[ESFJ] Female INFP not able to get over male ESFJ, is there hope?

Female INFP not able to get over male ESFJ, is there hope?

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This is a discussion on Female INFP not able to get over male ESFJ, is there hope? within the ESFJ Forum - The Caregivers forums, part of the SJ's Temperament Forum- The Overseers category; Please if you need practical details etc, ask me questions or for clarifications :) This is perhaps a little bit ...

  1. #1
    INFP - The Idealists

    Female INFP not able to get over male ESFJ, is there hope?

    Please if you need practical details etc, ask me questions or for clarifications :)
    This is perhaps a little bit abstract but I tried my best to describe my issue....

    First of all - there has been no actual romantic things happening with me and this ESFJ, is has been all back and forth but no physical involvment or deep emotional due to circumstances for both of us. I don't know where to start because this would be so long to explain it all.

    From the first time I saw him, he was (in my eyes, I think for other people he is quite normal looking tbh) the most beautiful man I had ever seen, and I know this is going to sound so stupid, but I loved him from that moment. Getting to know him a little bit, he is as beautiful on the inside as on the outside.

    In December he said some very hurtful things to me in an attempt to manipulate me, and I think the worst part for me was that I was very upset at the time because I had mentioned some things that had made him upset and defensive and I was desperate to apologize and do anything to fix it if possible, and he took advantage of the emotional distress I was in to hurt and manipulate/control me, all with a smile he couldn't hide because he was so proud of himself of having succeeded in actually hit me in the right spot.

    I can't know what he was thinking, of course, but I feel pretty sure he at that time only attempted to manipulate me so he would regain control of "his world" and that I would be back to try to make up with him again, at which point I *think* he meant to accept, having put me in my place, sort of.

    I just couldn't do it though - I admired and looked up to him so much that I can't even describe it, and all of a sudden he felt like a person that I couldn't even respect. It is very hard, not to say impossible, for me to love and like someone that I can't admire. I just withdrew completely from him, even though we live and work on the same street I made sure we wouldn't even run into each other. After a few weeks of being in hiding, I went back to being at a shop next to where he lives (I take pictures there for a blog and spend hours at a time visible from the street). Everytime I was there, I saw him at least once, often several times, walk past, slow down and look for me. And that was just the times that I happened to be looking out the shop window and see him, I don't think he walked past 20 times per evening but at least a few times per day. I really didn't know what to make of it, and in typical distressed INFP-fashion I guess felt completely at a loss for what I would even say to him anyway, so I just didn't do anything.

    Since he has a business on the same street, and I used to be his customer, I had a friend of mine call him last week (three months later from last time we spoke) to make an appointment with him for me (I couldn't bring myself to call myself, afraid that I wouldn't know what to say) and he just said no, that wouldn't be so smart.
    This friend that talked to him told me to forget him, he obviously doesn't want to know me anymore.

    Intellectually I don't see that I have much choice in the matter - I just wish I could get some closure and understanding of what happened.

    In some way I also think that he isn't happy with us just ignoring each other, even if we will not be together or even be friends, that is the best explaination I can think of for him going past and looking for me everyday for weeks.

    In a way why I love him so much and want to be with him (even if I can accept that it won't ever happen) is that when misunderstandings have happened in the past we are both wanting things to be sorted out. Mostly this has had to happen on my initative though, he has a tendency to not say anything but instead withdraw or try to do practical things to make things better.

    It has been three months now and the pain he caused has gone away, the hurt has healed and I miss him so much.
    But I can't force myself on him again, after he has said that he doesn't even want me as a customer again. (I thought that would be a neutral way of seeing him again) I really do not want to corner him on the street and I'm pretty sure I can't just act casual if I happen to run into him.

    I guess I feel that he has just moved on and left me here, now when the pain is finally over and I can look up to him again because I have worked it out in my head. I think I understand why he said the things he said, and because he himself is very bad at figuring out why he feels in a certain way or does the things he does. He has a tendency to not think at all but jump in and do rash things that turn out to be mistakes and it seems like it is my job to figure out how it all happened and when I then explain things, I can see relief on his face that I put both our feelings and reactions in order, and how much I appreciate him being how he is (sweet and caring, and taking the "blame" quietly until he has calmed me down enough for me to do my part in making things right - up until the point in December).

    Basically I feel that this was such a big thing for me, to accept the cruelty he tried to control me with, that it has taken me this long to understand and be able to see things from his perspective and put things in their place from both our sides... and now it's too late to even get closure.

    I will always love him and miss him, he is one of the most special people I have ever met. I can accept not being with him, although I wish he would be friends with me, but to always remember the last time I interacted with him as that time he manipulated me and took advantage of my weakness instead of the sweet person he normally is just makes me cry.

