[ISFJ] How to handle ex ISFJ. Does she need anything? Inconsistent behavior.

How to handle ex ISFJ. Does she need anything? Inconsistent behavior.

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This is a discussion on How to handle ex ISFJ. Does she need anything? Inconsistent behavior. within the ISFJ Forum - The Nurturers forums, part of the SJ's Temperament Forum- The Overseers category; Hi all! I'll try to keep it as simple as I can ... First - I'm a INTP (m). I ...

  1. #1
    INTP

    How to handle ex ISFJ. Does she need anything? Inconsistent behavior.

    Hi all! I'll try to keep it as simple as I can ... First - I'm a INTP (m). I share many traits with this type but I'm not a strict one (ex. I like small-talks). I figured out that my mom is an ISFJ so I kinda know how to handle that type. Of course there are things that makes me angry but as I am over 30 yo. I already know there is no perfect match :)

    Few month ago I met an ISFJ girl (but I wasn't aware of her type at that time).

    --- THE STORY ---

    She was shy. I was open, kind, etc. I managed to build trust. We started a relationship (aprox. 5mo). There was an intimacy, sex. We were meeting when she was able to (her day to day routines). I have freelance job and I'm flexible and adapt. I tried not to force her anyhow. However I might did some things unconsciously. Overall I copped with her very gently in an adaptive way (not forcing, asking, encouraging). One day I noticed she was stressed with my behavior in a strange manner. That made a bad impression as I invited her to my apartment while I was not ready. I had a harsh day, messy apartment that time etc .. I hadn't manage to welcome her in way I would like ... But you know life is life.

    there was a week that she had great stress. She was at the conference where she discused her scientific achievements. This has been contested. I was trying not to influence her anyhow, just to let her handle things by herself. I messaged her "how did it go?", And trying to support her a little. However at that time she was quiet and rarely messaged me. When she came back next day, we met and she told me that everything is great when she is beside me but she lacks some feelings. She wasn't able to explain more. And there started a 2-3 weeks of weird times.

    I just wanted some answers from her and consistent behavior. She was telling one thing ("we ned to end this now") and behave differently. Everytime when we met during that time she invited me to her apartment, we hug, drink wine, flirt. And that was her whom started to stroke my beard ... At one visit we even had sex.

    I managed to gain some info. She told me that her ex contacted her. He had just left her few months before we met (I was unaware). She told she had a strong feelings to him previously. She see me as a stable and confident, calm, good person while he is unbalanced and cry a lot, etc. She thinks, that our relationship will not survive. I said, ok. You're in a big mess, and I understand it. You want personal space, time - i'll give it to you. She gave me big seducing kiss, watched my eyes for a long time. I gave her a spank :) That was a peaceful separation. But she never said this is the end. Stop.

    I stopped all communication. She messaged me for first two weeks. I always answered but with a delay and without unnecessary emotions. Then she messaged me (circa) every 3-4 weeks. I answered with a delay and without emotions, but she stopped replying. Just a Ping-Pong.

    One of the last messages was "I thought we would be in touch, but you probably don't want it. Correct me if I'm wrong.". I answered that "I don't know what are the conclusions you have, but put your feelings and needs in the first place. You didn't continued the past conversations further despited the I've answered.". That was a month ago. Few days ago I received a notification that she started using new message app. I thought ... I've nothing to lose. Maybe I'm crude. I messaged her. And for the first time - she almost instantly answered. We had a quick chat. First time she asked me - "How are you?". I answered 'there are great days and some not so great, but overall everything is quite positive "but I didn't ask her the same. I jus said" I hope your days are at least as good as my" and I waited for a while for her answer. She didn't replied that case, but she switched to previous topic. I ended that I've got some work to do and "Have a good day".

    What is noticeable for me - we have each other on FB. I do rarely put some stories about my sport goals. She is always in the first three persons that watch my stories...

    ---- TLDR -----

    Dear ISFJ's. I don't know to think about her. I am aware of some things that are incompatible between us, however I'm a highly adaptable and open to people INTP. I don't know what to expect. I liked her. I wanted her. Now I'm aware that she is a kind of ISFJ. On the first thought our relationship was a rebound. But I noticed little things that are rather uncommon in that kind of relations. Maybe she is having a toxic relationships.

    I don't know if is wise to contact her again or to wait for her move. Or just leave it. For me some of the behavior is inconsistent. I might accept an friendship maybe. She do not initiate anything since last conversation (about week ago). What she as a ISFJ need at this point from me? Does she need anything?



