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  1. #1
    Senior Member penelope's Avatar
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    Default ENFP and Negativity

    Ugh. Another relationship thing.

    Actually, quick update: I'm more of an INTJ these days, so I guess keep that into consideration? But this is more about my ENFP guy...

    So far, we've been doing amazingly as a couple, solving all of our issues as soon as they pop up, but this one... I just don't know what to do, and it's wearing on my own patience and is causing me to become really frustrated to the point of passive-aggressive lashing out, which is pretty pointless and stupid, which I realize.

    So yeah, he's got this issue with generally having a negative attitude and has been warning me of it, but it's a long distance relationship and I don't see him too often, though I just got back from spending the weekend with him. He was pretty negative most of the time, and yeah, that was wearing on my patience. And just now we got into a fight over how I'm not acknowledging this about him. And maybe, in my head, because I cling to keeping a positive attitude about things (it doesn't make any sense to me to be negative...), I just try to let it slide. But he's accusing me of it really being my own problem in not knowing how to deal with his negativity and how he says that just won't change.

    I'm at a loss... how do I deal with this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tikka's Avatar
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    He's demoralizing the building team, huh?

    First, I don't think you can change people at a deep level. If this is really how he feels, then you can ask him to put up a facade, but that won't change him.

    Is the negativity directed at himself, close surroundings or the world? ENFx's tend to blame all faults on themselves after trying to make everybody happy. A negative backlash after having been sociable, so to say.

  3. #3
    Senior Member penelope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikka View Post
    He's demoralizing the building team, huh?

    First, I don't think you can change people at a deep level. If this is really how he feels, then you can ask him to put up a facade, but that won't change him.

    Is the negativity directed at himself, close surroundings or the world? ENFx's tend to blame all faults on themselves after trying to make everybody happy. A negative backlash after having been sociable, so to say.
    I think much of it was due to things not going his way or generally feeling uncomfortable/not at complete ease (met his parents this weekend, etc). And it seems mostly directed to himself, but since we're in a relationship, it of course seeps into his attitude when dealing with me.

    And yeah, I realize it's not something that will change, but with relationships, a compromise needs to be made to keep things going smoothly and if he says that his negativity isn't something that will change, then it seems that the fact that my patience does eventually run out will not change. Just not sure how to handle this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tikka's Avatar
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    So, how did the weekend go then? Was it a good weekend, outside of between you and him? Were you genuinely happy to have met his parents - were they nice people for you - and were they happy to meet you?

    Or wasn't it what he was expecting, and therefore showing his disappointment?

  5. #5
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    How long has he been this way, what triggered it exactly and how is he dealing for now?

    Coz usually we just need some space to figure things out in our head. If we keep going in circles though, others might be able to help us break the cycle. Just don't do that before he's done ranting, venting and trying to do it himself
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  6. #6
    Senior Member penelope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikka View Post
    So, how did the weekend go then? Was it a good weekend, outside of between you and him? Were you genuinely happy to have met his parents - were they nice people for you - and were they happy to meet you?

    Or wasn't it what he was expecting, and therefore showing his disappointment?
    To me, it was a great weekend. I loved meeting his parents--they're great people and I was very comfortable. But I think his negativity applies to two different things: when things do go according to plan/don't fit his ideal, or when he feels uncomfortable. And there was quite a bit of both. I can understand him feeling uncomfortable, with me meeting his parents, hanging out at their home. But it's probably more of an issue with me when he reacts to things not going his way... he gets very negative, can't seem to let go of the circumstances or make the best of it (which is how I react to things going awry). And there was a lot of both.

    So I suppose a better, more broad question: how does a positive person deal with a negative person? Might i need to better understand his negativity and therefore be able to be more patient and understanding? Because, like I said before, once my patience runs out, I become very negative and bitter myself. So then, we're just two, negative, bitter people. Blah.

  7. #7
    Senior Member penelope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Coz usually we just need some space to figure things out in our head. If we keep going in circles though, others might be able to help us break the cycle. Just don't do that before he's done ranting, venting and trying to do it himself
    That makes sense to me, and I don't know if he knows that himself or if that's his deal, but he needs to express that to me if it's the case... Hm.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tikka's Avatar
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    ENFx's do not like to talk about themselves automatically, or actually they don't like people helping *them* , as Amargith aptly said.

    I'm surprised however, that he doesn't see/think that negativity is bad for any relationship, not just yours. It's demoralizing.

  9. #9
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penelope View Post
    That makes sense to me, and I don't know if he knows that himself or if that's his deal, but he needs to express that to me if it's the case... Hm.
    We...tend to overload and try and hide that from others, especially those we care about, to shield you from all that's going on in our brain. But yeah, we will be crabby if you then do not give us that space and no, we won't be aware that that's offputting to you. At that point we're so flooded by emotions that they kinda drown out the part of us that realizes how you must be feeling. And it is unlikely he's aware of that process or of what he's doing.

    Fi goes in circles till it figures itself out. Unfortunately, it *is* part of who we are. And some of us aren't really aware of that, we just go through it. The best thing to do, if you can, is to not take it personally, leave him alone or let him rant at you if that's what he wants to do, be a sounding board and whatever you do, do *not* try to solve stuff. Assume he's smart enough to figure this out himself, unless he's specifically asking for your help. Usually, unless we're brooding, we'll appreciate physical affection especially when given by a non-judgemental person. Hugging, an understanding look, a soft touch on the shoulders, all very much helpful and comforting (at least if he's ok with having you see him in this state).

    Important detail: He is to come out of this after a certain period of time (one week, two weeks tops!). If he doesn't, it's time to go digging and for the tough love treatment. Coz that usually means we keep going in circles and something is keeping us in that circle. Expect to get yelled at. And expect to yell at him. Then let him cool off and process. Afterwards, act as if nothing happened.

    I'm NOT stating this is all your responsibility. It is my hope that he eventually figures out how this works. He needs to learn it. But it is a good way to deal with us when we're like that
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    Penelope, this sounds like he's upset about something, but not telling you.

    I think it might be a form of passive aggressiveness. I can have a negative attitude when I am feeling sad/frustrated but don't feel like openly discussing or worrying about it.

    Maybe he is upset that it is long distance? I bet he really misses you, and maybe he is getting mad because of it. But what do I know.

    Your best bet is to intimately start a conversation with him. Confront him and tell him what you have told us, he won't get mad. If anything, he will feel guilty. I don't mean you need to make him feel guilty, though.

    Sometimes you need to check ENFPs when they are getting out of hand. Talk to him personally and tell him how you feel. If he cares about you (which it sounds like he does) then he will work really hard on changing. But know there is probably a reason for his negative attitude, which you should also try to uncover.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

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