ASK PH: Can an INTJ Organize an ENFP?
Personality Hacker gets hundreds of emails every week. Everything from standard customer service issues (like, “How do I access the program I just purchased?”) to emails asking for advice on typology, mental health, relationship issues, and life purpose.
It has always been the goal of Personality Hacker to respond to the needs of the community in a way that makes them feel honored as a part of the PH Family. However, no man is an island. Many of us seeking answers have the same questions as many others. So, in an attempt to be more efficient, we are starting a weekly column where we will publish an email from someone (anonymously – “Sleepless in Seattle” style) with our response. As this column evolves, I hope to reach out to people in our extended community who have more expertise on a given subject. I’d also like to implement video responses from the Extraverts in our community who like to talk more than write.
I’m not sure how this column will evolve, but I am excited to see it happen.
We will only be addressing questions in this column that will be intriguing to a wider audience. Not every question submitted will qualify. If you have a question, you think will be good for the PH community, submit them to [email protected] and put “Ask PH” in the subject line.
And now, for our first submission:
Dear Personality Hacker,
“I identify as an INTJ, and my fiance is an ENFP. We have a 15-month-old child, and our house is a constant mess. It is our #1 source of disagreements. Your podcasts on our types have helped us identify 90% of our issues, and we have been working together to make progress in our relationship. But her disorganization is driving me mad. How do I get her to finish anything? How do I get her to do the things she assured me she would do? She’s like a 27-year-old with dementia unless I “remind” her a minimum of 3 times a day. I end up feeling like an asshole because I always have to keep on her to pick up after herself so I don’t stress out.
Shortly after our daughter was born, I was injured in a work-related accident that could have killed me. I had massive head and neck trauma. To sum this up, I received the miracle of a second chance with minor issues to date. For the first 6-8 months, I had massive mood swings, depression, and problems causing my partner a lot of stress. I feel internal judgment due to this guilt, but I can’t handle the mess and endlessly unfinished projects. I don’t want to imply I expect her to do everything. I have taken on 99% of the tasks around the house, and even bought and built things to make her life easier, but it never seems to make a difference. How can I help both of us with kid gloves?” –HELP
I can truly feel your frustration as I read your email. Identifying as an INTJ, tolerating disorder and disorganization is unbearable for you, and I can see how the situation may feel hopeless.
It’s no fun reminding others of things that you have been clear about and that are important to you, such as respecting the common areas by picking up after yourself.
As an INTJ, being out of work for awhile after a death scare must have contributed to the pressure building within you. I’m sorry that you have had to have this experience at all. I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge where you are, because I feel that you haven’t been feeling heard or recognized for the value that you add to the people around you, and I want to say thank you for reaching out for some solutions to your situation.
Here are the main shifts that need to happen:
- You need to make sure you work through the shock of the scare on your life. This includes grief work on what you may have lost had things gone differently. As an INTJ your biggest challenge will be allowing yourself to feel feelings, cataloging the feelings and getting help in organizing those feelings into a better feeling place.
- Your partner is an intuitive feeler type, and she is probably still exhausted from giving birth. There are studies about how long it takes for a woman’s body to recover from childbirth and the current guesstimate is around two years to full recovery. What all this means is that her actions, especially if she is an ENFP, will be dictated on how she is feeling at the moment, and if what is required of her (in this case cleaning, picking up after herself) feels authentic to her. Talking to her about the reasons why she should do those things simply won’t help. You need to connect to her idea of what an authentic household looks like. From that, she will get an inner inspiration to carry out the tasks.
- Check in to make sure there isn’t some depression still — in either one of you. As an ENFP, she needs time to get out and use her Driver of Extraverted Intuition. As you know, we call it “Exploration.” If someone can’t use their Driver process on a daily basis, dysthymia can set in. The same question applies to you. How often are you using your dominant process of Introverted Intuition? Do you meditate regularly? Just as it is important for her to get out and experience new things, it is important for you to go in and cultivate some zen.
- You both need to learn to communicate with each other in a way that the other communicates. You both need to learn more about your respective personality types, and you both need to learn not to expect the other to be perfect. Give each other soft places to land when you don’t get it exactly right. There’s a big difference in being right and in being happy.
—Merja Sumiloff, Relationship Coach and author of INFx Unveiled and The Healing Power Of Inner Parenting: The Four People Within
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