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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear ENFPs,

I know you are cheerful and genuine folks, who hold their values, which I admire. You can also easily adapt to social situations and treat people reaaalllyy good! :crazy: One of my close friends - we've been friends for over a decade now - is an ENFP / ENFJ (as I've been told by this friend and definitely acts like you guys do). I'm personally INTJ / INTP, so I guess that is why we get along with each other pretty well. We have mutual values and interests, that is why we had many times some deep and interesting discussions.

During these many years our friendship has been sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker, but we have never had any fights or anything that could have deteriorate our friendship in the long run. But we haven't had that many opportunities to discuss personal and deeper topics either - we don't live in the same country, so I'm sure it could have happened that we met only once or twice a year for several years. However, during the last 3 years or so, our friendship grew stronger than ever, because we were working together on some projects. Anyway, my friend had some serious problems on the day job and had to drop our projects - which I totally understood and communicated (I hope clearly enough) that I didn't see this as a let down.

Although I know my friend has hundreds of friends on facebook, I doubt this person has many close friends. Unfortunately, my friend claims to suffer from a depression (confessed to me) and visits a counselor to deal with this. I suspect that perhaps the part of the problem is that my friend has a low self-esteem, and too often seeks attention and external validation from acquaintances or people my friend will not see ever again, instead of focusing on people who genuinely care for my friend. I'm not saying my friend should not expand the network, but I believe that people generally have less than 10 really close friends, and the rest are acquaintances. And having no real friends may lead to loneliness and depression. However, I really think my friend is nice, intelligent and really good looking, so I really see no point in being so much of an attention-seeker and obsessing (of course silently) over being popular (aka collecting fake friends on facebook). I suspect that depressive moods can be related to being too easily hurt by any criticism (while working together I voiced criticism pretty often), fear-of-missing-out and constantly seeking attention even from people I often feel are not worthy of their time. What is also important is that my friend started to pay extra attention to my opinions when our friendship became really close (maybe because we are much more mature than several years ago and we know what qualities are important), so I guess sometimes I could have hurt my friend with being overly blunt and judgmental, however I always tried to criticize only actions not my friend's personality.

So now after my friend has dropped our projects - I feel like it was almost like a real (although mutual) break-up - we haven't spoke for over a year. What would you, lovely ENFPs, do in my situation? Should I contact my friend? I still care about my friend but friendship is a two-way street. Unfortunately, whenever I have (casually) acted like I really care for my friend (either verbally or thru acts of service / offering help) I have felt so many times that my friend shut me out, acted like my help doesn't matter or is unwelcome (I hate to impose on anybody, so I typically distance myself in such cases). At the same time I could see a true admiration in my friend's eyes and the way my friend used to talked to me, touched me or tried to amend their behavior according to my feedback (aka criticism) was quite special when compared to my friend's behavior towards other people. Since the time our friendship has become stronger, whenever we were one on one my friend has almost always acted uncharacteristically quiet or a bit awkward, but at the same time has been aware of the appearance (ex. often emphasizing their physical attractiveness). That is why, I presume that if we were not of the same gender, I think we both could see our relationship heading towards something more than a friendship, because clearly all this signals might have been a way of (unconsciously) dealing with the situation that we understood each other too well that it was scary. And this was also a factor why I (and my friend perhaps as well) could have appeared as acting hot n cold (in my case unintentionally), but I value our friendship and so I feel it would be unfair to play any mind-games. However, my friend is highly emotional person and sometimes acts jealous which I detest but I have never called my friend on it (ex. when I meet with my other friends or participate in some activities my friend couldn't attend or has not been invited to), or maybe resents and holds grudges for me being overcritical. I'm sorry for expressing myself so poorly and making any mistakes, but as an INTJ / INTP I'm lost and feel helpless, so I would really appreciate your thoughts!

TL;DR
I haven't been in contact with my close friend for a long time and I need your advice if I should contact my friend, or wait for this friend to contact me first, or just let go, there is too much stress and emotions involved? :unsure:
 

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Okay, so I have many INTJs in my life and I have been hurt by them and then they, in turn, have been hurt by me pulling away. ENFPs can't help but want to be liked. We just DO seek for outside validation until we slowly grow out of this need (actually I wonder if I'll ever really grow out of this need). I'm trying to search my brain data-bank for something that can help you. If you care about this friendship, don't let the ENFP go or it will just fester in both of you like it does in some of my INTJ relationships that didn't get fixed. Often I walk around thinking, "Why does my friendship even MATTER to my INTJ friend? She just wants to hurt me all the time." However, it's apparent that my friendship does matter. WHY? Let the ENFP know what you like about them. GIVE the ENFP the validation they need. The need for validation is a part of them just like being hungry is and being withholding is just plain mean to a ENFP who will give a positive message to you without ever running dry of positive support and will not be selfish or withholding about it. The reason you get validation from a ENFP is because this is how we give love. It's also how we feel love is when people give it back to us. Spending time with the ENFP is some validation, but words are super important. Giving and receiving love are an absolute musts in our friendships (I'm not talking sexually lol, I'm taking about verbal validation. If we don't get these things from our friendships then you might as well just be an acquaintance. So I would reach out. I would tell the ENFP what about him makes him one of your favorite people. I would appologize by saying, "If I hurt you, I'm sorry and I want you to stop me and let me know if I do it again." Something like that. You're a guy and girls communicate differently in their relationships. BUT SAY IT. Let that ENFP know they are important to you and WHY. Let him know you want his friendship back if possible, want to figure out how to work on your projects and most importantly tell him that you want to be a better friend to him. He will respond. This is probably a festering wound in him too. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Alesha! Your feedback is really helpful :)
Indeed, I do care about my friend, I know I might have been hurtful to him, which has never been my intention.
You're right, being vocal about how we appreciate our friends is important, unfortunately us INTJs focus on practical matters (aka actions speak louder than words, so show us that you are capable to bring something to the table and be effective). I guess, apart from quality time, we have different love languages (also applicable in friendships).:happy:

