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  1. #11
    Member ElusiveRain's Avatar
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    My marriage may have failed because of this issue, so I think, perhaps, I should give a couple of thoughts on the matter.

    The S/N difference, I feel, is more of a problem for the N (especially an NF), because they are searching for a 'soulmate'--Someone they can connect with on a deeper level, and someone who matches them, heart and soul. An S will not be able to understand this need, and this connection will not happen. All types have a bit of abstract in them, so it may appear in a Sensor partner from time to time, but eventually the S will grow tired of reaching past the tangible, and the N will feel as though the S doesn't care. The S usually does not have an issue with the N relationship, because day-to-day life is satisfying for them. They will need nothing more.

    Expecting an S to have the desire to connect on a theoretical level can drive an iNtuitive insane, and make the Sensor feel, well, attacked, I guess. I'm not sure if this would have helped or not, but if I had realized my partner was not interested in speaking in abstracts (and was also aware that was indeed what I was trying to do), it may have worked out. Even with that understanding, however, that much needed connection for the N would never materialize. Others on here have said that the need for abstract connection may be fulfilled through N type friends outside the relationship, so perhaps there is hope for an N-S pairing if the N doesn't expect to find that connection with their own partner.

    psyche--It may appear to you that there is a communication breakdown in your relationship due to the intriguing thoughts from the Sensors here, but these Sensors are communicating something they, individually, have found to be real and relevant. If psychology theory is where you can connect, maybe you can see if your partner is interested. Just a thought.

  2. #12
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psyche View Post
    To clarify a bit more (and BlackCat, you asked about this, and it's a good question)....The real problem is on my end, not his:

    I believe I can communicate with Sensors pretty well, and my partner would agree. Being a Judger and having a strong 3 wing (Enneagram) makes me pretty linear. Plus, my job requires a lot of linear thinking. My partner doesn't find me too abstract or my thoughts too flighty.

    Having said that, I am an iNtuitive and very much need conversation that stimulates me. Both my job and my friendships provide me with ample opportunity to communicate as an iNtuitive, so I'm pretty satiated in that area and am not looking for too much from my partner. But I do want to be able to have more authentic conversations with him, to explore ideas a bit more deeply than we do, to share with each other on a more personal level, to know that he's open to understanding the underlying systems that cause the effects he notices as a Sensor.

    I feel bored by our conversation at times, or lack thereof, and worry that this difference in our temperaments is irreconcilable. I want a bit more connection with him. It's complicated by the fact that he doesn't express his feelings without great effort. I'd like to know that he can stretch into my world as an iNtuitive, as I've stretched into his world. I also want to know that we can find a middle ground somehow.

    BlackCat, you're a Sensor yet I find your comments thought-provoking and stimulating in a way that's different from my partner's and I'm trying to figure out why this is. Any thoughts? Perhaps our strong shared interest in typology?
    Quote Originally Posted by psyche View Post
    Also, BlackCat -- you say this difference is easily correctable. How so? I'm open to any and all suggestions.

    Another thing is that I have very limited tolerance for highly abstract theorizing and for ideas that aren't applicable in a practical way. But I do very much like thinking about connections, relationships, systems, and "broader" ideas that I can then break down and apply to my life (and I am a theorist; it's part of my job to develop and analyze theory). The Enneagram is a great example: it's a system that can be deconstructed and directly applied to daily life.
    Hmm. Well it seems like he needs to reach more into your world. What shared interests do you have? I personally cannot function in a relationship where I don't have anything to talk about with my partner (like you). He needs to do some work with that if you have reached into his world and he hasn't really reached into yours.

    Both people will need to take some measures to fix S/N. As I've mentioned, get him to reach more into your world. You seem to have adjusted well. The S will need to take interest in something the N likes for them to have some sort of conversation.

    It's not really actual talking that seems to be a big part of the S/N wall. It's the actual communication and the pitfalls of it. An S may get frustrated easily with ambiguities coming from an N, and an N may think that the S is implying something that they aren't. Stuff like that. That's mainly what I meant by S vs N being easy to fix.

    I'm sure he enjoys your insight to things if it's intuitive yet grounded.

    You probably think that my comments are thought provoking because my Ni is pretty much equal with my Se in function strength; along with the shared interest in typology. I'm pretty much on the border of S/N and T/F. I used to think that I was an INFP, and there are still people here that think I'm one.

    I don't have enough information. This may be an issue outside of typology- that he is just not talkative enough?
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

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  3. #13
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    I think that one of the key things in play here is the enneagram, and the fact that Saslou and I are both SFs (she's ESFJ). Do you have any idea of what his enneagram instincts could be? This sounds suspiciously like sp/sx.

    Sp first is basically being concerned with yourself (you care about others through the second instinct) and being concerned with resources/safety. Sx is basically being concerned with one to one bonds and intimacy. If I'm right, then social would be last. Social last people don't feel the need to impress others. It's not natural for them to constantly socialize. I'm a social last (but sexual first), and I don't really think of how I am appearing to a group of people or people in general. I am clueless as to how to appeal to people at large and gain attention; and I have no desire to (even though I need to). Also social lasts don't seem to talk as much in my experience, especially sp/sx types.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

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  4. #14
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElusiveRain View Post
    My marriage may have failed because of this issue, so I think, perhaps, I should give a couple of thoughts on the matter.

