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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've reached the end of my rope with my ISTJ roommate. In fact, the only reason I know that my roommate is an ISTJ is because I was so far at the end of my rope with her today that I read every question out loud to her on a personality test (because she refused to take it herself, insisting that psychology--my major--is useless in society) in order to discover her personality type. I had assumed she was an ESTJ because she is loud, but I think that may just be because of her upbringing. Instead, she is quiet around people she first meets and only loud with us (her roommates) and people she knows well.

After reading to her the long description I found of ISTJ's, she affirmed that, yes, all of this does sound like her, and even though she didn't say so, I could tell she was impressed at its accuracy.

Now that I know her personality type I am seeking to mend our relationship. I have almost given up hope of understanding her or being close to her.

Here are the issues I am having:

  • Since I am an ENFP, I take most of the things she says to heart, which is not healthy because she is very critical and does not understand what I am feeling.
  • We both have huge, stressful work loads in our coursework and problems with boys, but whereas I choose to listen to her complain and respond with affirmation, like "That sounds like it is a lot of work," she responds to everything I say about my work or my problems with "Oh I have this..."
  • She responds to many things I say with, "No, you don't understand..." then gives her perspective. This rigidity drives me up the wall.
  • She is messier than I am but refuses to change.
  • She never procrastinates and feels much too rigid and perfectionist (in my opinion) about her work. So she is constantly complaining about her workload and her early waking hours (she is an athlete and has morning workouts), meanwhile criticizing me for procrastinating or sleeping in once in a while.
  • She is extremely critical of herself and her body and expresses to me what I perceive to be jealousy, but it only brings me down.

Because I want to live with the other two people in my apartment next year (they were already my friends; my roommate was randomly assigned housing with us), I am sucking it up and living with her again. But it has gotten so bad that I have stopped talking to her altogether, because I do not feel that she cares about my opinions, she does not listen to me, and I am generally just tired of hearing her complain. I try to shut her out.

In reading a description of ENFP's in friendships, I read this paragraph:

"While they are generally accepting of most all people, ENFPs with strong Feeling preferences may have a difficult time understanding people with very strong Thinking preferences who do not respond to the ENFP's enthusiastic warmth. The ENFP will stay open-minded about what they consider a "rejection" by the Thinker, until the situation has repeated itself a few times, in which case the ENFP may shut themselves entirely against the Thinker."

This is what I fear has happened.


Any suggestions? I have tried to talk to her by saying "I don't like it when you talk about yourself instead of listening to me," but she will go quiet for a few seconds after I express anger toward her, then seemingly get over it and go back to the way she was within an hour or so.

But my grudge keeps building and I can see a breakdown coming.

Can any ISTJ's help me understand what I can possibly do to make things better?
 

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I can kinda relate as I (ISFJ) lived with an ENFP with disastrous results, but the problems you described didn't really fit my situation and the things we bumped heads with were quite different. For example the cleaning issue was the opposite.
It got to the point after about twelve months were we had to go our separate paths, it was one of the most 'cleansing' experiences of my life! but yeah ignore this mostly irrelevant post >_>
 

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MOTM Nov 2010
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A messy ISTJ? Are you sure?

Can you tell me where you got that quote from about ENFPs? I find that interesting.

I shared a room growing up with my ISTJ brother until I was 6. It made me the crazy person I am today. I would never do that out of choice.
 
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Do you really want/need to be friends? Do you think it work if you were friendly towards each other, but not actually friends?

Is it possible to set some boundaries/rules (we like rules - but if you set them, make sure you always follow them - always! - or we will get annoyed that you are breaking them) ?

Eg: agree on a rule that the bathroom is kept tidy - that this draw is hers and that one is yours - as messy or neat as the occupant wants, but "shared" areas are maintained to a certain level.

Each of you should probably have your own friends/outlets that are separate - suited to your personalities. Although, if she's like me and has no social life or friends, you may have to suggest some for her (- maybe some online communities?) or introduce her to some other people. That way, you are still working through your personal things, but not with each other.

I've not shared a room before, so don't know what it would be like. I live in a 3 bedroom duplex and am (for now) keeping my spacious and almost quite house to myself! I have previously said jokingly that my flatmate wouldn't live for very long! :crazy:

Not very helpful for you though, sorry... :frustrating:

I am guessing it's not really possible to get new room mate... ?



A messy ISTJ? Are you sure?
At work I am organised, neat, tidy and everything is where it's "supposed" to be. Home on the other hand... :blushed:
I think it's partly that it's an ongoing task - it'll never, ever be finished (which is why I am better with cleaning for a particular date or occasion) and partly because of how I grew up. And although it looks... okay... is messy, everything still has it's "usual" place - even if it's not it's actual "home".
 

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Really, roommates can be much worse. Smoking pot all day in common areas, never doing the dishes, leaving crap around the house, not flushing the toilet etc. It sounds like most of your troubles deal with things she says. Solution: stop talking with her. Cold shoulder. You don't have to be friends with your roomie, just not get in each others' ways.
 