There is also another thing that still bothers me - I am deeply loyal, I think that if there is something wrong I should address the issues with the person. So I have never talked about my friend behind his back, but although I know he is pretty discreet and can hold his tongue, I am not so sure if he's loyal as me - some time ago I met our mutual "friends" (we know each other quite long but they like to gossip and used to say bad things about my friend behind his back, so I don't consider them proper friends and I have never told my friend that they are that mean because I didn't want to hurt him) and unfortunately, as my friend considers them friends, I can't be sure what he has told them about us, because those "friends" have spread some opinion about me and other friends acted a bit unfriendly towards me even though I have not seen them for more than 2 yrs (I had met those other friends just before I have recently met "friends"). In fact, I can't be sure if my friend has been not loyal or those "friends" have made up some unfavorable story about me (this is also possible, because I know what BS stories they told about him in the past).
So do you think after calling my friend I should bring this up? Or maybe wait with this after we reunite? It really sucks I can't meet my friend in person, cuz I'm really unhappy discussing serious matters over the phone.
In fact, I feel a bit betrayed, because after we lost contact, my friend probably has met with those dishonest "friends", and probably naively thinks they are his good friends which tears me apart. I don't care if he wants to meet them from time to time, but it really bothers me and I think it's unfair if he talks about our situation (or anything connected with me) with those dishonest people. :sad:
 

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It's awful that people can be two-faced like that. Your ENFP is not two-faced, but he may look for validation elsewhere and it could have been from them. If he was hurt by you, he might not see looking for validation elsewhere as disloyal. Instead, he may see it as getting one of his top needs met. We need validation even more when we've been hurt. This sounds pathetic, but this is how much we associate validation with love. And how much getting this need met is paramount. If we aren't getting love from our true friends, we will seek love/validation elsewhere and then feel like we are building the friendships we need, even if these friendships are not satisfying in other respects. Sometimes soon we move on from them as well if they aren't "true" friends. It's that whole hunger metaphore I was talking about. This is something ENFPs absolutely need and we feel very hurt and frustrated if we aren't getting it. Actually, this is one of the reasons I wish my INTJ friendship was functional. I know she is a true and valuable friend--- I just can't get what I need from her! lol Hurts us both like crazy.
Make sure his needs in your friendship are met and he won't have to go looking elsewhere. Be plenty generous with letting him talk about interests, etc. We ENFPs don't need space from friends who are intelligent, true and who give us the validation we need. Your idea of waiting until after the connection is re-established is correct. Wait until you feel like your ENFP is opening up to you about his interests and continue to be interested and validating until you both feel very seccure before you talk about the what loyalty means to you issue. By the way, your ENFP if feeling safe will reward you by being a great friend to you, but do not lose sight of what your ENFP ultimately needs. Needs validation, needs some positive feedback. You will likely like him even more this year than last year. ENFPs get better every year as we mature! =) But he's been hurt so you'll have to take time showing him why you want this friendship and that you can be a good friend to him. Sorry for all the girly language. Translate it into "guy". =)
 

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Thanks Alesha! Your feedback is really helpful :)
Indeed, I do care about my friend, I know I might have been hurtful to him, which has never been my intention.
You're right, being vocal about how we appreciate our friends is important, unfortunately us INTJs focus on practical matters (aka actions speak louder than words, so show us that you are capable to bring something to the table and be effective). I guess, apart from quality time, we have different love languages (also applicable in friendships).:happy:

There is also another thing that still bothers me - I am deeply loyal, I think that if there is something wrong I should address the issues with the person. So I have never talked about my friend behind his back, but although I know he is pretty discreet and can hold his tongue, I am not so sure if he's loyal as me - some time ago I met our mutual "friends" (we know each other quite long but they like to gossip and used to say bad things about my friend behind his back, so I don't consider them proper friends and I have never told my friend that they are that mean because I didn't want to hurt him) and unfortunately, as my friend considers them friends, I can't be sure what he has told them about us, because those "friends" have spread some opinion about me and other friends acted a bit unfriendly towards me even though I have not seen them for more than 2 yrs (I had met those other friends just before I have recently met "friends"). In fact, I can't be sure if my friend has been not loyal or those "friends" have made up some unfavorable story about me (this is also possible, because I know what BS stories they told about him in the past).
So do you think after calling my friend I should bring this up? Or maybe wait with this after we reunite? It really sucks I can't meet my friend in person, cuz I'm really unhappy discussing serious matters over the phone.
In fact, I feel a bit betrayed, because after we lost contact, my friend probably has met with those dishonest "friends", and probably naively thinks they are his good friends which tears me apart. I don't care if he wants to meet them from time to time, but it really bothers me and I think it's unfair if he talks about our situation (or anything connected with me) with those dishonest people. :sad:
Why don't you talk to him? Just have a real heart-to-heart conversation. I know that you are an INTJ/INTP, but talk to him about your feelings and his feelings. Feelings are like a bunch of cords, and if/when they get tangled up, you have to take time and sort out the knots and kinks (otherwise, it'll just be a mess that gets worse over time). Work through it, and talk through things with him. Be transparent and sincere, and let him know how important your friendship is to him. It sucks that you can't talk in person, as that would make things easier to work out—it's harder to convey tone and transparency without body language (which is a huge part of communication). That doesn't make it impossible though—it just means you'll have to work harder.

