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  1. #1
    Member Sunshine8's Avatar
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    Default I need some input from INTPs

    Hi,

    All INTPs out there...I am trying to understand my partner better (male). He is an INTP and from what I have read you guys can be pretty tricky customers indeed. Even his friends have congratulated me for lasting so long as they describe him as 'very hard to please'. Well I think we should both be pleased, but anyway...

    What attracts me?
    My father is an ENTJ and my mother is an INFP. I turned out an ENFJ.

    I think what I like about my BF is that he is an interesting mix of two of the things I liked most about my parents.

    He is strong willed and intelligent and I can have intense and abstract conversations with him. He also has a great love of being active and the outdoors.

    However where my Dad was straight down the line and not quirky at all, my BF is just the opposite. He makes up songs and enjoys practical jokes that tend to piss me off at first. Then I work out that it was his attempt to be funny but by then it is a bit boom-boom. Most of the time it just offends.

    But I love his other worldy left-of-field side. We both love reading and exploring new places at our own pace. I give him plenty of space (we only see each other a few nights a week) and a lot of that time is spent reading or swimming etc. We are nearly always one-on-one and at his house. He hates going to my house (and it's a nice house!) but I have tried to accept that he is only really going to be relaxed in his own zone.

    My main trouble is this - he seems to be very easily frustrated and almost a tryant at times. He is very attuned to his own discomfort and if other people are not listening to him, yet he fazes out rapidly as soon as anyone else talks - almost as if he doesn't think they are worth the effort. This sometimes embarasses me when we are with family/friends. It also hurts me when a lot of the time it seems he would rather read the paper and won't give me eye contact, even when I have just actively listened to him talk about himself for a long time.

    I continue to listen more than talk but it gets me down sometimes. I have stopped sharing some of my best ideas and thoughts now for a long itme - about a year. Every now and again I will test the waters but he just walks out of the room or watches the TV or reads so I give up trying. What happens then is that my friends and family get the best of me and know me (in my eyes anyway) a lot better. He has noticed this and commented about three weeks ago that he should be nicer to me - that he has observed me having more fun with my friends than with him. He has lately been asking me about my day, how I am etc which shows he is trying, but he doesn't seem particularly concerned about the response! I guess it is a slow process. What is weird is that sometimes he does remember things I have said very well - so something must occasionally be getting in.

    I am most worried about how he will be as a parent. Are any of you fathers? How did you cope with having to support a partner through labour? Were you interested in the pregnancy and tried to be involved? Do you see that it takes two to raise a kid or are you off in another world while your partner looks after all of the day-to-day stuff? I have this horrible vision of being at the hospital and him checking his watch and getting impatient because he has more important things to do. Would that happen? Can an INTP be happy to support others at least in big things like that? I just don't think I can be trying to cater to his needs while I am going through something like that - I would rather have my sisters and mother with me instead!

    I don't mean to sound too cynical. He is an interesting person to know and can be surprisingly sweet - but I just can't picture him reading baby books and getting up for a screaming toddler - help! Please give me some insight (and hope - if there is reason for it).

    Thankyou
    Last edited by Sunshine8; 10-23-2008 at 12:46 AM. Reason: repeated the same word twice in a sentence.

  2. #2
    Member nzAShadow's Avatar
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    " but he doesn't seem particularly concerned about the response! I guess it is a slow process. What is weird is that sometimes he does remember things I have said very well - so something must occasionally be getting in "

    Simply put, when people talk to me, there is an emotional lag. I have no emotional connection to something when someone is telling me anything. Anytime I am being reactive to when someone is talking to me, it's because I'm acting out of fear that they will think that I don't care about what they are saying, so I put on a facade of some kind of emotional reaction that seems to fit.

    I only don't do this when I'm more comfortable with the person, so when a close friend is talking to me, I seem unresponsive.

    This does not mean he is not listening, it's just that, extraverted feeling is the least developed function for an INTP, so please don't misunderstand.

    As for fazing out when people are talking to him... I do that, as much as I'd like to really pay attention to them, it's reflexive that I withdraw into my own thoughts when people talk to me... for me it's more an issue that being around people are already draining my energy, then actually coming up to me and talking to me happens to be particularly demanding of my energy and attention span. I don't do it on purpose. However, I find that if I don't fight this I can recall everything that's said, trying to think of how to respond (response is very difficult for me) will cause me to lose track of the conversation, get even further lost into a complex of thoughts, and then I'm not even able to recall what has been said to me.

    Maybe I'm just socially inept, but, I think most INTPs struggle with this as well.

    Bottom line I guess, if he doesn't appear concerned about what your saying, don't take it personally? Being concerned and appearing concerned are completely different things for an INTP. Also, socializing in general is a very, very (in case two varies wasn't noticed, I put it there for a major emphasis) tedious task for an INTP, at least it is for me, I at least think I'm speaking for other INTPs... I don't know any others personally.

    As for parenting... I wouldn't know. However, I've always been very caring and generous for those I am close to. I'm incapable of showing any sort of enthusiasm about it though, it is particalulary draining for me, but I've always made sacrifices about it without a second thought. However, when people start voicing expectations of me, or even the disapproving look for when I don't meet their standards, I get frustrated... and my start developing feelings of contempt, and hate helping... I mean I really do give all I can when I'm not being asked, and with good will, and social expectations pressure me to some unfathomable degree. Actually... nearly every major stress point in my life has been when I detect (not necessarily told) that someone has expectations of me.

