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

  1. #1311
    Vulnerability Array Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeghor View Post
    How do your and your sister's ways differ basically? Is it like in terms of schedule, activities, foods etc?
    I think she's ESFP. Does that alone answer your question or would you like more specifics?

    ETA: I'll add the specifics anyway. To answer what you asked: yes, yes and yes. In terms of schedule, activities and food.

    She didn't like the schedule I had set up--too structured to me, since I had been taking care of mom by myself for a couple of years by then.

    She thought that I should add different activities. Some of her ideas were good, but some involved being near large bodies of water and mom was deathly afraid of the water.

    Food, well, that's a sore subject with this particular sister. She has her own ideas about food, such as, it has to taste bad in order to be good for you. And a long history of following that precept, which means that the rest of the siblings pretty much won't eat what she cooks, which hurts her feelings. Since we had such different tastes, I offered to cook for me and mom, and her, if she wanted to eat what I was fixing, but she had the option to make her own meals if she wanted to.

    She also disagreed with many of my decisions about mom's health. We both agreed that less medicine was best. We both are into natural remedies and better nutrition. But we disagree on what natural remedies and better nutrition actually means in practice.
    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

  2. #1312
    Senior Member Array yeghor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    I think she's ESFP. Does that alone answer your question or would you like more specifics?
    I guess you tend to be more scheduled in your approach and she more spontanous/carefree then, which would make you anxious/irritated unless you divided it into shifts where you would not bump into each other?

  3. #1313
    Vulnerability Array Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Sorry, @yeghor, I edited my last post, so see last post.

    We had different ideas of what giving me a break from taking care of my mom meant. To me it meant giving me a good chunk of time away from the responsibilities--so maybe a whole day. To her, it seemed to mean that maybe she would give me a few hours one morning, then maybe an hour on a different night, or maybe no time off at all--depending on how tired she was that day, since that was what she suggested we do. And, at the time, I didn't realize that, as an extrovert, she needed other people doing activities with her. She's always been very independent, so I thought she would take mom out to do things in order to give me a break. But, instead, she expected me to go along.
    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

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    Senior Member Array yeghor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    So you ended up taking care of two people......It's not my business but you cannot rest if your sister keeps obliging you to keep her company (unless you want it too of course)...Perhaps you could divide and share 5-6 weekdays into individual shifts and decide on 1 or 2 weekdays where you would do it together...By that way you could have and schedule some days all for yourself...

    Thanks for sharing...I wish your mother good health btw...

  5. #1315
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeghor View Post
    So you ended up taking care of two people......It's not my business but you cannot rest if your sister keeps obliging you to keep her company (unless you want it too of course)...Perhaps you could divide and share 5-6 weekdays into individual shifts and decide on 1 or 2 weekdays where you would do it together...By that way you could have and schedule some days all for yourself...
    That's how it seemed to me at the time, but this has been a good exercise for me in that I now see how we both had very different needs and I misinterpreted her needs, her reactions, and her behavior.

    New information.

    Anyway, that was years ago, other things happened, she moved out, mom and I moved to another state.*

    Thanks for sharing...I wish your mother good health btw...
    Thanks.

    ETA: *Realized that this could be interpreted incorrectly. Hurt feelings did occur on both sides, but no doorslam occurred. Communication stayed open. Maybe not very productive at times, but open.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    More like not everyone who has doorslammed someone is delusional and incapable of commitment in any context.
    yes: people who break their commitments & discard relationships to maintain their self-delusions can't be trusted to follow their commitments maintain their relationships and be honest with themselves.

  7. #1317
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    (incoming collective "you" rant warning in 3....2...)
    mind the present tense though: people have done all sort of crap, i don't believe in throwing stuff at people's faces or biting or peeing on people and yet in all likelyhood the average kid has done all of those by the time they were 3. does that make me toy-throwing biter? no, but then again i am not going to be self righteous prick standing for my right to them, claiming it was the other kid's fault and it was all the circumstances and i had to do what i had to do, my reaction to people maimed by shit thrown at them isn't to call them toxic or tell them they must have deserved it or how people have every right to throw shit at them, it isn't to claim to help by giving them advice on how to learn to be better targets.

    that's what i still don't get... the intent behind this whole thing. there seems to be a general belief here that in justifying destructive behaviors you are defending yourself from being "attacked" or "made to look bad", but this creates the exact opposite effect: in standing for the right to behave destructively to people you were close too, you are in turn justifying the expectation that you can't be trusted to not be destructive to people you are close too.

