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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys. Just a quick synopsis. I've had quite a few INTJ friends (one is my best friend of 20 years) and an amazing aunt so I know (or think I know) how to interact well with you guys.

So my job requires that I travel to other company branches and it was there I met this co-worker (obviously INTJ to me, confirmed to be true after letting him do the test) about a year ago. He was always very nice to me and went out his way to be hospitable. I believe he quickly grew attached to me in a sense as he claimed that I was very intelligent and that he could not relate to the other people in the office at that level (he was the only uni grad in his office). Things went smoothly for a while and he would frequently ask me to go and hang with him (as in at least once a week). I never declined his invitations even when I didn't feel to go anywhere (this is very difficult for INTPs) but I was trying to be a decent person and friend so I compromised. He also LOVES to talk, me...not so much, but I carry on the conversations. He has a hard time listening/not interrupting and knowing when to cut off which is something I'm used to with my best friend/aunt however, he makes it difficult/awkward for me to say enough I need to go now, or I need my space now.

Fast forward to early this year, he seemed to become a lot more 'clingy' in a sense. He would ask to hang out 1-3x a week but I often felt tired and frustrated because I started a demanding online course and it didn't help that my sleep patterns are erratic. It got to the point where I had to decline some of the invitations and explain that I was tired/busy with my course. He initially took offense it seemed and basically said that he's not a priority. We had some unfavourable interactions since then and I kept finding myself on the defensive, explaining my personality, the meaning behind my behaviours, actions etc and how I usually interact with my friends. In a nutshell, he said that it didn't affect him and that he found it hard to 'care'...his words. Since then, I have been far less compromising in that I started to decline most invitations to hang out and also started avoiding him which admittedly had been made much easier with the Covid 19 situation. The last time we had a falling out, I pretty much gave a very brief explanation and then I basically distanced myself. He insinuated that I don't care and that friendships are a two way thing and that I wasn't holding up my end. I read the message and never responded. About 2 weeks later, I messaged to check in and he had a cold response, asking what I wanted from him to which I responded nothing.

I'm a bit confused at these interactions namely because he has always been nice to me and gone out his way to help when he can, however, I feel like I have done the same in the little capacity that I can (I'm at a disadvantageous position here). If the tables were turned, I'm sure I would do the same but I would not have had any expectations from him because whatever courteous things I do, I do it by choice. I feel like he has obvious control issues and I'm not a very easy person to control. It doesn't help that whenever I explain my perspective he dismisses it and claims that it's not true (???), for example, the first major fallout I told him that his uncalled for behaviour was making me very uncomfortable and that I felt like I could not be myself - his (somewhat dismayed) response was that that was not true and that I can be myself. He's a good person, so I feel bad about distancing myself but I do not feel like we are compatible as close friends. I also feel bad because he probably feels like I used him (definitely not a trait of mine - I much prefer to find my own way than be accused of that).

My question is, should I just leave it alone and cut off all communication at this point?

One more thing...everyone that I have spoken to (did my best to keep it unbiased) told me that he likes me as more than a friend which is why his behaviour has been like that.
 

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Hm. I'll start by saying that I'm not him, which is obvious, of course. Much of the underlying dynamic does feel familiar in a broad sense, but at the same time much of his overlying behaviour does not.

I'll suggest you let it go. It doesn't sound like you got much from it, so I infer you're now mostly uncomfortable about the messy way it ended. I don't think you need to be. You tried to get what you need, he tried to claim what he needs, and you couldn't agree. That's a fair process to follow iyam.

I think you should let it go based on my own experience of friends 'letting me down'. TBH he seems less self-reflective and maybe a lot more entitled than me, so I'm not sure I'd feel like he does about this scenario. But what he and I might have in common is this: the shape of a friendship usually shifts in my mind once I've had to try 'get' the other person to step up for me. I'll ask, maybe a couple of times. And if the first ask fails I'll question the hell out of my own right to have asked for it. But if it turns into a pattern, I can't un-see that and it kind of kills off my own investment.

Mobile phone answer, so short.
 

