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  1. #1
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    Default advice about ENFJ guy

    Hi, I am an INFP gal and new to this forum.

    I have had a "situation" with an ENFJ guy that I am trying to process...hope some of you have some insight

    well, I am an American living in China now and in a graduate program. I met a fellow student, an ENFJ male, early on in the semester (I am guessing his type, but pretty confident I'm right.) Anyway, he was very friendly and attentive to me kind of right off the bat. We wound up talking for a long time on a small group outing (well, he did most of the talking, hehe). He also directly said to me that we should spend more time together. (not in an off-handed way, it seemed very thought-out and deliberate). After that, he'd ask me a few times a week if I wanted to study with him in the library. While there, we'd sit by ourselves and wind up having long conversations that flowed wonderfully, with other people asking, later, "just what were you two talking about??" (he especially would get very animated).

    So, we were getting closer but at the same time, there were times when he seemed a little cool and distant. However whenever I'd think that, he'd warm up again later, giving me silly little presents (like a stuffed animal he found), or helping me with random stuff, etc.

    We had known each other almost 2 months and were becoming good friends, but he never "made a move" so I mustered up courage and told him via text message that I liked him as more than a friend. He wrote back that he could feel that we were "more than just regular classmates", but that he needs to focus on studying now. He also said that "when two people get too close, they wind up hurting each other; I have experienced that and don't want to experience it again."

    After that message exchange however he became even more friendly to me, and became more proactive in asking me to do stuff. He also shared lots of personal things with me, and invited me to his house for the Chinese new year (he's Chinese). Physically I noticed a difference too- once when I was in his room he fed me some food from some leftovers we were eating, and he started sort of leaning against me when we were in close proximity.

    So, I felt that this was ambiguous and so directly asked him if he had feelings for me other than as a friend. He said that he did not, but I was just his closest classmate. He also told me that he wanted to get to know me better initially because I seemed shy, but like a really nice person.

    I don't think he is lying about his feelings but I wonder if anyone can lend any insight into the "ENFJ mind". Do ENFJ's normally act like this with people they are not interested romantically? If so, why? Any insight into his motivations or thoughts?

    note: He is Chinese, so I am sure that affects his behavior and motivations in different ways too.

    thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    I can't possibly answer for an individual ENFJ, but I believe I may answer for the entire Chinese nation...

    Physically I noticed a difference too- once when I was in his room he fed me some food from some leftovers we were eating, and he started sort of leaning against me when we were in close proximity.

    So, I felt that this was ambiguous and so directly asked him if he had feelings for me other than as a friend. He said that he did not, but I was just his closest classmate.
    "Classmate" in China is a deeper relationship than immediately seems normal to me having grown up in Australia. Classes stick together, they believe in unity, they're inclined to believe it is right and suitable to remain in contact for the rest of their lives. There's a fairly substantial whack of mysterious culture going on in the classmate relationship which doesn't seem to me to have an easily identifiable western counterpart.

    So, there's that.

    And there's personal space. You've been in China a while now, yeah? So you've noticed how Chinese personal space boundaries are much, much smaller than for Americans?

    And lastly,

    He also told me that he wanted to get to know me better initially because I seemed shy, but like a really nice person.
    Straight up ENFJ, sounds like.


    Which doesn't mean it isn't a pretty great relationship you've got there. Definitely friendship. Plus some different cultural background.


    Ask him to talk about the "classmate" relationship as a cultural item. If nothing else, you'll have something pretty neat to discuss and discover.




    Moi? I live in China too. Doesn't mean I know a lot. I'm oblivious to a lot of it a lot of the time.

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    hey, thanks for your response. it's pretty cool too encounter other non-Chinese living in China...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post

    And there's personal space. You've been in China a while now, yeah? So you've noticed how Chinese personal space boundaries are much, much smaller than for Americans?



    yeah, have definitely noticed this. However, generally speaking only friends of the same sex will actually touch each other (otherwise, it's a boyfriend-girlfriend thing). Plus, I noticed him starting the physical stuff after I told him my feelings. one possible explanation is that he felt relieved that I knew he only saw me as a friend, so he felt comfortable being a little physical. but then that begs the question of why he wanted to touch me at all?

  4. #4
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Well, this is where other NFs will have to take over and say what an ENFJ really means by his or her actions.

    One thing I think I might be aware of: ENFJs don't much like to be touched when they're not ready for it, but they're okay with touching other people. (My sample size for this claim is, like, 2, maybe 3.)



