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So I -an infp- have been dating my intp-boyfriend for over a year, and we've been friends for 4 years. We have a running joke that I'm his emotionally needy girlfriend and that he's my frustrated boyfriend. Lately his being frustrated has been weighing me down, to the point that I feel like distancing myself from him. However, I have no intention to leave the relationship, I believe he's becoming my soulmate. I'll try to be succinct with what the issue is.

My boyfriend had a difficult childhood and felt out of place from a young age on. He thinks the culturally degenerate environment/society he grew up in ruined his great potential, so that he never got the life he deserved. Growing up he was never that motivated to excel in school or take serious his musical education, because he was so dissatisfied with the world. Now he regrets that attitude and wants to do whatever it takes to still be successful. I however, though I felt/feel an outsider in my own way, have always been a diligent student. Seeing me do better in some areas makes him jealous. He believes everything comes easier to me.

Crudely said, I have a hard time completely believing his story. I think he overvalues himself and undervalues other people('s intelligence), and that he has a simplistic view of how easy things are for other people. I want to be an understanding and supportive girlfriend (wasn't I supposed to be of the Healer/Helper type?), but often I end up either arguing with him about how realistic his story is, or telling him that life isn't fair and he should just focus on what he can achieve now. He doesn't appreciate any of my 'but look on the bright side!' comments, so I stopped giving him those. Personally, it really helps when someone just tries to validate my feelings, but how can I validate feelings I believe are based on unhelpful, exaggerated beliefs?

How can I support him better? And how can I prevent myself from being weighed down by his frustrations (and consequently grow cold towards him)?

Help, please?

Many thanks in advance for reading/answering.
 

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I know what I would tell him in that situation, but that doesn't necessarily mean it would be helpful.
However you are on the INTP forum, we are the last type who could help you with how you feel.

You are right to be frustrated, but speaking to him on an emotional level isn't helpful. There really isn't a silver lining for INTP's. There is a good side and bad side to everything, and he should focus on being successful now. Being successful is hard work and requires self-disicpline. There's no instant gratification, and it doesn't really make for an awesome "bright side" but he will be successful.

Personally I'd tell him he's wasting his time with what ifs. It is what it is. If he actually wants to be successful then he should work with what he has. If doesn't want to be successful then he can keep blaming other's for his mistakes.
 

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Start by giving actual solutions and not just emotional support. I don't know your INTP so I can't judge how much he values it but generally INTPs find emotional support to be pointless.

So try to come up with things he could do to better his situation and then present these ideas in a positive manner. That would be the right approach which would actually solve something.

If there's one thing I hate it's when people "want to help" but they don't actually do anything substantial. They simply say "everything will be fine" which is a lie in itself and nothing else.

Support doesn't solve problems. Ideas and effort does.
 

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A jealous or degrading other people (or undervaluing in your case) while overvaluing himself sounds like an immature INTP. He needs to get over his dissatisfaction with the world, because the world would still move on even without him. Life is hard, and not what everyone expects it to be; everyone struggles with these issues. If he has regressed to the point where he doesn't even take in any constructive criticisms, then I'd say there's no point. He has to figure this out himself. This is as real of an answer as I can give.
 

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No one 'deserves' a happy and fulfilling life. If he thinks he's entitled to one then he needs to wake up. Life is random, you start with what you're given, and by the sounds of it he's been lucky enough to find a person like you. There aren't many people willing to stick it out when they realize their partner has some pretty deep issues.
 

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Find ways to make his strengths observable and undeniable. Clearly he believes in his abilities and everyone else's comparable incompetence. If this were true then there has to be some empirical means by which to show this. If there isn't, then either it's too obscure to ever matter to anyone but himself, or/and he is dellusional.

Personally, it's pretty easy to see how one person has capabilities another person doesn't have, so it shouldn't be too difficult to do. To get hung up on your successes is just plain shallow. An end is meaningless without a means. His resulting in the same success isn't comparable at all, you're different people. Winners vs. losers is just shallow self-absorbed pride.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I know what I would tell him in that situation, but that doesn't necessarily mean it would be helpful.
..
You are right to be frustrated, but speaking to him on an emotional level isn't helpful.
What would you tell him?