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I agree with your other friends that he sees you as more than just a friend - generally in "just friends" there isn't an expectation of spending x amount of time together - generally, regardless of type, that comes when there is more than "just friends" going on. Have there been things that have occurred that are more than just friends (such as being even slightly more intimate than you would with a friend, or constant communications, pouring out of feelings, etc)?

I've had friends who acted somewhat similar to what your friend is doing, but it also was fairly obvious to me that he liked me as more than just a friend. I have a female friend who is doing the type of stuff your friend is doing with the guy she likes - even though he has repeatedly told her he isn't interested in a relationship, she clearly wants one and won't accept his "no" - but because he maintains communication with her, she keeps thinking that he "likes her" and that they are "more than friends." Unfortunately for him, that's all they are, maybe better friends, but just friends. She simply cannot or will not accept that.

There are people like that all over, and it can cross a variety of personality types. Really, the only way to get the enamored to realize they are "just friends" is to treat them NO differently than you do your other friends (or, perhaps, even worse than you do)...hopefully they get the hint and you can remain friends, but some people just cannot set the feelings aside.

And to add, that doesn't make them "bad people." My female friend above isn't a bad person - she just has such a strong internal need for that external validation, that she cannot create that distinction in her mind. She clings to it (she is prone to depression and that is part of it). Doesn't make her a bad person, but it does create stress for the friendly party for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hm. I'll start by saying that I'm not him, which is obvious, of course. Much of the underlying dynamic does feel familiar in a broad sense, but at the same time much of his overlying behaviour does not.

I'll suggest you let it go. It doesn't sound like you got much from it, so I infer you're now mostly uncomfortable about the messy way it ended. I don't think you need to be. You tried to get what you need, he tried to claim what he needs, and you couldn't agree. That's a fair process to follow iyam.

I think you should let it go based on my own experience of friends 'letting me down'. TBH he seems less self-reflective and maybe a lot more entitled than me, so I'm not sure I'd feel like he does about this scenario. But what he and I might have in common is this: the shape of a friendship usually shifts in my mind once I've had to try 'get' the other person to step up for me. I'll ask, maybe a couple of times. And if the first ask fails I'll question the hell out of my own right to have asked for it. But if it turns into a pattern, I can't un-see that and it kind of kills off my own investment.

Mobile phone answer, so short.
At first things were pretty good, but it started to go south the closer he tried to get. I'm admittedly...very hard to get to know...I do keep people at arms length psychologically until I properly assess them to ensure we are compatible, which requires acceptance of my strange/off beat patterns. He doesn't seem to get that I don't get stimulate the same way he does through social interactions and that is a huge road bump our friendship. He is kind and a nice person but on the flip side, he acts very entitled and seems to be unable to separate my needs and behaviours from his own internal locus of control e.g. If I don't feel to talk, I don't enjoy his company. Everyone needs to be social and because I'm not like that, I feel judged. In fact, he has constantly made me feel judged by basically dismissing my interests and perspectives (apparently I don't look like I can be into sports, however me being a gamer is quite fine).

As with you, once certain patterns are set in my relationships, I adapt to suit. I'm not interested in having a close friendship, however, I'd like to keep our professional relationship intact and to avoid any messiness or drama. In fact, I am relieved that I don't really consider him a close friend and we no long speak at that level because our interactions became very very VERY stressful for me. Side note, he seems to believe it's ok to be condescending with me when he doesn't get his way, and when he doesn't get his way, I'm "rude". I suppose that justifies his condescension in his eyes?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree with your other friends that he sees you as more than just a friend - generally in "just friends" there isn't an expectation of spending x amount of time together - generally, regardless of type, that comes when there is more than "just friends" going on. Have there been things that have occurred that are more than just friends (such as being even slightly more intimate than you would with a friend, or constant communications, pouring out of feelings, etc)?

