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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never had the need to post to a forum considering everyone I know is "easy" to solve. I have come to a roadblock with a new acquaintance with whom I believe I can have an awesome friendship with. I met him at work and its interesting to me how he cares about everyone else; another interesting observation was he seems to require attention from everyone he bumps into. I'm quiet but its usually because I'm thinking on trying to figure everything out. Initially, the dynamic was energetic. Now, it seems like my ENFJ acquaintance is getting bored of me. When we ride in the car together, I find it difficult to strike up a conversation. How can I improve the flow of communication? A bit ago, I was unsure if I wanted to pursue a friendship but my feeling counterpart (INFJ) helped me realize that I do care about my ENFJ acquaintance. He's going to be my roommate soon and I don't want to live with a stranger. Even though I am an INTJ, I have developed my Fe enough to understand others. My ENFJ acquaintance, on the hand, is beyond my scope of understanding. I can foresee a powerful dynamic between myself and ENFJ, but I can't connect. Any advice or experiences to help me understand would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Well what do ya know about the guy- interests, opinions, demeanor, observations of behaviour with you in particular?

Dunno enough about who he is or your dynamic yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I know that we are interested in cars and technology. As far as interactions, initially it was energetic. Now, it seems that communication has slowed down to a stop. We rode together around town and I had difficulty coming up with subjects for conversation. Whenever I do ask a question, his answers seem short. As if, no consideration is being taken in generating a genuine response. I notice that he is more social and vocal around others but when it him and myself, the dynamic is gone. One thing I noticed was whenever we do have conversations while drinking, he has almost no problem speaking. It's then when I do get the chance to learn about him.
 

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I have noticed that when he is around others with excitement. He is just as excited. But with me, he becomes serious. I'm thinking that because I'm serious, I assume he does the same thing. I would like to see his more energy from him, it's a good stress reliever for both.
 

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Thanks, some questions:

Would you say that you have a genuine connection? Or is it more a formal interaction between the both of you?

Have there been any other topics of interest or conversation that have been enjoyable? Also anything you've noted from drunken conversations.

This may be a purely subjective answer, but does he appear, more bored or simply content?

Him just vibing with you is a sound assumption, perhaps he is unaware of any of your other interests, or favoured discussion topics? Or, perhaps he thinks you're already content with the state of conversation? Also, who generally initiates or guides conversation flow?
 

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I would think the behavior you describing to be uncharacteristic of ENFJ. He is either intimidated by you or just doesn't like you for whatever reason. Best case scenario, he is under the impression that you value silence and thoughtfulness and doesn't want to disturb you. But since it looks like you are starting conversations, I would think he'd get the message pretty quickly. We generally get the vibe from another person, and are happy to support the flow of conversation.
 

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This sounds to me like he is not quite as comfortable with you as he is with other people. The clue you are looking at here is his behavior when he is cutting loose or drinking.

Another possibility is he may feel on some level that you are much more serious or introverted than him, so he is less...excited...when he is around you. My question would be why he feels the need to tone down his true behavior in your presence. How long have you known him? It's hard for some of us to be our true selves if we do not feel comfortable with certain people.

I know some INTJ people IRL and well, to put it mildly, some times you guys come off very stiff or very serious to me. Generally I don't like to disrupt group dynamics so if people are behaving a certain way or coming off a certain way, I will try to not change that.

You say he is a new acquaintance. It's possible he feels like he doesn't know you very well yet and is just shy around you because you are a new person in his life. Keep in mind that dynamics between people are not always based on type, but could also be based on whatever is going on in their lives, the setting, other people around, etc.

(Also, I love to look at scenery on car rides and ponder things. This has little to do with type and just personal preference for taking in the scenery).
 

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Ditto to FromFarAway - that's not a typical ENFJ/INTJ dynamic, in my experience. I'm having a hard time coming up with a good explanation for that setup within the ENFJ universe; my ENFJ dad is intimidated by my INTJ husband, but that stress just makes him *overly* talkative, and attuned to my hub's every twitch. That's not a pleasant situation either, but it's not the one described.

There is a possibility that it isn't about you at all: under heavy stress, we turn inward into our thoughts. Maybe that's what he's doing and you're just not "shiny" enough to distract him from the raging inner dialogue of Ti. That, I know, definitely happens with my hubs and I - he really struggles to "draw me out" of myself when I'm like that. It's like I go somewhat numb, and his fear of "bothering people" (aka fear of taking unwelcomed interpersonal initiative) tends to keep him from making enough of an impact to reach me.

