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It does indeed apply to him. My being an INFP, my place is messy too. My thoughts were, Let me help you if you want to clean it. But I think two things are going on with him...he's ashamed of the mess and the mess gives him an excuse to not invite anyone over and it therefore remains a safe haven. Seeing how difficult it was for him to even step into the threshold of my home, where so many of our memories together reside--I can see how not having those types of memories in his home means that it continues to be a respite and sanctuary.

It's ironic that I understand him and his needs so much better, after the breakup. :/
Sometimes in order for rusted patterns to undergo a meaningful change, it takes a bit of wrenching and struggling and cracking. I guess if it were easy for people to see exactly what others need, to know what to do with themselves, all that that's needed for smooth social operating, we'd be living in a utopia.

But hey, you're seeing this change happen. It's because of that that I got the impression that just taking the time to *tell him about this*, to get really indepth, just talk it out, explore the comfort zone, explore the borders of what he's okay with talking about, that that could really work for you.

I personally find it easier to connect to people I can trust with myself, that I have to hide nothing from, not my good and not my crappy facets, because I know they are patient, they understand that I do my best in my own dumb way, that they won't judge me or reject me when I lay myself bare. 'I'm me, I hope if I show things how they are you won't be dissappointed, but this is just how I am'.

The fellow sounds like he has his own demons and insecurities, same as you, just his own, and that he does feel like you are a big presence in his life that he doesn't wish to let go of. But if you're willing to, I think you two can reach entire new levels of understanding, and with that often comes a renewed sense of connection, of trust, of caring. You don't mean it badly for each other at all, that much is very clear. I think it's definitely worth the shot.

Do you have any sort of idea or plan on how to approach that sort of thing? 'Talking' about the big and the small stuff? Of course it all depends on the individual and how wary they are of that sort of thing, but I don't think it's an insurmountably difficult thing for us INTPs to do if we feel like we'll be taken seriously, and that the person we're talking to will be able to read our struggles as 'our struggles' and not an attack or blaming the them for it.

Example:
When I got all uppity and teenagery in high school and went through a bit of a 'UGH asskissers' phase, and refused to study harder than for getting a B, and mom pushed me for challenging myself more, at some point she started getting the idea I was just being difficult to 'get back at her'. That REALLY hurt me, because it's quite unfair when you're accused of not loving them by a loved one, when in fact the only problem is 'look, I'm just being a dick, okay, I need to do things my way and mess up sometimes, it's NOTHING PERSONAL'.
It made me lose trust in our relationship, because, if she really understood and knew and appreciated me, if she really accepted me as a person and would be patient and love me even with my mistakes, she would not misread me that way. I was being accused of something entirely false, while the real tangles remained tangled and I never did figure out how to motivate myself through the juvenile resentment.

Sure, that sort of thing can happen, that we're angry and lash out and are unfair to you, in which case, do freaking speak up and put us in our place, because we wouldn't want our loved ones to let us get away with being assholes to them. We don't want to be assholes. But, if you do talk, and stuff comes up that might be hard to hear, please try to remember this. 'It's nothing personal, we're just human beings, too, and we have a hard time dealing with that sometimes'. 'It's not you, it's me'.
 

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Do you have any sort of idea or plan on how to approach that sort of thing? 'Talking' about the big and the small stuff? Of course it all depends on the individual and how wary they are of that sort of thing, but I don't think it's an insurmountably difficult thing for us INTPs to do if we feel like we'll be taken seriously, and that the person we're talking to will be able to read our struggles as 'our struggles' and not an attack or blaming the them for it.

Example:
When I got all uppity and teenagery in high school and went through a bit of a 'UGH asskissers' phase, and refused to study harder than for getting a B, and mom pushed me for challenging myself more, at some point she started getting the idea I was just being difficult to 'get back at her'. That REALLY hurt me, because it's quite unfair when you're accused of not loving them by a loved one, when in fact the only problem is 'look, I'm just being a dick, okay, I need to do things my way and mess up sometimes, it's NOTHING PERSONAL'.
It made me lose trust in our relationship, because, if she really understood and knew and appreciated me, if she really accepted me as a person and would be patient and love me even with my mistakes, she would not misread me that way. I was being accused of something entirely false, while the real tangles remained tangled and I never did figure out how to motivate myself through the juvenile resentment.

Sure, that sort of thing can happen, that we're angry and lash out and are unfair to you, in which case, do freaking speak up and put us in our place, because we wouldn't want our loved ones to let us get away with being assholes to them. We don't want to be assholes. But, if you do talk, and stuff comes up that might be hard to hear, please try to remember this. 'It's nothing personal, we're just human beings, too, and we have a hard time dealing with that sometimes'. 'It's not you, it's me'.

Thank you for your thoughtful and comprehensive response. The breakup occurred mid-January. I did the breaking up and honestly thought it was the best course of action as I wanted more companionship than he could give, and I could see him struggling to try to meet my needs. But, the quality of companionship was NEVER an issue or problem with us.

As an INFP, it is very difficult for me to initiate a breakup. By the time it happens, I usually feel relieved when it's done and don't look back. Not so here. I felt/feel like I'd amputated my right arm. We talked two weeks after the breakup, for 2 hours (at a neutral place at his insistence). And we both were in the mode of "it's for the best."

It was AFTER that that I went a bit insane emotionally, bugging the heck out the poor guy, analyzing the heck out of everything via email, prompting him to respond that he couldn't handle my intensity and that my son and I would remain important to him outside of romantic entanglements.

I heard him and stopped ... And felt some relief.

