Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Two Kinds of Awareness - Sensing and Intuition

It's 10 degrees here, and I needed tropical. Kaua'i.

This is Part 3 of my series on personality types (character traits, if you will) based upon the Kiersey Personality Sorter. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

As a reminder, I'm an EXFJ. I'm an extrovert, a feeler (not with my hands--behave yourself), and a judger. So what does the X stand for? It means I tested dead even between the S(ensing) and iN(tuition). When I read my character descriptions, I look at both the ESFJ and the ENFJ.

So, what do the S and the N mean?

It's about how people perceive things, how they become aware.

Sensing: These folks are very much into what data they receive through their five senses. They're practical, trusting in facts and experience. As you would expect, they're grounded in reality and value what's real, practical, and sensible.

Intuition: These people are more likely to pick up on things less direct and they deal much more on the unconscious level, things that come from the outside. They would consider themselves innovative, trusting in hunches and inspiration. They love possibilities and esteem ingenuity and imagination.

When I read these two descriptions, I completely understand why I'm an X here. I feel equally strong about both of these. I'm very practical and organized. Yet, I've spend most of my life creating dreamworlds in my head. I go a lot by hunches.

In one office where I worked, one of my coworkers test X in three categories. THREE! So, was he just really flexible . . . or a flake?

And what about another coworker who asked me when I gave her the test if she should answer it like she would at home or at work? That really floored me. With me, what you see is what you get. I don't look at the world differently just because I walk in my office door. Obviously, some people do.

Now, remember. There are no right or wrong answers on the Kiersey. It's merely a way to identify people's viewpoints.

So, what about your characters? Are any of them torn between two equally valid views of the world?


  1. I really don't know what my character would be. I know I'm an Intuitive, but I suppose most of us are some combination of both.

  2. Cool. I think my character battles between these two in an interesting way. Neat to think about it in these terms.

  3. Okay, I've taken the personality test and still couldn't tell you what I am. I've taken it on two different days in the same week and come up with different results. I blame it on being a Gemini :)

    I think being torn equally between views makes a character more likeable and relate-able. People who grow and are willing to see things from all sides are more well rounded and deeper. As writers, I would think those characters are full of opportunity because of the internal and external conflicts their personality would lend itself to.


  4. I'm actually one of those people who is different at home than at work. Home to me is a place to introvert myself and find balance, whereas when I work I like to be the bold decision maker. Guess you're right it's all about perspective.

  5. i feel i am both too, but the mom me is practical & the writer me is intuitive... so most people see my sense side, and are surprised to find out i write =)

  6. So that's what sensing means. I got what intuitive meant, but I never understood sensing. Thanks, Donna. :D

  7. This is completely fascinating. I love stuff like this and could read it over and over again. My current character is more of the (S) type, but in another book I have one of each. Kind of fun. :)

  8. Love stuff like this! I'm definitely more of a intuitive person, so I think my characters are too...

  9. This is fascinating. I think characters torn between two valid views of the world are interesting. And, of course, this can lead to lots of delicious conflict.

  10. I remember doing this in one of my classes in college. As I recall, I wasn't surprised by what it showed.

    I wanted to thank you for joining the Martian hop and visiting my site. You gained a new follower.

  11. I'd never heard of using an X. I took one of them thar' online quizzes tonight (reliability FTW) and found out that I have a 1% preference of thinking versus feeling. So I guess that makes me an INXJ. But we can still be friends ;) .


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