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  1. #21
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    @Codex summoned me, so I'm adding my $.02.

    Background - I've known a number of INFJs--male and female--over the course of my life. The most significant of those have been an on and off relationship for four years with an INFJ dude in college, two of my closest girlfriends in high school were INFJs, and my current relationship of ~6 months is with an INFJ 5w4 sx/sp. I'll limit my comments to my current relationship.


    When it’s working – He and I are a team. We complement each other very well. We're both self-aware enough to recognize our respective "lanes" within the relationship, and have enough respect for the other to defer to them when we know that something falls more in their wheelhouse. Shared Ni facilitates this.

    My partner is more innately imaginative than I am and also a lot more empathetic than I am as well. Knowing how to get along without making a situation antagonistic has always been a challenge for me, but being with him I know I can talk a situation over before having to act on it. Spending time with him has also helped me to develop my Ni, so I've become better at learning how to take a breath to think things through on my own, which is pretty cool.

    He is without question acts as the "moral authority" for us. It's hard to explain, but he has a clearer idea of "who we are" as a couple, and what behaviors are and aren't in line with that. That ideal orients values, how we present ourselves and also the people we choose to spend time with. For the most part, I don't have a strong opinion on Fe things, but I value him enough to fall in on the things he feels to be important. Moreover, I know he prioritizes my wellbeing in these decisions, and thinking about image stuff stresses me out. I'm happy to let him do it.

    For my part, I provide structure for the relationship. I joke with him that he basically outsourced all of his Te to me about two weeks into our relationship. I make sure we're accountable for whatever goals we set, and keep us moving towards attaining them. Sometimes that means planning. Sometimes that means poking him when he's disappeared into Ni-world to remind him that we made plans to begin with. I'm more comfortable with initiative and generally more outgoing, so when we're out and about, he basically lets me handle things and is cool with me doing the talking.

    One of the best things about the relationship is how much I feel we learn from each other. I feel like I'm a better person and will likely do more in life with him than without him, and he feels the same way about me. As an ENTJ, I also highly value the fact that he's not afraid to push back if I overstep. One of my biggest issues with other introverts I'd been involved with was the constant feeling that I couldn't really go "all out" with them, or they just start to disappear over time. Te-doms are intense and even brutal at times, so it takes a certain kind of person to tell us to "No", and it actually slow us down. A partner with clear boundaries is pretty important for that reason.

    In terms of understanding each other, we communicate very well for the most part. I can talk with him for hours and never get bored. He often surprises me and I love how imaginative he is. When we do have disagreements, we're able to talk about it and make a genuine effort to understand the other. Fe/Fi can be a challenge, but not in the way one might expect (I’ll get into that more in the next section). Overall, I feel we have a mutually enhancing point of view.


    When it’s not working – There’s a couple of areas where we have challenges.

    Balancing Dominant Te and Dominant Ni

    The first, I’d say, is balancing the fluidity of being a Ni-dom vs the rigidity of being a Te-dom. These issues revolve with respective expectations on how and when ideas need to be translated into action.

    As a Te-dom, follow through is a pretty significant thing for me. I’m not perfect at it, but I expect people to do what they say when they say they’re going to.

    Ni deals with commitments like that a little differently. We’ve had a couple of situations where I’ve felt we’re committing to some set of plans whereas he feels we’re just discussing a set of plans and unholy hell breaks loose when I feel he’s not followed through on his word. We’ve had to be very explicit on both sides when we’re expecting action on something vs when we just want to share ideas.

    Other times, he’s expressed frustrations when he wants to explore and be more spontaneous, and I’m trying to nail down time tables. The rigidity of extraverted thinking can be kind of a drag for him at times. He recognizes the value, but my idea of a good time can sometimes be overly structured, so he has to let me know when I need to put down the checklist, relax and have a good time.

    Communication and being explicit about expectations has been helpful for us here, but it’s something we continue to work on.

    Negotiating Fe vs Fi Priorities

    He and I have an interesting symmetry, but definite points of departure when it comes to values. He’s libertarian and I’m a liberal for the most part, so our biggest fights have been about politics but tend to spill into other things. Fe often comes off as cruel to Fi, and Fi can come off as indulgent to Fe.

    In my experience, Fe users can present their points of view as matters of fact rather than simply a function of their own experience. As an Fi user, I know when I feel a personal boundary has been crossed, it’s license to go all out. As a result of this dynamic, what he would consider an effectively impersonal conversation could occasionally get blisteringly personal on my end, and just escalate with neither of us wanting to back down.

    Honestly, we haven’t found a good way to navigate this quite yet. I’m working on trying to stay connected even when we’re fighting so that I’m not going scorched earth on someone I care about because my feelings are hurt. For his part, he’s made a conscious effort to better understand my point of view to have more empathy for a perspective that he doesn’t necessarily agree with.

