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  1. #1
    Junior Member Carnallace's Avatar
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    Default INFJs, do you feel others need your approval?

    As an INFJ, do you feel that the people around you need your approval/acceptance?

    Recently Iíve been focusing in a lot more on the relationships I have with those closest to me. And Iíve realized that people seem to go out of their way to make sure I approve of their decisions; anywhere from their clothing choices for the day, to advice with their other relationships.

    INFJs are often seen as distant or standoff-ish and Iíve even been called Ďstuck-upí by some people, simply because I donít engage myself with other people. INFJs know that conceit is rarely something we feel, but I can see how my isolating comes off as if I felt others were inadequate.

    It feels to me that the majority of people see us as Ďsuperiorí or hard to please. This is probably offensive to most INFJs, who really are humbled and desiring only to please others.

    Iíve noticed especially among my family, that my opinion counts for more than it should, or even more than Iíd like it to. They go out of their way to have that emotional attachment with me; that closeness and comfort of my approval. Theyíll make an obvious effort to come and talk to me about their problems, seeking my advice. Even in a group discussion, another might have a differing opinion of a solution, but my advice seems to hold more regard.

    Whenever someone hurts me, emotionally, by disregarding, ignoring, ridiculing, patronizing, etc. what I have to say or my behavior, I withdraw from them. I push them a way, at least for the moment. But I feel like when I do, they do whatever they can to regain my acknowledgment of them- almost in a needy, overly attached way. They cling on to me and become even clingier when I donít want to be around them. Itís almost as if I am the one who decides whether they are a good person or not; whether or not they can like themselves.

    My question is, does anyone else feel this way about your close friends or family?
    Do people demand your approval?
    Does their opinion of themselves reflect strongly by what you think of them?
    Do you feel that people are overly attached to you- almost suffocatingly so?

    If yes, how does it make you feel?
    And how do you handle situations where you canít be honest with someone for fear youíll hurt them because they regard your opinion so high?

    Sorry if Iím asking too many questions! But I can feel relationships I hold highly crumbling around me because of this Ďneedí. So I'm looking for any input on this topic.

  2. #2
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carnallace View Post
    [B]
    INFJs are often seen as distant or standoff-ish and Iíve even been called Ďstuck-upí by some people, simply because I donít engage myself with other people. INFJs know that conceit is rarely something we feel, but I can see how my isolating comes off as if I felt others were inadequate.

    It feels to me that the majority of people see us as Ďsuperiorí or hard to please. This is probably offensive to most INFJs, who really are humbled and desiring only to please others.
    I wouldn't have answered this in the affirmative even a year or so ago, as I wouldn't have been aware of how I might come across if a former ISFJ coworker/friend hadn't mentioned it to me one day at work.

    She basically said that I do come across as particular/refined (she - ha! - felt the need to indicate I wasn't a snob, but yeah, I could totally see how I could be labelled as such) - as in, I know what I like, or what I think, and I also know what I don't like, with reasons/thought to back it up, and that I have this certain bearing/demeanor that indicates this. And, because I choose my words carefully (apparently), and don't talk just to talk, that when I DO say something, people pay that much more attention to it. So she was basically saying what you're saying, I think...she led me to believe that due to my nature, people heed and value my words/thoughts/opinions moreso than they might others. Like you say, it's not my intent to push forth my own views as 'better' than that of others, I think people just seek my opinion and ?value? it. I know my supervisors have always put me up on a bit of a pedestal. For any number of reasons. And again, it's not necessarily even justified.


    Iíve noticed especially among my family, that my opinion counts for more than it should, or even more than Iíd like it to.

    My question is, does anyone else feel this way about your close friends or family?
    I don't notice this with my family. In my family I'm a bit of an oddball, so I tend to think I amuse them more than anything. I must provide some comic relief/excitement, or something, and I think my parents don't quite know what to make of me sometimes (they're both SJ's).

    I don't know that I notice it hugely with my friends, either. Maybe it's more subtle, who knows. Or maybe it just doesn't happen with friends. I think my friends respect me and I respect them just as much, so I've never sensed anything super off-balance with regard to that. Depending on where each of us is at in our lives, we'll at different times be seeking input from the other. There's a good give and take.

    For myself, the phenomena seems to lie more in the working world,other organizations like that, or acquaintances on occasion - which would be anyone who isn't a super-close friend.

    Do people demand your approval?
    No

    Do you feel that people are overly attached to you- almost suffocatingly so?
    Very rarely I might have an acquaintance that seems to have a stronger attachment/liking for me than I can return, but it's not anything that has been a 'pattern' in my life, that I've noticed at least. But if I am feeling suffocated, it's a reason I'm not close to them, and I try to keep the relationship more cordial/polite.
    "...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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  3. #3
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    I'm not INFJ, but I get this from people, as well. Not all people, but certain of my friends. And it's kind of baffling to me, because I make decisions about things as they pertain to MY circumstances, but I don't judge others or pretend that I know what's best for their lives. I'm one of the least judgmental people I know, because I can usually see things from different angles. I find that it's usually people with a really high guilt trigger that seek approval from people they respect, though. If they feel like you're a level-headed or discriminating (in a good way) person, then they figure if you approve of them, they're okay.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Do people demand your approval?
    Sometimes. Sometimes it's more that they are afraid of my disapproval.

    Does their opinion of themselves reflect strongly by what you think of them?
    I hope not.

