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  1. #1
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default INFJ communication pitfalls with other types

    Every type has its most common difficulties in relating to other types.* Common issues that have come up for people relating to INFJs since I've been on the forum have included:

    - tendancy to be slow to open up
    - showing different sides of self depending on what person the INFJ is relating to.
    - indecisiveness
    - overanalyzing when dating another type that is also watching them for cues (eg Evan's INFJ/INFJ thread)
    - processing time is needed, and issues may need to be revisited several times before they are resolved
    - seeming very strong emotionally and then very unexpectedly exploding or crumbling into tears when things get to be too much, which blindsides the other person who didn't see it coming

    I have also observed some other issues, but would be interested in knowing what those of you who have related to INFJs have found.

    Please state your type and also what you wish the INFJ would do about it to make things work better. (Tells us something about where our differences are in outlook).

  2. #2
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Not being clear when you just need to express your feelings, and only wish for someone to listen.

    I constantly assumed that my INFJ friends would talk about their problems for a) a listening ear and b) a need to figure out what to do about it. I only figured out much later that when I would start doing b) it hurt them.

  3. #3
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I think it's because it doesn't occur to us that others don't realize that. I had no idea at first that when my ESTJ boyfriend brought up something he had been considering doing, that he was really asking my advice either!

    Would you just say, "I had a rotten day and I just want you to listen without offering solutions and then give me a hug and I'll feel much better at the end, I promise"?

  4. #4
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    The only communication issue I've had with the only (healthy) INFJ I know is that we have so much in common already, that we project things into each other in those few areas where we are dissimilar.

    (I should state that IRL I tend to become very NFJ-y around certain types of people, so I am not a protypical INTJ.) I'd say dealing with conflict or addressing criticism is the greatest area for improvement.

    The best example I can think of is with an ENFJ prof but it's the same principle: I specifically asked her to be more critical than she usually would with her comments while marking my papers, and she was like I know what it's like to be a student, no one wants to hear how they suck and you're a really strong student so I'm not going to do it.

    Everyone has room to grow; she has read thousands upon thousands more pages than I have in the field and has far greater abilities to see nuances in my writing, and she's highly intelligent and insightful.

    I perceived this as an opportunity to really grill down and grow, and wanted her to set high expectations for me, because I knew I could learn a lot from her. She was like wtf? you're a strong student no way am I giving more criticism than I am supposed to.

    Constructive criticism, when asked for, is a high compliment to the NFJ being asked--it means we really value your perspective. And not feeding us with that data is hella annoying.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  5. #5
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Thank you. I think I'd do it if I thought they really wanted to hear. However, if an F type says it (depends on the person), sometimes they think they can take it and then they get mad, especially if it's something near and dear to their heart.

  6. #6
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    Boy, I've had clashes with some unpleasant INFJs: passive-aggressive emotional manipulation. If you want something/feel hurt by something, own up to it! These people had a need to control their surroundings, but were never direct in communicating their intentions. So instead I'd get non-subtle emotional cues- forcing their emotional states upon others.

  7. #7
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Would you just say, "I had a rotten day and I just want you to listen without offering solutions and then give me a hug and I'll feel much better at the end, I promise"?
    Actually, I think that I would have felt like a million bucks if they just asked me to listen and let me know that by doing so I'm helping them deal with the problem. I would have felt like I was helping, and I also would have known that they are processing and dealing with the issue in the way that's best for them.

    Without that context, it just seemed like complaining and redirecting on me.

  8. #8
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Thank you, I'll continue to keep that in mind! Yes, it seems we need to bleed off the emotional excess we're feeling and then we can get on with solving the problem. When people close to us don't listen or it feels like they're siding with someone else before we've moved on to solving, it just adds a bunch of extra emotion to get rid of first and delays everything. I think though that your advice and suggestions (as long as it's a back and forth discussion) are helpful and appreciated once the initial venting is done with. I have experienced being on the other side of the venting though and know that sometimes it is easy to wish the other person to hurry up and be done with it already, especially if it seems like they are focussing on it an unreasonable amount.

  9. #9
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Colors - what type are you? Can you give any examples? I suspect that what seems passive-aggressive sometimes can be a belief that we're giving off obvious signals that aren't being picked up on or that we're trying to choke down our squiffiness internally and we're not good enough at hiding our true feelings about whatever it is.

    On the other hand, there are certainly immature INFJs as well as moments of immaturity for anyone which results in bad or ill-advised behaviour. I'm interested in what kinds of things are perceived as passive-aggressively forcing our emotional states on others though...

  10. #10
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Anything else?

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