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Thread: Common INFJ issues

  1. #501
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    What I'm surprised about though is that I think most INFJs would fairly instinctively understand this feeling. I hate it when Te users tell me all the reasons why I shouldn't feel upset. I want them to either listen or to agree enough that I'm reassured that I'm not crazy for feeling the way I do.

    That's why I wonder if something else is going on. I do think that Fe users feel a lot more detached than Fi users when giving advice (which Fi is less likely to do anyway), even if they feel sympathetic. It sounds though like the issue is a little more than just that though.

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    Senior Member Array sciski's Avatar
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    You're both welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    This is roughly how I reflect on this.

    Fe vantage point is "I feel like this, am I wrong?"

    Fi vantage point is, "I feel like this, am I right?" That's where your word "justified" comes into play. I would just leave that word out, and share with her that you need to vent in order to work through your own emotional frustration. Sometimes, you just need someone to say back to you, "Ya, that person is a big meanie and you are ok, I think you are the best!" +giant hug!!!
    I agree with this (especially the last line! INFPs ).

    Considering your example above, EJCC, where your mother was trying to be fair to your aunt by defending her, it doesn't seem likely she will say that your feelings are entirely justified... which is a shame. I guess if she can reach a stage where she at least just listens and acknowledges your feelings, that could be enough... but it would take a fair amount of habit-breaking, so it could be a long wait.

    My other thinking is that maybe you could offer clues about how she could comfort you, because she might think that getting you thinking logically would be comforting (though it's not working!). If she or you are huggy people, then you could just ask for a cuddle (it's my husband's comforting mechanism of choice and it works!), or just have a cup of tea together, or retail therapy, and you can chat while in a fairly neutral environment...

    Regarding your feelings being justified though, it was only when I hit the age of 29 that I read a book that made things very simple and clear--how you feel is how you feel and your feelings need no justification. Your feelings are not right and they are not wrong. They just 'are'. It's what we do based on our feelings that can be judged right/wrong/justifiable, etc. But you have a right to feel the way you feel.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia
    What I'm surprised about though is that I think most INFJs would fairly instinctively understand this feeling. I hate it when Te users tell me all the reasons why I shouldn't feel upset. I want them to either listen or to agree enough that I'm reassured that I'm not crazy for feeling the way I do.
    I also get bugged by anybody telling me why I shouldn't be upset (quick way to ensure that I blast you with the twin rockets of fury!). My guess is that nobody enjoys being invalidated and I doubt (maybe I'm being naive here) that many people set out to invalidate others or deliberately try to be cruel. However, I still invalidate others, often without realising it, in the name of being helpful. Having said that, I've never seen you post anything invalidating, so it's likely you're one of the INFJs who has an instinctive understanding of validation.

    I guess for an example of Fe-style invalidation... well, an Fe person is more inclined to try to cheer up someone who is upset, which, though kindly meant, is invalidating (eg. Don't cry, don't be sad, maybe you misunderstood the situation and it's not really that bad, oh they didn't mean it that way..). It's like saying to someone that 'hey, it's not okay for you to feel upset, I'd rather you feel happy/neutral/logical about it/okay instead.' It's all meant to help the other person feel better, but sometimes ends up with them feeling worse.

    Of course there are some cases where the person is cheered up and helped by rationalising things out, and figuring out what works for who is all part of the mystery of life.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC
    Could it also, in addition to that, be that she detaches herself while coaching as a self-protection mechanism, so she doesn't get really emotional just by seeing me being emotional? She does have a strong mother-lion tendency, so maybe she feels like she has to rein herself in whenever I'm upset?
    I can only offer guesses... and this story. My mother is a really sweet ISFJ and we're very close. We went out to lunch a couple of weeks ago, and during lunch, we began talking about the events before my wedding (basically enormous amounts of stress due to my FIL having a stroke and us needing to fly across the country to look after him and MIL, while replanning a wedding with a week's notice so that he could see his only son get married), and she began to cry at the lunch table. My immediate reaction was to tear up myself and then say jokingly, "Don't cry, I cry when you cry!" OMG.

    My motivation was to rescue her from feeling pain or embarrassment at crying in public, but I wanted to kick myself afterwards.

    So guess 1: it could be partly her protective mechanism coming in... not wanting to escalate the situation by getting upset herself (if she's inclined to be empathic).

    Guess 2: When I enter analytical mode, I become very unemotional. But it's like I absolutely need to shut down my compassionate side in order to have a clear mind, and I absolutely need to have a clear mind in order to find the solution. Perhaps your mother drops into that 'problem-solving' state when she sees you struggling to cope with something.

