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I am an ESTP male, living with an INTJ female relative. She is very intelligent and there are no doubts about the fact that she is a great person at heart. She is caring, helpful, and generous. However, when it comes to every day dialogue, I find we speak two different languages when it comes to arguments and certain dialogues.

This is not an attack on anyone's personality, and I know the things she does that I loath the most can be exhibited by someone of any type. However, it would be both inspiring and helpful if someone had some advice to better the communication. I am trying to avoid this problem in the future if I meet anyone or have to live with someone else that possesses synonymous traits.

To put things in basic perspective, I realized a long time ago my optimism and unpredictable nature diverge greatly from her way of thinking and operating. For this reason, I purposely don't engage in dialogue that I know will turn sour and do my best to stay out of her way when it comes to many things. However, I find no matter how hard I try to stay away, she is constantly making incendiary criticisms and judgements towards me. How far the conversation goes and whether it turns into an argument depends entirely on the way I receive it. If I ignore her or brush it off, it may end right there but several scenarios will arise on a given day (in other words, if I ignore it it piles up, it doesn't go away). By nature, I am not the type to fold when I think something is wrong. This makes a very tense environment because while I argue things because I perceive them as unfair, she argues in a way that makes me feel like she is more concerned about not being proven wrong and will use outrageous logic to justify her actions.

When I voice my disagreement to her criticism or judgements, she is always extremely willing to turn things into a heated argument. I too, sometimes like to discuss things in a competitive environment. However, I find these discussions to be a dreadful waste of time without a third person being present, Because through my lenses, she lives in a world of inconsistency and double standards. Things she explodes on me for today are things she is guilty of more often than I am, or even things she does all the time herself. However, when brought up, I am met with infinite reasons why the scenarios are not alike and she is not in fact acting the same. Ultimately, it feels as if we are not operating from the same standard, but pointing that out doesn't exactly help either.

The other day, her double standard treatment came occurred with a third party present. They pointed out to her why her argument wasn't fair, and in classic fashion, she responded dismissively with "Oh well, doesn't everyone tend to have a double standard"?

I took in this statement and realized in was harbored in a lot of truth. Yes, I am not immune to living by a double standard, nor is anyone from time to time. I get that. In my opinion, what makes it different with her is how overbearing, fervent, and sanctimonious she is in justifying her actions while using every opportunity to cast aspersions on my thoughts and decisions during every day situations and dialogue. If there is one single characteristic that synthesizes the entire issue, it is that from my perspective, I live with someone who seemingly takes issue with things only when I do them, but is completely oblivious to the fact that she does the same things just as often but I don't waste my time insulting her for them.

I know this is long and will come across as a rant, and it is. However, there is a genuine issue in communication here that I need help to resolve.

Every time I bring up to her my concern, she turns it on me and says I just want to live beyond reproach, or that she is already giving 200% effort to meet me in the middle and it is I who has the blame for things being the way the are. Ultimately, the negativity is very taxing and I don't want to be around her anymore. She is family and I care about her very much, that is what makes the problem all the more difficult.

Has anyone dealt with a similar scenario? I feel like the symptoms are universal and can absolutely transcend multiple personality types. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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From what you wrote, your relative seems completely unreasonable and totally in the wrong. Of course there are two sides to every story but she seems like an INTJ gone wild. I have no solution but I'll try to explain this from an INTJ perspective, granted we are all different but have some similar characteristics.


INTJs can have double standards. We generally accept our behavior because we understand it, but can be hypercritical of others who exhibit the same behavior. For instance, I used to come in my place in the evening and throw my bag on the floor, throw my jacket and hat on the sofa, and generally just leave my clothes all over the place and then get annoyed when my roommates complained. Yet if I went in the bathroom and saw a few hairs on the sink after one of my roommates shaved, I would become quite irritated. That reminds me of a George Carlin routine referring to belongings where he said "Isn't it funny how your shit is stuff and everyone else's stuff is shit?" Anyway that was 100% my problem and I changed my attitude about that completely.

Sometimes INTJs can have a very unrealistic view of our interpersonal relations. For us it can be very taxing to deal with others' idiosyncrasies and overall personalities. Thus, we sometimes feel that we are putting out a great deal of effort to be accommodating to others which can stress us out and make us feel resentful towards them.

Essentially the difficulties we have when dealing with others can make us feel like others' behavior is worse than it actually is. Similarly the amount of effort we put forth to *try* to meet the needs of others can give us the impression that we are doing more for people than we actually are.

In other words, we see another person's behavior as unacceptable and unaccommodating while we believe we are putting forth a massive effort to accommodate that person. That person sees his or her behavior as perfectly reasonable and finds the INTJ unaccommodating and unreasonable in his or her demands. I see that as the base nature of this sort of conflict.

I'm actually not sure how to fix this. One day I woke up and realized I was being a selfish ass and decided to change. I still have issues with my roommates but I try to be a better listener and be more considerate of them. If your INTJ isn't listening to you at all I really don't know what you could say to convince her to change. Maybe use inception to plant the idea in her head while she is sleeping?


TL;DR:

INTJs are nuts. Find someone else to live with.
 
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