  2. #2

    I don't totally understand the situation. On the one hand, she sees you as "stable and confident" while the ex is unbalanced and cries a lot. On the other hand, she thinks your relationship won't survive? That's pretty confusing to me.

    You say you gave her space to think things over, but did she want that space? BTW, space to think things over and stopping all communication are two different things. It's hard to say for sure, but as an ISFJ, someone stopping communication with me is pretty much the end of things. Also, the "I don't know what are the conclusions you have, but put your feelings and needs in the first place" statement would leave me pretty confused and feeling down. Maybe she wanted to you to fight for the relationship? (That is, show how much you care and how much you want her and the relationship back?) When you tell her to put her feelings and needs first, that doesn't give her much reassurance or encouragement.

    One thing to consider... some of her behavior may seem inconsistent to you, but to her it makes sense. For sure, she was still mixed up over her ex... the breakup was not that long before your relationship started. Still, having you over to her apartment was a good sign of interest, as was later on her continuing to message you every 3-4 weeks! Those are pretty strong indicators of interest.

    Do you want her back? If so, go for it. If she is really an ISFJ, you will need to show her you are steady, kind and consistent. I don't say this to criticize, but I can see where she might have thought your behavior was inconsistent and/or confusing. Good luck.

  3. #3
    INTP

    Thanks for answer. I'll put some details.

    Quote Originally Posted by AgileLight View Post
    I don't totally understand the situation. On the one hand, she sees you as "stable and confident" while the ex is unbalanced and cries a lot. On the other hand, she thinks your relationship won't survive? That's pretty confusing to me.
    ISFJ want to help... yeah? I'm self sufficent. He is lonley, he need help... So she need to help him. Isn't that ISFJ do? She had feeling to him, previously, maybe now. I think she couldn't develop mature feelings to me because she was attached to him. He had left her without any answers and came back after 6 months.

    For me her decision happened suddenly. I was wondering myself that something is wrong with her behavior before we split. I thought is was just her shy withdrawn nature. Most uncomfortable was a fact that we went for a few days abroad and mostly it was a wonderful time. We went to Spain (she wanted that, and asked me if we can).
    So during that two weeks after she told me her feelings: first I accepted what she told me and I told her that I understand. During that time I show her my interest but not in a heavy desperate form. I wrote a letter and went to her apartment, where I ask her what are that doubts she have. Why so suddenly? Have I done something wrong? What is going on? I'm also having some doubts because we haven't know enough each other but I want to try with you.
    After a week I wrote her that I am worried about her. We met that day. She said again - she feel that our relationship won't work out. I said ok, let's take ourselves some distance, since I am as well not in my best time. If you feel good enough to hangout tell me. One week later we went for a bike trip. She was distanced (no kissing, etc) but smiling. On that day I forced her to tell me more - "I don't where is this going. I wrote a letter but you hadn't answered the most important parts." She said that I wasn't giving her "the time" she needed. She told me then about her Ex. That day I said to her - Ok you're in na mess, I won't torment you. Pull yourself together. I'm involved but (at least for some time) if you want you can contact me for any reason.

    Since then I stoped to initiate communication, but tried not to completely ignore her.
    Mostly all of her messages were anchored around and triggered by my actions. I took part in running competitions - she congratulated me. I posted a photo from her hometown on IG (that was a part of another running competitions) - she wrote something about. Finally I left (after breakup) her umbrella at the reception of her work, but it was only given to her month ago - she wrote that part "I thought we would be in touch" and second time something like - she is happy that we met and share some time of our lives. She thanks me for I did for her.

    At the one hand I think she was just telling me goodbye, but on the other I think she saw that the umbrella was a last physical connection with me and she wanted to ask me "Correct me if I'm wrong." (about ending communication). That's why I wrote in reply - Put your feelings in the first place - meaning - i did reply to you several times and right now, you didn't continue because of me? if you want to talk just go with it !.

    But she stopped to communicate. And then I did the first move. I felt that is the last call, since she as a ISFJ is resistant to new stuff, is not common to join another messenger app ... Last time she did that when she met me. She is using Whatsapp only with me! Even she have my phone number, messenger, etc. However she often just write and leave. She is not using Whatsapp actively becaluse I can see her account was online one month ago.

    As I read it's quite common that ISFJ they get involved in some toxic relationships. I don't know anything what is going on in her life but I think she returned to her ex after we splitted. But now I think she is splitting with him again. That's why she installed a new app.

