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Thread: When an INFJ doorslams you / cuts you out of their life / breaks off contact

  1. #1101
    thankful Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    937 so/sx


    @yeghor: I haven't forgotten your questions above. Will reply soon.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  2. #1102
    FRACTALICIOUS Array phobik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    One other thought-I think for me, sometimes criticism is disorienting if it is completely at odds with my perceptions. While of course, I suppose it's difficult for one to completely separate ego, I don't think that's completely what drives my reaction. Rather, it's disconcerting to think that everything that are normally reliable ways by which to perceive and navigate the world are no longer trustworthy. If someone told me that I was mistakenly perceiving something as red, which was in reality yellow, I wouldn't just accept that statement immediately because up till this point my eyes have always been dependable. However, if you offered me an explanation for why your perception is reliable, the consequences my mid perception might have, Oran explanation of how a previously reliable sense now longer is, then I'll go and investigate, talk to others and reconsider.

    During grad school I taught a class which the students were required to take and didn't want to. No one had been successful with it before, and I was given little guidance. I had no experience teaching at that level, but my emotional intelligence is decent and I thought I had a decent read on how people were responding in the class. When my reviews came out and were brutal, the devastation for me was not just embarrassment at having not delivered what my boss wanted, but rather that my perceptions were so off. I lost all confidence in anything I previously thought to be true about myself or my interactions with people. It was one of the scariest times in my whole life.

    Now, 8 or 9 years later, I can much better separate out what I was responsible for, and what I was not. The fact that I wasn't a perfect prof, wasn't the issue, but rather trying to figure out what was my faulty perception and what was factors which had nothing to do with my teaching ability.
    Everything is conditioned by @ bold.
    To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
    ~ Elbert Hubbard

    Music provides one of the clearest examples of a much deeper relation between mathematics and human experience.

  3. #1103
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    May 2009
    1w2 so/sx


    Can you expand on that?

  4. #1104
    Vulnerability Array Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    In the INFJ world, people are chosen or elected to fill a role and then are expected to play the part. Playing that part successfully or poorly is dependent upon the actions of the other. The role of sibling, friend, partner ... inside the mind are the things an INFJ thinks each role is supposed to be.

    For example, to be a successful friend, here's the list of things that are expected from you:

    1.) Listen to me as much as I listen to you.
    2.) Demonstrate goodwill towards me through acts of thoughtful consideration.
    3.) Approach me in the manner I prefer since that demonstrates your goodwill.

    etc etc.

    These criteria enable an INFJ to create a "scorecard" and continually measure whether or not the people around them are living up to the standards of "how a *insert role* is supposed to be". Because this can be measured, an INFJ can thus make decisions on how low the score gets to go before they make the proclamation that this person is a toxic, parasitic person and thus should be cut from their life.

    It's all about power. The following quote is bang-on:

    Yes, that's how I see it. It is about control, and it's not necessarily a bad thing because INFJ's often feel that powerless sense of not being able to have the external world structure to their preferences. It's easier for INTJ's because they are dealing with the object world and people don't form the locus of where they enact their control. But people ... people are so unpredictable. One day they do something the "right" way, the next day they don't. So people who are consistent are very prized in the IxFJ world because the ability to project what the people around them are most likely to do is very valuable to both Ni and Si. The results: IxFJ's surround themselves with the people most "right" for them. The downside really doesn't exist for the INFJ (aside from their chagrin when people disappoint them) but those who are close to them may feel like they must dance the IxFJ dance or be written off or worse, doorslammed.

    It's all about the power.

    An aside: The phrase toxic people is so dehumanizing imo. People can act toxic, and do toxic things, but that doesn't make them TOXIC people. Most people are just here on this earthly plane struggling along to be the best people can be, dependent on all the programming instilled in them as children and the challenging life experiences they are working through and trying to grow from.
    I don't have time right now, but I wanted to say that I see a lot of truth in this when I apply it to myself. I've had related thoughts, but haven't been able to put them together in quite this way, so I want to think about this more. It kind of jives with something @Kalach posted, too. I need a little time to see how and if it all fits together (what you said, what I was thinking about, and what Kalach said). There's stuff in my head about trust that applies, too. And vulnerability. Lots to parse.

    @yeghor, I'll answer you later, too.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  5. #1105
    Senior Member Array yeghor's Avatar
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    Dec 2013


    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    @yeghor: I haven't forgotten your questions above. Will reply soon.
    Here's more ...

    1-What do you do when you feel that people that you have any kind of a relationship are taking advantage of you and insist that they are not?

    or when you feel that they are not sincere? or feel that they have have ulterior motives?

    2-About the power thing...power over what/who?

    3-What kind of people in your life do you feel to be deserving your care/concern/value/time/energy?

    4-How do you decide if someone is or deserves to be a friend or frenemy or not a friend at all?

    5-About the downside thing...What is the downside for you in your relationships? Why should a downside in a relationship exist at all?

    6-Toxic = It is when the "programming" you mentioned causes damage/distress/stress/harm not just to the individual himself/herself but to those around him/her and the people they interact with as well as causes an inability in the individual to recognize/acknowledge that those certain behaviours are harmful to others...

