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  1. #1
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Default INFJ's we seem to understand each other until we start talking...

    Is there any INFJ's who could shed some light on their interactions with ISTP's?
    ~luck favors the ready~


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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    What have your experiences been?

  3. #3
    Junior Member Claide's Avatar
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    My roommate from last year is an ISTP. We took a philosophy (ethics) class together, and I think that it served as a good example of our differences. At first, he was interested in the theories, but when he realized that there wasn't a "right" answer, he became very cynical towards it. INFJs live for the idea; ISTPs (in my experience) live for the logical/applicable. If there isn't practical application, it's pointless. When I would start idealizing or talking in concepts, my friend would typically get critical or disinterested.

    When it came to day-to-day stuff, he wouldn't open up. We are both introverts, so we weren't in each other's hair (space wasn't a problem), but we also had different "friendship-styles" (if you want to call it that). I usually pursue very personal friendships; he is more of a "let's just have fun" kind of person. I never pushed him, but I always did feel like he was closed off. And I'm fine with that. It's just not what I'm used to.

    He was good for me. We did a lot of exercise-related stuff together (running, swimming, racquetballl...). I guess you could say he dragged my S out.

    Ultimately, I feel like we don't have very much in common, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Our goals, values, and interests are very different, but oftentimes, our mutual introversion led us to one-on-one activities that we both got a lot of enjoyment out of.

  4. #4
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    What have your experiences been?
    I'm currently dating an INFJ. I feel like it started off really great. Then, it's like we hit this "wall" suddenly and neither of us are getting anywhere. Unless we are doing something together we don't have much to talk about.

    In fairness to him, he's got this incredible genuine warmth that I'm drawn to and it's got me sticking around. I don't know where he stands on issues. What his feelings are about anything really. I feel like he defers to whatever strong opinion is in front of him. I don't know. It's frustrating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Claide View Post
    My roommate from last year is an ISTP. We took a philosophy (ethics) class together, and I think that it served as a good example of our differences. At first, he was interested in the theories, but when he realized that there wasn't a "right" answer, he became very cynical towards it. INFJs live for the idea; ISTPs (in my experience) live for the logical/applicable. If there isn't practical application, it's pointless. When I would start idealizing or talking in concepts, my friend would typically get critical or disinterested.

    When it came to day-to-day stuff, he wouldn't open up. We are both introverts, so we weren't in each other's hair (space wasn't a problem), but we also had different "friendship-styles" (if you want to call it that). I usually pursue very personal friendships; he is more of a "let's just have fun" kind of person. I never pushed him, but I always did feel like he was closed off. And I'm fine with that. It's just not what I'm used to.

    He was good for me. We did a lot of exercise-related stuff together (running, swimming, racquetballl...). I guess you could say he dragged my S out.

    Ultimately, I feel like we don't have very much in common, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Our goals, values, and interests are very different, but oftentimes, our mutual introversion led us to one-on-one activities that we both got a lot of enjoyment out of.
    This is spot on and how my experience has been. Especially the bold parts

    You mentioned talking about concepts and idealizing. I admit. I don't understand what he's talking about - but I want to understand. When I seek clarification he will brush it off or he'll usually say that he can't speak his thoughts very well. I feel like he's quick to blame himself for me not understanding him. Which annoys me.

    I feel like we are so close to unlocking each other but neither of us know what to do to get to that point. I've told him this and he agrees. Is there something I can do to make this easier?
    ~luck favors the ready~


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  5. #5
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Also as I say all that. I'm wondering if I shouldn't just move on. Eh.
    ~luck favors the ready~


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  6. #6
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    I'm currently dating an INFJ. I feel like it started off really great. Then, it's like we hit this "wall" suddenly and neither of us are getting anywhere. Unless we are doing something together we don't have much to talk about.

    In fairness to him, he's got this incredible genuine warmth that I'm drawn to and it's got me sticking around. I don't know where he stands on issues. What his feelings are about anything really. I feel like he defers to whatever strong opinion is in front of him. I don't know. It's frustrating.



