I'm sure some NFs here have had ISTJs as friends, co-workers or as family members. My question is: how have you found them as friends, etc? Do you feel very different from them when it comes to how you approach people and groups, particularly? Do you understand their perspective on these things?
This is the context for the question, though responding to it is not necessary:
My brother (ISTJ) has a group of friends that seems to cycle through different scape-goats. At any one time, the group seems to have the one guy in the group that they all badmouth and avoid. I figured this was just group dynamics in action (albeit, a group I would never choose to be in). I'll admit that I was surprised at my brother's willingness to go along with this sort of behaviour, but no one looked like they were getting hurt.
And then one of them got into what sounds like an emotionally-abusive relationship. He also has controlling parents…I think his mother set a soft toy he'd gotten for his birthday alight because she thought he was spending too much time with his friends and not enough time studying. He's stuck doing a degree he doesn't want to do. To boot, he failed his core subjects at uni and ended up spending the semester in front of his computer.
His friends weren't much help. He was the latest scape-goat because his friends thought he moped about his girlfriend too much. He seemed to get himself stuck in a guilt-cycle because then he started apologising for moping too much and bought his friends presents to express how sorry he felt for being such a burden.
I pointed out to my brother that his friend sounded depressed and really in need of a support system. Moreover, the guy's an IxFJ and is the furthest thing from a jerk. But my brother simply responded, 'I can't be bothered talking to him, though. He's too annoying.' (For clarity: too annoying because he's so down and whines.)
I have asked other ISTJs about this and, to be honest, their logic doesn't make a great lot of sense to me. They seem to agree with my brother's approach and accept that things are just the way they are—that, essentially, other people's problems aren't really theirs(?) and that the IxSJ is being weak. I was wondering if I might understand it better if I had it explained to me by people who aren't ISTJs.
I ask because I don't think my brother is being intentionally cold. My brother is fairly sociable and open-ish to meeting new people. In contrast, I'm socially awkward and can be quick to judge people, too. I think I resent people more. But when it comes to things like this—my brother's absolute detachment from the situation, the fact that it doesn't even occur to him that something might be wrong—I feel like I'm the warm, compassionate people-person. I feel that there is a logical disconnect between our approaches that I can't bridge. I'm wondering what that disconnect is.
In short, my brother's callousness toward his friend—what's up with that?
(I also know that some people will probably just say that it's down to gender and group dynamics but I was assuming that the seriousness of the IxFJs situation would outweigh the gender considerations to some extent…?)