Building blocks of the SEI

The “SEI” is built around several different “building blocks”, such as their quadra, club, temperament, romance style, and the important dichotomies of theirs; they are judicious, merry, democratic, irrational and process-oriented. They are also Si leading, Ne seeking, with a Te point of least resistance.

Fancy words, what does it mean in reality? Let’s start with what we already know, their cognitive stack. The SEI leads with Si, which also means that they are seeking Ne. Because of this, especially as Si is blocked with Fe, they are focused on creating a both physically and mentally enjoyable and comfortable environment. This can, however, come out in many different ways. We can see the stereotype of baking cinnamon buns and cookies, which is typically ascribed to the SEI. However, we can also see things that might not be as expected, such as Epicureanism. Created in the same era as stoicism, following that of Plato and Aristotle, it’s a philosophy that is based on creating a pleasurable and therefore meaningful life. I won’t go too deep into the philosophy here, but it’s based on Si, creating an enjoyable life, through eliminating discomfort. The biggest focus of an SEI is never the actual reality, never what’s externally observable. That is too simple, too shallow. Rather, they look into the depth of what they’re observing. If you look at art pre-18th century, it was based on observing and showing nature, portraits, and actual objects. To show how it looked. When Si gets introduced though, is post-18th century, with the rise of impressionism and the likes, where, rather than catching how something looks, it’s about how it’s perceived. It’s about going deeper than the surface and expressing something that lies not in observable reality, but in the psyche of the artist. Further, they are Ne seeking. This is both a weakness and something they admire in other people. As for the weakness, they have a hard time recognizing potential, and what unique, weird characteristics of themselves are “valid”. They therefore want validation on it from people with higher Ne, with a better ability to notice those things. Beyond not being very good at it, they also avoid bringing attention to their abilities and uniqueness for other reasons, such as the danger of creating distance to other people, or not being appropriate to express in a group setting. They’re also Fe creative and Fi demonstrative, two functions that works tightly together. Rather than using a pure version of Fe, such as the ESE or ILE, this is one that is highly influenced by Fi. In practical terms, this comes in play through a more individual approach to things, like when changing the atmosphere in a group, it’s more likely to be done through each person individually, rather than doing it to the group as a whole. Their Ti is very standardized, and as Ti is related to systems and ideologies, this can easily make them rigid and “traditional” on such areas. The other function they have a standardized and normative view of, and this one is even more prominent, is Ni. There are two things that are commonly connected with Ni, and an SEI often has problems (or is helped by) both of those. First of all, there’s the long term thinking, the planning, that is often ascribed to Ni ego types. This can easily become a problem for this type, but not only because of role Ni, but also because of their suggestive Ne. Like I mentioned, a problem for the SEI is that their Ne is so weak (and private) that they have a hard time pinpointing their personal qualities. This can make it hard for them to project themselves and plan too far into the future, as they can’t begin to pick out a route. Further, since Ni is normative, standardized, it’s easy for them to fall into the trap of taking the road more travelled. Further, they often have a hard time with people taking the devil’s advocate too far. They already have a hard time recognizing true facts from false, because of their vulnerable Te, and if someone they trust, especially someone that they already know is knowledgeable, it makes it even harder for them to tell, first of all, if what the other person is saying is true, but also to tell if the person is playing the devil’s advocate, or actually expressing his or her opinion. The last function of the SEI, their ignored Se, is very obvious and very typical of this type. The SEI typically has a hard time with confrontations, whether those are physical or not, both with people and confronting an obstacle standing in their way. When they have to though, when there is no other way out, they are perfectly capable of doing both.

The second important building block for this type is the dichotomies they’re a part of (all of which can be found here). Beyond the quadra-specific ones that I’ll touch on later, the SEI is irrational and process-oriented (among other things). That they are irrational doesn’t say anything about their ability to think rationally, it’s the language that Jung used to describe those that lead with a perceiving function. And this influences the type a lot. Especially in combination with being judicious, ignoring Se, and repressing Te as far as possible, it makes this type very indecisive. It also makes them more fluid, and adds to what I described with both Ni and Ne, as they’re less likely to have a rigid plan for their life. They also tends to completely indulge in the process, and focus on one thing at the time. Another thing that is based on the process-focused dichotomy, is that they reach the right result by applying the right process, something that might be dangerous because of their normative, standardized Ti.

Final building block for the SEI is the different “groups” they’re a part of. Alpha, IJ (or Ip), SF, and caregivers. Alpha quadra is a light one, focusing on a free exchange of both information and emotions between anyone in a group. This makes the SEI both expressive and energetic, and as an ethical type, they are “responsible” for creating a perfect environment where this is possible. And for several reasons, they do this well. They belong to the SF club, or “socials”, both a people based and very “local” club, focusing at the situation at hand. Another reason why they’re so good at this is their romance style, which is called “caregivers”. The SEI naturally takes care of people, through their Si and Fi+Fe. When it comes to their approach to romance, it’s consistent with their ignored Se, and they take a softer, less direct approach. They take on an almost maternal (or paternal) role, taking care of their partner’s needs, whether those are physical or psychological. Last group they’re a part of is their temperament, introverted irrational types (Ip). They are a dynamic and “fluid” type (furthered by being irrationals), and tends to be in a low-energy state, needing to “get started”. They see reality as a continuous change, and gradually changes with it.

4 Replies to “Building blocks of the SEI”

    1. Thank you! If there’s anything that isn’t on here yet, and that you think I should cover, let me know!

      1. My ISFJ friend wants to know more about how ISFJs approach art, especially their Ne and dominant Si. It’s usually the IFPs that are seen as artsy.

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