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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey INTJs,

I'm hoping some of you can help me to better understand the dynamics between you and ISFJs. Prepare for questions.

I am an ISFJ female who has a good friend/mutual interest INTJ male. Long story short, we dated once upon a time, but are now trying to figure out how/if we can make it work again.

I don't really want to focus too much on the whole "dating/romance" idea though because I am more interested in how INTJs and ISFJs work together (as types and via their cognitive functions).

So question #1:
- How do you generally feel about ISFJs?

I have read that INTJs tend to see ISFJs as too emotional and traditional and all that, but I am interested on different perspectives. I find that my INTJ friend and I get along very well on a shallow level. Let me explain: When we spend time together, he usually tends to talk much more than I do, but I'm more of a listener anyways, so this works well fore me. He likes to explain his knowledge to me, and my Si and Ti like this very much (I suspect that my Ti is a bit more developed than the typical ISFJ). When/If I talk, he absorbs what I have to say and uses it to further the conversation. In this way, we can have very stimulating and intellectual conversations.

Now, that's all fine and dandy, but discussing cars and cognitive functions only gets you so far in a relationship. We have discussed the conflict between our auxiliary types before, but I'd like to be able to better understand how exactly Fe and Te work and what about them makes them not mesh well together.

This brings me to question #2:
- How do Fe and Te work together (or not), and what can be done to help them work together more harmoniously?

From what I understand, Fe analyzes a situations in regards to the people involved in it, while Te takes the whole situation into account. My INTJ claims therefore that the two are opposing; Fe will try to compromise Te's logic for the sake of the people involved, while Te ignores others' feelings for the sake of the most logical outcome, which Fe dislikes. I understand this. However, I also feel as though the two could be more complimentary. If Fe places higher consideration on the people, and Te the situation, then if the two were to combine and swap information, one would essentially have a wholistic overview of a particular situation, would it not? So which one is right?

Since Fe and Te are just our auxiliary functions, I can assume that such conflicts would be less disasterous for us than for those who have them as dominants (like an ESFJ/ENTJ couple, say), but it still raises an important issue.

Question #3:
- Since Fe vs. Te conflicts will be inevitable, what can we do to make them less painful?

Invariably, Fe and Te are only two functions amongst many others. One issue that makes INTJ-ISFJ relations difficult, as I understand it, is the simple fact that the two types don't share any cognitive functions, as well as having them in a reversed pattern. This means that I will probably never understand how his Ni-Te works, and him my Si-Fe. Whenever he explains how his mind works to me, I try my best to draw examples from things I have experienced before and compare the two, but I know that those comparisons will never be quite the same.

I guess this leads me to question #4:
- How can two people that literally think in opposite terms come to understand one another?

As an ISFJ, I feel like I spend a lot of effort compromising certain thoughts or feelings for fear of estranging myself from him (although some of this comes from past insecurity as well). This makes me feel like I am more involved in this and/or have more to lose if something just goes terribly wrong and I never speak to him again. Of course, this is a completely biased perspective, since I have no idea what kind or how much effort he puts into ensuring that we get along well. I have heard the sad stories of INTJ-ISFJ relationships where the ISFJ puts more effort into a relationship than the INTJ appears to and is ultimately affected negatively by a lack of affection from the INTJ. I know that it is just the INTJ nature to not express affection, and for the most part, I am alright when my ITNJ friend is not affectionate towards me, but a little affirmation here and there is nice.

So question #5:
- How can we avoid turning into the sad stereotypical INTJ-ISFJ couple that ultimately fails and leaves both parties wounded (the ISFJ moreso than the INTJ, or so I hear)?

I suppose I will stop rambling and start with these points, but I am really interested in understanding how an INTJ and an ISFJ can have a healthy relationship where both parties feel satisfied. I have heard that it is possible, if simply rare. I know that both my INTJ friend and I want to understand one another better so that it is possible for us to be in a healthy relationship.

So... Help an ISFJ out? :]
 

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I'm an ISFJ too, and I also have had a lot of fascination about INTJ's. I've had a lot of interesting conversations on PerC with INTJ's. Here are a couple of threads that kind of described some of this:

http://personalitycafe.com/nts-temperament-forum-intellects/29690-nts-sfjs.html

http://personalitycafe.com/isfj-forum-nurturers/20819-isfj-sabotages-relationships.html


This thread also had some very interesting ideas, but it is really really really long:

http://personalitycafe.com/intj-forum-scientists/42854-intj-asshole.html


This one kind of summed up some of the main ideas in that thread too:

http://personalitycafe.com/intj-forum-scientists/45814-feelers-blind-neutrality.html


Of course, I'm sure the INTJ's will have more detailed answers to your questions.
 

