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Relationship advice please?
#1
So first off THANK YOU for this site... Been trying to figure out a lovely, but rather enigmatic new man in my life ... You guessed it - he's an INTP.

Have a loads of questions, which I will post in time depending on how this one goes. And I will ask him too, in a non-emotive fashion - HA.

The biggie though ... If I can "ask only one question" question is this:

If INTPs don't like showing their emotions, how will he respond on the day when I come home from work shattered, beaten, teary and emotional? I am a strong, capable, smart woman and can "build a bridge and get over" most anything. 95% of the time I will be happy to be his safe harbour and be supportive of his lovely mind and encyclopaedia building. There is gonna come the day when I need reassurance and have him support me, probably when I am showing lots of emotion (when a I crumple it is big time crumpling and can involve anger - imagine a distraught volcano). Ideally I would want his arms around me, have him say and mean that it will be OK and to feel safe.

Can INTPs do that? What behaviours (that I too will be processing and analysing - albeit after the event) will I likely see from him?

Thanks oh mindful analytical ones Smile
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#2
Hmm, well I assume that since you're in a relationship your INTP cares about you. So chances are he will want to be there for you. Now, how this desire to be there for you reveals itself is another matter. Some INTPs are not so good at this part, but some are actually quite good. I find that the closer I am to someone, the easier it is for me to help them deal with their emotions. Since I don't know much about your relationship, all I can say is that on the day that you come home distraught and shattered, whatever he does, it will be because he cares, even if it is not exactly what you were looking for. And you can say what you want. Just the other day, I was talking to my INTP best friend and I was really emotional. He told me that he didn't really have any good advice for me, and I told him that I didn't want advice--all I wanted was a vat of ice cream and an awkward pat on the back. Once I told him that, that's what he did. Your significant other just wants to be there for you, but they don't always know what you want or how, and it's okay to tell them what you need.

I hope this is helpful, since I don't have a lot of relationship experience myself.
"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes." --Douglas Adams
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#3
Why would you only ask one question? ;-)


Well this highly depends on how old he is and his previous experiences in particular.
INTP's are highly adaptable and if he learned a certain behaviour from a previous relationship he might be going by that.
But I will be assuming he is a standard run of the mill INTP (if that even exists) in the rest of this =)

His first thought will probably be to give you space, as that is probably what he would want.
We can be dumb like that, assuming that the needs of others is the same as our own.

His second thought will probably be to quietly just be there with you, quite possibly not saying anything, but supporting by 'being there for you' quite literally.

It is very much a possibility that he might not notice, as he could be in his own thoughts, so tell him straight out that you are having a rough time.
Preferably also tell him what you need from him, he should be willing to listen to anything and for a long time if it doesn't happen all the time.

I've never dealt with an extrovert girlfriend myself, so I would personally probably be stunned for a few seconds.
Preparing him before anything happens might be a good idea, basically give him a step by step guide to recognizing and handling you when you are in that mood.
The lashing out in anger sounds especially dangerous, but I assume you won't direct it towards him, but towards the world/problem?
Directing it agaisn't him would get his walls up and those will not be penetrated until the situation has calmed.

My ex-girlfriend got some serious problems and I found a rare strenght to just help her out in any way possible, giving up personal needs. So that capability is possibly also there for him.
I basically became an absolute rock of emotional stability, which seems to be my natural reaction, supporting in any way possible.

The further a relationship progresses, the more he will learn how to help you out.

The first step though, is telling him how you'd like him to help, or he will have to rely on what he would want himself. When dealing with Extroverts I doubt thats the proper way =)
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#4
I would think that as long as he really cares about you, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. He might feel a little awkward and not know exactly what to do, and you might have to tell him specifically what you need, if that's the case. He might also look for an immediate way to fix the problem. Other people's emotions rub off on me really easily, so I get really apprehensive if they don't cheer up quickly. So there's a good chance he might actually try too hard to help, and you might have to ask him to chill, let you be emotional for a while, and just offer you the comfort you need while you pull yourself together.
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#5
(06-06-2014, 06:35 PM)PallasAthena Wrote: I would think that as long as he really cares about you, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. He might feel a little awkward and not know exactly what to do, and you might have to tell him specifically what you need, if that's the case. He might also look for an immediate way to fix the problem. Other people's emotions rub off on me really easily, so I get really apprehensive if they don't cheer up quickly. So there's a good chance he might actually try too hard to help, and you might have to ask him to chill, let you be emotional for a while, and just offer you the comfort you need while you pull yourself together.

