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Discussion Starter #1
This thread is a focus on the ISFP/ENFP relationship type, a particularly difficult matching. However there is a key to success in any pairing type; love and understanding gets you through.

Any advisory/strategic tips on how one might evade the doom of a supervisor relationship type would be greatly appreciated. It'd also provide a good opportunity for constructive discussion surrounding the strengths and needed improvements for this kind of pairing, be it that you have already experienced it or are anticipating one.


I shall begin with a kind of situational analysis;

· I am a 23 year old ENFP female in a year and a half long relationship with my 23 year old ISFP male partner. We had been best friends for about 6 years prior to dating, and have grown a profound respect and love for one another. We agreed to some successful compromises in our time together, and are planning a solid future as we begin the full thrust of our careers in the near future. Some troubles arise when we communicate, and the clash in our personality types prove understanding one another's needs to be difficult at times.

· I am quite the extrovert, require the company of others to feel emotionally nourished (whilst seeking occasional solitude to recharge) and need quite a bit of intellectual stimulation whenever discussing anything with anyone. I am generally optimistic, crave peace and harmony and struggle to keep my thoughts to myself.

· He is introverted, genuine, gentle and calm. Always patient, always living in the moment and constantly entertaining himself with his passions and ideals. He speaks rarely at length of things, but when he does comment or passes judgement, it cannot be refuted - everything he says possesses a certain weight and unshakable truth. He has told me that he struggles with communication, and yet it appears to me that by limiting his words to those only of most importance, he is more an effective speaker than others who leak illiterate garbage and ramble on about the mundane (like me, haha).

· We meet at certain common grounds; we are both creative by nature and loathe stifling, static situations. We enjoy laughing together, share many common interests, engage in lively discussion about humanity and philosophy, participate in outdoor activities, admire nature (and possess a mutual dislike for the city). Our families get along well, whom are easy-going folk and want only the best, most enjoyable and rewarding life for us to share with one another. Both deeply affectionate and amicable in one another's presence, we never have petty arguments as they are easily avoided with acts of understanding, discussion and compromise.

· He rejects MBTI and most forms of categorisation for many reasons that we've discusssed. We did not however discuss the way my analysis of his personality type further lends itself to the supervisor type conditions of our relationship. He isn't aware of supervisor type relationships, let alone that I am trying to research it to gain better insight into the way we operate together as a couple.


The issues are as follows;

It gets hairy when I need to talk out my worries and anxieties. I'd love to constantly titter away about my thoughts, revelations and uncertainties in the pursuit for self-fulfillment, whereas he needs ample servings of private time to rejuvenate energy. This creates a sense of absence in the relationship; one partner is less available for the other. Unknown to me why, I feel as if his need to recluse is a direct personal attack; that my company is not enjoyable, that he has become overwhelmed by my extroversion and that he would not need as much private space if we weren't in a romantic relationship. Despite recognising that he does need alone time regardless, it still causes me stress because I crave his affection almost all of the time. This sounds self-centred, and even just speaking about it makes me uncomfortable, however it is truly how I feel.

Above all other issues, I am most concerned about the intricacies of the way ENFP/ISFP types theoretically operate. That is specifically, under the supervisor relationship type. Nothing depresses me more than knowing that I might be the very key to causing a potential melt-down in my partner. I am horrified by this idea, that I may be stopping him from being who he naturally is, and as such I will strive to do anything and everything to prevent my partner feeling subordinate in this relationship. The standard in supervisor relationship types is that the supervisor's dominant function painfully fights against the supervisee's inferior function even without their knowing about it (To him, I am fascinating but overwhelming, to the point where our closeness creates dissidence between our strengths and weaknesses; my strengths amplify and further entrench his weaknesses).

I understand that in order for us to make this relationship fruitful for us both, I must reduce my dominant function that feeds my power, control and authority and instead focus on respecting his need for privacy, and ultimately, autonomy. This is evident in moments where he is experiencing frustration or stress, no matter the cause. When I ask him if there is anything at all that I could do to help, he tells me to relax and chill out. Of course I anticipate that doing this would result in stagnation, rather than resolution so I often deny his request and proceed to fret over the situation anyway, unfortunately thus escalating his frustration. This action seems illogical and yet it is the evident data :(


How can I help make this relationship a stronger one? How do I destroy the barriers between us and the power struggle that is a result of our differences?
 

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How can I help make this relationship a stronger one? How do I destroy the barriers between us and the power struggle that is a result of our differences?
This isn't much help, if at all, but from my perspective, finding some way to vent your Ne without involving him would probably help him a lot. You _don't_ want to stifle your dom. function too much, as it will eventually result in your inferior taking over--which you _really_ don't want. I don't know what kind of female friends you have that you could vent with, but you don't need him for _everything_. Good friends with whom you can unload, vent, recharge would help, I would guess... with the operative word being "guess..."
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ferroequinologist, your wisdom prevails yet again :) thanks for the response, its been a while since last posting about ISFP communication troubles, and now im figuring out that my very own ENFP characteristics are magnifying his worries about this. I think your suggestion stands true, that venting to a close friend (ie. My intj best friend) will soften the struggles in my romantic relationship. It won't be as rewarding as communicating with my Ne function in this way with my partner but it does provide some relief. Thanks again for your input, peace.
 

