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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm currently dating an INTJ and I am also friends with someone who I'm pretty certain is one as well. About a month ago my friend told me he has been depressed lately and after a little coaxing he let me know it was because he was feeling lonely and at 18 he's never has a girlfriend. Unlike me, he really stressed about school where he'd literally only be doing that, family stuff, or hang out with me or his one other friend.
This isn't really about that issue specifically but if you'd like to weigh in on loneliness and if you have any advice I may pass along to him that would be lovely.

This is mostly about my BF, he doesn't like me hanging out alone with him, even though my friend has never hinted that he might like me romantically. I do believe I am his only female friend but just because we aren't the same sex doesn't mean we are bound to hook up.

His basis for this is that he doesn't try to hang out with other girls and why does he tell me all his embarrassing secrets (that I won't share, but he knows they are secrets because he asks about what we talk about).

Honestly my BF is usually really blunt and I think rather than my INTJ friend I think maybe he has some doubt in me. Like why do I hangout with him a lot and why are we so close? But I told him honestly I've never felt that way about him nor has he about me.....
I tried to compromise and say we could hang out together more but he's pretty much vetoed that idea. My BF thinks that the loneliness talk is an act. But I really don't and I feel extremely guilty for even mentioning it. (And yes I will tell my friend I have told my BF)

Any advice on how to help my BF not be so insecure and fully trust me?
 

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I'm just going to go with an educated guess and say that your INTJ is spotting some fairly noticeable red flags, and is understandably apprehensive. However, I wouldn't say he's going about this correctly. Romantic partners are not supposed to have the authority to "veto" your friendships. It could be argued that he would have some leverage in that vein if he was your spouse, but even that's iffy.

My husband (ENFP) and I have both had close relationships with INTJ friends in the past. He was best friends with one for several years, I was best friends with another one for several years. I don't much care for "his" INTJ (I find him loud, abrasive, emotionally immature and self-absorbed) and my husband didn't care for "my" INTJ (my husband essentially thought he was a loser and not worth my time or energy). We were perfectly honest and blunt with each other in this regard, but we also understand that we cannot stop each other from having these friendships.

If the INTJ -- the not-your-boyfriend one -- isn't making any moves on you or displaying any romantic attraction, then I would advise letting your boyfriend know that he cannot dictate which friendships you keep or don't keep. If he's not happy with that, then he has some issues he needs to resolve. He's not your parent, and he's not even your spouse. He needs to realize that who you speak to is not under his jurisdiction.
 

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I don't think this is type exclusive (esp specifically INTJ) - if anything, this seems possibly more age/experience related.

It appears he has an expectation of conduct within a relationship that differs from yours. He might be intimidated but it's clear the intimacy in your friendship seems inappropriate to him. Perhaps it could be his own issues with opening up and that if someone else is opening up to you in a similar way, he sees a parallel he associates with romantic interest.

I don't think it's doubt in you, personally, so much as distrust for the circumstances (though there could be uncertainty towards your friend's motives.)

Not sure how to handle this - it could potentially be a "him or me" situation. Who would you choose in that scenario?

Love your avatar, btw.
 

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It seems so obvious he is wrong, but apparently you have to explain him some basics.

here are several things you can tell him:

His behavior doesn't make any sense - he is acting immaturely. There is no real reason why you shouldn't see your friend. You are not doing anything wrong.
What he expects is basically that men and women live isolated from each other and get together only to be intimate. First, this is very stupid because there's no reason to create such artificial restrictions. Second, the world doesn't function this way - people of opposite sexes talk with each other in the store, work together and even live together.
Either you want or you don't want to be with him. He is not going to change this by not letting you see other people.
How does he expect you to be together if he doesn't trust you?
He is trying to control you and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like it if you did that to him.

One more tip - I don't know how much of the "secrets" you have mentioned here, but all you have mentioned is no longer a secret. Your profile contains enough information so that anybody who knows you personally and knows you're interested in MBTI can find you in this forum and connect the dots.
 

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It is definitely understandable that he sees it this way. Thats because there are risks. What if your friend secretly likes you as well? (Not sure if he knows ya dating) What if he knows youre dating, and tries for the relationship to be platonic, but the feels is still there. As friendly as it may look, the attraction is always there. Then of course from there, certain factors may push the limits. What if it started raining and the two of you are trapped in a room? What if both struck a conversation and realised a connection? Things could go wrong, even though you may resisted. Thats how some cases cheating happens, unexpected, unwillingly. So there is a risk unless if youre willing to minimise it, set the conditions right, group up with more people, avoid possible places that can stir up romance and so on. Both are right and theres a solution, but both are gonna have to comprimise and tada.
 

