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I've been sorta seeing someone for almost a year now. We've been going super slow, which has been a new--and wonderful--experience for me. In recent months it's been getting more serious. We're both really intense people, so it's amazing. He's finally opening up to me.

My question is, sometimes his behavior confuses me. He won't contact me for days, but then when he does, it's like no time elapsed at all. He's super, super busy, and he's definitely an introvert, so I understand that he needs his alone time. But it does scare me sometimes. When I bring it up, he doesn't understand why I got scared at all--he's just "going slow" and he doesn't want to have to reassure me all the time. And I totally understand that too! But...sometimes it does little to allay my fears... I have to work hard to keep the fears to myself--it doesn't look attractive if I come off as "love me! love me!"

Also, sometimes when I share something deeply personal, he doesn't respond quite the way I expect. Like he's not quite as affirming with words the way some people I know are. He doesn't say something like, "Wow, that must have been tough" or "I'm so sorry about that." I know he's listening, but I just...want some more verbal feedback, especially if I get teary-eyed. You know?

That said, when he holds me/hugs me, I can totally feel how deeply he cares for me. And when that happens, I think, "Hah! What the hell was I worried about? I am so silly!"

I'm thinking those are both just aspects of his personality. If I knew his MBTI type, maybe that would reassure me that it's just him being him, and we're just different. As opposed to we're incompatible.

But he's said that he's taken the MBTI multiple times and it's "in between the letters on all but one" and so he doesn't think it's "an effective tool" for understanding him. I totally understand his point of view, but I just feel like..."hey, I want more information on you--why you are the way you are/why you do the things you do."

Am I crazy to want this? How do I explain this to him? Or should I? Do other INFPs experience this?
Thanks
 

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Well... if you're asking me... At this point in my life; I want to know everyone's MBTI type, and much more than that, so when it comes to people who are closer than acquaintances, well, of course I would want to. :p

I think it's an incredibly good thing! And more on you; too, it is a good thing to be interested in learning about his type. It only shows you care and are willing to work and understand him rather than accepting a sort of "incompatibility' defeat! *

*While I believe miscommunication is inevitable in some, especially those who are too headstrong to listen to universal reason; I, samely, believe that people can communicate effectively enough to at least be civil. Without that comes a bit of resentment to having had compromised part of yourself without understanding, and an un-natural avoidance of a certain group of people (ie: anyone who seems like him)

All right, tangent aside, he does sound a bit different from your type. I am almost getting an introverted thinker vibe from him from how you explained him- maybe it's the aloofness; and you said introversion. But do understand that that's how some people are comfortable loving- and you've a well grasp on this already. Don't give up, especially if you feel it is good! Even if things don't work out- you have experience to say that you've worked with someone who is different from you, and you will certainly learn a lot from that!

And, as always, in any relationship- be honest and blunt. You shouldn't have to find the tactful words to say something if you mean well without the intent of maliciousness; and how much more opposite can tolerance and understanding get than that! Ask him questions about himself and do your research! What you will find will be immensely rewarding in its own way- no matter what you find! Good luck- and well wishes to you both. :)
 

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I'm wondering if he's afraid of feeling too deeply & is being a little distant & ambiguous to protect himself. That's the first thing that popped into my head because I've done exactly that in my past. Or, he just needs a lot of space & often. Me, I have to know the person's MBTI type. I can usually guess but I need to know because it's an indication of how well I'll be understood or misunderstood. And how well I'll do the same for them.
 

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Yeah, been there, done that. But you know what? Going slow doesn't mean having yr needs go unmet. Maybe you're one of those people who needs to be reassured verbally that someone is thinking of you--I sure do. Make it clear that you're not pressuring him to declare himself or anything, but remind him that sometimes it's nice to be reminded that he's thinking about you even when you're not together. And if we can't step a little out of our comfort zone for the people we're into romantically, what good is love in the first place?
 

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Ooh. :S I don't think this has to do with MBTI, honestly. It sounds like he's what they call "emotionally unavailable."

What do you think would happen if you told him you needed something in order to feel secure in the relationship? Something like, "I need you to call me every night, even if it's just for a minute or two to catch up." I don't know if you actually want that or not, but it is a completely reasonable request. Do you express your needs to him? Do you know what your needs are? How does he respond, when/if you do? Do you feel comfortable expressing your needs/concerns/feelings to him?

I could be wrong, I just get the vibe from this post that he is emotionally unavailable and could end up driving you crazy. Even if sometimes things are really intense and intimate between you two, if you can't rely on that consistent amount of intimacy, and considering that you still find him mystifying after almost a year... chances are you're not getting what you need/deserve and won't succeed in getting it from this guy.

See if this sounds familiar: How To Spot Emotionally Unavailable Men - Mr Unavailable's | Baggage Reclaim

I could be wrong. I hope I am!
 

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Yes, I need to know MBTI of EVERYONE. While not everyone fits their type exactly it does help to understand them better I find. Some men especially have a harder time expressing their feelings, support verbally.. some almost CAN'T..good luck to you!
 

