I have 2 angry modes I feel, and it really depends who it is and how quickly I get there.
If I am expressing frustration it's a short, intense outburst.. like I accidentally on purpose tooted my car horn in traffic kind of thing. My angry outburst is stymied once I catch up with myself and I am left feeling a little embarrassed.
If I want to other person to know that I am hurt though I tend not to blow, it's more a rolling boil. Most of my communication is with body language and ... not silence but.. well.. it's like the drums in the forest have been playing their hypnotic beat all night and suddenly they stop SILENT.. you dont see much but something feels like it's about to go a bit wrong.
01-04-2010, 06:48 PM #41[sits down in front of the computer] Subject: Fire. "Dear Sir stroke Madam, I am writing to inform you of a fire which has broken out at the premises of..." no, that's too formal [Deletes] "Dear Sir stroke Madam. Fire, exclamation mark. Fire, exclamation mark. Help me, exclamation mark. 123 Carrendon Road. Looking forward to hearing from you. All the best."
01-04-2010, 09:51 PM #42
Full Disclosure: I am an ENxP that’s a teeny bit more F than T. This post is based on my experience with my INFJ friends and study of the MBTI. However, I’ve never run this theory by an INFJ, so I’d appreciate input from INFJs reading this post.
My answer to the question at hand is “it depends.”
I've come to understand INFJ anger as a two-part process. First, the INFJ gets angry on the inside. Second, they go through a decision making process about how to best handle that anger. What an angry INFJ says to you (or does not say) is almost never done without careful consideration. Thus, the outward expression of their anger will be very deliberate and reflect the INFJ's goals.
Part One: The INFJ Gets Angry on the Inside
Like all Js, INFJs relish organization and decisiveness. More than any other type I've encountered, INFJs focus their organizational abilities in the arena of their internal constructs. Their homes may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through their feelings about the matter at hand) are drawn quickly and are pretty darn fixed.
I've noticed that what REALLLLLY ticks off an INFJ is when they observe a violation of their intense vision of how things "should be" or "ought to be." (Voilà! Ni with Fe.) This means that anger with an INFJ is almost always tied to righting a perceived wrong. It also means that INFJs always have a motive when communicating anger. Once you know their motive, you can pretty accurately predict their response.
Step Two: The INFJ Gets Angry on the Outside
An INFJ who experiences anger on the inside next does what INFJs do: They carefully weigh the consequences of expressing their feelings BEFORE they act. (Voilà! Fe) The array of INFJ angry responses might include the following:
- Trying to Let It Go – INFJs value highly social norms and try to create a smooth and cooperative vibe with those whom they interact. Given this, it may seem reasonable to the INFJ, to try to let it go.
- Bottling Up the Anger (a.k.a. Filing It Away for Future Use) – My experience has been that #1 is a pipe dream for many INFJs. An unhealthy or young INFJ may desire to “let it go” on one level only in the sense that they can’t bear the idea of the confrontation. They have no desire to truly forgive the offender or re-examine their reasoning about whether or not there was truly an offense. This unresolved paradox leads to all sorts of INFJ passive-aggressive antics. Eventually, the unexpressed anger results in the INFJ either shutting the offender out, or resorting to responses #3 and/or #4.
- The Silent Treatment – Quietly nursing curmudgeonly feelings for the offender and communicating those feelings by deliberately not communicating is a really common INFJ response to anger (at least in my experience).
<As a side note, this is one of the reasons ENTPs are so good with INFJs. My strong Ti (I’m only barely F) completely undercuts INFJ over-emotionalism. For example, one of my INFJ friends was giving me the silent treatment at a party. My response was to walk over, give him a big grin, and then say, “You completely crack me up. Are you done snubbing me? ‘Cause I was thinking you might feel better if you told me to f-off. Then we can move past it and be friends again.” He was floored, but after reflecting for 30 seconds, he returned the grin before saying, “Yeah, you’re right. I need to work on letting things go.” (Ha! That was one of the longest 30 seconds of my life, btw.)>
- The Sarcastic Response – Ohhh a cocky/arrogant INFJ is not a pretty sight to see. My experience has been that sometimes INFJs are overly confident as a way to compensate for feeling overly insecure. If an INFJ is coming from this place of weakness/overconfidence, then sarcasm is often employed. Sarcasm is about overt irony intentionally used by the speaker as in the form of implicit criticism. It can be a form of verbal aggression. In an unhealthy INFJ, bitingly sarcastic remarks become a mainstay of verbal communication.