    In a way I guess I have no choice but to accept whatever he has decided to do, like not wanting to know me anymore, but for me I just feel such a need to remember him as the perfect person that he is. And now, I'm starting to wonder if I am all wrong - I guess it is typical of an INFP to try to put the world together in their head, but it is only a way to understand things, it isn't actual reality.

    I'm starting to doubt if he really is the sweet person or the cruel person, and in a stupid way I guess not having him to look up to feels worse to me than possibly not having him in my life.

    I just don't know at all what to practially DO at this point. I'm at a complete loss. Maybe he does feel as if we had never known eachother and that I'm just some random person.
    I should say that there is nothing that I wouldn't do to resolve this, I have no pride in that sense, but I would like to know that I'm doing the right thing in his eyes and I just have no clue what that would be.

    I do feel that IF there would ever be anything between us, even friendship, it is up to me to fix this situation. I would like to think there might still be some sort of chance of a resolution, I'm just so afraid to do more damage in my attempts than I have already done.

    If he has permanently closed the door, then that will be it, of course. But I don't want to give up before I have at least tried. He is so special and unique to me. In the leading up to the "incident" I carefully mentioned this and he said that oh, he was nothing special but I think he at least at that time was open to me explaining why he is so special to me. But I can't force him to listen to emotional things he doesn't want to hear, especially now.

    For some reason, in my heart I still have hope. Not the kind of desperate hope, but a warm sense that it can all work out. So I'm here hoping someone might be able to advice me.

    My best friend in school was an ESFJ and we had these kinds of troubles at times - it usually turned out that she felt that I didn't want to be friends with her when I couldn't find words or actions, and with me being distressed that I had (temporarily) lost the one person that used to always understand me without me having to explain.

    Perhaps he just moved on in December and that is it. But I just have this tiny sliver of hope that perhaps he just felt like I rejected him when he was walking past and I was ignoring him. And perhaps. Perhaps. I could find something to do or say to make things better again.

    I guess it comes down to:

    Now once I start to know what to say to him, how can I get him to give me a chance to get him to listen?

    The things that lead to this "incident" are so complicated that it would take quite a lot of careful talking to sort out, not something that could be chatted about in a few minutes on the street.

    In general he seems to be very interested in emotional talks, in the past I have done most of the talking but he has corrected me at times to specify and clarify the precise feelings so I know he is really smart and interested in these things, not just me pouring things out and him going umm umm while thinking about other things.


    ADDED:
    I guess I also feel as if I understand him better than he understands me - and that he hasn't given me the chance to really show that I would be a good person for him. And that this influences him dismissing me. I guess I can see how we would make eachother happy (even as friends) while he only really looks to the here and now. I feel as if I have lost my chance to prove to him in reality how I would do anything for him and that I'm not really challenging his need for control infact I'm very happy for him to be in control because I'm not very good at making decisions and plans.
    Last edited by dreamygirl; 03-14-2011 at 10:38 AM.



  2. #2
    INTP - The Thinkers

    From the first time I saw him, he was (in my eyes, I think for other people he is quite normal looking tbh) the most beautiful man I had ever seen, and I know this is going to sound so stupid, but I loved him from that moment. Getting to know him a little bit, he is as beautiful on the inside as on the outside
    Once someone said that its better to avoid people you are super-attracted to, it might be a healthy aspect of your self generating the attraction. You might be happier settling for someone that just seems ok, someone that might not walk all over you. I know this goes against the grain(like you have any choice about who you love) but in my experience the relationship is more stable. I wish I could say more right now. I empathize with your pain, I really do.

  3. #3
    INFP - The Idealists

    Thanks for your answer :) It did make me feel better at least.

    I'm not sure if the answer is to find someone "ok". A couple of times I have settled for someone"ok" I can learn to love them but I will just be restless and at some point look for someone else. For me to be commited or even interested in a relationship I really need to feel that this is the best person in the world, the center of my universe. Otherwise it's just a waste of my time - and I'm leading them on, since I know I will sooner or later leave them. And that has happened despite me sacrificing myself for the relationship for years, and that is just unneccesary pain for both involved.

    This goes with friends as well - there are a few friendships that started out "neutral" to me and that have grown on me, but almost all of my friendships have started with me sensing a fascination and interest in the other person, and remembering the first moment I saw them and just knew I would really like them.

    What comes first - my interest makes them special, or them being "perfect for me", well, that is a philosophical discussion perhaps.


    I think the problem right now for me is that I did feel like my feelings (lets face it: hormones, whatever) had run away with me and made me think I felt something that was all in my head. This is why I gave myself a time out from him and kept reminding myself that I really do not want to be with someone capable of such meanness. Normally this would have gotten me to move on - but instead I have moved on (brief interest in someone else "ok", actually), stopped being angry, and - I still feel the same. I really still feel the same as I did the first time I saw him, the magic is still there.


