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  1. #1
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    Default Helping a pessimistic and isolated immigrant INTP

    I'd like to get some ideas on how to help this person.

    The INTP in question is my father, who has been in the US for almost two decades now but who obviously hasn't adjusted very well.

    My observations:

    - He doesn't have any American friends.
    - He's painfully shy and almost fearful of going out by himself or taking care of simple household errands.
    - He has a bad attitude when it comes to learning about American culture and customs. When he's confronted with American culture through me, he usually rejects it and assumes an air of superiority.
    - He spends every night on his computer reading Chinese internet forums. But he doesn't like China either and would never live there.
    - His bedroom is like a cave. It stinks and he doesn't care about personal hygiene.

    Basically, he's a nowhere man, neither here nor there. My father is highly intelligent, but the way he's going, I worry about his old age and how he'll be able to fend for himself if he's already so isolated in middle age.

    On the Unhealthy INTP thread, SolitaryWalker's post jumped out at me as being particularly true of my father: "The [unhealthy] INTP does not fit in anywhere as he truly is good at nothing. All of his functions are defunct, including his dominant Introverted Thinking. ...

    The unhealthy is characterized by a deep seated prejudice that most external world activities are not desirable, not by a mere prudent judgment that most things are not desirable."

    NTs, in particular the INTPs on this board, how would you try to help him?

  2. #2
    (☞゚∀゚)☞ The Decline's Avatar
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    Take him along to social interactions and try to enable his English language learning capabilities. Talk him up on what he's into. Share some interests that would resonate with him. He's got to get going. Just try to inject him with interesting things.
    "Stop it, you fuck. Give him some butter."
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    = Ne > Ni > Fi > Te > Se > Fe > Si INTP (I/PNT) 5w4

  3. #3
    Senior Member Willfrey's Avatar
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    Find some sort of social function that would cater to his interests. For instance, if he was really into video games have him go to a LAN party or something. (just an example.)
    ...Then I ducked my head and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark;
    And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark...

  4. #4
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    He's middle-aged. No LAN parties for him. lol!

    I've tried to take him out to eat, but he's very resistant to that even when I say I'll pay. Same goes for movies, concerts, art galleries, etc.

    The generation gap definitely gets in the way of my helping him too. I'm in my 20s. I don't take my dad along to parties.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Find community centers nearby that has meet-ups for like-minded folks like him - a cultural community center would aid in this greatly. In my community, there's pockets of places, like China Town, or, near our neighbourhood, at our community center's park, some meet to play backgammon and chess, etc.

    Bring some aspects of the culture which he obviously still values (if not the issues with the politics of the country, etc) and place them on a platter within American life. And, slowly, lead the integration.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Bring some aspects of the culture which he obviously still values (if not the issues with the politics of the country, etc) and place them on a platter within American life. And, slowly, lead the integration.
    "Some aspects of the culture which he obviously still values"... hmm, this could be tough.

    What do you mean by placing them on a platter within American life? He likes tea. Should I find an American store that sells great tea or something?

    What I'm afraid might be true of him is that he never did develop his dominant thinking function very well. I think of all the BS that the Chinese government taught his generation and the lack of formal education he received -- as well as his truncated career in academia due to immigration -- and I wonder whether his thinking is faulty to begin with.

  7. #7
    #005645 phthalocyanine's Avatar
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    bring him somewhere that places little emphasis on language or speaking in general, but where a good number of people are still present .. perhaps an aquarium, public garden, or some other serene environment in which he can observe people and choose whether to interact with them or not. take it slow. he will appreciate your patience and will reject your efforts if they seem hassled. always make it clear that you are thinking of his well-being rather than your own in reaching out to him.


    appeal to his sense of humor when he becomes too shy or pessimistic, and remind him that it serves a functional purpose to learn about the english language and american culture. remind him that he can pass on important information to a wider number of people if he speaks more than one language! most NTs will find merit there.. and remind him that he will have a lot more fun at museums and observatories when he can easily read the brouchures and informational placques.

    i might also suggest that you try to minimize the extravagant and image-conscious aspects of our culture at first so as to ease his transition..no self respecting INTP is going to jump head first into ESFx culture without some finesse, after all. don't take him to a sporting event or concert to break the ice!

    i wish you and your dad the best of luck!

  8. #8
    mountain surfing nomadic's Avatar
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    Are your parents divorced?

    Find him a nice white woman who will change him. Don't be resistant to America!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strawberrylover View Post
    What I'm afraid might be true of him is that he never did develop his dominant thinking function very well. I think of all the BS that the Chinese government taught his generation and the lack of formal education he received -- as well as his truncated career in academia due to immigration -- and I wonder whether his thinking is faulty to begin with.
    It's blanketed despair. It may be that he's feeling the brunt of his 'uselessness' (perceived only, of course) because this nation (USA) might not be willing to recognize his merit in academia like China did. The opportunities he was in the process of gaining, when in China, that got short-cutted due to immigration...there may be some resentment of USA due to that. Esp. cuz, he may have encountered...: yeah, for US standards, your 'academia' is not good enough. It's a slap in the face to one's pride, which may lead to despair. The subsequent strong-hold to refuse to change because the changers (US culture) cannot find merit in him, while realizing that it just makes him stagnant if such ideals stop him from joining the rat race (US society). It's a vicious mental cycle.

    What do you mean by placing them on a platter within American life? He likes tea. Should I find an American store that sells great tea or something?
    A little more literal than my idea, but, sure, that's still worth a try. It can't harm any, right? I meant, showing him that the ties he values to his culture are not all gone and lost, and that, he's not alone, because there's others that share the sentiment like his (e.g., cultural community centers), WHILE living well in the USA. I.e., slowly begin to chip away at his association that USA cannot be a familiar territory (i.e. there are areas/pockets where USA can meet China and in, US soil, no less).

    "Some aspects of the culture which he obviously still values"... hmm, this could be tough.
    If you are willing to engage with your surly dad, and, bypass his surliness to what the man's ideas, dreams, hopes, etc. are, and, slowly get him to open up, it might not be as tough figuring out those cultural values, and, even, his interests.

  10. #10
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Your OP is your perception of him. There is nothing wrong with him. If you are worried about this in his older age, don't. He will more than likely out live you. He doesn't like the politics of China but the culture he did enjoy maybe. He doesn't like the cultural politics of the US but the freedom he does enjoy maybe. His Ti is just fine. And who are you to draw conclusions about Ti. Perhaps it is you who is an unhealthy ENFP. With all of your expectations that someone should be so accepting of the decay and baggage our culture evolved, (i should write 'social culture') this may be very similar to threads that wonder why people ask "Why are you angry" or say "Smile!" or ask "are you Ok?" Get off his ass already. Let him enjoy his freedom of expression.
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

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