I can't speak for all INFJs, but I could give it a stab. Let me ruminate for a bit and I'll get back to you on that.
Off the very top of my head:
- We are best led by you commenting on what we did well or what you liked (praise of some sort).
- We seem to care a lot about how precisely the idea in your thoughts is expressed (shades of meaning in words etc).
- We'll need time to process it and then discuss it again with you.
- We may seem to reject your analysis at first and but often will think about what we reacted to and why, or will take some time to restructure things in our heads, or will want to clarify further.
- It matters incredibly that you hear us out and that we feel understood properly before you offer any opinions. This bleeds off extra emotion, clarifies and distills our own thoughts, gives us a chance to show what we have thought of or tried or what our intentions were/beliefs are etc. It will give you a lot more clues to work with and will help you avoid unnecessary landmines. Then you will not be dealing with an INFJ distracted from the point you are making by their own emotional noise (whether induced initially by the situation, or by your response afterwards).
- There also needs to be a track record of you consistently holding the same opinion and it being reliable if we are going to turn ourselves inside out like that.
- We are very impacted by how others view us, more than Fi users. This isn't because we don't have our own values. It's just that others' mirroring impacts our sense of how we fit into the larger picture and of whether what we are putting out there is being perceived correctly. Sometimes we will reject your opinion if it seems that you mirror back something completely different than we send out because we feel like you don't really understand us. Over time, with someone close to us though we may accept their opinion of us as truth even if it isn't accurate or is affected by their own insecurities. If it is accurate and it is negative, we will feel accutely embarrassed even in thought, let alone with someone observing or commenting on our reactions. Give us some space to ruminate and make it clear that you are only rejecting that behaviour, but not us.
- Usually it is better to start from the common ground you have with us, rather than pointing out the differences directly. Then, without saying "You need to", use lots of qualifiers (like we do) and say, "Have you ever thought about..." or "I need your help solving this problem..." This solicits a good intention and avoids getting our hackles up. Give specific examples of where you think something is not working well for us and what you see could be the solution. Then give us time to think it over and be prepared for more discussion.
- Don't say things while you are angry. If you feel this coming on, leave! It will create a lot of extra emotional noise for both the INFJ and then you to wade through before you can get back to the issue at hand. Also be careful about assuming that you know the INFJs motivations or intentions.
- Fe may feel really manipulative to you, but it really honestly not calculated, thought out or conniving to us. It makes us aware of the interconnections between people so we don't offend without meaning to as easily, and also gives a map for social interaction so that we and other Fe users anyway will not be distracted from your message. It may feel unnatural to use Fe, but it is necessarily to at least learn some scripting of it if you want us to be open to what you have to say, particularly if it is dicey.
This is hodge-podgy and in no particular order. I will think it over more and distill it down to something more useable.
Thread: Common INFJ issues
07-20-2010, 06:09 PM #171
07-20-2010, 06:22 PM #172
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
Ok It seems pretty good to me, thank you!.. But if you want to distill it I would appreciate it.. I haven't absorbed it all. and I need to do my school work now.
So I will also come back to it..
Give us some space to ruminate and make it clear that you are only rejecting that behaviour, but not us.
This however is very important .. It practically leaped off the page at me.
07-20-2010, 06:26 PM #173
I think we're especially touchy about that since most of our thoughts, reactions, ideas, friends, likes, dislikes etc are very representative of who we are at our core. That's why it takes longer to change those outward things and also why we so easily feel that WE are being attacked or rejected, when that is not the person's intent. For someone who starts from their core and then assimilates ideas after trying them on for size, this reaction seems rather uncalled for and foreign. For someone who starts from outside observations and assimilates them into the core of who they are, it doesn't.
07-20-2010, 06:43 PM #174
I'm wondering how an INFJ would take this, it's a thought that I've had before but never got around to really talking about it. I have been doing my own laundry since I was 9. I asked to do it myself as a compromize between an excessive pile in my room and the days it would take for me to get clean laundry back once it was put in the laundry room. At 19, before my father dropped me off for college, he decided to help me with my laundry, but due to his method my blacks faded too much. At 21, the only other female to get her hands on my laundry, my gf at the time, refused to sort my socks by size, texure, and colour as well as not folding my pants correctly (there are only two ways, one for a certain set of types, and another for the others).
Due to all the above, I prefer to do my laundry and would rather not have anyone else bother with it. Any subsiquent SO I have I ask that if she feels the need to do something nice to me, my laundry is the worst place to look due to how picky I am about it. Could this cause an INFJ to feel rejected if I mentioned it before she had the idea to try? I keep it in a bin, or laid out on a very specific place if it can be worn again so I keep it out of the way and I do it once every 1-2 weeks.Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.
