Extraverted Intuition (Ne): 10 Clear Signs and How to Develop Ne

by Lisa Sparrow

  • Have you ever talked to someone about apples and realized that not even two minutes later, the topic switched to business attire?

Undoubtedly, it can be very puzzling. But what if we told you that it likely wasn’t a random change of topic?

Chances are, you were talking to someone who uses extraverted intuition (Ne)—a mental process that enables people to make connections between different ideas!

If you want to learn more about extraverted intuition, look no further! This article covers it all, including:

  • What is Extraverted Intuition (Ne)?
  • 10 Clear Signs of Extraverted Intuitive Personalities
  • How Does Extraverted Intuition Affect Your Personality Type
  • How Can Ne Users Strengthen Their Extraverted Intuition?

And much more!

What is Extraverted Intuition (Ne)?

Extraverted intuition (Ne) is a perceiving cognitive function that helps people spot possibilities and see situations from multiple perspectives.

In a sense, Ne works similarly to mind mapping. Ne users are abstract thinkers who think through brainstorming and perceive several sides to every situation and idea. Unsurprisingly, this makes them highly tolerant of different opinions.

Extraverted intuition enables people to create associations and connections between ideas. This helps them think creatively but also makes them prone to jumping from one topic to another. While this does make sense to other Ne users, other people might find it baffling!

So, how do Ne users switch from discussing apples to business attire? It’s simple—when they hear the word “apple,” it isn’t just the fruit that crosses their minds.

Without any conscious effort, their minds fill with numerous ideas associated with this word, such as the Apple brand. From there, they may think of Steve Jobs, a famous ENTJ known for dressing the same way every day—and there you go, that’s how extraverted intuition links apples to work outfits!

Users of Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

Now that you have a better understanding of how extraverted intuition works, let’s see how it affects its main users—intuitive perceivers, or NP personality types.

ENTP and ENFP: Dominant Ne Users

ENTP and ENFP personality types are primarily driven by extraverted intuition. Because of this, they tend to have innovative and penetrating minds. They can easily find unorthodox solutions to problems and enjoy brainstorming ideas with other people.

Moreover, Ne makes them extremely fun to be around. They’re always up for trying new things and have a great sense of humor, as Ne helps them easily come up with witty punchlines. They also love to challenge other people’s opinions to open their eyes to different ways of looking at things.

That said, ENTP and ENFP cognitive function stacks have inferior introverted sensing (Si), which might explain why ENP personalities are often regarded as the most introverted extroverts. While they are energized by exchanging ideas with people, they also like to spend time by themselves to organize their thoughts.

INTP and INFP: Auxiliary Ne Users

INTP and INFP personality types have extraverted intuition as their auxiliary function. While they aren’t dominant Ne users, they still use this function daily, as it complements their introverted primary functions. In most cases, auxiliary extraverted intuition brings INP types a broader point of view and creativity.

The primary INTP cognitive function is introverted thinking (Ti), which makes them effective problem solvers. However, Ti can be quite rigid and only see one solution to a problem. Ne, on the other hand, helps INTPs see the problem in its broader context, thus showing several creative ways of fixing it.

Meanwhile, the primary cognitive function of INFPs is introverted feeling (Fi), which is rather individualistic. Without extraverted intuition, INFPs could easily become stuck in their own beliefs, as Fi is concerned with internal values. Ne balances the self-focused nature of Fi, allowing INFPs to become more open to different opinions and take things less personally.

10 Clear Signs of Extraverted Intuitive Personalities

Curious if you could be a Ne user?

Check out our 10 tell-tale signs of extraverted intuitive personalities. If you relate to most of them, you might be a strong user of extraverted intuition!

#1. Fascination With Opportunities

Ne users crave to experience life to the fullest and easily spot new possibilities. Even when their options are limited, their creative thinking helps them come up with at least one or two alternatives.

In a way, dominant Ne users regard life as a game. Accordingly, they believe that identifying fresh opportunities is similar to unlocking new levels—it motivates them to move forward.

#2. Going With the Flow

To say that Ne users don’t like planning would be a complete understatement—most of them hate it. As strange as it may seem, most people with strong extraverted intuition think that having a solid plan might keep them from achieving their goals.

