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Discussion Starter #1
Yay! Long post! Ahem.

I may not be the only INTP who has trouble taking other people's feelings into account. It's not that you know them and reject them, it's that you don't see them. And then, when they're pointed out to you, they still don't really matter to the equation. Not because the person themselves doesn't matter, but because...the equation. The feelings literally don't matter. Your feelings might be sad and/or unfortunate in response to what needs to be done, but in the end, they don't change the result of what needs to be done. Deep down I think people know this, but they get offended when it seems so easy for us to Vulcan out. And then who's being inconsiderate? It's not like we're doing it on purpose. No one ever said people were consistent in their feelings. (Part of the problem.)

Anyway, even though they're messy, we have to live with other people. So despite the fact that my relationship is over a decade long, I've recently begun a new program of trying to, intellectually, conceive of what my husband's perspective might be, and then construct my approach in such a way that his (irrelevant) feelings are validated. I know from practice what this is. So here's how it went last night:

I want to purchase something rather pricey for the house. It's something I value more than he does. Our accounts are joint accounts and we both contribute to them. So for pricey purchases, we have to agree. We're not carelessly wealthy, so we will feel this purchase and need to compensate for it in the budget if we don't want to affect other categories of spending and saving negatively. So that means we both have to want what I want to buy to justify the sacrifice distribution in other areas. However, he probably doesn't actually care about buying it. Really, it's just for me, even though he'll share it. So that's the problem.

The other part of the problem is that I think our budget can absorb the expense easily, and I could prove this on paper. However, he's a worrier, so he will be adverse to spending despite evidence. I'd probably actually note this in my "old" habits. Because it's true.

If I took this approach, he'd turn me down flat. This is because his feelings about the matter would be utterly dismissed. And then I'd be angry and resentful. You see, I don't actually care much that he's indifferent about the thing, since my desires don't hinge on his, and I think it's okay that he worries a little until he figures out how to get a hold of himself rationally, taking into account dollars and cents. This probably makes me a jerk. But I would understand all along that something will arise that I don't want as much as he does, and I would be prepared to sacrifice for something he really wanted. In other words, I'm prepared to let him be a jerk as well.

Anyway, knowing that I have this tendency (I've been reading up) I tried a new approach:

Me: I'd like to talk to you about something important tonight if you are willing to talk to me.
Him: If I'm willing?
Me: Yes. I don't want to push you if you'd rather relax or something.
Him: WTH
Me: I think it would only take five minutes. Maybe six.
Him: Okayy...
Me: When would you like to do it? I can talk any time this evening.
Him: Are you okay?
Me: Yes. I just want you to choose when we talk for yourself. If you're willing to talk to me.
Him: Uh. After dinner.

(After dinner)
Me: Would you like the nice chair? That one's hard.
Him: Can you stop?
Me: I'm trying to be considerate. Am I doing it wrong?
Him: Yes.
Me: Well, my feelings are frustrated, then. I'm really trying here and I don't know what's next.
Him: It's okay. I appreciate the effort. Now get on with it.
Me: I'm going to propose a plan to you, and you are under no obligation to agree to it. I love you and understand you are entitled to your feelings either way.
Him: Okay...
Me: Do you remember when I said I wanted (Thing)? Well, I found one.
Him: (Indigestion noise)
Me: I know you would want me to be frugal and I think this is a really good bargain for what it is. I think it would improve our quality of life a lot, though I realize you might not agree. And you're totally entitled not to agree.
Him: Okay.
Me: And the other thing is, there's the matter of getting it here, which is also complicated. And I know I'd have to rely on your expertise there, because you're better at working such things out than I am.
Him: Okay.
Me: Can I show you what I'm talking about?
Him: Okay.
Me: (Showing a picture) What do you think? Do you like it? Feel free to be honest.
Him: It's nice for what it is. How much does it cost to deliver?
Me: (Reeling from the shock that we're talking about delivery already, gives amount.)
Him: Well see if you can't call (delivery service) instead, they generally have better rates.
Me: (WTF WHEE! I'm getting it!)

You'll just have to believe me that if I took a straightforward approach and said, "I want this thing, we can afford it, and we're getting it." there would have been a huge fight. And even though he was clearly uncomfortable with my stilted efforts, in the end, I got what I wanted!

