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  1. #1
    Senior Member DJAchtundvierzig's Avatar
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    Wink INFJ + ISTP Relationships

    I'm just curious to see if anyone could post their experiences about INFJ and ISTP relationships. If you do, post positive and negative qualities to the relationship. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    In summary, it's initially fascinating, then frustrating, then bad. The INFJ has no idea what the ISTP is feeling, and they generally don't flex much, so it's up to the INFJ to learn how to adjust to a relationship with very little emotional feedback or communication. It often makes the INFJ feel like they're being clingy because they are so unsure of where they stand. Usually it ends up with them being pushed away by the ISTP but still feeling tortured as they know the ISTP still cares on some levels but will not make the necessarily adjustments to make the relationship work.

    There are some variations on this theme, but if you read through past threads, it usually suggests that INFJs are fascinated by cracking the "puzzle" that the ISTP provides and appreciate their calming presence, till they discover that little priority is given to the elements of life that INFJs live and breathe. I think as we age, we tend to learn to admire qualities in others that we don't have and work towards developing them, rather than getting together with someone who is completely opposite. There is also more than one ISTP that has given feedback on the relationship from their perspective. Generally they find us oversensitive and a little more high maintenance than they'd like, although they appreciate the attention initially.

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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    It seems like there would be a potential for strong attraction/chemistry though I would wonder in the long term how things would work out. The two have very different views/understanding of the world. Neither one is particularly flexible and I could see each withdrawing and becoming more entrenched in their position (whatever that may be). Neither one would be particularly interested in mundane everyday routine matters, which somebody has to do.

    I came across this article the other day which might be interesting. It talks about compatibility of different types. Click on the PDF towards the bottom of the page.

    Relationship Type Combinations : Type Insights

    All this being said, I think any two types could work together under the right circumstances.

    Please provide feedback on my Nohari and Johari Window by clicking here: Nohari/Johari

    Tri-type 639

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    I was friends with an ISTP. We became friends really fast and were comfortable hanging around each other. But our friendship stayed activity level--we'd talk about entertainment, but nothing deeper. I got quite sentimental about our bond, though, more sentimental than the ISTP. :redface:

  5. #5
    Member Affably Evil's Avatar
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    It was disastrous for me. I had a very hard time reading him, and he tended to dismiss concepts unawares that I treated as extensions of myself. For example, I was studying film and media theory and early in our relationship he mentioned that he thought watching movies was "a waste of time." He enumerated at length similar thoughts on other subjects that I was heavily invested in, and to this day I don't know whether he was being careless or passive-aggressive. He was an engineer and liked learning about systems, and had a lot of interest in anything that had specific real-world applicability; I definitely learned a lot from him on topics that I had previously not researched, so I appreciated his interests expanding my knowledge base.

    I cared for him very much as a friend and I appreciated his values — which were usually quite well thought-out and reasoned — but I was never able to trust him into my inner world. I never felt like he was dating "me" but instead was dating an image of me that I hadn't ever submitted to. Besides that, I had a very hard time expressing my thoughts to him and he expected me to be able to be very upfront and open with him.

    I'm sorry if this post dwelled too much on the negatives; not all ISTP/INFJ relationships are like that of course, I've only dated the one and even within MBTI there is infinite variety.

  6. #6
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    I was close friends with an ISTP, and very near to being in a relationship with him, and I can say that my experiences fall right in line with what fidelia and Affably Evil described. What first drew me to him, other than his good looks, was the fact that like many SPs, he had an artistic bent: he wrote poetry, painted pictures, composed excellent music, and had a rare appreciation for the beauty of nature. I learned all of that about him online, and I formed the impression that he was some sort of sensitive artist, which is the most attractive kind of person to me. When I actually started to get to know him over the telephone, though, I discovered that while he might have strong feelings, he had little or no capacity to express them in spoken words. To have talked to him, you would have thought he was the most detached person this side of the sun. I found that disappointing, because I need to exchange emotions with people in order to form deep relationships with them. But I wanted a friend so badly and was so desperate for a relationship that I decided to see things through anyway.

    Things went pretty well for awhile--we had lots of great conversations--but when he finally moved in with me, everything eventually went downhill. The main problem was that same unwillingness to communicate which I had already sensed in him. We would have a philosophical discussion, and when we disagreed (we often did, as he was your typical rationalist), instead of brushing it off as a simple difference of opinion, like I do whenever I disagree with someone, or at least arguing his case in a courteous manner, he would get visibly upset and refuse to talk; he would sit there bottling up what seemed to me like childish frustration over something that didn't even matter in the real world. Similar things kept happening in a whole host of conversations; he would get upset over something, usually a trivial matter, and instead of working it out openly and saving us both a great deal of drama, he would bottle it up. There were times when he bottled things up so tightly that I had no idea what was bothering him until days, weeks, and even months after the fact. This got worse and worse; an increasingly thick wall of silence built up between us, and as it continued to build, I became insecure and, at times, dramatic. I later discovered that we were involved in a positive feedback loop, where one person's coping mechanism (his was withdrawal, and mine a mix of trying to work things out in the open and make him feel responsible for my emotions) triggered the other's.

