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  1. #1
    Member ferrisbueller's Avatar
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    Default INFJ's, do you hold back emotionally?

    So I'm an ENFP, heavy on the NF, and I've been dating an INFJ for a little while. Generally things are going really well. She's very emotionally sensitive, which I certainly appreciate, and I love the NF-NF connection. Here's the problem: she seems to be completely unable to express her emotions verbally. I can count the times she has complimented me on one hand. We go to school together, but when school isn't in session we are long distance. Even when we've been separated for several weeks she can't say "I miss you."
    I don't mean to imply that she is cold, obviously as an INFJ this isn't the case. I can tell that she cares through sweet little gestures. However, I'm a tremendously verbal person, and it hurts my feelings a little bit that she can't just say "I care about you."
    Is it a time issue? Do I just have to earn the trust and loyalty of the INFJ over a longer period of time?
    Is this typical INFJ behavior? On a little side note, ENFP/INFJ match, what does everybody think?

  2. #2
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    the behavior makes sense if she was badly hurt in the past or something. but it's not necessarily typical INFJ behavior.

    i know for me, i can completely open up to people, as long as i deem them trustworthy. in my last relationship, i didn't hold back at all.

    honestly, if you sense her being closed off to you, she is. i don't know what you can do to gain her trust, but if it hasn't happened yet, it probably never will. for me, i can tell in about 20 minutes whether or not a person is trustworthy. i'm wrong maybe 5% of the time, and if i am, i realize it very quickly. i couldn't ever imagine it taking longer than a day or so to figure out if i'll ever open up to someone.

    maybe it's different, though, since i'm a male.

    edit: just to add this on--
    i hold back emotionally to almost everyone. i feel like INFJs are in very tight control of their impulses; the INFJs i know generally won't be very emotionally expressive, except in front of a select few.

  3. #3
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    How do you know she's an INFJ and not an INTJ or INFP? Gestures sound more Fi... I'm typically fairly expressive of feelings to people I trust and care about, and I try to be nice/helpful to everyone whether I like them or not (unless they manage to do something that irks me badly)... although I may be helpful to the ones I like but don't really know/trust more consistently.

  4. #4
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrisbueller View Post
    So I'm an ENFP, heavy on the NF, and I've been dating an INFJ for a little while. Generally things are going really well. She's very emotionally sensitive, which I certainly appreciate, and I love the NF-NF connection. Here's the problem: she seems to be completely unable to express her emotions verbally. I can count the times she has complimented me on one hand. We go to school together, but when school isn't in session we are long distance. Even when we've been separated for several weeks she can't say "I miss you."
    I don't mean to imply that she is cold, obviously as an INFJ this isn't the case. I can tell that she cares through sweet little gestures. However, I'm a tremendously verbal person, and it hurts my feelings a little bit that she can't just say "I care about you."
    Is it a time issue? Do I just have to earn the trust and loyalty of the INFJ over a longer period of time?
    Is this typical INFJ behavior? On a little side note, ENFP/INFJ match, what does everybody think?
    First off, I'm a guy INFJ, so I don't know how valuable my insight would be.

    I don't think I compliment too often. But there is always this underlying desire to be very affectionate when I'm with someone. The problem is I don't usually feel like it would be appropriate to express that. I don't know what the boundaries are or what is expected of me. Communication is what is most important. I have to know its alright to express those kinds of feelings and since I would be putting myself out there, I would expect reciprocation.

  5. #5
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    yeah it's like we see lots of possible social implications of each action we take, therefore we're overly careful because we don't want to imply the wrong thing.

  6. #6
    Member ferrisbueller's Avatar
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    A couple things: she actually seems like she's gotten less outwardly affectionate since we started actually dating, like now that she's officially admitted that she cares she's vulnerable or something. As for the "are you sure she isn't an INTJ" bit, I know a couple INTJ's really well, and she seems a lot more emotional. Plus she didn't test all that close to being a T, I'm pretty positive that she's an INFJ. It just clicks. She is emotionally affectionate, just not verbally, I guess that's the real issue.
    I also have to wonder if inexperience could be part of it. We're pretty young and neither one of us has very much dating experience.
    Also, I tend to be pretty heavily emotionally expressive. I'm the type of person that says "I miss you" a ton, I like to compliment my partner, and this seems to make her a bit uncomfortable, which makes me wonder if that's why a lot of people put INFJ/ENTP as a better match. Maybe I'm just too emotionally volatile for her.

