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

  1. #111
    Intentionally Clementine Array Starry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    Well said, I personally think that most if not all INFJs just want to feel that we are worth the effort of trying hard to get to us, we want to be found even when we dont want to be found.

    My advice to her would be to keep trying. Hang in there.
    Billy - Thanks so much for the encouragement. I need it and appreciate it very much. Ahhh...yah this is way outside of 'what I am used to' with regards to my interpersonal relationships. And I'm doing everything in my power not to make assumptions. The advice, support, encouragement I have found here has helped me more than I can express. Again, thank you so much.

  2. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric Wench View Post
    StarryKnights, I'm so glad you posted this. I've had a similar situation with a male INFJ I know. He was in the wrong. But when this came to light, he didn't re-initiate contact which completely baffles me.

    I was so hurt by his doorslamming. It took me a long time to get the courage to risk making very subtle (and perhaps some not-so-subtle) overtures. Nothing. Absolutely nothing from him... which makes no sense to me.
    Hello Esoteric Wench. Oh believe me...I feel your pain. And sometimes I still feel it. When I first realized I was shut-out, however, I was so in shock I actually didn't feel anything. I sorta took it day by day...walking around in a daze...waiting for the truth of the matter to come out.

    I guess a huge part of my pain was expecting him to do what I would have done had the roles been reversed. If I had falsely accused someone of something they didn't do...okay...well that would never happen really because I don't believe a thing about anyone until I see it, feel it, experience it, etc. myself. But if, for whatever reason, I doubted a friend in any regard I would speak to them directly about it.

    For the sake of this story: If I doubted a friend, gave them a good doorslammin, gave them those 'you are a pathetic little person' stares whenever I silently passed...AND THEN found out I was in the wrong?? OH MY GOD...I promise you the earth would cease to revolve!!! And I would be spending the rest of my life doing everything in my power to make up for the hurt I caused that person. Nothing would be impossible from that point on. Seriously, if becoming an Olympic athelete would somehow help this person...I would become an Olympic athelete in spite of age, out-of-shapeness, a bad back...smoking (yes I took up smoking again).

    All I needed was a sincere 'I'm so sorry' for it to be done with. And when that never came...ouch. I've never experienced anything that even borders on this. Now when he sees me...I'll get a long, sad look...and nothing else. Oh yah - this kind pain - wouldn't wish it on anyone. It feels like being rejected at the 'soul' level...twice. It feels like 'you and your friendship don't matter enough to me to make an effort'.

    I am doing everything I can to remain open-minded to the fact that not everyone behaves in the same way or in a way that I will find 'most desirable' (as ENFP I actually do this naturally, yet once my ego took a beating I did start thinking things like 'no one would do this to a friend!!!' etc.) Hey, I've been wanting to learn how to 'love better'...and I must say this situation is teaching me a lot...with regards to accepting another as a whole person...and not just the parts I like

  3. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Something I’ve noticed about myself and a few other Js is that it can be really difficult for us to shift dynamics with someone according to new information. I think this might be particularly true of INFJs. Since our praxis of thought is far more in our heads than in the present moment (constantly taking into account past experiences of a person, as well as the individualized potential we’ve constructed about that person), it takes a while for information derived from the present moment to get incorporated into how we feel about him/her. We can be certain of it 'logically', but for some reason it doesn't quite seep into our feeling right away. And when the new information strongly contradicts what we thought we knew (especially if the person is/was close to us), it can take awhile to adequately process.

    In the past, I’ve ended up avoiding certain people simply because they gave me too much contradictory information to process and it didn’t seem like it would be worth the effort it would take to get back on the same page with them. But if I’m told it’s important to the other person- that's often all the encouragment I need for it to become important to me as well.
    Z Buck hello - and thank you as well for sharing your insights. You are another one of the wise individuals here that I have 'turned to' by reading what you contribute on this forum. They have been very helpful - always. As is what you write above.

    I do think he struggles to keep up with me and some of my contradictions. I know I struggle to keep up with his. But I don't judge him the way I feel, especially now, he judges me. I do feel sometimes that he is attempting to 'assign' me to some 'space' in his mind...which would be okay I imagine if I felt like the 'assignment' was based on an accurate interpretation of who I am. When I say that though I have already been influenced by the thought that he believed me capable of doing this thing (not a terrible thing but still not even remotely in-line with my values as I would think he would know) that I would never do. I'm still having to come to grips with that. Uh...does he know me? Who have I been hanging out with all this time?

