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

  1. #1111
    reborn Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    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.
    Respectfully, it is still about power. It's about you taking some back. It's about giving too much away in the first place or giving it away in a manner that's enabled other dysfunctions. It's about a rebalancing more than anything.

    Power is a complex thing. Sometimes enabling the dysfunction of others is a kind of power-play in and of itself. I don't want to explore that too much here and make the waters muddy though.

    But be clear that I'm not saying this choice to pull power back is inherently bad. In fact, it's downright necessary at times. The point merely remains that YOU are making a choice, not that the other individual MADE you make a choice.

    When you speak of boundaries, I hear that. I too have spent countless hours supporting people who don't necessarily appear to appreciate the gift I've given them. I've unwittingly enabled people to be clingy and needy. But I OWN that, those were / these are my choices, I choose to listen and at any time I could assert my own independence in the matter and gracefully detach myself. It has everything to do with me. Does that distinction help illustrate what I am trying to convey?
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
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    "When people see some things as beautiful,
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  2. #1112
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    The world POWER has a lot of negative connotations. I think that is where I find it hard to agree with you. If a relationship needs rebalancing, as long as I'm not slamming the door without any kind of communication or warning, I see nothing wrong with distancing oneself from a situation that isn't healthy for either person. Of course there's a place for reflection on what led to the imbalance in the first place and what my part in that was. That however seems different to me than what I see being advocated for.

    I wouldn't argue that someone MADE me make a choice to doorslam them. That's akin to the abusive husband saying that "I had to hit her because she pushes my buttons". I don't use doorslamming as a means of dealing with unwieldy personal connections in my life. However, I also believe that as I can control no one's behaviour except my own, it is perfectly acceptable to make choices about my own response based on the decisions the other person has already made.

    Perhaps I am mistaken, but I do feel that you and Eilonwy are both advocating not doing that and I think it can lead to a place that isn't either safe or healthy for all parties involved. I don't know the particulars of Mane's situation, as I know neither him nor his ex personally. However, it does seem to me that it would have been wiser for his ex to have started negotiating about control issues long before it came to a point of her cutting him off from his stepson.

    In my own life, the ESTJ I dated was a very dominant and immediate kind of person, while I was less dominant and slower to act until I had observed a lot. At the beginning, I didn't have a clear understanding of what kind of impact his being allowed to consistently dominate (even in my domain of work) would have on our relationship, or my social and professional life. As I became less overwhelmed with all the changes of adjusting to a new culture and community and a job that was pretty uncharted territory and constantly evolving, I slowly took back some of the ground that I had given in that sense. It was not an angry reaction, so much as an understanding that I needed a wider base of support (several different people who could help with the program, instead of just him), that I needed to be personally responsible for how I was represented to the people I needed to work with (bus drivers for our music program trips, principals, teachers, etc), and that I needed my own social identity as an individual if our relationship and our separate lives were going to thrive. This was both appropriate and healthy. It was not a doorslam, but yes, you are right that it was a re-distribution of power.

    I think all relationships are constantly in flux in that regard. A healthy relationship maintains a roughly equal balance of power. If one person is giving away control, or the other person is in control (both aspects come with perks and drawbacks), I don't think it fosters happiness for either person in the long term, even if one or both parties may fight to maintain the imbalance because it is familiar or there are certain perks that come with the drawbacks. The trick in maintaining an equal balance of power is how to right the relationship once an imbalance of power has begun. Often in the early stages of a friendship, familial connection, or romantic relationship, people don't understand themselves and their own tendencies well enough, nor do they have the life experience to recognize when imbalance that isn't positive is starting to occur. By the time that is discovered, usually old patterns of relating are well entrenched. People are generally resistant to change, particularly if it creates discomfort for them and there are a variety of possible responses that either party can choose to make, some that are effective, and some that aren't.

    So I'm wondering if maybe the argument here that should be made is about how to rebalance unequal power in a positive way (ie not doorslamming), not whether or not power needs redistribution.