Now I'm having to curb my more Machiavellian impulses that I should have been doing this all along now that I see how easy it is. But I suspect that's not what I'm supposed to be taking away from this.

Anyway, this is going to inform my approach from here on out. It's awkward, but damn, people like it. Has anyone else tried things like this? Does it ever start to feel more natural among people who really know you? It feels so weird for both of us, but look at the results: no fight, thing obtained. Can't argue with results.

Maybe this sounds like Kindergarten to some of you, but it's kind of a revelation for me. I'm not very smart sometimes. But I'm working on it.
 

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I'm curious as to what "(Thing)" is. It's clearly not a secret sex dungeon complete with vietnamese shame wheel; an ENTP would be all for that. He'd be like, "I thought it was just me who wanted one" and take out a second mortgage to pay for it. We do know it's big, or at the very least, difficult to ship. We also know, "it would improve our quality of life a lot..." I personally feel this excludes things like hot tubs and saunas since everybody knows you use them for about a month and then never look at them again.

Maybe it's a super awesome hi tech refrigerator that automatically orders your food for you and needs to be special-ordered from Japan. Good call, Eryngo. I want one of those too!

But anywho, this sort of thing always seemed messy and overly complicated. Not to mention, my delivery would be as poor as yours in most cases. But you're saying it's worth it?
 

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You made me laugh, thank you.

I know people are suckers for this approach in general. Yet, usually, I cannot be arsed to go about it this delicately. It requires me to mold my face into a genuine expression that goes along with these sort of efforts. And that will only work if someone is high enough on my care list, or I want something REALLY badly.

I had something of a reverse situation the other day. My mother is quite the seamstress and often crafts things of which she's proud (and should be) and seeks people's approval about them. I flat-out say if I like or don't like the thing she's made. Which boils down to about 50/50 I think. But being the emotionally oriented person she is, she doesn't handle it well if I don't like somehting. The other day she had enough and got cross with me. At some point I had enough and I asked the following:

Would you rather have me telling the truth and dislike some things? or just flatout lie to your face saying I like everything you make?

Which made her reel a bit but she choose the truth option. In fact she now gets cross when I say I like something but it doesn't match my facial expression.

people are weird. But I guess it takes one to know one.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm curious as to what "(Thing)" is. It's clearly not a secret sex dungeon complete with vietnamese shame wheel; an ENTP would be all for that. He'd be like, "I thought it was just me who wanted one" and take out a second mortgage to pay for it. We do know it's big, or at the very least, difficult to ship. We also know, "it would improve our quality of life a lot..." I personally feel this excludes things like hot tubs and saunas since everybody knows you use them for about a month and then never look at them again.

Maybe it's a super awesome hi tech refrigerator that automatically orders your food for you and needs to be special-ordered from Japan. Good call, Eryngo. I want one of those too!

But anywho, this sort of thing always seemed messy and overly complicated. Not to mention, my delivery would be as poor as yours in most cases. But you're saying it's worth it?
Ha! It's a bookshelf/wall unit thing. We have one, this one is just nicer and better and will affect the way the room can be arranged. I should have just let @DarkBarlow buy me one for xmas like he wanted to, that would have solved our whole problem, but I also wanted that butt bird feeder, so, whatevs.

I think it was definitely worth it, but not just because I got what I wanted. When someone cares about your feelings, it lets you care about theirs. Or something. He got an opportunity to do something nice for me that I would have accidentally stolen from him by demanding it. And then I like him a little more, and so on. I didn't realize this until I tried to consider his feelings explicitly and watched the (awkward) magic happen.

The way he puts it is that I do the calculations in my head really quickly, don't show my work, then just go around bossing people because I know I'm right. If I showed my work, or better yet, let him do the work for himself, he'd probably agree. And it turns out that's what happened.

When we get it, he will totally enjoy the new room arrangement almost as much as I will. Only I can forecast that, and I don't let him decide. If that makes sense.

Make no mistake, he knows, the way my brain is composed naturally, I'm still kind of the villain as far as the world goes. But that's what turns him on. He's kinky like that. He said himself that if he could make me nicer, he wouldn't, and in his creative work (he writes plays from time to time) his (anti)heroes are suspiciously a lot like his wife, and they're always portrayed sympathetically. So it's okay that I'm awkward at this. He's probably really flattered that I'm trying, like The Beast in Beauty and the Beast trying to eat with a spoon.

