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Discussion Starter #1
As simple as an ENFP girlfriend can make it. Please try to oversee the errors. ISTJ's

My bf and I have been on a rough patch from the beginning, 3 years now.
*(Insight- He would never agree to that statement, because he was never unhappy; it was always I with the issues-so to speak)

Always knowing that I have been the more intuitive one, I finally came to the conclusion that my bf, type ISTJ, and I, Enfp, simply do not understand eachother. Yes, a simple conclusion I have always known. Love, 'Natural' Self Consciousness, and criticism, had me thinking it was always because I was unstable emotionally and too analytical. Again Simply Stating. I realized that he wasn't capable of thinking the way I do, seeing things from my perspective, or how I always took it to the "big picture." He is very situational; black and white.

After Breaking Up-Current Situation
He is not willing to "just let go." He feels that it can be worked out, and he admits that he is reserved emotionally. He thinks it is a easy as: "we both want the same things; so let us compromise."


The ENFP that I am still has hope. I love him because he is, in fact, a wonderful person and definitely everything I'm not. I admire that about him. After, researching I realize that is my 'inner' connection with him, that we are opposites. You all have helped me a great deal in understanding him and trying to work around our differences. Example: Me, not take everything so literal. He truly doesn't mean it to be degrading.. it's who he is. (Don't think he is disrespectful, I know he can carry that trait, but he isn't that way with me, fyi.) Just the person I am takes VERY small actions and words 'to heart'.

I've learned MUCH MORE about who WE are in general.

At the same time, I still need/want him to at least understand who I am, ENFP. With being polar opposites it cannot be one without the other. Especially for as sensitive as I am.

So to my point:


I am trying to get him to understand his self and me on a much 'deeper' level. Unfortunately, giving in and dealing with it does not last for an ENFP, believe me, I know. We eventually remain unhappy and get worse. Then things will completely break apart the 'unhealthy' way.. all do to non communication and lack of empathy.

Now I know, It's hard to get an ISTj to be coherently intrigued by Cognitive functions. I did read through a few forums that stated: If some life changing event causes him to re-think that psychology is important, he may look into it. Or if someone of higher, respectable authority suggests for him to research the theory, he may do it.
I understand that if an ISTj finds MBTI useless than he will not see the need to indulge. Therefore, my solution was simple:

Another forum suggested to establish rules and goals with an ISTj.

My first rule, in order for us to even discuss working things out, he needed to research and understand who we are based on the Cognitive Theory Level.
I also followed up with "Even though you may not agree with your entire category the 'ENFP' is in FACT me. I need him to understand me a little bit more for us to move on. I am terrible at explaining myself in ways that he would understand, and I feel like if he reads Q&A, Statistics, Overviews, etc.. that he may begin to see what I am made of, and he may understand that NEITHER of us can change but only adapt and utilize each other's strengths and weaknesses.

I know not overwhelm him with his choices and let him decide what and when they are. I will not suffocate, and quite frankly, this is my last hope. I am to a cynical point in this relationship and will not force him to do anything. He wanted to make it work, so after much talk and research this is what it is.

Do any of you think that this could work? Of course, based off his willingness. But if he is willing, will it work? Will he be able to understand me more?

ISTj's- are you able to understand NF's more, if pyschology is your thing, and you have researched it? Using the tools and references from the theory?

Thank You For ANY INPUT. It WOULD DEFINITELY HELP TO GET THE OPINION OF THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND ALL TYPES. :)
 
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Sigh...This reminds me of my past relationship with my enfp.

I tried so hard to drag it on, to "make it work" even though it was so hard to understand each other.

I even looked at these personality types for the first time to try to see if it'd help... Sure, it helped us understand where each one of us were coming from, but it was too straining because we couldn't be our true selves.

Based on my experience, this can be a really tough relationship to maintain- its actually one of the worst combination for romance in my opinion.

PM me if you want to talk about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just have so many questions; it seems endless. Thank you for your input.

Do you think it will be more beneficial, asking for advice, on the particular things I want to strengthen, in the relationship vs. the entire overview?

Our biggest obstacle is affection/validation and communication. Of course, when we partake in an activity we have an amazing time. Its those one and one conversations we are lacking.Unless of course it's discussing our relationship. I find it frustrating that he can talk to his friends (on the phone) but can't talk to me. As usual I take it personally. He does recognize the issue because recently he consistantly tells me what he needs to do, but I truly have a hard time believing it will be that easy.

One other thing- If I realize that no way in hell this is going to work; how do I explain to him the reasons why? A simple "we don't understand each other" doesn't suffice to him. He always believes there is someone else in the picture etc.


Thank you so much, again!!
 