  8. #1318
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    yes: people who break their commitments & discard relationships to maintain their self-delusions can't be trusted to follow their commitments maintain their relationships and be honest with themselves.
    Ah, then. I will advise my husband to keep the phone number of a good lawyer on hand.
    “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

  9. #1319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    i identify with result-focus ethical spin, but i'd hesitant to extend this to typology -
    i've noticed there is a common line of reasoning behind a lot of the function-analysis failures:
    "if my compassion and genuine emotional self is my Fi, Fe is faking it"
    "if my empathy and caring for others is my Fe, Fi is egoistical"
    "if my understanding of reality is my Te, Ti is just mental masturbation"
    "if my ability to think deeply is my Ti, Te isn't really thinking"

    like wise, i've seen Fi users claiming that Fi values are utilitarian and Fe users are the ones adding "stubborn social norm morality which has nothing to do with the well being of anyone". it seems to follow the same game rules from either side of each function coin - people identify their identity and experience with the metaphors describing a function and then define the opposite function as the opposite (or lack) of those aspects that they identified in themselves.

    then you have people who do find a way to relate or play themselves into the described opposite, but then they see it from a perspective of rationalizing that very opposite, so the opposite function to that one is now the opposite of whatever they connected their rational too, rinse and repeat... the ecology of function definitions just keeps branching off.
    Yeah, that's a good point

    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    i've had an INFJ here present me with the "i think this would counter your hopes in X... should i say it?" question. now, i respect that for her this is a legitimate choice, and i've seen it in others since, and it's why i figured i should present it to cafe.

    in the same time when i am presented with that, to me it seems like a fake choice - sort of like how a lot of religions do the "you have a choice, ... to do what i tell you or GO TO HELL".... it's presenting a choice between going through door A or going into a wall with a door B painted over it - unless you are the roadrunner that isn't a real choice. likewise, i already know that the box has information that can mean (-X) because i just got told that, it's right there in the warning label. it's going to be the case whether i look at it or not - i don't experience my choice to look at an information as a form of control over it's validity, only opening the box and looking at it and examining it has a chance to tell me that. i can choose to not look at it, but not looking at it isn't a meaningful choice in regards to its content.
    Okay, that definitely makes sense now.

    I've been following this thread at a bit of a distance ands somewhat peripherally, but I notice that some of these topics feel like people who come to the discussion with metaphorical burn wounds all over their skin and attempt to make a connection through handshake or hug. Many recoil in a tremendous amount of pain. I think this topic in particular is painful because a doorslam represents the end of hope for both parties.

    On a brighter personal note, I did initiate an online apology for my mishap and it was reciprocated. I think everyone still needs time to recover, so I'm not going to attempt too much communication and am struggling with too much on my end anyway. I did stop an amazingly painful ongoing slam that was a concoction of mental instability, minimal resources, obliviousness, with a twist of Irish.
    The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
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    If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY

  10. #1320
    Member Array March's Avatar
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    I still think we're talking about different things on this thread. (Which I've read front to back over the last couple of years.) Sorry, long post.

    One way 'doorslam' is being defined is 'running away from people so you don't have to hear valid criticisms of your behaviour.' If so, that's always bad.

    But is that the only thing that's a doorslam? Or are there other things other people are calling a doorslam, too, that are real type patterns and need a different name (if we're going to define doorslam as the very specific thing above)?

