Exactly -- perfect example.
Originally Posted by SD45T-2
That's why we're the tacticians, and the ENTJs are the strategists. I can't strategize worth a damn; When I play Risk, I usually play it like I could die at any moment: taking what I can get, when I can get it, and usually losing in a quick but dramatic and explosive fashion.
It's funny -- I feel like we've had this exact interchange before? You asking me what ESTJs could possible see in INFJs? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else. (This thread is so goddamn long! )
Originally Posted by fidelia
I'll see what I can do, though -- speaking from the path I take, as so/sx, when I make an INFJ friend.
When I've answered this question before, i.e. what ESTJs and INFJs see in each other, I've given a much shorter answer: both types tend to have similar moral codes (and tend to be equally devoted to those codes, and equally willing to fight for them), ESTJs like that INFJs are kind and loyal and nurturing and highly emotionally intelligent, and INFJs like that ESTJs are strong and reliable and aren't overly demanding of them. (INFJs seem very prone to being used by emotionally needy people -- and ESTJs are likely very refreshing by being the exact opposite, even if that opposite tendency can be unhealthy and stress the INFJ out in other ways.) Hopefully, though, a longer explanation will help at least a little bit in envisioning the bigger picture of how that chemistry works.
I'll use my INFJ college friend and church buddy, who is an INFJ of the sweet, quiet, and bookish variety, as an example. I'll start with literally how it happened, and then my reflections from after the fact.
I met her through church, and then kept running into her through mutual friends (who I had no idea were mutual), and then decided I'd get to know her better since we ran in the same circle -- and then, as it turned out, getting to know her was easy for me. I remembered having an initial impression of her as being soft-spoken to the point that I'd have to lean in, in order to understand her -- but at the same time, I found her incredibly interesting and funny.
In general, I think one of the reasons why I'm drawn to introverts (and sp-doms/seconds, who, as it turns out, make up a majority of my friend group), is that our pace of friendship works nearly perfectly -- if that makes sense. I'm a very independent person, and need a decent amount of space -- not for the sake of energy, but for the sake of maintaining a level of personal autonomy and agency over my own life -- so I don't think it would be arrogant to say that I have a natural knack at befriending introverts. I give them the space that I'd give myself, and I let them come to me, instead of forcing myself on them. So, as this is generally the way I befriend people, it's the way that I befriended this particular INFJ. (I think she appreciated that tactic, for reasons I will explain later.)
Another typical thing I do, with friends -- which is very so/sx of me -- is inferring deeper traits from early surface observations of people. It'd be interesting to know whether this is something other ESTJs do, because it's a process that a lot of people hate to hear about, and a process that has made me feel a bit robotic and alien amongst my peers. Sherlock Holmes says it best in an episode of "Elementary" (one of my new favorite shows): "It just so happens, people and all their deceits and illusions that inform everything that they do tends to be the most fascinating puzzles of all. Of course, they don't always appreciate being seen as such." In my case, though, I'm not exploring them just for the sake of solving a puzzle -- though I'm sure that's part of it, as I am incredibly interested in personality psychology (hence my membership here). I'm exploring them because I've found that it's the best way for me to really get to know people when I don't have an intuitive, feeling-based way of getting to know them. Digression aside, I befriended this INFJ while trying to get a good read on her, and found that under her reserved, quiet exterior was someone who shared with me almost every value I hold dear. We'd hardly need to talk about it -- it could all go unsaid. But I knew through our compatibility in humor and surface-level values that what was underneath meshed just as well.
We ran into a bit of a plateau part of the way through -- which, as it turns out, was my fault. (I've run into this with other NFJ friends, and I'm sure it's at least partially type-related.) I thought I'd hit a wall with her, i.e. a friendship line that she wasn't willing to cross. I thought she'd put me in a particular friendship zone that she wouldn't let me progress from. (I've seen that with other FJs -- especially SFJs.) I was waiting for her to open up, and she wasn't going anywhere. But I found out later, by inference, that she was waiting for the same thing from me. She wanted to care for me, because that's the role she likes to take in friendships, and I wasn't letting her do that. So, once I opened up to her a bit more, we grew much closer. (Fidelia, you may find this familiar, as you've told me things to the same effect before!)
My reflections from after the fact, as promised...
The "compatibility" I alluded to before was multifaceted; You suggested that it was related to skills that the other lacks, and I know that's part of it, but there's something deeper to it, as well, from my experience. I'd put it into three layers:
Surface layer: Shared interests, compatible sense of humor, "they're just fun to be around"I think INFJs and ESTJs, when they are compatible, are compatible because of their devotion to their values, to being pillars of the community, to doing The Right Thing, to striving for excellence and making a difference in the world. Hard work, diligence, idealism, courage in the face of adversity. Dedication and devotion to friends and family -- if necessary, to the point of self-sacrifice. These were the values that I saw in my INFJ friend, that I inferred from her everyday behavior.
Middle layer: Appreciating the skills the other lacks (ESTJ ability to stay Te-focused no matter what, INFJ ability to read people and situations intuitively and with near-perfect accuracy)
Deeper layer: Shared worldview and shared life priorities