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Friendship as a young INTP

sugomon

Young INTP
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Respectively, I'm in my first year of high school. I'm homeschooled. And female. And an avid writer, which only gives me more reason to be in my head. And an INTP. Yeah, things ain't easy, but I wouldn't change it. (When I was a preteen, I tested as an INTJ and thought it was super cool and refused to accept that I wasn't one...) I've got a lot of time to reflect on myself, but not many places to look for discussions of this caliber. I guess I just want to discuss experiences in friendship.

My mom is an INFJ (sometimes she tests as INFP) and my grandma is an ISFJ. I've never felt lonely because if I need to bounce my inner feelings off someone and have secure discussions, I have them. (In other words, I've never craved a relationship simply so I can feel understood, because I've always had that.) We're very close. (My dad is most likely a thinker and a judger.)

When it comes to my mom, we share our need for space and often complain about clingy people. However, I realized recently that my needs in friendship seem monumentally different from the needs of my other friends. Or past friends. Usually past friends. One of my better friendships are based online, but we recently had a falling out of sorts. In real life, I have many acquaintances, but I haven't found anyone "worthy" (INTPs, you know what I mean) of seeing more of my layers.

I'm drawn to people with a good sense of humor. It's kind of a defense mechanism for me--humor. I find it pretty easy to joke around superficially, though sometimes my jokes get too "deep" for other people and I'm met with blank stares. But then, if I try to establish friendships with these people, I'm met with emotional outbursts when I'm just showing off the first layers of myself. When I enjoy talking to someone, I'm often outgoing and engaged, but people mistake this for trust. Eventually I realize that they're in much deeper than I am and that they're emotionally needy, so I leave the friendship without looking back. Literally, all of my friendships have gone that way.

But the one I referred to earlier is a bit different, since I actually shared my inner feelings and thoughts as opposed to leaving without a word. He's older than me--in his very early twenties. (On another note, I've found that online, I generally gravitate to people who are in their early twenties, but often still have the same problems with them even if they're initially around my maturity level.) We had similar interests, similar humor, and a lot of opinions to share and debates to start.

He blindsided me by saying he felt we were something deeper, and began to misinterpret most everything I said. (I don't know what his type is, but emotionally, he's way too much sometimes.) He became somewhat delusional and thought I felt similarly about him in terms of closeness and whatnot.

Needless to say, I did not, and his behavior made me withdraw.

Here is something I told him in our messages: "I don't want to continue this friendship as much as you do. I never have and I think you know that. The things we want are different. How we work on the friendship is different. Our needs are monumentally different and can't seem to coexist. We've always been on different levels of how deep we were. In what ways we were deep. Our largest misunderstandings were over this."

(Another tidbit: I have a decent grasp on my emotions, but that's only because I consciously started trying to feel them. Pushing them off makes me have panic attacks, which is counterproductive.)

He was emotionally illogical but otherwise seemed logical and critical (this threw me off and made me gravitate to him), complacent in life (he accepts this as a flaw and is working on himself), somewhat clingy/needy, etc. Eventually the feeling of being confined and the endless cycles, along with recognizing that he grew much more slowly than I, made me not want to continue the friendship.

I liked to keep emotional harmony because the risk of saying or doing something I'd have to deal with emotionally terrified me. It kept me from saying a lot of things. It kept me from expressing a lot of opinions. It kept me from expressing myself fully. I relate it to my distance, but sometimes people resort to calling me fake. I've changed since then, I guess because I tried to grasp my emotions. I think I'm decently developed for a young INTP--I want to grow, discover new things, and get out of my head!

A little. I can always just go back to it when things get boring.

I decided not to break off our friendship completely and he had his epiphany (this one, he actually learned from), but as far as I'm concerned, I'll always be emotionally distant from him. It's made me much happier. I enjoy autonomy and I definitely need it.

Again, I'm not sure what his type is, but he shares the same views of friendship as most of my past friends did. He wants someone he can rely on and someone to rely on him. Yadda yadda.

What I search for is an understanding of space, independence, and someone who can analyze the friendship and analyze themselves so that growth is attainable. I also want them to know that all my actions don't necessarily correlate with how I feel for them (in terms of harsh comments, etc.). I told him that growth was one of the best parts of life, but I preferred it in both independent and non-independent ways (growth of the self and growth of the friendship). And when growth is no longer attainable, I generally disconnect myself from my emotions (I love this trait--it's kinda survivalistic but has helped me a lot), analyze what would be best for my well-being, and often leave the friendship because that's just the conclusion I come to.

He saw it as "kinda shitty." And he said he understands that it's logical. The thing he doesn't get is that it's not necessarily logical--it's also an emotional decision for me.

Now we're having rather intelligent conversations that interest me and appeal to my ideal of growth and debate, since he's resolved things and wants to "fix" it. I'm fine with how it is now, but I won't hesitate to disconnect completely if history repeats itself.