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I think often ISTJ's don't care to pay a ton of attention to others feelings, because their own a buried away. ENFP's or Type 2's wear their emotions on their sleeves and need affection to keep the loving relationship alive.
As an ISTJ I believe the path to becoming more normal and well rounded is to:
a) accept my feelings as real, natural, and authentic.
b) understand others feelings and work to fulfill others.
c) show mine to become more normal

But this subject I'm particularly poor at. I'm just jabbering
 

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An ISTJ will look for a pragmatic approach to the issues. Feeling, emotions, affection are not pragmatic solutions and are not tools that can be applied to a problem. ENFPs are all emotion, feeling and sensitivity. There's no separation between the emotions and the action for an ENFP, however for an ISTJ there is a complete separation. I've noticed on some of the ISTJ threads that I've read that some ISTJ's feel like robots at times. I think this feeling of being robotic can be attributed to disconnecting the emotion from the activity that one is engaged in physically. As an ENTP I can do this as well but not to the extent that an ISTJ can. So when an ISTJ says something critical to an ENFP, the ENFP will assume this is what the ISTJ must always think of them. Instead of accepting that it is perhaps just an observation of the moment. ENFP like ENTPs try to connect things as much as possible, so if A + B = C, where John (A) says to Mary (B) that she may want to consider healthier food choices during this meal they are about to order (C). The ENFP (Mary) is thinking C means that John is not attracted to her anymore, where as the ISTJ (John) is thinking Mary should have a salad during this meal that they are sharing together because the rational for C is I want her to be healthy so that we can have a quality life together and I know that she has been complaining about her weight and she typically orders the burger at this restaurant.

So communication is key to any successful relationship. If the ENFP is not willing to step out of the emotional zone to communicate with the ISTJs pragmatic zone, then there is no point to continuing the relationship beyond that of close friends. Because the ENFP is always going to feel hurt by things the ISTJ points out or does without consulting the ENFP.
 

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Well....

At this point I probably have more questions than answers.

Will it work? No one here can answer that question except you and your BF.

Can it work? Certainly.

Will it be fulfilling for both of you? Yes, if you commit to each other and to developing your own person, and in turn developing your relationship.

As for the ultimatum--it is probably your best bet.

Now, up in the right hand corner of your screen (scroll up) you will see a search box. Search for "ENFP, ISTJ, niss" and grab yourself a cup of coffee and read those threads. Then come back here and pester me as much as you want to...I'll talk to you about anything in this relationship, but I do want you to research it a bit yourself, so we aren't plowing the same pasture again.

I've been married to SWMBO for 25 years. There's been some really rough times, and there has been a lot of really good times. Wouldn't trade her for the world. And because of her, I have a really soft spot for ENFPs. Almost as much as I do ISTJs. I don't have all of the answers, but I am very familiar with both of these types and have a fair idea of what makes them tick. So read and get back to me when you are ready to prepare for that "Come to Jesus" meeting that you will have to have with your BF.

:happy:
 

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BTW, I envy you. West Virginia is some lovely country. Some of SWMBO's relatives are from WV.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank You All for your responses. I genuinely appreciate any insight.

Thank You Niss for at least letting me know, there is hope. I will be researching thoroughly and will get back to you soon!!

WV is truly wild and wonderful home. :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well....

Now, up in the right hand corner of your screen (scroll up) you will see a search box. Search for "ENFP, ISTJ, niss" and grab yourself a cup of coffee and read those threads. Then come back here and pester me as much as you want to...I'll talk to you about anything in this relationship, but I do want you to research it a bit yourself, so we aren't plowing the same pasture again.


:happy:
Well that was very enlightening. The first few I do remember reading through. It's nice to get others perspectives on how this difficult combination will or won't work.

I can definitely relate with the endless issues that come up. Which sends me back to my initial instinct from the start.
I need to be 'emotionally' healthier.
I concluded this a long time ago, knowing that he is very critical but doesn't mean it, in the hurtful way, that I take it. And let's be honest, it's not like he is wrong when he says it.
What bothered me more was that the criticism never balanced with positive. As we all know ENFP's love validation.
The more and more stressed and unhappy I became the more I would analyze things. I know this is natural, but I can admit (and have to him) that it did go overboard at times.

I know that for some crazy reason we both Love eachother and cannot let go - ENFP Hopefullness and ITSj Inability to give up or let go.--Who knows.

You know- I was never one for compliments and like him I am somewhat reserved in showing affection. I realize that maybe I could lead by example. On the contrary, will this actually help? Like I said before, it is hard for him to pet a dog. I couldn't tell you when he has ever grabbed my hand to hold it, or has EVER told me I was beautiful. And he would wonder why I get hurt when he thinks someone is beautiful.. not because I don't agree, hello, Im a flirt, but he would never tell me if I was.
Yet, he will do anything I ask him.
I need for him to initiate at some point.

