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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How to find the emotional side of an INTP....

I can remember times when I've been very upset about something and I really wanted to let go of all of the emotional energy but was consistently prevented by people who "were trying to help".

...its not easy getting past the wounds because they are there to protect the INTP from further emotional attack like a set of armor.

A Personal Perspective
By Bo Ahlberg
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The key to getting to an INTP's emotional core is making it a safe thing for them to do... (Especially for the Male INTP but also true for our INTP Sisters.) Dealing with emotion not something we are comfortable with because of the energy that is there. Dealing with emotion is something that represents pain to us and generally in proportion to the level of energy present. Of the few times where the inner me has been allowed "out of the box" it has not been well received by those around me... the result is that the "box" just gets harder to open each time.

Another thing is you have to "allow them to get there"... I can remember times when I've been very upset about something and I really wanted to let go of all of the emotional energy but was consistently prevented by people who "were trying to help". For me (can't speak for all INTPs) emotions are, in effect, tied to events... events are tied to memories... and memories are tied to "trains of thought".

So, if you want me to discover my emotional side... let me follow the path...

The problem comes from when people "try to help". For all there "help" what they do is unlink the process and interrupt the chain by asking the wrong questions and making unneeded suggestions... just let the conversation follow its course... ask, "how do you feel about that" or better "what do you think about that"... don't relate it back to your life... don't try to draw a comparison to your own life... because unless you are INTP (which means you're not likely to even consider doing this) your way of getting to the emotional issue is likely different.

Who an INTP is on the outside can be as much about what scars they wear from dealing with people as it does who they really are... its not easy getting past the wounds because they are there to protect the INTP from further emotional attack like a set of armor.

Only those who don't know us think were unemotional... we only try to keep the emotions from interfering in our lives...

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Iganokami's Guide to the INTP Mate.

This is one INTPs definition of the needs of an INTP as a spouse or mate. The original author's (Iganokami) version was written for the INTP Husband. However, it appears from later discussion that INTP Women want the same things. So, with a bit of editorial license this is the guide to the INTP mate.

1. Lots of sex
I dont think it is just me as an INTP who finds this a very important part of a relationship and the most important physical expression of love in a relationship - it is NOT a selfish act for selfish physical satisfaction. but hell, it is damn pleasing, too

2. Moral support
It is a tough world out there for INTPs

3. An equal
INTPs have no wish to dominate, and are crushed by domination

4. Someone who is next to unoffendable.
INTPs tend to lack tact, but also want and need to be brutally honest with thier intimate partners - they want someone who they can playfully insult, who will then either laugh in thier face or give it right back.

5. Someone who can accept them for who they are and not try to change them.
INTPs appear erratic to the casual observer in a relationship, for example - they appear to demand solitude one moment, sex the next. Non-INTPs find this VERY hard to reconcile with their typical conception of "love"

6. Someone who accepts the peculiar WAYS they show thier love.
Be it really, really sappy hopless-romantic type drivel or passionate physical expression, or just a touch or a simple look. The INTP way is very hard to catch, if you blink, you miss it. Non-INTPs tend to want tokens and words, not a slow dance in a room with no radio, not a quiet cuddle in front of the TV at the end of the day, or the other strange and random expressions that INTPs tend to give. [This ties in with #5.]

7. SPACE [as in both physical and emotional space]
In case it was missed, I'll mention it again: SPACE!! INTP men need their free time to pursue intellectual pursuits, and CAN NOT be:
a.) disturbed
b.) told they dont love thier partner because they spend too much time "alone", etc.
INTP men disappear for a while, then come out swinging. this FORCES most non-INTPs to think that the INTP partner only wants them for sex. This is wrong, but if the non-INTP is not capable of #5 and #6, they are forced to believe it.

8. Comforting. [this goes along with #2.]
The world sucks, particularly for INTPs. They are capable of an utterly staggering amount of patience and responsibility, but in the long run, without #2 and #8, the relationship will ultimately die, or the INTP will DIE a very real death. With #2 and #8, an INTP can take a spectacular amount of abuse, responsibility, and patience in life, as long as his partner supplies #2 and #8 in sufficient quantities.

9. An intellect. a person who can hold their own in a debate.
The words "you always think you are right!!" are the LAST words an INTP wants to hear from their mate. The INTP wants debate! Wants intellectual stimulation! If they doesnt get it at home, #7 becomes very very very important. If their mate can not handle #7, there will be PROBLEMS. If the mate can supply #9, the INTP will be very happily occupied with their mate for a long, long time.

