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  1. #1

    Default eNFJ + ISTJ: relationship dynamics question

    Hi,

    I'm an eNFJ with an ISTJ partner. I was just reading that some of the areas of personality that clash have to do with functions. So, if my dominant function is extraverted feeling (right?) and his is introverted sensing (I think), that means that this area is one we could clash in...

    Can anyone shed some light on this? I still don't "get" the functions, and likely won't until I have someone sit down with me and actually do a verbal Q and A, but I'm interested in the order of our functions and how they could work -- or not -- in relationships.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    hi

    so, just to start with your functions... in case you aren't familiar with the shorthand yet, it's an uppercase letter for the MBTI letter (I/E, S/N, T/F, J/P) and then a little i or e after it to indicate whether it's introverted or extraverted - so extraverted Feeling is Fe and introverted Sensing is Si:

    you're Fe Ni Se Ti
    he's Si Te Fi Ne

    i think there are a lot of ways to look at it... some people (and websites) will tell you that you and another person will have an easier time if you share certain functions, and some will say others. but there are a lot of "compatibilities"... but personally, i don't find that either sharing or not sharing those functions makes things overall any more difficult - if you share, that's great, it might be easier to see where the other person is coming from... but you also might share the same blind spots. if you don't, you might have a little more struggle seeing where the other is coming from, but you're more likely to help balance one another out.

    in truth, things seem to depend a whole lot more on personal life history and overall attitude than in type matchup. i bold this because it's so much more important than type differences, and while i think type can be really helpful in understanding a relationship, please don't in any way think you're bound to have a difficult relationship because of it. if you care about and have a lasting bond with the other person, any type matchup can play to your advantage.

    so, anyway, onto the theorizing -

    • when we check out your types, obviously there's the J-J match - which can manifest in great things like having a really easy time sharing personal spaces because you're both probably more attentive and tidy than a lot of people, and can also be a little bit of a blind spot in that it might be harder as a couple to adapt to changes, and individually in terms of including the presence of another person in your life.

    • in terms of Si, his dominant function, and Ni, your auxiliary (2nd) function, you guys can play a good balance with Sensing and iNtuition - he will probably be more attuned to past ways of doing things - what has worked well, etc. - and very dependable. you will probably tend to see new ways of doing things, and have a good sense of what is likely to happen, though sometimes you might find it hard to give concrete evidence for things you see playing out in your head through the use of iNtuition.


    • a more likely clash but even greater balance that may manifest is between your Judging functions - Thinking and Feeling. having Fe, you are likely to have really awesome people skills, and to be a natural at creating and promoting harmony between people - including the two of you. you will probably be the lead "peacemaker" in the relationship. with Te, he will be more likely to say things direct and truthfully, which can probably be less appealing to you sometimes (or good sometimes, because he may say what you feel but did not want to voice.) he will also probably be very good at streamlining things, and organizing, but he may potentially infringe upon you accidentally and do or say something that seems hurtful or to leave you out (which is probably totally unintentional.)


    • and finally, of course, as an I, he will probably need more alone time than you as an E. though i see you have a little e, so maybe that won't be so much of a problem


    anyway, those are just my initial thoughts. it's entirely possible that none of the things i talked about will become present in your relationship, but i think those are the major points of contention/balance that i can see. overall, i feel like dating a person who is significantly different from you in type can be a little difficult sometimes but also can make you a much better person, because it helps you look at yourself in a whole new light.

  3. #3

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    Wow, skylights, you described our relationship dynamic almost to a T!

    I completely agree with you and appreciate your perspective on balancing ourselves by being with someone who is different. My partner and I have done this. But there are definitely those "stuck" places where I feel like we're from different planets. Most notably, as you point out, in the areas of Fe and Si. Very interesting way you described the expressions of those functions and how they can clash.

    One thing that strikes me, though, is that I am very much a N but am also very logical -- to the point where I get frustrated when people are vague or not linear in their speaking or, especially, writing. Though my partner is more blunt and direct (as you point out) he is often not clear in his explanations of things. So I end up being the one saying, "What did you mean by that?" and "You just said two contradictory things: you said you're not worried about tomorrow but the thought of tomorrow makes you anxious." So I'm the one who organizes and streamlines, in general. There could be other explanations for this, though. He does suffer from depression and depression can affect your cognitive functioning bigtime.

    Anyway, you have a very insightful and affirmative way of looking at things. Thanks!

