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  1. #1
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    Default Why do INFJ's have a problem letting people close?

    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? : )

  2. #2
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    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.

    But, what do the INFJs think? : )
    haha. this is cute to me. not laughing at you, but she's probably a few steps ahead of you on this one. if she's really infj, she knows it's ok to reveal herself on her own time, she just hasn't deemed you worthy yet. we are like shy does in the forest. as we get used to you and like you, we will let you get closer and closer to us. if you're lucky, you might even get a pet. but. only a few make the cut. i've never been one for the type of guys that come on strongly. and i'm talking months for this to go down--takes me months or even years to really let someone in. and oh, you might think you're in, but there are layers and layers and layers like you said.

    nothing you can do but be yourself. time will tell.............
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  3. #3
    Member Faine's Avatar
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    That's a hard one. Honestly, I'm not sure why I find it so hard to let people close, and I expect there are a lot of other INFJs who don't know either.

    For me, personally, I think it has something to do with a fear of rejection. Attempts to open up before have made me aware of the fact that the majority of people don't really know what to make of me beyond the surface level I let them see and can't handle the 'real me', nor do they care enough to try to. So, to save them the awkward embarrassment of not knowing what to do and say, and me the disappointment, I usually decide it's better not to let it get that far in the first place. I get to know them easily enough but they only get to know my surface. It's part of that loneliness that INFJs seem prone to. We can be our own worst enemies at times; though we yearn to connect, we find it very hard to do so.

    To get this INFJ friend of yours to open up, I can only suggest you be yourself and try to strike up conversation about deeper matters that you think she might have an interest in. If she's certain you can 'handle' her, she might be more inclined to share... but it could well take time, and you certainly shouldn't push her or she's likely to run. It sounds like you've pretty much got the idea already though. Take it slow, and prove that you're not going to reject her ideas and I expect she'll 'deem you worthy' - as aphrodite-gone-awry put it - of getting through those outer layers. Above all, be kind, open-minded and let her take her time. I'm sure you'll get there in the end. It's just a matter of building up trust and intrigue. Good luck!
    INFJ 9w1.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aphrodite-gone-awry View Post
    haha. this is cute to me. not laughing at you, but she's probably a few steps ahead of you on this one. if she's really infj, she knows it's ok to reveal herself on her own time, she just hasn't deemed you worthy yet. we are like shy does in the forest. as we get used to you and like you, we will let you get closer and closer to us. if you're lucky, you might even get a pet. but. only a few make the cut. i've never been one for the type of guys that come on strongly. and i'm talking months for this to go down--takes me months or even years to really let someone in. and oh, you might think you're in, but there are layers and layers and layers like you said.

    nothing you can do but be yourself. time will tell.............
    This exactly. I have multiple layers, and a person has to really pass quite a few tests before I'm sure I want to tip my hand emotionally to them. It takes a while. I have a lot of casual friends, but only a handful that I'm really vulnerable with. I even have the ability to throw people an emotional bone sometimes by sharing something that seems important, but I don't really care that much about...just to test them out. Becoming close friends with an INFJ is hard work, but worth it in the end.

    If she doesn't open up even after time, don't take it personally. We tend to only keep a handful of super close intimates...and sometimes, the positions are just already filled. One of my best friends is also an INFJ, and we met long ago in college and hit it off right away...but didn't hang out a long time after that. We simply had enough going emotionally. Years later, we met again, were fast friends again, and have been very close for several years. The last time, it was a go, because we had more emotional space and energy for a new friendship.

  5. #5
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    cuz they're big fat meanie heads, thats why!

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    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    cuz they're big fat meanie heads, thats why!
    Are you serious or kidding? *giggle*

    Mostly, we have limited emotional reserve as far as extending ourselves in the direction of other people goes. If we can see that a relationship isn't going to play out well in the future, we're not so likely to spend ourselves on that relationship. It's just a matter of energy conservation, really.

  7. #7
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    Because they're afraid that you'll hate them or something, or they don't trust you with their true selves in fear of judgment or something.... even before they let you get close. Lol there's no way to know that someone will hate the real you until you reveal your true self... seems irrational to me. If people dislike the real you then you just simply don't talk to them (I don't see the problem either).

    Getting close to an INFJ takes time that's for sure (my experience). Until then they will seem quite distant and aloof, they seem to have this "mask" that they wear. You see what they want you to see without really being themselves until they feel comfortable enough. This "mask" self will be adequate for social interaction... you won't know you're dealing with someone who's aloof until you really analyze.

    Good luck man.
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  8. #8
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    Are you serious or kidding? *giggle*
    both


    If we can see that a relationship isn't going to play out well in the future, we're not so likely to spend ourselves on that relationship.
    This is why you're selfish meanieheads. Not cool.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    nozflubber- eh, selfish, but selfish like foxes. ;OP It'd be silly to waste limited energy on a relationship that wasn't going to really be beneficial, when you could be spending it on someone you click with better. I've noticed in myself in the past (and other young INFJs) that we tend to pick up needy people out of a sense of emotional duty, and then end up utterly spent ourselves with no real friends to lean on. 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. Learning to chose friends carefully (making sure the relationship benefits the other person AND ourselves) is kind of key to not going off the deep end emotionally.

  10. #10
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I do not necessarily think that it is a problem with letting people get close. For me personally, I like being close to people and even wish there were more people that could join my inner circle. To me it seems more like being discriminating about who you choose than being afraid of letting people get close.

    Even if you dearly love your dog, you would not let it come into a white carpeted room after playing in the mudpuddles without either taking precautions by checking its paws for mud, or giving the dog a complete bath, or picking a different room for it to be in.

    It is the same with people. INFJs very rarely spend a lot of time on anything that doesn't matter to them quite a bit in some way. They have a stronger need than many types to have the approval of those they are very close to. They want very badly for other people to understand them. The things they do and like are closely tied up with who they are at their very core. If there is rejection or disinterest in any of the things or people that they spend time with and which matter to them, it feels like a direct rejection of them. So, they will only share what you follow up on and show an interest in and they will also gauge your reaction before showing you more. Perhaps other types care less deeply about some of their opinions and pursuits (eg playing volleyball for fun or throwing out an opinion just to see how it sounds or stir up a debate) and so they are more able to detach themselves when others do not respond the way they might hope.

    You will be allowed into the different rooms by asking questions about them rather then just doing all the talking in response to their questions, carefully trying to make sure you understand before dismissing their point of view (they put a lot of thought into most of their opinions and gather a lot of information before making them), picking up on possible entry ways they make for you to follow up on and also letting them decide when they wish to move things along more.

    If you want to get in closer and they haven't given you the opportunity yet, ensure that you haven't done anything to tread on what matters, make sure they know they are welcome and that you are interested and then be a bit patient. They really do want to be understood and so after they've gathered enough information to decide you're alright, they'll give you clearance for the next room in their heart.

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