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Thread: NT grief

  1. #11
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    This makes a lot of sense and is very helpful, given my experience with this INTJ.
    I am glad it helped, Eileen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

    "Well, excuse me, the point right now is that this is how I feel and I don't WANT to feel better, I want to feel heard!" is what I'd be thinking. I don't want an answer. I just want someone to sit near me in my sorrow [and put their arm around me, if I'm able to handle that]. I want to be able to rage, if I want, and complain, and cry, and whatever else I need to do. Or say nothing. Whatever it is.
    That's also part of what I go through, Jennifer. When I am truly miserable and feeling the pain that intensely, usually I have given myself permission to 'fall apart'. Understanding, compassion, rational thought - those things will happen later. Right then and there I just need to be.

    This signature left intentionally blank.

    Really.

  2. #12
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    And he has been very reluctant to accept the inevitability. And he hasn't really wanted to hear my thoughts about death and grief (my perspective is that it's okay and healthy to face it) and surprised me one night by expressing sadness and anger and then telling me that my thoughts weren't welcome (which I didn't take personally - I realize(d) that as a friend, he needed me to listen and not talk; sometimes the most loving thing to do is to keep "loving advice" to oneself). I was surprised because he doesn't really do the emotions and needs thing much, but he was clear about what he didn't need that time.
    Hmm... It sounds like maybe they didn't want to talk about it, because they hadn't fully accepted that it had happened... or that it could happen. Whenever something bad happens that hasn't happened before occurs, there's a sort of disbelief that it could really be happening, as well as a feeling that it doesn't have any "right" to exist. So perhaps at this point, for them, even talking about it would be to acknowledge it's right to exist as well as it's existence, which isn't something they're ready to do?

    Thoughts on my grief experience as an NF: When my brother was dying, I had to talk and write about it a lot, as some of you may remember from NCen. My sister (INFP) did as well. She was working with developmentally disabled adults that summer, and she talked about how healing that was for her. I know that I was pretty vocal about my fears and anxieties, and while I felt that I had to be "strong" for my parents, I never felt that I had to be stoic.
    I've never felt anything quite like that... I've never had someone close to me die. But I do imagine I would need to cry, talk to people, be consoled... things like that at first. Then I would probably start reflecting on it and need to find some kind of meaning in it.

    Thoughts? Also, what might an NT need from a friend when he's grieving? Does everyone need basically the same thing? At this point, I'm serving a purely practical function for my friend by assisting him with work stuff while he has to be out, but I really just want to squeeze him and tell him that he's loved. But he doesn't really do the hugging thing, and I don't want to creep him out.
    I've also never met an NT who was in pain that serious... but from what I've gathered, I would guess that you should just wait for them. Don't withdraw, make yourself available. And when/if they talk about it, listen and ask questions that force them to deal with the issue on their own (don't offer actual positions/opinions unless they ask you for them, or they'll feel invaded.)

    But I'm not an NT, and I'm not positive how they would actually respond. This is just my guesswork.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Well, it happened. Interestingly, he's been pretty open with me and has welcomed (sometimes requested/suggested, sometimes consented to) my company. I brought over a card that the kids in his class made for him. We laughed at the grammatical errors and talked some shit about the kids (nothing like some good camaraderie), he showed me his mom's obit and talked a good deal about her, expressed sadness that she received a bunch of cards in the mail... I'm grateful to be let in. It's only the first day of post-death grieving, and I expect that he'll need plenty of alone time too... but for now, I'm able to go to him and touch him when he needs to be touched.
    INFJ

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  4. #14
    GirlAmerica
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    Space, patience and support.

    When I go thru something stressful such as a very close loss...I tend to become outlandishly extraverted in spurts. And, it is not very like me the things I tend to say....very outlandish or exaggerated. I am not happy with myself even as it is happening. It is odd.

  5. #15
    ~dangerous curves ahead~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Well, it happened. Interestingly, he's been pretty open with me and has welcomed (sometimes requested/suggested, sometimes consented to) my company. I brought over a card that the kids in his class made for him. We laughed at the grammatical errors and talked some shit about the kids (nothing like some good camaraderie), he showed me his mom's obit and talked a good deal about her, expressed sadness that she received a bunch of cards in the mail... I'm grateful to be let in. It's only the first day of post-death grieving, and I expect that he'll need plenty of alone time too... but for now, I'm able to go to him and touch him when he needs to be touched.
    Good for him and you. =) Just be there, and don't encroach upon his space till he asks. NTs take a while longer to work through grief, methinks, and the I does not help too, given a tendency to internalise.

