Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello ISTPs!

Posted about this in the ENFP forum as well, but would like to have your point of view if you're willing to go into it...
I've been together with an ISTP for almost 3 years now and we've just hit a huge breakthrough in our relationship... He had been pushing me away and shutting me out completely for the past six months, trying to protect me from his problems because, among other things, he was miserable about his job. It got to a point last week where I couldn't deal with it anymore and tried to break it off.
What happened was nothing short of amazing... I told him how much I'd suffered over the decision and how lonely I'd been for the past 6 months and he finally saw it from my side. When I started packing my things to leave he told me his heart wanted to beg me not to go but his head wanted to stop him. I told him I wasn't the one leaving, that he had left me a long time ago. I told him I would have done anything for him, would have died for him. I told him how many times I even thought "If I can't be happy with you, fine, I'll just be unhappy forever. At least I'll still have you." Then he broke down and cried.
Let me be clear, this is a man who rarely laughs or even smiles. He's basically comfortably melancholic all the time, and crying is something which he's never ever done in front of me before. I just sat in his lap and held him in my arms as he let all of his walls come down and completely bared his soul to me. He told me everything I'd ever wanted to know and things he'd never told anyone. Things which happened to him a long time ago which still torture him every day and make him want to shut off all of his emotions. He told me he walks around every day pretending to be calm when on the inside he's just filled with anxiety and worry. It was like I finally met the real him that had been hiding inside of a robot for 3 long years. He told me he'd never felt so close to me before and I feel the same way. After that I couldn't possibly leave him.

I feel like he's incredibly raw and fragile right now. He's never let anyone in this deep before and I'm terrified of fucking up... I feel like I should try to help him heal the pain which he's been suppressing all of his life, but I don't know how.

Have any of you had a similar experience before where you finally let all of your feelings come out? Or letting someone in completely? How did you deal with it? Do you regret it? What are the upsides and downsides to not suppressing your emotions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
Well, congratulations. That's probably not an easy task to accomplish.

I'll answer this one.
What are the upsides and downsides to not suppressing your emotions?
The upside - The other person feels more loved/cared for/like they matter and it shows I actually have emotions.
The downside - I feel vulnerable, uncomfortable, and possibly embarrassed.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
201 Posts
he probably feels that way when you just took a massive shit...

...if that helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
950 Posts
I have completely opened up to someone in the past, but I'm afraid I can't offer any advice on it as all I can remember about that day was that I opened up (can't even remember how or what I said) and that I was physically unwell as a direct result. I guess all I can really say is this; sometimes pain can't be healed, but it can be dealt with, so don't feel too disheartened if the solutions you find are only partial.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Crystall

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Congratulations, now you have a very emotionally drained and fragile ISTP on your hands. Once an ISTP throw it all at you, especially in that manner, they will probably be very drained for awhile. Emotionally and mentally drained, I wouldn't be surprised if he's shocked by what he did. Sounds pretty intense. I believe that once he recovers, might take awhile, he'll return to his chill self, which is the state most ISTP would love to be at.

I let out all my feelings once, and I was VERY drained. I was also physically ill for awhile. For how it happened, I felt obligated to let it all out, long and personal story. Yea, it was pretty ugly and at the time, I was happy. Because of that experience leading up to other experience, I had a lot of emotional growth.

What are the upsides and downsides to not suppressing your emotions?

If I suppress my emotions, I won't be expected to spill it out every time. I don't have much emotions to suppress either way, but I prefer it if I don't announce how I feel to the world through a super-microphone.

If I don't suppress my emotions, I'll be pretty damn embarrassed if it's a very personal feeling. I lose my cool demeanor and I'll be seen as fragile. I won't have myself be seen as a snowflake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
he probably feels alot closer to you now, which is good. just dont go spilling his beans to other people as this will be seen as a major violation of trust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,225 Posts
He'll rebuild himself an emerge stronger and overall more well-rounded once the rebuilding process is finished.

Actually it could be considered as a part of one's individuation process.

Lots has shattered, including himself and if you're lucky much has been salvaged/accepted/dealt with.