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Ferroequinologist, your wisdom prevails yet again :) thanks for the response, its been a while since last posting about ISFP communication troubles, and now im figuring out that my very own ENFP characteristics are magnifying his worries about this. I think your suggestion stands true, that venting to a close friend (ie. My intj best friend) will soften the struggles in my romantic relationship. It won't be as rewarding as communicating with my Ne function in this way with my partner but it does provide some relief. Thanks again for your input, peace.
I've been thinking about this, and here are some complications I could think of. 1. He probably, at times, enjoys or wants to enjoy such Ne diversions--in particular, when they don't directly involve him, or if they involve enjoyable future activities, or just intellectual musings. He may feel inadequate to speak up, or say little, but that doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy such times. The one thing to keep in mind is that his own "contributions" will be from your perspective rather pathetic, and nonsensical or realistic. You will want to ignore the obviousness of such contributions--just acknowledge them, and hold your tongue in pointing out how "obviously" wrong his thoughts are. If he's smart, he will eventually see that anyway, and your holding back on pointing out will be appreciated by him. :)

2. Some things are very difficult to catch or be aware of. A "for instance." A while ago, I did something little for my wife, that made her life a bit more comfortable, and mine a little bit less comfortable. I saw that the tradeoff was that her comfort increased exponentially to my decrease in comfort (I lost a little bit in comfort to her greater gain in comfort), but I also knew that if this change were pointed out to her, she'd be unhappy, and I didn't want to bother her, nor did I want to have to endure her "Ne" approach--I just wanted to do something stealth. Well, she sort of caught me in the act, and started asking me tons of questions, trying to get out of me what I had done. To me it was obvious that 1. I was very uncomfortable talking about it, and absolutely did not want to talk about it, and 2. that the deed had been done, but more importantly, 3, the longer she went on, the worse it got--but she plowed ahead, heedless of all these signs, and turned a simple gesture into a fiasco--because her Ne just had to be satisfied, and equally so, her weak Se just couldn't see the signs that it was not the topic to discuss and it wasn't the time to discuss it. This is part of what happens--you don't even realize what you are doing, and he feels it very deeply... On the other hand, I'm sure you feel quite "inadequate" around his Se observations and behavior some times, so it works both ways--just so you don't think I'm picking on you. ;-)

3. Some times you just can't avoid it, due to the need to deal with things. For instance, we have company coming, and we need to establish some things ahead of time, as to what we will be doing, etc. so my wife can schedule meals, buy the groceries, etc. I just _hate_ these sorts of things, because I always feel so inadequate to the task. I used to be a supervisor, and I could sit at my desk for seemingly hours, trying to plan, plot, foresee things--and it was the greatest brain drain I can remember. I still suffer from that exhaustion whenever I have to plan things, and paying bills and working a budget sends me into tailspins. I do it, but it's horrible, and I'm frankly, quite horrible at it. It takes me much longer, and far more effort than anybody else I know. I just need help, and even though it is very stressful, it is less stressful talking it out with my wife than going it alone. I just had to learn to suck it up, and deal with it. That's life together with another person.

Honestly, I don't like the idea of my wife making compromises for me, though I know she does it, and she also has to "adapt" to my quirkinesses, shortcomings, etc. All of those things make me feel terrible sometimes, and every time I let her down, I feel like the earth should just swallow me up whole--but I don't know how to improve myself. I've tried for decades, with only minimal success, and most of that has been thanks to technology, and my bending it to my will (bwahaha). I'm still the same flighty, inconsistent, wishy-washy, lamer I was decades ago when we first got married.... sigh...

(to add some humor, I was looking at the celebritytypes test a couple months ago, and one question asked something about being too hard vs. being wishy-washy. I have always thought I was too hard on my kids, so I asked them, and thought it was soooo "obvs" that I was wishy washy!) :)
 

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As I read this tread I find the relationship quite similar to the one me and my ENFP friend is having. This won't be much help but I hope it gives you a little opening to an ISFP's mind :kitteh:

My ENFP friend is extremely extraverted, nice, insightful, and is really fun to hang around. There were not a thing that I could critique about him until we got closer: after months of *really* knowing each other, he starts to become really clingy of sorts and cross my "privacy" line. He was insecure about every possible thing and it drives me nuts! I like him for who he is-- that's why we're friends-- but he just doesn't get it. He'd want to impersonate whoever he isn't (through action.. it'd be little things like the way he walks or waves), and to me, it is somehow very abnormal and it really itches my eyes xD I'd tell him that he's over thinking things, but he'd never listen. That's when it hits me.. I wonder to myself: Was I only a trashcan or a tree to him, am I even a friend who he can take advice from?
Partially it's my fault too, I'm quite stressed lately and can be somewhat snappy. I informed him and he acknowledged it but nothing changed, he still insists on talking to me about his insecurities (that's his personality which I totally don't mind, I'd love to listen. But, too much is too much..) Sometimes when I'm at my limit I'd confront his ideas, trying to make him see the reality that he doesn't. But instead of a quick talk I prefer, we'd end up in branches of debates and arguments filled with unnecessary emotions. I don't think he enjoyed or gain anything from it and I just ended up feeling guilty and even more stressed out.