  3. #1113
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    So I'm wondering if maybe the argument here that should be made is about how to rebalance unequal power in a positive way (ie not doorslamming), not whether or not power needs redistribution.
    i actually agree with that.

    i already explained how maintaining "the right to doorslam" in existing relationships if anything doesn't go your way is an unhealthy take of a 100% of the power in a relationship. giving that up is a healthy rebalancing of unequal power. essentially it's like holding a gun to every relationship's head for the prospecting doorslammer to judge when someone is dead to you (and then demanding they will play dead), as long as you hold that gun no relationship is ever going to have a healthy distribution of power unless they do the same to you.

    that's being said, i think part of the problem is that their is a demand for a 1-fit-all alternative for a 1-fits-all defense mechanism: the alternative solution to running from problems with people is to actually solve and/or deal with them, but the particulars of how to do aren't going to be consistent. generally creating a level playing field where both perspectives are accounted for is always a good idea towards trying to understand how the perspectives can be bridged (regardless of how that perspective might conflict with the ego), but even that's not a solution, it's just a good strategy to get a better position to be able to see one.

    to be honest i am sort of surprised that you'd be tackling the issue of healthy power distribution - one of the main reasons i generally avoid you on the forum is because of the speech from two years ago or so about demanding full and complete control over anyone interacting with you - mind if i ask how did that changed and what caused it too (or if i am jumping to conclusion that it has)?

  4. #1114
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    In my life, I think it really depends how much history I have with someone, how much I trust them based on past interactions and what their approach is before I am willing to expend tons and tons of emotional energy trying to negotiate something out of two really opposite points of view. I mostly dig in my heels when someone I know very little demands for me to do so and essentially calls me a bad person if I don't. Having said that, it doesn't mean that I won't consider something if it is brought to my attention. It just is unlikely to be in the timeframe that many Ne users seem to operate in.

    While I had no doubt in that thread that you and others had been hurt by INFJs in the past, it also seemed to me that we as a whole were being commanded to to answer for the crimes of someone else we didn't know who exhibited behaviour I didn't identify with. Because of your strong emotional tone, it really discredited much of what was being said, for me. I felt that even at points where I was trying to oblige, those efforts were unrecognized because they didn't match the Ne point of view. I tend to be dismissive when someone has initiated a discussions about my perceived faults when there is no demonstration of goodwill, the person is promoting only their perceptions as a valid response, and I do not have a strong enough relationship with them to be invested and know where they are coming from. One difference I've seen in the approach by Ne is the need for immediacy and there's some green eggs and hamming that sometimes occurs that causes enough emotional noise that for me, the message gets lost. Giving a little more space is not so much a demand that things be approached my way, as an essential processing need for useful discussion, which I can imagine is intensely irritating and frustrating to others who have a different set of needs.

    I'm not suggesting that I can't improve the way I approach different people, but I am advocating for respecting how they operate if the relationship/discussion/outcome matters a lot to you.

    I don't think that INFJs all habitually door slam. However, like any type, I believe there are tendencies that they are more likely to exhibit under.pressure or when they immature/in a bad place emotionally that are more typical of their type. Perhaps their negative coping mechanisms are more likely to be especially frustrating or distressing to NFPs and NTPs compared to other types, who might be bothered by something completely different.

    I don't really feel like I've had any huge epiphany about power, nor am I denying that it is my responsibility to choose how I will interact (not only the other person's approach). However, I do make some decisions based on the other person's tone and approach (hence the questions earlier in the thread about tone and intent) to assess whether or not the discussion will yield anything productive and whether it warrants expending the energy and thought that would require. I am not sure of that entirely yet, but it seems to me that it might be.

    I wonder if maybe our types are bendy and rigid in opposite places, which leads to a lot of the misunderstanding that occurs. Then when either type decides to be immovable, it appears that there is rigidity everywhere the other looks, and an unwillingness to compromise. In reality, both parties do a lot of bending that goes unrecognized by the other group because it is not in the areas they associate bendiness with within themselves. Don't know, just kind of thinking aloud.

  5. #1115
    reborn Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    And yet, fid, I have literally hundreds of goodwill posts under my belt. It's about way more than that. It's also about not wanting to hear something you don't agree with. And it's not about Ne immediacy. I give space, since I know INFJ's need it. I'm patient. That makes little difference either. Unless we're talking about INFJ's needing YEARS to process something. That's a timeframe I don't have as much patience towards. Might as well live half your life then whilst waiting for an INFJ to get back to you. No, once an INFJ has decided to put something out of their head only repeated knocking can bring it back to the forefront sometimes.

    And I do recognize you're in this thread, yet again. I appreciate that.

    The word power has as many positive connotations as negative. It's more about the perspective through which anyone chooses to view the word. Because you've chosen negative, @fidelia, you can't help but feel I'm advocating some sort of relinquishing of personal autonomy. I'm not, of course. How does the view of my posts change if you start to see the word as neutral? Or even positive?

