This is a discussion on INFPs with INTPs: fascination, passion, confusion, hurt and heartbreak. within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; deleting stuff...........................
Last edited by ethylester; 11-14-2010 at 07:51 PM. Reason: it posted my reply twice.
Do you know how these emotions work? Are there any insightful generalization about these processes?
I've noticed INFPs seem unable to express a it themselves. A very common phrase here is-- you need to 'get it', or you 'just don't get it'. I'm not sure if I 'get it', which likely means I don't. It's like you need a special pair of eyes to see through theirs.
Thanks for sharing your experiences Ethylester. It's throwing a lot of light on some problem areas in a previous relationship I had. Don't mind me if I just have to capitalize your name.
For us INTPs, everything is an intellectual concept and needs to be understood if it isn't already. I think we usually apply this to ourselves and who we are too. For us, this is no way belittles the object of study, due to the almost sacred nature of the quest for Truth (which usually feels as though it is just around the corner, awaiting our discovery).
In fact, we feel like we are paying a tribute to the concept we are studying. Whereas I'm guessing most INFPs would rather be anywhere than under the analytical scalpal.
And with this realization, I profoundly hope I am not annoying you.
But there is one thing that doesn't sit right. One the one hand, I have heard INFPs complain on many a forum that they are not 'understood'. And yet, were I to attempt to understand you, you might feel attacked. It is as though do not wish to be understood intellectually. Perhaps you wish to be understood on some unfathomable, inexpressible level...
And since we INTPs can't do that, then we should learn when to back off. Aw shit.
Once again I think that is very insightful. It can feel like an analytical scalpal. I apply this scalpal to myself a lot so i think in someways both infp and intp are engaged in this quest, except for the infp it is very personal and that could be where conflict can arise. I think the scalpal is a good analogy but when dealing with infps, imagine that you are performing surgery on a living thing, so the exploratory cuts must be made carefully if you don't want to cause harm.
But I really believe that love conquers all so it is quite possible for the two personalities to overcome their differences and value each other at the deepest level.
Infp like to be understood on the intellectual and emotional level because both are connected for us. I understand that this is difficult and to be honest we can be difficult people, which is why we are very careful to try and avoid conflict on this emotional/intellectual level because it can get personal.
Last edited by Luke; 11-15-2010 at 04:56 AM.
So, there is hope. I'm reading: not necessarily back off, but tread softly.
Your posts strongly remind me of these lines by Yeats:
"But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."
I had been frustrated for a while and I was letting him know on and off for a few years that it was frustrating to me. But little by little, he has been showing more responsibility and each time he does, I make sure to notice it and point it out and thank him for it. Simple stuff like taking out the garbage and helping with chores... I work full time I also volunteer, I am not home half the time. He spends a lot of his day reading at home if he's not picking up a few hours at his part time job (some weeks he only works 9 hours). I was resentful that even though I had the busier schedule by a long shot, I was still the one doing most/all of the housework on top of this. Anyway, I begrudgingly confronted him about it many times and to my utmost pleasure he has taken on a few daily chores and it makes me so happy and I let him know that!! that's what I mean when I say he shows his love for me in actions as opposed to verbally. I know he's helping out at home because he knows it makes me happy. (plus I'm a horrible housekeeper and he does a much better job! much more thorough! )I can totally picture this, my ex expressed the same annoyances with me. When I get into relationships, I can become even more disorganized introverted, allowing my partner to pick up the work. That's pretty wrong and immature I know. I think it's that the compulsion in us to immerse ourselves in our systems, research and projects is so strong that we can take advantage of any situation which allows us to do that more. When we are being looked after, and having our social obligations arranged by another, it allows us more energy to do so. This must be particularly frustrating for a partner who is not inclined to organize and extrovert either.
