I am afraid I have a lot less experience with relationships than you or most of us here. May I ask you what exactly you mean by “effective boundary setting” in a relationship? A very foreign concept to me (no surprise). I’m just curious as this could apply to me.
The only insight I can add about Te in relationships is that someone I know who does use Te effectively (an INTJ) suggests to have a top 3 list of things that is most important to you and your life and a top 3 list for what you desire (or would NEVER tolerate) in a partner or spouse, and then stick to those lists. Keep vigilant and be objective as much as possible so your attraction/desire does not cloud your eyes to the truth. If a very important standard is not met or an unforgivable trait has been revealed, don’t plan on staying for much longer.
For some reason, I think that his advice could be helpful for INFJs. But to what extent they should implement it, I dunno. I think INFJs would prefer to stay open-minded about potential partners, so the lists may sound stringent…so the list should be a good and simple filter set with generally broad and absolutely essential values. My problem is that I’m bad at sticking to a set of rules I make. I always make tons of rules for myself only to break them. Rules themselves are a temptation for me to fall and make a mess of myself. But through a lot of suffering, I am getting better and better, stronger and stronger, as I realize that I personally would prefer sticking to a reasonable set of rules than to be a mess and suffer.
The other thing is that said INTJ is a big lover of holding all your emotions in…Keep them bottled up! I don’t think it is the best advice for an INFJ but I think it could apply for the most extreme cases, like when an INFJ is really just about to snap and scream or do something that shouldn’t be tolerated by anyone. I guess the strategic poker-face act, is probably a combination of Te aux-Fi tert. Approximate words from said-INTJ: “If an argument hits, don’t lose your shit and start yelling. Don’t even open your mouth. Stop. Concede if you will. Make every intention to shut doors even more softly. Make every intention to move a thousand-fold more slowly. Don’t reveal a single indication of anger. Hold it, and speak to the other when the heat dissipates and things are a bit cooled down.”
I think an INTJ’s or ISTJ’s willingness to stay rational and in control is probably a huge boon to preserving long-term relationships. Relationships are probably a lot less exciting like this, keeping yourself collected and strategic with one’s personal relations…but yeah, long-term relationships are more about lifetime partnership than excitement, heat, and erotic love, I guess. Requires strategy over caving into irrational emotions. Or am I wrong? I think my INTJ dad brainwashed me with this approach to “love.”
Again, I think sometimes INFJs do need to explode at times, so I dunno how much one should implement the INTJ method for successful relationships. But a bit, at least. The simple rule outlined above may be good to follow when horrible Fi id wants to burst and scream and make collateral damage. Followed by sublimation of Fi into Fe artistic expression? Dunno.
Anyways minimal control over Fi may be helpful as INFJs probably don’t realize how much they hurt their closest ones with their unpredictable storms or even moody silences; they seem to unfairly inflict their hurt or anger on innocent beings. And it even feels like a betrayal to others, considering their seemingly nice and placid surface appearance to those that are not close to them. So personally, I am striving to work on controlling my temper a bit. Seeing other INFJs hurting my loved ones pushed me to do this. Best to practice temper control along with being with someone who can better tolerate storms when they go loose (one of the attributes on my list).
So…I’m sure I did not really help you in the way you would have liked? I am probably already telling you something you know, so perhaps I sound preachy coming from my inexperienced self…Sorry if I did.
What are your thoughts to these bits of Te/Fi approach to relationship tactics?
Would love to hear what other INFJs have to say about this.