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  1. #31
    Senior Member Shadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbah View Post
    I think the problem for NFs and SJs – especially when they're not aware of where the other is coming from and think their own style is natural and normal – is that the SJ, especially STJ, can be judgmental of other people's logic and thinking and can easily fall into the fault of making the other person feel judged as stupid and also making the NF feel unrecognised, something I think NFs need more than SJs. The NF on the other hand can also be judgmental but of the SJ's feelings and behaviour, making the SJ also feel judged but more emotionally judged, like, the SJ is clueless and dumb or something.

    The SJ is sensitive, as sensitive as the NF, and when the SJ picks up on this judgment they will withdraw even more, no matter how much the NF keeps trying to get the response they want from the SJ, also because the SJ, at least the ISTJ, doesn't care what other people think and is generally not a people pleaser.

    As an example, I have one current ENFJ friend. She's lovely and we get along well although at the beginning there was friction because she didn't like some beliefs I have and was getting really emotional about it. I was very tempted to cut her off. She's direct though, which is a good thing with an ISTJ, because that made me feel I was safe enough with her to deal with the conflict openly. I was willing to go through the conflict because I could feel she was honest and did truly appreciate me. Apart from that, she did once say to me that I'm sometimes so serious it makes her nervous. So I try to up my energy with her and be more openly affectionate to make her feel comfortable.

    That sounds like a situation I have with a work colleague, who I believe is ENFX. In the beginning we seemed to get along fine, and I thought she was a very friendly person who was easy to talk to. Of late though, she seems incredibly hypersensitive, and I can say something completely off-the-cuff and meaningless to another colleague (ISTP) - perhaps jokingly on a random subject, perhaps a discussion about how to approach a piece of work - and she'll come storming round the corner (where she sits she can hear our conversations) to yell at me (more like whine, but it feels like a personal attack either way) as though I've said something to personally insult her, even though it's nothing to do with her!! I'm now at the point where I've decided to avoid her as much as possible and treat her in a very neutral way. If she thinks I'm too serious or blunt, so be it. I have wondered if my efficient, 'let's get down to business' manner scares her somewhat. She's not even slightly serious.

    I just hate walking on eggshells, and I think that's the problem I have with NFs. At least with SFs we're kind of on a wavelength, so I can make a guess as to when something might be too blunt or insensitive. NFs seem to take offence at completely banal comments. Not all, obviously, but enough to make me feel on edge when talking to one.

  2. #32
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Any advice for an ENFJ with an ISTJ? My parents have been together 46 years. They do care about each other, but there is a lot that was never resolved. My mother is the kind of person who puts everything into a relationship and craves resolution of problems. My dad on the other hand avoids any kind of potential conflict and pretends it didn't happen. He has not supported her publicly when it would have been appropriate to. I think he's always seen her as more capable than him and looked to her to take care of everything. She would have liked him to take the lead and didn't want people to see her as nattery or controlling. I think he's decided that he's made too mistakes and it's too late and he just doesn't want to deal with it. She's hurt, feels abandoned and has given up hope and sometimes is less nice to him as a result (just not as warm, or is edgier than she would ever be with us). I've always joked that my dad should have been a spy because he doesn't let even innocuous information ever slip. He wouldn't have conversations with us that were anything different than what he'd say to a neighbour. Often community members know information first regarding school board or work announcements that are big, and my mum is embarrassed in front of them to realize that he wouldn't tell her things like that. Any ideas about how this dynamic could be neutralized. It breaks my heart because they are both good folks and committed to each other, but there's a lot of water under the bridge.

  3. #33

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    I have a good friend who is ESTJ. I'm yet to have anything near a conflict with her (maybe because we both have Te Ne). I'm not sure I know any ISTJs. I haven't dated any, though I think ESTJ would work.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Any advice for an ENFJ with an ISTJ? My parents have been together 46 years. They do care about each other, but there is a lot that was never resolved. My mother is the kind of person who puts everything into a relationship and craves resolution of problems. My dad on the other hand avoids any kind of potential conflict and pretends it didn't happen. He has not supported her publicly when it would have been appropriate to. I think he's always seen her as more capable than him and looked to her to take care of everything. She would have liked him to take the lead and didn't want people to see her as nattery or controlling. I think he's decided that he's made too mistakes and it's too late and he just doesn't want to deal with it. She's hurt, feels abandoned and has given up hope and sometimes is less nice to him as a result (just not as warm, or is edgier than she would ever be with us). I've always joked that my dad should have been a spy because he doesn't let even innocuous information ever slip. He wouldn't have conversations with us that were anything different than what he'd say to a neighbour. Often community members know information first regarding school board or work announcements that are big, and my mum is embarrassed in front of them to realize that he wouldn't tell her things like that. Any ideas about how this dynamic could be neutralized. It breaks my heart because they are both good folks and committed to each other, but there's a lot of water under the bridge.
    Hmm, that's hard. If your dad has put up a wall it can't be forced down from the outside. He'll have to want to open up somehow. Any idea why he's walled himself off? Does your mother push too much or is she very critical?