    Anyway, there are times I feel we are the same person. And there are times I feel it is the first time he has met me. That's always odd. Maybe it is during those times he is in that space that you are discussing in your post (between thinking and incorporating it into feeling). There are times he seems to respond well to kinds words from me. And there are times I think he finds them suspect.

    I know I am complex...but I am not unknowable...and I am a very good person. Always have been. Yes...as INFJ...I often wonder why he doesn't always see/know/intuit that. Sorry I'm rambling a bit. Time for bed. Thank you again Z.

  4. #114
    FRACTALICIOUS Array phobik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarryKnights View Post

    All I needed was a sincere 'I'm so sorry' for it to be done with. And when that never came...ouch. I've never experienced anything that even borders on this.


    Now when he sees me...I'll get a long, sad look...and nothing else. Oh yah - this kind pain - wouldn't wish it on anyone. It feels like being rejected at the 'soul' level...twice. It feels like 'you and your friendship don't matter enough to me to make an effort'.

    I am doing everything I can to remain open-minded to the fact that not everyone behaves in the same way or in a way that I will find 'most desirable' (as ENFP I actually do this naturally, yet once my ego took a beating I did start thinking things like 'no one would do this to a friend!!!' etc.) Hey, I've been wanting to learn how to 'love better'...and I must say this situation is teaching me a lot...with regards to accepting another as a whole person...and not just the parts I like
    This is probably the only thing left/worth doing. As others have said, shutting doors it's often a ill and permanent choice, not matter what the truth may be, including acknoledgment or neglecting of. Maybe Ni does see it all, even beyond consciousness, and all that is left to do is to grasp where the finger is pointing.

    Otherwise it feels like being stuck in the past forever. Even Ps need/want closure. But noone is really responsible for what another person wants or needs... :steam:

  5. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by phobik View Post

    This is probably the only thing left/worth doing. As others have said, shutting doors it's often a ill and permanent choice, not matter what the truth may be, including acknoledgment or neglecting of. Maybe Ni does see it all, even beyond consciousness, and all that is left to do is to grasp where the finger is pointing.

    Otherwise it feels like being stuck in the past forever. Even Ps need/want closure. But noone is really responsible for what another person wants or needs... :steam:
    Hello phobik –

    I woke up a little earlier today and thought it would be a good idea to quickly log on and reread what I posted last night as I was tired and expected there would be some editing to do (yah, I’m a ‘word omitter’ and can often read a sentence I wrote as if the word is there and the sentence is complete - until I read it again with a fresh pair of eyes – weird).

    But I may have done more than omitting a word here and there. I may have created a bunch of nonsense and confusion with my ramblings as I am having a bit of trouble understanding your response to me – but would really like to. I’m sure I sound like a broken record (whoa – that is such a dated phrase come to think of it)…but I really mean it when I say how grateful I am when someone takes the time to comment on these threads as I learn so much from them.

    After reading some of the posts from Esoteric Wench and flylittlefeather, I admit I felt a little sorry for myself. And I’m sure a part of that came through in what I wrote. But I hope you don’t think I’m pointing a perpetual finger at my INFJ friend – oh gosh no. Like I tried to convey in an earlier post – my INFJ friend is the gentlest of spirits and good to the core. Was my ego bruised by his recent behavior towards me?…yah…but I’m actually glad to be getting this lesson because it is causing me to strive for a whole new understanding of people and not just INFJs. My ego is ‘in check’ and I’m happy with myself that I didn’t allow it to make assumptions and/or jump to hasty conclusions about the true nature of my friend based solely on his current outward behavior…but lead me here and to expanding my understanding of how I want to love and the type of friend I want to be (if that makes sense).

    Believe me when I say – I know what it feels like to have my behavior taken the wrong way. Is it the case we are held to a certain ‘SJ’ or ‘male’ or ‘professional’ standard of conduct? So that any action/reaction that deviates from that standard is subsequently perceived as being eccentric or outstanding in some way? I’ve felt that as my natural self goes against the ‘social norm’ each and every day it seems. With my INFJ I believe my mind thought to reverse that same process. Observe the behavior and then arrive at its meaning based on a ‘social norm’ which is not what I want to do. Doing that the only conclusion I could really arrive at is that he despises me. But my heart knows that isn’t true. Okay…I’m really ‘thinking aloud’ here and while I appreciate having the opportunity to do so…I also don’t want to put people to sleep!!

    Anyway, I wasn’t able to understand the parts you bolded from my quote. And I wasn’t quite sure what you were saying with regards to the parts I bolded in yours. Again, I would be interested in learning from you…if you get a chance to clarify.

