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I've been friends with an INTP guy for a little over a year now. As seems to be the case with INFJ/INTP pairs, we have amazing and unique conversations that go on for hours. He's told me a few times I'm one of his best friends. The conversations are often philosophical, but we've delved into some emotional stuff too so it's not just an intellectual thing. It's an intense friendship, which we've both admitted to each other. He's extremely introverted but opens up with me a lot. I do have some romantic feelings towards him, but have never pursued them because I'm 10 years older than him (he's in his 20s, I'm in my 30s) and, based on things he's said, I think he just needs to be free right now to explore himself and the world and figure his life out. I try my best to keep my feelings under wraps. I do not know if he has romantic feelings for me as he's impossible to read in that regard, and I've never asked him.

I ran into him on the street unexpectedly a few weeks ago and he acted cold and distant. I wasn't sure if it was personal, so I wrote him an email later on asking whether he was upset at me. He replied that he was just in a weird mood when I saw him and then spent the next few days sending me reassuring emails about how glad he is that I'm in his life etc (all emails initiated by him). I felt better at first, but since then have noticed he continues to seem distant when I see him. He has also completely stopped interacting with me on social media, whereas before he would actively comment on and like my posts. A few nights ago we were talking and he got very offended by something I said (I hadn't meant to hurt his feelings) and then stormed off. We've never had a fight before so it caught me off guard. I sent him a text saying some nice things to make up for hurting his feelings but no response. I saw him at a store the next night (we live in the same neighborhood) and he completely blew me off and ignored me. I know he saw me. I haven't seen or heard from him since.

I have no idea what's going on, but am wondering how i should handle this? From my perspective it feels like a fairly sudden turn of events, and typically he confides in me, not pushes me away. Another thing to note is that a mutual friend said she recently heard one of his younger guy friends teasing him about me, but she wasn't standing close enough to hear all the exact things being said. So, I know he's getting some sort of (probably negative) peer pressure about me (my guess/paranoia is that it's related to me being older, or them having figured out I like him, or something else I don't know about).

Should I just leave him alone since the trend is pointing towards him pushing me away? Or should I ask again if he's okay and whether there is anything I can do to help/make things better? This is my first experience with an INTP so I want to make sure I handle it right. I'd appreciate advice from anyone who's had experience with this type of dynamic.
 

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@MoonSign

You jump from paragraph one in which it's all good, intimate, friendship, you keep your romantic feelings to yourself, and then the second paragraph, there's a leap to 'a few weeks ago' and trouble.

Something is missing.

Instead of speculating and asking for advice based on your speculation, could you provide concrete information regarding the 'last exchange' the two of you had 'together' that came before the 'unexpected meeting on the street'?

With that, I'd have, and anyone else interested in trying to help would have something to work with; otherwise, it's just a waste of energy because something specific happened, went wrong--and I'm not seeing any indicator of that in the OP.
 

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Seems like he already gave you an explanation-- he's in a weird mood. If he's still acting weird, he's probably still in a weird mood! Try to remember that peoples' behavior towards you doesn't always mean something about their relationship with you. Sometimes its just something going on with them that has nothing to do with you. Its hard for Fe-users to remember this because we place so much important on emotional communication with others and the meaning placed on how we interact with others. But he's not an Fe user, so he's probably just acting how he feels like acting.
 

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Leave him alone for a while. INTPs are prone to getting lost in themselves very easily. And they're not prone to lying when you ask them if they're upset.
 

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I had one INTP friend for a while, and still have another--we're close.

The first one was self-medicating, very angry, came over every Thursday for Movie Night--for months, then started making excuses, "tired after work," "wouldn't be good company," never saying exactly what was on his mind, but after the fifth 'blow-off' I told my husband, "I'm not planning any more movies--I go to a lot of work to choose ones he'll like, and he's not gonna say why he's not coming any more but we know--" He cut me off and said it for me, "His regular friends don't expect from him what we do, and he doesn't want to delve deep or stop the [fill in what he was doing instead of facing problems], so he's making excuses, you're right...".

So that was that.

My healthy INTP friend, older, committed to getting better, making the world a better place (went to Washington on a panel in an area she had written papers so impressive she's been asked to talk in front of Congress about a particular social problem):

She doesn't get in a 'mood' that lasts so long, and she would never act cold to me in public or anywhere else if she was down:

Friends don't treat each other that way.