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His basis for this is that he doesn't try to hang out with other girls and why does he tell me all his embarrassing secrets...

...I think maybe he has some doubt in me.

My BF thinks that the loneliness talk is an act. But I really don't and I feel extremely guilty for even mentioning it.

Any advice on how to help my BF not be so insecure and fully trust me?
My advice is be very careful here. You are assuming your bf has doubt in you when you so clearly have doubt in him.

Check, double check and triple check your bf's point of view. Try to do it as objectively as possible. He might see something you don't (he might have a better insight into how other guys think). Is there anything to this idea that your friend who is lonely doesn't make any attempt to meet/hang out with girls?

Even if your bf turns out to be wrong on this, at least he'll feel respected if it's obvious you took his concerns seriously and spent time exploring them rather than reflexively rejected them as (childish) jealousy. I'd be pretty offended/annoyed if someone assumed I'm being jealous when I'm trying to alert them to a genuine problem I see.

I think you also need to think about:
1. If your friend is actually secretly having feelings/hopes for you, is that okay for you? Is that okay for your bf? (even if he knows you'd never cheat) I think that could be weird even if it's not going to go anywhere. And it would clearly not be a true friendship.

2. Is it unreasonable that your bf is uncomfortable with this 'emotional intimacy' your friend is displaying? Just in itself (not in a where is this leading sense). Perhaps your bf only wants that intimacy between the two of you -- in the it's exclusivity is what makes it special sense. Since you know what these 'secrets' are, you need to judge whether he is using you as a gf stand-in rather than just friends (do you think he delves this deep with his other friend?)

3. Unfortunately you need to consider the possibility that your friend might be manipulating you. Seriously consider your bf's 'it's an act' concern. Imagine if this "guilt" you feel and 'poor lonely him' attitude and now instability in your relationship coming from this, with you defending your friend and disrespecting/seeing the worst in your bf, was exactly what your 'friend' was after. Be absolutely sure that's not what's going on here.

If I were you I would be listening carefully to my bf, trying to work with him (spend time with my friend with other people present, see what happens if you stay away from being emotionally intimate with him for a while and try to help him meet someone -- this would fix both this problem and his loneliness problem). I would be trying to work out my friend's sincerity through all this (while keeping a very open dialogue with my bf). Only after it becomes super clear that your bf called it wrong AND it wasn't just a misunderstanding would I consider viewing him as insecure/jealous.

People in healthy/good relationships have a habit of assuming the best in the other. Be sure you're doing that with him before you assume he's not doing that with you. It sounds like you may be overly defensive with your 'he doesn't trust me' response to this. He might trust you fully and still not like another guy being emotionally intimate with you (bc it's special to your bf). He might not like this guy possibly secretly liking you (not a true friend). That's legitimate. So would him seeing a potential threat to your relationship (the manipulating scenario). These things have nothing to do with his trust in you. He might just be looking out for you/the two of you. Try to see it from his perspective. How much would it suck to see a genuine problem and have your gf respond in this 'you're just jealous/why don't you trust me' way.

Be sure you know what's really going on here. Be sure it isn't you inadvertently/unknowingly bringing a third party 'into' your relationship. INTJs on average are more likely to be described as insightful than jealous. I've never experienced jealously in my life. The one INTJ (male) I know doesn't do jealously either. If he told me he saw something I didn't in one of my friendships I would be all ears and then open dialogue with much consideration. The great thing about the open dialogue approach is that you will both come to some understanding/s eventually (assuming everyone is open/rational).

My closest two friends are guys. There is nothing wrong with having opposite gender friends. Although I personally am not what I'd call 'emotionally intimate' with either of my male friends. Only my romantic interest knows my "embarrassing secrets". If your bf is actually being one of those crazy irrational jealous types that won't listen to reason, then I agree with others, you can't have that crazy ruling your life. Another reason to experiment here and really work out what's going on is to find out if your bf is irrationally jealous for a fact. That would not be good, but good to know. I personally think that a misunderstanding or you not being open to what he sees is more likely if he has never displayed crazy irrational jealousy before (which I assume he hasn't since you likely would have mentioned it).
 

