A few years ago, my ISFP friend from university went back to the US with her Kiwi boyfriend. We talk now and then on skype or through email, but I'm constantly confused about what's going on in her life. Each conversation revolves around a series of things that have happened to her which leads to discussions about the issues surrounding them: such as stuff that happened to her on the subway or how she had an argument with her sister, or the strange behaviour of a colleague, or a run-in with a student (she's a teacher). What I never find out is, what her actual life situation is. I come into the discussion with a thousand questions about: the state of her relationship, whether she's still having problems with her mother, if she and her boyfriend still living with her sister, if she's working in a public school or back in a specialist arts school, if her boyfriend is working illegally or not etc etc - but I never seem to get the opportunity to ask them. It's not that I deeply care about these details (ie. for the sake of gossip or anything), it's just that they help me to understand the things she is going through, the tensions in her life, and the possible problems that may arise. I need these to help me put her experiences in context, in order to figure out her state of mind. What I'm usually left doing is trying to piece together random, off-hand things she mentions and try to guess what is going on in the big picture, which is next to impossible. Having a conversation with her like putting on a blindfold then strapping yourself into a roller-coaster and just going with it. This is usually a wonderful and enjoyable thing but can be very bewildering and confusing.
I've also recently begun to notice how random my ISFJ mum can be. We'll be having a conversation, and after a slight pause, she'll come up with some out of the blue statement that makes no sense at all, and is seemingly completely unrelated to the subject. Highly confused, I ask what the hell she's on about. She then offhandedly explains and I realise she's switched tacks and is talking about something the two of us were discussing half an hour ago, which has obviously been churning over in her mind. It's like there are 9 steps of thought she goes through on the subject and then she only verbalises the 10th. My ESTJ sister has taken to bursting out laughing when this happens, because even though it appears to make no sense, my sister completely understands what she's talking about, and goes about translating it for the rest of us. I used to think of this is a weirdo, Ne-inferior moment, where my mum is employing Ne randomness in an inept way, but now I'm starting to see it differently.
My ENTP cousin recently started university to study engineering and he was telling me the sorts of stuff he had been learning. He was showing me his simplified study notes and explaining what they were about; a lot of them defining very abstract physics concepts. We were both pretty good on the subject at school and are both fairly intelligent, yet the study notes appeared rather meaningless to me, and seemingly a little to him too. We had a discussion about how in general we both really like to understand the overall concept behind these things and how everything fits together, and that this was the way we learn best. He then said how it can be difficult with these classes because sometimes they tell you things and, "you just have to believe it". This really struck me. His statement really captured the way that Intuitives struggle to take on and accept the veracity of a piece of information without a sense of the broader context it exists in, and that this act of acceptance is akin to blind faith that it makes sense. Also interesting was that we were dealing with theoretical information, surely something NPs are good at, but yet it seemed so arbitrary and hard to grasp.