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  1. #1
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    Default infj Fe in relationships with S.O.

    i'm having trouble balancing my desire to express my feelings and my desire to leave my partner alone and let her take care of her responsibilities and obligations stress free (from my direction, at least).

    i understand Te better than i used to, but i don't feel like myself without expressing my feelings. attending to them, addressing them, communicating them, validating them, etc. i don't really know who i'm supposed to be if they are not or cannot be important enough to address, or i am having trouble filtering out which ones should be addressed and would be helpful to address, which ones i need to deal with on my own, and which are unhelpful and should stay private (and in the background) forever.

    i know that many times when i try to do the suck it up and deal with it on your own approach it ends up making me feel toxic, and she immediately recognizes it. but while knowing something is wrong, i am obviously reluctant to talk about it, which causes more concern.

    i can not feel the happy medium, constantly, between needing to communicate in a way that affects/effects her/us/the situation vs feeling like by being emotional and having desires, frustrations, emotional/relational responses, becoming upset by something, that i am being emotionally manipulative or passive aggressive. i oscillate between wanting to communicate everything, on the one hand, and feeling like i want to disappear without a material trace on the other. bc i can't make it just go away without it showing, without leaving some sort of mark, without making a sound.

    what's worse is that she is a busy person, dealing with her own stresses, and i feel guilty that at times our relationship becomes a stress on her when she has very little buffer for that already. she says the relationship is anything but, and i know she absolutely WANTS to be in it as much as she wants anything else, but it still causes me much concern when i feel she may be sacrificing other aspects/needs to meet mine/ours.

    any thoughts? does this resonate?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by the state i am in View Post
    i'm having trouble balancing my desire to express my feelings and my desire to leave my partner alone and let her take care of her responsibilities and obligations stress free (from my direction, at least).

    i understand Te better than i used to, but i don't feel like myself without expressing my feelings. attending to them, addressing them, communicating them, validating them, etc. i don't really know who i'm supposed to be if they are not or cannot be important enough to address, or i am having trouble filtering out which ones should be addressed and would be helpful to address, which ones i need to deal with on my own, and which are unhelpful and should stay private (and in the background) forever.

    i know that many times when i try to do the suck it up and deal with it on your own approach it ends up making me feel toxic, and she immediately recognizes it. but while knowing something is wrong, i am obviously reluctant to talk about it, which causes more concern.

    i can not feel the happy medium, constantly, between needing to communicate in a way that affects/effects her/us/the situation vs feeling like by being emotional and having desires, frustrations, emotional/relational responses, becoming upset by something, that i am being emotionally manipulative or passive aggressive. i oscillate between wanting to communicate everything, on the one hand, and feeling like i want to disappear without a material trace on the other. bc i can't make it just go away without it showing, without leaving some sort of mark, without making a sound.

    what's worse is that she is a busy person, dealing with her own stresses, and i feel guilty that at times our relationship becomes a stress on her when she has very little buffer for that already. she says the relationship is anything but, and i know she absolutely WANTS to be in it as much as she wants anything else, but it still causes me much concern when i feel she may be sacrificing other aspects/needs to meet mine/ours.

    any thoughts? does this resonate?
    You are inside my head...
    Right now this is one of the things I'm trying to figure out.

    My Fe gets me into some trouble with my usual choice of NTs...
    It's obviously not bashing you over the head but there is that need to communicate/figure out what to communicate...
    It's all so confusing.
    Lately I've taken the attitude of just ignore it because I honestly can't deal with these relationships right now. There is too much internal push/pull which I am desperately trying to get over. It doesn't get you anywhere and drives you insane.