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Since all of this is just based on my own experiences, feel free to disregard/disagree.

And, as always, in any relationship- be honest and blunt. You shouldn't have to find the tactful words to say something if you mean well without the intent of maliciousness; and how much more opposite can tolerance and understanding get than that! Ask him questions about himself and do your research! What you will find will be immensely rewarding in its own way- no matter what you find! Good luck- and well wishes to you both. :)
I'd follow this and ask him outright if he's heard of the MBTI and if he knows what his type is on the grounds that you'd like to understand where he's coming from better. Worst case scenario, he doesn't "get it" and doesn't say much, so that path doesn't get explored much further. Overall, I've noticed that S-types are generally less interested in finding out more about it if they haven't heard of it, but that's just in my own experience. The Ns tend to be more intrigued, though fewer of them get as into the in-depth analyses as I am (again, YMMV).

I personally am driven to learn the MBTI type of the people I care about the most, partly out of curiosity and partly to really understand them. My brother drives me crazy a lot of the time, but because I know that he's ESTP, I don't get mad at him like I did in my pre-MBTI days (and getting older has something to do with it too...). He can still be frustrating, but sometimes, understanding what makes us different from each other helps in appreciating the similarities. As for my bf, I broached the subject fairly early in our relationship - he already knew his type (INFJ). That helped us through some patches, though I am definitely still learning more about how he specifically and INFJs in general think (thanks, PerC!).

Good luck! :happy:
 

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Am I crazy to want this? How do I explain this to him? Or should I? Do other INFPs experience this?
Thanks
-----You are correct to want to know your SO's personality type. However, asking them is not necessarily going to get you anywhere. In fact, the surest way for a personality test to mistype is if the person taking it knows that the results are not going to be confidential--just for them--if they're going to be used by another person. So, I suggest developing your type-spotting skills. Here's a good place to start: The Art of SpeedReading People: How to Size People Up and Speak Their Language by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. The surest way to spot an NF is to determine how they conceptualize a relationship after marriage (but don't mention marriage too early on-hahaha). For NFs, courtship and romance is typically thought of as life-long--and developing depth of relationship is a task joyfully undertaken. For all other types, courtship and romance is considered more of a stage--and the relationship may be expected to radically change after marriage. Consider reading Please Understand Me II, chapter 7, I think, on Mating. Once you get good enough at observing people, you will be able to type them. Sometimes it's easier to type others accurately than to type oneself. I think getting the quadrant correct is easy (NF, NT, SJ, SP). Getting the rest of it right is a little trickier. Best of luck, and take care of yourself!
 

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What Geoffrey said about "lifelong marriages" I really agree with. Divorce? It just isn't an option or to put it better I never think of it as a possibility. Been married 19 years this July, together for 21. You know peeps talk about unsatisfied INFPs in relationships -- count me out of those discussions.

Oh yeah, I tested husband before marriage. I've also tested work teams, friends, family. The MBTI tells me LOTS about people.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
See if this sounds familiar: How To Spot Emotionally Unavailable Men - Mr Unavailable's | Baggage Reclaim

I could be wrong. I hope I am!
Thank you. That is a great article! And so are the others linked from it. I will definitely read more of her stuff.

It occurs to me that I didn't explain the situation as well as I could have since I was in a rush. I realize now that, while the first example--when he doesn't contact me for a while--and the second example--how he listens and responds--are 2 very different things. I think the 2nd case is probably his personality. The former might be signs of him being emotionally unavailable.

Good point, and thank you for helping me realize where each of those behaviors might be coming from!
 

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Overall, I've noticed that S-types are generally less interested in finding out more about it if they haven't heard of it, but that's just in my own experience. The Ns tend to be more intrigued, though fewer of them get as into the in-depth analyses as I am (again, YMMV).
Hmm! You know, that's very intriguing. I never considered the possibility he could be an S. Probably because I fear S's more than any other types. Do you think that's "wrong" of me? ;) I guess I always kind of thought, "Oh S's. They'll NEVER understand me." But maybe I'm writing them off too quickly? What are others' experiences with S's?
 

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I've been sorta seeing someone for almost a year now. We've been going super slow, which has been a new--and wonderful--experience for me. In recent months it's been getting more serious. We're both really intense people, so it's amazing. He's finally opening up to me.

My question is, sometimes his behavior confuses me. He won't contact me for days, but then when he does, it's like no time elapsed at all. He's super, super busy, and he's definitely an introvert, so I understand that he needs his alone time. But it does scare me sometimes. When I bring it up, he doesn't understand why I got scared at all--he's just "going slow" and he doesn't want to have to reassure me all the time. And I totally understand that too! But...sometimes it does little to allay my fears... I have to work hard to keep the fears to myself--it doesn't look attractive if I come off as "love me! love me!"

Also, sometimes when I share something deeply personal, he doesn't respond quite the way I expect. Like he's not quite as affirming with words the way some people I know are. He doesn't say something like, "Wow, that must have been tough" or "I'm so sorry about that." I know he's listening, but I just...want some more verbal feedback, especially if I get teary-eyed. You know?