I knew of a job in his field, an amazing one for which I had contacts and wanted to recommend him. He has been stuck in a lot of areas in his life, and in this one due to not appreciating his value enough. But he decided he wanted to apply and wanted my help with his application materials. We met to discuss them, and we went through revisions via email...which was an intellectual exercise and debate that I believe we both found highly enjoyable.

He responded later that it had been important to him that he took that step. And I found it meaningful that he took that step with me. He put himself in a vulnerable position with me and trusted me to help him. I don't think there is anyone else he would have done that with. I don't take that lightly at all.

He later sent me an unsolicited email telling me that he stood in awe of my integrity and raw guts.

Later, I sent him an article I was working on. I thought he would just read it and bask in the glow of my brilliance. Lol He fact checked it and made critiques paragraph by paragraph. After I got over my bruised ego and went back and forth via email about the edits, I realized that this was a gift from him. He'd spent intellectual time with my work (which he'd also complimented). It is in this way that he shows respect and appreciation.

So, back to your question about my plan. I feel like I have over communicated with him about "the relationship" at this point. He needs space and breathing room. I think it's clear that although he seems quite determined and very logical about this being a transition toward "friendship" when he emails, his face when we see each other says something else. And he seems to be pushing himself out of his comfort zone on multiple levels, the application, coming to my home, spending special time with my son. (Oh, and he is interacting with me on FB for the first time! Lol)

I guess I think it is important for me to respect and appreciate the level of trust and connection he is demonstrating and to stand back so he doesn't feel pressured. Meanwhile, I will continue to occasionally invite him to do some activity or other I know he enjoys, without pressure. Being around me alone will be a huge step, I imagine.

I think my actions should demonstrate my understanding of his needs. Of course, that doesn't guarantee that we will return to a romantic involvement, but I hope he will see that I am committed to trying and I do understand and value who he is and what he offers, more so than even I thought I was capable of.

Edit: I really appreciate your anecdote about how you interpreted your mom's feelings in regard to your grades. Of course, as an INFP, I take everything personally. I took it personally that he wouldn't let me in his home, for example. He was baffled by that. And though it makes perfect sense to just about everyone else on the planet, to him, he was letting me into so many aspects of his life and world, the home just wasn't that big a deal. He could not understand why I'd take it personally.
 

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Later, I sent him an article I was working on. I thought he would just read it and bask in the glow of my brilliance. Lol He fact checked it and made critiques paragraph by paragraph.
Oh god, that is adorable. In this 'oh YOUUUUUU, that's so typical' way. Pretty predictable from my POV that he did that xD makes me chuckle.
Indeed, a nice example of us trying to actually be proactive and share our strengths and show we take you seriously. I'm with my own INTP and he's more than willing to nitpick on my grammar and each minutiae of every sentence when I ask him to check over my lab report :p I have no issues with that, I just let'm know when that sort of troubleshooting isn't required and I'm confident that my own writing will do just fine. It's not hard to imagine that to most other people, that sort of 'let me show you how it's done' attitude can feel quite rude. We're pretty rigorous and while we don't look down upon people that don't quite have our style or level of skill with 'what we're good at', it's hard not to be a bit pedantic and to genuinely want to make things better, more accurate, so the content will be nice and shiny and as impeccable as possible, in order to make the creator look good rather than mediocre.

... tl;dr we're freaking anal about our stuff but sometimes that's a good thing and you may as well sit back and watch us fossick around, doing our 'thing'.


You-and-him really sound like you have a really close history together and that you continue to be very important to each other. I think that's a pretty rare thing, and despite the ups and downs, it seems you agree that he's a good thing in your life, that you're good for each other rather than forced and destructive. Nothing is ever perfect, but I'm really sitting here burning with hope and crossing my fingers that you'll be able to smooth out the kinks and have a relaxed friendship/relationship again.
You're both growing at your own paces, hopefully in a parallel or converging direction. You make sure to find what it is you're looking for, to fulfil the needs he wasn't meeting, and indeed, I suppose he'll come inching out to meet you halfway on his own.


I'm suddenly thinking that it is perhaps a lot to ask, to expect, of a single person that they are able of meeting your every need. You touch and interact where you can, you exchange your gifts and care, but sometimes, people just fall short a little on the smaller but still essential areas. To want one person to be your everything and put them in the spot responsible for making you feel 100% satisfied and connected to is perhaps a bit ambitious, unrealistic, and straining on the both of you.

I personally see the one-on-one close relationship as two people navigating the sea side by side, giving and taking, and this trade between the two of them enriching their lives in a way that staying solo could never do. However, it should also be possible for both sailors to still be 'their own person', free and capable of occasionally wandering off to sniff life by themselves, interact with other people, recharge their energy elsewhere, learn and see and experience, to bring new input and life back to the partner ships.

It's what keeps things fresh, and at least for me, it's quite important to know that my chosen partner 'will be fine' even without me, that they're not dependant on me entirely for their well-being, that I don't have to shoulder every part of their life, that me having bad moments won't tear them down with me. I prefer standing on one leg and using the other for support, as well as offering support to the other flaingo, rather than being leaned into them, held up only by them leaning on me in turn entirely.

Just like you said, I think it's important that you both realise and cherish what you both bring to each other, the 'extra gain' yielded by making the exchange that makes staying together worthwhile (like you nudging him out of his comfort zone, giving him inspiration and connection and a reason to keep growing, and him being a meaningful person in your life in his own way), and perhaps make peace with it that it's impossible to be 'entirely perfect', that it's not a bad thing to just sail parallel but not be crashed into one inseperable wreckage, where both sailors end up needing to leave for other horizons to stock up but can't.


