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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello INFJs! I've been reading up on your posts and you seem to bring a lot of insight to bear and listen with patience. Would like to hear what you think.

I am an ISTP who has been placed with an INFJ. The context is too complicated to explain. The only other details I will give is that it is not a romantic relationship and we are both female. I respect her as a person who has a conscience and follows it faithfully. She tries vey hard to be kind, generous and supportive to everyone, including myself. She is well loved by many. That being said... we absolutely DON'T understand one another. We constantly misread and misunderstand one another and then act on that misunderstanding. We've gotten to the point of being so supersensitive to the other (yes, an ISTP can be supersensitive) that we hurt each other at every turn. I believe that I hurt her by just breathing. And my belief was validated when we recently had a (very rare for BOTH of us) screaming match accusing one another of being "judgemental" - her feelings about me, and "condescending" - my feelings about her...it then disintegrated from there.

Soon after that she sent me her INFJ personality profile and then asked for mine, which I gave...all the while cringing knowing that she was going to focus on all the things she previously assumed about me and my "type" (and despises). Sure enough, what I got back was, "All the things I read about you I was already perceiving." I don't think this process helped her to understand me because it only validated why she was hurt in the first place. Does that make sense?

I don't want to go through yet another round of this nonsense...and I don't want to act out of a preconceived bias towards her even though that's how I feel I am being treated. So, INFJ's...How do we break this cycle of misunderstanding while still honoring who we are as individuals?

I truly do want to hear your perspective! Thanks!
 

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Since you have already affected her sensitivity, it's hard to erase the memory of it from her mind. She'd be tiptoeing around you and be vigilant in picking up cues from you (perceived cues).

No matter what, don't brush off her feelings/takes. If issues come up, let her know how she feels count. We hate being dismissed regardless our perception is right or miss the mark.

Smile. How can she get mad at you for smiling?

It's not just on you. She needs to reconcile the difference in cognitive functions to find a way to get along with you. If she refuses to do so, there's not much you can do to bridge the gap.
 
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This sounds like you both need a reaffirmation of connection and a hefty dose of accepting y'all's own flaws.

Talk about how y'all wanna make it work, and despite the arguing, y'all are important to each other.

Then take a look at the situation that has y'all together, look at who is good/bad at what, and focus on the good version of one person supplementing the bad of the other person.
She likely has poor physical comfort and a simplistic view of tending to her physical needs and perhaps practicality. You likely have a need to connect and have to work at "being good" and perhaps don't see the big picture and how it plays into the future that well.
So... Flip flop these things. You help with her shortcomings, and vice-versa.
She can help you move into a future of loving relationships both romantic and non-romantic, help you be the best you can be, and offer warnings of likely negative outcomes in the forms of quips. You can make sure that she pays adequate attention to her physical well-being and comfort while maintaining a bit of order practicality.

Stengths... Weaknesses... And the respect that binds the two.
 

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Oh, also, relationships are kinda her thing... So try and give due attention to what she says about what works/doesn't work between people, and how the gaps can best be bridged. Not saying blindly follow it, but at least let it boil around upstairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since you have already affected her sensitivity, it's hard to erase the memory of it from her mind. She'd be tiptoeing around you and be vigilant in picking up cues from you (perceived cues).

No matter what, don't brush off her feelings/takes. If issues come up, let her know how she feels count. We hate being dismissed regardless our perception is right or miss the mark.

Smile. How can she get mad at you for smiling?

It's not just on you. She needs to reconcile the difference in cognitive functions to find a way to get along with you. If she refuses to do so, there's not much you can do to bridge the gap.
"Smile" You made me actually smile...a simple and easy solution, I can handle that! I also appreciate your sense of fairness in that this is a 2 sided issue. Indeed we both need to do our part in this, hence my asking this pretty awkward post for an ISTP. She is trying in her own way as well.
It is interesting that we 2 really value the same things but we interpret them differently and express them even more differently. For instance, I value honesty, authenticity, freedom and independence. I think she values them just as much. But the way we express them almost targets the vulnerabilities of the other... IDK.
 

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"Smile" You made me actually smile...a simple and easy solution, I can handle that! I also appreciate your sense of fairness in that this is a 2 sided issue. Indeed we both need to do our part in this, hence my asking this pretty awkward post for an ISTP. She is trying in her own way as well.
It is interesting that we 2 really value the same things but we interpret them differently and express them even more differently. For instance, I value honesty, authenticity, freedom and independence. I think she values them just as much. But the way we express them almost targets the vulnerabilities of the other... IDK.
I like ISTPs for what you stated here. You guys do value these qualities in self and in others. INFJs also value them, like you said. You are a very succinct young lady.