    @Mane is picking up on the path I'm nudging towards. It's about the recognition that in a typical relationship dynamic its unfair for one person to reserve control of 100% of the interactions (barring abusive scenarios which require these measures). Anyone reserving the "right" to terminate interactions unequivocally defeats any ability to solve complex issues and often leaves the other in a position of having to relinquish their own personal power to maintain peace. It feels like a metaphorical guillotine held over the head ...

    And it's the whole "egg shells" thing too. I mean look at all the hoops I go through to communicate something I feel is important to you or ZBuck. And you both practically have me on ignore, not because I am a heinous, hurtful person, but mostly because you don't like what I have to say or how I try to say it. I have goodwill on this forum coming out the wazoo. I mean, is it so far a stretch to imagine that Mane hasn't done much more than that to cause this doorslam in his own life?

    At any rate, I'll return to depersonalizing this: When INFJ's (or anyone) hold the last card on the issue of doorslamming, they can, in effect, hold all of their interactions with others hostage to the ultimate power play. It says, "If you don't do it the way I want, I won't acknowledge you. You don't exist to me. I will CUT you from my life." People sense these power dynamics because it's part of the fundament of human interactions. Intuitively and subconsciously one knows where they stand in the pack order. We just don't think of it like this because we're conditioned not to retain that awareness of where everyone is in the pack (or pecking order). It hearkens back to the concept of people being held in tiers of interaction. It's about power and control.

    eta: every type has a power card, btw with the power to do great damage. INFJs happen to have the doorslam.
    "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

  6. #1116
    Vulnerability Array Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    However, I do make some decisions based on the other person's tone and approach (hence the questions earlier in the thread about tone and intent) to assess whether or not the discussion will yield anything productive and whether it warrants expending the energy and thought that would require.
    The bolded really stood out to me. And I do understand about the energy output and all of that--I definitely deal with that too. It can be necessary to prioritize. But my question is, how can you know whether it will yield anything productive? Because it seems that you are only assessing what will be productive to you with the knowledge you have to this point. What if there is knowledge you don't have that will come out of the effort? What if you are unable to see that at the time and are keeping yourself from knowledge that you might end up valuing? Again, I understand about the limited energy and slow processing. And we can't pursue every area of knowledge. But how do you go about assessing for those times that it might not seem productive, and yet might end up being productive?


    ETA: I will answer your previous posts' concerns later, if you still want me to, but I didn't want to branch the conversation out too much, as I know it can be difficult to deal with too many different issues at once.



    And I'll get to everyone else I owe a reply to, also.
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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    PB, even other NFPs have explained to you why I am not receptive to your approach. We have very few conversations where you don't try to mentor me, but your comments seem personally driven rather than objective. You have loads of credibility for me in other areas, but not in this one. Yet you repeatedly and publicly hammer this point instead of giving some space and seeing if things change (and since the pattern has been reinforced for years, it will take lots of time for my perceptions to be replaced). You don't tend to look for neutral common ground first to relate, even though I know you have a heart of gold. I don't want to be mean or make you feel badly. Therefore, I generally don't interact a lot with you, as all roads always seem to lead back here. I already know you are hurt by my response. I'm already working on changing it, while not acting fake and insincere and maintaining the boundaries I need. Each time you reopen the topic, it undoes some of that and reinforces the reason I felt that way in the first place. Strong arming your way into my heart is not possible. However, I think you are smart, caring and very knowledgeable. I don't harbour any bad feeling toward you. In fact, outside of these discussions, I like you. I just don't feel enough on the same page as you to be besties, and I need you to respect that.

  8. #1118
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    Eilonwy, we make those decisions everyday. When I walk into a crowded room I could engage in conversation with anyone. I can't know where all the conversations could go. So I go on who looks interesting, who I get on with, who I could be of help to, who has knowledge that I need and so on.

    I have very little leisure time in my life. Therefore, the bit of time I have is time that I would like to be enjoyable and useful to me. We make decisions based on a variety of criteria about how we will spend our money. Why should it be any different with time?

  9. #1119
    Senior Member Array yeghor's Avatar
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    Are we talking about the same thing in regards to "doorslam"?

    What do you understand by the term "doorslam" in brief terms?

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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    My perception of the word doorslam is when you cut someone out of your life entirely without warning and with no communication after. Some people seem to habitually do this as a way of avoiding people that frustrate them or make them feel vulnerable. Some people will reintroduce someone back into their life after they have distanced themselves a bit from the situation, and some won't. In the context of this thread at least, that is what I believe it to mean.

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