  5. #35
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    That sounds like a situation I have with a work colleague, who I believe is ENFX. In the beginning we seemed to get along fine, and I thought she was a very friendly person who was easy to talk to. Of late though, she seems incredibly hypersensitive, and I can say something completely off-the-cuff and meaningless to another colleague (ISTP) - perhaps jokingly on a random subject, perhaps a discussion about how to approach a piece of work - and she'll come storming round the corner (where she sits she can hear our conversations) to yell at me (more like whine, but it feels like a personal attack either way) as though I've said something to personally insult her, even though it's nothing to do with her!! I'm now at the point where I've decided to avoid her as much as possible and treat her in a very neutral way. If she thinks I'm too serious or blunt, so be it. I have wondered if my efficient, 'let's get down to business' manner scares her somewhat. She's not even slightly serious.
    Well, with the ENFJ I know, it did feel like a personal attack to me because she was getting so emotional and angry that I have the beliefs I do and why they weren't the same as her beliefs. I wasn't criticising her beliefs in any way, it just bugged her a lot that I believe what I do. I don't know about your work colleague but with my ENFJ friend, the intensity was partly because she's very kind and active about helping people, including "guiding" them if they aren't on the right path. I had the impression that a lot of the people she helps need someone to push them. I'm very independent though and didn't need her "help". I think that may have irked her a lot. Maybe it's something similar going on with your colleague because she sounds like she is demonstrating some control issues.

  6. #36
    Senior Member wrldisquiethere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambchop View Post
    NFs and SJs CAN work together. It takes practice and patience and a lot of trying to understand. The strengths and weaknesses can be put together for good. My idealistic husband has great ideas and my practical nature can figure out ways to implement them. You have to become aware of your differences and make them work for you.
    That is a mature response. I agree that it takes practice, understanding, and learning how the other person is wired. I had to learn with my INFP how to take her idealistic ideas about things and ponder them before reacting with doubt over the practicality of it. This is something we really struggled with. She would come up with an idea and I would immediately dismiss it as impractical or unrealistic. I'd go off, think about it for awhile, begin to think of tangible ways to bring the idea to fruition, and come back saying, "Ok, maybe that wasn't such a bad idea after all." I guess if we learn to work together with understanding and patience, we actually make a very good pair
    Quote Originally Posted by nynesneg View Post
    Lol. I'm the exact opposite of that, probably due to nfJ. It particularly bugs me when I put hours of effort planning every detail of an event and my boss decides the day of to take control and change it all at the last minute and just "wing it".
    This happens a lot in my work and it's hard for me. My boss is a "dreamer" and very idealistic. He is definitely one who gets excited about starting new projects. This frustrates me because I end up with a whole pile of projects that I've started on but never get to finish. I'll also spend a lot of time putting something together only to have him come in at the last minute and want to change it because he thought of a better way. There is some frustration there until I can adjust my mind to the change. Once I get over it, I am able to see that he's right and that even though it is frustrating, in the long run, it'll work out better. And from time to time, it makes up for it when I have a one or two week run where he'll come to me and give me everything I need to finish all the projects I'd started over the last few months and I can go on a spree checking items off my list as COMPLETED!

    Quote Originally Posted by nynesneg View Post
    Guilty. Although as an E I do usually complain some. But I hate talking about personal frustrations/confrontation, especially if they involve my SO or a friend. Talking about them seems like a waste of time and doesn't accomplish anything. So everything just piles up until (depending on my stress level) I can no longer control myself and get emotional..
    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    Wow .. Regardless of type, that would drive me insane. As a person who can sense when someone is under stress or unhappy for whatever reason. To keep it bottled up is not productive. Although you may think it is a waste of time and wouldn't accomplish anything, is it better to keep it inside, possibly make yourself sick with worry and over think the situation (which we are all more than capable of doing, lol). At least by bringing it out in the open, it takes away some of the intensity even if it doesn't immediately rectify the situation. Hmmm
    Yeah. The hard thing with my INFP is that she hides it SO WELL. I try to hide my emotions and hurts sometimes but I never can. People always see signs that I'm hurt or upset. But my INFP is a pro at hiding. I never have ANY idea she is having such a hard time until it's become a really BIG problem. Then it all kind of comes out and hits me in the face. The funniest thing is that she has no idea what she's done. I remember awhile back we were in the car after having dinner together and she said, "Well I guess it's time to get this all out in the open, because I'm sure you've been wondering why I've been so upset all weekend." I was seriously shocked. I said, "No. I had no idea you were upset." Then she went on to give the different reasons for her concern and frustration. I consider myself fairly adept at reading people's signs of emotional distress, so half of the time while she talked I was sitting there trying to figure out how I had missed all the signs.
    Si, Fe equal Fi & Ti