Just don't expect the vulnerability to last, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Yeah i can relate. It kinda builds up like a pressure and explodes out for the better or worse. You should keep it private though and like someone said above don't go telling friends and stuff because that is pretty personal for us istp's.

I guess surpressing just seems natural and keeps life simple. Emotions can explode out for better or worse, like you said above it was probably a pretty intimate moment and can be somewhat relieving to us. However depending on the situation and emotions the opposite can sometimes happen and build into a rage, which is usually very regretful.

I do think opening up becomes easier with age, whether from experiences or maturity or both.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
526 Posts
Well that was an embarrassing moment for istps everywhere. You would think there would be tenderness if you go down deep enough to my emotions. But nope there is just a guy down there sitting with a shotgun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Well that was an embarrassing moment for istps everywhere.
AHAH. I was reading it and just thinking "I wonder if any ISTP's felt incredibly awkward while reading this..."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Wow I'm really surprised so many of you replied. I know you guys get a lot of questions about your feelings so I'm guessing it gets a bit old...
Thank you!


I have completely opened up to someone in the past, but I'm afraid I can't offer any advice on it as all I can remember about that day was that I opened up (can't even remember how or what I said) and that I was physically unwell as a direct result. I guess all I can really say is this; sometimes pain can't be healed, but it can be dealt with, so don't feel too disheartened if the solutions you find are only partial.

It's funny you should say because we actually both ended up coming down with horrible colds the day after this happened and so we've been home from work all week just hanging out, watching movies and talking... and A LOT of physical affection. It's been amazing and I think we both really needed the break mentally as well as physically.

Congratulations, now you have a very emotionally drained and fragile ISTP on your hands. Once an ISTP throw it all at you, especially in that manner, they will probably be very drained for awhile. Emotionally and mentally drained, I wouldn't be surprised if he's shocked by what he did. Sounds pretty intense. I believe that once he recovers, might take awhile, he'll return to his chill self, which is the state most ISTP would love to be at.

I let out all my feelings once, and I was VERY drained. I was also physically ill for awhile. For how it happened, I felt obligated to let it all out, long and personal story. Yea, it was pretty ugly and at the time, I was happy. Because of that experience leading up to other experience, I had a lot of emotional growth.

What are the upsides and downsides to not suppressing your emotions?

If I suppress my emotions, I won't be expected to spill it out every time. I don't have much emotions to suppress either way, but I prefer it if I don't announce how I feel to the world through a super-microphone.

If I suppress my emotions, I'll be pretty damn embarrassed if it's a very personal feeling. I lose my cool demeanor and I'll be seen as fragile. I won't have myself be seen as a snowflake.
We were both in shock for a few days afterwards... it was a like getting to know each other and falling in love with each other again.
He told me about the embarrassment around his emotions and it's so foreign to me. The fragility underneath that cool demeanor is the very thing which is so incredibly sexy. The soft heart inside the bad boy. It's what every woman wants.

he probably feels alot closer to you now, which is good. just dont go spilling his beans to other people as this will be seen as a major violation of trust.
I told him I had to tell people that this happened because we had been on the verge of breaking up and people knew... but I promised I wouldn't tell anyone the things he told me and I'm not going to.

He'll rebuild himself an emerge stronger and overall more well-rounded once the rebuilding process is finished.

Actually it could be considered as a part of one's individuation process.

Lots has shattered, including himself and if you're lucky much has been salvaged/accepted/dealt with.

Just don't expect the vulnerability to last, though.
I don't want the vulnerability to go away, but most of it already has. :/ But he's still wide open to talking about everything in a way that he never was before, and as long as that doesn't go away I know I can continue to stay close with him.

Yeah i can relate. It kinda builds up like a pressure and explodes out for the better or worse. You should keep it private though and like someone said above don't go telling friends and stuff because that is pretty personal for us istp's.

I guess surpressing just seems natural and keeps life simple. Emotions can explode out for better or worse, like you said above it was probably a pretty intimate moment and can be somewhat relieving to us. However depending on the situation and emotions the opposite can sometimes happen and build into a rage, which is usually very regretful.

