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Discussion Starter #1
Do any of my fellow ENFP's have any suggestions on how to handle or help their INTJ SO's when they do that thing they do where they start off with one slightly bad thing that happened and the next thing you know it's a referendum on their entire lives and if they are worthy to be on this planet? Only of course they don't usually tell you all of that so you're left with a mysteriously grumpy silently fuming sarcastic unhappy man and all that happened was he got second in a huge competition instead of first? Meanwhile you're over there like "Dude you just did a backflip on roller blades...that was awesome." And he's like "I suck, life sucks, you don't understand. You can't understand. I could have done better if I had started rollerblading at 6 years old like that guy instead of 11." And I'm like...you're 25... You did a backflip with wheels stuck to your feet....come here and kiss me right now...

I know I'm being a bit silly here, but the question is a serious one. How do you break your INTJ out of that shell and downward spiral? Or is it better to just let them work through it? It is very hard to do that cause it's really hard to just sit there and him be silent and know he's beating himself up in his head for hours...
 

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I hope that doesn't happen. Sounds more like me than him. I would probably try to focus on things that he is great at other than rollerblading to boost his confidence back up, since anything about rollerblading is probably going to remind him that he didn't live up to his own standards right now. Like if he was being sarcastic all the time, I'd talk to him about what a great sense of humor he has, instead of telling him how good he did in the competition. Even if he did great, if he honestly doesn't think so I doubt you'll be able to convince him. I have no idea if this is the best way to deal with it, but it's how I would. I know I tend to avoid conflict situations and that may be part of it, so take my advice with a grain of salt, I've never been in this situation.
 

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Depends on what he is being moody about. Fortunately it doesn't happen often. I alllways make the mistake on trying to debate his mood by pointing out the positives. Never works. I get blown out of the water with 'grumpy logic' lol. The last time I got so frustrated with his mood that I just turned around and told him to get a hold on his freaking Fi. The expression on his face suddenly looked like I'd slapped him before he smiled and laughed and thanked me. He was fine after that. I think he just needed a re-boot lol.
 

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I am laughing because I have totally been there with my INTJ husband. The worst is when he loses something. Even if it's small and insignificant, he gets so worked up about it that he can see nothing else except this one harbinger of his own incompetence. The children will be late to bed, the dinner will be getting cold, someone needs a poopy wiped on toilet number 2, but those situations seem minor when compared to the catastrophe of his missing sweater.

Besides the usual stuff--listening, validating (even if it means taking time out to look for something I could care less about), hugging, reassuring, I find that it's good just to keep a healthy perspective of the situation. He tends to see the worst case scenario so clearly that it frightens him. It would be wrong to be dismissive of his concern, but it's also a good for me to silently know that things probably won't be so bad as he assumes. My husband likes to try to frighten me with terrible predictions of doom about how he could lose his job, the world markets will probably collapse, our child's illness is most certainly leukemia (it was mono). I think he likes it when I don't freak out, when I can keep up my optimism in the face of his bad premonitions.

When he gets shouting mad, I find it helps to stay calm and reasonable. I second Nafatali--a good joke, properly timed, does wonders. If we go to bed and he is still fuming, I tell him I love him, offer a hug or kiss, and know that he just needs some time and space to cool off. He always does. He hates being unreasonable for very long.

Finally, I keep close tabs on everything before he assumes anything is lost... I am like a trained CIA operative in terms of noticing anything out of place, taking mental photographs of suspicious looking corners and endtables, noticing when he absently puts the TV remote on top of the fridge...
 

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Finally, I keep close tabs on everything before he assumes anything is lost... I am like a trained CIA operative in terms of noticing anything out of place, taking mental photographs of suspicious looking corners and endtables, noticing when he absently puts the TV remote on top of the fridge...
LOL!! Or leaving a pot of boiling water on the stove and forgetting about it. Or forgetting to use oven mitts! OMG!
 

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That slave driver is always there with the whip. We're kinda used to it. I don't think anything really helps. Certainly nothing you can do. Positive attitudes are better than negative ones of course but I think we really appreciate constructive criticism. We tend to think being overly positive is insulting. Kinda like telling every kid good job at T-ball. Or you could trick him into think that you think its your fault. " I'm so sorry, I was selfish and didn't let you practice more! I was so stupid and selfish!" Then maybe he'll stop being hard on himself and realize that he would have rather spent that time with you anyway... This might be hard to pull off
He'll get over it when he comes up with another strategy to succeed, or when there's another problem to solve or master. He'll come out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok so the consensus is that trying to convince him that he is wrong and he's great at whatever it is he's upset about won't really work because he'll just keep focusing on it? But joking is good. An keeping my own perspective is good. But I guess I worry that if I don't listen and sympathize enough then he'll think I'm dismissing his feelings and that I don't care. But if I listen and sympathize too much I am just buying into the spiral and perpetuating it? So I guess my game plan should be to listen and sympathize, then try to build him up in another way and joke. And let him know I love him? Instead of what I usually do which is try to change his perspective about what happened.
 

