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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is something that I'd just like a little clarification on-- because I love my ISFJ's, I do. In general, they're the most openly caring types that I've actually encountered. Each time, it's like we just dive right in, get to know each other, and start missing each other after one or two days-- an instant connection, like I've known them for so much longer. Are they spiteful sometimes? Well, yeah. But that's only usually directed towards the people they don't like :laughing:

An insight I received awhile ago was that I, "don't drop the little things," and come off as "condescending." But I swear, I've never, ever meant to talk down to any of my friends, and I certainly don't want to cause conflict between us.

Recently, I had a big fight with my favorite ISFJ on the planet (so sad). Basically, my undying curiosity to find out why she was dropping kind of mean, sarcastic hints pointing to discontent in the relationship got the better of me. I figured that there were things about me that she didn't like, and that she was storing them up inside rather than telling me when she had an issue with me-- building resentment, instead of handling things as they came up. That was me jumping to a conclusion, which I've realized I probably shouldn't do around my ISFJ's. However, this time it seemed to be right, because after a little bit of pulling, she told me all of the problems she had with me. Which caused said conflict. (I thought I could handle the criticism, I did! But yikes, that J really can hit home.)

Anyways, I want to know why I seem to be condescending to ISFJ's, unintentionally. Maybe if I could find out the communication error, or the disconnect between us, we'd be able to avoid misunderstandings. And I think I know where the 'not dropping the little things' comes from-- I like a sort of casual debate sometimes, just to get ideas out there. Which I've also learned is not the most fun for an ISFJ, even in jest. ^-^;;

I'd really do anything to repair the relationship, and I've been told to give it distance and time, but I just miss her so much :unsure:
 

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You've been told you don't drop the little things and can come off as condescending, sounds a little like she feels you care more about proving yourself right than her feelings in some instances, and feeling like someone is being condescending is probably one of the most unenjoyable feelings/things for an ISFJ to deal with. And there's probably a degree of guilt over feeling that way about you sometimes.

As an ISFJ:

Firstly it's difficult to stick up for yourself when you do get irked about an issue, really going for it leads into brain exploding, depending on the variety of the ISFJ, they can be incredibly unsure in issues, especially when they feel under pressure, or even get confused because it's so difficult to express or explain when they're being pressured, secondly they don't want to cause a rift - even if it doesn't hurt the other person, any conflict needs a long time to be processed for the ISFJ, thirdly, for ISFJs - generalisations here - to be irked enough to speak up about it there are already gonna be some unspoken frustrations and tensions that the other person doesn't notice perhaps, and finally if the other person continues and appears unabashed to a degree - condescending especially - it sort of unknowingly tramples all over the ISFJ's attempt to voice frustrations/exploding, and expressing anger can be excruciating, so to try and continue means further running into a brick wall, and not continuing means swallowing up something they're actually moved enough to make a feeble attempt to express strongly, and internalising those sorts of feelings isn't fun, but if a person's gonna internalise something they might as well make a good job of it because they don't want to continue on with whatever conflict is going on in the external and personal/internal world of the ISFJ.

ISFJs aren't always great at picking up on the undertone - with romance it seems there's the common need to be verbally, directly, clearly reassured frequently to properly get the message, and while you don't think you come off in a certain way, they read you in a certain way and don't pick up on the way you think you're coming off.

So she encounters a situation where you say the wrong thing, knowingly or unknowingly, rightly or wrongly, or push something a little too hard for her probably sensitive soul, and all she sees is 'Why aren't they telling me it's okay, or sorry, or that it's a joke, or backing down, because it's obvious my feelings are hurt...isn't it?' Maybe she doesn't even think you realise her feelings are hurt that much, maybe it's just the fact you haven't noticed, or aren't interpreting it right, or just a part of you seems to be ignoring them, or it's just the fact you disagree on an issue.

As for more practical solutions....Uhm...Ask her when she feels you're becoming condescending...? Not being able to see what she sees makes it a little difficult to say exactly what's causing conflict.

My two centeths worth.


EDIT: It's a bit of a tangent and little extream in difference of perspectives and probably as personal as it is related to type, but maybe an attempt at a demonstration might help...probably not, but here's a go.

I had a conversation with an ENTP (ENFP is't utterly unlikely though) (he was 16), who'd constantly test girlfriends, and most people around him - very vulnerable deep down - but it all came off as jokes unless you know that kind of pattern. He'd greet one girlfriend, while he was away, with 'Hey sexy' on the phone, to which she'd hang up. He was a tad annoyed, and I said maybe she feels like he's making fun of her, maybe she's very insecure and thinks 'Such cheesy phrasing can't possibly mean he's taking me serious, maybe he wants to finish with me and is only laughing at me before he can get the chance'. He's really just a bit of a flirt, and though it sounds like a joke half the time I think he probably meant it, but wanted to be overly expressive because he really lacks confidence deep down in a way - if that makes any sense, you know, the loudest one is the most vulnerable stereotype.