    I am prepared to do whatever it takes from my side to at least talk to get some closure of some sort, chances are that he doesn't even know what that would be even if I asked him... so I'm asking here :)


    (edited to remove a lot of text that seem to just confuse the issue... )
    Last edited by dreamygirl; 03-17-2011 at 10:14 AM.

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  5. #4
    Unknown Personality

    Wow I can relate to your story.. I'm sorry you're going through this. It sounds like you're really consumed by this situation and I know how it feels. I personally wish I could figure out the ESFJ males' minds and tell you how to approach him but I honestly don't know what to do for my own self. I, like you, had to work out the relationship in my head for extended periods of time and mull over what went wrong, why he reacted a certain way, etc. etc. He is not good at working out the situation on his own, doesn't think he did anything wrong usually, and I am the one left to figure it out.

    My ESFJ, like yours, was very cruel and manipulative at the end. But I also really thought he was special. It seems from our stories that once ESFJ males are hurt, they want to just let the problem be and "forget" about the other person. They almost just ignore their feelings. It's a shame, for both parties. I think they are so afraid of getting hurt that they rather just move on and never look back.

    I can relate to the fact that you think you are good for him but he doesn't even realize it. And that he was so mean you didn't want to talk to him and hadn't for a while but now it's hard for you to move on because you didn't get closure and you still have hope that you'll talk again.

    The one thing that I noticed was that you really admire him. As you mention, do you think it's your idealism projecting unto him or is he in reality that special? Is it the potential you see or want to see vs. the amazing guy that he really is? My judgment is cloudy too. Perhaps INFPs have a tendency to put our partners on a pedestal. We need someone to look up to and idealize. It sure is dangerous to go for someone who you're super attracted to though as mentioned above, because of the self generating attraction factor. Also, I think these two types compliment each other, therefore we would admire their personalities for their differences.

    Honestly, I think you should find a way to talk to him. I know it's nerve wracking but if you don't do it, I think you'll regret it. Hopefully, it's in a neutral way and you keep the conversation light. Because to get into it after some time would be overload. I don't know, that's not great advice but it may be that simple. He may welcome you if you were more direct like seeing him in person and not an appointment.

    I'm sorry you didn't get the closure that you feel you needed or deserved. Good luck and let me know how it goes!
    dreamygirl thanked this post.

  6. #5
    INFP - The Idealists

    Thank you for your response.... at least it seems I'm not alone in my experience. I'm starting to lean towards thinking male ESFJs are victims of their own expectation to behave in a way that a man should - be quiet and silent rather than as emotional as they really are. Instead of being the good people they are, they end up tearing you to pieces this way.

    It is impossible for me to say if he really is special. He is special to ME, isn't that enough? He is a quite normal person, fun to be around but ultimately quite predictable. When I first saw him, it was as if the universe changed direction and will never be the same again. I can't say why that is, but in that way it most definately is coming from him, not me. I have never felt this way about anyone before, but I have felt something similar two times and I have never gotten over those two as being magical and special. (and one of those two is still one of if not the best and closest friend I have)

    I am very picky with who I get involved with, but I have had one relationship with an ESFJ man before. It didn't work out, but not because of these types of problems. The strange thing is that he was quite rational and iniated the breakup, sorted things out and was very practical about it. Then a few months later he started bombarding me with emails and phonecalls (that I didn't take). He gave up but half a year after that it started again with him more or less begging me to talk to me, he said he really really needed to talk to me in person. I had been in love with him but I didn't love him (basically, I never felt the way I do with my current ESFJ love interest) so I thought it was best for both of us that we didn't see each other again.

    I have seen these same tendencies with this ESFJ too (if I have backed off in the past, he does come looking for me, although he prefers that I shower him with attention on my own accord), and I am worried that if I really let go of this relationship - give up hope completely - he will still come back later on, at which point it is too late for me. Once I move on, I really do move on. It might seem strange or heartless but it is true that the admiration and adoration that INFPs generate for their loved ones can be.. not turned off, but... let to die out. He will always be special, but my heart can't be switched on and off. I can stand a lot of mishandling once in a relationship, but not these types of playing games to even get to that point, it hurts too much.

    I feel as if it is a double edged sword. It is true that I put the one I love on a pedestal... and I don't tend to let anyone fall off that pedestal either if I can help it, DAMN IT! I can be quite stubborn, I guess because I have a real need to have someone to look up to, someone who the world is spinning around.

    I find that for me personally, ESFJs (as friends as well) have a huge capacity for accepting all this attention and appreciation, while other people have tendency to see me almost as fake when I keep gushing about how much I like them and why, ESFJs have the ability to feel and recognize the very genuine feelings I have for them. ESFJs are quite much alike in their ways of being IMO, but on the inside they can be very individual and quirky (also if they trust you to let you in, they have the weirdest secrets) and I have found that a lot of people tend to not see their true self or love them for their personality, rather for their actions and their willingness to do things as is expected of them.

