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  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Default INFJ and ESTP/ISTP Relationships

    What do you think about relationships between INFJs and ESTPs or ISTPs? The focus of this is really on romantic relationships but it also makes sense to discuss your experience in situations where these two types interact in a significant way – such as friendship, at work, etc.

    When it’s working – What are the joys and positive aspects of these relationships?
    - How compatible do you think these two types are in general?
    - Why are they attracted to each other?
    - How to they compliment each other?
    - How well do they understand each other and why?
    - What are they like together raising children?

    When it’s not working – What are the challenges when two people of this type are in a relationship?
    - What are some of the communication challenges they can have?
    - What are the biggest frustrations between these two types?
    - How can they take each other for granted?
    - What happens with things “go wrong” between these two types?

    Advice for couples – What recommendations do you have?
    - What things should each type do to facilitate better communication?
    - What advice do you have for each of the two types?
    - If you are an INFJ, what advice do you have for the ESTP or ISTPs?
    - If you are an ESTP or ISTP, what advice would you have for the INFJs?

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  2. #2
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    I dated an INFJ.

    Attractions/Why it works:

    We admire each other's individualism.
    We are both quirky in our own ways and we respect that.
    I enjoyed his genuine sincerity and utter sweetness.
    Mutual introversion was cool.
    We liked and did activities together. Mountain biking, etc.
    Support each other easily.

    When it's not working:
    Communication. Meaning: I found it difficult to "understand" his private world and motivation. When asked INFJ cannot describe things well enough/concretely for ISTP to understand and change or fix. we are left guessing - usually wrong. Exhaustion accrues then becomes laziness and a tendency to stop "trying". Mutual distance occurs.

    INFJ manipulation. When INFJ isn't getting their needs met they can become secret puppet masters. Pulling strings to get desired results but ultimately eroding trust. ISTP can see this and views it as underhanded and also deceptive. We begin to distrust the sincerity of INFJ emotion.

    Saying all that. We are on good terms. So I think even when it goes bad there is a mutual "I get you. You're cool" vibe that never diminishes.

    I think maturity and mutual desire to make it work overcomes all type relations. Not all type relationships are like this. This was just my experience.
    ~luck favors the ready~


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  3. #3
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    As far as educated guesses go, I don't think I've ever dated an E/ISTP but I do have a good deal of experience interacting with them. I do think Enneagram type differences between individuals of these types need to be taken into account (but I would).

    My Dad is ISTP and woah buddy, we can throw down. He pushes every button I have and seems pretty oblivious most of the time. That said, I think I've always felt a unique bond with him-- I've always been the only person who could reason with (or bully) him. We both would say pretty much anything, things that make my ESFP Mom and ENFJ brother leave the room (but we usually chuckle about later). I've had very few tender moments with my Dad, but when my nephew was born in June (something about becoming a Grandfather?) at one point, he was really vulnerable and told me that he'd always felt I was the only one who understood him. All in all, I'll say ISTP + INFJ in my experience is a lot of fire and frustration, but waters can run deep if both people are conscious of their emotional health.

    ESTP is much more attractive to me, and anytime I've encountered them, the sentiment seems mutual-- there's always some kind of playful banter. I like their way of being direct, even if it's over the top. I'm pretty sure my best childhood friend is ESTP. She and I had power struggles on a regular basis as kids, haha. We aren't as close as we once were, but we still tell each other like it is. I also know that I'm one of the few people she feels like she can be vulnerable with and express pain to. I think that's for two reasons: 1) she knows I can take it, and that I don't shy away from hard things. 2) she feels safe, and knows I'm trustworthy. This combo is gold, I won't be surprised if I end up with an ESTP (maybe ENTP).
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  4. #4
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    I don't have much experience with ESTP's other than my stepbrother, and we were never close as he was obnoxious. Now that he's an adult and less obnoxious we get along ok but have zero in common. I have had several ISTP friends and lovers, one in particular with whom I'm very close. ISTP's and I get each other and get along well.

    Positive: He appreciates how open and honest I am and accepting. I appreciate the same things in him. He likes that I have ingenuity and I like that he is competent at figuring out concrete problems. We are a good team at engineering type things.

    Negative: He hasn't told me specifically things he doesn't like about me, so I don't really know. I know if we dated we would fight a lot because the dynamics in his relationship with his wife are things I don't like and I can be pretty persistent and belligerent when I am upset, which I think he wouldn't like too much. He also can be manipulative, which I have more or less circumvented by being up front and honest in everything, but I know he still says things he thinks I want to hear and sometimes wants to keep things from me at first if he thinks I will be upset.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    @highlanderI think this is a great idea for discussion threads.

    What do you think about relationships between INFJs and ESTPs or ISTPs?
    I think it has potential if both parties really care for each other and are willing to work at it.


    When it’s working – What are the joys and positive aspects of these relationships?
    I have been in various kinds of relationships with ISTPs and ESTPs, student-teacher, friends, siblings and even a romantic one. One of my sisters is an ISTP and one of my brothers is an ESTP.

