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Thread: Common INFJ issues

  1. #531
    Finis Array Redbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Do you mean as an adult, or as children? (or both?)
    As a teen. I have a 14-year-old daughter. Pretty certain she is INFJ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    As a teen. I have a 14-year-old daughter. Pretty certain she is INFJ.
    Ha. Good luck.

    Seriously though, are there any specific questions? I was terrible, so I might have some useful feedback. I'm always surprised when I see descriptions of how INFJ children are 'cooperative' and 'eager to please'- it was not my experience. And I have an INFJ son who is now 18- I actually get along with him surprisingly well and I think it's because I was so horrible myself, I understood where he was coming from when he'd get hung up on certain things and I could cut a lot of it off at the pass (before it escalated to how I behaved myself as a teenager). Most- if not all- the bad behavior/attitude was aimed at my parents. I could come up with a bullet point list of the big 'uns, but specific questions would yield a faster response.

    eta:specific questions would yield a faster response from any of us, is what I should have said- INFJs seem to do better with more specific questions in this regard.

    eta, worth mentioning: I'm actually female, though my avi/username would suggest otherwise.
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  3. #533
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Ha. Good luck.

    Seriously though, are there any specific questions? I was terrible, so I might have some useful feedback. I'm always surprised when I see descriptions of how INFJ children are 'cooperative' and 'eager to please'- it was not my experience. And I have an INFJ son who is now 18- I actually get along with him surprisingly well and I think it's because I was so horrible myself, I understood where he was coming from when he'd get hung up on certain things and I could cut a lot of it off at the pass (before it escalated to how I behaved myself as a teenager). Most- if not all- the bad behavior/attitude was aimed at my parents. I could come up with a bullet point list of the big 'uns, but specific questions would yield a faster response.

    eta, worth mentioning: I'm actually female, though my avi/username would suggest otherwise.

    Yes, I too was quite a horrible child/early teen. I was what they called feisty, I was extremely argumentative and vaguely enjoyed making at least two grown women who were my neighbors miserable and I could also be quite unkind to my close caregivers although I did not see it as such at the time.

    I excelled academically...far above my peers and was quiet/well behaved at school so I can see how someone looking at the INFJ child from a distance might see us/them as cooperative and pleasant. I changed somewhere in mid to late teens and became far more sensitive and developed over the top empathy for others but before that in just about every way I was like a sort of asshole INTP with very low Fe and high Ti which runs contrary to how it is said that functions develop. I think in some ways, I kind of hope that I do not have children who are like the way I was because I was manipulative, rude, totally irreverent and hard to manage for a good few years there. However, I would very much like my children to be as naturally street-wise and perceptive about others as I was as a child, that came in extremely handy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ten View Post
    I excelled academically...far above my peers and was quiet/well behaved at school so I can see how someone looking at the INFJ child from a distance might see us/them as cooperative and pleasant. I changed somewhere in mid to late teens and became far more sensitive and developed over the top empathy for others but before that in just about every way I was like a sort of asshole INTP with very low Fe and high Ti which runs contrary to how it is said that functions develop.
    Yeah, I ‘played the game’ in places like school, or friends’ houses- I was pretty good at picking up on social rules because I was always averse to stirring up trouble in foreign environments. I think I only had one detention the entire time I was in highschool- but I was more than comfortable with testing my parents (mostly my mom) and I did at every turn. I knew what buttons to push. Junior highschool was the worst of it.
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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    I was a pretty good kid, but I think that had a lot to do with how I was handled. There wasn't a big need to rebel because I was well provided for, given many opportunities to talk and have input, I had someone who was looking ahead, I had strong (but not dictatorial leadership), and someone anticipating what I may need in the future. My relationship with my mum was pretty close and open, and she often seemed to know what was bothering me even before I could articulate it and did what she could to mitigate before or acknowledged that she couldn't give me exactly what she knew I wished for but attempted to make it up in some other way. She also didn't give any advice or directions that she wasn't already prepared to do herself. There were guiding principles much more than rules. That went a long ways towards making me feel like making things work for her as well.

    If I felt cornered or shut up though, I suspect that I wouldn't have been a very compliant child.

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    Senior Member Array SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    For me personally, I've always tended to be someone who has a general "wants harmony" demeanor--but underneath it all, I am independent, will question authority, and will do what seems best to me. Buuut . . . with my parents, I was a lot more comfortable with them and didn't feel as much of a need to project the harmonious aura. I don't remember much from being a child, but once I hit about 12, I was really in a mode of "I will do what I want, and I don't care if my authority figures disagree with me." I did some things when I was a teenager that on a large scale rebelled against the traditions that they tried to instill in me, and that baffled them.

    I also had one parent who was completely authoritarian and one who was completely hands off. Both approaches rubbed me the wrong way as I bristled against the authoritarian one, and I desperately wanted guidance from the hands off one. What I needed was something in the middle--advice without sledgehammer demands.

    Temper? Ha . . . well, guilty as charged. I'm better at this as an adult . . . but yeah, my teenage years were not pretty in that regard. Some of it was a reaction to circumstances in my life that I still think was a justified reaction. But some of this was me testing my boundaries or was simply me saying that I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and so it was inevitable.
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    I read this blog entry today at Personality Junkie and it reminded me of the last convo in this thread.


