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  1. #11
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    You guys seem to have more negative view on the situation. Here's what makes me think that this might not be such an impossible problem:

    I don't know, it might be. I mean, I'm not sure what it is exactly that we are talking about here. I thought that saslou is trying to make the INFP talk about his damages and stuff like that. To help him. So, I immediately thought that if they've been together for a short while, it might be that there isn't enough trust yet. But you guys make a valid point. It he is unreachable, then there is nothing you could do about it.
    I also think she might be pushing too much. I think you need to let it blossom with an INFP and just enjoy the relationship growing.

  2. #12
    Senor Membrane
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    Everyone is broken, some in more tolerable ways than others.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Firstly, thank you ever so much for your replies .. Very much appreciated


    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    I can't speak for other INFPs, but I have a really hard time being emotionally open and vulnerable.
    Also, I just have a hard time feeling vulnerable and open in general. It takes a long time before I feel like I've built up enough trust with someone to be truly open. Even with those to whom I feel close, I know there is a lot going on internally I can't effectively communicate to them.
    I can totally understand this. Like yourself, i don't necessarily like being vulnerable so i can come across as cold and distant although i am far from it.

    Also, it's possible there are other issues going on with your friend, and he hasn't learned how to be direct about unpleasant feelings and reactions. That's also something you have to master as an INFP, because it can be very tempting to just go with the flow and keep the peace. For me it took painful experiences to realize that being direct early is far better than letting things building or letting others mislead themselves.
    It's funny because you mention this as an INFP but i am similar in that i will let things go just to avoid conflict but at the same time resentment sets in which i don't want. So naturally i want to find some kind of balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    What is it that he is talking about doing, but not doing? Remember too, that INFPs are not action-oriented or "in the moment" - we tend to be dreamers and acting on our ideas takes some times and maybe a nudge in the form of positive encouragement. If his passivity gets unacceptable to you, it's best to approach the issue as expressing how you feel, not in an accusatory way.
    He wants to get a job but he doesn't because he has depression.
    He wants to stop smoking but then smokes.
    He wants to delete his internet accounts because people are stupid but remains on them.
    If he has no intention of doing any of the things he says, just don't mention them in the first place .. I do scratch my head when he says things, lol.


    My ISFJ mom asks me this ALL the time . "Why must you always be so dark?". Positive emotion is easier to process internally, more acceptable to express directly, but can also feel more risky, since positive emotion often wants reciprocation. For me, I either bask in the positive emotion and feel no need to express it, or I may not express it because it actually makes me feel vulnerable to do so. If I do express it, then the normal means such as a smile or hug or verbal affection usually works. I've had to learn to express the warmth I feel...it's not easy, but again, positive encouragement will usually make me more comfortable in doing so.
    Good point .. I think because i only see the dark side online via his poetry, when he is being happy with me, it must be a facade. Maybe he is just processing it internally whereas when i am happy, i want people to see and join in my happiness .. Good point, thank you.

    I am very, very private also. I need a level of space and independence. If this is threatened, I may get scared off. Again, being honest & close to someone probably doesn't mean giving up his unique identity & private time. That's really important for many INFPs to keep. He's telling you that it will take time to earn his full trust, but he has the same long term desires as you.
    So i am not going insane then thinking i am doing something wrong, lol.

    Thank you for the links, i did enjoy reading them.

    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Sounds familiar... What type are you?
    ESFj

    The way I see it, he most likely wants to be open, he might even see himself open, but... as you said, on his terms. Now, I do the same, I guess. If I am not sure that I can trust to tell you something, I will either circle around the question or give you something small, something that answers your question and even gives you the chance to push it if you want, but doesn't tell you what the actual problem is. I don't see this like I am being dishonest. I am telling you as much as I find possible at that time. It might be that your INFP really wants to be open but he is fighting himself. It isn't easy, you know. Most of the time I have been open in the past it has brought me more pain than relief. I don't trust people that easily anymore. Still the ideal of being open is there, and I know that it is something I need to do to be happy on the long run. I will just be careful with it.