Is this metaphor still alive or did I just kill it there.
Don't mind me, I'm just Ti-Ne-ing here. With some Fe thrown into the mix.
 

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Oh god, that is adorable. In this 'oh YOUUUUUU, that's so typical' way. Pretty predictable from my POV that he did that xD makes me chuckle.
Indeed, a nice example of us trying to actually be proactive and share our strengths and show we take you seriously. I'm with my own INTP and he's more than willing to nitpick on my grammar and each minutiae of every sentence when I ask him to check over my lab report :p I have no issues with that, I just let'm know when that sort of troubleshooting isn't required and I'm confident that my own writing will do just fine. It's not hard to imagine that to most other people, that sort of 'let me show you how it's done' attitude can feel quite rude. We're pretty rigorous and while we don't look down upon people that don't quite have our style or level of skill with 'what we're good at', it's hard not to be a bit pedantic and to genuinely want to make things better, more accurate, so the content will be nice and shiny and as impeccable as possible, in order to make the creator look good rather than mediocre.

... tl;dr we're freaking anal about our stuff but sometimes that's a good thing and you may as well sit back and watch us fossick around, doing our 'thing'.


You-and-him really sound like you have a really close history together and that you continue to be very important to each other. I think that's a pretty rare thing, and despite the ups and downs, it seems you agree that he's a good thing in your life, that you're good for each other rather than forced and destructive. Nothing is ever perfect, but I'm really sitting here burning with hope and crossing my fingers that you'll be able to smooth out the kinks and have a relaxed friendship/relationship again.
You're both growing at your own paces, hopefully in a parallel or converging direction. You make sure to find what it is you're looking for, to fulfil the needs he wasn't meeting, and indeed, I suppose he'll come inching out to meet you halfway on his own.


I'm suddenly thinking that it is perhaps a lot to ask, to expect, of a single person that they are able of meeting your every need. You touch and interact where you can, you exchange your gifts and care, but sometimes, people just fall short a little on the smaller but still essential areas. To want one person to be your everything and put them in the spot responsible for making you feel 100% satisfied and connected to is perhaps a bit ambitious, unrealistic, and straining on the both of you.

I personally see the one-on-one close relationship as two people navigating the sea side by side, giving and taking, and this trade between the two of them enriching their lives in a way that staying solo could never do. However, it should also be possible for both sailors to still be 'their own person', free and capable of occasionally wandering off to sniff life by themselves, interact with other people, recharge their energy elsewhere, learn and see and experience, to bring new input and life back to the partner ships.

It's what keeps things fresh, and at least for me, it's quite important to know that my chosen partner 'will be fine' even without me, that they're not dependant on me entirely for their well-being, that I don't have to shoulder every part of their life, that me having bad moments won't tear them down with me. I prefer standing on one leg and using the other for support, as well as offering support to the other flaingo, rather than being leaned into them, held up only by them leaning on me in turn entirely.

Just like you said, I think it's important that you both realise and cherish what you both bring to each other, the 'extra gain' yielded by making the exchange that makes staying together worthwhile (like you nudging him out of his comfort zone, giving him inspiration and connection and a reason to keep growing, and him being a meaningful person in your life in his own way), and perhaps make peace with it that it's impossible to be 'entirely perfect', that it's not a bad thing to just sail parallel but not be crashed into one inseperable wreckage, where both sailors end up needing to leave for other horizons to stock up but can't.


Is this metaphor still alive or did I just kill it there.
Don't mind me, I'm just Ti-Ne-ing here. With some Fe thrown into the mix.

OMGosh. LOL When we were struggling prior to the break up, he used a boating metaphor to describe it. He said we were in the "horse latitudes." Maybe sailing/ship metaphors are an INTP thang. LOL

I completely agree and understand what you are describing. It isn't the "ideal relationship" I'd imagined or fantasized about or the one you see in most romantic comedies. And I think I very much wanted to create a more traditional relationship--I was hyperfocused on it, which caused me a great deal of angst and dissatisfaction.

Now that we are apart, I'm getting so many things accomplished. I'd started freelancing last year, with ideas for a business. Now I'm throwing myself into the business idea, because I have more time, space, energy. It feels good. And that desire that I have to live with someone--I am talking to a couple that I really like about sharing a house. They want to be around a child and they like the concept of communal living. She and I are also INFPs and enjoy working on our businesses in tandem. My point is that I believe that may help me get the need for a "family at home" met, and incidentally, would take pressure off him or any other man I might become involved with to immediately fulfill that need.

Regarding the editing--early in the relationship, he did that and I was deeply offended. I thought it was presumptuous. Now, I understand him so much better. So when he did it this time, I got over myself and understood what he was doing and why. And when he tried to write his cover letter (a writing challenge that is infinitely more personal and uncomfortably boastful), I was able to use my natural skills to rewrite it for him. It was so clear how strong a team we make.

INTPs are difficult for most people to understand. And so, it's very difficult for most people to understand my deep and abiding attraction to and affinity for this person. But I feel understood, supported, valued and respected by him. I also find it very challenging to meet someone who interests me intellectually, which is HUGELY important for me. And then there is my son. They have a deep bond as well, and a joyful one.

So I love your analogy and eloquent description of relationship from the INTP perspective. Illuminating and beautiful.

(I too have a burning hope. :happy:)
 

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OMGosh. LOL When we were struggling prior to the break up, he used a boating metaphor to describe it. He said we were in the "horse latitudes." Maybe sailing/ship metaphors are an INTP thang. LOL

Ah, this is the sweetest thing ever. It really prods me right in my 'awwwwww' centres to see this sort of growing awareness and understanding and tangles getting untangled as people grow and learn about themselves and others, and how there's only goodwill instead of resentment and defensiveness.