- The “I’m going to tell you the truth because you need to hear it” Response – As an ENFP, I know this one well… and have been known to employ it myself. This is the response that can be so hurtful. And the truer it is, the more hurtful hearing it will be. The INFJ’s motive is usually to provide constructive criticism. But in less self-actualized INFJ’s it can be just plain out vindictive and petty.
01-05-2010, 12:01 AM #43SnifflesGuest
01-05-2010, 12:44 AM #44
01-05-2010, 12:46 AM #45
I don't get mad, I get annoyed...... They say that knowledge is free, and to truly acquire wisdom always comes with a price... Well then,... That will be $10, please!
01-05-2010, 01:31 AM #46
If everyone just thought like me, the world would be so much better.
01-05-2010, 01:43 AM #47
As Blah...it seems dishonest from the outside, a little deceitful that the person would pretend everything was okay (when they were clearly upset on the inside) instead of just saying directly that they were upset about something... It is likely to damage the relationship permanently. Also, you don't give the person at fault, the cause of your hurt, the chance to learn from their mistakes/actions when they happen.
From my own experience and perspective , even if I'm mad in the moment of conflict, after some time to detach, I'll recognize where I was wrong and apologize and work hard to correct my actions. I'm far less likely to take heed to a list of accusations/complaints a year after the events. At that point, I'm blindsided, hurt that there was little trust put in the relationship and that seemingly a facade was used by the INFJ. I'm not saying this is what INFJs are doing - this is just how it may be perceived. When I don't know how I may be causing you hurt, I can't fix it, can't apologize and can't give you the benefit of doubt that you're cutting me slack instead of keeping score.
I understand the motivation. I guess we tend to see people as similar to ourselves. INFJs are such sensitive souls. They assume everyone is the same way, protecting them from conflict much like they protect themselves. Fe users overestimate the potential reaction of the other person when in reality, much of the time, people are quite resilient and appreciate honesty.
01-05-2010, 01:57 AM #48
Yeah it took me awhile to realize that. One thing though - INFJs are very seldom sitting there brooding over things for that whole year. They make valiant attempts to dismiss what happened as their own problem, not the other person's. They really think they have dealt with it. And then suddenly when they are least expecting it, something else happens and everything comes out all at once. It's quite embarrassing and unpleasant to them and they feel awful afterwards, but I can see how it's difficult to deal with. Even at the best of times, you'll rarely get an INFJ telling you they are mad until they've had time to analyze why on their own. By then, it seems like nitpicking to bring it up unless its really big. And then if it is really big it's awhile more before they've figured out how to because as you say, they assume it will make everyone feel as rotten as they would feel if told the same thing.
01-05-2010, 10:51 AM #49
I have an INFJ brother. We've followed each other all over the world and usually live within a few minutes of the other. As siblings who are this close, I would expect regular processing. It's natural we would annoy each other regularly (that's what siblings do ) but I would hope that we would talk about it. The occasional outburst is difficult at both ends and so unnecessary. At my end, I believe people want to do right by people they love. I want to do right by correcting myself when I have been hurtful unintentionally. If I don't know that something I said/did/didn't say/didn't do was hurtful, I can't work on it. So much of the being blindsided by the outburst is rooted in embarrassment and shame at the thought of having hurt someone I really care for, for so long, without being aware of it or doing something about it. Like Esoteric Wench, I have to call him on it (not an ENTP specific reaction, likely more an extroverted one) to allow us to talk through whatever it is. It's difficult but we do both feel better afterward without the long term damage bottling up can do.