Definitely provide the reassurance/validation that @Alesha was talking about. Think about what you want to say beforehand, and just open yourself up to him. Making oneself vulnerable isn't always easy, but it can be a great way to let others know how sincere/trusting one is.

I wish you the best of luck in rekindling this friendship—have courage and talk to him (he's probably hoping you will, at least on some level).
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It's awful that people can be two-faced like that. Your ENFP is not two-faced, but he may look for validation elsewhere and it could have been from them. If he was hurt by you, he might not see looking for validation elsewhere as disloyal. Instead, he may see it as getting one of his top needs met. We need validation even more when we've been hurt. This sounds pathetic, but this is how much we associate validation with love. And how much getting this need met is paramount. If we aren't getting love from our true friends, we will seek love/validation elsewhere and then feel like we are building the friendships we need, even if these friendships are not satisfying in other respects. Sometimes soon we move on from them as well if they aren't "true" friends. It's that whole hunger metaphore I was talking about.
I see your point, but for me loyalty and being honest comes before meeting my own needs, like I can't do anything on purpose that could hurt others just to meet my needs and feel better. I'm not saying ENFPs are evil or egocentric - I know everyone can be self-absorbed sometimes, but you guys sometimes seem like to value your needs and comfort more than your friendships, but this doesn't apply to acquaintances because you can be nice and please almost total strangers, while acting as you neglect people who have been there for you for so many years. For INTJs love means trust and trust means safety, we need to feel we can count on you, and unfortunately I feel I didn't get that from my friend. I mean he would help me with a small stuff, or even when it was required to put some effort in a project (but the project itself was enjoyable at the same time), but if something unexpected and bad happened to me, he was nowhere to be found. OK, I haven't told him that he let me down by not actively asking me if he could help me somehow (this could help making him more aware to be attentive), but I think these were situations where even strangers would ask me if I'm alright or need help. I know I would go out of my way to help him if he were in my place. Maybe it is because I'm (like a typical INTJ/INTP) extremely independent, and so he is (maybe a bit less as he craves social interactions to a much greater degree than I do).

This is something ENFPs absolutely need and we feel very hurt and frustrated if we aren't getting it. Actually, this is one of the reasons I wish my INTJ friendship was functional. I know she is a true and valuable friend--- I just can't get what I need from her! lol Hurts us both like crazy.
Alesha, stop wishing, make it happen! :) If your INTJ is a mature person who values true friends - and in case of INTJs if someone is our close friend, we would do almost anything for them if they need something - she will help both of you to improve the situation. As I said, we believe friendship is a two-way street, so communicate your needs -
I just can't get what I need from her! Hurts us both like crazy.
- and you will see magic! Of course, without guilt tripping ;) But I know you ENFPs can be really diplomatic if you want. Tell her that you value her as a real, true friend - maybe she feels (I know I do a lot) that she's not that important to you as you have plenty of people around you all the time and it may look like you don't need her or treat her just like an acquaintance. I know that after knowing my friend 10+ yrs I sometimes feel like he treats me this way, which really hurts. I have some other close friends, so I can't deny my friend may feel (very seldom) this kind of vibe from me as well. And ENFPs are ambitious people, you want to be the best and probably it was also the case he thought himself as my best friend, which is true to some extent but doesn't mean I don't have other close friends, so I think he sometimes acted jealous and backed off.
This brings us to COMMUNICATION. I think that - my ENFP at least - sometimes is not good at communicating things, probably fear of confrontation overpowers ENFPs and they may think it is better to not bring up issues. On the other hand, us INTJs demand honest discussions on how to improve our relationships with people (OK, we don't need that from people who are indifferent to us, but close friends, bf/gf, and family are always super important for us). So if you communicate your needs, and ask her what she needs and you both create sort of a plan ;) where it would be "stated" who needs to improve what and implement this, it would be a win-win situation and your friendship will become less energy-consuming (no beating around the bush) and more rewarding.

