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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rachelinpa's Avatar
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    Default comforting istp.

    istp's dad has congestive heart failure and is in the hospital for the second time this week. istp found out some news this morning that he says is "not good," but he did not specify what. not that he needs to.

    i don't know how to be supportive of him beyond the usual... "i'm so sorry" and "let me know if i can do anything." i haven't met his dad yet, and under the circumstances, i don't think istp wants me to go to the hospital with him even though i offered.

    any suggestions on comforting an istp? lots of space... no space... reach out to them or no? i don't want to smother (since that is obviously my tendency), but i don't want to make him feel like i'm not there for him.

    is it better for me to step back and just let him come to me? i didn't ask him specifics on the news. i figured if he wanted to let me know he would...

    he is so very sad. he is not at all his usual happy self.

    heart hurts for him.

  2. #2
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    Ouch. What a terrible situation to be in.

    You might want to offer to do a "normal" activity together (getting lunch or dinner, seeing a movie, playing video games, etc., something in the ISTP's typical comfort zone) and see how he responds to that. Keep it short so he has the option to back out if being around people is too overwhelming. In his position, I'd probably be really confused or distraught about how I felt, and whether or not I chose to discuss what was in my head would depend heavily on how close you two are and how much time I've had to process my own emotions.

    Just doing something that is familiar and normal ought to make him feel more at ease, but I wouldn't initially count on him wanting a lot of social time right now. I also wouldn't say "Let me know if there's anything I can do...". There isn't, at least nothing that an ISTP would ever ask you to do. Offer to do things with him, without forcing him to talk about his feelings, and he'll certainly feel your support.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rachelinpa's Avatar
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    thanks for the advice! he's incredibly good to me. i just got off the phone with him and he explained the situation to me in more detail... very factual and not emotional. and then he goes, "how are you, mini?" aww. he so didn't need to ask me that.

    sigh, you istps are good ones.

  4. #4
    Self sustaining supernova Zoom's Avatar
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    Elli brought up a useful thought.

    Also, if I may suggest, undemanding physical touch helps me with grief - my biodad died last year, and when I gave off the aura of smoldering sadness touch (only from those closest to me) was of great comfort. Not all the time - space was necessary, as well - but those times of, say, just staring off into space with an unfinished book or project in front of oneself might be a good time to touch him on the shoulder and kiss the top of his head, or hug him from behind... something simple like that.

  5. #5
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    anything will help as long as you don't overdo it (for most people anyway, i think). elli and zoom have good suggestions.

    he probably won't come to you unless he's really unstable and can't see any other way, but he'll appreciate your support as long as you don't smother him. I guess I would say pay close attention to his reactions since the lines between ignoring-good-smothering definitely shift a lot between different people, even istps.
    -end of thread-

  6. #6
    Senior Member seamaid's Avatar
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    Yeah, act normal. Give him all the space he wants. Bring him food, maybe. I'd guess he wouldn't want a pity party, but would appreciate occasionally someone taking his mind off the sadness of it all.

  7. #7
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    ja, when life gets odd...do something "normal."

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