    This is spot on and how my experience has been. Especially the bold parts

    You mentioned talking about concepts and idealizing. I admit. I don't understand what he's talking about - but I want to understand. When I seek clarification he will brush it off or he'll usually say that he can't speak his thoughts very well. I feel like he's quick to blame himself for me not understanding him. Which annoys me.

    I feel like we are so close to unlocking each other but neither of us know what to do to get to that point. I've told him this and he agrees. Is there something I can do to make this easier?
    First bold: That's because he can see where the opinion is from. INFJs seem like we don't have strong opinions until you hit a nerve. Then you've got a bunkerbuster going off in your face

    I think he just needs to get used to using his weaker Ti. You could help him by showing the logical relations of things so that he can see how Ti is used. My best friend forever is an INTP, so my Ti was developed much quicker than my Fe. One thing I truly admired about him was his clear thought process. Where I felt like I was swimming in a muddy bayou, he would have understood everything and its place in the logical archives of his head.

    I'm not quite sure how that applies to an ISTP, but I think it might help just to help him with logical things by explaining it. Oh and be optimistic, at least you aren't an ESTP

    Also maybe try getting him into some hobby that you enjoy, something concrete and creates something tangible. INFJs like making things and ISTPs seem to like understanding reality's objects. You might already have, but just keep your patience, something might come out of it. Relationships are work, my parents said so, and many other long-married couples agree.

    Good luck!
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
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    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Claide's Avatar
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    You mentioned talking about concepts and idealizing. I admit. I don't understand what he's talking about - but I want to understand. When I seek clarification he will brush it off or he'll usually say that he can't speak his thoughts very well. I feel like he's quick to blame himself for me not understanding him. Which annoys me.

    I feel like we are so close to unlocking each other but neither of us know what to do to get to that point. I've told him this and he agrees. Is there something I can do to make this easier?
    This can be tricky. Honestly, a lot of it has to do with how you believe the MBTI should function in terms of relationship. For instance, I've been dating an ENFJ for two years. Even though we only differ on the I/E, we're still very different people. So here's a question that you might ask yourself that we have had to ask ourselves...

    Are the differences in personality fundamental enough to make the relationship suffer? The ENFJ I'm dating oftentimes wants to go out when I want to stay in. On this one, we try to compromise. I do my best to try and find extraverted activities that I can enjoy and he does his best to find introverted activities that he can enjoy. But sometimes, I'm just in a particularly introverted mood and he's in a particularly extroverted mood. From the beginning of the relationship, I tried to raise the idea that it's okay to have differences with the person you're dating - that's what friends are for.

    Sometimes people in relationships put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves to "get" everything about the person they are dating. In practice, this can become harmful. The truth is, because of personality, there are simply some differences that are just... differences. And they ought to be understood that way.

    So here's how I'd put everything I just said into practice (this is me trying to be a practical INFJ):

    Instead of letting this get you down, encourage the person you're with to find outlets to fulfill aspects of their personality that can't be fulfilled in the relationship. For instance, in your case, you've got an N/S split. If he's heavy into theorizing (about religion or philosophy or morality or politics... or anything, really), I'd first try to find some kind of common ground. If you DO find something that you have mutual interest in, try to find ways that you can discuss it in a context that doesn't drive you crazy. If pure theory drives you nuts, find a practical source. Take politics. If he's political, and you have a vague interest in politics, explore the stuff you ARE interested in. Maybe you could find movies or a TV series that you could both watch that relates to politics. By way of film, you could find something entertaining and conceptual that doesn't get lost in too much theory, and yet, it would still deal with the issue that he's interested in. Does this make sense? Obviously, politics was just an example (and INFJs are often interested in politics). You could apply that to anything. Just remember not to get so caught up in making him happy that you feel like you're forcing yourself to do these things; focus on finding something that you genuinely DO have mutual interest in, even if you have to come to it from a different perspective.

