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

  1. #351
    Professional Trickster Array Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I have learned that what I believe is a very clear way of saying, "You are overwhelming or irritating me. I don't want to have to be unkind, so you need to leave me alone for a bit. If you follow me literally or verbally, you will force me to be very direct or avoid you entirely," is not heard by ENFPs as that.
    I'm going to chime in with the others, here, and ask Fidelia to flesh this out a bit. Can you give us examples of times you thought you communicated "back off" but the message was not received? And, how would you now - based on what you've learned - communicate this same message of "back off" differently in a way that gets the ENFP to comply?

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    INFJs get increasingly blunt, believing that their message is not being received and therefore must have been too oblique. ENFPs may hear the message the INFJ is transmitting, but conclude that the INFJs reasoning is flawed and therefore ignore the message, which results in extreme frustration and eventual doorslamming (in some cases).
    To bring this back around to the topic of this thread, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for how INFJs and ENFPs could communicate with each other in a more adaptive way in order to avoid a potential door slam by the INFJ.

    I think Fidelia has characterized the dynamic pretty well here. All I would add to it is that an ENFP will hear the INFJ's "back off" message, but will decide to ignore it because:

    a) the reasoning of the INFJ is flawed (which is what Fidelia said),
    b) that to submit to the INFJ's request would somehow violate an Fi value dearly held by the ENFP, or
    c) the INFJ tries to communicate "back off" by avoiding the other person in some way... maybe not a complete door slam, but more of a withdrawal. The ENFP recognizes the retreat but doesn't understand what the INFJ is trying to communicate. In fact, withdrawal might even incent the ENFP to approach the INFJ. In other words, not only does the INFJ not effectively communicate their needs to the ENFP, but also they incite from the ENFP the very behavior they are hoping to avoid. <-- I'm going to bet this third scenario is pretty darn common.

    So what's the answer here? How can ENFPs and INFJs (who are by all accounts friendly and kind people) avoid getting in such an unhealthy dynamic with one another? If we could figure this out maybe there'd be less doorslams going on out there in the real world and I think that'd make both ENFPs and INFJs happy.

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  2. #352
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalanceFind View Post
    A problem is the belief that one can door slam without facing loose end consequences to actions. A door slamming person may say, back off indirectly by door slam....but life doesn't stand still for that person nor others. A door slamming person may choose to slam and indirectly say back off, but that doesn't mean others need to bow to the dictator of door slam. It's always always always a two way street. One person is never more important than the other.
    BalanceFind, I know exactly how you feel here. I've thought the same thing to myself many times. And, I've expressed these sentiments in this very thread. But sometimes, the kindest thing you can do for the doorslammer is to "let yourself be wronged." Give them the space they are asking for not because you are letting them dictate your behavior, but because you choose to give them space. A doorslam is obviously a sign that that doorslammer is under stress in some way. Even if they're wrong to doorslam you, even if it's short-sited, even if there are loose ends, you can choose to let them win that battle... at least for a while.

    ^^^^^
    The above advice applies to what I'd call a run-of-the-mill doorslam. With you're situation there are unique variables that indicate to me that you're INFJ is definitely in fight-or-flight mode. This transcends the doorslam. She may have doorslammed you, but she's in complete denial about a lot of stuff. This calls for a different tack. You can't reason with someone who is living in their instinctual, fight-or-flight, lizard brain. All you can do is get them to submit by sheer force. So let me suggest that you quit trying to manipulate her behavior and leverage a higher power (that'd be the legal system) to force her to do the right thing.
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  3. #353
    wants Mifune clone minion Array Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric Wench View Post
    I'm going to chime in with the others, here, and ask Fidelia to flesh this out a bit. Can you give us examples of times you thought you communicated "back off" but the message was not received? And, how would you now - based on what you've learned - communicate this same message of "back off" differently in a way that gets the ENFP to comply?
    I can’t speak for fid, but for me, that’s a hard question to answer because I go on a case-by-case basis and so the comment I’d specifically have would change according to the person I’m dealing with.*

    Something to remember there though is that it’s a very Te-delivering-Fi route to take. I suspect it’s hard for team Te to understand, but delivering things in a Te way (from a Ti vantage point) is basically treating the other person like they are stupid. We’re sensitive to Ti stuff and it’s not always clear how direct/unrefined a comment can be without feeling ‘clearly’ disrespectful. It’s difficult to say something which would reciprocally make *us* feel disrespected/like the other person is treating us like we’re stupid and believes we need to be told 'what to think', because it feels like a double standard. In other words, it would “violate a Ti value held dearly by the INFJ”.