    The double edges sword I guess comes from that it seems the best way to get this ESFJ man back would be to play games and be uninterested - they seem to come running just when you have let go and moved on. (this is from other people's experiences as well) But at the same time, what is so special about an INFP/ESFJ relationship is this giving and recieving of what I think can almost be described as a wall of love going from the INFP to the ESFJ.

    If I let that go, then a huge part of the dynamic is lost, and then what would be the point?

    I think the downside to the ESFJ personality and their tendency to do things for other people at their own expense (he is most definitively like this) is that they draw people to them who have lists of requirements of them. And as long as they fulfill those things they will be liked and loved. When they get things wrong those people won't love them though. I can see that with the people around him too, so that is most likely what he is used to.

    Maybe he can't see that even if he gets everything wrong, I will still like him the same.


    (something to clarify, because people use words differently. When I say that I "love" him, what I mean is that I am very sure that what I feel for him will never change, no matter what he does or if I need to have no contact with him again. I'm however not "in love" with him as for me that requires both sides to build a relationship. I do have a huge crush on him though (obviously). Not sure if this confuses matters more but I thought I would add it. This is why I see it as possible for me to be friends with him - crushes come and go, but there are only so many special individuals that you come across. In general I have also found that women tend to not want to be friends with men who have had a crush on them, while men in my experience seem to like having female friends who can appreciate them as men too. Put it this way, if given the choice of having a female friend who either think they are good looking and wonderful, or who think they are an ugly loser... the guy tends to go for the former...)

  7. #6
    INFP - The Idealists

    Seems there have been some people reading this thread, so I thought I would update.
    Or keep being embarrassing. Oh well.
    Billet doux, if you visit the boards without logging in, I sent you my email in a PM because I would be very interesting in talking directly to you.
    And anyone else for that matter if you would want to talk to me directly, in pm (yay, finally I have 15 posts required) or email.


    I am still very confused and would welcome any type of feedback or advice in this matter, specifially how to address or contact "my" ESFJ.

    THERE IS A TOO LONG DIDN'T READ VERSION AT THE END TOO!
    (Tl,dr)


    I feel a bit like this is an upside down world, where an INFP has to call an ESFJ out for being... WEIRD, but I am starting to feel like he is more weird than I am.


    What has happened... well.
    When I wrote the OP, a friend of mine had called to make an appointment and been told no.
    It was very painful, and still was when I wrote the OP to try to accept it.

    He made the phone call on a Friday. On the Saturday one week after I saw the ESFJ again, he pretended he didn't see me, but looked very smug and sure of himself, I guess figuring that I had been the one to contact him. I ignored him back.

    The Friday after that he walked past and looked for me... and we had a very long eye contact for almost a minute (VERY LONG TIME to look straight at someone). He was on the other side of the street, when I was in my friend's shop. When he saw me looking at him, he sort of didn't know what to do.. he almost stopped, but tried to walk forward, didn't seem to know in which direction to walk, continue straight forward, he turned towards me but didn't actually walk across the street. For the life of me I could not interpret his facial expression, he looked confused like he couldn't decide how to feel. He is no poker player so I think if he was just angry or happy I would know, but he looked like he really was feeling lots of different things at the same time. Or he was just mirroring my feelings, because that is how I felt. After our eye contact was broken by a car coming inbetween, he didn't look back at me, but sort of clenched his jaws and he seemed to me to be saying to himself like that he had made up his mind and it was for the best. He didn't look hostile, but he looked like he tried to stick to that he had decided not talking to me. (my interpretation, obviously)

    After that though, he has been past every Friday after work, and sometimes on Saturdays. He looks for eye contact, he doesn't just look to see if I'm there. He looks sad and confused, but I just can't know if he is also angry and hostile. I mean, he can be sad AND still not wanting anything to do with me. He could smile at me if he wanted to.

    One time I looked up to see him walking past with someone, he looked at me with these sad puppydog eyes, almost curled up (usually he walks very straight with an open body language) and held eye contact with me but didn't smile or wave or anything like that, but he kept swallowing several times which I have only seen him do when he is upset. I'm not saying he was crying but he really didn't just happen to look at me casually either. Then he walked past twice alone a few minutes after that but looked away quickly when he caught me looking back at him.

