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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi ISTJs, I'm back with another thread seeking advice. :crying: It's long (i warn you in advance!) but advice would greatly be appreciated. Thanks!

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I consider myself inclusive and it really bothers me when people complain that I'm not being inclusive for something. Whenever there are group activities, I'm always the person making sure everyone is included, and I'm the person everyone calls for a "roll call" because I'm usually in touch with everyone. Growing up, i moved around a lot and Im always aware of group dynamics, so I always make sure to create an inclusive atmosphere. And sometimes, within the group, there may be a person that doesn't really like the other person as much, but I still always try to keep the group together. Harmony.

When I was in college, I didn't have a "group" of friends, but a lot of people I knew. With some of these people, I eventually grew closer to them, because we had some classes together, went to the same school organizations/churches, had similar hobbies. And slowly, over time, we've developed a really strong friendship. And I'm thankful for these people. Most of these people already have their own social "circle" or "group," but they took the time to get to know someone outside of that group, and took the time to allow our friendship to grow. And every so often, we meet up for a coffee chat or some quality one-on-one time together working on similar hobbies. A part of me is saddened sometimes, because I know they have their own circle of friends and I'm just a good friend outside of that part of their life.

I am seriously so thankful for rare moments in life where I've found a good friend that accepts me for who I am, and I feel that we have a lot of trust and bond between each other. However, outside of this trust and bond I feel, I don't go out of my way to initiate settings exclusive of just me and that person. It usually happens spontaneously, we finished a class together and headed for coffee at a cafe... we had a group project together, and we shared many life stories while working together... one of us called each other during a rough day... things that occurred naturally that allowed this friendship to grow.

And it upsets me. When people say I need to be inclusive, because it suggests I am being exclusive in some way. And I feel upset because... I go way out of my way to be inclusive in group settings, to include everyone and to remember everyone's birthday/everyone's quirks and whatnot. For most of my life, I grew up without friends (moved around a lot), and I've even been bullied in situations where a socially influential person excluded me. In high school, i was lucky to find friends that accepted me, but still for the most part, I feel that i've never been somewhere where I just belonged and was part of the community. It just seems like a double standard to me. On one hand, you have really socially exclusive people with cliques and a huge quantity of friends, and they are never asked to be inclusive. And then you have people like me, who only have a few good friendships throughout their lives, and this is considered as selfish and exclusive. Really? And this usually comes from people who have a huge quantity of friends. I wish they can leave me alone sometimes.

Example: recently... this friend and I have gotten closer over a long period of time. She is ISTJ, and I guess this is where your advice comes in. With all of our mutual friends, I was always the one initiating get-togethers for all of us, and always the one making effort to keep in touch and to remain active in their lives. However, most of these friends became busy with their own lives and went on their own ways, and to a certain degree shutting out room for friendship (they are currently in med school right now). With this ISTJ friend though, as times got harder, we got closer because we started talking more and started experiencing hardships together, shared laughter and tears together... And even while pursuing graduate school, we still remained in touch every so often, whereas the other friends gradually drifted... After years of trying to keep us all together, i sort of had to "let go" in the sense that I continued to try often, but i realized they had moved on. And around this time, I got burned out on my end, too. Recently, all of us had a chance to mingle again (initiated by me, to celebrate's someone's graduation plans). And I guess some people didn't like how me and this friend had gotten closer. Some voiced their thoughts on this and complained that "you guys are so close" or seemed uncomfortable with the idea that we have 2-3 hour long phone calls. And you know what? I tried calling these friends, keeping in touch with them, but they were the ones who always were too busy to call back, too busy for conversations. And I guess now these friends want to be more active in each others' lives, but one of them complained to me that I needed to be more inclusive.

And after this comment was made, the close ISTJ friend had been distancing herself from me. I am guessing she felt pressured to be more fair with her time or something. It bothers me because before, they didn't give us a minute or care of their time, and now they are complaining that I am not being inclusive enough. I guess there are two things: 1) I feel that I've done the best I could do in this situation, but I feel that there is negative judgment towards me for being closer to one friend. Given how our friendship progressed and how others got busy, I feel that it's not something where we intentionally became closer while excluding others, but given the situation, it just happened. That's life, no? Am I wrong for feeling /thinking this way? 2) It would be nice if things were back the way it was with my ISTJ friend and I. I miss talking to her, just sharing our happy and sad times together. I feel that she is distancing herself from me just a little, so that others won't keep saying we are too close, but I am confused. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Are you sure that this friend is a confirmed ISTJ? And if so, is she aware of the facts (that you in fact tried to be in contact with everyone)? My guess is that she doesn't, and because of that, SHE doesn't want to appear as if she's being cliquish; while ISTJ's crave/need to be in groups, they abhor cliquishness.

