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  1. #1
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    Question Why is this ISTJ so flaky?

    Hi ISTJs guys (and girls), can someone help to make sense of this. I don't want to have ill thoughts of this ISTJ guy, and I could really use some advice on what's going on in his mind...

    So this ISTJ guy whom I work with... we have the same job, but he works at another outlet, in another city. We share certain tasks, so we have to communicate via email and online messenger.

    About 4 or 5 months ago, we started chatting more regularly and realize we have a ton in common (I'm INTP)! We also view the world and people the way. Because we both have wide array of interest. Everything went well for about 2 months - I was slightly crushing on him but thought even if nothing happens, we should still be friends. Everything was going so well, no arguments, then one day he just stop responding. He would not talk to me at all. He ignored my emails and IM.

    As an INTP, believe me, I understand the need for personal space, and I'm no stalker. I would occasionally send a link to an article he's interested in, and drop on once a week (or two weeks) to say hi, how are you, etc. Still nothing.

    Then 6 weeks ago, he showed up and chat with me like as if nothing ever happened. No I'm sorry I went AWOL, nothing, didn't even mention anything. But very quickly the conversation turned personal (he started it, I didn't ask, I was still a little mad), started telling me bits about himself, even sending me pictures of his apartment, his dog, plants etc. He even admitted that he asked my ex co-worker (who transferred to his store) about me. We chat on IM regularly daily, and he responded within almost immediately to within two hours. He was more polite, shower me with praises, from what I was wearing, to the report that we need to work on together, to every other little thing. This went on for two weeks. Then he went cold again. He would wish me good morning, how are you daily, then disappear for the rest of the day. Then repent this behavior for the next week or so...

    Then he's back on chatting normally, responding etc. This time though he started saying he really like the way I work, that I have a great character, that we'll get along great etc. This went on for a week, then he started his wishing me good morning, how are you daily, then disappear (will not respond) for the rest of the day odd behavior the next week.

    Last week, he was back in the mood to chat. He said he really like me, and can see us together as a couple, where we could live if we were together etc, and I responded positively. For the next few days we were chatting and sending each other sweet messages. Everything was great, but then he went into his non responding mode AGAIN. Says good morning, how's your day then nothing!

    He's in his non-responding mood again!

    Now I'm really getting annoyed. As much as I like him, there's a limit to my patience.

    Can someone help me understand him, or tell me how I should respond, what's the right way to interact with him? I really thought he's the ideal man for me, but he keeps doing this. I just so want to walk away but I don't want to make the wrong decision......

  2. #2
    an abyss of Nothingness Arctic Hysteria's Avatar
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    My friend, if he is really an ISTJ like you say he is, the real issue here is not that he's being flaky. He's just being an ISTJ, which is being rational.

    Sure he feels the connection between you two, sure you share much in common, sure he enjoys talking to you. But the ISTJ considers you - a person of interest that lives in ANOTHER city - not a part of daily reality. He comes to you when he needs that connection. But his rational mind would filter his own feelings and tell himself that it is not realistic to have a relationship with somebody that's not within reasonable distance. While the INTP you would reason "you never know what life might bring". The possibilities and the potentials, most typical ISTJs wouldn't plan their lives on such things, though their heart might whisper that to them, unfortunately they're prone to bad heart hearing.

    When lonely or stressed, ISTJ would put on their ENFP shadow, hence there's this whim of openness, whimsical ideas, the impulse to become somebody's opposite of who they are for a moment.

    He's an introvert, he will go back to his hiding place to process the "data", which is reality vs. his feelings without providing explanations. Appearing detached or cold is then.

    His feelings would catch up with him (slowly) at some point. But would he consider this ongoing communication with you realistic enough to continue? I think it's time for confrontation. If the answer is no or I don't know, let the ISTJ process and analyze his data, and move on!
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  3. #3
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    He might be bipolar or have some sort of mental disorder or there might be a stressful event he's dealing with (less likely). I would just ask him what the deal is and if he refuses to tell you, then end the relationship.