    Beyond that, there is a lot that the two of you probably won't find common ground with. I think one of the most intuitive responses to this kind of dilemma is to encourage your significant other to talk to friends about it or join a club or do whatever it takes to fulfill what needs to be fulfilled. You could even suggest a forum. For instance, I tend to enjoy/long for philosophical discussions that my boyfriend has no interest in. Now, if I expected him to fill that role, it could become a stressor on the relationship, but instead I usually meet up with an INTJ friend of mine and ramble a couple hours about the philosophers. Since I get to fulfill that respect of my personality with her, I don't feel the need to pressure my boyfriend. In the same way, you could encourage him to pursue some of these topics with people who share the same passion for them. That would ease the perceived pressure to relate to each other so much on issues that you don't share interest in and allow you to focus on the things that you DO have in common.

    I think it's very admirable that you want to understand his thoughts. I'm sure this means a lot to him.

    Never be afraid to ask him for examples. Even if he seems irritated, this is one of the biggest favors you can do for an INFJ - make us try to find application to our ideas so that we don't wander too far from earth.

    I feel like I was extremely redundant in this post. Apologies if that is the case.

  8. #8
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    My best friend is an ISTP and we engage in theoretical/philosophical conversations all the time. If I want to share a topic with him, usually I will first ask him what his thoughts are on the topic and then that gives me a sort of order in which to organize the information I want to present (almost like a list, point by point). Also, when I come to parts of a theory that I don't have information on, it encourages me to go search for the information later, and also encourages my friend to do the same and this promotes a follow-up conversation to get deeper into the topic later. I would try asking him if he could give you the main idea of the topic first and allow you to start off, and then he can explain his idea while responding to your thoughts at the same time. If he brings up a topic that you are unfamiliar with, it is always okay to summarize information in small blocks as he goes along, and then rephrase that information and send it back to him to see if you are on the same page. Its always good to know that your ideas are being heard, even if they aren't necessarily being understood at first.

    my original guess may be that the topics of your conversations may tie in with some of his own values or beliefs that he doesn't want to see you reject (even if you don't intend to in conversation). I know I am guilty of this a lot, but when I start to trust someone, I start slowly tossing them underhanded softballs and wait to see if they accept them or if they hit them way into left field.

    hopefully that helped.
    Also, a random warning... if you are having deep conversations in the car and he is driving, you may end up getting lost or taking a wrong turn. Or maybe that's just me? o.0

  9. #9
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Also keep in mind that INFJs need more processing time than you do. INFJs are reluctant to express opinions on something unless they have had time to think it over and feel comfortable that it holds together. It's kind of like someone judging their work before they are done. They find discussion the catalyst for thought and like to revisit things later.

    Lemonade is quite possibly right as well that unless an INFJ knows you well, they hate to reveal closely held opinions either because they don't want to be misunderstood or because they know that you feel exactly the opposite.

    INFJs are also a little surprising about what they choose to be decisive about and what they choose to defer to the strongest opinion about. It's not though that they don't think about stuff or can't take the lead - more that they hate emotional surprises and so feel that if there's anything to be sucked up, they feel more comfortable being the one to do it because they can better monitor and predict what will happen. It doesn't hurt to explain that you really prefer them to make some decisions (though if you do, don't complain about them even jokingly or you won't see them venture out to do so nearly as much). Another solution is narrowing down the options so that they are comfortable that you will also be pleased with the outcome. One of my friends and I used to do that with choosing restaurants.

    INFJs generally appreciate people who make them try new things and that is likely part of his attraction to you. What common ground have you found between the two of you?

  10. #10
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    You can of course, applicable to every INFJ, be a stallion in the bed chamber and put them in a half asleep half awake condition, therefore effectively disabling her to have any deep thoughts at all.

    And for the co-driver in the car, who wants to lure you into killing both of you with distracting you from the street by talking, excercising her subconcious deathwish, you ALWAYS need the eject button in your car. ( I can help you on building the apparatus, if you need me )

    So, what would you guys do if I werent here to tell you how its done, huh ?
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

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