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Quick Tips #9: Authentic interaction with 'thinker' types

Question: I’m an INFJ and my question is how do strongly expressed F-types interact with T-types in a way that’s both authentic to themselves, but also authentic to the other person.

This is a great question. However I would like to make a small change and instead ask how to interact with T-types as a F-type in a way that is authentic to you and respectful for the other person, because we can’t decide what is authentic to the other person, but we can aim to be respectful. This gives that bit of intricacy to the language and how we perceive things and I want be as intricate as possible with the answer.

How do you interact with the non-emotional T-types in a way that is still authentic to you, but it also makes sense to them?

1. Acknowledge and know that you interact differently and that your actions are perceived differently by the other person. Take personal responsibility for understanding your type and the differences between the Feeling and Thinking types, and have the willingness to come together and interact within those perimeters.

2. Make sure that you are both well-meaning and you want to communicate with open heart in a respectful way. If you come from a place of resentment or anger, you will have issues and it will hardly be authentic to you. When T-types are hurt, they are usually abrupt and rude. Whereas when F-types are hurt they are usually highly emotional, even crying and blaming. So make sure there is none of that negativity.

3. Learn to ask for your needs to be met before you get emotional. Keep in mind that the Thinking types don’t express their feelings in a same way as the Feeling types. You just can’t wait until you are upset to ask the T type for anything. The response you get looks as though they don’t care, but it’s not that - it’s just that they are unable to process emotions.

To recap, do some work to understand your differences, approach one another with open hearts and respect, and learn to identify what your needs are and practice the language of asking. Learn to meet your needs yourself first, so that you are not dependent on other people. When there are needs that you would like other people to meet, you can say to them specifically: “I have this need that I would like you to fill. I don’t know if it’s right for you, but I’m going to ask for it to be met anyway. And here’s what I need…”.

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