Make sure his needs in your friendship are met and he won't have to go looking elsewhere. Be plenty generous with letting him talk about interests, etc. We ENFPs don't need space from friends who are intelligent, true and who give us the validation we need. Your idea of waiting until after the connection is re-established is correct. Wait until you feel like your ENFP is opening up to you about his interests and continue to be interested and validating until you both feel very seccure before you talk about the what loyalty means to you issue. By the way, your ENFP if feeling safe will reward you by being a great friend to you, but do not lose sight of what your ENFP ultimately needs. Needs validation, needs some positive feedback. You will likely like him even more this year than last year. ENFPs get better every year as we mature! =) But he's been hurt so you'll have to take time showing him why you want this friendship and that you can be a good friend to him. Sorry for all the girly language. Translate it into "guy". =)
I have been hurt by him as well ;) But in our friendship I feel like I'm the one more mentally durable, so it's often the case that he would vent and I would just listen to him and try to help him without venting about my issues, but it's OK as long as my problems are not "our" issues and I feel like they need to be resolved if we want our friendship to work. Anyway, I know I would like to help our friendship to grow, but I need validation that our friendship means a lot to him, which I don't get and I have problem with asking about this for two reasons: (1) maybe he wants our friendship to be smooth and we should not overanalyze it (you ENFPs seem to like lighthearted movies, books, theater plays etc. so I can imagine you think life should be not that hard to live so he may think of me as a person who dwells on serious stuff all the time, I don't but some people may find my "analyze every detail mode" too intense) and in fact for me it would be awesome to turn on a "friendship self-driving mode" when I don't need to walk on eggshells because he knows if I say or do anything it is not meant to be hurtful but is based on my honesty and we can enjoy our company without taking each other for granted, I think this type of relationship is the best (2) he doesn't consider me his close friend, and would withdrawn pointing out that he doesn't see me this way. Just a small example to give you the idea what I'm talking about - one day he was somewhere (he went MIA on everyone, even his family) and his brother called me to ask if I know where he is - I was not surprised because we were hanging out often at that time. I didn't know where he was but I was sure nothing serious happened and he probably needed some space, so no big deal. When we met I casually (with a smile on my face) mentioned that the other day I received a call from his brother asking me if I know where he was, and he acted a bit tense that it's not a big deal, and his brother obviously called those "friends" as well. Which was funny and annoying, because there was no point for his brother to call those "friends" to check up on him, nor mentioning those "friends" in our conversation (we were hanging out on a regular basis, while he didn't meet with those "friends" for a while). So I think my friend wanted to stress that I should not feel special about our friendship, and make me a bit jealous. In fact, I thought he has some self-esteem issues and needs to feel he has plenty of close(?) friends, so I felt sorry for him and I was a little bit hurt that he purposefully(?) said that to annoy me (he was a bit mad at me at that time and I was at him). Now when I think about this, maybe he went MIA on people because one of the reasons might have been that we had an argument over the phone a couple of days earlier and he needed some time for himself before he was ready to meet me the next day.
Generally, I want to be supportive and let him know I value him as a friend very much (I don't want to hurt him because I know he has some depressive moods - of course people who don't know him well will think he's so optimistic, bubbly and friendly 24x7). But at the same time I can't stand a situation when he says or acts like I don't mean much to him - if genuine that's OK, I can pull away and treat him likewise, but if he does it just to annoy me I think this is childish and I detest any mind-games or passive-aggressive behavior. I think it's the latter as he would tell his brother (when he once called when were hanging out) that he's with me and I felt like he was happy and really wanted to let his brother know he was with me. Well from my observations it seems my friend sometimes used to put me on the pedestal and sometimes acted as if he doesn't care about me that much, so it was hurtful and used to be a bit exhausting to me. You see, I didn't know where we were standing back then, and now I'm even more confused, because he doesn't initiate any contact - I used to send him wishes even during this NC time, but now I doubt I will send any wishes to him (he stopped since the NC started, and he only replies when I send him wishes) - so, I think we need to fix the situation first or if we do nothing about it, it may very well mean that our friendship was not that strong and true.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Why don't you talk to him? Just have a real heart-to-heart conversation. I know that you are an INTJ/INTP, but talk to him about your feelings and his feelings. Feelings are like a bunch of cords, and if/when they get tangled up, you have to take time and sort out the knots and kinks (otherwise, it'll just be a mess that gets worse over time). Work through it, and talk through things with him. Be transparent and sincere, and let him know how important your friendship is to him. It sucks that you can't talk in person, as that would make things easier to work out—it's harder to convey tone and transparency without body language (which is a huge part of communication). That doesn't make it impossible though—it just means you'll have to work harder.
Thanks Westy365 for your perspective on this! I agree with you completely, but I feel it takes time for me to open up about my feelings and a phone call once a year could be not enough for me to feel comfortable to open up. I guess I really want to talk about our issues with him in person, but now I don't even know if he wants to have a phone conversation with me (let alone meet for a one-on-one). If he even agrees to find some time for a conversation (we both are busy and don't live in the same countries and I'm guilty of saying sometimes that I didn't have time for him), I don't know if he will brush things off and pretend nothing wrong has happened just to let me think I am nothing more than an acquaintance, so he can't be hurt by me, but deep down hurts as hell (I know he might be, because he used to tell me that he felt (almost) physical pain whenever he was seriously upset about my behavior (aka criticism)). Maybe I too rarely told him that he hurt me as well (by being jealous or trying to make me jealous aka manipulate me), but I can be guarded and if he's so emotional I know someone must act more stable in our friendship ;) Also, he is really oversensitive about the tone of voice, body language etc., so he used to even point out that he found my tone of voice or words I used during our phone conversation upsetting and as if I don't care - which is not true, because we INTJs spare our energy and whenever I think about something intensively or I'm just laid back I could appear as bored and with no energy. If you want to know how to distinguish between things/people INTJs/INTPs care about, in fact it is pretty easy - we ask questions, analyze and propose improvements (also through critique). So it would be extremely hard for me to convey my feelings and concerns through a phone conversation. When we used to talk in person it was always better and I think he needs some physical touch for bonding, so in any case meeting in person would be the best option even to gauge where are we standing with our friendship.

Definitely provide the reassurance/validation that @Alesha was talking about. Think about what you want to say beforehand, and just open yourself up to him. Making oneself vulnerable isn't always easy, but it can be a great way to let others know how sincere/trusting one is.

I wish you the best of luck in rekindling this friendship—have courage and talk to him (he's probably hoping you will, at least on some level).
You're right, that's the best approach, but right now I don't really know how to do this - time passes, our relationship doesn't improve and I can't have a face-to-face conversation with him, so it would require tremendous energy from me to communicate with him now, but I really wish we can work things out, at least I'm willing to but I don't know if he is. Idk, maybe he thinks the wounds are too deep, the effort to rekindle our friendship could be too much of a hassle and so there is no point in putting much effort if we don't see each other frequently.
 

