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  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Default ISTJ and INFJ Relationships

    What do you think about relationships between INFJs and ISTJs? 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 ISTJ, what advice do you have for the INFJs?
    - If you are an INFJ, what advice do you have for the ISTJs?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    @highlanderI told you I had a lot to say. I didn't exaggerate Here it is.

    Any ISTJs on the forum? @Habba? I'd love to hear your input.


    ​​​What do you think about relationships between INFJs and ISTJs? 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.

    Well, for starters, INFJs and ISTJs have 2 preference similarities and 2 differences. So, does that give them 50/50 chance? (just kidding. I know it's way more complicated than that.)


    Let me preference the rest of my thoughts by saying that I AM in a relationship with an ISTJ.


    What are the joys and positive aspects of these relationships? Why are they attracted to each other?
    If I had known anything about MBTI when I met him, I probably wouldn't have interested in him, but I was a naïve idealist with stars in her eyes and he was this dark-haired, quiet guy that I met in a class. The problem with INFJs is that we imagine...a lot and some of the stuff we imagine, isn't quite the way things really are, so yes, I was very idealistic and I had him "being this guy" in my mind. And "this guy" was not really him at all.

    Whenever he spoke, I was impressed with his intelligence and knowledge, with the way he was armed with facts and statistics. He would wear these vintage T-shirts of old music groups like Steve Miller Band, Kizz, ACDC, ZZ Top, etc. and he always wore jeans. He sort of looked like Keanu Reeves back in his Matrix days, but in more casual clothing, because we live in rural Appalachia and good old farm boys could care less about what's in fashion in the metropolitan areas of the world. Because I was so impressed with his intelligence, when he asked me out, I said yes. He turned out to NOT be the kind of person I thought he was, [I mean yes, he was smart, but all the other "ideas" I had about him were wrong] but that didn't seem like a fair reason to just break up, so I gave him a chance and learned to appreciate the kind of person that he actually was. Once he asked me why I decided to go out with him. I told him, "Your brain." And I guess that's the honest truth. He was the smartest guy I knew, so he got the girl Compared to the jock-types and rednecks that I usually encounter in my neck of the woods, he is an Einstein.


    When I asked him why he was initially interested in me he said, "Because you're pretty." Then he added, "And you're smart. You're friendly. You're easy-going and you didn't make fun of me for my comic book collection. Instead, you read them. A pretty girl who thought comic books were cool was my dream." He comes from a very judgmental family. When I found out his deepest, darkest secrets, I passed absolutely no judgment on him.


    We have some pretty great conversations about just about everything you can imagine. He is full of theories and has the patience to listen to at least most of mine. We both require quiet time. We both dislike chaos. He is strong in my weakest areas and I am strong in his. We both realize where we are strong and where we are weak and so we work together to "take care of each other" in those areas.


    We are both introverts and we both respect and understand the need for alone time. We both enjoy a quiet evening at home and while he always wants to "do something together" I have gotten him to the point of understanding that I need at least an hour or so to myself, just to piddle and think. He's usually bursting with thoughts to talk about, stuff he's been dying to tell me all day, but he now understands that until I've had wind-down time, I'm not going to hear them. So, when I come home in the evenings, we have a quiet time, then we chatter and interrupt each other and all that good stuff. We like to watch TV and read. On my days off he understands that I need time to go out in the yard and smack the dummy. When I'm writing he understands that I need no interruptions but occasionally, he does anyway. Still, that's not SO bad.


    He thinks I'm a creative and intelligent and tells me that often. He appreciates how hard I work everyday and how committed I am to whatever I'm doing and often tells me to slow down so that I don't burn out. I appreciate that he is dependable, honest and a genuinely good person. He is not always "nice" or "polite." He can be rude, abrupt and curt at times BUT at least I know he's for real. He's not hiding anything or scheming. He 's not flashy or showy. He is just who he is and I like that.

