The 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types
S = Sensing Types - SJ & SP N = iNtuitive Types - NF & NT
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What Do The Letters Mean?

Conceptualists - NT

iNtuitive Thinkers

Description of a Conceptualist


Conceptual NTs, being ABSTRACT in communicating and UTILITARIAN in implementing goals, can become highly skilled in STRATEGIC ANALYSIS. Thus their most practiced and developed intelligent operations tend to be marshalling and planning (NTJ organizing), or inventing and configuring (NTP engineering). And they would if they could be wizards in one of these forms of rational operation. They are proud of themselves in the degree they are competent in action, respect themselves in the degree they are autonomous, and feel confident of themselves in that sense they are "strong willed".

Conceptualists are very infrequent, comprising as few as 3% of the general population.

Ever in search of knowledge, this is the "Knowledge Seeking Personality" -- trusting in reason and hungering for achievement. They are usually pragmatic about the present, skeptical about the future, solipsistic about the past, and their preferred time and place are the interval and the intersection. Educationally they go for the sciences, avocationally for technology, and vocationally for systems work. Conceptualists tend to be individualizing as parents, mind-mates as spouses, and learning oriented as children.

In school, out of a class of 32 students, one would be an NT. That means that an entirely different social environment surrounds the NTs. They must live with aliens, while the SPs and the SJs are continuously surrounded by their own kind. The teachers and parents are more likely to be SPs or SJs. Thus it is not uncommon that NT children grow up feeling alone, or alienated and don't realize just how lonely they felt until they eventually find other NTs in higher education.

The NT Motivation
Power fascinates the NT. Not power over people, but power over nature. To be able to understand, control, predict, and explain realities. Note that these are the four aims of science: control and understanding, prediction and explanation. If you find an NT, you will find a scientist at heart. NT Angel

These forms of power, however, are but means to an end, the end best expressed by the word competence. So it is not exactly power that the NT wants, but rather competencies, capacities, capabilities, skills, ingenuity-repertoire.

The extreme NT can even be seen as addicted to acquiring intelligence, hooked on sotring up wisdom, just as Aesop's Ant must store goodies. Tell the NT that he is a fake, a liear, a cheater, lacking ion responsibility and in spontaneity, and he will reflect on your criticism and reply that "you may have a point there." Not that he is not perturbed or offended, for he often wonders and doubts his sense of freedom, responsibility and authority. But tell him he is foolish, stupid, or incompetent and discover the exact value he places on your warrant to say so. He is the only one who can judge his capability and he does so with ruthless self-criticism.

"Wanting to be competent" is not a strong enough expression of the force behind the NT's quest. He must be competent. There is urgency in his desire; he can be obsessed by it and feel a compulsion to improve, as if caught in a force field. The NT's compulsion is similar in its tractor base to the SP's compulsion to perform, though different in its object: the SP must act, but has no interest in improving (though his performance becomes superb); the NT must improve, but has no interest in action as such (though he does act, and with increasing precision and exactitude). In a sense the SP is the NT's mirror image. For the SP, ability is mere means which sets him free to perform, while the NT, performance is only a means for enabling him to store up his beloved abilities.

Conceptualist Self Criticism
The NT is the most self-critical of all the styles. She badgers herself about her errors, taxes herself with the resolve to improve, and ruthlessly monitors her own progress. He continually checks the pulse of his skills and takes his conceptual temperature every hour on the hour. He must master understanding of all objects and events whether human or extrahuman, physical or metaphysical, in whatever domain he stakes out as his area of competency. And the more extreme the NT style, the more exacting and stringent the demand placed by the NT on herself in the acquisition of skill and knowledge. The NT must be competent in whatever domain of enterprise or inquiry she chooses; she will settle for nothing less.

