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  1. #31
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    lily, i sympathize about authenticity as well. as a Ne dom sometimes when i talk i am really just hypothesizing, raising ideas, but when i talk to a friend or SO about serious things, i know what i'm saying is really from the heart.

    --

    anyway -- i'm having this exact trouble right now, of relationships meaning more to you than the other person.

    one of my close high school friends appears to have not cared nearly as much about our friendship as i thought she did. about 5 years ago, we parted ways, and she suddenly fell off the map. she will answer some others' communication, but not mine, and she never initiates. but then the few times we've gotten together, she's very gushy and "i miss you!!"-y. she acts like we're very close again. i'm sorry but... you don't know me anymore... now she's just moved back into town, and she's wanting me to meet up with her. i'm hesitant... i feel like i'm just a friend when it's convenient to her.

    my most native reaction would just be to meet up with her and just flat-out tell her how i feel, but that would require me opening up again... honestly, the friendship doesn't mean enough to me to risk that kind of vulnerability. it wouldn't matter so much if i didn't actually care about her - i open up wide to people expecting nothing in return all the time - but it hurts me to open up to her and get nothing in return. and it's not like i stand to lose her, she's not there anyway. i figure what i'll do instead is meet up with her, but hold back a bit, protect myself... show her that i'll always love her for being her, but she no longer has the right to be close to me. she can earn it back, if she'd like. i would like to have her as a friend. but i just can't spend so much energy on her for so little in return.

    and wow, this solution seems terrifically okay. so right. i pored over the issue for hours and hours to come to this. i almost don't believe it can be this... well, not easy, but okay. usually stuff like this involves so much angst on my part. i don't know if it's Te or Fe or even Ti but something that is distinctly not Fi is working out here

  2. #32
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    lily, i sympathize about authenticity as well. as a Ne dom sometimes when i talk i am really just hypothesizing, raising ideas, but when i talk to a friend or SO about serious things, i know what i'm saying is really from the heart.

    --

    anyway -- i'm having this exact trouble right now, of relationships meaning more to you than the other person.

    one of my close high school friends appears to have not cared nearly as much about our friendship as i thought she did. about 5 years ago, we parted ways, and she suddenly fell off the map. she will answer some others' communication, but not mine, and she never initiates. but then the few times we've gotten together, she's very gushy and "i miss you!!"-y. she acts like we're very close again. i'm sorry but... you don't know me anymore... now she's just moved back into town, and she's wanting me to meet up with her. i'm hesitant... i feel like i'm just a friend when it's convenient to her.

    my most native reaction would just be to meet up with her and just flat-out tell her how i feel, but that would require me opening up again... honestly, the friendship doesn't mean enough to me to risk that kind of vulnerability. it wouldn't matter so much if i didn't actually care about her - i open up wide to people expecting nothing in return all the time - but it hurts me to open up to her and get nothing in return. and it's not like i stand to lose her, she's not there anyway. i figure what i'll do instead is meet up with her, but hold back a bit, protect myself... show her that i'll always love her for being her, but she no longer has the right to be close to me. she can earn it back, if she'd like. i would like to have her as a friend. but i just can't spend so much energy on her for so little in return.

    and wow, this solution seems terrifically okay. so right. i pored over the issue for hours and hours to come to this. i almost don't believe it can be this... well, not easy, but okay. usually stuff like this involves so much angst on my part. i don't know if it's Te or Fe or even Ti but something that is distinctly not Fi is working out here
    I don't know which function it is, either, but it sounds exactly like I'd handle it. Sounds kinda Fe-Ti-ish, to me.
    Something Witty

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    ^Adding romance into the mix makes things even more indistinct sometimes. I don't know what to say, other than there are SO many factors that go into whether or not that will work between two people - mutual intellectual/emotional connection? similar goals? similar ideas of what constitutes a relationship and allignment on the type both are wanting? mutual chemistry/attraction? both people being fully 'present'/able to give to the other? both having the belief/confidence that they in fact CAN be in a relationship? both in fact *wanting* to be in a relationship? ... And the list goes on. And yeah, even if the 'connection' for all intents and purposes is there, the timing might not be right - i.e. one of the people is either fearful or not at all wanting to be in a relationship, or is going to move out of the country next year so doesn't want to start anything... and the list goes on. And it's also hard to recognize in some of these cases that if you'd met them 5 years prior, or 15 years in the future, things might work out differently, and both might be in the right place at the right time, both wanting to go for the relationship. But in the now, it's not in the cards. Such is life.
    Thanks Cascadeco. So true. This is so hard because we did have (do have) a relationship that appears that we can't take any further, even though we became close and intimate. It was like having a boyfriend without the sex, though constantly having the desire/fantasy for more intimacy (i'd say this is one thing I definitely know he felt). Yes, there's so much that goes on and I know he had his own thoughts/feelings about what was happening...I don't think we were far off base in how we felt about one another. I don't think I could miss that as we were on the same page so often and it (the relationship) was tested so often. I've wondered why we realized the attraction for each other at the wrong time and place. Or maybe it was the right time and we were meant to meet and know each other. I wanted to tell him/show him how I felt and get it all out in the open but things got in the way or life intervened. But I've also been afraid to just blurt it out. I read somewhere that if you work with someone and you are more than friends but less than lovers, it's good to talk about it so you both know where each other is coming from/capable of giving.

