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Discussion Starter #1
Dear INTJs,

I am an INTP female new to this forum and I have a wonderful INTJ boyfriend: we theorize, debate, (briefly) cuddle, and chill. We connect on many levels (intellectual, cultural, and ethical) and I sense that his Fi is relatively well-developed.

Here comes my question. I personally have a hard time absorbing other people's negative emotions/vibes (prob my inferior Fe at work there), which clashes with my bf's tendency to get pissed off easily... mostly at mindless strangers... you know those people who are being rude without even knowing that they're being rude. To me, those strangers didn't mean harm and I have a hard time empathizing with his annoyance. Then his pissed-off-ness rubs on me in a way that awakens my frustration and I'm sad that I still haven't figured out what to do with this pattern.

I think a part of it is that I don't completely understand exactly what ticks him off? Is this Ni and its subjective agenda clashing with the external world? Please shed some light!
 

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Chances are, they were idiots. If they were really mindless strangers, then there's your reason. Every action must have a purpose, an objective, a plan, a "rhyme and reason," if you will. I get rather ruffled over seemingly little things, like poor spelling and wrong homonyms. No one does it intentionally, but it still ticks me off.

Most INTJ's I've met are rather calm and collected. I'm pretty meek myself. However, there are just some things we can not tolerate. Incompetence and mindless idiots typically fall on this list.
 

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I don't think there's something you could do here. If you can't empathize with his annoyance, just accept that he is that way and empathize with his need to be the way he is. You don't have to share his feelings, just let them be. He too may be uncomfortable with your chillness, so acceptance from both parts is very important.
I'm in the same place as you.
 
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Yeah, I don't think there's anything you can do about it. Particularly when I'm in a bad mood, stupid people really get on my nerves. What I do then, sometimes, is catastrophize and think, "Oh, god, most people are like that!" (And consequently, "Everyone's so stupid. Why do these people even exist? Humanity is going downhill. Grumble grumble"). That's called Ni-Fi loop. I doubt he's experiencing that, but if he is, he might be using all the stupid people as fodder for the doom-gloom mentality.

That's probably not what's going on with him, though. Most likely he's just annoyed at the stupidity. Perhaps he takes their rudeness a bit personally, because he has to work hard to be socially appropriate whereas it appears these people are getting a "free pass". Or perhaps he's just frustrated because those people are so irritatingly dumb.

Just get him away from stupid people as much as you can.
 

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We like our efficiency. When other people get in our way due to being oblivious, ignorant or just stupid, it's exceedingly annoying. Actually, they don't even have to get in our way. People just being mindless is often enough to irritate us.

Also, for me getting pissed off at strangers is one of the ways that I vent. Especially when it comes to driving. My car is my cone of silence, where I can actually just say (yell :p) what I'm thinking without having to censor myself.

The fact that he's voicing these things to you is actually a sign that he trusts you. I only let loose around people I'm really comfortable with. That said, I also understand what it's like to be around chronically negative people, so I try to keep it within reason.

Have you spoken to him about this? He's not going to stop it completely, but if he knows that it really bothers you, he will probably dial it back a bit. I know that I have in the past when people have told me that it was a problem for them. Generally INTJs take constructive criticism quite well.
 

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When I get exceedingly angry (rationally or irrationally), I can't talk to anyone. I know me. If I talk to someone when I'm angry, I will say something I regret later. I remember once I successfully managed to get my best friend to not speak to me for 2 months. I have learned now that, whenever intense ire strikes, I just need to block out everyone until it passes.
 

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it's the downside of absolutism/idealism. for such supposed pragmatists, we're also probably one of the worst groups for getting all wrapped around the 'should' axle. as in, "people are x" - "but they should be y!!" an infp would probably end up depressed about it, but we just get our knickers all in a knot.
 
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Talk to him about this. I think you've accurately assessed the why behind the problem, but if he doesn't know he's affect you, then he won't "work on it."

1) Try to be more accepting when he does this
2) Talk to him and ask him to calm it down regarding these expressions
 

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Chances are, they were idiots. If they were really mindless strangers, then there's your reason.
Yeah idiots really piss me the hell off. They should be culled (or sent to work in sweat shops in china) so they dont get in the way of people with functioning brains.


But anyway, if possible try to just not get into the same emotional state as him, or this will affect two people instead of one... nothing good can come from doubling the negativity.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You guys are definitely helping me to see more clearly as to the "why." The "doubling the negativity" part that @pwoita talks about is exactly the problem that I'm having. So I understand that it's not a problem that only he needs to work on.

I start to get super anxious when he's venting all-out or screaming inside (evidenced by the death glare), but obviously I want to avoid/prevent further conflict so I sort of withdraw. Then he sees my withdrawal and/or passive aggressiveness and we just start pushing each other's buttons. The negativity amplifies and sometimes explodes. And it's so annoying because both of us realize that we end up fighting about really, nothing.

I have talked to him about it and I have to say that he is slowly getting better. But this happens way too often for my sanity, and I want to do something about it. I'm trying mindfulness techniques to calm myself and to not get too caught up in his negativity, but I still feel a little helpless, I'll be honest.

And what exactly is a Ni-Fi loop? Tried searching but failed. Thank you guys.
 

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Well I get pissed off when people are mindlessly rude too. Like when your behind someone and they dont hold the door for you and just let it close on your face. Annoying!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh, and living in a big pedestrian city really isn't helping. There are way too many people that would qualify as mindless.
 

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@wabi sabi, I definitely understand your pain. I live with an INTJ that often exhibits the same behavior you've described. This thread was pseudo enlightening. I've just learned to deal with it/him by not engaging in his negative rants but also trying to validate his opinions (even if they are completely ridiculous or irrelevant).
 

