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  1. #1
    Member Caligula's Avatar
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    Default ISTJs and their approach to relationships.

    Hello Typology Central! It's been a while, hasn't it?

    So. I've started dating an ISTJ (almost 2 months) and it is unlike anything I've ever experienced. I have a lot of trouble understanding him and what he wants out of this relationship, so I was hoping I'd be able to get some advice and information.

    In my past relationships, communication was a major factor as well as a connection or friendship. In this relationship, it feels like it isn't that important to him. There are a lot of moments spent in silence. He doesn't mind that we don't always connect or have meaningful conversations. He isn't bothered by any of these things but they confuse me to no end. Sometimes I wonder if he isn't telling me something, he isn't being himself or he doesn't trust me.

    I've tried talking to him about it but he says he's fine, he's happy just to be with me. On the first layer we seem to be working well. We make each other happy and enjoy each others company. We have a lot in common and agree on most things. But I feel like I'm missing a fundamental thing, there's something that I'm not getting. Maybe we want/expect different things? (Maybe in part because we're "opposites.")

    To ISTJs, what do you want out of relationships? Why do you think he acts this way? What can I do to make this work?
    To other types, what is your experience with ISTJs in relationships?

    Much appreciated, and have a great day.
    Living is never a waste of time.

  2. #2
    Member Serenes's Avatar
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    Do you feel bothered by this silence, more because he doesn't actually Initiate conversations more or try to connect with you with meaningful conversations? If you've confronted him about it, and he said he's fine and happy just to be with you.. I think it's best to just take his word for it instead of being paranoid about what he might be hiding/keeping to himself. (I'm not an ISTJ, but the few I've encountered, they are very honest people and once you confront them they are not afraid to tell you the truth about how they are really feeling or thinking).

    I have an online friendship with an ISTJ.. and it's sort of the same way. Our conversations don't really seem to lead anywhere deep and meaningful, except when I lead it and ask questions & probe him. He seems content just talking about normal things, like what we did for the day and such.. or just not talking much at all. Sometimes I wonder if I'm boring him... but the fact that he comes on to talk to me at least shows something I guess.

    I have another ISTJ friend irl and she is almost the same way. I've asked her about it, and she told me it's just her natural state to be quiet and calm. It has nothing to do with the other person's company, she just likes to remain in her neutral state to not make the other person uncomfortable (lol) or feel like they Need to talk with her. It's her way to accommodate and not bother others? Just because she's quiet, doesn't mean she thinks badly of you or that she's having a horrid time. She's also very honest and direct :/ so when I ask her if I'm bothering her, and she says no, I try to take what she says seriously and not read too much into it (like I usually do). One time, I hung out with her when she was doing homework... and we just sat there together in total silence it did make me feel a bit weird.. but I don't think it bothered her at all, and she seemed happy to have me there with her. We do have interesting, deep, and meaningful conversations sometimes.. but if I recall, it mostly starts from me taking the initiative to ask weird questions (yes, she says I can be so random.. the other ISTJ says this as well, lol). She was also content with just talking about normal every day things like what we did over the weekends and such.

    Soo... I'm not an ISTJ, but this is how I've interacted with them. I think if anything comes up that really bothers you, you should just directly talk to him about it (since he might not even be aware how differently it affects you). I think they appreciate directness & honesty anyways, I don't think they intend to hurt you on purpose because it's so natural to Them.

    Sorry If I'm totally off... oops.. and I just realized, this is how they are in 'romantic' relationships? ..ehh I hope this still helps if they treat friendships similarly lol.
    "You may be one person to the world, but to one person you may be the world."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    Well, we were not born to share. And we do connect in different ways I think. Having mutual experiences seems to be more important than sharing thoughts and feelings. And there are two kinds of silences... one is the awkward silence when neither knows what to say and feels bad for not saying anything, while the other is the tranquil moment where both feel themselves absolutely safe and calm.

    I know ISTJ/ENFP relationships can be very difficult. You just need to re-invent the communication, since both of you even communicate on different ways. But is it not the challenges that forge us strong?

    Just a word of warning... ISTJs can get quite literal at times. So be sure you say what you mean to say. Classical example... if you tell him about a problem you have, expect him to solve it for you. Don't expect his empathy. So if you don't want him to solve your problem on your behalf, but would rather just want to share your worries, just ask him to listen to you. ISTJs make good listeners. You just need to tell them what you expect of them.

