Me: INTJ Her: INFJ Us: Match Made in Heaven But!... I still want your input :) | INFJ Forum

Me: INTJ Her: INFJ Us: Match Made in Heaven But!... I still want your input :)

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Sesquipedalian, Feb 9, 2009.

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  1. Sesquipedalian

    Sesquipedalian Community Member

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    Okay, so, long story short me and the beautiful young woman I care for are unable to date due to our current life situations (and physical distance between us), but have an ever-deepening friendship that we both hope will turn into something more. Lets call her "Marin" for the sake of this thread.

    I think all INFJs are capable of feeling more, and more deeply than most people are even capable of. ...and I find your intuitive abilities deeply fascinating. I think Marin realized how complex my thinking was, how fascinated I was by her, how attracted I was to her, how genuinely I cared for her and her feelings, and how much I truly wanted the best for her within just a few days of our meeting. It was like, for once, someone actually understood my inner workings, appreciated them, knew I was well-intentioned, and knew that when I asked how she was doing I was not doing so as a meaningless courtesy.

    Obviously, we've only grown closer since then. We have divulged some of our innermost struggles with each other and some of our most personal secrets to each other. We talk often and have fun getting silly sometimes :). The other day Marin and I had a verbal "chin war" where we discussed the merits and abilities of our chins. I was supposedly the loser lol. Today we "argued" about who was more modest via Facebook chat, and I declared that I was obviously the most modest person on earth. Marin quickly changed her facebook status to declare her unsurpassed modesty and I quickly changed mine to something even more extravagant. We had a good laugh and it was great. I even joked about writing us theme songs on the piano to go along with our great amount of modesty to which she responded excitedly, "DO IT!!!"

    But, for as much fun as we were having with our playful banter, it seems that at any moment I can upset her deeply if I say something even mildly incorrectly.

    We've exchanged over 32,000 words via email messages at this point. We've had a lot of talks about a lot of things and I've been totally honest about my feelings for her. I've told her how beautiful, intelligent, artistic, sensitive, complex, and special I think she is. Furthermore, I've told her how precious she is to me... in great detail!

    But, its like all of my words are "glass" and all it takes is one stone to shatter the great glass castle I've built with my words. Somewhere deep inside I feel like she doesn't really think she's special. I truly think that she believes she's stupid. For as unique and gifted an individual as she is, she seems to have an incredibly low and fragile self esteem, which is really upsetting to me because she's probably already undervalued enough by everyone around her only to be undervalued by herself as well!

    To give you a specific example... We'd just gotten done joking about chins and modesty and theme songs and whatnot, when I said something silly to which she responded "You're dumb." I said, "Dumb = Awesome. I think you're dumb too :)" By which, I meant, "I think you're awesome too."

    Well, she saw "you're" and "dumb" and it's like her world fell apart right then and there. She genuinely became upset and BELIEVED the absurd thing I'd just written, ignoring the fact that I think she's amazing, that I've told her I think she's intelligent, and that it was a remark that I thought was so absurdly sarcastic that surely she'd get my joke.

    Well... She didn't. She was so upset that some major insecurities rushed to the surface, she didn't respond to my pleas to reread what I'd written, and she signed off of chat despite me clarifying that I was calling her awesome, not stupid.

    I sent her a couple of text messages apologizing for upsetting her and attempting to explain that she'd misunderstood. She texted me back saying, "Sorry... I shouldn't take things personally. I'm sorry I was wrong." I said, "One of these days I'm going to convince you you're a jewel." and then she said that made her want to cry and we bid each other goodnight.

    But man... Are most of you that fragile? I've never directed a single harsh word in her direction, but even after I've expressed my deep caring for her, she would believe words that are obviously untrue!... or at least... it should be obvious! If you look at what I wrote above, it was actually a compliment (flirting, if you will), but it turned into a horrible train wreck.

    ...how can I avoid this other than never being sarcastic about anything, ever?... I try hard to be sensitive to her and I don't want to upset her. How can I finally convince her that my opinion of her is STEADFAST... that I think the WORLD of her.. that I VALUE her opinions, because no matter what I say, it doesn't seem to make a dent. Somehow, she continues to think that she is perched on a precarious ledge, and that she might at any time "fall off" that ledge, ruining our friendship.