    What I gathered from the input so kindly provided to me here was to make sure he understands that he is a hugely important part of my life...that he has not failed me…and to be patient, constant and light-hearted as oppose to pushy, emotionally changeable and melodramatic. This makes perfect sense to me…and is very much aligned with what I know he needs in a friend. I’m not looking for closure. Not once did I ever get the feeling this was a permanent door slam. Which is also why I came here. I needed to know how to be a good friend when the door cracks open a bit and he is looking through about eight of those little chain thingies (okay I’m quite certain that made no sense whatsoever).

  6. #116
    Professional Trickster Array Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    In my original post which started this thread, I talked about how I have been hurt and baffled by INFJ doorslamming. I had NO idea that this would become such a well-read and well-debated topic. As of this post, there have been 115 responses and 5,445 views. Obviously, this is a topic of much interest to the readers of this forum. And, I think this is evidence that INFJ doorslamming is the source of much miscommunication between INFJs and the non-INFJs in their lives.

    Now seems the time to take a moment and summarize what I’ve learned from this thread so far.

    What is Doorslamming?
    Doorslamming occurs when an INFJ cuts off contact with someone in their acquaintance. It is my observation that INFJs are more likely (in comparison with the other 15 personality types) to engage in doorslamming.

    Doorslamming Takes Many Forms
    This is a complicated issue that cannot be understood with a single, pat answer. Doorslamming may or may not be a permanent break in contact. And, INFJs may or may not feel guilty about doorslamming someone. But whatever the form or feeling, breaking off contact with people is a natural way for INFJs to handle <insert the INFJ’s reason here>.

    Doorslamming Is Hard for non-INFJs to Understand
    I think that one of the most difficult aspects of being an INFJ is the inherent contradiction in cognitive functions all INFJs experience. It’s like they are being pulled in different directions by their INFJ-ness. I’ve often thought that being an INFJ was a tough card to be dealt. But the ones that overcome the inherent obstacles in their INFJ-ness are truly amazing people.

    Ni versus Fe. INFJs feel a need to connect with other people. And, yet they can be overwhelmed by the very connections they seek. They must be in contact with people and they must be alone to reflect and process. Vicki Jo Varner explains this very well.

    For INFJ's, I have often used the metaphor of being up in an "ivory tower," trying to get a glimpse of what's on the horizon. And then, when I activate my extraverted Feeling, I have to run down the steps of that tower in order to get to ground level and connect with people there. (Any time I try calling down from the turret of the tower, people think I'm speaking in "tongues" or I'm spewing incoherent jabberwocky, because it's nearly impossible to eloquently articulate all the complexity I'm seeing.) - from INFJ iNtuition
    Even before reading Ms. Varner’s words, I’d used the term shuttlecock to describe this phenomenon. A shuttlecock is tossed back and forth in badminton. So are the psyches of INFJs who are able to see all the permutations in any situation, and yet feel a compelling need to be decisive. As an ENFP, I too am blessed with dominant Intuition. My Ne allows me to see all the connections and all the possibilities in any given situation. But unlike my INFJ mirrors, I don’t feel compelled to decide upon one out of the many. This has got to be really tough for INFJs.

    I think it hard for other types to understand these contradictory forces. This is further complicated by the INFJ’s reluctance to be transparent in their thinking. In other words, the people in the INFJ’s life may have no clue regarding pre-doorslamming ruminations until the door has been shut.

    INFJs Doorslam for Many Reasons
    Many reasons have been given in this thread for why an INFJ will slam the door on someone. I’ve tried to summarize them here:
    • Immorality of the other person. In other words, the INFJ perceives the other person has done something wrong and thus they decide they don't want that person to be in their life anymore.
    • Being Overwhelmed. The INFJ needs to put distance between themselves and the person with whom they experience uncomfortably powerful emotions. I think of my dog that gets overwhelmed with happiness upon seeing me and then has to go hide under the bed. INFJs feel things very intensely and sometimes need to get some distance. (As an ENFP, btw, I understand this very well. I also feel things very intensely. It can be quite overwhelming at times.)
    • Fearing Failure. INFJs feel failure when they hurt other people and when they fail to meet the high expectations they have for themselves. If an INFJ feels they might fail in these areas, cutting off contact with that person seems a viable solution for the INFJ.
    • Kindness. Sometimes the INFJ feels that the kindest thing to do for someone is to cut them loose. Think of the word agape. The INFJ may decide that doorslamming this person to be the kindest thing they can do for them.
    • Sense of closure. INFJs need to have a sense of closure when it comes to their personal relationships. They may ruminate on them, but once they’ve made a decision, the Rubicon has been crossed, so to speak.