    The S/N difference, I feel, is more of a problem for the N (especially an NF), because they are searching for a 'soulmate'--Someone they can connect with on a deeper level, and someone who matches them, heart and soul. An S will not be able to understand this need, and this connection will not happen. All types have a bit of abstract in them, so it may appear in a Sensor partner from time to time, but eventually the S will grow tired of reaching past the tangible, and the N will feel as though the S doesn't care. The S usually does not have an issue with the N relationship, because day-to-day life is satisfying for them. They will need nothing more.

    Expecting an S to have the desire to connect on a theoretical level can drive an iNtuitive insane, and make the Sensor feel, well, attacked, I guess. I'm not sure if this would have helped or not, but if I had realized my partner was not interested in speaking in abstracts (and was also aware that was indeed what I was trying to do), it may have worked out. Even with that understanding, however, that much needed connection for the N would never materialize. Others on here have said that the need for abstract connection may be fulfilled through N type friends outside the relationship, so perhaps there is hope for an N-S pairing if the N doesn't expect to find that connection with their own partner.

    psyche--It may appear to you that there is a communication breakdown in your relationship due to the intriguing thoughts from the Sensors here, but these Sensors are communicating something they, individually, have found to be real and relevant. If psychology theory is where you can connect, maybe you can see if your partner is interested. Just a thought.
    The bolded item is the biggest issue. I think it may go for NTs as well, particularly dominant intuitives.

    All this being said, MBTI is only one lens to look at things through.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElusiveRain View Post

    The S/N difference, I feel, is more of a problem for the N (especially an NF), because they are searching for a 'soulmate'--Someone they can connect with on a deeper level, and someone who matches them, heart and soul. An S will not be able to understand this need, and this connection will not happen. All types have a bit of abstract in them, so it may appear in a Sensor partner from time to time, but eventually the S will grow tired of reaching past the tangible, and the N will feel as though the S doesn't care. The S usually does not have an issue with the N relationship, because day-to-day life is satisfying for them. They will need nothing more.

    Expecting an S to have the desire to connect on a theoretical level can drive an iNtuitive insane, and make the Sensor feel, well, attacked, I guess. I'm not sure if this would have helped or not, but if I had realized my partner was not interested in speaking in abstracts (and was also aware that was indeed what I was trying to do), it may have worked out. Even with that understanding, however, that much needed connection for the N would never materialize. Others on here have said that the need for abstract connection may be fulfilled through N type friends outside the relationship, so perhaps there is hope for an N-S pairing if the N doesn't expect to find that connection with their own partner.
    I am going to be rather forthright here but have you not instantly placed a barrier in your way thus the relationship can do nothing but end (as it did).

    I used to believe in soul mates but came to the conclusion that i won't be meeting all of the 6.2 billion people in the world so the chancing of me meeting the 'one' is rather slim indeed. I think we meet people at certain points in our lives as they have someone we need thus we grow.

    One person can not give you everything you need, that's why you have friends and to search for a soul mate who is able to do this is just possibly too high of an expectation, for which you are always going to be left disappointed. You will never get 100% from someone, but 90% is pretty good.

    I am not even aware when i am having abstract moments, because i don't place any value to it .. I am just thinking. If my partner wants more, he can go to his friends .. If i spend to much time thinking of the one thing i am unable to fully offer as opposed to the 100 different things i can, how silly would that seem and to end a relationship because of that .. It seems somewhat redundant and pointless .. There are many other great qualities there and they can be appreciated.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  6. #16
    Member ElusiveRain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    I am going to be rather forthright here but have you not instantly placed a barrier in your way thus the relationship can do nothing but end (as it did).

    I used to believe in soul mates but came to the conclusion that i won't be meeting all of the 6.2 billion people in the world so the chancing of me meeting the 'one' is rather slim indeed. I think we meet people at certain points in our lives as they have someone we need thus we grow.

    One person can not give you everything you need, that's why you have friends and to search for a soul mate who is able to do this is just possibly too high of an expectation, for which you are always going to be left disappointed. You will never get 100% from someone, but 90% is pretty good.
    I realize that is just one way to look at it, and it is not the only reason my marriage didn't work. I tried it for 13 years with this man, and there was no connection. Sitting on the couch while I played all the S roles was his idea of a soulmate, mindmate, playmate, and helpmate. I know it seems limited, but I will never try it with an S again, unless someone can show me otherwise.

    Toonia, you are right about a mate playing all those roles, and that relationships cannot exist merely on an abstract level. But when a mate can play none of those roles and never reaches an abstract level (past a few years), and then expects the other to take care of all of the S duties (as you pointed out so accurately), it cannot be maintained. I felt, for the last 3 years of that marriage, as if I was alone. And then, on top of it, any 'N' in my life (male or female) threatened him. As I said, I won't try this again with an S. Maybe I'll never try it again at all .