    My question is. If all of the above is true. Might she want to contact with me? But she is not doing anything. Should I do the first move again ...? But I did few days ago. I messaged her and we talk... But now there is silence again. How long should I wait?

    It's very tricky to handle such situation with ISFJ :) It's not the usual protocol I would use ...

    Quote Originally Posted by AgileLight View Post
    Do you want her back? If so, go for it. If she is really an ISFJ, you will need to show her you are steady, kind and consistent. I don't say this to criticize, but I can see where she might have thought your behavior was inconsistent and/or confusing. Good luck.
    Can you point it out?
    Last edited by rubarb; 08-21-2019 at 05:47 AM.

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  5. #4

    Some thoughts...

    -You're over 30. How old is she? Could it be that immaturity or lack of relationship experience on her part are factors here?

    -Unhealthy ISFJs may need to help. Healthier or more mature ISFJs may want to help but won't need to help others.

    -As much as I find value in MBTI typing, adult attachment styles are a far bigger factor in relationship success/failure. If you don't know your attachment style (or hers), I strongly recommend you learn about attachment styles and figure out your own. I can't seem to post links here, but check out the-love-compass dot com for descriptions of the styles. You can determine your attachment style at yourpersonality dot net/attachment/

    -I'm curious as to why you keep waiting for her to start up communication with you. AFAIK, an ISFJ who already feels pushed away or doubts your interest is unlikely to initiate.

    -Like I said above, giving someone space to think things over and stopping all communication are two different things. If I was mixed up, I might appreciate space, but I wouldn't appreciate lack of communication. It seems possible you gave her too much space and too little communication to keep anything going.

    -If you want her back, I wouldn't wait for her to contact you. Try again; make the first move. (What do you have to lose? You're not dating her now, so you can't lose her, right?) But be clear as soon as posssible that you are not just being "friendly" but want to date her again. Don't start the conversation with this, but eventually tell her how much you miss her and what you had together. Do this in person. Can you meet her for coffee or something?

  6. #5
    INTP

    Quote Originally Posted by AgileLight View Post
    Some thoughts...
    -You're over 30. How old is she? Could it be that immaturity or lack of relationship experience on her part are factors here?.
    almost 30
    Quote Originally Posted by AgileLight View Post
    -Unhealthy ISFJs may need to help. Healthier or more mature ISFJs may want to help but won't need to help others.
    Interesting... There is a difference ? :)
    Quote Originally Posted by AgileLight View Post
    -I'm curious as to why you keep waiting for her to start up communication with you. AFAIK, an ISFJ who already feels pushed away or doubts your interest is unlikely to initiate.
    Because if I set the strategy I try to stick to it. I made a mistake, when we splitted I said - It's all in your hands. But she quickly reponded - And yours.
    I didn't wanted to see that she was also wanting me to act. I rather placed in my mind my words ignoring her.

    Quote Originally Posted by AgileLight View Post
    -Like I said above, giving someone space to think things over and stopping all communication are two different things. If I was mixed up, I might appreciate space, but I wouldn't appreciate lack of communication. It seems possible you gave her too much space and too little communication to keep anything going.
    -If you want her back, I wouldn't wait for her to contact you. Try again; make the first move. (What do you have to lose? You're not dating her now, so you can't lose her, right?) But be clear as soon as posssible that you are not just being "friendly" but want to date her again. Don't start the conversation with this, but eventually tell her how much you miss her and what you had together. Do this in person. Can you meet her for coffee or something?
    Today i decided to take a chance and I wrote her something silly related to her PhD. I apologized that I am so distant person and that I feel bad and silly not even once trying to ask her how is she, regardless what we want from each other. Eventually it ended at the end on 2h hour long lazy chatting. She said that, she is not angry and she know that it was just a sondage what we want from each other. We didn't talk about relationship, just day-to-day things. At least I know she want to talk. And I feel excused that I didn't just left it.
    Lastly she wrote that she is happy that I wrote.

    Damm... what now ? :)

    Some silly remarks - she answered almost all subjects, and asked detail information (J trait?). Where there was a sad information (ex. my stolen bicycle bags) - she comforted. My plans - she cheered.

  7. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by rubarb View Post
    Today i decided to take a chance and I wrote her something silly related to her PhD. I apologized that I am so distant person and that I feel bad and silly not even once trying to ask her how is she, regardless what we want from each other. Eventually it ended at the end on 2h hour long lazy chatting. She said that, she is not angry and she know that it was just a sondage what we want from each other. We didn't talk about relationship, just day-to-day things. At least I know she want to talk. And I feel excused that I didn't just left it.
    Lastly she wrote that she is happy that I wrote.