In contrast to the should's and oughts of the SJ, the NT has many should know's and should-be-able-to's itemized in massive lists inside of his head. He is inclined always to accumulate more items, never deleting any. He runs a kind of bureaucracy of excellence, and thus can be a perfectionist, becoming tense and compulsive in his behavior when he comes under too much stress. Constantly alert to his shortcomings, to his failures to reach perfect competency, he may greet with scorn and amusement the criticism of others concerning his powers. He may or may not express this reaction, although the extraverted NTs are more likely to do so, but the NT is very conscious of the credentials of his critic and in what degree they license comment. Allied to this demand for competency in critics is a recalcitrance on the part of the NT-even from an early age-to accept without question in the domain of ideas even a widely accepted authority. The fact that a certain person proclaims something, whatever his or her title, reputation, or credentials, leaves the NT indifferent. This recalcitrance to established authorities tends to make an NT, particularly those with extreme NT temperament, seem unusually individualistic and even arrogant.

NTs often report (to those they trust!) that they are haunted by a sense of always being on the verge of failure. This time, surely, the necessary degree of competency will not be produced and failure is at hand. This time acquired knowledge will be inadequate for this issue. Constant self-doubting is the lot of the NT. Because of these self doubts, the NT, particularly the NTP, may have difficulty taking action. He can be so immobilized by self-doubts that his resolution fades.

Somehow the Conceptualist never believes that she knows enough. And she adds to this discomfort by escalating her standards of performance. What may be accepted by her as satisfactory today may tomorrow be judged as only passable. And the more extreme the NT, the more likely she is to increase her standards of performance to coincide with unusually which occur now and then. Her ordinary performances are thus viewed as short of the mark, and the NT experiences a pervasive sense of inadequacy. She intensifies her belief in her inadequacy by making unyielding demands on herself, taxing herself with constant improvement, holding a sort of mental stopwatch over herself, recording her gains and losses. She must be wholly competent in her work and in her play, and she never gives herself respite from this self-imposed level of excellence.

Watching an NT at "play" is apt to be touching and a little sad when compared to the SPs abandon. The NT, knowing logically that recreation is necessary for health, schedules his play, and during the "playtime" taxes himself with improving his recreational skills. For example, when engaging in a card game, he must make no mistakes. At the bridge talbe, others may make mistakes, but the NT does not allow himself lapses of logic or strategic inaccuracies. In tennis, each set must be an occasion for the improvement of certain strokes or the elimination of previously-noted errors. The NT even demands of himself that he have a good time, since recreation is so defined.

Conceptualist Occupation Choices
Because of the NT's passion for knowing, he can develop a large repertoire of competencies by the time he finishes his formal education. His early start and his persistence enable the NT to excel above the other styles in technology. And, as the intellectual ability of the NT increases, the tendency to seek the sciences, mathematics, philosophy, architecture, engineering-indeed, anything complicated and exacting-also increases. These occupations, therefore, are heavily populated by NTs.

Perhaps more than any other style, Conceptualists live in their work. FOr the NT, work is work, and play is work. Condemning an NT to idleness would be the worst sort of punishment. Work is done not so much to achieve a product or for the pleasure of action, but for the improvement, perfection, or proof of skill or knowledge required by the work. The NT does not have the function-lust of the SP; rather, she has, through her work, a law lust. She is ever searching for the why's of the universe. She ever attempts to breathe a fire of understanding into whatever area she considers her domain. NTs usually enjoy developing models, exploring ideas, and building systems. They understandably, are drawn to occupations which have to do with the formation and application of scientific principles. Science, technology, philosophy, mathematics and logic, design and engineering, research and development, management, manufacture, criminology, cardiology, securities analysis-all appeal to NTs. Sales and customer relations work do not hold such attraction, nor do NTs tend to gravitate toward services such as clerical work, repair, maintenance, entertainment, or distribution. They can be found in high frequency in engineering and architecture, in the teaching of mathematics, sciences, and philosophy. Whenever they are and whatever they do, the NTs strive (and usually succeed) to perform competently.

The Conceptualist is likely to listen attentively to new ideas, to accept changes in procedures and policies without distress, as long as the changes make sense. He wants to learn about competing ideas and is usually able to give them consideration with an open mind. The NT has an inquiring attitude and values the development of will, self control, and intelligence. He tends to be straightforward in his dealings with others, although others report often finding the NT cold, remote, and enigmatic. Yet, if an NT is asked outright his position on any issue, he is more than likely to state his ideas on the subject without equivocation.