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So question #1:
- How do you generally feel about ISFJs?
My mom is an xSFJ, we get along on a superficial level (or shallow level as you say) and have a pretty good relationship, however I can't really talk to her about certain things or connect the way I would like to with her on a deeper level.

This brings me to question #2:
- How do Fe and Te work together (or not), and what can be done to help them work together more harmoniously?
They don't work together at all in my opinion. I personally can't stand Fe, it's an irritant to me because it's the complete opposite of Fi. They could only work well on a superficial level and really, who wants that?

Question #3:
- Since Fe vs. Te conflicts will be inevitable, what can we do to make them less painful?
I really don't know. I don't like users who use Fe in the dominant or auxiliary positions, if at all. I really despise Fe/Ti combinations the most.
I guess this leads me to question #4:
- How can two people that literally think in opposite terms come to understand one another?
I honestly think that's nearly impossible. Fe/Ti versus Te/Fi is a completely different world view and are diametrically opposed.
So question #5:
- How can we avoid turning into the sad stereotypical INTJ-ISFJ couple that ultimately fails and leaves both parties wounded (the ISFJ moreso than the INTJ, or so I hear)?
I would avoid this pairing and save both yourselves the constant frustrations/misunderstandings. You probably deserve better and when I say better, I don't mean you as individuals, I mean cognitive function wise. I think you/him could find a much more satisfying and harmonious relationship that is more synchronized and on the same level of understanding. That may be hard to hear now (or not), but I think compromising who you are, even slightly is not a good sign. You shouldn't have to compromise yourself because when that happens, you end up in the territory of resentment and that is no fun at all.
 

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My dad is an INTJ, my mom is an ISFJ, im an INTJ. I talk science and sci-fi with my dad, i talk people/psychology with my mom. My mom is more moraly supportive, but she tends to get irritated by absolutely everything (she is allso ending menopose). All in all, exelent Cooperation in between my mom and dad because together, they cover all the issues and options. Allso, my dad cant deal with people's emotions (his solution to a emotional problem is "Here, have a martini and then a glass of wine.") but my mother can.

Was this of any help?
 

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I'm an ISFJ too, and I also have had a lot of fascination about INTJ's. I've had a lot of interesting conversations on PerC with INTJ's. Here are a couple of threads that kind of described some of this:

http://personalitycafe.com/nts-temperament-forum-intellects/29690-nts-sfjs.html

http://personalitycafe.com/isfj-forum-nurturers/20819-isfj-sabotages-relationships.html


This thread also had some very interesting ideas, but it is really really really long:

http://personalitycafe.com/intj-forum-scientists/42854-intj-asshole.html


This one kind of summed up some of the main ideas in that thread too:

http://personalitycafe.com/intj-forum-scientists/45814-feelers-blind-neutrality.html


Of course, I'm sure the INTJ's will have more detailed answers to your questions.
Ultimate inspiration!!!!!!! :D!!!!
I LOVE YOU!

(what I'm talking about will be evident later, but you just solved a huuuuuuge problem in the INTJ world.)

EDIT: Dammit, I just realised how much work your inspiration has caused me...
 
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I would say listen to teddy - his posts are generally quite reasonable and he probably won't offend you the way we might without trying.

Unfortunately, my history of interaction with ISFJs is more like antiant's. The main one being my charming ISFJ mother, who has a number of issues she never dealt with. She never tried to get better, not really, and the rest of us paid the price. But my negative reaction to Fe is a pretty common INTJ thing as far as I can see.

One thing I would say though - don't make so many silent compromises. INTJs generally don't want them. To want someone to compromise their thoughts? Ick. The more silent they are, the harder they are to refuse. And then if we don't repay you for something we never wanted to accept, if we don't act grateful for something we wouldn't ask you to do or cannot tell you are doing...as a rule, we respect people who stick to their own ideas, although it helps if they can give reasons and not treat our efforts to explain ours as an attack on theirs. Difference is ok, but we do like to understand it.

The other thing, very much related, would be taking care of yourself. If you are like the average introverted Fe user, you put too much energy into taking care of others, and then get hurt when they don't do the same for you, haven't enough energy left for yourself. With an INTJ, you will have to learn to police your own boundaries, at least to some degree. Probably you feel like you are doing all the work compromising - likely he is feeling like he is doing all the work trying to avoid things that bother you when he's not in the best position to know what they even are. Certainly I have been there, anyway - it's a possibility - both feeling disproportionately exhausted. The more you take care of your own needs, the better for others - they needn't have to do it for you, and you're happier and better able to react positively. Then him doing things for you can be more of a gift, extra things, fun things, or even when it is needs, since you cannot be expected to change yourself that much, not so much it is overwhelming for people like us to manage all the time. Give and take can be far far more exhausting than self-sufficiency for us. It is also much easier to express affection when it doesn't feel as if it is payment for services rendered, payback, gratitude. Fe really seems to be pulling more for gratitude then love, the way it presents itself often, and I, personally, feel very awkward and pressured on the other end of it.