    And on the opposite... don't try to overanalyze ISTJs' motives. We are known to make odd remarks about stuff. Usually we don't mean anything... we just observe out loud.
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
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  4. #4
    Carerra Lu IZthe411's Avatar
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    In a relationship, I want some mental stimulation. I want the connection. I'll try, by initiating the conversation and all that, to see where it goes, since it's that important to me. I've learned also, in a relationship, that I have to make that point clearly known as well. I love interacting with people who think differently than I do, those with a playfulness that I don't naturally have. I'm Currently talking to someone now who thinks like I do, and one thing I'm struggling with is that while she likes to talk, a lot of is just 'talk'. I dunno. I'm trying to figure out how big of a deal breaker this is, if otherwise she's a good girl.


    Serenes points are good. Don't read into it too much. We're not big initiators, but if you were to throw something out there I'd take the ride. If we call and come by, or request your presence, we like you.

  5. #5
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IZthe411 View Post
    I'm Currently talking to someone now who thinks like I do, and one thing I'm struggling with is that while she likes to talk, a lot of is just 'talk'. I dunno. I'm trying to figure out how big of a deal breaker this is, if otherwise she's a good girl.
    Often equity is more important than a strict balance of equality. In other words sometimes let other friends supplement your needs in other areas.

    Also consider the challenge on making her conversation more invigorating. When I do this I like to invoke the positive traits of an ENFP "inspirer" in myself for the short term. Its like putting on a Halloween costume of a coach in a sort and giving them a pep talk to reach deeper within, to break on through into elements of their creativity and imagination...to have them visualize excellence in themselves.

    It does not always work but sometimes it does and regardless of whether it works or no the challenge brings out some of the best in myself (at least for the short term) because even the transmutation into an inspirer for the short term opens doors within.
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

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  6. #6
    Carerra Lu IZthe411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spamtar View Post
    Often equity is more important than a strict balance of equality. In other words sometimes let other friends supplement your needs in other areas.

    Also consider the challenge on making her conversation more invigorating. When I do this I like to invoke the positive traits of an ENFP "inspirer" in myself for the short term. Its like putting on a Halloween costume of a coach in a sort and giving them a pep talk to reach deeper within, to break on through into elements of their creativity and imagination...to have them visualize excellence in themselves.

    It does not always work but sometimes it does and regardless of whether it works or no the challenge brings out some of the best in myself (at least for the short term) because even the transmutation into an inspirer for the short term opens doors within.
    I feel you, and I did this, last week. She was going on and on, and the few times I tried to take the discussion somewhere else, she started at that place and was going and going.... Finally I got frustrated and let her know that she didn't ask me one question the whole time we were on the phone! She got it though, and it turned out to be good from that point. I realized that I'm going to have to set the standard in this area if I want it, with her. It would be easier with someone who was naturally a dominant in this area, but like you said it would help me as well.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bcubchgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caligula View Post
    In my past relationships, communication was a major factor as well as a connection or friendship. In this relationship, it feels like it isn't that important to him. There are a lot of moments spent in silence. He doesn't mind that we don't always connect or have meaningful conversations. He isn't bothered by any of these things but they confuse me to no end. Sometimes I wonder if he isn't telling me something, he isn't being himself or he doesn't trust me.
    This is already a bad situation if you are wondering if he "isn't telling you something". I've been in that exact situation, and it didn't get any easier. In fact, it ended up imploding because he was so quiet it forced me to "read into" what he was thinking, which he absolutely hated. ISTJ's will tell you that they hate being sized up or called out (even if they forced you to react that way by not saying anything), while on the flip side they are only "direct" with you if they really want to be (you can't make them do it if they don't wanna). Some ISTJ's are just so internally focused that they don't know how to open up. If you are getting bothered by it, you are probably going to continue to be bothered by it. Another ISTJ that I dated wouldn't even tell me that "he liked me" (using the words). I simply explained to him that all i wanted was a shred of direct evidence that he was interested in being my friend, and his response to it was "do you think I'm stupid? why would I be talking to you if I wasn't".

