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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My INTP boyfriend is currently taking a gap year before continuing with his second year of university next year.

He started off the year with so many ideas about what he wanted to do, but due to indecisiveness and what appears to be depression, he has done very few of these things. He spends most of his time at home, thinking about what he wants to do (learn languages, travel, volunteer) but only doing very few of these things. It has lead to loneliness and unhappiness which he has confided in me about. He also has the tendency to do things impulsively (eg. drive recklessly or drink too much when sad).

I want to help, but I am scared that giving too many suggestions or pushing him to do things will seem controlling or clingy or belittling. My tendency is usually to give lots of space and to be there for support when needed, and to plan fun things together every now and then. I don't want to seem controlling and I doubt he wants to be controlled.

I love him very much and I really want to help and to see him happy. How should I approach this?

*Additional info. Boyfriend is intelligent, good with languages and words, kind, weird (in a good way), loves good music and good food, is family-oriented, and is very supportive and also always willing to drive late at night to see me if I'm busy or out of town.
 

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It just feels like I'm not being actively helpful enough. Shouldn't I do something more?
Nope, you're doing all you should. Since his problem is indecisiveness, let's say you help him make a decision. If that decision turns out to be bad or wrong, for whatever reason, he's just going to blame you and say it is your fault he made the wrong choice. If he comes to the same decision on his own, he has no one to blame but himself. Somehow we tend to handle the latter a lot better than the former.
 

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I am so sick of people that see me as a broken person and a challenge to fix. The best thing my INTP boyfriend did was decide to just be there, he has never personally experienced mental illness so he has had many questions. There have been times when I have had to tell him that there's no sense in trying to understand something that doesn't make sense.

He just shuts the fuck up and is physically there, no pressure to compliment or give advice because I don't want it.
This is the best thing anyone could have ever done for me, instead of talking the talk he walks the walk along side of me. He builds me up without a single word because his actions speak volumes.

Continue as you have been and accept that it may not be what you would want if it were you but this can be the best approach for an INTP.

Also, if this still doesn't sit well then ask him flat out when you can tell he is having his worst days "what do you want me to do? I want to help you." Base it off of what he says not how you feel because ultimately it isn't about you and you are not him.
 

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Another depressed male INTP here. I don't have a girlfriend but a very close girl as a friend. She has depression too, and we have kindof being better by making room for each other. Just being there makes it so much easier, but you could also come up with solutions and ideas of why he feels the way he feels. I really struggle to come up with good solutions when it comes to feelings, and some advice could be helpful, as long as you don't really try to make him do stuff. You should never makes decitions for him, as we like to take control ourselves, and listen to everything he has to say aswell as being interested. That's about it I guess ..
 

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treat him like a pet and keep him on a leash. as long as you are strict with him and coddle him with affection he'll remain your love slave.
 
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I don't think the issue is that he's stuck in a rut, it's probably that you feel stuck in a rut with him.
The reason behind trying to "do more" "for him" is probably coming from the place that you don't want to be stuck with a sad sack for a bf.
And you're right in doing so.
Being attracted to people who have no direction and motivation speaks about your viewpoints on your own self worth.

Frankly I bet a lot of indecisiveness is coming from him factoring in your wants and needs.
There's a reason they suggest that INTP don't become romantically involved until later in life.
Fe is a bitch.

There are two ways you can go about it - make the decision for him and push him towards it, take advantage of inferior Fe and tell him what you want. Chances could be he does it and resents it even if it's actually what he wants lol. Or maybe he's successful and doesn't think he could have done it without you.

Or you can just be like - later dude don't have time for losers.
And then see what his unmotivated ass comes up with.
Maybe he puts his brain in overdrive and wants you back or maybe he just stays in the turtle shell.

Two different types of kicks in the ass.
 

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My INTP boyfriend is currently taking a gap year before continuing with his second year of university next year.

He started off the year with so many ideas about what he wanted to do, but due to indecisiveness and what appears to be depression, he has done very few of these things. He spends most of his time at home, thinking about what he wants to do (learn languages, travel, volunteer) but only doing very few of these things. It has lead to loneliness and unhappiness which he has confided in me about. He also has the tendency to do things impulsively (eg. drive recklessly or drink too much when sad).

