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And if they do, what goes on in there? Seriously, I feel like ISTPS come across as being emotionless and lacking in depth, a bit? Like...the ones I know (husband included) don't share their emotions much, don't talk about their inner insecurities and vulnerabilities, barely want to discuss their thoughts and plans, and don't seem to venture much into spirituality and thoughts of morality and human existence. So just what goes on down there?

I just feel like there's a sense of superficiality with Istps...just like cruising through life and doing whatever feels good, without giving anything else much thought.
 

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This sounds like my ISTP husband as well. He rarely relies on emotion to make any decision, even small ones. When we go shopping, if he sees a cart stranded in the walkway, he will take it instead of ignoring it and taking one from the cart area. I asked him why does he do that all the time, and his reason is it's the right thing to do and logical since we need a cart and that cart also is in the wrong spot, so might as well take it. Everything is logical and hardly any emotion affects it, except for when it involves people he cares about. Then, he will still approach the matter logically like I know this person will like it if I do this > I'm going to do it. No pondering of what ifs and such. He never ponders on what ifs like an Ne type would, although he does entertain thoughts of alternate realities but once again, it seems to be from a logical, mind focused standpoint and not anything idealistic or dream like like. Best summarized as what you see is what you get.
 

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@Zeri :laughing:

Oh man, you're probably going to get a bunch of shit for saying this. Like, if Bunniculla didn't chime in to back the perspective up so fast, I can see how this thread might jump rails and be halfway to Vegas with a one-eyed hooker ;P (and it still may lol). But yes, yes to everything you've said. I know an ISTP very well. Throw in that he's a 9. I still haven't come even close to mapping his internal processes, and that's just never happened to me with anyone who I'm really close with or spend a lot of time around. I've contemplated everything you mention, just wondering what the fuck even lurks in that space sometimes :ninja: if anything? But I refuse to accept that it's nothing, that life is lived purely on this crass and base level of just eating, shitting, fucking and enjoying the moment. He will occasionally share insights which make it clear there is some deeper and complex stuff happening, too much to be the broken clock right twice a day gig. And he is very loving, playful and protective of our child, a wonderful dad (unless she starts beatin' his ass in videogames.. then I sometimes have to remind him he's uh.. like an adult dude) but yeah.

Anyway, your not alone in these thoughts. What are your ISTP's enneagram types? Cuz I kinda attributed some of his stuff to being a 9. And I've noticed ISTP 5's ad 6's come off differently.
 

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@Zeri :laughing:

Oh man, you're probably going to get a bunch of shit for saying this. Like, if Bunniculla didn't chime in to back the perspective up so fast, I can see how this thread might jump rails and be halfway to Vegas with a one-eyed hooker ;P (and it still may lol). But yes, yes to everything you've said. I know an ISTP very well. Throw in that he's a 9. I still haven't come even close to mapping his internal processes, and that's just never happened to me with anyone who I'm really close with or spend a lot of time around. I've contemplated everything you mention, just wondering what the fuck even lurks in that space sometimes :ninja: if anything? But I refuse to accept that it's nothing, that life is lived purely on this crass and base level of just eating, shitting, fucking and enjoying the moment. He will occasionally share insights which make it clear there is some deeper and complex stuff happening, too much to be the broken clock right twice a day gig. And he is very loving, playful and protective of our child, a wonderful dad (unless she starts beatin' his ass in videogames.. then I sometimes have to remind him he's uh.. like an adult dude) but yeah.

Anyway, your not alone in these thoughts. What are your ISTP's enneagram types? Cuz I kinda attributed some of his stuff to being a 9. And I've noticed ISTP 5's ad 6's come off differently.
lol now I kind of regret saying anything and not letting the chaos be on its merry way in. jk lol

Hmm, my ISTP has not taken the Enneagram test but if I had to guess, I would say he's a 5 or 9. Very detached. He never really feels taken advantage of by anybody and thinks how he feels about what others have done is completely independent of them having any control over his reaction. That sounds pretty drama free and complacent to me: 9. He also enjoys taking in information a lot though. He keeps up with the news, knows random facts, versatile fields of knowledge that he never shares with anybody unless asked and even then, he is still private about it. Like he secretly reads all day about different things and it's his own personal thing that nobody can interfere in. So we can establish that's Ti but maybe also enneagram type 5 as well.
 