    But Lord, the number of times in China I've been touched unexpectedly by people who didn't seem to know any better...


    INTJ now bows out of discussion because he is painfully aware of how little expertise he has in NF matters and feels a little weird posting in the Idyllic...

  5. #5
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    /OT

    Chinese in a restaurant I used to frequent would ALWAYS touch my kids on thieir heads. Sound right?

  6. #6
    Senior Member The Third Rider's Avatar
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    Well I can be real warm sometimes and may be too warm to the point that I have someone fall in love with me but that is our friendly, charismatic, loving, parent-like nature. Sometimes I do it willingly other times I don't but it does seem like he likes you and may be slowing developing feelings toward you. It has happened to me before, were I had one girl fall in love with me and I eventually started to develop feelings for her as well, eventhough I tried not to (she was taken). Well me having had my heart ripped out a few times I have also put up "walls" so that I don't let someone else hurt me emotionally again, that might explain the "when two people get too close, they wind up hurting each other; I have experienced that and don't want to experience it again." and why he isn't eager to jump the gun with you. He seems to be very cautious and I can definitely see why.
    ENFJ 3W4

    If you read this I am sorry to say that you just lost 5 seconds of your life that you wont be getting back.*

    *Actual time may vary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Third Rider View Post
    Well I can be real warm sometimes and may be too warm to the point that I have someone fall in love with me but that is our friendly, charismatic, loving, parent-like nature. Sometimes I do it willingly other times I don't but it does seem like he likes you and may be slowing developing feelings toward you. It has happened to me before, were I had one girl fall in love with me and I eventually started to develop feelings for her as well, eventhough I tried not to (she was taken). Well me having had my heart ripped out a few times I have also put up "walls" so that I don't let someone else hurt me emotionally again, that might explain the "when two people get too close, they wind up hurting each other; I have experienced that and don't want to experience it again." and why he isn't eager to jump the gun with you. He seems to be very cautious and I can definitely see why.
    thanks for reply

    hmm, so you can see yourself acting in those ways (or you have) toward a girl while only seeing her as a friend? well, I guess that's a hard question to answer as you didn't see exactly how my "guy" acted. guess you enfj's have people swooning over you left and right then, huh?

    i guess it's hard as an introvert to see though cause we generally don't act effusive unless we really, really have feelings (that's not an insult to E's by the way).

    as for him developing feelings, well, things have changed since then. i got kinda weirded out by the whole "just friends" things, and kinda hurt, and tried to talk to him about it one too many times i think. he got more distant after that

  8. #8
    Senior Member The Third Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearette View Post
    thanks for reply

    hmm, so you can see yourself acting in those ways (or you have) toward a girl while only seeing her as a friend? well, I guess that's a hard question to answer as you didn't see exactly how my "guy" acted. guess you enfj's have people swooning over you left and right then, huh?
    Well I wouldn't go that far may be one girl per year.

    i guess it's hard as an introvert to see though cause we generally don't act effusive unless we really, really have feelings (that's not an insult to E's by the way).

    as for him developing feelings, well, things have changed since then. i got kinda weirded out by the whole "just friends" things, and kinda hurt, and tried to talk to him about it one too many times i think. he got more distant after that
    Well sorry to hear, perhaps he did just want to be friends. I just can't tell I don't know him.
    ENFJ 3W4

    If you read this I am sorry to say that you just lost 5 seconds of your life that you wont be getting back.*

    *Actual time may vary.

  9. #9
    Senior Member chris1207's Avatar
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    I've gotta go to work but I will just say that he totally wants you! I'll explain when I get home in a couple hours. Let me think it over!
    "... you think deeply about stuff [that] nobody cares about and hardly anybody can understand you." ~ Peguy talking about Ni users. So true.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris1207 View Post
    I've gotta go to work but I will just say that he totally wants you! I'll explain when I get home in a couple hours. Let me think it over!
    awww.....you left me hangin':blushing:

    i have a specific question for you, when you get back...why would he said, "I don't have feelings for you other than as a friend", if it weren't true?

    I know he does not want/is not ready for a relationship...but i can;t figure out if he is just trying to be nice about it or if he does have some kind of feeling he's trying to supress.

    another thing- he is also friendly with my roommate (but not close) and he flirts with her in a major, obvious, way. he kind of acts like a horn dog around her. but with me, no. he just acts really nice, and kind of intimate.

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