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  1. #1

    Default Question about S + N in relationship

    I'm eNFJ and my partner is ISTJ. The N/S difference is where we struggle. Any tips for relating across this difference? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    I'm ENTP and my husband is ESTJ. Our hardest conflicts are in the J/P part... but still we're able to talk them out... in an analysing T manner.

    N vs S: I tend to get enthousiastic about abstract ideas while he's down to earth and realistic.

    I guess we get along because we know about the difference and don't really worry about it... like, whenever I make a thought jump he says something like "Whoa, Tamske, where are you talking about? You really need a warning sign for those jumps of yours!"
    So a first tip... realise when you're making a jump and try to bridge it or at least warn your partner about it.

    Another N versus S thing... I've depicted it in the "MBTI comics" thread... I've worried a lot about 'not loving him' because I couldn't keep my attention on his presence. Now I know it's not a love problem - only a living-in-the-future N problem. Make your partner enjoy your presence and don't worry about you enjoying his/her presence... you will enjoy the memory of his/her presence. (Maybe this is only the case for Ne and a bit of Si users - NPs)

    Our N versus S difference is a source of laughing and attraction, not a source of problems. Maybe you can diminish the problems by explicitly pointing to the differences and laughing about them.
    Got questions? Ask an ENTP!
    I'm female. I just can't draw women

  3. #3
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psyche View Post
    I'm eNFJ and my partner is ISTJ. The N/S difference is where we struggle. Any tips for relating across this difference? Thanks!
    In a long term relationship, the N vs. S thing is the most problematic of all. I think F vs. T, is not only normal but workable. J vs. P or E vs. I has its challenges no doubt, but variety is the spice of life. I wish I had a better answer on this but it has been a problem I have had for a long time and am still challenged with.

    The best recommendation I have is to do your utmost to understand and appreciate each other for what and who you are. It may be harder for the ISTJ.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psyche View Post
    I'm eNFJ and my partner is ISTJ. The N/S difference is where we struggle. Any tips for relating across this difference? Thanks!
    I am in the very early stages of a relationship although knowing the person for quite a few years .. He is more into MBTI than i am and he is an N and me an S. He makes a very good point though .. I may be a strong sensor, but he sees moments of intuitiveness in me .. Just as he is a intuitive and i see moments of sensor behaviour ..

    Are we different? Oh yeah. Can we still learn from each other? Darn straight we can.

    I don't see the N/S as a barrier .. I accept it for what it is and embrace it.

    There is only a problem there if you choose to view it as a problem .. Me, i am just using it to my advantage.
    “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

  5. #5
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    I think N types look for a kind of abstract connection, while S types look for a 'real world' connection. So to both parties, it could feel like the other is not being there for them. The N might get frustrated by the S's lack of interest in discussing abstract ideas, and feel like they are not being understood on a deeper level, as if they are just being loved for who they are on the surface. The S gets annoyed by the N's (especially NF's) strive for perfection, for ideals that are irrelevant, and don't understand why the N can't just work with the reality and be content with it.

    N: There's something more, something better, truer and more meaningful out there. I can't believe you don't even care about that.
    S: This is how life is. Happiness is attainable, so why can't we just realistically work towards it and appreciate what we do have.

    However, if you are both committed to making it work, it can be great. The N will help the S not to get too 'stuck' in 'what is' and the S can be a solid link to the reality for the N to hold on to. You might not always understand each other completely, but as long as you appreciate each other's strength and accept that you can be different without being superior or inferior, you can bring the best of both worlds into the relationship.

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    Magical BlackCat's Avatar
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    I think that J/P is the biggest divide, not S/N. Also, congrats on finding your dual!

    But I think that you just need to adapt to how they see things, and they need to adapt to how you see things. People blow this issue majorly out of proportion, while it's so easy to correct. J/P is byfar is the hardest to adjust to, since both people will fundamentally disagree on and conflict with the other's lifestyle/decision making style.

    But with my N friends I have to realize that they aren't trying to annoy me when they jump to conclusions and assume things. And they usually have to realize that they have to dumb down some conversations. Since I'm just fundamentally not interested in a lot of theory that doesn't apply to reality, or stuff that isn't useful/won't do anything positive.

    What exactly is the problem that you're facing though? People talk about being frustrated with not being able to talk about random theory with their S friends... couldn't they just do that with other Ns or on the internet?
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

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  7. #7

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    Gosh, I really wasn't expecting so much thoughtful and useful feedback. Thank you all for your posts -- they're incredibly helpful.

    21%: You hit the nail on the head with this comment, which is exactly how I can think: N: There's something more, something better, truer and more meaningful out there. I can't believe you don't even care about that.

    Tamske: You're so right about enjoying memories as opposed to the present moment (often, though not always).

    I appreciate the attitude that differences in this area can be mutually beneficial.

    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?

  8. #8

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    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.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander29 View Post
    In a long term relationship, the N vs. S thing is the most problematic of all. I think F vs. T, is not only normal but workable. J vs. P or E vs. I has its challenges no doubt, but variety is the spice of life. I wish I had a better answer on this but it has been a problem I have had for a long time and am still challenged with.

    The best recommendation I have is to do your utmost to understand and appreciate each other for what and who you are. It may be harder for the ISTJ.
    It's interesting that you say this. I think it's harder for my ISTJ to think like an iNtuitive than it is for me to think like a Sensor, but it's harder for me to accept and feel comfortable with the S/N difference than it is for him.....

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    I am in the very early stages of a relationship although knowing the person for quite a few years .. He is more into MBTI than i am and he is an N and me an S. He makes a very good point though .. I may be a strong sensor, but he sees moments of intuitiveness in me .. Just as he is a intuitive and i see moments of sensor behaviour ..

    Are we different? Oh yeah. Can we still learn from each other? Darn straight we can.

    I don't see the N/S as a barrier .. I accept it for what it is and embrace it.

    There is only a problem there if you choose to view it as a problem .. Me, i am just using it to my advantage.
    Reading posts like this I'm starting to wonder (for the first time ever) whether the S/N difference is really the problem or whether I'm barking up the wrong tree. If my partner were to communicate like you do, here, in this post, or like BlackCat, just as examples, I think I'd be a lot more comfortable with our communication. There is a marked difference in how you two communicate as Sensors and how my partner does....

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