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  1. #1
    Junior Member XJKD's Avatar
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    Default Making friends as an INTJ

    Hi, got a question about my INFJ friend I've recently met.

    So, before I ask, I think I should give a bit of background. (feel free to skip, it would drive me crazy to ask anything without writing a thorough background) I'm currently in a math class for my major in school. At the beginning of the semester, I noticed a guy sitting near me in class and I preformed my usual checks:
    -Not self absorbed? Check.
    -Quiet, therefore potentially observant and insightful? Check. (this one also means probably not annoying)
    -Sitting on the front row, citing a quality of diligence? Check.

    Potential life-long friend found.

    We started talking soon after that and I found most of my presuppositions seemed correct. Therefore I found it worth while to try and be friends. I immediately knew he wasn't an INTJ like myself, and after some thought had him pegged as an ISFJ. He hung out every now and then after class, did homework and studied together for several weeks. I made an effort to find out what his interests were, which I learned were the usual boring subjects with other guys. Hunting, football, fishing etc. I was willing to make an effort to genuinely learn about these things and enjoy them the same (after all, we're talking about someone who is a potential confidant. I wanted to get along.). I even started following the SEC, and a few pro teams. Enjoyed it. Anyways, I digress. I noticed my new friend was very private, and didn't want to speak about other things he did in his free time. Seemed weird, but it didn't bother me.

    One day after class I asked if he wanted to study later after I was off work, and he agreed. I noticed he seemed a bit busy that day, but since he said yes to studying, I thought nothing of it. I got off work and texted asking what time would work. Never got a response. I went though the weekend thinking he had made other plans and didn't want to offend me by responding and saying no. I remembered that ISFJs have a hard time in the "no" area. Got to class on Monday and he seemed fine, and said he forgot to respond and that was all. Well, my stubborn INTJ self couldn't believe it. My logic said "you're an ISFJ, I know you cant say no sometimes, therefore you just lied to me." (when will I learn) I couldn't stand it. I came up with a way to tell him I was offended. I confronted him after next class period, and said "hey I wanna be your friend, but I dont think I can do that unless I get this off my chest. If I text, just respond. That simple." It took a minute for it to register in his mind, but then he realized I thought he ignored me. He was very sorry, and affirmed that I was his buddy. After that, he didn't seem to act the same around me. I dealt with it though.

    So how did I learn what his personality type really was? After class again a few weeks later I just happened to vent to him about a girl problem I was having at the time. He listened very patiently and then offered some very good advice. Later while thinking about the exchange, it hit me that it wasn't the first time he'd shown a decent amount of Ne. I panicked and began researching INFJs. It was him. The privacy, the insight, the noticing things but not speaking, and the never participating in group conversations during class. I feel like I've made a few mistakes (didn't go in to everything), and now I'm worried I'll never gain his trust. We're never going to be in a class together again after this semester, and I feel like if I don't gain trust now, we'll cease being friends come next semester.

    tl;dr: Met friend who I thought was ISFJ. Turned about to be INFJ, and I think I've broken some of the INFJ ten commandments.


    My main issues/questions are these: how can I gain his trust? How can I get him to quit "protecting me" with secrecy and (possibly) lies?

    I've had a really hard time trusting him since the no-text-back incident. Ever since then, I've felt like he worries too much about offending me, so he keeps quiet more often than not. I don't know what is true and what isn't. I think I have a tendency to press into people's lives, trust them way before they trust me. That hasn't worked so well here. Is there a way to handle this? Some way to talk to him? Or should I just move on and try to be more patient?

    Ultimately, I want to grow my people skills, as well as gain a friend that will be as committed to me as I will be to them.

    Dang, thats a lot of text. Kudos if you read all that.
    Likes Destiny liked this post

  2. #2
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    It might surprise you to learn that other people are generally not interested in being handpicked by INTJs as longterm besties in the manner you describe. Most people in general are not interested in being friend's with INTJs. You'll have to hang back, make a polite request for meeting up again and not get offended if the other person says no. No other way around it.