The NT is vulnerable to the all-work-and-no-play syndrome and can easily become isolated in an ivory tower of intellectualism, seemingly cut off from the world of other types find as reality. The NT is, at times, the eccentric genius.

Once an NT masters a technology or theoretical framework she is apt to move onto other challenges. Having isolated the rules which provide order and reason in her activity, and having mastered the necessary skills, whether it be work or play, the NT turns her eyes to other challenges; always, however, she expects to improve her competency in every subject, new or old.

Conceptualist Communication
Conceptualists prefer to use abstract language when communicating, just as the NFs prefer to do as well. Abstract words refer to imaginable things unlike concrete words which refer to observable things. Conceptualists talk little of what is observable and much of what is imaginable. They are inclined to speak more of what can be seen only with the mind's eye, conceptual things rather than perceptual things, ideas rather than objects.

In conversation, Conceptualists try to avoid the irrelevant, the trivial, and the redundant. They will not waste words, and while they understand that some redundancy is necessary they still are reluctant to state the obvious, or to repeat themselves on a point, limiting their explanations and definitions because they assume that what is obvious to them is obvious to others. Conceptualists assume that if they did state the obvious their listeners or readers would surely be bored, if not offended. Their assumption is that what is obvious to them is obvious to others, and the NT style of speech of being overly terse and compact, results in a style that is difficult for others to follow. Because of this reluctance to state which is obvious to themselves, they sometimes lose their audience and then they wonder why they lost their audience.

Many Conceptualists are obscessed with speculative enquiry, so their speech tends to be laced with assumptions and presuppositions, probabilities and possibilities, postulates and premises, hypothesis and theorems. In such speech, data plays only a supportive and secondary role, as does the merely factual. It is this feature of their language-their disinterest in data and factual information-that sets NTs further away from their concrete cousins, the SPs and their concrete opposites, the SJs.

Above all else Conceptualists want to be coherent in their arguments, and so they try to make certain that each phrase and clause advances the argument, introducing nothing that doesn't logically belong, and leaving out nothing that isn't logically required. This style produces carefully crafted communications, NTs tending to qualify their statements with modifiers such as "likely", "probably", "usually", "occasionally", and "in some degree".

Conceptualists prefer to appear unemotional when they communicate (and they can seem rather stiff), trying to minimize body-language, facial expression, and other non-verbal qualifiers as much as possible. But when they become animated their characteristic hand gestures express their need for precision and control. NTs will make one or both hands into claws or talons, as if to seize the idea they are discussing. They will also bend their fingers and grasp the space in front of them, turning and shaping their ideas in the air. They will use their fingers like calculators, ticking off point after point, and they will take small objects at hand (salt and pepper shakers, pens and paper weights) and arrange them on a table or desk to hlep map out ideas. But perhaps the most telling gesture of all is the apposition of the thumb against the finger tips, as if the NT is bringing an idea or an argument to the finest possible point and is savoring the precision.

NTs as a group tend to enjoy playing with words, finding pleasure in exploring verbal intricacies. Convoluted phrases and paradoxical statements fascinate them.

NTs tend to focus on the future, regarding the past as something dead and gone. What matters most is what might be and what might happen next. The past is useful only as a means of giving direction to the future and for deciphering the lessons of history, taking heed to the warning that "He who remains ignorant of history is doomed to repeat it." The NT is never willing to repeat an error.

As the NT speculates about the possible motivations and thoughts of those he is with, trying to fit his experiences into some system he carries around in his head, he sometimes misses direct experiences. He may be so occupied with trying to figure out what is happening as it is happening, that he misses living the event. At times, the NT seems to stand beside instead of in the stream of life, seeming to watch bemusedly as the river flows by-a little distanced, a little detached, a little uninvolved.