    Personally, I put as much effort into figuring out where- on that spectrum- I should deliver the message according to how important the person is to me. If I don’t see them as a valuable acquaintance, then I’m not going to spend the energy ‘looping’ about how to balance going against my own Ti instinct with effectively getting a message across. I’ll just do what’s comfortable and avoid them. Which may sound selfish, but I have a hard time believing anyone really goes against their own unconscious priority to figure out how to communicate effectively to a person who doesn’t seem worth the effort. I can't imagine it's any easier for Fi'ers to go against their own unconscious priorities and values to simply effectively 'get a message across', because regardless of the Ji function, it just kinda feels slimy. I mean, I suppose it’s worthwhile sometimes to get over that subjective slimy feeling and realize it's what the other person needs to 'hear' something, just for the practice of being able to effectively communicate with a wider range of people- and I’ll occasionally do it for the sake of practice in understanding how to communicate- but really, it seems like there are enough people who are valuable enough to me around to keep me preoccupied with that practice.

    Also, I suppose I generally tend to invest as much effort into effectively communicating as I sense someone else is (but then, that’s usually because that effort in itself is what makes them ‘valuable’ enough to me).

    *[edit to add:] This is where the infinite amount of INFJ mental post-it notes comes into play. I'm constantly taking notes about what sorts of approaches a person can handle, and I build the way I interact with them according to these notes. I CAN slowly develop an understanding that it's necessary to be blunt and direct- if experience tells me it's what they need, it doesn't offend them and they prefer it. But I need to build a mutually respectful type of rapport with a specific person before I can deliver something like that; the mental post it notes need to stack up first.
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  4. #354
    reborn Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Part of the issue, as I reflect on the doorslam, is that it's difficult to separate why I would choose to not deal with someone anymore vs why an INFJ would doorslam.

    If I were faced with a dire situation or relationship where I had to decide with finality to cut someone out of my life, I would feel inside my heart like I was saying, "You are a BAD person" to that other person vs what I think an INFJ is saying is that "You are a bad person FOR ME."

    And, really let's be honest here, my doorslam isn't even a doorslam, it's more like a door closing so quiet you don't know it just got shut. That causes problems for me too though from time to time. I'm not saying my way is inherently any better at all.

    It's just like gradually releasing someone from my life - I would try my best to orchestrate it into the natural ebb and flow of the pattern of life because I don't want that other person to know I have cut them out. I don't want them to think I think they're bad because I still can see virtue in them, just personally I can't deal with them anymore. I see it as my problem, I guess, take ownership of that?

    For example, I worked with a super-fun but toxic person on a musical theatre production. I decided it was a friendship that I just couldn't maintain because it was very much a "taking" style friendship where I didn't feel I got even close to equally listened to over time, things were WAY out of balance. So it was more natural to just gradually disconnect after the show ended. It's taken me years to even learn how to do that to get these type of user-style friends out of my life.

    Perhaps the doorslam is hard to receive because the NFP hears it as "YOU ARE BAD", unworthy of love or respect, instead of "YOU ARE BAD FOR ME". That's why I think it hurts and perplexes so. It is a huge, huge decision I know for an INFJ, but on the receiving end, because there is no recourse, just a broken end trailing off loose forever, there's no opportunity for mutual closure, which feels more respectful of each other's humanity.
    "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,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
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  5. #355

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    I think what matters is being healthy in your type. If you are healthy in your type, any two types can get along, communicate well, etc...The more one or both people aren't healthy in their type, the more opportunity there is for miscommunication, and, or problems.

    I'm a positive person generally, and an open minded person generally, but I don't see how a door slam, of any kind would be beneficial to the person doing the door slam, short or long term. I can see how things held inside get to be too much, and I can see how the temptation is there, ...but doing it, especially for any length of time, isn't very productive or beneficial, including to the feelings or imagination that many infj's for example value more than anything else.