    To be honest your methods show a lack of understanding how normal people go about making friends. I wouldn't be surprised if this guy gives you a wide berth from now on, and that would have nothing to do with his type. It's just a normal reaction to near strangers who come across as confrontational and needy.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJKD View Post
    Well, my stubborn INTJ self couldn't believe it. My logic said "you're an ISFJ, I know you cant say no sometimes, therefore you just lied to me." (when will I learn) I couldn't stand it. I came up with a way to tell him I was offended. I confronted him after next class period, and said "hey I wanna be your friend, but I dont think I can do that unless I get this off my chest. If I text, just respond. That simple." It took a minute for it to register in his mind, but then he realized I thought he ignored me. He was very sorry, and affirmed that I was his buddy. After that, he didn't seem to act the same around me.
    Mistake: assuming that your typing of somebody else could not possibly be incorrect. Plenty of people mistype themselves, and clearly they have much more information about how they think than anyone else.

    Mistake: assuming that stereotypes of a type are all true and have no exceptions. Sometimes stereotypes are based on something, but not always. Even a stereotype that is based on something real may be a misleading oversimplification, or a mere tendency. Sometimes people act in a way that is inconsistent with their type.

    You should only use the MBTI in predicting someone else's behavior with caution. Even if all the possible problems I mentioned are not present, there are always things you don't know about someone else, and the MBTI only gives you 4 bits of information to work with.

    I panicked and began researching INFJs. It was him. The privacy, the insight, the noticing things but not speaking, and the never participating in group conversations during class.
    I'm an INTP, and all 4 of those things describe me exactly. Not saying he isn't an INFJ, just that that isn't enough to be sure by itself.

    How can I get him to quit "protecting me" with secrecy and (possibly) lies?
    How do you know he is doing this? Secrecy could just be a lack of comfort with discussing certain things.

    Ultimately, I want to grow my people skills, as well as gain a friend that will be as committed to me as I will be to them.
    You can't make people like you. You can try to be likable, but that's not quite the same thing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kephalos's Avatar
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    You know, someone once gave me a piece of advice with regards to making friends (which regrettably I never used with him), that when you want to make a new friend you pursue them, and that if they really want to become your friend, after you pursue them and you pull back, they will pursue you. Also, from me, I wouldn't take the typology thing very seriously and instead get to know this person in particular.

  5. #5
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    You've gotten a lot of good advice here. I wonder how it's going with you.

    Personally, I have to get to know someone on my own terms before I can decide whether I want to be their friend. And if the person puts an obligation on me before I've decided whether I want to be friends, then the friendship will never happen. I resent their intrusion and the assumption that I will be happy doing what they want me to do. So many guys made this mistake when I was in college. They tried to make me feel obligated to get to know them, just go out for coffee, pay attention to them, talk to them, etc. I take my obligations seriously and will follow them through to the ends of the earth, so I deeply resent other people deciding for me what those obligations ought to be.

    I can't remember a time when I ever lied to a person to protect his or her feelings. It's not something I could stomach. I would hate myself for being weak and false to my inner voice. I would hate for someone else to do that to me, so I could never do that to another person. But I have intentionally misled someone who is being an intrusive pain and making all kinds of assumptions about me without bothering to learn the truth. At that point, I figure they're asking for it and I cease to care about the ethics involved.

    What would make me want to be friends with someone? Care about the other person first. Make their happiness a priority. Quit trying to set up the world to facilitate your own success. Be willing to be a loser for the sake of another. Be full of kindness, grace, mercy, and humility.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    You don't seem to be a good match, friendship-wise. Leave him be and find someone else.

  7. #7
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    So how does an INFJ have a good amount of Ne?

  8. #8
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    Trolololo. Probably the worst place you could think of coming to for the kind of help you'd need. I don't think there is such a place. Better friend for your purpose would likely be INFP, we'll listen. You may or may not like what we say back though. We also probably don't mind your selection method that much. And no it isn't the INFJ who has Ne, it is the ISFJ. ISFJ has Ne as an inferior function. He realized he was wrong. Except for your quality of diligence, we can be insightful, but it is debatable as to the annoying part because we are not observant.

    We will push the boundary of what annoys you. Self absorbed is debatable. Diligent is no. I probably sound self absorbed, but that is because we are not observant, and also I am describing myself and why I think I could fit your description as friend.

    Do note that I am genuinely trying to help. Most of my friends are INTJs, I wonder what nice things they have to say about me. They're probably .

    Oh and we'd have to have some designated time where we feel obligated to socialize such as lunch. Then again, I am a weird case. :P

    Really close to being INTP. Actually was typed as INTP for school. Nope, not me.

  9. #9
    Member Belle of Kilronan's Avatar
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    My advice to the OP: Be your own best friend. Like yourself for who you are first, before worrying about changing yourself for other people.

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