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    Interesting threat, as I am ENFJ and my husband is ISTX (leaning more towards J though I think). Skylights described our relationship very well also. Oh, and by the way, thanks for the further MBTI description, as all I have ever studied are the 4 letters/16 types.

    Me being an "F" and my husband being a "T" is definitely, without a doubt the biggest problem area we have. In my opinion, he can be insensitive. In his mind, I am oversensitive. I guess we're both right! LOL!

    Psyche, do you know what enneagram types you and your partner are??

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    Quote Originally Posted by momof3 View Post
    Interesting threat, as I am ENFJ and my husband is ISTX (leaning more towards J though I think). Skylights described our relationship very well also. Oh, and by the way, thanks for the further MBTI description, as all I have ever studied are the 4 letters/16 types.

    Me being an "F" and my husband being a "T" is definitely, without a doubt the biggest problem area we have. In my opinion, he can be insensitive. In his mind, I am oversensitive. I guess we're both right! LOL!

    Psyche, do you know what enneagram types you and your partner are??
    Interesting that you say F/T is your most difficult area. That's tough for me, too, but even more so is the S/N.

    I know the Enneagram very well. I am a 4w3 sx/so and my partner is a 5w6 sp/sx. The E adds a whole new dimension to our relationship dynamics. Do you know your and your partner's E types?

  6. #6
    Carerra Lu IZthe411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psyche View Post
    Wow, skylights, you described our relationship dynamic almost to a T!

    I completely agree with you and appreciate your perspective on balancing ourselves by being with someone who is different. My partner and I have done this. But there are definitely those "stuck" places where I feel like we're from different planets. Most notably, as you point out, in the areas of Fe and Si. Very interesting way you described the expressions of those functions and how they can clash.

    One thing that strikes me, though, is that I am very much a N but am also very logical -- to the point where I get frustrated when people are vague or not linear in their speaking or, especially, writing. Though my partner is more blunt and direct (as you point out) he is often not clear in his explanations of things. So I end up being the one saying, "What did you mean by that?" and "You just said two contradictory things: you said you're not worried about tomorrow but the thought of tomorrow makes you anxious." So I'm the one who organizes and streamlines, in general. There could be other explanations for this, though. He does suffer from depression and depression can affect your cognitive functioning bigtime.

    Anyway, you have a very insightful and affirmative way of looking at things. Thanks!

    I can speak for an ISTJ (maybe all introverts) in that, initially, our explanation may not be the most direct for any number of reasons (subjective Si). If that doesn't work, or if the desired results didn't happen, we'll try different ways of explaining ourselves until the person gets it. The 'bluntness' you speak of, based on his experience, might be expressed the first time, it may be expressed the second time, or, or it might take a series of rounds of explaining, until he feels it necessary to just say it as directly as possible.

    I notice I do this at work and in relationships. My bluntness (Te) on the matter will be influenced by my experience with the subject at hand. If I don't know the person or the matter, I'll probably approach it with caution until I get a read that being direct will work best.

    Believe me, being direct is the easiest mode to operate for an ISTJ, but it's impossible to operate in that mode across the board.

  7. #7
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    I dated an ISTJ for 5 years.

    We got along and great for the most part. We laughed a lot, had fun and had a decent sex life.
    We didn't connect emotionally nor philosophically at all.

    The nature of our situations at the time made our relationship work for as long as it did. It most likely wouldn't have lasted for 5 years if we saw eachother more often or tried to live together.

    However it is almost 15 years since we went our separate ways and we are still friends even if we go for long stretches without talking..

    eNFJ and ISTJ??..Good friends, Maybe not so good romantic partners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by psyche View Post
    Interesting that you say F/T is your most difficult area. That's tough for me, too, but even more so is the S/N.

    I know the Enneagram very well. I am a 4w3 sx/so and my partner is a 5w6 sp/sx. The E adds a whole new dimension to our relationship dynamics. Do you know your and your partner's E types?

    Maybe if I studied MBTI in greater detail I would see some of the other dynamics. My sensitivity compared to his "lack thereof" is what stands out initially.


    Although I've studied Enneagram much more than MBTI, I cannot pinpoint a Type for either of us with 100% certainty. As of today, I would say I am 3w2. I definitely have a lot of Type 3 in me, but I'm just not as driven as I believe 3s generally are. I would guess my husband is either 9w8 or 9w1. Not sure though. Ask me again next month and I may have a completely different answer for you.

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