I agree with PallasAthena. Good advice!
"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes." --Douglas Adams
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#6
(06-06-2014, 03:18 PM)Ravn Wrote: His first thought will probably be to give you space, as that is probably what he would want.
We can be dumb like that, assuming that the needs of others is the same as our own.

I can only answer from my perspective and - this is mine above! I usually don't want to intrude, however if you are close then that boundary will have already passed, and precedents set. At this stage I will know that this person wants to talk about stuff - provided I can work out it is not about me - if it is about me I might need time to think about it or I may run away!!

(06-06-2014, 06:35 PM)PallasAthena Wrote: I would think that as long as he really cares about you, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. He might feel a little awkward and not know exactly what to do, and you might have to tell him specifically what you need, if that's the case. He might also look for an immediate way to fix the problem.

I always tend to feel a little awkward especially if the emotions are being displayed stronger than I would normally do!! Being told what you need, require, or what would help, can also be good, particularly if the emotion sharing is a new thing in your relationship. For my close friends I tend towards the hug and an ear to vent to initially, unless told otherwise. I try not to offer advice unless asked for - or if I feel strongly I will ask "would it be ok to tell you what I think?"

The thing is for me, is that it is not my emotions that are being felt so I can go into logic mode and offer the required responses, rise to the occasion and bring forward the encyclopaedia already bookmarked to the page about him / her / person in question. It does depend on how close you are though. My friends and SO have told me I am great at helping, comforting, knowing what to say. People not in that closer circle would have no idea as they get the awkward me. The... do I hug? Do I rub their back? Do I make sympathetic noises? Do I back away slowly then run!?

Um, I still don't know what to do with lots of tears though. Unless they launch themselves at me first. If you launch I know a hug is wanted, if you don't launch then I sort of stand like an out of place lampshade.

_____________________
Edit: I should probably also add that whilst INTP is a personality type, there are (of course) nuances. I'm often having to defend and explain with some friends that what I am displaying is not INTP (when they roll their eyes at me for being "oh so INTP") but more a result of my own personal shyness or situational anxiety that has nothing to do with a personality type, or being an introvert.
"Oh you're an introvert so of course you didn't want to come to this party"
"No, they intimidate me and I don't want to be judged"
"Oh you're INTP so that's why you are being standoffish to me"
"No, I am not sure of what to do or say and don't want to get it wrong"
Be in love with your life. Every minute of it. - Jack Kerouac
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#7
Thank you for replying everyone. I liked the "why only one question" - funny! Smile

Got so much to learn and I like learning even if I am not trying to write an encyclopedia. How different it an INTP encyclopedia from an ENTJ's idea of wisdom anyway? (oy - there is another question!). I too just draw on past experiences on how to deal with a situation - even if I can't describe those experiences in the detail that I suspect an INTP can. As a show-er of passionate emotions the idea of someone venting (that volcano metaphor again) near me woudl raise my pulse but I don't have the flight response and I am a natural hugger. If they were venting at me I would just tell 'em to take a hike (maybe not that politely).

Ah - this INTP stuff is interesting. Challenging, but interesting. Undecided

Thanks again. Feel much more comfortable raising this with my lovely INTP now.
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#8
That depends on what an ENTJ's idea of wisdom is? =)

So I am not sure I am standard INTP in this area, but I will give you my subjective viewpoint.
The encyclopedia is basically a great pile of knowledge with links between loads of it, the purpose of the knowledge is to figure out something completely, reach the crux of the matter, find the truth of a subject. Here is an example of how I have been using it in the last week:
So a random fact spurred one of my 5-6 year old theories on how my brain works to the forefront of my consciousness. This theory is basically a mix of my own observations on how my mind works which connected with the Freudian theory of Id, Ego and Super-Ego. I instantly start analysing this old theory from my new perspective, and I notice a connection between the old theory and the MBTI functions (which I learned of rather recently). Now there is a new and more precise theory which helped me understand some of what has been happening to me the last year. These connections happen almost instantaneously and within 5 minutes I had a basic grounding for the theory, and I have been fiddling with the details during the last week. Something I found helps me with the details is writing it down, then they can also easier be altered to fit the overall picture instead of being floaty =)

There's an important thing to this, small minor details with little importance will not carry over, but a small detail with importance will.
This is also something I have noticed in my daily life, that small trivial matters such as dates can fly in one side and out the other.
Somehow my mother didn't think the start date of the second world, was not important (I still cant remember, 1940-ish). Even though I know far more about the actions and politics within the second world war than she ever will. Priorities =P


How is it challenging?
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#9
(06-07-2014, 02:09 PM)Ravn Wrote: That depends on what an ENTJ's idea of wisdom is? =)