    Edit: I think romantic feelings complicate communication. We were acting as if were courting/romancing each other, which we were doing. Work became not just this neutral thing we discussed but a springboard for our connection and an arena in which we reacted to each other as if were, in fact, a couple, with give and take and consideration of each other's feelings and needs. He and I have, I think, a very healthy relationship in that we dealt with issues as they arose rather than manipulating each other or skirting things. We have a pact of honesty. But to the topic at hand :

    To skylights thought about her friendship: I eventually let a friendship fade away with someone I felt I wasn't getting a specific and important need of mine met: acceptance for who I am . She was too critical and somewhat judgmental--she didn't mean it personally but I didn't like to have to explain myself or answer criticisms that I didn't think needed to be addressed. But she liked me and wanted to keep the friendship, I think. She moved away, so it faded away on its own. If your gut feeling is that the other person is not as invested as you, I think it's best to let it go in your heart. Especially if it continues to happen. It might be a phase they're going through, though.
    Last edited by Lauren; 03-06-2011 at 10:00 AM.

  4. #34
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences.

    I think I'm getting from this...try to be a bit more clear-eyed about where the other person may be coming from, particularly when you view them as a romantic potential and things are still unstated as to what lies between you. I like what cascadeco said about how if you've become super-invested in the idea of a relationship with someone, but it hasn't actually happened and you don't actually know for sure what they are thinking, it's like becoming deeply invested in something that likely doesn't exist or at least is very uncertain. I've set myself up for some painful situations this way.

    What I find disheartening though is...I'm starting to wonder how anyone ever achieves a successful relationship. Seriously. It seems as though there are so many things that have to align. Not just mutual attraction, connection, etc but both being prepared to be present and committed in the relationship; having similar ideas about what goes into a good relationship; having a very similar way of looking at the world, OR being prepared to make a massive effort to understand someone who might think very differently from you (or probably a bit of both); etc... It's a lot. There just seems to be so much potential for misunderstanding and resulting hurt in any kind of human relation, and especially in romantic relationships. I'm starting to find it all very daunting. And yet for some people it seems quite simple.
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  5. #35
    Senior Member syndatha's Avatar
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    I've not been single for more than 6 months since the age of 14 - so personally I'm not familiar whith the topic at all. I'm a relationship person.
    There's always been enough single men to choose by, so I've rarely chased after anybody - just picked among the ones that were interested in me. They have all been very quick to commit, and I've usually been the one leaving the relationship. I've been with my man for 13 years now, never cheated.
    Wow - soon I start feeling like a spoilt golden retriever

    My INFJ friends, however, constantly experience this. Howcome they always hook up with the assholes? My heart bleeds for them every time, but I also think that they consequently pick men below their own standard. Like they're not aware of their own worth, or something. I think I've just picked my partners more carefully. Or maybe I've been really lucky? At least I feel lucky most of the time

  6. #36
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    I don't know if what you describe is an ENFJ thing or what, but my ENFJ sister is like that...always in a relationship, like constantly, ridiculously. She lived with three men in the course of a little over a year. I began to wonder if something was wrong with her. My mother says my sister changes men like she changes her underwear.

    I actually think my sister has much lower standards than I do, ironically, even though she always has a boyfriend. She's been with the one she's with now for a couple of years, though.


  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences.

    I think I'm getting from this...try to be a bit more clear-eyed about where the other person may be coming from, particularly when you view them as a romantic potential and things are still unstated as to what lies between you. I like what cascadeco said about how if you've become super-invested in the idea of a relationship with someone, but it hasn't actually happened and you don't actually know for sure what they are thinking, it's like becoming deeply invested in something that likely doesn't exist or at least is very uncertain. I've set myself up for some painful situations this way.

    What I find disheartening though is...I'm starting to wonder how anyone ever achieves a successful relationship. Seriously. It seems as though there are so many things that have to align. Not just mutual attraction, connection, etc but both being prepared to be present and committed in the relationship; having similar ideas about what goes into a good relationship; having a very similar way of looking at the world, OR being prepared to make a massive effort to understand someone who might think very differently from you (or probably a bit of both); etc... It's a lot. There just seems to be so much potential for misunderstanding and resulting hurt in any kind of human relation, and especially in romantic relationships. I'm starting to find it all very daunting. And yet for some people it seems quite simple.
    This may sound simplistic but even though a number of things have to align, you don't have control over them. So it may seem daunting if you think about the ingredients for a successful relationship but I think when you meet someone and you click, it begins to take on a life of its own. Doors begin to open, the things you need to talk about, you talk about. Or not. Or the other person likes you just the way you are. Or you find you care for them just the way they are and what they feel are their faults, you don't mind at all. There will always be differences but when you are with someone who cares about you, they'll want to work through these. Just some thoughts.

