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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, this is my first ever post in this forum :)

I'm an INFJ/INFP (don't ask me to choose because I can't) xD My husband is a clear cut INTJ, we have been together for 9 years, so we have worked out most things out regarding communication with one another.

BUT - We have very different ideas when it comes to home decor, I love it and he doesn't want to talk about it. I show him an IKEA catalogue and he freaks out, gets really stressed and we get nowhere.

Now, I really want him to be included, but sence he hasn't shown any interest during our 9 years, I end up picking out almost everything. He doesn't want to browse home decor magazines, letting me in on styles he likes or want to come to the actual stores.

He keeps saying "when we buy a house, I want to decorate" BUT, in our last flat (or 4) he said "In our next apartment I want to decorate".

All of this would be fine, one doesn't have to be interested in home decor. But he is very expressive when he doesn't like something I picked out and then he gets grouchy because he didn't get to pick.

So he does care somehow, but just doesn't tell me??

Help me understand.
 

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I don't understand him either.
 
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We like to resolve things. But when it comes to something like home decor, it can be difficult to visualize it internally in its entirety. There are just too many possibilities to narrow it down. Remember, we also like to have ideas organized. Too many variables and organization becomes impossible.

Sounds to me like he has incomplete ideas on what he likes and doesn't want to express them until they are complete. And when you get tired of his indecision and pull the trigger, his ability to organize ideas kicks into high gear and he is aware of every flaw in your design scheme.

I'd suggest getting him to narrow down his preferences from 'very broad' to 'broad' as a first step. Find out what kind of theme or aesthetic he prefers. That gets you in the ballpark, plus it takes some variables off his plate and makes the process less daunting for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We like to resolve things. But when it comes to something like home decor, it can be difficult to visualize it internally in its entirety. There are just too many possibilities to narrow it down. Remember, we also like to have ideas organized. Too many variables and organization becomes impossible.

Sounds to me like he has incomplete ideas on what he likes and doesn't want to express them until they are complete. And when you get tired of his indecision and pull the trigger, his ability to organize ideas kicks into high gear and he is aware of every flaw in your design scheme.

I'd suggest getting him to narrow down his preferences from 'very broad' to 'broad' as a first step. Find out what kind of theme or aesthetic he prefers. That gets you in the ballpark, plus it takes some variables off his plate and makes the process less daunting for him.
Thanks! I'll try to do that.. :) I actually tried to present him with about three different styles before, or getting him to pick some key words for what he likes. But he panics! He just simply panics, doesn't want me to stress him about it and leaves the room. *sigh*

And, as I have been with him for a while now, I just let him cool down and drop the subject BUT when I try to approach it from antoher angle at a later time, there is the panic, AGAIN.


But the visualthingy might be true, haven't really thought about that - But okay, make things less daunting! Got it :)
 

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This is a very difficult subject to explain.

When I see clothes or home decorations I like, I know that I like them, but I do not know why. When I see something I don't like, I also don't usually know why I don't like them. If I see something I am neutral about I have no idea how to improve it.

I do not understand the principles on why things look good, or what goes together. If I don't understand then I don't like to make choices based off what I do not understand, or even give my opinion about it. Making matters even worse is the vast majority of people will never really explain why something goes together, or even know them selves. They just know what they like, but not the principles about what looks good with what.

If an INTJ does not understand something then they will keep their mouths shut about it.

Showing him different styles and having him pick one will not work. If you want him to be involved you have to go down the difficult route of explain why things go together, and why somethings do not go together. You will also have to get him to read about design and the principles behind it. When he feels confident in the rules and principles of home decor then he will help (this may take a long time).

ex. Suite jackets with two slits in the back makes your butt look bigger, while a single slit does not. Also double breasted suit Jackets with a long v-neck(not sure if that is the right term) makes you look taller. Both of these things help a fat man not look so fat. These are the types of things a INTJ has to learn to be willing to give his opinion on things like cloths, and home decorating.
 

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Thanks! I'll try to do that.. :) I actually tried to present him with about three different styles before, or getting him to pick some key words for what he likes. But he panics! He just simply panics, doesn't want me to stress him about it and leaves the room. *sigh*

And, as I have been with him for a while now, I just let him cool down and drop the subject BUT when I try to approach it from antoher angle at a later time, there is the panic, AGAIN.


But the visualthingy might be true, haven't really thought about that - But okay, make things less daunting! Got it :)
Along with what @Risper said, we go into a shutdown mode when we can't explain something logically. Hence why he panics when you bring it up to him, even after he calms down. Giving him space is a good way to get him out of his agitated state, but it really doesn't offer a path forward.

