Hmm, I'm thinking our sense of the importance of things is maybe getting skewed by our focus.
From what several INFPs said on this thread, I got the impression that:
- INFPs think any unexpressed emotion needs to be dragged into the light, even if they're just part of the background ebb and flow of life
- INFPs don't consider timing/manner of doing that TOO important
- It's a priority with a large P
This is easy to believe for me because my INFP mother (having parents of a certain type really does a number on one's later skill at seeing others of that type clearly, it seems) DID think all my emotions had to do with her, and if I didn't want to share something than my stubbornness in not telling her DEFINITELY had to do with her, and she shamed and guilt-tripped me publicly and privately about that a lot of times. Even then I could see that she didn't intend that, but she saw it happened and she continued doing it.
So probably a lot of people have had an INFP take a 'stab in the dark' and hit them right in the heart or ovaries, and for people who are sensitive to that and whose situation was a complete miscalibration on the INFP's part, the fact that it's come up often in this thread makes it sound like 'OMG, they'd like to do this all day long! Hide!'
Whereas after a couple of rounds of questions, it seems that the truth is more like:
- INFPs understand that 99% of people's emotions have nothing at all to do with THEM - I can be pissed off at Bob while talking to Mary, and she can either tell the difference by herself or gracefully back out when I say 'it's not you, it's something else'
- They do want to talk about/shed light on emotions if they're relevant and aimed at them/are sincerely confusing, e.g. I'm angry at you while saying I'm NOT angry while still throwing passive-aggressive digs your way. Which seems totally fair since I don't think anyone has to stand for being actively misled
- INFPs control their need for information at least 90% of the time
- INFPs can be quite sensitive about how they approach talking about this, if they want to
Probably the same thing happened with INFJs and doorslams earlier in the thread.
- Being on the receiving end of a doorslam can be ultra painful so the memory stays with you and takes on a lot of importance
- Most people who were being doorslammed were NOT actively malicious or abusive, so it felt completely undeserved
- All the INFJs on the thread talk about that time when they doorslammed someone, so they must be thinking about it/getting ready for it ALL THE TIME!
While the truth is more like INFJs hardly ever doorslam and only do so when they've run out all ability in dealing productively with the situation - I've doorslammed 3ish people in my 30 years of life, and in that same span I've lost at least 1000 relationships just because of attrition, losing interest, moving away, not staying in touch, mutual meh, etc. Even with more inveterate doorslammers, I can't imagine them doorslamming even 10% of their relationships. It's just that talking about it makes it sound like it's going on everywhere.
Edited to add: Oh, and @Southern Kross & @PeaceBaby, thanks for putting up with all my questions! Very enlightening and reassuring. I was vacillating between 'Hmm, I've heard people say a lot of questions is off-putting and invastive' and 'But I've also heard that one of the things INFJs are annoying for is assuming things and not saying they don't understand!' and I'm glad I went with 'These are all the ways I don't understand; could you help me out?'