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  1. #1
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Default STJ's-Crying/seeing people upset

    I have a grandfather and a very good friend who are ISTJ's. I don't think my friend has ever seen me show any sort of feelings/emotions (and I get the sense if I ever did show much emotion he wouldn't know what to do), but my grandfather has - when I've been in very difficult situations in life or when we've been at the bedside of an ill family member, etc. Whenever I, or another family member has cried in front of him, he seems to look the other way as if to say, "Oh jeez. What do I do now?" In the case of the ill family member in the hospital, I could tell by looking at him that he was very much affected and feeling something, but he remained very composed.

    Also, with a couple of ESTJ family members, they also seem a bit uncomfortable when someone in the family cries or gets upset. Come to think of it, I've seen my ISTJ grandfather cry one time in my life, that I can remember, and the ESTJ male family member twice (both instances involved someone passing away). I only remember my ESTJ sister crying once when I told her that I really cared about her more than she knows. Even in these rare instance, the crying/emotions were very controlled.

    What is the thought process when someone cries or in heavy situations? Is it the "get me outta here - anywhere but here" type of feeling? Or is it more like, "look at this panzy - can't he control himself?" Or something entirely different?

  2. #2
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    I would add that some INTP's seem to be less likely to show emotion than myself, so I can't really speak for all INTP's when I say this, but from my viewpoint crying is a very natural human emotion. I'm not inclined to cry very often, but it does happen from time to time. And if someone around me cries, I want to understand what is going on inside of them so that I can try to be of some comfort. The last thing I would want to do if someone is crying is to turn a cheek or just walk away. That's why I'm interested to know what the thought process is.

  3. #3
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I'm going to take a stab at this one to see if I've understood correctly what has been said so far in the other threads. My vote is for the "get me outta here, anywhere but here" option. It appears that this discomfort has more to do with the STJ being unsure of what is expected or how they should handle the situation. Since they don't do much outward emoting it is harder to imagine the thought process that would lead you there or how you may prefer to be comforted. I wonder too if it's about something that affects both the STJ and the other person if it borders on becoming too vulnerable themselves, which is extremely uncomfortable to them.

    Well folks, what's the real answer?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    What is the thought process when someone cries or in heavy situations? Is it the "get me outta here - anywhere but here" type of feeling? Or is it more like, "look at this panzy - can't he control himself?" Or something entirely different?
    Neither of those, really. I am a girl so I think guy STJs are quite different in how they handle emotion. Personally if it is a kid crying because they just hurt themselves I just make them feel better ASAP in a calm manner and try to comfort them while fixing whatever it is. Adults, I have been grumpy if I thought (read: Knew from past history) that someone was crying just to get sympathy and manipulate everyone. Even in that case I try to be kind, just not coddle them at all and not kowtow because of the fake tears. Otherwise, if someone is crying then I am sympathetic and try to offer a shoulder/pat backs/hand tissues, etc. It's difficult, but I think grief makes everyone feel awkward, so one just has to accept that fact.

    If someone is in a heavy mood of anger or frustration or depressed or even is sublimely happy or another type of "almost palpable" emotion, then yeah I do get kind of like a cat on a hot tin roof. Weddings, for example, make me cry watching people who are so completely in love with each other. It's beautiful and makes me want to cry like a baby from joy, but I'd rather not have other people see me do that... I would feel completely and horribly vulnerable myself if I cried a lot in front of a lot of people and I would hate to burden uninvolved people with the extent of whatever negative emotions I might have. Rather than thinking someone is a pansy for openly showing deep emotion I usually think they are brave to be able to do that. I have to plan that sort of thing in order to get up enough emotional energy. Basically, its often easier for me to deal with other people's intense emotion than it is to expose mine.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  5. #5
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Well explained! Thank you.

    Are there any guy STJs out there who are willing to explain their side of the story?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    You're welcome And as far as looking the other way type things, if they are there and still involved in the situation then it may be the same thing as me starting to doodle or biting my cheek - just a temporary reminding my brain that I can think of something besides the overpowering emotions I am feeling, thus getting back in control again. My ISTJ older brother seems like his emotions are a lot farther under the surface, but I'm guessing the process is similar just a lot less conscious? C'mon guys, we know you love talking about E.M.O.T.I.O.N.S. so please come tell us!