I'm not telling you to change yourself for him, we love who you are and there's no need for any changes. the only thing is that don't fret or overanalyze things, and please consider what he's saying to you. Sometimes when you do that it's kind of like me [ISFP] watching my dog [ENFP] on high chicken meat, dashing and spinning around the house. All I want to do is hug the dog but he'd never let me hold him :< but when he calms down and let me squeeze him it's just the best thing ever! xD It's kind of like that ahaha (sorry for comparing you to a dog! It's the best I could think of.. *cries*) That's the only advice I could give you.. doesn't seem much but if my ENFP friend applies it to me, I think our friendship will have a much smoother sailing :proud:

Anyways, best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I've been thinking about this, and here are some complications I could think of. 1. He probably, at times, enjoys or wants to enjoy such Ne diversions--in particular, when they don't directly involve him, or if they involve enjoyable future activities, or just intellectual musings. He may feel inadequate to speak up, or say little, but that doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy such times. The one thing to keep in mind is that his own "contributions" will be from your perspective rather pathetic, and nonsensical or realistic. You will want to ignore the obviousness of such contributions--just acknowledge them, and hold your tongue in pointing out how "obviously" wrong his thoughts are. If he's smart, he will eventually see that anyway, and your holding back on pointing out will be appreciated by him. :)

2. Some things are very difficult to catch or be aware of. A "for instance." A while ago, I did something little for my wife, that made her life a bit more comfortable, and mine a little bit less comfortable. I saw that the tradeoff was that her comfort increased exponentially to my decrease in comfort (I lost a little bit in comfort to her greater gain in comfort), but I also knew that if this change were pointed out to her, she'd be unhappy, and I didn't want to bother her, nor did I want to have to endure her "Ne" approach--I just wanted to do something stealth. Well, she sort of caught me in the act, and started asking me tons of questions, trying to get out of me what I had done. To me it was obvious that 1. I was very uncomfortable talking about it, and absolutely did not want to talk about it, and 2. that the deed had been done, but more importantly, 3, the longer she went on, the worse it got--but she plowed ahead, heedless of all these signs, and turned a simple gesture into a fiasco--because her Ne just had to be satisfied, and equally so, her weak Se just couldn't see the signs that it was not the topic to discuss and it wasn't the time to discuss it. This is part of what happens--you don't even realize what you are doing, and he feels it very deeply... On the other hand, I'm sure you feel quite "inadequate" around his Se observations and behavior some times, so it works both ways--just so you don't think I'm picking on you. ;-)

3. Some times you just can't avoid it, due to the need to deal with things. For instance, we have company coming, and we need to establish some things ahead of time, as to what we will be doing, etc. so my wife can schedule meals, buy the groceries, etc. I just _hate_ these sorts of things, because I always feel so inadequate to the task. I used to be a supervisor, and I could sit at my desk for seemingly hours, trying to plan, plot, foresee things--and it was the greatest brain drain I can remember. I still suffer from that exhaustion whenever I have to plan things, and paying bills and working a budget sends me into tailspins. I do it, but it's horrible, and I'm frankly, quite horrible at it. It takes me much longer, and far more effort than anybody else I know. I just need help, and even though it is very stressful, it is less stressful talking it out with my wife than going it alone. I just had to learn to suck it up, and deal with it. That's life together with another person.

Honestly, I don't like the idea of my wife making compromises for me, though I know she does it, and she also has to "adapt" to my quirkinesses, shortcomings, etc. All of those things make me feel terrible sometimes, and every time I let her down, I feel like the earth should just swallow me up whole--but I don't know how to improve myself. I've tried for decades, with only minimal success, and most of that has been thanks to technology, and my bending it to my will (bwahaha). I'm still the same flighty, inconsistent, wishy-washy, lamer I was decades ago when we first got married.... sigh...

(to add some humor, I was looking at the celebritytypes test a couple months ago, and one question asked something about being too hard vs. being wishy-washy. I have always thought I was too hard on my kids, so I asked them, and thought it was soooo "obvs" that I was wishy washy!) :)

Thanks for coming back to this post.
In bold, I've highlighted what things you said that rang true for me. I'll go over them and ask other questions as I go along.

I've realised that since reading your advice about acknowledging the ISFP for his contributions, this is something I have actually been doing in all the time we've known one another (which stretches back to high school even). No matter what he said, I'd show recognition and support, being mindful that the type of criticism and the amount of it that I'd demonstrate could make or break our conversation. I titled this strategy 'picking your fights', because our fights do consist of him going quiet or needing private space, and me being left confused and frustrated. So preventing this following a debate meant that I'd successfully identified the sensitive spots around whatever issue we were discussing, and could both navigate through it without making one another feel like we'd wasted our time. Regardless of who you are, ISFP or not, if your partner consistently disproved all of what you felt were your best ideas, you too would feel discomfort, potentially come to resent the other person. I think I 'sensed' this somehow early on, and as such is one of the things that has led to our relationship today. Sometimes however, I speak up about things he says that sit way too far off from my personal values, at the result of which he usually concedes and agrees with me. He sees the logic in my disagreement, and if he doesn't, he says so.

