Feelings That Made Me Feel & Thoughts That Made Me Think
The Idealist Need for Deep Connection
by, 04-04-2012 at 12:53 PM (413 Views)
-----In recent memory, someone implied that I came across as flirtatious. Since neither my facial features or body language are particularly emotive, I was a bit taken aback. I try to force myself to hug family when arriving and departing, but that's as much physical contact as there is. I am not one to casually touch people.
-----So where was it coming from? Well, I think @okaydrifter explains it perfectly. Because the only reason many people seek to connect on any level--let alone a deep one--is because they have an agenda, and typically a sexual or romantic agenda, they cannot comprehend our desire to connect, to know, and to understand other people for reasons other than that. Keirsey writes:
- The Idealists’ desire that their relationships be deep and meaningful (that is, intense, enduring, and all-important in their lives) is very much in evidence in the way they go about dating. NFs do not usually choose to play the field to any great extent, but prefer to go out with one person at a time and to explore the potential for special closeness in each relationship. Never casual or occasional about dating, NFs typically look past surface relations to more deeply-felt connections, and they lose interest rather quickly with dates which center around social events and physical activities. Idealists can enjoy this skin-deep sort of date for a while, of course, but they usually try to find their own kind of enjoyment as the evening wears on. At parties, for example, NFs will often look for a quiet corner where they can talk with their date (or someone else) on a more personal, intimate level. And at amusement parks or sporting events, Idealists will eventually separate themselves mentally from the rides, the sights, and the action, and begin to observe the people around them, wondering about their personalities and fantasizing about their personal lives.
- Indeed (and this surprises Artisans and Guardians), Idealists would usually rather talk with their dates than do things or go places, although chatting about concrete, literal, or factual things doesn’t particularly interest them either. Idealists want to talk about abstract matters -- ideas, insights, personal philosophies, spiritual beliefs, dreams, goals, family relationships, altruistic causes, and the like – inwardly -- felt topics that break through social surfaces and connect two people heart-to-heart. NFs love to talk about movies or novels that have touched them deeply, but they don’t want to describe the plot so much as discuss what the story suggests between the lines, the aesthetic or moral issues involved, and how the characters’ lives symbolize their own experience or the wider experience of mankind. And NFs will talk enthusiastically about art, music, and poetry, particularly about what a work of art signifies to them. The ability to communicate comfortably with their dates in this imaginative, meaningful way most often determines whether or not the Idealist can become serious in a given relationship.
- Please Understand Me II (230-31).
In the first paragraph, Keirsey is talking about NFs in general. In the second paragraph, Keirsey is talking about courtship, but so much of what he says in both paragraphs holds true in general. From the perspective of the other types, surely this desire to connect probably seems gushy and inauthentic (SP), indecorous and inappropriate (SJ), or unfathomable (NT).
-----But, we need it. It's not just a desire. One site says of INFPs, "Deep personal relationships enhance personal harmony & sense of well-being." See: http://www.vtwellness.net/assets/sel...structions.pdf; http://www.vtwellness.net/assets/self-exam_INFP.pdf. It's not that Sensors aren't deep--it's that they're concrete. One INTJ described the Sensor method of communication as "glorified data exchange." That's great--for them. But our needs are different. And it seems that NFs are the only ones who are best able to fulfill this need to connect because they desire it equally, value it equally, and are fully capable of reciprocation.
Original thread: Is "intellectual intimacy" a form of cheating?