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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I am an ISFJ. I have recently discovered these personality types and have been using it as a tool to discover and look into myself more closely. One thing that i have realized is that I am an extremely forgiving person.
One example is in my last relationship. It ended several months ago, we both made huge mistakes, however, for me, I am willing to always forgive and forget. My exboyfriend on the other hand I am not too sure he will ever be able to forgive and forget. He is INTJ. We have not seen or communicated with each other since we broke up months ago and our relationship is probably never going to be reconciled. However, from my perspective, i cannot recall any bad things that we went through. For some reason I can only think of how easy it is to just forgive all of the mistakes and just have good relationship once again (even if it is only as friends). If i ever see him again, i know i will be able to love him with as much emotion as i did in the past without even feeling burned or tainted by any negativity. I doubt he will ever feel the same about me.... but i cant be for sure because we no longer communicate...
This feeling also extends to my friends, where, I prefer to just forget and put behind any issues that may have required forgiveness. I can just wipe the slates clean and start connecting with these people again easily... it seems as though i prefer to just have happy relationships rather than harp on issues. So once a person acknowledges the error of their ways, I am jumping to say "great, i forgive you, lets be happy again!"
I sometimes forget that I have falling outs or fights with some people because i really do not tend to hold on to grudges at all. Is this an indication of the loyalty trait that i possess or something else?
Somehow i find myself wondering, "If i could forgive you so easily for this mistake, why cant you forgive me as easily for the same mistake?"

Is forgiving an ISFJ personality trait? Or is it just me? is this just blind loyalty? How forgiving are the other types?
I know i am an easy going type of woman, but I also wonder if this prevents me from really understanding why people hold onto grudges for ages? and can i expect other people to forgive so rapidly as i can?
Any feedback on this topic would be interesting and helpful.
 

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Hmm, it definitely seems to be a trend among ISFJs. I've often noticed the 'forgive, but never forget' tendency in myself and other ISFJs - even I tend to forgive people who mistreat me. I think that (well, I'm not sure if it's true for other ISFJs, but certainly for myself) I tend to forgive people because I remember the how great the person was and the amazing memories we've shared in the past. It takes me a while to let go because of this - I don't want to miss out on possible future events with this person or have to resort to trying to forget how happy I felt when I was with them. It's pure nostalgia, really. After feeling so comfortable with them, I'm willing to overlook even the worst mistake in order to keep feeling comfortable with them. I do think it's a indication of loyalty to them, but it also illustrates the loyalty we have towards our past and how we lived before.
I think ISFJs are more externally forgiving than other types, but I don't think we're as...internally forgiving. I don't hold grudges, but once in a while I do feel a bit angry about how people I've forgiven have treated me. But as I said before, on the outside I'm willing to push this down in order to maintain the relationship I had with the other person. I wouldn't call it holding a grudge, as it only pops up every now and then. But the feelings that come with it are intense, and I can't help but feel angry.
Well, everyone's different, and even I've learned the hard way that it's not healthy to expect everyone to forgive you even after you've forgiven them. I know a couple INFJs, an INTJ, and an ESTJ who take much longer than I do to forgive someone. I guess I have to adapt to that by developing my Ti and thinking about whether or not it's truly worth it to forgive someone, and whether or not a renewed connection with them will hurt me in the long run, even though things might return to the way they were before. Many ISFJs apparently get hurt countless times because they so easily, as mentioned in just about every description of us, backslide into bad relationships. I think the easily forgiving and loyalty traits help us maintain relationships with people we care about well, but when it's actually starting to hurt us, we need to spot the signs and evaluate whether or not it's really worth it.
 

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I think I am way too forgiving at times. If someone has wronged me and apologizes for it, I immediately feel bad that they feel bad and want to make things right. And I am usually more apt to focus on the positive aspects of my relationship with that person than the negative. I guess I feel that the good parts are the most genuine, even if that's not actually the case. So I will usually forgive, but it's harder for me to forget. Like kree said, though, it's usually more internal and I don't let it leave my head.
 