I do think opening up becomes easier with age, whether from experiences or maturity or both.
He did say he was relieved afterwards. For the first time in a very long time he said the stress and anxiety inside him was gone and he felt calm. He really has the world on his shoulders in some ways. A few people depend on him desperately and I know he worries about them a lot.

What @Erbse said. Not broken, just +XP and level up.
That's good to hear. What I'm scared of the most is that he'll hate feeling vulnerable and regret having opened up when all I want is for him to continue. It really is like I've been working on an enigma for years and now that I finally unlocked the puzzle I found diamonds inside. I told him I'll guard his secrets with my life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Also, @Poko, if you ever feel like telling me that long and personal story feel free to PM me. I'd love to hear it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,093 Posts
we actually both ended up coming down with horrible colds the day after this happened and so we've been home from work all week just hanging out, watching movies and talking... and A LOT of physical affection. It's been amazing and I think we both really needed the break mentally as well as physically.


What I'm scared of the most is that he'll hate feeling vulnerable and regret having opened up when all I want is for him to continue. It really is like I've been working on an enigma for years and now that I finally unlocked the puzzle I found diamonds inside. I told him I'll guard his secrets with my life.
Holy crap, that was basically the perfect thing to say. If you back that up, you'll have a willing-to-share enigma in your life.

Yesterday I had a mini-melt down in my home office and I actually started crying silently, and my husband saw. We've been together for over 10 years, and I still feel... ashamed when I cry. In fact, my horror at crying has only increased with age. Used to be I'd cry any where, any time and just think F U if you don't like it, I'm not explaining. Now, when I cry, people ask for reasons, and that part is the worst: sharing.

I can't share until I've been eaten up inside. I am almost always worried, but most of the time, I am trying to deal with my worries, ignore my worries, etc. If, for some reason, I unburden myself in front of another person, there is an accompanying sense of astonishment when I am not rejected or ridiculed for having feelings. And so, when my husband gave me a hug and said "we're a team, we will get through this together" I was basically like WTF, how did I get so lucky? AGAIN. I mean, day to day I thank my lucky stars for this man, but when I have a release of negative emotion and he STILL likes me, and he STILL loves me, and in fact becomes gangster and is like WE WILL SUBMIT THE WORLD TOGETHER... I'm just blown away.

I don't know if all ISTP relate to that, and being a woman perhaps my ways are different from those of your partner. I think it's possible he'll continue sharing as long as you continue proving worthy, but sustaining that level of vulnerability doesn't seem possible for an ISTP, it's draining, spectacularly draining. I feel sick today because of my worried crying yesterday (I only cried for 3 minutes). You've experienced this together, and it sounds like it wonderfully brought you closer together. But there are all different types of intimacy, and you're just beginning again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
I'm really amazed at all these ISTPs who feel sick after sharing a lot of emotions. I thought it was only me. Just recently I let my guard down a lot in front of my boyfriend. Emotionally it felt like a good thing to do, but physically I felt terrible; somewhere between fainting and a heart attack. Even telling my friend about the experience later brought back a shadow of the physical feelings. It actually made me less willing to open up to my friend, knowing that the more I shared, the worse I would feel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,093 Posts
I'm really amazed at all these ISTPs who feel sick after sharing a lot of emotions. I thought it was only me. Just recently I let my guard down a lot in front of my boyfriend. Emotionally it felt like a good thing to do, but physically I felt terrible; somewhere between fainting and a heart attack. Even telling my friend about the experience later brought back a shadow of the physical feelings. It actually made me less willing to open up to my friend, knowing that the more I shared, the worse I would feel.
I find (and I wonder if you do also) that I'm only willing to "go there" like once, and maybe in passing later (briefing someone on what's been going on is the best way to describe it). I can only really unburden myself with my spouse; the few trusted friends, all of whom have proven themselves through years of loyal friendship, usually get the processed, less emotional version. Usually I can only relate to people about my problems after I've moved on and gained a bit of closure about them.

I feel that revisiting the pain, even with a friend, is very draining when I'm in the middle of something upsetting. Today my friend of 16 years asked me what's up, and I told her, and I feel like I have the flu now. I wonder if it's because I'm sharing while I'm feeling. I usually share after I've stopped feeling.