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And if they do, what goes on in there? Seriously, I feel like ISTPS come across as being emotionless and lacking in depth, a bit? Like...the ones I know (husband included) don't share their emotions much, don't talk about their inner insecurities and vulnerabilities, barely want to discuss their thoughts and plans, and don't seem to venture much into spirituality and thoughts of morality and human existence. So just what goes on down there?

I just feel like there's a sense of superficiality with Istps...just like cruising through life and doing whatever feels good, without giving anything else much thought.
I don't think your idea of "inner world" matches mine. But yes, there's an entire universe inside my head. I never need distractions e.g. on travels, and I can't remember the last time I was bored. In the end, it's part of the reason I'm fine with just me around; other people only take away the time I can spend with myself.

All of the things you listed, however, have nothing to do with "inner world". That's just topics and traits that just aren't me, hence you can't see them: they aren't there. When I'm in my head (and not actually thinking about a problem, that happens a lot as well) it's simply daydreaming, imaging situations, actions, discussions, stories, sometimes starring me, sometimes not. Some of them I write down, most I don't. And don't confuse it with head-in-the-clouds folks. I treat it in the way you treat watching a movie. The "cruising through life"-bit has nothing to do with it; that's just an expression of the general indifference to most things, because you don't need to change what doesn't bother you. If I like where I'm at (which I do, else I wouldn't be there), life going on all around me is just fine.
 

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@Northern Lights that is really helpful, thank you. One question, if it doesn't seem too invasive.. is there very much feeling tone in the internal world? Like, a sentimentality, nostalgia, warmth, emotional reaction or motivation to any of the daydreaming, imaginings, discussions, etc. ? Like I feel it's almost rude in a way, to assume otherwise.. because obviously everyone has emotions. I just mean, how much does this come up with the inner model?
 

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@Northern Lights that is really helpful, thank you. One question, if it doesn't seem too invasive.. is there very much feeling tone in the internal world? Like, a sentimentality, nostalgia, warmth, emotional reaction or motivation to any of the daydreaming, imaginings, discussions, etc. ? Like I feel it's almost rude in a way, to assume otherwise.. because obviously everyone has emotions. I just mean, how much does this come up with the inner model?
I mean, as much and in the same way as in the outside world. In particular, it's all abstract, detached; I think about feeling.

Don't fall into the trap of trying to look for something "more" on "the inside". I'm not an inverse peach, I'm an onion. Inside is the same as outside, only more of it.

Edit: Bad use of the word 'more' there, sry. The first instance renders to 'beyond'. I hope the difference is clear.
 

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Wow. I’m a bit surprised by how ISTPs appear to some people. Inner world? Absolutely. Appear aloof, inhospitable or disinterested in displaying social grace? Sure. But I plead not guilty to not being a deep thinker or being without emotions.

My time is often spent in reflection and pondering a variety of thoughts. And I have loved deeply and sincerely. We do indeed have feelings, though we tend not to share our sentiments or engage in unproductive prattle.

I think we are as human as anyone else, though we may tend not to like or enjoy the company (or the interference and distractions) of most people.

Are we different? Of course, as we make up only 6% of the population. Then again, as we view the other 94% of humanity we consider them to be different, and complete with their own peculiarities and foibles.

I suspect most ISTPs are content in their own bubble and are really not concerned about what others think of them. We also can be quite absorbed by our interests and tend not to reach out to others. If anything, we are an independent lot with few needs. I do not doubt we may not make an ideal mate to a needy or clinging partner.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for sharing.

