Reply To: How Does your Lead Function Manifest in your Personality?

Index Forums Cognitive Functions How Does your Lead Function Manifest in your Personality? Reply To: How Does your Lead Function Manifest in your Personality?

Shelley Lorraine
  • Type: NeFi
  • Development: ll--
  • Attitude: Seelie

1) Do the themes associated with your first function resonate with your personality and role in the world?  How does that function manifest, and which themes of the descriptions are ‘not you?’


Yes! I’ve always considered myself (and been recognized as) a daydreamer. My mother constantly called me out for being too head-in-the-clouds as a child, and a little bit “ditzy” (her word).

They have a talent for manipulating information spatially and relationally; fitting together ideas that are otherwise largely disconnected from each other. They may find themselves comparing elements of the periodic table to music bands, or imagining what the life of an eraser would be like from the perspective of a Pixar film.

Relationally, yes, specially no. I am not good at manipulating space/object/geometry in my head. I am especially handicapped at putting items such as boxed furniture together. I cannot easily see how tangible items in 3D space fit together. My SiTe husband, on the other hand is a wiz at this. For some reason, I have always fixated on this isolated handicap as proof that I couldn’t be an Ne lead.

But….. imagining the life of an eraser? ~that~ is entirely up my alley. Exactly the sort of imagining I got going on up in my head more often than not. When I give @Eric a glimpse into my thoughts from time to time, he woefully laments how I use such a powerful device as the human brain for such useless (from his perspective) contemplations. LOL

Lack of Attention

Yes and no. Nothing anyone recognized when I was a child, anyway. [ETA oh, lmao, I just said above my mother thought me a ditzy daydreamer and here I say no one noticed my lack of attention – hehe, well, I guess I mean that no one noticed it affect my academic life ;p] I may have daydreamed in class, but anything I missed, I made up for in my own time. I don’t particularly remember spending a lot of time studying for class, but I always got good grades. I was the “good student” among my siblings. Perhaps I was just enough of a naturally fast learner to compensate for lack of attention span. I didn’t notice an attention deficit until late into college and graduate school.

I have considered recently that I may indeed have ADD, but since I don’t have the H of ADHD, I could pass as an attentive student in the early days.

Where my lack of attention really stands out is in conversation with friends and family. I am the worst listener. My mind trails off and I have to either smile and hope it wasn’t important, or awkwardly admit that I have no clue what the other person was saying for the past 5 minutes.

Mass Data Absorption

A small rush or high may be felt every time a new idea pops into awareness and the Ne user will thirst after that feeling of realization, the sensation of novelty or the intrigue of curiosity. And when Ne is particularly strong, they will seek this type of experience with undying fervor. They will become media junkies, often binge watching entire seasons, rushing through novels and games, or going on researching sprees for days or weeks on end. A slowdown of volume, or a lack of things to absorb can lead to feelings of stagnation, hollowness and absence of thriving.

That’s me!  Definitely something everyone else recognizes in me too. I do not have the attention span for binge watching TV shows, but I do go on weeks-long researching sprees with little attention to eating or sleeping during this time. I simply cannot absorb enough information. I crave the high I feel upon a new idea in my awareness; I crave novelty. I suffer the consequence of breadth > depth. I am not good at targeting my attention for the long haul, only for short, albeit intense, bursts.

Serendipity & Flash Visions

I got pretty carried away with the woo woo of serendipity for a while. Oh hey, serendipity is my favorite word btw! I kept trying to justify my superstitions by the absurdity of some of the visions and synchronicities I experience… except I keep reading about how the N functions work, all sneakily gathering data behind the scenes and I kinda feel bummed that all the magic is probably just my brain being all superfluously cryptic with me. smh brain, why you let me down?  But whatever, I can still impress other people with my presumed psychic powers. 😉


Taking apart household devises? eh, not really my kind of tinkering. Dabbling in a little of this and a little of that? yeah, that’s me

