[ESFJ] HELP! An INTJ female seeks to better understand an ESFJ male

HELP! An INTJ female seeks to better understand an ESFJ male

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This is a discussion on HELP! An INTJ female seeks to better understand an ESFJ male within the ESFJ Forum - The Caregivers forums, part of the SJ's Temperament Forum- The Overseers category; So,,,,,I am an INTJ female who had been talking to an ESFJ male. We grew up together so I have ...

  1. #1
    INTJ - The Scientists

    HELP! An INTJ female seeks to better understand an ESFJ male

    So,,,,,I am an INTJ female who had been talking to an ESFJ male. We grew up together so I have known him most of my life, while not being terribly close to him. We became reacquainted as adults about 6 months ago, and really hit it off. I naturally don't open up to people that quickly, but with him it was different (maybe because I felt more comfortable in somewhat knowing him and his background, etc). We were carrying on a fun and easy relationship, and taking things slow which seemed just fine with us both (especially since it was long distance). I am in the process of applying to grad school, and he convinced me to apply in the city where he lives which I happily did (I figured why not?!). I had been out to see him on several occasions, and things were great. He was so affectionate, caring, and you couldn't help but just adore him. In the mean time we kept in touch as much as possible via phone/text. As we are both very busy it certainly wasn't an issue of quantity, but I always felt there was substance and quality in our communications.

    So, as my winter break approached I brought up the subject of coming out to visit since I would have a significant amount of time out of school. His vibe was slightly hesitant, but he went for it and seemed excited. We discussed in advance that he would be very busy with work, and would be unable to take time off which I assured him was no big deal. I am very independent and have no problem "doing my own thing", and I told him I would be happy just to hang out for a little bit in the evenings and just do simple things (cook dinner, watch tv, etc). So, I go to visit him and everything starts off just fine. He was very excited to see me and we were having a good time. The first few days go by great, although I could tell he was tired. After the first few days I think the exhaustion started to get to him more, and he started to withdraw a bit which in turn made me withdraw a bit and get a little upset. At this point I think there was a significant lack of communication, and a lot of misperceptions between us both. Long story short instead of talking about it, it boiled over. So, about a week into it I made a snarky remark to which he proceeded to unload on me. He didn't raise his voice, and he wasn't mean but I could tell he was heated. And he was just completely unemotional and cold and basically told me he didn't feel the same way about me anymore, and that he was done, and I should go home. I was completely floored, didn't have much to say, and besides I needed some time to go "think" about what had just happened. I didn't show any emotion in front of him.

    So after about a day of thinking about it, and letting us both cool off a bit I asked him to sit down and talk with me about what was going on. He was still pretty distant and guarded, but he was no longer angry like he had been previously. Basically in a nutshell he then told me that he was not sure what he felt about me, but that he just felt overwhelmed for a variety of reasons (mainly being work and family, which since they are both intertwined is like a double whammy for him) and felt like he couldn't give me what he felt that I needed. So he felt like he needed to take a "break", and he needed some space. On a brief subsequent conversation he mentioned that he "wasn't sure if he had feelings for me or not, but that he was choosing not to deal with it at the moment" due to his current obligations. He also said "you never know I might call you one day crying (basically implying that he might wake up and one day realize that he does in fact have feelings).

    So for the rest of my time there (we agreed that I would stay a few extra days, but still cut the trip short) he seemed very distant emotionally and physically withdrawn but I have to admit it seemed rather forced, but I wanted to honor his need for space and I did not push the issue with him. In the last few days he seemed to soften a little bit, and became a little more affectionate (albeit nowhere on the scale of how he was prior).

    I have been back about a week now, and we have had a few really friendly texts (he wanted to make sure I made it home ok, and there was something he needed to mail to me), but that is it. I want to give him the space that he claims he needs, and not pressure or overwhelm him. But I am utterly mystified by his behavior, and how it changed so dramatically so quickly. Funny enough the last night I was there his family was doing personality testing, and we discovered what our types were. After much research I feel like I understand a lot more about us both, and I saw a lot of things where we went wrong especially in my communications with him, and how he could have grossly misinterpreted me.

    So, ultimately I think it was just a miscommunication and we haven't learned how to effectively communicate with each other on some levels. But, I wonder is this kind of behavior common among ESFJ'S (particularly males since there is a strong gender role influence)? Do they "come back around"? What is a good way to communicate effectively with him? I would like to understand him better and what his needs are so that if things do turn around I can handle the situation differently, in a way that will not be misinterpreted.
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  2. #2
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    I read through this and I can imagine myself in the same situation.

    I can imagine myself saying i had no time to do anything and refusing to take time off work, putting work above pretty much all else. I feel like I have a duty towards work and I'd feel bad if I didn't fulfill it (I hate taking sick days even if i'm sick).

    I can 100% understand not saying anything and then suddenly unloading and being a horrible person. That's what happens to me, and I always feel bad about it. If something pisses me off and I actually am worried about it, I'll do the same thing as he did. I will be very short and abrupt with my answers, but if pestered I'll then probably give a long spiel about it; and I will cave over time and want to be nice again just because that's what I like doing...