    For me, with infj's, withdrawing is moving into the wrong direction. You don't get to check in for facts. This doesn't mean you'll lose those feelings and emotions. The other thing for me is the unwillingness to re-visit decisions already made, even if the infj knows it was not a good decision. This to me seems to be more about two possible things, perfectionism of an infj, ...mine could be very perfectionistic at times. Also, secondly, this to me is about crumbling quickly when things get difficult or complicated. This also related at times to my infj. I'll throw in a third, for some infj's 4w3, narcissism. Mistakes happen every day, all the time. Every person makes them. And, often times, mistakes are no big deal. ...whether these are mistakes or flaws so to speak of the infj or other person.

    My infj could fall into the all or nothing spectrum rather quickly with people. And for me, if those things could and would even out more often more quickly, less severe problems will occur.

    Again, any of these topics can and do apply to me in different ways with my own personality and how I respond etc......but the message remains the same, not going to extremes too much or staying there too often, unless for healthy reasons. Self-awareness helps.

    In my example, during better times, my infj and I had a running joke, where she would once in a while call herself a "Cranky toddler," for some reason or another if she didn't get her way about something. It's an inside joke, but it means she was self-aware, could laugh at herself, recognize if she was getting out of sorts, and be able to change her approach for better results. It was definitely a relief to me to hear her be able to joke about herself, matter of factly.

    In my situation, a lot of factors beyond our control became challenges for us. Long distance, roughing it, other people's issues besides us, ...a little bit of a language challenge for me as the other country isn't English speaking, I am not fluent in the other one, ...though capable. I would focus a lot on communication sometimes, when out and about, and that leads to perhaps inadvertant attention to her, or perceived that way...little things...etc...all kinds of things add up....but regardless, all of them are easily discussed back and forth, calmly, rationally, and we won't always agree. I am not suggesting even doing that all that often...but never or next to never itsn't good. Communication is so much. And, both sides have to adjust, not just one or the other.

  6. #356
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    I don't think that it's true that INFJs never revisit their decisions. However, usually they tend to do their main agonizing before making them, instead of after. They (if anything) take too long to decide what they are going to do and that often causes problems for them because by that time they are at a frustration level that limits their willingness to negotiate any longer.

    I have to thank Esoteric Wench for being the first person to help me understand how differently ENFPs and INFJs resolve conflict. I believe it was in the INFJ Common Issues thread. It is actually an interesting thing to reread now in light of some of the things I've learned since. I'm still not sure that I have good tools for avoiding a similar reaction to a Te laden ENFP, but I think I may approach the situation with less exasperation and more understanding. I appreciate your analysis of what goes wrong in this pairings interactions and I agree that it is for the reasons you outlined.

    You asked me about specific situations where this has come up. In that particular case, here's some of what seemed to be at play

    1) I and other INFJs didn't feel that your statements about your INFJ were universally applicable, and yet you seemed to feel they were. Ti puts more emphasis on the qualifications of the speaker (and/or the previous relationship of the speaker and their audience) to register their opinion, while Fi-Te seems more open to any new ideas if they are good, regardless of their opinion about the expertise of the person offering them. This was something that I didn't understand at the time as a significant difference between Fi-Te and Fe-Ti.

    Therefore, right off the bat, it seemed to you that I was ruling out people who could give useful constructive criticism and save someone terrible pain. I wasn't opposed to that, but I didn't feel that was the main focus of how I had laid out the thread, and as Ni has a terrible tendancy to snowball, I wanted to limit it to one facet at a time. Had it been your thread, I felt like I would have been in your territory, following the guidelines you had laid out. Now I understand that is more of a Fe-Ti approach, but then I didn't understand that that was not a universal truth! (That sounds horribly arrogant, but it's true. I honestly assumed that everyone saw things that way).

    2) You offered a plan of action of INFJ self-improvement which had not been invited and your relationship to any of the INFJs in the thread was not pre-established to soften the Te edges of it. This is a huge no-no in Fe-Ti land where it is impolite to offer help of that kind unless you have established that you understand all facets of the problem, have taken time to know and gain trust of the person, and they have solicited your help. I still find it confusing, as I inadvertently can seeming prying or harsh to Fi-Te when I don't mean to, but some of the ways those users relate to each other would seem very harsh and blunt to me. Again, Te and Fe both look less flexy or open to change than they really are, so they can seem kind of like a jackhammer to those with introverted functions.

    3) The resulting reactions of some ignoring, followed by increasing bluntness with me in the lead, but other INFJs as well, reinforced your Fi reaction of this being unfair as well as a rejection of you personally. On principle, it seemed you felt this was something that needed to be pursued. It wasn't fair to silence some people, while allowing others to be heard.