The majority of my close friends are INFJs and ENFJs with a smattering of XNTJs, ENTPs and XSFPs mixed in. I've seen my INFJ friends (two in particular because we share our lives openly with each other) process the hurt regularly, really struggle with it whenever the person at fault is mentioned and not tell the said person. It's helped me understand the INFJs better but I often wish they wouldn't do this to or by themselves and also wish they would give the said person a chance to right some wrongs.
I don't think this applies to all INFJs, like anything else said here about a type. We can only base what we say on the people we know who are influenced by so many variables. I'll add that I don't know anyone more loyal, squishy on the inside or giving than the INFJs I know in real life - that's why I horde them .
01-05-2010, 11:23 AM #50
I think the problem comes in thta they really believe they've dealt with it and that things are okay. Until something else happens. I agree that's not fair, but I believe they don't want to bring it up when they think it's just a little minor one time thing.
For example, my ESTJ boyfriend decided when we were up north that he was only going to go to the grocery store once a week so that he wasn't spending so much money all the time (produce there only lasts a couple of days). We always made pizza together on Thursdays. A lot of the time, it turned out that I was the only one who had gotten around to getting mushrooms, onions, peppers etc. I was okay with that though. It's not like it's a huge expense and I figured since he acknowledged that he had noticed this was the case that he would either even things up at some point or I was fine with things how they were.
However, we also bought water together at the store. Usually we went together every three weeks or so and loaded up a whole bunch of jugs and he would help me carry them. We took turns buying the water, rather than mucking around with change. At one point, when it was my turn to pay, he mentioned this fact gleefully more than once. I was annoyed (because it felt like he was implying that I was trying to get out of something) and was a little quieter, then said enough for him to catch on that he shouldn't continue saying that. However, the next time it was my turn to pay, he did it again. By then, I felt like, "Look buster, you're skating on thin ice anyway. Some would say that you're cheap, particularly when you are not trying to publicly impress someone anyway. I have always more than paid my own way, even when I didn't need to, because it matters to me that you don't feel like I am taking advantage. On a weekly basis I end up buying the stuff for pizza and pretty often I happen to have the ingredients around when we cook supper together too. And now you act like I am trying to cheap out on...water????"
Of course by then, all of the other things going wrong at that time get put into the mix. Frustrated not just about this one incident, but many, I know that if I bring it up then, I am likely to either be unnecessarily harsh and bring up unrelated other issues, or I am going to cry, which results in him acting like a donkey and me apologizing and the issue still not being resolved. So it is a quiet (though not stonily silent) trip home, while I weigh all of those things.
Of course, the real problem is not water. The real problem is that I feel taken advantage of by him in some regards, he knows what he is doing, and yet because we are so professionally and personally entangled, I can't just take a few steps back so that I can change the balance of power in the relationship. I've seen him use other people to social/professional or personal advantage and then talk badly about them when they are not present. I don't want to be the sucker that is taken for granted or used to benefit him as long as it's useful to him. Yet, those are fairly weighty accusations to bring up.
So I end up thinking on it for awhile longer, because maybe it's just that I haven't gotten much sleep lately, or that I'm sick, or that there's lots of other frustrations at school that are tainting my perceptions.
Besides that, every time I have brought up something that bothers me, he reacts by bringing up extraneous things that don't bother him but that do hurt me and he knows that, thereby silencing me. I react with emotion, he's either patronizing or just walks away, and end up either apologizing or having so much other new emotional stuff to process that I give up saying anything and just have a more and more separate life.
I realize that's an example of when the relationship is on shakey ground anyway, but I guess that's some of the reasoning that's there. It's not a matter of saving up stuff to bombard a person with, but rather not knowing at what point it warrants mentioning. Since then, I've realized that I should probably err on the side of mentioning little things as soon as they become an annoyance and before they become a real problem.
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