At times, an NT can be quite oblivious to the emotional responses of others and may not always be sensitive to the complexities of interpersonal relations. Sometimes, people report that they sometimes feel that they do not exist when they are in the presence of an NT, and they may react to this by hostile attacking comments, directed to the personality of the NT. NTs generally react to these comments with bewilderment and seldom strike back. However, if she is pushed and feels cornered, if the NT chooses, she is quite capable of a viscious biting sarcasm that is uncannily accurate which can be devastating to the person whom it is directed.

NT Conceptualist Mating
Conceptualists make wonderful mates-they are loyal, uncomplaining, warmly and creatively sexual, honest, and aboveboard in their communications, and not in the least possessive. But for all the satisfactions they bring to a marriage, establishing romantic relationships with a Conceptualist usually requires much more energy and time than with the other temperaments. Even the extraverted Conceptualists, the
ENTJs and the ENTPs, although apparantly easy to get know, are difficult to get close to, for their personality structure is characteristically complex and, at times, hidden from view. Another temperament may believe that they know or are close to Conceptualist, when in fact, the Conceptualist has carefully and cautiously controlled which parts of his or her personality he has chosen to reveal to other. This results in pleasant surprises for the Conceptualit's mate as sometimes these other, deeper facets of a Conceptualists personality may not be revealed for years.

NT (Conceptualist) Courtship

Conceptualists do not care to spend much of their time or energy making social connections. Not only do they find the rituals of dating slightly absurd, but they seem to have more difficulty than other temperaments engaging in play, which makes dating usually something of a trial for them. While the NTs will attempt to cover their lack of social skills by clowning around, they tend, on the whole, to be rather serious and cerebral, enjoying discussions of esoteric topics full of technical details (everything you wanted to know about chemical bonding-and more), a pastime which the other temperaments are apt to find dreadfully dull. Also, they are most comfortable dealing in the rare world of abstract communication, due to sheer numbers alone (with 85% of the population using concrete communication), it is difficult for them to even find a partner who shares that same abstract communication style.

For most NTs, intellectual development seems to proceed at a faster rate than does the social development-they are often math whizzes and science nerds in high school and college-and they tend to prefer thier books and computers to football games and prom dates. But even in young adulthood, Conceptualists remain somewhat stiff and awkward when it comes to dating, and many show almost no interest in developing social graces or in being popular.

Once in a college or business environment, extraverted Conceptualists might decide (quite deliberately) to date around for the fun of it, and some might experiment with sexual practices. But when establishing more and lasting relationships they are not likely to be given into impulse. Indeed, and as a matter of personal ethics, Conceptualists usually regard sexual promiscuity with distate. Even talking about their sexual experiences is uncomfortable for them, and they are not likely to discuss past involvements with a partner or with others, and almost never discuss thier current sex life with friends. A few highly private, seriously committed relationships is the pattern of an NTs love life, probably because Conceptualists (like many Idealists) tend to develop intimate relationships rather slowly.

Thus, generally speaking, dating for the Conceptualists is neither entertainment (as it is for the Experiencers), social participation (as it is for the Traditionalists), nor deep bonding (as it is for the Idealists); rather dating for Conceptualists is a sometimes difficult search for a person they deem worthy of their personal investment. Wanting always to know what they're doing and where they're going, Conceptualists think through relationships carefully, giving prolonged consideration to thier intentions and expectations. Once the matter has been mapped out to their satisfaction-once their coordinates are clear- they are ready to proceed with investing in the relationship, and, in all likelihood, they will develop the relationship as they have conceived it, provided, of course, that a response has been forthcoming from the recipient. If the relationship calls for a short term involvement, a short term investment is made, and the NT makes sure the temporary nature of the affair is clearly understood by the other party, there is to be no ambiguity in understanding with the other party. Once Conceptualists have made up their search and decided on a mate, they are unlikely to have a change of mind.

