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My fiance, an ISFJ, came home from work last night in a very bad and depressed mood. Lately he's been stressing over money (what else, right?). He kept saying he's a failure because he's convinced that he's not able to provide for me with the money he has right now.

I kept saying that I'll worry about me, and that I think he should worry about his own money problems first before he worries about mine. I told him I'm able to take care of myself and that it's not his job to provide for me, rather it's both our jobs to help each other out as much as we can, like a team. Then I realized that telling this to an ISFJ male and expecting to get my point across is just about as productive as bashing my head against a brick wall.

In the end, the only thing I could say was "You just do whatever you need to do. It will work out in the end." That may be a comforting thing to say to me, but I doubt it is for him.

So how can I cheer him up and convince him he's not a complete failure? I'm really worried that he's biting off more than he can chew right now.
 

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My fiance, an ISFJ, came home from work last night in a very bad and depressed mood. Lately he's been stressing over money (what else, right?). He kept saying he's a failure because he's convinced that he's not able to provide for me with the money he has right now.

I kept saying that I'll worry about me, and that I think he should worry about his own money problems first before he worries about mine. I told him I'm able to take care of myself and that it's not his job to provide for me, rather it's both our jobs to help each other out as much as we can, like a team. Then I realized that telling this to an ISFJ male and expecting to get my point across is just about as productive as bashing my head against a brick wall.

In the end, the only thing I could say was "You just do whatever you need to do. It will work out in the end." That may be a comforting thing to say to me, but I doubt it is for him.

So how can I cheer him up and convince him he's not a complete failure? I'm really worried that he's biting off more than he can chew right now.
The best way to help him is to first, not cheapen his desire to provided, this will just push him further away from any attempts of cheering him up. Be supportive that he wants to help. Yes, he knows its about coming together, but he feels he is not carrying his weight.

Also, sometimes a ISFJ's have to light a fire under themselves with self criticism so they can step up, and do what they need to. The best way is to be supportive and to encourage him. Reassuring your trust is one of the best ways to help, and also a big hug does not hurt.
 

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The best way to help him is to first, not cheapen his desire to provided, this will just push him further away from any attempts of cheering him up. Be supportive that he wants to help. Yes, he knows its about coming together, but he feels he is not carrying his weight.

Also, sometimes a ISFJ's have to light a fire under themselves with self criticism so they can step up, and do what they need to. The best way is to be supportive and to encourage him. Reassuring your trust is one of the best ways to help, and also a big hug does not hurt.
I appreciate your feedback. I just have one question, because some points seem a little vague.

What would be the best way to be supportive. Supportive to me might not mean the same thing as it does to you. To me being supportive means listening and giving suggestions as to how I can solve my problems or make improvements down the road. Sometimes it even means saying "These are the facts. It's up to you what you do with them." How would you support and encourage an ISFJ?
 

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I appreciate your feedback. I just have one question, because some points seem a little vague.

What would be the best way to be supportive. Supportive to me might not mean the same thing as it does to you. To me being supportive means listening and giving suggestions as to how I can solve my problems or make improvements down the road. Sometimes it even means saying "These are the facts. It's up to you what you do with them." How would you support and encourage an ISFJ?
Respect what he likes, whether you like it or not. When he puts effort into an endeavor, do not discredit the endeavor or mock his effort. If he is pursuing something that is foolish, then note that his effort can be much better used else where. Listening is very good, but do not try to direct his path. Let him come to his own realizations. If he needs time alone(as in quite time), let him, but do not look down upon it, and be there when he needs to connect/be around someone.

Throwing facts in his face will usually be unfruitful. He probably already knows the facts, he is just deciding what to do with them.

Hopefully this will clarify what I was meaning and will be helpful to you. I notice there is a communication gap in between N's and S's. To N's, S's can seem very vague and/or simplistic, and to S's, N's can seem dense at picking up on inferences and the underling principles behind things and caught up in non-existent connotation. Realizing this often helps in communication, and communication is often the best help in most situations.
 

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My fiance, an ISFJ, came home from work last night in a very bad and depressed mood. Lately he's been stressing over money (what else, right?). He kept saying he's a failure because he's convinced that he's not able to provide for me with the money he has right now.

I kept saying that I'll worry about me, and that I think he should worry about his own money problems first before he worries about mine. I told him I'm able to take care of myself and that it's not his job to provide for me, rather it's both our jobs to help each other out as much as we can, like a team. Then I realized that telling this to an ISFJ male and expecting to get my point across is just about as productive as bashing my head against a brick wall.
Trigun64 said:
The best way to help him is to first, not cheapen his desire to provided, this will just push him further away from any attempts of cheering him up. Be supportive that he wants to help. Yes, he knows its about coming together, but he feels he is not carrying his weight.

