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  1. #1
    Senior Member penelope's Avatar
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    Default ENFP + INFJ problem... help!

    So, quick rundown before I get to the problem: I'm in this AMAZING relationship with an ENFP. We're both totally dedicated to making it the best relationship possible, so whenever we run into a problem, we solve it.

    However, something's come up and I'm having the hardest time understanding it and trying to find a way to fix it.

    Basically, as a couple, we're not too good at being social. He's extroverted, so of course he loves being around people, but I'm incredibly introverted and usually in my own world. And now that he's a part of it, he's all I'm interested in being around, if that makes sense. In a social setting, on my own even, I'm still outside of it all, listening and observing and occasionally participating. And that's comfortable with me. But he's so intuitive and connected with me, that when we're together, he can tell that all I want is to be with him, and it makes it very hard for him to enjoy his time with other people and he's said that it's very frustrating to have to decide between being with me because he feels that pull from me and spending time with his friends. He doesn't like that he feels he has to represent the both of us as a couple, because I'm not so outgoing and am uncomfortable in social situations (and in this one, it was with people that I barely know, so of course I cling to him).

    I don't know how to fix that or know exactly what needs to be fixed. Being introverted is such a huge part of who I am, and I don't even realize that I'm "pulling" him, and that he feels no choice but to respond to that.

    Any ideas? Thanks!

  2. #2
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    I've been in his situation many times, so I sympathize with you both. But I'll let the ENFPs take over from their perspective...

  3. #3
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Two possible solutions as far as I can see.

    1. Learn to be more social. This doesn't mean you have to become an extrovert. It just means you have to train yourself to be more comfortable in company. It would probably help if you made friends with one or two people in his circle of friends so you can hang out with them in a social setting. That would be far less awkward for an introvert than trying to mingle.

    2. Convince him that it's fine with you if he leaves you behind for his outings. Not the most desirable option for either of you, probably. Option 1 infinitely better.

  4. #4
    violaine
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    I may be way off but if you are anything like me at the beginning of a relationship I used to have to work very hard not to get so engrossed in my bf that I fell in. Both being NFs and hence very partner focussed, you are likely to feel each other's needs very pointedly. But in this situation that is likely confining for him and definitely not optimal for the relationship.

    Are you shy in social settings? Or do other people wear you down? I would just try to gradually learn to be comfortable with socializing through strategic practice. (INFJ are often more comfortable if they have a plan until something becomes natural.) e.g. if you arrive somewhere together you could intermittently go and converse with other people and come back to him until you break that reliance on him.

    I would suggest making sure you spend some time apart where you are both busy doing your own thing too, if you don't already do that. Fulfilling time doing something other than being with each other. Ime, it's like learning to pace yourself and your relationship, you have to apply some artificial limits if you can't do it while you are together.

    Also, try to develop some friendships with other women if you don't already have that. It's really about not letting your world shrink down to just the two of you.

  5. #5
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanveane View Post
    It's really about not letting your world shrink down to just the two of you.
    Exactly

    Moreso than for him or the health of your relationship but for yourself - don't focus so much on him. Not sure how to word it precisely or any practical advice other than shake yourself loose of that kind of focus for a minute and try to focus on other things. It may be strange or even feel off at first but you will eventually reframe things in a larger perspective and be glad for it.

    The reason I think people may give you this advice is that focus can turn to dependence.

    An ENFP would definitely tell you that no matter how hard or fast you fall for anyone, no matter how perfect they are, no matter how beautiful the relationship - you should never, ever lose yourself completely and lose sight of yourself. You should never give yourself completely over to someone.

    Plus - he's a dude and I kinda think dudes freak out all the time over women getting "too attached" don't they? But, then again, he's ENFP...ENFP re/act like women in relationships. LOL. He's getting uncomfortable because he wants to be responsible and do right by everyone.

    So even if you do develop a larger network and more interests outside your bf - the core part of you will always want to focus on him. And there's nothing intriniscly wrong or bad about that. I think once your bf understands that is just a part of who you are and how you express love and that it's okay by you if you has a great time and you don't necessarily want or need to be best buds with his friends etc (and perhaps if you make a little more effort to show interest in his friends when you are out?) you'll get past this no sweat.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

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  6. #6
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Yeah, I get this situation. Definite conflict between my INFJ and I. Of course, I blame myself for not noticing, early on we sat in his dorm room making out. Like instead of ever going anywhere.