10. Someone to learn with. [This goes with #9]
Someone who is interested in learning and intellectual stimulation. The INTP needs someone who they can learn with and enjoy the mysteries and adventures of life with. Someone who can understand their interest in the esoteric, show appreciation for their interests, and even join them in these interests, or introduce them to new ones.

11. Someone capable of self reflection and self analysis.
Often the INTP finds that they are the only one "growing" in a relationship, the only one who can see the problems in the relationship. This usually forces the INTP to be the one to change, to be the one to compromise for their partner. Because many non-INTPs have no true ability to self reflect the non-INTP thinks they are ALWAYS right. The INTP spends their life examining themselves and their relationship to see what they need to do to make it work. So they spend all their time critically analyzing it, and the mate does nothing but demand that they change. This will eventually lead to the spiritual DEATH of the INTP, if not the actual PHYSICAL death of the INTP. To avoid this, the INTP person NEEDS a mate who can examine the relationship WITH them, so they can grow TOGETHER.

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Mannerly Art of Disagreement (or how an INTP sees discussion)

Borrowed from Macedon as an introduction to how to discuss with an INTP

Table of contents:
I. Introduction
II. Rules of Engagement
III. What If One Participant Refuses to Play Fair?
IV. Is It Ever All Right to Break the Rules?

I. INTRODUCTION
Among the greatest problems faced in a public forum is how participants may disagree without descending into either personal attacks or not-so-witty one-line repartee. There are certain "rules of engagement," if you will, which can prevent name calling and other debate no-nos.

But first, we must dispel the myth that polite equals namby-pamby. In fact, it is possible to disagree--even to disagree significantly--in a civil manner. Disagreement is never comfortable, but if we refrain from permitting it to become a war (or, on the internet, a flamewar) we might learn something and keep our blood pressure down at the same time. Disagreement can be fruitful. But it will be fruitful only so long as certain guidelines are followed.

II. THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
1. THE paramount rule of Jeffersonian Debate: Grant your opponent respect. This means you must allow that he or she can examine the facts and come to a different conclusion from you. This is harder than it sounds, particularly for those who view disagreement as a personal affront, or a sign of stupidity. Persons who hold such views cannot engage in fruitful debate.

2. ...Which brings up the second point: Learn objectivity. Be able to separate others' disagreement with your ideas from attacks on your person. Beware of the overly subjective individual who identifies with certain ideals/ideas to such an extent that disagreement is considered to constitute a personal threat. Such persons hold to the perception, "You're either with me or you're against me." Should you meet with such a one, disengage immediately unless you enjoy being subjected to Scream and Leap.

3. Part of learning objectivity means recognizing the difference between a fact and an opinion. 2+2=4 is a fact, more or less. That John Mellencamp writes great lyrics is an opinion. In order to disprove a fact, one MUST present contrary evidence. Just saying, "That's wrong!" isn't good enough. It's an opinion, not an argument.

"That's wrong because..." is an argument. When presenting an opinion in a debate, it's usually a good idea to indicate in some manner that you realize it's an opinion. "It seems to me..." or "It's been my experience..." or (in nettese) the ever-popular, extremely useful IMHO (in my humble opinion). In short, avoid stating your opinion as if it were a fact: e. g. "Romance stories are gross," or "Action-adventure is boring." Likewise, another's experience or feelings cannot be "wrong" or "right." Don't confuse the existential with the objective. My experience (the existential) is MY experience and no one else can gainsay it because no one else is living in my head and body but me.

What someone else might justifiably do is question my interpretation of my experience: "Well, it didn't strike me as...."

Now for the fine point: While experiences can never be right or wrong, opinions arising from incorrectly interpreted experiences can be. When dealing with fiction, in which opinions and interpretation come from the experience of reading, this "fine point" is more than splitting hairs. Without encroaching too much on Peg's "Mannerly Art of Critique," being able to recognize that interpretation of fiction is opinion, not fact, is as essential to productive feedback as to productive debate.

4. Refrain absolutely from ad hominem attack. What is ad hominem attack? To criticize or belittle the one who holds a certain position rather than the position itself. Example: "How stupid can you be?" or "That just goes to show you don't know anything." Attacking your opponent rather than your opponent's ideas merely indicates a weakness in your position. It wins no brownie points.

5. Absolutely. Never. Use. Invectives. What's an "invective"? A verbal attack, often one that employs obscenities. No matter what your opponent says to you, do not respond with obscenities. Doing so shows deplorably bad manners and convinces any onlookers that you were raised in a barn. Locker-room talk doesn't belong on the debating block. There's simply no excuse for it. Period. It doesn't matter who started it. (Incidently, there is a difference between obscenity as invective and simple adjectival use: "Fuck you" is invective; "That's a hell of a note" or "You know damn well" is adjectival.)