Although the Conceptualist mating style can seem over-controlled at times, it has its attractions for the other temperaments. Experiencers admire both the Conceptualist's penchant for effective action and their refusal to be bound by convention, while at the same time they enjoy trying to jolly the NT's up a bit, getting them to stop being so serious and obsessive about their work. Traditionalits's in contrast, think highly of the Conceptualists's seriousness and hard work, and take real pride in helping the lost-in-thought NT's keep their feet on the ground, providing them with an enjoyable, conventional social life. All in all, however, Idealists feel the strongest attraction to Conceptualists. Not only do Idealists share with Conceptualists a rare abstract compatability of mind, a deeply satisfying mutual interest of abstract ideas, but NF's also marvel at the NT's ability to focus and concentrate, so different from their own tendancy to be scattered, divided, and distracted.

Once Conceptualists have given themselves to a mate, they feel pledged to the relationship-with or without a marriage license. NT's often have a curious amorality concerning the generally-accepted standards of mating behavior. The rules and formalities of society have little pressure for them, but their own personal standards of conduct certainly do. Society's seal of approval-in the form of a church ceremony or marriage license-means nothing to them, and will be put up with only to please the family or their mate. The sexual ethics are carefully considered, and strictly adhered to, but may or may not conform to the general mores of sexual behavior current in any given time. In most cases, Conceptualists are not at all reluctant to explore their sexuality once they have committed to a relationship. Not only that, but they can be highly creative and ingenious when it comes to the mechanics of sex, using their highly developed skills of creativity. They will do this though if and only when they have finally reached a high level of intimacy with a partner they trust, which takes a tremendous investment of time and energy by the partner before that level of closeness and trust is attained.

Conceptualist Married Life

Conceptualists May Appear To Be Unemotional
Once and investment has been made in a mate, and Conceptualists are free to pursue thier varied interests---both know-abouts and know-hows---they come face face to face rather quickly with a major problem in their marriages. It is frequently, and sadly, the case that Conceptualists are misunderstood on one important point by their spouses, and will accuse them of being cold and unemotional, and of seeming distant and unconcerned with their welfare. NTs are amazed and surprised that their way of relating and loving can be seen by their mates as aloof and uncaring, for they know what powerful passions surge within themselves, and how keenly interested they are in their mates. But the false impression, almost a stereotype, of Conceptualist coldness remains the source of much disappointment and conflict in their marriages. What's the cause of this misunderstanding, this discrepancy between appearance and reality? The answer lies in the combined strength of three of the Conceptualists core character traits; 1. their abstractness, 2. their need for effeciency, and 3. their desire for autonomy.

In the first place, Conceptualists spend much of their time, absorbed in the abstract world of ideas, principles, theories, technologies, hypothesis, research models, system designs, and the like. When they aren't puzzling over a problem from work, they are studying other subjects (the Civil War, astronomy, photography, almost anything else)-ever in the business of acquiring knowledge-and this makes them appear to be out of touch with the real world of much of family life. Making matters worse, NTs have a unique ability to concentrate on whatever problems they are trying to solve-and they are always working on solutions to problems-which can make them seem remote and preoccupied with their work, lost in thought, as if a million miles away even when sitting with their spouse in the living room. This is one of the major complaints of their mates; that NTs seem to direct exclusive attention to the world of theory and technology and systems and design.

And yet, while Conceptualists might seem unaware of their mates and the domestic life around them, they are not indifferent or unresponsive, usually showing genuine interest when these people and events are brought to their attention. It's just that NTs don't notice everyday reality-and this includes their spouses-very well on their own. Thus the problem is not that Conceptualists are cold and inhuman, but that they are by nature both abstract and highly focused, and have to be reminded to get their nose out of their books, their technical journals and their computer files-to get out of their heads-and join the family circle.

But there's the rub, because many husbands and wives feel humiliated having to ask their Conceptualist mate to pay attention to them, or to give time to the family. They want their Conceptualist mates to think of them and care about them of their volition, without having to be reminded-as a spontaneous expression of love. And so they will wait with growing anger for the NT to offer interest or affection, and when this fails, they will accuse them of thoughtlessness or indifference. This is an all-too-common impasse in Conceptualist marriages.