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i always have trouble with people who have a fundamentally different approach to relationships (any kind) than my own. i tend to be single-minded and go for the depth-over-breadth thing, so at most i might have five people in my life at a time who are spend-time-and-real-focus important to me. i actually can't accurately assess how deep the friendships/feelings/relationships of an extravert are because they're so different from me.

so i don't think it's as simple as jealousy or even insecurity. not on that personal level that goes with concerns like cheating. it's almost more like i just find it hard to take people very seriously in an emotional sense when i feel like they're distributing their focus too widely.

and interestingly, i've noticed that if i do become 'jealous' it's not about the third parties at all. i can just end up resenting how the difference in our natures means they'll probably always find me available if/when they want, whereas i might not necessarily find the same thing. it's almost a sibling-grade kind of competitiveness, or a not-fair feeling. i dislike being taken for granted, and i especially dislike it when i feel like my own nature traps me into a dynamic that feels that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@stathamspeacoat
True, it may not be type related but the way he put it made me feel like only an INTJ would put everything on the table and tell me if I'd like he can write each point down and explain so I may better understand...so yes he definitely has different expectations.

I would choose my boyfriend though I think I may form resentment.

Thanks ^__^
@martinkunev

See this is what I thought when I was in my own emotions but I hope to resolve this where we can both understand each other. I do still think it's immature but I think growing together is part of a relationship?
@Insider77

He knows I'm dating someone...if he didn't that would be strange lol.
And would you really tell a girl you are interested in that you have been feeling down and when asked the reason say it's embarrassing but choose to tell her anyway that you are lonely and want a GF?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@Dare

Good observation, I do have some doubts but that stems from something else that is truly unrelated to this situation.

1. If my friend is secretly having hopes I'll have to shut it down, that's not okay. If he can't comply, I would feel sad but I'd have to end the friendship. Though I can't imagine he does like me. Like I said it would seem odd to tell the girl you like that you are lonely and want a GF, while acknowledging to her that telling her that is embarrassing. He just treats me like a 'bro' he even calls me that sometimes. I can list many reasons he doesn't like me lol but it hasn't convinced anyone, especially not my BF.

2. Thank you, this is true. It's not unreasonable...truth be told I was in my emotions when I had typed my story out.
And honestly I have no idea if he is emotionally intimate with him. He says he is his best friend and seems comfortable with him but I have only hung out with all of us together once. I cannot imagine them talking about emotional things together but again I could be incorrect.

3. I actually hadn't considered this possibility as my BF is a great guy but has a tendency to be pessimistic towards individuals yet positive about the world as a whole and possibilities. So I took his comment as him being negative, he never really enjoyed him and only tolerated him because he was my friend.

The last straw seemed to be when he realized there was 'too much' emotional intimacy. Which I think is valid and I definitely will talk to him. Also my friend has told me to spend the night, granted I would sleep in a separate room. This still made him angry. But it was 1 am and he didn't want me to walk home (I hate staying at other people's houses so I took an Uber home).

No, he's not irrational. The feelings he's having seemed irrational to me but I will listen and take a closer look, I don't get upset easily but the way he told me made me feel like I was being held on trial.

Thanks for your insight and advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@lilysocks

Mmmm I can understand that, he is very much like that, he has maybe 6-7 friends. However though now I have tons of friends I only have a few very close ones, this friend is one I have developed a close friendship with.

And I certainly hope he won't come to feel that way, I think that would make me feel like I can't hang out with friends. I like alone/quiet time but I love the energy others bring so I think that would crush who I fundamentally am.
 

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@stathamspeacoat
True, it may not be type related but the way he put it made me feel like only an INTJ would put everything on the table and tell me if I'd like he can write each point down and explain so I may better understand...so yes he definitely has different expectations.

I would choose my boyfriend though I think I may form resentment.
My rule is if the friend is around first, there's nothing to question. Friendships formed afterwards, I need to know the person to be comfortable.
 

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I mean... you're 18? Or around that age, assuming your male friend is around the same age as you.

It's challenging to give advice on the matter, because at that age, emotions are powerful. Men at that age are consistently jealous and often controlling. And I don't mean physically, but they say things as in, "I don't want you hanging out with him," which is something healthy adults wouldn't really say.

At that age, you're growing and learning and changing.

Is it wrong to hang out with your male friend when you're dating someone? No, not really.

Is it wrong to hang out with your male friend when he has expressed interest in you? Not wrong, but should expression cautious and not be alone with them.

Is it wrong to hang out with your male friend when you also have interest? Yes.

Your boyfriend, while I completely understand where he is coming from, because at that age, I was no different, is simply expressing the emotions that are bubbling in his head.