    Please be warned: I sometimes give terrible relationship advice.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  4. #4
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Hmm, not sure what to make of it. Maybe he's really busy, to the point that he doesn't have time to tell you if/when he's going to be busy. Or, I don't know...maybe a big dose of Introversion.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  5. #5
    climb on Showbread's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctic Hysteria View Post
    My friend, if he is really an ISTJ like you say he is, the real issue here is not that he's being flaky. He's just being an ISTJ, which is being rational.

    Sure he feels the connection between you two, sure you share much in common, sure he enjoys talking to you. But the ISTJ considers you - a person of interest that lives in ANOTHER city - not a part of daily reality. He comes to you when he needs that connection. But his rational mind would filter his own feelings and tell himself that it is not realistic to have a relationship with somebody that's not within reasonable distance. While the INTP you would reason "you never know what life might bring". The possibilities and the potentials, most typical ISTJs wouldn't plan their lives on such things, though their heart might whisper that to them, unfortunately they're prone to bad heart hearing.

    When lonely or stressed, ISTJ would put on their ENFP shadow, hence there's this whim of openness, whimsical ideas, the impulse to become somebody's opposite of who they are for a moment.

    He's an introvert, he will go back to his hiding place to process the "data", which is reality vs. his feelings without providing explanations. Appearing detached or cold is then.

    His feelings would catch up with him (slowly) at some point. But would he consider this ongoing communication with you realistic enough to continue? I think it's time for confrontation. If the answer is no or I don't know, let the ISTJ process and analyze his data, and move on!
    I dated an ISTJ, so basically all of this, especially the bolded. Mine was extremely rational and calculated (he even had a math degree, hehe pun). But he had a hidden streak of idealism that would peak through every once and awhile. If he let it take control too long he would kind of freak out and then get all practical again.

    I would talk to him about it. Tell him he's giving you whiplash. Chances are he's trying to rationalize the situation to himself and is more successful some weeks than others.
    Friends, waffles, work

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  6. #6
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Yeah I would definitely be direct with him and tell him how his behavior is making you feel. I'm not sure what the deal is either, but there's a chance that he's just messaging when he feels like it and is totally oblivious as to the emotional fallout that would come from that. If he's like me -- I know, not ISTJ, but close enough -- then he'll be apologetic, try to explain himself, and put a lot of effort into correcting his behavior if he knows that it's creating that much of a negative effect.
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  7. #7
    an abyss of Nothingness Arctic Hysteria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Yeah I would definitely be direct with him and tell him how his behavior is making you feel. I'm not sure what the deal is either, but there's a chance that he's just messaging when he feels like it and is totally oblivious as to the emotional fallout that would come from that. If he's like me -- I know, not ISTJ, but close enough -- then he'll be apologetic, try to explain himself, and put a lot of effort into correcting his behavior if he knows that it's creating that much of a negative effect.
    ISTJs don't apologize my friend, unfortunately. Only when they realize their stubborness and righteousness is going to cost them the one they "love" forever in the next few seconds, they apologize sincerely and wouldn't say no for an answer ( because it is "irrational" that the answer could be no lol ). But then again, what is "love" to an ISTJ? Just a question of science and progress, to break it down to atoms.

    Not that they don't know what they do is right or wrong. They'd just rather let you hurt than let you know that you can hurt them.
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  8. #8
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctic Hysteria View Post
    ISTJs don't apologize my friend, unfortunately. Only when they realize their stubborness and righteousness is going to cost them the one they "love" forever in the next few seconds, they apologize sincerely and wouldn't say no for an answer ( because it is "irrational" that the answer could be no lol ). But then again, what is "love" to an ISTJ? Just a question of science and progress, to break it down to atoms.

    Not that they don't know what they do is right or wrong. They'd just rather let you hurt than let you know that you can hurt them.
    To preface this reply: Firstly, anyone who's been in love can recognize that it's irrational. Secondly, it sounds like a lot of your post comes from negative experience relating to one or a few select ISTJs, so it's worth noting that your experience is not representative of the general ISTJ population.

