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Accept them as they are and let them alone to bring out the best in themselves as best they see fit.

Why do YOU have to "bring out the best in" someone else? What makes it your responsibility? What gives you the idea that you might know what is "best" in someone else? What gives you the idea that you can even do it at all?
 

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I want the ISTJs in my life to be happy. So fire away.

In my experience, ISTJs don't want the people in their lives to treat them like "projects," nor do they want anyone else assuming responsibility for their happiness, for defining their potential, or for helping them to realize that potential. The one I know is, at not quite thirteen, quite self-sufficient in this regard and what makes her happiest is for people to recognize and respect that about her. She takes a degree of pride in her independence and ability to set her own goals and achieve them, so she would resent this attitude, no matter how well-meaning it might be, even coming from me as her mother.

It might be better to come at this question from the perspective of: "How can I be the kind of friend/partner/parent/etc that they would find the most beneficial?" because it puts the onus for any adaptation on yourself and eliminates any perceived (rightly or wrongly) sense of superiority on your part. The way this thread title is worded, it comes off as you being the more evolved or developed party who wants to help the inferior ISTJ reach your level. Though I highly doubt you meant it that way, it kind of reads that way, which would seriously put off the xSTJs I know. Actually, it would put off most people I know, not just the xSTJs.

As for being the kind of person who contributes to rather than undermines the happiness of the ISTJs in your life, all that really takes is for you to show appreciation for all that they do without making a huge production out of it (as in, don't be overly gushing) and to respect their boundaries and autonomy. For example, it's not uncommon for me to come back from running errands to discover that my ISTJ daughter has, without request from me, done the dishes and the vacuuming while I was out. She'll rarely point out that she's done these things...she just quietly takes care of whatever she notices needs taking care of when she has the time. If I never remarked on this, it would make her feel unappreciated and taken for granted. If I got all mushy over it, it would make her feel extremely uncomfortable. So, what I usually do is say something like, "You did the dishes and vacuuming? You have no idea how much I was dreading that today, so thank you for that. You just made my day," and then leave it at that.

Offering to lend a hand with projects they're working on is usually appreciated as well, as long you don't try to take control of those projects, and as long as you don't get pissy should they decline your offer of help.

I'm being fairly general because there's a great deal of variation from person to person, even among those of the same type. And I'm coming at this more from the point of view of doing your part to bring out the best of your relationship with them rather than them as individuals (which I see as a critical distinction for the above mentioned reasons). So, with that in mind, to sum up, I'd advise you to:

- Be honest with them, even if you're worried it might hurt their feelings. Don't be rude or intrusive about it, though. Just be tactful yet truthful and forthright.
- Be dependable. Don't make commitments to them and then not live up to them.
- Be there for them in the way they actually need, not the way you think they should need. Let them decide what they need from you and then provide it if you can.
- Learn what their boundaries are and then refrain from violating those boundaries as much as possible. If you do violate a boundary without very good reason (like, say, it was life or death), then be sure to own responsibility for it, apologize for it, and then never do it again.

As always, this is just based on my personal experience with the type, but this approach has facilitated an extremely harmonious relationship between my ISTJ daughter and me, FWIW.
 

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One doesn't. As a general rule you really shouldn't try to bring out the best in a person unless they ask you to. Most people feel more comfortable with some kind of support system, but nobody likes being pushed in the direction someone else thinks is best. Be a friend, not an overbearing pseudo-parent.
 

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woah. woah.
Calm yo farms please.

Its not really directed at me trying to coerce my ISTJ friends...Manipulating people isn't my intention, thank you very much.
I just want to know what makes them happy. My ISTJ dad is pretty miserable to begin with. But sometimes, little things just make his day a bit better.

@Yardiff Bey @rawr_sheila @Christie42476 @Khiro
 

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woah. woah.
Calm yo farms please.

Its not really directed at me trying to coerce my ISTJ friends...Manipulating people isn't my intention, thank you very much.
I just want to know what makes them happy. My ISTJ dad is pretty miserable to begin with. But sometimes, little things just make his day a bit better.

@Yardiff Bey @rawr_sheila @Christie42476 @Khiro
 

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And now on a more serious post...

If they ask to be left alone? Leave them alone. Don't pick. They'll come to you when they're ready.

