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  1. #1
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    Default Being an Encourager to an INTJ

    The INTJ I’m seeing is facing a challenging career change and has to go on job interviews, which he has not had to do for several years. He is not an optimistic person and has expressed doubts and worry. He is skilled in his industry, and I really don’t think he will have much difficulty finding a good job. He trusts me with his concerns and feelings, and I do not take this lightly at all. So I want to be a source of positivity and encouragement to him right now. But I don’t want to overdo it or come off as insincere. How can I walk this line and be there for him?
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  2. #2
    Queer Coded Cat The Cat's Avatar
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    With my INTJ friends irl, I know they appreciate that kind of directness, I let them know I don't think they'll need my help, but they've got my support however I can provide. Then I just sort of leave it at that till theyre ready to talk, otherwise, if I see they're stressed, I might be a silent partner in a personal project they're working on, basically just be there, so they have something to focus on or talk about other than whats bothering them, or whats bothering them, but it's their time and choosing when to discuss. One likes to do outdoorsy stuff, the other, likes a sounding board. I reckon theres no one right way. But ime gently patiently direct, "I'm here however you need when. To the best of my ability." Often works well.
    I am the Cat who walks by themself; and all places are alike to me...

    For the cat is cryptic,
    and close to strange things which men cannot see.
    They are the soul of antique Aegyptus,
    and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir.
    They are the kin of the jungle’s lords,
    and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa.
    The Sphinx is their cousin, and they speak her language;
    but they are more ancient than the Sphinx,
    and remember that which she hath forgotten...

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  3. #3
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    I just let them talk it out and leave it at that unless they bring it up again. Sometimes I will act as a brainstorming partner to flush out ideas, motivations, issues. Specifically, I will draw parallels to past experiences, conversations, ideas they have told me about to get them to see patterns and future implications (Ni) and to dig deeper within themselves (tertiary Fi) and given time, their Te gets activated. However, it should be on their own time table or else that is when it comes off as pushy... that's key. If you can relate your encouragement back to your past interactions and make a plausible conclusion based off that, then the encouragement seems to get better received. In addition to the encouragement, be willing to give constructive criticism (with specific data points) so it comes off as balanced as opposed to lopsided optimism.

    YMMV but that seems to work well with my INTJ friends.
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  4. #4

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    You have his trust? He confides in you? Be yourself. It’s already led him to open up to you so it’s obviously already a source of strength for him. Don’t try to make him feel better using methods that you aren’t comfortable with. You’ll project uneasiness and it’ll undermine your efforts. You have confidence in his skills and experience. Reinforce that. He probably knows he’s capable, he just needs to hear it from a person he trusts.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Madboot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Population: 1 View Post
    You have his trust? He confides in you? Be yourself. It’s already led him to open up to you so it’s obviously already a source of strength for him. Don’t try to make him feel better using methods that you aren’t comfortable with. You’ll project uneasiness and it’ll undermine your efforts. You have confidence in his skills and experience. Reinforce that. He probably knows he’s capable, he just needs to hear it from a person he trusts.
    I agree with this, particularly the bolded. We can be surprisingly insecure about our abilities at times. Many of us have deep rooted fear of failure, which is what drives to sharpen our skills the way we do. If we trust you, we also respect you. Your vote of confidence means a lot, even if it does embarrass us a little.
    The strong manly ones in life are those who understand the meaning of the word patience. Patience means restraining one's inclinations. There are seven emotions: joy, anger, anxiety, adoration, grief, fear, and hate, and if a man does not give way to these he can be called patient. I am not as strong as I might be, but I have long known and practiced patience. And if my descendants wish to be as I am, they must study patience.

    Ieyasu Tokugawa
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Magnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTerran View Post
    The INTJ I’m seeing is facing a challenging career change and has to go on job interviews, which he has not had to do for several years. He is not an optimistic person and has expressed doubts and worry. He is skilled in his industry, and I really don’t think he will have much difficulty finding a good job. He trusts me with his concerns and feelings, and I do not take this lightly at all. So I want to be a source of positivity and encouragement to him right now. But I don’t want to overdo it or come off as insincere. How can I walk this line and be there for him?
    I can't speak for all INTJ's. But somebody would have to lay it on pretty GD thick before I thought they were overdoing it or being fake about it or something.

    I and the INTJ's I know aren't very good at expressing emotions (and no, it's not an "unwillingness" like some nitwits say; it's like a different GD language to most of us) but we typically respond positively to warm, emotional encouragement directed at us. So I think you should be okay.
    Repeat after me: "Wocka, wocka, wocka". See? That wasn't so hard, now was it?
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  7. #7
    Phase-shifted beam Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Grey Wizard View Post
    With my INTJ friends irl, I know they appreciate that kind of directness, I let them know I don't think they'll need my help, but they've got my support however I can provide. Then I just sort of leave it at that till theyre ready to talk, otherwise, if I see they're stressed, I might be a silent partner in a personal project they're working on, basically just be there, so they have something to focus on or talk about other than whats bothering them, or whats bothering them, but it's their time and choosing when to discuss. One likes to do outdoorsy stuff, the other, likes a sounding board. I reckon theres no one right way. But ime gently patiently direct, "I'm here however you need when. To the best of my ability." Often works well.
    This.

