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  1. #1
    Senior Member mwv6r's Avatar
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    Default Challenges of ISTJ and NF interactions, and advice...

    Hello, I'm curious about peoples' insights into ISTJ and NF interactions, specifically the challenges these types encounter in areas such as work, friendship, family, etc. Advice on getting along smoothly with ISTJs is appreciated. There's one in my life who is driving me bonkers (a coworker) and I'm sure the feeling's mutual on her end. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    I'm close to an ISTJ, so I will try to post some observations.

    Sometimes I notice an ISTJ & myself getting critical of each other and then complaining about the other being hypercritical. Give each other space. Try to put a stop to this escalation before it starts.

    An ISTJ wants praise for a job well done, too. Reassuring them can keep them from copping a robotic stoic attitude (which is infuriating).

    Try, try, try (as we might) to not take their brash pronouncements personally. If you take offense, they take offense - it goes nowhere. I'm not sure that they intend to be so contrary - or if it just feels that way.

    Asking them whats wrong seems to get their back up big time. They will choose if and when to share this information with us.
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  3. #3
    Lungs & Lips Locked Unkindloving's Avatar
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    Care to elaborate on why you seem to be driven bonkers?

    I feel massive disconnects when it comes to ISTJs. They are intriguing and i do like their thought processes. The problem i have with them is feeling like we're on two separate planes of existence.
    They see black and white while i twirl through the gray gaps, splashing up colors as i go. They are far more efficient in most cases. I'm simply not.

    Problems likely stem from attempting to collaborate or understand one another. Work is a definite for that, especially with an ISTJ who wants absolute efficiency and isn't your friend. If they don't feel it is good enough, there's high odds they'll let you know, even if it is passable. Friendships work the best on a surface level, unless you meet an accepting/understanding ISTJ who doesn't believe everyone should do as they do. These do exist, but i have yet to witness one firsthand.
    I get the feeling that once you've been stamped Void by an ISTJ, there's no easy way to get it revoked.
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  4. #4
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I don't take it personally when they stick their foot in their mouth - which they do a lot.
    I find if I mock them jokingly then they see they were a bit brash without it becoming a big deal. They will lighten up a bit after that. They often appreciate sarcasm.

    If they're nitpicking for instance, then make fun of it to show how it's a small thing & that they are over-reacting. I know this seems opposite of NF perspective, which is not to belittle other people's perspectives, but see this as giving them broader perspective. You're playing their game after all. You don't need to be especially sensitive towards them.

    If you just can't do that, then try pointing out the positives when they dwell on the negatives, so they see the whole picture instead of just zooming in on details. You can also explain why you are doing something "out of the norm" so they can see the value in it. If you have a reason that appeals to what they find important (ie. efficiency), then they are often content to let you do what you want, even if they aren't going to do that just yet...

    Just make sure to put them in their place if they get too critical over something stupid - they tend to learn fast & will avoid it in the future. The good thing is, they are very "trainable". If you don't nip it in the bud, then they won't learn the boundaries though.

    I haven't butted heads with too many ISTJs. In some ways I can relate to them - they seem reserved & crusty on the surface, but can actually have very good motives.
    These are the cool, reasonable ISTJs though....I steer clear of the totally uptight ones (you know the "cop" personalities).
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  5. #5
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    I just avoid the NFs or poke fun at them. I have 6 NFs at my job, and I've become close friends with one of the INFJ girls, in a good guy friend type way. The ENFx's tend to piss me off. I just can't be bothered to think about my action's effects on people unless there's concrete evidence that thinking about the people will make my plans more effective, and even then, I'm still objectifying.

    I do less objectifying as a relationship becomes more personal and I can let my guard down less with the person and become more concerned about their well being, but most of the time, I just treat people as chess pieces.


  6. #6
    Senior Member mwv6r's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input guys. A lot of your descriptions really resonate with my situation.

    To flesh out the details a bit more....

    At work I am the only NF in a team of 3 hardcore SJs. Well, there is actually an SP on our team, but he has been pretty much completely isolated by the SJs who consider him lazy and useless and make their disdain for him quite clear. I will say that the SP is on the lazy side, but I also think the way the others have isolated him is extreme and just makes our entire team dynamic toxic. From what I've heard they are working on getting him fired. In a way I feel bad for him, in a way I think he brought it on himself, and in a way I'm relieved that it's him they're gunning for and not me. Having just joined this job in the last 9 months, I am trying to mind my own business, do a good job on my work, and keep this job in such a tough economy!

