The distinction between Sensing and Intuition can be one of the most difficult to make in temperament typology. However, some basic characteristics make that determination a little easier. The main distinction between Sensors and Intuitives is grounded-ness or practicality. Sensing types are very much hands-on and think in practical, rational and logical terms, whereas Intuitive types are more imaginative, visionary and conceptual. Intuitive types tend to “live inside their head” more often and can often present a dreamy, distant quality. They may often appear to be lazy, especially to more industrious Sensing personalities. However, this is simply due to a different set of priorities and preferences.
Intuitive types suffer more often from mental anguish, angst, and “overthinking” due to their conceptual nature. The overthinking of the Intuitive has less to do with “Thinking” than it does with “conceptualizing” and imagining. Intuitive types play “what if” scenarios repeatedly in their minds and try to think of every possible contingency, even when making the smallest decision. Intuitives are the dreamers, romantics, visionaries, inventors and absent-minded professors of the world. Intuitive Feelers are hyper-sensitive types and may have great difficulty maintaining positive mental health. They have the ability to pick up on the feelings of others and “read” emotions, and sometimes thoughts, of those around them. However, Intuitive types often “read” too much into things and have a tendency to become paranoid and anxious regarding situations which will never happen. They have powerful imaginations and the ability to create fantasy worlds in which they can spend days, months or years.
Intuitive types often appear distracted and may come across as “air headed”. They may not bother with “trivial” details such as appointments, the location of keys, or other practical details since there are plenty of Sensor types around to keep up with such things. They have a tendency to become ADD since their attention can flit from one concept to another and they crave stimulation. If they are also a Perceptive type then ADD is more likely to occur. Throw in Extroversion and you have ADHD. Intuitive types are in the minority and often feel they are different from others. They are not suited for the corporate world as much as their Sensor counterparts since they are neither as grounded nor as industrious. They make better executive types provided they have Thinking and/or Judging characteristics since they are powerful visionaries and conceptualizors. However, the Intuitive Feelers and Perceivers struggle more often with emotions and grounded-ness than most other personality types.
Intuitives are idealists and utilize their imaginations to see the big picture and bring the fairy tale into reality. They cannot be satisfied with a mundane, nine to five existence and have the need to feel that their life has “meaning” and purpose. They plan for contingencies as they build their ideal world and can be hyper-vigilant as they ruminate over every detail. They are gifted with communication since they understand the subtle nuances of words, symbols and syntax. They often speak in meta-language, using ambiguous words with subtle nuances, having several conversations at once, often unbeknownst to the other party. Intuitive types can be riddled with self doubt since they have open minds and anything is possible. They deal with uncertainties but seldom settle on one fixed course of action.
Intuitives can be Masterminds, Dreamers and Healers. Those with Feeling temperaments seek to help and heal others while those with Thinking tendencies seek to make the world a better place through technology and science. This type can easily become lost and lose touch with reality. They can become overwhelmed by anxiety, paranoia, doubt and fear. This type needs to become grounded through spirituality and relaxation without completely sacrificing vision and imagination. Intuitives have a greater ability to surrender to their spirit and communicate with the Universe than other types, although it may be difficult for them to distinguish fantasy from reality. Self acceptance and confidence must be developed and nurtured for this type to achieve success and fulfillment.