    Another time I was outside on my mobile as he was coming from work. He was chatting with someone but when he spotted me he looked at me and seemed a bit like he was trying to get away from them, turning more towards me than them. When I hung up the call he was walking slowly to his door looking at me, like perhaps he was waiting to see if I would stop talking. He was too far away for me to see his facial expression, but he was completely turned towards me and had looked straight at me since he first spotted me. When I started making another call, he then went in to his house. I felt very self conscious, as if I had been waiting for him to come from work and I got nervous and felt stupid and vulnerable, but now when I write it down I realise that it was probably me being silly insecure and I should have waited to see if he did something to acknowledge me. But he could have waved at me or something?? (we didn't always used to stop and talk when we saw each other, but at least smile and nod or wave, even at a distance)

    Two and a half weeks ago on the Saturday he walked past right outside the window as I was sitting there. He looked very surprised to see me that upclose, he was literally on the other side of the glass. I forced myself to try to smile at him, and once I started to smile I couldn't hold it back because I was so happy to see him. He smiled back at me although I was too surprised and confused to be able to tell if it was just a polite smile or a real one. My friends girlfriend however saw him and she started whooping and howling (she had heard about him but not seen him before) and laughing and shouted OH LOOK AT THAT SMILE!! Is that (his name)?? I turned around to her, still smiling like a crazy person, and asked if she meant my (big cheesy) smile, and she shouted NO HIM TOO HIM TOO!! So it wasn't my imagination...

    Sooo, two weeks ago, Wednesday night I saw him coming home as I was biking past. He was looking at me but I just still didn't know if he wanted me to keep my distance. So once I got closer I just looked ahead at the road instead of at him.

    I felt really upset though, because I also realise that perhaps he thinks I am angry at him and not sure what reaction he would get from me.
    So in my infinite wisdom, I decided to send him an sms. (I kicked myself after, for again opening myself up to be rejected when I know it hurts so much from him) We have never communicated by phone, but my friend (oh the joys of having an ENFP at your disposal) got his phone number when he called in March.
    Soo... I sent him this text:

    hello (his name).... are you still angry with me? I don't know what to do or say when I see you. I do miss you... I am sorry things turned out like this, there is nothing I wouldn't do to make it better. I wish I could just talk to you directly. // (my name) (I don't need an answer, just wanted to tell you how I feel)

    I figured it was no point in trying to drag our last "fight" into it, but just not mention it. It's not important, he was an asshole but then my choice is either to keep thinking that and continue to ignore him, or leave it behind. So I choose to leave it behind unless he brings it up. So I just asked if he was still angry with me, because honestly I'm not sure if that is where all the confused looks from him means.
    The rest is sort of... well, what it says on the box.

    I specifically did not want him to feel pressured to answer because he jumps into decisions and I think if he felt like I was asking him a direct question, if he didn't reply immediately he might feel after a while that he had made up his mind simply by choosing not to reply. Not sure if that makes sense but he seems to work that way.
    I also figured that if he got annoyed or happy, he would have let me know anyway...
    But he did neither. No answer.

    I did see him again the next day Friday after his work, he was looking at me while I was sitting outside but I pretended I hadn't seen him because I felt very insecure after the sms, I thought he could walk up to me if he wanted to. But he went in to his house.

    And last Friday.... oh lord.
    This is when I feel like HE IS BEING MORE WEIRD THAN I AM! I'm at my wits end :(

    The whole street and sidewalk is torn up for roadworks and covered in sand. You have to walk on planks past my friend's shop. Late on Friday evening, someone (HE!) came stomping on the planks, I sort of looked in that direction but didn't really see anyone. I was sitting with my back to the window, and the door far to my right. He coughed incredibly loud (like REALLY loud) so I turned my head to the right but didn't see the person. He then coughed even louder again behind me (as he was walking past) and I turned around completely, to see him bending slightly forward to be able to look past the decor in the window at me. He didn't however smile, he still had that confused look on his face, and looked away after a moment when I actually saw him and continued walking.

    WTH IS THAT ABOUT???
    He obviously wanted me to see him. He could see me very clearly through the door when approaching, long before the first theatrical cough...
    If he wanted me to watch him ignore me and give me the cold shoulder, he could have just looked straight ahead.
    If he wanted to show himself friendly, he could have smiled or waved.

    I feel like it is up to him to do one thing or the other, how can that embarrassing SMS not try to make up?

    COULD I HAVE BEEN MORE CLEAR?
    That is an actual question, not a rhetorical one.


    It's not that he really is an indecisive person, so... is there any doubt that I am being open and friendly to him?
    He can decide to reject me completely, or to stay at a distance but be friendly (neighbourly), or he can talk to me again.
    What else can I do at this point?
    (again, an actual question not a rhetorical one)

    I feel so tired of living in this limbo emotionally with him that I am starting to resent him.

    Sometimes I wish I was like the people closer to him - bossy and demanding, I have snapped at him twice and felt horrible afterwards (while we were still talking) to which he responds by going into doormat mode and complies. I don't like treating him that way at all, and the two times I did, it was over a professional matter. But people close to him seem to treat him that way all the time and obviously is more successful than I am because he knows them and doesn't talk to me. It seems as long as you give him his orders with a smile he is happy.

