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The INTP's guide to therapy

Jennywocky

guud languager
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#51
Can somebody shed some light on this:

It's very normal for me to share my thoughts & feelings with my INTP husband and him have no response. It usually happens via text or email. It used to really upset me when I open my heart and become vulnerable to only feel totally disregarded. In latter years, I've mostly come to accept it and I usually don't expect a response when I'm sharing anything emotional or relationship related. I'd still like a response of course, but it's just the way things are.

Can anyone tell me what might be going on in his INTP head? As an ESFJ, if I ignored somebody, it would likely be because A) what they were saying was annoying the crap out of me, or B) I was already upset with them.
Just a few ideas:

1. We're informatives, so a lot of the time it's easy to view exchanges as "information sharing". You are sharing what you are feeling, he is storing the information. It doesn't mean he is not listening necessarily or doesn't care, it's just our normal instinctive mode is to "gather information" rather than to look to take an action of some kind on it. Typically one does pick up the concept of "acknowledging a comment" at least, by mid-life, even if one has no other input, though, and that seems a fair expectation -- to at least expect an "I hear you" handshake of some kind just so you know he consciously heard/read you.

2. Emotions can be confusing and/or uncomfortable, especially if expressed in a strong/dramatic way. Everyone's emotions are different, so it's hard to discern the "rules" on how to engage them. Hence, silence.

3. Not wanting to step on your toes by saying the wrong thing / hurting you further. Or viewing it maybe as you wanting to vent, versus wanting acknowledgement or advice from him. Have you ever had incidents early in the marriage (or has he been a witness to incidents between his parents or other couples) where one person just wanted to vent and the other tried to tell them what to do or was cutting them off?

Those are some of the more positive reasons for him to abstain. There are negative reasons but you can probably figure those kinds of things out. I'm just noting it's not uncommon for INTPs to be put off by strong displays of emotion and/or not know how to respond to them -- it's not instinctive in knowing how to deal, it's something we have to learn through lots of experience to a point where we feel comfortable engaging.

Does he ever express any frustrations to you in return? Probably not from what I can gather, it's not a mode he operates naturally in.

There could also be a generational gender role difference in play too, depending on age.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect at least an acknowledgement, though -- just to say, "I heard you, and I'm sorry this situation has been upsetting you." That's an easy to utter boilerplate even if he doesn't know how to engage, for someone he is married to... if he is trying to keep things going.

I'm going to have to go back and read your original post about the marriage issues, though, to have a better grasp. I am just picking up at the end of the thread here. Skimming it, it looks like he has felt hurt by you as well from the past, so... it becomes necessary to tease out where the friction points are and the failed expectations.
 

Crystabelle

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#52
Many 'T' types just don't 'get' emotional effusiveness. It confuses us.
It's hard for us to relate to feelings (even our own feelings), and dealing with feelings in general can make us uncomfortable.
This could be avoidance for that reason.

Like I mentioned, he's probably simply avoiding the emotional content of the situation...
That is what I want to believe. He's said things like this before -- avoiding the emotion. I have a much greater appreciation for the way INTPs logically think and your emotional intelligence since immersing myself in this forum. I've studied personality types and psychology for 3+ years (formally and informally) and it's incredible how much I still didn't/don't understand.

Still, it would be super helpful to us ESFJs if you guys communicated a little more freely. I don't know about other ESFJs (or just FJs or any other combo) but to me, just saying, "got your messages. Will think about it later but it's overwhelming. I can't talk about it" would really help. Otherwise, we're left to our own crazy devices. /: Is it still painful to even respond with something like that? Or is it simply absent mindedness or not knowing this would help?

-Dad likes science and solitude, mum likes soap operas and going out.

I'm pretty much a female clone of my dad, we're both INTP for a start...
So I can tell you, from my perspective what it's like for us vs her:

-When dealing with mum, I learned to only broach subjects which she enjoys discussing. It's like treading around broken eggshells.
-She is sensitive and needs to be handled with care
-She is pretty irrational and shouty at times (eep), but I'd guess that you become distressed rather than shouty, right? (ExT-ExF difference)
I'm sorry you feel like you're walking on eggshells with your mom. Pretty sure that's how my INTP husband feels with me. Ironically, I feel the exact same way around him. Blows my mind how similarly uncomfortable we feel but for exact opposite reasons.