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@Universal, I think you may be right that he needs some physical touch as part of his love language. Especially a hug :hug:

Also, I don't know him, so this could be dead wrong, but is he gay or bisexual?

The only reason I ask this is because I've had close friends before that developed romantic feelings for me, and those were feelings that I could not reciprocate for them (even though I loved them dearly as a friend). They felt bad about it (some of them weren't even out of the closet), and it hurt them to be around me. They cared about my well being and didn't want to interfere with my life plans or make things awkward between us, so they panicked and sort of grew distant for no apparent reason. I don't know if this is the case for your ENFP friend or not, but these experiences just sort of popped into my head as I was reading your response, and I'm wondering if my intuition is trying to tell me something (again, I could be dead wrong—I don't know you or him and have never seen you guys interact).


It took me 2 years before I could finally get "closure" on a conflict that happened with one of these friends. He was an ESFP, and I think for him in particular it was extra scary to have such strong feelings for someone (I recall him telling me that he didn't see himself in a relationship for at least the next 10 years; he wanted to explore, have fun, and enjoy life before settling down). I'm 99% sure he developed feelings for me because it was all over his face—the way he looked at me was so intense and full of longing, there was no denying it. After I graduated, he ghosted me for a while (I stopped texting/messaging him because I got the message that he wanted his space). After 2 years, I messaged him when I felt things had settled down and the time was right. I was not accusing of him, but rather was supportive and reassuring (I told him I think I understand how he felt and don't hold it against him). I told him that I still valued our friendship, but could understand if it was too difficult for him to talk to me, and that I would always care about him and would be there if he ever needed to talk, but that I would give him his space and would understand if he never wanted to talk to me again. He responded with a message thanking me and saying that he really needed to hear that. I haven't heard from him since, but I understand. The loss of his friendship still stings though (it didn't help that Adele's song "Hello" came out during the 2 years of no contact—I was so numb I couldn't cry [me, an Fe-dom couldn't cry?!? this was a problem I'd never had before; it was like emotional erectile disfunction]—and it stole the words right off my heart).

I know it's not the happiest ending, but it did have closure, which is something that I think we Judgers often want.
Just another thing to think about (sorry if it overcomplicates things—I just wanted to share that other possibility with you).

Regardless of what it is, I get the impression that the only way this friendship will be repaired is if you take the initiative. Again, best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thank you Westy365 for your informative response!
As to his sexual orientation - he's definitely not gay, had a number of mid- and long-term relationships. I don't know about now, but at the time we had more contact he was healing after the break up and no serious relationship started then. He is objectively attractive (and he knows about it and what are his strengths in this department) and just like a typical ENFP/ENFJ, he's flirty and could have a zillion of FWBs / ONSs but he has values that he tries to hold on to. We both have a strong moral codex. I, on the other hand, just like a typical INTJ prefer to have long-term relationships and if I have to decide whether to settle for a relationship that doesn't seem good enough then I prefer to stay single. I have never had any gay affair (I would very much doubt if he had one either) although I have been hit on by other men throughout my life many times, in fact they weren't (at least officially) gay, around my age +/- 7yrs, more touchy feely and rather good looking, so I had my fair share of opportunities if I were curious (but I'm not). When it comes to him, taking into account his looks and friendly/flirty personality I guess the pool of men attracted to me is rather small comparing to his. I wouldn't say it bothers me if a straight handsome guy is nice to me and we have a good conversation, I act normally and I wouldn't cross my boundaries. Once a straight guy (he was living with his gf), 1 year younger and shorter than me with whom I had a business interactions a couple of times a week for 3 months, who obviously was attracted to me (the way he was looking at me, talking to me and touching me (rarely but still)), told me that he likes me and feels I care for him. I was surprised to hear that, because I didn't treat him as more than acquaintances so I acted like nothing happened. Anyway, I think as times goes by I am more aware if a guy is attracted to me, but like a typical INTJ I could be blunt comparing to other personality types. In case of my friend, I think ENFPs/ENFJs are really friendly and caring people, however in my first post I wrote that during our one-on-one meetings he behaves a bit weird, sometimes even as if he doesn't want to be alone with me. But often I can see he wants to be close to me, touches my back, shoulder, forearm and sometimes grabs my hand. Because we're friends I try to never act uncomfortably or awkward, in fact I feel at ease with him and I rather like it, but I decided to not touch him first or reciprocate much - I always acted this way, he's much more of a touchy feely person - just to not give any wrong impression. So when we meet other friends I am the person he touches most (apart from his girlfriend, but recently there was none).

It took me 2 years before I could finally get "closure" on a conflict that happened with one of these friends. He was an ESFP, and I think for him in particular it was extra scary to have such strong feelings for someone (I recall him telling me that he didn't see himself in a relationship for at least the next 10 years; he wanted to explore, have fun, and enjoy life before settling down). I'm 99% sure he developed feelings for me because it was all over his face—the way he looked at me was so intense and full of longing, there was no denying it. After I graduated, he ghosted me for a while (I stopped texting/messaging him because I got the message that he wanted his space). After 2 years, I messaged him when I felt things had settled down and the time was right. I was not accusing of him, but rather was supportive and reassuring (I told him I think I understand how he felt and don't hold it against him). I told him that I still valued our friendship, but could understand if it was too difficult for him to talk to me, and that I would always care about him and would be there if he ever needed to talk, but that I would give him his space and would understand if he never wanted to talk to me again. He responded with a message thanking me and saying that he really needed to hear that. I haven't heard from him since, but I understand. The loss of his friendship still stings though (it didn't help that Adele's song "Hello" came out during the 2 years of no contact—I was so numb I couldn't cry [me, an Fe-dom couldn't cry?!? this was a problem I'd never had before; it was like emotional erectile disfunction]—and it stole the words right off my heart).
I think you did the best thing you could do! You were supportive and showed you deeply care for your friend. I also love my friend (in a platonic way), and I can imagine a situation where two friends have a great connection and involuntary start to develop feelings (either one-sided or reciprocated), but know they can't be together. I think you are a great friend, and that is why your friends truly love you!
I have one question @Westy365, other than the face-to-face meetings which started to be different (more awkward) than they used to be for many years, are there any other signs you think could give an impression he could have developed feelings for me? I know it's hard to tell anything from such short posts, but maybe you have some idea.
Once again thank you for helping me, I really value your opinions! :)
 