Along with their abstractness, Conceptualists have an almost obsessive need to be efficient in whatever they do or say, which means they want, if at all possible, to achieve maximum results with minimum effort in all of endeavors. This constant striving for peak efficiency, explains many things about NT behavior: why they put their trust in the precision of logic, for example, or why they are so hard on themselves when they make errors, or why (always on the lookout for mistakes and wasted effort) they often frown and appear to be angry when in fact they are not but simply concentrating intensely.

At the same time, this obsession with efficiency figures into a familiar pattern problem in Conceptualist marriages, namely, that NTs are reluctant to speak of love to their spouses, who are often hurt by the silence. It's not that NTs don't feel love for their mates, but they they have a distaste for stating the obvious or being redundant, and so once they have indicated their feelings by choosing their mate, they are not apt to engage in sentimental love talk. Their spouses might long for more frequently verbalized expressions of affection and concern, but, to the ever-efficient Conceptualists, repeating what is clearly established is a waste of time and words, and might even raise doubt about the sincerity of the message. Thus the Conceptualist may purposefully resist such expressions because he/she is believes that it may be perceived by the mate to be insincere.

The third cause of the seeming coldness of Conceptualists is their principled insistnce on individual autonomy, both for themselves and for their spouses. NTs allow no compromise, when it comes to their own autonomy. They are the most self directed and independent-minded of all the temperaments, and they resist (and resent) any and all forces that would coerce them into acting against their will, that would try to make them march to someone else's drum. To Conceptualists, every man is an island, alone unto h imslef, and thier resistance hardens against social or moral expectations that are meant to control them, those rituals, manners, regulations, codes of conductothose shoulds and shouldn'ts-that govern most social behavior. And this is just as true if the coercion comes from educational institutions, governmental institutions, business institutions, or from the institution of marriage.

Thus, if Conceptualists detect in their mates' messages even the slightest pressure to behave in a socially acceptable way, or to have a better attitude-if they sense the slightest suggestion of social or moral obligation-they will balk and refuse to cooperate, not only on significant matters such as tending the children, or saying "I love you", but also on seemingly trivial things such as cleaning up the kitchen, dressing for a party, or helping bring in the groceries. The refusal might take some form of silent, passive resistance, or an icy blast, but it is rare for any NT simply to follow orders without some word of protest or gesture of self-assertion. On occassion, they might bite their lip and go along in order to avoid a quarrel, but they allow their autonomy to abridged only under duress, and with growing annoyance.

Conceptualist Constraint Against Impulses
Conceptualists are not at all comfortable with the involuntary impulses (urges, emotions, appetites, desires) that well up from within themselves and seek to take control of them. NTs have just as many of thise irrational impulses as the next person but they have are innately mistrustful of them-after all, they might lead to mistakes and innefficiency or demonstrate some incompetence, all of which are unacceptable to them. Basing their self respect on their autonomy, NTs have difficulty allowing themselves to give up control and go with their impulses and emotions and to express them freely and openly. On the contrary, Conceptualists try to govern their impulses and bend them to their will by consciously evaluating them and analyzing them, which effectively kills them in the process. On the surface, the extraverted NTs (
ENTP and ENTJ) will appear to be just as fun loving and gregarious as the Extraverted Experiencer SPs (ESTP and ESFP). However, upon closer observation, the NTs are less impulsive and more deliberate, controlled, more strategic in how they display these behaviors. The NTPs (ENTP, INTP)though, seem to have a greater ability to express their emotions, but again, it usually more of a strategic nature, and not as spontaneous as it would be for an SF (ISFJ, ISFP, ESFJ, or ESFP).

Not surprisingly, the Conceptualists' tight rein on their impulses also takes its toll on their marriages. NTs are inclined to keep certain aspects of their personalities, as well as some of their talents, to themselves. Showing off is loathsome to t hem (it is acting for others, not for themselves), and so their loved ones are often surprised to learn of some skill, or interest, or facet of character int he Conceptualist t hat had not been apparent previously.

