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  1. #1
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Default Question for ISFP's

    I was in a semi-short relationship with an ISFP (less than a year). We had a lot of fun at first, but I quickly began to see that we didn't have much in common. We are two very different people. I broke it off with her something like 8 months ago and she seemed to be very hurt. I told her that I would love to remain friends, remain a part of her life (she is important to me), but there could be no relationship or romance of any kind.

    In the following months, I tried to be a friend to her. I gave her space, but if she called me, I would just be nice and show her that I was still her friend. She became very cold and really shut me out (which is understandable - she was hurt). So, I accepted that I was now on the "outside" looking in. I wasn't a part of her "inner circle" anymore. But, now, it's been several months and I believe that she has learned to trust me again (as a friend). She has seen over these several months that I was serious about remaining her friend and that I was serious that she is important to me as a person. And now, I'm afraid that becoming closer (as friends) is maybe causing her to have strong feelings again. She's beginning to tell me things and talk to me about very personal things and past hurts (she's "letting me in" to her personal "stuff" again).

    My question is: How can I be there for her and talk to her about these things, but still let her know that we cannot be more than friends? What is the best way I can be a good friend to an ISFP without being hurtful?

    She's telling me about some very personal things and I told her that it's OK to talk to me about these things (I'll listen and help if I can) and then she gets happy and starts opening up more and more. But, it's very important to me to keep boundaries - some of these things she's going to have to talk about with her lady friends because (a) I'm not all that great with emotions, (b) I don't see her in "that way".

    What's the best way to navigate this?
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  2. #2
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    I'm not an ISFP, but it's really fanciful for you to imagine you can be close friends with someone who is still somewhat in love with you - particularly any F type.

  3. #3
    Senior Member countrygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    I'm not an ISFP, but it's really fanciful for you to imagine you can be close friends with someone who is still somewhat in love with you - particularly any F type.
    I agree.

  4. #4
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Just tell her you have a gf and start talking about your gf.

  5. #5
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    Just tell her you have a gf and start talking about your gf.
    Ha ha. That seems like such an NT thing to do. I'm looking for the non-NT answer. You know, the nice, compassionate, non-hurtful thing to do.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  6. #6
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    I'm not an ISFP, but it's really fanciful for you to imagine you can be close friends with someone who is still somewhat in love with you - particularly any F type.
    Quote Originally Posted by countrygirl View Post
    I agree.
    Well, thanks. Like I say, she is important to me and I wouldn't want to lose the girl as a friend. I'm just not sure how to properly be there for her without causing hurt. Pulling away altogether isn't what either of us wants, but at the same time I can't be there for her in the way she wants me to.

    If I pull away, she seems to get frustrated/sad/resentful, but if I'm friendly and giving of my time, then she wants more and I can't go down that road. I just want to be her friend, but I'm not sure how to go about it in this particular situation.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  7. #7
    Senior Member LeafAndSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    My question is: How can I be there for her and talk to her about these things, but still let her know that we cannot be more than friends? What is the best way I can be a good friend to an ISFP without being hurtful?

    My opinion:

    Tell her. Tell her exactly what you wrote above: that you care for her and want to be there for her as a friend but it cannot be more than friends. Ask her how she feels about being close confiding friends under those circumstances. Ask her, "What is the best way I can be a good friend to you?"

    She may decide the best way for you to be a good friend to her is to continue as a confidant, or she may decide the best way for you to be a good friend to her is to absent yourself so that she can better heal and move on.

    (Communication is really key between human beings.)

    If she wants to know why you've decided as you have, you can tell her honestly why. That you prefer to have your 'one' intimate relationship be with someone who has very many common interests or outlooks. This preference may not be the same for everyone; some may prefer the challenge or learning opportunity of a long-term relationship with an opposite, a person quite different. But this is your decision, appropriate for you.

    (May I say that, having done both, my preference is the same as yours.)

    If by chance she can't handle 'the truth' from you, nevertheless she'll learn from this, learn about honest communication between people (as you will be learning too, it'll be a learning experience you share), and she will hopefully someday respect you for it.

    She is likely quite adaptable so may not see potential problems in a long-term intimate relationship with someone very different. I didn't.

