Ok, so this is a PM I wrote to berberella and amargith after a recent disagreement that we had on that "Does penis size matter?" thread.
It got me to thinking about the ways NTs and NFs communicate with each other and what might be done to improve this process between us/avoid some common T vs. F misunderstandings. (I imagine we're worse off than SF vs. ST, because Ns in general are much worse about imagining things that aren't there, especially when upset.)
Here is an NT's perspective on this issue, speaking primarily to to NFs...but I invite anyone with relevant input to share his/her ideas here.
Speaking candidly, often NT/NF disagreements are the result of speaking different languages and neither of us being as fluent in one language as in the other.
When one of these disagreements occurs, the T response is more like "Ugh, that's logically inconsistent, and therefore kind of annoying." It's not, "OH MAN I AM SO PASSIONATELY UPSET ABOUT THIS!" We simply don't have the same range of emotional depth as you--our highs are not as high and our lows are not as low.
Unfortunately, we tend to use the same wordings to describe this that you guys use to describe serious emotional responses, and the fact is we simply don't interpret tone/phrasings the same way at all.
Of course, neither of us is right when it comes to what the "correct" way of interpreting such words is--again, just a function of different languages and interpretations.
But I would like to point out that I've never seen an NT insist that he knows an NF's thoughts better than the NF does, especially after being corrected to the contrary, and yet I see NFs insist that they know my own feelings better than I do far more often than any other temperament.
I really don't know why this is--the best reason I can come up with is that some NFs are so ingrained in Fi dominance that they simply don't believe that NTs could possibly be less emotional than they are, and they love to dream up elaborate stories of how it's so obvious that we're clearly extremely upset and in denial about it.
Often, even if the disagreement was pretty small in the first place and the NT isn't really upset, the NF may actually exacerbate the issue by making the NT genuinely upset, simply by repeatedly insisting that s/he knows the NT's feelings better than the NT does. "You're clearly extremely upset" can become a self-fulfilling prophecy even when the NT was not really upset in the first place.
Ironically, this is coming from the temperament that's supposed to be strongest at understanding how others feel--when an NF openly declares that I'm wrong about my own feelings, I hardly know how to respond, and it's frankly shocking to me that someone with such strong Fi would fail to understand why such behavior is counterproductive.
We argue for sport because that's how we learn--through trial and error. We aren't convinced of something until we've run it through rigorous logical tests, including arguing it out with people--try to remember that for Thinkers, argument is NOT automatically a sign of emotional distress. It's one of our favorite forms of communication/learning.
Nobody likes to be told what he thinks or feels, and I'm sure you, as someone with a gift for understanding other viewpoints, can see how infuriating/totally inappropriate that is.