    I've found that the S-style opening up is the hardest thing... Like, I can tell you how I think and feel and what frustrates me "mentally" or whatever, but if I actually have to give you historical facts about my life. That is the difficult part, maybe because I will actually remember the painful events instead of just remembering the abstractions that I have built out of them. I don't know your type, just throwing that thought out there because it might be that the INFP already thinks that he is opening up, while you might see that he isn't.
    Hmmm, OK well i think he is more open with people online than in real life because there is a certain amount of control on his part, he can steer the conversation a certain way. Now he has mentioned to me that he has an idea, bounces it off others people then comes to a conclusion, but as i have told him .. I don't know the initial query or the conclusion and also to know he has talked to people about me/us when i am not even sure what is going on in his head .. I just don't know if i have cause to be alarmed here?

    He has also told me that by being honest, not only does it hurt himself and others, but to see himself as a failure is not a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    First, be careful with INFPs that are in love with their own mystery. You'll never get one to open up... and if you do, they'll resent you for it.

    I noticed that your INFP likes the idea of honesty, but struggles with being honest. I've noticed this once before with an INFP in a relationship. He wasn't in a good place, and would throw eloquent romantic words at his girl while never following through with his actions. He strung her along for over a year before she finally left him. If his words aren't matching his actions, I suggest calling him out on it (give him a chance to either change his words or his actions so they are congruent) or leaving.

    I guess I have one other thought, although this is more observational than anything else. In my experience, ESFJ-INFP is an amazing relationship during the first several months. You guys just seem to put me at ease while simultaneously bringing out my passionate side, and I love that. However, there seems to be issues when the relationship gets to a certain point. It's like, on the surface and middle areas, we connect so well. (I remember many idealistic, deep, and dreamy conversations with ESFJs.) But when it comes to inner core stuff, the ESFJs never seemed to fully understand me. Which was such a surprise, considering how strongly we connected everywhere else.
    Oh i think he loves the mystery of himself, lol .. but he also is very guarded with what he shares with people and will lie in order to not talk about something that needs to remain private.
    I have tried calling him out on his words but he is AWESOME at deflecting and openly told me yesterday that he is a hypocrite after he said something then gave an example of how is not like he said he was, lol.

    Being honest here, there is not a lot of passion at the moment. I am dealing with his depression the best i can, trying to understand where he is coming from whilst working full time and dealing with 2 misbehaving kids and a cat with a limp, lol. Arrghhhhhh

    I don't get him, i am struggling to understand even when he tells me that he is so easy to understand .. See, to me people are like books and with many i can read just like that, but i can't with him so i need a manual. I am also scared he might be using me so i think to myself, just give it a little time and things might change in that he'll be in a happier place and we can start having some fun. I want to believe he is genuine and honest and i get that he needs his own space and time, which i am all for. Oh, i don't know

    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    INFPs require patience to start with, but you said yourself that you picked up a broken one. It also looks like he's decided there is a certain point you won't get to know which is never a good sign (even as broken as I am I want someone to eventually share it all with). I'm not sure if this situation is going to help you with your troubles, either...
    Magic word .. PATIENCE. I am not patient at all yet this is something i do like so much about him.

    I have to wonder if it is me who is broken .. Maybe my expectations of how a relationship should be is none obtainable, standards to high .. I have come so far in the last year and i am proud of myself yet i am scared that he may have bad intentions. I don't want to be a doormat yet i have to trust him at some point. Bollocks
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  4. #14
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    Magic word .. PATIENCE. I am not patient at all yet this is something i do like so much about him.

    I have to wonder if it is me who is broken .. Maybe my expectations of how a relationship should be is none obtainable, standards to high .. I have come so far in the last year and i am proud of myself yet i am scared that he may have bad intentions. I don't want to be a doormat yet i have to trust him at some point. Bollocks
    Hahaha, I'm not the most patient person either, but I push myself because I find in the end I get hurt less when I am. I'm seeing less wrong with either side and more just different - though wrong and different are the same word in Japanese... The deal with scars and bits blown off is that often there has to be a meeting or compromise of expectations on both sides as well as being somewhat of a matched set as far as ordeals (aids in the understanding). I feel for you on the balance between trust and doormat, though; it is a frustrating line to walk, especially if you can't see it.
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

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  5. #15
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    First, be careful with INFPs that are in love with their own mystery. You'll never get one to open up... and if you do, they'll resent you for it.
    I think this is an unfair assessment.....usually these INFPs are e4s or 5s, and it's a defense mechanism to be in love with your own flaws or "mystery" or "uniqueness" or whatever. These people need more time to feel safe, but they really do want to open up and be close to someone. They just need to be assured they won't get steamrolled when they do.