    I can't see myself ever doing that. The ESFJs that I have known and been close to in the past(also friends) have not liked that either. I have usually explained in detail what my dreams and fears are, and they take it into account and make their decisions about how things will be, which I then respect as long as they listen to me first. I can't see myself being happy if I'm locked in a power struggle with a moody ESFJ (or any J!), so that is out of the question.


    So apart from asking my friend to make a neutral phonecall, and sending that SMS... I have not done anything to contact him.
    I don't think I have crowded him, forced myself on him or done anything creepy.
    He more or less demanded more space from me (it was concerning specific circumstances due to (oh esfjs...) other people) last time we spoke, so that is what I have given him. I was very unhappy about it obviously, but I haven't DONE anything towards him apart from those two things.
    Like I said in the OP, I think he didn't ask for quite this much space, but well. He hurt me pretty badly too, I wasn't playing mind games with him, I was in emotional pain. (and I think he can relate to that, because we have talked about being alike in that way before, so it shouldn't really be a surprise to him)

    I think he can see how deeply I feel about him (he just doesn't seem to believe it or understand why, like it needs a why), but the only thing I have ever said about it was in December, when I told him the same as I wrote in my OP:
    That he was the most beautiful man I had ever seen, but that he is also just as beautiful on the inside.
    I didn't say this in a flirty way, I was horribly embarrassed to say it but I said it clearly more or less to his face in a direct way (although I couldn't quite look straight at him through), and he went all red and didn't know what to say. At least he didn't look disgusted, even if he didn't want to hear it.
    I figured that was clear enough, and he has every right to reject me after that.

    SO WHY THE CONFUSED LOOK ON HIS FACE?
    ... was my sms not clear enough?
    I was hardening myself for rejection and being ignored, but not... that this confusion would just continue.

    Yes, no. I'm not telling you everything. I'm not telling you WHY this is so complicated. But I need advice on how to address an ESFJ... not write Agony Aunt about the circumstances...

    --------------------------------------

    TL;DR:
    How can you make a confused ESFJ feel that you are open, friendly and understanding to them?

    My problem is that if I address him directly, his automatic response is rejection, he really dislike surprises.
    I know this situation is not easy for him, but I can't stop feeling what I feel for him either. I can let him be, which I have done. But he keeps coming back, sort of. I don't get the feeling that it is for ego-boosting reasons on his part, I think he is geniuinely confused about everything. Also that he doesn't actually understand me enough to make sense of me, I am very different from what he is used to I think.

    I also feel like if I did take charge I could manipulate him but I don't want to do that.
    I think that the connection we have is built on me being open and not demanding is positive for him too, he just isn't used to it. (this referring to the connection we had while we were still talking, obviously not the current mess)
    Last edited by dreamygirl; 05-05-2011 at 10:56 AM.

  8. #7
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    I have seen these same tendencies with this ESFJ too (if I have backed off in the past, he does come looking for me, although he prefers that I shower him with attention on my own accord)
    That's about right, I know personally as I'm an ESFJ male that I would pretty much reply to anybody who talked to me nearly regardless of what has happened. The only exception was when I was trying to avoid my Ex for my own sanity. I'm not sure what in your situation as I find it hard to understand, I know nothing of your back story with him (not that you need to tell it) so I sort of find you seem to look too deep into things (whether this is true or not I can't say)
    dreamygirl thanked this post.

  9. #8
    INFP - The Idealists

    Thank you for your answer, stickr.
    Maybe a bit late in the posting/thread, but I feel I should point out that part of what is making me so frustrated is that although my story reads like a teenage drama, we are both adults.

    I guess I am looking too deeply into it, because I am still confused after reading your reply over and over.

    I don't really mind my dignity (well, I do, but I can move on from having my ego bruised), what I am worried about most is that he will be uncomfortable with me approaching him.

    If it was just friendship I wouldn't feel this way, and as far as taking the initiative in showing my interest and going after the guy, I'm quite comfortable with it. Shy and awkward rather than assertive when I do, but that seems to work to my advantage usually. Who am I kidding, I'm shy and strange but I think life is too short for regrets of not letting people know you like them. I get over rejection but I have such a hard time living with not knowing what could have been.

    However, I am really not in the habit of stalking people. If he is not interested, then I will stay soooo far away from him as I can. Not on my account (no, I ain't too proud to beg *blush*) BUT unwelcome romantic attention is something I feel very uncomfortable inflicting on someone else. If the man in question want to have a second chance, or just be friends after that, then he can take the first step after that. I don't close doors but I do respect others boundaries.

    So. Without going into all the complications and details this is a bit how the last few interactions we had played out.
    I was interested in him, but was very careful and slow in trying to get to know him due to a lot of things I'm not going into here, and I obviously don't know for a fact if he was interested in me or not, but I feel fairly certain there was a lot of chemistry from both sides. For me, that is a big thing, because everything else can be dealt with, but if there is no chemistry, that is the one thing that can't be created.

