The Instructor – Practical Intelligence (Introverted Sensing)

Introverted and sensing types (ISXX) such as ISFJs, ISFPs, ISTJs and ISTPs tend to state that they need a degree of moderation and abstinence in their daily life. Being introverted and sensing types, it is important to have distance from life and to take a chance to enjoy the details and the smaller things that happen. When there are too many new things happening, introverted and sensing types tend to feel overwhelmed and unsure of themselves. It is therefore important that they take time to moderate and to balance their daily life so that they can always appreciate the little things.

introverted sensing

To be a sensing type is to be guided by intensity and what is most immediate and pressing in every situation. But to be a sensory introvert is to only experience this intensity shortly after something has happened, to not feel the blow of the situation until you have distance from it. This is why we say sensory introverts have historical intelligence, the ability to understand and draw meaning and learning from past experiences.

Name: The Instructor
Primary desire:
Neuroscience: Sensory introverts use the attention network and the top-down network
Core fear: To repeat old mistakes, to not learn from old lessons
Variations: ISTJ, ISFJ, ISFP, ISTP 
Jungian variation: Introverted Sensing

“Whereas the extraverted sensation type is guided by the intensity of objective influences, the introverted type is guided by the intensity of the subjective sensation excited” 

Carl Jung on introverted sensing

Key motivations: To remember, to cherish, to protect, to watch over the good things, to make sure positive things will last for the future.

The Cognitive Functions of Introverted Sensing

We call it sensory introversion because we want to be clear that this is a process possessed not just by ISFJs and ISTJs but also by ISFPs and ISTPs. (For information about ISFJs and ISTJs specifically, read also about sensory judging types.)

A sensory introvert’s memories are detailed and well refined. They carefully observe and study their environment and the people around it, searching for things that appear ‘off’ or problematic. They memorize and break down experiences into details, noting down everything they can spot in a picture or situation. This helps them know for sure what exactly to avoid in the future, and what to preserve for the future. As instructors, they can use this knowledge to help guide others to learn about the same thing.

Memory recall

A sensory introvert studies the world critically, learning about the exact time, place, and name of everything that occurs around them. Studying the world with watchful eyes, sensory introverts are skilled at spotting things that are off. Something someone says may alert them to a past issue they’ve had, with other people who’ve spoken in a similar way. Seeing someone arrive a little early can prompt them to wonder what happened that made them arrive early. Attention to detail is a key to a sensory introvert.

Memory assessments

A sensory introvert will seek to understand and learn from the past. Reflecting back, what did that night on the beach mean to you? What did that person say exactly? A sensory introvert draws meaning from past traumas, amazing times, how you sew a shirt, or how long you need to dry your hair. They can then pick up on if they’ve forgotten something important, or if something they remember seems to be inaccurate. A sensory introvert goes through their past experiences after an event has occurred, suddenly realizing what someone told them, or that there was a guy who winked at them, that they didn’t notice before.

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Guardedness & Precaution

The ability to not jump up and light up at a new problem or issue in a crisis. To remain guarded and watchful even in an amazing situation. To take precautions and to make sure there is a backup plan. And to secure and preserve, and make sure you don’t do anything hasty, even though you have strong pressure on you to do so. To act with critical distance but calmheaded attention in the moment.


A sensory introvert can know in detail how to explain a past event or a memorized instruction. They can tell you exactly how you did something or exactly how something went down, making them amazing instructors, support channels, secretaries, or walking archives. They can also notice contradictions, for example when you’re saying something different to what you usually say, or when you’ve forgotten how something actually went down.

What is practical intelligence?

Types with high practical intelligence (IS) have the eyes of watchers. They pay high attention to detail and they try to find unusual things and things that aren’t where they are supposed to. Historical intelligence can be highly important in law enforcement and establishing order. Historical intelligence is about establishing what is necessary and important. What should I protect? What should I cherish? And what is important and what is unnecessary? Perhaps the worst thing for a sensory introvert is to have an amazing experience, but to know that you will never be able to experience it again.

Practical intelligence relies highly on memory and accurately memorizing a situation and how things used to be. It’s about repeating patterns and establishing routines for how to live and act. To be an instructor is about sleeping on time, eating on time, eating a certain amount of food, and in a certain way. It’s about how we choose to live life and what habits and routines we live by. Historical intelligence is about order and control, when do I do what, and how much do I do? One important priority here is critical distance and self-preservation. If we go out of our natural order or threaten our own balance, there is a risk that we will lose balance and that we will threaten our ability to live in the future.

This is opposed to natural intelligence (ES), which is much about enjoying the here and now. Each of these intelligences can learn a lot from the other in learning to enjoy and care for the good things in life and in learning moderation. Historical intelligence serves the role of preserving important lessons in society. It is about remembering what everyone else may forget.

How to ground an instructor

Detectives (EN) have a grounding influence on instructors (IS). Where a sensory introvert experiences the intensity of the past, the intuitive extrovert sees the thrill of what is to come. The clash between the two types is grounding and important. It helps in balancing two important forces in society. The instructor will require a great deal of patience to accept and move along with the detective’s whims. Likewise, the detective will need to develop patience when giving the instructor time to adjust and learn the new ideas the detective comes up with. This patience may be beneficial to both types.

How to inspire an instructor

An instructor (IS) is inspired by the scout (ES), who always provides a steady influx of fascinating sensory information. The scout will always keep the sensory introvert on their toes and open to the present. Sensory extroverts experience in the moment what the sensory introvert will only experience five minutes (or one year) later.

The sensory introvert can help balance the sensory extrovert’s more reckless tendencies. The sensory extrovert can make the sensory introvert respond more quickly to something important. They can cause something that the sensory introvert may have stalled too long in doing. Often, the sensory extrovert inspires the sensory introvert a great deal. If the sensory introvert is brave enough to let their concerns go, and to instead just jump in and trust where the winds may guide them, they will learn a great deal.

How does a sensory introvert experience intuitive introversion?

The sensory introvert (IS) generally does not experience intuitive introversion (IN) consciously because it is not loud or present enough to have a key influence on them. As the weakest function for a sensory introvert, intuitive introversion has a numbing, calming influence. A sensory introvert will find intuitive introversion draining and boring, but harmless. It serves no role in their mind but is at its strongest when the sensory introvert is the least mentally active.

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