I've let go and feel happier because of it. Letting go is, first and foremost, releasing all my inhibitions. Whatever I do to achieve that is a fair price. I came to the conclusions that I did because he always seemed to dig up things I thought were solved. I learned not to trust resolution on his side and also decided not to get too invested in achieving it. Doing so only to be disappointed was emotionally draining.

Fellow INTPs: Have you had any experiences like this? And, in your experience, what are the best kinds of people to make friendships with? What do they typically exude?

I really want to find better people to be friends, or even acquaintances, with instead of always being drawn to emotionally toxic people. I definitely want and need to resolve this before I start looking into romantic relationships (not that I'm in any rush). This is one of the many aspects I need to mature in.
 
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TMills27

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And, in your experience, what are the best kinds of people to make friendships with? What do they typically exude?

Friends are better when doing stuff I find. 'Just talking' gets easier later (when you both get better stuff to talk about/shared experiences).

Which means I'm willing to try friend's suggestions, and friend willing to try mine. Doesn't have to be expensive, even feeding ducks at a harbor can be fun, (though cheesy for some I guess).

As long as the other person is coherent, I can listen to them all day. If what they talk about leaves room for interactivity, I'll be enthralled with adding to it and bringing more depth. And it's rather exciting when they listen back with enthusiasm when I have something to say. Even better if they add to it and bring more output to it.

And most importantly, if I'm not self-conscious or worried about how I'm acting or behaving- friend secured. I have no idea what contributes this, as there is even some very judgemental people (who pick on me a lot), and I'm still very much like myself and at ease around them. As well, another person who is really nice and seemingly laid back, and yet I'm still quite tense.

Though for those without success, I hope they don't take it personally.

He blindsided me by saying he felt we were something deeper, and began to misinterpret most everything I said. (I don't know what his type is, but emotionally, he's way too much sometimes.) He became somewhat delusional and thought I felt similarly about him in terms of closeness and whatnot.

Needless to say, I did not, and his behavior made me withdraw.

Indeed, it seems things went from casual and relaxed, to all of a sudden having pressure and obligations. It's better if everyone just relax and take things in at the moment.
 

onesteptwostep

The Lance of Longinus
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If you're in high school you should be meeting people of your own age.. like some other homeschooled student in your association or something (if you're in one?). People out of high school, if they have nothing good to do, usually are emotionally needy imo.

I mean generally. *flameshield up*

Oh and welcome to the forum.. erm maybe what I typed up was a bit too forward, sorry about that.

Fellow INTPs: Have you had any experiences like this? And, in your experience, what are the best kinds of people to make friendships with? What do they typically exude?

I've found that typically, being a thinker + friends with opposite sex = bad. Especially in an isolated one on one situation. I'd had several relationships where all I wanted was friendship but only met with confusion/hesitation. Most of the intimacy died off (first emotional, then er, 'intellectual'). It's interesting though, once these friends of mine had their own boyfriends, it was easier to talk to them again (although it raises suspicion from their mates o_O).

The best friendships I've had (and still maintain) were people I've lived with who've together gone through a rough patch in life. Friends that I've starved with together, shun away from 'the dominant social group' together (or just simply got sick of), and just generally people who've I've spent the most time together. It's a sharing of experience that brings people together imo. But generally, on the superficial level I'm drawn to the social outcasts, or if you want to put it on a lighter note, the eccentric and gifted, and those with a seemingly different perspective. I don't mind normal people either, but I'm not drawn to them. If I get to know them, I usually connect with them via some emotional empathy.
 

Pizzabeak

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Meh, had a response typed out but accidentally (of course.) hit alt+back and lost it all, don't feel like attempting it again and now no one will ever read it, too bad.
 

Esurient Fere

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Respectively, I'm in my first year of high school.
Welcome to hell. In my experience everyone is unstable and being different will not work in your favor. On the other had you may end up with the misfits. They're interesting.


(Another tidbit: I have a decent grasp on my emotions, but that's only because I consciously started trying to feel them. Pushing them off makes me have panic attacks, which is counterproductive.) He was emotionally illogical...

In my very limited experience emotions aren't very logical. They're a different system with their own rules. If you know a feeler it's best to get there perspective on situations to help build an understanding of it's system. (seriously, try to logic love. It really doesn't work.)

I liked to keep emotional harmony because the risk of saying or doing something I'd have to deal with emotionally terrified me.

I think you should evaluate this practice as a cost benefit. If you're trying to build friends harmony can easily mask problems. Do you really want to hold a posture your whole friendship? I have a friend who i assume is an SF type (he refused to take the test because he didn't care.) Who doesn't really understand me very well but I never watered it down with him. So we have some awkward situations but he know's I'm being real and I don't have to fake it.
I would so far as to agree with Franz Kafka
“Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
It seems logical to keep things "level" but in the end you have to spend all this time and effort to maintain an artificial stance.