So yeah, if you get the chance...try. Just make sure they know you're a monster first, or they'll expect you to be good at it.
 

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Yep, this is generally called a "soft start-up". You have to ease into it, and I'm saying this as both someone who tries to practice this method in my relationship and introduce it to my clients in couple's counseling: it feels awkward, forced and fake at first, until practice sets in and it begins to feel more natural over time. I don't think I've ever seen a couple try to implement some of these validating exercises without feeling like it's incredibly awkward. ;)

Same goes for exercises that turn complaints into I statements, like "When you do X, I feel ___________ " as opposed to outright saying "that was kinda shitty of you, and now I'm mad at your face". None of this shit feels natural, but it's certainly less explosive/dismissive. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Yep, this is generally called a "soft start-up". You have to ease into it, and I'm saying this as both someone who tries to practice this method in my relationship and introduce it to my clients in couple's counseling: it feels awkward, forced and fake at first, until practice sets in and it begins to feel more natural over time. I don't think I've ever seen a couple try to implement some of these validating exercises without feeling like it's incredibly awkward. ;)

Same goes for exercises that turn complaints into I statements, like "When you do X, I feel ___________ " as opposed to outright saying "that was kinda shitty of you, and now I'm mad at your face". None of this shit feels natural, but it's certainly less explosive/dismissive. ;)
OMG I did DIY couples therapy? That's so cool.

But (You also would know if this is right) I think some would say ENTPs might be the easiest type to manipulate, because they really want to feel totally free, and they really want love from someone they respect. We wouldn't say that, of course, but some would.

And then ENTP would say, "Yeah. I got a cool new bookshelf and then I got laid really well. Keep on with your manipulation, lady."

Because in the end, they always seem to come out on top. Ahem.

Which only means you don't need to feel sorry for them. And that's convenient, because I don't. :th_love:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Eryngo

Know what else is cool? When I read your original post and thought to myself, 'The thing is a high-end bookshelf." Ha! Very nice. You should post a pic.
NostraDarkus strikes again!

It's more of a large midcentury/antique bookshelf than a high-end one. I doubt anybody except my husband would think it's super expensive. All that "budget" stuff was seeing this from his perspective. It costs more than the Ikea Billy Bookshelves we have, which, to his mind, are still in working order, and therefore not in need of upgrading.* When I get it set up, I'll post a pic. First we have to go down and look at it.

*On the bright side, I guess he's not gay.
 

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Oh no, surely this is not the strategy all Feeling-types require? It sounds phony as hell, not to mention exhausting.
 

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@Eryngo

To answer your question, something kinda similar happened in my relationship recently lmao. Desthro and I were arguing, and I realized suddenly that he was modeling the kind of behavior he wanted to see in me. Sort of like "Kalei, I'm sorry I did X and Y, I'm sure that must've sucked for you" - not because he necessarily meant it at the time, but just so I could stop being defensive and do the very same thing for him. I was being manipulated hardcore. That Fi has the nose of a bloodhound for these things, it's obsessed with authenticity. Needless to say, I called him out on it furiously. Meanwhile, he's just like "ahhh, what's the big deal? I had good intentions"


The NF-NT differing perspectives on manipulation is quite interesting. NF is like "but that's not how you really feel!! :frustrating:", whereas NT's Fe might cause them to say or do some things because they may prioritize things running smoothly.
 
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Being very explicit in ones communication does well to show that you understand the other and acknowledge things in your thought process/decision making. This also seems to be put in conjunction of awareness in regards to your own thoughts and feelings and being open to theirs. To state honestly your inner world as best one can via language is useful in creating a shared journey and vision.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The NF-NT differing perspectives on manipulation is quite interesting. NF is like "but that's not how you really feel!! :frustrating:", whereas NT's Fe might cause them to say or do some things because they may prioritize things running smoothly.
Wow. I think you're right. Because even though he knew I was manipulating him, he appreciated the effort and also, as you say, wanted things to go well. I mean, it beats what I could do as an alternative, and we're both aware of that.