Yeah, I totally agree with Trigun on this one. I'm pretty sure I understand your thoughts and intentions upon saying this and why you thought/hoped this might encourage him or make him feel better, but I think it only makes things worse.

I think for most ISFJ males (or at least me), it's not that the money thing is him trying to...control you or feel like he's being responsible for you. I get the impression that an INTJ female might feel that and feel like it's almost an insult to her independence, autonomy and self-support. And perhaps if he was say, an ESTJ, it might be that. But for an ISFJ, it's not like that...it's really like he's trying to serve you. It's his way of showing love. Like Trigun said, it's more that he wants to carry his own weight for you. Like Trigun also said, your response almost seemed to cheapen what he might feel is one of his best strengths.





Phillyfox said:
What would be the best way to be supportive. Supportive to me might not mean the same thing as it does to you. To me being supportive means listening and giving suggestions as to how I can solve my problems or make improvements down the road. Sometimes it even means saying "These are the facts. It's up to you what you do with them." How would you support and encourage an ISFJ?

Ha ha, your definition of support sounds very similar to the kind that I've heard ESTJ's say they tend to give...strikes me as very much of a T thing. :happy: The thing about that is...sometimes it's what I need and is very helpful. However, when I'm most troubled, especially emotionally, it doesn't really help much at all. Like Trigun (again :tongue: ) said, the listening part is really helpful, but the suggesting part is where problems start stirring. Believe me, I know that it must be endlessly frustrating, but I feel more and more like ISFJ's often just need to vent, let everything out, and have someone just be there for them to listen. That always makes me feel so much better about a problem...just to have a shoulder to cry on.

The kind of support that best helps me is just feeling loved and appreciated. Knowing that someone loves me for exactly who I am and doesn't have a focus of changing me is so wonderful. When someone points out the things I do well, or the things that they appreciate, is awesome too. And I just like it when I can be myself around people and don't feel scared to say what I'm feeling, or do what I like. Again, like Trigun said, respecting what we like makes us feel really good too.


I know this is hard advice to follow, and I would imagine it would be for an INTJ. I've joked before that it's almost like handling an ISFJ with "kid gloves" or even babying someone. And while that's a bit extreme to say, I also think there's a hint of truth to it...if your goal is to make him feel better and cheer him up, I think that'll do it best. And if he truly is an ISFJ, don't worry, he'll return those same actions in kind once his head gets over the whole money thing. If he truly feels you love and accept him no matter where he stands financially, he's more likely to get to the point where he doesn't care about it, since he won't need to feel that it's his "job" to "earn" your love, almost.


I always find INTJ/ISFJ relationships interesting, there have been a few mentioned on PerC. My best friend is also an INTJ. They're two types that appear to have so little in common and function so differently, and yet it seems to work out so well sometimes. I think for me, what I like so much about my INTJ best friend is that I can be myself around him completely and don't have to put on an act...I just trust him so deeply that I'm not hurt or bothered by his teasing or his negativity about the world. I feel like I'm in his inner circle and that even if he finds my ways funny or weird, he's totally accepting of them and will always be there for me. And that makes our friendship really strong.



I hope this helps, and I hope he starts cheering up. You should tell him that PerC ISFJ's know exactly how he feels. :tongue:
 

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Yeah, I totally agree with Trigun on this one. I'm pretty sure I understand your thoughts and intentions upon saying this and why you thought/hoped this might encourage him or make him feel better, but I think it only makes things worse.

I think for most ISFJ males (or at least me), it's not that the money thing is him trying to...control you or feel like he's being responsible for you. I get the impression that an INTJ female might feel that and feel like it's almost an insult to her independence, autonomy and self-support. And perhaps if he was say, an ESTJ, it might be that. But for an ISFJ, it's not like that...it's really like he's trying to serve you. It's his way of showing love. Like Trigun said, it's more that he wants to carry his own weight for you. Like Trigun also said, your response almost seemed to cheapen what he might feel is one of his best strengths.








Ha ha, your definition of support sounds very similar to the kind that I've heard ESTJ's say they tend to give...strikes me as very much of a T thing. :happy: The thing about that is...sometimes it's what I need and is very helpful. However, when I'm most troubled, especially emotionally, it doesn't really help much at all. Like Trigun (again :tongue: ) said, the listening part is really helpful, but the suggesting part is where problems start stirring. Believe me, I know that it must be endlessly frustrating, but I feel more and more like ISFJ's often just need to vent, let everything out, and have someone just be there for them to listen. That always makes me feel so much better about a problem...just to have a shoulder to cry on.

