So earlier this week my wife and I watched one of the worst “chick flicks” either of us have ever seen: “Letters to Juliet”
I am going to ruin this stupid movie for you, so don’t read this email if you actually want to watch it for some reason.
Ok, so the main protagonist is a girl named Claire.
She’s a wanna-be journalist ISFJ who does fact checking for the New Yorker.
And is about to go on a honeymoon trip to Italy with her fiancee, Victor, a very enthusiastic soon-to-be Italian restauranteur ENTP.
Claire just adores love stories, and like all ISFJ women spends her day fantasizing about “true love.”
Anyway, when in Verona, Claire finds a place called “Juliet’s window,” a Wailing Wall meets Dear Abbey of sorts for romantically disaffected women who write to “Juliet” for advice on their tragic love lives.
Claire, hopeless romantic and journalist-at-heart that she is, waits until the end of the day and follows the woman who picks these “dear juliet” letters off the wall… and finds out there is a “secret society” of old women who answer these heartbroken ladies’ questions in profound, poetic form.
Anyway, the next day Claire finds a very old letter that had been forgotten in the wall.
(This scene is hilarious, the brick just flies out of the wall for no reason and clearly looks like foam)
It’s a letter from like 50 years ago by some British woman.
Claire answers it, and the next day (lol) this grandma arrives from England with her supposedly charming but romantically flighty son (he looks like an uglier neurotic Heath Ledger)… and they proceed to go on a journey to find her long lost Italian love, who turns out to be played by Franco Nero.
(His cameo appearance is him riding in on a horse. I laughed out loud, I had no idea he played in this — I had breakfast with him this past summer)
Whatever though, this doesn’t matter for our purposes.
Obviously Claire ends up with this English tool bag instead of the ENTP GENIUS (insane I know).
But I’m sure you’d like to know why, wouldn’t you?
Well, mostly because the ENTP didn’t really care much about listening or spending time with her.
She’d start talking about her (boring) little love story she was investigating. He’d act all enthusiastic but then in like 5 seconds later would cut her off to talk about something (interesting) like how good the bottle of wine he was drinking tasted.
And while she’d expected to stick to their boring pre-planned itinerary like seeing the Opera or Lake Garda, he’d change things up to capitalize on BIG spontaneous opportunities… like learning how to cook special homemade dishes from an old italian woman he just met or buying rare wines at an exclusive wine auction he’d managed to get an invite to.
The biggest problem though?
He basically wanted to experience all of his big ideas rather than spend time with her.
So he encouraged her to go on a side-trip with the british duo because it gave him the change to get all sorts of cool recipes and connections for his new Italian restaurant, and not have to pay attention to her.
Which was a big mistake.
Because if there’s one thing ISFJs need, it’s ATTENTION.
And if there’s one thing they hate, it’s being left alone.
Indeed — “Branch swinging” might be one of the most ISFJ traits out there… not having stability is a TERRIFYING thing for them. They are serial monogamists, who often have their next “soul mate” lined up before they break up with their current ones.
(One of the best scenes is at the end, where after breaking things off with the ENTP, she tries to reunite with the british guy only to think he’s back with his ex-gf… she has a total meltdown, is about ready to go back to NYC and ask for the ENTP back)
But the story shows some great insights into these two types and how they work together… and where they can fall apart.
ENTPs often take the ISFJ’s easy adoration and flexibility for granted. But ISFJs need appreciation even if they struggle to ask for it. You need to spend time with them and make them feel listened to and important.
That means if you’re going to go off on a little adventure, try to bring her, or at least try to check in with her.
You do NOT want her to be idle too long, because her resentment will cause her imagination to run wild not about you, but to someone who will rescue her… and before you know it there will be another guy or an affair under your nose.
(ISFJs are the quintessential “damsel in distress.” You could argue the archetypal masculine male is ESTP, and feminine woman ISFJ)
The problem with this ENTP is his Fe (extroverted feeling) was very undeveloped. He was charming but too indifferent to her emotions… which led her to stray.
Anyway, I don’t talk about type as much these days as I used to.
Not because I “don’t believe in it” anymore as some have suggested.
I think it’s a very useful heuristic for understanding people.
But, it’s just one tool in my toolkit… and most people don’t know enough about the types for it to be useful.
In other words it creates more questions than answers, and I don’t want to spend all of my time explaining it.
Because we have more time together to talk, and I can actually go into the different types and help them to understand both their own personality… and of course, those of the women they’re dating.
Very, very useful for anticipating said clients strengths and weaknesses… and to determine which tactics they should use on each individual woman.
Apply here if interested: www.patstedman.com/application