Secondly, you mentioned your discomfort in talking about the little favour you did for your wife. I noticed a similar circumstance just yesterday, in fact. Here's an example.

ISFP really wants to start this new hobby, but due to the hobby's dangerous nature, I expressed my concern about the chance of him seriously injuring himself (be it death or becoming disabled). After several months of discussing, including me showing my own interest in learning about the hobby and entertaining ways in which we could make it work, ISFP suddenly announces that he realises how unreasonable it is to be getting into this new interest. I interpreted his decision as a favour he was doing for me, rather than out of his own accord. So, naturally, I pry with some careful questioning like 'what makes you think that?' and basically paraphrase what he is talking about, to acknowledge that I am listening. Eventually he says he isn't deciding against the hobby because of my resistance to it; basically just that he has come to his own informed conclusion that he was going to be putting himself at great risk and was frightened of this. After our discussion however, he remained angry and frustrated, claiming that he was upset that he couldn't do what he wanted after all his years of being passionate about this one hobby, and in his words, he was upset he couldn't get what he wanted, "Just like a little child". For the first time in a while, he requested that we not speak and that it wasn't a good time for him. Whilst I find that the best salve to any of my problems is just talking it out, I suspect talking would have the opposite effect on my partner. So, I decided the best plan of action was to leave him be, and not contact him until he feels okay to reach out first. I don't think I'd be capable of saying the right thing at this stage because I have no way of gauging what he is thinking/feeling at this moment.

My partner also despises planning mundane tasks and organising events, to which I take over and happily accept the responsibility. He once told me in a rather humourless way that I was like his personal assistant :( Whilst that fact made me feel great (fulfilling my need to be useful and valuable to others) it probably amplified his anxiety of inadequacy. This is, as you say sometimes unavoidable, and that when he is forced to plan, it is better for him to seek help than to struggle alone. He also once mentioned that boredom was his worst enemy and that the key to living life fully was to enjoy it as much as possible. My reply was that sometimes we cannot chase happiness; we must create it out of what we already have. This makes me think of when he tells me that I am and always have been his guiding light. This is flattering, but then I become unsure how to repay him for this sentiment :\ Perhaps I should just not make a big deal out of it? Would a subtle acknowledgement be enough for him to feel good (a small thank you, perhaps just a smile even)?


I understand that my partner may feel like he is letting me down, as you might. However, the compromises shared between a couple go both ways (particularly when both partners are aware of their clashing traits). If I could say one thing to him about this, it'd be that what may appear as a failure on his behalf, is actually the reinforcement of a strength in me. If we had smooth-sailing seas the whole way through, quite honestly, I'd grow bored. Because I take responsibility for the majority of unavoidable organisational tasks between us, I am able to improve and flex something my personality type is notoriously weak in (getting into the daily grind, completing mundane chores). Because my partner finds it difficult to speak at times, to express his deepest thoughts and is fearful of what might come forth, it teaches me patience, acceptance and how to build understanding with another person. This is a particularly important skill for me to develop, because of the type of career that I am involved in. Whether or not he improves himself, perhaps even if I don't improve myself, what matters is that we value each other for the kind of people we are and not the characteristics or traits that represent us. Yeah, they may form our sense of self (responses to our worldly experiences; MBTI), but self also comes from a system of morality, a person's quirks and often their shortcomings. I'm sure your wife understands this, even if she may not recognise when her Ne function flares up at times. My concern is seeking knowledge that can equip me with the ability to better fulfill my needs and my partner's needs so that our love can be nourished and sustained.

I know you mentioned briefly about what behaviour you preferred from your wife following your favour, but what do you think is the best way to thank an ISFP?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As I read this tread I find the relationship quite similar to the one me and my ENFP friend is having. This won't be much help but I hope it gives you a little opening to an ISFP's mind :kitteh:

My ENFP friend is extremely extraverted, nice, insightful, and is really fun to hang around. There were not a thing that I could critique about him until we got closer: after months of *really* knowing each other, he starts to become really clingy of sorts and cross my "privacy" line. He was insecure about every possible thing and it drives me nuts! I like him for who he is-- that's why we're friends-- but he just doesn't get it. He'd want to impersonate whoever he isn't (through action.. it'd be little things like the way he walks or waves), and to me, it is somehow very abnormal and it really itches my eyes xD I'd tell him that he's over thinking things, but he'd never listen. That's when it hits me.. I wonder to myself: Was I only a trashcan or a tree to him, am I even a friend who he can take advice from?
Partially it's my fault too, I'm quite stressed lately and can be somewhat snappy. I informed him and he acknowledged it but nothing changed, he still insists on talking to me about his insecurities (that's his personality which I totally don't mind, I'd love to listen. But, too much is too much..) Sometimes when I'm at my limit I'd confront his ideas, trying to make him see the reality that he doesn't. But instead of a quick talk I prefer, we'd end up in branches of debates and arguments filled with unnecessary emotions. I don't think he enjoyed or gain anything from it and I just ended up feeling guilty and even more stressed out.