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I used to go through these cycles, and I'd say my rants about the idiots around me were an exaggeration for the most part: I hyperbolize things to get my point across. But underneath that venting was a deep unsettled agony over the state of things, and at its core was this:

Perhaps he takes their rudeness a bit personally, because he has to work hard to be socially appropriate whereas it appears these people are getting a "free pass". Or perhaps he's just frustrated because those people are so irritatingly dumb.
I've always been very cause and effect driven; you do X, you get Y. It's part of why I was so self-disciplined and overly concerned with staying within the rules as a child. But when I saw other people break those rules, sometimes with reward instead of punishment, it twisted me up. What kind of world is this?!

And I've been venting ever since, I guess.

Maybe what this guy really needs to do is start digging at what's underneath all this rage at strangers. It's usually something.
 

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@Ballast: I like the idea of digging and peering into the root, but I don't want to force that upon him. I recently had an aha moment myself in terms of figuring out what the hell I was, and I feel that this sort of thing needs to happen organically. Unless I could find a way to nudge him in the right direction without brewing resentment? Any ideas?
 

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I hate when your walking faster than someone, they speed up, go in front of you, and then slow down. Gee thanks assholes. INTJ can be like that, we notice these little things.
 
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@Ballast: I like the idea of digging and peering into the root, but I don't want to force that upon him. I recently had an aha moment myself in terms of figuring out what the hell I was, and I feel that this sort of thing needs to happen organically. Unless I could find a way to nudge him in the right direction without brewing resentment? Any ideas?
Well, when this kind of event comes up (he gets triggered by something) it might be a good opening to ask some leading questions or do some observations about what might be behind his ire. Part of it may be your desire to avoid conflict (I'm pretty conflict avoidant too) which probably means you won't prefer to call him out when he really deserves it. Especially if you don't want that backdraft to come your way.

My situation is different, of course, but I used to be an openly bitter person and would complain at length about the stupidity of humanity, nobody's thinking anymore, the media is just feeding us a bunch of bullcrap and people are gobbling it up blah blah. But then I got into a serious relationship with an NF, and even without him saying anything it was obvious it made him uncomfortable and it wasn't something he really shared my enthusiasm for. So I had an intuitive sense to read my audience and tone it down or redirect it. Years later that natural ire is still there and I think being critical, skeptical, and sarcastic is a real part of me (and maybe not an entirely bad part either) but there's a time and a place for it. There's also a time for being understanding, sympathetic, compassionate, patient, and tolerant, and those are worth learning too.

Sometimes what we need to be told is to STFU, or to hear a good logical argument for why we're offbase. But really, we need to know that we're not always right, we don't always have the full story, and that we can shove our assumptions about other people up our arse. Occasionally. ;)
 

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And what exactly is a Ni-Fi loop? Tried searching but failed. Thank you guys.
Essentially a "loop" happens when either the extroverted and introverted side of a person gets too much of the energy investment, creating a psychological imbalance. For an INTP, a loop would be a result of ignoring or neglecting your Extroverted Intuition and getting caught up in Introverted Thinking and Sensing. I don't exactly know what that looks like, though...

Basically, you need both irrational (perceiving: intuition or sensing) and rational (judging: thinking or feeling) functions, and generally one of each will come through stronger at one time. The natural, healthy combination will be one extroverted function and one introverted. This introduces a tension or rhythm in a person which allows them to stay integrous to themselves, while also interacting with their environment in a positive way. This is why, in typology, you find the functions ordered in alternating pairs.

A loop occurs when both of the functions coming through the strongest are either introverted or extroverted, which, because of the way the function hierarchies work, generally means the dominant and tertiary functions. In the case of an INTJ Introverted Intuition and Introverted Feeling are running the show. This is a problem because ignoring Te means that you have no objective info to balance out the subjective. Ni forms its perceptions in isolation from the real world, creating unrealistic images and dreams (or nightmares). It's poorly paired with Fi, which without experiencing external realities becomes absorbed by itself and its own needs.

Extroverted Thinking is the more natural partner to Ni, and the necessary counterpart to Fi. It provides objective data to help inform the images and make them reflect observable truth; and it allows one to see outside himself and his own needs. Extroversion is essentially optimistic and accepting of external reality, so a well-balanced INTJ shouldn't get overly upset about others not acting as they ought to. Te should move from frustration, to acceptance, to action informed by the reality.

In my opinion, it sounds like your boyfriend might not be leaning on his Te as much as he could be. Getting stuck in subjective ideals is paralysing and even poisonous. He needs to learn the truth outside his own.
 

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YI start to get super anxious when he's venting all-out or screaming inside (evidenced by the death glare), but obviously I want to avoid/prevent further conflict so I sort of withdraw.
that's a difficult cycle. i react badly to people who are giving off toxic fumes too - some kind of dynamic probably where my own fight and my flight get trapped into a loop with themselves because the whole atmosphere is so 'silent' it can't be named right out loud. supposedly. it's also the kind of thing that can devolve into a stupid wrangle over where responsibility really belongs between 'it's your fault for vibing death rays' and 'it's your fault for letting them get to you'. blegh.

you could try just saying 'your mood is unsettling me/pissing me off' and leaving the room. in a nice, factual, practical tone, naturally :D but honestly, part of learning to control shit like that better than he does is learning when/how it affects other people, and let's not forget the good old value of negative reinforcement. would other people put up with this stuff from him? it's kind of a moot point whether or not he has any right to expect you would, if not. in any case, i wouldn't personally feel like it was your responsibility to 'help' anyone to deal with this better - if you are, it's a favour you're doing him. you could just dump him for it, don't forget.

i'm just feeling combative today and i do kind of have an auto-fume of my own about people who are inconsiderate enough to spray their own bad mood all over the human landscape. so ignore if appropriate :D
 
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