  7. #7
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    ah this makes more sense.

    at this point, being non-verbally affectionate is the best you can expect from her. you're both young.

    and honestly, i can't think of a type as gushy as ENFPs, so you can't really expect to get the same kind of emotional expressiveness that you give.

  8. #8
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    first off, hi and welcome here.

    Without knowing more than you've posted here, I'm just wondering if your emotions are not over-whelming hers actually, and in a sense making her wonder if she can return enough.

    If she's unsure of her own feelings in the first place, the fact that you're giving more (in the sense of being more demonstrative), could be creating a bit of pressure on her, causing her to withdraw more.

    I think INFJs want to take care of something, and will respond to a need they feel is genuine.

    So words are not so much the point for them if the actions do not bear it. And perhaps she feels the emotions are excessive on your part but not borne out by consistent action - lack of truth in a way. Or perhaps you're just as affectionate with others, so she does not feel your emotions as genuine towards her?

    Maybe that is the gap with the ENFP - the latter tends to seek positive affirmation through words and physical expressions. The former by little deeds and thoughtful conversation. . . Talk things over with her.

    Erm. If the above was too blunt, and too presumptious, I apologize.

  9. #9
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Oh, wait, I didn't pick up on the fact that you were dating this person and weren't just friends with them (I guess I skimmed, sorry)... and for some reason it hadn't even registered that you both weren't the same gender.

    In that case, it makes sense. I've never dated or even been attacted to anyone, but I can tell you about my general behavior. I tend to be particularly expressive during special occasions or when I feel a person needs me (if they look sad or something). I'm also trying to be amiable when I first meet a person. What's weird, though, is that my behavior towards people after I get to know them and feel comfortable around them (like family or close friends) tends to be less expressive and more... "neutral" commentary and insight, I guess. I still care, but I end up trying to show it more by helping them understand themselves and other things. My tendency to be courteous and expressive actually kicks back in if I feel that the distance is increasing, though, but I usually only maintain it long enough to keep a certain equilibrium.

    In real life, I tend to be fairly expressive, giving appropriate greetings, being nice, and usually help other people. So if someone takes advantage of my being nice or concerned about them to benefit themselves, I just think to myself, "Oh well, I should have seen that coming, my fault. I didn't lose anything I didn't offer voluntarily." But if I offer them constructive criticism, it usually means I trust that they want to be better people, and won't just take it personally. If they do take it personally, I usually feel hurt and betrayed, and probably won't offer such comments to them again, but will still be nice to them.

    So essentially, the weird thing about me is that instead of feeling like I open my heart to someone and have them betray that by acting in their own self interest, it's the other way around. I feel betrayed if I trust someone's judgment and desire to improve enough to be honest with them, and they take it personally.

  10. #10
    Member ferrisbueller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelan View Post
    first off, hi and welcome here.

    Without knowing more than you've posted here, I'm just wondering if your emotions are not over-whelming hers actually, and in a sense making her wonder if she can return enough.

    If she's unsure of her own feelings in the first place, the fact that you're giving more (in the sense of being more demonstrative), could be creating a bit of pressure on her, causing her to withdraw more.

    I think INFJs want to take care of something, and will respond to a need they feel is genuine.

    So words are not so much the point for them if the actions do not bear it. And perhaps she feels the emotions are excessive on your part but not borne out by consistent action - lack of truth in a way. Or perhaps you're just as affectionate with others, so she does not feel your emotions as genuine towards her?

    Maybe that is the gap with the ENFP - the latter tends to seek positive affirmation through words and physical expressions. The former by little deeds and thoughtful conversation. . . Talk things over with her.

    Erm. If the above was too blunt, and too presumptious, I apologize.
    Not at all, I think there's a lot of truth in that. I think I'm so emotionally gushy that my emotion comes across as fake or superficial. I also think that you're right that she feels pressure when I gush. On some level I probably am pressuring her to express her feelings verbally. I should probably back off a little. So hard with my ENFP nature, haha.

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