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I'm going through a bit of a rough patch, so I may be overthinking this.

I have a good friend who is an ISFJ (I know, I know). Although sometimes her emotionalism bothers me, usually we get along well and we both benefit from each other's company: I help her see the "rational" sides of things, she helps me see the "emotional" sides of things. She's also smart and we have good political discussions.

I can go days or sometimes weeks without contacting someone without worrying about them (particularly if I am quite engrossed in something). However she likes a very large amount of contact. We have discussed this, and we "compromised," so that we speak with each other every few days. I don't mind this.

However now she wants me to "compromise" again and spend more time with her (I suspect she's always wanted this and is only now-a year later-speaking up). We already see each other at work and school, but she wants us to spend time together outside of that (going to the mall or seeing a comedic movie, for example). Prior to her telling me how important it was to her, she would invite me to things, and I would decline. I've told her something along the lines of "nothing personal (this is emphasized), but I don't get out much and I'm usually very busy." To me, "busy" could be reading a book-but hey, that's important. Apart from running errands (grocery store, library, etc.) and going outside to exercise, I barely leave the house.

Even after I told her this, she still insisted we spend more time together. So a few weeks ago we went to the mall and just "window shopped" for an hour or so. I didn't have a bad time, but I would rather have been at home, working on something. Today she has invited me to go to a movie with her later in the week (I like films, but not those she likes).

The real problem here is that by "compromising" in these ways I feel slightly that I am denying my sense of self. On the other hand, it's only two hours of my day. Thoughts?

TL, DR: * I have a friend who wants to spend time together outside of school and work. I don't really want to, but we do it at a frequency that is higher than I want, lower than she wants (but as far as I know she is ok with it). I don't want to at all; she would want us to on a weekly basis.

*She has insinuated that, when I don't hang out with her outside of our usual spaces, she questions whether or not I like her (even though I've explained countless times that I do).

*How much compromise is necessary in a (friendship) relationship?
 

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I can sympathize with you. I have been in your shoes plenty of times. Especially because my wife is a sensor... And most people I seem to associate with also happen to be sensors. I constantly have to alter my sense of self in some way. Usually by demand of my wife, who thinks I am being socially awkward and should "try" to at least pretend to care about socializing with her friends and my friends and not sit there falling asleep in my raybans. I constantly feel that pinch somewhere inside, almost like a part of me is escaping into some unknown vortex any time I go out, meet my wife's friends or parents. I hate small talk. She knows this vehemently. At the same time, I understand that small talk can be beneficial. It does feel like a robbery of the self, but in some way it can be good. I guess. My wife and I got into an argument very recently because I implicitly called her and her friends and anyone with similar ideology insecure. What that ideology was? Anyone that assumes I do not like them simply by my reserved and quiet nature is woefully insecure. To jump to such an extreme conclusion based on little evidence only that I am quiet and don't make as much talk as they expect, but that I am attentive towards them, even break my back to show them a small smile just to make them comfortable, is a huge sign of insecurity on their part. Their juvenile need to be liked by everyone, is a whole issue on its own and in no way shape or form reflects on me nor should it be my problem." Apparently this makes me an asshole. If someone was quiet and reserved around me especially upon meeting, I am not going to assume so prematurely that they do not like me and have some guard up. I am going to assume that they are probably tired, probably need some time to open up to, probably genuinely have nothing to say, probably thinking of what to say... Possibilities are endless.

The point is, people have expectations of you. Especially sensors towards intuitives. I would just do what she says and if you feel over strained, it's important to re-establish yourself, your needs and who you really are. I do this with my wife sometimes. I can compromise with her (pretend to care about meeting her friends etc.) but I am not going to sit there for 30 minutes and waste myself. Compromising is important, but if you constantly feel strained and as if your needs aren't being met, than I would have a serious talk. If that fails, maybe it's time to severe the relationship. Hope this helped.
 

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I'm fairly certain I only have one friend who is a Sensor (ESFJ to be precise) and our friendship is similar. I give her rational advice about things (which she doesn't always follow) and she helps me understand emotions and relationships. Fortunately, she knows all too well how INTJ I am (why yes, I did just use my type as an adjective), so she doesn't come talk often and usually leaves me alone. She's perfectly alright with letting me come to her, which is what I prefer. Being an E though, she has plenty of other friends to siphon energy from, as well as a boyfriend.

Maybe you can help your ISFJ find another friend? So it isn't just with you she wants to spend time. Maybe get her to join tumblr? I know that ate up a good portion of my time when I had one.
 

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I never ever had any long term relationship that was on a regular basis. I mean,
even my very best friends will inevitably end up annoying me and get the doorslam.
However if that friend was really good, I will eventually come back same way I left.
I have not yet met anyone who could keep up with me. Once a person run out of
new (and worthy) knowledge or information to share with me it is doubtful at best
that I will maintain an active relationship with that person.
 
