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Thread: Trying to need less contact, but struggling. ENFJ with an INTP

  1. #71
    Junior Member Array
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    May 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by airjaw View Post
    Err, why don't you just call him?

    This thread is way too needlessly complex. And that is coming from an INTP.

    Again, the solution is simple. Feeling neglected during the week? Call him. Tell him.

    Even easier but heavier solution is to just move in with him.
    I don't think this thread is needlessly complex. I am another ENFJ struggling at the moment with her INTP & self-image. This thread is meant as a support for ENFJs that find themselves in that position. For me, I can say that quite a lot of entries here made a lot of sense (especially what toast wrote on top of this page; it is really helpful for ENFJ process of untangling feelings & thoughts; and struggling to believe in her/his logical conclusions - difficult, tiresome & frequently abandoned process, may I add). I find that many times the solution of 'just tell him' doesn't work for me. Believe me, been there done that. The way I express myself does not bring desired results. My thinking is: either he really has no way to relate to what I am trying to communicate, or I did not find a clear way to communicate it yet. There's a breakdown in communication, and I don't know if it is something that can be fixed, or not.

    My thing is a bit different than Sunshine's (who I hope had found a way to fix her situation )- me and my boyfriend have lived together for close to 6 years now, and been together for over 7 years, and just moved countries. We love each other, and I can say that our relationship is (most of the time) happy. At present however we have a lot of stress on our plates, and we are trying to deal with it in our own respective ways. Unfortunately we get into each other's way painfully, when doing that.

    I know that INTPs need their physical and mental space, more than other types. I respect that. I know that the more stressed is INTP, the more space he craves. Unfortunately, for ENFJs this works the other way around. The more stressed they are, the more they (or they should) talk to others, in order to diffuse the stress. By talking I don't mean "tell their problems to everyone". Every ENFJ knows that we tend to talk a lot about some of our problems, while hiding other really well (also from ourselves. Very efficient, btw ). By talking I mean, just connecting with someone we are comfortable with. Sharing a few thoughts, having that harmonious flow for a moment. We (at least I) really need that as a de-stressor. At the same time, maybe not all ENFJs, but I am aware that I can be 'heavy' on introverts with my need to communicate. My sister is INFP, my boyfriend INTP, had enough of IN friends to realize that sometimes they just have enough & need a break.

    Now, the context of my current problem, which makes it all worse, is that we moved countries. I have no social network of any kind (not even dreaming about friendships here yet at this point) where we moved, I have only been here a month, not working yet, learning the new language & experiencing quite a lot of loneliness (full days of it) and stress. At the end of the day, I cannot even talk to my INTP who manages sometimes to make me feel (by his utter lack of understanding of the intensity of my need to connect) as if there was something wrong with me - I know he does not mean that, but I can feel it quite acutely.
    My INTP is really stressed too, he craves the bubble where he can disconnect, and I see that he really needs it. I try to give him as much space as he needs, I really do (as Sunshine pointed out), and I am aware of the fact that my definition of 'enough alone time' and his definition of it are drastically different. I cannot help the feeling that the more space and silence I try to give him, the more it drives me nuts, as I have next to no other outlet for my de-stressors! We end up getting into each other's way, him refusing to 'give me' understanding, connection and attention (that leaves every ENFJ with a dramatic feeling of 'well, why bother with this effin relationship then??!?'), and me ending up refusing to give him the limitless space that he needs (space that he gets to limit himself). Add a really small flat to this mix - we are looking for a bigger one right now - and financial limits, and it is a recipe for disaster with this personality coupling. It is painful. I am doing what I can to meet new people, find other outlets, but it is extremely difficult in this very moment. So yeah, we are stuck in this discord between intense feelings and desire to express them in ENFJ and intense feeling/need for space and time alone in INTP. Add 2 stubborn, intense people to this, and you end up with blow ups.

    This cold, logical and seemingly 'ruthless' side of INTP - the 'total lack of empathy' moment as it seems to ENFJ (if you know what I am describing) is pretty much the worst side to deal with. This conflict is pretty much the worst side of this relationship (I don't know if I should cry or rejoice here), and the one that I find really hard to make better with time, as it really is a bit like water and fire. I find that this relationship has many inspiring and great sides ... but this bad one is really awful (a bit like 'when it was good, it was really really good, when it was bad it was awful'..). I need tips from my fellow ENFJs regarding how they deal with this. I do sense that becoming more independent is something that many times not only makes us feel better, and also tends to draw INTPs out of their caves, as they come sniffling to check on the novelty of the situation (ENFJ not moaning for contact, but disappearing happily without a word ). I think ENFJs crave novelty too, especially in social world. Yet when I find myself so stressed, I think it really difficult to just go ahead, happily creating new contacts etc. I crave security.

