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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, I am starting this thread because it seems to spark some interesting ideas concerning type and how it presents in emotional interaction.

This has grown out of an earlier question about which male Ts are the most caring/sensitive/gentle to his good lady. That is NOT the question here.

Perhaps I should have defined my terms first. I'll do it now.

By care I mean defending or protecting the other from harm, whether emotionally, or physically. To be concerned with the other's welfare. Care can be taken as synonymous with Love here, though some may confuse love with need, so I am defining Love as being sacrificial in nature. By gentle I mean handling the other gently, using soft words, and constructive/uplifting encouragement to the other. Not handling roughly, whether verbally or physically. By sensitive I mean being attuned to the needs and emotions of the other. I should add demonstrative as well. By demonstrative I mean showing verbal or physical affection or any of the other above mentioned qualities.

The addition of demonstrative, really should have been a part of the question in the first place. It should be noted however, that if the above qualities are not demonstrated, it can be difficult to adduce their presence.

In other words, if someone says that they care about X person, but they never show or say it, then how do we know that they really do care?
 

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MOTM Nov 2010
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Well that is why I say love is a "verb". It's an action. It needs to be shown.

And often when the words "I love you" first enter a relationship, it can cause couples to be very, very, lazy. Because now, instead of showing it, they can just say "I love you". I"m very careful of this trap. And the reality is that love takes time anyway.

But you weren't asking about love, you were asking about "care".

I care for others by defending AND protecting them. This just comes very natural for me as an ENFP. It's bizarre. I may not have been the best at fighting my own battles, but I've always kicked ass at standing up for others. It's only until recently that I've learned to become my own advocate.

As far as gentle I don't feel I use soft fuzzy words. I fear people will think I'm talking down to them. So I continue to challenge. However, constructive/uplifting encouragement to the other person is what I try to be about. I am also verbally demonstrative. I am very in tune with the needs of others.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Love

Well that is why I say love is a "verb". It's an action. It needs to be shown.

And often when the words "I love you" first enter a relationship, it can cause couples to be very, very, lazy. Because now, instead of showing it, they can just say "I love you". I"m very careful of this trap. And the reality is that love takes time anyway.

But you weren't asking about love, you were asking about "care".

I care for others by defending AND protecting them. This just comes very natural for me as an ENFP. It's bizarre. I may not have been the best at fighting my own battles, but I've always kicked ass at standing up for others. It's only until recently that I've learned to become my own advocate.

As far as gentle I don't feel I use soft fuzzy words. I fear people will think I'm talking downto them. So I continue to challenge. However, constructive/uplifting encouragement to the other person is what I try to be I'm about. I am also verbally demonstrative. I am very in tune with the needs of others.
Thanks Pink, I should have put love in there too. I have edited to include that. I said that care could be seen as synonymous with love, though some people confuse love with need (usually their own needs).
 

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INXX: I have the same definition of caring / love as you do. The problem is, everyone is fundamentally selfish -- some more than others -- they may care about you deeply, it's just they care about themselves .... more.
 
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I don't know, riddle me this. How do you get through to an INFJ when they decide they rather not discuss issues when things have come to a head. They would rather "cool off" and then they'll be fine. What are /we/ supposed to do? Twiddle our thumbs?

I have dealt with the issue already, but I would really love to hear an INFJs perspective on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't know, riddle me this. How do you get through to an INFJ when they decide they rather not discuss issues when things have come to a head. They would rather "cool off" and then they'll be fine. What are /we/ supposed to do? Twiddle our thumbs?

I have dealt with the issue already, but I would really love to hear an INFJs perspective on this.

Okay, these are two questions:

1. How do you get through to an INFJ when they decide they rather not discuss issues... and

2. What are /we/ supposed to do? Twiddle our thumbs?

Aside: You say that you have already settled the matter. Why not ask your INFJ yourself?

The tone of your questions suggest that you are not happy about your INFJ friend's way of dealing with things. You framed it as "when they decide they rather not discuss..." I can almost hear your bitterness here. Am I wrong?

Your second question says a bit sarcastically, "what are we supposed to do? Twiddle our thumbs? I'm sensing irritation here.

Answer to question 2:

Separating for the sake of cooling off is a great idea. It may seem unfair to you, or manipulative, but the plain fact is that is helps each party to calm down and assess things from a less emotionally charged viewpoint. It can mean the difference between things being said out of anger (scarring each other needlessly) and quiet reflection that leaves room for mercy and forgiveness.

Instead of stewing while you wait, you might try saying, "Look, I know you are upset right now, so I'm not going to pressure you." "Can we please talk about it later though, when we're both more calm?" Then don't twiddle your thumbs, be patient! Find something else to do or to think about. You probably need some distance too, it helps to keep things in perspective and gives you time to marshal your thoughts.