    ----------------------------

    The way I see it, any situation leading up to a doorslam is something like this:
    RELATIONSHIP: INFJ and Other are in a relationship. Friends, spouses, colleagues, boss-employee, what have you.
    INFJ: Is unsatisfied with relationship. Maybe they're giving their all to fix it, maybe they're just passively enduring and hoping for things to get better, maybe they're just brats without a sense of reality. Maybe they're abusive assholes.
    OTHER: May be unsatisfied as well, may be working their ass off to fix it, may be just passively enduring. Maybe they're happy, in which case they may be blissfully unaware, dismissive of the INFJ's problems or trying to fix things out of respect for the INFJ. Maybe they're abusive assholes.
    COMMUNICATION from INFJ: May be clear, may be awful, may be nonexistent. They may be trying to communicate valid things or they may be completely delusional.
    COMMUNICATION from Other: May be clear, may be afwul, may be nonexistent. They may be trying to communicate valid things or they may be completely delusional.

    BREAKING POINT: A straw floats down from the heavens and breaks the back of the INFJ's relationship camel. INFJ says to hirself: "Screw this, I don't see the point in trying anymore. I'm no longer your [insert role here]." Spouse, employee, friend. They quickly redefine their role from 100% available to 0,01% available. From the ranges described above, maybe this was justified and a long time in coming. Maybe the INFJ is just a diva who can't take it when stuff isn't absolutely perfect. People are people. Some are less stupid than others.

    WHY IT ENDS: Who knows? All that's clear is that INFJ don't see there's anything else they can do, and they've lost faith that anything the other is willing to do is going to help. That doesn't mean there's noting INFJ could've done (maybe they should just have asked in the right way), just that they think they've exhausted all their options/no longer have the energy for the more complicated approaches. Also doesn't mean that Other isn't working really hard. Other isn't to blame for the relationship not working for INFJ. Nor is INFJ hirself. Sometimes relationships can become too painful and toxic without either of the people IN the relationship being hurtful or toxic. Good people bringing out the worst in each other cause terrible relationships, which the INFJ probably needs to sever completely to feel better.

    HOW IT ENDS: Varies. Some people seem to think that doorslams are always accompanied by long speeches and tearful j'accuses. Histrionics and making Other the bad person. Followed by a 'and you'll never be able to find me ever again.' In my own cases, I partial-doorslammed a friend and she probably never even noticed, I doorslammed my boss and then proceeded to diligently train my successor and write up all the projects I was working on so no knowledge and progress would be lost. Yes, I wanted to get away from them as fast and as far as possible, but there were real-life constraints to that and I held to them.

    AFTERMATH: INFJ probably wants to have the least amount of contact possible. They'd like to have friends collect their records and then change their number, as the song goes. This is a coping strategy to prevent falling back into the comfortable groove of functioning as Other's [role-partner]. Being someone's friend or employee for a long time creates a gravity well, and INFJs probably need to keep away further than other types, because the grooves get worn deeper. In my case, I also want to keep my distance because it's painful to be confronted over and over with the fact that I couldn't save this relationship. However, 'least amount of contact possible' also has a range. From 'Let's just ignore each other at work for the foreseeable future, OK? Unless we really have to communicate' and 'Don't ask me over for wine and movies, but if there's anything you need, please send me an email at X address. I'll check it once a week' (which is painful to Other but reasonable, I'd say) to 'I'm taking the kids and you're never going to see us again' (which is wrong, wrong, wrong). If there are legal (divorce settlement) or third-party obligations (custody, training your successor at work) to unravel, INFJs who doorslam so hard that this isn't possible are in the wrong. If Other just wants INFJ to be available for endless tearful relationship debriefs, I don't see why INFJ has to accommodate that. (I don't see why ANY ex has to accommodate that - drown your sorrows with your friends, plz.)

    What makes INFJ relationship-ending a doorslam, IME, is the breaking point. Going from all-in to 'I'm taking my ball and going home'. I know some people who can break up with people and immediately become best friends with their exes, hanging out all the time. I've known a married couple that divorced and stayed roommates for a decade. So they go from 100% available to 60% available without any distress. Other people may 'check out' of a relationship before actually leaving, dwindling from 100% available at the high point of the relationship to 30% available by the end, to 5% available after the end. INFJs are probably most likely to have this whiplash effect - they're full throttle ahead while they still believe in things getting better. And when that belief runs out they're full throttle focused on something else. No pause, no in-between.

