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  1. #1
    Senior Member toast's Avatar
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    Default ISTPs and "talking"

    So, I'm in a conflicting relationship... (I'm ENFJ female & he's ISTP male).
    Things go up & down, in a kind of roller coaster, but they have gotten much better (happier, peaceful, satisfying, secure) as the relationship has progressed.

    Of course, I am the vocal one. I am the one with "issues" about how we bump heads. He, being pretty carefree & apart from his emotions, seems to just sail through the relationship, like he would be perfectly fine with keeping our troubles under the surface & very capable of never giving them a second thought. (I used to think this made him shallow, selfish or not engaged / in love with me... I am very happy to say I know better now.)

    Trouble is, I am the opposite. I can't "sit on" anything for very long. I need to talk or the conflict becomes consuming & I have a very serious fight or flight thing. Our conflicts don't really have immediate resolutions. The ones we have worked out only got that way after a long time of trying different things & becoming more confident with each other. In his eyes, 'why talk about it if we can't fix it?'... makes perfect sense. But then again, to me I don't think we'd ever resolve anything if we hadn't talked about it even though its been difficult for both of us to do just that (It is very hard for talk as well because I never want a conflict to become worse, and that's always a risk).

    I think we are both right, but to extremes. If we could just "go with the flow", things would smooth out... If we could be open to the point of understanding each other, things would work well too. That isn't going to happen in either direction. If we try either one, one of us is bound to be miserable. If we moderate & compromise, then things get done.

    And while I understand that I can feel like bringing up issues way too much, and I am really, really working on that, I still need a better method of talking with him when it does happen. We've been doing rather well & things have been really good lately. I just thought I'd ask for some advice from ISTPs and those who've been close to them. Seems like a good idea to think about this when I'm happy and levelheaded.

    Anyone been in a relationship with an ENFJ or an ISTP who has any advice on this (or similar experience)? poki, aren't you with an ENFJ? Did she feel accusative and judgmental when she confronted you about problems? I know that he feels like I am attacking him when I try to talk to him. It is almost inevitable, because it is easy for him to see "our" issues as "my" issues if he is completely able to disregard them. And since we can't immediately resolve anything, it seems like I'm just talking to make him feel bad.

    Basically all I'm trying to get out of "talking" is some confirmation that he is aware of what I'm feeling and reassurance from him that he still feels like everything will work out. (Because he can put troubles on the back burner with ease, whereas I am constantly struggling with them. I just want to know he hasn't forgotten that so I can have faith that we'll work it out.) There has to be some way to make it possible for him to hear & understand me without making him feel a.) hopeless because he can't 'fix" everything right away, and b.) offended & defensive because I am confronting him with something I know can't be fixed right away.

    Thanks for any response.

  2. #2
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    I was with an entj for five years. It was fine until she started attempting to "change" me. I never had a problem talking about things, but it's possible to talk problems to death and that's exactly what she did. I did make a few concessions to keep her happy but there was always something else. Eventually I left her so that I could have some peace and quiet. Leave him alone about the insignificant things. She sounded like an overbearing mother, which she now is, thanks to an inf.

    What specifically does he refer to as "your" issues?
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  3. #3
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    Default What's to fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by toast View Post
    Things go up & down, in a kind of roller coaster, but they have gotten much better (happier, peaceful, satisfying, secure) as the relationship has progressed.

    Basically all I'm trying to get out of "talking" is some confirmation that he is aware of what I'm feeling and reassurance from him that he still feels like everything will work out. (Because he can put troubles on the back burner with ease, whereas I am constantly struggling with them. I just want to know he hasn't forgotten that so I can have faith that we'll work it out.) There has to be some way to make it possible for him to hear & understand me without making him feel a.) hopeless because he can't 'fix" everything right away, and b.) offended & defensive because I am confronting him with something I know can't be fixed right away.

    Wow! That all sounds like a living hell!!!

    I mean this in the nicest possible way... In your original post (above), you come across as hyper and a tad on the scary controlling side. Perhaps you are just upset and that's why?

    ...there's just no need for all this verbal nilly willyness!


    Why do you need reassurance and what are you expecting him to fix again?? It seems logical to me that if he's still with you, despite all of your "talking", then he's aware of what you're feeling and perhaps his presence means he's already worked it out that "everything will work out" between the two of you! Some things go without saying. If you continue on this nilly willy demanding way, he'll probably be planning his escape, so he can relish in peace and quiet without the leash.