    My advice is that if you are really second guessing him, back off because they don't like that. If it feels like that most of the time and you can't ease your way in at all, then you need to figure out if it's worth your own emotional upheaval, because it probably won't matter to him, meanwhile you are tied into knots. Also, they are not 100% "honest" as they would like you to believe. They do lie if / when they need to (to protect themselves emotionally), and it can be pretty vindictive when they do. This idea that they are perfectly rational and honest creatures is mostly true, but beware of the times when they are not - it can get ugly.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member simpleamazement's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caligula View Post
    To ISTJs, what do you want out of relationships? Why do you think he acts this way? What can I do to make this work?
    Well first of all, congratulations for being in a relationship.

    I've been in a ENFP serious relationship, and based on my experience it is rather difficult. I love ENFPs, including male and female, they are great people. But I suppose boundaries can be very difficult in the ENFP-ISTJ dynamic.

    We ISTJs are very private people, we don't like to share ourselves much with anyone. With me, sharing too much drives me crazy, and when people try to pry out information in me, it drives me nuts. When I feel I share too much information, it drives me nuts because I feel like I'm giving my power away and losing focus on my mission in life. Being a social butterfly is not in the ISTJs cards, unless it's a crazy/unusual/off balance ISTJ.

  9. #9
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    I'll try to explain something I've been experiencing the last few weeks that might shed some light on what we ISTJs think about. I work at a department store, and a new girl just started recently at a cosmetic counter after another older woman left that I was good friends with. I thought she was cute when I saw her being shown around by the manager, and I found out from that old coworker that she was my age. So, I wanted to get to know her, and see what happened.

    My attempts were nothing more than 5 second sentences, and then one night, she had to come over and clean my area from the christmas rush. She started straightening xmas ties, and found out half of them had sounds, thus shrieking when she one went off and throwing it in the air. I was near her cleaning and we both burst out laughing and I was teasing her for it. We chatted a bit, and then a few days later, a guy came in that she used to work with, and she tells me he's her "boytoy" and they get together occasionally. I was like...ok. During the holidays, I managed to end up around the store helping people, and she was designated to help out one of the areas I was ringing people up in. She was just like, let me know if you need help. So, in the middle of a long line, I ended up just calling her and asking where to send the customers. That was like, the first time I called a fellow coworker as sort of a personal teammate. Honestly, I just felt more...alive during that. It's a small thing, but it happens.

    So, I talked to her some more, and she'd call me a dork when I made jokes and tapped my shoulder. When I came in the break room once, she put her arms over the chair, leaned back and smiled at me from for a few seconds. Another time, she came in my area, and said she had a weird bump on her head and didn't mind me holding her head and teasing her about it. She also apparently didn't have problems telling me parts of her dating and sexual experiences. I found out also that she has 3 small ages 4-7 children and lives with her ex. I wanted to just take it as it came, and see what happened. It's work also, so I didn't want to jump into anything...bad.

    I could've asked her for drinks or to dinner, but it just didn't seem....me. I just wanted things to flow more into a date rather than being all "hey, you, date me!" I had asked her if she wanted to find something to do for new years, but she said she had to get to bed early. So, today at work, I knew she was off, and I didn't have her number, so I thought I'd send a funny joke about the weather via facebook message on my phone. She ended up responding and we joked around throughout the day via the messages.

    Later on, she said in one of them she was off tomorrow, and I just told her, "I have a few appointments, school and work the next few days, but we should try to get together for lunch sometime." She responded with "Sure, but make sure it doesn't involve singing ties!" and then she told me about a work thing she had to do tuesday. No plans have come yet.

    I think, it's more of that for me, I'd rather have a playful friend, and then work its way gradually toward dating. The whole turning dating into a process by our society and all this stuff about "game" just doesn't vibe with me. I'd rather just feel that personal connection with the person.


  10. #10
    Perfect Gentleman! =D d@v3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caligula View Post
    To ISTJs, what do you want out of relationships? Why do you think he acts this way? What can I do to make this work?
    To other types, what is your experience with ISTJs in relationships?

    Much appreciated, and have a great day.
    I look for someone who I think has the potential to be a good wife and mother. You've only been dating for two months! The longer you date, the more he is going to trust you and become comfortable with you. It takes a lot of time for us. If you are looking for those in depth conversations, you're probably going to be waiting a long time. We are very simple individuals, and just having you in our presence knowing you are happy makes us happy.

    We are not the the type of people who share their "emotions". We are the stoic people that other,less stable, types anchor themselves to when things get rough.
    Freedom Isn't Free. [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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