6. Avoid irrelevancies and non sequiturs. Perhaps that goes without saying, but be sure your points relate to the topic. If your opponent (or someone else) says, "What do you mean by that?" or "Your point/parallel/example doesn't seem to follow," you must be able to explain how it does. By the same token, think through points and parallels before you make them to be certain they DO relate. A good way of weakening any argument is by using non sequiturs or bad metaphors.

7. Remember that there may be more than two sides to any debate. You may find yourself agreeing with neither debater, or agreeing with some points made by one, and some points made by the other. Polite debate includes frank admission of where one may agree with an opponent. It's a debate, not a war. Insisting, "You're with me or you're against me" merely points to the lack of objectivity mentioned in point #2 above.

8. In any debate, even polite ones, there is always a certain degree of side-taking: onlookers who are convinced by, or agree already with the arguments of one participant or another. Onlookers who choose to speak out should obey the same polite rules of engagement as anyone else. Also, it is helpful to state why one agrees. "John's right and you're wrong" is neither convincing nor helpful. However, "I find John's arguments persuasive because...." can contribute to the debate in a positive way. It also prevents "side-taking" from becoming mere ego-massage, which in turns helps to keep the focus on the matter at hand, not the personalities involved. It IS permissible to disagree with a friend. This goes back to being able to separate subjective from objective. I may like you very much, but still disagree with your position.

9. Persons who have tender egos should think twice before leaping into a debate. As Apollo advised, "Know thyself!" If you have a tendency to take disagreement personally--stay out of debates! People have skins of differing thicknesses. What may strike you as insulting may have been meant innocently. Assume ignorance, not malice, and inform your opponent if he or she just said something which struck as hostile or personal. Allow the other the opportunity to qualify remarks which may have been innocently meant. If your opponent says, "I didn't mean it that way!"--accept the refutation. Don't insist otherwise!

10. By the same token, recognize that phrasing is everything.

Bluntness can be plain rude, not charmingly honest. If you are one who does have a thick skin, realize others may not and take some care with what you say and how you say it. Such simple things as noting that your opinion is an opinion (the "In my experience" or "IMHO" mentioned above) can go a long way toward keeping feathers smooth and unruffled.

11. Don't be afraid to employ humor, as long as the humor is not a cover for personal attack. Humor in debate keeps blood from boiling.

12. Don't use religious principles or canons as absolutes. Recognize that not everyone may hold the same beliefs. Some debates directly concern religious points, but introducing them into an otherwise unrelated issue is inappropriate. "The Bible says..." is not an argument unless all participants agree on the Bible as an authority, and on a particular interpretation of the Bible, to boot. Otherwise, the reaction will--justifiably--be, "So what?" The use of religious principles or canons in debate must be treated as opinions, not facts.

13. Be man or woman enough to concede. If one's opponent convinces--admit it! Those who can never admit to being wrong show fragile ego structure. The real point of any debate is not to win, but to learn.

If one enters a debate merely to win, one has entered for the wrong reasons. Whatever the ancient Greeks thought, life is not a continual contest.

14. Know when to quit. There is a point in any debate when continued discussion ceases to be fruitful and becomes mere argument. Graceful closure is as important as graceful conduct. One does not have to have the last word, and it is permissible to say, "I'm sorry, I'm just not convinced." Agree to disagree.

15. Finally, watch grammar, especially when debating in written forms such as that found on the Internet. This is not a petty point. One cannot convince others of one's glittering wit and clever insight if it's delivered full of misspellings and grammar errors. Instead, participants will wonder how one passed eighth grade English. More, bad grammar or lack of clarity will contribute to misunderstanding.

One may say the opposite of what one means, or say something that is unintentionally amusing. ("Except" means the opposite of "accept," yet I see the two all-too-commonly confused in internet posts--with sometimes laughable results.)

If these simple rules are followed, even extremely controversial topics can be safely discussed. If these rules are not followed, the most mundane of matters may turn explosive.


III. WHAT IF ONE PARTICIPANT REFUSES TO PLAY FAIR?
In order for Jeffersonian debate to flourish, all participants must be willing to obey the rules of engagement. If one individual refuses, there's not much the rest can do but ignore him or her.

Nevertheless, a couple of things to keep in mind when this happens:
1. Some people feed on conflict; this is how they get their jollies. It's a sign of unhealthy social adjustment. Such individuals will make inflammatory remarks simply to irritate. On the internet, this may manifest as "trolling": those who post intentionally controversial or insulting statements simply to stir things up. (Trolls are not usually regular participants in any particular group.) Yet there are also individuals who aren't trolls but still jump into debates with both feet for the thrill of pissing off others: gadflies. Don't confuse the two. Nevertheless, the wise response is the same: ignore them and they go away (or at least shut up).