    Guess 3: She has trouble dealing with her own emotions (her needing validation from your father and you when she is upset seems to point to this), so she has just as much trouble dealing with your emotions.

    Guess 4: She really values being fair and impartial, so your feelings fall by the wayside.

    But as I said, they're just guesses, and some of the other replies offered really excellent suggestions that could explain her viewpoint.

  3. #503
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    How does a strong Te user deal with an INFJ in 'Ti Ti Ti Ti Ti Ti' mode...

    Do they just need a hug?

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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    Generally yes. Understand you are doing a huge service by listening (they may think that it is so obvious that they forget to explain that). Even ask some questions to draw them out further. They'll run out of steam in a bit and then they'll be ready to work on the solution. It's like getting pus out of a wound before cleaning, disinfecting and bandaging it up.

    For me anyway, I need to get all that extra stuff out and I find that having someone to talk to helps incredibly, even if I mostly need them to listen. Somehow it gives me a kind of clarity by expressing it that I can't arrive at by myself as easily. It sorts out my own thoughts and helps me sort what is important from what isn't (Ni offers too many possibilities and Ti offers too many details, so it can get overwhelming to decide what to factor in and what to ignore).

    I don't expect them to encourage a skewed or unfair point of view in me, but if they jump to devil's advocating or point out where I am wrong immediately, then it just adds more stuff for me to clear away before I can start working on the real problem.

  5. #505
    Lay the coin on my tongue Array SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Generally yes. Understand you are doing a huge service by listening (they may think that it is so obvious that they forget to explain that). Even ask some questions to draw them out further. They'll run out of steam in a bit and then they'll be ready to work on the solution. It's like getting pus out of a wound before cleaning, disinfecting and bandaging it up.

    For me anyway, I need to get all that extra stuff out and I find that having someone to talk to helps incredibly, even if I mostly need them to listen. Somehow it gives me a kind of clarity by expressing it that I can't arrive at by myself as easily. It sorts out my own thoughts and helps me sort what is important from what isn't (Ni offers too many possibilities and Ti offers too many details, so it can get overwhelming to decide what to factor in and what to ignore).

    I don't expect them to encourage a skewed or unfair point of view in me, but if they jump to devil's advocating or point out where I am wrong immediately, then it just adds more stuff for me to clear away before I can start working on the real problem.
    All very true. Unfortunately, there aren't that many people who understand this. Most people, if they are even willing to listen, will conclude that you're just obsessing about things (and admittedly, sometimes there can be a fine line between getting it all out, and obsessing) and will tell you that you should be over it by now, or why you shouldn't have allowed yourself to get into that state in the first place, or something of that nature. Which really doesn't help.

    I've become extremely cautious about who I vent to in these situations because I don't want to end up with further damage, and also I don't want to end up resenting the well-meaning friends who think the best thing they can do for you is cut you off or tell you you need to STOP THOSE FEELINGS NOW.

    At the moment I think I have a grand total of one friend who I can productively vent in these situations, and she lives on another continent. But so far I have certainly been able to vent, and she'll express the sympathy and concern, and offer kind suggestions about how to not make the situation/feelings worse (but she won't tell me I shouldn't have those feelings or be in the situation in the first place.) She also happens to be the only person other person I know IRL who is a 100% confirmed INFJ. I think it does help if you have someone like that in your life, who really understands what you need in such situations, because it's also what they need.

    Just having one friend like that is more than a lot of people have, admittedly. And there are other friends who will try, but I probably shouldn't take it too far, or they may not be able to follow me. Probably another reason why I spend time trying to work things out on a forum...
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  6. #506
    wants Mifune clone minion Array Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Question for INFJs and those who know them: Do they have an unsympathetic streak, with people they're close to? I ask because my INFJ mom has a tendency (and has had it probably since I was a preteen) to be unsympathetic and evasive when I try to express frustration or anger or any emotion that would cause tears.