    From a young age, the INFJ innately senses the difference between behavior that is authentically motivated (i.e., spiritually and psychologically healthy) and behavior that is inauthentic or ego driven (i.e., spiritually and psychologically destructive). Respect out of duty isn’t freely given by INFJs who (to the chagrin of their elders) tend to see adults and children through the same lens and then judge them by this universal qualification: authenticity. If respect has been earned and the INFJ intuits an individual to be primarily authentic (or at least trying to live more authentically), it can be a huge letdown for INFJs when that individual shows him or herself to be a “sinner” or imperfect. Truly, the INFJ doesn’t feel she is being unreasonable, since these are the same (perhaps even less stringent) expectations she places upon herself. Often, it isn’t until the INFJ’s tertiary Ti comes into play that she begins to rationally understand typological differences and thereby exercises greater patience and grace for some types’ need to learn (what in her view amounts to) “the hard way.”

    This was a significant problem for me when I was younger. I just knew when someone had put critical thought into what they were expecting of me and I really didn’t make any distinction between adult or child, I just instinctively felt respect where I saw authenticity. It really puzzled me to see other children cooperating in situations strictly from a sense of duty. Though I’d disagree with the assertion that I didn’t feel like I was being unreasonable; it made me feel like bad kid actually, because I’d see other kids complying to the authority of adults without the same qualification I needed myself- even though I behaved well for everyone outside my family (it just wasn’t worth kicking up external conflict to me)- I still felt like a bad kid in comparison. I just didn’t feel much respect for adults who were just going through the motions and expecting ‘senseless’ (because that’s how it seemed to me) cooperation from the people around them though, in spite of how much I also felt like I ‘should’ be feeling it. I just saw them as big children. It was very confusing to me. I needed to be allowed to question things to thrive and feel connected/engaged- and in school environments where that was stifled and I wasn’t allowed to question, I’d just daydream to escape instead.

    I think it was in highschool that I finally started realizing that people do the best they can with what they know, and I softened up a bit. Anyway, this was the first time I've found something like this written somewhere. I found it validating. Other descriptions I've read describe INFJ children as being cooperative and eager to please- and maybe that's the case when solid attachments are made early on- but it wasn't especially the case for me.
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    i didn't like other people. i felt like everyone was hypocritical and full of shit. i thought that everything should be perfect as i imagined it to be. i hated anyone who did not respect my boundaries, yet i longed for connection.

    i know for me i realized rather quickly that the world my parents lived in and the world of my fellow classmates and neighbor friends could not be reconciled. and i stopped believing that anyone was good, because i knew i could never be good in all the domains that had shown themselves to me to be mutually exclusive. so i acted out whenever anyone placed expectations on me. i became extremely stubborn. i pretended that what they wanted simply did not matter. i was somewhat vindictive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post



    Tendancies:
    8) Not creating clear enough boundaries for people around them - there's a tendancy to respond to those who are most actively demanding attention, especially when younger. Also the need to be sure that they've looked at everything from all angles, made a correct assessment of all possible motivations and exhausted what they can do to impact the situation before really drawing a hard and fast line. I think this improves with age.

    9) Find it difficult to assess when is the time to make a Big Deal out of something - Their reaction to something really depends on the other person's response. They may find it easy to forgive something or deal with it on their own if the person recognizes that they are making a concession. If the person trivializes or continues on with more of the same behaviour, it's the last straw (in a very big load of straws!) and the other examples of where they have seen the same behaviour will be brought up.

    10) Hate being not in control of their emotions, yet sometimes underestimate how strong those emotions are till they are swamped by them. - (Note, not a good time for Ts to talk about how over-sensitive and emotional they are, as they despise being that way and are already terribly embarrassed).

    11) Get less receptive to advice if the other person tries to skip over the venting that they need to do in order to bleed off excess emotion or when they feel the person hasn't taken enough time to understand the situation. Often their solutions are gained primarily from discussion with someone, not from getting the answers from someone.

    12) Sometimes have a hard time recognizing when they need to pull back or give less so that they can continue doing so cheerfully. This seems to be the case especially with Ts.
    My bf of 4+ is a T's. It's a very accurate portrait of an INFJ's reactions and responses to a T and things T's ie(my boyfriend) should not do lol. I identify very strongly with all of these tenancies tho very interesting thread. I wish I discovered it sooner.

  10. #540
    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I was overly compliant as a child and teen. I had a lot of trouble connecting socially and didn't make any close friends. I would approach the lonely and socially misfit students and befriend them, but tended to do more listening than personally sharing. I was in intense internal pain, withdrawn, and at risk for a lot of things. This was mostly unnoticed because of my external compliance, good grades, generally smiling at people, etc. Nature saved my life. I would sit alone and think and feel connected to all of reality. It was something I couldn't feel amongst people, even though I observed and made great effort to understand them internally. I couldn't play the social games.

    I would recommend helping a young INFJ (if anything along the lines of me) be involved in activities with other people and where they can achieve. I regret not being in ballet, track, symphony, a rock band, etc. Some type of physical activity is necessary for extremely abstract and internal teenagers. There needs to be a simple, concrete way to get the angst and darkness out. I retreated to some self-harming to process mine, but I think a structured physical activity would have kept me from struggling with that issue. I should add that sports with social dynamics as the game did not work for me at all. I couldn't compete. Track, gymnastic, ballet were more healthy for me because they are more independent. You don't have to interact with others in that same competitive way.
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