  3. #3
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    this is a necessary step for me to be able to deal with my shit and become a healthy and capable partner.

    from a detached perch, i want to be in a relationship bc it gives me things that are absolutely necessary for my well-being. it promotes growth in ways that i oh so desperately need. it gives me support, and it's making me better in every facet of my life. part of me wants to get, get, get, but i don't want to harm another or be a negative influence. i have so much invested in every relationship, and part of what that does (for me included), is helping people become better, which creates value for us both. showing them new ways, adding a little lift, etc. being a drain is out-of-the-question.

    i'm very difficult inexperienced in relationships. she's great- and i'm extremely fortunate to have her. we both recognize each other in a way that is better for each of us than any previous relationship either of us have had. i value time spent with her more than time spent with anyone else. i want to spend time with her more than anyone else.

    but as you said, the push-pull is currently weighing me down. the happy medium is so elusive, and i wonder if my focus on proper conduct, at times, is counterproductive for us both. i try to make decisions for us both, but it causes a bottleneck in communication.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I am fairly good about biting my tongue if I know something I'm feeling is a result of a current mood and will change when my mood improves. I don't feel like my partner needs to know every single thing he ever does that annoys me.

    OTOH, I've gotten pretty good about addressing real things via making clear, calm, polite requests.

    My criteria for bringing something up kind of goes like:

    Am I feeling this way because I'm PMSing, hungry, tired, sick, hot, need to pee?
    -- If yes, I try to address my needs by resting, etc and see if I still feel the same way
    -- If no ---->

    Am I being reasonable, fair, etc?
    -- If no, I try to look at his perspective and look at the big picture, etc. Maybe still share the feeling, but also make it clear that I know I'm being unreasonable, unfair, etc.
    -- If yes --->

    Is this something my partner is capable of changing at this time?
    -- If no, put it on the back burner or maybe bring it up with the understanding that I don't expect it to be addressed immediately
    -- If yes --->

    Bring the concern when things (and I) am relatively calm. I try to be clear, pleasant, keep my sense of humor, be open to his perspective and willing to compromise.

    There is a certain level of 'putting up with' in any long term relationship and a consciousness that oneself is not always a joy to live with either can go a long way toward a pleasant exchange.

    If you simply must purge emotions before they pass, but doing so is not beneficial, maybe find some alternate source, like journaling or talking to a friend? I dunno.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #5
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    ^ Cafe: This is a very helpful way of breaking down an issue to determine its relevance and timeliness for a discussion. Thanks for posting it. Do you find you are able to follow this flow chart and prevent a Fe implosion?

    Regarding the OP: I can definitely relate to feeling this intense need to communicate/connect and other times push/pull away from my partner. It is incredibly taxing on my emotions and energy level because the feelings can be so overwhelming of desiring to get some closure (especially on issues that have been undecided and there is a timeline to work out).

    I have also found it helpful to journal my feelings/concerns and then go back and reread them to analyze whether they are valid or just a passing phase. I also find myself making lists/flow charts of future possibliities and find just exploring options, analyzing pros/cons and gathering information can be calming to me. The indecision, or hanging option, can be extremely difficult to contend with but I have to recognize that people make decisions in different ways, and they all have their validity.
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

  6. #6
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by statuesquechica View Post
    ^ Cafe: This is a very helpful way of breaking down an issue to determine its relevance and timeliness for a discussion. Thanks for posting it. Do you find you are able to follow this flow chart and prevent a Fe implosion?
    It's been a few years since there has been any kind of issue, so I'm trying to remember. Usually if I'm imploding, it's because I'm feeling unappreciated and I have learned to come right out and ask for affirmation from my partner when I need it. It seems as though it shouldn't work because I'm prompting him, but somehow since I know that he truly does appreciate me and the things that I do it works.

    The things that used to totally drive me nuts were the P/J conflicts. Over time, he has learned the negative effects of not making timely decisions and I have learned to present things to him in such a way that doesn't make him feel overwhelmed or pushed.

    Also, I think external factors can have more impact than we INs sometimes like to believe. It's important to take it into consideration and reduce stressors as much as is reasonably possible.

    Does that help?
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #7
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    I can listen to my infj talking about her day for hours.

