Dominant Introverted iNtuition, Ni: Lisa Simpson has a huge inner world, is solitary, and can be obsessive. She follows whatever path of knowledge she is on until she sees exactly where it leads, honing in. We see this in her uncovering many Springfield myths and mysteries, including the truth about Jebidiah Springfield. Because she often has so much knowledge on a topic of interest to her she can be stubborn in her intuitions, like when she was presented with the angel skeleton. She refused to believe that the angel skeleton was in fact a real angel and was baffled that her mom, an intelligent person, could disagree.
Lisa works by the framework that everything is simply a perspective of life. Even the physical/athletic parts of life are another perspective to work through. This is how she approaches physical activities like ballet, gymnastics, and even playing the Saxophone in this way. Each is another perspective of life and carries it’s own truth to her. It is how she seems to over complicate her interests or new activities that she tries. She approaches each activity conceptually and acquires as much knowledge before jumping into anything. It is why she can get so angry at Bart, an Se dominant, when he can just jump in and be good at things (especially things that Lisa does to define herself) without having all the knowledge and expertise of it. We see this when Bart picks up the drums and is “better at” Jazz without even knowing how to pronounce the word, Jazz. The professionals want to jam with him and not her and it breaks her heart.
Lisa often lives in her own fantasy world that is detached from the reality around her. In one episode she literally creates a fantasy world in order to escape. She often romanticizes the unknown and the unrealized. She imagines these great adventures, people, and futures, but often then finds herself disappointed when reality doesn’t live up to her expectations. This is especially true with her heroes and people around her, which is caused by he Fe, people focus.
For Lisa, everything needs an underlying meaning and connection. It just needs to be uncovered. We can see this when she wants to date Nelson. She wants to see more in him and why he does the things he does. She creates a deeper Nelson that may or may not exist. But that almost doesn’t matter because she likes the idea of him that she has created. Obviously, once reality doesn’t match up with the idealized Nelson she created, they break up.
Secondary Extraverted Feeling, Fe: Lisa’s Fe is what makes her quite sensitive to criticism and approval of others. While her Ni seeks an emotional truth, he Fe seeks approval from others. Lisa is always caught in being true to herself and social harmony, acceptance. She succumbs to peer pressure at first, quite often. She often finds that in order to acquire the approval she loses herself and by the end of the episode learns to find herself again. Despite this happening over and over, she still finds herself, like all INFJs stuck in this struggle.
Even in her humor and sarcastic moments, it is her Ni and Fe struggle. She can do the surface things to appease her family and school mates, but there is a cynicism underneath as she isn’t being authentic, but performing for those around her. We also see this in big ways when she first becomes Buddhist. She fights so hard for her autonomy in her beliefs that she stops participating in cultural rituals with her family around Christmas time. She needed someone to point out to her that being part of these rituals with her family, of retaining those harmonious relationships doesn’t compromise her personal beliefs.
Not only does Lisa need approval, but she needs encouragement. We see this in how she learns in school. She needs to feel appreciated. She needs the affirmation that she is smart. As soon as she loses this she starts to doubt herself or grows angry. This makes it interesting that she has a teacher who really doesn’t care. Lisa doesn’t work well when she doesn’t have encouragement. We see this again when she goes to Military School with Bart. Although she didn’t feel challenged at her old school, she has a tough time because she doesn’t received enough encouragement at the Military School. We see her rise to the challenge though when Bart is there to root her on and be there for emotional support.
Tertiary Introverted Thinking, Ti: When her Ti is healthy it is what can help her discern that truth isn’t just conceptual and based on perspectives but is experiential. She often inuits and bases her judgments off of her idea of things she hasn’t experienced. So Ti, helps he make judgments based off of an individual situation and experience. It often isn’t her first step. Her Ni creates a narrative, her Fe an expectation, and her Ti then later, after experiencing the event, discerns logical conclusions.
When her Ti is unhealthy, it stirs feelings of self-doubt. Instead of keeping her Ni-Fe in check, it often makes her skeptical of her Ni. As soon as her idealism doesn’t match up with reality or the specific situation she is in she can go to a dark place. Not only doubting herself, but humanity. When Bart and Lisa take in a homeless folk singer, Lisa romanticizes the singer (Ni). She wants to help realize her image of the singer in the real world and help the singer make it big (Fe). But once the reality becomes that the folk singer is a drug addict and won’t be able to make it big, her Ti skepticism takes over and sends her down the thought that no one can be helped. That she was wrong and shouldn’t have tried. This formula happens a lot in Lisa arcs.