I don't think it makes anyone in a relationship feel good ENFP or not, with that 0 level of affection. Like I said I don't do it so much myself either, I'm the one who opens up after the man makes me feel "special"

Naturally, I don't have the highest self-esteem but I assure you it is much worse when I am with him. All because his "lack of interest" (in my 'point of view').

What I don't understand is that his actions ridicule his 'supposed' feeling. Of course I originally analyzed it as, he doesn't care about me as much as I care about him crap, but now after 3 years, I just don't get it.

When I left him 3 weeks ago, he was extremely upset. (thats what he said) Ive only ever seen these emotions in times like these. I understand it is hard for him, I do. But I read about other ISTj's and they don't have problems with affection.. I feel like that could be a start to something with us. Affection is a 'sense of feeling'.




-My New Name is- Hopelessly Hopeful.
 

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You know- I was never one for compliments and like him I am somewhat reserved in showing affection. I realize that maybe I could lead by example. On the contrary, will this actually help? Like I said before, it is hard for him to pet a dog. I couldn't tell you when he has ever grabbed my hand to hold it, or has EVER told me I was beautiful. And he would wonder why I get hurt when he thinks someone is beautiful.. not because I don't agree, hello, Im a flirt, but he would never tell me if I was.
Yet, he will do anything I ask him.
I need for him to initiate at some point.
Don't beat yourself for being in love with an ISTJ! I can relate to the description of your ISTJ. My friend who is an ISTJ does not show affection to a dog he clearly loves. His form of showing the dog affection when they meet is to give the dog "warm wigglies" which consists of him allowing the dog to jump up to his knees and he will bend over and put his arms around the dog but not closely and swing from side to side. When I asked him why he doesn't put his face in the dog's fur and kiss the dog, he didn't understand why one do such a thing. But realizing that I was teasing him, he did it once and reported back to me that the dog's fur smelled like popcorn. Hmmm...

Also when I am hanging out with him, he will comment on everyone around (male or female) that he thinks is pretty or sexy or gorgeous, etc.. But he never compliments me, which gave me a bit of a complex at first just as a woman with an ego (ENTP, hello!). But one time I sat on his lap when he was drunk and acting foolishly (yes that does happen with ISTJs on such occasions) and he exclaimed "Oh my god, you're beautiful!" and then he realized his loss of control and said 'Yes, you're very pretty, your eyes are a little psychotic, but I kind of like that.' in a more serious tone.

The take home for me was, while he isn't saying it, it doesn't mean he isn't feeling it. Ask him what he's thinking, he will tell you if he respects you which I have no doubt that he does from your descriptions above.

And if you want to be physical with him, tell him that you want to hold hands or get a kiss or have some PDA. He may not always oblige you but at least he knows that you are feeling affectionate.

It sounds like you have 3 years of built up resentment and hurt. Perhaps if you could start anew and clear the slate of past concerns you could move forward with him. As long as he is willing to move forward with you. Baby steps, people, baby steps.
 

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LOL I love it! It sounds like my ISTj so much... his form of affection to my dog (which they have some bond I can't explain, considering, I let her sleep with me when he isn't there haha) Is letting her bite his fist, or putting his fist near her face but not hitting her, obviously. I give him a hard time about it a lot. Just for fun. :)

I do show him affection and he allows it; but it doesn't last long unless, of course I initiate it all the time. I'm not suffocating but damn it would be nice for him to come up to me every once in a while!!

I know I know, what he doesn't say doesn't mean he doesn't feel it, yeah yeah.. but Geez I get just a hint of the googlies when he tells me he loves me- (not often and definitely more over text or email, although he has said it when he knew I was nearing my end)

Thanks for the random boost of spirits! Cheers! :proud:
 
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When I left him 3 weeks ago, he was extremely upset. (thats what he said) Ive only ever seen these emotions in times like these. I understand it is hard for him, I do. But I read about other ISTj's and they don't have problems with affection.. I feel like that could be a start to something with us. Affection is a 'sense of feeling'.
A sense of feeling? What exactly are you referring to when you use the word affection? A sense of feeling is a definition that doesn't compute in my compiler (brain).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
referring to one of our "senses" touch or feel.
 
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referring to one of our "senses" touch or feel.
So basically you're saying he wouldn't touch you in a way you would expect a BF to? Did he also not do this when it was just one-on-one? I know ISTJs typically HATE PDA. I can't stand it.
 