't Is a precious thing, to have a connection like that, and it's heartwarming to see it. I could waffle forever but I think it comes down to having this feeling that, without knowing all details, that I 'get you' and I 'get you and him'.

I'm starting to see that this situation might indeed be very hard to 'place' for him. He's still 'with' you in a way, you're still emotionally, intellectually together, there's still a bond that both of you value, but if you look at it from an outsider's POV (and he will be very aware of what this situation must look like to 'the eyes of society', the 'neutrals') it's quite unconventional indeed. Even if this works out better for you, and it's actually a very sensible and healthy arrangement compared to sticking around in a stifling situation, it's "weird" and there are no rules, no conventions on how to frame this, how to deal with the implications, what to 'make of it'.

He's probably not at all sure how much he should do, can do, is allowed to do. Should he stand down and be passive, despite wanting to remain supportive and involved? because, if a woman decides to take some distance, isn't it frowned upon to intrude too much? Is he doing enough, too little? is he doing it well, or is he making one faux pas after the other? Is it alright for him to branch out for himself now, or is that not quite what he wants? Would it dissappoint a dear companion if he did so-and-so? Where to go from here now, oh dear. What if X happens in his life, and that turns out to not work very well with this arrangement?


Us INTPs are meticulous when it comes to writing papers, but we can be pretty fussy with being competent *as people* as well, wary of doing the wrong thing, or doing things for the wrong reasons. We respect it in people to see them adhering to admirable values, to think clearly, judge fairly, 'live a good life' free of bigotry and misplaced entitlement and shallowness. Thus, it can be hard to respect ourselves when suddenly, we're in a situation where it is very hard to determine if we're still 'doing it right'.


It's kind of paradoxical. On one hand, we're very individualistic, dead set on doing things 'our way' in the way that feels natural, acceptable, respectable, no matter what people think, since we expect people to often judge based on shitty ideas and shitty values. 'Haters gonna hate'.
Yet on the other hand, this Fe-need-to-be-connected keeps demanding of us to not be careless either, and desperately seeks approval for what we cannot judge based on science and facts. We can tell if a piece of writing is adequate, bad or pretty clever, we can tell if it's correct or false in both spelling, grammar and content. But when we split up from someone we still care a lot about, and suddenly expectations are challenged, situations become unpredictable and harder to read, we're left trying to figure out what this MEANS, our Ti starts struggling to find the right angle, the appropriate perspective to decide what should be done and how we should feel about it all. You can't redline a relationship and a living situation so you can adjust, because who'll decide what criteria will be used for scoring?

YOU are the one to decide what is right, what works, along with him. You'll have to make up your own little bible of uniquely tailored guidelines, so you may both recreate some level of acceptable expectations and routine, some security in what is okay and what isn't.
I guess it's a little like being used to having pleasant sex together, and then suddenly the preferences change, the settings are scambled, and you get to start over on 'oh damn, is it okay if I do this? would you rather I do so? oh help I can't do THAT I'm sorry'.




Oh hear me rant, ever since a year or two ago my Fe really exploded. Has me wondering what's still in store for me. *can still see nice huge awkward uncharted areas for growth for self*
 

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I'm starting to see that this situation might indeed be very hard to 'place' for him. He's still 'with' you in a way, you're still emotionally, intellectually together, there's still a bond that both of you value, but if you look at it from an outsider's POV (and he will be very aware of what this situation must look like to 'the eyes of society', the 'neutrals') it's quite unconventional indeed. Even if this works out better for you, and it's actually a very sensible and healthy arrangement compared to sticking around in a stifling situation, it's "weird" and there are no rules, no conventions on how to frame this, how to deal with the implications, what to 'make of it'.

He's probably not at all sure how much he should do, can do, is allowed to do. Should he stand down and be passive, despite wanting to remain supportive and involved? because, if a woman decides to take some distance, isn't it frowned upon to intrude too much? Is he doing enough, too little? is he doing it well, or is he making one faux pas after the other? Is it alright for him to branch out for himself now, or is that not quite what he wants? Would it dissappoint a dear companion if he did so-and-so? Where to go from here now, oh dear. What if X happens in his life, and that turns out to not work very well with this arrangement?


Us INTPs are meticulous when it comes to writing papers, but we can be pretty fussy with being competent *as people* as well, wary of doing the wrong thing, or doing things for the wrong reasons. We respect it in people to see them adhering to admirable values, to think clearly, judge fairly, 'live a good life' free of bigotry and misplaced entitlement and shallowness. Thus, it can be hard to respect ourselves when suddenly, we're in a situation where it is very hard to determine if we're still 'doing it right'.


It's kind of paradoxical. On one hand, we're very individualistic, dead set on doing things 'our way' in the way that feels natural, acceptable, respectable, no matter what people think, since we expect people to often judge based on shitty ideas and shitty values. 'Haters gonna hate'.
Yet on the other hand, this Fe-need-to-be-connected keeps demanding of us to not be careless either, and desperately seeks approval for what we cannot judge based on science and facts. We can tell if a piece of writing is adequate, bad or pretty clever, we can tell if it's correct or false in both spelling, grammar and content. But when we split up from someone we still care a lot about, and suddenly expectations are challenged, situations become unpredictable and harder to read, we're left trying to figure out what this MEANS, our Ti starts struggling to find the right angle, the appropriate perspective to decide what should be done and how we should feel about it all. You can't redline a relationship and a living situation so you can adjust, because who'll decide what criteria will be used for scoring?