One of my BFFs I suspect is an ISTP. We've been friends since we were 19. I don't recall ever not get along with her. I've dated one ISTP guy. I didn't get along with him (he's fine with me) but I've learned so much from this guy about appreciating differences and POVs from different angles.

Looking back, I think when my emotion was hightened like in a dating situation, I lost sight of the big picture. While I had never let my emotion get the best of me when I hang out with my BFF even when she said things to me in a blunt way (because she cared).

Best of luck with you and this INFJ in your life. Hopefully things will be much smoother.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
...but at least let it boil around upstairs.
That's exactly what I was doing...I like that image!

I understand she gets relationships and she has helped me in some very political work situations in the past. Appreciated in that situation, when help is asked for (ISTP independence). Although, I learn from experience as well from consequences of my weak intuition and inattention to others' feelings and have developed my way of picking up the tone, energy and "vibes" from people. It takes me a bit longer to process it, but process it I do and have been told from Ni folks that I am "dead on" with my read of people. All that to say that I am not as dim witted as she perceives me to be. In fact I often pick up on her tone and vibe unbeknownst to her but I don't let on because she hasn't asked me for help and I want to respect her boundaries...just as I would like to be treated. When I pick up on her anxious/tense vibe, do I ask what is wrong or do I let it go until she is ready to share it (which will be never, and I can relate to that)? Or by not asking, am I being perceived as insensitive and cold?

I do really appreciate the opportunity to ask these questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You are a very succinct young lady.

While I had never let my emotion get the best of me when I hang out with my BFF even when she said things to me in a blunt way (because she cared).

Best of luck with you and this INFJ in your life. Hopefully things will be much smoother.
Lol!!! Now I like INFJ's even more...you had me at "young lady"... lets just say I am more seasoned than I'd like to admit :) bless your heart!
Yes, ISTPs do say things "bluntly" esp about things that are not fun to hear (the truth as we see and experience it) because we do care. otherwise, it wont get said at all as it isn't worth the energy.
Thank you very much for your feedback and well wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In response to @Jeremy8419's 1st post
This response took me a while to process. I like the step by step, practical, cut to the chase advice. And yes, we are so busy defending ourselves that our flaws are magnified exponentially.
Yes, I admit that I am not always good at connecting with people. Although my appetite for connection is somewhat smaller than hers.

Can you explain what you mean by "I have to work on 'being good'"?
 

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My ISTP daughter asks me what is wrong sometimes and it doesn't bother me, but she also knows that if I don't open up the first time she asks, then I will get annoyed if she keeps asking.

Moral and ethical issues are immediately solved by INFJ, just takes them a while to phrase it. ISTP has to put conscious effort and takes a bit of time to work out moral and ethical issues that arise.

My daughter cares about right/wrong a lot, but I often have to help her along with bridging the thought processes to get her understanding to where she wants to be. ISTP colleagues are similar
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yep. As much as it irritates me to concede to that point, I do agree. Value judgements are challenging for me and I still tend to be black & white in my thinking as a starting point to build on. But eventually, I get to the same or very similar conclusions as she does. I am not typically closed to asking for input either, more information to form my perception the better.
Here's where I see the conflict arise w/this INFJ...I don't weigh things at the same value as she does. I'm outcome focused, she is more process focused. Things that are so important to her, smiling all the time at everyone, waiting for each other after a meeting to walk to the car, seem like they hold a moral value to her when and if they are violated, it becomes a personal insult to her. If I express anger about something it becomes "evil" or using her term "venom"... in my mind, it is called being honest.
While I agree respecting another person is non-negotiable, showing courtesy is important. But I don't look for it in the same behaviors as she does. If I don't wait for her after a meeting to walk to the car, it is not at all a personal attack on my part. In fact, it is not even entering into the realm of what is ethical or moral to me.
What am I missing?
Believe it or not, this process is helping me achieve clarity...tell me to stop anytime.
 

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She is that way, because she places time and effort into it. If everyone were the same, society would be lacking. You don't expect others to have your same personality, but you do expect that others occasionally make small gestures to cater to yours.
 
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