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  1. #1
    Junior Member LinearOrbit's Avatar
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    Default INTJ puzzled by INFJ

    I think that the part of the INTJ description - "... relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ's Achilles heel." - is uncomfortably close for me. Many of my friends are still optimistic about me, but honestly, I've always been single (I'm 27); I have a cyclical pattern when it comes to women, and I don't actually see this changing in the foreseeable future.

    It goes like this:

    1. I get interested in dating someone roughly every 2-3 years
    2. I lose my ability to think properly whenever she's around
    3. Fi demands that until I'm sane again, I don't embarrass the living heck out of myself and make a horrible impression or make her life unpleasant by interacting with her
    4. I fade completely into the background while trying to master the basics of speech
    5. After several months, I manage to approach her, and completely over-do things (after all, at this stage, she'll barely know me, while I'll be 2 IQ points away from a discouraging medical diagnosis)
    6. She politely declines any of my suggestions (coffee, etc.)
    7. I back away, and after a few months of much soul-searching, work out some new details of what I should have done differently
    8. Wash, rinse, repeat

    Obviously those are some very wide brush-strokes, but broadly speaking that's the backdrop here, and this time around (I'm on step 7 right now) the person in question is an INFJ (very introverted, graphic designer, tons of Ni, and this deft/rich Fe that comes out occasionally, etc.). She's a sister of a friend of mine, but the only time we're ever around each other is once a week at church. I had asked her out for coffee, she'd said she'd think about it, but really, that was a no. Not wanting to give up quite so easily, I followed up with some stuff on Facebook, she replied cautiously, and then when I didn't get to speak to her the following week my Fi lost the plot entirely, and I posted a long message saying just how I felt (yes, yes, I know! ). And she replied saying that she simply wasn't interested (to which I replied roughly with "thanks for being honest, I'll leave you alone, should I move to Canada?").

    The upshot of honesty is that it let me get over it all and move on - but there were still one or two questions I wanted answered, and in the name of closure, I sent her an email, pretty much a "Hi, how are you? Look, I'm still a little puzzled, and it's frustrating me, what did I miss?" kind of thing. But a few days after that, I had the "Aha!" breakthrough I needed (the rules and nuances of Fe are _not_ obvious ), preceding her reply later on, that she felt totally apathetic towards me, that relationships aren't transactional, that she didn't even want a friendship with me, she could see I wasn't a bad person, but that I had to move on.

    So I spelt things out honestly and openly:
    You can relax. I've done all that. Yes, it was a weird way to work through things, but I got there in the end, and seeing as how no one else - including you - was involved in this, that's what matters.

    I didn't get there until after my email, but at some point during last week I finally clicked. (Let me take the time to note here that - this email aside - there's nothing else for me to say to you now.) I finally realized how some people - like you - see their social roles, etc, and it makes it all work properly.

    Initially, I really wasn't sure what you were rejecting. I know I made a lousy first impression - you do this thing where you tune into the other person's mind, and so do I, and it ended up being a completely unexpected kind of "echo-room of silence" in my head whenever I thought about you, which was phenomenally difficult to get to the bottom of. (As you'll know, with the right person, that can be quite a trip, but that's just a fairly pointless side-note here.)

    Anyway, between those two points, it all fits/makes sense - now that I actually get it, it's straightforward; your rejection remains firmly complete. No worries. I have my understanding, and with it, closure. There's no conflict, nor bothersome thoughts left to figure out. I never spent time trying to find out much about you, because there's only pain to be had that way if it didn't work out. So thankfully there's very little to leave behind... and I'm pretty sure you'll continue to be unaffected.

    Last point, for completeness: you can try to sound as unattractive as possible to put me off "And I dont think i want you to get to know me. I'm really not that interesting."- don't worry, your disinterest was sufficient - but I know exactly what the good parts that I was looking at were. You were wrong there.
    Bear in mind that up until this point we'd had very little contact indeed - perhaps three or four brief conversations to go with the contact mentioned here. I'd found my closure, and I figured it was a simple case of both of us reverting to being entirely disinterested in the other person any more: that's simple and tidy.

    Except NOW she's paying attention to me. Before all this, we were unlikely to ever have said a word to each other. But at subsequent wedding we were both at, she walked up as I was chatting to her brother and I could feel her 'feelers' reaching out to gauge me (and hit a wall). And we happened to be at a party subsequently, and she specifically came up to give a cat I was holding a stroke, and said goodbye to me afterwards (previously we wouldn't even have done that). And I've noticed her looking at me several times since then, but mostly it's that very subtle kind of attention, where you simply keep track of the other person.

    I really want to put the whole situation firmly behind me, and I believe the complete apathy about me that she described, but I find someone noticing me is very distracting. (I don't even think it's particularly fair of her to show any interest now!) Mostly though, it just gives rise to the question of "Huh?". Can someone who know how any of this lot works clue me in?

  2. #2
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    Well, you say that it's very distracting when someone notices you. That's exactly how she must have felt when you approached her. The thought of you being interested in her and vice versa hadn't probably crossed her mind, the apathy she felt towards you was due to not really "seeing" you (I hope this makes sense) while you had everything worked out, silently, all along. At the time, probably the best course of action she felt had to be done was to decline. Now that she's had some time to think about it, you are on her "orbit", she might see some possibilities that weren't visible before (like friendship). You being honest and open about this whole matter has been a big plus. While you have seemingly reached closure, it might not be so for her.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LinearOrbit View Post
    Except NOW she's paying attention to me. Before all this, we were unlikely to ever have said a word to each other. But at subsequent wedding we were both at, she walked up as I was chatting to her brother and I could feel her 'feelers' reaching out to gauge me (and hit a wall). And we happened to be at a party subsequently, and she specifically came up to give a cat I was holding a stroke, and said goodbye to me afterwards (previously we wouldn't even have done that). And I've noticed her looking at me several times since then, but mostly it's that very subtle kind of attention, where you simply keep track of the other person.

