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  1. #11
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    :/ I'm not sure I quite understand the question. Could you describe what "clam up" means?
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

  2. #12
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    Well, if you want to get us to talk remember that it takes us longer to compose our speech so pauses will encourage us to spill. Many times I'll be in a conversation and people interrupt so often that I forget things I was starting to say because I am trying to listen to everyone else, too. (The funny part is I talk quite fast myself when I'm excited)

    Clamming up because I'm mad is because I don't want to expose the other person to my anger or even my trivial annoyance. It's not because I am being some sort of simmering volcano, though unfortunately people have been known to get that vibe from me. Basically, if someone is genuinely friendly and wants to chat I would hardly ever refuse that. I like people and even if I am mad at someone if they are honestly trying to figure it out then I will try to help them - this means they are not being all prickly or know-it-all or condescending.

    Have you had many incidents of an XSTJ clamming up? What were they like?
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  3. #13
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    My dad is a friendly person and in some ways huggier and kissier than my mum (like with visiting relatives etc). He is however the same whether talking to a stranger, the next door neighbours or with his family. There are no varying intimacy levels in his relationships. He does not really have any close friends and I don't think anyone knows his inmost thoughts. When there is something truly wrong, he takes the route of avoidance and acts as if nothing has ever happened. If really confronted about something that's big (and I mean something that is doing severe long term damage to the relationship) his response is to either just look at the floor and say nothing or "I don't know" and then act as if it never happened or alternatively to respond that others are better at this than him and go on like nothing happened. Either way, nothing gets fixed. I once tried to talk to him when I was in high school because he and my mum were going through a bad time. I said that I felt bad that I was closer to her and that I felt like I really didn't know him and that I worried for him because it seems like it must be lonely. He said he was sometimes, and that he thought that she's a better communicator than him and too much has happened for him to fix. That was over 10 years ago. Each problem has just gotten pushed along and there is not enough information to work with to know how to help. The message communicated to my mum is that he really doesn't care, and I know that isn't the case.

    In the other case, my boyfriend and I were together for 5 years. We had many big differences, but the biggest was our style of communication. I need a problem to be resolved before I can let things go, or at least enough information to make sense of it in my head. He would not talk about conflict between us in person, hates the phone and did not respond to emails or anything else I could think of. As a result, I felt increasingly unsure of myself and unloved (even though I am generally a confident happy person). I found that before every holiday where we would be apart, he would be very distant and rude to me for about a month and spend time with people he didn't care about at all. He was not close to many people, but at times would let me see the depth of what he felt and I knew he really loved me.

    At the end of the year, we will be going to opposite ends of the country. Shortly before we broke up, he told me that he had been distancing me on purpose but realized that had not been the best course of action and he wanted us to spend more time together. Then about three weeks later he suddenly broke up with me without explanation or visible emotion. In that three week period things were strained and he just kept on cooking more meals for me and making appointments to talk, but then acting like everything was normal and not talking about the elephant in the room. (That was in Februrary) Now he alternates between acting like strangers (we work together and live in adjacent apartments in a small community of teachers), like old and familiar close friends, and a polite neighbour. He has also started partying constantly and with people of low character, which is very uncharacteristic of him. These appear to be signs that all is not well, but I don't know how to help him or how to leave here feeling that things between us are okay even if we are no longer together. I'm also worried for him because I was one of 2 or 3 people that he is ever real with.

    In both cases I love these people dearly, what they are doing does not seem to be resulting in happiness for them but what I am doing does not seem to be the right approach. I know both types are uncomfortable even with their own emotions, let alone others and as an NF, I probably would more weight on emotions than average. We speak different languages and while I understand the need to make some adjustments to their style and not expect them to do what I would, I need enough information to know where to go with it.

  4. #14
    Senior Member stigmatica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amira View Post
    Well, if you want to get us to talk remember that it takes us longer to compose our speech so pauses will encourage us to spill. Many times I'll be in a conversation and people interrupt so often that I forget things I was starting to say because I am trying to listen to everyone else, too. (The funny part is I talk quite fast myself when I'm excited)

    Clamming up because I'm mad is because I don't want to expose the other person to my anger or even my trivial annoyance. It's not because I am being some sort of simmering volcano, though unfortunately people have been known to get that vibe from me. Basically, if someone is genuinely friendly and wants to chat I would hardly ever refuse that. I like people and even if I am mad at someone if they are honestly trying to figure it out then I will try to help them - this means they are not being all prickly or know-it-all or condescending.

    Have you had many incidents of an XSTJ clamming up? What were they like?
    This has been my experience with ISTJ's, and Amira has had very helpful insights before about dealing with the phenomena.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    Hmm, your dad's case sounds kind of like learned helplessness to me. I'm not sure what to say about your boyfriend either, as I'm not sure how much typology can help with people who are really unhealthy emotionally.

