Last night I encountered an all too familiar situation in my family.
My sister, having just had a fight with her boyfriend over the telephone, momentarily broke down crying to my mom and me.
My mom looked at me, I looked at my mom, we both contorted our faces into "I don't know what to say" positions, after which my sister looked down at the floor.
A moment later, my mom said, "I'm really sorry you're going through this."
There was a pause, then I said, "you know, our family really sucks at this."
It's true. I never really know what to say to make someone feel better. In the moment of their pain, I can sense their discomfort, but it is difficult for me to open my arms for a hug. And oddly enough, this is most often the case with those in my family, whereas with strangers, I am more apt to embrace them. I am also not much help when it comes to verbal comfort either; stock responses like, "it'll be okay" (when I have I no idea that it will!) are usually the first things that come to mind.
I'm imagining how the different function combinations or temperaments would respond in the situation above. For example, I could see SF types being more physically comforting with NF's comforting with their words.
I'm also wondering if the similar approach (or lack thereof) that my mom, sister and I take to each other's pain points to sharing temperaments or functions.
I'd appreciate any thoughts!