    And while people may dislike that and worry about it ("She might leave at any time!"), I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with it. Not any more than there's anything wrong with it if my spouse would just let himself drift away from me, investing less and less but never making the conscious decision to just leave. That feels evil to me ("Any time he's not interested in talking to me but would rather watch TV, I have to worry that it's the start of the inexorable slow fade"), personally, but I know I just feel that way because it runs counter to my personal approach of giving things my all for as long as I see hope.

    So, given this extended model of doorslamming, what exactly is the 'destructive' and 'unconscionable' part?

    In this thread, I've seen:
    • Doorslamming is bad because it cuts INFJs off from alternative views on their character (so that's bad for the INFJ because it limits their growth potential). I've doorslammed a few people but I've never employed it to that end. For one, it doesn't work like that for me - even years after I've last seen the person, their judgements of me still sometimes keep me awake at night. Also, even if you get rid of one person who might not like you, there's still plenty of others in life that are more than happy to criticise!
    • Doorslamming is bad because INFJs get away scott-free and don't have to watch Other suffer (so that's bad for Other who wants to make sure INFJ feels bad for leaving them? I don't get this, really.) INFJ KNOWS that breaking up any relationship is going to hurt; I don't see what difference it makes to have to see Other's tear-stained face all the time. Same thing with open-heart surgery - it looks awful and some people can't stand seeing it without fainting or throwing up, but that doesn't mean it's BAD.
    • Doorslamming is bad because INFJs get to make a mess of Other's life. (Bad for Other.) I partially agree with this - INFJ moving away from a relationship is always going to mess up Other's life to a certain extent, but there's no reason to take the 'I really don't want to see you for a good long while' preference to an extremely damaging extent unless there was real abuse/safety issues going on.
    • Doorslamming is bad because people don't see it coming. (Bad for Other.) That's not inherent in doorslamming. But it's likely there's an overlap in 'people who have yes/no attitudes to relationships' and 'people who can't be forcible enough about explaining how awful something feels', leading to Others thinking it's not that bad until it's too late. The problem is the communication, though, not giving up on the relationship.
    • Doorslamming is bad because it keeps people walking on eggshells. (Bad for Other.) I don't see how this works - I've never heard of INFJs using the potential of doorslamming as a threat. "Do the dishes NOW or I'll doorslam you!"
    • Doorslamming is bad because there are ways to leave a relationship that give less of a whiplash effect (Bad for Other.) Maybe. Not sure if INFJs can do that. In a relationship, I invest in that role completely. If I ever decide I can't invest in that role completely, there's no point in hanging around. I don't compartmentalize well. In my first relationship, I might've let them walk all over me while softly telling them that something hurt me until I couldn't take it anymore and had to either get out or throw myself off a bridge. In my second relationship, I told them what I needed and believed in their promises that they'd get around to giving me that. Maybe you'd call me high maintenance, but that doesn't even matter. I believed them too long, and after a long while I had to get out to be able to breathe. In my third relationship, I was clear about not liking things and we both tried to make the other happy, but there was still this moment where I decided 'I no longer see the point. This is never going to get good enough for [major life goal]' I don't hate you, but since the train's not getting anywhere I'm going to get off and walk. And there's no point in pretending. Seeing a potential future in this relationship is a yes/no matter. If there's a future, I work towards it. If there isn't, there is no point in investing.