Instead, you might try starting the conversation without putting the burden on him. Rather than ask him an opinion that he's too overwhelmed to give, just begin describing what you think needs to be done. Then when he chimes in with a critique you ask him to explain. Be genuine about this or he'll smell a trap. The goal is to get him verbalizing his likes and dislikes. Before he even knows what's happening, he'll be talking about his own tastes without freaking out. You've basically taken off the pressure. Remember, the end goal of doing this is to get him to verbalized his thoughts, not to have a debate about design tastes. So don't try to argue. Think of your role as his guide.

Sometimes I'll tell my wife that I want to ramble and not have a discussion. This takes the pressure off me. I don't have to find an answer. It's just my free time to brainstorm out loud without fear of having my loose ideas critiqued before I'm ready. But verbalizing my ideas has a way of clarifying my thoughts that I can't do internally. The trouble is that although INTJs often need this outlet, we are so guarded about our thoughts that we are too afraid to take this necessary step.

Anyway, once I've gotten my thoughts out, I tell her I'm done and am willing to discuss them. It sounds weird, but it works. But since he's go the mental block in place, providing him that outlet without broadcasting that's what you're doing may be the best thing.
 

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Along with what @Risper said, we go into a shutdown mode when we can't explain something logically. Hence why he panics when you bring it up to him, even after he calms down. Giving him space is a good way to get him out of his agitated state, but it really doesn't offer a path forward.

Instead, you might try starting the conversation without putting the burden on him. Rather than ask him an opinion that he's too overwhelmed to give, just begin describing what you think needs to be done. Then when he chimes in with a critique you ask him to explain. Be genuine about this or he'll smell a trap. The goal is to get him verbalizing his likes and dislikes. Before he even knows what's happening, he'll be talking about his own tastes without freaking out. You've basically taken off the pressure. Remember, the end goal of doing this is to get him to verbalized his thoughts, not to have a debate about design tastes. So don't try to argue. Think of your role as his guide.

Sometimes I'll tell my wife that I want to ramble and not have a discussion. This takes the pressure off me. I don't have to find an answer. It's just my free time to brainstorm out loud without fear of having my loose ideas critiqued before I'm ready. But verbalizing my ideas has a way of clarifying my thoughts that I can't do internally. The trouble is that although INTJs often need this outlet, we are so guarded about our thoughts that we are too afraid to take this necessary step.

Anyway, once I've gotten my thoughts out, I tell her I'm done and am willing to discuss them. It sounds weird, but it works. But since he's go the mental block in place, providing him that outlet without broadcasting that's what you're doing may be the best thing.
Verbalizing loose thoughts needs a receptive and safe listener. I love doing it and find it easy when I talk to certain people. My INTJ friends are great because they analyze without being patronizing. They are good at streamlining threads. I can do it with an INTP friend, too. The shared Ti makes the ideas soar thus invigorating.

I can't do it with any sensors no matter how good a friend he/she is. I get shot down in some ways every time.

Decorating can be a relationship fallout (much like planning a wedding). I've worked out the solution long time ago on my own. I choose to downplay my preference when ideas differ for the sake of peace. Wedding and decorating are not critical therefore no need to waste energy being fussy. ;-)
 

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charmooney, I can't be sure, but somewhat I've the feeling that let him read this thread would help his willingness to overcome his panic about possibilities, stimulating him at simply choose among certain possibilities without - I know that - simply realizing why they aren't perfect.

charmooney's husband, a moment please. If you'll read this, I and us here understand that: pretty much every possibility will be wrong and in a way so subtle but so clear that will make you go crazy. Well, don't worry about that.

Simply, choose that option anyway, let it become true and in the meanwhile learn something about decorations, how it works and why it isn't working for you. Right now you don't have all the informations, but the best way for have those is beginning to buy things and try them on. The whole process in many fases will bore you, but every once in a while you'll have little epiphanies about what you really like, or at least about what works or not.

Sorry for have bothered you, charmooney's husband.
 

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I don't really care for decorations or decor. Minimalism in things that are functional are about all I care to have in my home.

I lived with a girlfriend once who was all about decor and decorating for every season and it would stress me out because I found it pointless and just added more to clean.
 

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Hi, this is my first ever post in this forum :)

I'm an INFJ/INFP (don't ask me to choose because I can't) xD My husband is a clear cut INTJ, we have been together for 9 years, so we have worked out most things out regarding communication with one another.

BUT - We have very different ideas when it comes to home decor, I love it and he doesn't want to talk about it. I show him an IKEA catalogue and he freaks out, gets really stressed and we get nowhere.

Now, I really want him to be included, but sence he hasn't shown any interest during our 9 years, I end up picking out almost everything. He doesn't want to browse home decor magazines, letting me in on styles he likes or want to come to the actual stores.

He keeps saying "when we buy a house, I want to decorate" BUT, in our last flat (or 4) he said "In our next apartment I want to decorate".

All of this would be fine, one doesn't have to be interested in home decor. But he is very expressive when he doesn't like something I picked out and then he gets grouchy because he didn't get to pick.