YOU are the one to decide what is right, what works, along with him. You'll have to make up your own little bible of uniquely tailored guidelines, so you may both recreate some level of acceptable expectations and routine, some security in what is okay and what isn't.
I guess it's a little like being used to having pleasant sex together, and then suddenly the preferences change, the settings are scambled, and you get to start over on 'oh damn, is it okay if I do this? would you rather I do so? oh help I can't do THAT I'm sorry'.




Oh hear me rant, ever since a year or two ago my Fe really exploded. Has me wondering what's still in store for me. *can still see nice huge awkward uncharted areas for growth for self*

When you mentioned "ranting" last night, I had a totally different picture in my head than this. LOVE your ranting. I have been thinking about all of these things for so long and trying to talk to "the neutrals" about it just doesn't work. It's awesome being able to bounce everything off someone who cognates the way he does. I met another INFP recently--I know several women, but this is a guy and a computer programmer to boot--and it was so great talking about how we think, how ideas "come to us," and how he approaches writing and editing code in the same way that I do an essay.

Anyway, do you believe in astrology at all? It may be more of an NF thing to do, but we have both strong binding aspects and strong freedom aspects in our charts. The advice has always been to "create your own unconventional rule book." But I truly thought I needed more cozy confines with him and he really resists "appearing different," though EVERYONE sees him as different, which is exactly what you described above. During one of my pleading emails, I wrote this: Whatever our relationship looks like, whatever we create between each other and for each other will be ours; playbook, rule sheet thrown out the window. You don't have to live with me, you don't have to lose your solitude..." But what you've described is why that just was not an option for him to consider.

That's why I think I'll have to give him time. And from what I'm learning about INTPs in general, he may be very confused internally but feigning certainty externally.

You know, as I have been communicating here and thinking about what it must be like to be his particular brand of INTP, I thought, he must feel like a fish out of water most days. Functioning in the world-at-large must feel like holding one's breath all day--his home would be his pond to swim in. His time to do all the writing and other things he does on his own would be like being in his element, finally being able to breathe. As necessary for him for him to function as air is for the rest of us. No wonder he can't give it up.

Again, it's very fascinating. I'm gaining enough detachment to be less heartbroken and more interested in how it plays out. Because I do believe it's obvious that the bond between us is still powerfully strong.

Thank you so much for providing your insightful perspective.
 

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When you mentioned "ranting" last night, I had a totally different picture in my head than this.
Anyway, do you believe in astrology at all? It may be more of an NF thing to do, but we have both strong binding aspects and strong freedom aspects in our charts.
Heheh, I call it ranting because it's usually a monologue rather than a dialogue, often about things people tell me I shouldn't waste so much time on, and from time to time the contents can be fairly cynical/harsh/unyielding. Not everyone is actually interested in or even capable of swimming through those word gushes.


I don't 'believe in' astrology in the sense that it actually is a real mechanism or a real 'thing' that influences our lives.
I often use astrology to illustrate the difference between NF adn Nt approaches to people, actually:
The NF will take it as a real possibility and possibly even shape their ideas and reality around it, take advice from it under the assumption there could be merit to it.
And NT will find it amusing, and my own pattern-happy Ne sure loves this sort of stuff, it's inspirational and a nice source of ideas (like, as a design of theme base, same with the seven chakras, angel hierarchies, hindu and buddhist ideas of heaven and hell, colour-associated stereotypies and trait codes...), but even when I read a horoscope that makes me go 'hahah, that's quite accurate for today', I am aware that this pattern recognition stems from pure coincidence, and I keep the concept firmly in my box of 'cool not real stuff', apart from the contents of the box of 'cool but definitely real stuff' like brain activity patterns and sociological research data.

It's still fun to talk about, and as I have no problem accepting 'ideas' as a part of reality, whether or not their contents are real/realistic, it still tickles me that me and my boyfriend share air-type zodiacs, and that Gemini is such a cute representation that gestalt-wise suits him quite well. I'm definitely not a Libra though xD 'sociable and bubbly' ahahahahah no.


Hm. I'll agree with the sentiment of needing this 'home spot', alone-time, to come to and feel secure and free and just let loose. A few days without and I'd be absolutely bonkers, and I've learned to just take the time I need 'off by myself' even in situations like being out on a week camping trip with the biologists in training. Being in a place that is not 'my turf' has my arousal level up a few degrees instantly, and comfort and security for me means being somewhere where I can rest assured that no surprises will happen, that I can manage myself, that I know where everything is, that the blankets won't smell weird and that I won't have to worry about anyone dissapproving of my habits.

I really do need a 'home' where I can function without impedements like not knowing where the bathroom is, having a dishwasher that's not yours to operate (fuck, it might break), where there's uncertainty about who gets the keys and what sort of dinner I should make and if having a snack by myself will be interpreted as rude and thoughtless or just convenient.
That Fe really mindfucks us sometimes. We want to be able to function fluidly and do our own thing, but we're always wary of unfair judgement and being misunderstood. Nobody wants to be stuck with the idea that no matter what you do, you'll sour the mood somehow. I guess that this, in part, arises from growing up being the way we are, and there always having been a disconnect between our intentions and desires, and everyone else's expectations. We can't take 'being accepted the way we are' for granted, but in order to have a truly meaningful life, we'll need at least SOME degree of inclusion.

