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  1. #1
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    Default ISTJs and Love/Positive feelings/expression

    Hi all! I'm hoping for some insight about this topic. I have been dating this ISTJ and I am totally smitten. I'm curious to know what sort of things you as an ISTJ would do to show loving feelings - specifically of the romantic relationship variety. I understand that you are inclined to do little favors for a person, but I'm asking more in terms of emotional displays. Are these examples of things you would do?

    1) Switch from passionate affection to tender affection (let us assume your partner had not asked for this)
    2) Have lots of something, energy, light, showing up in your eyes (in such a way that it looks like you are allowing it to be there or putting it there on purpose)
    3) Go for more eye contact in intimate moments
    4) Come up with little things to say that link with behaviors to communicate an emotional message
    5) Act like you get some kind of thrill or energy from having that person tell you very specifically what they want or need

    Example for #4. Say you start talking about something you only do with people when you like them. Let's say the thing in question is unusual, like patting your head and rubbing your belly, so it would not be a common thing to just randomly do. Five minutes later you are doing that thing around a person you're in a relationship with. Is it fair to take this as an intentional message? Because I took it as intentional.

    Also, I do not overwhelm my ISTJ with emotional talk, but I have made a couple of mild comments. He usually responds with humor, but doesn't withdraw. I take this to mean he likes what I say even if he is too embarrassed/uncomfortable to reciprocate. A couple of times he has responded with humor but then been more affectionate than usual later. Do you think I'm reading it right? If someone got TOO touchy-feely with you, would you withdraw rather than make a joke and still be accessible?

    I feel like I am reading this properly but I know when it comes to emotion and ISTJ you have to pay close attention. I'm hoping this continues to go as well as it has, and he keeps looking to me to push the boundaries/deepen the relationship, so if I get confirmation that I'm seeing this the right way that will be easier. Any feedback is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Lol. I'm not ISTJ. I've spent a lot of time around one though. I think the humor is a show of appreciaion. It's an intellectual show of pleasure at your efforts. And it also might be a message that they're not likely going to show any more affection than they currently are, but they do want you to know that they enjoy you. Keep it up!
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avatar7 View Post
    Lol. I'm not ISTJ. I've spent a lot of time around one though. I think the humor is a show of appreciaion. It's an intellectual show of pleasure at your efforts. And it also might be a message that they're not likely going to show any more affection than they currently are, but they do want you to know that they enjoy you. Keep it up!
    Thank you for the reply Were you around that person in a romantic context? I ask because I suspect the behavior will be a bit different depending on the role of the relationship.

    Interesting what you said about the humor as an intellectual show of pleasure... It's always struck me as an evasive maneuver if it follows some sort of touchy-feely comment. I like your theory about it, though.

    So you mean the humor could be like setting a boundary?

  4. #4
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Also not an ISTJ... and I'm not a guy. But still!
    Quote Originally Posted by sparkleyESFP View Post
    Are these examples of things you would do?

    1) Switch from passionate affection to tender affection (let us assume your partner had not asked for this)
    I would do this, if I felt that my partner's mood called for it, i.e. if I felt like they needed a little TLC at the end of a hard day.
    2) Have lots of something, energy, light, showing up in your eyes (in such a way that it looks like you are allowing it to be there or putting it there on purpose)
    Definitely not. That's too abstract and indirect for me. If I wanted to send my partner a message, I'd do so in a way that had at least a 70% success rate -- and that sounds like it would be as likely to cause confusion as realization.
    3) Go for more eye contact in intimate moments
    Definitely!!
    4) Come up with little things to say that link with behaviors to communicate an emotional message