As for his gripes about me, I remember he once complained to me that if felt like he had to ask permission whenever he wanted to do something or go somewhere. I took that kind of hard because I really didn't see that, and I had no idea why he thought that. I thought I was always encouraging him to go off and do his thing. I like having time alone, if he wants to go away for a few days, I would never try to stop him (in fact last year he bought himself a round trip train ticket to san francisco without telling me first. He wanted to visit his best friend and it didn't bother me at all, I was happy for him!) And when I had plans that I wanted to include him in, I always asked him first if he wanted to be included, I didn't just assume. But I guess there was something else I was doing, and I'm still not sure what exactly it was... I just hope he still doesn't feel that way because I would hate to be that crazy wife that tells her husband what to do. I would despise myself, actually. I always remember with admiration the stories of John Muir and his wife. John Muir would sometimes just leave the house with a packed lunch, say "bye, I don't know how long I'll be" and disappear into the woods for two weeks, climbing to the tops of trees in lightning storms and having staring contests with bears. His wife didn't mind, she thought it was cool. I always wanted to be John Muir's wife.I think this is the magic of the INFP / INTP combination. Ive experienced this very intensely, some of the happiest moments of my life have been conversations with INFPs in which our conversations have taken such imaginative, unrestricted, hilarious leaps, that have left us howling with laughter. The combination seems to just compliment each other in this respect.
Isn't it magical?? That was the first thing that struck me about our relationship. It was beautiful! We could go off on tangents for hours and laugh and laugh about nothing. Pure fantasy. On the first day of our honeymoon we took a train tour for a day and I will always remember that we sat there for hours making up limericks off the top of our heads. He'd start it off, then I'd do a line, then he'd do a line, etc. We just spoke back and forth in limericks for hours. It was great. Then we started speaking to each other using homonyms and trying to make up sentences with as many of them as possible. Then the sentences became punchlines to jokes. I can't help but wonder what the people behind us were thinking when they overheard our conversations. It was awesome. The limerick theme lasted for the full two weeks of the honeymoon, as we'd break into it randomly. I could never imagine having that experience with anyone else. To me, THAT is what is amazing about our relationship. THAT is what keeps me coming back for more.
Another thing about INFP is that we NEED a space where we can talk about our feelings. It's essential to our survival. I realized that my husband is NOT that place. As long as the INFP realizes that s/he can't rely on the INTP to be the sole provider of her/his emotional needs, then it can work. I need more than just a person I can vent to who may respond with two or three sentences after I've sat there crying for an hour. I need more than that and I take care of it elsewhere. (I come here, I volunteer at a crisis hotline, I train people to be crisis counselors, I have many journals, I have other friends, I used to see a therapist, etc) If I didn't have these extra means for helping me with my emotions, I don't think I would be happy at all. My INTP husband can try and try but I need more than what he is capable of. With this understood, we can both be happy.
Sometimes I do have trouble sorting and verbalizing it for others to understand, though. This is because I have so much going on in my head all the time that it has to be compressed into just little "impressions," concepts which can be expanded to be pages of text and pictures' worth of ideas. To turn those all into one coherent dialogue can be tricky.We want our moral, personal, and emotional life/selves understood. We tend to be a bit on edge when people approach us and understand us from a highly functionalist or logical perspective because often we feel they are trying to convince us that our ethical framework and emotional experience are somehow invalid through rationality. It just doesn't seem that they're trying to understand us, then. It feels like they are trying to disprove or belittle us in some way.Originally Posted by Kaj
I agree with you. I think it does depend on the INFP's maturity (and INTP's). INFPs are idealists, but we have to be realists too when it comes to certain things. You have to know that you and the INTP are different and you have to respect that. He sees things through a rational lens and you don't. Accept this. Find ways where you can both be fulfilling your rational and emotional needs that don't include that other person. For him, he joined a book club. For me, I volunteer helping people in crisis. Together but separate. I would not want to join his book club and he would never work out as a crisis counselor. And that's fine.
Also, I am always hearing about the INTP's arrogance and tendency to belittle the INFP. I don't get that from my guy, so I guess I'm lucky. I got it more from my ex who was INTJ, who was extremely arrogant and belittling to me. My husband at least attempts to understand me and respect how I am feeling. He might not agree with it, but he will say that it's fine for me to feel how I feel and not try to change me to tell me I'm wrong. He's very open to whatever. For example, with religion, he is a strict atheist. I'm agnostic. We totally butt heads about this to the point where one discussion ended with me in tears. He is SO SURE he is right about his beliefs and I am so sure about mine, that it seems impossible to connect. So we have agreed to disagree and we just don't talk about it anymore. I never was belittled by him, more just shut out. and he probably felt annoyed with me. With my ex, the INTJ, he would have made some cutting remarks about my character and said hurtful things to me about ME as opposed to about the topic at hand. The difference is my husband the INTP would never put ME down, just my ideas. The INTJ would actually put ME down, which I could not tolerate.