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  1. #11
    Senior Member nynesneg's Avatar
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    "Her insecurities are getting triggered by *everthing* you say becoz she's hearing the things she's most afraid are potentially true about her."
    Please explain what fears you mean. Very insightful post by the way.

    Lethe, you bring up a good point. Lol. Gotta say I agree with the part of accepting most anything as an ENFJ if I know there's respect built. The challenge with this one is even getting it in the first place...

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

    Because I've tried so hard to open up and be understanding/caring, the darts she throws particularly affect me. She can strike my very core like I'm stabbing my own heart. Observations...

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

    So I'm ready to shrug off my effort to reach out to her after the last four months and just let nature take it's course. Particularly after what she said today.

    But then in class tonight she part initiated a decent dialog we got going. We have been texting, emailing, talking in class, on trips, and online where miscommunication has occured. However according to her I send "really rude" texts.

    So our dialog this evening after class...
    Me: At the risk of texting... I just wanted to say thank you for talking this evening. My mind is going now on all kinds of things. Hope you have a good evening.

    Her:

    Me: (trying to open up, no risk of being insulting by talking about my own personal feelings right?)
    There is so much I think... But I don't want to say anything more because it scares my very core. I hope you feel all better for presentation tomorrow. Bye.

    Her: See now there you go again... [...]
    -----

    I don't understand...
    How in the world are even my own personal reflections on myself and admitting my own weaknesses "extremely rude" and "attacking"? I can see how other things could be misinterpreted but even that?
    3w2


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  2. #12
    Obsession. Lethe's Avatar
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    I think you've reached the point of no return -- as in, her bond towards you is too strained to go back and mend it directly. What could also work is connecting to the other parts of her 'trust circle'. Having been in the exact situation you currently are now (multiple times, that is), I was surprised by their change in attitude once they observed how I interacted with different people. I still kept the same persona, and the willingness to cooperate, but just in another context. Sometimes too much attention on the IFJs can make them rather nervous, and pressured to adapt to your wishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by nynesneg View Post
    I don't understand...
    How in the world are even my own personal reflections on myself and admitting my own weaknesses "extremely rude" and "attacking"? I can see how other things could be misinterpreted but even that?
    No, you were perfectly generous. Whatever is provoking her must be for some individually-based reason. It could be that you're a little too forward with your feelings without including her in them. I'm not sure what her style is, but it sounds like she could go for something more informal, light-hearted, flexible/spontaneous, and fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by nynesneg View Post
    Because I've tried so hard to open up and be understanding/caring, the darts she throws particularly affect me. She can strike my very core like I'm stabbing my own heart. Observations...
    What about doing the opposite? Not opening up in such an intimate way, and allowing those things to come naturally on their own? When she's ready?
    "I cannot expect even my own art to provide all of the answers -- only to hope it keeps asking the right questions." -- Grace Hartigan

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneWithSoul View Post
    Looking into the eyes of a [Ni user] is like peeking through a portal into a parallel universe.

  3. #13
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    When I realize I’ve been doing this with someone- hearing something offensive when they weren’t having offensive thoughts- I feel extraordinarily embarrassed. I hate dealing with it myself from other people (any degree of senseless drama because someone else feels offense where I didn’t intend any), and it’s incredibly embarrassing to find out I put someone else through it. These are thoughts that come to mind, about myself and a couple of close INFJ friends I have irl:

    1. The kindest possible thing you can do is have compassion for the fact that- if she’s perceiving you as having negative thoughts about her that you aren’t having- she’s doing it because she’s having a lot of those negative thoughts about herself and she’s projecting it onto you (like Satine said). Don’t take it personally. It’s hard not to, because it’s offensive in itself when someone assumes the worst about what you’re thinking. But- if/when the realization hits her that she was wrong- it WON’T go unappreciated. This has got to be the single-most embarrassing thing we do (speaking from personal experience, and going on what I’ve heard from a few other INFJs). It’s like being caught with our pants down. When someone is secure enough to let us work through this without taking it personally (when they see it for what it is: us throwing our own insecurity at other people), it’s INVALUABLE to us.

    Quote Originally Posted by nynesneg View Post
    Because I've tried so hard to open up and be understanding/caring, the darts she throws particularly affect me. She can strike my very core like I'm stabbing my own heart. Observations...
    2. Having this issue raised with the expectation of instant dialogue about it is can make us feel like a deer frozen in the headlights. That’s when we say things that we don’t really mean, we haven’t really thought about, we just say whatever seems will make the instant dialogue situation go away as quickly and with as little incident as possible. This is another embarrassing habit. I usually don’t realize till later that I said things that I didn’t mean, and- if I already sense disrespect from the person- I might resent being backed into a corner. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I’ve seen this with enough other INFJs to feel somewhat confident in saying it’s a relatively typical knee-jerk response to being confronted- even when the person confronts us with good intentions. The best possible way to open a dialogue about it is to plant seeds for a discussion you’d ‘like to have’, and give her a succinct bullet point list of issues you’d like to hear her side of at some point (ie, why she thinks you are “condescending and judgmental”, why exactly she feels like you “cop an attitude”). Things we say off the cuff just aren’t anywhere near as reliable as things we’ve had time to rehearse in our heads. And really, the single gesture of never expecting instant dialogue does wonders in the way of making many of us feel respected.