    Example for #4. Say you start talking about something you only do with people when you like them. Let's say the thing in question is unusual, like patting your head and rubbing your belly, so it would not be a common thing to just randomly do. Five minutes later you are doing that thing around a person you're in a relationship with. Is it fair to take this as an intentional message? Because I took it as intentional.
    I don't think so. That strikes me as a little bizarre.
    5) Act like you get some kind of thrill or energy from having that person tell you very specifically what they want or need
    In what sense?
    I mean, I do love it when I have a chance to be helpful/useful to people I care about. But in how literal a sense do you mean "act like you get some kind of thrill or energy"? Does it seem joking, when it happens?
    Also, I do not overwhelm my ISTJ with emotional talk, but I have made a couple of mild comments. He usually responds with humor, but doesn't withdraw. I take this to mean he likes what I say even if he is too embarrassed/uncomfortable to reciprocate. A couple of times he has responded with humor but then been more affectionate than usual later. Do you think I'm reading it right? If someone got TOO touchy-feely with you, would you withdraw rather than make a joke and still be accessible?
    I don't know about ISTJs, but in my case, yes, I would use humor. In fact, what I'd probably do is tell the truth while trying to detach myself from it, e.g. making a self-deprecating comment, or delivering the information in a sarcastic (or silly) way. So it wouldn't be withdrawing, but it would be opening up as much as possible without risking getting hurt afterwards. On reflection, unless I'm in a really bad way, that's almost always how I'm going to talk about emotional things.

    I hope that helped even though I'm not ISTJ
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  5. #5
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkleyESFP View Post
    1) Switch from passionate affection to tender affection (let us assume your partner had not asked for this)
    I would think so.
    2) Have lots of something, energy, light, showing up in your eyes (in such a way that it looks like you are allowing it to be there or putting it there on purpose)
    No, don't think so. It might happen unconsciously, which would be cool, but not because I meant to do it.
    3) Go for more eye contact in intimate moments
    I think probably. The eyes are a strong emotional and personal bridge to me.
    4) Come up with little things to say that link with behaviors to communicate an emotional message. Example for #4. Say you start talking about something you only do with people when you like them. Let's say the thing in question is unusual, like patting your head and rubbing your belly, so it would not be a common thing to just randomly do. Five minutes later you are doing that thing around a person you're in a relationship with. Is it fair to take this as an intentional message? Because I took it as intentional.
    It may not be intentional, but it's a good sign either way, right? I've tried doing something like this before.
    5) You get some kind of thrill or energy from having that person tell you very specifically what they want or need
    I would love it, because we're sharing something very deep.

    Also, I do not overwhelm my ISTJ with emotional talk, but I have made a couple of mild comments. He usually responds with humor, but doesn't withdraw. I take this to mean he likes what I say even if he is too embarrassed/uncomfortable to reciprocate. A couple of times he has responded with humor but then been more affectionate than usual later. Do you think I'm reading it right? If someone got TOO touchy-feely with you, would you withdraw rather than make a joke and still be accessible?
    Not sure about this one. Ahh wait, you mean positive emotional talk, heh. Yes, I think it's a boundary that says, "I like you, but this is feeling a little uncomfortable. Sorry... " I've found even when I get better at receiving strong emotional talk, I'm still not as good at returning it. A strong emotional response stirs up in me, and I just don't convey it well, or much at all. Oops. So I feel bad, knowing she was expecting more in return (and because I do want to convey to her what I feel), so I "make it up to her later" with more affection.

    Negative emotional talk, on the other hand, I try to always take seriously and fully listen, and if it gets to be too much, I may run out of words and just try to give some physical affection. Probably with the same thing as before, the "try to make it up to you" later, too.


    I hope more ISTJs will come back to answer these questions.

    --
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    In what sense?
    I mean, I do love it when I have a chance to be helpful/useful to people I care about. But in how literal a sense do you mean "act like you get some kind of thrill or energy"? Does it seem joking, when it happens?
    No no it doesn't seem joking or even contrived. It seems like he quite literally really enjoys it when I give him very clear verbal expectations for something he can do for me. Like it energizes him somehow.
    I don't know about ISTJs, but in my case, yes, I would use humor. In fact, what I'd probably do is tell the truth while trying to detach myself from it, e.g. making a self-deprecating comment, or delivering the information in a sarcastic (or silly) way. So it wouldn't be withdrawing, but it would be opening up as much as possible without risking getting hurt afterwards. On reflection, unless I'm in a really bad way, that's almost always how I'm going to talk about emotional things.

    I hope that helped even though I'm not ISTJ
    Yes that helped - thank you! On the opening up, is that something you would start to do more of if your partner showed you consistently that their feelings were mutual? Or would you stay pretty guarded no matter how close you felt to them and how boldly they had conveyed their sentiments?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    I would think so.
    No, don't think so. It might happen unconsciously, which would be cool, but not because I meant to do it.
    I think probably. The eyes are a strong emotional and personal bridge to me.
    It may not be intentional, but it's a good sign either way, right? I've tried doing something like this before.
    If I may ask, what did you try, and how did it work out? I didn't even think about how it is a good sign either way, but of course you're right about that. He seems really methodical, and he knows I'm very observant, so I am pretty confident he did that on purpose. I admire the effort - I think it was probably hard for him to do that. It happened a few days after I told him how much I like him...
    I would love it, because we're sharing something very deep.