    Conclusions
    Whatever the reason for shutting the door, I’ve come to accept that for INFJs doorslamming is a valid choice... even if it goes against the very essence of my ENFP sensibilities. All INFJs doorslam to some extent. It is a natural choice based on their unique mix of cognitive functions.

    But an unhealthy/immature INFJ may engage in doorslamming in maladaptive ways. The real problem comes when the INFJ overindulges in doorslamming. When cutting off contact with another person becomes an easy answer to the complicated process INFJs must undergo to process incoming information and navigate discomfort in their relationships.

    I read once that Introverted Intuition is akin to a framework for understanding. Every time new information comes into the INFJ’s psyche, they must reprocess the entire framework to incorporate the new information. This is a very laborious process. Thus, to conserve mental energy, INFJs will sometimes dismiss new information if they judge it’s a rehashing of something they've processed previously. If the INFJ isn’t careful, they will fall into the trap of dismissing outside input too readily.

    In other words, some INFJs use Fe to serve the needs of Ni by rejecting new information. A more healthy, balanced approach would be for Fe to judge whether or not the INFJ's framework is still valid given the new information coming in. This takes more mental work, but it is critical for a healthy INFJ.

    An INFJ who uses their Fe to serve the needs of their Ni, rather than to check its excesses, will be rigid in their life stance. Such an INFJ may come off as opinionated, dismissive, snobbish, or arrogant. These INFJs see only what they want to see and are sorely lacking in humility.

    Thus, these unhealthy INFJs will doorslam people who threaten their framework (aka Ni). (This is just another a way of dismissing outside input isn't it? By killing the messenger?) This is kind of doorslamming is unhealthy, needlessly hurtful, and just plain immature. Not every INFJ does this, but the ones that do need a good kick in the *ss.

  7. #117
    Senior Member Array Quiet's Avatar
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    The above was probably the best ever descriptions of how and why we function. I don't think I have ever read a better one, thanks for posting this Esoteric Wench.
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    As an INFJ, I think there are many situations where you might need to cut someone off. I do it still and I don't think it's necessarily immature. You might do it to "clean house" - in other words, you notice you have too many friends who are really just acquaintances. So you just stop talking to them to focus on those that matter. This probably confuses them, but it's easier for an INFJ to get back to basics by just focusing on those who matter. And it always makes me feel good to know I'm backing up my main reservoir of friends, the ones who I can rely on to help me in a minute's notice.
    Then there is the case where someone wrongs you (or you perceive it in that way). An INFJ needs to learn how to address this with the friend, but for those that haven't learned how to do this, there's the door slam. You need to cut ties to protect yourself. Or at least that's how you feel. You don't keep someone around who isn't good for you. I think INFJs are good at recognizing what's right and wrong for them because we have the J in us. We may ultimately decide that our assessment was wrong though...and that's why we might try to go back. Or not. Just depends on how much we really like that person we shut out. The thing about INFJs is we drown in the gray zone. So we need to make fast assessments. It alleviates stress.

    Finally, we'll shut someone out who is a past love. This is pretty common and when it happens it's like an anorexic stopping to consume food. It hurts like hell, and we're so hungry for that person, but were very determined to keep them out. And the act of keeping them out becomes an obsession in itself. Of course, ironically, that's not emotionally good for us either.

    I think the healthiest INFJs are the ones with really good healthy support systems. When we have friends who understand us, they can help us stand the gray zone, and not make rash decisions that ultimately we may regret.

  9. #119
    4x9 Array cascadeco's Avatar
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    Esoteric, your most recent post is really pretty good, I think. I think you've come to a pretty good understanding of INFJ's, the different caveats to this 'doorslamming' concept, and some of the stuff going on behind the scenes - our very cognitive process and way we approach relationships, the world, and our life - that lead to this phenomenon. Bottom line- and I sense that you get this - is that it's a complicated subject. No single explanation for it; pretty nuanced. And, yeah, I think you bring up a good point that our very nature tends to be contradictory (throw Ti on top of NiFe), which can sometimes cause difficulties.

    kccrush -- I think you've made a pretty good summary yourself! I relate to much of it.
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    Aspiring Troens Ridder Array KLessard's Avatar
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    The only moments I cut people out is if I feel they have rejected me or cut me out themselves. I do it because I don't think they care to have me in their life anymore. It's just common sense. And it hurts. But that might be a wrong interpretation on my part. It hasn't happened often.

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