The kind of support that best helps me is just feeling loved and appreciated. Knowing that someone loves me for exactly who I am and doesn't have a focus of changing me is so wonderful. When someone points out the things I do well, or the things that they appreciate, is awesome too. And I just like it when I can be myself around people and don't feel scared to say what I'm feeling, or do what I like. Again, like Trigun said, respecting what we like makes us feel really good too.


I know this is hard advice to follow, and I would imagine it would be for an INTJ. I've joked before that it's almost like handling an ISFJ with "kid gloves" or even babying someone. And while that's a bit extreme to say, I also think there's a hint of truth to it...if your goal is to make him feel better and cheer him up, I think that'll do it best. And if he truly is an ISFJ, don't worry, he'll return those same actions in kind once his head gets over the whole money thing. If he truly feels you love and accept him no matter where he stands financially, he's more likely to get to the point where he doesn't care about it, since he won't need to feel that it's his "job" to "earn" your love, almost.


I always find INTJ/ISFJ relationships interesting, there have been a few mentioned on PerC. My best friend is also an INTJ. They're two types that appear to have so little in common and function so differently, and yet it seems to work out so well sometimes. I think for me, what I like so much about my INTJ best friend is that I can be myself around him completely and don't have to put on an act...I just trust him so deeply that I'm not hurt or bothered by his teasing or his negativity about the world. I feel like I'm in his inner circle and that even if he finds my ways funny or weird, he's totally accepting of them and will always be there for me. And that makes our friendship really strong.



I hope this helps, and I hope he starts cheering up. You should tell him that PerC ISFJ's know exactly how he feels. :tongue:
Thank you for all the advice.

BTW, to set the record straight, when I told him it was not his responsibility to provide for me financially, my sense of independence was threatened, although only a little bit. But my main reason for telling him this was to essentially say "Worry about yourself first" so he doesn't take on more than he can manage and worry about things that aren't that much of a concern realistically. I most certainly did not try to cheapen his ideals. I know it's probably hard advice to follow for him, but I honestly think that the rest will fall into place if he can do that. Then again, I was trying to comfort him in a way that would work for me, not him. *doh*

You're right about the Thinker version of support. I've noticed that a lot from myself, my ISTJ father, and other T friends. My fiance seemed to pick up on it as well very quickly. How talented of him <3. When we're stressed over something, we kind of see it as another problem that needs to be solved, which is where the brainstorming and suggesting comes into play, thinking up of possible solutions and outcomes. In other words, we want to be comforted by logic. "Oh, if you can do this and this it'll work out" or "Well since this is happening, this will probably happen and everything will be fine." Telling us we're good people or just simply "everything's going to be okay" has an empty meaning for us, and as far as we're concerned, doesn't help our problem at all. I know when I'm in an especially bad mood and someone tries to comfort me in that way, I will sometimes snap "How's that going to fix anything?!" But next time I'll keep in mind these things; to focus on the positives that he's done or letting him know he's loved, instead of thinking of his situation is like a math problem that needs to be solved. :crazy:

Yeah, ISFJ/INTJ relationships are always very interesting. Some INTJ's just turn tail and run, and believe that these kinds of relationships are simply not possible. *rolls eyes* From what I've seen (only in forums mind you and from personal experience) that they can either crash and burn and be a complete disaster, or be very fulfilling and one of the best things life has to offer. I guess it depends on the maturity of both parties, and if you can remember the things that do work and work together to improve upon the things that aren't up to par quite yet. But I can honestly say that both of us are willing to do just about anything to make our relationship work. Compared to my past relationships, even with my "ideal" MBTI partner, this is by far the most successful and fulfilling.
 

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BTW, to set the record straight, when I told him it was not his responsibility to provide for me financially, my sense of independence was threatened, although only a little bit. But my main reason for telling him this was to essentially say "Worry about yourself first" so he doesn't take on more than he can manage and worry about things that aren't that much of a concern realistically. I most certainly did not try to cheapen his ideals. I know it's probably hard advice to follow for him, but I honestly think that the rest will fall into place if he can do that. Then again, I was trying to comfort him in a way that would work for me, not him. *doh*
Ok, that seems to fit a little better. Like I said, I think the key thing is that if he feels like you love him no matter what he can do money-wise, then the sooner he'll be able to put more focus back on himself rather than you. It also might help how you word it...by saying that you're worried about him and his own happiness. It's kind of hard to word it carefully enough so that you don't sound like you think his own contributions are unimportant.