At 18, my only advice to you is simple: what do you want, and why do you want it? Think it through.

---

As for your lonely friend, my cliche advice is to embrace college. It is a crazy four years of exploration and change, if he allows it. Force yourself to experience it, and having a community of friends and dates will find its way into his life.
 

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See this is what I thought when I was in my own emotions but I hope to resolve this where we can both understand each other. I do still think it's immature but I think growing together is part of a relationship?
Of course, the goal is to grow together. You don't want to piss him off, you want to explain him your point of view.

And would you really tell a girl you are interested in that you have been feeling down and when asked the reason say it's embarrassing but choose to tell her anyway that you are lonely and want a GF?
Under the right circumstances I may actually do that if I know there is not chance for me to be with her.
 

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...it would seem odd to tell the girl you like that you are lonely and want a GF, while acknowledging to her that telling her that is embarrassing.
Meh. People are known to go for the pity angle. The acknowledgment of it being embarrassing creates a certain intimacy between you and may inspire more protective feelings in the target (isn't almost every young guy without a gf lonely... did he need to set it up so you asked him only after he confessed it was embarrassing...) I'm not saying I see that here, I have no idea whether this friend is sincere with his secrets and desired sleep overs (lol) -- I'm saying that it's worth checking especially when your bf sees an act. That you see this idea as 'odd'/irrational and immediately want to discount/protect means that you are more likely a potential target. It's important to learn (the easy way) that some people are manipulative. The ego-drop technique when you seem less threatening is a classic. Watch 'The Usual Suspects' (if you haven't already) sometime. All kinds of people do this angle but the way it's depicted with the (INTJ) character Kaiser Soze is my favorite.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@Antipode I'm 17 and yes he's 18.

Idk both my BF and friend really aren't emotional but it is true when they display them they are very strong.

Well what I want is easy, if I can I'd like both parties to be happy. If for some reason that can't happen then I want my boyfriend to be happy (within reason).

And thanks, I agree. Hopefully he will grow in confidence. And I guess our circumstances might be different. He feels college will be too short because we will be starting in our 3rd year since we technically in college now.
 

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And I certainly hope he won't come to feel that way, I think that would make me feel like I can't hang out with friends. I like alone/quiet time but I love the energy others bring so I think that would crush who I fundamentally am.
^ This. Keep this firmly in your head; it's an excellent boundary to maintain.

He should not be placing constraints on you based solely on what is comfortable for him. He may be satisfied with having only a few friends or fixing almost exclusive attention on you, but that isn't what you do, and there's no reason for you to change that. He will be the one who needs to accept the way you operate, you don't need to alter something that core to your being just for him. Like @Antipode said, he'll hopefully grow out of that sort of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Meh. People are known to go for the pity angle. The acknowledgment of it being embarrassing creates a certain intimacy between you and may inspire more protective feelings in the target (isn't almost every young guy without a gf lonely... did he need to set it up so you asked him only after he confessed it was embarrassing...) I'm not saying I see that here, I have no idea whether this friend is sincere with his secrets and desired sleep overs (lol) -- I'm saying that it's worth checking especially when your bf sees an act. That you see this idea as 'odd'/irrational and immediately want to discount/protect means that you are more likely a potential target. It's important to learn (the easy way) that some people are manipulative. The ego-drop technique when you seem less threatening is a classic. Watch 'The Usual Suspects' (if you haven't already) sometime. All kinds of people do this angle but the way it's depicted with the (INTJ) character Kaiser Soze is my favorite.

Good luck!
Lmao, true and I do *seem* like the type of girl who would feel bad.
It was on the phone, he started out with he's been depressed lately, I asked why and said he didn't want to tell me. I said ok, you don't have to. (because often times I know it upsets people to push).
Then he told me it's embarrassing and that's why he doesn't want to tell me. Only then did I push slightly and then he was 100% willing to tell me. Looking back I guess he was going to tell me either way. Guess I'll find out soon enough what he intends. I am having a talk with both of them separately later this week, hopefully it will get sorted.

-Thanks for the recommendation, I'll definitely check it out. ^__^
 

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and interestingly, i've noticed that if i do become 'jealous' it's not about the third parties at all. i can just end up resenting how the difference in our natures means they'll probably always find me available if/when they want, whereas i might not necessarily find the same thing. it's almost a sibling-grade kind of competitiveness, or a not-fair feeling. i dislike being taken for granted, and i especially dislike it when i feel like my own nature traps me into a dynamic that feels that way.
This really hit home for me, I think because I see it in my own life.
 
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