Start by giving actual solutions and not just emotional support.
...
If there's one thing I hate it's when people "want to help" but they don't actually do anything substantial. They simply say "everything will be fine" which is a lie in itself and nothing else.

Support doesn't solve problems. Ideas and effort does.
I would usually point to the many possibilities he still has to improve his life (idealistic use of Ne?), but perhaps I should go a step further and say "things (not everything) might get better if you work for it in such and such a way". Thing is, he actually already works hard to think of solutions himself, he's more mad at the world for making him work so hard, while others don't have to.

If he has regressed to the point where he doesn't even take in any constructive criticisms, then I'd say there's no point. He has to figure this out himself.
In general he is open to constructive criticism, and he has worked on other issues we have had in our relationship in the past. It just seems he's too invested in this particular story of his life to think outside of it/take serious evidence that speaks to the contrary of it.

To get hung up on your successes is just plain shallow. An end is meaningless without a means. His resulting in the same success isn't comparable at all, you're different people. Winners vs. losers is just shallow self-absorbed pride.
Hmm.. I would like to make clear to him that the superstar life isn't the only sort of life worth living, so he doesn't feel like all is lost when his 'wordly' successes are not what he imagines they could be, and it's less threathening to consider that his evaluation of himself and others isn't always correct (or at least, it lacks empirical evidence).

Thank you all for your points :hugs: .
 

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I mean, he sounds very immature, and blaming others for his problems sounds like a sure sign of childishness. Being jealous of you is also ridiculous. Your point about not appreciating your optimism sounds very much like some friendships I've had in the past that I needed to distance myself from- people that are that negative are often a drain on someone as positive as you seem to be.

You don't have to be understanding and supportive if he's being an idiot. You can just tell him he's being stupid. He may not respond well to that, but it seems like the most honest answer you can give. Validating his feelings will not help him. What he needs to do is take action and do something.

I would say at the point at which you realize you are somewhat resentful towards how frustrated he is, or at least see it as a large enough problem to post on an anonymous forum instead of talking to him about it, there already is a problem.

Has he always been an angry person?
 

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Lol. Well, we could blend some of the excellent INTP responses (so far) together...such as...on of the things kindly suggested by Mindbot. It might go down something like this with these blended responses, "I have a solution for you, stop being a whiny bitch baby." And then of course add the "please" and "thank you" in there somewhere to temporarily satisfy our Fe need. :wink:
 

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Make him watch Red Dwarf episode where Ace Rimmer comes from a different dimension and tells Lister the difference in his life-path compared to A. J. Rimmer.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimension_Jump_(Red_Dwarf_episode)
Ace later tells Lister he's decided to leave, as he cannot stand to see the spineless, bitter and self-obsessed excuse for a man he could have become. Lister is surprised to learn that, despite Rimmer's belief that Ace got a break, in fact it was quite the opposite... unlike Arnold, Ace was held back a year at school. While Rimmer was allowed to progress and spent the rest of his life making excuses, while the humiliation of being kept down forced Ace to knuckle down and fight back. Ace bids Lister farewell, telling him there's many more universes to visit and many more Arnold Rimmers to meet and maybe someday he'll encounter one who is even more of an arsehole than the one he met aboard Red Dwarf... but he doubts it.
Also if he wants to make progress, he should apply some stoic principles - like stop worrying about what he cannot control (the life he had) and focus on what he can (the life that is in front of him).

And than support him with the small steps. The problem is that the fruits of one's labor comes after a time of devotion to the work. What he will probably struggle with is Ne and seeking instant gratification. What I can see as a good motivation for INTP is someone interested in his work. Be happy for his first little successes for him if he can't (and feels useless) and believe in him.

At the start all the new creative work and improving-self looks bad. If I bitched at the start of this painting that I did not attend artistic school, but instead failed pharmacy on university to make bio-medical engineering diploma in the end, I would have not made it to the last frame. Made it over period of almost month, some people would make it in fraction of time... but I was just curious what I am able to do. Awaken his curiosity about what he can accomplish.
Alexandria_progress.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I would say at the point at which you realize you are somewhat resentful towards how frustrated he is, or at least see it as a large enough problem to post on an anonymous forum instead of talking to him about it, there already is a problem.