Believing that the key to success is improvising and adapting to new situations, Ne users prefer to keep their options open and take things as they come. Above all, they value flexibility and spontaneity.

#3. Future-Oriented Attitude

Ne users are forward-thinking individuals focused on possibilities. They’re much more concerned with what the future holds than with what’s currently happening around them.

Being future-oriented helps them stay optimistic. They always know that something better is awaiting them around the corner, which is why they rarely sweat when things go wrong.

#4. Indecisiveness

Ne users are prone to indecisiveness, as they’re afraid of making the wrong choice. After all, picking one option usually means losing access to others.

On top of that, they tend to have a fear of commitment and settling down, especially when it comes to careers and relationships.

#5. Open-Mindedness

Ne users have a gift for seeing multiple perspectives, which makes them open-minded. They love hearing different stories and experiences and getting to know people with diverse backgrounds.

Naturally, this entices people to be honest with them, as they know they won’t be judged. That said, while Ne users aren’t judgmental by any means, rigid and narrow-minded people can get on their nerves.

#6. Affinity For Theoretical Concepts

Ne users are known for their love of all things theoretical—concepts, frameworks, and ideas. However, their actual application in real life isn’t much of a concern to them.

For example, they may be interested in understanding how cryptocurrency works theoretically but far less interested in getting hands-on experience with it.

#7. Interest in the Unknown

While most people are afraid of the unknown, Ne users find it beyond exciting. They readily take on new challenges and aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zones.

Because of this, dominant Ne users welcome change with open arms. Instead of feeling anxious and stressed out, they feel thrilled by the possibility of experiencing something new. On the other hand, they may get bored and feel trapped when things are too stable.

#8. Desire to Share Ideas

Ne users have a strong desire to share their thoughts and ideas with other people. However, this isn’t necessarily because they’re open-hearted.

They simply know the value of hearing other people’s opinions and, more importantly, see others as a source of inspiration.

#9. Inclination Towards Teamwork

Since people with strong extraverted intuition are more than willing to share their opinions, it comes as no surprise that they also prefer working in teams.

Interestingly enough, even introverted Ne users such as INFPs can see the appeal of teamwork. Like dominant Ne users, they enjoy bouncing off ideas with other people, both in personal and professional settings.

#10. Inquisitive Mind

Ne users want to know how things work and aren’t afraid to ask questions, even if they seem silly. Needless to say, you won’t satisfy their curiosity with uncertain or partial answers!

What’s more, their inquisitive nature also leads Ne users to ask personal questions. Sometimes these questions can be rather uncomfortable, but they simply want to challenge people’s views and help them expand their perspectives.

Extraverted Intuition vs Introverted Intuition: What are the Differences?

Extraverted intuition and introverted intuition are both intuitive cognitive functions, but they aren’t the same. In fact, they work in very different ways, although they’re still dealing with abstract matters such as ideas.

As mentioned above, extraverted intuition is similar to mind mapping. It takes one concept and branches it out into different ideas that are all interconnected with the main concept. This way, Ne allows people to see and accept different perspectives on the same topic. This also helps them find numerous possibilities of how a situation could unfold in the future.

Meanwhile, introverted intuition is focused on understanding all aspects of one concept and spotting patterns between different concepts. In a way, Ni is concerned with diving deeper into one topic to understand it entirely. Also, it aims to identify meaning rather than possibilities.

In other words, extraverted intuition is much broader, whereas introverted intuition has a narrower focus.

How Does Extraverted Intuition Affect Your Personality Type

By now, you know that NP personality types are the main users of extraverted intuition—but they aren’t the only ones. In fact, every person is more or less affected by Ne. This chart illustrates the connection between Ne and all 16 personality types:

And here’s a quick rundown on how extraverted intuition affects non-Ne dominant personalities in real life:

  • Tertiary Ne (ESTJ, ESFJ). Developing tertiary Ne can help ESTJs and ESFJs open up to new ways of solving problems and appreciate different opinions.
  • Inferior Ne (ISTJ, ISFJ). ISTJs and ISFJs can benefit from developing inferior Ne, as it broadens their mindset and makes them more eager to try out new things.
  • Opposing role Ne (INTJ, INFJ). In times of stress, INFJs and INTJs might misuse their Ne and resort to logical fallacies to defend their beliefs.
  • Critical parent Ne (ENTJ, ENFJ). As a critical parent function, Ne can push ENJ types to criticize themselves for being narrow-minded and failing to accurately predict future events.
  • Trickster Ne (ISTP, ISFP). In the trickster role, Ne can make ISP types insecure about their brainstorming abilities and critical of people who bring multiple ideas to the table.
  • Demon Ne (ESTP, ESFP). Demon Ne can make ESP personality types detached from reality. They may struggle to understand their train of thought and appear confused.