    An ISTP runs the Martial Arts school with me. He and a male INTJ are probably my two closest friends in the world, who aren't related to me. We are both in a relationship, so we never even approached the subject of romance. I don’t even know if he finds me attractive or not. The topic just never comes up. Still, when I need help for…anything…he’s there, and I do the same for him. I mean if he called me in the middle of the night and needed me to come to his house, I’d go and I know he’d do the same for me. We have a bond. And our SOs just have to deal with it, because it's not going away. We have something better than romance. I don't know what it is, but it's good. It's like we're blood brothers or something, except I'm female.

    He did tell me once that if he had to be stranded on a deserted island or in the jungle with anyone, he’d want it to be me. We have talked about how we often arrive at the same conclusion but come at it from opposite ends. We even laugh about it. I know how he is going to react to most situations and he knows how I’m going to react. We like many of the same things. I think that if circumstances were different that I “could” be in a relationship with an ISTP.

    My sister is an ISTP and we have a very similar bond. I know she’d do ANYTHING for me and I for her. Both she and ISTP pal are the most loyal friends a person could ever hope for.

    I was once in a romantic relationship with an ESTP. The truth is that I cared for him, but it couldn’t last. He was kind and generous to me, but I always felt something was missing, that he was in love with an ideal of who I was and not really who I was, if that makes any sense to you. The relationship moved too fast for me and what he interpreted as me wanting to go into a full-blown life-long relationship was just me not being quite sure how I felt I yet, not having had time to process what was happening. He was saying "I love yous" before I was even sure what I felt or if I felt. However, I did feel like I had lost myself and had somehow become just a figment of someone else’s fantasy. I needed to reground myself, to re-examine myself.

    I know he still loves me, though we live far apart and have gone our separate ways, we still talk [via email and a rare phone call], but I haven’t seen him in a long time. I wouldn’t even agree to have coffee with him after we went our separate ways because he didn’t want it to end and I did and I didn’t want him to keep making me feel guilty every time I got around him. He did this sad puppy dog thing, like a dejected child and I just had to make a clean cut. I knew a relationship with him would be eternally one-sided. He would be joyful and I would feel empty. I mean it’s like we had the best physical relationship you can imagine. We had all the “romance” and still…something was missing for me. I cared and still care for him, but I couldn’t spend my life with him then or now.

    - How compatible do you think these two types are in general?
    I think they can be very compatible, depending on the individuals and their maturity level. I also think that the relationship “could” be one-sided. I could spend a lifetime with my ISTP friend, but we have no strings attached. We have no sense of “ownership,” no expectations and that is what’s so beautiful about our relationship. But my ESTP ex-boyfriend, there was this sense of “ownership” in that I always felt like something he was showcasing to other guys. I don’t know if that’s a good way of putting it, but I sometimes felt that he felt he had to “take care of me,” even when I was perfectly capable of taking care of myself. He still offers to send me money and “take care of me,” but I always turn him down.

    - Why are they attracted to each other?
    I love that my ISTP friend is strongest in my weakest areas and he loves that I am strongest in his. We totally complement each other. I love that we are both introverts and that we are both laid-back. I love that I can see his Fe when he thinks nobody is looking and I love how that he is fearless. He likes how I never give up and won't turn my back on a friend and that I keep my word and that he can count on me. We have literally placed our lives in one another's hands on more than one occasion. And once, he may well have saved mine.

    *EDIT BEGINS HERE* (Rather than making another post, I edited this one to finish answering the questions.)


    When it’s not working – What are the challenges when two people of this type are in a relationship?
    - What are some of the communication challenges they can have?
    I think that one of the biggest challenges is that the relationships can very easily become one-sided. The ESTP thought he understood me, but he really didn't have a clue. He only knew the tip of the iceberg and always commented on how terribly "deep" and "ethereal" I was. He didn't want to talk about that "stuff." And that is ultimately what led to me walking away. I HAVE to talk about that stuff and I have to talk about it in a way that he simply couldn't do, even when he tried. He just couldn't. It was like trying to explain color to a person born without eyes. The person my understand the concept, yet he will never understand the experience of seeing color without some sort of visual miracle.

    - What are the biggest frustrations between these two types?
    How can they take each other for granted?
    - What happens with things “go wrong” between these two types?
    For me, I think it's that, even with my ISTP friend, I often feel that my Ni is dismissed, but since we are not in a romantic, live-together relationship, it doesn't matter and I can always talk to my INTJ friend about whatever Ni thing is gnawing at me. (He always gets it.) For example, the ESTP always wanted me to be "the center of attention." He never believed me when I told him I was an introvert, that I needed time alone. He didn't seem to understand my need to spend hours by myself, and not with him. He smothered me, to always take on over him. Once I told him that I was pretty sure that he was in love with the way I made him feel when he was with me and not with me. He said he couldn't wrap his head around that one. He wanted me to be front and center and he liked the way he felt when everybody was raving about the girl he was seen with. I felt he was really in love with an idea and not the actual person. I remember trying to share my heritage with him and he sort of patronized me and dismissed it [we were from different cultural backgrounds.] I remember trying to share my spiritual beliefs with him and again, he sort of swept them under the rug as if they weren't the main part of who I am. The quickest way to loose an INFJ is to have her share her most sacred thoughts with a guy and then he says, "I never bought into that spiritual stuff." Seriously, her next words may well be, "Have a nice life. I'm gone." And then she is. IF and that's a big IF she shares her real mind with you and you make an off-hand comment, the damage may become irreparable. Because likely, her biggest fear is that she will share something sacred only to have it brushed aside. She will walk away and she won't look back or reconsider.