    Do you feel that people are overly attached to you- almost suffocatingly so?
    I have learned not to let that happen, for the simple reason that I will let them down, and I can't stand to let people down emotionally. So I don't allow someone to create a dependence on me unless I can really see myself investing in a relationship. As soon as I feel uncomfortable, I create distance, and I keep the distance until they stop pushing. When they stop pushing, I might initiate contact but keep it very short. Eventually they learn that if they want to be around me, they can't push. But mostly I stay away from people clingy and insecure people.

    If yes, how does it make you feel?
    It makes me feel unreasonably responsible. The only time I feel ok about it is if I choose to be friends with a child or a person much less experienced or younger/more vulnerable in some way. But when peers do it, it makes me question their sanity a little.

    And how do you handle situations where you canít be honest with someone for fear youíll hurt them because they regard your opinion so high?
    I stop giving my opinion. I turn the question around, like an irritating shrink, "I don't know about that -- what do YOU think?" etc.

    By the way, I love your avatar.

    Anyway, I think it's about creating and maintaining boundaries without guilt, which is hard and takes practice.

  5. #5
    the Dark Prophet of Kualu
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    Do people demand your approval?
    Sometimes. Sometimes it's more that they are afraid of my disapproval.

    Do you feel that people are overly attached to you- almost suffocatingly so?
    I have learned not to let that happen, for the simple reason that I will let them down, and I can't stand to let people down emotionally. So I don't allow someone to create a dependence on me unless I can really see myself investing in a relationship. As soon as I feel uncomfortable, I create distance, and I keep the distance until they stop pushing. When they stop pushing, I might initiate contact but keep it very short. Eventually they learn that if they want to be around me, they can't push. But mostly I stay away from people clingy and insecure people.

    And how do you handle situations where you canít be honest with someone for fear youíll hurt them because they regard your opinion so high?
    I stop giving my opinion. I turn the question around, like an irritating shrink, "I don't know about that -- what do YOU think?" etc.

    Anyway, I think it's about creating and maintaining boundaries without guilt, which is hard and takes practice.
    I like your answer. This is also one of the answers I would have given and thus I stand behind it too. I am aware that my understanding of the answer is as limited as my understanding of any language and/or human communication and cannot in any way find myself fully behind it but I wouldn't have been able to write down a more suitable one at this time.

    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I know my supervisors have always put me up on a bit of a pedestal. For any number of reasons. And again, it's not necessarily even justified.
    This happens to me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carnallace View Post
    Sorry if Iím asking too many questions! But I can feel relationships I hold highly crumbling around me because of this Ďneedí. So I'm looking for any input on this topic.
    Why do you ask for forgiveness? Whom do you think you'd offend?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carnallace View Post

    INFJs are often seen as distant or standoff-ish and Iíve even been called Ďstuck-upí by some people, simply because I donít engage myself with other people. INFJs know that conceit is rarely something we feel, but I can see how my isolating comes off as if I felt others were inadequate.

    It feels to me that the majority of people see us as Ďsuperiorí or hard to please. This is probably offensive to most INFJs, who really are humbled and desiring only to please others.
    they don't see us as superior so much as bitchy, difficult, needlessly fickle, and borderline bastardly. we are just really fucking judgy sometimes. stand-offish or distant are right on the money, conceit too.

    my mom tries to please me on t'giving bc i am really food critical and want everything to be right/done properly. i don't realize why she's stressed but it's solely bc she wants to make me feel happy and for her to feel proud + grateful for her family. me being this way is needlessly stressful for her bc she has no ability to predict what i want and why i am so perfectionistic in the kitchen (and most everywhere i am actually invested).

    most of the people close to me have sacrificed, at times, to stroke my ego or go out of their respective ways to force me to trust them. dealt with me sensitively and put up with me being judgy and a little push-pull. i am soooo grateful and owe them so much for it, for freeing me from my shell, expanding my perspective, and helping release me from the awful gravity of my interior.

  7. #7
    the Dark Prophet of Kualu
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    Carnallace, after a downing made an impact on me, I see I was in a complete lack of sympathy and went on the highway; and got my car cracked open in the middle of it.

    I am sorry for the crackdown, I misunderstood.
    Open for interpretation.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Silent Stars's Avatar
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    I've never experienced this....in fact, it's only ever been the opposite, since hardly anyone (especially around where I live, and most especially throughout my family) cares what I think at all, but it really doesn't matter to me anyways.


    Do people demand your approval? Nope.
    Does their opinion of themselves reflect strongly by what you think of them? Nope.
    Do you feel that people are overly attached to you- almost suffocatingly so? Not even remotely.
    And how do you handle situations where you canít be honest with someone for fear youíll hurt them because they regard your opinion so high? I'm honest with everyone no matter what, and extremely few people regard what I think as actually being worth anything, so this is a non-issue for me.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Grace's Avatar
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    I think that people are sometimes afraid of me and thus they like to make sure their decisions and whatnot are ok with me. This is probably due to the fact that when someone offends me, I shut down toward them (I am the ice queen) until they have sufficiently made up to me. This doesn't happen to me as much as it used to because I have learned to not get upset so easily with people (I've basically learned to lower my expectations of most people).
    Also, I do like to think that people seek my opinion because they know they will get an honest response back.

  10. #10
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    Do you think it's people seeking an INFJ's approval specifically or is it that many people just like having others' approval in general and INFJ's don't understand or appreciate this because they're so darned independent?

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