Does he look preoccupied?
 

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I have never had the need to post to a forum considering everyone I know is "easy" to solve. I have come to a roadblock with a new acquaintance with whom I believe I can have an awesome friendship with. I met him at work and its interesting to me how he cares about everyone else; another interesting observation was he seems to require attention from everyone he bumps into. I'm quiet but its usually because I'm thinking on trying to figure everything out. Initially, the dynamic was energetic. Now, it seems like my ENFJ acquaintance is getting bored of me. When we ride in the car together, I find it difficult to strike up a conversation. How can I improve the flow of communication? A bit ago, I was unsure if I wanted to pursue a friendship but my feeling counterpart (INFJ) helped me realize that I do care about my ENFJ acquaintance. He's going to be my roommate soon and I don't want to live with a stranger. Even though I am an INTJ, I have developed my Fe enough to understand others. My ENFJ acquaintance, on the hand, is beyond my scope of understanding. I can foresee a powerful dynamic between myself and ENFJ, but I can't connect. Any advice or experiences to help me understand would be greatly appreciated.
I couldn't help but smile when you described your methods of trying to pursue a relationship with the ENFJ, because that's exactly the approach my husband (an INTJ) would take. You keep mentioning not knowing what to say, what to talk about. How's this. Tell him how you feel!

Tell him whatever you think- that you forsee this being an interesting friendship, that you would like to get to know him better, that you would like to hear his thoughts on certain matters. Even disclose your insecurities. If he understands where you're coming from, he will be able to react to you with more understanding. Even if worse comes to worse and it turns out you two don't become best buds, anyone can appreciate someone expressing the desire to know them better. You can keep it cool, casual, if that's your concern. "Hey, I've really enjoyed getting to know you better these past few months. I'd like to know what you think about (x)." The initial compliment shows interest while the second part turns the conversation away from him having to provide an answer. If that's still too cards-on-the-table, ask his advice about something, and start asking him for anecdotes. That's a solid way to cement a deeper connection, too. Though, if he's doing the advice bit "right," he might try to mirror you and draw you out of yourself instead. That'll work, too!
 

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So I know that we are interested in cars and technology. As far as interactions, initially it was energetic. Now, it seems that communication has slowed down to a stop. We rode together around town and I had difficulty coming up with subjects for conversation. Whenever I do ask a question, his answers seem short. As if, no consideration is being taken in generating a genuine response. I notice that he is more social and vocal around others but when it him and myself, the dynamic is gone. One thing I noticed was whenever we do have conversations while drinking, he has almost no problem speaking. It's then when I do get the chance to learn about him.
I agree with previous posters here regarding the ENFJ/INTJ dynamic. It sounds a little strained to me. We can get like this with friends and relationships; once we have decided that someting is not for us, it is difficult (i.e. damn-near impossible) to change our minds.

That said, I have a very close friend who is an INTJ, and we are oh-so-very different in so many ways. I just recently realized that what connects us is our Ni (dominant function for INTJs and auxiliary function for ENFJs). ENFJs tend to be intelligent people, but we are NFs (diplomats) at our core; while we may be relatively smart/sharp folks, our expertise is social/emotional intelligence. INTJs are often described as having the burden of "being the smartest person in the room"; really what this means is that they typically possess the kind of intelligence that is highly valued by current STEM-obsessed society (i.e. since you are NT, you are analytic types and tend to exercise that type of intelligence).

Barring the potential that he just isn't interested in forming a real friendship with you, you should try to engage his Ni function. Try to discuss some interesting connections that you've noticed among people or other things you have in common. ENFJs love talking about dynamics among people, so engage him this way.

With regard to not having a problem talking while drinking, that is an interesting ENFJ thing as well. As you might know, all types tend to exercise their dominant function (for ENFJ, it is Fe) most readily, and then may "drop" to their tertiary function (for ENFJs, it is Se) and skip their auxiliary function in times of stress. When you two are drinking together, this "distracts" his Se and keeps it quiet so that his FeNi can come out to experience the discussion.

To me, this is confirmation that you need to try to engage his Ni more and connect with him on that level. Maybe have some music playing quietly in the background of the car to distract his Se so he'll engage you.
 
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