    Anyway, the other two SJs (an ESFJ and an ESTJ) I get along fine with, in fact one I am even pretty good friends with outside of work. They seem to regard me as different from themselves but respect that I am a hard worker and let me do my thing with minimal conflict.

    The ISTJ on my team though really seems to have it out for me lately. I think she has lost respect for me because in some areas I am not willing to go above and beyond like she and the other SJs do. Now, let me say that I am a very hard worker. It's actually been very strange starting this new job this year because in almost every other team I've ever been a part of, I'm usually the most type-A, hardest working team member. But then again I've never been on a team of hardcore SJs before lol ;o)

    So anyway, this year I'm working harder than I've ever worked before, putting in a solid 55-60 hours per week, but as an NF I put a lot of value on work-life balance, and so there's a certain point in the work load when I'm like I need to shelve this, go home and relax, and start fresh tomorrow. And so I don't go volunteering for extra work like the others (especially the ISTJ) are apt to do. If a teammate specifically comes to me and asks me to complete an extra task, I'll do it and I'll do a good job, but it's just not something I am going to volunteer for unasked when I already feel that I'm working too many hours. I don't want to burn out, I don't want to start to hate my job, I don't want to become an unhappy person, so I am selective about what additional duties I take on beyond my basic duties, which as I mentioned I work very hard at and do a thorough job on.

    The ESFJ and ESTJ don't seem to have a problem with me for this, but the ISTJ, to put it in the words of an earlier poster, appears to have lost respect for me. She works 24-7 and seems to think that I should be willing to do so as well. She has always been one to make digs and sarcastic comments after a person speaks, and it always bothered me a little but I used to just brush it off and not worry about it. In the last week however, things have reached a boiling point. The comments have become more pointed and more rude (snippy little remarks, often spoken under her breath or to another teammate, about how I'm not doing my job right or about how what I'm saying is incorrect). I feel she's disrespecting me but I'm unsure what to do. As a new employee I have limited power within the organization, and I don't want to end up alienated like the SP has been. My husband thinks I should confront her, but I'm not a very confrontational person, and the ISTJ has a very sharp tongue and can be quite defensive so I just don't picture a confrontation going well. I usually get along easily with people, and most people have a strong respect for my work ethic and job performance, so I don't have much experience with these kinds of conflicts.

    In the past when someone is rude or mean or disrespectful to me like she has been, I resort to the old INFJ doorslam trick that is often referenced on this forum, and that usually serves me well. I've been mulling that over -- being polite but cool to her and uber-professional but having nothing to do with her outside of work-related interactions. (No more going to each others' get-togethers, celebrating each others' birthdays, writing on each others' Facebook walls, etc., etc.) In the past when I've done a doorslam it's been very effective and the offending party gets the point loud and clear that I am done with them because of their behavior towards me. But the tricky thing is that the ISTJ is actually slated to be team leader next year. She's pretty passive-aggressive, and when I go to doorslam mode I'm pretty passive-aggressive, and I don't think a passive-aggressive battle of wills would necessarily end very well for me if she's in a supervisory position over me. <Sigh.>

    Anyway, sorry to write so much. I'm bummed that this situation is bothering me to the degree it is (darn NF sensitivity). But anyway, I do appreciate y'all's comments and ideas on the matter.

  7. #7
    Lungs & Lips Locked Unkindloving's Avatar
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    I don't think i know any ESFJs personally, but i could see the ease of getting along with them. ESTJs are a bit more black and white about things, but easy-going. Quite possibly due to the extraversion.
    Those certainly make sense to not have a ton of issue with.

    Your ISTJ sounds unreasonable. You put in a hefty amount of work as it is and it's great that you're a hard worker. Apart from the situation, that is fantastic to hear!
    This ISTJ seems to have a case of the "It's Not Good Enough"s and that is disappointing. Mine has a case of the same, but we were only in a friendship scenario. He couldn't understand that i have different motivations for what i do and to what extent. That's the touchy part of confrontation, but the thing is this is your workplace. You need a healthy working environment. If the comments are becoming more biting, don't brush them off; stand your ground in way that is neither coy nor biting. You may very well have to decrease contact, but not do a full doorslam.

