Here is a way to look at why different personality types vary in their reaction to same stimuli, right down to something making one person explode while the next person barely registers any response at all. I’ll use a comparison between two core personality types, NT (Intuitive Thinker) and SF (Sensing Feeler) to show how they respond to perceived “errors” in their environment.brain-cells

NT types have the Thinking function (also known as Objective Assessment, or logic-driven evaluation) as one of their top two functions. As seen with all 16 personality types, it is virtually impossible for anyone to mentally detach themselves from either of their top two mental functions. What happens when an NT (Intuition & Thinking) encounters incompetence, especially when someone presents a crazy-whack conspiracy theory as fact? The NT brain often explodes with contempt.  NT types are the ones that have a very hard time seeing past spelling & grammar mistakes, or (especially) mathematical errors. An SF might get excited about a sale that says “Its time to slash our prices 75%!” The NT has already decided not to shop there and will be the first to point out the missing apostrophe. 

What happens when an SF (or even NF) encounters the same thing? Well, compared to the NT, there is much less of an explosion in the brain, and not nearly as much contempt. The Feeler is more focused on maintaining harmony and then achieving clarity of facts.

But whatshutterstock_150691928 happens when there is an attack on harmony? Unless the attack is factually incorrect, the NT’s brain may not explode at all, but the NF/SF? Now you’ve pushed their Feeling/harmony/values buttons big-time. They’ll react to attacks on harmony and values in the same way that NTs react to an attack on logic, reason, & science.  

Some NTs, such as INTJs, may perceive compliments/praise as factually incorrect and lacking logic, which is an attack on what NTs hold dear: reason, fact, logic.

The core of my point on empathy is that people have different voices screaming in their heads. What lights up one brain may not register at all in another.

I’ll end with something from a dinner discussion I had with an INTP and two INFPs. The INFPs were discussing how much they enjoyed laughing at the ridiculousness of Ancient Aliens.  At the mere mention of that show, the INTP’s face turned red and flushed with contempt.  Even though everyone agreed that Ancient Aliens was total garbage, the NF brains could mentally detach themselves from Thinking function and the factual issues while holding on to the Feeling function and enjoyment of the show. The NT brain, with its primary focus on logic and factual correctness, simply could not become detached from its primary functions.

 

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