  8. #38
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    at least you have the ability to open up like that... I concluded at a young age that people suck and I can't trust them like that, so I'm friendly and helpful, but somewhere in there a wall is up, and it's rather hard to get past that wall. The worst part is that my natural style appears to be friendly and open to other people apparently, so they think that they ARE in

    I guess it's people like me who are the problem there and I appologize... it's a self defense mechanism
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  9. #39
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    This isn't a typology or Jungian thing, though the principle behind it is the same that motivates typology: namely, different people think differently from you. The world makes a LOT more sense once you realize that.

    A good metaphor is a movie theater, in which you see a single person watching a movie. As you watch the movie, you realize that it's your life! Then you look at the person watching it, it's you!

    After watching and remembering for a while, you leave, and you enter another theater, with a single person watching a movie. This movie has you in it, but it's different. It's not you, but a facsimile. The person watching the movie is your mom! The movie is how she sees her life and the people in it. It's sort of like your movie, similar in some places, but very different in others, especially the parts about you.

    Then you go to more and more of the theaters. There's another with your brother watching his movie, your girlfriend watching hers, or your son watching his, your coworkers watching theirs. Each of them has a different version of you and none of them are "really you."

    Then you go back to the first movie theater. You see yourself watching your movie with a new perspective: your movie isn't true. It's not untrue, either, but it's simply your representation of what is real, and other people have their own representations of reality. There is a lot of commonality, but the differences never go away.

    So, when something means a lot to you, but not to someone else, it's OK. It's nice when it does and can be shared, and we tend to love those who "share meaningfulness" with us, but even then, there will be other disconnects, where what they see isn't what you see. There's nothing wrong with it. It isn't bad. It isn't good. It just is.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  10. #40
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren View Post
    This may sound simplistic but even though a number of things have to align, you don't have control over them. So it may seem daunting if you think about the ingredients for a successful relationship but I think when you meet someone and you click, it begins to take on a life of its own. Doors begin to open, the things you need to talk about, you talk about. Or not. Or the other person likes you just the way you are. Or you find you care for them just the way they are and what they feel are their faults, you don't mind at all. There will always be differences but when you are with someone who cares about you, they'll want to work through these. Just some thoughts.
    Yeah, this does make sense. And this is why, although unfortunately I do occasionally pine after people who aren't showing a sufficient degree of interest in me...I don't go on pining once it's become REALLY clear that it's not going to happen (ie. we've broken up; or the relationship never materialised and they started going out with someone else; etc!) Don't get me wrong, I'll probably feel very sad and hurt for longer than healthier! But I won't pine as in "I wish we could get back together, or I wish he'd break up with his new GF so we can be together." Because, as I think someone else said - Huxley? more or less - it's not that you've lost someone you "shouldn't have". If you lost them, they weren't the right one. Well, I know many people have ended up in situations where they wouldn't quite agree with this but I think it is generally true and somewhat comforting. If they were "the right one", it's not that things would have been 100% perfect from the start in terms of compatibility, similar view on relationships, etc etc etc. But they would have been sufficiently aligned, AND both of you would have been present and willing to work through the non-perfect stuff...also accepting that no relationship, however fantastic, is EVER going to be perfect.

    When talking about friendships rather than relationships, it is a bit easier. While it can be frustrating and saddening to feel that your investment is bigger or different than someone else's, I think you need less "alignment" all around before it can still be a good friendship. Friendships are also more fluid in a way... In a long-term relationship or marriage, you can't really ebb and flow and leave each other and come back to each other in the same way! I have had long long friendships (I can think of one that's lasted more than twenty years, for instance) where we've been very close, then less close, then living far apart but keeping in touch a bit, then pretty much losing touch for a few years, then getting back in touch, then getting close-ish again though not as close as when we were ten...that sort of thing. And it can work well. It's not ideal, but it's ok. I have friendships where we only get in touch every couple of years, and maybe see each other every four or five years, but the great thing is we can pick up where we left off, and there's no resentment. It's a bit harder when the person lives close to you and you feel like you're the one always suggesting that you get together, or whatever. But sometimes, well, you just have to let go a bit. I have a friend who is probably INTJ (INTP?) and I've been really frustrated at times that she doesn't reach out more. But for a long time that was because her health was terrible, and honestly I don't think I realised just how terrible because she was very stoic about it. And now her health is much better, but she is still a very very self-sufficient person, perhaps a little too much, from my perspective. But when we do get together, it's all good. Neither of us are massively invested but we can still be there for each other. However, I've had closer friendships with a really big investment and really tough times we've struggled through, and those ones are harder to deal with if you really get let down, or they betray your trust or whatever. There's more repair work needed under those circumstances, and maybe more re-calibration of how you fit into each other's lives.

    Uumlau: I really like your illustration. And I agree that the world makes much more sense when you realise that not everyone thinks as you do...that's probably where MBTI has helped me the most. The only thing I disagree with is that, rather than this just being the way it is and neither bad nor good, I tend to think it's both bad and good.
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