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  1. #1
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    Default ENFJ-INFP Friendship

    According to Socionics, this pairing is called the "Mirrors" relationship, where each person provides constructive criticism back and forth.

    Going back to MBTI, I am a female INFP (in both MBTI and Socionics), and I've found it... sometimes difficult to maintain a friendship with my female ENFJ friends.

    To be clear, I am not pointing a finger at or ranting against ENFJ women, nor in any way is this meant to offend. There is so much to both of my friends that I greatly admire. Both of them are always well dressed and groomed, so confident and bubbly, very attentive, considerate, social and generally just wonderful people to be around.

    But... sometimes I can feel this weird unspoken wall between us, like we are both constantly but silently watching the other instead of being ourselves around each other or being in sync. I wish I knew why... it feels as though we should get along easily, but it doesn't seem to work out that way. We joke lightheartedly, discuss conflict free () topics, and cheer each other on... but it feels sort of as though something is missing, and that missing piece can make the friendship sometimes feel uncomfortably superficial.

    In contrast, I have had many female INFJ friends so far, and although there are still walls, it seems slightly easier to connect.

    I do want to add that I don't get to see my ENFJ friends very often, so perhaps that distance makes us feel more like strangers than anything. Or perhaps I have gotten so used to speaking INFJ that I am not very good at speaking the "ENFJ" language or understanding it?

    Perhaps it is simply that I have only encountered ENFJs that are much farther on the Judging side than the Perceiving? (allowing for more of an apparent clash) I am pretty far to the Perceiving side.

    Anyways, I really want to improve the friendships I have with the female ENFJs I know. I feel like we could learn a lot from each other and help each other in many ways.


    How can I improve these friendships/ interactions? Any tips, experience, advice?

    Does the gender of each type completely change this relationship?

    (This isn't just for ENFJ-INFP as well... any mirror relationships are welcome!)
    Last edited by TheEmeraldCanopy; 07-16-2010 at 01:13 AM.

  2. #2
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    Well, my ex-roommate was an ENFJ woman. We have a strange sort of relationship. When I first met her she seemed distant and snobby so I didn't really like her at all (not very common for me to dislike anyone at first sight). Then we did some projects together and hang out a bit. Then I was ok with her, but not that close. But when I was her roommate, it was great. A friend of mine also told me that me and her are similar in that way. We both seem quite cold at first. That makes me kinda wonder if she is ENFJ at all... everything else seems to point to that direction except this strange reserve. She is very bubbly on the surface, but she is keeping a lot out of sight as well... and that layer was the one that we connect on. Now that we don't live in the same house anymore, it seems to get so close only if one of us is visiting the other for more than a day. It is like we need to get used to each other. Other than that, I can easily go without hearing from her for long time, and she seems the same.

  3. #3
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    That's interesting. I'm an ENFJ (female) and my closest friend is an INFP (male) and we get along great. We've been friends practically our entire lives and I honestly don't think we've ever had a single argument. I wouldn't consider it a "constructive criticism" friendship, because he is actually the best person I can go to for support. We have our superficial, surface jokes, but we can also talk on a much deeper level. Hmm, maybe we're just an exception to the rule?

    It might not be the type, though. It might just be the specific individuals and that you guys just don't know each other well enough. Hmm.

  4. #4
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    i think socionics mirrors correlates to mbti enfj-infj and enfp-infp.

    mbti enfj-infp i think is contrary relationship in socionics. as an infj, i have the same kind of relationship with enfps. i think the socionics description is really worse case tho. i find it pretty awesome, altho the potential misunderstandings that get in the way are maddening. socionics says that these misunderstandings are heightened with other people, when you start to seethe different premise/rationale of the other, and that the introvert tends to critique the extrovert for not being who he thought she was, etc. when you get past that part, the connection is quite intense, because it's like you're completing your dominant function.

  5. #5
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    In socionics, INFp = NiFe. It doesn't line up or convert neatly to MBTI though. I believe FiNe and FeNi is considered "extinguishment" in socionics.

    However, a mirror concept is interesting for MBTI, as it does hint at the functional relationship between the INFP & ENFJ in MBTI.

    INFP: Fi, Ne, Si, Te
    ENFJ: Fe, Ni, Se, Ti

    I tend to gel well with ENFJs and more quickly than with other people. The problem is, I feel I hit a wall with them sometimes. As you say, it can begin to feel like a superficial connection, and it's sooo disappointing as I don't see them as superficial people.

    "Extinguishment" seems to ring uncomfortably true....

    From one Socionics site:

    Quote Originally Posted by Extinguishment
    Partners feel a strange draw to each other that seems to promise much but never delivers. Partners seem to be interested in the same fields and have similar yearnings, but they describe things in a strange and fascinating, but ultimately unfathomable way. Expectations that go beyond having an interesting conversation are almost never met.
    This doesn't sound so bad though...

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    Extinguishment

    Extinguishment relations occur between types confident in the same area of the psyche but who place different emphases on each function. This relations often consist of similar lifestyles but differing thought processes. Partners will have similar interests and areas of expertise, and have little trouble communicating with one another.

    Still, misunderstanding and conflict arise when partners come to vastly different conclusions about specific ideas or events.
    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. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spastic_Blondie View Post
    That's interesting. I'm an ENFJ (female) and my closest friend is an INFP (male) and we get along great. We've been friends practically our entire lives and I honestly don't think we've ever had a single argument. I wouldn't consider it a "constructive criticism" friendship, because he is actually the best person I can go to for support. We have our superficial, surface jokes, but we can also talk on a much deeper level. Hmm, maybe we're just an exception to the rule?

    It might not be the type, though. It might just be the specific individuals and that you guys just don't know each other well enough. Hmm.
    Without knowing any of the rest of the details, did any other infp males have a 'certain thought' come to mind here?

