ISFP teenager: Mom, is _ _ _ _ _ a word?
INTJ mother: No… how are you trying to use it? Maybe I can help you find the word you’re looking for.
ISFP: I’m not trying to use it. It just came to me…. Can YOU use it in a sentence so I can figure it out?
INTJ: If it’s not a real word - has no actual meaning – there’s no way to use it in a sentence.
ISFP: But if it WERE a word, how would you use it?
INTJ: There’s no way for me to answer that. Without a meaning – because it ISN’T a real word – I can’t use it in a sentence.
ISFP: Okay… what would its meaning be, if it were a word?
INTJ: But it’s not a word. So how would I know its meaning?
ISFP: Well, if you’d just use it in a sentence, we could figure out its meaning.
INTJ: Are those lights flickering? I think you’ve induced a brain aneurysm.
I wish I were creative or funny enough to have made that up, but that was an absolute real conversation I had with my ISFP teenage son the other day (although there were just a few more “Who’s on First” loops before I escaped the exchange).
Now I’m sure an I/E NFP parent would have handled the conversation differently – perhaps played along and played “create a definition out of thin air” but as an INTJ that was not an instinctual direction for me to go.
How would you have responded? (Include your “Type” if you know it.)