I'm always rummaging through the web for interesting blogs - from and with INTx. So I came across www.intpmom.com. The blogger is INTP and has given up her scientific career in favor of two children. Again, it is a good read in a congenial style.
Especially worth reading were these four articles:
- In INTPMom: What i learned about making friends revolves around the same problem I have, too - it is difficult to impossible to find friends which are well suited to us.
- "INTPMom: INTP vs INTJ - social skills about the interaction of INTJ and INTP with their environment
- INTPMom: INTP vs INTJ - expressing emotions about the handling of emotions
- INTPMom: INTP vs. INTJ - living in the moment about the effects of the P/J contrast for the attitude about life
I’ve been in academic environments my whole life, up until a few years ago. From going to an academically rigorous high school, to college, to working in a scientific field, to grad school, I was always surrounded by people with intellectual interests and a deep knowledge base. Even if they didn’t always have an abiding personal interest in those topics, it still provided an intellectual basis for conversation and a common experience on which to build friendship.
That says two things: first, from what-if: the academic career would have had its advantages. And: I'm not alone with the problem. Further down in the article it gets even more interesting: she is married to an INTJ (sic!). As she describes it, that's exactly what I imagine:
Having my husband as my only friend for the past year has set a high bar for what I expect to find in a friend.
My husband KJ and I have great conversations. It’s so easy to talk to him, he’s intelligent and knowledgeable about a wide range of topics, and he has (what I consider) a great sense of humor. And we’re both pretty quirky— or weird— whatever you want to call it. KJ is as weird as I am but in slightly different ways, so being with him has made me even weirder. Because we embrace each other’s weirdness and we can be ourselves with each other, our conversations start at the level where most of my conversations with other people end.
All in all, that describes my situation is quite well and I also think of a relationship. I just do not have a problem when the other one is just weird, but I feel magically attracted to that. I still believe that there is a very special chemistry to be with someone who understands me on a level which other people just can't.
In my recent interactions with a number of INTJs, I’ve noticed a trait that they all seem to share: in casual conversation, INTJs often seem incredibly smug. This holds true for my INTJ husband, who often seems like a completely different person when he’s interacting with other people compared to when we’re alone. He tends to come off as a smug asshole when talking to people he doesn’t know well.
I do not know if it that can be generalized. I've noticed that on the occasions when there's a large audience, I'm getting rather pert, more than smug. I do not think that has anything to do with pretended self-assurance. If I'm actually unsure, I prefer to retreat to a corner or submerge into the cover of the crowd.
When my husband talks to friends and family on the phone, he tends to talk for a long time without pausing about everything that has happened in his life recently, then expect the other person to talk for a long time about him or herself. He can then use the time while the other person is talking to prepare what he’ll say next. When I talk on the phone, I prefer a livelier back-and-forth, taking turns telling one anecdote at a time and pausing often to elicit a response. I don’t like to talk for too long without pausing to see if my friend is still interested or if they have something more important to say.
That's an interesting observation, and yes, it's true. I tend to talk even talkative, but in return I expect the same from my opponent and I'm disappointed if there is nothing. And I precompile conversations (or letters) in the background. That's why I was so shocked when I was called by the woman from the Stuttgart area, which I met through a dating site, completely without forwarning.
What I also find very interesting is the deep insight into the dynamics of a relationship between INTP and INTJ:
Both INTJs and INTPs are often perceived to be cold, unfeeling, and emotionally distant. We are not as skilled as other types at displaying and communicating emotion, but we do experience emotions very deeply and have a strong need for emotional intimacy—albeit with very few people.
I react to extreme stress by crying, and I have to vent, rant, and talk things out in order to feel better. My husband reacts to stress by distancing himself and turning inward to process things alone. (Being an introvert I am generally the same way with others. But I consider KJ an emotional extension of myself, and I have to share my feelings with him in order to feel better.)
Such a plan to avoid a relationship crisis can only be the product of two NT types, that's such a stereotype ... to write an instruction manual. But on the other hand it should really help:
Last year we wrote out an action plan for reconciling our incompatible stress management methods. Here are some of our resolutions:
- I will cry whenever I need to instead of trying to hold it in, which inevitably makes it worse. It’s easier for KJ to deal with crying in several short bursts than one long jag. I will let him know as soon as I feel like I might cry, so it doesn’t catch him by surprise.
- When he’s stressed out, he will talk about it with me before processing it in a solitary fashion, so I know what’s going on.
- We will talk about things that stress us out as soon as they arise, instead of letting it build up and becoming grumpy towards each other.
- Once a week, we will sit down and have an emotional check-in where we both talk in-depth about our feelings over the past week.
And last, but not least the meaning or better the relationship between P and J and the future or the present, how the sense of the current situation and its classification is different:
As a P, I am able to live in the present really well because I’m constantly taking in information about present experiences and processing them. While I was single in the years between college and meeting my husband, I filled my life with activities and experiences that I enjoyed doing alone. My future was open, and even though I wanted to fall in love and have a family, I knew there was a possibility that might never happen, and I was okay with it because I was happy.
My husband’s mind-space is always in the future because as a J, he loves to make plans. It was always his goal to have a family, and many of his other plans and decisions in life depended on it. Without that piece of the puzzle, he wasn’t able to proceed with other plans, and he wasn’t able to enjoy the present when the future was unknown.
When we’re apart during the week, he doesn’t feel very lonely because the big picture is still present to him. Having our family motivates him and gives him the sense of purpose that he needs, whereas I am more prone to forgetting things that are not present. I enjoy the “now” of being with my family more than our future plans.