How do you tell an ESFJ that the friendship is over without them going crazy on you? I'm posting this in the general forum because I want to open it up to responses from all types (including ESFJs whose insight is especially welcome).
You guys, I am really confused. So, this story has happened to me on two separate occasions now. Through mutual friends, I met an ESFJ. We hung out a lot and did stuff together, and I always thought the relationship was fine. They would always try to invade my space too much (prying too much into my life, expecting me to be way more sensitive to social consensus than I am, the usual complaints people have about ESFJs, you know), and I would kind of beat them back and ignore them when they would sulk about it. From my perspective, we were friends but not super-close-best-friends-forever type of stuff.
So anyway, eventually they would invite me to something way too intimate for my level of friendship with them (i.e. let's take a trip to the mountains!), and I would politely decline. Then, they went crazy on me. Acting like I had just committed a felony or something, trying to rope lots of people in to be aghast at my "unacceptable" behavior, and when they realized our mutual friends didn't think I did anything wrong, they'd sulk even more. In each case, we were separated by some event (i.e. graduating from college, moving, etc), and when I didn't show enough interest in maintaining the friendship, they would demand an explanation for why. And I would tell them that we were incompatible as friends, but they would want very literal examples of incompatibility and then, would try to refute those examples.
I'm sorry, but I find this to be bizarre. When people don't want to be friends with me, it sometimes makes me sad for a while, but I would never demand to be friends with them. The vast majority of friends I have, we go through time periods when we're close and some when we're distant...and sometimes they end. It's usually not a big issue. So, what's the deal here? How do you convey to an ESFJ that they didn't do anything "wrong" and you didn't do anything "wrong" but that you're not BFFLs and they should learn how to conduct friendships of different levels of intimacy?