    -------------

    There were some mentions of INFJs needing to 'give up the right to doorslam' to be a reliable partner. @PeaceBaby and @Mane, if I remember correctly. This may sound more snarky than I intend it to, but can you tell me what that looks like? I can't even wrap my head around how this might work, so I'd like some concrete specifics. Just throwing out some things I think you might mean in good faith, so please correct me if none of this is what you had in mind.
    • It can't be promising never to leave - you both said destroying relationships is not by itself a problem and people have the right to leave their partners, jobs, and friendships. (Besides, 95% of married people have said 'I do' and 'Till death do us part' and over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Of course, not all married people are INFJs, but what's a promise like that worth?)
    • Do you want the INFJ to learn to see shades of grey between 'I see there's hope for this relationship' and 'I don't see this ever getting better'? (If so, how? I'd love to be able to do that. For me, the shades of grey exist in 'I see this relationship going really well without us having to be watchful' and 'There's a little hope for this relationship if we both put our shoulders to the wheel.' Beyond 'no, can't see it', there's no more grey.)
    • Do you want the INFJ to pretend to see shades of grey even though they don't, and instead of giving up completely to pretend to care less and less?
    • Do you want the breakup to be democratically decided on? And how is that different from other types and leaving relationships?
    • Do you want the INFJ to give Other one more chance after INFJ has lost hope?
    • Do you want the INFJ to pretend to have lost all hope slightly before they actually do, so the Other gets a wake up call instead of an 'It's dead, Jim' call?
    • Do you want the INFJ to remain available after the relationship ends, beyond what's legally required or what's needed for third parties?
    • If so, for what? Talking about the relationship? Spending time together like they used to do in the relationship? Doing work for Other or offering Other work, like when they were still in the relationship?
    • Do you want the INFJ to be forcibly held to their obligations if they don't meet them because they've made themselves scarce? Legal, societal, personal obligations? And is there a difference to what you want for doorslammers vs slow faders vs anyone else who no longer responds?
    • Do you want the INFJ to take on board Other's criticisms and judgements of INFJ, even after the relationship ends? If so, how would you know this is actually happening?
    • Do you want the INFJ to promise all of these things out loud? Or to have never had a relationship where they've done any of that? Or is professing sorrow for their contributions to past relationships' demises enough?


    ----------------------
    @Mane, this one's for you. I've noticed your 'INFJs need to accept other, critical, perspectives' gets my hackles up BIG time. So I figured I'd ask you for what that means, specifically.

    What I hear when I read that the way you word it is 'INFJs do hurtful stuff occasionally. If so, Others have the right to tell them that they're assholes/arrogant bastards/hateful bitches/unloving self-centered critters and INFJs have to take that on board as the truth.'

    If that's also what you mean, I don't actually think that's a healthy thing for INFJs. Anecdote: All the time I still lived at home, my mother told me I was arrogant and unloving. I tried to resist that perspective with all my might, because that perspective blocks me from taking on other roles in life. Being arrogant and unloving is incompatible with being a friend, a good classmate, a fun acquaintance, a loving partner, a caring mother, etc. (Of course I never completely managed to resist her perspective - she's my mother, after all, so she must both be right and have my best interests at heart. Right?) And that did completely block me from trying to get into mutually fulfilling relationships for a while - I figured that since I was unloving and arrogant, the best I could hope for was being tolerated.

    So maybe that's just the wording, but I don't think it's healthy for INFJs to take on judgements into their self-identity like that. Much better to have a self-concept that says 'I'm a loving person, and loving people don't have to be perfect but they do need to fix things when they break them and learn from the situation in which the things got broken.'

    A more neutral version would be 'INFJs do hurtful stuff occasionally. If so, Others have the right to tell them that it hurt them, that they need to apologize, that they need to make amends, and that they need to not flinch away from the hurt they caused/not spin the story in such a way that they don't need to acknowledge that hurt.' I can get behind that wholeheartedly. It's still difficult for INFJs (well, at least for me - I spend 90% of my energy trying to do the right thing, and it's hard to find out that it didn't work) but soothing my hurt feelings isn't the job for the person I hurt, it's a job for me and my friends. Still, that doesn't mean Others can call INFJ names and INFJs have to take on those names as self-concept.

    Maybe that's different for other types. Maybe I can say 'You're a real asshole, you know that' in a serious conversation to another type without having them re-evaluate everything they've done through the lens of 'maybe I am an asshole and maybe that's all I am.' That doesn't mean INFJs can't be criticized, just that it's counterproductive for them to have to accept other people's perspectives on what their character and intent was.

    Is the neutral version something you can get behind? Criticize the behaviour, not the intent? Or is it necessary for INFJs to be capable of learning in your view that they're able to self-identify with another person's conclusions about their character?

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