    "I had a bag of Fritos, they were Texas grilled Fritos. These Fritos had grill marks on them. They remind me of summer, when we used to fire up the barbeque and throw down some Fritos. I can still see my dad with the apron on. Better flip that Frito, dad, you know how I like it." -Mitch Hedberg

  7. #37
    Senior Member Shadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Any advice for an ENFJ with an ISTJ? My parents have been together 46 years. They do care about each other, but there is a lot that was never resolved. My mother is the kind of person who puts everything into a relationship and craves resolution of problems. My dad on the other hand avoids any kind of potential conflict and pretends it didn't happen. He has not supported her publicly when it would have been appropriate to. I think he's always seen her as more capable than him and looked to her to take care of everything. She would have liked him to take the lead and didn't want people to see her as nattery or controlling. I think he's decided that he's made too mistakes and it's too late and he just doesn't want to deal with it. She's hurt, feels abandoned and has given up hope and sometimes is less nice to him as a result (just not as warm, or is edgier than she would ever be with us). I've always joked that my dad should have been a spy because he doesn't let even innocuous information ever slip. He wouldn't have conversations with us that were anything different than what he'd say to a neighbour. Often community members know information first regarding school board or work announcements that are big, and my mum is embarrassed in front of them to realize that he wouldn't tell her things like that. Any ideas about how this dynamic could be neutralized. It breaks my heart because they are both good folks and committed to each other, but there's a lot of water under the bridge.
    A lot of that resonates. I can understand why your mum feels like that. (I'm assuming she's the ISTJ here?) I have to say that if I wasn't supported publicly and I realised that other people were finding out significant things from my SO before I did, I would actually feel betrayed. Relationships are about trust and teamwork. If you're out of the loop, then you're out of the team, and you start to wonder just what your role in the relationship really is. Then you start to blame yourself for pushing them away, and you feel unconscious resentment at your partner for making you dislike yourself (hence the increasing criticism). It's a vicious circle, because then the more you criticise, the more you don't like what you've become and you start to justify the lack of communication as being because you were too critical. This may be the reason, but if the other partner started clamming up this is probably untrue, and you're judging yourself on what you've become by that point, rather than who you were when the problems started.
    That's when you'll start to distance yourself, because you don't like seeming like a nag by asking what's wrong and what's going on in the other person's life. After all, if they want to tell you they'll tell you, no? Then the partner can either open up, or... well, what other solution is there?
    Your dad must have his reasons for not wanting to open up to the person who should be the most significant person in his life. I'd start to question whether it was worth it by that point, I'm sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbah View Post
    Well, with the ENFJ I know, it did feel like a personal attack to me because she was getting so emotional and angry that I have the beliefs I do and why they weren't the same as her beliefs. I wasn't criticising her beliefs in any way, it just bugged her a lot that I believe what I do. I don't know about your work colleague but with my ENFJ friend, the intensity was partly because she's very kind and active about helping people, including "guiding" them if they aren't on the right path. I had the impression that a lot of the people she helps need someone to push them. I'm very independent though and didn't need her "help". I think that may have irked her a lot. Maybe it's something similar going on with your colleague because she sounds like she is demonstrating some control issues.
    That's probably it. Funny because I never thought ENFJ would be stubborn like that. Do they like people being dependent on them, rather than helping someone to the point they become independent?
    That might explain why this ENFJ seemed so friendly right in the beginning when I was learning the ropes, didn't know anyone and was vulnerable.


    Quote Originally Posted by wrldisquiethere View Post
    This happens a lot in my work and it's hard for me. My boss is a "dreamer" and very idealistic. He is definitely one who gets excited about starting new projects. This frustrates me because I end up with a whole pile of projects that I've started on but never get to finish. I'll also spend a lot of time putting something together only to have him come in at the last minute and want to change it because he thought of a better way. There is some frustration there until I can adjust my mind to the change. Once I get over it, I am able to see that he's right and that even though it is frustrating, in the long run, it'll work out better. And from time to time, it makes up for it when I have a one or two week run where he'll come to me and give me everything I need to finish all the projects I'd started over the last few months and I can go on a spree checking items off my list as COMPLETED!
    If that happened all the time, I would quit!! Thank god for my ENTJ boss.