    She also seems afraid to express her opinion about things. Granted, I'm an INTJ and I've got an extremely high IQ (not being arrogant, just explaining. IQ is just a stupid number to me). But... She notices, and I think the vocabulary I naturally use and the breadth of my abilities and experiences makes her feel dumb. I've told her over and over that I like hearing her unique point of view and that I value her opinions, but I often sense that she holds her tongue regardless, truly fearful that by voicing her opinions she will find disfavor with me. Even when I explain that these fears are totally unwarranted to her, she somehow still doesn't feel free to voice her opinions, saying "I'll try". "There is no try"!

    Do I just keep encouraging her? How long will it take for her to internalize what I keep saying to her? Will she ever gain confidence in the stability of our friendship? ...When is she going to allow herself to just love me? I know she loves me, and she even said that her mom loves me!... but somewhere she has this crackpot idea that I'm too good for her or too smart for her or something! What the heck! This genuinely frustrates me! It's like the biggest thing sabotaging our potential relationship that we both want is... her!

    I know that's a LOT... but thanks for reading it. I really look forward to reading your thoughts!
     
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    #1 Sesquipedalian, Feb 9, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  2. Thursday

    Thursday Regular Poster

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    i have to go
    but......have you told her how it frustrates you that she does this because you care for her so deeply, and that it ruins the relationship?

    Other than that-she's too sensitive and insecure, imo
    at least to be loved as fully as you're expressing
    but don't go Fi and "go down with the ship"
    just be for her as best as you can while following the latter
     
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  3. Lurker

    Lurker Has nothing to destroy
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    I assume you haven't met in person, are you going to have that chance?
     
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  4. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    Weird. And I only assumed it was INFJ males that tended to have deep-seated insecurities about their intelligence.
     
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  5. Elenchus

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    I'm currently in a LTR with a female ESTJ and she has the same insecurity. No matter how much I try to show her the truth of the matter it never seems to invoke much change in her beliefs and walking on eggshells around the issue becomes the norm.

    I've come to realize that without her wanting to really examine the problem there isn't much I can do to help break down this false negative belief.
     
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  6. OP
    Sesquipedalian

    Sesquipedalian Community Member

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    We have, and that is when she seemed most personable. We really enjoyed our friendship and it was only toward the end of our in-person dealings that we realized there might be something more there.

    Since then we've seen each other once, and it was brief, and she seemed to have become much more shy and choosy about what she told me. It's like something inside of her is controlling her rather than her, herself, if that makes any sense... It's like that "thing" isn't letting her just be open and comfortable around me.

    When we were friends we both just talked and enjoyed each other's company, now that we both know we're attracted to each other, it's like she'd rather say nothing than risk saying something I might view as stupid. We tried to get to the heart of the issue, and she finally said something along the lines of, "As immature as this sounds, I feel like I have a middle-school crush on you..." I don't think that really explains the problem away though...

    At this stage in our relationship I don't think I can bring that up. There's not enough commitment there and you're INFJ enough to know that your type can't handle personal criticism.

    We shall see. We're both relatively young and I think maybe these things will work out over time.

    ESTJ vs. INFJ... Not much in common there!... ...which makes me wonder... I wonder if this has less to do with her personality type and more to do with something else. I think her overreactions might be related to her personality type, but what's causing them might not be.
     
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    #6 Sesquipedalian, Feb 9, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  7. Elenchus

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    It's been a challenge for both of us by times. Maybe too much so. However I mention her type as an example that self esteem issues (I have my own as well) are not the domain of any particular type. You probably know this already and by the rest of your reply, as quoted below, it looks to me like you're on the right track.

     
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  8. in_wonderment

    in_wonderment Regular Poster

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    ses,

    I am an INFJ female. and I have great great respect for INTJs, male and female. To me, you guys seem kind of clumsy and naive, but with a deep-seated heart of gold. It takes someone, like us INFJs who live in a world of emotions, to appreciate someone who almost seems to lack them. If that makes any sense.. All of the INTJs I've met seem cold, but they aren't at all. Just delightfully detached.

    Speaking from a personal perspective, I have a high IQ, and am extremely well-rounded and educated. It hurts almost to write that, but it's true. I, and my best friend also an INFJ, are perfectionists. Nothing is ever good enough. We will never be smart enough, successful enough etc. Add to this, the emotional depth to feel that words cut like knives... frankly it's a disturbing combination. I will cry if someone snaps at me. I will cry when someone gives me a heartfelt gift.

    Therefore, from her perfectionist perspective, I'm guessing her self-esteem isn't the highest to begin with. Then, a tiny (albeit silly) remark, feels like an attack, and causes an emotional response in her. I'm sure she knows in her detached rational mind, that you didn't mean anything, but by then the emotional response has already happened.