It's terribly lonely to stand by the sidelines, sort of hoping to meet those rare people who will be able to really 'get it'. Even if we accept that we're just really choosy with who we emotionally and intellectually invest in, it can be quite depressing to realise you're quite dependent on there being someone who is capable of not being an intolerable butt to us, who, oh hell, the implausibility, *might actually like us back*. It's like striking oil, it really is. And I'll never really understand, despite my reasonable self-worth, just why I mean so much to this person who means so much to me. All I know is that it's not up to me to decide how much people should like me, and I'm the luckiest girl in the world for having someone by my side who thinks I'm an enrichment to his life.



I digress. What I wanted to say is that this 'greed' about space and alone-time is pretty much at the heart of enneagram type 5, which is quite strongly correlated with the INTP type. Of course, people can be INTP and have a different enneatype, and not all MBTI types have definite correlations. I'm a type 5 myself.

https://sites.google.com/site/upatel8/personalitytype5

The core idea of the type 5 is that they are driven by a fear of being overwhelmed by reality. That putting yourself out there will be draining and dangerous, that isolation into a safe zone is precious, and that the way to handle the scary big 'out there' is to learn, to absorb information, data, to investigate and analyse until you've explored enough to be mostly confident that you'll be able to figure things out when they go bad.
Type fives who've learned to cope with this fear, who've pressed through, gathered the experience that it's truly not that scary, that they can relax and just act without having to be paranoid first, eventually start looking more like type eights, 'the bosses'. They start taking more action, they become secure in their abilities, take on more responsabilities bit by bit and start sharing their insights more. They'll be in control, but with a compassion 'normal eights' tend to lack a bit, since THEY are driven by a fear of losing control and being made to look bad.

Under stress and lacking confidence, we turn to type seven-ish behaviour instead: to pretend like we don't care, we shed responsabilities, we drown ourselves in experience like tomorrow will never come. Sort of like an ostrich putting their head in the sand. I've been there. 'Oh SHIT I can't do this, I CAN'T DO THIS, oh god I'll just. Play my game. That feels a lot better. Who needs grades anyway, grades are for losers. Yeah. Totally. Okay feed me input, yes, another wiki binge, awesome. Fuck, what am I doing, I'm in a bigger mess than before, back to wikipedia it is!'


I'm still on the fence a little of the accuracy of the finer aspects of enneatypes, but I find it has its own insights to share. Perhaps you recognise the 5-ishness? It might play a part in him keeping his distance, I think.
 

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I digress. What I wanted to say is that this 'greed' about space and alone-time is pretty much at the heart of enneagram type 5, which is quite strongly correlated with the INTP type. Of course, people can be INTP and have a different enneatype, and not all MBTI types have definite correlations. I'm a type 5 myself.

The core idea of the type 5 is that they are driven by a fear of being overwhelmed by reality. That putting yourself out there will be draining and dangerous, that isolation into a safe zone is precious, and that the way to handle the scary big 'out there' is to learn, to absorb information, data, to investigate and analyse until you've explored enough to be mostly confident that you'll be able to figure things out when they go bad.
Type fives who've learned to cope with this fear, who've pressed through, gathered the experience that it's truly not that scary, that they can relax and just act without having to be paranoid first, eventually start looking more like type eights, 'the bosses'. They start taking more action, they become secure in their abilities, take on more responsabilities bit by bit and start sharing their insights more. They'll be in control, but with a compassion 'normal eights' tend to lack a bit, since THEY are driven by a fear of losing control and being made to look bad.

Under stress and lacking confidence, we turn to type seven-ish behaviour instead: to pretend like we don't care, we shed responsabilities, we drown ourselves in experience like tomorrow will never come. Sort of like an ostrich putting their head in the sand. I've been there. 'Oh SHIT I can't do this, I CAN'T DO THIS, oh god I'll just. Play my game. That feels a lot better. Who needs grades anyway, grades are for losers. Yeah. Totally. Okay feed me input, yes, another wiki binge, awesome. Fuck, what am I doing, I'm in a bigger mess than before, back to wikipedia it is!'


I'm still on the fence a little of the accuracy of the finer aspects of enneatypes, but I find it has its own insights to share. Perhaps you recognise the 5-ishness? It might play a part in him keeping his distance, I think.
I have not paid nearly as much attention to enneagram types as mbti. Yet what you've described is EERIE as it's exactly like him. (I've referred to him as an ostrich.) In fact, during the two-hour long conversation, he admitted to me that his car stickers were out, his license expired--list went on. He also admitted that the reason he doesn't have a tv (neither do I) or Internet at home is that he will not sleep! I did not know this before the break up, and at the time I took this to mean that yes, he's got serious issues and breaking up is best. Anyway, we even talked about his going to counseling, but not as a way to save the relationship. I didn't think he had any intention of doing that though. LOL

Now after the breakup, he's getting things done in the mundane world--car stickers are up to date, etc.--and he even applied for the job and all.

But I'm beginning to think that though, yes, he has issues and demons, what he really needs is balance. The cure--the escape from the mundane world down into the Internet rabbit hole can be restorative--but too much medicine can be destructive.

It's all so interesting--while he's pondering data, I'm pondering people. :)
 

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It's all so interesting--while he's pondering data, I'm pondering people. :)
Oh, we ponder people, too. Perhaps in a more analytical manner, but I suppose what I'm doing here is trying to understand them in my own way xD

It's hard sometimes to look at people 'objectively' and unbiasedly, fairly, since often the ones we need to understand the most are the ones that drive us crazy and are close to our skin. A lot of INTPs (heck, I think most) start out as really iffy about feelings, trying to deny the world of emotions as something to be taken seriously as 'data', because it's frightening and unpredictable, and because people's emotions are often what hurt us the most. It's when people lose their rationality that they start behaving erratically, and we lack the inate skill to recognise what's wrong and figure out what to do.
So 'emotions' can sometimes end up as 'what makes people act like fucking dicks'.