If they love you, you'll know. If they cook you dinner, fix that hole on your roof, are there ASAP willing to give you a ride somewhere. A simple thank you and I appreciate everything you do for me works.

ISTJ tend to find themselves in moments of solitude or when working on a project by themselves. Don't try to find them, they might take that as being counter-productive and not reciprocate.
 

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woah. woah.
Calm yo farms please.

Its not really directed at me trying to coerce my ISTJ friends...Manipulating people isn't my intention, thank you very much.
I just want to know what makes them happy. My ISTJ dad is pretty miserable to begin with. But sometimes, little things just make his day a bit better.

@Yardiff Bey @rawr_sheila @Christie42476 @Khiro
This is a very different question than what you asked, at first.

What makes him happy? Ask him. I know an ISTJ that likes receiving gifts, but I also know an ISTJ that hates receiving gifts. This is a personal preference.
 

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Accept them as they are and let them alone to bring out the best in themselves as best they see fit.

Why do YOU have to "bring out the best in" someone else? What makes it your responsibility? What gives you the idea that you might know what is "best" in someone else? What gives you the idea that you can even do it at all?
^It's Fe. There's not much you can do. Besides helping out in practical ways, leave them alone. They'll need space to sort things out themselves.
In my experience, ISTJs don't want the people in their lives to treat them like "projects," nor do they want anyone else assuming responsibility for their happiness, for defining their potential, or for helping them to realize that potential.
One doesn't. As a general rule you really shouldn't try to bring out the best in a person unless they ask you to. Most people feel more comfortable with some kind of support system, but nobody likes being pushed in the direction someone else thinks is best. Be a friend, not an overbearing pseudo-parent.
All of this resonates strongly with this ISTJ.
 

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woah. woah.

I just want to know what makes them happy. My ISTJ dad is pretty miserable to begin with. But sometimes, little things just make his day a bit better.

@Yardiff Bey @rawr_sheila @Christie42476 @Khiro

I would like help with this too. My ISTJ mum is pretty stressed right now, with work and stuff. She also seems to have lost confidence in herself.

I'm guessing practical help would be best. But how to also help her feel good about herself? As an ISFP I'm not that great at Fe stuff.
 

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How my boyfriend brought out the best in me was by being patient with me, respecting my wishes to be alone for some "me" time, being a very good listener when I want to vent about my day at work(because we as ISTJ's tend to do a lot of listening but sometimes its not always reciprocated), being thoughtful, encouraging me when I am about to embark on a new project or adventure and knowing that I can be myself around him without being judged.
 

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Also, if you want to make them happy, just do. If you are talking about it, just do it, otherwise you may lose respect.

My step dad: "Hey baby, this car needs an oil change, blah blah blah, I'm thinking of blah blah blah blah"

In the time it takes my step dad to stand there and talk about it... (I believe he is ESFP or ESFJ hard to tell)

My mother does the oil change for him, then retorts with: "in the time it took you to talk I was able to get the oil change done, now it's done, stop yapping!"

Me: "LMFAO" (at my mom snapping at my step dad)

Her: *confused as to why it's funny, wanders off to take her walk*
 

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"How to bring out the best in an ISTJ?"

Use a soft polishing cloth, good bees wax polish and rub gently. That should bring them up to a lovely shiny 'best'.

;-)
 

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It's okay, Xox, I got your (Fe) back! I've been dating an ISTJ for two years now and we really do bring out the best in each other. I'd say ISTJs really appreciate when you do things for them that make their life more comfortable. When my ISTJ is tired or stressed, I'll show up at his place with muffins, give him a back rub, and be out the door so he can go back to finishing his work. The more things on their to-do list that you can take care of, the better. If your dad is miserable, try doing some chores around the house. ISTJs tend to like neat, orderly environments so he will notice if the house is cleaner and there's a nice meal waiting on the table for him. Then when they're less busy, take them out to do something fun! ISTJs can fall into the trap of too much routine, but they won't do anything about it if their list of duties is too long. Take care of what you can and then help them break out of their routine. Don't demand their attention if it's already allotted to other things. Just show them through your actions that you are there for them and that you care.

Also, I think all you ISTJS misunderstood her question. It made perfect sense to me, and no, I don't believe she was trying to manipulate or change an ISTJ against his will.
 
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