    I completely understand feeling too bothered by it, they know how to get under people's skin. A lot of people's tactics are to gnaw at a place where a person is inefficient, but an ISTJ tactic (whether it be conscious or not) is to gnaw where a person is efficient. It's surprisingly effective.
    Hang on traveling woman - Don't sacrifice your plan
    Cause it will come back to you - Before you lose it on the man


    .:: DWTWD ::.

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    2011 TypeC Exercise Challenge - My Weekly Goals: Cardio 4x. Yoga/Pilates 1x. Pushups 70.

    There is this thing keeping everyone's lungs and lips locked - It is called fear and it's seeing a great renaissance

  8. #8
    Junior Member ms-mngrl's Avatar
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    Default My 2 cents...

    Quote Originally Posted by mwv6r View Post
    Hello, I'm curious about peoples' insights into ISTJ and NF interactions, specifically the challenges these types encounter in areas such as work, friendship, family, etc. Advice on getting along smoothly with ISTJs is appreciated. There's one in my life who is driving me bonkers (a coworker) and I'm sure the feeling's mutual on her end. Thanks!
    No, just kidding, kind of. I have been working with several ESFJs, ISFJs and a couple of ISTJs for several years. When I first started reading what you wrote I had to do a double take! I was in a very similar situation a few years ago. The person I had to deal with was an ISFJ. Fortunately our "project time" came to a natural end. The coworker behavior you describe very much resembles my coworker's behavior. From what you write about this particular ISTJ, I am thinking that you are dealing with an irrational, dysfunctional personality and not just an ISTJ. She has crossed the professional line by using passive-aggressive behaviors, and making unprofessional comments. I would suggest you document her behaviors towards you. Do you have a supervisor you can confide in?
    It sounds like you are being very professional. Only you can decide how long you will be willing to deal with this kind of behavior.
    Funny the way it is, if you think about it...
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    Senior Member burymecloser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raz View Post
    I have 6 NFs at my job, and I've become close friends with one
    Quote Originally Posted by mwv6r View Post
    At work I am the only NF in a team of 3 hardcore SJs. Well, there is actually an SP on our team ... Anyway, the other two SJs (an ESFJ and an ESTJ) I get along fine with, in fact one I am even pretty good friends with outside of work. They seem to regard me as different from themselves but respect that I am a hard worker and let me do my thing with minimal conflict.
    Wow, you both have a lot more confidence than I do in typing people. Raz, you know that you work with 6 NFs, even though you're only close with one of them? NFs only make up about 15% of the general population, so unless you work in an NF field, I'm guessing you've typed about 40 co-workers. That's kind of intense.

    mwv6r, you know the exact MBTI profiles of everyone on your team, down to the letter?

    Do you people administer tests to everyone who walks in the door, or what? Sit them down and have earnest discussion of functions? I just don't understand how you can type these people with so much confidence.

  10. #10
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burymecloser View Post
    Wow, you both have a lot more confidence than I do in typing people. Raz, you know that you work with 6 NFs, even though you're only close with one of them? NFs only make up about 15% of the general population, so unless you work in an NF field, I'm guessing you've typed about 40 co-workers. That's kind of intense.

    mwv6r, you know the exact MBTI profiles of everyone on your team, down to the letter?

    Do you people administer tests to everyone who walks in the door, or what? Sit them down and have earnest discussion of functions? I just don't understand how you can type these people with so much confidence.
    Talk to them. Get to know them. The difference between each function is like night and day. I have 35+ coworkers, yet 6 are NFs. I work retail and my workplace is littered with xxFJs. I only consider myself close to one of the INFJs because she's the one that I work with daily and we have the closest conversations with each other. I know all the others pretty well, well enough to type them.

    An ENFJ store manager is pretty damn amazing. Every customer adores him. I can't stand ENFJs, but I admire him for what his personality allows him to do in his job. The N's are just more....spacey and less concerned with the tangibles. You just have to get used to it.


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