    By the time I found this out, though, a lot of damage had already been done to our relationship, and my attempts to take advantage of what I had learned and his supposed willingness to do the same did not get either of us anywhere; our last few days together were our most unpleasant. They started out quite fun, at least for me, but on the second day he snapped at me over some issue he had been brooding over for who knows how long (this in spite of his resolution to be more open), and this caused me to break down in tears and start hugging him/clinging to him, in spite of my resolution to be emotionally independent. That night ended on a good note, fortunately--I gave him a long massage, and we slept together--but the next day ended up being just as bad. From about noon onward, I could sense that he was hiding some sort of irritation with me, I don't know what, and this combined with the fact that he was still cutting me off from his emotions on a more general level really bothered me, so that when he apologized to me for being unpleasant, I turned around and gave us both a sermon about how our friendship had been a miserable failure, and came very close to slamming the proverbial door. When my sermon came to an end, I spent the next two hours walking the streets, mad with grief and shaking with sobs; I really felt like my life had ended.

    The next day he walked out of my life, but he hasn't walked out of my heart. I still think about him a lot; my feelings for him fluctuate between a hope that I know perfectly well is unreasonable, now that he has moved on, and an anger at him for breaking so many of the promises he made.

    So, in short, I'm going to throw in my opinion with a couple of others' and say that INFJ plus ISTP is probably not a recipe for success, particularly when you consider that I was with a relatively emotional ISTP and we still had problems in that area.
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

  7. #7
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Affably Evil View Post
    It was disastrous for me. I had a very hard time reading him, and he tended to dismiss concepts unawares that I treated as extensions of myself. For example, I was studying film and media theory and early in our relationship he mentioned that he thought watching movies was "a waste of time." He enumerated at length similar thoughts on other subjects that I was heavily invested in, and to this day I don't know whether he was being careless or passive-aggressive. He was an engineer and liked learning about systems, and had a lot of interest in anything that had specific real-world applicability; I definitely learned a lot from him on topics that I had previously not researched, so I appreciated his interests expanding my knowledge base.
    This has actually happened to me with some of the NFs that I've known (even though I'm ISFP and not ISTP). When they were talking about something that they were very passionate about; I didn't really pick up on that fact. I just figured that they wanted to talk about it. And I speak my mind usually; and I've said some things like "that's stupid" or "why would anybody EVER want to do that?" And then later finding out that it mattered a good bit to them and that they were crushed/saw me in a different light. And I was totally clueless.

    This is why SPs want people to be up front with us. We just don't know unless we're told most of the time; unless we consciously try to use our Ni to figure it out. Mystery having to do with people and things that are important to us really pisses us off. We are so up front because we WANT people to just say what they mean! Since I've screwed up with people because of that (mostly NFs and SFJs) I've been trying to be more empathetic. Ask questions about the thing that someone is talking about (how it relates to them) before speaking my mind on it; so that I can be a bit more tactful. Like saying "I can see how you would like that; but that's not really my cup of tea" versus "I just don't really care about that at all."

    SPs learn primarily from experience. I know ISTPs who are really tactful (learned from girlfriends/boyfriends and family etc) who would do well in a relationship because of that.

    Hope that made some sense.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

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  8. #8
    Member Affably Evil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    Mystery having to do with people and things that are important to us really pisses us off. We are so up front because we WANT people to just say what they mean!
    That makes a lot of sense, and definitely helps me to understand where I could've done much better in the relationship. Unfortunately, because INFJs deal with layers of transparency, I think it can be very hard for us to assert our feelings or expose hurts if we don't know the other party well (or if we can't predict how they might react). Because we also tend to deal with juggling multiple possibilities at once, I think we tend to prefer to read between the lines — and I for one often forget that many people don't like to do that.

    For me at least, vague or subtextual information allows a comfort zone — for denial, for action, for deciding on a response. So for example, if someone hurts me, I might not want to acknowledge it right away until I've had time to think about it and consider it from as many angles as possible and figure out how I want to act, and what those results might be. If someone did it intentionally, I can usually react faster than if someone did or said something unintentionally.

    The less close I am to someone, the less their feelings will matter/be a part of my consideration of how to act. If they're at the deepest level of knowing me, be that familial, platonic, or relationship-wise, they know my bad areas already. It's in that largest middling gray area where I tend to get stalled in being upfront about personal, private, or hurtful matters.

    Given these concerns, how could an INFJ be more accommodating or reasonable emotionally to an ISTP? Is it even possible for a TiSe dom to find common ground with an NiFe dom?