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I'm forgiving. Even when it seems so difficult to find it within me to do so, I have to. I don't like the way harboring resentment makes me feel. If I cannot directly forgive the person, I will find a way logically to forgive the situation as a learning experience. I tend to forget the little things, even the larger things the details tend to fade in time as well ... but I will ALWAYS remember how what ever it was made me feel. ALWAYS.
 
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There's a few things going on there.

1. A lot of INTJs (me included) will completely end a relationship when it's done. It's got nothing to do with forgiving or not liking the person. It's just that we think it's the right thing to do. How can I truly move on to my next relationship if I don't fully end my old one? The relationship is done. It is over. Let's both move on with our lives now. I would probably never talk to that person as any kind of close friend ever again. Perhaps a casual acquaintance (once a year birthday wish/check up), but nobody I would ever be around to any degree. So try not to read too much into this as if there is trouble/hate...

2. INTJs despite our 'tough' exterior are very sensitive. I don't particular care about many things, but trust/decency... are overly important to me. If I let someone in and they break that trust/decency, it is very hard for me to truly forgive them. Sure, I can eventually learn to just deal with them on a social level. But in all honestly, I know myself well enough to know that I could never truly forgive them so they have a blank slate.

3. The ISFJ trait for forgiveness. I married an ISFJ. Let me start off my saying, I don't think she ever truly forgives and forgets... as much as she says... The moment an argument comes up... oh... she remembers everything :p It's the same with her friends and family... What I will say, is that like yourself, she wants everything to just be happy and people to get along. In that respect, I can see the art of forgiveness, even if it is not true forgiveness being very much there. I'm not saying you do not truly forgive and forget. I don't know you, so I can't say that about you. I'm just speaking from my limited experience with ISFJs. I'm just not sure it is an ISFJ trait per se. I don't think it has to do with loyalty. I think it has much more to do with making sure everyone gets along. It's a very practical thing to do.

As an INTJ I don't really need everyone to get a long. My view of peace is to leave people alone. If two people are not compatible, let them go their separate ways and just be civil. So I have little need to make sure everyone is happy and gets a long.
 

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One example is in my last relationship. It ended several months ago, we both made huge mistakes, however, for me, I am willing to always forgive and forget. My exboyfriend on the other hand I am not too sure he will ever be able to forgive and forget. He is INTJ. We have not seen or communicated with each other since we broke up months ago and our relationship is probably never going to be reconciled.

I'm INTJ with an ISFJ bf. To be blunt, once it is over, it is probably over for good. There are ways to reconcile though if you really want to reconcile it, but they can be difficult ways.


However, from my perspective, i cannot recall any bad things that we went through. For some reason I can only think of how easy it is to just forgive all of the mistakes and just have good relationship once again (even if it is only as friends). If i ever see him again, i know i will be able to love him with as much emotion as i did in the past without even feeling burned or tainted by any negativity. I doubt he will ever feel the same about me.... but i cant be for sure because we no longer communicate...

INTJ move on easily after a relationship, and ISFJ does not. That is his edge over you.


This feeling also extends to my friends, where, I prefer to just forget and put behind any issues that may have required forgiveness. I can just wipe the slates clean and start connecting with these people again easily... it seems as though i prefer to just have happy relationships rather than harp on issues. So once a person acknowledges the error of their ways, I am jumping to say "great, i forgive you, lets be happy again!"
I sometimes forget that I have falling outs or fights with some people because i really do not tend to hold on to grudges at all. Is this an indication of the loyalty trait that i possess or something else?
Somehow i find myself wondering, "If i could forgive you so easily for this mistake, why cant you forgive me as easily for the same mistake?"

