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I'm an ISFJ and I like feelings of all sorts (and specifically for this thread, expressing them). My boyfriend is an INTJ and he does express to me his moods and that he loves me quite regularly. However, when I ask him how a thought provoking or sad book made him feel, he sort of shrugs and says he doesn't know. I, on the other hand, could talk for hours on the amazing metaphors and imagery of blahblahblah. How sad and touching that blahblahblah movie was.

Can you tell I'm an English major?

Anyway, I have difficulties getting him to tell me what he thinks and feels very often. Are there leading questions I could ask or specific ways to encourage him to open up more? I realize sometimes I'm being terribly girly and "feely" about certain things, perhaps even trivial. But I have issues approaching him about it, because I don't want to push him or be invasive.

Does this make any sense whatsoever?
 

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yes. It makes sense. And no, you can't get him to do it. He'll be feeling them, but he won't be able to articulate them, and unless you can interpret accurately vacant stares and long uncomfortable pauses, you'll never know. And the more you push him, the more he'll feel like you are controlling him. Accept that it won't happen, and move on with other parts of your relationship.
 

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Ask him to express his thoughts on the book, not feelings. Asking if a character went in the direction he thought it would, how he might have written It differently, did he believe the characters were real etc.

Ask him to express stuff in metaphore, don't expect an immediate response.. Or ask for a rough metaphore. Tell him why this is important and that you are trying to meet him half way :)

I can't stand overly long winded prose in a book, preamble. Get me to where the plot moves along, where the characters interact, so I can work out their motives, attempt to construct them in my head.
 

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When he tells you he doesn't know, he's being honest. It's not that INTJ's are trying to hide their feelings or avoid talking about them. A lot of the time, it's that we honestly don't know what we're feeling or if we're feeling anything at all.

I've worked long and hard on learning to be more in touch with my emotions and, for the most part, strong responses like anger or frustration are still the only ones I'll recognize at the time. I'll usually identify others through rational analysis after the fact.

I'll second what @Humoriarty said as well. Ask him what he thinks about something, not how he feels about it. Also make sure you give him time to answer. Something may make perfect sense in our heads, but it can take us a while to figure out how to explain it or verbalize it in a way that makes sense to others.
 

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Lets just say that people say i am to opinionated and would probably have more friends if i kept my opinions to myself.

I then show them how I feel to that comment . . . Fuck that. =)
 
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When he tells you he doesn't know, he's being honest. It's not that INTJ's are trying to hide their feelings or avoid talking about them. A lot of the time, it's that we honestly don't know what we're feeling or if we're feeling anything at all

I'll second what @Humoriarty said as well. Ask him what he thinks about something, not how he feels about it. Also make sure you give him time to answer.
Absolutely. I have an ISFJ friend who asks me to explain how I "feel" about various things. When I go into thoughts on the how and why, or my analysis, they said "No, how do you FEEL!!!!?" It is frustrating because I may not feel anything from the book/film. If I say I don't know how I feel, they think I'm lying. It's very frustrating.

I agree that you can ask him what he thought of the film or book and allow him to speak in that way. The best way to phrase it may be "What did you think of the book?" or "I thought that x part was interesting, what did you think?". I'm sure if he found the film or book specifically interesting he will open up about what he liked and thought of certain parts. Just don't force him to analyze everything through emotion and don't be pushy about it. He might need some time to form an opinion, or may never have a strong opinion on it.
 

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I'm an ISFJ and I like feelings of all sorts (and specifically for this thread, expressing them). My boyfriend is an INTJ and he does express to me his moods and that he loves me quite regularly. However, when I ask him how a thought provoking or sad book made him feel, he sort of shrugs and says he doesn't know. I, on the other hand, could talk for hours on the amazing metaphors and imagery of blahblahblah. How sad and touching that blahblahblah movie was.

Can you tell I'm an English major?

Anyway, I have difficulties getting him to tell me what he thinks and feels very often. Are there leading questions I could ask or specific ways to encourage him to open up more? I realize sometimes I'm being terribly girly and "feely" about certain things, perhaps even trivial. But I have issues approaching him about it, because I don't want to push him or be invasive.

Does this make any sense whatsoever?
It makes sense.

He's not being closed therefore he cannot open up more. We don't have feelings about books or movies. We have thoughts, perhaps opinions, theories... but only if we care enough about it.

My advice is not to ask him how he feels... Ask for his opinion or thoughts on the matter. That is pretty much the closest thing to what he 'feels'.

What is your reasoning for this anyway?
 

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It makes sense.

He's not being closed therefore he cannot open up more. We don't have feelings about books or movies. We have thoughts, perhaps opinions, theories... but only if we care enough about it.

My advice is not to ask him how he feels... Ask for his opinion or thoughts on the matter. That is pretty much the closest thing to what he 'feels'.

What is your reasoning for this anyway?
I can't help but chuckle at the inference in that last sentence: "What is your reasoning for this anyway?". As another INTJ it almost felt like an inside joke. Anyways though, to the OP: Always ask what he thinks, not feels. Using myself as a measuring stick, I will tell you bluntly that if I felt anything about a movie/scene/story/whatever I would consider how to word it; say it with relatively low confidence that the words are doing the feeling justice; and then if any further inquiry were made I'd clam up and refuse to talk about it. An adequate metaphor would be for someone who is capable of sight suddenly being blindfolded with no recollection of how it happened. First would be the tentative pause as surroundings are measured, then would come a feeble step in what is presumed to be the right direction. Finally, a push from anyone or anything to go faster would result in immediate fetal position or defensive stance.
 

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Maybe he's telling the truth when he says he doesn't know. It's a common problem among INTJs; being unable to describe feelings or thoughts in words because they are convoluted, non-linear and not easily translatable into words that others would understand. It saves us the effort to just say "I don't know" when the issue isn't exactly worth the effort.
 
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