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Old 24/02/2012, 08:04 PM
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ValerieUGA ValerieUGA is offline
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Question Dealing with Contrary Relations (Long Question)

Hello, been a very long time since I posted. I have a bit of a dilemma and am looking for advice.
Background: I am an INTj who works in a business environment that can be highly competitive, however as a consultant my work is often specialized and often stands alone. However, I come across a lot of ENTjs. Some are owner/CEOs/Directors and I have to reel it in and be very buttoned up, which isn't too hard for me. For years I have worked closely with ENTjs and have this same problem repeating and I'm just tired of it. I am trying to find a new way to approach a CEO that hired me. He is ENTj. And this is a familiar issue.

The Situation: This is how it always starts, very typical of these relationships if I understand correctly--> ENTjs first meet me and love me. I'm rational and don't care how one sided the conversation is and can provide endless amounts of objective, non-threatening feedback. They seem to think we're kindred spirits- I know we're not. But that's fine. The first problem arises when I do not match them when they become uncharacteristically "overly familiar" (as I would put it.) I think they see putting their guard down as a compliment...? I feel like I have to become the church lady (snl skit) just so they stop being so inappropriate (I'm a young(ish) lady at work. The sexual humor is gross and weird.) It's awkward. Mostly because they didn't think it would be.

Because we do end up leading with out strengths if a situation arises that requires scrutiny or analysis he wants to go wide and I want to drill down. (to put it simply) He usually thinks that the best way to solve a problem in a team is to be very enthusiastic about a dozen possible solutions and the solution and work on those to find a solution. I want to go create a set of criteria to narrow down our choices and pick the best one based on testing/research. ENTjs have the tendency to be okay making mistakes (wasting time, is what I call it) and so just work down a list of solutions until one sticks..? And when it doesn't work, it's as if they get more excited and motivated by the 'new development'. It's a "well now we know this isn't the answer for us..." mentality. Except I already knew it wasn't the answer. And the most demoralizing thing for an INTj is being tasked with something I know will fail. Eventually, the ENTj thinks I'm working against him, rather than simply disagreeing with the approach. And perhaps because the relationship on his end was so idealized, he feels especially betrayed. This cycle can happen on a small scale and be recovered quickly or it can continue and define the rest of our working relationship until the end of the project. The latest situation is shaping up to look like the latter and I want to avoid that at all costs if I can...

My question: How do could I communicate to a contrary relationship, or an ENTj, that I'm not working against them, I just think this is a total farce? Or whatever the diplomatic way to express such a thing is...
And a side question would be: Are all ENTjs a wee bit paranoid or is that just my perspective as the other half in a contrary relationship?
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Old 24/02/2012, 10:51 PM
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Appleteck Appleteck is offline
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The straight up approach is the route I always take, most of the time it works and they will respect you for it. However, the times it has not worked, is when I am dealing with someone who is closed minded to new ideas/opinions. In those cases, I have cut my losses. All that being said, I recognize the gender and age difference however, I believe most js tend to do the right thing.

BTW, I like working with comparative and semi-duality types, more so, than any other type.
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Last edited by Appleteck; 24/02/2012 at 10:51 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 27/02/2012, 05:56 PM
Zeus Zeus is offline
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I'm afraid even if you feel like you know it is not going to work, you cannot be negative about it with ENTj. I'm not saying lie to yourself. Maybe you should accept it as a challenge to try to make it work. Even if it is fubar, it is still not set in stone.
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Old 07/03/2012, 03:37 AM
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ValerieUGA ValerieUGA is offline
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Thanks for the input. I actually tried something new. I have a team member I'm "work close" to who is an ESTj and I've been using her as an intermediary. I use her if I need to animate a particular idea or mediate a conversation. It works surprisingly well. Not 100% but better than before. I use her like my little lobbyist, she can conjure up the passion I can't and can take direction very well while communicating ideas in a straightforward fashion. I can't believe I didn't think of it before.
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Old 10/03/2012, 08:00 PM
HotelStayer HotelStayer is offline
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I would change fields. If you are at the level where you are working with CEOs you likely have some money stashed away, or at least reasonable means to make or begin planning a career change.

I find that dealing with crass, lewd people on a daily basis brings me down to their level. Parts of the same thing move together, always.

I'll also add that in my experiences a lot of the feelings we get from an individual person that we assume is unique to us are actually universal. For example, there is someone I am working with who I get a somewhat negative 'vibe' from and a third person was just telling me that that person also rubs them the wrong way.

So it could not really be as type-related as you may think; or some variation thereof.
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