I am guessing this is because of your F side. F people seem to have this problem. My guess is because
- being Feelers, they do things on a whim, including sever relationship ties. And once the impulse has faded, so does the desire to sever the relationship
- Thinkers, on the other hand, make decisions based on Logic, which is pretty permanent (2+2 is always 4), hence the decision is also permanent

I have a soft spot for ISFJ. If you really want to get your INTJ back, here is a possible way:

INTJ are moved by LOGIC, and REASON. It is their god. Since you are a Sensor, think of it this way: there is a scale in his mind with the pros and cons of staying with you. Sometime ago, you tilted that scale making the cons side to be heavier than the pros side, so he naturally had to leave because it was no longer LOGICAL to stay with you. Now, if you find some reason to tilt that scale to the PROS side, you might actually get a chance. Now naturally, it means that (and this is very important for anyone struggling in a relationship with an INTJ):

AS LONG AS THE SCALE IS FAVORING THE 'PROS' SIDE, THE INTJ WILL REMAIN WITH YOU.

Here comes the tricky part. He has his own STANDARD of what makes up a pro and a con. I for example, include in my pros side the fact that I cannot understand my bf. To me, that is something that makes me stay because it keeps me interested in him. I am very good with psychology and can usually figure out people within a reasonably short period of time, which makes my ISFJ special in my mind.

Another pro for me is that my ISFJ is great with document-keeping, which is always an exercise in futility for me... To my mind, my ISFJ "completes" this lack in myself which makes it more "logical" to stay with him.

It is not because we are cold and calculating, but because we want to save the pain of future heartache by avoiding something that obviously (in our mind) would not work anyway. In fact, sometimes the more "logical" it were to be with someone, the more attracted I am. Like, the fact that my ISFJ is great at document-keeping and always helps me with fixing documents make me fall harder for him. It may sound weird, but I hope you are somewhat getting my point.

Now if you are somehow, after all this time, able to tilt the scale back into your favor, then the odds are he will return to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Ilythia for the advice.... It is good to hear the reasoning from an INTJ, and your explanation was very enlightening and made me think of the situation in a different way ..... Thank You.

Honestly, i do not think my relationship with my ex INTJ guy will be reconciled. I know him well enough to be aware that when he makes a decision he sticks to it... and he made the final decision to end the relationship. I have already decided to move on from this past relationship being aware that no matter how i feel about the situation, he feels differently and that is the crooks of the matter. There is no sense beating a dead horse in trying to convince him otherwise because he is quite set in his decisions and has very strong INTJ traits. It is probably easier to turn water into gold.
This however, doesnt change the fact that i will always care about him a lot regardless of the time that has passed, and as natural to ISFJ, I do like to maintain my personal connections.

Having said all of that, I really want to know how does an INTJ view forgiveness? If there is something that someone has done wrong, will an INTJ ever forgive the person for it? or does the INTJ just cut everything off and move on with their life without ever thinking of it or the person again? I actually would like to know how other types view forgiveness as well. So any input on this would be greatly appreciated.
 

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It depends on what I'm forgiving.. Sometimes I can easily forgive if it wasn't a big deal, and they tried to make amends by apologizing or whatever.. If it's something HUGE that has caused me emotional trauma and it could have been prevented, then no... I'll never forgive you...

If lying was involved, it's near impossible for me to forgive you or trust you ever again..
 

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I've never held grudges and forgive far too easily. But, I'm happy this way, and as of yet, I haven't gotten burned by it. Being this way is just a very healthy way of going through life.

Just remember to learn from your mistakes, and don't let people take advantage of you repetitively. That's key, I think.
 

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Thanks Ilythia for the advice.... It is good to hear the reasoning from an INTJ, and your explanation was very enlightening and made me think of the situation in a different way ..... Thank You.