Repetition is among their biggest turn-offs, and this can also lead to a life-long struggle with keeping a set occupation unless the Ne user is fortunate enough to find a job that is as dynamic and evolving as their interests. They enjoy being on the cusp of their understanding and seeing what lies still beyond their reach. Over time, every interest they’ve ever had has the potential to spontaneously reignite itself in them. On a whim they may circle back around to a hobby after having packed it up in the garage for years or decades, and continue their joy for it as if no time had passed

To this day, I still have no idea what I want to be “when I grow up” 🙁 I’ve been thinking lately acting classes would be fun. I can still become an actress at my age, can’t I? Oy, why do I keep doing this to myself? Always chasing after the impractical and not even sticking with it? I once thought I could become a concert pianist when I began piano lessons at 27. I have lofty dreams, no sense of reality and no long-term focus. But when passion strikes, I think “just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean I can’t be the first to do it.” I am crazy optimistic like that.

I still miss some of my old ambitions too. I wanted to try ~all the majors~ when I was in college. I completed degrees in Physics, English, and German. Sometimes I am sad I didn’t stick with physics. In fact, I started as physics major, took a detour that involved studio arts, screen writing, animation, a semester off from school, and a completed degree in English before returning to Physics “as if no time had passed.” And then I still couldn’t stick with it. I detoured off into anthropology and German and yea….  I just love everything. I can’t make up my mind!

Puns & Humor

I’m really not very big into puns. But humor, gosh, what kind of person isn’t into humor? Though I fit the correlation, being far more interested in lightening the mood with comedy than delving deep into serious affairs, I don’t know that this is Ne-specific.

Imitations & Parodies

I am so over-reasonably (can that be a word? I don’t want to say “unreasonably” because it has the wrong vibe) amused to learn that this is an Ne thing. For too long has my husband mocked me for inserting parody and imitation into everyday conversation while I always thought it was a perfectly natural thing to do. I don’t see how it can be avoided. Really, I don’t. Sometimes, the topic at hand absolutely necessitates imitation.

Distraction & Escapism

Guilty. Is this really Ne-specific?  I mean, I guess, maybe it is. I thought the parody thing was an everyone thing too so…. Hmmm, but I guess maybe not. Some people are more want to face problems head on. I just didn’t know it was a CT thing.

When the hardships of life cause a fall out of emotional health for the Ne user, their first instinct will be to divert their attention away from the overwhelming pain. Humor, recreation and consumerism will be exercised as an antidote to their pain, often leading them to engage in reckless spending, jovial displays and to seek out more risky experiences. On the inside the Ne user will be viscerally compelled to stay on the run by an avoidance of their own anxieties and fears. They’ll feel that they would not be able to stand up to the full magnitude of their despair, and rather than have it crush them, they choose to highlight or exaggerate positives and downplay or ignore the magnitude of any negatives.

So painfully true 🙁 But the above also sounds enneagram related. Do all my Ne peeps share this escapist characteristic?

2) Do other people see you in the themes associated with your first function?  Have you received feedback about these qualities from others?

I tried to combine my response to this question with those of the first. But yes, others have said they see a lot of the Ne in me. Yet some also see a lot of rigidity and a resistance to leaving my comfort zones. I don’t fit the stereotyped spontaneous/flexible Ne-lead image. I have anxiety that curbs a lot of would be spontaneity. I’ve only recently begun to dig into the effect of enneagram on my CT, but I’m thinking a lot of what doesn’t seem immediately Ne in me could be related to that. Or to my Aspergers…

A lot of people notice Fi in me before all else, so there’s that.

3) Is there another function theme – aside from that of your first function – that resonates more with your personality and role in the world? If so, how does it manifest?

That resonates more? No. And yet, I’m not entirely confident I am Ne enough to really be Ne. It fits on paper, in writing, in theory – but out in the real world I feel somehow not Ne enough. I don’t know. I just don’t know. Conflicting feedback from others doesn’t help ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ll have to return to address the rest of the questions at a later time…

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