There are a lot more possible irritations, but, for me, those would be the main problems that, when addressed, could give you both more energy to tackle the others. Just to find somewhere in the middle that you can meet.
 

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My mother is an ISFJ. I love her a lot and she's a great listener. But while I do appreciate the unconditional love, I know for a fact that she doesn't really know me and probably never will. It's not that she doesn't try, sort of. But I operate in a completely different world from her and most of the things I like and want to talk about are disturbing to her.

(Speaking of my mother, she used to be married to an ENTP. He was awful to her and she put up with it for years. She needed therapy to get herself in order and move on to a nice healthy ISFP who is incapable of causing harm to anyone. I'm only mentioning this because ISFJs are one of the types most likely to stay in a relationship that isn't working, even when it is sometimes a good idea to walk away.)

I also have a lot of SFJ friends, but mostly because you guys are nice to talk to on occasion. (I try to take care of my social health twice a month or so.) I tend to get bored pretty quickly, though. I can only talk about summer plans, family and what not for about an hour or two before I want to kill someone. (Metaphorically, of course.)

My advice: Technically, it is possible for any two well balanced individuals to have a successful relationship. The key is that you need to communicate. If you don't talk to each other about everything that bothers you or that you feel, then neither of you will know what the other is thinking.

(As a side note, INTJs want very different things from relationships than ISFJs do. You might want to discuss that as well)

For the most part, I suggest you think hard and long about your needs and whether they can be met without having to sacrifice who you are. You need to be very strong personally in order to have a successful relationship with an INTJ, and you need to be willing to ask for things that you need.
 

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(Speaking of my mother, she used to be married to an ENTP. He was awful to her and she put up with it for years. She needed therapy to get herself in order and move on to a nice healthy ISFP who is incapable of causing harm to anyone. I'm only mentioning this because ISFJs are one of the types most likely to stay in a relationship that isn't working, even when it is sometimes a good idea to walk away.
This is definitely true. I learned a lot of relationship lessons due to this at a very early age and observed everything. I also think it's part of the reason I'm an INTJ.
 

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This is definitely true. I learned a lot of relationship lessons due to this at a very early age and observed everything. I also think it's part of the reason I'm an INTJ.
Reading this thread I actually wondered if there were a correlation ISFJ mother > INTJ child. Maybe it's just a coincidence that the four of you who answered happen to have an ISFJ mother though, but I think a poll or something just to check would be interesting.
 

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I am an INTJ and my wife of 17 years is an ISFJ but that doesn't mean I have the answers to your questions but I'll try.


So question #1:
- How do you generally feel about ISFJs?
They are reliable partners who are fairly supportive of INTJ (probably because INTJ can be too one sided for their own good)

I never ever get her jokes and she doesn't understand my deserve for improving things or my xNxx ability - she thinks thats a bunch of hocus pocus.



question #2:
- How do Fe and Te work together (or not), and what can be done to help them work together more harmoniously?
Ya, this part doesn't work too well for me. After years of marriage it goes like this... she makes the day to day decisions about the kids and the house unless I lay down the law. I don't do it often but when I do she doesn't argue with me. For example, our daughter wanted to go the mall today dressed in all black so I made a rule that 75% or less is acceptable (silly i know but my wife was getting bullied by our daughter I could see).


Question #3:
- Since Fe vs. Te conflicts will be inevitable, what can we do to make them less painful?
This is our major arguments. We just agree to disagree and make up later. We have the benefit of knowing that we are in a long-term relationship and that we trust the other one didn't mean to actually hurt our feelings.



I guess this leads me to question #4:
- How can two people that literally think in opposite terms come to understand one another?
We don't understand each other. We just trust in the other person. It takes time and patience. You don't have to have a perfect relationship just one where you are both loved and respected.



So question #5:
- How can we avoid turning into the sad stereotypical INTJ-ISFJ couple that ultimately fails and leaves both parties wounded (the ISFJ more so than the INTJ, or so I hear)?
I would agree that the ISFJ would get the worst of it because when I finish something I don't look back (job, relationships).