On the other hand, if she were to be made aware of the facts behind the situation, my guess is that she'd have the same reaction that I did when I read the post, which was, "Not my problem that these OTHER people are trying to play politics; SHE (i.e., you) is my friend, and to hell with the rest of you". Having said that, I'd never actually SAY that, but by my actions I wouldn't have to - it would be obvious.
 

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I am sorry that you are going through this. Friendships can be difficult to mantain, especially in a time where grad school, marriage, and other types of life changes are happening among people closest to you. You said that you tried your best, and that is what counts. I personally am not big on having friends. Throughout high school and some of my college years I had dozens of friends, we partied together, spent every day together, and I found at the end of the day most of them just cared about themselves more then the friendship. I also am a recovered alcoholic, so of course most of these friends were involved with that type of stuff too.

I have gotten to a point in my life where I am content with a handful of close family members, my girlfriend of three years, and our dog. I have no desire for friends becuase in my opinion, more often then not they are self absorbed and make life harder. If I were you, I would have nothing to do with these types of people, because there just seems too much drama among them. It is obviously weighing you down. Do you have a boyfriend or husband? I found that when I found my girlfriend, she became my best friend and we do everything together. She is a bit more outgoing then me and has friends, while I am perfectly content without them. Everyone is different when it comes to friends. I guess I am an exception, being very reclusive and all. You have to get your priorities together and ask yourself: How badly do you want to have/keep friends? I think you should also ask yourself, "at what expense to my own emotional health do I want to continue friendships with people who don't respect/support me?" I hope I was of some help.
 

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Yes, I would agree with Sela. Tell her the facts if she is definitely an ISTJ. Let her know that you did try to advance friendship with others but they didn't bother putting in the required effort as she did. I think most of us are rather reasonable people and make just decisions given the facts so she should be back like before.

Now, I am not the best person to listen to as I have a strong T preference and don't really understand people in general. But, it seems to me that people telling you to be more inclusive when you are trying your best and others remarking how two of you have come close together seems to be giving you undesirable stress. I, for one, would not care about their opinion and simply not let it worry me. Listen and forget. People who don't care about you too much don't deserve to give you this tension. Don't worry about comments from those shallow popular people or friends who are too busy for you. This attitude hasn't earned me many friends but has prevented me getting negatively affected by people's comments.

Also remember that as far as people exist, complaining- commenting types would too. There is nothing you can do about that. Just don't take it too seriously.

I hope it works out for you.:happy:
 

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Life has a natural ebb and flow. Growing apart from old friends and making new friends is part of that.

Don't sweat it about what others say or feel jealous of. That's their problem, not yours.

Talk to your ISTJ friend just as you have us, here. Explain it and see where it goes from there. If it is a friendship you want to keep, you'll have to stretch a bit to make it happen.

And continue to work on same sex relationships. This establishes a great deal of emotional health.
 

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I personally have lost touch with almost all of my friends after high-school. So i know how that goes, so i tried to move on myself and make new friends, new bonds, a new life. Now that I have switched colleges I've only seen one of my newer friends once. They are all good people but when you can't be in their life they look else where for connection.

Now to me your friend who you must highly value, needs to know that you care and want to remain friends. She may already know, but it can't hurt to reinforce the fact. Find a day when you two can be together without interruptions and explain the whole situation, and pray to whatever god you have that she understands and will no longer distance herself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, thanks for all of your support and advice guys. Every post was really helpful.

Yes, my friend is a confirmed ISTJ -- she took the test twice, once got INTJ and once got ISTJ (when we were older). But she is definitely a sensor and often, the posts I read on the ISTJ forum sound like they were written by her. xD And no, she doesn't know all of the facts about the situation. A lot of times I would make my effort to be in touch with the other friends, and I would be disappointed, but I wouldn't bring it up. "If you have nothing good to say, don't." I would always feel that if I complain about the other friends or how I felt hurt, I was just stating the obvious or making others look bad.

I guess I should bring up the facts of the situation. We often discuss how these days we only have each other to talk to. And I guess at one point, I can explain my thoughts and feelings on this situation. And yes, I do value this friendship very much. I would say that her view of friendships aligns with what I've read so far -- when we first met, i could tell she didn't really want/need friends, and kept most people at a distance. however, over the years, she greatly opened up to me, and has told me how much she trusts me and is thankful to have me as a friend.

And YES, this situation is causing me a LOT of undesirable stress. One of the said friends above is going through med school while ISTJ friend is going through grad. school. That friend moved in last month temporarily with my ISTJ friend because the schools they go to our nearby ISTJ's studio now. Since then, I feel that all of the discussion on not being inclusive has been affecting my ISTJ friend as well. I guess, seeing it from the other friends' perspective, without hearing my perspective, had that affect. I don't think she feels/thinks of me badly, but she's just giving us distance because she doesn't want to appear to be cliquish like you mentioned.

Ok, will definitely talk to ISTJ friend now. :) Thanks for your advice and everything guys. And I'll keep checking back on this thread to read other advice too
 
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