    I was upset that things on my end might result in my leaving the country (going back to my home country, though not due to legal issues or anything like that, more by choice)
    I bumped into him (or rather, my ESTJ-shadow did, yes, it was my evil twin that created this mess) and asked him if we could be friends rather than just relying on bumping into each other and me being his customer. Before he got a chance to answer, I heard myself saying some things about HIM and his situation that I really knew better than to say. Some very personal things that well, I had no business talking about to be fair to him, but I'm an INFP, I know stuff and think that it is obvious to everyone and don't realise other people thought it was secret. :-/
    He politely said that he enjoyed my company but didn't think we should have a more formal friendship, citing some valid reasons, but keep it as it was. Well, after denying all that I had said even though... well, I know for a fact I was correct and I was stupid enough to keep pointing that out to him. It was a mess, so I can't blame him for politely backing out. He didn't blow me off or anything he wanted us to finish talking even though I tried to crawl away a few times and he seemed surprisingly amused, considering he was denying everything I said.

    Next day I had an appointment with him. He was sort of cool and distant polite in his behaviour, but was standing extremely close, and I should point out he wasn't inappropiate but had some form of close non-accidental body contact with me the whole time. Normally he has a very friendly open body language but with a lot of distance to people. I was devastated about the things I had said to him the day before and very upset over it. I tried to explain it to him, saying that I was stressed and didn't know if I was leaving or not.
    He said: You're leaving?! and looked very shocked.
    I said, Well, I don't know but maybe.
    He didn't answer, he just looked straight into the ground for a long time and then was quiet and looked upset and was swallowing over and over and clearing his throat.
    I didn't know what to say so I said, And I would hate to just have you disappear, with no way of contacting you again because I only meet you by running across you in the neighbourhood.
    At this point, he sort of looked like he dismissed me, smiled and said Well, as far as I am concerned, that would just have to be it.
    I told him that I accepted that but it made me sad because he was one of the most special people I have ever come across, to which he said he was nothing special. I told him he was special to me, and I could explain to him but not if it made him uncomfortable. Yeah he was fishing for compliments actually but that is neither here nor there, he likes compliments in general.
    After that we were quiet or just talked about some superficial things for a bit.

    However I don't know.. I just could not NOT SAY IT... so I figured I would just get it over with and say it, and this was more for my sake, to get it off my chest.
    As I already said I have no dignity, I just wanted to say it to him, in case this was the last I saw of him even if I did stay.
    So I said in a probably very shaky voice that he was the most beautiful man I have ever seen. He starred back at me and turned red and I added that he is also even more beautiful on the inside and this is why I will miss him. And that I could explain more but I didn't want to embarrass him. He didn't say anything but at least at that time he didn't look angry or anything just sort of generally upset. Well that, and red...

    We decided to meet to talk after he finished work, he again said we shouldn't be friends which I saw no way not to accept even though it made me sad. After that though, he tried to manipulate and hurt me. I can't go into the details but he was really cruel and also tried to make me jealous of some other girl. (which doesn't quite work with me because well, he wasn't my boyfriend so... I can't really go around being jealous about him. I am more prone to figure if he wants to be with me then he will be with me, it has nothing to do with other people)
    I don't think he really meant to make it that bad and he tried to backtrack a few times but at this point I was really devastated and took everything out of proportion and I think in ways he hadn't meant it to go.
    My last words to him was to ask him again and again to "please don't leave things this way", he looked quite upset (not angry) and just said "well, it is just how it will have to be then".

    I'm embarrassed to write it all out, there it is.
    I really do not want to go into WHAT he said and the circumstances, it is just too messy and too much to write it all out. It wasn't some tiny little thing though.

    SOOOOO. No, I haven't been cruel and horrible to him, but I was embarrassing.
    He was pretty assholey though to be honest. I don't forgive him for that, but the build up to him acting that way was clearly driven by me and his response to me, I guess after a few months I could see a big part of it was some sort of self defence to several issues where he felt out of control. I just felt at the time that we already finished that talk, then as we were almost parting he started up something else and really slammed me with this... STUFF. Uncalled for, from my perspective.


    The big question I have is how I should interpret this that he is now months later still looking for me and seemingly searching for eye contact, but not being openly friendly to me.
    I don't have it in me to be rejected more times, but I can't really hide how attracted to him I am (even if I try) when I see him or talk to him. I can live with just being friends or even just friendly at a distance, but I don't want him to feel disgusted with my interest in him because I can't do anything about how I react to being around him.

    Of course no one on a forum can speak for how he feels, but this thing where he goes looking for me is driving me insane and it is really hard to let go, since I still feel the same about him. I have never felt this way about anyone before.




    Even after sending him that text message, he still doesn't seem to just act friendly OR ignore me.