@ Bunniculla and ReliK - I just had a look at Enneagram types and I would say my husband is more type 8. He's used to be more of the complacent type, but over the last few years (since we've built our house and have experienced more financial stress) he comes across sometimes like an ESTJ (shadow?) - quite directive and harsh at times, especially under stress. He's very affectionate though and can be playful to a fault - like it seems like he prefers things to be lighthearted and airy all the time - barely delving into deep and uncomfortable areas of life. Sometimes I get annoyed with him always wanting to kiss and hug but never actually delve into what he's feeling or what I"m feeling. I told him once that it seems like he just likes to live "on the surface of life", and not worry about the "inner man" - his or mine. It just comes across as superficial to me. As a feeler...maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if I was another type....l

But I really wonder if there's more depth than what I see... From the responses from ISTPS here..I get that there might be more....but it seems like more thoughts...about stuff? Objective thoughts? My husband can also spend hours just absorbing information and reading things... Like Relik I've wondered if there's more a feeling tone to their internal thoughts or whether they do more internal processing of feelings than external, but I'm guessing that's a no, generally....although of course every ISTP is different. . Would love to hear from other ISTPS!
 

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Thanks for sharing.

@ Bunniculla and ReliK - I just had a look at Enneagram types and I would say my husband is more type 8. He's used to be more of the complacent type, but over the last few years (since we've built our house and have experienced more financial stress) he comes across sometimes like an ESTJ (shadow?) - quite directive and harsh at times, especially under stress. He's very affectionate though and can be playful to a fault - like it seems like he prefers things to be lighthearted and airy all the time - barely delving into deep and uncomfortable areas of life. Sometimes I get annoyed with him always wanting to kiss and hug but never actually delve into what he's feeling or what I"m feeling. I told him once that it seems like he just likes to live "on the surface of life", and not worry about the "inner man" - his or mine. It just comes across as superficial to me. As a feeler...maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if I was another type....l

But I really wonder if there's more depth than what I see... From the responses from ISTPS here..I get that there might be more....but it seems like more thoughts...about stuff? Objective thoughts? My husband can also spend hours just absorbing information and reading things... Like Relik I've wondered if there's more a feeling tone to their internal thoughts or whether they do more internal processing of feelings than external, but I'm guessing that's a no, generally....although of course every ISTP is different. . Would love to hear from other ISTPS!
Well, if you know the function stack, Fi is our demon. It's dangerous territory, which I'd be tempted to avoid if I don't need it. It makes for risk of explosion (unless treated wisely).
 

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I'm married to an ISFJ and she wants (needs?) to talk way more than i do. This was an issue early on in our relationship and i was accused of not trying or not caring. She wanted a set time every night where we just talked even if we didn't have anything to discuss or something interesting to share. My preference would be to do some activity together and the talking just naturally happens instead of being forced. The problem is flipped here though as she doesn't normally enjoy this and may even get uncomfortable.


...the ones I know (husband included) don't share their emotions much, don't talk about their inner insecurities and vulnerabilities, barely want to discuss their thoughts and plans, and don't seem to venture much into spirituality and thoughts of morality and human existence.
This is just differences in interests and personality. I could say my wife never wants to: play games, be spontaneous, stop worrying and just have fun, discuss the meaning of a story, discuss the rationale of a something, discuss the implications of something, etc.

Some thoughts on your list:
I don't have a handle on my emotions or even much of an understanding so its not something I could have a meaningful discussion on. Times that I've tried people seem to think I'm holding back or messing with them but I'm actually giving what I'm capable of giving. It's like Feelers have the emotional equivalent of a PhD in math but I only just figured out how to count to 10.

I don't really have insecurities or vulnerabilities, I have a good handle on what I can and can't do and that's the end of it. My ISFJ seems to lack confidence compared to me. She's always questioning her abilities or worth and even small failures can really rattle her confidence. For me doing something well is self evident but for her doing something well isn't so until someone agrees with her that it was done well.

I don't have plans or ambitions or goals, I just live in the moment. I think this is a general IP thing but its 10/10 for me since I'm also an ennea 9. This is basically the opposite approach to life that an IJ has.

I wouldn't necessarily be against talking about spirituality and thoughts of morality and human existence but it would be a real struggle for me. There is no meaning to human existence, it just is so what is there to discuss? If there actually was a meaning then figuring it out would be very interesting to me. Discussions like these aren't about figuring out though, the goal is simply to discuss which doesn't make sense to me. I think another SJ or NP would be a better fit for these kinds of topics.
 

