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  1. #1
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    Default ISTPs-do you balk at basic expectations from others?

    I'm married to an ISTP, and being really duty-driven myself, I cannot wrap my head around his reaction to basic expectations (if someone who rarely cries is bawling, hug them. If a baby is crying, pick it up. If someone says, "hi", saying "hi" back is generally considered polite. That kind of thing.)

    Is my husband just a royal jackass? Or is there some element I'm not taking into account here? A reasonable side that could be appealed to? I'm generally willing to lower my expectations, but it seems like no matter how far they're lowered, it gets taken down a rung or two further.

    What I'm sure feels to him is logical energy conservation seems downright inconsiderate and cold to me. To the point that I'm getting fairly bitter about it. It's possible I'm being a jackass about it, and not realizing.
    I think I think more than you think I think.

  2. #2
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    Well being an INFJ you're probably high off Fe, so don't expect that from someone who lacks Fe, just saying. I don't think it's basic expectations he lacks but probably general rules of kindness. aka Fe, so don't get hung up over it so much he's probably still a good guy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    Yeah...cruelty is never a vibe I've gotten from him. Whenever I end up really coming apart, he seems genuinely concerned and surprised, obviously not being neglectful intentionally.

    Lots to think about. I'm starting to consider the possibility that I might be an ENFj, not INFj...but I've been contorting as best I can to make us a better "fit", for almost a decade, really. It's a little exhausting. When I start feeling hyper relational, I can sense every hair on his body standing on end. Likely because I'm expressing an enthusiastic need for inspirational connection, and that's...just not cool for him. Eh.
    I think I think more than you think I think.

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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I don't know. Those things sound like basic respect and consideration for other people. I don't think personality should be used as a scapegoat for bad behaviour. Has it always been this way? What attracted you to him in the first place?

  5. #5
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    the element you're leaving out is the person who raised him.

    believe it or not, it's not an inherently natural reaction for a person to hug someone who's crying, and the same goes for the other two examples you brought up.
    what might seem natural to you might not be an innate constituent of the human condition.
    you were trained that way. he wasn't.

    also, i know i'll get flamed for sexism here, but the fact of the matter is this: men and women react differently to things.
    that's as true by nature as it is by nurture.
    we fukin won boys

  6. #6
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    I'm married to an ISTP, and being really duty-driven myself, I cannot wrap my head around his reaction to basic expectations (if someone who rarely cries is bawling, hug them. If a baby is crying, pick it up. If someone says, "hi", saying "hi" back is generally considered polite. That kind of thing.)

    Is my husband just a royal jackass? Or is there some element I'm not taking into account here? A reasonable side that could be appealed to? I'm generally willing to lower my expectations, but it seems like no matter how far they're lowered, it gets taken down a rung or two further.

    What I'm sure feels to him is logical energy conservation seems downright inconsiderate and cold to me. To the point that I'm getting fairly bitter about it. It's possible I'm being a jackass about it, and not realizing.
    A really important question is if you've asked him to do these things, either as a personal favour or "it's polite, dear"? And then helped him remember somehow, without overwhelming him with a million things he's doing "wrong" all at once? And been reasonable in your expectations given that he's not in the habit of doing these things? (he can't go from zero to perfect overnight! and why is he the one that must change?) What seems obvious to one person with certain personality traits and a certain upbringing will not at all be obvious to every other person in the world....often, there is even disagreement on the "proper" social niceties, not just presence or absence!

    For me, I wasn't raised by wolves or anything, but I'm not aware of the most socially correct thing to do in many situations either, and I usually don't waste much time worrying about it until it causes a problem. Another thing is that many strong introverts, especially men, actually prefer to be left alone when they're upset, so they may not realize that "SO upset = comfort her!"

    I think it's more likely that he's being oblivious than deliberately abstaining. Not that this helps you get your needs met - seriously though, have you tried asking?
    -end of thread-

  7. #7
    Senior Member ubiquitous1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    I'm married to an ISTP, and being really duty-driven myself, I cannot wrap my head around his reaction to basic expectations (if someone who rarely cries is bawling, hug them. If a baby is crying, pick it up. If someone says, "hi", saying "hi" back is generally considered polite. That kind of thing.)