No idea
 

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Reading this thread I actually wondered if there were a correlation ISFJ mother > INTJ child. Maybe it's just a coincidence that the four of you who answered happen to have an ISFJ mother though, but I think a poll or something just to check would be interesting.
I think there is a pretty strong trend here. There are a few threads that were created in the INTJ forum speaking about the xSFJ experience (the search function doesn't seem to be working quite well at the moment). A lot of INTJ's on this forum have them as parents and some men on here are married to xSFJ's. I think it's one of the worse pairings for understanding. I will explain things to my mom and it will completely go over her head, then I have to dumb it down. Even when I dumb it down, I still find it hard to explain myself to her, so I just keep it as simple as possible. I know that I can't have "high minded" conversations with her and because that is something I live and breathe, the connection is not so great. It actually sucks ass. It seems that a lot of INTJ's turn into the parent role/personal advisor/counselor with xSFJ's, which kind of becomes taxing to the INTJ.

I think the xSFJ parent recognizes early on that their child is a little different and "intelligent" than average (according to them) and so they start to cling onto the kid and I think this future INTJ kid, starts that whole detachment thing. It's hard to grow up in an environment where no one understands you, so you look elsewhere and do things on your own. Part of it is nature and predisposed genes and the other part is nurture. I think the different "flavors of INTJ's" is due to parent upbringing, as well as cultural, etc. I have noticed that those INTJ's who were fortunate to have an INTJ parent are a little different from the INTJ's who have an xSFJ parent.
 

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Have ISFJ mother too!
My mother and I does not get along too well.
The only time we can bond, is when we talk about remember when this happened etc.

Come to think of it I have a girl I know that fit into that pattern.
I thought that she might be INFJ, but ISFJ isn't impossible.
It is draining to interact on a social level with her without resorting to games that engage my Te.

I like her and have caught myself thinking that she would make a nice girlfriend,
but I sometimes wonder if it is all worth it since it takes tremendous effort to
make Fe statements that get the message trough to her.
And when the Fe statement misses it's target. It is impossible to correct...
It is possible to use Fe for an INTJ if you want to be dead tired the next couple of days for over thinking.

My current stance is that "Some things isn't meant to be!"
But then again this other INTJ guy is married to one sooo who knows?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you to everyone for your input so far. I'll try to address as much of what you guys said as possible. I wasn't expecting so many replies! ^^;

I'm an ISFJ too, and I also have had a lot of fascination about INTJ's. I've had a lot of interesting conversations on PerC with INTJ's. Here are a couple of threads that kind of described some of this:

http://personalitycafe.com/nts-temperament-forum-intellects/29690-nts-sfjs.html

http://personalitycafe.com/isfj-forum-nurturers/20819-isfj-sabotages-relationships.html


This thread also had some very interesting ideas, but it is really really really long:

http://personalitycafe.com/intj-forum-scientists/42854-intj-asshole.html


This one kind of summed up some of the main ideas in that thread too:

http://personalitycafe.com/intj-forum-scientists/45814-feelers-blind-neutrality.html


Of course, I'm sure the INTJ's will have more detailed answers to your questions.
Teddy, thank you for the links. I have skimmed most of those threads, and they seem to be pretty insightful so far. I tried searching this site for more INTJ-ISFJ information, but it didn't come up with anything, so thanks.

My mom is an xSFJ, we get along on a superficial level (or shallow level as you say) and have a pretty good relationship, however I can't really talk to her about certain things or connect the way I would like to with her on a deeper level.


They don't work together at all in my opinion. I personally can't stand Fe, it's an irritant to me because it's the complete opposite of Fi. They could only work well on a superficial level and really, who wants that?


I really don't know. I don't like users who use Fe in the dominant or auxiliary positions, if at all. I really despise Fe/Ti combinations the most.

I honestly think that's nearly impossible. Fe/Ti versus Te/Fi is a completely different world view and are diametrically opposed.

Thank you for being honest. If I may, what is it about Fe that you don't like? I myself find it to be ridiculously superficial (as far as interactions with other people go), which really bothers me, but can't help what you are, I guess. And if you know anything else about Fe/Ti vs. Te/Fi world views, I am really interested in understanding how they differ.

My advice: Technically, it is possible for any two well balanced individuals to have a successful relationship. The key is that you need to communicate. If you don't talk to each other about everything that bothers you or that you feel, then neither of you will know what the other is thinking.

(As a side note, INTJs want very different things from relationships than ISFJs do. You might want to discuss that as well)

For the most part, I suggest you think hard and long about your needs and whether they can be met without having to sacrifice who you are. You need to be very strong personally in order to have a successful relationship with an INTJ, and you need to be willing to ask for things that you need.
I have heard this before (that ISFJs and INTJs have different goals regarding relationships), but only as a broad statement. What do INTJs want? As an ISFJ, my one condition, I suppose you could call it, for a good relationship is security; I want to be able to feel like things are alright.

More responses to come. This might take a few posts...
 