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He's very affectionate though and can be playful to a fault - like it seems like he prefers things to be lighthearted and airy all the time - barely delving into deep and uncomfortable areas of life. Sometimes I get annoyed with him always wanting to kiss and hug but never actually delve into what he's feeling or what I"m feeling. I told him once that it seems like he just likes to live "on the surface of life", and not worry about the "inner man" - his or mine. It just comes across as superficial to me. As a feeler...maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if I was another type....l
... why would you voluntarily spend time on "uncomfortable areas of life" (whatever those are). Sounds like stabbing yourself with a fork for fun. Life is what you make of it, so actively making it uncomfortable sounds kinda counter-intuitive.

Are you a reasonably strong J, perchance? I'm getting a lot of the "it needs to be done"/"that's just what you do"-reasoning, and yeah, that kinda is antithetical to our existence. A priori, there's nothing at all that needs to be done. The only thing there is is decisions and consequences, and because we rank the latter according to our priorities, we get a lot of odd looks for the decisions we make, when people assume it's possible to extrapolate the "obvious" choice backwards from the "obvious" consequence to pick.

So anyway, the point being, doing uncomfortable things "because they need to be done" is not a valid motivation. And the opposite of "superficial" (in my definition) isn't somehow viewing the world in a more "emotional" way either, that's simply two entirely different ways to view the world that have nothing to do with each other. My opposite of superficial is deep thinking. Figuring out connections and implications, getting to the essence of a thing, abstracting the world.

That's also the only way I can talk about feelings; I have no other. Everything else is demanding of a blind man to describe colours.

Edit: @Indifferent ISTP said it even better.
 

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I'm married to an ISFJ and she wants (needs?) to talk way more than i do. This was an issue early on in our relationship and i was accused of not trying or not caring. She wanted a set time every night where we just talked even if we didn't have anything to discuss or something interesting to share. My preference would be to do some activity together and the talking just naturally happens instead of being forced. The problem is flipped here though as she doesn't normally enjoy this and may even get uncomfortable.

mmm...thanks! That was a good lot to chew on....good insight into the ISTP mind.... but it really does highlight some differences between Istps and Isfjs, I guess..

I can understand where your wife was coming from in wanting to talk....(although talking every night at a set time does seem a bit structured)... but I think that's how we Isfjs connect with others mostly, through listening and engaging (using Fe) and sharing our thoughts and feelings too . She probably thought that would way to "connect", but I know that's not how an Istp 'connects' generally. My husband also would find that kind of talking scary and would prefer to maybe watch a movie together or something, instead. I guess it also comes down to differences in Love Languages too. I've read that Istps tend to prefer physical touch and quality time..whereas Isjfs are big on Words of affirmation and also quality time.



This is just differences in interests and personality. I could say my wife never wants to: play games, be spontaneous, stop worrying and just have fun, discuss the meaning of a story, discuss the rationale of a something, discuss the implications of something, etc.

Touche..

Some thoughts on your list:
I don't have a handle on my emotions or even much of an understanding so its not something I could have a meaningful discussion on. Times that I've tried people seem to think I'm holding back or messing with them but I'm actually giving what I'm capable of giving. It's like Feelers have the emotional equivalent of a PhD in math but I only just figured out how to count to 10.

That last part makes me laugh. But seriously...do you find being with a feeler intimidating or unsettling at times? Sometimes I wonder if Istps would be better with thinker females, since they have such little understanding of emotions? Which for us feelers, is kind of important. Sometimes I think my husband enjoys my feeling side, but at times it feels like he can't relate to it or give me what I need emotionally

I don't really have insecurities or vulnerabilities, I have a good handle on what I can and can't do and that's the end of it. My ISFJ seems to lack confidence compared to me. She's always questioning her abilities or worth and even small failures can really rattle her confidence. For me doing something well is self evident but for her doing something well isn't so until someone agrees with her that it was done well.