Something has to be wrong, and if the person--regardless of type--isn't saying what it is, pushing won't solve the problem, but there is a problem, because (example) the OP indicates no previous 'moodiness,' but rather a sudden change, and gives no reason for what might have caused it.

Information is necessary to ask appropriate questions and draw reasonable, possible conclusions. I've seen nothing that would lead me to do either so I'm out. (Unsubscribing now; energy drains are just that--draining.)
 

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INTPs don't always understand their own emotions fully, as it's mostly foreign territory for them. He may not fully understand what he's feeling, and he may need/appreciate some space. I'm sure it's nothing you should take personally, though I understand how this is frustrating.

Let him figure things out and continue to be a warm, caring friend (but one who keeps a healthy distance). As for how much distance that is, use your best judgment—I'm sorry, but I don't have an answer for you, as you are the person most qualified to make that decision (you know the guy better than anyone on here, and everyone is different). It sounds like the ball is in his court now, so it's up to him where your relationship goes next.
 

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I can't tell you what will work, but I can say that being confrontational and direct is probably not the way to go about it. That's what I did when an INTP friend and I were in a very similar situation, and all it did was drive him further away faster. (Turns out that was a blessing in disguise - but I digress.)

I have observed this seems the sort of thing INxJs are much better at dealing with than I am - what it really mostly requires is patience, which I have very little of when it comes to what I perceive as bullshit.

If you think his friendship is worth it, I would wait for the storm to blow over and hope that it does. It doesn't seem like he is handling the situation very maturely, which is usually when I split - but again, I tend to default to this sort of risk-minimizing behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, everyone for your thoughts on this.

@HallowedHydraNess - apologies for the confusion. I genuinely have no idea what changed to cause his moodiness. I've never seen him like this before, and I've wracked my brain and can't think of anything I might have done that caused the shift. If I knew, I'd be able to do something about it and the point of writing in was to assess how I should handle sussing this out (confrontation vs. letting it ride). Sorry if I didn't make that clear enough.

Based on advice here, it seems like I'll have better luck just waiting for him to (hopefully) circle back at some point. Perhaps it has nothing to do with me at all. Also agreed that it's crappy behavior no matter what, and I'll be pulling back until he can get his head screwed on straight, then will reevaluate how close of friends I want to be if/when he is in a better place again. It's just a disappointment since up until now he's been a consistently positive presence in my life. For now, I have plenty of other friends who are more mature I can devote my energy to.
 

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@MoonSign

Thanks for the Mention. I did as I said and Unsubscribed so I would not have know you wrote this without the Mention.

I got irritated mainly at the idea that a true friend would treat another person as an enemy--regardless of type.

My closest friends through the years--beginning before I knew about MBTI have been INTPs, and only two come to mind for unforgivable selfishness and unacceptable behavior:

My best friend when I was 20 (I'll write off putting up with him to youth) and the one I mentioned in my post:

He self-medicates and circles around three main frames of mind: Interested in any intellectual discussions especially on existentialism but moving out toward world religion and philosophy, keeping it light otherwise, then spirals into a depression severe enough that he would come over intimating he might commit suicide.

When he'd come around in a suicidal depression I gave him resources, counsel, an offer of a place to stay, food (as he loses weight and doesn't notice when he's in that kind of place).

He'd listen, act as though he would follow through, and go back to self-medicating and losing his job, finding someone who would let him rent a room, and when they tired of his behavior, he'd be back to the depression-talk, giving lip service to seeing someone about getting on an anti-depressant.

He obviously resented my pointing out that if the anti-depressant had a chance to work he would have to stop using the other substances as the mixing of them might render the anti-depressant ineffective or worse. (That's when he started making excuses for not being good company and all the rest--rather than just say, "We're not a good match. I've been going through this for a long time; I was just looking to vent," or something more honest.

I don't hold the modern view shared that certain MBTI types are more prone to acting the ass.

It has to do with healthy, average, unhealthy social behavior, and now that you've come to speak for yourself--no supposition needed, to my mind if this is what you have to look forward to then I respect your considering 'Is it worth it.'

I'm glad you have healthier relationships because you don't have to depend on this as your sole example for 'friendship,' and better still, you have role models and are a role model for what true friendship looks like.

I do agree that you shouldn't push it because as Newton's third law states: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction," and therefore he is likely to turn openly hostile rather than cold.

The ball is in your court. I hope you play for the win, i.e. put your needs first as he's giving you no indicator he wants or would accept your counsel or any other kind of 'help.'
 
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