As someone with a rather immature sensing function, I don’t have a very good grip on physical reality. Sometimes I forget that the physical world exists at all. I completely ignore my surroundings and get completely lost in my thoughts. I live in a world of ideas, and honestly I think it’s more interesting than the real world could ever be.
Quite often I find myself neglecting my hygiene and general physical needs. I can forget to eat, drink, sleep and shower for a long time before I begin to notice. However, my friends and family with sensing higher in their function stack frequently notice this and point it out to me. My apathy towards my physical state is apparently unhealthy.
This brings me to my sensor friends. They tend to be keenly aware of either their surroundings or their own bodies. My friends and family members with upper Se tend to be hyper aware of their environments. Let’s start with upper Se users, shall we?
Upper Se users are generally more coordinated than I am, but honestly that’s not a very high bar to jump over. Some of them are athletic, some are thrill seekers, others just like hugs and food.
I have more Se dominants in my life than any other dominant function. My ESTP brother is the most athletic person I know, followed by my ESFP brother. The former has a penchant for gymnastics while the latter enjoys high impact sports like American football. My ESFP friend is good at sports, but she’s less likely to be playing sports than my brothers. She simply looks for new and interesting things to do. Out of all my friends she is the least likely to want to have a long conversation.
My ESFP brother is the most impulsive person I know. He often does stupid things in the heat of the moment and seems unconcerned with the consequences. He relies heavily on his Se and is very likely to do things just to get sensory stimulation. He frequently gorges himself and exercises to the point of absolute exhaustion. He seems to have very little control of his actions. However, I don’t think this is a brush that all ESFPs can be painted with, as he frequently dissociates from things due to trauma that occurred early in his life. My ESFP friend acts almost nothing like this and is one of the smartest people I know.
My ISFP friend uses her Se mostly in her art. She is a brilliant painter and as a fellow artist I admire her work. She has a good eye for color and creates things with pleasant aesthetics. She, like my ESFP friend, prefers to do things rather than think about doing them, but she is much less likely to be loud about her boredom with philosophical discussions.
Now for the upper Si users. While the upper Se users in my life are almost always looking for new experiences, the upper Si users I know tend to prefer old nostalgic experiences. They also tend to be more focused when it comes to cleanliness than their Se counterparts.
When a Se user notices their environment they often perceive it as a new experience, whereas a Si user will often look at it in the lens of previous experience. For example, when I go camping with my family I experience the forest as if I was seeing it for the first time, whereas my mother will see it in terms of her memories of the place.
Out of all the cognitive functions, I feel the least qualified to write about Si. I simply lack the deep understanding I feel is necessary to discuss it.
I’ll probably add intuitives to this post later on, but I think covering the sensors is good for now. If you have any experiences to add please leave your stories in the comments.