Serious request for input...INFP with ESTJ

topic posted Thu, May 25, 2006 - 12:08 AM by  Chris
Any thoughts on how an INFP and an ESTJ could manage to get a basic comprehension of each other?
posted by:
  • Hi Chris, have you checked it out here? Scroll to the bottom and click on 'anima'; that's the relationship description between INFP and ESTJ.
    Personally I don't know any ESTJs; my mother is an ISTJ and we get along well. Is your relationship romantic? Professional?
    • Heh...egad, I must have been exhausted when I posted that :-))...working too much these past few weeks....I suppose you could say romantic, in a wierd sort of way. Its a 15 year marriage, that has been particularly challenging. I've know I fall soundly in the INFP camp, and finally (after several years of curiousity) got my wife to take it, and we both were stunned when she ended up as squarely ESTJ as I am was an "Aha!" moment....

      The little bit I've read talks about how these relationships are based on a power differential, with the ESTJ often overpowering the INFP. That also was an "Aga!" moment for her, not so much for me as a "Yep, that's what I've been saying for a decade, can I please have myself back now?" hehehe.

      In all honesty, the marriage is at the point where we are either going to have to fix it or end it.
  • Re: Serious request for input...INFP with ESTJ

    Fri, May 26, 2006 - 12:52 AM
    I had an S ask me why I was and INFP. My response was, the same reason why you're right-handed and not left-handed. Environmental conditions shaping inherited tendencies towards certain behaviors.

    First and foremost, Myer-Briggs is a behavior test not a personality test. Behavior is not personality. Just because I'm tardy (P) doesn't tell you whether I like to skydive on weekends or read a book . It doesn't tell you what kind of books I like, what kind of restaurants I eat at, what my religion is, how I feel about family or even how I feel about relationships in general. Myer-Briggs is really crap by itself in determining relationships.

    Sure INFPs tend to romanticize relationships (that entire internal living behavior we have). However, romanticizing relationships is a behavoir. But what kind of relationship do I romanticize about ?-- white picket fence & 2.5 kids or S&M with our own live-in slave. That's personality not behavior.

    So what good is knowing your Myer-Briggs in a relationships. What it tells you what tendencies each of you are going take in approaching the relationship. Use it to minimize each others annoying behaviors and complement the behaviors that will make the relationship work. However inorder to to get to that point, both of you have to realize that this is the way you are and that's the way she is. If you're an alcoholic, not drinking isn't going to make you less prone to alcohol addiction. It will however, make the alcholic easier to live with.

    If you both accept that this is the way each of you ticks then here's what you can do not to sabotage your relationship:

    Here are the top INFP behaviors that ESTJs will find as deal breakers:

    1. Show up on time when you say you are. Don't show up 5 minutes late because you didn't give yourself enough time to make it through rush hour or whatever. SJs will not understand that it's your P personality. SJs will see that you can show up work on time, or your friends kegger on time or whatever. SJs will compare her importance to whatever you did show up on time for.

    2. If there's something wrong in a relationship. If you feel hurt or upset, you must tell her exactly what's wrong. She's an S. She will not know what's wrong or that there is anything wrong in the first palce. I know so many N relationships that end badly with S because the N's are waiting for the S's to catch on that there's something's wrong.

    3. Curb any jealousy crap. INFPs are the worse of all the personality types and I still haven't been able to correlate that with any of the other tests. She's an S. She's going to have lots of friends. Her world will not revolve around you even if you end up getting married and having your own live in slave.

    4. This seems like it's small but it's not. If you live together, designate one room in the place as yours which you can keep as messy as you like. The rest of the house belongs to the SJ.

    Here's what she needs to know about her behavior and INFPs:

    1. Sometimes we want to be left alone and it has nothing to do with you. You're an ESTJ. You should go out with you're friends. I'm going to stay home and read a book, darn socks, etc.

    2. Don't put things away that are in my area. I have all my piles organized so I can find the stuff I need.

    3. I don't want to go out with you and your friends all the time, especially the ones I don't like. The ones that I don't like are the ones I consider shallow. And just because I think they're shallow doesn't mean that you should stop being friends with them or that I think less of you as a person.