I don' t understand how someone can not have insecurities or vulnerabilites, generally....:unsure: I feel like even the most confident person has some insecurity somewhere.... But aside from that, it just feels like ISTPs don't like to be vulnerable. Like if something is bothering/worrying them, they won't say but keep it inside. For us feelers - opening up about these things with your partner is a show of intimacy - being able to open up to another person about your worries or concerns...baring your soul If you can't do that with a significant other, then who can you do that with? I think it would bother an ISfj if their Istp partner seemed closed off and impenetrable. On that note, how do you guys define intimacy with a significant other? .

I don't have plans or ambitions or goals, I just live in the moment. I think this is a general IP thing but its 10/10 for me since I'm also an ennea 9. This is basically the opposite approach to life that an IJ has.

[B]This is the kind of thing that makes me think that ISTPs come across a bit robotic...."I have no vulnerabilites...I don't understand my emotions.....I have no plans, ambitions or goals...." :unsure:

I wouldn't necessarily be against talking about spirituality and thoughts of morality and human existence but it would be a real struggle for me. There is no meaning to human existence, it just is so what is there to discuss? If there actually was a meaning then figuring it out would be very interesting to me. Discussions like these aren't about figuring out though, the goal is simply to discuss which doesn't make sense to me. I think another SJ or NP would be a better fit for these kinds of topics.
Thanks Northern LIghts. I included my responses above.
 

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... why would you voluntarily spend time on "uncomfortable areas of life" (whatever those are). Sounds like stabbing yourself with a fork for fun. Life is what you make of it, so actively making it uncomfortable sounds kinda counter-intuitive.

Are you a reasonably strong J, perchance? I'm getting a lot of the "it needs to be done"/"that's just what you do"-reasoning, and yeah, that kinda is antithetical to our existence. A priori, there's nothing at all that needs to be done. The only thing there is is decisions and consequences, and because we rank the latter according to our priorities, we get a lot of odd looks for the decisions we make, when people assume it's possible to extrapolate the "obvious" choice backwards from the "obvious" consequence to pick.

So anyway, the point being, doing uncomfortable things "because they need to be done" is not a valid motivation. And the opposite of "superficial" (in my definition) isn't somehow viewing the world in a more "emotional" way either, that's simply two entirely different ways to view the world that have nothing to do with each other. My opposite of superficial is deep thinking. Figuring out connections and implications, getting to the essence of a thing, abstracting the world.

That's also the only way I can talk about feelings; I have no other. Everything else is demanding of a blind man to describe colours.

Edit: @Indifferent ISTP said it even better.
Yes, I'm a pretty strong J. My view on that is.....there are uncomfortable areas of life, for most of us (back to the insecurites, concerns, and vulnerabilites, worries. etc)..... I don't think most of us can say that everything is 100 percent perfect all the time....Yes, there are decisions and consequences and we try to do the best that we can... But we're not in complete control of life. For me, discussing uncomfortable areas of life (concerns etc) is just being emotionally healthy.... Focusing on the parts of you that make you feel happy and confident, as well as the parts that make you feel worried or sad. I understand that that comes from a Feeler standpoint but, as we humans are also made up of emotions - I think it's valid. We're not just made up of rational thought.
I think that istps ignore their emotional side and I"m not sure that's a good thing. In the same way, that it's not good for persons to be completely emotional and ignore rational thought.
 

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I am vastly more internally oriented than externally, and I am quite the emotional individual. I frequently challenge myself by way of engaging in un-comfortable actions and states of mind, in contrast to other ISTP's. Stress and living in the future is my norm. Indeed, I am a type 6 in Enneagram.
 