    (Common interaction when I was a kid:
    Mom: Maybe we shouldn't talk about this anymore. You'll just get more upset.
    Me: Why can't I get upset??? I have a right to be upset!)
    My first thought in reading this is that your mom may have some unresolved issues with her sister which prevent her being able to listen to your complaining with fresh ears. If I’ve got a history built up with someone- especially one in which I hadn’t received validation myself, and had to deal with ‘the way they are’- I might feel already fed up with the topic before anyone even brings it up (even though it’s brand new to the person bringing it up). And there may be a reluctance to be like “Oh I know, she’s unnerving…” because if that sort of thing ever got back to her sister it could open up conflict that she’s simply not willing deal with- which experience has told her is a dead end, that it only brings conflict without resolution- and it’s probably not even a conscious unwillingness. She might not even be able to reason “oh EJCC isn’t going to say anything” if it’s enough of a vague aversion to her- she’ll simply avoid talking about it. We tend to make mental post-it notes that collect about people and we can be obstinate about certain directives regarding certain people even after the reason we established the directive has become vague. This is someone who has been around her for most (or all) of her life, so there are bound to be really vague interpersonal directives in there which even she doesn’t recognize or understand the reason for. INFJs can tend to obstinately cling to these vague directives more than most types.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC
    I made a thread about it a while ago, and after re-reading it, I think she's a 1w9 -- because although she has a lot of the same 1-esque repression going on, I don't think she feels the need to be "helpful" all the time, like I do, although she is (obviously) so focused on harmony, which might be a 9 wing?
    This was going to be my next question- if she’s e9. Because personally I never stop digging through certain dynamics between myself and others- but it *seems* to me like e9s will prioritize peace on the surface of things over peace at the grimy dirty core of things more than e5 types. If my son were to complain about something my sister does which frustrates me- I’d be all over it, excited that someone else is seeing it. Or I’d be surprised that something is bothering him which I never noticed. Either way, I’d be all over it. I’m with Fidelia in saying that I don’t think it’s particularly an INFJ thing to stifle the feeling. It might be an INFJ thing to have a whole history with a person sitting just below the surface which could influence the way we react to information about them- but even if my gut instinct was to immediately stifle the feeling, I’d come back to the person with a need to explain why it’s hard for me to listen.

    On the other hand, if I complain to my sister (she’s e9) about someone else in the family, I get a steaming pile of “that’s just the way they are” from her. She doesn’t want to sort through it, she doesn’t want to look at it, she just wants to ignore it. I don’t know, maybe even w9 can drive this kind of behavior. (And I’m not even 100% that it’s an e9 thing.)
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  7. #507
    thankful Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    @Z Buck McFate: I am a nine, yet I too wish to get to the grimy core ... as you know!

    I like what you said about history too, about unresolved issues perhaps.
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  8. #508
    wants Mifune clone minion Array Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    I am a nine, yet I too wish to get to the grimy core ... as you know!
    But you're also Fi dom, I wonder if that makes a difference.

    One of my best friends is INFJ and probably e9, with 5w4 a rather close second. But anyway- it seems like she likes the gritty core too, but it's like she's got to pick and choose her battles with grit. She doesn't seem to do well with too much digging in too many places at once- that getting to the dirty core is good, so long as there are many clean, solid and peaceful connections going on elsewhere. She's really an amazing writer and can expose 'grit' better than I can- but I think it's more overwhelming to her. So springing something like "Your sister is driving me crazy" might be overwhelming if she isn't already in a headspace for digging through it. INFJs already don't like emo surprises- throw in an enneagram-specific challenge and you've got yourself the fixin's.
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  9. #509
    Diving into Ni-space Array Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    For me anyway, I need to get all that extra stuff out and I find that having someone to talk to helps incredibly, even if I mostly need them to listen. Somehow it gives me a kind of clarity by expressing it that I can't arrive at by myself as easily. It sorts out my own thoughts and helps me sort what is important from what isn't (Ni offers too many possibilities and Ti offers too many details, so it can get overwhelming to decide what to factor in and what to ignore).
    The truth is, those extra stuff will make us look bad to a certain group of people as they simply just view us as being excessively negative behaviors. I'm not sure about you, but I happen to notice myself that once I start to vent, the less logical I seem to sound like to them. Partly because we focus on "our" perspective more than the other if we're in conflicts with them. Now I just avoid letting it out to Fi users as I felt they'll never understand that having a pair of patient years is the perfect remedy to resolve our frustration.


    I don't expect them to encourage a skewed or unfair point of view in me, but if they jump to devil's advocating or point out where I am wrong immediately, then it just adds more stuff for me to clear away before I can start working on the real problem.
    Yes, I experience this as well. Though sometimes it does help me to 're-think' the whole situation again critically, as long as the speaker knows how to do it in a non-aggressive way. Actually, I happened to learn so much more about my flaws during this stage.

  10. #510
    Member Array Moxiest's Avatar
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    I pay attention to details, just not the same ones alot of S's pay attention to.... like, names and stuff :P

    I also find myself getting anxiety at times over whether people understand what I am communicating or not... this might be a "N" thing (not just and INFJ thing)... I have written and posted things many times, only to delete them next chance I am by a computer thinking "no one is going to understand what I wrote! :P" I have done it on facebook, here, and another site that I post comments to as well.... has this happened to any of you?
    Last edited by Moxiest; 08-01-2011 at 10:10 AM.

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