    I'd like to emphasize on this point though, I'm a different person, but I figure that maybe it'll give insight into an INTP's thought process.

  3. #3
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    That seems like it's backwards. The only time I'm the more talkative one is with other INTPs or INFPs, it seems. I like listening to ENFJs talk, so far almost universally. It makes me wonder if there's some underlying hatred coming from the INTP. First of all, be sure you're ENFJ, and be sure he's INTP. There are worse type matches to be in, and if either of you is mistyped, it's a different situation altogether.

    Speaking for myself as a relatively "mature" INTP, unless you've done something to royally screw with his head, I can't imagine he would have some kind of vendetta against you. I recognize the vulnerability and "soft logic" of ENFJs, and don't hold anything against it, and would give the average ENFJ quite a bit of leeway.

    Does he understand temperament difference? Something which can ruin us all is the assumption that everyone has the potential for the same capabilities, which is simply not true.

  4. #4
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    I don't know. Maybe I'm reading it wrong or am suffering from a lack of information, but you don't seem particularly happy with your arrangement with him. I mean, if it's gotten to the point where you feel like you hold back your ideas because he's not interested... I'm not sure what you should be worrying about is kids!!!

    Maybe it's just a communication problem where he doesn't know that he's really supposed to be paying attention at that moment and unknowingly "cuts" you off through reading the paper or leaving the room? Have you tried more directly addressing him to "pay! attention!"?

    Sorry if I don't have much experience to help. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Some of it might have to do with how extraverted you are, and how much you need to talk out your day with him, using him as a sounding board. I have a really good ENFJ friend, and I listen to her talk out her day pretty often. And I don't mind doing it. But it would be MUCH harder if she were my roommate and that duty fell to me exclusively. It can be draining, even though I want to be a good friend and a good sounding board.

    I'd ask him straight out about parenting, though. If you are going to have kids with him, you should decide how involved you expect him to be. And he should know that going in. INTPs can be very caring, but we can also be very protective of carving out some time to ourselves, and we can get cranky if every waking moment is spent being obligated to do something.

    I think you'll have to pick your battles--decide what really is truly important to you that he do. Because he might not value the same things, and won't mean to hurt your feelings, but might get frustrated that he's disappointing you and yet feeling like he can't give any more.

  6. #6
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    How succinct are you in your conversations? Do you list lots of details? Sometimes with NF's, they can get pretty verbose, and when you are trying to discuss ideas, trying to be succinct and perhaps more fact oriented could get him to better listen and communicate with you.

    I mean, I stopped listening to after your first paragraph...jk

    I'm an INTP, but I'm not really easily frustrated or hard to please and I usually listen.... could he be depressed?

  7. #7
    señor member colmena's Avatar
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    He sounds insecure and immature. He sees you having more fun with others and doubts himself, and then ignores and condescends to make himself feel important again.

    It sounds like he needs to break down and build up again with confidence and humility (as many INTPs do). Words are rarely enough.

    I wouldn't even think about children until you're more confident in the relationship, and he gets the best of you and knows you (in your eyes) a lot better.
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  8. #8
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    I'd also like to caution you about overaccommodating. You two have been dating for a 1.5 years and rarely goes to your house? You two rarely go out on dates? It seems to me like you're running on his schedule and any requests that he accommodate yours is met with resistance.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Simplexity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    How succinct are you in your conversations? Do you list lots of details? Sometimes with NF's, they can get pretty verbose, and when you are trying to discuss ideas, trying to be succinct and perhaps more fact oriented could get him to better listen and communicate with you.

    I mean, I stopped listening to after your first paragraph...jk

    I'm an INTP, but I'm not really easily frustrated or hard to please and I usually listen.... could he be depressed?
    I'd have to agree with ajblaise, it seems I have a similar temperment. I actually usually never dominate a conversation, I do tend to zone out a bit if its long and extremely detail oriented though.

    The hard to please part I don't think is necessarily a type thing, but probably indicative of something else other than being INTP. If anything I would say INTPs are more on the hard to understand side. I'm pretty easy to get along with, regardless of the person, I'd rather listen and interject. If its someone I really like, Im usually always willing to lend my ear though, even though my actions may be confusing.

    I think it is something more personal that involves other variables from the way you describe it.
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  10. #10
    Member Eryndil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nzAShadow View Post
    As for fazing out when people are talking to him... I do that, as much as I'd like to really pay attention to them, it's reflexive that I withdraw into my own thoughts when people talk to me... for me it's more an issue that being around people are already draining my energy, then actually coming up to me and talking to me happens to be particularly demanding of my energy and attention span.
    Exactly this. Unless it's a subject that interests me so much I don't have to think about how to reply, the energy it takes to respond can get very draining after quite a short time. I end up feeling like my brain is aching from trying to concentrate.

    With regard to talking about himself too much - I love to talk about myself if I feel that someone is actually interested. Mostly I don't think that they are so I don't bother. Could you be giving him the impression that you really want to hear everything that he has to say?
    You what?

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