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I have heard this before (that ISFJs and INTJs have different goals regarding relationships), but only as a broad statement. What do INTJs want? As an ISFJ, my one condition, I suppose you could call it, for a good relationship is security; I want to be able to feel like things are alright.
I am mostly working from my experience, but I'd say that INTJs want to be intellectually challenged and understood. They want as Keirsey put it, we want a "mind mate". We want an equal, not a subordinate that obeys without question. I do know that some INTJs get intellectual stimulation outside of their romantic relationships which allows relationships with Sensors to work.

We also need someone capable of handling our sense of humor and our brute honesty. We don't want someone that we will hurt constantly with offhand comments that aren't supposed to cause damage. Basically the person needs to be rather thick skinned.

We want someone who understands us and accepts us for who we are and doesn't try to change the things that make us unique.

I'm sure the others can probably give you a more coherent and general explanation but that's a good place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would say listen to teddy - his posts are generally quite reasonable and he probably won't offend you the way we might without trying.

Thanks for the warning. :] I am usually hard to offend (even personally) and am keeping an open mind when reading these, so there is no worry in that department.

I would avoid this pairing and save both yourselves the constant frustrations/misunderstandings. You probably deserve better and when I say better, I don't mean you as individuals, I mean cognitive function wise. I think you/him could find a much more satisfying and harmonious relationship that is more synchronized and on the same level of understanding. That may be hard to hear now (or not), but I think compromising who you are, even slightly is not a good sign. You shouldn't have to compromise yourself because when that happens, you end up in the territory of resentment and that is no fun at all.
Unfortunately, my history of interaction with ISFJs is more like antiant's. The main one being my charming ISFJ mother, who has a number of issues she never dealt with. She never tried to get better, not really, and the rest of us paid the price. But my negative reaction to Fe is a pretty common INTJ thing as far as I can see.

One thing I would say though - don't make so many silent compromises. INTJs generally don't want them. To want someone to compromise their thoughts? Ick. The more silent they are, the harder they are to refuse. And then if we don't repay you for something we never wanted to accept, if we don't act grateful for something we wouldn't ask you to do or cannot tell you are doing...as a rule, we respect people who stick to their own ideas, although it helps if they can give reasons and not treat our efforts to explain ours as an attack on theirs. Difference is ok, but we do like to understand it.

...

There are a lot more possible irritations, but, for me, those would be the main problems that, when addressed, could give you both more energy to tackle the others. Just to find somewhere in the middle that you can meet.

(Speaking of my mother, she used to be married to an ENTP. He was awful to her and she put up with it for years. She needed therapy to get herself in order and move on to a nice healthy ISFP who is incapable of causing harm to anyone. I'm only mentioning this because ISFJs are one of the types most likely to stay in a relationship that isn't working, even when it is sometimes a good idea to walk away.)

...

For the most part, I suggest you think hard and long about your needs and whether they can be met without having to sacrifice who you are. You need to be very strong personally in order to have a successful relationship with an INTJ, and you need to be willing to ask for things that you need.
For the record, I am almost certain that my father is an ENTP as well (that or an INTP). I consider him to be one of the major influences on my personality development, though I can really only blame him for a well-developed Ti and general logical outlook.

Back on point, though. :p

Alright. I knew these kinds of comments would be coming eventually.

Yes, I agree with you all that it probably would be better in the long run if we both went our separate ways. Regardless of what happens between us, though, we have agreed to remain close as friends, so even in that respect I would like to learn more about him. But as one would expect from an ISFJ, I'm not particularly looking to move on just yet. I am just curious to see IF this can work before it becomes a completely abandoned idea. Besides, call me perverse, but I am utterly enamored by NTs and probably would not consider dating much outside of them.

Now,
Perhaps I used the word "compromise" incorrectly. It is not so much that I feel like I am compromising my values or anything else that is important to me, but small thoughts and feelings here and there that I consider, for the most part, to be insignificant. I admit that, at times, there are significant feelings that I feel as if I cannot express, but I worry that vocalizing these may estrange our relationship. Perhaps this is simply us, but I have always felt as if I am on shaky ground with him, and even the slightest misgiving could be the cause of a disasterous earthquake. I will probably look back on that statement later and tell myself in retrospect that that is stupid, but I do occasionally feel this way. Will an INTJ respect the fact that a person shared their opinion more than the opinion itself? I guess what I mean is, is an INTJ more likely to take what someone says or the fact that they said it to heart?

Obviously, if the statement is disasterous (ie. "I cheated on you"), I don't think it would be respected as much (or am I jumping to assumptions?), but if I feel differently about our relationship, for example, than he does, would saying so be more likely to get me shunned than not?

