ENFP Inferior Function: Understanding the ENFPs Introverted Sensing (Si)

Our inferior function is the one we often push aside the most, and find it the most difficult to fully grasp. While our inferior does seem to be underutilized, this isn’t entirely the case. This function is used in different ways and has a tendency to come out differently simply because it is in the 4 position in our functions stack. That doesn’t mean it won’t still play an important role in our lives and behaviors, as especially we we grow and mature. As people work on personal growth and understanding, it can cause this function to become more useful in their lives and help them to process things in a much more balanced manner. In reality, even our “weakest” function has an important role to play in our behaviors, and does in fact show itself more than we outwardly notice.

The ENFPs inferior function is their introverted sensing (Si), which deals with comparing past experiences and finding patterns within them. This helps people to take in information about the present and tie it into past information, giving them a good idea of how things will pan out because of it. This is something which the ENFP uses in a more subconscious manner, and in less obvious ways than people who use it as their dominant function. It can seem like ENFPs don’t really focus on this function, only because they are so focused on moving forward and seeing patterns in the outside world around them, rather than internalized comparisons. While this isn’t a function the ENFP gravitates towards in order to make important decisions, it is still utilized in different and important ways.

What Is Introverted Sensing (Si)

Introverted sensing or Si, is very much focused on an internal perception of the outside world. It focuses on past experiences and connects them to the present as well as the future. Someone who uses introverted sensing as their dominant function can be rather stuck in past knowledge, always connecting things back to something which has happened before. This can cause them to be a bit fearful of trying new things at times, since they want to stick to what they know and are sure of. Often this just helps the individual connect things to the past and their own experiences in order to predict the best future choices for them. It can help them to figure out where there might be inconsistencies or changes in their environment. This helps the Si user recognize when something isn’t right or when they need to adjust to their environment somehow. This is a function which focuses on personal experiences a lot, and helps the user to decide which direction makes the most sense of them and what they are comfortable with. This doesn’t make them incapable of adjusting to change or of experiencing new things, they just have a tendency to connect those experiences to something personal from the past. This also makes strong Si individuals rather connected to things that make them feel nostalgic, and so they can be truly drawn to situations and memories from the past. They don’t like letting go of those feelings or thoughts, and enjoy reminiscing with loved ones.

The Role of the ENFPs Inferior Function

For the ENFP the use of their inferior introverted sensing function actually help maintain a sense of balance for their dominant extraverted intuition. ENFPs can become so caught up in new ideas and experiences that they struggle to find a sense of middle ground, and instead bounce around from one thing to the next without much hesitation. While being curious and somewhat spontaneous is part of the ENFPs personality, they also do well with a bit of balance. The combination of their Ne and Si helps them to find this healthy mindset and gives them a connection to the past as well. It helps the ENFP remember details and experiences, knowing when these patterns are meaningful to them personally and not just the world around them. For the ENFP introverted sensing plays an important role in remembering past details about the people they love and care for, little things like their birthdays or special memories they share with them. This is something which often works in the background, and records these past experiences and memories in connection with the people they are closest to. 

This is something which works subconsciously for the ENFP as well, and can help them in moments when it is most necessary. They don’t use Si as their dominant function, and so they wouldn’t feel right allowing it to take control all of the time. While it might not be a constant for them, they do utilize Si in moments where they need remember methodical steps and details for certain work that needs to get done. While ENFPs are not often seen as organized or detail-oriented people, there are times when they have to able to focus on smaller steps in order to get things done in a certain order or process.

The ENFP Grip

When the ENFP is under extreme stress or has applied too much pressure to their dominant function, they can go into their grip mode. This causes the ENFP to focus much more on their introverted sensing function, and they behave differently from their norm. The ENFP can become focused on small details, constantly trying to connect with things that make them feel nostalgic. They are drawn to things that comfort them, and don’t want to seek out new experiences in the same way they normally do. During this time the ENFP stops using their Si in healthy ways, and instead uses it to seek out “facts” and can become obsessed over smaller and less important details. They can become rather methodical, searching out information in ways which can even come across as harsh to those around them. Instead of using that Si to connect with loved ones and past experiences, they become hyper-focused on proving their Ne theories and can come up with ways to prove what seems to be paranoid thoughts.