Inferior Extraverted Sensation, Se: Despite being inferior Se still leads Lisa to crave material comforts and sensory novelty. Although her beliefs of Buddhism, Vegetarianism, etc shouldn’t support a life of wanting material things, we often see Lisa “cheat” in her love of material things. Ignoring those beliefs to get a pony or other things. Once the novelty has worn off though, she goes back into her dominant function and judges herself harshly for interacting with her own Se.
This also leads her to judge others who live by Se. She sees those who are n the moment enjoying things from moment to moment as only appreciating the surface leveling things in life. Why don’t they question the moment? Why don’t they try to find the underlying meaning? It is why she can be super judgmental of Homer and Bart (both Se dominants). She sees what they do has frivolous and can judge them too harshly at times and leads her to underestimate them.
Her Ni-Se tug makes her a perfectionist. Her Ni makes her focus on concepts, but her Se drives her to want to see these concepts and ideals realized in objective, concrete reality. She wants her inner world to be actualized. Lisa is often discomforted when this doesn’t work out perfectly.
How does the expression of Ni differ between an INTJ and an INFJ?
Expression could mean a number of things. I will address the two ways I can see this word meaning in this context.
1. Does Ni operate differently as a dominant function within INTJ and INFJ differently? No. The dominant function and inferior function of INTJ and INFJ operate in the same way.
2. The other meaning of this is, how does Ni express itself in the physical/outer/objective world and how does it differ between INTJ and INFJ? This comes down to their auxiliary function. For the INTJ that is Te and for the INFJ that is Fe. This is where the INJ focuses their Ni and this is the function in which the INJ deals with others and the world outside of their inner world.
For the INTJ their Te puts their Ni expression not on people but on logical principles and systems. Unlike, their ENTJ counter parts who use dominant Te, the INTJ’s Ni is not as rigid when it comes to using Te principles and will pick and choose rules, laws, etc that work with their Ni preconcieved notions. If we look at the Twelth Doctor from Doctor Who we can see this in action.
Like any INFJ the 12th Doctor has his own inner world of Ni that puts him at a distance from reality as it is outside of himself. He is watching life from a distance rather than being a player in life. But when we see him interact witht hte outer world it is with Te, with proven principles. This is seen in his INTJ stubborness in his encounter with Robin Hood. 12 knows that Robin Hood isn’t real. He trusts his Ni intuition with this perception and uses Te, scientific and logical principles to prove that this Ni assumption is true. His Te makes him a skeptical person that needs hard evidence in order to sway his Ni perception of reality. This can be a problem for many INJs in general, as Ni is a receptive function and takes time to come to conclusions, but once the INJ has come to this conclusion they trust their Ni world without question pushing everything to fit this preconeived individual reality. This reality is true until proven otherwise. (Very different from how any INTP operates, which many people mistype the 12th doctor as.)
Something to keep in mind for the 12th Doctor and for all INTJs is that because of Te, an INTJ does not seek approval from others about their NI ideas and assumptions. Hence, why 12 really doesn’t care what anyone around him is saying when he is trying to dissprove Robin Hood’s existence in human histroy. Very few people’s opinions matter to an INTJ, and those people have to prove their competetence to be in the INTJ’s inner circle. (For 12 that is Clara.)
Meanwhile, the INFJ has Fe which gives them a people-focus for their Ni, and with it more of a need for approval of their Ni assumptions than the INTJ craves. (Also, this doesn’t mean the INTJ doesn’t want any approval, just that the approval they crave is one in which their Ni is proven true and is functioning in the outside world. More of a satisfaction of being right rather than a need for public approval). How Fe specifically expresses the Ni of an INFJ can be seen more in Lisa Simpson of The Simpsons.
Fe focuses less on the objective principles, rules, hierachies, etc. and more on people and cultural topics. The INFJ is far more likely to be a culture snob than the INTJ. We see this in Lisa Simpson. The INFJ can be skeptical, but not until engaging in a healthy manner with their tertiary Ti. The INFJ in compaison with the INTJ skeptic is a far bigger romantic and given to far more idealistic tendencies. Their Ni is focused on people in some way and the INFJ needs far more postive feedback about their Ni ideas than the INTJ would.