What Does an Unhealthy Ne Look Like?

Extraverted intuition can help people become more positive, creative, and open to new experiences. However, unhealthy Ne can be rather harmful. Typically, it shows up as:

  • Irresponsibility. Unhealthy extraverted intuition can make people flaky and careless. Because of this, they may abandon social responsibilities, such as showing up at work on time.
  • Short attention span. Specifically, unhealthy ENFPs are known to have limited attention spans. They may get distracted or zone out when people are speaking to them and struggle with finishing tasks.
  • Impracticality. Unhealthy Ne can make people detached from mundane daily tasks, such as doing laundry or cooking meals. Over time, this can take a toll on their physical and mental health.
  • Extreme indecisiveness. It’s no secret that Ne users avoid making decisions so as not to limit their options. However, unhealthy extraverted intuition can cause people to become completely indecisive due to stress and anxiety.

Extraverted Intuition During Personality Development Phases

You may be surprised to find out that even dominant Ne users weren’t born with extraverted intuition. That’s right—it develops over time!

So, let’s see how Ne affects different personality types during three key personality development phases.

Ne During the First Personality Development Phase

The first personality development phase begins in childhood and can last anywhere between early adolescence to young adulthood. At this stage, dominant Ne users—ENFPs and ENTPs—develop their extraverted intuition.

Thanks to their Ne, ENP children are curious, active, and spontaneous. They’re interested in exploring the world around them along with its countless possibilities. As long as their enthusiasm isn’t restricted, ENPs preserve their childlike curiosity throughout their lives.

Ne During the Second Personality Development Phase

INFPs and INTPs develop extraverted intuition during their second personality development phase, which roughly lasts until their 30s.

During this time, INP personality types come out of their shells. They become more comfortable with sharing their thoughts with others. Moreover, they begin to explore the world and take advantage of various opportunities they come across. Unsurprisingly, INP personalities can appear more extroverted than usual once they develop their Ne.

Ne During the Third Personality Development Phase

The third personality development phase is the most complex, and not all people reach its potential. ESTJs and ESFJs might find it easier to work on their Ne, but ISTJs and ISFJs can also develop it if they put in enough effort.

Ne can help SJ personality types become more flexible and future-oriented. If they fully develop their Ne, these types become more comfortable around people who don’t share similar opinions or don’t follow the rules to a T. Moreover, Ne can help them focus on personal growth and long-term goals.

How Can Ne Users Strengthen Their Extraverted Intuition?

Although it may be difficult, developing Ne can bring you new opportunities in life. Here are some tried-and-tested tips that will help you exercise your extraverted intuition:

  • Step out of your comfort zone. Make it a point to do things differently than you usually do. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy—if you’re used to having Chinese takeout, going to a Thai restaurant might be all you need to engage your Ne.
  • Challenge your beliefs. Extraverted intuition is all about the ability to see several viewpoints, so try and question your strongly held beliefs. Are they rational and objective? Do you see any flaws in them? What opposing beliefs do people hold on this particular topic and why?
  • Engage with different people. Spending time with people from different cultures can help you open your mind. To take this to the next level, consider talking with people who have opposite opinions to yours. Listen to their points of view and think about what does or doesn’t align with you.
  • Let go of control. If you have a strict daily routine, consider dropping it for a day. Instead of making plans, say “yes” to opportunities that come up throughout your day. This way, you can learn the beauty of spontaneity—just don’t forget to trust your instincts and stay smart!

Key Takeaways

And that’s everything you need to know about the extraverted intuition cognitive function!

Just to reiterate, this cognitive function mostly focuses on finding connections between abstract ideas and exploring their potential. So, if you ever feel that you got stuck in your ways or need some excitement in your life, consider playing around and engaging with your Ne!

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