I'm not telling you to change yourself for him, we love who you are and there's no need for any changes. the only thing is that don't fret or overanalyze things, and please consider what he's saying to you. Sometimes when you do that it's kind of like me [ISFP] watching my dog [ENFP] on high chicken meat, dashing and spinning around the house. All I want to do is hug the dog but he'd never let me hold him :< but when he calms down and let me squeeze him it's just the best thing ever! xD It's kind of like that ahaha (sorry for comparing you to a dog! It's the best I could think of.. *cries*) That's the only advice I could give you.. doesn't seem much but if my ENFP friend applies it to me, I think our friendship will have a much smoother sailing :proud:

Anyways, best of luck!

Hello :)
Thanks for your feedback! In bold, I've highlighted what I'd like to talk a little more about, perhaps in a way that might help you deal with your ENFP as I'm sure can be quite challenging at times.

Crossing that ISFP 'line of privacy' is something difficult to avoid, particularly because ENFPs might be unsure of where that line lies. That is, until it is carefully explained and reasoned. My partner has gone to uncomfortable lengths to describe that he needs time and space to himself; that there are so many things left in life that he'd love to explore and experience and that paying 100% attention to a partner just wouldn't allow that to happen. That may sound like common sense, but it didn't hit me until he voiced his concerns. It is objective and true, so I accept it. We still spend plenty of enjoyable fun time together, playing video games, reading in the same room, cooking, hiking etc. so understanding that I need to split my Ne needs between friends other than my partner will grant him the space he requires to recollect his energy and enjoy his life as he pleases. Whilst ENFPs can seem sporadic and irrational, most appreciate intellectual debate aimed at a goal; if you argued that you preferred succinct, objective conversations over long-winded ramblings and self-entertained thoughts, perhaps your friend might come around. It takes persistence though, as all successful plans do. This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice you could provide him. By extending an ENFP's capabilities of communication, to that of catering to the needs of personalities other than his own, you are teaching him an extremely valuable social skill. So trust me, there is plenty you can advise.

Ah, the over-analysis issue. I am constantly reprimanded, "just chill out" and "relax about it". I have successfully overcome the way this can become a negative trigger point, as is the case for some people; telling someone to chill out might just be the thing that causes them to snap. However, I know relaxing is good for me. I'm a stress-head and I take things personally way too often. On the upperhand, ability to critically analyse makes me highly empathetic when others talk to me of their issues and are seeking resolution. This trait also makes my friendship with an INTJ/INTP remarkably rewarding and intellectually exciting. Analysing interpersonal relationships is something I revel in; it is my life enjoyment. Telling someone like this to stop thinking and to chill out can be like asking us not to breathe. Regardless, this can be overcome if the ENFP can find an alternate friend to flex it with. I refrain from becoming overly critical when discussing things with my partner, which just makes for smoother communication. Nothing is more like music to his ears than me sighing, putting my hands up in the air and saying 'It'll be right. Things will work themselves out eventually', then move on. Bam, suddenly its sunshine and rainbows from his end. True story.

What is it about your ENFP friend, whom I bet often dissects theories and discussions extensively, that makes you cringe and switch off? And just a small disclaimer; I don't mind if your answer is short and succinct ;)
 

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I know you mentioned briefly about what behaviour you preferred from your wife following your favour, but what do you think is the best way to thank an ISFP?
IMO, say as little as possible while acknowledging the deed or whatever it was. But this would depend on his love language, IMO, as well. If it's physical touch, touching his arm while thanking him, or something such--or a kiss, or some such. If it's acts of service, maybe a little token of appreciation. When we first started dating, I went on a two week singing tour, and she made me a little booklet that had pages to be opened one each day. That was cool. :)

But now to something else. Words of affirmation... I don't know how it is for other ISFPs, but honestly, I don't like a lot of verbal praise. It first of all makes me feel uncomfortable--like being in the spotlight. But also, the more gushy the praise, the more I suspect its sincerity. So, what kind of words of affirmation? Well, just that--affirmation, not praise. I've lived the most of my life--since I was a little kid--being an outsider--not fitting in, always feeling like I need to perform to others' expectations, etc. To me, to just know that I'm ok just being who I am... To put it in other words--unqualified acceptance. That brings up another point about praise--praise for accomplishment gives me the impression that that appreciation of me is also conditioned on my ability to achieve--think about that--if I have to perform to be appreciated, then I would end up in a constant cycle of seeking acceptance by performing. Just to put it in perspective, I have seen where this was Robin William's problem--his mom never paid attention to him unless he was performing--and his whole life, he felt he needed to perform to be accepted, and that it may have contributed to his demise...
 

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That is none of your concern. Either contribute meaningful, helpful advice and questions or please leave the forum.
well from my perspective if the physical aspect of the relationship is good then
that relationship is on the right track . but may be its non of my business as you pointed out .
 

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NO--you do not need to diminish yourself in any way!!