  8. #38
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbah View Post
    Hmm, that's hard. If your dad has put up a wall it can't be forced down from the outside. He'll have to want to open up somehow. Any idea why he's walled himself off? Does your mother push too much or is she very critical?
    FTR - My mum is the ENFJ, my dad is the ISTJ and they got together when they were both teenagers (married at 19 and 21 although she had already been a teacher for two years and he had been a bank manager already).

    I think despite coming from similar farming backgrounds, their families were vastly different. I think he suffered a number of emotional wounds that probably closed him up long before they ever met. She spent most of their married life trying to be the best wife possible, figuring if she just said things differently, supported him in his role etc things would come along. However, now she's lost hope and it's hard for the way she relates not to have changed as a result, because it feels like he doesn't care about the one thing that she ever cared most about.

    She's a very articulate, capable confident person. He is underconfident and admires her a lot, but doesn't see himself as her equal (which he is). My brother was bullied a lot in school and my dad distanced himself from him as a result (I think it brought up his own insecurities as a kid) and acted ashamed of him (which bothered my mum a lot). Our family is quite spread out and there is my sister and then me (11 years spans total between us all). There have been numerous occasions where it would have been appropriate for my dad to stand up for her or one of us (not that we were weak, but as an expression of solidarity or loyalty) and he instead shrunk away. I think even yet my mum would act differently if she thought my dad wanted an emotionally intimate relationship, but he seems very content with talking about the weather, appearing to all as a "nice guy" (but they don't know much more about him than that, nor do we), and pretending that none of the problems from the past years ever happened. When presented with any problems, he just is silent, and then acts like it never happened. I love him. I'd like to get to know him. He's able to say he's proud of us, or that he loves us, but there's not really anyone in his world who seems to matter enough for him to contact out of his own initiative, unless it is someone very distant in his circle. (Like going out for coffee with an old shirt-tale acquaintance). As the baby of the family who has remained single, I probably have a much more inside perspective than either sibling of some of what has gone on. My siblings have both taking their own frustrations about their marriages on my mum and he has just stood back and watched when he could have stopped it with a word. He's the one that invests the least and yet doesn't end up having to deal with any fallout. And he seems fine with just concluding that he can't do anything about it now...

    I know this is a very one-sidedly INFJ perspective, but I just can't see how to make things any better and I think it must be very lonely for him.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I think despite coming from similar farming backgrounds, their families were vastly different. I think he suffered a number of emotional wounds that probably closed him up long before they ever met. She spent most of their married life trying to be the best wife possible, figuring if she just said things differently, supported him in his role etc things would come along.
    From what you say it seems that your dad had his issues way before he met your mother. Did your mother think she could rescue and heal him through her love? If so, that may explain a lot of the frustration. You can't rescue people, and if she is very invested in her view of herself as being a “good enough” wife for your dad to give her what she expects in return then they are rather stuck in a loop (i.e. your dad has to be purely self-motivated to want to take the risk to trust and be engaged with people and your mother has to accept him as he is and accept her investment in him doesn't necessarily get her an adequate return on it). Sorry if that sounds cold. It's just an idea of how they might have ended up in this dynamic. The ENFJ I know is very much a helper of people. And when you say that he invests the least but doesn't have to deal with any fallout, it sounds like your mother protects him somehow from being responsible. Is that the case?

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I know this is a very one-sidedly INFJ perspective, but I just can't see how to make things any better and I think it must be very lonely for him.
    Yes, he must be very lonely and sad inside. He sounds very sensitive, scared and overwhelmed. Also, he's a man, and I think men have the added issue that they often think they're supposed to be the strong tough ones, so that may make it even more difficult for him to face his issues.

  10. #40
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I don't think there was a conscious effort to rescue, so much as that they were both young (and probably hadn't thought about what they were looking for in a mate yet) and he agreed with what she said when they discussed anything. She had a strong, warm family and I think he was very attracted to that and they spent a lot of time over there and much less with his (who lived in the next community over). However he never learned to be open with anyone. I think she feels that you get one shot at marriage and she put everything into making this one work successfully. She has the capacity for so much intimacy and she can't cover both people's roles when dealing with other people (she can't say/do what it would be appropriate for a father to say to his son etc), and so that's where the frustration at unmet needs comes in.

    Regarding protecting him from responsibility - I don't think it's that so much as him staying safe from it. For example, both of my siblings have married people with difficult childhoods and they never addressed that. My siblings frustration with their spouse more often is projected onto my mum because she is the one that takes the most active role with them and is most involved in their lives. It is not safe to take their aggression caused from frustration out on their spouse (because the spouse can't take it), so instead it is directed towards her. My dad just stays safely uninvolved - along for the ride, but that's about it. I think he'd like the benefits of being close to people, but without the sacrifice, emotional investment and work it actually takes. He does not take a stand publicly about anything, even when he strongly disagrees with it, whereas she would, and take the fallout of that as well.

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