    He is concerned about everyday living. He notices when the dishes need washing, the floor needs sweeping, the bills need paying, the yard needs mowing, etc. He is quick to tell me if my clothes look good or not or if he thinks a business venture is good or not.

    He tells me often that he thinks I'm so unselfish and that he thinks I'm a "good" person. He considers me generous and friendly. He talks about the fact that no matter where I go, people like me. I almost always have a few people gathering around me, even when I try to be inconspicuous. He thinks that he has to "protect" me from all the people that want to drain my energy. Sometimes, he comes across as prickly and fearful and people will say, "How can you stay with him?" But he's a good guy and I KNOW that he is prickly and snippy and fastidious because he fears being alone. It's not the kind of thing he would ever admit openly, but he does. He likes that I don't force him to show his emotions. I don't hound him about what he feels, instead I ask him, "What do you think? What's your opinion?" I don't have to ask him how he feels. All I have to do is watch him and just like my INTJ friend, sooner or later, I'll see it. Fi always shows up. In an ISTJ, or at least in the one I live with, it may show up as a verbal obsession over something. He won't stop talking about it which means he's nervous or scared or anxious.

    The thing I like most about him, about all ISTJs that I know, actually, is that he is truly honest with me. He is mostly logical and has a lot of common sense.

    We are both planners. When we travel, we don't simply rely on a GPS, we use a map. We mark the trail. We pack snacks. We talk about how far into the trip before we stop for a drink and about where we'd like to eat in advance of eating there. We literally talk about what we're planning on doing every day. I know that would drive some people nuts, but it works for us. Maybe it's because we're both Js? Sometimes, I think he gets a little "too" carried away, but for the most part, it's a good aspect of our relationship.

    Neither one of us like to entertain in our home. It's our "secret" place and we like to keep it that way. I wouldn't say that our house is supper neat, but it's lived in and comfortable.

    Oh, and one more thing. I think that maybe Ne in its inferior place makes for the quirkiest sense of humor. I like quirky.

    - How compatible do you think these two types are in general?
    I think they are somewhat compatible, but it takes getting to know one another and it takes some trial and error.



    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?
    In some ways we speak entirely different languages. He drives me nuts talking about the neighbor's new vehicle and the weather and how tall the grass is, etc. I mean every minute piece of sensory information can become a topic of conversation for him. I have fantasized about choking him a few times because the conversation bored me to the point of tears, but then I looked at him and realized that he was attempted to "communicate" with me, and had compassion on him. haha. In all honesty, sometimes, I completely tune him out, but it's not on purpose. My mind just goes some other place. He often wants to talk about the everyday mundane things and I want to talk about the "big picture" type of stuff. We sometimes struggle to meet in the middle, but we both try and since we know we're different, we cut each other some slack. Sometimes, he tells me I'm crazy to which I will reply, "I'm not crazy. I'm just not you." He often wants to tell me that I've done something wrong, but the truth is that it isn't wrong at all, it's just different than how he would do it, so I will say, "It's wrong to you, but I'm not you."

    Another source of conflict is that he often says what he thinks without thinking it through before he says it. And, I'm no better because then I get mad and won't talk to him, at least not until I cool down. I will tell him, "Don't force me to talk right now because I'm mad and I can't talk when I'm mad." He has learned that when I'm mad, he has to back off and let me walk it off or just get outside. Doing something physical and private helps me work through things. When I come back he has had time to think about what he said and I've had time to formulate what I was trying to get him to understand and to put it into words that will make sense to him. He doesn't always understand where I'm coming from and even admits that my mind is a strange place.

    Oh, another source of conflict is that ISTJs often tend to be control freaks and INFJs detest being controlled. A few times he has said things like, "You're not going there." And I just look at him sort of cock-eyed and say, "Watch me." Or "Just try and stop me."

    And an issue that I have had to work on is correcting him in front of people. I have really embarrassed him that way a few times and I was sorry I did it. I didn't mean to. It just slipped out before I realized I was doing it. So, I've had to make a conscious effort.