    4. Yes, I do understand you're way would have finished this project by now. But if I wanted the project done, I would have finished it already. Quit nagging.

    Curbing these behaviors that the other personality find annoying won't make the relationship successful. It's just one less thing for you guys to fight about.

    Having a successful relationship involves having good relationships skills (communication skills, empathy, problem solving, etc.) and really has little to do with personality type. I've never believed that certain personality types were more suited for each other. If you were seeing another INFP wouldn't necessarily mean LESS relationship issues to deal with, just DIFFERENT relationship issues.

    I've never run into an INFP-INFP match up that worked longer than 3 years. INFPs can barely live with themselves let alone tackling twice the INFP neurosis.
    • Corin, yes! That makes so much more sense to me, behavior vs. personality test. And I had sort of lost sight of the difference, just that one sentence triggered piles of those odd things called thoughts, hehe.

      I think, though, that I might disagree, when you are talking about such radically different behavior patterns as INFP and ESTJ. I think that maybe defining the relationship is not the right way of thinking of it, but maybe as an indicator of major friction and conflict sources (errr, but...I'm an ex-moosician and fine art photographer, who has abandoned intellectual pursuits, for a different kind of thinking, and may well be missing your point....2x4 upside the head does wonders with me if I have, hehe)...

      And...I'm chuckling, that is some seriously good advice.

      #1. Done. I'm on time. Unless there is a major pileup or dead body in the way, I'm there within +/- 5 minutes. In Taiwan, that is punctual (the traffic is seriously unpredictable, some days a 30 minite trip can take 1.5 hours, seriously)....and, that isn't really an issue for her.

      #2 She doensn't want to know details. In fact, she doesn't want to know that anything is wrong from my knothole. Serious denial (we're also talking cross cultural here, I spent early years in the Carribean, but was in the U.S. from 2nd grade on, she is Chinese, Hakkanese to be more precice :-).

      #3. We are reversed in this role. I actually think she NEEDS more friends. She has none. Only professional relationships. And, she is the one who is....errr...violently jealous is a good description.

      #4. We did that. In fact, I've taken over the tea room as an office. It still drives her nuts (even though she never goes in there). And. Honest, I really DO know EXACTLY where the particular negative from a particular shoot two years ago is, its in the binder under the pile of compositional analysis essays :-)). But, in all seriousness, I actually WOULD be more organized, but she insists on organizing my organization, and it doesn't work for me (Ikea should be bronzed, those guys are brilliant...disorganized organization).

      On the other side of the coin:

      #1. There may be something else at work here, getting her to commit to couple time is a lot like pulling teath from a rather ornrey aligator. In fact, that has been one of the major issues for 15 years. Conversely, as I *think* about it. Yes. When I need time to work alone, she HAS had a hard time with it, often trying to take over and manage creative projects in the wrong direction, mainly my fault because until I get there, I may not KNOW the direction it needs to go...

      #2. I owe you luch :-). Even moreson, don't put it away in a place where it has never been before, thus making it "lost" from my knothole. And....pleasepleasePLEASE don't forget where you put it :-)).

      #3. Bingo. In fact. I wish she would find friends, she needs them.

      #4. LMFAO!!!!! Ummm. Howling. Priceless! And very true :-)).

      In fact, I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head: "communication skills, empathy, problem solving." Culture gets in the way of #1 (I think in strange ways, that sometimes are hard to describe in English, getting them into Chinese is impossible)(and vicey versey). Empathy. That's a touchy one. Too complicated to explore in a post. Problem solving....yes, in fact...that is something I tend to be good at (in a roundabout way), but it isn't something that is culturally really even taught in schools here (something I try to remedy with my teacher hat on).

      And, no...I can't imagine and INFP-INFP match. Well. Maybe. But, it would be tough.
      • Re: Serious request for input...INFP with ESTJ

        Sat, May 27, 2006 - 12:16 AM
        "I think that maybe defining the relationship is not the right way of thinking of it.."

