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Thread: INFJ negotiating mid-life

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array
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    Jan 2009

    Default INFJ negotiating mid-life

    I am interested in hearing from other INFJs having gone through mid-life. I'd like to know what has changed - what functions were more developed, changes in outlook, issues of anger management, intensity of feelings, going back to school, career change, etc...

    Personally, I feel that as I am nearing mid-life, I find that I am better able to say no when I feel that I am being overstretched. I also find that I let pass opportunities for friendships too. Earlier on in life, I would have used my Fe to initiate a conversation. I now find that I cannot be bothered...

    Earlier on, whenever a friend or relative has been in distress (health, financial, other issues, you name it), I would have rushed on and helped out without being asked. After having been burned a few times and also after having been told in no uncertain terms by an ENFP to back off, I find that I now think twice before offering any kind of help. I've tested as enneagram 1 and whenever I see how things can be improved and know from experience that the solution I am offering WILL work, it is painful for me to just sit back and let things deteriorate. But lately, I have even settled for letting others make their own mistakes, suffer the consequences of their own lack of diligence.

    I am wondering whether this detachment or this 'backing off' is reactionary or whether I am also learning to let others do the asking first. One analogy I can think of is this:

    picture a swimmer who has difficulties and is drowning. If you rush on to rescue him, he will grab you and struggle more and get both of you drowned. But if you let him spend all his strength and when he is JUST about to drown, you go and rescue, you stand a better chance of saving him without losing yourself in the process.

    Does that make sense? Or am I simply morphing into an NT?

    Would not be such a bad thing! I have had it being told by fellow NF IRL that the fact that I am so tightly wound affects them...

  2. #2
    Member Array Antreus's Avatar
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    Mar 2009


    It sounds like you've developed your thinking side to deal with that situation. I've tested as NT before myself. I think it has to do with your mood and disposition towards a situation or person.

    Depending on the relationship I can become indifferent. I use my NT when I don't feel safe and when I don't want to expose myself. But my preference always comes out in the end, especially when my values come into conflict or if I am pursing relationships. The relationship I have with my older brother is very impersonal like this. Depending on how you've been burned by people in the past, you don't hate them, you love them, you want what is best for them, but you don't exactly trust them either. I don't burn easily but once I get torched I distance people and it begins to take energy from me to associate with them because I am always on guard. I feel very drained after spending time with my older brother. I have had to develop a different side of me to deal with emotional turmoil. I want to be closer to him but I feel very detached and cold. I can get overwhelmed easily when I am around him and I don't like feeling dissonant.

    It takes a lot of energy to involve yourself with some people and it is in my nature many a times to do so at my own expense. My will to establish rapport is so great I will use any function necessary to compensate even if I am bad at it. I guess in the end I always somehow expose a part of me, however, my intentions are always what I would like to call 'good'. Even if I am bad at a certain communication style at least I am trying based on the situation.
    His form has passed away, he has become a mirror: naught is there but the image of another's face.

    ( I ) 3%, ( N ) 59%, ( F ) 26%, ( J ) 16%

  3. #3
    eating bugs out of hair. Array prplchknz's Avatar
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    Jun 2007


    nah you aren't turning into an NT. sometimes its better to not jump in right away. and you are not become an NT.
    by @magpie

  4. #4
    ish red no longer *sad* Array nightning's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    You're not alone... many INFJ becomes "NT-like" when they start exploring and using their tertiary Ti more. It puts you in a better position to look at the situation as a whole in order to decide what action should be taken. I guess the downside is the seemingly detachment from it all.

    Balance is a good thing
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array vince's Avatar
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    Oct 2007


    I can definitely relate to this topic. I'm turning 30 this month -maybe not exactly midlife but still- and I'm using my T more than ever. Besides, not to sound cold and bitter, but this world turns out not to be worthy of my Fe anyway, so I save it for close ones.

  6. #6
    4x9 Array cascadeco's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    4 so/sp


    Is the 30's considered mid-life? Egads.

    I think most people begin to balance out as they grow older. And I also think that as one balances out, the notion of 'Type' starts to have less meaning. What might have been a more knee-jerk reaction in youth, will be tempered with age. With youth a person might put something through just a couple of filters. With age the person might put the same thing through many more filters before they make a final decision (define 'filter' however you like). And the ultimate decision with age could be quite different from the more knee-jerk response as a youth. Or, maybe not. The reverse sometimes happens too, where people become more set and unyielding as they age.

    I'm an enneagram 1 as well!! Enneagram seems to further differentiate within the same type.

    As for what things have changed over time....I'm afraid I don't have the energy right now to summarize that! But if you're interested in details, just send me a note. I will say though that I think these things are highly individualized, and I can already see I have some differences from what you write in your OP.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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