Answer to question 1:

I would not like to speak for other INFJs, but for myself, I suppose it depends upon the seriousness of the issue. If you have crossed a line, it may take a while. Some lines, once crossed, may not be overcome at all. In that case, there is probably not much you can do except mend your ways, apologise, and be very very sincere about it. Who knows, they may take you back if you are important enough to them (a spouse, child, best friend, etc.). If it is a relatively minor issue, then I usually bounce back (unless it is a repeat offence, in which case it may take some redefining of the issue, and an undertaking that it not be repeated again. For myself, I recognise that I can be irrationally stubborn at times and can get pretty bent out of shape over minor things. Other times, I can let a big thing go with a benign remonstration. I guess it depends on my mood.

On the lighter side:

If the INFJ in your life is a significant other, then I would wait half an hour to an hour depending on the seriousness of the issue of course, then maybe throw some "I love you," "I'm sorry," "it was my fault," "do you want some ice-cream," "look, John Lewis' having a sale, why don't we go shopping," phrases at them. LOL Hey, it works for me.

Hope this helps.
 

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By care I mean defending or protecting the other from harm, whether emotionally, or physically. To be concerned with the other's welfare. Care can be taken as synonymous with Love here, though some may confuse love with need, so I am defining Love as being sacrificial in nature.
I'm not sure it is love, exactly. Some of the most poignant caring may be done anonymously, from donating your blood to falling on a grenade to save your fellow comrades. Caring is most meaningful when it is unexpected, and given without the expectation of anything back.

By gentle I mean handling the other gently, using soft words, and constructive/uplifting encouragement to the other. Not handling roughly, whether verbally or physically.
Sometimes a person needs to have a little shock. I would much prefer someone give it to me insightfully, straight and blunt, even harshly, when I am messing up or down. It's awfully hard to find that. Anything else dances around the issue.

By sensitive I mean being attuned to the needs and emotions of the other. I should add demonstrative as well. By demonstrative I mean showing verbal or physical affection or any of the other above mentioned qualities.
I think sensitivity is related to communication. We don't all have the skills to read what another is thinking or feeling. In place of that, if you encourage open communication without judgment, and calmly listen to and discuss anything they have to say, while still reacting with what you really feel, I think that is being sensitive. If you couple being demonstrative only when you feel it with the above qualities I described, I think it will mean much more to the person receiving it.

In other words, if someone says that they care about X person, but they never show or say it, then how do we know that they really do care?
Sometimes it's the day in and day out things. Sometimes you have to let go of the need in order to see it. Trust and be open to seeing it when it does come. If you don't expect it, then it will come when you least expect it, and you will appreciate it more. Show your appreciation for it, and you will get more than you imagine in many cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for your thoughts.

Caring is most meaningful when it is unexpected, and given without the expectation of anything back.
Yeah, that is very sacrificial. Yay!

Sometimes a person needs to have a little shock. I would much prefer someone give it to me insightfully, straight and blunt, even harshly, when I am messing up or down. It's awfully hard to find that. Anything else dances around the issue.
I can see where you're coming from and I agree. I prefer that people be direct/blunt/truthful, just maybe not harsh though.

I think sensitivity is related to communication. We don't all have the skills to read what another is thinking or feeling.
Yeah, I think it is important to let others know what it is that we need or want and not expect them to read our minds.

Sometimes it's the day in and day out things. Sometimes you have to let go of the need in order to see it. Trust and be open to seeing it when it does come. If you don't expect it, then it will come when you least expect it, and you will appreciate it more. Show your appreciation for it, and you will get more than you imagine in many cases.
When you only look for the negative, you miss the positive! :happy:
 

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My take...

In other words, if someone says that they care about X person, but they never show or say it, then how do we know that they really do care?
This type of question fascinates me in a sense as the first part I'd note is that "never show or say it" which may or may not be true. Some people will give subtle hints in certain situations though I'd generally for if there is a light in their eyes or voice when X person comes up in conversation. Is there that smile of,"Oh now we are talking about X," with a dreamy sigh and enjoyment. What kind of conversations does someone have with X person? Is it that tongue twisted, has a crush and thus doesn't know how to act on it generally? Do they ask if the other person wants or needs anything regularly? There are lots of clues if look for them but this isn't an easy thing to do and in some cases it can be rather difficult to find when someone is putting themselves out there as I'd imagine extraverts may find this easier than introverts yet everyone needs some care and love in this world.

Some people in the world are great at exhorting others while some are great at serving others. Those that serve may still be important people, it is just that it is common for them to ask if anyone needs anything or just be there for someone. Others in the world, like myself, may not always show that side and so what someone may have to do is ask me if I care about X person. I'll likely give an honest reaction which may or may not really answer the question as there can be that baseline of how I'd care for almost everyone on the planet to some degree in not wanting to see someone get unnecessarily or unwantedly hurt. Sometimes I can internalize things so well that my external clues are ovely hidden. This is without going into the high school drama land where one does the opposite of what they want to do. For example, a boy may be mean to a girl he likes with the hope that something happens. It isn't logical or rational at all but it does happen, at least in various stories and legends I know.
 
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