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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I'm pretty much surrounded by sensors in my life (who don't know/care about mbti) & I often have a hard time understanding/relating. I figured I'd asked you Se users, who would know best. (also since my father is an ESTP).

I often find that anytime I bring up a potential conversation topic about society or any concept in general, the room goes silent, or my father will say something like 'well thats just how it is' almost insinuating that contemplating things is wrong and bad lol. Even worse, they will sometimes have no opinion or 2 cents to add whatsoever. They then will change the subject and talk amongst themselves about tv, food, ect. So I feel like this has given me a negative view of Se because I don't get it. It seems like a refusal on their part, to contemplate important things. They almost insist on indulging in thoughtless things & get annoyed/confused when I want to actually pick their brain. I know not everyone values "intellectualism" or whatever, but I feel like this immediate taking in of the environment is kind of...simpleminded?

I also kinda don't understand Se on a basic level, for example taking in your surroundings, noticing things in detail..isn't that what everyone is capable of doing? The reason I think I don't do it is because I don't NEED to take into account the intricacies of the environment when I'm just sitting somewhere. Theres usually something more significant to be done, like thinking, conversing, working, ect.

*Not trying to offend or downplay you guys, really just looking to understand. How do you get close to friends/family on this superficial level? It seems paradoxical :confused:
 

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This could be just a personal thing among people than it is MBTI related, Those are commonly classed as stereotypical 'S' behaviour but in reality that isn't true, even though MBTI is just a theory.

How do you know that they are actually Se? Besides the common stereotypical things you have stated? (Not as in an attack but a genuine question), because I get the feeling there is a lot of misunderstanding and general ignorance floating about here.
 

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Yea thats true, it could be unrelated to Se completely. While I don't have any tangible proof of my families types, I've lived with them my whole life and they truly personify the descriptions of certain types that I've read. Especially my mother for example, reading info about isfjs is amazing because it describes her to a tee. I don't have a super tough time communicating with her or another person I suspect might be an istj (because I understand Si), however with those that I suspect are Se dominant or secondary, I do find myself having a hard time with common ground. So I don't think its just a coincidence or that I'm labeling all of these people prematurely because I've really thought about it and payed attention to them over the years.
 

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They probably just don't care to discuss these things with you. I don't care to share my private thoughts/feelings/opinions on important things with most people. Or they just don't find the topic interesting.

Really, there could be a thousand reasons why they don't talk about these things with you. What I talk about with my kids is not what I talk about with my husband or closest friends.
 
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I know how you feel @bri5989! I'm in a reversed situation where I am surrounded by NTs and NFs like you, and I have to sit around and listen to them talk about their feelings, theories, and ideas all the time. I am however able and sometimes even willing to engage them on some of these topics. I definitely think it's healthy to have a good intellectual discussion now and then, that's how I was raised. Also, people with Se are basically ninjas.
 

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@EmilyRose haha yea I think it can sometimes get to the point with N's that you just have no clue what the hell their talkin about lol. didn't know u guys were ninjas tho.....hmmmm
 

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didn't know u guys were ninjas tho.....hmmmm
We'll forgive you for not knowing this time. But only just this one time.
 
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I had a similar (but not exactly the same) experience growing up with my ESTP mom. I'd be mulling things over and ask "hey have you ever felt this?" "Hey have you ever noticed this?" "What do you think about xyz?" And she'd shut me down, like all the time. No I never felt that, I never saw that, don't know and don't care.

However, there were more blessings than I can count having her as my parent. Sometimes, we can't expect our nearest and dearest to meet all of our intellectual or emotional needs; perhaps it's better they don't. We need to meet new people, push our ideas further, connect. We can't expect our families to sustain us completely.

My BFF is an infp. He often thinks I'm a wizard because I do pick up on my environment and things he takes for granted. There is much to notice in your world, and being observant of the environment around you can be very enlightening, even inspiring. I can Detect the slightest change in someone else's expression, Know where they are at energetically, And get a sense of how they feel just by looking at them. So using observational skills in the world around you and with people is actually a very useful trait to have.

I think the big challenge in relationships is accepting and understanding people on their own terms. There's much to be learned from other people, even if we don't necessarily agree with or completely understand them all the time. When it comes right down to it, what is important in life is often very individual. While I enjoy analyzing things to death, my mom would rather go out and do something and get inside of the here and now, and that is a beautiful way to live. It is very immediate it is very real and it really is the only thing that matters. I mean, really, WHY ponder a bunch of things that might add up to nothing? But if it makes you happy, and you like it, then do it. But some people are made happy by different things, that is really and truly the bottom line difference.
 