    3. Most of us are more than willing to put thought into figuring out that^ answer if we are told that it’s important to you because you respect our judgment; if we aren’t explicitly told this, we might assume it’s because you want to simply convince us you are respectful to soothe your own ego. Plenty of people out there are actually far more interested in convincing others they are respectful solely because it makes them uncomfortable to be treated as though they aren’t; they aren’t really interested in listening, and don’t actually raise the discussion out of genuine interest in being more respectful. But when we believe you’re genuinely interested in our opinion, we’re often willing to engage in genuine dialogue about it.

    I get the vibe from what you’ve written there’s some of ^this going on. If she’s feeling disrespect- and believes it’s coming from you (projecting)- it’s possible she believes she feels disrespected because you only want her to feel respected for the above-mentioned selfish reason. A good way to prove this isn’t the case would be: don’t need her to feel respected by you. In the end, if you genuinely have respect for her and have done what you can to show it, whether or not she feels respected is out of your control. In a sense, as backwards as this may seem, wanting to change the extent to which she feels respected by you is displaying a sort of disrespect for her judgment. If you can get to a place where ‘it would be nice’ if she felt respected- but you certainly don’t need it to happen for your own sake- then it might make her realize you don’t fall into the category of ‘people who only want to convince me they are respectful so they can feel respectful but take no active interest in actually modifying their own behavior- they only want to modify my perception of it for selfish reasons’.

    4. Also: it’s really hard for us (while first building trust with anyone) to open up and be honest about the real answer- the one we rehearsed in our heads- and if it’s interrupted or shot down too quickly, it isn’t likely we’ll open up to the same person again. It’s important to listen, even if you don’t agree. This is only a temporary phase. I mean, it’s okay to tell her that you’re sorry if something was hurtful to her, it’s just important to wait until she’s gotten the rehearsed answer completely out of her head before doing so. I think, for a lot of INFJs, the only means of transport- between ‘the real answer’ (the one we’ve had time to reflect on) and another living person’s ears- is a tightrope. Sometimes there’s a patch of very thin ice connecting Ni and Fe. And when we are beginning to trust someone, our minds are so preoccupied with listening for the sound of cracking ice below our feet that we can’t handle interruptions or having our point argued as well as other people can. If we sense you are someone who will inadvertently knock us off that tightrope on a regular basis, we’ll keep the acquaintance at a cordial but very superficial level: we won’t let you in, we won’t put much effort in getting ‘the real answer’ to you. Again- this is just in getting to know someone, we can handle turbulence much better once we’ve let someone in- it’s just a preliminary phase.



    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    Keep in mind you'll be doing this for a looooooonnngg asss time, before she'll let her guard down adn actually believe you. She won't understand why you think she's great, as she herself probably doesn't like herself, but she'll believe you...at some point
    ^This. If you truly respect her opinion, there’s a good chance that- sooner or later- she’ll sense it and realize she misunderstood your intentions. And on the slight chance that she doesn’t: like I said, the kindest possible thing you can do (for yourself, as well as for her) is to not take it personally and have compassion for the fact that she can’t see the respect you have for her because (somewhere inside herself) she doesn’t understand why she deserves it.



    As always, as it says in the fine print below, I don’t purport to speak for all INFJs.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  4. #14
    Obsession. Lethe's Avatar
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    Z Buck McFate's post also applies to ISFJs, IMO. I have a mother who did exactly what was written there.

    Convincing IFJs that they've misunderstood intentions is an arduous task. I recommend having fun, changing what's possible, and then seeing what happens after that. There is only so much an individual can do before the ball bounces back into the other's court.

    Nynesneg, you've really put alot of thought and effort into your responses -- I just hope that you will eventually take pleasure in the act of reaching out, and improving your communication skills, because those choices alone can bring about so much growth and development. We can't always change how people act, but there is a great deal of impact we can make by managing our responses.
    "I cannot expect even my own art to provide all of the answers -- only to hope it keeps asking the right questions." -- Grace Hartigan

    Enneagram: Tritype - 1w9, 5 (balanced wings), 2w3; Overall Variant: So/Sx
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneWithSoul View Post
    Looking into the eyes of a [Ni user] is like peeking through a portal into a parallel universe.

  5. #15
    Senior Member nynesneg's Avatar
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    Thank you Lethe and McFate for your detailed perspective. It's truly helpful...

    This has been something I've thought waaay too much about recently. I came to the conclusion 2-3 weeks ago that I should just not try, ignore the situation, and go about my business without worrying about it. Problem was we were in a team together every single day and she can't just ignore things like I can - communication kept breaking down. We completed the most difficult project yesterday though, and soon it will be summer. I'd just go on my way and conclude that we weren't meant to be more than acquaintances at this time but according to her "we've really got to work this out" and she wants to discuss it sometime. I honestly think it'd be better if we didn't talk... even if I just listen supportively she will think I'm silently judging her.

