Understanding The INTP Ti-Si Loop and How to Break Free From It

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In this article, we will explore the INTP Ti-Si Loop, what causes it, how does it feel to be stuck in this loop, and how to break free from it.

What is the Ti-Si Loop?

The INTP Ti-Si Loop is when INTP’s auxiliary function (Extraverted Intuition) and tertiary function (Introverted Sensing) switch places.

So instead of using their auxiliary function Ne( Extraverted Intuition) to explore possibilities, INTP’s will fall back to using their tertiary function Si( Introverted Sensing) which is all about preserving past memories and making sure that everything is familiar.

The tertiary function falls back into the auxiliary role, and vice versa (Ne falls back in place of Ti.

Let me explain this in plain MBTI English…

According to the MBTI® Manual’s website, the INTP personality function stack is as follows:

This means that an INTP will use their Ti function to make decisions, Ne for possibilities, Si for recalling past memories, and then Fe for social interactions.

Healthy INTPs use their introverted Thinking to make decisions as a top priority, It helps them create strategies and generate theories, using facts to back these up.

Their auxiliary extraverted intuition helps them see possibilities and what could happen if they took a different approach to their theories.


In situations where they can’t find an immediate solution for a problem, INTPs can use their auxiliary extraverted intuition to explore possibilities and the best option to take.

Even though this is a great usage of their auxiliary function, INTPs can still get overwhelmed with so many possibilities to explore and this causes them to become indecisive.

This is why it’s important for INTPs to stay in touch with their tertiary function, introverted sensing. Their Si works behind their Ne to help them recall past memories to use as a base for the most accurate possibility to their theories because it’s familiar.

However, when they are in an INTP Ti-Si Loop, INTPs use their tertiary Introverted Sensing to dwell on past memories and overanalyze them using their Ti and ignoring the present moment and the future.

Ne in this state will be completely overshadowed by their introverted sensing and will be of no help to them whatsoever.

An INTP stuck in the Ti Si loop will rely only on his introverted functions (Ti, Si) and neglect his extraverted functions (Ne, Fe).

What Causes an INTP to Be Stuck in the INTP Ti-Si Loop?

An INTP is most likely to get stuck in this loop when they are overwhelmed by a situation where they have exhausted every possibility there is and nothing worked.

If the overwhelm is so profound, INTPs will be reluctant to consider new possibilities because, really if nothing worked now, why even consider more?

Since INTPs are an introverted personality type, They’ll find it comfortable to just go back to digging through past experience using their Si.


How does the INTP Ti-Si loop feel from an INTP’s Perspective?

When an INTP is in this state, they lose interest in the outside world and turn into themselves and rely on their introverted functions (Ti, Si) to analyze past experiences to the point of mental burnout with no clear-cut answers. They literally fall deep into analysis paralysis with no new possibilities ahead from Ne, Just past experiences resurfacing and dominating their mind.

When in a loop, memories can be so tormenting. It depends on the kind of struggle that an INTP goes through that causes them to be in the loop. they keep replaying the past over and over, to see what went wrong. “Why didn’t I do it differently? Could I have changed the outcome? what should I do if something similar happens again” etc.

This can be a very frustrating and debilitating experience. and that feeling of helplessness will unconsciously drive them away from people and even more into the loop.

In other words, they’re stuck in a perpetual state of analysis paralysis and self-doubt. It feels like the end of the world and they’re lost on how to move forward as if there’s no way out of this loop.

They get nostalgic and want to re-live the past and experience it again, but with a different outcome. This is like somehow wanting to get stuck in this state of mind because it feels safe and familiar.

It is the ultimate form of self-doubt and helplessness, like analyzing their own life as if they’re just a spectator but they can’t figure it out.

How to Break Free of The Ni-Ti Loop?

INTPs can overcome this by recognizing that they’re stuck in their Ti-Si loop and that as comfortable as it may appear to some of them, it’s not a healthy way to live.

It’s theoretically a bit easy to break free from this loop:

  • You must focus on getting your extraverted intuition Ne back in use.

In reality, I always say that it’s as easy (or hard) as you work to make it so. Sometimes it feels comfortable to rely solely on your introverted functions since you lean towards the introvert spectrum. But noting down how this loop has affected your daily performance, mental health and relationships will push you to be proactive and make the necessary change to get your balance back.


When You feels like you’re stuck in the Ti-Si loop, here are a few things you can do to help get your extraverted intuition (Ne) back in use:


  1. Take a break from trying to analyze everything. when you realize that you’re thinking about something from the past, try to acknowledge the memory and let it go. grab a pen and paper and write it down in one sentence and consider it done.
  2. Get some exercise or go for a walk outdoors. It’s always best to take your mind off this state by doing some exercise and activating your Ne by going for a walk and just familiarizing yourself with the outside world and how it functions.
  3. Come back to people and consider new possibilities by spending time with friends, family members, and extroverts who engage in conversation.
  4. Take a look at your surroundings and consider what’s new, different, or exciting about it. It could be something as small as a new store that opened up, or something new you noticed about your environment.
  5. Grab your camera and use it to document the world around you and capture what you see. You will get the opportunity to live in the now and consider the future since the present is full of life and options.
  6. Focus on the experience you’re going through and be aware not to project your current situation on a past experience. tap into your Ne and use it to lay down the possibilities this new experience brings into your life.
  7. Get creative with what you’re doing. Use your Ne to consider what’s new, different, or exciting about your situation.

These are just a few suggestions to get back to using your Ne in your daily life, but it all depends on you.

Once you’re set on the path to getting your Ne back in use, you’ll find the guidance within you. Just keep in mind that it may take time and that the beginnings are always the hardest.


Did you find this article helpful? I hope this article helped you understand the INTP Ti-Si loop and how to break out of it.

It’s important that you know that the purpose of this article is to help you gain a better understanding of this unhealthy state an INTP falls into, if you feel helpless and this state drags for longer periods, I suggest you seek a qualified therapist who can help you break out of this negative cycle.

If you enjoyed reading, don’t forget to leave a like and share this article with someone who can benefit from it.

Thank you for reading! Good Luck on your Journey!

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Sarra is a behavioral science student and HS science teacher ( also a cat mom! ) who obsesses over typing people but can't seem to type her own self. Let's just say that for the time being, she's a cross between an INFJ and INFP!

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