  6. #16
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    INTJ personality page writes:

    They dislike messiness and inefficiency, and anything that is muddled or unclear. They value clarity and efficiency, and will put enormous amounts of energy and time into consolidating their insights into structured patterns.

    When under a great deal of stress... They may also tend to become absorbed with minutia and details that they would not normally consider important to their overall goal.

    (personal note: I asked my Mom 10 billion questions re: my cousin's death the night he was dying. She was very patient and so very considerate, but she gently and repeatedly reminded me that "it doesn't really matter". It's a grasp for control while everything is spiraling.)

    Introverted iNtuition is a personality function that constantly gathers information, and sees everything from many different perspectives. As the dominant player in a personality, it has the effect of constantly bombarding the psyche with new information to consider. Introverted iNtuition is sort of like a framework for understanding that exists in the mind. As something is perceived, it is melded into the existing intuitive framework. If an entirely new piece of information is perceived by the Introverted iNtuitive, that person must redefine their entire framework of reference. So, Introverted iNtuitives are constantly taking in information about the world that needs to be processed in a relatively lengthy manner in order to be understood. That presents quite a challenge to the INTJ. It's not unusual for an INTJ to feel overwhelmed with all of the things that he or she needs to consider in order to fully understand an idea or situation.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  7. #17
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    When my grandmother was dying, I did a lot of grieving then. I started experiencing PTSD type symptoms that caught me off guard. I spent many summers with my grandmother and she was nice to me, but I didn't understand why I was feeling the loss so deeply. A lot of memories came back that I had forgotten all about. Then I remembered. She stuck up for me when I was being abused. I loved her fiercely for that.

    I wrote her a letter to honor her and let her know how much she meant to me when I was young. I wrote down all the great memories. I added a picture to the letter and I framed it. I put it on display at the funeral home so the other family members could read it, too.

    I agree with what Jennifer said, too. I just wanted someone who would listen to me talk and care about my feelings. But writing out some of my memories and thoughts and feelings was helpful, too.

    In Beside Ourselves by Naomi L. Quenk, in the chapter on INTJ/INFJ types under the section called Return of Equilibrium there are several suggestions for helping these 2 types when they are stressed, out of sorts, etc. These ideas are probably helpful in this context, too.

    There's almost 2 pages, so there's more than I can type here.

    -they need space and a low-pressure environment
    -they are not amenable to suggestions and deny the possibility of alternatives
    -the worst thing others can do is give them advice

    -a change of scene or activity can help break the negative obsessive focus
    -being in peaceful, quiet, natural surroundings
    -getting something under control (I clean and organize sometimes)
    -expressions of understanding, sympathy and empathy help some (but not all Ni types)

    It takes me a long time to get in touch with my feelings. What I need is someone patient enough to wait in silence with me until they start bubbling up. Then I can talk about them.

  8. #18
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelan View Post
    ...
    It was easier faking than having to deal with the "oh, I'm so sorry, I also experienced that, don't take it so hard, hug hug" crap, because on hindsight, I guess I felt that belittled the intensity of what I was going through. ...
    Yeah. People are stupid that way. They really don't know what to say. I expect them to say stupid things and try not to take it personally when they do.

    There should be little brochures in funeral homes telling people what to say and what not to say.
    I've learned if you just say, I'm sorry, and shut up, they'll talk about it if they want to.
    And then, if you knew the person, it's real nice if you can share a pleasant memory that you have of that person.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Nicholas Wolterstorff wrote a great book on grief - Lament for a Son. One thing he talked about was how the one thing that it is absolutely never okay to say is "It's not so bad." It doesn't matter that death is universal and that most people have or will have lost someone in their lives - it is terrible and sad for those of us left. Religious platitudes can be comforting in the moment, but I do hate the inevitable "Everything happens for a reason." Ugh.
    INFJ

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  10. #20
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Nicholas Wolterstorff wrote a great book on grief - Lament for a Son. One thing he talked about was how the one thing that it is absolutely never okay to say is "It's not so bad." It doesn't matter that death is universal and that most people have or will have lost someone in their lives - it is terrible and sad for those of us left. Religious platitudes can be comforting in the moment, but I do hate the inevitable "Everything happens for a reason." Ugh.
    Yuh.

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