So he does care somehow, but just doesn't tell me??

Help me understand.
My ENTP husband likes home decor and is very good at it. I only care about certain types of things and I know what I like, everything else he picks out. I would not have thought of this prior to reading your thread, but he can easily explain why he picks out what he does, and why it would look good - and it proves right. I trust him and unless he asks my opinion, or if it's something I care about specifically, he is completely on top of it. Perhaps if you explain to your INTJ why things look good, and why it makes sense in your house, it will help him understand both your home-decor ideas and his own, possibly leading to him being comfortable stating an opinion and making decisions too in this area.

Just thought of something else: I think it also helps that he is practical with what he gets. The things he chooses not only end up looking nice, they are also useful and within what we decide is the budget.
 

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Hmm... would it be possible for you to pick a room or two for yourself to design and let him pick another room? If he agrees to that, you could get started on your room(s) and he can see in person what your style is like. I think sometimes INTJs just can't believe something will work until they see it in action.

Coincidentally, I went to Ikea with my INTJ boyfriend the other day as well. We had very different ideas of what would work (his were more practical/traditional and mine were more artistic/unconventional), but fortunately we were there to pick out items for MY things, so he had to agree with my decision. Today I was setting things up, and he looked at it and said, "Wow, that's so cute!" It reminded me of when we first met and I said I wanted to cook something for him. He followed me to the kitchen, panicked and literally grabbed things out my hands and insisted on doing it himself. It wasn't until we'd cooked together a couple times that he realised I wasn't going to mess it up, and then the third time he let me take charge. Now he trusts me to cook by myself, though he still likes to help. :)
 

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@charmooney
You keep saying he gets stressed out when you broach the subject, but you never once mentioned why. Do you even know why?

It could have jack shit to do with decorating. Maybe it's the money.
 

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But he is very expressive when he doesn't like something I picked out and then he gets grouchy because he didn't get to pick.
this sounds irrational and somewhat unfair to me. you're basically damned if you do and damned if you don't, unless he can somehow figure out a way to identify whatever those i-hate-this points are before they're too real to undo. **

i'm seriously limited when it comes to visual imagination. i can 'feel' things in my mind, and sort of in-a-way i can kind of 'hear' them, like when i'm trying out the rhythms of a sentence. but my internal world is just thought, in a way that's sort of transparent and grey-scale in tone. in real concrete-visualization terms i can't 'see' a thing. and three-dimensional thought is my worst skill of all, yet i'm intensely susceptible to exactly those things in the real world. almost everything that stirs me is about spatial relationships, not colours or tones. now and then there's some aspect of colour contrast, but even then it's all about foregrounds and backgrounds somehow.

i don't think learning this stuff is going to come overnight. he'll get better, but if he's like me about the only thing i can do to defend myself against my own weakness that way is to make conscious connections about what is wrong or right about something that's 'wrong' or 'right', and why. that's going to take time because it's about collection of data points, and also because the data points have to be physically experienced before there's anything that i can pull out of them.

i've about gotten to where i realised it's this thing about space and depth with me, after oh, 45 years or so on the planet. for what this is worth too: catalogues mean completely nothing to me, because space is all about relativity between at least two components, and catalogues are not about space. they're about objects in the absolute, i.e. in isolation from anything else. i can stare at a photograph of a chair or a couch and feel physically unable to figure out what it 'means' because it means nothing to me.

**edit: or, if nothing else, at least take ownership of the fact that it isn't your fault he's interior-decoration challenged.
 

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@charmooney
You keep saying he gets stressed out when you broach the subject, but you never once mentioned why. Do you even know why?

It could have jack shit to do with decorating. Maybe it's the money.
Or maybe he hates shopping. If you want to make me super irritable and annoyed, just get out some fabric swatches and then start a discussion about the pros and cons of each piece, If we go with the cream, should we get the maroon? Or maybe the hunter green? But tweed would hold up better, so it's more practical. But would that go with the carpet? And what about cotton versus polyester? Or maybe we should try hemp? Or would that make us seem like posers? Or a friend suggested bamboo, it's more environmentally sound, but it might be more expensive, and it comes it a different color palette, so that's a factor, but natural fibers do breathe better....

And on and on and on....

Sorry @charmooney, but I suspect I'd be just as bad as your husband. After about ten minutes my self control will be gone and I'll be ready to explode. I have no clue, no interest, and no patience for it. I do have a sense for a general feel that I like in a room- simple, clean, uncluttered, some warm colors, good lighting, comfortable seating. Maybe he could give you general guidelines like that? And don't make him talk about it for very long. If he is like me, he'll be done after 90 seconds or so. Really, after that I'm done.

I suggest keeping him far, far away from paint chips, fabric swatches, and their ilk.
 
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