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And I also think I gotta try and convince myself to let him work it out. But it is difficult because I find a lot of my mood is based on his mood. I am easily swayed in that regard. So then I'm totally down, and then he comes out of his funk and I'm still stuck... But a lot of that is probably in my control...
 

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I am laughing because I have totally been there with my INTJ husband. The worst is when he loses something. Even if it's small and insignificant, he gets so worked up about it that he can see nothing else except this one harbinger of his own incompetence.

He tends to see the worst case scenario so clearly that it frightens him.
Lucky man he is having you :tongue:

But with all the due respect I find difficult imagine you understand fully what is on your husband's brain. Of course you concentrate on practical aspects.

I can tell you I am similar, there is nothing worse than losing something. I destroyed cars, lost jobs, you name it, without a blink, but losing something make me question my own brain. It is like a little worm that chews your mind. You can be strong and ignore it, but this will not make it go away. And when you are not distracted by something else, it will return.

Actually, it does not happen often, quite rarely. That is the order for.

And no, it is wrong evaluate the situation by the lost object. This time it was a stupid sweater, but next time could be a document, a roll of banknotes, the house keys. Losing an object is a mistake independent from the value of the object - your husband is perfectly aware of this.

I have no practical solution because I insist until I find what I have lost. Help him searching that and, if you find it, do not touch it but point him to it. He seeing it will reconstruct the mind states when he lost it, probably he will discover the cause of his mistake and he will be greatly comforted by it.
 

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Grumpiness comes with the INTJ package. Trying to persuade him that his grumpiness is excessive or misplaced will not work (even though on some level we know this to be true). The best remedy is to just lighten the mood with something cheery, silly and unrelated.
 

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When this happens to me the best thing to do is pull me back into the present. An honest statement about how you've noticed I'm withdrawing and becoming more detached and separated and how you'd love to hear what my troubles are is fantastic. I'm stubborn, be stubborn in return, 'cus I'll break before long. Those times are the times I really just want to unload and be emotional but since that's like, 'wtf no who does that', it become kind of a vicious cycle where I say nothing, withdraw, withdrawing makes me worse, but I can't say anything 'cus now I'm getting even worse, so I withdraw more, etc etc.

Be honest and use your ENFP wiley charm.

Grumpiness comes with the INTJ package.
No it does not.
 

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I don't think we're actually stubborn. Lol. We just have very well thought out complicated reasons why we are doing something. If someone makes a point that changes my perception I change my mind. You just actually have to convince us logically.

When the facts change, I change my mind.
Great INTJ John Maynard Keynes

Yes, asking him about whats troubling him. i think it always helps if someone is willing to listen to all the reasons I had and then asking if I've thought about things you think might help.
Help him strategize, by openly discussing possible solutions. We love this. If we dismiss an Idea, don't keep bringing it back up, ask why he thinks it won't work.

But with the frustration over a loss. I don't think there is anything she can do to help that.
It does seem like he's a lucky man to have someone so positive that cares about him.
:)
 

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Actually, it does not happen often, quite rarely.
Try living with toddlers. They pick up something small and insignificant (keys, for instance) wander around, play with them for awhile, get them stuck in a cabinet in the laundry room, and then promptly suffer amnesia.

And no, it is wrong evaluate the situation by the lost object. This time it was a stupid sweater, but next time could be a document, a roll of banknotes, the house keys. Losing an object is a mistake independent from the value of the object - your husband is perfectly aware of this.
I didn't think of it that way. It's uncanny, that INTJ logic. I do help him find what he's looking for--I've honed my skills in that department because I have realized there's just no stopping him when he's on the hunt. He becomes a force of nature.

But with the frustration over a loss. I don't think there is anything she can do to help that.
:)
That's why I have become the CIA operative of Knowing Where Everything Is. "It's in the end table, honey! Second drawer down, slightly to the left, in the back. Under the diaper ointment." And then, when he gets that sheepish grin, I cock my eyebrow at him and ask, "Are you impressed?"
 

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I am laughing because I have totally been there with my INTJ husband. The worst is when he loses something. Even if it's small and insignificant, he gets so worked up about it that he can see nothing else except this one harbinger of his own incompetence. The children will be late to bed, the dinner will be getting cold, someone needs a poopy wiped on toilet number 2, but those situations seem minor when compared to the catastrophe of his missing sweater.

Besides the usual stuff--listening, validating (even if it means taking time out to look for something I could care less about), hugging, reassuring, I find that it's good just to keep a healthy perspective of the situation. He tends to see the worst case scenario so clearly that it frightens him. It would be wrong to be dismissive of his concern, but it's also a good for me to silently know that things probably won't be so bad as he assumes. My husband likes to try to frighten me with terrible predictions of doom about how he could lose his job, the world markets will probably collapse, our child's illness is most certainly leukemia (it was mono). I think he likes it when I don't freak out, when I can keep up my optimism in the face of his bad premonitions.