        You're right. Trying to define a relationship never works. INFP daydream about relationships instead of just having it. I'm not saying that relationships are simple...well maybe I am. They're usually simpler than we make them out to be. Who knows, maybe a successful relationships is finding someone willing to put up with you.

        From a practical stand-point, if you have the same basic core values then making a relationship work is about coordinating goals and working out the differences in methodology that the other person has. Of course, when are INFPs known to be practical. Most of us still believe that being madly in love is a good reason to get married.

        Love is blind. Marriage is a real eye-opener. Thank goodness I got lucky and found an INTJ who's been willing to put up with me for the last decade. Our daughter is already showing P tendencies which is driving her batty about keeping the house organized.
        • Hehe...well, I'm dying to know my son't MBTI, but I think I can guess, lol (drives his mother to the point of thinking about selling him for spare parts).

          I must be odd then as an INFP. I've spent the better part of 15 years trying to HAVE a relationship in my marriage (which got me in analysis mode)....and the number of near misses are frustrating...

          But. Marriage counseling started today. And quickly becae individual for her. So. Wait and see. Appears that the issues may be less personality related than related to anger issues on her part (and the resulting shell-shocked Cancerian INFP who now inhabits this body I recall that was one mine, hehehe).

          So. FP and TJ *can* work??? Well, of COURSE it can (any combination *can*), that is so cool!

          "Most of us still believe that being madly in love is a good reason to get married. " You mean its NOT??? :p, hehehehe
    • *wipes laughing tears off her face*

      It's all so true... a little too true...
      • Re: Serious request for input...INFP with ESTJ

        Fri, June 30, 2006 - 11:27 PM
        I agree, I am an ENFP with an ISTJ and we have been together for 7 years. We get along great but when we disagree, especially on our points of view, the key is to compromise. Find a middle ground that you can both be comfortable with because on some issues, you will never see eye to eye.

        I think opposites attract & opposite types can compliment each other. But you also have to watch the fact that Sensor Thinkers like to be in control of eveything and intuitive feelers enjoy pleasing people. So NF's have to watch that you don't get lost in the other person and just keep doing what makes them happy because & neglecting yourself because it might be against your natural preference.
    • Re: Serious request for input...INFP with ESTJ

      Tue, January 2, 2007 - 3:05 PM
      Corin, thanks for making my day, your post totally made me laugh :) I liked what you said: "I've never believed that certain personality types were more suited for each other. If you were seeing another INFP wouldn't necessarily mean LESS relationship issues to deal with, just DIFFERENT relationship issues." So true. I dated an INFP for 3 years and it was great in many ways, I felt very much understood as a person, but also there was SO MUCH emotional processing, it was exhuasting. Plus we were late for everything. ;)

      I agree that empathy, communication and all that stuff is more important, and just the fact that you get along, enjoy each other's company, etc. I'd like to believe there's still a little magic in the world that you can't account for with a personality test. If it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't.
      • Re: Serious request for input...INFP with ESTJ

        Tue, January 2, 2007 - 4:45 PM
        pardom me if Im a little sad but I think my daughter is showing NF traits...loves to make sure everyone is happy before herself. I know how much Ive had to work on this as an INFP and I dont want her to have such a hard time with life as I did. If I dont try to help with it statring now she will be hurt plenty of times before she is 20 years old. Any advice on how I can direct her in a positive way.
        • Re: Serious request for input...INFP with ESTJ

          Tue, January 2, 2007 - 5:48 PM
          I think a lot of it is about framing it in a positive way so that she feels good about herself. In my family, sensitivity was not seen as a good thing, so as a child I didn't have a sense of pride in this part of myself. But I would be very happy if I had an NF child - I value these traits so much now. You are her model also, as an NF parent - the more you can value these traits in yourself, the better it will be for her. And the more you can role model being a person who stands up for herself appropriately, the easier it will be for her to understand how to do that for herself. Have you read The Highly Sensitive Person? That's a good book for reframing what I think are typical NF traits in a positive way.

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