    I really want to put the whole situation firmly behind me, and I believe the complete apathy about me that she described, but I find someone noticing me is very distracting. (I don't even think it's particularly fair of her to show any interest now!) Mostly though, it just gives rise to the question of "Huh?". Can someone who know how any of this lot works clue me in?
    I personally think it's a "no hard feelings" thing. Now that you're avoiding her, I think she's trying to let you know that it's not necessary by initiating some form of contact, even if it's a basic "goodbye".

    As an INTJ I understand wanting to put the situation behind you, but I think with said INFJ you've got the order of actions entirely wrong. Instead of spilling your guts in a Darcy-ish "You must allow me to tell you how much I love and adore you" way after a few coffee invitations where she turned you down (probably because she knows nothing about you), perhaps what you should've done (and what you could still do) is just let the relationship organically grow from friendship. Maybe that's what she's looking for now. To see if you could become friends first, maybe something else later. Of course, you shouldn't expect that it's the case. If she's just looking to get to know you better as a person and be friends (despite what she says), you'll have to decide if that's what you want.

    *edited to add that if I, an INJ female, had been approached by someone whom I hadn't had much contact with before for dates/coffee, and then had a confession foisted on me, my immediate reaction would've been "how do you like me? do you even know me? what a creep." - with the regret coming later if I realised later that they were not insane stalkers, but genuine, sincere (but emotionally stunted) people.

  4. #4
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    You meet her once a week in church? Fine then, be more active in the youth group or whatever social activities there are in your church. I mean, if you are asked to do the reading or whatever in church one sunday, surely, you won't lose the 'basics of speech' will you?

    Just act normal. Don't fade into the background. And please don't put her or any other woman on a pedestal!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    Instead of spilling your guts in a Darcy-ish "You must allow me to tell you how much I love and adore you" .
    LOLLLLL

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    You forgot to add "most ardently"... ROFL

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    *edited to add that if I, an INJ female, had been approached by someone whom I hadn't had much contact with before for dates/coffee, and then had a confession foisted on me, my immediate reaction would've been "how do you like me? do you even know me? what a creep." - with the regret coming later if I realised later that they were not insane stalkers, but genuine, sincere (but emotionally stunted) people.
    Agreed.

    Also, excellent way to refer to Darcy.

  8. #8
    Junior Member LinearOrbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    Well, you say that it's very distracting when someone notices you. That's exactly how she must have felt when you approached her. The thought of you being interested in her and vice versa hadn't probably crossed her mind, the apathy she felt towards you was due to not really "seeing" you (I hope this makes sense) while you had everything worked out, silently, all along. At the time, probably the best course of action she felt had to be done was to decline. Now that she's had some time to think about it, you are on her "orbit", she might see some possibilities that weren't visible before (like friendship). You being honest and open about this whole matter has been a big plus. While you have seemingly reached closure, it might not be so for her.
    Thanks, Sky, I appreciate your insight. That's roughly one of the options I've been considering, but it's nice to hear it from someone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immaculate Cloud View Post
    Just act normal. Don't fade into the background. And please don't put her or any other woman on a pedestal!
    It's valid advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    I personally think it's a "no hard feelings" thing. Now that you're avoiding her, I think she's trying to let you know that it's not necessary by initiating some form of contact, even if it's a basic "goodbye".

    *edited to add that if I, an INJ female, had been approached by someone whom I hadn't had much contact with before for dates/coffee, and then had a confession foisted on me, my immediate reaction would've been "how do you like me? do you even know me? what a creep." - with the regret coming later if I realised later that they were not insane stalkers, but genuine, sincere (but emotionally stunted) people.
    I would be happy with the "no had feelings line" if it was simply a goodbye and a few other low-key interactions, except it's not - it's her more general attention that's tripping me up.

    I'll note that she and I have different circles of friends, so simply going around like I would if she didn't exist doesn't really change anything, or help resolve the situation (I'm really not avoiding her - I'm not doing anything really, except noticing that she's noticing me, and feeling that I ought to be doing something, one way or the other).

    The stalker line is completely understandable - no arguments there! On the emotionally-stunted point, well, fair enough. I think I get some parts right, but there's no denying that I also get a fairly pivotal segment very, very wrong.

    On that note, rather than making things unpleasant for her, I'm asking "why can't we all just walk away?" And I was well on my way until she turned around and started to pay attention. I guess I want to write this lot off because I really find it tricky to imagine a happier ending than that neutral option.

  9. #9
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if she feels bad for ignoring you and thinks that perhaps you'd feel better if you were given at least some acknowledgment. Or it could be that she's watching how you respond with her to get an idea if you're still interested in her.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Johari/Nohari

    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier and simpler.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche




  10. #10
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    Instead of spilling your guts in a Darcy-ish "You must allow me to tell you how much I love and adore you" way.
    Oh. My. God. I laughed soooo hard when I read this. I've seen it all. An INTJ making an allusion to Jane Austen. RIGHT ON!


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