  7. #7
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    I'll tell you straight up that Socionics hurts my head... And, I'm not just talking about the poorly translated Ukrainian Websites. It's just very confusing to even more sophisticated students of Jungian-based personality theory like myself. Further complicating the matter is the fact that there are competing Socionics theories with opaque names like Model A and Reinin Dichotomies.

    Even amid all the confusion, here's two things I do know:

    #1 - How you convert MBTI to Socionics four-letter codes depends on who you ask. A popular theory is that there is no conversion required for Extraverts, but that for Introverts you switch the last letter from P to J or vice verse. I've read other theories that say that no conversion is required because Socionics theory is in error re: j/p stuff. Still I read another that says conversion is impossible because comparing MBTI with Socionics is akin to comparing apples with oranges. These people think Socionics only makes sense if you use Socionics three-letter codes like IEE (Intuitive Ethical Extraverts). So it seems like the only thing anyone can say with certainty is that it is up in the air as to whether either ENFJ or INFP is the same in Socionics as it is in MBTI.

    #2 - The coolest thing about Socionics is it's intertype relations theory. It is spooky accurate, per my own anecdotal experience... if you DON'T convert the letters. For example:

    INFP/ENFJ & ENFP/INFJ. I can attest from my own experience that these pairs have a weird chemistry going on. Furthermore, these relations are supposed to feel uncomfortable at first because each partner is strong in the other partner's area of discomfort. After the discomfort is worked through, these pairings feel very deep and right. This also matches my own experience (and the experience of several of my INFP friends).

    ENFP/ENFJ & INFP/INFJ. If you don't convert the letters from MBTI, then these are Quasi-Identical relations. And my anecdotal experience support this as well. ENFPs and ENFJs seem to have this visceral dislike for each other. And a quick search of ENFP/ENFJ on this very Website will tell you that I'm not the only one to notice this natural tension. Here's what one Socionics Website says about these relations:

    Quasi-Identical Relations
    These are relations of major misunderstanding. Quasi-Identical partners can interact with each other in a more or less peaceful manner if both partners are Thinking types. If they are both Feeling types however, they are likely to have an argumentative relationship. Also, as in the other relations, personal attraction can be very crucial to the peacefulness in their relationship. An absence of personal attraction may cause unnecessary internal tension resulting in conflict between partners. However these arguments do not often last long. After both partners have released their internal tension, the Perceiving partner is usually the first to show the initiative in reconciliation.

    A positive aspect of these relations is that Quasi-Identical partners do not underline your weak points and therefore are not viewed as dangerous by each other. Neither do they see each other as equal. Each partner sees the other as less capable than themselves, hence less talented. However, Quasi-Identicals mistakenly believe that their partner is achieving more than they are. This is perceived by both partners as injustice and may hinder the ambitions of both.

    In these relations partners always have difficulty understanding each other in full. Quasi-Identical partners always need to convert each other's information in such a way that it corresponds with their own understanding. This conversion requires much energy and does not bring the desired satisfaction. Books written by your Quasi-Identical are impossible to read. The creations of your Quasi-Identical look monstrous. Conversations with your Quasi-Identical, although not heavy, do not bring any satisfaction either. One partner may think that the other partner complicates simple things and simplifies the important points, trying to deliberately confuse and mislead them. Both partners are convinced that whatever their partner was trying to say, could be explained in a different and more understandable way.

    Quasi-Identicals normally have no difficulties in finding topics for conversation or discussion. When it comes to solving problems together, Quasi-Identical partners begin to understand that they are both thinking in very different ways. Soon Quasi-Identicals may start regretting the time that they have spent together, believing that it was just wasted time. Quasi-identical relations are very fragile and normally break without regret as there is usually nothing to resist their disunion.

    Quasi-Identical pairs:

    ENTp - ENTj
    ISFp - ISFj
    ESFj - ESFp
    INTj - INTp
    ENFj - ENFp
    ISTj - ISTp
    ESTp - ESTj
    INFp - INFj
    So back to the original post and questions about how to improve INFP/ENFJ relations. If indeed these are mirror relations (which I think they are), then the trick is to give it some time so move beyond the discomfort. I hope this all makes sense. It is all really confusing, I think.

    I need to take an aspirin now. My head is hurting again.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric Wench View Post
    INFP/ENFJ & ENFP/INFJ. I can attest from my own experience that these pairs have a weird chemistry going on. Furthermore, these relations are supposed to feel uncomfortable at first because each partner is strong in the other partner's area of discomfort. After the discomfort is worked through, these pairings feel very deep and right. This also matches my own experience (and the experience of several of my INFP friends).
    You explained what I was trying to say a moment ago.

    I guess the strange thing for me is that I don't see the common ground I have with the ENFJ, but it is there. It is a friendship that should not be able to work, in theory...

  9. #9
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    Maybe I'm just weird, but I think there is sort of a wall between all perceiving and judging types. Or atleast it seems I don't coomunicate as well with J's as I do with P's. I felt the same way you do about my ENFJ friend.

    I think where the wall really starts to go up is where I found myself envying her a lot. She was energetic, fun, outgoing and just an all over loveable person. Everyone wanted to be her friend. And I often just felt like a second banana.

    She always told me I was too shy and needed to be more uninhibited. When she was upset about something she would always call me up and seek my advice. But, she says that I hold back too much on what I'm feeling, which I think drove her a little crazy.

    I guess to make your friendship seem a little less distanced, you should express how you feel and try to break out of your shell a little bit to make them happy...If that helps at all.

  10. #10
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    Edited: Thought I could answer it, but really, I have no idea.
    Last edited by angell_m; 07-15-2010 at 09:42 AM. Reason: edted

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