  7. #17
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElusiveRain View Post
    Toonia, you are right about a mate playing all those roles, and that relationships cannot exist merely on an abstract level. But when a mate can play none of those roles and never reaches an abstract level (past a few years), and then expects the other to take care of all of the S duties (as you pointed out so accurately), it cannot be maintained. I felt, for the last 3 years of that marriage, as if I was alone. And then, on top of it, any 'N' in my life (male or female) threatened him. As I said, I won't try this again with an S. Maybe I'll never try it again at all .
    I ended up deleting my post because it didn't fit with the OP I realized. Your situation does sound especially difficult. I do think there is a rather wide range of people potentially labeled as Sensors, and so your case may have been particularly extreme in the lack of connection. People do use MBTI as a filtering process to avoid mistakes, but it is worth realizing that there are iNtuitives with whom the connection could also be lacking - possibly equally so. It is certainly important to have a connection that fits with you personally and sharing ideas, perspectives, and ideals is an important aspect of that.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  8. #18
    Member ElusiveRain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I ended up deleting my post because it didn't fit with the OP I realized. Your situation does sound especially difficult. I do think there is a rather wide range of people potentially labeled as Sensors, and so your case may have been particularly extreme in the lack of connection. People do use MBTI as a filtering process to avoid mistakes, but it is worth realizing that there are iNtuitives with whom the connection could also be lacking - possibly equally so. It is certainly important to have a connection that fits with you personally and sharing ideas, perspectives, and ideals is an important aspect of that.
    Thanks, Toonia. You are very perceptive and I admire your insight. No worries--I'm going to be extremely careful about my next one (if there is a next one), and this includes any 'N's. Sorry, psyche, to derail from your OP .

  9. #19

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    ElusiveRain -- I completely relate to a lot of what you say. I don't search for a soulmate any more, or complete connection with another. Those were ideals (that aren't even ideal, actually) that disappeared with my twenties. Today, I seek a partner with whom I can feel connected but not merged, challenged but not overstimulated. I so relate to the feeling of being together but alone. And surprisingly it seems to take very little for me to feel that connection with him -- if he opens up and shares about his internal experience, or shares a thought that teaches me or challenges me to think, I'm happy. I do feel like I'm catering to his Sensor world and our relationship isn't balanced that way.

    BlackCat -- You're good! You hit the nail on the head with the E and you may well be right that the problem is about talking in general rather than simply a S/N dichotomy. Okay....yes, our E differences definitely come into play here. Are you sitting down? I'm sx/so 4w3. He's sp/sx 5w6.

    He and I both know the E very well. This is another area where I feel (and again, he agrees -- it's come up several times in E workshops) that I've stretched into his world a lot more than he has into mine. I actually love being with an sp/sx (my first preference) and also with a 5. He is sensitive to some of my 4 issues (he makes sure to return my calls right away, etc.) but has not actually extended himself into my world as a 4 very much, though he says he knows he should.

    Back to your comment about overall talking versus S/N, perhaps this is the case. He doesn't talk much (which I like; I prefer to be with Introverts) but the problem is that when he does talk, it's almost always about Sensing chit-chat. It doesn't take much for me to feel connected; for example, when he returns from therapy (which he's been in for a couple of years) and he tells me a little bit about what he's discussed, I'm quite happy. I don't need more than that every few days. But even though he has been to a gazillion E workshops with me, he doesn't actually discuss the E with me. He can tell me what Type he thinks someone is, or occasionally comment on the E (very rarely) but it ends there.

    Of course, the S/N difference is an issue, but I'm not sure how much of the problem is related to this piece.

    You don't seem like a Sensor to me, btw. I'm curious why you've typed yourself that way.....

    Thanks to everyone for taking the time to post. Very helpful.

  10. #20
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    I used to believe in soul mates but came to the conclusion that i won't be meeting all of the 6.2 billion people in the world so the chancing of me meeting the 'one' is rather slim indeed. I think we meet people at certain points in our lives as they have something we need thus we grow.

    One person can not give you everything you need, that's why you have friends and to search for a soul mate who is able to do this is just possibly too high of an expectation, for which you are always going to be left disappointed. You will never get 100% from someone, but 90% is pretty good.
    I loved this post. Just said the bolded a few days ago.

    To answer the OP, I think it depends more on the value you place on the preferences in regards to other people. I highly value extroverts who are feelers and/or perceivers, it doesn't matter if they are sensors or intuitiors. With a few exceptions, I think people who are most similar in personality work best together overtime.

    My husband is an ISTJ, and as far as communication, the problems we have mostly come down to him being an introvert+thinker, and me being an extrovert+feeler. The very things that brighten me up and allow me to thrive(intimacy and interactions with people), often wear him down and frustrate him. By the same token, I get tired of talking about things, which is more his focus. My ISFP ex and I actually got along very well, and S/N was never an issue for us. We both had an almost equal concern for our relationships with people.
    There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

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