    And of course, what I wrote may or may not feel appropriate to you, for your own reasons, perhaps you don't want to risk her leaving your life. Maybe you'll get more feedback here, differing feedback. Do what you can handle, do what feels right. Best wishes.

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    My opinion:

    Tell her. Tell her exactly what you wrote above: that you care for her and want to be there for her as a friend but it cannot be more than friends. Ask her how she feels about being close confiding friends under those circumstances. Ask her, "What is the best way I can be a good friend to you?"

    She may decide the best way for you to be a good friend to her is to continue as a confidant, or she may decide the best way for you to be a good friend to her is to absent yourself so that she can better heal and move on.

    (Communication is really key between human beings.)

    If she wants to know why you've decided as you have, you can tell her honestly why. That you prefer to have your 'one' intimate relationship be with someone who has very many common interests or outlooks. This preference may not be the same for everyone; some may prefer the challenge or learning opportunity of a long-term relationship with an opposite, a person quite different. But this is your decision, appropriate for you.

    (May I say that, having done both, my preference is the same as yours.)

    If by chance she can't handle 'the truth' from you, nevertheless she'll learn from this, learn about honest communication between people (as you will be learning too, it'll be a learning experience you share), and she will hopefully someday respect you for it.

    She is likely quite adaptable so may not see potential problems in a long-term intimate relationship with someone very different. I didn't.

    And of course, what I wrote may or may not feel appropriate to you, for your own reasons, perhaps you don't want to risk her leaving your life. Maybe you'll get more feedback here, differing feedback. Do what you can handle, do what feels right. Best wishes.
    Thanks. That's a pretty straightforward response (just tell her the truth)! And, as an NT, it's what I'm most comfortable with. When I speak my mind, I do it "bluntly", no need for sugar coating. And that bluntness, based on experience, is what causes the "hurt" in these types of situations. In some situations (business and certain types of relationships), it works well. In situations like these, I fear that my being blunt will cause deep pain for her. It's very easy for me to be blunt, but I don't want her to experience that pain. I don't want to hear, "You could have said it nicer. You knew how I felt. You didn't have to say all that and stomp all over my feelings!"

    She knows the reasons. I explained them many months ago. Then, because of her pain she shut me out. Then, she slowly came back around to being my friend. And we make great friends. But, I'm sensing that she has now gone beyond what I am comfortable with again. It's back into that, "uh oh, this feels wierd, she's developing feelings again, how do I back her off without hurting her again?"

    As an INTP, it's SOOOOOO easy for me to just cut off all communication because I don't like the discomfort/awkwardness. But, I think that's the easy way out. And I don't want to take the easy way out.

    Again, it's not that I have a problem being honest and up-front. Not at all. It's that my honesty (in these types of situations), tends to hurt and/or wound.

    This is one reason INTP's just retreat into our caves. This stuff can get pretty difficult for us. I just know that if I see some of these situations through, there's got to be reward on the other side.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  9. #9
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    My opinion:

    Tell her. Tell her exactly what you wrote above: that you care for her and want to be there for her as a friend but it cannot be more than friends. Ask her how she feels about being close confiding friends under those circumstances. Ask her, "What is the best way I can be a good friend to you?"
    This is definitely true, but as someone who's been there, it backfired horribly on me when my "actions" were construed by the NF as meaning that my words were a lie. I wasn't forceful enough in rejecting things that pushed the boundaries on friendship, assuming incorrectly that since I'd very, very clearly explained the way things were, that things were clear between us. Nope.

    so keep in mind that she might decide you're lying for whatever reason, especially if it lets her carry on her fantasies. regardless of how crystal clear your explanations are. Particularly if she's the kind of person that likes to think she can read others' emotions very well.
    -end of thread-

  10. #10
    Senior Member countrygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    Well, thanks. Like I say, she is important to me and I wouldn't want to lose the girl as a friend. I'm just not sure how to properly be there for her without causing hurt. Pulling away altogether isn't what either of us wants, but at the same time I can't be there for her in the way she wants me to.

    If I pull away, she seems to get frustrated/sad/resentful, but if I'm friendly and giving of my time, then she wants more and I can't go down that road. I just want to be her friend, but I'm not sure how to go about it in this particular situation.

    It may be very hard to maintain boundaries when she still has strong feelings for you. Distance might be the answer for now. Or find a boyfriend for her.

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