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. Also check out my other post on how to type people.
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.