    I can tell you a story about a friend of mine who was going off the deep end like your boyfriend (she is ENTP) who changed and is now doing very well. The situation made me realize that really there is only so much a person can do to help someone else, but hopefully it will be encouraging rather than discouraging. She was doing the same sort of partying all the time and cutting off friendships and doing things she believed were wrong, and she was doing all this really thoroughly! Then my friend got pregnant and that made her unable to run away from situations as well as she had been and she had to face up to some things. During this time, a bunch of us who were closest to her (say 20 or so people) all felt like what we were supposed to do is simply include her in our daily lives as much as possible and so we had her over all the time, people helped her with job hunting, we did fun things like normal, etc. I don't usually use this phrase because it's overused and people who aren't Christians don't like hearing it, but the whole situation strikes me as a God thing, because several of the people involved in this who spent oodles of time with her are the very bossy type who want to fix people and they also felt like they were just supposed to be quiet and listen to her and pray with her. None of us ever got together and decided how we should act, it just happened this way, and somehow she says the lack of freaking out and the being able to lean on people when necessary helped her have freedom to rediscover God and the emotional health has followed steadily. She is now very different from the confused, defensive, scared, and grumpy girl she used to be. She married a wonderful guy and her daughter is learning to read... Basically, this situation taught me there was very little we could actually do to stop her trying to jump off the cliff. Even as an ENTP she stopped talking to her friends and avoided us. We prayed and tried to stick around and we got to see someone really change dramatically and for the better. So that can happen.

    Would it be possible for you to tell your ex that you want him to treat you consistently and maybe define it like, "please don't be best buddies one day and ignore me the next. Please try to say hi whenever you see me." He just might listen and you could stop feeling so jerked around and it might help him slow down and ponder a bit more. Sorry I don't have more advice, but maybe it helps to know that people can and do sometimes pull out of these destructive behaviors.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  6. #16
    Senior Member NewEra's Avatar
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    When do I get stressed? There are a few times... one is when others tell me to do something I really don't want to. Also, when there is a big event coming up (academic, social, work-related, whatever). Another cause is losing... in anything by a very slim margin. That drives me almost insane.

  7. #17
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Amira - Thank you. You've been quite helpful in describing what works for you as an ISTJ.

    I've been trying to decide in both cases whether it has more to do with type or with emotional health. I don't want to attribute something to insecurity or poor communication if it is partly a clash of thought processes. On the other hand, with both my dad and my ESTJ, they were certainly not encouraged to voice their opinions or to communicate openly and I think it has had a lingering effect. I don't believe though that it couldn't be changed if they had the wish to do so and could face what has had a history of not working for them.

    I have tried doing what you suggested with the ESTJ (in writing) with no response of any type. I would just write him off or not get my hopes up that there will be any resolution by the end, except that in response to me expressing concern over his changed behaviour he was scratchy at first, then after more discussion thanked me for caring enough to say something and for persisting. That would have never happened before. He also suggested that maybe the reason he was acting so uncharacteristically was that it bothered him too and I didn't need to imagine that I was the only person affected. Of course then there was more yo-yo behaviour after that...

    It is also courageous of you in a forum setting to talk about Christianity, as many have instant and severe reactions. However, I am a Christian and do believe strongly that God can intervene and also give the peace needed to become emotionally healthy. On the other hand, I also wonder if He really suspends the laws of gravity if people are determined to continue on in a certain direction as there is free will involved.

    Thanks for your insights...

  8. #18
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    Phew, I'm glad you didn't mind. I was a little nervous about that

    On the other hand, with both my dad and my ESTJ, they were certainly not encouraged to voice their opinions or to communicate openly and I think it has had a lingering effect. I don't believe though that it couldn't be changed if they had the wish to do so and could face what has had a history of not working for them.
    Yes, hopefully they will both be able to take a good look at things and realize what should be changed and that it can be changed. When I think of it I'll pray for you and your dad and ex.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  9. #19
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Thank you! They are both great people, but I believe no one knows who they really really are. Maybe it feels safer that way to them, but it does push away those who love them and also make them feel like they don't matter when I think maybe its that they matter too much.

    As an aside, I like your quote at the bottom of your posts.

  10. #20
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amira View Post
    Well, if you want to get us to talk remember that it takes us longer to compose our speech so pauses will encourage us to spill.
    Totally not an ESTJ problem, from my experience. I am far too prone towards blurting random stuff for this to apply to me.

    I clam up when, for whatever reason, I can't say what I think. Sometimes the things I'm thinking are too blunt/rude to say to anyone in polite conversation, and sometimes they're things that I know that I'd regret, if I said them. The things I want to say will circle around in my head, and I'll go through inner, hypothetical dialogue, but I won't speak because I can't get all that out of my head enough to actually converse with people.

    Also, I can clam up when I'm feeling shy in a group of new people, and/or when I'm in a totally new situation and I need time to absorb everything before I act.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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