This turned into some insanity in the end. The bookshelf was fine, but what he didn't take into consideration was that I was trying to stay on budget, so I had made some compromises to keep the price down. It works for what I need. It isn't the answer to my very existence, and I never thought it would be. But when he saw it, he said the antique nature reminded him of his childhood (he's older than I am) and so he wasn't a fan. Very frustrating.

So this morning, I asked him what, exactly, would be ideal for what he wanted, given the style of the rest of our belongings (new kitchen reno in a similar, but more modern style, etc.) and he described a different sort of wood that would also go. So I sent him a picture of exactly what he described. He loved it, and said, "Yes! That's what I mean!" Then I linked the price. It was 9 thousand dollars.

So we made a deal. We'll get this one until he finds an extra 9 thousand dollars he can't wait to spend. At that point, we'll sell this one secondhand and get that one. He agreed this was a good idea.

What can I say, it's the long game. It's actually a good thing if he hates this and saves up for the other one. While I think this one is nifty and fine, I sure like that one better, too. So I'm really grateful for his good ideas. :pirate:
@Wellsy Yes. But the thing is, when we try to be honest, we also have to be honest that an INTP/ENTP marriage is kind of like this:



With a little of this:



In neither case are the feelings really easy to articulate, even if you did try to articulate them honestly.
 

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Oh no, surely this is not the strategy all Feeling-types require? It sounds phony as hell, not to mention exhausting.
Sure it's phony. But in contrast to all the other kinds of phony in the world, this one wears its phoniness proudly. And the willingness to do that is somehow moving and real.

But it absolutely is exhausting. For both of us. Not sure if that would be the case with another type. He can't wait for it to stop, but while it's going on, responds well to it. That works for me. If someone really wanted me to keep doing this, I would probably expire first.
 

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@Wellsy Yes. But the thing is, when we try to be honest, we also have to be honest that an INTP/ENTP marriage is kind of like this:



With a little of this:



In neither case are the feelings really easy to articulate, even if you did try to articulate them honestly.
Surely all it takes is some practice in linking sensations to words/concepts/descriptions put in relation to experiences/events and the courage to stick with those feelings and confront them then be comfortable bringing them out ;)
 

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Surely all it takes is some practice in linking sensations to words/concepts/descriptions put in relation to experiences/events and the courage to stick with those feelings and confront them then be comfortable bringing them out ;)
Is that all? In that case, I'll get right on it.

 
 

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I mean, a relationship isn't about angles. It's about listening, and genuinely wanting your partner to be happy in their life, regardless of if their goals and accessories bring you joy - their joy should bring you joy. As for emotions, irrational or not, they're very real to the individual feeling them, and discounting that is a mistake. You cannot resolve disputes without acknowledging and apologizing for misunderstandings - simply arguing that feelings are invalid because you didn't mean to offend will get you nowhere. The offense is real.
 

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I mean, a relationship isn't about angles. It's about listening, and genuinely wanting your partner to be happy in their life, regardless of if their goals and accessories bring you joy - their joy should bring you joy. As for emotions, irrational or not, they're very real to the individual feeling them, and discounting that is a mistake. You cannot resolve disputes without acknowledging and apologizing for misunderstandings - simply arguing that feelings are invalid because you didn't mean to offend will get you nowhere. The offense is real.
Maybe your relationship isn't about angles. Maybe someone else's is. A little or a lot. People are quite diverse in their desires, you know. It's why some will choose to marry people who aren't you, and vice versa.
 

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Maybe playing angles isn't a hallmark of the healthiest relationships, maybe there's room for growth in even the oldest relationships, and maybe 9 out of 10 therapists would spontaneously share both those concepts. Ultimately, no one wins when someone is trying to win.

I've actively made efforts to be less rigid and logical, to inhabit the other perspective in an argument, and I think it's healthy. Isn't the point of personality typing identifying the areas in which we can stand to become better rounded people? Just my two cents.
 

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Maybe it's a super awesome hi tech refrigerator that automatically orders your food for you and needs to be special-ordered from Japan. Good call, Eryngo. I want one of those too!
I saw something on TV regarding gadgets automatically ordering food. The point is that most users aren't going to go through the effort of specifying exactly what brand or type they want, of that's even possible to begin with. This means that as these gadgets get more users, the companies that make them get more and more influence over stores that sell food and companies that produce food.

Obviously this could be a problem. I'd never thought about it before, but I'm glad others have.
 
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