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Omg. One of my closest friends is INFP and your post rings true with something I am dealing with concerning her. Firstly, I admire her idealism, low key super positivity. She is always trying to improve herself and her outlook on life. I have been open to her way of thinking and have even tried to adopt a lot of what I saw as positive in her outlook on life. I'm cool with different opinions and can see value in different approaches to different problems.

One area that is a complete blind spot her in relating to me is what I call mirroring. I am not like her and have different ways of handling things. Black and white? Yes. You see, we have strict values that we live by. A do unto others sort of mentality. Much like yourselves. Where we differ in our approaches is when we are slighted. If someone is bothering her, her first question is "how can I see that this person is being affected by abc and that is in turn affecting the way they view me and therefore I can disconnect my negative reactions from them".

WHEW. We don't do that. If someone is being a dick we call them out and think this is perfectly fair. Ill give concessions but keep crossing a line with me and I will let you know you have. I'm direct, fair and don't hold grudges. I don't do passive aggressive. I'm very much tough love and see there is just as much value in that as lovey-hippy-love (her kind). They both have their place but when her type doesn't work then it's time for my type. She doesn't like this.

This INFP has told me that I am not "listening" however this is not true. I am aware of her POV. Yet, I find her very close-minded toward my POV because it doesn't jive with her way of thinking. BUT that doesn't mean my POV is false or "less right" than hers. In fact, INFPs are usually taken advantage of because they make so many conditions for others behaviors. It comes from a good place but sometimes you guys can learn from our ways just as we can from yours. I find this INFP is sometimes too busy telling me what works for her that she fails to view me as another person entirely (mirroring) and that comes off as dismissive.

Its just the "this is the way it works for me so you should adopt it and if you don't then you aren't as enlightened " it is a turn off. Maybe put your preconceived notions of what love, and caring look like TO YOU and see instead that the ISTP might show considerable loyalty, fairness and steadfastness to you in it's place and those things mean as much to him as your definitions mean to you. In fact, we feel things very deeply - perhaps more than most think we do and more than we want to. Its internal. For some reason, our faces and language do not show this. See through his eyes just for a minute. If he is trying as well then you will meet halfway. LISTEN more and delve. If you want to know why we think a certain way we usually explain our thought process. Provided you ask us about our thoughts not our feelings. You see our feelings in our thoughts. Not the other way around.
 

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I don't really consider myself a black-and-white person at all. I'm very subjective, and see all sorts of shades of grey. However, I have noticed that I can be very terse with my ENFP sister, and I have a feeling she might see me as black-and-white. But really, when I get like that, I'm usually on the defensive for some reason or another. I feel like she's on the attack when she starts telling me what I should or shouldn't do, or what's right and wrong and I have to spell things out very literally for her. My language morphs from "I guess I can see that point of view" and "To each their own" to "I don't agree." or "That doesn't make sense." or "If you do this, I'm going to do this."

So is it possible your dad may be on the defensive for some reason? Can you sense it in his posture/body language? If so, I would work on just creating a more peaceful, trusting environment between you two. Try to steer clear of talking about your relationship for a while (if you have at all), and just keep the topics light. Try to be aware of your own attitude when you go into any conversations with him and make sure it's generally positive -- if it's not, he can probably sense something is wrong even if he doesn't know what. Ask him about his interests, and eventually start asking about his opinions on certain topics. When he expresses his opinion, leave it at that. Don't agree or disagree, just express appreciation for it. Eventually, he may chill out a bit. And maybe after that, bonding can begin :)
Wow. Great distinction there, Steph. When we get 'black and white' we are in a defensive position. I didn't realize that until I read your post. Also, your conversation "replies" are spot on. Lol.
 
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