Conceptualists Value Self Reliance In Their Mates
Not only do Conceptualists live according to their own standards of self reliance, they expect their mates to do the same. Personal dependence (on alcohol, for example) is repellant to them, but so is interpersonal dependence. Conceptualists show little sympathy wiht mates who look to the Conceptualist to give them wholeness or happiness. To Conceptualists, "People who need people," are not, as the song from Funny Girl puts it, "the luckiest people in the world" ("a feeling deep in your soul, says you were half, now you're whole"). Such people are sorely lacking in self-sufficiency, says the NT, and need become whole in themselves, self-determined and self-possessed, for the Conceptualist to continue loving them.

Conceptualists are full of loyalty and generous support for mates, children, or even friends who happen to be in need of help, but only if there is no sign of dependency or game-playing in the needy person. If those close to them (especially their spouses) try to make a crutch of the NT, or hope to extort sympathy with some overdone complaint, the NT will turn quickly away and refuse even to meet them half way. "We are all on your own in life," says the Conceptualist, "and no one can make you happy but yourself."

The Rationals' intention to instill their own fierce sense of autonomy in their loved ones is a common basis of NT Pygmalion Projects, and as in all Pygmalion Projects it is meant benevolently, to help the mate become what the NT believes is a better person. Unfortunately, such a shift for yourself, an enforced way of relating to loved ones strikes many less self-reliant mates as cold and uncaring, when in truth it is the Conceptualists way of showing just how much they do care.

Conceptualist Sensuality
For Conceptualists, sensuality also has as much to do with imagination, as it does for
Idealists, and both temperaments are capable of appreciating the imaginative nuances of physical intimacy which Experiencers and Traditionalists might find irrelevant or even unfathomable. The messages that both NTs and NFs send through the physical relationship are apt to beomce more and more complex over time, as their overtures to the sexual encounter become threaded with subtleties and symbolism. Moreover, the degree of sexual satisfaction in the NT's marriage will be correlated with the mental closeness of the relationship, and normally the sexual act is given meaning beyond mere playfulness or release of sexual tension.

At the same time, the Conceptualists' imaginative way in sexuality can sometimes block the full expression of their physical nature if they are with a mate who does not understand this. The female NT, in particular, may have a difficulty with sexual responses unless her mate takes the time, makes the effort, and understands the necessity of making his romantic approach through mutual exploration of ideas, arousing her mind as well as her body. This is in contrast to the SJs and the SPs, who do not require as much stimulation of the mind in order to be aroused. Indeed, it is likely that an NT female will be sexually stimulated only by a mate who is as bright as she is, or at least by someone who quality of mind she greatly admires. Obviously, this places the intelligent female NT in a position of limited choices. Male NTs have a slightly different standard concerning brain power. While they, too, prefer mates who are just as smart as they are (and unintelligent females actually turn them off), their attitude is more apt to be that, given other personal or domestic talents, their mate need not be quite their intellectual equal.

Conceptualist Logical and Witty Discussions
Conceptualists tend to enjoy arguing about ideas with their mates, taking great pleasure in the lively discussion of economics, politics, history, science (and many other topics), either one-on-one or within a circle of friends. NTs will insist that logic be adhered to in such discussions; to be sure, logic and rationality is the other major area (besides autonomy) in which Conceptualists are likely to start up Pygmalion Projects with their spouses. Conceptualists seem to have an eternal hope that one day they can prevail upon their mates to share their fascination with science and technology, and that they can shape up their loved ones into being more logical in their thinking and speaking. NTs think, isn't this the way everyone should be?

Such discussions are often witty as they are logical. Contrary to the stereotype of them as always being cold and serious, Conceptualists generally have a well-developed sense of humor, although the amusing and humorous is usually subtle and, more often than not, based on a play on words. NTs espcecially enjoy humor which is ironical, or which contains unexpected double meaning, but this is not to say their wit is abstract or pedantic. Many Conceptualists, particularly males, get a kick out of off-color jokes and stories, at least when not in mixed company.