    Another thing to realize is that Ni-doms are fiercely independent. He wanted to "protect" me all of the time. He saw me as "vulnerable" and felt that I needed someone to look out for me, but I didn't and I don't and I never have. I felt like his pet, so the relationship lasted only a couple of years. Ironically, we never had an open fight. But, I just wasn't happy and I knew it wasn't right, though he felt it was. It was a very one-sided relationship. He was getting his needs fulfilled, but I wasn't.


    Advice for couples – What recommendations do you have?
    - What things should each type do to facilitate better communication?
    - What advice do you have for each of the two types?
    - If you are an INFJ, what advice do you have for the ESTP or ISTPs?
    - If you are an ESTP or ISTP, what advice would you have for the INFJs?
    If you are an INFJ in a relationship with an ESTP realize that looks do matter to him and realize that he probably likes to look good in public and in front of his friends. Realize that he needs to be doing something or goings somewhere much of the time. Realize that he may bend the truth to make himself look better and that initially, he may tell you pretty much whatever he thinks you want to hear. Realize that he may not think a thing trough before he launches into it, including relationships.

    My brother, who is an ESTP, can be very compassionate, but he can also be rash, abrasive, crude and rushes in where angels fear to tread without regarding the consequences. Martial fidelity has not been his highest quality. He has had a tendency to be reckless and live life on the wild side, but he also has a sweetness to him and is very childlike in many ways.

    I think with an ISTP, that if you earn their trust, and grow together, that there is potential for a fantastic relationship. Both are introverts, both are independent. ISTP's strengths are INFJ's weaknesses and vice versa and if you learn to work as two-sides of the same coin, it's a beautiful thing. Maybe, it's the same with an ESTP. I wouldn't count it out.
    Last edited by Ene; 03-03-2015 at 04:07 PM.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  6. #6
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    my sis is an infj and we've known each other for almost 30 years now...

    it's an odd relationship because in a way we're on the same wavelength in a way that you don't run across often, but then again, we can't get along if we spend too much time close together

    she lives over an hour away and we text silliness back and forth pretty often... I usually help her out with practical things, her concerns aren't usually that attached to practical matters and I've bought her groceries, cell phones and a computer and have threatened to kick the ass of errant boyfriends (and once did)

    she's the more thoughtful, sensitive and emotional one of us... if you get something that's actually heartfelt it's from her... she's also the artistically talented one and has things like friends and social connections

    I don't keep ties with others well... and I'm apparently a bit of an asshole, though the dutiful daughter and sibling... we've always had a sibling rivalry that way since I'm the overachiever in a lot of ways and tend to express myself by doing things and she's the prodigal daughter who people light up around

    our biggest issue is that she's super sensitive and reads things into what I say all of the time and I'm an insensitive ass who says things like "you're making a big deal about nothing... get over it for goodness sake!"

    advice for couples? learn to grasp the good and LEARN TO COMMUNICATE! some of us aren't hiding malevolent intentions in what we say and I DO realize that telling someone to stop being a big baby probably isn't the most effective
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett
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  7. #7
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Why ESTPs and ISTPs?

    The advice would be entirely different between a second hand car salesman and a socio-path!

    ....oh, I see...

    Basic issue, INFJs bury their emotions beneath a mountain range thinking that it's obvious anyway where as the other two are likely to miss it or give up looking because if it's not flagged or delivered via an Acme rocket then why bother. Also the INFJ I know seems to value peace...can't imagine either STP delivering that though the ISTP (typical one, that is) has a better shot.

    I don't understand the whole "When it's working" bit because that's personal to the individual and not related to type particularly.

    As for recommendations, as with any relationship, you be yourself and be honest. If it doesn't work under that system or you find no means to compromise then perhaps this isn't "the one".
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  8. #8
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    I can easily see myself having a romantic relationship with an infj. I know a couple, some I would date, others I wouldn't. But its not personality, its knowledge and openness that would determine it.

    I don't think they would have much issues with me either. I can be open enough and close enough, they just have to initiate more at first to break the ice and find common ground to have a solid base.
    Im out, its been fun
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  9. #9
    Senior Member autumnandtherain's Avatar
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    I used to think I could never get along with an ESTP, but I believe one of my good friends is actually an ESTP and it's a very comfortable relationship. We can sit and just enjoy each other's presence without awkwardness, or say just about anything to each other without offense. He also draws me out of my shell and helps me to be more adventurous and try things I might not on my own. I don't like initiating spontaneity but it can be nice when someone else does.

  10. #10
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    Weirdly, of all the types out there, I know people who are examples of most types.. but not a single ESTP/ISTP I have known well enough to type as such. I don't know why, but I suspect I don't really get them and they don't really get me, and we just avoid each other.

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