Fellow INTPs: Have you had any experiences like this? And, in your experience, what are the best kinds of people to make friendships with? What do they typically exude?

Like TMills27 said. I think finding people that share experiences and passions will work best. Any two mature people can maintain a relationship. I have personally found that people into self improvement are great companions. Also anyone involved in your interest areas. (I happen to also be into writing, fiction, and I could talk about it for days.)
All that being said life is full of surprises and you may just find some interesting people that don't follow any of these tips!
 

Fandomitis

*awkward silence*
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Fellow INTPs: Have you had any experiences like this? And, in your experience, what are the best kinds of people to make friendships with? What do they typically exude?

I've discovered that I generally get along better with people who are able to understand my actions and/or motivations (or are at least capable of dealing with my oddities). When "searching" for new friends, I look for people who are logical and not over-emotional, and can understand that when I insult someone or something I'm most likely being sarcastic.

Basically, these are the main things that I look for in someone:
-not too emotional
-similar sense of humor
-rational
-quiet/not a very loud person
-doesn't talk "too" much
-etc.

I know that list of traits (maybe) sounds a bit too specific, but I've been in enough failed friendships to know what I'm looking for.

My two best friends right now are INTP and INFJ. My INTP friend is (obviously) practically the same as I am. I guess you could say that my INTP friend and I are the "logical" aspect of the group, and my INFJ friend is the "emotional" part. I find it a bit difficult to explain, but what I'm trying to say is that although we INTPs seem to be attracted to people similar to ourselves; introverts, "logicians", etc., I find that also having a "feeling"/emotional person can be beneficial. When I'm alone with my INTP friend, and although we are extremely alike and have similar interests, things can sometimes get a bit awkward. When we talk alone, there's almost no emotion exchanged between us. We just... don't know what to say/do when it's just us. But, as soon as the INFJ enters the picture, she kind of, in a way, "lightens the mood". My INFJ friend helps add the emotion into our conversations/discussions. I'm not saying that's always a good thing, but it does usually makes the topic we're discussing more interesting.

Now, onto the next part. Based on the past (failed) relationships I've had, I try to avoid people with these traits at all costs:
-over-emotional; actions and words are purely based off of their own feelings (little or no thought put into their decisions)
-talk a lot; people who tire me out with their chatter
-"obsessive"; won't leave me alone when I need "alone time"
-too narrow-minded

Basically, I don't get along well with people have an ExFx personality. Strangely, I usually like people who have IxFx personality.

Like many INTPs, I think I get along well with other INTPs/similar MBTI types. But I find that having an emotional friend can be pretty nice too. Even if she's too sensitive sometimes (and I, to be completely honest, do find it quite annoying when that happens), we've learned to deal with each other's differences and now we get along extremely well. Having a "feeler" as a friend has, I think, actually made me more aware of people and their emotions/what they're feeling (I'm not entirely unemotional, okay, but I am pretty cold-hearted; you know what I mean, INTPs...).

So... yeah. That's what I have to say.
 

sugomon

Young INTP
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Thanks for the replies, everyone!

And most importantly, if I'm not self-conscious or worried about how I'm acting or behaving- friend secured. I have no idea what contributes this, as there is even some very judgemental people (who pick on me a lot), and I'm still very much like myself and at ease around them. As well, another person who is really nice and seemingly laid back, and yet I'm still quite tense.

I can definitely relate to this.

Indeed, it seems things went from casual and relaxed, to all of a sudden having pressure and obligations. It's better if everyone just relax and take things in at the moment.

I totally agree. I hate feeling pressured.

I'm thinking the person in question is an ISxJ, so maybe his need for order or knowing where he stood started coming out? However, he just recently told me he tested as INTJ, and he could just be a turbulent and undeveloped one. Looking at how the undeveloped ones deal with strong emotions, it's possible. But his NT could go either way (he got NT by about 10%), so I told him to look into other personality types.

Pretty sure he might not because he finds INTJ appealing, since he loves his logic.

onesteptwostep said:
If you're in high school you should be meeting people of your own age.. like some other homeschooled student in your association or something (if you're in one?).

You have a good point there. After being socially rejected/misunderstood by some people in my age group a few years ago, I took it way too hard. I've heard somewhere that INTPs aren't usually embarrassed/hurt, but when they are, it hits them hard. That's basically what happened to me and I withdrew from anyone my age for a good two years after that. I decided that everyone my age was stupid, then eventually realized that I'd made a rash judgement. At that point, I started going online, but the craving to get out in the world has come back.

I don't have an association and I'm not in any homeschooled groups/clubs, but I do like other homeschooled kids so maybe I'll look into it. I participate in ballet, but either I'm the oldest in my class or I'm work-oriented and find socializing counterproductive, irrelevant, or annoying.