    I'm not sure how I would respond or fix your actions in the future... just make sure she knows you mean well, and try to do your best. don't walk on eggshells. be yourself, just make sure she knows your good intentions.
     
  9. OP
    Sesquipedalian

    Sesquipedalian Community Member

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    Thanks :). I think INFJs really make us feel loved and accepted, something we don't find many other places. It is clear to me that she's a perfectionist. She is worried that she won't even be able to get into basic state colleges... The girl has an average of something like NINETY SIX across all of her classes, yet somehow has convinced herself that she's dumb. I... I'm not sure this is something I can change. All I can do is encourage her and hope I guess.

    So, what would you suggest I do when she completely overreacts wrongly like that?.. ...just overlook it and wait for her rationality to kick in after the initial "nuke" goes off?

    Thus far every major emotional reaction she's had has been unwarranted, which is okay. I realize that emotional overreaction is a failing of INFJs just like being uncaring or overly harsh can be a failing of INTJs. Overlooking her failing is part of caring for her.

    ...but how can I best respond to these unwarranted reactions? I mean, being INFJs I figure you've all done the same thing at some point. What would you want your partner to do? What I've been doing is apologizing for upsetting her (which I am sorry for, even if she shouldn't' have gotten upset) and telling her I care about her. ...am I doing this right?

    My fear is this: ...that her emotional reactions will damage our relationship or her view of me even though I never did anything wrong and she never had any real thing to be upset about in the first place. (...although I do think there is a deeper problem here causing these occasional reactions...)

    Don't get me wrong, this has only happened maybe 2 or 3 times in the 6 months we've been talking more seriously, but its really upsetting!
     
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    #9 Sesquipedalian, Feb 10, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  10. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    I'm not sure how many INFJs emotionally overreact

    I feel I don't know enough about INFJs (still) to speak for INFJs in general, but I agree with what Thursday said above. Perhaps she is insecure or her self-esteem isn't great... I think it's important that you're sensitive to her but also still be you, as much as you can. If you've told her how you feel, expressed to her that you respect and value her and her opinions, speak respectfully towards her, honour her in your speech and actions, and she still doesn't believe you - then I'm not sure. There is only so much you can say and do. She has to choose to believe/agree with you. There is a difference between being emotionally sensitive as INFJs tend to be and feeling insecure.
     
    #10 Soulful, Feb 10, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  11. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    I would add that after an 'episode',for lack of a better word, not to make a big deal out of it. If she says she's sorry or embarassed or even admits she was acting irrationally just accept that and leave it alone. I've reacted to things like that before and I just want to crawl in a hole afterwards, when I realize how ridiculous it was.
    It sounds like the words 'You're Dumb' just triggered her and she had a knee jerk reaction. It's a hard thing to recognize triggers and how to control your reactions to them.
    But try not to take it personally when it happens, it probably wasn't a true reflection of her feelings for you.
     
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  12. hughnibley

    hughnibley Regular Poster

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    o_O
     
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  13. OP
    Sesquipedalian

    Sesquipedalian Community Member

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    Thanks Hugh.

    I couldn't have done it without you.
     
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  14. hughnibley

    hughnibley Regular Poster

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    I'm here for you!
     
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  15. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    My intuition tells me that Marin has some deep-seated childhood issues that haven't been resolved yet. That's usually where such insecurities and fears come from. At least, that's where mine come from.

    The first step for her to get beyond that is for her to realize that maybe she's mistaken in thinking she's dumb, and maybe she needs to re-evaluate her beliefs about herself. She also needs to examine the source of these reactions - what happened to her in childhood? Who told her such was dumb? Was there emotional or physical abuse?

    But there is little you can do to help her get there, unless you want her to become absolutely dependent on you, which I doubt you want. Honestly, the best thing you can do to help is to be a solid support for her. Keep being her friend, keep being unconditional love. As soon as she's moved past an explosion, you move past it too (or she'll feel like you're holding it over her). It's a fine line to walk, being her friend but not making her co-dependent. I have no experience and many words to offer. :wink: Take this with a grain or three of salt, k?
     
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  16. OP
    Sesquipedalian

    Sesquipedalian Community Member

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    Yeah, this stinks long distance because we're experiencing all of the problems of a relationship without even getting to spend any time together...

    You're right, I do NOT want to be dependent on her. It is draining to be in a situation like that and I realized that it has begun to lean toward that. I'm just going to keep a safe distance for now and try to support and love her, but as I see these things pop up I start to wonder :-\

    *sigh*... I'm going to be single for life.
     
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