I've had friends who acted somewhat similar to what your friend is doing, but it also was fairly obvious to me that he liked me as more than just a friend. I have a female friend who is doing the type of stuff your friend is doing with the guy she likes - even though he has repeatedly told her he isn't interested in a relationship, she clearly wants one and won't accept his "no" - but because he maintains communication with her, she keeps thinking that he "likes her" and that they are "more than friends." Unfortunately for him, that's all they are, maybe better friends, but just friends. She simply cannot or will not accept that.

There are people like that all over, and it can cross a variety of personality types. Really, the only way to get the enamored to realize they are "just friends" is to treat them NO differently than you do your other friends (or, perhaps, even worse than you do)...hopefully they get the hint and you can remain friends, but some people just cannot set the feelings aside.

And to add, that doesn't make them "bad people." My female friend above isn't a bad person - she just has such a strong internal need for that external validation, that she cannot create that distinction in her mind. She clings to it (she is prone to depression and that is part of it). Doesn't make her a bad person, but it does create stress for the friendly party for sure.
I'm INTP, I don't pour out feelings, lol - well at least not to anyone I'm not in a relationship with. We did speak very often, at work, on the phone and hanging out (often for me anyway). But as I said, he really loves to talk, I think it's a need of his. What really annoyed me the last time we had a falling out because I declined his invitation, was the fact that he tried to make it seem like he invited me out because he figured I was lonely and needed to see people and that's it. If I was lonely, would I have not gone out? Why try to pin his own desires and needs onto me to justify whatever it is he justifies? He doesn't even understand me nor does he try to it seems (pretty much a sure fire way to kill whatever you have with your INTP).

It's possible he does like me, but INTJs are notorious for being difficult to assess at that level and he's no different. I have expressed no interest, and certainly never led him on in that manner. We are co-workers and I'd like to believe he would know not to cross that line.
 

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We are co-workers and I'd like to believe he would know not to cross that line.
I (think i) would, personally. But I wouldn't get clingy with a colleague in the first place. Much of this sounds immature and maladaptive, but not specifically Intj. In the basis that I've received quite a bit of the same stuff in my time I have to say that some of it sounds specifically male, as a matter of fact :p. Insofar as its specific to anything. The idea that women are just a sort of passive receptacle for some men's emotional needs hasn't died, obviously.
 

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Outside of my best friend - who I hadn't seen in nearly three years - I've never liked anyone that much to where I wanted to see them up to three times a week... not even boyfriends lol

The pattern I'm seeing here is that you have an issue setting boundaries with this dude. If you didn't want to hang out with him that often, then you shoulda said so and perhaps this guy's clinginess wouldn't have become a problem.

If I were in your shoes (I have been a couple of times no romance involved), then I would use this covid thing to my advantage to cut the cord. I don't think you actually like him because the way you characterized your actions seems like you feel guilty (the kind that's not actually guilt) and obligated to be his friend. And since you say that you're courteous out of choice, why bother anymore now that he doesn't add to your happiness?

Yeah, he may be nice, but there are plenty of good people in the world, but that doesn't mean that you have to entertain them if you don't want to. You don't owe this guy anything and neither does he.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Outside of my best friend - who I hadn't seen in nearly three years - I've never liked anyone that much to where I wanted to see them up to three times a week... not even boyfriends lol

The pattern I'm seeing here is that you have an issue setting boundaries with this dude. If you didn't want to hang out with him that often, then you shoulda said so and perhaps this guy's clinginess wouldn't have become a problem.

If I were in your shoes (I have been a couple of times no romance involved), then I would use this covid thing to my advantage to cut the cord. I don't think you actually like him because the way you characterized your actions seems like you feel guilty (the kind that's not actually guilt) and obligated to be his friend. And since you say that you're courteous out of choice, why bother anymore now that he doesn't add to your happiness?

Yeah, he may be nice, but there are plenty of good people in the world, but that doesn't mean that you have to entertain them if you don't want to. You don't owe this guy anything and neither does he.
You're right, I do have difficulties setting boundaries until I don't where I just kinda disconnect fully. However, while initially true in this case,I gradually did set with a lot explanations and examples to which he said that it doesn't affect him and he finds it hard to care. I think at that point is where I lost all desire to entertain him but still felt obligated to. It slowly deteriorated from there to where we are now. Telling an INTP you don't care about his/her perspective is equivalent to or probably just below calling him/her stupid.