    I don't really have a solution, we haven't really found one. He is trying to push himself to want to go out more and be more spontaneous and I'm trying to go out without him more, we had ended up slightly hermit-like. (16 years married, four kids)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    Coming from an ENFP male..

    This sounds very familiar. It sounds like a young ENFP. It takes a little time but he'll come around. He's still struggling making the obvious decision of letting go of a rich external world and entering an intimate chamber. If he is a Male ENFP, which he is, we will come around. Trust me. He will come to his senses and return to you. It's harder than you think to let go of the outside world because we're so apart of it. We rely on people like you, Penelope, to keep us genuine and real.

    Don't hold it against him. It's always a rough time when we're forced to settle down, like breaking a stallion. It's not that we're caught up between the two, but it's just who we are, how we function.

    He likes you just as much as you like him and something about INFJs really drives us ENFPs crazy. I've always said I'd end up with an INFJ, so hearing that you two have a very functional and rich relationship is not unexpected between the two types.

    Give him a little time but be open and know that it is a bit of a tough shift. Be ready to catch him when he's ready, and you will have successfully broken him in (that sounds so cruel!). But it's something us ENFPs need to be taught, otherwise we'd never settle down.

    I hope this helps. Just never cease to show him the love that you have for him, he will return it and you will be his world like he is yours. He will attach to you and you will both be happy together and all else won't matter.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Train yourself to appreciate the longing when he's gone. Think how many people would like to have someone to miss. Also have at least one planned time together so you know how long you have to wait before you can see him again. It makes it easier to wait. Train yourself to wait without complaining if you can't concentrate on anything else or stand to be with anyone else during the first few separations.

  9. #9
    Senior Member penelope's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. One thing I should add is, that it's a long distance relationship. He's 4 hours away, so perhaps the fact that we only see each other every few weeks doesn't help the "getting sucked into each other" thing...

    Onewithsoul - it's interesting you say that. Actually, he and I had a very tough beginning. He's young, and he never had any real relationships, and once I came around, the idea of what's between us freaked him out and he ran away... twice. The third time around, he's made it concrete and he's determined to make this last and make it work. We're both very aware of the amazing connection and understanding of each other that we have. So the "breaking in" has been done. We're just working out the tweaks, like this social/anti-social issue we're having. It's sweet, though. I knew I'd end up with an ENFP. He's already made it known that he wants to marry me.

    Sanveane - Yeah, I seem to have become more introverted over time, and now it seems that being social takes up all of my energy, and that seems to be hard for him to understand. Even if I am being social, the extent of it is being involved in small, 2-4 people conversations. Any more than that, I'll just observe and become a wallflower. It bothers him when I'm like that, because he feels that he needs to get me out of that when it's just a natural state for me. :/

  10. #10
    violaine
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    Quote Originally Posted by penelope View Post
    Thanks for all the advice. One thing I should add is, that it's a long distance relationship. He's 4 hours away, so perhaps the fact that we only see each other every few weeks doesn't help the "getting sucked into each other" thing...
    Oh yeah... that's got to be tough.

    Quote Originally Posted by penelope View Post
    Onewithsoul - it's interesting you say that. Actually, he and I had a very tough beginning. He's young, and he never had any real relationships, and once I came around, the idea of what's between us freaked him out and he ran away... twice. The third time around, he's made it concrete and he's determined to make this last and make it work. We're both very aware of the amazing connection and understanding of each other that we have. So the "breaking in" has been done. We're just working out the tweaks, like this social/anti-social issue we're having. It's sweet, though. I knew I'd end up with an ENFP. He's already made it known that he wants to marry me.

    Sanveane - Yeah, I seem to have become more introverted over time, and now it seems that being social takes up all of my energy, and that seems to be hard for him to understand. Even if I am being social, the extent of it is being involved in small, 2-4 people conversations. Any more than that, I'll just observe and become a wallflower. It bothers him when I'm like that, because he feels that he needs to get me out of that when it's just a natural state for me. :/
    Seems you need to strike a balance in your relationship between your sociability and his acceptance of how you are. Introverts definitely have their limits by comparison, some of us will never be highly sociable. Which is fine as long as it doesn't mean over-dependence on one's partner.

    Does he know about typology at all?

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