    Of course, there may be extremes, but they're not a typical, normal type of INFP.

    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I've found that the S-style opening up is the hardest thing... Like, I can tell you how I think and feel and what frustrates me "mentally" or whatever, but if I actually have to give you historical facts about my life.
    I think this makes a good point, and even if it's not the exact problem, I'd like to say that in general, this may be an area where an S & N have very different ideas on what something means. Honesty & openness to me is sharing feelings, beliefs, goals, dreams, fears, etc (and not withholding info that is vital and could change someone's view of you). That's the heart of me, those are my vulnerable spots. It doesn't even occur to me to reveal "facts" about myself unless prodded. Detailed information on my current activity, such as what I did today, and relating my personal history in the form of stories with facts are things that I avoid, and I tend to give vague answers to questions about them. My mind just does not go there naturally. Those things feel tedious to discuss, and if it's unpleasant, I especially don't want to relive it. I'd rather just tell you it was unpleasant and leave it at that. To me, revealing my feeling is what is important, and I don't see leaving out the dull details as any form of deception.

    However, I realize that sensors need concrete stories, to hear details and facts about a person's life and past to understand that person and to feel close to them. This need has to be clearly communicated to the INFP so they grasp it, because when you say "honesty & openness", the INFP may be on a totally different page. At the same time, you'll need to open up about your less concrete parts, such as your feelings, dreams, hopes, fears, etc., because that's how INFPs usually connect.

    EDIT: Oh, one thing. I'm not sure about other INFPs, but I personally don't think that "talking the talk and walking the walk" are two separate things. To me the talking usually is walking. I mean that if I am talking about wanting to be open, that talk is part of the effort to solve the problem. See, the problem is always internal for me. If I can construct my mind in a way that motivates me to act in the way I need to act, then the problem is solved. In other words, the "walk" is only a side effect of the problem being solved. But to solve the problem I need to look at it from different perspectives, turn it around, stretch it, dissect it and whatever it is that I do with it. This can be frustrating from other people's perspective since I don't think there is any way knowing if I truly am focusing on the problem.
    Absolutely. For me, talking is a big step. It's a sign I have been mulling something over in my head for awhile, and now I am getting ready to act. It seems 90% of my problems are working out obstacles in my head, so when I act, I do so with great determination and perseverance. I almost always complete what I start when I take that approach, whereas if I dive in too fast, I am less likely to be successful.

    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    He wants to get a job but he doesn't because he has depression.
    He wants to stop smoking but then smokes.
    He wants to delete his internet accounts because people are stupid but remains on them.
    If he has no intention of doing any of the things he says, just don't mention them in the first place .. I do scratch my head when he says things, lol.
    It seems to me, this is his way of being honest & open. He's sharing his frustrations and goals with you. If I do this, I have real intention & desire, but I'm lacking motivation somewhere. If I'm expressing these feelings to someone, it means I trust them and see them as a source of emotional support.

    However, some people do BS about how they want to do this & that just to string you along, but that seems contrary to the typical INFP mindset, which is to strive to be authentic. Only you can gauge which situation it is.

    Some of that post I linked to about cheering up INFPs is relevant to this - your listening without criticism and not giving over-simple advice can be healing, and just what he needs to finally act.


    Hmmm, OK well i think he is more open with people online than in real life because there is a certain amount of control on his part, he can steer the conversation a certain way. Now he has mentioned to me that he has an idea, bounces it off others people then comes to a conclusion, but as i have told him .. I don't know the initial query or the conclusion and also to know he has talked to people about me/us when i am not even sure what is going on in his head .. I just don't know if i have cause to be alarmed here?
    Online venting can be nice because of the anonymity, and for Ns, the internet is a good outlet for discussing those more abstract ideas. Developing close relationships with the opposite sex online &/or confiding in them and not you IS cause for alarm, IMO. Like many other situations, you have to trust him here unless given evidence not to, because you cannot monitor your SO's behavior all the time (and why would you want to?). The fact that he tells you what he does online is a good sign.