Lots of words, I'm rambling. I wonder if sharing when your feelings aren't so fresh, if that would be as draining?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Holy crap, that was basically the perfect thing to say. If you back that up, you'll have a willing-to-share enigma in your life.

Yesterday I had a mini-melt down in my home office and I actually started crying silently, and my husband saw. We've been together for over 10 years, and I still feel... ashamed when I cry. In fact, my horror at crying has only increased with age. Used to be I'd cry any where, any time and just think F U if you don't like it, I'm not explaining. Now, when I cry, people ask for reasons, and that part is the worst: sharing.

I can't share until I've been eaten up inside. I am almost always worried, but most of the time, I am trying to deal with my worries, ignore my worries, etc. If, for some reason, I unburden myself in front of another person, there is an accompanying sense of astonishment when I am not rejected or ridiculed for having feelings. And so, when my husband gave me a hug and said "we're a team, we will get through this together" I was basically like WTF, how did I get so lucky? AGAIN. I mean, day to day I thank my lucky stars for this man, but when I have a release of negative emotion and he STILL likes me, and he STILL loves me, and in fact becomes gangster and is like WE WILL SUBMIT THE WORLD TOGETHER... I'm just blown away.

I don't know if all ISTP relate to that, and being a woman perhaps my ways are different from those of your partner. I think it's possible he'll continue sharing as long as you continue proving worthy, but sustaining that level of vulnerability doesn't seem possible for an ISTP, it's draining, spectacularly draining. I feel sick today because of my worried crying yesterday (I only cried for 3 minutes). You've experienced this together, and it sounds like it wonderfully brought you closer together. But there are all different types of intimacy, and you're just beginning again.
Your husband sounds awesome. What type is he?

They say tears of sadness release lots of stress hormones which is why you feel better afterwards. Is 3 minutes of crying really that draining? When I cry it usually lasts much much longer, sometimes hours. :/ But I feel good about getting it out. Better out than in ya know? This weekend's crying session lasted a very long time as well. Years and years of bottled up emotions finally being released. As I said it was intense.

I'm really amazed at all these ISTPs who feel sick after sharing a lot of emotions. I thought it was only me. Just recently I let my guard down a lot in front of my boyfriend. Emotionally it felt like a good thing to do, but physically I felt terrible; somewhere between fainting and a heart attack. Even telling my friend about the experience later brought back a shadow of the physical feelings. It actually made me less willing to open up to my friend, knowing that the more I shared, the worse I would feel.
I find (and I wonder if you do also) that I'm only willing to "go there" like once, and maybe in passing later (briefing someone on what's been going on is the best way to describe it). I can only really unburden myself with my spouse; the few trusted friends, all of whom have proven themselves through years of loyal friendship, usually get the processed, less emotional version. Usually I can only relate to people about my problems after I've moved on and gained a bit of closure about them.

I feel that revisiting the pain, even with a friend, is very draining when I'm in the middle of something upsetting. Today my friend of 16 years asked me what's up, and I told her, and I feel like I have the flu now. I wonder if it's because I'm sharing while I'm feeling. I usually share after I've stopped feeling.

Lot's of words, I'm rambling. I wonder if sharing when your feelings aren't so fresh, if that would be as draining?
Is there any way to avoid or lessen feeling physically ill about it? You said sharing while feeling made it worse, but once you've stopped feeling badly about what happened sharing isn't really that important anymore because you've already processed most of it, right? I mean I want him to feel like he can lean on me and not have to deal with the difficult feelings all on his own, even as they are happening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,535 Posts
I wouldn't expect him to always be so open, most of the time he's going to still have the same disposition as he did before, but now he's let you onto the other side of the wall, and he knows that it's safe to let you be there. Hopefully he's learning how hiding himself all the time hurts you, and is developing a more realistic view of himself, you, and your relationship. This is an incredible moment. Just don't violate his trust now, or you could really break the ISTP. With inferior Fe, when we're vulnerable, we're really vulnerable. And when we're loyal, we're really loyal.

By the way, as you know, ISTP with ENFP can make an incredible relationship. My best and most trusted friend in the world is a male ENFP.