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I'm going through a bit of a rough patch, so I may be overthinking this.
some of it's very familiar to me. i have that one little i/entj friend who's very self-sufficient really, and yet she baffles me with her relentless appetite for 'company' in the doing of things. we're like a couple that has a wild mismatch in their sex drives - she's always complaining that i 'never' get in touch with her first, and i'm always explaining that she 'never' gives me a chance in between bouts for my own natural wish-to-see her to recover itself and show up.

in general, i think the main issue in our case isn't so much that she wants to hang out with me . . . although. i just tried to picture her traipsing around in the slipstream of my own personal life, and some deep depth of me quailed. but still, i think it's more the fact that our interests are so far apart. that means that in order for us to 'do stuff' together, someone is always having to stretch way out of shape and tag along with something that does more or less nothing for them. i mean, she is welcome to come over to my place sometime and watch me read for a few hours . . . if she really wants.

The real problem here is that by "compromising" in these ways I feel slightly that I am denying my sense of self. On the other hand, it's only two hours of my day. Thoughts?
yeah, um . . . i guess the main thing that bothers me about it is that i know, internally, that i'm not going to be able to sustain it. it's not the weather that i can't take, you know? it's the climate.

*How much compromise is necessary in a (friendship) relationship?
agh, i don't know. if people are a long way apart i guess a lot of compromise is necessary. trouble is, i think personally that past a certain level, the amount of compromise itself is going to - well, compromise the friendship/relationship.
 
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I think you have to be careful not to compromise too much because then you do lose your sense of self and she starts dictating all relationship boundaries. However, if you want to maintain her as a friend, I think it's only reasonable that you "invest" in that friendship by doing things with her sometimes too. Perhaps you can better negotiate so that you get to see films you like too rather than it being a hers/or/your way type deal.

She sounds like she cares about you a lot - would you really miss that friendship or are you finding it too demanding? I guess your answer to this question would dictate what you do about it =)
 

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Difficult to find a win-win solution to that, if you put yourself first, the relationship will deteriorate, but compromise and act against your will may be worst for you in the end.
 

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i feel your pain. interestingly, the one solid ISFJ friend i've had started testing as an INFJ recently (after years), and only now do i feel like we have the kind of friendship that i can deal with (because, she seems to have learned to need less conventional external validation).

prior, i was in your shoes, feeling smothered, like i was never giving enough (even though when i did give, it was high quality, focused attention, where i was trying to help her through her problems from a rational standpoint) and get this - she lives across the country from me. window shopping and other such trivia didn't come into it.

back to your problem. it's nice that there's someone that likes you enough to want to hang out all the time. sometimes conventions are ok, conventional people are ok. - i find that as an INTJ the people that have ended up being my friends in daily life, not mental life per se, are the ones that make the effort, persist, continue inviting me out even when i often decline. i suspect a lot are SFs. are they the most amazing people i know? no. but they give my life color and variation, and are living proof that there are other ways to live outside myself. they are people that are out doing things on rare nights i would rather not be sitting at home.

what is this 'sense of self'? could we instead call that your sense of comfort?

it sounds pretty basic to me:

• you are uncomfortable/not at ease with this person
• you like her ok and you'd rather do your own thing and not feel bad about it, but her insistence is making you feel bad about it

personally i don't like having friendships based on guilt, or friendships that feel forced. it sounds like you need to decide if what she offers you is worth working through those feelings.
 

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it sounds pretty basic to me:

• you are uncomfortable/not at ease with this person
• you like her ok and you'd rather do your own thing and not feel bad about it, but her insistence is making you feel bad about it
I am wondering if these might not be the case here. Are they?

Also, it sounds like your friend does not see the time spent at school and work as "together/personal time" so therefore it doesn't count.

Perhaps you can offer to decrease the amount of time on the phone and increase the in-person time but with the caveat of doing things that you enjoy (attending a film that you want to watch, going to the library).
 

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Friendships are two way streets. If I don't wanna hang out I just won't. If they take it personal and don't want to be my friend, wellp, whatever, they get to choose on their end.

This leaves me with fewer friends, sure, but the ones I have I am quite happy with, for I don't have weird social obligations that make me unhappy.
 

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God I can relate to this.

One thing that took a lot of suffering to understand was - I like spending time with someone special but I can't pay attention to them all the damn time.
If they are in the same room, no problem.
If they expect me to interact and pay alot of attention, at some point I'm gonna lose my shit and then everyone's gonna be unhappy. So if they can't understand that, you are helping BOTH of you by just saying "tough shit, i'm not doing it". Either they accept it and live with it (which is ok) or they give up on you (which is still better than eternal suffering).
It sounds selfish, but I tried the selfless way and everyone loses that way.
 

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Friendships are two way streets. If I don't wanna hang out I just won't. If they take it personal and don't want to be my friend, wellp, whatever, they get to choose on their end.

This leaves me with fewer friends, sure, but the ones I have I am quite happy with, for I don't have weird social obligations that make me unhappy.
This, this, and more this.
 
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