So, not sure if you take any interest in psychology or Carl Jung…. but I’ve done some reading over the past few days and my life has temporarily come into focus. I’m an INTJ (Introverted, Intuiting, Thinking, Judging type). My wife is an ISFJ (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging type).
This means that my dominant trait is to Intuit Introvertedly (Ni) and then Think Extrovertedly (Te). So, I think in terms of connections, ideas, and concepts. I’m forward focused (in time). I pay little attention to the details. I spend a lot of time trying to understand the situation, and then once I understand these big connected ideas I try to analyze them verbally to other people…I want others to understand my big ideas and try to find the right words and frames to explain them with. I spend most of my time in my head – kicking around ideas, and not trusting or paying attention to my senses. I don’t notice people.
My wife Senses Introvertedly (Si) and then Feels Extrovertedly (Fe). So, my wife pulls in sensory data and compares it with sensory data she has stored from the past to try to understand the situation. She respects tradition and in backward focused (in time). She remembers much more than the average person and is detail focused (as opposed to big concept focused). She then uses her comparison of past to present sensory data and expresses it with her Fe Function. She feels outwardly, attempting to control the world by manipulating other people’s emotions…to create harmony. She’s great at reading voice tones and body language without even realizing it. She’s great at navigating, and she’s always busy doing little things to make people happy. She is focused on people.
So, how do we connect? I think she humors me a lot… I’m sure she lets me drone on about huge numbers of ideas that are exciting to me, but probably bore the hell out of her. I keep going anyway, though. It’s the same way when she details conversations with friends, plans for the living room, or steps in a process to get something done. I hear her, and I’m sure there’s a lesson…but I think I miss the point at times. We may talk past each other at times…but we enjoy spending time together. I may not notice all the things she’s doing all the time, but when I sit and ponder on them, or on her, I really appreciate her. I’m certain she does me too.
It also helps that we’re both introverts. We like our small groups of close friends. We also enjoy just being near one another. We don’t even need to talk. We can just lean against each other. It’s worked so far. As our 3rd and 4th functions grow stronger we’ll connect more as we age too, so it’s only going to get better….and I can tell it’s done that so far too.