A healthy style of relating to people allows for the same natural checks, balances, elevations, and expansions to occur in the interactions between your cognitive functions and theirs as the ones that occur between your own functions.
In relationships, the greatest sources of cognitive function related conflict and misunderstanding are between:
- Judging and Perceiving
- Thinking and Feeling
- Sensing and Intuition
The differences are always ones of either:
- context (internal vs. external) or
- emphasis (which of the two is or should be given priority)
Ways to bridge these gaps:
- Understand judging functions (T/F) with judging functions and perceiving functions (S/N) with perceiving functions. When the other person is in perceiving mode, focus more on being perceiving with them than on bringing judging corrections / limitations / considerations into the picture. When the other person is in judging mode, recognize the need for certainty / safety / respect for boundaries, and when to stop pushing.
- On the flip side, recognize and accept the need for healthy judging limitations to your perceiving and healthy perceiving flexibility to your judging, and be open to the reminders that interacting with others brings.
- Translate the cognitive function that you want the other person to understand into the language of the cognitive functions they can use to understand it. For example, to help a person understand your F with their T, translate your F reasons and thought processes into the language of T by speaking about your feelings objectively / logically / systematically / etc.
- Step out of your primary functions into lesser used functions which you share with the other person or which are more similar to their primary functions.
- Remember that every personality both perceives and judges both the inner and outer world. Every purpose that your cognitive functions serve, others also have a cognitive function serving that purpose. The only differences between personalities are ones of context and emphasis. They may not prioritize the same functions you prioritize or apply their functions to the same (internal/external) contexts, but they do ultimately cover all the same ground. There is always a way to connect / relate. You just need to identify the things that match — the ways in which the functions they are using are the same as the functions you use. As in “I do that too. I just do it over here with these things instead and when I do it it’s more like this. But at heart it’s essentially the same thing.”
Of course relationship conflicts also stem from and are complicated by vices such as ignorance, immaturity, stubbornness, malice, selfishness, etc. Remember though that people cling to vices as a way to protect themselves, and that the more everyone feels understood in how they process the world, the easier it is to let vices go.
Here you can explore type interactions by the dynamic the functions of two personality types create when combined, or by the relationship (such as parent/child, significant other, friend, etc) that two people have with one another.