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One on one and PDA. What struck me as so odd, was 3 years ago I told him I wasn't overly affectionate esp. in public. I am still that way, but damn a woman needs some type touchy, feely. I all about the subtle things, however that's even scarce between us..unless I give my little affection. Which is plenty and not too much at all, but like I said before, It would be nice if he initiated a teeny bit. It would just make me feel a little bit more wanted.

I understand myself enough to know I will always lack self confidence (to an extent), but I try to tell him he doesn't need to go over board just something affectionate.

I was sick one night and was laying on him. We were alone watching tv. I asked him to lightly touch my face with his fingertips- really soothes me, well anyway he couldn't do it! He had to be perfectly still, if I rub his hand or arm he wants me stop and be perfectly still. NOT ME. lol He has gotten use to it or we just don't cuddle. Pretty pathetic. :dry:
 
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This thread makes me kind of sad. I'm currently attracted to an ENFP who is out of my reach. :sad:
She isn't out of your reach.. you just need to extend beyond your comfort zone to touch her.

It makes me sad too, buddy. But here's some optimism, at least you recognize and feel the emotion :)

I'm constantly reminded of what my intuition figured out a long time ago. But I always have hope and he never lets go, so now, I'm stuck.
 

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NetJunkie...wow...big hug (sorry guys...)...I don't really know what to say

A few observations:
1. you guys seem to have pretty polaried communications styles :sad:
2. you seem to be on different pages on the love language book - meaning that he probably expresses his love language in acts of service and you might have a higher requirement for physical affection.

There doesn't seem to be any easy solutions to this. I was in a relationship with an ISTJ for about 9 months we we broke up three times before we called it quits. We are no longer in touch, unfortunately, even as friends.

A couple of things that I noticed was that the ISTJ that I dated seemed to be impervious to my intuition scans...it was like I couldn't read him. It you happen to watch any Star Trek TV show, he had the Romulan clocking device all over him. I had to be explictly explict and (if anybody understands anything about us ) is that we are the masters of subtle. Our subtleness doesn't work on the ISTJ...the communication signals will get crossed and a miscommunication will result. The problem is that we are sensing a super deep vortex of connection which is filled with possibility but we can't get through the Romulan clocking device...it is the craziest of frustrations. (sigh).

All I can suggest is all the advice from Niss the yoda of ISTJ - read lots of books, make alot of connections and expand yourself...keep growing and this growth will shore up your self-confidence...you will shine in that blinding way you do and maybe this will be the spark that will crack through his Romulan sheild (sorry for all of the Star Trek references.) Nurture yourself and hopefully you can start a dialogue that will get you to a place of friendship or back on the path of a relationship.
 
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Well that was very enlightening. The first few I do remember reading through. It's nice to get others perspectives on how this difficult combination will or won't work.

I can definitely relate with the endless issues that come up. Which sends me back to my initial instinct from the start.
I need to be 'emotionally' healthier.
I concluded this a long time ago, knowing that he is very critical but doesn't mean it, in the hurtful way, that I take it. And let's be honest, it's not like he is wrong when he says it.
What bothered me more was that the criticism never balanced with positive. As we all know ENFP's love validation.
The more and more stressed and unhappy I became the more I would analyze things. I know this is natural, but I can admit (and have to him) that it did go overboard at times.

I know that for some crazy reason we both Love eachother and cannot let go - ENFP Hopefullness and ITSj Inability to give up or let go.--Who knows.


Naturally, I don't have the highest self-esteem but I assure you it is much worse when I am with him. All because his "lack of interest" (in my 'point of view').

What I don't understand is that his actions ridicule his 'supposed' feeling. Of course I originally analyzed it as, he doesn't care about me as much as I care about him crap, but now after 3 years, I just don't get it.

When I left him 3 weeks ago, he was extremely upset. (thats what he said) Ive only ever seen these emotions in times like these. I understand it is hard for him, I do. But I read about other ISTj's and they don't have problems with affection.. I feel like that could be a start to something with us. Affection is a 'sense of feeling'.


-My New Name is- Hopelessly Hopeful.
WOW can I ever relate to your situation! I think the key with an ISTJ and ENFP relationship is for us feeling types to learn the skill of accepting that although we always react the way we tend do with emotion- cultivate the more logical aspect of your being by remembering to ALWAYS take a step back. And I do mean always!

I have struggled with my on and off again relationship with my SO whom I truly adore to the extent that I did actually let him go many times to have him come back again and again but only after he'd had some small emotional breakthroughs- sadly they were always short lived as we would wind up at logger-heads again in no time.

The secret I have learned this time is that I have finally learned to accept what I cannot change. We have agreed to embrace one another and really work together. It will be work, but this relationship is definitely worth the effort. If he gets cranky; so be it!He's a big boy and he can deal with it. Hey after all he's been living with himself for a very long time . :laughing:
 
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