    Parasitic = When the individual is inclined to capture more ground/energy than they are willing to relinquish themselves...(to compensate for some kind of energy deficit caused/installed in them when growing up)


    "Emotional Parentification

    The child is expected to take care of and fulfill the emotional needs of the adult. Some examples of emotional parentification are: reassuring the parent that they will be all right when upset, shielding the parent from the emotional consequences of their actions and adjusting behavior to suit the parent’s emotional interests."

    8-What constitutes abuse/abusive behaviour in a relationship?

    9-How do you end a relationship? How or do you interact with the other afterwards?
    Last edited by yeghor; 01-14-2014 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Added 9

  6. #1106
    Senior Member Array cafe's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    INFj None


    I was more or less groomed to be co-dependent from an early age and fall into that pattern of behavior unless I make an effort not to. It's a lot of effort to make, so I'm on friend hiatus until I feel up to dealing with my issues.

    I don't expect people to listen to me as much as I listen to them. But if I listen to them when they are going through shit, I appreciate reciprocation when I'm going though shit. It will make me feel used if that doesn't happen. I do like feeling as though things are balanced or as close to that as possible.

    When I doorslammed my mom for several years, it was because I asked her not to bring a questionable person around my kids. She ignored my wishes. That was the last straw. Before that I attempted to negotiate a compromise with her but that was when I knew absolutely that she was not acting in good faith. When she severed ties with that person, I welcomed her back with open arms.

    With one friend things were out of balance for a long time. When I tried to address things, I had to be very blunt and rude and it only produced temporary results. She lived at my house for months for free and I was paying her car insurance. I had to physically drive her places to look for jobs because she would not do it otherwise. My husband had to ask her for the use of his computer when he came home from work. Later she moved in with a mutual friend who has small children. She left her medication out where they could get it in a non-childproof container and when she was confronted about it, acted as though she had a perfect right to do that. That was the last straw for me. She thought her right to leave her crap lying around the home she was staying at for free was more important than the right of small children to be safe in their own home. At that point, I was like, WTF is the matter with me that I'm friends with this person? I was loyal to her because she was my friend in fifth grade when I was very lonely and bullied, but, yeah, I guess the tally sheet was just too far in the red. I hope wonderful things for her, but unless there was some indication that she changed significantly, I can't do it anymore. I won't do it anymore. I should have never let things get to the point they did, but honestly, I did try to make boundaries with her. She either plowed right over them or manipulated her way around them. When I was done, I was done and that was that.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #1107
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    I guess I wonder what we are talking about now. If we're talking suddenly cutting people out of our life because they are human and disappoint us from time to time or because we do not wish to communicate directly, then of course, I think that the comments made are valid. If we're talking about someone who is endangering our own safety, or the safety of those we are responsible for, or if they are using up our resources to an extent that those resources are not available to the primary obligations in our own lives, then I really don't agree with either Eilonwy or PeaceBaby that it is about power.

    I also would like to distinguish that it is not like most INFJs are actively keeping a scorecard - you do this for me, I do that for you. It's more of an involuntary process - like a program running in the background. It certainly isn't acted on immediately either. Because I tend to listen well to people and be interested in them, that sometimes attracts friends who have a lot of emotional need and drama in their own lives, but very little emotional rope left to give if there is anything going on in mine. (I'm talking two hour phone call monologue that includes not even a "How are you?"). In some cases, it is obvious that they are temporarily experiencing hard times and need support, or we have had previous history to fall back on and they have an insufficient support system.

    However, if it is just chronic self-centredness and wanting to reap all of the perks of a friendship, without any of the obligations of it, then the balance of power does get out of whack. They are receiving all of the care, while still retaining 100% of the control over our interactions. I have seen enough of marriages close up where that is the case, that I have no desire to foster close relationships that have that kind of unhealthy imbalance. I think it is no kindness to the person in need, as it only allows them to cope temporarily instead of addressing real issues, and the more time to you spend with someone who has a very narcissistic view of the world, you also have to become a bit tunnel visioned to adapt. I have gotten better now at recognizing that earlier on and being kind, but disengaging somewhat so that the other person does not become dependent on me. Otherwise, the main choice I am left with is trying to disengage much later on when the person is ignoring appropriate boundaries and expenditure of resources (emotional, physical, financial, time).

    My father and mother were always very hospitable and people were drawn to her warmth, my dad's affability and the home they had created. I don't think she and my dad were wrong in opening their home to many different people. However, in some cases, they did learn from experience when people were con artists, had active addictions, had no desire to improve the situation that was creating constant crisis, or were unwilling to deal with issues that were alienating people all around them. It's certainly not my call to make people deal with whatever is going on with them, but that also doesn't obligate me to repeatedly interact with people who are not respectful of me. I do believe that we teach people how to treat us, and without any lines in the sand, some people will drain you dry. I simply cannot write that off as being a control freak or power monger, even though I definitely agree that you do not just doorslam people as your way of dealing with dicey, or emotionally difficult situations.