2. Replying to rudeness in kind simply makes you look foolish. As my grandfather used to say, "Don't lower yourself to their level." Temper, temper. Grit your teeth and keep the rules of engagement.

3. In the rare circumstance that a gadfly or troll does not leave even after being ignored for weeks, or whenever one takes his or her harassment from a public forum to a private one (such as email), immediately notify that person's ISP provider (i. e. [email protected]_gadfly's address_). If the mail bounces--that is, if the real ISP provider has been camouflaged--then immediately notify your ISP provider of the harassment and ask them to track the person down, or to give you a new mail address.


IV. IS IT EVER ALL RIGHT TO BREAK THE RULES?
Aren't there some topics that just don't deserve Jeffersonian debate? Aren't some positions so disgusting that they shouldn't be dignified by polite responses? What about posts by hate groups, neo-Nazis, pornographers, etc.?

This is a problematic question since it may lead down a slippery slope--rather like censorship. The automatic pitfall of free speech is that it IS free: people you don't like and with whom you disagree have just as much right to state their positions--short of slander--as you have to argue with them. Child pornography or its advertisement is illegal; debate about it is not... however disgusting or horrifying one may find the phenomena.

There are certain topics which are so widely regarded as morally objectionable that if one attacks them with non-Jeffersonian methods such as name-calling and invective, one may be cheered by most if not all the on-lookers. Yet there are other subjects, more controversial, which involve opinions just as virulent--such as homosexuality or abortion--but about which there is far less consensus. Some consider homosexuality or abortion to be as reprehensible as child pornography or murder, and refuse to engage in any polite debate about it because, of course, they are right and everyone who disagrees is wrong (and usually disgusting and stupid, too). The reverse can be equally true: defenders of either may automatically see all opponents as bigoted or irrational (often based on past experience), and refuse to even listen to other positions as they're too busy screaming their own at the top of their (virtual) lungs.

Neither side is trying to debate. They're just on rampage and should be treated accordingly: Laugh at them, ignore them, or get out of their way, but don't lower yourself to their level by copying their methods. Doing so certainly won't accomplish anything except to make you look just as foolish. If, however, you meet up with someone who IS being polite in debate--no matter what you may think of his or her position--IF YOU WISH TO CONVINCE ANYONE ELSE OF YOURS, stay polite yourself.

In other words, No, it's never wise to break the rules. Not unless you're applying for God's job.

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If you can understand these things and you're not already disgusted, you'll probably get along quite well with your INTP :laughing:. Even if you can't... they're probably subconsciously seeing things from this point of view. Each of these articles comes from the same site, found at To be INTP...

There are many more articles there, but I found these three particularly useful (some of them are downright bad... so take care if you go poking around) if you want to understand how an INTP sees things that many other types think are common to everyone in a different way.
 

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I can't understand INTPs, I don't know why. I read that stuff, all these rules of attraction? If that's the case, I can't get along with INTPs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
*shrug*, to give you some idea, this got posted on INTPforum and there was widespread approval (for the one in the middle, specifically). Are you an INTP, lkari? Is your group mislabeled, or do you just not fit with these ideas?
 

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yeah, my hand slipped and click INTP. Now there's no turning back. I'm suppose to be ESFJ. It's okay. I'm getting used to the fact that I'm INTP anyway.

But yeah, I have a friend who's INTP. I have a hard time trying to please him (make him laugh or impress him). It's hard to be friends with INTPs. I wouldn't care enough anymore. He's still my friend, but we cannot ever become better friends.

There are just some people you can't be friends with. No need for rules really.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thaaaat explains some things.... I was wondering why you were so disgusted by the idea of bare feet in that other thread. It didn't seem INTP at all... but I hate thinking "that just doesn't sound very [whatever they are]" because people are people, and I define what I think of the types by the people, rather than the other way around. I've seen ESFJs go a bunch of different ways. One's a very, very close friend, another "mneh" (she's lost my trust), and another I really grate against. I've never known a male ESFJ, though.