    Quote Originally Posted by Consilience View Post
    I just let them talk it out and leave it at that unless they bring it up again. Sometimes I will act as a brainstorming partner to flush out ideas, motivations, issues. Specifically, I will draw parallels to past experiences, conversations, ideas they have told me about to get them to see patterns and future implications (Ni) and to dig deeper within themselves (tertiary Fi) and given time, their Te gets activated. However, it should be on their own time table or else that is when it comes off as pushy... that's key. If you can relate your encouragement back to your past interactions and make a plausible conclusion based off that, then the encouragement seems to get better received. In addition to the encouragement, be willing to give constructive criticism (with specific data points) so it comes off as balanced as opposed to lopsided optimism.
    And this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Population: 1 View Post
    You have his trust? He confides in you? Be yourself. It’s already led him to open up to you so it’s obviously already a source of strength for him. Don’t try to make him feel better using methods that you aren’t comfortable with. You’ll project uneasiness and it’ll undermine your efforts. You have confidence in his skills and experience. Reinforce that. He probably knows he’s capable, he just needs to hear it from a person he trusts.
    And this. At least these are the things that work with me.

    Conventional advice and vague, cliched reassurances won't cut it. Let him know (i.e. state explicitly) that you care and want to be there for him. Above all, follow his lead, both on timing and topic. It seems you know him well and have his trust, so if you are getting concerned and he hasn't said much you can ask simply, "How is the job hunt going?". If he gives a brief or noncommittal answer, move on. Otherwise, he may take the opportunity to talk about it.

    One thing I tend not to like is practical suggestions, because usually everything someone suggests, I have already thought of and either incorporated or dismissed for good cause. This leaves me in the position of having to explain/justify all that to the other person, which is incredibly frustrating especially if I am already stressed over it. I will ask if I need practical advice.
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by INTerran View Post
    The INTJ I’m seeing is facing a challenging career change and has to go on job interviews, which he has not had to do for several years. He is not an optimistic person and has expressed doubts and worry. He is skilled in his industry, and I really don’t think he will have much difficulty finding a good job. He trusts me with his concerns and feelings, and I do not take this lightly at all. So I want to be a source of positivity and encouragement to him right now. But I don’t want to overdo it or come off as insincere. How can I walk this line and be there for him?
    Everyone INTJ I've ever met thinks they're god's gift to humanity and the smartest person in the room anyway, so I find it interesting to read that he's expressing doubt in himself.

    Just be positive without it coming off too over-the-top and/or contrived.
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  9. #9
    Queer Coded Cat The Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This.


    And this.


    And this. At least these are the things that work with me.

    Conventional advice and vague, cliched reassurances won't cut it. Let him know (i.e. state explicitly) that you care and want to be there for him. Above all, follow his lead, both on timing and topic. It seems you know him well and have his trust, so if you are getting concerned and he hasn't said much you can ask simply, "How is the job hunt going?". If he gives a brief or noncommittal answer, move on. Otherwise, he may take the opportunity to talk about it.

    One thing I tend not to like is practical suggestions, because usually everything someone suggests, I have already thought of and either incorporated or dismissed for good cause. This leaves me in the position of having to explain/justify all that to the other person, which is incredibly frustrating especially if I am already stressed over it. I will ask if I need practical advice.
    We have a an agreement that no justifications are sought nor asked for. It's whatever moves forward towards a workable solution. We get downright rediculous sometimes in the ways but we get there. It's never boring.
    I am the Cat who walks by themself; and all places are alike to me...

    For the cat is cryptic,
    and close to strange things which men cannot see.
    They are the soul of antique Aegyptus,
    and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir.
    They are the kin of the jungle’s lords,
    and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa.
    The Sphinx is their cousin, and they speak her language;
    but they are more ancient than the Sphinx,
    and remember that which she hath forgotten...

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  10. #10
    Phase-shifted beam Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stigmata View Post
    Everyone INTJ I've ever met thinks they're god's gift to humanity and the smartest person in the room anyway, so I find it interesting to read that he's expressing doubt in himself.

    Just be positive without it coming off too over-the-top and/or contrived.
    Take it from one that we are often thinking/feeling just the opposite. Even if we are the smartest person in the room (and I've been there), we know: (1) other qualities can be just as important, qualities we often lack; and (2) being smart doesn't make us infallible or incapable of error or poor judgment. I'm sure you know how critical we can be. Most of us view ourselves even more critically, if only because we are intimately familiar with all the flaws and shortcomings that might not be obvious (i.e. that we do our best to conceal) to others. How does it feel to be on the receiving end of an INTJ's blunt and unbridled criticism? Magnify that a few times, and that's how we can feel when we review all the things we don't know, can't do, and might mess up, especially in an important situation like a job interview. We may look confident, but that's because we hide all of those insecurities, too. If an INTJ is sharing it with you instead, you have their trust and respect.
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha
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