But most INTPs eventually grow more familiar with it all, and give them a proper place in their Ti frameworks. We're not as naturally in tune with feelings, but it's not like that means we are autistic or something.

Oh boy, that sure does sound like me a lot when I was starting to disintegrate myself. It's just this insidious pile of insecurity and aimlessness and a lack of inspiration and energy that slowly saps at you until you look around you and notice things are completely out of control. Mad props to him for getting his shit back together, it takes quite some balls to face the roses. I guess we're lucky that it's a sink or swim situation and some point, and few people are capable of truly giving up entirely when faced with the ultimatum. We do have SOME pride left.


In that light, I think it was indeed a good move for you two to create a bit of distance. It's very hard to be harsh with ourselves and dare to challenge ourselves and make mistakes just alone. It's like having to look at yourself and be confronted with 'I fucking hate what I've become, and I'm sick of how difficult this is.'

It's easier to bear this shame alone sometimes, so once we do better we can step forward and be more confident that perhaps, people will take us seriously again. We often refuse to show unfinished work, because it sucks and we hate it, and only when it's done and we're fairly sure it will reflect on us as a sign of competence that we dare emerge to be judged. He's working through his shame and dissappointment step by step, and if he's getting things back on the rails, I'm sure he will emerge out of this as a more relaxed, less uptight person.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If you've seen the shittiest of yourself, and found out that you still deserve to exist after having been that much of a disgrace, it becomes a little easier to trust that you're doing okay even if you're not your super best, and that people won't be as critical as you are.
 

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^ I cant thank you enough for helping crystalize in my mind many things that were only vaguely present, in understanding:
- the shame of "i fucking hate what i have become", the type seven behaviour
- the type eightish behaviour when healthy
and more...
 

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How often is "you don't express much emotion" code for "you don't give me anything to work with to come onto you."
 

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My INTP is so beautiful :) I sometimes have wished that he would open up more to me (because as an INFP I have a lot to share lol), but he has told me that he does, and I trust him now.

They really have their own emotional strengths and are very forgiving. I love them!
 

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I have an interesting situation involving an INTP woman I need some outside insight on.

I originally met her when she joined my workplace about a year ago. It took a couple months before I really started interacting heavily with her - she never ate lunch with her coworkers, including me, and was always out of the door on at 6 on the button. Very quiet, but very nice. Maybe three or four months in I started picking up what I considered to be a lot of inadvertent signals of affection, primarily through body language (ah, the wonders of Fe). A couple of times it was blatantly clear. I was put into, more or less, a no-win zone considering she was a coworker and I knew she was seeing someone else at the time. So, I said and did nothing.

The work situation we were in had devolved heavily during this time and everyone in the group was miserable. I ended up experiencing some personal loss and the stress of everything thrown together forced me to quit six months after she came on board. I had some really dark days during that time and said INTP saw a good number of them. If you know INFJs, that's not necessarily something we want to openly show to anybody. It didn't help that a mutual coworker of ours was an ENFP and could pretty much pull whatever she wanted out of me.

On my last day, I spoke to her in the morning and prior to leaving, but not at all during the rest of the day. Of note, she did not eat lunch with me and the majority of the staff. I went on vacation for a month to recharge and see some family before returning. When I get back, I find out that she quit the week after I left, broke up with her boyfriend, and left the country.

1620742673_532dd66d_mind_blown_xlarge.jpeg

I ended up getting into contact with her a couple months later via email and we've had a little chatter here and there, mostly me updating her on how our old coworkers were doing. Nothing of any real significance from her or me. I also expected that she was going to come back at some point in the near future.

Fast forward to now: I found out that she has, lo and behold, been back in the area for about a month. She asked me for a work recommendation a couple weeks ago, which I was happy to do, but never mentioned anything regarding where she was or what she was doing.

What I'm trying to figure out is whether or not this is all in my head (actual events seem to point to no) and whether or not I should reach out to see where this could go (worst case scenario, she's off her rocker). I tend to walk gently around situations like this but I wonder if a more direct approach would be better?

Was this a case of inferior Fe going into overdrive and overwhelming her? If that's the case, maybe she's afraid of me in some way? I know from what some have discussed in the forum, INTP-INFJ interactions can be really hit or miss.

I'm looking for some sort of closure to the story, so to speak. Even if nothing happens, it's taught me that I should never ignore my intuition again. As weird as it sounds, I saw the whole thing coming except for the leaving the country part.
 

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Was this a case of inferior Fe going into overdrive and overwhelming her? If that's the case, maybe she's afraid of me in some way? I know from what some have discussed in the forum, INTP-INFJ interactions can be really hit or miss.
It's hard to say, but in my experience this unbalanced Fe-Fe stack is dangerous. INFJs seem to interchangeably and unrecognizably translate INTP friendliness and omg-there-is-someone-I-can-talk-to with flirting. To me, INFJs seem to always think INTPs are giving off mixed signals, when the INTP was just responding in what was perceived to be socially acceptable in that scenario, given the excessive amounts of Fe that was being sent their way by the INFJ.

The INTP was merely chameleoning, partly out of a sense of an Fe safe-zone, and partly out of a desire to relate to the INFJ.

The INFJ desire to change the playing field from friendliness to something else and then accuse the INTP of giving off signals the whole time is a bitter pill to swallow. I think if the INFJ is to make a move on an INTP they need to do it quickly, not at a point where the INTP has already accepted the friendship as friendship.