I'll probably start finding activities that relate to hobbies I enjoy (most of which attract thinkers, yay).

onesteptwostep said:
People out of high school, if they have nothing good to do, usually are emotionally needy imo.

I've found this in my experience, too.

onesteptwostep said:
Oh and welcome to the forum.. erm maybe what I typed up was a bit too forward, sorry about that.

Nah, not at all. Thanks for the welcome!

onesteptwostep said:
It's a sharing of experience that brings people together imo.

I really enjoy growth in relationships. Experiences are important for me, so I typically don't like people who are too comfortable with life. On the flipside, I also don't like people who overload with lots of (extroverted) experiences but only scratch the surface in terms of what they get from them... if that makes sense.

I also get that eccentric thing, or people that seem to have a different view from the vast majority of people. Like, people who question things or whatever. That's what drew me to my current friend--very sarcastic and sort of cynical, seemed to process things better than people around me, and at the time I found that cool because I'd had a lot of rejection from people who seemed superficial. That became superficial in its own way, too, though.

Pizzabeak said:
Meh, had a response typed out but accidentally (of course.) hit alt+back and lost it all, don't feel like attempting it again and now no one will ever read it, too bad.

I feel... err... relate to your pain.

This has saved my life.

Esurient Fere said:
In my very limited experience emotions aren't very logical. They're a different system with their own rules. If you know a feeler it's best to get there perspective on situations to help build an understanding of it's system. (seriously, try to logic love. It really doesn't work.)

True, but... even if the emotions themselves aren't logical... can't people just try to process and work with them logically and rationally?

Can't they?!

Dammit.

Esurient Fere said:
It seems logical to keep things "level" but in the end you have to spend all this time and effort to maintain an artificial stance.

God, this really hits home. Definitely something I'm going to try and change that particular thing (though I have gotten better at it, since I found that this habit of mine was also counterproductive).

Esurient Fere said:
I have personally found that people into self improvement are great companions.

Same here! I really enjoy when people are actively working to improve themselves. They pose some great questions and are open to lots of conversations compared to people who hide behind their weaknesses.

Fandomitis said:
I know that list of traits (maybe) sounds a bit too specific, but I've been in enough failed friendships to know what I'm looking for.

I'm getting to this point, myself.

Fandomitis said:
Basically, I don't get along well with people have an ExFx personality. Strangely, I usually like people who have IxFx personality.

I'm also this way. I like introverted feelers, but sometimes they can get way too dreamy for me, especially if they're in love with someone, and I can't deal with them for that time. But they're also good for "deep" conversations sometimes.

Having an INFJ as a mom makes me appreciate having feelers in my life. I think I can have some as friends, so long as they aren't too out there.

Anyway, you've all brought up some great points. Thanks.

Now that I've got all this info, time to defrag my brain...

Update: Friend has identified as an INTJ, which I can see in some ways. I don't have any clue as to how the undeveloped ones go about strong emotions, though.
 

Esurient Fere

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sugomon; said:
True, but... even if the emotions themselves aren't logical... can't people just try to process and work with them logically and rationally?

Can't they?!

Dammit.


God, this really hits home. Definitely something I'm going to try and change that particular thing (though I have gotten better at it, since I found that this habit of mine was also counterproductive).


Same here! I really enjoy when people are actively working to improve themselves. They pose some great questions and are open to lots of conversations compared to people who hide behind their weaknesses.

I'm not sure I'd want everyone to approach things logically. It would make sense to us but there would be a huge disparity in the emotional department. There are things I'm not well equipped to handle and I recognize other people are.

As for just being you without all the posing. It can be hard, I spent the first two years of high school alone. I really had a reputation for not caring and ended up in the misfits group. It wasn't so bad then. We had an understanding and eventually a few people met me on my level. Now we're really tight. They're all over the world now because they're that type of people but we have a bond that can take time and distance. Shared history is a powerful thing.
 

Humbug

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Just remember to not judge by type. My best friend in the whole world since the age of 3 is an ISFJ. She often tricks those who do not know her as well into thinking she's an ISTJ, probably because she was the youngest sibling and only girl of 2 older brothers, but she gives the best gifts, and often explains how she feels about someone by saying " I just don't like them," which is a classic feeler response. She has always been very tall (nearly 6") and strong. When we were kids, she wouldn't think twice about punching a boy in the face if he said something to offend her. We never have gotten in a real argument. This is likely because, when a disagreement arises, I begin listing off various logical arguments, and she simply attempts to drown me out by repeating "Nononononono. I'm right. Nononononono." Thus no real debate can ensue. We have fun doing things. We go rock climbing together and go to movies together and just hang out together. Sometimes the most important part of a friendship isn't the talking and touchy-feely, sometimes you just have to spend time together. Good luck
 
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