    Well..that's all I got :/
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  8. #8
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    State - I identify with your feelings. This was especially problematic when I was dating an ESTJ. He reacted extremely negatively to anything that would make him feel badly, even if it wasn't something I was blaming him for. I found myself just walling off bigger and bigger parts of myself because they weren't appreciated or dealt with and communication became difficult between us. He felt like I was always nitpicking and I felt devalued/dismissed. After some pondering I've concluded:

    1. I needed to say something before it became a very big deal and be as logical and matter of fact as possible.
    2. I needed to write it down first and sit on it for a day before doing anything about it, taking into account how well I was feeling, how tired/short on emotional resources I was at the time and how that affected my feelings.
    3. I needed to recognize patterns of things that did matter earlier and not bottle them up feeling like I was doing him a service, only to let them come out in moments of extreme frustration.
    4. Both of us needed to verbalize our thought processes more so we didn't misunderstand each other and so that he realized what an active service he was doing in diffusing my emotions just by being willing to listen.

    I spent a long time not recognizing some underlying patterns of why certain incidents bothered me that actually had common, and important causes. After recognizing that, I didn't trust what I saw and thought I was just being hasty. I'd suck it up until at a run down, end of my string moment I would bring it up, and usually not be able to help reacting more emotionally than I would have liked. I needed more feedback from what I said, whereas he saw it as something to either suck up on his own without comment, or else he needed to change the situation. What I needed more was support and ventilation, but thought it was so obvious that I didn't say so. When I didn't see any response even when things were quite serious, I just shared less of myself and tried to be less emotionally invested because it only caused problems. However I felt inauthentic doing so and became more and more convinced that if we couldn't communicate, we couldn't make things work. He felt that if I just didn't bring things up, they would no longer be a problem (expecting me maybe to operate more like he did, without the need to ventilate or get feedback).

  9. #9
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the state i am in View Post
    i understand Te better than i used to, but i don't feel like myself without expressing my feelings. attending to them, addressing them, communicating them, validating them, etc. i don't really know who i'm supposed to be if they are not or cannot be important enough to address, or i am having trouble filtering out which ones should be addressed and would be helpful to address, which ones i need to deal with on my own, and which are unhelpful and should stay private (and in the background) forever.
    Unless I am mistaken, that's a Ti request.

    That's to say, a request for the right to entertain a Ti discussion with a partner. The partner isn't there to tell you procedures or timetables or effective solutions, but to go along with you analysizing, categorising, following truth trails and checking consistency. A discussion, basically.

    The INTJ tendency at this time would be to supply answers, and generally be a whole lot more a priori than will be satisfying.

    You might have to make it a special request: "Sweetie, honey, Schmoopie? I'd really like to talk, y'know, about all this stuff in my head, y'know? I just want to say it's not out there, right? So I don't want to know if it all works exactly, I just want to, y'know, see if it's all there, or something like that. C'mon, I have snacks!"

    It'll be somewhat hard work. She will more or less by nature interpret Ti talk as Fi talk. Watch out for disappointment when she gets tired and starts snapping out Te solutions.



    (See what I did there? I addressed the procedural issue rather than the question of the feeling itself. Signed, INTJ.)

  10. #10
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    well- she is really good at caring about my feelings. but being TOO good at it, for an intj, can become problematic and destructive for her.

    when i meet her halfway (1/3 of the way) and use some Ti to put things on the right track, it works much better. i think you are right that Ti is what needs to make things right, on the whole, so that i can accept whatever emotions i have in a better way. so that i am not all 100% feeling without any sort of logical organization that she can grasp, grab hold of, work with, predict, etc. bc if i am just unchecked feeling, it becomes very burdensome when those feelings arrive at negative states.

    the problem is when my emotion turns really negative, and i only see negative connections. it just totally overpowers Ti, and i feel like an upside turtle. i just want to hide and wait it out on my own, or disappear completely.

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