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@bri5989
Se is much more than just sensing your surroundings.
It is actively wanting to engage with what you sense. You feel a pull towards concrete activities with objects.
Just as Ne feels a pull towards activities with the "idea objects" that it deals with.
 
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Okay I think I can help you...

How to explain Se...

Firstly, when you talk about things that aren't in the immediate environment, you are asking a Se person to imagine/think/feel about something that a) they might not have experienced and b) is not immediately in-front of them.

Se users are less capable of really *feeling* what experiences might be like, without actually physically experiencing them. IE, when someone tells me their cat got run over, I am really really bad at showing empathy. I have to really *force* myself to imagine that; I had a cat, I loved it for 8 years, I had lots of fun experiences with this cat and then found it lying on the floor squashed like a pancake. Like, I physically have to mentally force this thought process through my mind in order to show the kind of empathy perhaps other people would show naturally. The reality is, it's not that I don't care, it's just that it's really really hard for me to feel bad about this situation that isn't my own. So when you are asking your relatives about debatable topics of past events or such forth, the Se user is being a realist; it's not happening right now so it doesn't really matter what my opinion is, why waste time on forming an opinion when it won't change or directly effect anything in my immediate surroundings and my life?

It's a harsh truth, that Se people are just survivors.

Secondly, let's talk about Se and how they 'take in the little details' etc. You say you have better things to do, like converse with people, have thoughts etc then look at the environment on a physical level. Well, Se users are very influenced by what they see and feel that has come directly from their physical experience of the world in present time. A simple example is, when I see someone riding a bike and they look like they're having a good time, I suddenly want to ride a bike and I will obsess over this, go on the internet to find a 2nd hand bike shop, perhaps get distracted by an advert about colouring pencils and then remember that I need to buy a new set, and ooh this brand looks really good I should definitely save up and buy those. Okay, this is very broad example, but it might help. So my train of thought is always on what I am feeling and thinking at the time, and this is effected by the next thing that comes to me which is usually always from a physical experience in front of me (baring in mind that sometimes it's not so literal or obvious, sometimes a certain smell will suddenly remind you of a memory and then that influences how you feel at that point and what you're next plan of action is, even though you haven't realised this yourself).

Now other people like Ne users etc, are able to have more independent thought, and can come up with more original and unique ideas and opinions because it comes from their inner selves. I am not really sure how :S That confuses me, but, they could come up with thinking about riding the damn bike, even if they haven't seen or heard one in ten years.

So, on a Se level, we are very passionate about the here and now and what's going on and aren't much interested in much else, because it is the present that drives us to do what we chose to, what leads us to the next path, even if we aren't aware of it ourselves.

Also remember that Se, used alongside other functions, can present itself differently and be less or more influential depending on this. For us ESTP's, we use a lot of Ti with our Se, making us very realistic people. We use logic to balance our fantastic observational skills, making us very good at understanding what people are thinking and feeling, as well knowing how to get a project or activity completed from a-z. It is through our observations, that we learn, that we know and understand the world. It is not through inner thought and contemplations. If we sat and thought in our heads for too long, not a lot would get done. In fact, when this happens I get very unhappy because I don't know how to be more productive, I need to be inspired from other sources than just myself.

Edit:
And you ask how to get closer to your friends and family, if you want to talk about topics that aren't about the here and now you could always re-phrase your questions. You could say "imagine you are a xxx in xxx, what would you do in this situation?" This is a much better way of involving Se users into a world that is more theoretical.

Maybe to you, the way we think seems shallow. I ask you to have an open mind, and truly imagine what it might be like to have Se as a dominant function, and how this would lead your life. You would find yourself on a long journey of adventure, with high's and lows of all sorts of feelings. We are intellectual on a level that other types aren't. A natural intellect; we instinctively know what to do, without really realising how we know. It's like a super power of common sense. I don't see how this way of thinking is negative or shallow, I think it's a wonderfull thing that just works differently and this is what you need to remember, OP, when talking to family.

Of course, you're family might be unhealthy types, and very unwilling to be open minded. In which case, you're stuffed. Ironically my mum is a very unhealthy INFP, and although she is caring, she is the most closed minded, selfish person I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@Dannyell this helps, thanks! especially the part about the bike riding and the rephrasing questions. I think it is a matter of how I phrase things sometimes. also I've known a few unhealthy infps too, so I feel your pain there.
 

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We use logic to balance our fantastic observational skills, making us very good at understanding what people are thinking and feeling, as well knowing how to get a project or activity completed from a-z.
Now THIS is what I admire about ESTPs. Such a great ability to considerately coordinate groups of those of us who are less organised!
 
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