This is not a supervisor problem, but an example of the ages old extrovert/introvert divide. Simply ALLOW the introvert to tend to his introvert needs--he needs his space, dammit!

Love is not about control-it is about freedom. Give each other the freedom to be who you are.

Speaking as an introvert--I often need to push people away to I can do my work/stuff. Weeks later, I will feel wracked with guilt even knowing it can be no other way. Try to understand this need for inner processing that we introverts have.
 

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Thank you for your insights :) I wholly agree with you about everything.
ISFP's that I know (including myself) have never drew a visible line, so I can understand how easy it is to walk right through it--and it's not your fault. However after you've crossed it, we'll start showing little discomforts (e.g. not replying to texts, lost in our world, etc), at that point I'd recommend you to step back (doesn't need to be out of sight but keep the quiet environment). I hope you understand that the withdrawal is not your fault; my friend always misinterpret it and spams me with a series of "sorry's", which will annoys me since I'll need to explain it to him and that ruins the whole purpose of me withdrawing.
That being said, succinct communication isn't what I yearn for either. I prefer normal conversations, where one thought leads on to another, not endless circle of the same exact ideas for hours. My ENFP friend hold on to his perspectives stubbornly and won't consider what I have to say. When I say something (which I rarely do) I want him to listen; listen to understand and not to refute. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind critiques, but what he's giving me is simply a rejection of my idea (without thinking through it first). Fortunately this doesn't happen often and we get over it fairly easily :) And yes! I love the deep conversations and debates he has to offer.

I don't know what kind of advice to give but Ferro is spot on!! (Feel free to ask though :kitteh: PS:I'm also interested in analyzing relationships between different types!)
 

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Thanks for coming back to this post.
In bold, I've highlighted what things you said that rang true for me. I'll go over them and ask other questions as I go along.

I've realised that since reading your advice about acknowledging the ISFP for his contributions, this is something I have actually been doing in all the time we've known one another (which stretches back to high school even). No matter what he said, I'd show recognition and support, being mindful that the type of criticism and the amount of it that I'd demonstrate could make or break our conversation. I titled this strategy 'picking your fights', because our fights do consist of him going quiet or needing private space, and me being left confused and frustrated. So preventing this following a debate meant that I'd successfully identified the sensitive spots around whatever issue we were discussing, and could both navigate through it without making one another feel like we'd wasted our time. Regardless of who you are, ISFP or not, if your partner consistently disproved all of what you felt were your best ideas, you too would feel discomfort, potentially come to resent the other person. I think I 'sensed' this somehow early on, and as such is one of the things that has led to our relationship today. Sometimes however, I speak up about things he says that sit way too far off from my personal values, at the result of which he usually concedes and agrees with me. He sees the logic in my disagreement, and if he doesn't, he says so.

this seems perfectly reasonable. The first and surest way to a good relationship is staying away from criticism.

ISFP really wants to start this new hobby, but due to the hobby's dangerous nature, I expressed my concern about the chance of him seriously injuring himself (be it death or becoming disabled). After several months of discussing, including me showing my own interest in learning about the hobby and entertaining ways in which we could make it work, ISFP suddenly announces that he realises how unreasonable it is to be getting into this new interest. I interpreted his decision as a favour he was doing for me, rather than out of his own accord. So, naturally, I pry with some careful questioning like 'what makes you think that?' and basically paraphrase what he is talking about, to acknowledge that I am listening. Eventually he says he isn't deciding against the hobby because of my resistance to it; basically just that he has come to his own informed conclusion that he was going to be putting himself at great risk and was frightened of this. After our discussion however, he remained angry and frustrated, claiming that he was upset that he couldn't do what he wanted after all his years of being passionate about this one hobby, and in his words, he was upset he couldn't get what he wanted, "Just like a little child". For the first time in a while, he requested that we not speak and that it wasn't a good time for him. Whilst I find that the best salve to any of my problems is just talking it out, I suspect talking would have the opposite effect on my partner. So, I decided the best plan of action was to leave him be, and not contact him until he feels okay to reach out first. I don't think I'd be capable of saying the right thing at this stage because I have no way of gauging what he is thinking/feeling at this moment.
Unfortunately here, your Ne is getting in the way. You see possibilities (death or disability) and voice them and he takes that as a judgment. I do think that here you can tone yourself down the same way you have avoided criticism. You can take the approach that no matter what you will support your partner - even in disability - provided it was his choice to begin with. You might not be hung ho about the whole deal, but certainly you can choose to still your concerns and let him work through them himself. To really understand how this can work, you should look up a free climber named Alain Roberts. There might be an interview of him and his wife, but essentially the both simply enjoy the moments, she knowing full well that the only way he can be his complete self is to take the risk of free climbing. Their relationship seems absolutely wonderful. So, you should try to still your Ne concerns when it comes to his "dreams". If on his own he finds out that they are either impractical or he is just not cut out for them, he will be perfectly happy, but not with you telling him in advance that there are those risks.

