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In this episode, Joel and Antonia begin a two-part series about integrating your cognitive functions. In this episode they discuss the perceiving functions and how to integrate the weak side of each in your personality.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Why do we prefer to talk about cognitive functions in terms of how they work in polarities?
  • Check out our article on Car Model to learn about your functions and their polarity opposites.
  • We can’t fully understand one function without understanding its opposite -why is this the case and how does this show up?
    • An example of how this works.
  • What is the key purpose of integrating functions?
  • How can we integrate the polarity opposite of our Driver and Copilot?
  • What happens if we don’t consciously work on integration?
  • How to see the limitations of your backseat functions – even if you’ve developed skill there.
  • What does it look like when we purposefully use our backseat functions to support our stronger functions?
    • What happens if we don’t use them to support our strengths?
  • How to integrate your weaker perceiving functions – and the difference in how they show up when they are integrated and unintegrated:
  • xNxPs – integrating Memory (Si) to support Exploration (Ne)
    • How Si helps you to learn your lessons with the gift of wisdom
    • Why you need templates – the concept of “blank page syndrome”
    • What happens if you don’t build on your past?
    • How you can prevent bad habits
  • xSxJs – integrating Exploration (Ne) to support Memory (Si):
    • What’s the main purpose of Ne if you have Si in the front seat?
    • How to move forward when there isn’t an existing template
    • How can unintegrated Ne make you more closed off to new experiences?
    • How integrated Ne benefits your past reflection
  • xNxJs – integrating Sensation (Se) to support Perspectives (Ni):
    • What happens to your Perspectives process if you don’t check in with reality?
    • How integrated Se enhances your inner world
    • What happens to your mind if you don’t look after your body?
    • Thinking of your body as a part of you
  • xSxPs – integrating Perspectives (Ni) to support Sensation (Se):
    • Ni helps Se perform better in the moment- an example
    • How unintegrated Ni can trick you into living in a fantasy world
    • How lazy and avoidant behaviours can creep in
    • What can you gain from using Ni to understand future implications?
  • “Courage isn’t the opposite of fear” – how this idea fits into integrating the opposite polarity function.
  • Remember – the same function may be integrated in some areas of your life, but not others.

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We want to hear from you. Leave your comments below…


  • Beth (ENTP)
    • Beth (ENTP)
    • July 17, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you for this podcast – it was helpful in giving me an intellectual kick up the backside. I realised that the reason I was procrastinating and putting off applying for a creative course was because my Si had fallen out of alignment / become unintegrated. In turn, my 10 year old Fe was feeling unloved and sorry for itself.

    Like John who posted upthread, I benefit hugely from a fixed routine, but find it hard to get back into it if I break it for some reason. I have forced myself to fix some of the physical annoyances in my environment, clean out my email inbox and reinstate my routine. The sense of control this has given me has put me back on track and I was able to edit 3000 words of creative writing and apply for the course today.

    I am new to your podcasts but not to MBTI and I love your work. Thank you.

  • William (ISFJ)
    • William (ISFJ)
    • June 16, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    My bad, Antonia. I thought you had asked if it felt to me like Si was appearing simple in myself, not if the descriptions you were providing felt simple. Totally my bad. I totally agree with your last comment: the descriptions are not really simple, although they may be straight forward. I made my last comments on the assumption that you had said something that you totally didn’t. I think that your descriptions are spot on; it’s just that the limited pieces of them that I can see in myself appear much more simple than the descriptions you’re providing.

    Sorry for the confusion!

  • John
    • John
    • June 16, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    I’m an ENTP who became a bookkeeper and created a weekly routine based approach to keeping books for small businesses with no employees. I also wrote a newsletter (nearly) every day for a year during the pandemic.

    but now and then my routines just totally collapse and i forget that I have been doing something every day for a year or every week for a year. It’slike I don’t develop muscle memory.

    But I benefit hugely from following a routine like this for a long time. they tend to have to be rigid because I am intellectually committed to the routine, not physiologically committed to it. I think an isfj can break a routine and come back to it because it’s the mean to which they will naturally regress, but i tend to lose the routine and much more if i miss it at all.

    I have to set up parameters for such routines that enable them to happen easily. With my newsletter it was:

    I’m going to send
    a thing,
    with words in it,
    in the Morning-ish,
    for a while

    there were no rules about it being high quality or of any length or specific subject or anything. I celebrated the unedited nature of it, calling it a daily newsletter with typos. Some of my sharpest friends (i.e. an intj) ended up reading my newsletter from the prior day the next morning to start their own days so i discovered it was a service to others.

    I’m still not sjure how healthy it is to have such a rigid routine. doing any single thing every single day seems so extreme to me, but again, the loose parameters enable it. I’d like to get back to doing it daily. here’s the link to an index of my favorite newsletters for any interested PH’ers!:

  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • June 16, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    I think I’d say descriptions are more ‘straight forward’ than ‘simple’. Ni/Se can be difficult to explain to others who aren’t using these functions, mostly because Ni users themselves struggle to put the function into words.

    Si/Ne can seem more straight forward, but I wouldn’t call it simple. And there are definitely more esoteric elements of the function. One of my favorite descriptions comes from an ISFJ would was trying to articulate the relationship she has with objects, people and environments that have left a permanent impression. She said, “The wand chooses the wizard.” That’s certainly not simple, but it’s straight forward in description.


  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • June 16, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that, Victor. I don’t know your situation beyond your description, so I don’t know how much optimism is appropriate, but radical self-care when an individual is facing physical maladies is almost always appropriate and helps (even if incrementally). In the same situation I would definitely carve out significant time and resource to focus on body care. For INxJs it can seem the last thing they want to focus on, but it’s absolutely a leverage point.


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