    He has also told me that by being honest, not only does it hurt himself and others, but to see himself as a failure is not a good thing.
    This may be his way of saying he tries to be diplomatic instead of blunt, & also positive when he doesn't feel it so as not to drag others down....? I'm not sure what he is trying to say here because I'd have to hear it from him...


    Oh i think he loves the mystery of himself, lol .. but he also is very guarded with what he shares with people and will lie in order to not talk about something that needs to remain private.
    I have tried calling him out on his words but he is AWESOME at deflecting and openly told me yesterday that he is a hypocrite after he said something then gave an example of how is not like he said he was, lol.
    That doesn't seem very good. If something needs to remain private, then you tell people that, you don't lie to them.... INFPs may be good at deflecting criticism (Ne thinking can provide ingenious escapes out of many corners). This doesn't mean it won't sink in, as INFPs often do much reflection on what people say to them.


    I don't get him, i am struggling to understand even when he tells me that he is so easy to understand .. See, to me people are like books and with many i can read just like that, but i can't with him so i need a manual. I am also scared he might be using me so i think to myself, just give it a little time and things might change in that he'll be in a happier place and we can start having some fun. I want to believe he is genuine and honest and i get that he needs his own space and time, which i am all for. Oh, i don't know

    I don't want to be a doormat yet i have to trust him at some point. Bollocks
    You have a right to be concerned, and he does have some questionable behavior/viewpoint. It's nice you are giving him the benefit of the doubt, but continue to keep your eyes open.

    And INFPs are readable books, but you have to learn our language first
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  6. #16
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I think this is an unfair assessment.....usually these INFPs are e4s or 5s, and it's a defense mechanism to be in love with your own flaws or "mystery" or "uniqueness" or whatever. These people need more time to feel safe, but they really do want to open up and be close to someone. They just need to be assured they won't get steamrolled when they do.
    Totally agree. Although, I don't think I'm in love with my mystery and uniqueness... I still have over-protective defense mechanisms, though. I spent a long time in an environment where I wasn't understood and valued, so I think that ratcheted up natural INFP privacy to even higher levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I think this makes a good point, and even if it's not the exact problem, I'd like to say that in general, this may be an area where an S & N have very different ideas on what something means. Honesty & openness to me is sharing feelings, beliefs, goals, dreams, fears, etc (and not withholding info that is vital and could change someone's view of you). That's the heart of me, those are my vulnerable spots. It doesn't even occur to me to reveal "facts" about myself unless prodded. Detailed information on my current activity, such as what I did today, and relating my personal history in the form of stories with facts are things that I avoid, and I tend to give vague answers to questions about them. My mind just does not go there naturally. Those things feel tedious to discuss, and if it's unpleasant, I especially don't want to relive it. I'd rather just tell you it was unpleasant and leave it at that. To me, revealing my feeling is what is important, and I don't see leaving out the dull details as any form of deception.
    I almost laughed when I read this. This is a daily struggle with my ISTJ-ish partner. When I ask him about his day, he recounts the events of the day, in order, in great detail. It's a struggle for me to stay focused, because I care a lot about what the events to mean to him, but almost nothing about the individual details. When he asks me about my day, I give him the summary of the emotional impact, which is all that's important to me. He still occasionally makes the mistaken assumption that I'm avoiding talking about something, when really it's just my disinterest in detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    That doesn't seem very good. If something needs to remain private, then you tell people that, you don't lie to them.... INFPs may be good at deflecting criticism (Ne thinking can provide ingenious escapes out of many corners). This doesn't mean it won't sink in, as INFPs often do much reflection on what people say to them.
    Also agree with this. When I was younger, I think I sometimes was good at technically not lying, but letting people run with their own assumptions when it was convenient (not proud of that fact). Sometimes I would do so unconsciously, and only realize later how the other person had been misled. Ne seems to have a subversive streak in some ways, and is good at cleverly applying ambiguity and indirection.


    Anyway, great post, OA.

  7. #17
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    I am becoming more and more interested in INFP's myself...