Conceptualist Pairings
In spite of these misunderstandings, Conceptualists both male and female, do indeed greatly please their mates, and make highly successful marriages with all the temperaments.

NT Conceptualist to SP Experiencer
The Conceptualists' lack of possessiveness and reluctance to interfere with their mates makes a very nice fit wiht the
Experiencer's freedom-loving nature. In the SPs, NTs find mates just as irreverant as they, not only just as willing but NTs are even more so than the SPs to ignore socially accepted conventions. NTs admire admire SPs interest in tools and tool skills, and at the same time they find in SPs and aptitude for fun, improvisation, spontaneity-even mischief-which can help get NTs out of their heads and show them how to get go and wing it. Conceptualist need to learn how to play, and Experiencers love to spread their playfulness around. Of course, if pushed too hard SP fun and games can come to seem frivolous to NTs. But, more than this, SPs can also disappoint their NT mates by their general lack of interest in the internal, abstract world. NTs enjoy expounding their theories and hypothesis and describing their latest inventions and paradigms to their mates-at time, in fact, thise breakfast table conversations can turn into lengthy, highly detailed lectures. But is is very difficult for NTs to hold SPs attention on such abstract subjects, and Conceptualists are quick to note when interest wanes and their mates begin turning the conversation to more concrete, down-to-earth matters.

NT Conceptualist to SJ Traditionalist
While Traditionalists won't usually take the lead on merrymaking, they do offer Conceptualists one invaluable gift as a mate: a stable, reliable center in the home. Preoccupied as they are in their ivory towers, NTs often lose touch wiht the everyday workings of family life, and an SJ mate happily steps in to see that things are done and that the details of running the home are taken care of. SJs also see to it that NTs have a social life-not one as varied and exciting as that whipped up by an SP, perhaps, but a full enjoyable, often family-oriented social life. NTs and SJs share a strong sense of loyalty to close friends and family, and SJs make sure their NT mates remember to take part in the social functions and family traditions they might otherwise forget. A problem for this pairing is that for the Traditionists, no matter how intelligent in their concrete logistical roles, they have little interest in the Conceptualists abstract world of systems analysis and technological design. NTs may not need a great deal of intellectual interaction from their mates, particularly if they are unable to discuss their brainstorms with their colleagues at work. A satisfying social life, family life, and sexual life may be enough for them. But Conceptualists with concrete mates (Traditionalists or Experiencers) soemtimes sense they're missing some vital connection.

NT Conceptualist to NT Conceptualist
Two Conceptualists married to each other do not have the problem of dealing with mixing Concrete communication with Abstract communication. Two Conceptualists are likely to be fascinated by each other's research and discoveries, by their tools and technologies, and when they find the time to come together they have intense discussions, logical, esoteric, critical, and competitive. This competition can get rough at times-NTs will go for the jugular in the heat of the argument-but the main trouble in NT-NT relationships is just the opposite: that each tends to stay absorbed in his own or her own cognitive world, each forgetting to notice the other, and thus doubling the distance to be overcome in the relationship. Conceptualists married to other Conceptualists need to learn how to get away from their work and meet each other on a personal level.

NT Conceptualist to NF Idealist
Marriage to an Idealist is probably the best option for a Conceptualist. NTs and NFs share an abiding interest in the abstract, internal world, and so can find with each other a companionship of ideas, a mutual love of insights and concepts, even a similar fluency for the abstract language, that bonds them securely. At the same time, NFs bring a personal warmth to their relationships which appeals to the analytical, self controlled NTs, and helps them put aside their work and take time for a personal life.

Conflicts, of course, are inherent in all relationships, and even so with the NT-NF relationship. If sharing ideas with an NT means arguing over definitions, logical categories, and necessary consequences, it is onerous to NFs, who are willing to engage in such debates for a short period of time, and only if the discussion remains friendly. And conflict between the NTs cool resistance to showing emotion and the NFs desire for emotional expressiveness is an endless problem in their relationships, though one that usually overshadowed by these two temperaments' rare compatibality.

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