The Introverted Sensation Type
The introverted sensation type is captivated not by the sense object, like the extraverted sensation type is, but by the subjective sense impressions that this object awakens in him. The reverberation and repercussions of the object on his inner world are what his attention focuses on. It is as if a pebble has been thrown into a pond and the ripples spread out throughout the whole inner world of subjectivity, revealing not so much the qualities of the pebble but those of the water it has been thrown in.
The sense impressions of this type have a different quality. They are not matter-of-fact like those of the extravert, but have overtones of myth, fantasy and deeper subjective values. The introverted sensation type takes what his senses tell him, brings those details into his inner world, weighs them, experiences them in the depth of his inner self, and only after this process has been completed does the world see an outward reaction.
When I see a friend who is this type and say, "Hi", he looks like he is not reacting at all. He stands there looking blank, but a moment later he greets me. What was happening? Why the lag? He was literally taking in the details of the situation. My presence had to be absorbed and only when his inner world became saturated with those impressions could he give an outward, delayed and extraverted response to my greeting. Once that initial lag is over our conversation runs smoothly.
Because external stimuli have such an impact on him the introverted sensation type needs to keep his house, office or wherever he spends his time orderly. Neatness is important to his inner psychic comfort. He is uncomfortable in crowds, first because he is introverted, and second because he literally can become overwhelmed by external stimuli if there is too much of it. He needs to know where things are. He also takes very good care of the possessions he has. He values them, not just for what they are as an extraverted sensation type would, but for the added emotional import they have for him. The cherished Christmas tree decorations that have been in the family for years are carefully wrapped in tissue paper and gently placed in a sturdy box until next year. The piece of jewelry given by a loved one is stored in the same velvet-lined box it came in, the love letters have a clean and pressed ribbon around them, and the scribbles of their now-grown three-year-old are saved in a trunk.
The second and third functions of thinking and feeling help organize and evaluate sense impressions. The introverted sensation type can put a great deal of time on one physical project. Unlike the extraverted intuition type who will get bored or impatient, he keeps at it for months, and he excels where attention to detail and order is important, whether it is the repair of delicate machines, the mastering of complicated inventories or making an especially intricate quilt, sewn and embroidered with infinite care.
If they choose to build a house the results will be perfect. Each wall, each board, will be carefully measured, skillfully painted, meticulously leveled and plumbed, but it will take him an age. Why? Because each step in the process is not simply done, but is weighed and balanced against the inner image he has inside himself. He might seem slow until you consider the wealth of images and inner sensations he is carrying around and has to sort through. This type makes dinner a quiet ceremony, serves each course with special care, a cup of coffee shared with a friend is not simply a cup of coffee, it is an event, a unique time graced by a beautiful tray and the plate of carefully arranged cookies.
Once when I went to visit a friend, he was fixing his car. If he had been an extravert he would have had a bunch of tools within easy reach, but he had them all lined up, neatly, in a row. If he had been an intuition type he would have had tools thrown here and there, and he would have been missing some, but they were all there. He had carefully collected them for the exact job he was about to do. He took out the part, carefully cleaned it, made sure all the gaskets were dirt-free, and then he just as carefully put the pieces back together again. But remember, first each piece had to travel within and then come out. When I came by I interrupted his peace, quiet and concentration which was essential for the job. He neither wanted, nor could handle, any extra stimuli. The job was his whole world at the moment. When he saw I wasn't going to go away he gave a quiet sigh and reluctantly turned his back on what he was doing, and then I was his one focus. Later he would pick up where he left off and begin again his interior-exterior dialogue with his engine. The extraverted thinker might do the same repair work, and with something of the same thoroughness, but it would be much more matter-of-fact, it wouldn't matter to him how many people were hanging around, and he wouldn't have to take interior trips as he did it.
The weakest function of this type is extraverted intuition, which is why he or she hates change. To move to another house, to get another job, to go to another part of the country, is traumatic. He has absorbed all the details of his present situation and is comfortable with them. To make a physical move is to throw what he has come to feel comfortable with out of the window, and he feels he has to start all over again, meaning he has to take all the thousands of new details, one by one, bring them into his inner world, find a place for them there, and then pick up the next stimulus and repeat the process.
Seen in this light we can understand what an upset such a move is for him. A Safeway store in one town is not the same as a Safeway store in another. It is a whole new experience.
The introverted sensation type is slow to make friends. You have to approach them gradually and let them get used to you. It is peaceful for me to be around this type because topics are going to be taken up, one at a time, without a rush. When I am with the extraverted intuition type I have a hard time keeping up with all their ideas, but I find I have to tone myself down when I am with an introverted sensation type. Too many comments or stories tire them out.