    So I don't see his behaviour out of character, I know it seems irrational, but myself as an ESFJ I understand it all quite perfectly. They will come back around if you are nice to them when they want it. Effective communication is kind of hard if you've pissed him off, they probably will come around but it really depends.

    All people are different and they have different needs, I love to do technical work for instance. an ESFJ wants to feel wanted, ignoring them is probably the best way to get their attention ironically. Tease them a little and then give them nothing. I don't suggest doing this though, it is quite cruel! trust me! it can be all i think about for days if not weeks if people do it right!

  3. #3
    ESFJ - The Caregivers

    All people are different and they have different needs, I love to do technical work for instance. an ESFJ wants to feel wanted, ignoring them is probably the best way to get their attention ironically. Tease them a little and then give them nothing. I don't suggest doing this though, it is quite cruel! trust me! it can be all i think about for days if not weeks if people do it right!
    lol. This is SO true. =P

    Honestly, he sounds like he got burnt out. . . he felt like everyone needed him and he couldn't fulfill everyones needs. Also, it sounds like it's the first time he's been close to an INTJ on an emotional level. . . we especially get burnt out needlessly the first time, [you take getting used to.] We don't realize that you all enjoy space and we don't need to entertain you twenty-four seven. =P When we finally realize this it can be very relaxing for us. . . we'll start spending more and more time with y'all just relaxing.

    However, if you said something extremely cool that came across as disloyal or completely unfair it will either take him a long time to get over it, or he'll never get over it.

    If you just got cool like a normal INTJ does he'll probably start regretting things pretty soon. . . but he may not get back to emotional balance for a while. . . .

    When he does get back to emotional balance, you may want to explain things to him [personality wise] and make a logical argument as to how you want to try things out again. . . [as well as an emotional one.]

    If he still acts cooly then, I'd say move on. He may begin to chase you after this, but it's most likely not because he wants you back, it's because he wants your attention back.

    Good luck. =)
    Mad_Scientist thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    INTJ - The Scientists

    "They will come back around if you are nice to them when they want it."

    So, I am curious about what you mean regarding the "when they want it" part. Are you meaning he has to be receptive to my attention almost to the point of seeking it? As in not being pissed off anymore? Or something else?

    "an ESFJ wants to feel wanted, ignoring them is probably the best way to get their attention ironically. Tease them a little and then give them nothing."

    So, like I mentioned before I want to give him his space because that is what he said he needed. But, does this mean I shouldn't just go MIA on him completely? Give him little bits of attention here and there, and see how receptive/unreceptive he is while at the same time still kind of back off (just not completely)? I guess I feel like i don't want to pester him, and I certainly don't want to make him feel overwhelmed. Since we have had limited contact since I returned home I am not sure if he has had enough time to kind of re-set. I know when I say I need space that means leave me completely alone, but is this not necessarily the case with an ESFJ?

    Thank you so much for replying! It has been most insightful! : )

  6. #5
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by gurlygurl View Post
    lol. This is SO true. =P

    Honestly, he sounds like he got burnt out. . . he felt like everyone needed him and he couldn't fulfill everyones needs. Also, it sounds like it's the first time he's been close to an INTJ on an emotional level. . . we especially get burnt out needlessly the first time, [you take getting used to.] We don't realize that you all enjoy space and we don't need to entertain you twenty-four seven. =P When we finally realize this it can be very relaxing for us. . . we'll start spending more and more time with y'all just relaxing.

    However, if you said something extremely cool that came across as disloyal or completely unfair it will either take him a long time to get over it, or he'll never get over it.

    If you just got cool like a normal INTJ does he'll probably start regretting things pretty soon. . . but he may not get back to emotional balance for a while. . . .


    When he does get back to emotional balance, you may want to explain things to him [personality wise] and make a logical argument as to how you want to try things out again. . . [as well as an emotional one.]


    If he still acts cooly then, I'd say move on. He may begin to chase you after this, but it's most likely not because he wants you back, it's because he wants your attention back.

    Good luck. =)

    I think I am a rather unusual character to get used to, and most people don't even really bother to try I think because they have a hard time reading me. Even though he says he knows he doesn't have to babysit me, I am not so sure he entirely feels that way lol. It would be interesting to know if he has ever been with an INTJ before, I am guessing probably not.

    In your opinion,,,what would be an example of something that was "extremely cool" or "disloyal"? I don't think I did this, but then what do I know?!

    When you get emotionally unbalanced like this what is the time frame it takes you to return to a state of feeling normal again? I know no 2 people are the same, I am just trying to get a general understanding.

    As an ESFJ do you thrive on knowing other people's feelings and how they relate to them on an emotional level? I kind of assumed that I should be cool, calm, and collected because that is just kind of how I am naturally, but also because I thought guy's don't necessarily respond well to a lot of emotion in a charged situation. Obviously I was upset, but I made it a point to not "break down" in front of him. Was this good/bad?

    Thanks!!


     

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