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Discussion Starter #1
So, I got into a dispute with my ISTP "friend".

It was over something so simple as a meaning of words. It was simple but profoundly affecting.

He called me his "BFF" (Best Friend Forever)

Yes, this is silly, but I really was honored by this silly title, and I took him seriously when he said it. Once he said it though he started back peddling furiously. I felt him distancing over this last week, and when I asked him about what it meant to him to be BFF's he played off like, it was a joke, he didn't mean it, and I made it into something more than what it was. (even though last week he said I was the best friend he has had in 7 years) *shaking head in confusion*

Now I am left feeling embarrassed, and unsure that any of the other moments of verbal intimacy we had were real. I built a reality of our dynamic on words he used, and what that meant to me. Now I am unsure about our friendship, and in some ways, others. This situation really startled me. I did not know how literally I take spoken language. Language that I make an effort to develop, and ground in a well used Dictionary or Thesaurus.

Dictionaries and Thesauruses are...awesome. *smile*

Does anyone else that is ENFJ take language as seriously as I do? Do we apply more meaning to ones labels and words than we should?
 

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So, I got into a dispute with my ISTP "friend".

It was over something so simple as a meaning of words. It was simple but profoundly affecting.

He called me his "BFF" (Best Friend Forever)

Yes, this is silly, but I really was honored by this silly title, and I took him seriously when he said it. Once he said it though he started back peddling furiously. I felt him distancing over this last week, and when I asked him about what it meant to him to be BFF's he played off like, it was a joke, he didn't mean it, and I made it into something more than what it was. (even though last week he said I was the best friend he has had in 7 years) *shaking head in confusion*

Now I am left feeling embarrassed, and unsure that any of the other moments of verbal intimacy we had were real. I built a reality of our dynamic on words he used, and what that meant to me. Now I am unsure about our friendship, and in some ways, others. This situation really startled me. I did not know how literally I take spoken language. Language that I make an effort to develop, and ground in a well used Dictionary or Thesaurus.

Dictionaries and Thesauruses are...awesome. *smile*

Does anyone else that is ENFJ take language as seriously as I do? Do we apply more meaning to ones labels and words than we should?
You mean like when some says the LOVE you?
or when someone marries and they say "Till Death do us part"? "Or for better or worse?'
If you don't mean it don't say it!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmmm interesting....Yes, and ...no.

And there is the RUB. :D

When I say that I LOVE someone ... I mean it. My definition of love means that I accept and honor them for who they are and who they will become over time. Not possesive. No expectation or obligation.

I got divorced 4 years ago from a person who was not always kind, patient, or respectful of me in public. (putting it lightly)
Till death do us part was not soon enough for me under the circumstances :)

Hmmm, thank you Jojo...Excellent examples to mull over today :)
 

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So, I got into a dispute with my ISTP "friend".

It was over something so simple as a meaning of words. It was simple but profoundly affecting.

He called me his "BFF" (Best Friend Forever)

Yes, this is silly, but I really was honored by this silly title, and I took him seriously when he said it. Once he said it though he started back peddling furiously. I felt him distancing over this last week, and when I asked him about what it meant to him to be BFF's he played off like, it was a joke, he didn't mean it, and I made it into something more than what it was. (even though last week he said I was the best friend he has had in 7 years) *shaking head in confusion*

Now I am left feeling embarrassed, and unsure that any of the other moments of verbal intimacy we had were real. I built a reality of our dynamic on words he used, and what that meant to me. Now I am unsure about our friendship, and in some ways, others. This situation really startled me. I did not know how literally I take spoken language. Language that I make an effort to develop, and ground in a well used Dictionary or Thesaurus.

Dictionaries and Thesauruses are...awesome. *smile*

Does anyone else that is ENFJ take language as seriously as I do? Do we apply more meaning to ones labels and words than we should?
Personally I think he did mean it and now he is scared about how much he has shared. Don't make a huge deal out of it and I am sure it will return to normal between you in time.

To answer your question... I have over-read things so many times in the past that now I am the opposite. Something will be so obvious to a friend but I will pretend that it isn't real to save myself from embarrassment, which I would feel if I allowed myself to believe it. I will however analyse words that were said to me over and over to try and make sense of them. I think it is an ENFJ thing to always be looking for hidden meanings or feelings. Really we should all be literal, and speak our mind, but then again that takes guts and alot of people just can't risk rejection or embarrassment so they keep tight-lipped or in your friend's case, they retract something they said in spotaneity.

