- Me (N) = I'm an ENFP [which means I have extraverted intuition (Ne) as the dominant player in my personality. I also test as 100% N so I'm wayyy N.]
- Them (aka Ss) = 80% of the world's population prefers Sensing over Intuition.
Of course, I adore my S friends. But I sometimes feel like the freak in the freak show called Life, because I'm oftentimes the only N in a sea of Ss. It causes all sorts of problems. Miscommunication. Conflict re: global aims. Frustration about no one else seeing the big picture. This communication gap is most evident when working on a project with Ss and with romantic relationships with Ss.
It's like we're speaking a different language. Or perhaps more accurately, I speak their language poorly ('cause we all have to interact with the concrete world) and they don't even know my language exists.
I've known about Jungian personality theory since my early 20s. But I've only come to truly appreciate the profound difference between Ns and Ss in the last 1-2 years after dating an ESFP (with dominant Extraverted Sensing). For example, my boyfriend and I were holding hands while strolling about my historic neighborhood. He said, "Look at that house. It's so pretty." I began telling him about how the house was built in the Queen Anne style which led to me giving him a soliloquy on historic architecture. A couple month's later when we were breaking up, I asked him to explain some of his frustrations. The first thing he said: "I want to date someone who when I say, 'That's a pretty house' will respond, 'Yeah it is' without going on and on about it." (I was floored. And, somewhere in my gut, I knew that he was talking about the very essence of my personality. It took me a few months to tie this back into me being an N.)
So here's my question to all you Ns out there: Tell me about your frustrations dealing with Ss and if you have any tips for bridging this communication gap.
Let me start the tips and tricks sharing with this (slightly redacted list of suggestions from Dr. Robert Winer, a neurologist in the Philadelphia area, whose Website has some very insightful thoughts on temperament. (If you haven't seen this site, check it out here.)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: You also may be interested in reading the sister to this thread: The Proper Care and Feeding of Sensors: A Manual by Sensors for Intuitives This thread looks at the S/N communication gap from a different angle. The focus is on what Ns like about Sensors. And it asks for Ss to give Ns who want to improve their S/N interactions for some suggestions.Intuitives: Strategies for Balancing Your Type
Excerpted from Dr. Robert Winer's Article
- Appreciate yourself for your creativity, rapid insights, and ability to see future possibilities.
- When dealing with a S, work out the details. Be clear about the facts, and have a clear plan of action. Try to present your ideas in finished form rather than a rough idea or a sketch.
- When presenting ideas to an S, try not to jump around. Follow an orderly step-by-step written outline.
- Don't give out too many possibilities. This can overwhelm the non-N.
- Though you have 100 incredible ideas, settle on the best 1 or 2. Giving more typically confuses rather than helps the S.
- Define your terms carefully, especially when dealing with an S.
- Finish your sentences when talking to S's. And remember not to finish theirs for them.
- Consider telling others when you change subjects. If you change the person you or talking about, don't forget to mention it.
- Realize your tendency to jump around.
- Remember to make your solutions workable in the real world.
- When you can't find something, it's probably where you already looked 3 times, but you just didn't see it. Look there again, or get an S to look for you.
- Take some time to smell a flower, watch the clouds, study the details, and "listen" to what your senses tell you. Mentally measure what can be measured, count what can be counted.
- Today is part of that long-awaited future. Watch out that you don't miss it.
- If all else fails, read the directions.
- Pay attention to what your body is dealing you. N's often fail to notice they are exhausted or in pain.
- Be realistic. Ask yourself: "Can I really do all I have set out to do in the time I have to do it?"
- Ns procrastinate when it comes to engaging in S type activities. Learn time management techniques.
- An N hears figuratively what is said, while an S hears literally what he or she thought was meant.
- The N's blueprint for settling a dispute may not include the actual steps for implementation.
- Stick to the issues. Typically it helps to settle the immediate simple dispute first. This usually allows you to deal with the bigger issue later.
- Remember S's take facts more seriously than you might. So give them an explicit statement of the problem before asking them to consider possible solutions.
- Watch your behavior. Mature intuition is creative, complex, and amazingly accurate most of the time. An N using immature Sensing is likely to get obsessed with unimportant details and be preoccupied with irrelevant facts.
- N's under stress may indulge in sensory pursuits unwisely.
- Consider careers that take advantage of your strengths: variety, the ability to handle complexity, creativity, the big-picture, and focusing on the future.