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  1. #21
    Senior Member amelie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungGun2112 View Post
    This has been puzzling me lately with an INFJ, I have started to hang around. It is like she layers herself up like an onion, and peeling back the layers is impossible because she always knows the right thing to say.

    I am just curious why INFJs tend to have these problems. What is it that keeps them from letting others close? Is it a tendency to not believe that people care enough to be let close? Or fear of scaring the other person away with who they are? Or are you all just so passionate about things you see yourself as too close to your heart to pass out?

    I guess, what I am really trying to get at here, is how can I let her know that it is okay to reveal herself to me? I suspect the answer may be letting her come to me on her own, and to really prove to her that I care.

    But, what do the INFJs think? : )
    There are lots of great insights in this thread! I definitely make sure people pass my tests before I let them in deeply. Generally, I want to know that they are trustworthy beyond doubt, sane, gentle, caring people, and yeah, only a few pass, and yeah, it can take months or years. Once I let someone in, I'm loyal for the long haul, so I'm very careful about who I choose. Also, maybe because we have the rarest type, I've always felt different in some ways than other people, and I have to be sure that I'm going to be understood. When I connect with people on a deep level like I do with close friends, it does expend a lot of emotional energy - so I can't do it with everyone; it would be too draining. And being the type of person who cares deeply about others opens you up to be taken advantage of if you aren't careful, so I've learned that guarding myself until someone proves worthy is the best way to be protective of myself.

    One thing I think I see differently here is that I think how we present ourselves socially is part of our true selves. It's not an act. Everyone wears social masks to one extent or another; ours are just a little more difficult to see behind, but it is still who we are.

    If someone were trying to get me to open up more, they would have to show that they were truly interested in who I am, and they would have to be trustworthy. And it would take time and the other person opening up first, thus demonstrating interest and emotional investment. It might not hurt to verbalize your desire to get to know her in some gentle kind of way, either.

    Noz: - we're not trying to be mean!

  2. #22
    Senior Member amelie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    The other person can be convinced we're bestest best friends, and the INFJ is sitting there inwardly groaning over the fact that they really aren't compatible.
    How do INFJ's deal with this when it happens to you? I have a "friend" like this who just will not take the hint, even though I've turned down tons of invitations. She runs in the same circle, and will take some snippet of public conversation from, say, having our girls at dance together, and present it to my social group as though I've given it to her in confidence. She announced at happy hour with a group of friends, "Remember when you said our girls were like family?" which I hadn't exactly said. Everyone assumes we are best friends, and I don't even like this person! I can't bring myself to say something to her that would be hurtful, other than to just decline invites. Ugh. This is what happens with the screening test fail.

  3. #23
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungGun2112 View Post
    This has been puzzling me lately with an INFJ, I have started to hang around. It is like she layers herself up like an onion, and peeling back the layers is impossible because she always knows the right thing to say.

    I am just curious why INFJs tend to have these problems. What is it that keeps them from letting others close? Is it a tendency to not believe that people care enough to be let close? Or fear of scaring the other person away with who they are? Or are you all just so passionate about things you see yourself as too close to your heart to pass out?

    I guess, what I am really trying to get at here, is how can I let her know that it is okay to reveal herself to me? I suspect the answer may be letting her come to me on her own, and to really prove to her that I care.

    But, what do the INFJs think? : )
    It just sounds like she doesn't trust you. It is possible she only trusts 0-2 people in the world, so you can't take it personally.

    (This is partially me giving myself advice. I'm finishing up dating an INFJ right now.)

  4. #24
    ..... Intricate Mystic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    It just sounds like she doesn't trust you.
    I agree.

    Trust is paramount for me. If I think someone is being dishonest or manipulative, I close up like a clam shell. In contrast, people who are very sincere cause half of the layers of my onion-ness to just fly off of their own accord.

  5. #25
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    I think that when INFJs commit emotion to someone, be it friend or romance or family member, that is idealized as a deep bond that transcends words. It takes a LOT of energy. INFPs do this, but not to the same degree, it seems.

    The whole "INFJ doorslam" thing is because INFJs can't help but experience the pains and pleasures, the ups and downs of everyone else's lives. If a friend seems intent on self-destruction and totally refuses help, the INFJ cannot in good conscience continue to sit by and do nothing while a friend goes down in flames. The relationship must be severed.

    In short, they care too much.

    And so they don't let people in readily at all.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #26
    Member Saffronsocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    I agree.

    Trust is paramount for me. If I think someone is being dishonest or manipulative, I close up like a clam shell. In contrast, people who are very sincere cause half of the layers of my onion-ness to just fly off of their own accord.
    haha, I've had that happen! And it's kinda like, "huh. where'd they go?" and the other person isn't even necessarily aware that anythings changed!