@violetblack This is cathartic just reading about your experiences with emotions. I'm exactly the same way. And you're married. To an awesome guy who really loves you. There's hope for me. I'm convinced that I'm just wired too strangely to really be what any guy wants for real. (I mean, sure I can get male attention from almost anywhere I want it, but attracting a guy and being the girl he really falls in love with are very different things.)

I'm never emotionally vulnerable to a female friend, only a male friend who has earned profound trust. With a female friend I will discuss emotions/vulnerabilities, if I really trust her and she can be cool about it, but I never show them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,093 Posts
Your husband sounds awesome. What type is he?

They say tears of sadness release lots of stress hormones which is why you feel better afterwards. Is 3 minutes of crying really that draining? When I cry it usually lasts much much longer, sometimes hours. :/ But I feel good about getting it out. Better out than in ya know? This weekend's crying session lasted a very long time as well. Years and years of bottled up emotions finally being released. As I said it was intense.




Is there any way to avoid or lessen feeling physically ill about it? You said sharing while feeling made it worse, but once you've stopped feeling badly about what happened sharing isn't really that important anymore because you've already processed most of it, right? I mean I want him to feel like he can lean on me and not have to deal with the difficult feelings all on his own, even as they are happening.
I think, being his significant other, that you're in the very place to receive the real deal, in the moment sharing from your partner. I do keep things bottled up, but I see my partner so much, have grown to trust and love him through much evidence (as well as my feelings/instincts), that it's inevitable I will share. He's the only person who really knows me, though I have a sneaking suspicion some other friends have a pretty good idea...

Yeah, 3-5 minutes of crying hurts me. The thing is, pain has to be really acute for me to cry and I guess the tears are an expression of just how much it hurts. I don't get the endorphin rush. I've experienced that once or twice, the levity of unburdening, but... sharing, crying, it just makes things real, it makes it worse. But, it can inevitably lead to healing/clarity/moving on, so I have to learn to accept it as part of the process. Life is a process and sometimes we just have to submit. But some lessons come more naturally than others!

I think that if a person shares with you, even if it isn't in the midst of the emotion, it's a gift. It's a vulnerability and a willingness to connect. I think it counts, even if maybe it doesn't feel as raw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
I went through a similar breakdown when my mom was nearing the end of her bout with cancer and I was just so angry, sad and lost at everything. I refused to share one little bit of my worries and fears with anyone, not my dad, not my mom and not my best friend. I had basically built up a wall of violent apathy around me, and finally one day- while at a friend's birthday party, I was subject to a good natured but badly timed prank and that one little thing brought all my walls crashing down- to my own shock.

I basically started crying and couldn't stop, everyone was shocked and frightened by my over reaction but I couldn't explain anything through the horrified sobbing. My INFP best friend thankfully knew that whatever the state I was in, I was not at all ready to be scrutinized or "fussed" over and instead he brought me away from the party and sat with me on a bench for hours while I basically broke down and told him how frightened I was of the reality that my mom was dying right before my eyes. I told him every single thing I had been afraid to voice, out of fear that it would make whatever was happening to my mother "real" and inevitable.

ISTPs do not like emotional turmoil or distress, they do not like being confronted with problems they can't solve, they suffer when they are trapped in a situation where someone they love is in distress and they are helpless to do anything but watch.

ISTPs just basically want the people they love to be happy and fulfilled with their lives (and thereby become happy and fulfilled themselves), and to that aim the ISTP would try their very best for-- but when they are confronted with the realization that their best would never be enough, when they realize how very human and weak they are, still, they become frightened of the future and disillusioned with their own strength and thereby lose complete faith in themselves.

This is when an ISTP needs someone to believe them, and thereby enable them to believe in themselves once more- to give them the strength to bounce back from this fall with a deeper understanding of themselves, and a genuine bond of trust and security fueling their progress onwards. Whatever bonds forged during the ISTP's weakest moments are the ones that they value the most in their times of strength, because you've seen them at their worst and most vulnerable and yet you still chose to stay by them! By doing that, you've proven yourself to the cynical ISTP, and broke through that defensive layer of jaded mistrust to truly connect with the vulnerable ISTP's beating heart hidden beneath the layers and layers of apathetic armor.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top