Early this week my girl friend, who is struggling with issues related to self-assertion, came home and shared an experience where she was completely outmaneuvered by an employee of a cookie store, who sold my GF 19 euros worth of middle eastern cookies when my GF really didn't want to buy it. She wondered how this could have happened.
Obviously I wasn't there when it happened, but my gut feeling told me there was some Extroverted Sensing at play here. So I explained about Se to her, both from a perspective of Socionics as well as mainstream psychological insights: Se is basically about the capability to make other people do things. Not necessarily against their will, but still it is about making people do things they didn't plan on doing themselves, out of their own motivation. As I described elsewhere, Se can manifest itself in both healthy and pathological ways.
Mirriam-Webster describes 'willpower' as:
continence, restraint, self-command, self-containment, self-control, self-discipline, self-government, self-mastery, self-possession, self-restraint, willAll of these are about how a person behaves themselves on their own, and not so much about how they behave in social interaction. So willpower is not what Se is all about, at least not in the first place. Se is, first and foremost, about the "will to exercise power". Sounds almost the same as willpower, but it's quite a different beast!
Now even that is so vague that it can be interpreted so that it also includes EIIs trying to change other people's behavior by giving a moral motivational lecture. For is it not that the EII wants to exercise control over someone else in such cases? But that is not Se, of course. Se is about the will to exercise power by means of physical and psychological pressure over other people (or over external objects), disregarding their own say in the matter, implying that a conflict will not be avoided in the process, if necessary. Power, exercised in the common, everyday sense.
More can be said about it, of course, but what I wanted to stress here is that Se is not the same as willpower.