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My ISTP husband sounds so much like the other ISTPs on here. I have asked him many times before to see if I can dig for more, but I have began to realize that there is what there is and that’s not a bad thing. He’s a simple guy, and that’s a great thing (no drama). I have noticed that every time I ask him how he feels about something, he’ll not respond for a long time or if he does, it’s a short answer like “I don’t think it’s right” from his own personal view, which there isn’t much of. However, if you ask him what he thinks of something, he can argue ethics and morals, but from a very non value based way. He does live in the moment for sure, like literally. Whatever he’s doing, he pays attention to it with like 95% of his attention span and his mind doesn’t wonder to other things, unless he has to. Could even be as simple as watching TV. He watches it. He likes it. It was cool. That’s it lol. No wondering what if’s or possibilities of alternate endings like I would. He might think about it in terms of how it unfolded and whether it made sense and how it would have gone if something else happened, but it’s really not in the “more to it” way. I will say that underneath this, ISTPs can and do love deeply. They can show it too. Every type can. Just don’t expect them to talk about their days, what someone did and how they felt about it and how others felt about it. My husband has never done that since it’s simply just useless to talk about and he doesn’t prefer to dwell on past events. Ah, that’s it pretty much. ISTJ/ISFJ love to dwell on past events even in a casual way (talking about something that happened and how it felt) it seems but for ISTPs, no they just don’t.
 

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And everything Bunniculla wrote, too.


Zeri said:
But seriously...do you find being with a feeler intimidating or unsettling at times? Sometimes I wonder if Istps would be better with thinker females, since they have such little understanding of emotions?
Oh, never. I always oscillate between the two extremes. One is very nice, because everything is uncomplicated. You can talk everything out, it's polite, reasonable, fundamentally makes sense. No drama. But on the other hand, someone fully driven by their emotions is fascinating. Everything I'm not, irrational, nonsensical, passionate ... I think that's what I admire most. Someone so fully invested in something in a way I can't ever be, because there is always that sense of detachment.

Zeri said:
I don' t understand how someone can not have insecurities or vulnerabilites, generally.... I feel like even the most confident person has some insecurity somewhere.... But aside from that, it just feels like ISTPs don't like to be vulnerable. Like if something is bothering/worrying them, they won't say but keep it inside.
What is most precious to you is not what is most precious to me. You already get my feelings, such as they are. I broadcast them to everyone who's listening. I don't need to "open up", because, again, there is nothing to open up. What you see is what you get. When I'm happy, you get happy. When I'm sad, you get sad. I'm sparing you nothing, I couldn't. Just most of the time, I'm content, and then you people wonder "what is going on in there" :p

What you don't get is my thoughts. My opinions. My ideas. My dreams. No one knows everything I think, including family. You are looking for the wrong thing to open. Vulnerable is that which is closest to us, that to which our being and sense of self is tied. And (especially) for ITPs, that is their thoughts. Certainly not their feelings.


Yes, I'm a pretty strong J. My view on that is.....there are uncomfortable areas of life, for most of us (back to the insecurites, concerns, and vulnerabilites, worries. etc)..... I don't think most of us can say that everything is 100 percent perfect all the time....Yes, there are decisions and consequences and we try to do the best that we can... But we're not in complete control of life.
Mmh ... I hear you, and I want to point out it's just an entirely different perspective on the world. I'm in control of my life in every way that matters, but one reason for that is that I don't need to be in control of everything around me. I'm fine with most external things just being whichever way they are or decide to be, as I said. But this precisely gives me immense control over me, because I already relinquished it everywhere else. To exemplify: If I plan ahead, any number of things will impede my plans. But if I simply don't plan at all, I can decide at any individual moment how to react to whatever circumstances are present and that, I would say, is complete control.

It has additional advantages. By and large, I don't worry. I'm not concerned. It requires a focus I don't have, a perspective on life as a whole, and I'm a creature of the moment. I end up in bad situations and then I get out of them. After good comes bad comes good. Sadness comes and goes, as does happiness. Everything is drifting by, the only trick here is -- when bright shiny objects drift past, seize them and never let go. That way you end up with a nice haul.
 

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That last part makes me laugh. But seriously...do you find being with a feeler intimidating or unsettling at times? Sometimes I wonder if Istps would be better with thinker females, since they have such little understanding of emotions? Which for us feelers, is kind of important. Sometimes I think my husband enjoys my feeling side, but at times it feels like he can't relate to it or give me what I need emotionally.
Sometimes Fi users can intimidate me because they approach values/emotion the same way I approach logic and it highlights how lacking I am. ISTP and another thinker might be easier, at least at first, but I think long term you'd be too similar to and things might stagnate. ISFJ's has a good mix of similarities and differences and we have pushed each other to grow. With a thinker I might have gone through life never valuing F things but because of my wife I've made progress, as bad as I still am. I'm sure I don't fully meet her needs there just like she doesn't fully meet my Se needs. She talks to her Mom almost daily and also her close friends to offset this and I have an ESTP friend I can get together with for a spontaneous adventure or just go by myself. Her Ti has definitely gotten stronger since we've been together and although she doesn't have Ni she has still influenced mine by helping me realize to make sure to take on the perspective of others. I'm happy, and its been very rewarding because its been tough at times.