Lance, is there any way to fix that? He's not the only one who's mislabeled... I'm pretty sure I've heard a few other people say that too, and it's tough to keep it straight--not to mention unhelpful if people are trying to learn about other personality types.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
*shakes fists*

I can't believe an INTP wouldn't answer me when I asked you for a reason for it over there :angry:

lol yeah ok... that was pathetic. I've got no defense. Now my stupidity is stickied for all time :tongue:
 

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I just don't think these guidelines would work on all INTPs. In the least, I probably wouldn't like to be treated like an INTP, lol. I might be an INTP, but from functions test, my Fi and Fe are close with Ti. It makes me more than just a stereotypical INTP.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yes it does...

my Fi is very high, Fe is low, and I still think of these things as fitting into an ideal relationship. The key to the emotional side of an INTP is also just... scary. The rules of debate are much less so "me," but I thought I ought to put them in there because they deal with relationships and snail just said some half hour ago or so that she thought INTJs who argued with her all the time were just being jerks.
 

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There's a difference between you and me. I hate rules, and these guidelines look like rules to me. I believe more in "learn as you go" or "learn on the fly". No need for preparation.
 

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Just a description lad. Im too psychotic and deranged to fit the INTJ descriptions right. Doesn't matter. Its a central system model. I don't know though, it appears Napoleon is onto something.
 

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Just a description lad. Im too psychotic and deranged to fit the INTJ descriptions right. Doesn't matter. Its a central system model. I don't know though, it appears Napoleon is onto something.
Well, I guess you think so. I'm ridiculously impatient with details. If something goes more than 1 or 2 paragraphs, I'd stop reading. My N is way through the roof.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
lol! ...that argument one I got down to number 5 and went "eeh... these look to be pretty good too. I'll throw them in there" and stopped :tongue:
 

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yes it does...

my Fi is very high, Fe is low, and I still think of these things as fitting into an ideal relationship. The key to the emotional side of an INTP is also just... scary. The rules of debate are much less so "me," but I thought I ought to put them in there because they deal with relationships and snail just said some half hour ago or so that she thought INTJs who argued with her all the time were just being jerks.
Well.... Now I know that they're probably not actually trying to be evil, although it would probably still be hard for me to deal with such an approach on a regular basis, since I measure the success of the relationship by how well we get along. Getting along means avoiding unnecessary conflict, even to the point of not mentioning topics that are likely to cause passionate disagreements that would make it harder to feel emotionally safe with each other. Since I only argue about things that I feel are very important and that I identify with on a personal level, all conflict is traumatic for me. I am only willing to stand up for ideas that relate to my core values. Otherwise I let minor disagreements slide. In that sense, I am defending the "self" when I argue, because I am the sum of what I value, what my will chooses.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
mm... that's different... but it makes sense. I can't imagine myself arguing like that (generally if I get emotional in arguments, it's because I get the strong feeling the other person doesn't have the least bit of respect for what I have to say), but I will, at least, remember that and should be able to respect it.
 

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mm... that's different... but it makes sense. I can't imagine myself arguing like that (generally if I get emotional in arguments, it's because I get the strong feeling the other person doesn't have the least bit of respect for what I have to say), but I will, at least, remember that and should be able to respect it.
Hey Im dating a INTJ in real life. Like he has his PhD in plastics. But I can't really read if he likes me?? I mean he spoils me and tells me I'm attractive, but he doesn't show much affection he hasn't hugged me yet!? And we've gone out on 2 dates. Is that normal?
 

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well... lol I'm not sure why you're asking this in the INTP forum, daylight... the differences between INTPs and INTJs are very much superficial.

The one thing that I think is true about INTx's in general though, is that you'll never get any initiative from them in relationships. In INTPs case at least, I have no idea how much physical contact is normal in any kind of relationship, so I just kind of mirror whatever the other person does. The (two) INTJs I know are way too shy to start anything themselves, and would sooner sit and wait for a decade or two than actually make a move on someone. The male gender stereotypes aren't kind to us with respect to relationships in any way that I can think of.

Since he tells you he loves you, I'm guessing he just doesn't know what to do with you :tongue:. ENTJs are good for pulling the INTs out of their shells, though, because you're easy to communicate with and don't usually listen to the culture's ideas of how a relationship "should" be... or at least are willing to shelve it if there's a better way. Go get 'im, tiger :laughing:
 

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What I find important is for people to not try too hard to form some sort of relationship with me. When people push too much in the emotional direction, it just scares me and I find myself trying to run away from them. On the other hand, someone who takes the emotional initiative is well appreciated. How to get INTPs to open up is a tough question because they generally don't and won't open up. It takes a very special someone to get met to open up but they usual end up being people who simply accept me for who I am and who are relaxed people who can reserve judgment and who are comfortable initiating things. However, a way to get things deeper is usually to ask what's on your mind the person. I used to do this to friends and got some profound connections going though I always make sure to say that it's okay if such a question is too personal to answer and such.
 
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