Once, about 2 years ago, a male friend (who was known for being a real joker) was on FB with me and suddenly said "I love you". There was this big pause then he said "I was joking, I love it when people feel that awkwardness in response to something I say". It was the weirdest thing. Anyway, about a year later I started to realise that he had behaved in a way that suggested he had feelings and by the time I figured this out he had already started to distance himself from me and the 'friendship" has become an occasional aquaintance thing now".
 

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I understand what you are going through; my last "BFF" an ISTJ, was really close to me; this ISTJ was the one who started being my closest friend and just as the same way, two years after, I received a text message in my cell phone saying "listen I do not want want close near by me every again". You usually think that this gets all fix up in no time; but after four months I know for a fact that I'm not even an acquaintance to this so called "friend"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thankyou... I appreciate all of your feedback :) I really have no idea where this situation is going to go. However, I do feel that this is one of those ~Learning~ moments. I am learning that I cannot ENFJ my way into a friendship, or ENFJ my way into getting someone to like me, love me, or spend time with me. I do not know how many of you can relate to this, but I have a tendency to get "obstinate" when I am not getting what I want. 90% of the time I want love. I am learning that you cannot will love. Love just happens, and the best way to earn it is to be humble before it...

*sigh*
 

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there is more to this than you simply taking things said on board with too much emotion attached;
it IS in the nature of the ENFJ to do this, but you have to understand it is as much about the way an ISTP behaves as it is about you! Even though they are very literal thinkers that like to play the game as though they arent ruled by emotion......when they do feel, they feel intensely. They lack sensitivity a lot of the time - often its displayed as simply speaking before thinking. You know how unbalanced you can feel when you say or do something purely reactive to emotion, rather than thinking it through or rationalising it first so you dont do something out of your nature? my guess is thats what this friend has done.......said something 'mushy' without thinking it through - the first time he heard it was when it came out of his mouth!

i have an ISTP boyfriend. He is a beautiful bloke, but he TOTALLY lacks sensitivity a lot of the time - i often pull him up and ask him if he would like to 'rephrase' what he just said! Try to look past the way you felt when you became embarrassed. Try to think of all the other things, including what wasnt said, and try to determine how he feels about you from that. Its hard to ignore how you feel when someone has made you feel silly, but it would be a shame to write this person off if its simpler than you thought.

The simplest way i could put it......i think this person does care about you, and is taken aback to have realised the degree.
 

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ISTP's are moment to moment. He probably did feel that way. Unfortunately (and I frustrate myself in this respect) we don't feel the same way the next day, but it usually surfaces again a little while later.

Its also possible he likes you but doesn't want to be hurt, or doesn't know how to go from friend to more-than-friend. It sucks for us because it takes so long for someone to get to know us, that we're not the best at starting a relationship with just anyone. We have to get to know them first until we are comfortable revealing more of what's on our mind.

And yes, we do feel intense emotion. I once knew an ENFJ I was totally into. We were at a pep rally sometime at night. I was just hanging out with my friends, and she was running around finding everyone she knew taking pictures. She came up behind me and I could see her gathering her courage to come up to me, until I turned around and saw her behind someone playing peek-a-boo with me. It was so adorable that I wanted to beat a baby with a stick. I was overwhelmed with emotions that I just stood there with my head cocked eyes locked. I probably looked like a rapist. Despite what was going on inside my head.
 

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I take wording very seriously. Probably too much haha.
I'm quite the grammar freak too, so maybe that goes hand in hand?

Regardless, like someone above said, he probably does mean what he said, but is maybe a bit skittish realizing that he's shared that with you. I wouldn't worry. You have a good friend on your side, enjoy it! :)
 

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I feel like as NF's, we tend to do just that. We tend to read into words and allow them to consume us emotionally. Personally, To an ISTP, the words "love" and "BFF" have very different meanings, which is true of everyone and their own lens of perception. Though I know that NF's in general to tend to take statements like that to heart. They can mean that you're a great friend, and one of the best that they've had in 7 years, sure... but don't let it get to your head and cause you to act any differently with them.
 
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I kind of agree with kiwigrl's interpretation of your friend's behavior. He may want to cool off the strong emotions linked with considering you his BFF.

In my case, it's weird. When it is about positive things such as friendships, loyalty, recognition, etc.. I tend to values actions rather than words. A friend being there to give me practical help, advice, wanting to do activities with me, asking me for help, etc.. it's more appealing to me. But when it's about negative stuff, words have a much deeper impact to me. For example, it hurts me more that someone tells me "You're a loser" than realizing the hypocritical actions a friends does to me.

However, since people communicate with words and not only with actions, many of the things that show good relationships with people depend a lot on words, so they definately have a lot of meaning whether they are in good or bad situations.
 
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