And believe me, I know how ridiculously irrational we ISFJ's are with things like this. Learning about the MBTI has helped me out a lot in controlling this and my emotions about it. I read that ISFJ's tend to overwork themselves and don't ask for help when we should.

The good news is that for me, I can change and work on improving things, but usually it only happens when it's suggested by someone who I know loves me and accepts me even if I don't change. Then it makes me take what they say more seriously because I value their input, and then after rolling it around a while in my head I feel "safe" in admitting they were right, since I know they won't throw it back in my face.

I say that's good news because if you have this close kind of relationship with your fiancee, then he'll be more likely to listen to you, even if it takes him some time to change. Rationality can overcome with us eventually, it's just we have to feel safe and confident in making those decisions. :happy:




PhillyFox said:
You're right about the Thinker version of support. I've noticed that a lot from myself, my ISTJ father, and other T friends. My fiance seemed to pick up on it as well very quickly. How talented of him <3. When we're stressed over something, we kind of see it as another problem that needs to be solved, which is where the brainstorming and suggesting comes into play, thinking up of possible solutions and outcomes. In other words, we want to be comforted by logic. "Oh, if you can do this and this it'll work out" or "Well since this is happening, this will probably happen and everything will be fine." Telling us we're good people or just simply "everything's going to be okay" has an empty meaning for us, and as far as we're concerned, doesn't help our problem at all. I know when I'm in an especially bad mood and someone tries to comfort me in that way, I will sometimes snap "How's that going to fix anything?!" But next time I'll keep in mind these things; to focus on the positives that he's done or letting him know he's loved, instead of thinking of his situation is like a math problem that needs to be solved. :crazy:
What's interesting is that sometimes the "thinker version" of support is what I need in my life. Sometimes it helps a lot when someone offers a potential solution that I had never thought of to a problem I have.

I personally do feel like I've developed my thinking side pretty well. I really like the analogy of type preferences being compared to right/left-handedness. I'm right handed, and to me my feeling preference is like using my right hand to do something. But when talking to T's, especially NT's, I've gotten a lot better at using my "left hand" of thinking. I'm not as good at it, and it feels uncomfortable, but I'm still quite capable of it and get along just fine with it. So I've tried more and more to develop it when conversing with NT's, and I really think PerC has helped me out with that a lot these past few months.

But it's so dependent upon the situation and the relationship, too. If your goal is to "cheer him up", then then this probably won't work. But if I have a problem and I really want a solution to it, then that's where thinkers can really help. The thing is for me that usually in these situations I ask for advice or for a solution.
 
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BTW, to set the record straight, when I told him it was not his responsibility to provide for me financially, my sense of independence was threatened, although only a little bit. But my main reason for telling him this was to essentially say "Worry about yourself first" so he doesn't take on more than he can manage and worry about things that aren't that much of a concern realistically. I most certainly did not try to cheapen his ideals. I know it's probably hard advice to follow for him, but I honestly think that the rest will fall into place if he can do that. Then again, I was trying to comfort him in a way that would work for me, not him. *doh*
Yeah, basically ISFJ's think about others first, its what they do, so to say in essence "worry about yourself first" is totally undermining what ISFJ's do, even if you don't mean it that way. Its like telling them: "You know that thing you do that defines you as you, yeah, don't do that." When someone says something along thoughes lines, ISFJ's kind of dismiss what you are saying, because if you do not at least understand where they are coming from, you can not really tackle the problem together. Then the ISFJ gets more focused on showing and trying to explain why he does the things he does to basically credit his endeavors. To put it in a INTJ example, it would be like someone coming up to you and saying that all you have to do is not be logical and perfectionist, and that will solve your problems. You would probably retort and explain the value of logic and how having certain standards are a positive thing.

I am glad you understand that the advice you were giving him was from your own perspective, thats always good to be able to see why we do things. ISFJ's do have to learn not to take on so much of a burden, because they end up letting everyone down if they do. Its a balancing act. Sometimes it is quite easy, and sometimes its quite hard. I know personally I would rather be overburden helping people then to not have anyone to help at all. Not that I need people to help, but all the same, I like to be useful.

I hope this further helps you understand the mentality of the ISFJ, and provides useful to you. ^_^
 

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ISFJ/INTJ is a great match, I think, especially when the female is the INTJ. Male INTJ's tend to have less need to tap into their Fi, making them more argumentative and abrasive. INTJ females generally round out the corners of their personality with different biology and different expectations from society. From what I've seen, INTJ females are one of the most mature types out there.

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About supporting the ISFJ...

