A reader raised a topic for me, which is honestly a rather difficult one to address. As an INTJ female, what is the nature of my friendships with other women?
I will expand on that to include all female relationships and my overall perception of other women. I have thought about writing on this particular subject before, however I am well aware that just because I don’t get offended by anything, particularly anything anyone has written, doesn’t mean others don’t. I have brought up this subject in conversation, and unless I am speaking with a guy, it never seems to go well. I also expect full-on flaming for this post.
I have to preface by mentioning that I am rather brutal on my own sex. I find the general female populous manipulative, self-serving, emotionally weak and rather fake. This, or anything I write here doesn’t describe all women by any means, just my broad perception based on my personal experience. There are many men who equally fit this description. It is all about perception, as there are probably people out there who feel this description fits myself.
I have only had 2 close female friendships in my life; one as a child and one as an adult. The childhood one was young, so I don’t necessarily count that. The adult friendship lasted about a decade until I cut it off years ago. Yes, I “broke up” with the only female friend I had in my adult life. I currently have no female friends, but I do possess a couple of female acquaintances whom I respect. Who are these women? Fellow XNTXs, of course.
My difficulties with female friendships seems to be directly related to the lack of common ground with them. We are rarely into the same anything, and their thought processes are generally too irrational and manipulative for my liking. I am not a feminist, I tend to favor gender roles, based on the study of biology and nature of animals, and fully believe that everyone is in control of their own lives and destinies. All too often, especially among women I have known personally, they tend to require the presence of support, and will meet all ends to attain it. While they work to acquire whatever their definition of support is, they fail to know themselves well enough to know who they are deep down and know what they want. Do they want anything besides the big wedding and photos for Facebook? They put on a show, display their card of feminism and yet demand all of the benefits of a perceived patriarchal ideal. Generally, they are just not honest with themselves, which is something I just cannot abide.
I don’t care if someone simply wants a man to support them while they stay home and raise kids. That is honorable. The only thing I find is that they may settle for a man that doesn’t please them sexually or doesn’t appeal to them overall. If someone wants this kind of life, there is nothing wrong with that, but they need to own it and spend the time to get to know themselves well enough to be selective in their choice of a partner. Many women I have associated with are (or were) in this dynamic and the only words that come out of their mouths are ones that belittle their husband and express complaint about their lives. They regret the things they didn’t do, the things they missed out on and their fantasies (and perhaps their affair) with little Johnny’s school teacher. They chose that life, and they didn’t choose correctly, so I have little sympathy for their complaints. The singular solution to that is to be honest with and get to know oneself prior to settling down. I have a lot of trouble sitting and listening to a group of women having these conversations, and it takes me everything in my power to hold my tongue. If I do offer a piece of rational perspective or advice, I am instantly Satan. I have nothing in common with this demographic, which eliminates quite a few potential female friendships.
My long-term adult female friend was a serial settler and supreme adulteress. Her self-esteem was so low, that she took attention from any man who would look at her. It was sad, and I spent the better part of a decade trying to build her up into something respectable. Not by society’s standards, but to herself. I don’t care if a woman likes to sleep around, I really don’t and more power to her. I never understood her motivations, but I didn’t judge. I just wanted her to own it and to not simply settle for a man because he would provide her a roof. She did this several times during the duration of our friendship; 3 different men who supported her and countless affairs. During our friendship, I talked her into getting a college degree and supported her attempts to become self-sufficient so she could live the lifestyle she wanted, without having to drag some naive man into the mix. It lasted a few months before she had some guy move in. In the end, I grew tired of it all and it was beginning to drag me down, so I ended the friendship. Some people just cannot be helped, even under the best of intentions from both sides. She wanted the man at home to belittle and not have sex with, while she had all the men she actually wanted to have sex with on the outside. Needless to say, I had nothing in common with her and no amount of rationale would help.
I just haven’t been fortunate enough to really get close to any females like myself, which is perhaps simply a result of the rarity of the INTJ female condition. There are plenty of women I know and respect, but never get personally close to, such as co-workers. I know all of these women are smart, capable and respectable women, but I tend to not get personally involved with my colleagues, male or female. That is just a personal choice from past learn-ed life experience.
On the flip-side, many of these “typical” women I may describe likely look at me as some sort of cold, heartless plain, boring quiet woman. If any of them do make a comment, it is usually related to my quietness or my affinity for the color black in my wardrobe. They cannot relate to me as I cannot relate to them, which makes it nearly impossible for me to connect with another female. I have no interest in shopping, gossiping, getting makeovers, going to the spa, what is happening in the lives of celebrities or many other things that many women consider fun activities or topics of discussion. I have no problem with these activities and topics, and one can only decline so many invitations without making the hostess feel snubbed. Sadly, that is just the reality of it all.
I know very well that I could try harder to find female friendships that are more compatible for me, but to be honest, I just don’t have the motivation or time to do so. If I happen to cross paths with one of these wonderful women, who I know exist, then perhaps I will make the effort. Currently, it is not a priority or a need, and it really never has been.
Also published on Medium.