    Yes, I'm sassy sometimes.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  7. #7
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    Since Amira pretty much hit the nail on the head for ISTJs and sadness, I'm going to go off a side tangent.

    One emotion I've never really been able to understand is anger, especially when it manifests itself as rage. It has the remarkable ability to allow a person to ignore all repercussions of a situation. For instance, the feeling of wanting to kill the woman(I only use a woman to make a slight point about sexism in the criminal justice system, as well as a point about the idea that sexual bias that men are murderers.) who takes the life of someone dear to you. In this situation, killing the woman will likely result in you going to jail. In addition, inducing anger is a very effective interrogation technique. In short, judgment-clouding emotions never seemed useful to me. I don't believe anyone in my circle of friends has ever seen me angry.
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

  8. #8
    Scream down the boulevard LadyJaye's Avatar
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    The ISTJ's in my life seem to care for me deeply, but the emotions portion does make them visibly uncomfortable. My ISTJ sister goes a bit rigid every time I hug her, though she doesn't make a move to get away, and she doesn't seem upset by the display of affection. It's just not her style, I guess. Not to say that I go around hanging off of her like a monkey, but you get the idea.

    I've also been told by my ESTJ parent that high states, like anger and weeping, make her feel helpless, like she doesn't know what to do to make it stop. A loved one is in distress, and she feels a bit frozen up by the emotional component.

  9. #9
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Interesting. Thanks for your responses. Amira, it was interesting that at the beginning of your explanation you mentioned that people might be trying to manipulate. I could be wrong, but I think that's possibly where some STJ's go wrong. I know that some people do use crying to get their way, but it seems that STJ's almost see the situation as someone maybe trying to get them out of their normal ways. Almost like the STJ's first thought is "I can't lose my composure here, no matter how upset they get." Instead of stepping out of themselves for a moment to think, "what is really at the heart of the issue here. How can I help this person?" I'm not trying to criticize, it's more just an observation. It appears "cold" and maybe uncaring to others, but your explanations have helped me understand better.

    Matthew, I agree with your inability to understand rage. Being an NT (logical by nature), I always check myself when I get angry to make sure that I don't do anything that I would later regret. I think you're probably better at that than me though, because when I'm living in "N" world, I can overlook details and be really caught up in the moment. Examples that come to mind are when someone has done something really horrible to someone in my family. Someone VERY close to me was struck square in the face for NO REASON at all (it was a total misunderstanding on the other person's part) and when it was pointed out that the person completely handled it wrong, they were still malicious and defending their actions with harsh words. It was a complete and blantant violation of another human being that means the world to me. In those situations, 50% of me is thinking like you - don't do anything stupid, let the authorities handle it, etc. The other 50% of me is thinking, "I want to show this person what it feels like to have that same thing happen to them."

    Looking back, I still feel bad for the way I handled it. I told the person (an adult), that I was going to beat the crap out of their nerdy son (who was my age - about 10 at the time) for no reason at all so they could see their loved one hurt for no reason. It was wrong - I don't believe in returning evil for evil, but at the moment, I was definitely experiencing rage for the violation of my family member.

    Correction: I said "that might be where some STJ's go WRONG". Wrong verbage. It's not about being "right or wrong". I was just trying to understand and also trying to explain why some people might see the reaction as "cold". My bad, my bad - cut me some slack.

  10. #10
    Perfect Gentleman! =D d@v3's Avatar
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    It really depends on who it is. If it's someone I know is doing it for attention I just get the "get me out of here, anywhere but here!" panic feeling. But if it's someone who is truly hurting, I could never turn away unless it was someone I didn't care about or someone who didn't deserve the sympathy.

    But by default, I try to make the person feel better using words. (In other words, I do NOT give out free bear hugs unless it is someone I'm "close" to.) But yeah, I try to make the person feel better. If I do feel actions are necessary, I use indirect actions, like taking the person out for dinner or something or getting them a small gift or even just doing something nice for them like helping them with a project or something. It's my way of making someone feel better without the instigating any more "emotional" responses from the individual.
    Freedom Isn't Free. [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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