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I think you did the best thing you could do! You were supportive and showed you deeply care for your friend. I also love my friend (in a platonic way), and I can imagine a situation where two friends have a great connection and involuntary start to develop feelings (either one-sided or reciprocated), but know they can't be together. I think you are a great friend, and that is why your friends truly love you!
I have one question @Westy365, other than the face-to-face meetings which started to be different (more awkward) than they used to be for many years, are there any other signs you think could give an impression he could have developed feelings for me? I know it's hard to tell anything from such short posts, but maybe you have some idea.
Once again thank you for helping me, I really value your opinions! :)
Thank you! (I try) :blushed:

As you said, it's hard to tell, especially since I don't know you or him and haven't seen you two interact. Face-to-face meetings are the best way to read a person, as nonverbal communication usually gives more information than verbal communication.

I had to reflect on interactions I had with my friends to figure out what was going on/piece things together. There are so many ways to interpret texts/messages, and without tone and body language, it's too difficult to pin down. My suggestion for you is to use your Ni—your intuition is your strongest tool, and it can help piece things together. That and talking to him are your best options (I'd recommend both).

Sorry, but that's all I've got for you, given what little I can deduce. Hope that helps!
 

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All the stuff you're bringing up, it's just a... like this is just a guy version of me and-- lets call them "C". If he marries your sister, we will talk more! My INTJ friend who I keep talking about married my brother. We are aunts to each other's children, you know? Like we are still so close, but there's a past that stings-- and there's doubt on how to currently move forward. And all the things you are bringing up, I'm like... yeah.. if you only could EXPERIENCE how it is to walk around in an ENFPs shoes then you'd be like, "Oh I get it and I know what is needed"
We know we love each other, but we haven't figured out how to not hurt each other-- thats the best way to put it.
So she won't talk. I just had the thought now that it might be because she doesn't want to hurt me and knows she would. Sometimes when I feel closer to her and almost think I can explain that I'm not as bad as she thinks. I had reasons for acting how I do, then she throws some nasty stuff my way. I keep thinking I could fix everything if I could just explain myself to her, but I'm not sure this is the case either. See, we feelers don't feel like there IS friendship unless there is complete acceptance and love. And the thing that keeps me only kind-of in the game with C is that I KNOW I mean so darn much to her because of her actions and because other people tell me so, but often she makes me feel like crap. So I tolerate the crap sometimes out of love for her and because I know she doesn't understand my needs and because she is hurting because I made her hurt because she made me hurt--- it's all a circle. We're getting into the age where our 3rd function starts to develop, and on my 41st birthday this year she sent me a list of all the cool things we have done together and that she loved for the past 25 years or more and I read it and cried and thought to myself, "I'm getting what I need, this reached my needs for the first time." So I called or texted to thank her and wanted her to know how sincerely I felt this and how much joy it brought me, and she kind of made it out like it was nothing (I know better, of course it had taken her time!) and I didn't get to express my feelings-- which feels horrible to a feeler. So I'm using the word "validation" and it's a good word, but what I want to call it is feelings and expression. I often feel "boxed" by C. I can't seem to talk about what matters to me in every area of my life, I can't share my feelings, often I get slapped down it feels for not being a certain way. I know it can be worth it, and I know she and I love and respect each other enough that some day it may all make more sense.
Sorry to go on, but one more thing that really bugs me is that she tries to say this was all about her being too needy for me and any time I try to jump in to reassure her then she won't hear of it. So there's some assumptions that seem demeaning. What ENFP would fault someone for being needy? Never! Also do not assume he is only in for "light reading" ENFPs are intense. We like to have fun, but all we are doing constantly is looking for meaning in everything. The Kiersey description even says we get horrible back/muscle aches from being so intense--- even right now, for the first time today I'm thinking of my back and I'm all tensed up. I like deep stuff. I am well read and love deep deep classical and international art. We ENFPs have different interests, but we are all intense-- we try hard to not show that on the surface. Our biggest thing is exploring the human condition, we want to feel all that emotion and we want to express it and be 100% ourselves with our closest friends. I hope this helps. Of course it's worth it! Where else would an ENFP find someone of similar moral fiber. Anyway, see what you can do-- like I said, it just festers otherwise. With <3 from me to help it along, sent in a prayer. =)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