I don' t understand how someone can not have insecurities or vulnerabilites, generally.... I feel like even the most confident person has some insecurity somewhere.... But aside from that, it just feels like ISTPs don't like to be vulnerable. Like if something is bothering/worrying them, they won't say but keep it inside. For us feelers - opening up about these things with your partner is a show of intimacy - being able to open up to another person about your worries or concerns...baring your soul If you can't do that with a significant other, then who can you do that with? I think it would bother an ISfj if their Istp partner seemed closed off and impenetrable.
I misunderstood the insecurities and vulnerabilities point. I took it to mean, do I worry and or is my confidence affected by the potential reaction or opinion of others. Based on your follow up though: I also consider sharing things with my partner an important part of the relationship and always try to be open and honest sometimes to a fault. Ti demands the truth but people don't always want that. Something I've struggled with my whole life is when to say something and when not to. Why didn't you say something there, that was rude. I cant believe you would say that in that situation. I'm always breaking some social rule I didn't know but no one can ever give me rational explanation, that rule is a rule just because. With logic I just know whether I'm right or don't have it but with social stuff I'm wrong all the time even if what I did made sense to me. Sometimes I'll keep quiet just to stay out of the minefield.

As for not opening up if something was bothering/worrying me, my rationale used to be not wanting to burden others. What an asshole I would be if I took a difficulty I had and dumped it on someone else. As I've gotten older I've learned people don't mind, they may even want it and I need to try let people in instead of trying to do as much as possible on my own. Its still easier said than done with inferior Fe. I'll likely get overwhelmed, lose it and then just pick a fight by accident if I try to go there. Its like I have no capacity to feel the emotion, its too much to handle. It's much more natural to just look at it rationally: I think I'm upset. what made me upset? Was it what person A just said? yes. Why did that bother me? I'd think on this and then adjust how I handled a similar situation next time. Telling someone I'm "bad" but working through it is true but yeah its pretty basic compared to an F or even ITJ and ETP's could give.
 

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I can't imagine how I would look to a future spouse. It's funny because I can spend an entire weekend languishing in my room listening to sad music and wallowing in my feelings. But do I talk about it with anyone? Practically never.

I don't like talking about negative things just for the sake of talking about them. It dampens the mood and usually doesn't lead to anything good (i.e. the underlying issue being solved). I find when I do open up to people I have to navigate around their feelings and issues on top of mine, and it's not something I want to do. For example, being very careful with my words so I don't accidentally offend them or trigger some emotional issue while I'm basically venting. It's stressful and annoying. I've tried to tell my mom about some problems I had when I was younger and she didn't want to hear it at all, because she took it to mean she was a bad parent and she got very upset. Or another time I tried to talk about something personal with a friend and she gave me a lecture on how to word things better so as to avoid misunderstandings. It's like every time I say something the person listening automatically adds unnecessary layers of meaning and I have to purposely qualify every single statement just so that doesn't happen. And even then they never fully get what I mean anyway. It's too much work, especially when I'm already stressed.

I don't want to sound like I'm judging anybody. I've also been noticing I'm not good at listening at times. I tune out easily and sometimes I find I didn't hear a big chunk of what was said because I was busy paying attention to my own thoughts. I also have limited bandwidth for caring about other people's problems, so unless I really care about someone I'm probably not going to take the time to hear them out on personal stuff more than once. And whenever I do make sympathetic faces and sounds it's 80% fake - I mostly just do it to be polite. I only feel empathy in very specific situations, like if I've faced the same issue before or if I feel really connected to that person. I assume other people are the same way and I don't feel comfortable burdening them or encroaching on their time.

