I’m guessing there may be a thread out there which is similar or relevant, but haven’t found it yet, so if there is, please feel free to supply a link or whatever
I’m getting the impression from my experience, and from those of other NF friends, that NFs may be particularly vulnerable to emotional abuse. By that I mean not only that emotional abuse may be particularly damaging to them, but that they may be more likely to find themselves in such situations or to stay in them even against their better judgment.
I had a situation with someone recently where both of us made a mistake, but it kind of had a good outcome, but placed the other person in a very awkward situation (hard to explain). The other person took it out on me, blamed the situation on me, didn’t acknowledge that the outcome might actually have been for the best…etc. I think this was partly due to shame and guilt on their part and a reluctance to say sorry, admit the blame on their own side, etc. (I promise you that I didn’t try to blame it all on them – though I could have gone down that road – and I acknowledged AND apologised for my own mistakes. Partly hoping they would respond in kind, but they didn’t.)
When I told a couple of other friends about the situation, they both used expressions like “abuse” or “abusive” to describe this person’s behaviour. Not that this person was constantly doing things like this to me, but there is still a pattern of them carelessly hurting me, and me putting up with it. And I can think of a past relationship where I would not hesitate to say the guy was being emotionally abusive. He would tell me I wasn’t making him as happy as his ex-girlfriend…then tell me how much he loved me…then tell me about the ex-girlfriend…make me feel like it was my fault I wasn’t making him happy enough…then tell me again how much he loved me…etc…And I was putting up with it because I loved him and because I thought if I could just try harder, things would work out and we could get off the roller coaster. Only later did I realise how wrong this situation had been, and how unaware of my feelings he was and how totally focused on his own.
One of the friends, another INFJ, who used the “abuse” word when she described my recent situation said that she has also found that she attracts people who can be abusive. She thought it was maybe because we can be too “nice” and try to get along with everyone. I don’t think most of these people are being malicious. It may be some dysfunction in their personality/backgrounds, or just carelessness, but just because it isn’t malicious doesn’t mean it can’t be abusive.
Now that I am starting to see a pattern in my life, I would appreciate suggestions for breaking away from it/avoiding it in future…without completely ceasing to trust anyone at all…surely there is a middle ground? I am thinking I need to trust people more slowly (which often I do, with people in general, but if people are particularly charming or friendly, or they really open up to me about themselves and their feelings, sometimes I foolishly dive right in trust-wise), pay more attention to their actions than their words, etc.
Anyone have thoughts, stories they would like to share, etc?