Has he always been an angry person?
Yes, there is a (communication) problem, one I am not able to solve with my usual methods, so that is why I came here. I'm planning on having "the talk" eventually.

I guess he was angry before, privately. You don't see an intp (or infp for that matter) share their deepest feelings/frustrations with just anyone. I'm one of the few people he can confide in, which might make it all the more intense for me.

He sounds like a whiny bitch baby, why are you with him?
There are many reasons, he has also a caring, committed, witty and honest side.
 

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Personally I'd tell him he's wasting his time with what ifs. It is what it is. If he actually wants to be successful then he should work with what he has. If doesn't want to be successful then he can keep blaming other's for his mistakes.
Yeah, I agree with that and other suggestions about giving him practical advice to help him achieve what he desires.

Adeline, I know your heart is in the right place by trying to emotionally encourage him especially with positive thinking, but I know for me that kind of thing does very very little for me. It doesn't inspire me to do better, I just feel like I'm trying to build a house and someone handed me a foam hammer, it can't do anything for me that's helpful.

I do better with a blunter touch. Even if he wasn't treated fairly by life, he still has to work with what he has and do the best he can with it, or nothing will change. No one else will fix his life for him. In the end, it is his life to make or break, to push through or to give up on.

Along with that, if you can help him (1) break down the steps to reach his goal into concrete singular steps and then (2) help him on the ones that you can help him with, then he might help him. It's easy to have a big broad goal, harder to transform that into a list of accomplishable tasks. (For example, to "go to the moon" you would break it down into all the things you need, then break that down into specific steps necessary to get each of those things, etc. Just thinking "I want to go to the moon" isn't really a successful strategy.) Breaking things down was not an easy thing for me to learn but I have found it makes my goals much easier to achieve.

I will also admit earlier in life I really did assume the same thing -- that somehow others who had been successful had an easier time of things than me, through luck or positioning or whatever else. I really did not understand the power of discipline and hard work. The more experience I got, I realized often the maxim "there is no free lunch" is true, and even people with talent have to work so that they are positioned to take advantage of their talent and the lucky moments that might come within reach.
 

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What would you tell him?



I would usually point to the many possibilities he still has to improve his life (idealistic use of Ne?), but perhaps I should go a step further and say "things (not everything) might get better if you work for it in such and such a way". Thing is, he actually already works hard to think of solutions himself, he's more mad at the world for making him work so hard, while others don't have to.



In general he is open to constructive criticism, and he has worked on other issues we have had in our relationship in the past. It just seems he's too invested in this particular story of his life to think outside of it/take serious evidence that speaks to the contrary of it.



Hmm.. I would like to make clear to him that the superstar life isn't the only sort of life worth living, so he doesn't feel like all is lost when his 'wordly' successes are not what he imagines they could be, and it's less threathening to consider that his evaluation of himself and others isn't always correct (or at least, it lacks empirical evidence).

Thank you all for your points :hugs: .
I can't know what sort of disadvantage he had, but as long as he's still got a good head on his shoulders... I mean... are you sure he's an INTP? And if he is, what exactly is important to him?

You know what, how 'bout this: tell him to figure out what's important to himself and do it. And that whatever he's thinking about that's not important to himself is probably just getting in the way of him doing the important stuff. That he can keep on thinking unimportant things, but that he's really just going to be shooting himself in the foot for doing it.
 

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So I -an infp- have been dating my intp-boyfriend for over a year, and we've been friends for 4 years. We have a running joke that I'm his emotionally needy girlfriend and that he's my frustrated boyfriend. Lately his being frustrated has been weighing me down, to the point that I feel like distancing myself from him. However, I have no intention to leave the relationship, I believe he's becoming my soulmate. I'll try to be succinct with what the issue is.