    *begins reading thread to learn more*

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post

    I think this makes a good point, and even if it's not the exact problem, I'd like to say that in general, this may be an area where an S & N have very different ideas on what something means. Honesty & openness to me is sharing feelings, beliefs, goals, dreams, fears, etc (and not withholding info that is vital and could change someone's view of you). That's the heart of me, those are my vulnerable spots. It doesn't even occur to me to reveal "facts" about myself unless prodded. Detailed information on my current activity, such as what I did today, and relating my personal history in the form of stories with facts are things that I avoid, and I tend to give vague answers to questions about them. My mind just does not go there naturally. Those things feel tedious to discuss, and if it's unpleasant, I especially don't want to relive it. I'd rather just tell you it was unpleasant and leave it at that. To me, revealing my feeling is what is important, and I don't see leaving out the dull details as any form of deception.

    However, I realize that sensors need concrete stories, to hear details and facts about a person's life and past to understand that person and to feel close to them. This need has to be clearly communicated to the INFP so they grasp it, because when you say "honesty & openness", the INFP may be on a totally different page. At the same time, you'll need to open up about your less concrete parts, such as your feelings, dreams, hopes, fears, etc., because that's how INFPs usually connect.
    This is interesting because I'm definitely not an S (score, I think, 85 percent N), but I like to hear details of and facts about a person's life. It's a starting point for me and it helps me to imagine them in another place, another time, doing this or that, and that's very interesting to me. The mundane details themselves aren't all that interesting but the conversation can open up from there to their interests, feelings, etc. Again, it's a place to start for me. I think it's a mechanism to make myself comfortable because it usually relaxes people to talk about these details. If a friend asks how my day went, I usually mix detail with how I'm feeling but almost never just say I'm feeling lousy, let's say, without explaining the context. I grew up with an S mother and father, though, so perhaps I'm used to the need of other people to hear the context.

  9. #19
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    I've been with an INFP for a little over a year now, and I'd like to share my experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    He wants to get a job but he doesn't because he has depression.
    He wants to stop smoking but then smokes.
    He wants to delete his internet accounts because people are stupid but remains on them.
    If he has no intention of doing any of the things he says, just don't mention them in the first place .. I do scratch my head when he says things, lol.
    I have to admit that at the beginning of the relationship I was perplexed by this kind of 'talk', too. To me, words are pretty binding, and if I say to someone I'm going to do something, I intend to do it. My INFP said a lot of things -- good and bad -- for example, that he was going to drop out of college, that he was going to become an alcoholic, that he was going join the monastery, that he was going to quit smoking (yep). He said all this in a non-joking manner, so at first I panicked. I started a lot of discussions about why he should and shouldn't do something. Then, later, I realized that he wasn't even that serious. He was simply voicing out whatever idea Ne throws at him and his Fi agrees with at the moment. So it's more like "This sounds like a good idea" rather than "I'm definitely going to do this".

    One thing I notice is that for J types, a lot of things are very carefully deliberated so that by the time they come out in reality, there is already some degree of stability to it. P types seem to be more okay with doing/saying something, then taking back their words or admitting it doesn't work or that they are wrong.

    However, for more serious matters, like getting a job, I think your INFP knows he should be doing something. That's why he keeps talking about it. But being jobless AND heartbroken (from his last relationship) is very depressing. Maybe he just doesn't have the strength yet. I've learned that INFPs do get things done, and you can help them with a (very) gentle nudge in the right direction. But if you start pressing, they seem to collapse under the weight of Te and end up being more depressed and do nothing.

  10. #20
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren View Post
    This is interesting because I'm definitely not an S (score, I think, 85 percent N), but I like to hear details of and facts about a person's life. It's a starting point for me and it helps me to imagine them in another place, another time, doing this or that, and that's very interesting to me. The mundane details themselves aren't all that interesting but the conversation can open up from there to their interests, feelings, etc. Again, it's a place to start for me. I think it's a mechanism to make myself comfortable because it usually relaxes people to talk about these details. If a friend asks how my day went, I usually mix detail with how I'm feeling but almost never just say I'm feeling lousy, let's say, without explaining the context. I grew up with an S mother and father, though, so perhaps I'm used to the need of other people to hear the context.
    I don't mind details, facts, and stories, and may certainly use them to explain & give some context, but I admit that there has to be a point to them - they are not the point in themselves. I also get frustrated when events are related chronologically and seemingly "word for word"; it feels tedious to me. I want to hear the main point and then get to the supporting details afterwards; basically, relate events in order by importance of the facts & relevance to the main points, not in chronological order. I find many sensors don't share that attitude. I also grew up surrounded by sensors in the home, but I guess I didn't learn to adapt as well
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

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