INFP, 6w7, IEI
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.
07-20-2010, 06:59 PM #175“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
~ John Rogers
07-20-2010, 07:10 PM #176
07-20-2010, 07:12 PM #177
For someone who starts from their core and then assimilates ideas after trying them on for size, this reaction seems rather uncalled for and foreign. For someone who starts from outside observations and assimilates them into the core of who they are, it doesn't.
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
What if that is their very conflict??
Would this person be extremely confused and torn between their own values and the values of others. Would they have trouble with knowing where they end and others begin??
Off topic really.. but your post is so thought provoking
07-20-2010, 07:13 PM #178
Arclight, you are a better and more understanding person than I am right now.
I must admit that I'm feeling intense frustration with Fidelia at this moment because I feel like I've bent over backward to be kind, humble, conciliatory... And the crux of Fidelia's response was that she felt uneasy about my post because she thought that my style of presentation wasn't quite right and that I was being presumptive.
Arclight, you asked Fidelia how you could better deliver a critical message without hurting the recipient... INFJ style. This is a great question that I completely respect.
But maybe a better question for Fidelia would be this:
"If I, as an INFJ, find something someone does something unsettling or distasteful, what should I do about it?"
I think this is the really important question to ask in such situations. Because INFJs are prone to be unsettled whenever things don't turn out as expected. (<--- This seems a natural product of an INFJs unique mix of cognitive functions.)
It must seem to an INFJ that these kinds of upsets are caused by external circumstances and situations... like Esoteric Wench's bullet pointed posts. But, that's not really true. It's true that things will happen over which an INFJ has no control. But INFJs can control how they perceive things, or judge such incidents.*
I think if I were an INFJ, I'd try to put a red flag up whenever something made me feel uneasy or unsettled. I'd make sure I asked myself if my motivation for judging the matter at hand was to be able to understand its usefulness in the world or to dismiss it.**
Take for example Fidelia's comments about Esoteric Wench's presumptiveness. I wonder if Fidelia would still be bothered by this if she knew that long ago, I decided that being afraid to proudly proclaim what I believed wasn't doing anybody any good. The only thing it did was diffuse the poignancy of my message. If I didn't believe I were right, then I wouldn't have written it, no?
And as for the bolded interstitials, etc., this comes from working in marketing communications and PR for 15 years. Long block of texts (which my bombastically verbose tendencies are wont to produce) are very boring for a lot of people to read. So industry best practice is to break them up with interesting visual details. I always try to do this when I post a wall of text. It's best practice in my field.
Perhaps this thread is a situation that calls for Fidelia to first ask herself if Esoteric Wench is behaving in a manner consistent with ESOTERIC WENCH'S values. We're here to learn from each other aren't we? So don't Esoteric Wench's values have some intrinsic value? Doesn't everyone have something to contribute?
If Fidelia had asked herself this, then I hope that she would have come to the conclusion that Esoteric Wench was not trying to be pedantic or righteous. Instead, she was trying to be intelligent, witty, self-disclosing, and insightful. (With a little bit of good marketing copywriter thrown in.) And, perhaps she would have concluded that Esoteric Wench was trying to give an earnest and humble response to Fidelia and other INFJs on this forum who she might have unintentionally offended earlier.
*Sections of this response were inspired by the INFJ Personal Growth page on ThePersonalityPage.com. This is such a well written article!
**And just so Esoteric Wench doesn't smell from the stink of hypocrisy, let me point out that ENFPs have red flag issues of their own. For example, whenever I feel like I'm being controlled, I put up a red flag and consider if perhaps I'm just using my Fi to support the needs of my Ne.ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀
07-20-2010, 07:14 PM #179
I guess what I was referring to was more the Fe vs Fi, J and P ways of processing things. Not sure what to think.
07-20-2010, 07:29 PM #180
Arclight, you are a better and more understanding person than I am right now.
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
I am not here to point fingers or blame anyone. I cannot ask all INFJs to answer for what one might have done. I can only ask them to help me understand why, and hopefully they are willing to share.
At some point I have to cut a little slack for them. I have simply adjusted my communication style so as to not offend, and it doesn't violate my Fi to do so. It in fact feels nice and if I understand it.. it stimulates my Fe and then I am able to make a better connection because My tone and language change.
I change direction. It's not impossible you know. In fact didn't you just talk about this very concept??
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