I think there's also a gender difference. Boys generally aren't "trained" to feel their feelings or delve deep into them. Girls grow up talking out their feelings with each other. I can see how male ISTPs, with the low Fe and even lower Fi, can naturally grow up ignoring and repressing their emotions and even feel as though there is nothing there to delve into. In other words, men tend to have lower emotional intelligence and if you combine that with ISTP traits, you often find ISTP men who are very very limited in how they experience and express emotions.
 

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Sometimes Fi users can intimidate me because they approach values/emotion the same way I approach logic and it highlights how lacking I am. ISTP and another thinker might be easier, at least at first, but I think long term you'd be too similar to and things might stagnate. ISFJ's has a good mix of similarities and differences and we have pushed each other to grow. With a thinker I might have gone through life never valuing F things but because of my wife I've made progress, as bad as I still am. I'm sure I don't fully meet her needs there just like she doesn't fully meet my Se needs. She talks to her Mom almost daily and also her close friends to offset this and I have an ESTP friend I can get together with for a spontaneous adventure or just go by myself. Her Ti has definitely gotten stronger since we've been together and although she doesn't have Ni she has still influenced mine by helping me realize to make sure to take on the perspective of others. I'm happy, and its been very rewarding because its been tough at times.




I misunderstood the insecurities and vulnerabilities point. I took it to mean, do I worry and or is my confidence affected by the potential reaction or opinion of others. Based on your follow up though: I also consider sharing things with my partner an important part of the relationship and always try to be open and honest sometimes to a fault. Ti demands the truth but people don't always want that. Something I've struggled with my whole life is when to say something and when not to. Why didn't you say something there, that was rude. I cant believe you would say that in that situation. I'm always breaking some social rule I didn't know but no one can ever give me rational explanation, that rule is a rule just because. With logic I just know whether I'm right or don't have it but with social stuff I'm wrong all the time even if what I did made sense to me. Sometimes I'll keep quiet just to stay out of the minefield.

As for not opening up if something was bothering/worrying me, my rationale used to be not wanting to burden others. What an asshole I would be if I took a difficulty I had and dumped it on someone else. As I've gotten older I've learned people don't mind, they may even want it and I need to try let people in instead of trying to do as much as possible on my own. Its still easier said than done with inferior Fe. I'll likely get overwhelmed, lose it and then just pick a fight by accident if I try to go there. Its like I have no capacity to feel the emotion, its too much to handle. It's much more natural to just look at it rationally: I think I'm upset. what made me upset? Was it what person A just said? yes. Why did that bother me? I'd think on this and then adjust how I handled a similar situation next time. Telling someone I'm "bad" but working through it is true but yeah its pretty basic compared to an F or even ITJ and ETP's could give.
Hi, interesting. Are you married to an ISFJ as well? I see a lot of similarities between what you and Northern Lights wrote.

I agree with what you said re: ISFJS and ISTPS pushing each other to grow. I've definitely helped my husband to develop his Fe skills - when I met him he was more forceful with his opinions and felt that he had the right to just "call it like it is" in any given moment without considering how the other person would take it. He would say things like "It's the truth! Who cares how people feel? People need to stop being pussies!" etc. It took a lot of explanation from my end to help him see that his approach wasnt always the best in any given situation, and could prevent him from having the effect he wanted to achieve. Yeah, so he's mellowed quite a bit - to good effect I would say, as he used to routinely piss people off before.. ha ha. (He still sometimes breaks unwritten social rules, just like you) And he's also helped me developed my Ti. As an ISFJ I can be a bit of people-pleaser - wanting to make people feel good, and not standing up for my rights or not wanting to ask hard questions (for fear of making other people uncomfortable). I realize I've grown a lot in that area as I'm more assertive and forceful when I need to be. So we've both rounded out each other in good ways.

Re: the last paragraph - cool. I realize you guys operate more in the realm of thought than we do...that takes some getting used to...as I would tend to want to assume that there are feelings there somewhere. . Northern Lights said something above about vulnerabilities meaning exposing...thoughts..... hmm...
 
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