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  1. #1
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Default close relationships with 3s

    (i write this with full admission that i potentially could be, though am really probably not, a 3 myself, which may be causing some of the problems. it's strong in my trifix, i suspect)


    so one of my good friends is an obvious, strong 3w4, and love her to death though i do, i get very frustrated by her self-promotion sometimes. i feel like she's always trying to come up with the next way to make herself look good, and often she tries to insert that into whatever we're doing. she's really quite brilliant and talented (not just appearances... she really is), and i'm proud of her for it - tbh i'm a little pretentious myself and only tend to hang around overachieving people like that - but sometimes i feel like she always has to be in the spotlight, which doesn't leave any room for me in the spotlight. not that i want it all the time, but everyone deserves to shine at something. i love when two people are experts at their respective domains. yet often when i do something better than her, she'll downplay it - as if my skill is unimportant or, more powerfully, distasteful. or just ignore it altogether.

    it's not a big facet of our relationship, and i'm plenty competent myself, but i have moments where i'm just stuck in terms of how to respond. i'm not down on myself by nature, but i am competitive, and her constant promotion causes me to go into little occasional bouts of frustration and pessimism. i realize that this is my own personal problem as much as hers, but i wonder what i can do on my end to try to neutralize both of us. currently i'm just trying to respond less the more she promotes - sort of a negative reinforcement thing. i'm hoping she (consciously or subconsciously) just starts shifting away from being like that with me, and then i can support her genuinely. what i find really interesting is that i think it bugs her if i don't succeed, too. like, it's paradoxical in some ways. she can't stand for me to not succeed (which, neither can i, so that works out), but she has a hard time sharing the spotlight, too. she needs to be in control of it or she's uncomfortable.

    anyway. do any of you guys have advice, or experience in similar situations?
    Last edited by skylights; 05-01-2011 at 10:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    if she wants you to succeed too, why don't you ask her how you can get more of the spotlight. she sounds like she'd be happy to tell you and would probably propose "why don't we do XYZ together?!"
    PS: negative reenforcement is removal of a positive stimulus (Ex: you got all As on your last report card, you don't have to do chores for a week), ignoring is a low form of punishment.
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  3. #3
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy
    if she wants you to succeed too, why don't you ask her how you can get more of the spotlight. she sounds like she'd be happy to tell you and would probably propose "why don't we do XYZ together?!"
    that's a good idea, thank you

    PS: negative reenforcement is removal of a positive stimulus (Ex: you got all As on your last report card, you don't have to do chores for a week), ignoring is a low form of punishment.
    haha while i do appreciate your clarification, the reason not responding to her in this case is negative reinforcement and not punishment has to do with her being a 3 - because i'm removing the affirmation that she's seeking from promoting herself. it's not about actively cold shouldering her - it's just tempering any responses to her attempts to get attention and affirmation. if i don't respond to her promotion, then logically she should eventually try a different tactic (such as being more inclusive and/or genuine - which i can then positively reinforce).

  4. #4
    Glycerine
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    Just humor her. I jokingly tell my dad (3w2?) that he's "sexy" and "god's gift to women" because he's very conscious about being attractive. He knows I am joking but at the same time giving him a compliment and it makes him feel good. In return, he encourages me to succeed and such. I did not realize how CREEPY that came across.

  5. #5
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    My ESFJ ex is very much a 3w2, like the 3w2 from hell, and I constantly got to hear how I was superior through association through being his girl. He was a typical alpha male, except more emo and into collecting Lucio Fulci films than what most people associate with alpha. But yeahhhh....everything about his appearance, the way he strutted when out in public, the way he'd dominate his friends to do what he wanted (because he had superior taste, but of course) and was just generally vain... amused me, but it was set off by the nurturing and affection of the 2 wing.

    I'd say if you have a close relationship with a 3 and you are not one, you mostly just humor them when they get overly image centered and love them for everything else about what they are. I guess this could get much more difficult with another female because of competition, where as in my case, as I've previously mentioned I was deemed "superior" through virture of being chosen by him. He loved nothing more than to "show me off," for his friends to think I was pretty or smart, or for his friends' significant others to be jealous of me.