I want to help, but I am scared that giving too many suggestions or pushing him to do things will seem controlling or clingy or belittling. My tendency is usually to give lots of space and to be there for support when needed, and to plan fun things together every now and then. I don't want to seem controlling and I doubt he wants to be controlled.

I love him very much and I really want to help and to see him happy. How should I approach this?

*Additional info. Boyfriend is intelligent, good with languages and words, kind, weird (in a good way), loves good music and good food, is family-oriented, and is very supportive and also always willing to drive late at night to see me if I'm busy or out of town.
Ask him to take a quick look at this: https://7chan.org/lit/src/Robert_Glover_-_No_More_Mr_Nice_Guy.pdf
 

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It just feels like I'm not being actively helpful enough. Shouldn't I do something more?
It seems like "actively helpful" to you means directly joining him in the decision making process, which is generally what you shouldn't do (obviously there are many decisions you should be involved in, what I mean is that this sort of "help" doesn't make the internal struggle easier). That loneliness and unhappiness side-effect is what you need to help with, which you seem to already be doing and is enough.

However if you need to feel "actively helpful" maybe you could try information gathering (as long as it doesn't include your advice on how the information should be used), but if you do this then you should let him delegate the research to you so you don't duplicate work.
 

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Therapy. Therapy therapy therapy. Suggest it to him. It ultimately needs to be up to him whether or not he goes. I had some life shattering events occur last year and I went to see someone. I ended up being diagnosed with two mental illness. We never really fully comprehend what is at play in our minds. The subconscious feeds the conscious. While we are only aware of what our conscious is telling us, it is really just taking its cues from our subconscious that we have no real awareness of. Time in therapy will help him become more self-aware and understand why he does the things he does and feels the way he feels especially for an INTP who has a difficult time understanding and expressing emotions as it is.
 

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Depression is a cancer, but unavoidable with a certain mindset I believe. I suffer with it pretty badly and am at a similar stage of life (university). My advice - if any - is not to put any external stress on him, i.e. anything that forces him to take part in 'extroverted' activities.

My experience going into my 20's as an 'intp' is that you begin to see (even MORE so) how desolate and manipulative the people around us are. Things we enjoyed when 'younger' are meaningless. The prospect of conforming to another system for the rest of our lives. Everything is trying to box you in. It feels like utter crap.

I am in a better place at present, and I do believe it's because of medication, diet changes and more exercise. It genuinely does help as much as our perceiving minds hate to admit it. Don't force that on him though.
 

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Therapy. Therapy therapy therapy. Suggest it to him. It ultimately needs to be up to him whether or not he goes. I had some life shattering events occur last year and I went to see someone. I ended up being diagnosed with two mental illness. We never really fully comprehend what is at play in our minds. The subconscious feeds the conscious. While we are only aware of what our conscious is telling us, it is really just taking its cues from our subconscious that we have no real awareness of. Time in therapy will help him become more self-aware and understand why he does the things he does and feels the way he feels especially for an INTP who has a difficult time understanding and expressing emotions as it is.
I wish there was a way to get the therapy without having to find a therapist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't think the issue is that he's stuck in a rut, it's probably that you feel stuck in a rut with him.
The reason behind trying to "do more" "for him" is probably coming from the place that you don't want to be stuck with a sad sack for a bf.
And you're right in doing so.
Being attracted to people who have no direction and motivation speaks about your viewpoints on your own self worth.
There might be a teensy bit of truth in this. I traditionally attract the over-achiever types (being one myself) but I always end up turning them down or losing interest unless they show some sort of vulnerability. I don't think that's a bad thing though. More to do with my extreme dislike of judgemental people than for any self-sabotaging reasons. I just like guys with a lot of depth. And having experienced depression myself I find it comforting to be with someone who knows what being broken feels like.

I wouldn't say that he is directionless though. He is going back to med school in two months time. He just seems to feel like once he goes back he won't have the opportunity to do all the things he wants to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Frankly I bet a lot of indecisiveness is coming from him factoring in your wants and needs.
There's a reason they suggest that INTP don't become romantically involved until later in life.
Fe is a bitch.
I've worried about this before... that maybe I'm part of the reason he didn't opt for going abroad for the entire year or something along those lines. We've both experience long-distance before and know what kind of damage it sometimes does. But then again, I definitely never discouraged him from travelling.

Could you please explain what you meant with the Fe part?
 
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