I did like him as a person but I have grown to dislike a lot of things about him - mostly the fact that he comes across self centered since it's his way or the highway, also he doesn't listen. The damage is done either way and he doesn't seem to be interested, which works for me.
 

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You're right, I do have difficulties setting boundaries until I don't where I just kinda disconnect fully. However, while initially true in this case,I gradually did set with a lot explanations and examples to which he said that it doesn't affect him and he finds it hard to care. I think at that point is where I lost all desire to entertain him but still felt obligated to. It slowly deteriorated from there to where we are now. Telling an INTP you don't care about his/her perspective is equivalent to or probably just below calling him/her stupid.

I did like him as a person but I have grown to dislike a lot of things about him - mostly the fact that he comes across self centered since it's his way or the highway, also he doesn't listen. The damage is done either way and he doesn't seem to be interested, which works for me.
There's your answer.
 

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Lilysocks is right. If he's an INTJ, being clingy and needing to talk, talk, talk signals unhealthy behavior.

Does he pursue his interests? Do you know what they are? You could re-connect with him on that level.

A healthy INTJ gives people the right to their own feelings. He wouldn't take it personally. You wouldn't need to justify or explain your decision.

Something's not right with the vibes if he's INTJ.
 

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If you aren't attracted to your INTJ friend, I'd say let it go. If you are attracted to him (and obviously he likes you a lot), there should be a work around. I can relate to him--being clingy even if I usually am not. I'm quite young so I'm not sure if this will improve but when I get clingy (which is rare), I'm not liking it either. Often, I'm okay with being together in one place while doing our own things. Or video calling while working and studying. Personally, I don't always have to converse with you. Having you around is enough kind of thing. It also helps to determine his love language. If my SO is busy and being together or video calling/calling won't work, my SO just has to explain the reasons and I'm quick to understand. I will appreciate "I'd want to be with you too but these are my agenda for today [state your plans]. How about I call you on [provide time/date]". I think if you're coming across as not caring enough, he does not understand how busy you are at the moment.

I also agree that he's being extra clingy because something is going on with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Lilysocks is right. If he's an INTJ, being clingy and needing to talk, talk, talk signals unhealthy behavior.

Does he pursue his interests? Do you know what they are? You could re-connect with him on that level.

A healthy INTJ gives people the right to their own feelings. He wouldn't take it personally. You wouldn't need to justify or explain your decision.

Something's not right with the vibes if he's INTJ.
Well most INTJs I am close with love to talk so it's not a surprise to me really. However, he does take it to a next level and sometimes it's hard for me to pull away. I usually prefer to listen but I do have a limit.

He does pursue his interests...they are completely different to mine and quite frankly we share no interests really...which is usually fine with me except in cases where I'm not allowed my space or to be myself.
 

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If you aren't attracted to your INTJ friend, I'd say let it go. If you are attracted to him (and obviously he likes you a lot), there should be a work around. I can relate to him--being clingy even if I usually am not. I'm quite young so I'm not sure if this will improve but when I get clingy (which is rare), I'm not liking it either. Often, I'm okay with being together in one place while doing our own things. Or video calling while working and studying. Personally, I don't always have to converse with you. Having you around is enough kind of thing. It also helps to determine his love language. If my SO is busy and being together or video calling/calling won't work, my SO just has to explain the reasons and I'm quick to understand. I will appreciate "I'd want to be with you too but these are my agenda for today [state your plans]. How about I call you on [provide time/date]". I think if you're coming across as not caring enough, he does not understand how busy you are at the moment.

I also agree that he's being extra clingy because something is going on with him.
There's no attraction whatsoever on my end, however, I was at least trying to be a decent person/friend. I understand that he probably liked me alot more than I could reciprocate which is pretty typical of me since I really take a LONG time to let people in.

