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Discussion Starter #1
I think the SFs have more than had their turn asking you guys for help dealing with INTPs; it's time to help one of your own.

I'll spare you the long and obvious story about how I met this awesome male INTP and how he's giving me mixed signals. Discuss, please.
 

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A little more information might be helpful. I'm guessing from your self-comparison to the countless help with INTP threads that you're interested in this INTP man romantically, but I can't know for sure.

Also, do you share common interests? Have you met over something you both actually enjoy doing, or more mundane 'have-to-be-there' environments such as work, school, or random parties?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A little more information might be helpful. I'm guessing from your self-comparison to the countless help with INTP threads that you're interested in this INTP man romantically, but I can't know for sure.

Also, do you share common interests? Have you met over something you both actually enjoy doing, or more mundane 'have-to-be-there' environments such as work, school, or random parties?
I was hoping to avoid inflicting you with yet another long, personal story that could be summarised in a thread title, but...

OK. I like this INTP guy, a lot. I felt a chemistry with him from our very first real (one-on-one) conversation, during which we argued a bit and then he tried getting me to open up. I think we both sensed a kindred spirit, and he's said as much to me. We met doing some volunteer work, which I can definitely classify as enjoyable for both of us. Afterwards, I'd often approach him for a quiet drink and some intense conversation if we didn't happen to be going out as a group with the other volunteers.

The main problem for me is that he's impossible to read. His body language says one thing (that he really, really likes me) and his actions say something completely different (that he doesn't). For example, I've noticed him mirroring me perfectly during one of our group hang-outs, even though I was seated in quite an unusual and distinctive pose. And yes, I am positive that it was him mirroring me and not the other way around. However, he also seems to make work-related decisions that very specifically exclude me in a way that makes it difficult for us to have any contact at all. He bantered a lot with this one girl who I was surprised to later learn that he strongly dislikes and has met up for private drinks with another girl with whom he doesn't seem to have anything in common with and doesn't connect with at all (even though she's crushing on him). He ignores me if I don't approach him but then is warm and receptive when I do, even when it means he has to drop what he's doing to talk to me. He doesn't ignore other girls.

It's driving me up the wall and I'm finding it hard to get closer to him with all this confusing behaviour. INTP guys, stop this. If you like a girl and are straddling a bench together, looking intently into each other's eyes during a long-drawn silence following quality conversation, just grab her and kiss her! It's what I wish he'd have done, instead of turning away and choosing a new subject.
 
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I was hoping to avoid inflicting you with yet another long, personal story that could be summarised in a thread title, but...
I can understand not wanting to relate personal stories that seem intuitive, but this block of text clarified a lot of points. I'd say that he probably likes you more than he's comfortable with. I don't think as INTPs that we're prone to having good and intimate conversations with people we don't like, so he definitely likes you, if potentially only platonically, and that he even described the two of you as kindred spirits implies to me that he likes you even more than that. Personally, awkwardly avoiding somebody and trying to develop relationships with other people is only a natural reaction to liking somebody if I see some problem in the future of our relationship. It may be that some infinitely subtle thing has given him the impression that you two couldn't work together, that it would hurt you, or that one of you wasn't good enough for the other. Maybe he's just inexperienced with relationships? It sounds to me like he's scared of being together for one reason or another. This is at least, my theory.

It's kind of odd explaining INTP behavior to another INTP (and by your signature a much more predominant one than myself) because well... there's a good chance you've already considered this.

And yes, we really ought to be more forthright. But I don't think it'll happen until hell freezes over (or we just get drunk or sleep deprived...)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It may be that some infinitely subtle thing has given him the impression that you two couldn't work together, that it would hurt you, or that one of you wasn't good enough for the other. Maybe he's just inexperienced with relationships? It sounds to me like he's scared of being together for one reason or another. This is at least, my theory.
This part actually makes a lot of sense, and since feeling rejected with him I've started to consider these obstacles as well. He isn't inexperienced with relationships at all, but from my own experiences I can guess that meeting another INTP is rather unique - he also knows a bit about MBTI and we've acknowledged that we're the same type.