This doesn't make me feel resentful that I feel like at times I can't express what I'm really thinking. I have always been used to passivity in situations and not having my opinion heard at all, and I suppose that is what I equate it to. Sure, that's not really fair, but if it helps the relationship to move forward and I don't mind not being heard (most of the time), then so what? Does that not make it similar to a fleeting thought that may pass through your mind as you walk down the street, but because there is no one around to tell it to, you forget it and move on?

I certainly do not compromise these few thoughts with the intention of gaining anything from him because of it. I think that that is a sick kind of mind game and would never intentionally do that to someone I cared for. Before I had any kind of reign on my Fe, I'll admit I was an emotionally manipulative teenager, but as I grow older and more developed, I am working as hard as I possibly can to not fall into that kind of a pattern again. I learned my lesson in that department.

The other thing, very much related, would be taking care of yourself. If you are like the average introverted Fe user, you put too much energy into taking care of others, and then get hurt when they don't do the same for you, haven't enough energy left for yourself. With an INTJ, you will have to learn to police your own boundaries, at least to some degree. Probably you feel like you are doing all the work compromising - likely he is feeling like he is doing all the work trying to avoid things that bother you when he's not in the best position to know what they even are. Certainly I have been there, anyway - it's a possibility - both feeling disproportionately exhausted. The more you take care of your own needs, the better for others - they needn't have to do it for you, and you're happier and better able to react positively. Then him doing things for you can be more of a gift, extra things, fun things, or even when it is needs, since you cannot be expected to change yourself that much, not so much it is overwhelming for people like us to manage all the time. Give and take can be far far more exhausting than self-sufficiency for us. It is also much easier to express affection when it doesn't feel as if it is payment for services rendered, payback, gratitude. Fe really seems to be pulling more for gratitude then love, the way it presents itself often, and I, personally, feel very awkward and pressured on the other end of it.
Now this is of interest to me. I agree that I do put a certain degree of effort into caring for others, but I think (key word) I also know where my boundary stands. There is only so much I can do for others, and if their need falls within this respect, then I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to lend a helping hand. For INTJs in particular, I understand quite well that you guys are extrememly independent, and I do my absolute best to make sure that he has all the space he needs. We go to two different colleges, and at best, I might get one text message from him every couple of weeks. While at first this was slightly offputting to me, I have grown used to the fact that he needs my presence much less than I need his, and have thus adapted. This is not something that I mind doing. In fact, I am actually glad I don't talk to him as often (makes the times when I do more exciting, nor do I really have much to say to him that would merit a random text anyways). But beyond this, perhaps I am slightly more clueless.

I have a general intrigue in this point that I cannot at the moment specify into a particular question, so perhaps if anyone could elaborate on that, I'd highly appreciate it.

Unfortunately, I am out of time to respond to the rest of the posts made here, but I have read them and appreciate them, and I hope that there will be more for me to read and respond to the next time I get the chance to check in here! Thanks a lot, guys! This is really insightful for me. :]
 

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I'm only close to one ISFJ, my roommate, and we have a fantastic relationship. We have a lot of the same values and have great conversations about people and about life, and just like each other. I don't think we'd have a great relationship if we were romantic partners... at least, not after the first few months. But it's not because we'd be so bad for each other as that we could be a lot better for each other than we are. We make decisions so differently, and also there's this whole really abstract academic realm of thinking that I'm into that would probably bore her to death. We're good people and we would be very committed to making things work, but in the end there's somebody more appropriate out there for each of us.

I don't know that you need anything special to make your relationship work, just time-honored ideas like being very open about what you need. And of course it's possible to have a great relationship that stands the test of time. I agree that you don't need to understand each other so much as you need to trust each other, and it helps to build up a big store of good memories, good times, that hold you up when things are rough.
 

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If I may, what is it about Fe that you don't like?
It goes against my value system completely. I use Fe in social situations and my work enviornment, but outside of that, I use straight Fi. I do not like to sugarcoat myself around others. I do not like to pretend to be something I am not, I don't like to act fake. I am very honest, blunt, and direct with people. If I were to say half of the things I really wanted to say to people, I would literally shock the hell out of them. There are a lot of people who can't take pure honesty and so I cannot connect with those types of people for very long. I love honesty, I value it greatly. Fe is more prevalent socially because it maintains social order and or a status quo, so I understand the bigger picture and "need" for it, with regards to humanity at large. My biggest irritation is the expectations that come from Fe. A lot of "social rules" are Fe based and a lot of those rules makes my Fi twitch because those rules are not apart of "my rules."