If I'm busy doing something and he calls me or asks to call, I always have to give a reason. The last time he asked to hang out, I said that I was tired and not feeling to (i.e. not in the mood) - and I honestly was. He basically said that, if I don't have any circumstances that would lead to me not feeling to go out, then that can be considered rude. Apparently me simply being tired and not feeling to go out is not valid enough? In my opinion, I was very polite in my response and I gave enough of an explanation for him to not feel offended. The next day he replied with a condescending message and followed it up by saying that he asked me to hang out because he felt that I hadn't seen anyone in a while. I honestly thought that was BS because if that was genuinely the case, he would have respected my wishes.

Needless to say, since we started falling out frequently and particularly after he mentioned that he found it hard to care about my perspective since it didn't affect him, I started to care less and less, so perhaps you are right there where I come across as not caring enough.
 

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Yes, INTJs do like to talk, but it seems that he keeps taking over the conversation, and he's pushy in other ways, too.

He offered you friendship, but then he wanted more (either time or emotional closeness) and you don't. That should be enough to return to your professional dynamic without his acting hurt, especially if he is an emotionally healthy INTJ.

Here is my suggestion: Keep showing your lack of interest in his activities outside of work. INTJs should have friends who share common activities. You are not a good match, even if you were attracted to him. Can he at least accept that?
 

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Well most INTJs I am close with love to talk so it's not a surprise to me really. However, he does take it to a next level and sometimes it's hard for me to pull away. I usually prefer to listen but I do have a limit.
He might be one of those people who are the [partial?] authors of their own isolation, and can only get conversational partners by hijacking them. It's a vicious cycle but not your problem. At least not morally :p. Professionally I can understand why you're concerned.


The trouble with helping you there is I'm damn sure I would have done different things with the info you've given him. Any indication that I'd been pushy or gone beyond boundaries would mortify me. So just being told I don't let you be you would have fixed my own wagon for me.

His reactions - deny and attack - are relatable to me in only one sense: the one of 'and these things are exactly why you do not do this shit'. The trigger and the cheapness are just so obvious. And so cheap. Do you even fool people bro?
So I'd keep a wary distance. It's pretty unlikely that he's a capital-n narcissist, but he does pretty clearly demonstrate he's not able (or willing) to recognize either the reality of the interactions between you, or his own role in it. People like that are untrustworthy, and he's already shown he's got a rather nasty tendency to retaliate and then double down when challenged.

I vote for the grey-rock approach at this point. Which it sounds like you're already doing, so yay. Don't give him any surfaces to get purchase on.
 

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So I did the grey rock approach pretty much until I had to contact him for work related purposes. He kept informing me of everything he was doing regarding my request, constant updates if you will, but at times he would have gone on a tangent about other things like if nothing happened and then disappear again. I paid little mind to it, just observed.

Fast forward to recent times, he is messaging me as normal (and I the same for the most part) and even called me a couple times now. He did acknowledge he was an asshole to me without apologizing per se, but to me, the important thing is that he is aware of that. He then mentioned that he thought that he gets annoyed because he expects me to behave a certain way and when I don't...well you know. I pretty much figured this was the case anyway, I am unconventional and often misunderstood, however, I do believe I am more genuine than many and I have the best friends one can ask for, for almost 20 years now (I'm 30 atm) - he doesn't seem to keep close friends that long (just an observation). Of my four closest friends, two are INTJs (although I am much closer to one than the other), one ENFP and one ISFP. I know INTJs like to control the flow of things and where my best friends are concerned, I'm more than fine with that, 95% of the time lol. When I explained the situation to my closer INTJ friend, he came back a day later and told me, one of the best things about me is that I rarely ever consider myself only, I almost always go with the flow and would defer to the group rather than pursue my own desire (we tend to do activities, mostly gaming, in groups).

But anyway, after he said that he gets annoyed with me, he then mentioned that it was received as me not caring. I just responded with everyone would perceive me differently (or something like that) and chose not to go further into it. It's really strange to me that he just suddenly returned to a state of 'normalcy' between us, without warning or any real discussion of anything that happened before.
 
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