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  1. #1
    Anew Leaf
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    Default Question on NT grief

    Hi everyone. I would very much like some insights into how NT's process grief and whether my what my dad is doing makes sense to your viewpoint. (it is alien to me and has been hurtful a lot.)

    Family: dad is an INTP (T to the max), mom was ENFP, and I am INFP

    What happened: last year my mom got diagnosed with stage 3 cancer out of the blue. The prognosis wasn't good, and she only managed another 5 months after the diagnosis. During that 5 month period my dad and I took care of her on a daily and almost hourly basis. It was very exhausting in a number of ways for us both. I am an only child so it was only the two of us.

    The grief process: a month after she died my dad told me he wanted to start
    dating. His reasoning was that he loved my mother and would never replace her but that he liked being married and wanted to find someone new. I was pissed and told him so. He agreed he would wait until after the first of the year.

    When the end of December rolled around he had another talk with me saying how he was an extravert, and how this harmony test told him he was "emotionally strong" and that's why his grief process was so short, and that he was just fine.

    Since then he has met a nice widow and now he wants to sell the house, move in with her, etc. He has changed his haircut, his clothes, his habits, his hobbies, and now he wants to change everything else. It's coming up on 8 months to when she died.

    While I understand that my own process of grief will be vastly different due to the different relationships we had with my mom, I still find it hard to believe that he is as "fine" as he says. I am concerned that he is simply distracting himself with lots of activities and that at some future point he will have an emotional "crash" of sorts.

    Thanks for any and all replies in regarded to understanding what my Vulcan dad is up to .

  2. #2
    Senior Member Xyk's Avatar
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    I have a little experience with grief and being INTP. He's probably bottling it up. I do that. I find distractions to keep my mind off of whatever happened. INTP has Fe as its inferior function, so we have a really hard time expressing any kind of emotion. He has probably analyzed his situation and determined that the best course of action is to simply move on.

  3. #3
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Saturned, I'm sorry for your loss. It must have been and still must be devastating for you.

    Having said that, it's also okay for your father to grieve in the way that makes sense to him. It's also okay to change and to fall in love again. What I've found in life is that people can transfer their affections from person to person and continue being happy without missing much of a beat. While it floors me that they're able to do so, whatever makes people happy.

    Now if he's reacting in a rebound fashion, that's okay too. If he crashes, he'll learn something from the experience.

    We cannot control others but we can control our own projections.

  4. #4
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
    He has probably analyzed his situation and determined that the best course of action is to simply move on.
    Yeah, this. There's no doubt that I'd be hurting inside, but I don't think you have to worry about some future "emotional fall out". That's not really characteristic of NT's, I don't think. The pain is tremendous, it hurts, it's painful, your heart bleeds, etc. - but the NT is usually mentally tough. I know that's not the answer that NF's like to hear - NF's want us to express it or to "deal with it emotionally" - but that's just not really how it works for us. He's dealing with it inside - no doubt about it. And this "new phase" is probably exciting for him - it's giving him a chance to get away from Ti and just engage in Ne. If he sat at home every day and just thought about the loss of your mother with Ti - he'd go NUTS. He'd be a complete zombie. Imagine analyzing the passing of the most important person in your life with a fine-toothed comb - day in and day out. He'd go insane. We're insane enough as it is for analyzing systems and processes, but to analyze something like that for hours and hours is some heavy stuff. I think too much Ti could really jack him up.

    He needs a bit of Ne release right now to get him out of his "thinker zone". I think by extroverting himself, he's actually giving more attention to Fe too. He's actually getting AWAY from T and getting more in touch with F by not sitting around the house all day. He's connecting with another human being on an emotional level and that's helping him to cope as well.

    I don't think you'll have to worry about some later emotional breakdown. It's dealt with internally and it's dealt with in a sort of hardcore fashion.

    Very, very sorry for your loss.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  5. #5
    Anew Leaf
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    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for the responses! They made a lot of sense and have helped give me a much needed perspective change in this situation. I think my NT friends were worried they would hurt my feelings (admittedly an easy thing to do at times) so they changed the subject on it. I am glad you guys were able to answer for me.

  6. #6
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    My ESFJ mother (now also deceased) used to say that people who enjoyed their marriage relationship the most were the most likely to remarry upon being widowed. My SO has two older relatives who remarried not much more than a year after their first spouses died. I remember they themselves having concerns about whether it was too soon (neither was NT; likely NF and SJ), but I think they just stayed in touch with the rest of the family enough, that everyone was able to see and appreciate how these new relationships evolved, and that they were healthy for the surviving spouses. I'm sure type is coloring your situation, but I see much more in it that is simply human.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  7. #7
    Anew Leaf
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    That makes sense. I think what has bothered me the most is just how cavalier he has come off since my mom died. I got that my dad at the young age of 60 would eventually want to find someone else, but bringing the subject up barely a month after she died was too much for me to comprehend.

    And I thought of the NT context because my dads arguments were so very "NT"ish. Logic and reality above all else. I was very much my dads child growing up and I have always admired and been intrigued by his calm, logical manner, and unique perspective. It just failed me utterly in this situation. From my perspective when I think about what it would mean if I was ready to move on only a month later I would see two possibilities: 1- I didn't care for that person very much. 2- I am avoiding the real issue by distracting myself with shiny new things. And I know my dad loved my mom so that one is out, etc.

    It is definitely only a small cog in the clock of life. Considering how long it has taken me to get over just simple romances in life, I am probably not the best judge of this either.

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
    He's probably bottling it up. I do that. I find distractions to keep my mind off of whatever happened. INTP has Fe as its inferior function, so we have a really hard time expressing any kind of emotion. He has probably analyzed his situation and determined that the best course of action is to simply move on.
    this. personally i dont think its such an good idea even if it feels like the easy way out, the easy way out pretty much never is
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  9. #9
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    Saturned have you considered that during the last time your mother lived your dad was trying to come to terms with life after her? As emotionally draining as a terminal illness can be on friends and family, we react very differently. And maybe the five months were your dads mourning period. Coming to terms with his own situation after your mother had died. It doesnt mean he stopped caring for her but that he also tried to work through the emotions, maybe even with your mother. So he was better prepared the day she died.

  10. #10
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowriot View Post
    Saturned have you considered that during the last time your mother lived your dad was trying to come to terms with life after her? As emotionally draining as a terminal illness can be on friends and family, we react very differently. And maybe the five months were your dads mourning period. Coming to terms with his own situation after your mother had died. It doesnt mean he stopped caring for her but that he also tried to work through the emotions, maybe even with your mother. So he was better prepared the day she died.
    That is an interesting point. Looking back on those 5 months, I think you have hit the nail on the head. My mom was worried for me and didn't want me to know how bad it was, and kept telling me how the doctors said she had 2 years. My dad was actually in those meetings with her.... and knew much better how little time she had. So, I had this vision of my mom getting some kind of miracle and beign cured, etc. It wasn't until about 2 weeks before she died that I finally faced up to the truth as to how sick she was.

    My dad made frequent comments that upset me at the time because I was focused on some miracle/2 years... but looking back, with this idea in mind, I can see much clearer that he was doing his mourning then.

    Hmm, thanks for the new food for thought on this topic...

    (also, I just watched the episode where Data dates the blond chick and your signature made me smile. )

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