My partner also despises planning mundane tasks and organising events, to which I take over and happily accept the responsibility. He once told me in a rather humourless way that I was like his personal assistant :( Whilst that fact made me feel great (fulfilling my need to be useful and valuable to others) it probably amplified his anxiety of inadequacy. This is, as you say sometimes unavoidable, and that when he is forced to plan, it is better for him to seek help than to struggle alone. He also once mentioned that boredom was his worst enemy and that the key to living life fully was to enjoy it as much as possible. My reply was that sometimes we cannot chase happiness; we must create it out of what we already have. This makes me think of when he tells me that I am and always have been his guiding light. This is flattering, but then I become unsure how to repay him for this sentiment :\ Perhaps I should just not make a big deal out of it? Would a subtle acknowledgement be enough for him to feel good (a small thank you, perhaps just a smile even)?

In proper Ne style you have mixed the mundane with the philosophical in one paragraph. I didn't have anything to say on the mundane piece. Stuff has to be done. Someone has to do it. You are willingly doing it. It would be nice if you both could alternate turns, doing it his way once, your way another. It may not turn out exactly the way you want it but hey, so what.
Now for the philosophical - I don't see anything wrong in what he says. He wants to (as an ISFP) live completely in the present. You are expressing a fear of yours - which is that you feel you are chasing happiness all the time (via your Ne). In effect, you are telling yourself to stop chasing happiness and projecting that on him. Believe me. ISFPs do not chase happiness, they simply live it. And by saying we cannot chase happiness you are telling what he already knows (hence you are his guiding light by expressing your fear, how inverted is that), and he assumes that you are actually agreeing with him about living in the present. I would argue that you can learn from him by just being in the moment. If you need more information on that check out Eckhart Tolles book - The power of Now, if you haven't already.

I understand that my partner may feel like he is letting me down, as you might. However, the compromises shared between a couple go both ways (particularly when both partners are aware of their clashing traits). If I could say one thing to him about this, it'd be that what may appear as a failure on his behalf, is actually the reinforcement of a strength in me. If we had smooth-sailing seas the whole way through, quite honestly, I'd grow bored. Because I take responsibility for the majority of unavoidable organisational tasks between us, I am able to improve and flex something my personality type is notoriously weak in (getting into the daily grind, completing mundane chores). Because my partner finds it difficult to speak at times, to express his deepest thoughts and is fearful of what might come forth, it teaches me patience, acceptance and how to build understanding with another person. This is a particularly important skill for me to develop, because of the type of career that I am involved in. Whether or not he improves himself, perhaps even if I don't improve myself, what matters is that we value each other for the kind of people we are and not the characteristics or traits that represent us. Yeah, they may form our sense of self (responses to our worldly experiences; MBTI), but self also comes from a system of morality, a person's quirks and often their shortcomings. I'm sure your wife understands this, even if she may not recognise when her Ne function flares up at times. My concern is seeking knowledge that can equip me with the ability to better fulfill my needs and my partner's needs so that our love can be nourished and sustained.
At the Fi level (which I think is the most important for you two), I think you are both fine if you feel the same values, which you obviously do. I see you use the word morality here. I hadn't expected that from a Fi aux person. Perhaps you are confusing your internal system of good and bad with morality. As long as you and your partners internal system of good and bad don't clash things should be good.

From your OP, Issue 1 sounds easy to work on. Issues 2 and 3 sounds like non-issues. For issue 2 its simply a matter of realizing that a good relationship is about individualism and support and hence being horrified by your unknowingly being the key to something is simply a worry. Worries are of no use, especially unsolvable ones. Stop worrying that you are somehow reducing his potential. Issue 3 is not about reduction of the dominant function. It is about letting your auxiliary function have more say in your life. You need to be more open to Fi which will naturally attune the scattershot fire of your dominant Ne. Raise your Fi to the conscious so that it can judge which of the Ne possibilities feel right. I foresee that when you do that your range of possibilities will whittle themselves down to a few fruitful ones. Of course open up with these to your partner. The mantra of counting to 10 applies here. Give yourself a day or two with the set of possibilities before sharing them. Allow them to ferment, settle, percolate in your system for a while. This is fundamentally what meditation does. And I think if you were to try this strategy you will find your Ne to be a huge boon in your relationship since your partner needs that Ne to explore his own worlds (not yours).
 
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NO--you do not need to diminish yourself in any way!!

This is not a supervisor problem, but an example of the ages old extrovert/introvert divide. Simply ALLOW the introvert to tend to his introvert needs--he needs his space, dammit!

Love is not about control-it is about freedom. Give each other the freedom to be who you are.

Speaking as an introvert--I often need to push people away to I can do my work/stuff. Weeks later, I will feel wracked with guilt even knowing it can be no other way. Try to understand this need for inner processing that we introverts have.

Well said, I think this rings true in a lot of ways. I think my mission now is to find more than one way to vent my Ne without blast-firing it in the direction of those who find it too overwhelming. I've tried writing things out, but this forum is actually a really awesome medium for this purpose, I find. Thank you for your suggestions, I realise now that his requests for space and time are not simply things that I can glaze over, it is seriously important that ISFPs receive that recovery time as much as I get a chance to express my Ne.
 