Examples of Fe versus Fi:
1. You are at the dinner table and you are expected to know how to eat. You are suppose to know when to use your fork, when to use your knife, etc. My Fi will say, "Why the hell do I need to know this, I'm here to eat, I don't care how my silverware is arranged." "This is dumb and illogical."
2. You leave the dinner table and are expected to tip. My Fi goes, "Why the hell do we tip waiters only and not other trades? Why am I expected to give a fuck about someone else's salary? They have the choice to get another job. I sure as hell don't get a tip for my job, what makes them special? If the boss does not pay them adequately why is that my burden all of sudden? Quit guilt tripping me to tip, or do something that goes against my value system.
3. When you work and your co-worker leaves for the night, sometimes people will say, "Have a nice day." My Fi says, "I don't give a fuck about you having a nice day, damn this small talk is so unnecessary and a waste of time."
4. I'm going to the movies with a bunch of friends and I'm about to enter the theater, someone is holding the door open for me. My Fi says, "I can open the door for myself, why the hell are you expecting me to power walk to the door?"

The following quotes are from: The Lenore Thomson Exegesis Wiki on Extraverted Feeling

Hypothesis: Swear words are extraverted feeling vocabularity for anti-socialness

In terms of extraverted feeling, it's easy to understand why swear words exist. They are socially recognized signs that display your unwillingness to play along with the social rules that keep your less-social instincts out of play.
My Fi says, "Fuck your socially recognized signs." Fe user may go, "Gasp! Antiant you are being very rude." To which my Fi reply is, "I'm not being rude, that's your perception, I am being honest with you."

Saying a swear word is an act of social defiance--an act that's recognizably defiant, which is to say, it's an element of the social vocabulary through which you can express defiance in a way that anyone in your culture can understand.
My Fi says this is not a social defiance. My Fi says, it is the way I express myself honestly as an individual and if I cannot express myself the way I was created, then I do not want any part of Fe, for it is fake and that is not a game I willingly like to take part in.

It's no accident that the literal meanings of swear words mostly have to do with sex and bodily waste. The world of extraverted judgement is mostly concerned with managing the public sphere. And mostly that involves keeping instinctive, "right-brain", animalistic urges out of the public sphere, so that people can come together in an orderly manner, not as snarling brutes.
Strong Fe users are going to hate strong Fi users because the Fe user will think the Fi user is a total asshole for not displaying social tact. Fe users find social tact necessary, even though they themselves may not agree with it because in their eyes, it makes sense to them in a bigger picture sense. The Fi user is going to think the Fe user is a passive-aggressive manipulating fake bitch and the "true" assholes because they are following a social norm, that they don't necessarily adhere to internally.

And if you know anything else about Fe/Ti vs. Te/Fi world views, I am really interested in understanding how they differ.
Fi can be very logical with INTJ's because Te comes before that and Fi is also more "narrow," or "straight forward." For INTJ's, our feelings have a more "logical/rational" bent because Te is applied objectively before it filters through Fi. That whole "cool, calm and collected demeanor" that we have, is based on Te/Fi. It doesn't mean that we do not have emotions, it just means we are far more removed from them and a lot more objective. After all, our Fi is our tertiary function. There are a few threads on the Fe/Ti and Te/Fi dynamic, but due to the forum changes, the search function isn't working that well. There was one thread in particular I had contributed to that explains Te/Fi and Fe/Ti rather beautifully, but I can't find it. If I come across it, I'll try to link it. Anyways, I'm going brain dead, I can't finish anymore, hopefully this is sufficient.
 

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I am mostly working from my experience, but I'd say that INTJs want to be intellectually challenged and understood. They want as Keirsey put it, we want a "mind mate". We want an equal, not a subordinate that obeys without question. I do know that some INTJs get intellectual stimulation outside of their romantic relationships which allows relationships with Sensors to work.

We also need someone capable of handling our sense of humor and our brute honesty. We don't want someone that we will hurt constantly with offhand comments that aren't supposed to cause damage. Basically the person needs to be rather thick skinned.

We want someone who understands us and accepts us for who we are and doesn't try to change the things that make us unique.

I'm sure the others can probably give you a more coherent and general explanation but that's a good place to start.
I couldn't have said it much better myself. If I know any ISFJs IRL, I haven't typed them as such yet, and they are not very close to me either way (friends maybe, but since I'm a bit of a loner, I don't spend significant amounts of time around other people). My husband is another INTJ, and it works great for us since we have a similar basis for our morals/values. The big things for both of us include: 1) Equality which goes both ways 2) Acceptance of who we are and what we become (which comes with the understanding that we both only would want to improve ourselves - as INTJ's, that part is a given)

Things such as communication, honesty, etc are vital in any relationship, but with an INTJ the other person needs to have a very clear understanding of what honesty means to an INTJ. Don't bother trying to read between the lines, because you'll only be putting words in that weren't there, and it will immediately piss us off. We will be blunt, and most INTJ's aren't going to avoid honesty for the sake of saving your feelings. If we do, it's often by shutting down or avoiding the topic, or coming up with some creative path around a bush that you put in the path. If that's happening, it's because we know you are going to react incorrectly to our answer, and through experience we've learned what those triggers are.