    ... Thanks for listening. I really needed to get it off my chest. Long, right? And yeah, I NEED that INTP spouses support thread... pronto!!
    I stumbled upon the page citing some horrifying statistics.. It said that spouses (female) of (male) INTPs usually have lowest satisfaction from married life from all types. Assuming that ENFJ/INTP pairing is quite common - I have met a few myself - the question is: are we really so unhappy with our INTPs or do we just love to moan and express ourselves a lot given any opportunity? ...
    I * know * these are things that can be dealt with, I just really need to find the quickest and most efficient way, before I explode

  2. #72
    meh Array Salomé's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    5w4 sx/sp


    Quote Originally Posted by Limonali View Post
    My thinking is: either he really has no way to relate to what I am trying to communicate, or I did not find a clear way to communicate it yet. There's a breakdown in communication, and I don't know if it is something that can be fixed, or not.
    I suspect it's the former. I've moved countries on my own before now and not experienced the kind of loneliness you describe, despite the fact that your partner moved with you. Honestly, he's probably both baffled by your needs and a little insulted that he's not enough for you.

    I think your post highlights why this pairing is such a disaster. The incompatibilities are deep and fundamental. I'm beginning to think that the whole "opposites attract" dynamic depends on mutual self-loathing, which is a poor basis for any relationship. INTPs attracted to Fe-doms are trying to escape their responsibility to grow by joining forces with someone who can do all their "Fe-ing" for them. And Fe-doms with weak Ti delight in leaning on this INTP strength, rather than working on their own inadequacy. The problem is, they exhaust each other and provide no opportunities for renewal or genuine growth. Their approaches to the world are so fundamentally at odds that real communication is nigh on impossible and can only lead to frustration and the kind of constrained feeling you describe so well. If there are adequate outlets outside the relationship it might be able to endure, but without those, it just implodes.
    I'm sad for you, truly, because you guys always get the roughest deal. We just withdraw and withdraw until there's basically nothing left.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    What I wonder, is: could the N in the INTP means that from a young age they are able to sense when something isn't right or if people are asking something of them, but without the strong F they don't often 'know' instinctively how to deliver on that.
    Our N isn't usually directed towards people, but towards ideas. If we focus on people it's more from a problem-solving perspective and for a discrete period of time. The person as a system.
    So we can be objectively intuitive about people and their problems, but that's a far cry from the NF personal approach.
    It's so weird to read yourself 3 yrs ago...
    Actually, OP was on to something. We are rather good at picking up on the neediness of others, and its not that we don't know how to give them what they want, it's just that we don't always care to.
    I recently realised that one of the reasons I don't enjoy spending time with certain people is because I know what they are thinking and what they want without them having to say anything. I find it oppressive. The weight of their unspoken demands and judgments. I guess the difference is in the way we arrive at that knowledge (vs NFs). It's not empathy so much as deductive logic. If I know someone, I know how their mind works well enough to figure out what they are going to think/feel in a given situation. Even if I simultaneously think them irrational or unreasonable in their demands. If I care about them at all I'm then usually torn between giving them what they want and resisting their unreasonable expectations. This sets up a kind of inner conflict that just makes me want to escape their orbit entirely.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  3. #73
    lurking Array Rasofy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    5w6 sp/sx


    Been theoretically considering dating an ENFJ, and this thread has proved to be insightful.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I'm going to say a little story that really was a revelation to me. I was a senior in high school and had gotten my first C in a class. I had never gotten anything lower than a B before and I had been coming home complaining of how hard that class was for me and how I just wasn't getting it. My sis was 17 and my bro was 15 and we all got our report cards in the mail. As soon as I saw that C, I burst into tears and they looked at me and started laughing. Of course, I started Fe-raging at them and they saw that I meant business but I guess over the years I came to see that moment as insight into what their instinctual responses are.
    I can see myself doing that.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    They've smoothed out considerably over the years, but their baseline response to most things is just not to see the emotional value in situations. But don't want to necessarily pin that on ITPs, because many people are like that.
    That's a pretty good way to put it; I relate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
    It's just a thought (I'm an IxTP, for reference), but one surefire way with me to initiate conversation even if I'm off in la-la land and not interested in the existence of humanity is to bring up topics I'm interested in intellectually. I can smell false enthusiasm a mile away, but a quiet "I just wrote a story, *what do you think of the plot?" would be golden. I love connecting with certain people, just more on an intellectual plane normally.

    Strictly emotional, talking about how one's day is contact would be draining for me. But it's not rocket science, and takes five minutes to do. Also, the "Feelery snuggle bumpkins" side of me developed a lot due to my youth so I see where ye're coming from.
    Pure gold.

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


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