    With that out of the way, the one big thing your post has right is that the ISTJ needs to know how incredibly important this is, in order to correct their behavior. To put this in Si language:

    - A relationship with me means X
    - You are providing the opposite of X
    - Therefore you aren't providing what's necessary in this relationship, and you need to correct your behavior

    If ISTJs are like ESTJs in this regard, they're quick to go into apocalypse mode when they realize they've done wrong by their SO. It's either "I'm doing nothing wrong" or "holy shit I'm a terrible person, they're going to dump me". In this case you WANT to make them feel bad, but you also want to give them hope that you won't dump them, as long as they do better by you. Then they'll go above and beyond to make everything better.

    STJs are incredibly loyal to those they care about, and care about being good people -- not just in general, but "good" in each of their various roles in life. A good employee, a good spouse. So when he knows and acknowledges that he's not being a good spouse, he WILL apologize -- because ISTJs DO apologize -- and he'll change his behavior. If he doesn't, then he's got problems unrelated to type.
    ~ 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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  9. #9
    an abyss of Nothingness Arctic Hysteria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    To preface this reply: Firstly, anyone who's been in love can recognize that it's irrational. Secondly, you're talking to an ESTJ right now, which is close enough to speak with a bit of authority regarding how an ISTJ might be operating here.

    With that out of the way, the one thing your post has right is that the ISTJ needs to know how incredibly important this is, in order to correct their behavior. To put this in Si language:

    - A relationship with me means X
    - You are providing the opposite of X
    - Therefore you aren't providing what's necessary in this relationship, and you need to correct your behavior

    If ISTJs are like ESTJs in this regard, they're quick to go into apocalypse mode when they realize they've done wrong by their SO. It's either "I'm doing nothing wrong" or "holy shit I'm a terrible person, they're going to dump me". In this case you WANT to make them feel bad, but you also want to give them hope that you won't dump them, as long as they do better by you. Then they'll go above and beyond to make everything better.

    STJs are incredibly loyal to those they care about, and care about being good people -- not just in general, but "good" in each of their various roles in life. A good employee, a good spouse. So when he knows and acknowledges that he's not being a good spouse, he WILL apologize -- because ISTJs DO apologize -- and he'll change his behavior. If he doesn't, then he's got problems unrelated to type.
    I'm an INFP and I cannot identify myself with ENFPs, at all. Even though the NFP make us spontaneous, emotional and idealistic, I can feel as if we have "nothing" in common.

    True, STJ folks are loyal once they decide to be loyal to somebody, and the love and care is genuine, practical, and consistent.

    However, an ISTJ will not be as outspoken and communicative as an ESTJ, not AT ALL, and they don't walk around trying to find common grounds with others on purpose. Their thoughts, feelings are private, their convictions are strong and unchangeable, and they don't mind standing alone if that's what it takes to be "right", well, for a while, until loneliness overwhelms them and "being right" is not as important as being together.
    They say, never try to argue with an ISTJ, you'll leave the debate wounded.

    I don't question ISTJs' loyalty (to a very selective few people), or their sense of right and wrong. But ISTJ see things in black and white most of the time and they're not "extrovert" enough to learn about the gray areas from others by leaving their convictions aside for a little while to take in. It's a common issue among many introverts.
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  10. #10
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    However, an ISTJ will not be as outspoken and communicative as an ESTJ, not AT ALL, and they don't walk around trying to find common grounds with others on purpose.
    Can't speak for other ISTJs but yes, this is true with me.

    Their thoughts, feelings are private, their convictions are strong and unchangeable, and they don't mind standing alone if that's what it takes to be "right"
    Mostly true. My convictions change when they've been proven wrong, but that almost never happens.

    until loneliness overwhelms them and "being right" is not as important as being together.
    "being right" isn't important to me; it's just part of being an ISTJ. In other words, I don't insist on being right when I'm wrong; I'm right because I've examined the issue from all perspectives and done my homework.

    They say, never try to argue with an ISTJ, you'll leave the debate wounded.
    I've given this sage advice myself. I wouldn't want to argue with another ISTJ.

    But ISTJ see things in black and white most of the time
    I don't think this is true. I prefer to say that we see things as they are while others prefer to sugarcoat unpleasant facts.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

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