Overall, from the descriptions in your posts, it doesn't sound like the two of you have much to build a relationship on, which leads me to believe you'd be better off remaining as friends and looking elsewhere for a LTR.
 

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So question #1:
- How do you generally feel about ISFJs?
I don't.
This does not mean I don't like ISFJ's. It just means I don't feel anything. I do have an opinion, but not feelings.


This brings me to question #2:
- How do Fe and Te work together (or not), and what can be done to help them work together more harmoniously?
One of the 2 has to make the choice to follow the other.
Another option, for T's, is to take the people factor into account as a logical factor. Just don't expect the INTJ to be the one to apply all the niceness.

Question #3:
- Since Fe vs. Te conflicts will be inevitable, what can we do to make them less painful?
That's pretty much the same question as question 2.


I guess this leads me to question #4:
- How can two people that literally think in opposite terms come to understand one another?
This is the general version of question 2 and 3.

So question #5:
- How can we avoid turning into the sad stereotypical INTJ-ISFJ couple that ultimately fails and leaves both parties wounded (the ISFJ moreso than the INTJ, or so I hear)?
Growing up usually helps. :happy:
 

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Good Luck

Hi, I am an INTJ and my ex-girlfriend is an ISFJ. I seriously signed up for this site because I googled "INTJ and ISFJ" to see patterns, then I saw your post. I want to respond in an effort to prevent what went wrong in our relationship :\

Q1: - How do you generally feel about ISFJs?
I saw her as deep and understanding, who knows what it means to be a good person. I didn't think she was the most logical at times (may be due to my cold INTJ ways :p), but her head was always in the right place. I think the main problem with ISFJ's is that they seem to take things too seriously, and need to trust (at least some) of our judgements... I know ISFJ's keep the world together and all, but sometimes they try too hard. I always wish I could find out how to bring her the balance shee needed.

Q2:- How do Fe and Te work together (or not), and what can be done to help them work together more harmoniously?
Again a balance is needed. It truly depends on the topic at hand... For us, we exchanged ideas endlessly, and I tended to follow my logic and forget details of the convo later (because it felt a little irrelevant). But if we recalled it later, she remembered ALL of it. I was astounded she did. I, on the other hand, couldn't remember, then she quoted me, and used it well... Because my relationship with her was life changing, some of my views on those topics changed over time, and she noticed this. She ended up thinking I was lying, but in reality, I was just changing because of her :p

Q3:- Since Fe vs. Te conflicts will be inevitable, what can we do to make them less painful?

I kinda answered that.. Just consider that he may not hold on to that stuff as hard as you do... I sure didn't.

Q4: - How can two people that literally think in opposite terms come to understand one another?
No doubt he understands you, I understood her well. The problem was that she didn't me, I ended up telling her frequently that she just doesn't understand how I think. The real problem was that I threw out too much info, and ended up contradicting myself... I thought too much and said too much to keep her happy... I didn't ever like telling her her issues...

Q5: - How can we avoid turning into the sad stereotypical INTJ-ISFJ couple that ultimately fails and leaves both parties wounded (the ISFJ moreso than the INTJ, or so I hear)?

The major problem in our relationship was that I went to fast and didn't know it, and we were a long distance relationship (different colleges). When we met, we were more than excited to see each other (she never complained about me not showing affection for her, if you know what I mean;) ), but that just showed how fast we went. When we were apart, we couldn't stand it, she wanted to hold on, but I always thought it was logical to not make us wait forever, when we could be happy with someone else (so ignorant I was!) So I ended our relationship on the idea that she could find someone where she is, and that we wouldn't have to wait to see each other only 3 times a semester.

So, if he is anything like me, he wants you to be happy, and will go through great lengths to do so. Another thing, you said you listen to him, and that he talks more. Ours was the same, but I didn't like being the talker. Again, if he is anything like me, he will want you to say more. I wanted her to say what was on her mind, because when she keeps to herself, I didn't feel like I was close to her. I felt isolated to the world, and she was the only one who let me in, but her silence made me feel even more isolated. She believed she could hide things away and it'll be fine, I didn't like that :\.


Sorry for the length, but to summarize, let him know what you're thinking, something that will show that only HE knows about you... Special knowledge, in essence... We love knowledge. He wants to know you better than you...

(Keep in mind we were only teenagers, we went fast, we had distance, and that we had school priorities... These were unique to us).

Good Luck, our relationship was beautiful when it worked, and I know yours will be too ;)
 
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