortunately the author has taken all the videos down to advertise his upcoming book instead haha. He had pretty great stuff going on there, so if you’d like to support, go here.
The forum is still there, though. Here’s the subforum with examples of how different types come off visually.