@Alesha thank you for your message! I'm sorry that you experience such a difficult friendship and in fact you are family with the INTJ, so it is a tough situation to deal with. From your post I see you are deeply, deeply hurt. I'm sorry I've been generalizing on ENFPs, I don't treat all people the same, but some of my ENFP's traits are (as far as I'm concerned) quite common for your type (ex. need for external validation and being liked, withdrawing when feeling hurt). You see, I as an INTJ don't feel the need to be liked by everyone, perhaps respected is more relevant in our case, but still if we don't care about people (it sounds awful, but I mean caring about their opinions) it doesn't matter that much to us. But in case of people we care for (friends, close friends, SO, family) we need to feel accepted, loved (at least liked) and of course respected, this is paramount for us. So from what you wrote, if you are OK with this, I can deduce a few things that could be relevant in your case:
(a) I will assume your INTJ is fully mature and developed person, but perhaps her Fi is not fully developed yet and she's really introverted - I for one am pretty balanced in terms of my introversion.
(b) I don't think you ENFPs are shallow, I know you like deep stuff as well, hence I'm friends with ENFPs and otherwise perhaps there would be too little in common for us to hang out (I always had problem with befriending S-types, they are often too materialistic and narrow-mided for my taste). Please think about this. If we treat somebody as a close friend, this person is very important to us (her opinions and feelings, especially about us) and we're are elitist in this department ;)
(c) If INTJ says something about emotions and feelings, heed this well. It is very hard for us to open up, and if we say something about this, it is because it is important, and we need you to hear it. Probably we look for feedback, reassurance and validation if we seem to be a bit hesitant and not very confident speaking about this type of things.
(d) If your friend said something along the lines, she feels she was too needy or clingy it is because she reasoned there was/is a problem and she searched for the possible cause. She came up with this as a reason of your friendship's incompatibility. If she seeks the problem in herself, at least it means that she has high regard of you and your friendship, otherwise she would not bother to look for flaws in her behavior. But, please think about this, she is probably deeply hurt and at this point it is a bit late and she has made her mind. This means that, if you present valid reasons why she is wrong with her conclusions and propose an alternative reason(s), this can be fixed, otherwise she will think her reasoning is correct.
(e) I get the feeling (my intuition is starting to work here), correct me if I'm wrong and I don't want to make any accusations, but she's the one more proactive in your relationship - ex. she sent wishes to you that required from her time and emotional investment (this is really big for us!) or
I KNOW I mean so darn much to her because of her actions and because other people tell me so, but often she makes me feel like crap
You called/messaged her to thank her, but maybe she thought (after sending the letter) that maybe it was too much again and she thought of herself (again) as needy/clingy and the one that tries to "push you" into close friendship, that you don't (longer?) want. So it may be that she thinks you don't care that much about her and your friendship, you basically take it for granted because you are family and you are sort of stuck with each other. If you care about your friendship, make her feel special. At some point she should be receptive and give you in return validation and reassurance. As you see from my posts, I also feel sometimes that I bring more to the table, and my friend is not going out of his way, so our friendship would not exist unless I work for it. For INTJs it is a way o probing relationship dynamics. Normally, mature INTJs should not be clingy or needy, but we sometimes feel this way like close friends may consider us high-maintenance and they think without them we don't have any other friends, I admit we can sometimes feel inferior (almost childlike and thus vulnerable) in terms of social skills. So maybe it is your turn to show her that you need her. To sum it up, don't make us think we invest more into friendship than you do, it makes us feel not valued and question our friendship.
(f) INTJs always compare words with actual actions, so if a close friend even say some nice, reassuring things, BUT this is not shown also through actions, we won't believe such a person, because we think that words are cheap and only actions require real effort. Even worse if actions contradict words - INTJs (just like ENFPs I believe) value integrity.
(g) If she doesn't want to talk and if you care, I wouldn't let go and would be persistent to fix the situation - this shows real effort. If you let go, she would think she was right from the get-go (granted she thinks you don't put much effort into the friendship). I'm sorry to say that, but if she thinks she was too clingy/needy (she blamed herself, so she made herself vulnerable even by sending this emotional letter - she exposed her feelings conveying that she misses all those amazing moments you ladies have had), then you need to show initiative to work out and solve the problem.

I wish you best of luck and hope you don't feel I'm some impertinent know-it-all (English is not my mother tongue, so I might have used improper words throughout this entire topic :hopelessness:). Anyway, I just wanted to help you look at this from my perspective. Hope it helps!

I have a question: in my case how would you approach (via phone) the ENFP friend? Would you use some "grandiose gestures" saying that you miss them and why you appreciate your friendship, or try to act cool as possible to not be too intense? We INTJs are sometimes a bit rigid, so it is not easy for us to be light-hearted when discussing something important.
 