That said, when he holds me/hugs me, I can totally feel how deeply he cares for me. And when that happens, I think, "Hah! What the hell was I worried about? I am so silly!"

I'm thinking those are both just aspects of his personality. If I knew his MBTI type, maybe that would reassure me that it's just him being him, and we're just different. As opposed to we're incompatible.

But he's said that he's taken the MBTI multiple times and it's "in between the letters on all but one" and so he doesn't think it's "an effective tool" for understanding him. I totally understand his point of view, but I just feel like..."hey, I want more information on you--why you are the way you are/why you do the things you do."

Am I crazy to want this? How do I explain this to him? Or should I? Do other INFPs experience this?
Thanks

have you ever been around ISTP ??

Maybe he is one, i am not sure but (not contacting you for days + his needfor alone time + looking emotionally distant) sounds like ISTP..

and if that's true ... what Aqualung mentioned about protecting himself not to involve deeply might be the reason …
 

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Yes, I need to know everybody's mbti. Sadly I'm rubbish at guessing it and a lot of people seem very reluctant to take a test and have no interest whatsoever.

I wouldn't choose a partner based on their type, but knowing their type helps you identify easily the areas that might be problematic and the ones that won't. For example, if someone says to you: "what do you mean I don't care about you? have you any ideas how many hours I've spent this month with you that I could have been working?". You might think this is the rudest thing on earth, but if you know they are an INTJ you can safely assume they are telling you they care :-D
 

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I don't need to know everyone's MBTI. I like to guess of course, but I've never asked anyone to take the test and I probably never will. When I get to know people, I don't need the MBTI-label to define who they are for me when I can figure that out all by myself. I don't think knowing it is in any way important when it comes to how to treat the person or how to interpret what they say or whatever. I don't want to be thinking all the time: "Oh that's because he/she is an xxxx." or something. I can't think of any situation with a person where knowing his/her MBTI type would have helped in any way. Honestly, I just go with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I wouldn't choose a partner based on their type, but knowing their type helps you identify easily the areas that might be problematic and the ones that won't. For example, if someone says to you: "what do you mean I don't care about you? have you any ideas how many hours I've spent this month with you that I could have been working?". You might think this is the rudest thing on earth, but if you know they are an INTJ you can safely assume they are telling you they care :-D
Great point. Great way of putting it, Flora. That's exactly what I'm trying to do: basically, translate what he's "saying" to me into "my language." Example:

Ohhh! When he says 'Relaax. Breeathe.' after I've shared insecurities I have at work, he's NOT saying, 'Your feelings are ridiculous. You should calm down and not be so paranoid and hysterical.' He's actually saying, 'You're okay. These people who may--or may not--have negative feelings toward you at work don't matter. They're not important. Stop worrying about them and be here now, with me, in this conversation.'
 

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I think he's an INFP as well. I know i have a HARD time verbalizing most everything, and sometimes I can come off as cold because I'm socially awkward, but i guess the trick is to pick up on the things that aren't being said. If you can feel his warmth when he holds you, or see it in his eyes, then I don't think you have anything to worry about.
 

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It's not that important to know a person's MBTI. And if you do know what it is, then you have to establish what their baseline behavior is. One INFPs baseline behavior is not the same as another INFPs baseline behavior. So unless you really know your MBTI, it can do more harm because you'll read stuff into behavior that's not there. MBTI is not personality.

I recommend starting with the book, the Five Love Languages by Chapman. It seems like your primary Love Language is Words of Affirmation and his is not. And you probably tell him all time, how great you think he's doing. We tend to express love in the way we want to receive love and that doesn't work very well. If his primary love language is Act of Service and he does things for you, fixes things, fetches things, does things to make the day-to-day of your life easier, you're not going to feel loved because "he's not quite as affirming with words". If you're telling him how great it is, he doesn't feel love because his way to receive love is probably something completely different than yours.
 

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Hmm! You know, that's very intriguing. I never considered the possibility he could be an S. Probably because I fear S's more than any other types. Do you think that's "wrong" of me? ;) I guess I always kind of thought, "Oh S's. They'll NEVER understand me." But maybe I'm writing them off too quickly? What are others' experiences with S's?
I don't think it's "wrong;" that's an awfully strong, charged word. I tend to feel a little wary of Ses myself for the same reason, though. It's just a question of who you relate to. And yet, I have a friend who's a really intuitive S; she transcends any labels. I wouldn't write anyone off just because their approach is different, but I would note that you have a preference for other Ns. For me, that line of thinking got me to realize that my previously-thought-impossibly-high standards just meant that I was looking for the right NF partner. Is that what you're looking for? Only you can answer that question. There is no right answer either; it's just a matter of figuring out what your heart seeks.

This sidebar is, of course, a sidebar, and has little bearing on your relationship with this guy. There are all sorts of reasons he might be the way he is. If he's an SJ type, he might have very strict personal rules for how he prioritizes relationships and work - so you'd be getting all of his affection once he's able to come up for air. It doesn't make him any less sincere. Again, just my point of view here, based on past experience; I could very well be misreading.
 
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