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Thread: giving time out of obligation? (enfp-istp)

  1. #11
    Senior Member Array Moiety's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    You can't expect people to share your level of excitement over things, but you did the right thing.

  2. #12
    No moss growing on me Array Giggly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    2 sx/so


    Quote Originally Posted by toast View Post
    Ive had this a lot with my ISTP. I think it is over analyzing. Finding meaning in something fairly simple. Sps truly like things simple, NFs like to think they do... but we are usually always intuiting something deeper.

    There are a couple of things I want to point out. Your initial assumption about him not wanting to go out was probably right. It sounds like the reaction I'd get from my ISTP. I'd expect him to say: "well I'd still like to see you but I'm tired & don't want to go out." For him that's just too much, and tends to be leading (it almost obligates me to see him even if I really just want to stay out - because he said he'd 'like' it.) So he just goes with: "nah. I'm tired." Because its simple, honest and effective. Then later when he finds out you don't want to impose, he's confused, because he never implied he didn't want to see you.

    I am getting better with this, because I'm beginning to clear the lines between how he does things & how I understand them. You were probably also correct when you made the assumption that he came to get you because he was doing it for you. First, seeing it as an 'obligation' is flawed. He's not obligated to be good to you, he wants to.

    He may not be 'excited' just to spend time w you, and that will be somewhat of a struggle (for an NF), plain and simple. He will sometimes be more into doing things just because you make him feel wonderful, but more often he's more into experiencing the 'thing' than in experiencing you, which is pretty much the opposite of how I work (dont know about you). But there is a way of thinking that soothes my insecurity in that. Its simply to look at myself and think of the times that I have been that way. From time to time, we all do things we aren't excited or wouldn't normally do for people we care about. Sometimes I do it to keep someone from being upset w me, sometimes specifically to make them happy. These things are done because I care but they aren't an indication of how I truly feel about them as a person or how much I
    want to be around them or do things w them in general.

    Trouble, I think, is that NFs want to have evidence that they're wanted for 'themselves' while ISTPs are more about acting like they want your company (to act like they want you specifically can come off as invasive to them). That's mainly just external behavior though. It doesn't mean that NFs don't just want company sometimes or that an ISTP doesn't truly want you.

    All that said, I think you had the right reaction: telling him honestly what you were thinking & letting him have his chance to be there for you.
    Wonderful post, toaster. I, too, think that it's just overanalyzing. Like you said, external behavior is just external behavior (esp when it's innocent and just human nature). It's not indicative of what someone feels for you. And like you said, we've all done this before too.

    I want to sort of bogart this post for a bit and ask a question for the ISTPs (without making another ISTP post)... I hope you don't mind.

    If an ISTP says they are "in love" w you, what does that even mean?

    I'm pretty sure he's just regurgitating what I've said... because several of the times we've had those "I'm upset with us" fights, I've mentioned my irritation with us having no romance, excitement or "honeymoon phase" because I fell hard and he took his sweet time learning to value me. It was never a deal breaker or anything, just a frustration I wanted him to understand (to explain my disappointment/reaction to certain things). I see it as a difference between us in that he's way too guarded & in control to fall like me, so I'd say: "I know you love me, but I'm in love." Then I'd explain what that meant to me: that i was smitten & dreamy & hopeful & frankly: adore him. That it's a separate feeling from loving him, its an excitement. I'd say I'm sure he doesn't feel those things. When I'd say something like that, he'd tell me I was wrong & that he knows he's "in love." But when I ask him what he means by it, he describes love. He says things like: "comfort, trust, deep emotional connection."

    It doesn't get to me much anymore, so this isn't really a problem I'm looking for advice to or anything. But it does bother me that I have no idea what he means when he says it. What feeling he's describing. He insists he is "in love", but how is he defining it? I mean, don't you guys think that sort of thing is hogwash anyway? Seems like "in love" shouldn't even be in an ISTP vocabulary, and I've never really thought about it as a relative term.
    I know what you mean here. This is the difference between "want" and "need". You want someone to want you. Really want you. Not just need you.

    That said, some people have no idea on how to "want" anything because they are so shut off from their emotions that all they ever experience is "need". If you can make that be enough for you, you'll be fine. Many many women have. I know a few and they've all been married for over 20 years to men that have been faithful and good to them.

  3. #13
    Rainy Day Woman Array MDP2525's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    6w5 sx/sp
    ISTp None


    Don't sell your ISTP short

    These are situations that I read that make me think ISTP's can't win. We are too cold and not giving enough and then when we do we do it out of obligation.

    Wanting to please someone we care about is never an obligation. It's often an unexpected surprise and novel feeling. Obligation occurs when control and demands are being made - when you remove our option to decide our own course of action. So when he decided to come to you and hang out - that was him deciding to do that.

    Your ISTP sounds like he really cares about you.
    ~I'm looking California, and feeling Minnesota.

    Shameless Self-Promotion:MDP2525's Den and the Start of Motorcycle Maintenance

  4. #14
    insert random title here Array Randomnity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    6w5 sp/sx


    you both sound reasonable. don't overanalyze, either at the time or reflecting about it now. don't worry, be happy
    -end of thread-

  5. #15


    It is more annoying to have the things you do robbed of their effect than it is to be in a situation you have to do something. I think he reassessed the situation and decided to come out. Not because he feels obligated but because he likes you and wants you to be happy.

    I think you handled it fine.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Array Rachelinpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    thanks guys!

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