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MOTM May 2011
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Yes, you are definitely rooming with an ISTJ. In response to the one comment about her being messy--this is typical of an ISTJ that has too much on her plate.

The only hope that you have for an ENFP and an ISTJ to make it the rest of the year is to draw up clear boundaries. Very clear boundaries. And the hard for you (as the ENFP) will be to tenaciously enforce those boundaries. No letting up for good behavior.

Your sanity is at stake. An ENFP and an ISTJ in the same habitation without clear boundaries is sure to be a horrible experience for one of them. Unfortunately for you, it is usually the ENFP that suffers the most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do you really want/need to be friends? Do you think it work if you were friendly towards each other, but not actually friends?

I have realized that this is what has to happen, sadly.

Can you tell me where you got that quote from about ENFPs? I find that interesting.
It's from this page: http://www.personalitypage.com/ENFP_rel.html

The only hope that you have for an ENFP and an ISTJ to make it the rest of the year is to draw up clear boundaries.
I'm not sure whether you are referring to physical or emotional boundaries, but I have put up emotional walls with her already that I've been slowly reinforcing. The sad part is that she does not seem to notice that I've stopped confiding in her..well, anything.
 

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Relational boundaries. An example might be that we will maintain a civil discourse. If at any time she begins to criticize you, then it's game over and you walk away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Relational boundaries. An example might be that we will maintain a civil discourse. If at any time she begins to criticize you, then it's game over and you walk away.
So does that mean we have to talk about it? Would be great if I could just start doing that. Like surprise cognitive behavioral therapy. Ha.
 

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So does that mean we have to talk about it? Would be great if I could just start doing that. Like surprise cognitive behavioral therapy. Ha.
Yeppur, you're gonna have to talk about it. In your conversation, both of you will be surprised how far off you were in your assumptions about the other person.

She does need clear concrete and previously discussed boundaries.
 

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She sounds like an ESTJ who would like to think of herself as the outgoing ISTJ. The fact that she tells you about her problems/feelings is wild. ISTJs are so cryptic that we may take weeks unpacking what we feel before we take it to close friend. I definitely did not tell my roommate things because it violates boundaries.

-female ISTJ
I've reached the end of my rope with my ISTJ roommate. In fact, the only reason I know that my roommate is an ISTJ is because I was so far at the end of my rope with her today that I read every question out loud to her on a personality test (because she refused to take it herself, insisting that psychology--my major--is useless in society) in order to discover her personality type. I had assumed she was an ESTJ because she is loud, but I think that may just be because of her upbringing. Instead, she is quiet around people she first meets and only loud with us (her roommates) and people she knows well.

After reading to her the long description I found of ISTJ's, she affirmed that, yes, all of this does sound like her, and even though she didn't say so, I could tell she was impressed at its accuracy.

Now that I know her personality type I am seeking to mend our relationship. I have almost given up hope of understanding her or being close to her.

Here are the issues I am having:

  • Since I am an ENFP, I take most of the things she says to heart, which is not healthy because she is very critical and does not understand what I am feeling.
  • We both have huge, stressful work loads in our coursework and problems with boys, but whereas I choose to listen to her complain and respond with affirmation, like "That sounds like it is a lot of work," she responds to everything I say about my work or my problems with "Oh I have this..."
  • She responds to many things I say with, "No, you don't understand..." then gives her perspective. This rigidity drives me up the wall.
  • She is messier than I am but refuses to change.
  • She never procrastinates and feels much too rigid and perfectionist (in my opinion) about her work. So she is constantly complaining about her workload and her early waking hours (she is an athlete and has morning workouts), meanwhile criticizing me for procrastinating or sleeping in once in a while.
  • She is extremely critical of herself and her body and expresses to me what I perceive to be jealousy, but it only brings me down.

Because I want to live with the other two people in my apartment next year (they were already my friends; my roommate was randomly assigned housing with us), I am sucking it up and living with her again. But it has gotten so bad that I have stopped talking to her altogether, because I do not feel that she cares about my opinions, she does not listen to me, and I am generally just tired of hearing her complain. I try to shut her out.

In reading a description of ENFP's in friendships, I read this paragraph:

"While they are generally accepting of most all people, ENFPs with strong Feeling preferences may have a difficult time understanding people with very strong Thinking preferences who do not respond to the ENFP's enthusiastic warmth. The ENFP will stay open-minded about what they consider a "rejection" by the Thinker, until the situation has repeated itself a few times, in which case the ENFP may shut themselves entirely against the Thinker."

This is what I fear has happened.

Any suggestions? I have tried to talk to her by saying "I don't like it when you talk about yourself instead of listening to me," but she will go quiet for a few seconds after I express anger toward her, then seemingly get over it and go back to the way she was within an hour or so.

But my grudge keeps building and I can see a breakdown coming.

Can any ISTJ's help me understand what I can possibly do to make things better?
 
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