He was like '... *bemused face* Oh my god what the hell?...Women...' And talked about how she'd been sending him a billion texts, but he couldn't reply, so then, while he's not been able to contact her due to no money, she proceeds to break up with him within the space of a day. He was utterly non plussed at the mental/emotional journey she went on - irrational over analysis which highways into buildings if it's not given reality checks. He's pretty different from you - the relationship he had with her, and his conflict was sort've a self-fulfilling prohecy - fears he's gonna be abandoned so pushes and makes comments like 'He hates me' (which he finds funny) or 'I can't believe I've not annoyed you yet, everyone in my school finds me annoying' (He's pretty over the top/gets hyper, and it's not as if he says it in a mopey, whiney, angst ridden way, more like it's a running joke) like it's only a matter of time before everyone rejects him.

In this extream example it seems like the ENP jumps to conclusions, not being so aware of the journey, - 'I can't believe I've not annoyed you yet', 'It was only a joke' - and the ISFJ goes on a journey, but it's very convoluted and skewed because it's followed so strictly and intensely and deeply internalised - 'I'm breaking up with you because you clearly think I'm a joke!' *Hangs up without a word after sending many, many texts*.


I'l note that she may well not have been an ISFJ, but that interpretation works sort've in the example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow-- that actually did provide a little insight. What comes off as condescending though? I thought it might've had something to do with my Ne, coupled with Te. She was constantly expressing her discontent towards problems going on in her life, so I listened, and then offered possible solutions. I thought I was being helpful, but then she said that she didn't need my 'validation' to make a decision, and that she didn't need me to figure out her life. I was just throwing things out there, options to get the problem resolved, so that she wouldn't feel as stressed about it. How would a sensor perceive this? Is there something I'm doing to seem condescending?

Thanks again for the help!
 

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Wow-- that actually did provide a little insight. What comes off as condescending though? I thought it might've had something to do with my Ne, coupled with Te. She was constantly expressing her discontent towards problems going on in her life, so I listened, and then offered possible solutions. I thought I was being helpful, but then she said that she didn't need my 'validation' to make a decision, and that she didn't need me to figure out her life. I was just throwing things out there, options to get the problem resolved, so that she wouldn't feel as stressed about it. How would a sensor perceive this? Is there something I'm doing to seem condescending?

Thanks again for the help!
Hmmm....this thread might shed a little light on this particular issue.

http://personalitycafe.com/isfj-for...listen-rather-then-solutions-corrections.html
 

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ISFJs...can be a strange and frustrating mixture of incredibly stubborn about some things and asking for validation/needing reassurance regarding other things. However it's not in our nature to want to ask for -help-, and I think the majority vote on that thread was summed up by the title phrase, though there are a few who feel reassured, and find it helps them process better if someone's there just lightly suggesting solutions, however this is more a reassurance/theoretical thing to help the thought process, rather than a quest for what action to take immediately - this is far before the taking action point, more like figuring out how they feel about such and such, and what they think about it - what should I do? How should I think and feel about this? How do I feel about it?

Hope this helps.
 

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MBTI type aside, those who are very independent and don't like to ask for help is due to having perfectionistic beliefs and seeing asking for help as a sign of weakness.
Stubbornness - most likely due to lack of emotional maturity and not admitting when they are 'wrong' even when they know full well that they are. This is due to also lack of confidence.
 

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It's not your fault. I have an ISFJ roommate who gets annoyed when I do the same things she does, basically every moment she's in the room it feels like I'm walking on eggshells. My mom is ESFJ and she is totally irrational too, but since she;s my mom I can handle it. Overall, Xsfj's are probably some of my least favorite types.
 

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@enfpanorama- I honestly didn't read your whole post, but I can tell you what the problem is. ISFJs and ENFPs both love people. They're kind and caring and both have a way of getting people to open up when they want them to. ENFPs leave the scene though. They don't feel like it, because their intuition makes them feel like they are still connected, but they're not really. That violates a huge ISFJ value. And the ax just fell on your neck, because you wanted to go pursue the next possibility, whilst the ISFJ was planning on hanging around to be what they consider a real friend. Clash in values that comes naturally with the personality.

So, you can appreciate that the ISFJs do what they do and let the chips fall where they may, and hope they have to maturity to appreciate you too. Or you can fret over changing something that's just a natural difference.

@tangential- If I had a guess, the xSFJs you speak of probably make you feel stupid or at least like you don't fit in. You're probably an intuitive type or a thinker or both and just can't relate to each other at all. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all if you were an NT, because NTs are notorious for blaming their inability to relate with people on the other people/types just not being smart enough or "irrational." Let's just say that you can't relate to them and they probably aren't willing to relate to you, because let's face it, they are SJs and they do stick to the rules that the majority of society would go along with. Don't get me wrong, that sucks for you, because there's no real argument that you can use, other than they are being stupid and that doesn't make sense to them. A little empathy would probably go a long way for you getting better interactions in those situations. And empathy is your job, because you sure as hell can't demand that the other person get some empathy so that they can understand you better. It starts with you my friend.
 

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krwheel- You're right. I think a lot of it stems from my sometimes rocky relationship with my ISFJ roommate, but it wasn't to make such generalizations across the board. One of the things I like about ISFJ's is their desire to achieve harmony, and thus desire to resolve misunderstandings no matter how difficult that process may be.
 
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