    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 ISTJ, what advice do you have for the INFJs?
    - If you are an INFJ, what advice do you have for the ISTJs?
    I think that if you are an INFJ it's important to realize that the ISTJ person in your life values honesty, hard-work, dedication and loyalty that he or she has a terrible fear of betrayal and battles insecurities that they will never talk about with others. I think it's important NOT to force them to talk about their feelings, especially in front of others, but let them discuss things in their own ways. They will express them in their own time and fashion.

    ISTJs realize that you can't pry inside an INFJ's mind. Don't force them to talk about their inner most thoughts, don't sneak and read their journals [mine does this because he thinks I'm "hiding" stuff]. Realize that the there will ALWAYS be something hidden about an INFJ. It's not on purpose. It's just a part of who they are. Ni can't be physically manifested as easily as Si so there is always that element of the mysterious. Let them have it.

    INFJs realize that your ISTJ may NEVER understand where you're coming from, but if he or she truly cares about you and is willing to be okay with you being friends with other intuitives and talk to them, then it's okay. The need is still met.

    Both need to understand that no other person, regardless of type, can ever complete you or make you happy. Happiness is each person's own responsibility. I'm not responsible for my ISTJ's happiness and he's not responsible for mine, but we are responsible to love, forgive and encourage one another. We don't have to see everything the same or even speak the same psychological language to get along. I learned long ago that no mere person could ever complete me or bring me the peace I seek. That can only come from me and the choices I make.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    Any ISTJs on the forum? @Habba? I'd love to hear your input.
    I have always been here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    Let me preference the rest of my thoughts by saying that I AM in a relationship with an ISTJ.
    I'm an ISTJ who's married to an INFJ. We also have a kid and three dogs.

    We met through an online dating site. I had created a profile there and she sent me a message. I usually don't answer to messages coming from photoless profiles, but for some reason I made an exception there. I wasn't really looking for anything particular (I had just recently broken up on a previous relationship, and needed something else to think about), but we agreed to meet for a cup of coffee. I knew she was a librarian, so I brought a book to read while waiting for her (no reason not to make a good impression ). Since I wasn't expecting or looking for anything, I was really open with her. On the first date, I told her all about being bullied at school when I was kid, how my mother died few years back and how I had a depression some years ago. It's not like I was complaining, it's more like not sugar-coating my experiences. That's where she fell in love with me. She liked my honesty and straigthforwardness.

    So when did I fell in love with her? Not quite yet there. I'm an ISTJ, and I had little emotional support in my upbringing. Being bullied for years didn't help much either. I had really trouble accepting and embracing my emotions when I was younger. It's also one of the reasons it took me while to love her back. It was also because of she needed her time to gain trust in me. She needed to be safe with me. So it took few weeks before she started acting naturally, instead of being restrained. I believe I fell in love with her the night she had walked half the day with a pillow under her shirt pretending to be pregnant, and giving birth to it by evening. "Congratulations! It's a dog!" she said and handed me the pillow with picture of a puppy on it. That's quirky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    "A pretty girl who thought comic books were cool was my dream."
    My wife is like that too.
    When I was younger, I would try to imagine what kind of girl I would fell in love with. I often disagree with other men's preferences. I believed my dream girl would be sitting on a bed, wearing a thick woolen sweater, reading a book concentrated, having red hair and glasses. She's that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    In some ways we speak entirely different languages.
    That's true in our relationship as well. It's a S/N thing. I want to say things they are. She wants me to figure things out from cryptics words she says.
    "Remember to unpack the heating device"
    "Yes honey, I will take the blanket out of the washing machine when it's done"
    "Good "

    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    Another source of conflict is that he often says what he thinks without thinking it through before he says it.
    I often just state things I notice. I might not even meaning anything by them. It's not uncommon for her try to figure why I said something I said. She will often even miss what I actully said.
    "That's a nice fence."
    "We can't afford a fence like that. We wouldn't even have room for it."
    "I never said we should get one. I just said it's nice."