It's kind of odd explaining INTP behavior to another INTP (and by your signature a much more predominant one than myself) because well... there's a good chance you've already considered this.
I'm strangely oblivious when it comes to understanding how other people relate to me, which I think is common for INTPs. I can read people well, but not in relation to myself. I guess it's to do with the inability to examine the situation objectively when it's so inevitably personal.

And yes, we really ought to be more forthright. But I don't think it'll happen until hell freezes over (or we just get drunk or sleep deprived...)
Yeah... I can't deny feeling like a hypocrite as I made that suggestion.
 

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I'm strangely oblivious when it comes to understanding how other people relate to me, which I think is common for INTPs. I can read people well, but not in relation to myself. I guess it's to do with the inability to examine the situation objectively when it's so inevitably personal.
Fair enough. I struggle with the same problem I suppose, it's much easier evaluating other people's dilemmas and actions than my own.
 

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Have you been giving him signals that you like him? It's possible that if you haven't (or, probably more likely, that you have and he hasn't picked up on them) that he's trying to not look desperate (or something of the sort) to start a relationship with you. If he's an INTP, he probably knows quite well that forcing the two of you together all the time (via the work groups, for example) may not be the right thing to do, and so he avoids doing this.

As for his talking with other girls, I guess this would depend on his relationship with them. He could be just trying to be polite by meeting with them, but it could be something of a more romantic nature. To decide this, you'd probably have to know what it is that he looks for in a girl, but you probably wouldn't be able to find this out by just asking him (or having him just tell you).

I wouldn't worry about him ignoring you except when you approach him (it may even be a pretty good sign). I don't really have problems initiating contact with women whom I'm not interested in, but once I start liking them, it becomes a lot more difficult. My mind begins to fill with "Would this seem desperate? Would this be too strong? Would this be annoying? Is she maybe busy?" - etc.

As I posted somewhere above, the biggest question to figuring some of this out is what he knows about your feelings for him. If he thinks/knows that you like him and is avoiding you, it is probably not a good sign. If he doesn't really know what's going on either, then there's a pretty good chance that he's interested in you.
 

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Mixed signals? No problem! turn Freud on him. works every time!

*So, Tell me about your mother...*
 

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Man, all these 'help me understand/read INTP' topics really make me feel like we're some alien creature.

Look, INTPs are some of the most straightforward and honest people you'll meet.

Instead of trying to play 'CIA microexpression expert' (mirroring, really?), why not just ask him how he feels?

'Hey, I like you, do you like me too?'

Problem solved.


There's really no need to make things more complicated than they are. Dont play games, and dont make assumptions. Just tell him how you feel. With any luck, he probably feel the same.
 

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The main problem for me is that he's impossible to read. His body language says one thing (that he really, really likes me) and his actions say something completely different (that he doesn't).
Keep in mind that he may not be completely in touch with his feelings on the matter, or finds them "unacceptable" (perhaps because he thinks you wouldn't reciprocate), and is therefore suppressing these things in his actions (because he's trying to "be objective"), and may be overcompensating. That doesn't always extend to body language, which is why you may be seeing the dichotomy you've observed.
 

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I was hoping to avoid inflicting you with yet another long, personal story that could be summarised in a thread title, but...

OK. I like this INTP guy, a lot. I felt a chemistry with him from our very first real (one-on-one) conversation, during which we argued a bit and then he tried getting me to open up. I think we both sensed a kindred spirit, and he's said as much to me. We met doing some volunteer work, which I can definitely classify as enjoyable for both of us. Afterwards, I'd often approach him for a quiet drink and some intense conversation if we didn't happen to be going out as a group with the other volunteers.

The main problem for me is that he's impossible to read. His body language says one thing (that he really, really likes me) and his actions say something completely different (that he doesn't). For example, I've noticed him mirroring me perfectly during one of our group hang-outs, even though I was seated in quite an unusual and distinctive pose. And yes, I am positive that it was him mirroring me and not the other way around. However, he also seems to make work-related decisions that very specifically exclude me in a way that makes it difficult for us to have any contact at all. He bantered a lot with this one girl who I was surprised to later learn that he strongly dislikes and has met up for private drinks with another girl with whom he doesn't seem to have anything in common with and doesn't connect with at all (even though she's crushing on him). He ignores me if I don't approach him but then is warm and receptive when I do, even when it means he has to drop what he's doing to talk to me. He doesn't ignore other girls.