My boyfriend had a difficult childhood and felt out of place from a young age on. He thinks the culturally degenerate environment/society he grew up in ruined his great potential, so that he never got the life he deserved. Growing up he was never that motivated to excel in school or take serious his musical education, because he was so dissatisfied with the world. Now he regrets that attitude and wants to do whatever it takes to still be successful. I however, though I felt/feel an outsider in my own way, have always been a diligent student. Seeing me do better in some areas makes him jealous. He believes everything comes easier to me.

Crudely said, I have a hard time completely believing his story. I think he overvalues himself and undervalues other people('s intelligence), and that he has a simplistic view of how easy things are for other people. I want to be an understanding and supportive girlfriend (wasn't I supposed to be of the Healer/Helper type?), but often I end up either arguing with him about how realistic his story is, or telling him that life isn't fair and he should just focus on what he can achieve now. He doesn't appreciate any of my 'but look on the bright side!' comments, so I stopped giving him those. Personally, it really helps when someone just tries to validate my feelings, but how can I validate feelings I believe are based on unhelpful, exaggerated beliefs?

How can I support him better? And how can I prevent myself from being weighed down by his frustrations (and consequently grow cold towards him)?

Help, please?

Many thanks in advance for reading/answering.
He needs to buck up.

I would be more concerned about how this is effecting you.

Listen to this video and ask yourself if you identify with what is being described as a dependent personality?

 

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Discussion Starter #17
I can't know what sort of disadvantage he had, but as long as he's still got a good head on his shoulders... I mean... are you sure he's an INTP? And if he is, what exactly is important to him?

You know what, how 'bout this: tell him to figure out what's important to himself and do it. And that whatever he's thinking about that's not important to himself is probably just getting in the way of him doing the important stuff. That he can keep on thinking unimportant things, but that he's really just going to be shooting himself in the foot for doing it.
I'm certain he is an xNTx, and confident he is an INTP. I think that's an important question to ask him, thank you.

He needs to buck up.

I would be more concerned about how this is effecting you.

Listen to this video and ask yourself if you identify with what is being described as a dependent personality?
Oh wow, yes, to some extent. I wouldn't say my relationship with my boyfriend is completely onesided, since he shows interest in my well-being as well, but it does have some traits of it. In general I find myself 'called' to stick by (or even seek out?) people who are not doing well, so I should do some soulsearching to see what needs of my own I am trying to fulfil in doing so.

Thanks for putting me in front of that mirror!

I guess the video also answered my last question, what I should do to prevent myself from being weighed down: set boundaries and assert my own needs.

I'll have to explain to him how his attitude is affecting me and ask him to not bring his frustrations up as often unless it's in a constructive way.
 

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The attitude that "I got screwed by life" cannot possibly be helpful.

If he wants to succeed better in life, then he needs to stop making excuses and go do it. Set goals that he wants to achieve then meet them.

I do identify with what he's feeling. But for me the root is there are many things I'd like to be better at, but I never seem to find the time-- too unfocused. If that's what's happening to him, then he needs to focus on one or two specific things and get to the rest later.

As to what you can do.. If he's a typical INTP, preaching to him isn't going to work, scheduling him isn't going to work. The thing with the best chance of success I think would be to give him challenges. Dare him to achieve certain goals by certain times. Challenges and deadlines seem effective in getting unmotivated INTPs motivated.
 

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Start by giving actual solutions and not just emotional support. I don't know your INTP so I can't judge how much he values it but generally INTPs find emotional support to be pointless.
Instinctively I wan't to agree with you but I'm not sure I do when I think about it.
Thinking up solutions are what I am good at, when it comes to practical and pure philosophical solutions. When it comes to emotional solutions...not so much. Practical solutions can in the end lead to an emotional solution sure, so I can help that way too, indirectly, but straight to an emotional solution, no, I don't know how - if you count out pure suppression of said emotions that is, but we all know, most of us rationally, many of us by experience, that that is not a real solution.
What I suck at is giving people, especially myself, good emotional support. That is what's making me fall, I can lift a hundred tone above my head but what does it matter when I have no ground to stand on.
So that is exactly what I need to be able to reach high potential.
 
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