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Yes! I can see it in my partner's eyes when I've lost him - I'd been running around in circles, frantically exploring every nook and cranny in an idea that it's left him confused and tired of keeping up. What I take from this is that I should learn to be more succinct with my perceptions, not necessarily just the words I say, (and work on that judging function too when I can) without sacrificing my need to express myself intuitively. Long conversations = ok, long-winded, sightless ramblings = not ok.

I think this advice is working... I've given him some time and space alone, without interruption for two days and it seems as though he's surfaced from his 'grip' and has contacted me. I'm truly fascinated with this.
 

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...I realise now that his requests for space and time are not simply things that I can glaze over, it is seriously important that ISFPs receive that recovery time as much as I get a chance to express my Ne.
lol. this is true of any introvert. I think though how this need for space manifests itself is different for INTP versus ISFP. For an INTP, the need for space is simply a need for hours of focus on some topic (however irrelevant that topic might be to daily life). However for an ISFP, he might just want to "do" activities by himself (or with you, but not with you providing a running commentary on the activity). The "do" part is satisfying the Se side of him. It would be interesting to see if the other ISFPs disagree with this analysis. But, I think the need for space and time is important, but the way it manifests itself may not be entirely to your liking.
 

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this seems perfectly reasonable. The first and surest way to a good relationship is staying away from criticism.

My apologies, I am unsure as to what you refer to by this quote. Do you mean to say that even constructive criticism is a negative thing for relationship success?

I also really appreciate everything else you've written down in correspondence to my post, however I don't have much time right now to respond to each segment. I'll come back to it tomorrow! Thank you for your time and suggestions :)
 

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My apologies, I am unsure as to what you refer to by this quote. Do you mean to say that even constructive criticism is a negative thing for relationship success?

I also really appreciate everything else you've written down in correspondence to my post, however I don't have much time right now to respond to each segment. I'll come back to it tomorrow! Thank you for your time and suggestions :)
Over time and experience I have come to realize that there is no such thing as unasked for constructive or destructive criticism. This comes from the art of active listening. Active listening implies 4 things - We listen to obtain information, We listen to understand, We listen for enjoyment, We listen to learn. Listening to your partner involves deferring judgment (something you should have absolutely no problem with unlike us INTPs). More importantly, germane to our conversation, listening implies actually listening when your partner says "So what do you think?". Then your partner has provided you the opportunity to express an opinion. But the choice comes from him. Not from your desire to be of value and provide input when he is not seeking it. This might seem a little bit like "not love".
 
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This is evident in moments where he is experiencing frustration or stress, no matter the cause. When I ask him if there is anything at all that I could do to help, he tells me to relax and chill out.
After several months of discussing, including me showing my own interest in learning about the hobby and entertaining ways in which we could make it work, ISFP suddenly announces that he realises how unreasonable it is to be getting into this new interest.

After our discussion however, he remained angry and frustrated, claiming that he was upset that he couldn't do what he wanted after all his years of being passionate about this one hobby, and in his words, he was upset he couldn't get what he wanted, "Just like a little child"
This is not a supervisor problem, but an example of the ages old extrovert/introvert divide. Simply ALLOW the introvert to tend to his introvert needs--he needs his space, dammit!
^This!

This is his Fi. Having Fi as a dominant makes it that your are judging everything by your feelings; if those feelings are negative and overwhelm you, it pours over to your surroundings. For exemple the "relax and chill out" doesn't seem to me like a "go away leave YOU" but I'd say it's more of a "leave me alone", which is very different? Also, having Se as his auxiliary would make it that he would be very sensitive to stimulis?

It seems like he got scared, I'd say maybee his Ni got in the way and started spinning and making him see only and all the possible bad scenarios, because of Fi being in red alert mode. In those times I guess everything is tainted by the emotion you are feeling.

Of course I anticipate that doing this would result in stagnation, rather than resolution so I often deny his request and proceed to fret over the situation anyway, unfortunately thus escalating his frustration. This action seems illogical and yet it is the evident data :(
From an outsider point of view I can see why he'd call you his "guiding light"! Your Ne can bring him possibilities he might not have thought of when trying to resolve a problem while going through emotional hardship. It seems like he is aware of this too, which is lovely.

It feels like this would be your Fi coming in, but being influenced by your Ne, and it's so interesting. You feel like the possible outcomes are not productive and out of the best intentions (helping your loved one) you try to make it obvious to him. Except his Fi right now needs to settle down and to work through the sadness. He needs to breath a bit, and then since ISFP are very much in the now, it seems like he could easily move on once the "mourning" is over. In the case of his hobby, if it seems like it's something he comes back to often, it could be interesting to see why and discuss solutions then. It's obvious that with Ne you are pretty good at listening in a proactive way ♡

Maybe recognizing when your partner is in alert mode, using your Ne to see the possible outcomes, and leaving him some space, as in letting him be and doing something on your own around him, could help you feel not unwanted while letting him deal with his emotional turmoils.

Annd since it's a relationship it goes both ways, right? Introverts need to be put out of themselves sometimes. He has to be aware that his emotions are not everything, and that the world is going on around him.

Did you talk to him about how you feel about his feels? Or did you try to maintain peace and simple let it slides? It's important you listen to yourself too!
 
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