    My best advice is to relax. If you find that task impossible around him, then there are plenty of cuties in the sea; go meet your match!

  4. #4
    Senior Member mcmartinez84's Avatar
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    I was long distance with an ENFJ male for a year (I'm female), so I really don't have a lot to offer except my view based on what you wrote.

    Definitely keep working on what you've been doing. There are a lot of little things that just aren't an issue and become fairly irrelevant to discuss, imo. One way to present it is just saying that it's something you want to talk about and explain why it's a problem, make sure he understands *WHY* it bothers you. That's how I work through everything. Why? Why? Why? And why again? Once you convey that, he may still think it's pointless, but he'll know that *you* care and that you have reasons to care. If he cares about you, he'll hopefully care to work with you a little.

    I have an ESFP friend who makes a big deal of stuff and I'm just like "....uh....that's stupid" - but I don't tell her that, lol. I'd crush her feelings. I try to show her how I think of the situation and present a solution I'd use if I were in her shoes. After I think she should understand my stance on it, her talking about it becomes whining and it's annoying. I'm thinking "Srsly, I told you how to solve it, shush, plz!"

    And that's my 2 cents...(for now )
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  5. #5
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    ah, toast...

    Reading through is there mutual agreement there is a conflict that needs to be talked through? Or is it that you feel conflicted and have changes that you want for the other party to make?


  6. #6
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    I was in a relationship with an ENFJ for about a year or two, but I don't really think my experience is particularly relevant to your situation. It was constant drama.

    My advice is: if something bothers you, bring it up immediately. Make your opinion known, and then drop it -- don't wait for them to change their mind, or to even answer. If your ISTP doesn't want to talk about it, don't. If they respect your opinion on the matter, you will see their behavior change. Otherwise, let it be.

  7. #7
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    yeh, ENFJ's and ISTP's are like trying to mix fire with water.

    Always felt like things were going flow and smooth, then out of the blue "drama" and crap she wanted to talk about I couldn't identify with and/or "see."

    Which has everything to do with type difference and the way one naturally see's and experiences the world.

    So one day after a few months I said look, I think you're a terrific person and will make someone very happy...but this isn't working for me.

  8. #8
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    um, with me and an ENFJ problems were always known, it was more of a matter of ok, do we push it to explosion or just let it go unresolved. We both push each others buttons and we both become defensive going back and forth. It all seems to be based on the fact that what comes natural and easy to me she struggle with and vice versa, which puts each other in a defensive mode.

    With us its not a matter of not talking about it, but that no matter how much we dig into it, it comes out to the fact that one of us tried using our weaker function in a way we are not good at and failed miserably. We go in circles.

    Look at the LSI and ENFP arguments on here. Thats an example of a conflicting relationship communication. Conflicting relationships is based on dynamics between 2 people.

    We tend not to be able to see because of the dramatic difference in inferior vs dominant and that seems to be the struggle we fight and the reasons we cant "see" what each other is saying.
    Im out, its been fun

  9. #9
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Seems to me that if you guys trust one another, you could do the 'divide and conquer' tactic. Aka, if you know what your strenghts are and you recognize your weaknesses as her strengths and vice versa (and you respect each others strenghts and realize the other person's not this adept at it, and therefore are patient with them), you can rely on each other to deal with everything the world throws at you. Standing as a team against the world though is essential to survive a relationship, imo. And I do admit this is easier said than done.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by poki View Post
    We tend not to be able to see because of the dramatic difference in inferior vs dominant and that seems to be the struggle we fight and the reasons we cant "see" what each other is saying.
    ...I don't totally agree with you poki. We are all speaking English aren't we? It's not complicated to "see" what an ISTP is saying. I do not think this is a mis-communication issue (verbal or otherwise), I think it has more to do with what mcmartinez84 and sLiPpY seem to be saying, which if I interpreted them accurately, then I agree with them. In summary, the OP is "making a big deal" out of stuff, rather than "going with the flow" of things... AND the OP's continual badgering and confrontation is coming across as "annoying" and "whining", thus creating unnecessary "drama".

    ... perhaps I misunderstood what you and the OP are saying? lol ...NOT!, I know I'm right! This isn't rocket science. I don't care what any textbook says... I's & E's and P's & J's don't mix too well over the long run; that's my experience... for some reason, they (E+J) won't let us get too comfortable to relax long enough to think.

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