1) Deflect his negativity by explaining what he's good at. When my ISFJ friend gets bummed, I explain how I think he's the best person I've ever met. Yes, maybe other people are happy and have everything they want, but he's something special in comparison for his quality of character.

2) You could take the route, "I believe in you and you will be able to do it, you just have to believe in yourself and work at it." That either works, or it doesn't; and depends on the situation. If you don't want him trying that hard to support you, then maybe it's bad to mention in that situation.

Sometimes they're just complaining and want to get it out too, and no matter what you say it wont matter... they're just going through a mood and will be over it tomorrow, as long as it's not a long-term depression or something.
 

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ISFJ/INTJ is a great match, I think, especially when the female is the INTJ. Male INTJ's tend to have less need to tap into their Fi, making them more argumentative and abrasive. INTJ females generally round out the corners of their personality with different biology and different expectations from society. From what I've seen, INTJ females are one of the most mature types out there.

--------------------

About supporting the ISFJ...

1) Deflect his negativity by explaining what he's good at. When my ISFJ friend gets bummed, I explain how I think he's the best person I've ever met. Yes, maybe other people are happy and have everything they want, but he's something special in comparison for his quality of character.

2) You could take the route, "I believe in you and you will be able to do it, you just have to believe in yourself and work at it." That either works, or it doesn't; and depends on the situation. If you don't want him trying that hard to support you, then maybe it's bad to mention in that situation.

Sometimes they're just complaining and want to get it out too, and no matter what you say it wont matter... they're just going through a mood and will be over it tomorrow, as long as it's not a long-term depression or something.
Yeah I noticed that it happens with him quite a bit. He's very depressed one day and totally fine the next. Bad day, I guess. Then again he tends to bury whatever is bothering him, and then after a few months it all seems to erupt (sometimes at me.) :angry:
 

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1) Deflect his negativity by explaining what he's good at. When my ISFJ friend gets bummed, I explain how I think he's the best person I've ever met. Yes, maybe other people are happy and have everything they want, but he's something special in comparison for his quality of character.
Not the best thing to do. ISFJ's will sense you trying to change or direct the flow of the conversation. This will cause them to dig in. Be supportive, but earnest. Do not focus on what the ISFJ does not have and comparing it to what he does. Do bring up what he does have, and show him potential for growth.

2) You could take the route, "I believe in you and you will be able to do it, you just have to believe in yourself and work at it." That either works, or it doesn't; and depends on the situation. If you don't want him trying that hard to support you, then maybe it's bad to mention in that situation.
Its not just good to say that to an ISFJ, you have to mean it. If you just say it out of compulsion to when ever an ISFJ is feeling down, it will easily be cheapen, and only further push ISFJ away.

Yeah I noticed that it happens with him quite a bit. He's very depressed one day and totally fine the next. Bad day, I guess. Then again he tends to bury whatever is bothering him, and then after a few months it all seems to erupt (sometimes at me.) :angry:
Yeah, we all have bad days some days, and we are all human. Let him feel, we all have periods of large emotional distress now and again. Most of the time, when an ISFJ "buries" something, he is just not letting it bother him. Sometimes, things continually build up, and we have no way of letting it out. Let him vent from time to time, so that he does not erupt.
 

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Not the best thing to do. ISFJ's will sense you trying to change or direct the flow of the conversation. This will cause them to dig in. Be supportive, but earnest. Do not focus on what the ISFJ does not have and comparing it to what he does. Do bring up what he does have, and show him potential for growth.
I think this all depends on how it's done. If it's very blatant, appears false, and appears as though someone is just trying to change the subject, then yeah, an ISFJ can see through it. But if it's done out of genuine love/concern, I think it work quite well in improving an ISFJ's mood.



Trigun64 said:
Its not just good to say that to an ISFJ, you have to mean it. If you just say it out of compulsion to when ever an ISFJ is feeling down, it will easily be cheapen, and only further push ISFJ away.
Yeah, I agree, it always has to be genuine.



Trigun64 said:
Yeah, we all have bad days some days, and we are all human. Let him feel, we all have periods of large emotional distress now and again. Most of the time, when an ISFJ "buries" something, he is just not letting it bother him. Sometimes, things continually build up, and we have no way of letting it out. Let him vent from time to time, so that he does not erupt.
Yeah, that's the key thing...I'm healthiest when I have people to just let out all of my frustrations to. If I can do that from time to time, I always get over it and move on.

I think when you understand that about an ISFJ, it's much easier not to torn down or worn out by their venting. Don't take it too seriously (though don't show them that you're not taking it seriously), it's just something we do, to counterbalance all of the serving we do for other people.
 
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