Si Behavior

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The following is a description of behaviors most common to Si.

Si Behavior

Si: Narrativism

The Si user lives and views life through narratives; understanding how things are connected through a chain of past events, and how the present is but the most recent moment in a long link of events that are intrinsically interdependent. Because of this orientation towards the roots of things, all the more value is added to something by knowing its background. A great richness is felt by learning how it is that a city came to be what it is, or how the shops in town came to be famous. Through these anecdotes, the Si user’s comprehension of life multiplies and there is great joy felt in learning how the “here and now” fits into a much wider context. This will lead Si users to be avid readers as well as storytellers. They may sit at the feet of their grandparents and listen to old tales and later come to tell their own. They may particularly enjoy “based on a true story” films and appreciate learning about history –including their own. They may be elated to learn that their great great grandfather was a duke or king, and may voyage on an ancestral quest driven by a search of identity; an answer to “who am I?” that is rooted in a concrete reality. The Si user often stumbles into subjects such as world events, geography and anthropology in an effort to understand “what is this place, really?” They may be driven into an academic direction and become bookworms or librarians. More than a few Si users are also paleontologists; a domain driven heavily by the quest to discover what the links are between the earth as it was before and how it is today. The more complete a picture can be formed, the more grounded the Si user will feel in their paradigm and place in the world.

Si: Encyclopedia

As they go about life, the Si user will also be passively accumulating mountains of information from everyday occurrences which, over time, come to form a vast mental archive of details. A few Si users may find themselves able to mention what they were doing four weeks ago on a Tuesday afternoon. Others may not have their talent fixed in chronological time, but be able to recite the names of all the past presidents, all the states or the actresses in old films. They may like to watch “Who wants to be a millionaire” and enjoy trivia games such as Jeopardy. Some Si users are generalists; knowing a little about a whole lot of things. Others are specialists, and know everything about one field of study. If they’re into camping or hiking, they may have memorized all the herbs and flora of their specific corner of the world. On a backpacking trip they may call out: “See that? that’s poison oak, don’t touch that. And this one over there, you see the white stripes? That means it’s ok to eat.” Little factoids of this nature will follow them around at all times, and those who live with an heavy Si user will note their voluminous body of knowledge.

Si: Backstory & Context

The Si user will be thorough when it comes to sharing information; intrinsically understanding that knowledge requires a proper context or backstory in order to be meaningfully received by others. Whenever giving an explanation, the Si user will tend to append the appropriate information to each explanation which can then fully unpack it and give the desired understanding. Just as the Si user would expect to be mistaken if they extrapolated a trend from missing data, they will expect others to also misread their meanings if forced to fill in the blanks they leave in their words. They will be very thorough in this manner, taking the extra steps to make their personal story, argument, idea or thought relevant and meaningful by painting a fuller picture of the ideas that surround and embed it. But often times the Si user may overdo it; expecting less context to be understood than what already is. They may lay down seven datasets before conveying their core idea, only to realize the same thought could have been relayed with three. This may lead others to view the Si user as rambly, perhaps repeating information that’s already known or unnecessarily inflating the conversation. Over time the Si user may discover where the right balance is and be able to supply just the right amount of information for any given situation.

Si: Indexing & Modularity

Yet the reason the Si user tends to be particular with their data is because they will naturally tend to store their information internally in discrete packages which can be accessed and woven together independently. Like a shelf of books or a bin full of old trinkets –if the Si user is very disjointed– they will draw out resources from memory as an occasion calls for them. However, each dataset is its own separate mental object and there is in them a tendency to compartmentalize memories, datasets, schemas and ideas; indexing them separately even if they belong to a wider whole. This does not mean that the Si user can only view reality through a narrow frame, but at any given moment the frame they are looking at is understood from its own appropriate context. The Si user will have a very modular grasp of the world; experiencing reality as multiple schemas suspended in superposition and always responding to reality from the most adjacent dataset/model/idea in their large reservoir at any given time. This may cause them to grow into polymaths, as they may wear many hats and be a bit of an amateur astronomer, linguistic hobbyist, bird watcher, dog whisperer, interior decorator and gardener.

Si: Collections

Given the aforementioned narrativism, the Si user will have a soft side for the preservation of antiquity. A fascination will exist for the ancient which is not to say they are attracted to “old” things for the sake of it, but because through them they are able to trace the lineage of the world. An old lamp is not just an old lamp but a symbol of an object that permeated hundreds of houses back in the 1920s. It’s a token of a time period, but more specifically it is “the very lamp” that so-and-so touched and used. Via this literal object, there’s a direct contact with a specific narrative now gone, acting as a sort of time traveling experience. The totem gives them vicarious access to the perspective of someone who once saw this very same thing and held it in just the same manner. Collecting coins, vintage records, bugs and the like may be favorite hobbies of an Si user. Having “the full collection” of a thing brings a special level of satisfaction. However, this collecting habit can also lead to certain real world disarrays. They may be prone to packrat behavior; storing mountains of childhood trinkets filling up garages with unused boxes of things. Their house may be decorated with knickknacks, often hung up on walls; each a keepsake or symbol of a certain time/place or experience.