    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    Oh, another source of conflict is that ISTJs often tend to be control freaks and INFJs detest being controlled.
    Correction: ISTJs need to know the structure. INFJs are often control freaks. INFJs don't like to be controlled. ISTJs like to do things efficiently.
    This is one of the most common argument we have. I want to do things in a logical order, so that it's efficient. She wants to do things her way, what feels best to her. If she has strong feelings about something, it needs to be done first. No matter if it's efficient or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    ISTJs realize that you can't sneak and read their journals [mine does this because he thinks I'm "hiding" stuff]. Realize that the there will ALWAYS be something hidden about an INFJ. It's not on purpose. It's just a part of who they are. Ni can't be physically manifested as easily as Si so there is always that element of the mysterious. Let them have it.
    Ni needs it's secrecy. They will be deeply offended, if you try to forcible reveal it. But I still think it's just Ni not being completely honest with themselves, and not wanting to define themselves in stone (but rather leave themselves some leeway).


    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What are the joys and positive aspects of these relationships?
    We share very much the same values of loyalty, privacy and consideration.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Why are they attracted to each other?
    We feel safe with each other. There's little the other person would do that would hurt us.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    How to they compliment each other?
    If you mean complete each other, then I think these types compelete each other on ideological and logical levels. The other can be pragmatic and practical, the other ideological and emotional.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    How well do they understand each other and why?
    I believe we both come from very similar places, and have just found out two different ways to deal with things. We might disagree over some issues, but we can still understand each other's views.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What are they like together raising children?
    I can't tell what it's like with someone else. But we both agree that we need to raise our son to be independant and self-sufficient. The more we do things for him, the less he'll find out by himself. Sometimes we struggle, as she feels we need to be more literally following parent's guides, whereas I believe we can improvise with common sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What are the challenges when two people of this type are in a relationship?
    Communication. It's a challenge in any relationship.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What are some of the communication challenges they can have?
    I speak literally, she speaks contextually. Sometimes she forgets to tell what the context is. Sometimes I read her too literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What are the biggest frustrations between these two types?
    INFJs can be rather selfish, or self-absorbed. They spend much of their energies trying to remain true to themselves. This is when they often forget about others. INFJs may not have a good picture how their actions are being perceived by others.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    How can they take each other for granted?
    Being introverted and judging, we can expect no crazy things happening. Everything we do, will be known well in advance. So no "Hey honey, I bought a monster truck!".

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What happens with things “go wrong” between these two types?
    One is struggle for power. We both have very clear way of doing things and sometimes they contradict. This is when power struggles may be fought to decice who gets their way. We both can be pretty headstrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What recommendations do you have?
    Talk and self-reflect. No ones perfect and we fall in love with each others faults. Try to learn from others and from yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What things should each type do to facilitate better communication?
    Always say "I feel that thing X is true" instead of "Thing X is true". This makes it more of an opinion and leaves room for other person. Other excercise is to repeat what the other says, in own words. This allows you to study each others interpretation of words. For example: "We should wash the carpets sometime" -> "She feels I don't clean well enough". While the other meant that it's good to wash carpets separately, the other understood it as a criticism.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    If you are an ISTJ, what advice do you have for the INFJs?
    Listen to what ISTJs say. If they say "I do not know", they really mean it. Quite ofthen do speak literally. Sometimes to a fault. But for them, it is important to have clarify in communication. ISTJs often feel that more information is always better. The more information they have, the better decisions they can make. There is no information they would not like to have. They are not afraid of information. They want to accumulate seemingly useless information, because one day it may be handy. And when the day comes, be sure to compliment your ISTJ. We are data banks of all sorts of information, let us do our job. For example, I like to study maps. Because of it, I never get lost. I have internal compass which helps me navigate.

    Here's a lot of random thought, I hope it gets you somewhere.
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
    -Nikola Tesla

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    @Habba I really liked hearing it from your side. Thank you.