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Who the heck is viewing this 247 times! lol.
It's been a very productive thread for me, though. More on that in a moment.
@Universal I thought about what is bugging me about this whole thing and it's because to a INTJ (my friend/sister-in-law included) I've behaved horribly. lol Like this makes me look BAD in INTJ land. But everything I've done is in accordance with my conscience. We ENFPs don't usually do anything inconsistent with our morals-- and so I have no apologies and no regrets. If asked if I would do things differently, I would do them the same way again on purpose. I can't think of any other 2 types who has second and third functions as Te and Fi, and it's not like we don't understand each other. I mean, while I read what you've written there is a kinship, a seriousness that I absolutely share, and shared morals and partially (but 100% understood) shared aims. 'Yes' to the word integrity! We've got the same judging functions, but the arrangement of them is what is the difference and it's so hard to explain the importance of the Fi before Te for me. I think this is helping you in your quest too, so I'm going to try to explain why I act how I do. The thing is, it's not logical--- it's values. Oh gosh, I don't even know if I can think of how to write this, but I'm going to try.
Lets say that giving love is the most important thing for me (which it is) and that I express this verbally, physically, and also morally in that I never try to control someone else's thinking or anything that they try to do (that's my personal Fi talking there, but most ENFPs feel similarly). I also try to support others in following their healthy conscience and their interests. This love is like sharing joy for me. It gets a kick out of the quirkiness and talents of people. This love resonates in me and makes my life beautiful and healthy. The healthy part of people I support, cheer on, admire, and pour out my appreciation to. The unhealthy part of people I kindly try to help them acknowledge, listen to, and heal. If I don't get to give this kind of love, it's a violation of my conscience (my Fi). It makes me miserable to not be able to express this kind of love. It's also makes me feel incredibly lonely. When my INTJ does things that I consider unloving, like trying to control me, ignoring my feelings and interests, belittling or underestimating me, then my conscience says "I can only live here so long. This isn't who I am or what I'm about, and I'm going to go where I can share feelings and give love the way I know how."
This is what I'm saying about an ENFP never finding fault with someone who is needy. We understand needy, we will happily keep needy company until it's dying day. I am usually spending the most time with those who need me most because I can give the most love to them and this feels right. This feels like what God would want me to do. Spend time with those who need me.
My INTJ who I love to pieces and who I see the good in, I see how frustrated she is with me and how hurt she is by me. I want to be there for her. When I start talking about feelings for many things and interests I get shut down. There's only so much of all the feelings she can take. I understand this. She is a logician and she also likes the subjects she understands and knows about. We have been friends so long, I get all of it, but I can't let my conscience sit it out. I have to be me. I have to talk about feelings, if not I might as well cut myself down the middle and throw out everything that makes me tic. I have to look for relationships I can share feelings in and even in this relationship with her I am trying to heal it with feelings. I think this would all be healed if she would let me talk about my feelings. But after reading what you wrote today I guess that's not how it's going to heal.

So everything you wrote today was perfect, right on the money. It made me think, "Well, I can try again without healing the feelings since she won't let me talk and heal things the way *I* would. I suppose the only way to heal this is the INTJ way and I am a big enough person for that. " So I listened to all the podcasts she sent me recently and told her what I thought of all of them and sent her a bunch of pictures and discussed my current life and I've decided to try to heal this the INTJ way-- with logical devotion and attention for shared interests. lol She hasn't gotten this much attention out of me for a while. She's breathing hot and cold, by the way. I know she has wanted this much attention for a long time and I'll have to keep up on it. I've always loved her-- especially because she needed me--- She just can't make me feel it back... yet. =)

Okay, so for you, if it's possible you might try solving this the ENFP way and try to just tell him that you want the relationship back because you admire and care about him just how he is and want to know about how he's been feeling. Huh? huh? You'll have to keep it up too.
As before a <3 from me to you and also a "Bravo!" We did some good work today and before.... ENFPs and INTJs can be a great team!
 
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I have a question: in my case how would you approach (via phone) the ENFP friend? Would you use some "grandiose gestures" saying that you miss them and why you appreciate your friendship, or try to act cool as possible to not be too intense? We INTJs are sometimes a bit rigid, so it is not easy for us to be light-hearted when discussing something important.[/QUOTE]

Your English is awesome. I get really sloppy with commons in my writing, I need to be more careful so non-English writers won't learn improper punctuation from me. =)
Definitely approach this without any coolness. Your ENFP wants sincerity from you and the intensity is natural to us and is wanted. Intensity is not a problem at all. Come off as humble, sincere, and caring. Be vulnerable, that's important. Vulnerability is part of feeling close for us. Just be honest from your heart. You do miss him and you do appreciate him. Tell him the truth of how you feel. Great question!
 
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks so much @Alesha!
Your post is really interesting and I must say that I have read it a couple of times to understand how ENFPs perceive world and conflicts. In fact, I'm sure I will get back to this post from time to time because even after reading it several times, I see the way you operate is sooo much different than ours.
I guess your approach to talk to her in a different manner (the INTJ way :proud:) could turn out to be the best way to solve the problem. Especially because she keeps shutting you down whenever you start to talk about how you feel about things. I personally would not shut my friend out, but if he started to rant about feelings (like spending significant amount of time on this, ca. 20%-100% of our conversation) every time we talk, probably I would be impatient at some point and perhaps told him he's too melodramatic or talks only about himself :wink:. But if you talk about feelings in "healthy" doses I would see no point in not hearing what you have to say. Maybe you can try one trick that could work - tell her that before you can create a constructive plan to solve your problem you need to talk about how you feel for a minute (or 2 or 3 :laughing:), because it is important to you and tell her this will help you to focus on the logical part of how to resolve the issues. I'm not saying it will work 100%, but it would be inconsiderate of her not to lend an ear to you. So just ask her to do this for you. Otherwise, I have no other hints. I know I appreciate if my ENFP/ENFJ friends, when we talk about our problems, are supportive, constructive, calm and in return can feel totally free to use some touch (ex. hugging) if it makes them feel better or feel more connected with me.
So I'm sure if you both care for each other and appreciate your friendship there's no way your problems could not be resolved. Yes, just like you I believe ENFPs and INTJs can be great for each other, their relationships can be so rewarding growth-wise but they require a lot of effort from both sides. As you suggest, I will try to approach my ENFP friend using ENFP techniques :tongue: but I'm no expert in this, so if I have any questions later on, I will not shy away to ask for your help!
I wish you all the best and much success in strengthening your friendships!
 

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Same! I think I might miss the interaction with you after all this.... lol I am laughing at myself really hard right now. It's been super constructive and interesting, though! Okay, partner, I am feeling free to come ask you "INTJ questions" after this too. =) Best of luck! Send me a PM and tell me how it goes! =)
 
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