Si: Nostalgia

The Si user will grow very personally attached to events, people and places they encounter in life. Even though a better, newer replacement for a broken bicycle is available, they may reject it and keep the one they’ve known and experienced life through. Fond memories are deeply cherished and preserved both mentally and physically. If the memories pertain to specific people, they may never disconnect from those old friends; often attending alumni reunions or arranging periodic meetings. However, this nostalgia can cause problems with new relationships, as they may always viscerally feel like their best times and moments are behind them. They may not admit it aloud, but one might feel that nothing can match the feeling tone of those special events now epitomized in their subconscious. This can leave new friends or potential lovers injured and neglected; their affections always second place to an impossible ideal. It may feel as if they were interfacing with a human stuck in a previous era and not truly “present” with them here and now. The Si user’s tendency to look to the past can cause them to struggle with moving forward both emotionally and spiritually. This can lead to decade-long grudges, bitterness or emotional hangups. And surely Si makes unrequited love all the more prolonged and difficult to forget. In the extreme form, the Si user may feel that they can never replace what has been lost; that what is past is gone forever not only as a tangible reality but as a potentiality in themselves. They may refuse to remarry, or never again own a dog after their special companion passes away.

Si: Caution & Skepticism

Just as with their communication of information, the Si user will approach life in general with a level of prudence, skepticism and caution. They are not swiftly taken away by grandiose ideas; by the glitter and flair of things untested or unknown. Magical thinking is avoided, as are things felt too good to be true. In general the Si user may feel the world is filled with false promises and uncertainty, causing them to be doubtful and incremental in their approach to life. Over time they grow familiar with the general range of situations that constitute life, and from this they map out a subconscious rhythm they live by. This will cause the Si user to be a very stable and dependable person as the Si function encourages a modest, measured and relaxed existence; one which avoids the chaos of risks and spontaneity. Yet often their skepticism is more visceral and impressionistic than technical, sometimes being expressed in statements like “I just don’t trust it.” When something doesn’t appear to add up, the Si user will feel there is a misalignment between the situation at hand and how they have come to understand the world to work. They will use this felt sense to steer clear of suspicious paths and tread paths with the least probability of peril. Their temperance and hesitation will act as a shield against the ever-changing winds of the world, allowing them to plant a seed that may slowly grow with effort and time.

Behaviors Under Stress:

Aside from the aforementioned, functions also display compensatory behaviors when the individual is under stress. The following behaviors manifest in the Si user when distressed or when accompanied by high levels of neuroticism.

Si: Paranoia

The Si user’s initially natural risk-aversion can grow to an excessive degree, causing them to anticipate the worst outcomes to situations and irrationally avoid things for some unfounded but looming fear. If a family member suggests a vacation at Malibu their response may be “What if we get stuck in a weather storm?” A request to buy a used item at a flea market may be met with “What if you get aids from that..?!” These objections may be only vaguely possible or entirely impossible. The vacation spot may never experience storms, and a given disease may not spread through the avenue they’re avoiding. In this sense, Si’s paranoia will differ from Ni’s more thematic and karmic fatalism. Si’s fear will be tied down to Ne’s intuition which is real-time and situational. On the fly, the Si user will fabricate objections in a scatter-short format as their unconscious Ne speculates wildly into the unknown. If they are politically inclined, they may suspect the forces of the world are orchestrating devastation, loosely associating facts together to construct narratives that align with their felt sense. A heavy anxiety will seep over them where almost nothing is felt as certain anymore. This paranoia will lead the Si user to stick firmly to the narrow band of what they know and not leave its perimeter at any cost. This can lead to a stagnation of personal or professional progress as the Si user refuses to take necessary risks in order to guide their life on a more fruitful path. Business opportunities may be declined, friendships may be kept at a distance and the doors of their house may be shut with double locks.

Si: Dogmatism

Amidst the chaos before them, the distressed Si user will want to feel that there is something solid they can depend on. This will lead them inevitably to external explanations that cohesively make sense of the conditions of our world. The distressed Si user does not have the most confidence in their own assessments and judgments. And having lost the stability of their paradigm, they are seeking refuge in something more consistent than the wild speculations that plague them. It therefore becomes important for them that any given explanation be entirely comprehensive, and if after an initial round of questioning they can come to see the sense in the explanation, they will have no trouble fashioning their whole life paradigm around it. Suddenly stability is regained through this anchor and their anxieties are abated in coming to understand the conditions of life. Whether it’s for a simple philosophy, an ideology or for a religion – the distressed Si user will be among the most loyal and faithful in the group. Having latched their sense of identity to this community or paradigm, they nurture and protect it with the same care they would for themselves. However, over time this investment in their belief system can cause them to feel defensive and resistant towards any criticisms. Once they have establish a belief as trustworthy, they do not easily question it and may even refuse to engage in conversations with others about it’s reasons. In the Si user’s mind, the topic has been settled; the facts have been evaluated and they have passed through their phase of inquisition. It becomes important to the Si user that the questioning process does not drag on forever, causing them to have a cut-off point after which they have fixed their mind on the issue and little may be done to change it.