Personally I tend to choose other NT types because a mental connection is of supreme importance to me.
But we're all different.

-Good luck :D
I can certainly understand that preference.

I confess that I'm guilty of almost all of the things I've read on here that ESFJs do to make you guys feel bad. I'm so sorry for those things. Several INTPs on this forum have, IMHO, gone above and beyond to help a stranger (let alone enemy ESFJ stranger) for no reason and getting nothing in return. I used to think you guys were unkind and selfish but if I am honest, I see INTPs maybe having difficulty with emotions or social "norms" but are actually very generous and rarely have any ill intent. I on the other hand can lash out, go for the jugular, and impute motive all too easily.

For whatever reason, years of research hasn't opened my eyes as much as interacting with you all over the past week. (Maybe the S in me?) Whatever the reason, I'm very grateful to you and everyone who has shared their experiences and thoughts. I hope to keep learning more but I have to start opening my eyes that maybe I'll never be able to change enough. And maybe he won't be able to either. IDK. Guess time will tell.

P.S. I detest soap operas. And, yes, distress/anxiety/crying over yelling. /:
 

Rixus

I introverted think. Therefore, I am.
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#53
Something to remember about INTP's. Everyone needs to think. But I constantly get told that overthinking is bad for you, it leads to depression and negativity etc. This is not the case for me. I overthink everything - from making a sandwich to the nature of the universe. It's a normal part of my existence and is how I solve my problems (overthinking any subject enough will eventually lead to a solution), where for other people overthinking leads to negativity.

The real danger, however, is overfeeling. INTP's are human, and as such have emotions and need to feel them. But overly displaying our feelings and overly dwelling on them is bad for us. Or it's that way for me - I can guarantee that if I think about feelings too much, or rather dwell upon feelings too much, it will lead only to negative feelings. It's like exactly the same as other people make out happens when overthinking.

So really, of course he doesn't want to be bathing in emotions all the time. In fact, spewing emotions all over and INTP all the time is like regurgitating a curry and a bottle of tequila from the previous night all over them. Having inferior Fe is like being aware of people's feelings all the time, but understanding it causing significant strain. Like having to walk around without your glasses and straining your eyes all the time.

So, basically, we really don't like talking about our feelings very much. If we do chose to share, it won't be all the time. It will be during a conversation, and understand that they won't change. It's a case of, "why don't you ever say you love me?"
Answer - "I told you once. If anything changes I'll tell you."
 

Polaris

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#54
Rixus said:
It's a case of, "why don't you ever say you love me?"
Answer - "I told you once. If anything changes I'll tell you."
I've gotten into trouble for this all my life.

Me: "You know I love you"

Other: "But how can I know when you never say it or show any affection"

Me (confused): "But I do show affection":storks:

Other: "No, you don't. Like....never. I feel like you don't love me at all."

:ahh:

I tend to display care and love for someone through actions. It just turns out that those actions are not interpreted the way I intended. I have always considered myself to be very giving and loyal in relationships. I feel like I give an enormous amount....but it is still insufficient. And because I already feel like I'm giving a lot, the thought of giving more becomes overwhelming. I simply cannot compute how much is enough.

To change into someone more emotionally expressive therefore feels like trying to squeeze water out of a stone. I don't know how to do it without feeling extremely awkward, and because I feel awkward, I switch to observer-mode where everything becomes like a play that I'm watching from somewhere above. I disengage, and become robotic.

This is because it is really difficult to be in the moment with emotions. I automatically store emotions aside, for later contemplation. It's like words are meaningless, and I require proof in the form of actions. The problem is, I prefer actions that require little to no emotional expression.

For example, I feel secure in a relationship when we can share interests and ideas freely, and I am not being shut off from doing this. This is affection to me. Expressing mutual feelings is in my view unnecessary because love is already implicit - the fact that we are sharing these things is an emergent phenomenon. Love is the fundamental force from which all these actions arise. It doesn't need to be expressed.