When he gets shouting mad, I find it helps to stay calm and reasonable. I second Nafatali--a good joke, properly timed, does wonders. If we go to bed and he is still fuming, I tell him I love him, offer a hug or kiss, and know that he just needs some time and space to cool off. He always does. He hates being unreasonable for very long.

Finally, I keep close tabs on everything before he assumes anything is lost... I am like a trained CIA operative in terms of noticing anything out of place, taking mental photographs of suspicious looking corners and endtables, noticing when he absently puts the TV remote on top of the fridge...
I just got chills reading this, it resonated so profoundly, you married to my ex?!? :p

Hahaha, this isn't going to be too helpful, but after my last relationship with an Intj, I've sworn them off, I love love love INTJ women, and from a distance love INTJ men as well, haha, especially the fictional ones, but I am not built to handle their doom-gloom rage-induced yelling ways, INTJs scare me when they are mad, like make my heart palpitate. :unsure:
 

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Hahaha, this isn't going to be too helpful, but after my last relationship with an Intj, I've sworn them off, I love love love INTJ women, and from a distance love INTJ men as well, haha, especially the fictional ones, but I am not built to handle their doom-gloom rage-induced yelling ways, INTJs scare me when they are mad, like make my heart palpitate. :unsure:
At first I thought it was scary too. Then I realized it's all bark, no bite. Most of their frustration is internal--being angry at their own perceived flaws and failures. Like anyone, they might lash out at the people around them, but it doesn't take much to point out--with your arms crossed--that such misdirection of anger is inappropriate and unreasonable. It won't calm them down right away, but it might help them exert themselves out of the confrontation, and into the dark quietness of their heads, where they can seethe and grumble, and admit that you are right. Like I said, they hate being unreasonable, and it blows over quickly.

Especially at night, I refuse to get shaken by his thunder, kiss good night, and go to bed. Sleep must be remedial in such situations because he always wakes up feeling better and himself again. Then I try to better understand his frustration, he opens up and apologizes for the inappropriate ways in which it manifested itself, and we cuddle with renewed confidence (more, if the kids give us a chance.)

This business is much sweeter than earlier in our relationship, when I was a greener ENFP, and would romantically insist upon resolving EVERY conflict before we fell asleep. Prodding him and rousing him from his slumber at 2 a.m. to whine and ask him what he is feeling. Break in to sobs because I was sure, based upon his drowsy grumpiness, that he no longer loved me. Lol. These earlier techniques didn't work out so well.
 

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Do any of my fellow ENFP's have any suggestions on how to handle or help their INTJ SO's when they do that thing they do where they start off with one slightly bad thing that happened and the next thing you know it's a referendum on their entire lives and if they are worthy to be on this planet?
Well, I'm not sure that my SO ever questions whether he is worthy of the planet, but he has definitely questioned if others were when he was in that kind of mood. ;)

1.) Find out the source of irritation.
2.) Logic the problem.
3.) Put it in PERSPECTIVE!
4.) Empathize without too much coddling.
5.) Insist on proper behavior regardless of his mood (no taking it out on others unrelated to the problem!!)

And if the above ^^ does not snap him out of it, then leave him on his own. It will keep you from becoming frustrated or a target of frustration.
He will eventually come around on his own and, if mature, he will apologize, affirm you were right, thank you, and move on.
 

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What you are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg. An INTJ under stress will get grumpy, then frustrated, and finally angry. We beat ourselves up on the inside. We think about how bad we fucked up, ask ourselves what we did wrong, what could we have done differently. We analyze everything we have done, every word we have said. We will be in great pain, but never tell anyone the true depth of it. We lash out, which may or may not be all that noticeable, in every direction. Most of it, however, is inward. We destroy ourselves. Nothing anyone can say or do will stop this from happening. We will try like Hell to change something if we can, but it can be very painful for us to admit we cannot change something. We must come to the decision to stop this downward spiral ourselves. We have to realize we cannot change whatever it is that is putting us under so much stress. That is a crushing blow. It is failure.
 

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What you are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg. An INTJ under stress will get grumpy, then frustrated, and finally angry. We beat ourselves up on the inside. We think about how bad we fucked up, ask ourselves what we did wrong, what could we have done differently. We analyze everything we have done, every word we have said. We will be in great pain, but never tell anyone the true depth of it. We lash out, which may or may not be all that noticeable, in every direction. Most of it, however, is inward. We destroy ourselves. Nothing anyone can say or do will stop this from happening. We will try like Hell to change something if we can, but it can be very painful for us to admit we cannot change something. We must come to the decision to stop this downward spiral ourselves. We have to realize we cannot change whatever it is that is putting us under so much stress. That is a crushing blow. It is failure.
Yep, It is what it is, this obsessively painful regret. It only goes away after something amazing happens to eclipse it. Something that would have never played out if you had won your lost prize. I can get sidetracked if I look towards another great goal however. But, I'm still held back a little and find myself constantly looking back. It doesn't materialize to negative thoughts towards the world its all on myself. The world is great, so many optimistic things that can be improved and made better.
:)
 
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