    I can't force myself on him again! That is what it seems you are implying, that I should just talk to him?
    It's not really my pride, it's more respecting that he told me he didn't want to talk to me.
    (well he didn't say that outright, even at the end he said to just continue as it had been before, but I felt like it turned out like that, the way our conversation went. Downhill. Fast.)

    I understand no one can really have answers for me, but any reply would be so welcome because this is really eating away at me still.



    EDIT: Just thought I would add this too.
    During the last part of our last talk... in response to him saying we shouldn't be "friends" I said upset that us enjoying each others company can't have been just ME, because I saw him coming looking for me when I was at my friends shop. (because he did that before too, while we were still talking) He mumbled "well, I will stop doing that". I said But that is not the POINT, the point is that it's not just me wanting to talk to you (him), to which he again mumbled a little louder "I won't do that again". He didn't seem angry at this point either, more like I had just asked him to stay away from me but that is not what I meant at all....
    Last edited by dreamygirl; 05-10-2011 at 04:49 AM.

  10. #9
    INFP - The Idealists


    I'm sorry dreamgirl, but I do get a little happy inside when I see an INFP post about emotional problems and see they are little mini essays. I understand you completely, although I've never truly been in your position entirely. Hopefully better yet, I most surely understand how much energy it must take for you to construct your worries into meaningful sentences in order to communicate them to others.

    On topic... I'm going to get a little off my chest too (I feel, this helps me when I'm feeling down about such issues). My ex-girlfriend (I know remember her type, nor care really) but she was definitely way too caring and considerate (unfortunately, she failed to buy me several presents for my birthdays!... the bitch ;P).

    I was always reserved about our relationship for months. It was my first and she was very into sharing her feelings whenever she felt that my doors were open to listening. I moved out to University and she decided she wanted to live with me there, I wasn't keen and nearly broke up with her; but I resisted because I didn't really understand what was going on at all. Anywho, Eventually, my Dorm-room days of First-Year University were over and she wanted to buy a little cottage in a village about 30 minutes away, where we would live together - our own real place. (sounds lovely, but i was fucking shitting myself! but I was happy with her, so I had to go along with it). 2 weeks before this was going to happen, she decided she was worried about it all then broke up with me.

    I never knew what to tell, but I dealt with it pretty well and that was just over a year ago. It's not long really, but I've moved on. I still love her dearly and there's is still this thought in the back of my mind that I will marry her, or see her in years to come and she will remember the real me (Sad, I know). It's not because I'm amazing (although I totally am), it's just because I understood her (She knew it too). I was pretty shit to be fair, but I was always an emotional comfort for her to rely on. She never had to worry about feeling anxious or alone, or scared about anything in life. I think it's what us INFP's are good at more so than I'd even give us credit for.

    However, it's this idea that I have that I will love her unconditionally forever.. I feel it and there's no doubt in my mind that it wouldn't go. But, it's just not real... I don't think. I do love her and I think about her daily (even though I'm quite content in my life and suprisingly happy being single - but only until I'm ready to tackle it all again - I just don't care when it is.. I'll just wait until it comes to me.) But, I'm still thinking about who she was with me, and that person is no more. She may be the exact same person but honestly, she ISN'T. It's just the way it is. I don't know who she is now, to be honest, she probably hasn't changed much but I enjoy thinking about... if it's real then one day I'll meet her again. (We insisted on being friends when we broke up, but the hurt stopped me from wanting to call her.. I don't want to bring her back into my head - she didn't want it then and if she ever wants it, then she knows where I am. I'll decide what I want when that day comes, if ever.

    Back to you (Thanks, I enjoyed that!) You know what I STILL want to do? I still want to write a letter to her, telling her how amazing a person she is. Sometimes I'd even consider making anonymous but that would be just plain silly ;). Have you thought about this? I don't mean a 6 page sloppy piece of INFP infinite well of uncontrolling emotions that you MUST tell him every detail. Maybe, just an apology? It's really about the feeling you what with you and him. I can imagine the pressure behind living and working very close to him will make these thoughts constantly race in your head. You have no escape!!! Do you? I don't know .. but I don't think I'd feel comfortable unless either one of us moved away or I spoke to them. So my suggestion is to relax, you know life will move on, you know that special ESFJ you've found? There's A LOT more of them, just with subtle differences that end up sweeping you off your feet without you ever being aware of their aura (Probably because you're too lost in thought!)

    I know it might sound silly, but I'm sure I've read in several places that our racing thoughts are the most brilliant but also the most blinding in order to figure out our inner worlds. What I'm trying to say is, spending too much time thinking about a specific subject leaves you missing a lot in the present. The present, the reality that we believe we know is also a GREAT place to have fun too.
    dreamygirl thanked this post.

  11. #10
    INFP - The Idealists


    Wait! I have a new idea. It's going to be about experiments and imaginary laboratories! I can feel your anticipation! Or is that mine? who cares! Rock N Roll! Okay, let me type it!
    dreamygirl thanked this post.


     
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