    And FYI, not sure how it sounded... but in case it was otherwise, I didn't just recently decide to jump in and instantly try to be great friends. We were in the same classes every day all of last semester and talked fantastic on a superficial level. We're both some of the most perfectionist, achieving, straight A-students in the class and so admired each other. It's just when we actually have to work in the same team more together that it fell apart...

    So the advice I'm getting from you guys is:
    • First and foremost, let it go.
    • Be polite socially but make sure she doesn't feel like I'm giving her extra attention.
    • Ignore the random darts that seem to come out of nowhere about either 1) me, or 2) something I said being directed at her.
    • Don't take whatever she's saying personally.
    • Don't try to find out 'what you did wrong' to amend the conflict.(This is my natural response)

    Does that all about correctly sum it up?
    3w2


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    To push beyond their natural abilities and create a reality from their dreams.

  6. #16
    Obsession. Lethe's Avatar
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    I'd agree to the gist of it. It's admirable that she wants to "work this out", but make it clear that by having her misread your non-verbal cues, and add extra context to your words, intensifies the workload that already needs to be done.

    Tell her lightly you do want to openly discuss this topic, yet only when both are willing to momentarily let go of their preconceived notions. Communication is already hard enough without bring that "noise" (negative experiences) from yesterday, or days ago. Ideally, staying focused on one topic at a time allows one to.... erm, actually solve problems. This is not to devalue the significance of the other issues --- it's so you can reasonably talk about a problem without having someone cry over a cue word that brings about memories of a different incident. [If that topic turns out to be important, switch over the focus to what she's talking about, and keep it there.]

    So keep the doors open for that opportunity. (Jaded) IFJs can be real sweethearts after you get past those layers and layers of defense mechanisms.
    "I cannot expect even my own art to provide all of the answers -- only to hope it keeps asking the right questions." -- Grace Hartigan

    Enneagram: Tritype - 1w9, 5 (balanced wings), 2w3; Overall Variant: So/Sx
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneWithSoul View Post
    Looking into the eyes of a [Ni user] is like peeking through a portal into a parallel universe.

  7. #17
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nynesneg View Post
    This has been something I've thought waaay too much about recently.
    It’s difficult to listen to someone tell you repeatedly that you’re selfish, inconsiderate- or anything keeping with that general theme- even if you logically know it isn’t about you. I don’t know if it’s possible to be an empathetic person AND stay completely impervious to something like that for very long.

    I’ve been there myself with one of my INFJ friends (which is the reason I spewed such a long-ass post about it, the op struck a nerve). Unlike you, I’d actually been close friends with the person for a long time first. Something in her came unhinged. It was the consensus among the few friends we had in common that she’d become at least one Brady short of a Bunch (several shadow behaviors started surfacing): yet I still let worrying about why she felt that way eat up way too much of my time. So I can totally relate to your statement above. I ended up having to mostly write her off, because every single tiny effort I made was misconstrued as something offensive to her.

    So, yeah- you’re bullet point list is pretty much correct. The stuff I wrote are the things I wish I’d figured out sooner, because I wasted a lot of time obsessing about how to ‘fix’ the misunderstanding. I’m still in a place where- if she came to me and acknowledged that she’d misunderstood a lot of things- I wouldn’t hold it against her. But if I had to do it over, I’d definitely distance myself sooner by simply stepping back with compassion. I wouldn’t waste so much effort on trying to come up with the words *magic* enough to penetrate the dense self-deprecation. I spent way too much time chasing my own tail over it.




    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe View Post
    Z Buck McFate's post also applies to ISFJs, IMO. I have a mother who did exactly what was written there.
    It’s funny- at the end of that post- I was actually going to say that I think some of what I wrote might apply to ENFJs as well, but then I realized I might only think so because it kind of applies to my mother (who is ENFJ). Gah. MOTHERS.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  8. #18
    Senior Member nynesneg's Avatar
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    yet I still let worrying about why she felt that way eat up way too much of my time. So I can totally relate to your statement above. I ended up having to mostly write her off, because every single tiny effort I made was misconstrued as something offensive to her.

    So, yeah- you’re bullet point list is pretty much correct. The stuff I wrote are the things I wish I’d figured out sooner, because I wasted a lot of time obsessing about how to ‘fix’ the misunderstanding. I’m still in a place where- if she came to me and acknowledged that she’d misunderstood a lot of things- I wouldn’t hold it against her. But if I had to do it over, I’d definitely distance myself sooner by simply stepping back with compassion. I wouldn’t waste so much effort on trying to come up with the words *magic* enough to penetrate the dense self-deprecation. I spent way too much time chasing my own tail over it.
    Wow.


    This really hits home with what I've been feeling and trying to figure out what to do recently.

    Thank you. Very much.. for sharing your experience. It will help me let go, and convince myself to stop trying to make some logical sense out of what I should do in my mind. To convince myself that I tried, I didn't do something personally wrong to her - it's not 'my fault' at this point, and there's nothing I can/should do right now to heal it. To let go of that innate need to be an empathetic healer in this situation.
    3w2


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    To push beyond their natural abilities and create a reality from their dreams.

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