    Is my husband just a royal jackass? Or is there some element I'm not taking into account here? A reasonable side that could be appealed to? I'm generally willing to lower my expectations, but it seems like no matter how far they're lowered, it gets taken down a rung or two further.

    What I'm sure feels to him is logical energy conservation seems downright inconsiderate and cold to me. To the point that I'm getting fairly bitter about it. It's possible I'm being a jackass about it, and not realizing.
    Having been married to an ISTP for 19 years, I totally relate to how you feel.
    What worked for me was first to realize his "coolness" was something that I initially found attractive. However, over the years I turned that attractive attribute into an unattractive one, simply by focusing on circumstances where his coolness was not appropriate (to me) rather than focusing on when it was appropriate and appreciating it.

  8. #8
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    I'm married to an ISTP, and being really duty-driven myself, I cannot wrap my head around his reaction to basic expectations (if someone who rarely cries is bawling, hug them. If a baby is crying, pick it up. If someone says, "hi", saying "hi" back is generally considered polite. That kind of thing.)
    I mean, in these situations, are you upset that he does nothing at all, or that he isn't doing the "correct" thing? Because I can imagine a lot of people (myself included) who wouldn't react to a crying person by hugging them, especially guys. But they would usually attempt to do something. For instance, I might ask them questions about the problem(s) they're having, or try to cheer them up in some other way that doesn't require physical contact. Does he even try?
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  9. #9
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    A really important question is if you've asked him to do these things, either as a personal favour or "it's polite, dear"? And then helped him remember somehow, without overwhelming him with a million things he's doing "wrong" all at once? And been reasonable in your expectations given that he's not in the habit of doing these things? (he can't go from zero to perfect overnight! and why is he the one that must change?) What seems obvious to one person with certain personality traits and a certain upbringing will not at all be obvious to every other person in the world....often, there is even disagreement on the "proper" social niceties, not just presence or absence!
    I've definitely boiled it down to really simple, clearly communicated favor-requests over the years. Occasionally, I *do* completely come unglued, to my discredit, mostly because I'm raising 3 young children right now...it gets stressful. The thing that sparked this question, actually was my having a bad case of the flu for a week, being up with a sick toddler every night (losing sleep), and not having any help getting the older kids to bed, even though I was exhausted to tears and literally begging and feverish and coughing my head off. Turns out, he felt that his extra hour of work a night this week made him feel like we were equally "tired" and in the same boat. It's like he lacks the ability to gauge the trouble of others when he's in even a little discomfort...I wondered if that be an SP related thing.

    Ubiquitous...thanks.

    fidelia- He's actually a really lovely person. When he's really trying to connect (meaning, his problem solving energy is really activated, which happens somewhat regularly), he'll move heaven and earth to make you feel good. This usually plays out in some sensual, experiential way. He tends to follow the cues of *others* well when it comes to compassion, so, when a friend points out that I'm looking tired, or my midwife has given him stern instructions to baby me, or sometimes if my daughter points out that I need help, he'll pull out all the stops. Your room gets filled with wild flowers, good food is made, your back is rubbed, etc. *BUT*, it takes quite a lot for him to be roused out of energy conservation mode to actually do those things.

    Cappie- his parents are pretty stoic. He spent time at boarding school/grandparents houses as a child for their careers, and they all tend to hold one another at arm's length, emotionally. His dad is especially inaccessible, emotionally...in dh's words: a mystery wrapped in an enigma. That's a good thing to keep in mind, thanks.
    I think I think more than you think I think.

  10. #10
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Hmmm, now that you've been more specific, I don't know if any of that has anything to do with being an SP. I always feel an obligation to do whatever it takes to make things function overall, even if it means having to go above and beyond what I may have expected to do. And being in a state of discomfort does nothing to deter me from detecting the need to help out. In fact, it almost gives me a sort of "look at how gallant I am" thrill.

    What you described in the first paragraph sounds like plain selfishness, and I'd be angry too.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

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