To pull the rug on INTP Fe in this way really does a number on INTP ability to trust. INFJs seem to become attracted to INTPs for their capability to listen and remain trustworthy when the INFJ spills their woes. To the INFJ, this can seem like a very attractive feature. To the INTP, it's okay as a friend, but anything else represents unbalanced dependency and a relationship formed on shaky sub-par ground.

The INTP will come out feeling used and like they deserve better. And they do.

(My opinion.)
 

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I have an interesting situation involving an INTP woman I need some outside insight on.
I have to say that all of that strikes me as pretty normal INTP behaviour. Do you KNOW why she left the country? It's not that hard or such a faux-pas to just ASK her this, you know, rather than start making things up about 'what it could meeaaaaan'.

Maybe she just broke up with her boyfriend and decided to have a change of scenery, which happened to coincide with workplace stress and with your own tough spots. Who knows. I see no real indications that this should have anything to do with you.

Inferior Fe or not, if someone I particularly enjoy having around in a professional context and I know they're leaving for a while, I'd at least let them know I valued their presence and contributions. If you told her you were leaving and this didn't seem to affect her day at all beside 'yes alright, bye then, go recharge', I'm not sure at all what gives you the idea there 'might be something'. She has her own life.

I've had people 'pick up on siiiignallllsss' before. But let me tell you one thing:
Having friendly interactions and me feeling relaxed enough to giggle and smile and talk openly about things and to just be comfortable around someone does not mean I am interested in them. It just means I'm glad I found someone I can talk to without walking on eggshells for fear that they'll judge me for what I have to say, or for delivering it the way I do.
We also tend to be pretty oblivious to the finer parts of our own body language, but last I checked, 'signals' were something you give as a conscious message. Either way, don't assume, it'll just get your panties in a twist over what could be nothing.

You came back. She came back. She still considers you to be part of her network and she felt you were fair game to approach in that way, you helped her along the way a friendly contact would. If this was your ENFP cousin in the middle of a job-hop, would you consider that meaningful?


I highly, highly doubt she's 'afraid'. And yes, a direct approach will definitely work wonders here. While this is obviously not a college romance that can be cleared up with 'so hey, do you LIKE me or not, 'cuz I've been confused', just asking her where she's been and what's been up and how she's doing is probably not intruding too much. If you just say that you've been wondering I doubt she'll find that odd or offensive, people are allowed to show a basic sense of human interest in us, after all.


God knows you'll probably get more information to confirm that whatever she's doing doesn't revolve around you in any way.
 

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Is it the wrong approach to tell a girl directly that I like her as opposed to asking her out (which it also means that I like her)?

I find the direct approach better (for me) but since I am socially inept I don't know how girls feel. By being direct I mean to tell her that I have a crush on her. She is leaving work soon so I don't have much time. Please help.
 

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Is it the wrong approach to tell a girl directly that I like her as opposed to asking her out (which it also means that I like her)?

I find the direct approach better (for me) but since I am socially inept I don't know how girls feel. By being direct I mean to tell her that I have a crush on her. She is leaving work soon so I don't have much time. Please help.
Asking someone out when your message is less ambiguous is just wasting time imo. If it's not to test the waters to see if you like her, you might as well let her know, just stress that you don't want to pressure her to do anything, you'd just like to know if perhaps she'd like you to take her out, i.e. if she would like to try out for herself, or if it's just a no.
 

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It depends on the person, but I personally would stick with asking her out on a date. What is she supposed to do when you tell her that you have a crush on her ? There is an optimal response,but just because you confess won't necessarily move you in any direction or mean that you will get a response back. Stick with action that shows your feelings.
 

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It depends on the person, but I personally would stick with asking her out on a date. What is she supposed to do when you tell her that you have a crush on her ? There is an optimal response,but just because you confess won't necessarily move you in any direction or mean that you will get a response back. Stick with action that shows your feelings.
I was hoping that if she liked me she would respond and we could agree to do something together. If she is not interested, whether I ask her out or not it would lead to the same outcome anyway, which is not go out with me.

I am dealing with an extravert, possibly an ENFP; so I don't know if I'm misreading her body language as interest or she is just being her overtly cheerful/playful self. I haven't seen her around other people so I can't compare how she is around me as oppose to others.
 

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I was hoping that if she liked me she would respond and we could agree to do something together. If she is not interested, whether I ask her out or not it would lead to the same outcome anyway, which is not go out with me.

I am dealing with an extravert, possibly an ENFP; so I don't know if I'm misreading her body language as interest or she is just being her overtly cheerful/playful self. I haven't seen her around other people so I can't compare how she is around me as oppose to others.
I'm not big on saying I have a crush on someone if I don't have a good grasp of the situation, but that's just my perspective.

It's tough to read with ENFPs since they tend to have no issue crossing personal boundaries with people, and quite often they really are just being friendly or enjoy your reaction to their behavior since its tough to get a rise out of us.
Does she ever initiate conversation with you? Have you had lunch at work together? Are their any places nearby you could suggest going to one day to "get out of the office?" I'd start with something like that - then if that goes well and you have a better sense of where you stand, make a bolder move then. Maybe drinks after work or something fun over the weekend.

At this point the lightbulb ought to go on where she realizes you're interested beyond friendship (hopefully). If she accepts then its a good sign at least.
I hate admitting I have a crush on anyone, especially if its obvious and my actions reflect that anyhow. I only want to admit it if I know it isn't getting thrown back in my face.
 
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