  7. #27
    violaine
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungGun2112 View Post
    This has been puzzling me lately with an INFJ, I have started to hang around. It is like she layers herself up like an onion, and peeling back the layers is impossible because she always knows the right thing to say.
    That is just how INFJ are naturally... layered and self-contained.

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungGun2112 View Post
    I am just curious why INFJs tend to have these problems. What is it that keeps them from letting others close? Is it a tendency to not believe that people care enough to be let close? Or fear of scaring the other person away with who they are? Or are you all just so passionate about things you see yourself as too close to your heart to pass out?
    It doesn't occur to me that someone will have an abiding interest until they do. I regard most interactions as polite formality until someone shows a particular interest. As much because I know I can be a little aloof and am aware that that makes me appear inaccessible at first glance. I don't think of it as a problem but there is something that doesn't sit well with me about opening up too soon to people. I don't like being known intimately unless we have a more substantial relationship or we feel naturally compatible.

    An INFJ can be almost obliviously happy to take their time getting to know someone whereas an ENTP can be go, go, go. It's a slight hurdle to overcome sometimes during the 'getting-to-know-you' phase.

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungGun2112 View Post
    I guess, what I am really trying to get at here, is how can I let her know that it is okay to reveal herself to me? I suspect the answer may be letting her come to me on her own, and to really prove to her that I care.
    Just be consistent. I know with very extroverted and sociable people I can feel like they regard me just like their many other acquaintances. So I will keep things light with them until the relationship deepens. I guess if you show her you are interested in her deeper thoughts through conversation she may open up. Especially if you are only having those kinds of conversations with her. Should be quite a natural thing for ENTP/INFJ who are well-disposed toward each other.

  8. #28
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    disappointment, eventual boredom, inner agenda doesn't really match those of others around me, not skilled in social positioning exploration and finding the right people, insecurity about revealing true self, etc.

    i find that a big huge yet underwritten aspect of my social life and relationship life has involved just not knowing the right people. and not being easy-going enough to kinda smooth things over and investigate without putting so much pressure on myself, the relationship, others. it's a myriad of factors, but a lot of the problems and hangups dissolve when you meet the right people. other iNtuitives is the biggest difference, and other nfs are especially easy to trust. it's just easier to communicate, you don't have to say it all but they still see the arrow pointing to something, etc.

    i'm realizing now too that one of the greatest challenges in the life of an nf is revealing his/her true self. i feel like the artistic inclination toward life is to document yourself, there's a quotation from leonard cohen that if you do it well enough it will stop being you and stand in for everyone. i think that's what we are capable, dealing with the currency of the humanities and the arts, and learning how to withstand the pressure of leading the way/showing people how to live/revealing the little hidden truths in human life by using ourselves as the nude models/test dummies.

    yet the eyes exhaust and sometimes frighten us, and rejecting the values we put forth feels like a rejection of who we are and the particular ways we value ourselves, others, humanity, our friends and loved ones, etc. it feels very alienating to have those severed and pieces removed, the deepest infrastructure for meaning and social meaning (ethics) and love/compassion that we have in place.

  9. #29
    Senior Member mwv6r's Avatar
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    I have trouble letting people close, and it frustrates me that I'm like that. I think it's due to a combination of protecting myself from getting hurt and seeking authenticity to a fault. There have been many crossroads when I could have expended effort into keeping up or deepening a casual friendship but chose not to because I felt that it wasn't authentic -- not that the person was inauthentic, I like people very much, but something about reaching out to them felt fake to me. In recent years I've tried to make myself get over that so that I can have a richer web of friends and not be so over-connected to my romantic partner, which from what I've read it appears us INFJs have a tendency to do! It is still difficult for me though, because I'll "put myself out there" with a person to try to connect more, but if I sense (or imagine) any reticence or disinterest on their part, I feel hurt and have to fight the urge to withdraw from them completely. I have a tough time connecting with other introverts because my mentality is, 'well I'll reach out to them once and then if I don't get anything back I'll stop trying.' I have a much easier time with extroverted friends because they don't mind initiating social contact and have no qualms about calling me up after a long time apart or after an awkward situation. I do wish I could get out of my shell more; I think I'm getting better about that but it is a slow, lifelong process...

    To the poster: if you ever end up in a serious romantic relationship with your INFJ friend, you're going to know them better than anyone you've known in your entire life, because we pour ourselves heart and soul into committed relationships. (Might wanna be careful what you wish for, lol, we can be pretty damn intense!)

  10. #30
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Yes, I identify with everything mwv6r just said!

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