Perhaps this is why I have misinterpreted actions in the past. I have thought someone liked me in that way, when they were simply just enjoying my company. Conversely, I have ignored actual expressions of affection as superficial and meaningless, because the person - while expressing love and affection for me at the same time ignored aspects of me that are fundamental to how I will receive the other person.

I'm still getting my head around how someone can say "I love you", but ignore or constantly neglect aspects of the person you actually are. To me, that is not love.

At the same time, I understand that I will have to be more expressive for the other person to understand that I am not neglecting that aspect of them.

Love. It's bloody, fucking confusing.
 

Crystabelle

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#56
I've gotten into trouble for this all my life.

Me: "You know I love you"

Other: "But how can I know when you never say it or show any affection"

Me (confused): "But I do show affection":storks:

Other: "No, you don't. Like....never. I feel like you don't love me at all."

:ahh:

I tend to display care and love for someone through actions. It just turns out that those actions are not interpreted the way I intended. I have always considered myself to be very giving and loyal in relationships. I feel like I give an enormous amount....but it is still insufficient. And because I already feel like I'm giving a lot, the thought of giving more becomes overwhelming. I simply cannot compute how much is enough.

To change into someone more emotionally expressive therefore feels like trying to squeeze water out of a stone. I don't know how to do it without feeling extremely awkward, and because I feel awkward, I switch to observer-mode where everything becomes like a play that I'm watching from somewhere above. I disengage, and become robotic.
...
In my head:

Holy cow! Is this my husband? No, couldn't be. There's no way he'd share these intimate feelings, like, maybe ever, let alone with a bunch of strangers​

So, curious. How are you guys able to talk so openly about things like love, sex, relationships, interactions and how those things make you feel? How is this a safe enough place for you to share when it's a bunch of random strangers? Is this an INTP anomaly? What am I missing here,?
 
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Objects in the mirror might look closer than they
#57
What are u talking about? Enterprises investing time in deep research to find if their employees have dirty secrets?
Us becoming famous and media sharing our personal crap?
Its unlikely. But if it happens well this is what it is. U like it or not.
2017 people make memes. They laugh at other people deaths. They go trendy.
 

redbaron

consummate salt-extraction specialist
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#58
In my head:

Holy cow! Is this my husband? No, couldn't be. There's no way he'd share these intimate feelings, like, maybe ever, let alone with a bunch of strangers​

So, curious. How are you guys able to talk so openly about things like love, sex, relationships, interactions and how those things make you feel? How is this a safe enough place for you to share when it's a bunch of random strangers? Is this an INTP anomaly? What am I missing here,?
It's not even intimate it's just describing feelings?

I'm actually curious what you even consider intimate about it? Then again you're religious and by extension probably repressed, since talking candidly about things is basically the opposite of how religion works.
 

Jennywocky

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#59
In my head:
Holy cow! Is this my husband? No, couldn't be. There's no way he'd share these intimate feelings, like, maybe ever, let alone with a bunch of strangers​
So, curious. How are you guys able to talk so openly about things like love, sex, relationships, interactions and how those things make you feel? How is this a safe enough place for you to share when it's a bunch of random strangers? Is this an INTP anomaly? What am I missing here,?
Nothing here seems that intimate or personal.

Like I mentioned yesterday, we're "informative." A lot of stuff is just information that we can share to put all the ideas of the table, it's not necessarily intimate to us.

And as long as it seems the readers will take it in like vein, then we can share the ideas since the Internet is anonymous anyway. It might be a little different in a face-to-face group, or if we were sharing things that actually felt very personal or that we were embarrassed over, or if it were an Internet site where there were lots of openly critical folks who were judgmental.

You can kind of imagine it like a bunch of scientists all sharing their experiments around a lab table in the name of SCIENCZ, BIATCHES.

Writing it is also easier for most than saying it. Maybe it adds another bit of distance to the content, when you're writing it... plus you can say exactly what you mean, without having to worry about inflection, body language, or in the moment expression that could come out wrong.
 
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