    I was an extension of himself - one of his accomplishments. I think this cuts down conflict considerably.

    On the other hand, he would compete with me too, mentally, when we'd get into discussions about things. I bet you can't imagine me having competitive arguments with one of my boyfriends, no, no way, not me, not Marm.

    Hence one of the reasons why I think I have a 3 wing instead of a 5 wing on my 4. 4w3 is either my enneagram or the strong second in my trifix.

    Usually it was okay though, mainly this possessed him in public places or around his male friends, now that I'm really thinking about it.

    I think if I had a female friend like that it would be much harder to deal with. For me, at least.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rhapsody's Avatar
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    currently i'm just trying to respond less the more she promotes - sort of a negative reinforcement thing. i'm hoping she (consciously or subconsciously) just starts shifting away from being like that with me
    Aside from just ignoring her, maybe you could playfully tease her whenever she promotes too much (or whenever she's dismissive of your own success)? Is it possible that she's not aware of how much she hogs the spotlight? If you start making jokes about how much she puts herself in the spotlight/keeps you out of it, this could wake her up to her behavior and lead to her self-correcting all on her own.

    I am probably a 3w4 and though I try not to blatantly self-promote, I do do the 3 thing of "letting slip" mentions of accomplishments, and I will also sometimes say things that are unintentionally arrogant. On a few occasions people have teased me about this, and I've immediately felt really embarrassed and redoubled my efforts to rein that side of myself in.

    I would guess that many 3s don't want to be seen as having big egos, since we are super image conscious and being perceived as egotistical is often bad for one's image (OTOH of course, if a 3 is in an environment where being self-promotional/outwardly competitive is seen as a positive trait, then they'll probably try to cultivate that ...). And since she is a good friend of yours, it seems like she would want to be supportive of you (as a 3, she probably wants to "excel" at being a friend, too ), and might not realize how dismissive she's actually being.

  7. #7
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    if she wants you to succeed too, why don't you ask her how you can get more of the spotlight. she sounds like she'd be happy to tell you and would probably propose "why don't we do XYZ together?!"
    PS: negative reenforcement is removal of a positive stimulus (Ex: you got all As on your last report card, you don't have to do chores for a week), ignoring is a low form of punishment.
    to add to my previous point, I think you're dealing with a very confident person who is very good at getting her own needs taken care of. the flip side: she doesn't realize that this is not as easy for some other people as it is for her and she doesn't realize when her own self promotion has detrimental effects on the needs/feelings of others. I sense you are dealing with a very assertive and confident but also cooperative person who isn't used to people being assertive with her. it's likely that most people are mildly intimidated by her confidence and thus aren't assertive with her when she's doing something that has negative implications on them. it's likely she believes most people are as confident as she is and can't conceive of people not communicating forthwright and assertively with her (though she would probably welcome it gladly)
    also, asking her how you can get more of the spotlight can give you more grounds to say "I thought you said I should do X, but when you do Y it gets in the way of me doing what you said I should do"
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    do any of you guys have advice, or experience in similar situations?
    Your OP seems glaringly similar to my own experience with a good ENFJ friend I suspect to be a 3w2. Funny. And I felt very much the same with with the spotlight. We were pretty close friends for a few years, and I honestly endured quite a few crappy situations from this dynamic. Eventually, I just voiced my feelings and perception of it, with a very diplomatic approach, fully knowing she would deny ALL. I also fully knew that while she wouldn't openly admit to this hogging the spotlight and success, the seed had been planted. That seed was a general displeasure in some of our interactions, that it blocked us from being able to connect on a deeper level, and that it skewed my image of her. I made sure to say this in so many subtle words. I knew she'd reflect on it in her own way and time, and alter the behavior a bit. She did. I was only sure of this strategy because I knew she valued our friendship alot. If we did not have such a good friendship it probably would have led to a disconnect.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

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