    In the case of my sister, who was married to a self-destructive, violent, depressed, cheating and alcoholic man (who attempted suicide the first time she went to visit family without him 20 years into their marriage), she did not sign off in a way that I believe 3 shared children and 20+ years of marriage deserved. I don't think that was healthy for her, kind to their children, or fair to him, even though I think she absolutely did need to get out of there for her own mental health and for all of their physical safety. It has impeded her children's healing process and her own, I believe. He has since passed away (fire he started while drunk and then passed out - something that frequently happened when they were still together), and she lived every day of the year they were separated terrified for her own life. She wasn't at all wrong to leave, in my opinion. However, I think that just announcing she was going and then not responding to any communication after that (when the last he and the children had known, things were fine between them) was not right.

  8. #1108
    wants Mifune clone minion Array Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post

    I stole this TED talk from someone's blog because I think Brene Brown has it right about vulnerability and connection. I think that's what happened with me when I took the chance and took another look at this thread and at Mane.

    You know, everyone here is free to make their own choices. If you're fine with severing connections completely, or avoiding them in the first place, that's your choice. Own it instead of rationalizing it as being someone else's fault. Because if you want connections and want to keep them, it seems you have to be willing to be vulnerable. Slow processing times, trust issues, and low energy, notwithstanding.
    First of all, even Brene Brown urges that it's a mistake to show vulnerability where it doesn't feel right to do so: Why Brené Brown Says There's No Vulnerability Without Trust

    How do you open up to someone you don't completely trust? Dr. Brené Brown, an expert on vulnerability and worthiness, has a one-word answer: "Don't." Watch Dr. Brown explain why vulnerability is our greatest gift and how we shouldn't give it to people who haven't earned it. Plus, Dr. Brown reveals how you can use your openness and honesty to filter out those who aren't worth your time.

    Secondly, when you say "own it".....are you referring to actual doorslams that have happened in people's lives (and insinuating that INFJs here have related to stories about having doorslammed people they were close to irl, and done so in such a way that you believe they 'blamed' the person they couldn't handle interacting with anymore more than they should) or is this more about INFJs here not being able to handle too much interaction with some of the other members here?** [I get the impression- from the way you keep bringing up 'giving mane a second chance'- it's the latter, and for the sake of fairness I want to point out there's a huge difference between "distancing someone you hardly know on an internet forum" and "doorslamming someone you've been close to irl". I believe the latter should incite a much stronger obligation and responsibility.]


    So, is the doorslam a way to feel in control? To have some power in the relationship? A way to avoid being vulnerable, or making choices that we find unpleasant in some way?
    The phrases "feel in control" and "to have some power in the relationship", in my mind, imply wanting the lion's share of 'control' or 'power'. But the truth is- yes, everyone should want 'control' and 'power' in a relationship. They should want the same amount of 'control' and 'power' the other person has. [And there's something seriously f'ed up about interaction where a person gets accused of wanting to "control the relationship" simply because they want *some* control within the relationship- it's a common tendency of narcissists though to make this accusation, to make the person with weak boundaries feel bad for trying to assert any boundaries at all around themselves.]

    **eta: It seems to me like these two things are getting merged together when they shouldn't because it's two separate issues. If I'm mistaken about this though, I apologize. Like I keep saying, I'm only reading maybe half the new posts- so it wouldn't surprise me if I was reading something wrong.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  9. #1109


    disclaimer: applicable to the solipsists mentality only, regardless of MBTI intersection.
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    The downside really doesn't exist for the INFJ (aside from their chagrin when people disappoint them)
    i can see that in the short term, but isn't it a trade off though?
    the unpleasant experience of acknowledging your mistakes vs. the benefit of dealing & fixing them.
    the unpleasant experience of acknowledging potential failings vs. the long term reward of learning and growing from them.

    i illustrated this earlier by applying the coping mechanism to areas of skill (having more concrete effects):

    there is no question that in the short term, these all benefit from feeling better about themselves and avoid unpleasant thoughts in the immediate level.

    but in the long term, would feeling [unappreciated by your patients / misunderstood as an architect / negative feedback by people you affect] and possibly feeling wrongfully prosecuted as a result (malpractice lawsuits) or even rejected by your [doctor insurance / legal insurance / employer / support network] actually be a more pleasant state of mind than simply having had screwups you had to learn from (and if possible even fixed) and becoming a trustworthy doctor/architect/teacher/whatever?

    less concretely the same is applicable to relationships - would feeling that people are [ toxic/disappointing/misunderstanding/malicious/disrespectful/distrustful] towards you really be that much more pleasant than simply working on your screw ups to have healthy relationships?

    hey, if i lived in a toxic zombie apocalypse i'd be looking into erecting walls and "working on my boundaries" too:

  10. #1110


    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    The phrases "feel in control" and "to have some power in the relationship", in my mind, imply wanting the lion's share of 'control' or 'power'.
    the power to terminate a relationship & no longer be liable to any consequences you have on another or any trust placed in you if anything doesn't go your way isn't the lion share of the power... it's all the power. not 50/50, not 90/100, it's the full 100% of it. you are trying to eat the cake and pretend to share it too.

    FYI - when trying to argue for why you shouldn't be expected to maintaining long term stable relationships or be open to negative criticism, NPD is not the diagnosis you want on the table

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