    Also, I knew you were here, so I summoned you! I can't think of any others ISTJs on the forum right off, though, and that's too bad.
    I think it would add a lot more balance to the forum if more sensors were here, especially ISTJs. My ISTJ is a very balanced, level-headed person. I really do like that.

    Also, what your wife did with the pillow....I think that is so cool!
    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

  5. #5
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I am finding this really interesting because the INFJ/ISTJ relationship is exactly the same as the INTJ/ISFJ relationship. They are polar opposites on function order. I see a lot of the same themes in the relationship - the speaking another language, the attraction of opposites and the frustrations. INTJs are sort of halfway between ISTJs and INFJs so I find myself identifying with what both @Ene and @Habba are saying .

    I wonder if this is a common pairing. I work with an INFJ who is married to an ISTJ. She is not particularly happy mostly because she feels a lack of intimacy in the relationship. He seems to think things are fine though. Neither of you have said that is an issue.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I am finding this really interesting because the INFJ/ISTJ relationship is exactly the same as the INTJ/ISFJ relationship. They are polar opposites on function order. I see a lot of the same themes in the relationship - the speaking another language, the attraction of opposites and the frustrations. INTJs are sort of halfway between ISTJs and INFJs so I find myself identifying with what both @Ene and @Habba are saying .

    I wonder if this is a common pairing. I work with an INFJ who is married to an ISTJ. She is not particularly happy mostly because she feels a lack of intimacy in the relationship. He seems to think things are fine though. Neither of you have said that is an issue.
    I'm glad you mentioned this...yes, it is an issue. I meant to address it but I guess I only danced around it. I suppose the speaking different languages thing touches on it a little. I know that there will always be this thing of I know him better than he knows me, and that he will not grasp what I really mean sometimes, but I've come to terms with that and I suppose that's why I have to have a small, select group of intuitive friends outside our relationship. And truthfully, I think it's good for him when he has an Si-dominant pal or two. Still, if he wasn't cool with me having a few good friends [of either gender, because it's the intuitive component that I need], then there would probably be a lot more tension.
    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

  7. #7
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    I'm glad you mentioned this...yes, it is an issue. I meant to address it but I guess I only danced around it. I suppose the speaking different languages thing touches on it a little. I know that there will always be this thing of I know him better than he knows me, and that he will not grasp what I really mean sometimes, but I've come to terms with that and I suppose that's why I have to have a small, select group of intuitive friends outside our relationship. And truthfully, I think it's good for him when he has an Si-dominant pal or two. Still, if he wasn't cool with me having a few good friends [of either gender, because it's the intuitive component that I need], then there would probably be a lot more tension.
    Yeah, it's the same thing with us, with me feeling that way and her thinking things are fine. I am guessing it might be a pattern when Ni doms are with Si doms. Ni doms are sort of all about wanting depth in things.

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  8. #8
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Definitely that way with my folks (ISTJ dad and ENFJ mum). My mum wants depth and intimacy. My dad admires and loves her and is committed to her and as long as they are not in the middle of a conversation with conflict, things are fine between them from his perspective. My dad relates to everyone in pretty much the same way, rather than it being dependent on depth of relationship. He doesn't like discussing areas of potential conflict and generally acts like they don't exist or escapes the conversation as soon as possible. When making decisions, he doesn't like talking about various aspects or perspectives, but jumps straight to the conclusion. He lives a fairly separate life from us, volunteering and doing geneology. He doesn't especially invest in any of his relationships, even though he is pleasant and agreeable. There is no particular passion or curiosity about anything (I'm not suggesting this is typical of all ISTJs, just am saying my own experience.). I've apecifically tried to get to know him better, but am given very little that would make me feel any real connection other than living in the same house. I can deal with it, recognizing that that is how it's always going to be, but It was my only shot at an intimate romantic relationship, I would struggle to know how to deal with it.

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