    Damm... what now ? :)

    Some silly remarks - she answered almost all subjects, and asked detail information (J trait?). Where there was a sad information (ex. my stolen bicycle bags) - she comforted. My plans - she cheered.
    You talked for two hours, she answered all subjects, comforted and cheered, AND she's happy you wrote? Fantastic! That all sounds very promising. What now? Keep going. Talk one or two times more, then ask for a date, see what happens. Google 'dating an ISFJ.'

    Crap, I wish my relationships went this smoothly!

    _____
    BTW, I strongly recommend you learn about attachment styles. Heck, I recommend everyone who is in or wants a relationship learn about attachment styles. I can't emphasize it enough.

  8. #7
    INTP

    It's hard to establish if she want anything more from me. I know that she is probably really happy that I wrote what I wrote, regardless she told me other (that it's just OK). I wasn't enough cheerful for her unfortunately However the biggest case is that she is going abroad on vacation next week. I know that she needs it, everybody does. But I don't know if she has any company.
    Maybe I am wrong but at least 2h chat with me in my opinion wouldn't be possible if there was anybody next to her at that time. What do you think? How IFSJ would handle this?

    Crap, I wish my relationships went this smoothly!
    I don't see any smoothness here... :P It is still rather neutral, than engaging. However I was afraid that she'll "flush me in the toilet" as when I wrote on Whatsapp and message hadn't been deliver for few hours. I asked her using different app and she told me - I'll read in free time. But she hadn't for 10 h. So I wrote - "Does this free time means - piss off, i have more important things to do? Yeah, I probably earned it."
    She denied... :)

    The most difficult thing for me... and this is related to all ISFJ's I know (my mother, that girl) is to determine what does they want. Should I provide options? "Force her" in a gentle way to tell what she may want?

    All of this is for me a learning experience of handling such a delicate type. I know what my father did wrong in relation with my mother. I can see what to avoid, but still there is a riddle "what she want". Difficult part is that we don't see each other. We chat. You cannot transfer body language and feelings. I often told her that. Fun fact is that she told me few month ago - When you are around i feel good. But she avoided unnecessary meetings and she felt overwhelmed by my longer stay.
    Last edited by rubarb; 08-23-2019 at 05:17 AM.

  9. #8

    I don't have any more advice for you... maybe someone else from this forum will jump in here.

  10. #9
    INTP

    Could you tell how you as an ISFJ would like to be triggered to give some information about your hidden needs? Are you aware of your needs?

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by rubarb View Post
    Could you tell how you as an ISFJ would like to be triggered to give some information about your hidden needs?
    If the relationship is of reasonable duration and we have developed trust, my partner could simply ask me what I want. Everything in relationships is based on rapport, mutual respect and understanding, and willingness to hear the other person out.

    For example, if I reveal a want or need to my partner and they respond with an invalidating comment like "That's needy" or "Why would you want that?" then that decreases the trust between us. Even if said partner can't or doesn't want to fulfill that need of mine, invalidation creates an empathic rupture, which needs to be repaired if the relationship is to continue in a healthy manner. http://www.drpsychmom.com/2019/08/04...there-for-you/

    Quote Originally Posted by rubarb View Post
    Are you aware of your needs?
    In general, yes. Probably more than many people, less than some others. (Every human being has blind spots, after all! ). I'm probably less settled on things when a relationship is brand-new and we are still learning about each other. In terms of the five love languages, my first preference is words of affirmation, then quality time, acts of service, physical touch, with gifts in last place.

    I had more of an anxious attachment style when I was younger and would often try to hang in there and make a relationship work instead of taking a big-picture view of the situation and figuring out that the other person either wouldn't or couldn't make the necessary changes to make things work on their end. That is, of course, the definition of an anxious attachment style--hanging in there and trying to make things work. With time, experience, and knowledge of attachment styles, I've learned when to walk away.

    Does this answer your questions? I realize I answered in generalities, not specifics. I may be an ISFJ, but I can't speak for all ISFJs or your ISFJ. That's why I recommended googling 'dating an ISFJ.' There seem to be some good generalities in those lists. I like people who are calm, steady, and consistent. Who don't keep me guessing as to what they want or where they would like relationship to go once we've been steadily dating for, say, six months or more. It's okay if the other person doesn't know or hasn't decided yet, but I need them to tell me that's the case. In other words, I like positive, open, clear communication. No benching, no bread-crumbing.
    rubarb thanked this post.


     
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