    I felt that since I had given you what seemed to be very clear warning that I was feeling irritated and you did not acknowledge the problem existed or kept on with your own agenda, I would be less careful of your feelings compared to how I would generally interact. It seemed at the time that you were purposely being obtuse or pushy. Of course, I've realized since that this was not the case. I was actually surprised to realize that you felt as badly as you did, or that you felt that emotionally involved, as my feelings were more ones of surprise or annoyance, but not real emotion.

    4) I was misreading your wish to get what you perceived as a huge interpersonal issue between us resolved as you green-eggs-and-hamming me to death, and I was annoyed rather than understanding that you were doing so out of true distress and that there was a need to do it now. I felt like if you just backed off for a day or lessened your approach, it was clear to anyone that the results would have to be better and that the problem would naturally dissipate. (Again, that sounds arrogant, but I thought it was a universal fact, rather than a basic difference in the way our functions sets would approach problem resolution).

    I see some of what BalanceFind is doing as being a similar disconnect. Several people in the thread have asked what he really hopes to accomplish by continuing to offer details that seem extraneous when concurring opinions have already been offered by a variety of people and have been ignored. Any suggestions that Balance is not telling the whole story also have not been addressed. Neither has his assertion that his INFJ is behaving in a typical INFJ manner, when others do not agree that this is necessarily typical. These may seem like details to him, but to his audience, they need to be addressed before they can devote attention to what he has to say. Otherwise his facts and his opinion will be discounted as unreliable.

    I will agree that INFJs can be somewhat avoidant, especially when a clear answer just doesn't seem to be available. I think it's entirely possible that in that sense, his INFJ is doing this, realizing that she is in a bad situation. However, at this point, those facts seem extraneous. It seems clear to me that the relationship is over, so saving her from herself when she is clearly unwilling to even speak with him seems like he is bringing a lot of the pain he is feeling on himself by being so single-minded and insistent. We all acknowledge that the financial issue is of course not one that can wait, and therefore should be dealt with by an impartial third party as soon as possible.

    Wait a minute though - perhaps this too is rooted in Fe-Ti being very results oriented, whereas Fi-Te is more expression/action oriented. I can't imagine discussing something if it wasn't to get clarity on what to do, or on how to relieve my own feelings or change my perspective significantly enough that I can proceed. Maybe that is not what Fi-Te sees the point of discussion being though...

    This is all clumsily expressed and I apologize to any and all Fi-Te-ers to whom my way of stating it may seem offensive. I truly don't mean to be, but rather am trying to better understand it.

  7. #357
    Professional Trickster Array Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Whoah. I wasn't expecting @fidelia to respond on point re: hers and my debacle. Let me go get a glass of wine... or two... and then reread.

    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  8. #358
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    Whoops - I hope I didn't overstep by doing that. If so, I will delete! I don't have that much real life experience with ENFP-INFJ conflict, but have encountered and watched plenty here. I am truly grateful to you for uncovering some of those things, because I think it has impacted my real life perspective considerably. One of the most useful things about that conversation was understanding by the end of it what different points we were both starting from, or how according to our own function preferences the same event could be viewed in completely different ways.

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    Don't delete. I just need a little time to process. It's not very often that one can throw an ENFP off kilter. Consider it a compliment that you did so.



    I - who normally am awesome at handling whatever is thrown her way - have to take a mini-break to re-evaluate.

    ^^^^^
    You see the very fact that you could throw me a curveball like this is why I generally like INFJs. Whatever differences we have, the dominant Ni/Ne thing is something we have in common. In my humble opinion, it gives ENFPs and INFJs more in common than that have apart. Dominant N can be a bitch, but it's a very powerful commonality INFJs and ENFPs share.

    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  10. #360

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    To any infj here, or anyone else here, I'd be more than happy to answer any DIRECT question that you have about my situation. Instead of continuously calling me unreliable, perhaps simple direct questions would get you the information you seek to give a more informed opinion. I won't be able to read your mind and guess what info you need or want. And, as an Entp/Enfp I take my word very seriously...as in...it's understood from the beginning to me that I am truthful with nothing to hide. In my opinion that sort of direct communication would be more productive, more efficient, and less frustrating...this is meant as part humorous, and 100 percent true. I won't be able to read your minds. Thank you in advance for your feedback and questions because I am genuinely interested in the best solutions for all in my situation, and for all here in his/her situations too..

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