  9. #9
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that I'm an ISFP, not an ISTP, but if I were any other type it would probably be ISTP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Affably Evil View Post
    That makes a lot of sense, and definitely helps me to understand where I could've done much better in the relationship. Unfortunately, because INFJs deal with layers of transparency, I think it can be very hard for us to assert our feelings or expose hurts if we don't know the other party well (or if we can't predict how they might react). Because we also tend to deal with juggling multiple possibilities at once, I think we tend to prefer to read between the lines — and I for one often forget that many people don't like to do that.
    One thing about Se is that Se is about amassing all of the information about a realistic context. I would say that this can also apply to people; in that we know what's missing from a given context. In english, that would mean that we can see if someone is hiding something or intentionally leaving something out. So then we push and push until we get it out of them; thus bringing us peace of mind and security in knowing what's real in the situation. This often has the opposite effect on NJs though when you don't know them well. My mom is ENFJ, and arguments start over this kind of thing all the time. Since I can tell when she's leaving something out just to be polite; and I'll get mad. Then she gets confused because I'm mad at her being nice; and yeah.

    We usually are set on one possibility; this is why we try to gain clarity. To know what's what so that we aren't wasting our time on a possibility that's bullshit. When something is vague and I can't do anything about it, I'm often physically antsy, annoyed, and prone to saying "fuck this" if it's not something that I have to do. I think that this is a result of tertiary or inferior Ni; it still has an affect on how we tick but it's not a main thing.

    For me at least, vague or subtextual information allows a comfort zone — for denial, for action, for deciding on a response. So for example, if someone hurts me, I might not want to acknowledge it right away until I've had time to think about it and consider it from as many angles as possible and figure out how I want to act, and what those results might be. If someone did it intentionally, I can usually react faster than if someone did or said something unintentionally.
    Again, this could be bad. Until you voice how you feel; we'll just continue with what we're doing because we assume everything is fine. (see my first post, with me offending people and having no idea. That kinda thing) But that is interesting indeed. I can usually tell when something is "wrong" with something I've done when it comes to NJs. You guys sort of withdraw but don't really show anything. And that leads to probing...

    Of course a good solution to all of these things would be if you were a good bullshitter.

    The less close I am to someone, the less their feelings will matter/be a part of my consideration of how to act. If they're at the deepest level of knowing me, be that familial, platonic, or relationship-wise, they know my bad areas already. It's in that largest middling gray area where I tend to get stalled in being upfront about personal, private, or hurtful matters.
    This somewhat resonates with me. Except the only SP who would put Fe to good use would be the ESTP; as an Fi dom I don't really think about how I act, I just act (P vs J). ISTPs would do this too I imagine, treating most people the same except for people very close to them (less layers than NJs).

    Given these concerns, how could an INFJ be more accommodating or reasonable emotionally to an ISTP? Is it even possible for a TiSe dom to find common ground with an NiFe dom?
    I hope my response helped you; but here is one more thought for you to consider.

    The thing that NFs and SPs have in common is that they are actively concerned about the intentions of people. This means that STPs are the only T type (in theory) who are concerned about the motivations of people directly in their thinking process. But the way that NFs and SPs come to their conclusions about people's intentions are different from each other. SPs just want it to be known so that we know what the limits of a situation are, this is why we probe people a lot and push them. It's all apart of the Se information gathering. It's kind of being somewhere unfamiliar, you have to explore to know what's relevant. Unlike Si, this stuff changes from context to context (again on J/P, P's gather information over time before coming to conclusions).

    Some links that I've found that may help-

    This was a random discussion between two members (primarily); but it may bring some insight into how ISTPs and INFJs are similar- http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...anks-dd-2.html

    4temperaments.com -- Understanding Temperament Theory <-This should give some insight into SPs. It includes how to get along with them in relationships as well.

    Here is probably the best general ISTP profile- ISTP

    Hopefully that we intelligible and helpful!
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

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  10. #10
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    In summary, it's initially fascinating, then frustrating, then bad. The INFJ has no idea what the ISTP is feeling, and they generally don't flex much, so it's up to the INFJ to learn how to adjust to a relationship with very little emotional feedback or communication. It often makes the INFJ feel like they're being clingy because they are so unsure of where they stand. Usually it ends up with them being pushed away by the ISTP but still feeling tortured as they know the ISTP still cares on some levels but will not make the necessarily adjustments to make the relationship work.

    There are some variations on this theme, but if you read through past threads, it usually suggests that INFJs are fascinated by cracking the "puzzle" that the ISTP provides and appreciate their calming presence, till they discover that little priority is given to the elements of life that INFJs live and breathe. I think as we age, we tend to learn to admire qualities in others that we don't have and work towards developing them, rather than getting together with someone who is completely opposite. There is also more than one ISTP that has given feedback on the relationship from their perspective. Generally they find us oversensitive and a little more high maintenance than they'd like, although they appreciate the attention initially.
    Spot on based on my observations, although ISTPs also tend to find the INFJ pretty fascinating themselves. There's something about this dynamic where the buried layers of each person compels the other, whether that's the inner-adventurousness of the INFJ or the interpersonal depth of the ISTP. However, those deeper aspects aren't really the norm, so it creates a huge well of anticipation where the other person always wants a bit more.

    If both people can be happy with the "always wanting just a bit more" feeling, using it to fuel passion rather than resent the other person, it can really work. However, as Fidelia suggests, it often just leads to eventual frustration in the long term.

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