The encyclopedia is basically a great pile of knowledge with links between loads of it, the purpose of the knowledge is to figure out something completely, reach the crux of the matter, find the truth of a subject. Here is an example of how I have been using it in the last week:
So a random fact spurred one of my 5-6 year old theories on how my brain works to the forefront of my consciousness. This theory is basically a mix of my own observations on how my mind works which connected with the Freudian theory of Id, Ego and Super-Ego. I instantly start analysing this old theory from my new perspective, and I notice a connection between the old theory and the MBTI functions (which I learned of rather recently). Now there is a new and more precise theory which helped me understand some of what has been happening to me the last year. These connections happen almost instantaneously and within 5 minutes I had a basic grounding for the theory, and I have been fiddling with the details during the last week. Something I found helps me with the details is writing it down, then they can also easier be altered to fit the overall picture instead of being floaty =)

How is it challenging?

How is it challenging?
I read your answer and go WOW - a theory that has been percolating away for 5-6 years (said with admiration). With such statements (and here I am projecting my INTP's communication patterns onto the question) comes a level of what I will call confidence but comes across slightly as "I won't broke any discussion" arrogance. I don't suffer any lack of self-confidence in the worthiness of my own ideas and will definitely say "hang on a minute there, what about ....." but there is a slight over-awing of my confidence given the capacity for him to go "bang bang bang" with the various facts. My emotional side reminds myself he probably isn't trying to be an arrogant pig but it is challenging to remind myself of that when my ideas get dismissed as "no that is wrong".

The encyclopedia also seems different because it is not outward focussed on soliving an immediate problem. It seems it can be filled in when new data is acquired that may not serve any problem at the time.

This ENTJ's idea of wisdom is different cause I guess I only open my wisdom files and refer to them when I am seeking to solve an immediate problem. And the problem solution probably incorporates the reading (hopefully correctly) of the emotions of the situation and carefully taking them into account when crafting a solution. ENTJs are renowned for riding rough-shod over emotions when implementing a solution and that is true of me - I will choose a solution that requires "I am sorry you have to die for me to implement this plan" if necessary. However, I do focus rather a lot on the emotional side of wisdom and I think we all agree emotions are often not rational. So I guess my encylcopedia is different cause it involves the irrational and illogical.

Nice talking to you Smile
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#10
(06-08-2014, 06:27 PM)Intrigued ENTJ Wrote: How is it challenging?
I read your answer and go WOW - a theory that has been percolating away for 5-6 years (said with admiration). With such statements (and here I am projecting my INTP's communication patterns onto the question) comes a level of what I will call confidence but comes across slightly as "I won't broke any discussion" arrogance. I don't suffer any lack of self-confidence in the worthiness of my own ideas and will definitely say "hang on a minute there, what about ....." but there is a slight over-awing of my confidence given the capacity for him to go "bang bang bang" with the various facts. My emotional side reminds myself he probably isn't trying to be an arrogant pig but it is challenging to remind myself of that when my ideas get dismissed as "no that is wrong".

The encyclopedia also seems different because it is not outward focussed on soliving an immediate problem. It seems it can be filled in when new data is acquired that may not serve any problem at the time.

This ENTJ's idea of wisdom is different cause I guess I only open my wisdom files and refer to them when I am seeking to solve an immediate problem. And the problem solution probably incorporates the reading (hopefully correctly) of the emotions of the situation and carefully taking them into account when crafting a solution. ENTJs are renowned for riding rough-shod over emotions when implementing a solution and that is true of me - I will choose a solution that requires "I am sorry you have to die for me to implement this plan" if necessary. However, I do focus rather a lot on the emotional side of wisdom and I think we all agree emotions are often not rational. So I guess my encylcopedia is different cause it involves the irrational and illogical.

Nice talking to you Smile

Huh, I guess it can come off as arrogance, but it is never meant as such. Atleast for me, I come from a culture where sticking out is discouraged, unless there is a reason to stick out. The perceived arrogance probably stems from having gone over the theory 50-100 times fixing mistakes before telling anyone, I feel anxious if I ever state something on intuition alone and not with a healthy dose of thinking beforehand. Asking why you are wrong would most likely be appreciated and finding a mistake in the theory just means that you care =)

We can have a hard time with the emotional side of an argument, as ripping off the bandaid is done to reach the truth of a situation. It really depends on how much experience the INTP has dealing with emotions in others. We learn to follow social protocol for changing stuff later in life.

Heh yeah, that is the direct opposit of the INTP encyclopedia, in the end we can find a logical truth to a situation. But it requires many hoops/connections and possibly create apathy towards society, but this is probably just a slightly longer road to being able to use something similar to your wisdom when it comes to people. These two ways of 'attacking' life seems highly compatible =)
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