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How can I encourage a Two to speak up for himself and stand up for himself?

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In a recent discussion about how our future together might play out, my Two boyfriend got very quiet. I asked what was wrong, and he said he didn't like something I'd suggested. I questioned him about it because I had a hard time wrapping my head around it, and after we'd moved on from his specific disagreement but we were still on the same topic, he was still quiet. I finally pried out of him that he felt "like a dick" for not wanting something I wanted. I told him he was not, that what he wants is just as important as what I want, and it's okay if we don't always want the same thing.

Things like this have happened before, where he had feelings that were different from mine, but he was hesitant to say anything. I know some part of this is simply that he's not used to discussing feelings with anyone due to being somewhat isolated. But even so, it's sometimes hard to get him to admit when he disagrees with me or even just to let me know what he's feeling.

I feel this goes beyond the male-female communications stereotype and the fact that he has a strong Nine fix. Being a core Nine myself, I don't often try to impose my will on someone - but when I get enthusiastic and impatient there are times when I can be a bit oblivious to others' needs, and I need to know he'll call me on it. So I asked him to promise me he'd speak up for himself when he has feelings I need to be aware of, and stand up for himself when what he wants is different from what I want, and he said he'd try.

The difficulty I'm having is knowing how to approach this for a 2w1 (he's self-preservation, if that helps). Knowing my own tendencies, my instinct is to help him feel as comfortable as possible when having these kinds of conversations (physical comforts like hot chocolate, a warm blanket, etc., and emotional comforts like rubbing my hand up and down his back and/or holding his hand, verbally acknowledging what he's saying, etc.) so he knows that having a conflict of opinion is not driving me away (loss and separation caused by conflict being the Nine's basic fear).

But not being a Two, I don't know that this is helping him feel any better or not. When he expresses his own needs, what can I do to make it less difficult for him? How can I help him feel comfortable and safe? How can I show him that I deeply appreciate it when he does? And is there anything else I need to consider?

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Oops, I didn't mention his wing - he is indeed a 2w1. :)

Sounds a LOT like my 2w1 sp/sx friend. Good luck with that one. ^^;
I find that 2w1s and 2w3s react much differently to scary social situations, due to the 1 wing disintegrating to 4 versus the 3 wing disintegrating to 9. A 2w1 is more likely to get quiet, then become a little moody and difficult to help, whereas a 2w3 is more likely to either look for a compromise or possibly go dead inside while keeping up the appearance of being "fine." Knowing 2w1s, I doubt he's going to perk up either if you were to suggest giving up the thing he didn't want--he'd just feel even WORSE for "making" you give up something you loved!
I'm pretty sure this is exactly what he was afraid of - that's why I posted this because it's what I wanted to avoid making him feel if possible, while at the same time making sure he was going to let me know what his needs were when they arose.

Maybe try gently reminding him that the future isn't set in stone and the most important thing is to do things you BOTH value together? I would try not to remind him at any moment of what you're giving up or hint at how important it might be to you. Instead focus on finding a compromise while not being obvious about it.
That sounds like about what I did - I think I may have actually used the phrase not set in stone. I didn't emphasize what I wanted, just told him that I couldn't be happy if he was unhappy, so if something didn't work for him we'd just find another solution, it was that simple - he just needed to let me know instead of silently going along with it. He just looked so miserable and if we have this conversation again in the future (which I'm sure we will about other things) I wanted to make it any bit easier on him that I could.

I told him that I imagine when we do have fights they probably won't be passionate, furious, screaming tantrums thrown at each other, they'd just be us slinking around being utterly miserable with ourselves for having a conflict in opinions/needs. :laughing:

Thanks for your input. I appreciate any advice about how I can find out what his needs are without him feeling rotten. :)
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I'm trying to think extreme methods of making someone comfortable, and all I can think of is drugs, a litter of kittens, and enough cotton candy to float on top of... :laughing:
Lets start first by exploring how extreme of a method are we looking to employ.
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Definitely. :kitteh: And yes, this is something I've done before as well - got scowled at, then thanked later. :laughing:
^^This is the best thing you can do.

Your guy sounds like me. The only other suggestion I have is make him look you in the eyes when you ask him how he feels about something (especially when he gets quiet or shows some other sign of being miserable with something). I feel comfortable enough hiding something to keep my SO happy sometimes, but I can't lie to her face about it.

Good luck--I know we're difficult to deal with in this area. I like to think we make up for it in other ways, though :)
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