Honestly, i do not think my relationship with my ex INTJ guy will be reconciled. I know him well enough to be aware that when he makes a decision he sticks to it... and he made the final decision to end the relationship. I have already decided to move on from this past relationship being aware that no matter how i feel about the situation, he feels differently and that is the crooks of the matter. There is no sense beating a dead horse in trying to convince him otherwise because he is quite set in his decisions and has very strong INTJ traits. It is probably easier to turn water into gold.
This however, doesnt change the fact that i will always care about him a lot regardless of the time that has passed, and as natural to ISFJ, I do like to maintain my personal connections.

Having said all of that, I really want to know how does an INTJ view forgiveness? If there is something that someone has done wrong, will an INTJ ever forgive the person for it? or does the INTJ just cut everything off and move on with their life without ever thinking of it or the person again? I actually would like to know how other types view forgiveness as well. So any input on this would be greatly appreciated.
I am not very generous with forgiveness. I believe INTJ in general are very ambitious people who do not like wasting resources, and if anyone had wasted our effort, trust, love and time (could sound one-sided but it is how we view it), we are not excited to give that person a free pass. We had invested those things in the first place because we had trusted in the progress of the relationship, and if the other person did not do his/her part and "wasted" all my investment, it can really cut us deep and incite spite in us, which could explain why we seem so permanent in breaking off ties. But you must understand, it is because you have been VERY SPECIAL to us. We do not bond with anyone that easily. It takes a lot to get close to us, so if we let you that close and then have to cut you off, we are sure to have been deeply scarred even though we do not show it.

My advice to you is to put up some emotional armor when dealing with your ex. He would probably be treating you like a stranger, because he has had to undergo the phase of "cutting you off" from being too close to him. It could be painful for you as a sensitive ISFJ to feel that. There's a possibility that once he sees that you have matured and learned to control your reactions he might resume at least a friendship again. But don't count on it. It's like wine, better left by itself to age.

And maybe, he'd just rationalize it one day and be like, "hmm since I've been close to her already before, maybe I should be close to her again because it would take less effort -- more efficient."
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am not very generous with forgiveness. I believe INTJ in general are very ambitious people who do not like wasting resources, and if anyone had wasted our effort, trust, love and time (could sound one-sided but it is how we view it), we are not excited to give that person a free pass. We had invested those things in the first place because we had trusted in the progress of the relationship, and if the other person did not do his/her part and "wasted" all my investment, it can really cut us deep and incite spite in us, which could explain why we seem so permanent in breaking off ties. But you must understand, it is because you have been VERY SPECIAL to us. We do not bond with anyone that easily. It takes a lot to get close to us, so if we let you that close and then have to cut you off, we are sure to have been deeply scarred even though we do not show it.
"

I see, this is an interesting way to view it. Somehow it seems opposite to how i view a situation. It is like "cutting off" to me seems to imply less caring rather than more caring. I dont see things as wasted investment either.... but i can somehow if i think about it a little furthe, i can see why why my intj ex would. I guess from my perspective, more investment warrants more reason to maintain ties, rather than more reason to sever ties.
Inciting spite is also something that i never even considered as well. Somehow spite never even factors into something i would even consider doing to anybody i ever cared about. So this is also a point to consider.
Thanks for your input. It was very helpful.
 

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I can be forgiving... up to a point. I used to be too forgiving in my youth. I never stood up for myself when my friends wronged me, and I became a living doormat.

To this day, I am still somewhat of a doormat, but I've gotten a lot better at standing up for myself and choosing not to forgive certain individuals. The day that I realized that I could never truly forgive one of my Exes for the emotional trauma she put me through during our relationship and break up was when I started developing more self confidence. I realized that I could put our relationship in the past and that I could move on with my life. While patience and forgiveness are two merits of us ISFJs, they can also be our biggest enemies.
 
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I'd have to say that it depends on the person or situation. I can be very forgiving. But sometimes I've discovered that I had resentment buried deep down, so deep that it took me ages to realize it. I would also say that I can be forgiving-until I'm not. I have cut people off before when I'd had enough. Like I said, it all depends.
 
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