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Discussion Starter #1
I was talking with my brother tonight on the phone. We were discussing the card game I invented and how to eliminate aspects of it that received negative feedback after play-testing it at a board game event. I'd suggest something, then he would get an idea from that and start explaining it and halfway through his explanation I'd have a great idea that I formed from hearing the beginning of his and cut him off and tell him mine. He'd say that it could work, but would continue telling his, but it wouldn't gel completely with how I wanted the game to be.

Anyway, in the midst of us talking, he commented on how we were alike because we keep coming up with ideas and interrupting each other to tell them ours while only half listening to the other. I said that it was probably Ne. He was unfamiliar with it, so I tried to describe the functions. When I got to N vs S, he came up with an example.

Him: Well, let's say Dad asked me how many forks are on the table. There are 7 people and 6 forks. I'd probably respond by saying, "Oh, we need one more fork." And Dad would say, "No, you didn't answer my question."
Me: You sound like my daughter. We'll always ask if she did something and instead of answering, she'll go "oops!" and run off to do it. And then sometimes we'll have to call her back because we don't want her to do it right now. Maybe now's not a good time. We just want to know if she did or not to determine how to proceed with something else. If Dad asked me how many forks were on the table, I'd see there were 6 and, depending on if he was there and could easily see how many were there himself, I'd try to gauge by his tone of voice if he was asking it to prove a point, to indirectly ask me to get another one, or to just receive information. The way you said it sounded like the information one, but I would personally probably answer "six" regardless of what I assumed he really wanted in return. I may in addition ask if he wanted me to get another one, but I wouldn't presume to know what he wanted unless he specifically told me. I believe people are responsible for what they say and for asking the right thing to get what they want.
Him: Well, I like to think ahead. But knowing Dad, I'd know that he'd want me to answer him, so I would, but it would feel like baby steps to me. Like I have to go one step at a time to satisfy him.
Me: Hmm. Maybe that's the difference between iNtuition and Sensation. People online have told me that they think I'm a Sensor many times. I wouldn't feel like it was baby steps to simply answer his question. I'd feel it was necessary because I can't know his mind. I'd offer to get another one, but would leave it for him to confirm or deny if that's what was going to be his next thought now that he had the information he was seeking.

What do you get out of this?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The N sees hidden meaning or intention behind a statement, whereas you as the S don't want to assume something.
Could this also be learned behavior? I've seemed to misunderstand and be misunderstood so many times in my life that I sort of decided to try not to assume anything anymore and just let them tell me what they want. That way I know what they want. If I misunderstand because they assumed I would assume what they wanted, I can still be free from blame because they can't expect me to read their mind. It was their job to convey their thoughts correctly. And to help prevent being misunderstood and to keep from being hypocritical, I try my best to explain my thoughts as clearly as possible. Even though it results in people receiving more details than they seem to want, it's better than them thinking something else entirely.
 

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I think this very well could be an S vs N preference thing. Maybe it's a bit of a language barrier? In this scenario it's pretty clear "It is what I want to know, but you're now answering my question" vs "Just tell me what I want to know, how I asked is less important"?

I hate getting the "There's one missing"-reply because more often than not it ends up with me having to count the forks myself to see how many forks there really are compared to the number of people and then fix that error.
 

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Yeah, I think there's a bit of S vs N involved here. The N sees hidden meaning or intention behind a statement, whereas you as the S don't want to assume something.
Would it be S or N behaviour to reply with "There's six... we need one more" and then proceed to go and get it? I can see that as the way I'd react in the situation but it seems like a weird mix of both.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think this very well could be an S vs N preference thing. Maybe it's a bit of a language barrier? In this scenario it's pretty clear "It is what I want to know, but you're not answering my question" vs "Just tell me what I want to know, how I asked is less important"?

I hate getting the "There's one missing"-reply because more often than not it ends up with me having to count the forks myself to see how many forks there really are compared to the number of people and then fix that error.
Hmm. I can't know what my dad is thinking, but I usually want the answer and not a guess at what I really want. If I ask "how many forks are there?" it's because I require this information before proceeding. Maybe it's because I want to make sure everyone has one and if there are fewer, I'll get the rest. Maybe it's because I have some extra forks where I'm at and if there are that many missing from the table, it would most likely explain where they are from. Maybe some are missing from the drawer and I want to see if there are already some on the table. I wouldn't mind if I got the "there's one missing" answer if I was wondering if there were enough for everyone, but it would just confuse me if I was asking for any other reason:

Me: (hmm, there's a fork missing from the kid's forks on the counter. i only put 5 of the 7 adult forks on the table because I need to wash 2 more. i wonder if someone put it on the table.) Hey, Ben, how many forks are on the table?
Him: Oh, there's one missing.
Me: (one missing? yeah, one's missing from the counter here, but he doesn't know about that. one missing from the 5 i had on the table, meaning there are 4, meaning there are 2 missing? or one missing from the 7 that should be there, meaning there are 6, meaning someone probably took this one and put it on there? it depends on if he saw the 5 there originally or not.)

I then have to clarify and ask if he means there are 6, at which point, depending on his mood, he'd probably say something like, "Yes, 7 minus 1 is 6." But see, he doesn't know what all the circumstances for me are, and I don't know all the information he had to figure one was missing. Even if he got my intention right off the bat, it still introduces lots more margin for error. I'd still have to make sure we were on the same page.

If I wasn't asking for information and instead wanted his assessment of the situation, I would have asked, "Ben, are there enough forks on the table for everyone?"
 
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@Elaminopy Exactly! I find such answers confusing for the same reason. Maybe I already intended to grab myself a fork (adds up to seven in total) but wanted to make sure just in case someone else was in need of one!
 
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