    Yes, I think it's a boundary that says, "I like you, but this is feeling a little uncomfortable. Sorry... " I've found even when I get better at receiving strong emotional talk, I'm still not as good at returning it. A strong emotional response stirs up in me, and I just don't convey it well, or much at all. Oops. So I feel bad, knowing she was expecting more in return (and because I do want to convey to her what I feel), so I "make it up to her later" with more affection.

    Negative emotional talk, on the other hand, I try to always take seriously and fully listen, and if it gets to be too much, I may run out of words and just try to give some physical affection. Probably with the same thing as before, the "try to make it up to you" later, too.


    I hope more ISTJs will come back to answer these questions.

    --
    Really helpful to hear how you experience emotion talk, at different stages. I'm getting used to the relative wordlessness of the ISTJ I think. I pay attention to little stuff so I know he cares - just started to see this more emotional stuff and wanted to get some feedback about it. You guys are like the golden ticket of relationships!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkleyESFP View Post
    Thank you for the reply Were you around that person in a romantic context? I ask because I suspect the behavior will be a bit different depending on the role of the relationship.

    Interesting what you said about the humor as an intellectual show of pleasure... It's always struck me as an evasive maneuver if it follows some sort of touchy-feely comment. I like your theory about it, though.

    So you mean the humor could be like setting a boundary?
    Hrmm..I don't know your ISTJ of course . Just from my experience is all I was saying.

    It wasn't a romantic relationship. It's from observing my parents. One's an ISTJ. Sometimes it's like a kindly sarcastic comment with a smile or laughter to show appreciation. Maybe another way to describe this is (because ISTJs don't hardly show emotions much), is it's like what seeps through the shell. You get a glimpse of their caring..you don't get to see all their emotion.

    It might be difficult to understand them..and IMO like getting used to dissappointment or frustration not seeing what they mean or the whole understanding of how they feel. You can ask questions in different ways though to understand how they feel and they might find another way and provide an answer. A suggestion would be to just give them time.
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
    'Men are meant to be with women. The rest is perversion and mental illness.'

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avatar7 View Post
    Hrmm..I don't know your ISTJ of course . Just from my experience is all I was saying.

    It wasn't a romantic relationship. It's from observing my ISTJ father. Sometimes it's like a sarcasm with a smile or a laughter to show appreciation. Maybe another way to describe this is (because ISTJs don't hardly show emotions much), is it's like what seeps through the shell. You get a glimpse of their caring..you don't get to see all their emotions.

    It might be difficult to understand them. Like getting used to dissappointment and frustration not seeing what they mean or the whole understanding of how they feel. So you can ask questions in different ways to find out how they feel and they might find a way to answer in a different way. A suggestion would be to just give them time.
    What seeps through the shell - yes! I think that's along the lines of the things I was listing in the OP (except for #4).

    Just give them time - haha, yes I've seen the need for this also. As an ExFx I'm wired to go through life super fast... they are not. I'm noticing at times it takes 4-5 days from the info I give to see evidence that it has been taken on board.

    So far if I don't ask emotional sorts of questions there is pretty good openness, but it definitely took time to get there. Thanks for the post!

    Aha, so now I'm finally getting what you're saying. And I think you have a point. Sometimes the humor seems to be a way of saying "I like and appreciate you. I like to see you smile. You make me smile on the inside." Makes sense.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkleyESFP View Post
    Just give them time....I'm noticing at times it takes 4-5 days from the info I give to see evidence that it has been taken on board.
    Yeah..then you can ask your question again (I would suggest asking in a different way too) and they may have more to express about your concern. Maybe they'll have found some workaround and you'll get more of an idea of where they're coming from.

    Sometimes the humor seems to be a way of saying "I like and appreciate you. I like to see you smile. You make me smile on the inside."
    I think so too. That's been my understanding.
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
    'Men are meant to be with women. The rest is perversion and mental illness.'

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