It's driving me up the wall and I'm finding it hard to get closer to him with all this confusing behaviour. INTP guys, stop this. If you like a girl and are straddling a bench together, looking intently into each other's eyes during a long-drawn silence following quality conversation, just grab her and kiss her! It's what I wish he'd have done, instead of turning away and choosing a new subject.
Jesus . . . this reminds me so much of how I would behave as the male in this situation that it's a little frightening. I'm not going to presume that my own reasons overlap with his, but I'd like to submit that Deathbagel's assessment strikes me as pretty spot on: There is really no doubt that he likes you; he's just uncomfortable advancing the relationship. If he's anything like me, I think your best bet is to confront him directly. While it's clear that he has feelings for you, your story gives no indication that he detects reciprocation on your part.

Speaking for myself, any opportunity to second guess the advisability of an emotional investment (perceived disinterest, potential incompatibility, etc.) will outprioritize whatever desire I may feel to allow (much less induce) further progress and send me into speculation mode. I'm quite content to ruminate and catastrophize indefinitely or until I persuade myself to give up hope. No one ever wants to make the first move, but really, it's ten times better for everyone when somebody finally does. I should add the disclaimer that I don't consider myself a psychologically healthy individual, though, so my contribution may not be especially valuable.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Jesus . . . this reminds me so much of how I would behave as the male in this situation that it's a little frightening. I'm not going to presume that my own reasons overlap with his, but I'd like to submit that Deathbagel's assessment strikes me as pretty spot on: There is really no doubt that he likes you; he's just uncomfortable advancing the relationship. If he's anything like me, I think your best bet is to confront him directly. While it's clear that he has feelings for you, your story gives no indication that he detects reciprocation on your part.

Speaking for myself, any opportunity to second guess the advisability of an emotional investment (perceived disinterest, potential incompatibility, etc.) will outprioritize whatever desire I may feel to allow (much less induce) further progress and send me into speculation mode. I'm quite content to ruminate and catastrophize indefinitely or until I persuade myself to give up hope. No one ever wants to make the first move, but really, it's ten times better for everyone when somebody finally does. I should add the disclaimer that I don't consider myself a psychologically healthy individual, though, so my contribution may not be especially valuable.
It is valuable, and I think it's what I'll do. There's nothing quite like a connection between two INTPs on the same wavelength and it's something I want to explore.

I appreciate the feedback on this thread, although truthfully I was just looking for INTP to INTP conversation starters originally. I guess I should just 'man up', so to speak.
 

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As far as ignoring you goes.... I do that with guys I like - and it's usually because I can't think of anything 'useful' to say...so I just say nothing until I find the 'right moment'.

And also, it's easier to talk in a group, when there are other people to fill in the silence and carry off your attention, it gets pretty awkward in one-on-one conversations, and not a lot of people are willing to risk putting themselves out there - not matter how 'secure' the option is. It's also a lot easier to talk to people you dislike or like less, than it is to talk to the object of your affection (in my case).
Take the body language as your indicator. It's usually not a conscious act - and if it is, then that's all the better - so it's not as if he's literally thinking about how to get you to notice his posture and all that.
 

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OP, I feel your pain. I met a fellow INTP, fell madly in love, and then suffered a year and half of mixed signals. Next time you have him alone and you two are doing that deep meaningful look and you think, its time for him to kiss me now, slap him in the face. Hard. Works like a charm. I did this last month and now me and my INTP are inseparable and moving in together in a few weeks.

In all seriousness, trust your intuition. He likes you and you know it, but it's actions that speak louder and most INTP men move very slowly when it comes to acting on feelings. They'd rather pursue lusts - hence the other girls. Ultimately, things are going to work out the way they're supposed to. You just might find yourself playing the longest game of cat and mouse ever recorded so have patience and hand ready to strike when the time is right.
 
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