    Another element of this is more interpersonal. I’d say for most Fi-users, a social “poker face” is without a question a learned skill. If I’m around someone I hate, then I’m not going to try...because I’m super petty like that. This is something that drives him insane. Conversely, him trying to placate idiots has a similar effect on me. I’d like to say that he’s made me nicer and I’ve made him more of a dick when he needs to be. At the very least, I’m more likely to give people the benefit of the doubt now than I used to be, and he stands up for himself more.


    Advice for couples – Most ENTJs I know feel drawn to INFJs...almost compulsively. I think there’s a natural intuition that they possess something that we lack, and we have something to offer them in terms of the structure we provide.

    As I’ve mentioned the biggest challenges I’ve experienced have come from Fe/Fi differences. Navigating those require ongoing communication and work, but aren’t insurmountable. This pairing is pretty unique in its potential for personal growth, because of the complementary strengths of each partner.

    That said, it’s not some magical wonder pairing. If you respect the other person for who they are and are willing to recognize your own bullshit, you can end up with a pretty good thing on your hands.
    Last edited by Wind Up Rex; 06-11-2016 at 09:27 AM.
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  2. #22
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I don't know if you'd be willing, but I'd find it interesting to know if the dynamic in your other infj relationships and friendships varied a lot, or followed a similar pattern @Wind Up Rex.

  3. #23
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I don't know if you'd be willing, but I'd find it interesting to know if the dynamic in your other infj relationships and friendships varied a lot, or followed a similar pattern @Wind Up Rex.
    Hm. I feel like there's an intensity and an intimacy across those relationships that's also true for what I have with my partner. I think it’s because communication is such a big part of the relationship. The feeling that the relationship is just a never ending conversation is something unique to my interactions with INFJs, and definitely true of what I have with him.

    There’s also a feeling of containment that stems from how INFJs tend to structure relationships. I mentioned the sort of “moral leadership” he provides, and the mechanism for that seems to be almost unspoken boundaries for our shared space. Like, “This is us and this is not us. You can do anything on this side of the line, and we’ll need to have a serious conversation before you do anything outside of it.”

    This has been true of every INFJ that I’ve known well, and it’s actually kind of good for me as an ENTJ lol. Those kind of guidelines are the biggest reason I’ve tended to have better relationships with INFJs than INFPs. INFPs have a line as well. The issue I've encountered with them is that they assume you’ll know where you’ve crossed it, and will implode on you without warning if you do. Clear boundaries help me to feel more confident in a relationship, because I’m clear on what the rules are.

    That said, I’ve seen how some of those same qualities that are positive in my relationship with my current SO can go...awry in a relationship that’s less healthy. I feel our two types operate in each other’s blind spots, and so it takes a lot of trust to let someone in who you know could potentially harm you in a way you’re not equipped to directly combat. That’s the way I understand it, at least. It’s not so much that the patterns between an INFJ I’ve had something healthy with are radically different than those I’ve had something toxic with, it’s just how power is being used and the impact it has.
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  4. #24
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    @Wind Up Rex

    I love your above posts. It's so interesting to see how this is both similar to and different from my experience with the INFJs in my life. For example I don't relate to the "moral leadership" thing at all -- while I do feel that exact moral force from INFJs, I've always felt that INFJs are my equals in that regard. On the other hand, I strongly relate to the need for strong boundaries and clear expectations. I had thought that was more of an STJ thing -- surprises me that ENTJs would want that too. But I guess it makes sense that Te-doms overall would be more likely to have experience with people who allow themselves to be "steamrolled" by us -- so we value people who push back and keep us from doing any harm to them.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  5. #25
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    @Wind Up Rex

    I love your above posts. It's so interesting to see how this is both similar to and different from my experience with the INFJs in my life. For example I don't relate to the "moral leadership" thing at all -- while I do feel that exact moral force from INFJs, I've always felt that INFJs are my equals in that regard.
    NTJs in general and 8s in particular feel that we are capable of anything. Ive always found that having people in my life who are genuine examples of how to use that power for good to be beneficial. He anchors me in that regard.

    Perhaps an ESTJ 1 might find more value in a partner who can help them see the benefit in discovering shades of grey in their moral view? Or who can encourage them to not let the perfect become the enemy of the good, etc. I remember you tend to gravitate more towards NFPs anyways, and I think they have a lot to offer with respect to appreciating flexibility.

    On the other hand, I strongly relate to the need for strong boundaries and clear expectations. I had thought that was more of an STJ thing -- surprises me that ENTJs would want that too. But I guess it makes sense that Te-doms overall would be more likely to have experience with people who allow themselves to be "steamrolled" by us -- so we value people who push back and keep us from doing any harm to them.
    Yep. It's why I only dated other T's for the longest.
    Last edited by Wind Up Rex; 06-19-2016 at 01:56 PM.
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  6. #26
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    the emotional dominator with the mindful dominator. Probably will get arian german childs !
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]
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  7. #27
    Senior Member JClassic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    That's an enfj, a male enfj.
    What do you mean?

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