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Thread: Common INFJ issues

  1. #631
    wants Mifune clone minion Array Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Might I suggest establishing some boundaries with her? Something simple like, "You know I love you, and I know you love me. Therefore please don't take my words and twist them into meaning that I don't love you. Don't you see how much that hurts both you and me, especially when we both know that twisted meaning is not true?"

    With close family and friends, these kinds of things are best dealt with head on, instead of by avoidance. We can generally avoid strangers, but we can't avoid those with whom we are close. That means facing the painful things head on in a positive and constructive way, calmly, without drama, with all possible emotional sincerity. Drama arises from avoiding such talks, as the avoided topic will arise again and again in slippery ways until it is finally addressed in the open.
    While I believe this is coming from a very earnest and sincere place, it seems worthwhile to point out how this might fall flat with an INFJ (imo). "Therefore please don't take my words and twist them into meaning that I don't love you" and "especially when we both know that twisted meaning is not true" are problematic because they contains assumptions- assumptions which may be correct, but assumptions nonetheless. The goal is to get the person to recognize that assumptions are even being made on their end- that their own 'observations' contain assumptions- before asking them to realize those assumptions are flawed. The best way to actually get a message across, I think, to an INFJ who is adding *magic messages* (which, as fia said, are usually due to messages that were- in some form- actually there in childhood, but get inserted inappropriately later in life where they don't belong) is to very clearly state that it *seems* like the meaning of your words is being twisted, and to be very clear that you realize it's an assumption on your end- albeit an assumption that seems corrects because it's the only thing that makes sense- or we'll be so distracted by the urge to point out the assumptions on incoming information that we'll miss the point of why you're saying it. It's kind like- if you want a kid to sit down and work on their homework, don't seat them in front of an active playground where all their best friends are playing fun games.

    So I personally would rephrase that boundary suggestion as "I'm not sure what to do here. I said '____', you responded with '___'- and it seems like you added 'XYZ' to what I said. I'm not sure where you got 'XYZ', but I know I didn't say it and I find it hurtful that you'd think it was true of me. I need you to either explain how you got 'XYZ', or to work on realizing how you distort the meaning of my words."

    eta: Like the excerpt I recently posted in my blog from The Mindful Way Through Depression:

    Many situations are ambiguous, but the way we interpret them makes a huge difference in how we react. This is the A-B-C model of emotions. The A represents the facts of the situation- what a video camera would see and record. The B is the interpretation we give to a situation; this is the “running story” often just below the surface of awareness. It is often taken as fact.

    I think INFJs live in that space between A and B- constantly feeling the urge to point out the difference in incoming information, yet we can be oblivious to the 'interpretation' we are adding to our own observation. The best way to get us to see it is to present the facts (e.g. "this is what was said") and your 'interpretation' as interpretation- that will remove the distraction of screening incoming information, and we'll be left with the task of actually answering instead of dissecting the question (which would hopefully get us to turn that analysis/dissection on our own position).
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  2. #632
    hyggelig Array EJCC's Avatar
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    IME with INFJs, both @Z Buck McFate's advice and @uumlau's advice can be great depending on the situation and the INFJ in question. uumlau's advice assumes that either 1) there have been conversations about that assuming/jumping-to-conclusions tendency before, or 2) the INFJ is very self-aware about that tendency within themselves. Whereas Z Buck's would work better if the INFJ is so enmeshed in that conclusion that they can't see what they're doing.
    and it's nice enough to
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  3. #633
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    Wow, great advice here, from both ZBuck and fia.

    As an INFJ with a healthy childhood and only average heartbreak in her past, I still see myself doing silly things like this. Possibly not to the extent that you and fia are talking about, but the tendency is there. My husband (INTP) calls me out on it all the time. We have a good relationship & I'm thankful when he does. He has said, in exasperation, "If you ever think there are two interpretations to what I'm saying, ALWAYS assume I intend the good one, the one that loves you, the one that thinks you're smart and good."

    It's one of my weaknesses. I need to be reminded that people love me. I need to hear it. I need to be told in obvious ways. Hugs, words, kisses, laughter. Also, for me, my husband teasing me about it--especially when I'm in a good mood--helps remind me that it's a silly pitfall. The teasing has to be obviously loving, but it can be very effective. Reminding me that our home doesn't need a martyr, just a happy wife and mom. Reminding me that misreading people's well-intended words is not humility but stubborn refusal to accept the goodness in the world.

    Also, for me, I value celebrating the goodness in the world. But I find too often I dwell on the negative. Appealing to my own value of focusing on the positive and not allowing the darkness to dominate. Championing the good. Looking for love. All that kind of stuff. It appeals to my conscientiousness when I put it in those terms, instead of trying to get me to believe I'm worthy of all this goodness and love from another person. Or, to put it another way, that I'm on the side of Love and Hope and Good and I will practice looking for them every chance I get--rather than feeling like I'm a victim that Love and Hope and Good must somehow be strong enough to save.
    Likes labyrinthine, Quay, Z Buck McFate liked this post

  4. #634
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    I was talking to a friend about a situation that happened a week and half ago, and as I was sharing with her my thoughts and feelings I came to a realization that I struggle with directness about my emotions to others. She said "It's good that you care about this person and that you don't want to hurt their feelings, but you need to acknowledge your feelings as well". I'm trying to figure out that balance. I used to be cut and dry with people but I've come to a place of holding back too much. Now i rarely communicate my feelings because I'm care too much about their feelings and the "peace" between us. Generally I'm pretty laid back with a lot of things, but I didn't realize how bad it was until something happened recently.
    Last edited by skippythecat; 01-01-2015 at 03:19 PM.

  5. #635
    Happy Dancer Array uumlau's Avatar
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    I just spotted this by following a few random links. I think the INFJs of the forum might very much appreciate it. It describes the INFJs I've known in real life very well, so hopefully the INFJs here will find it helpful.

    Podcast - Episode 0034 - INFJ Personality Type Advice : Personality Hacker
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  6. #636
    Professional Trickster Array Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Wow @uumlau! Thanks for posting. I just listened to the entire podcast and was blown away by how well it explained the INFJ psyche. In fact, I just sent this link to an INFJ friend. Very impressive. I encourage all INFJs (and those who love them) to listen to this.

    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  7. #637
    Member Array raissaroars's Avatar
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    1)Delayed processing time - I guess this is true and relatable, but it can be worked on. I've been trying to use my Se a little more so I don't face issues like this.

    2) Need for resolution - Not really.

    3) Considering every hobby, person or idea expressed as an extension of themselves - Definitely!

    4) Dislike of emotional surprises - I don't know if I agree because it's actually extremely hard for me to deal with emotional surprises. I usually know how people will most likely react already.

    5) Hold those close to them to a higher degree of accountability than those that are less important to them - This is very, very true. To be fair, it only happens to really close relationships.

    6) Easily embarrassed and quite private - I don't think this is a rule, it just tends to be part of having Ni as a dominant function. I used to be like this when still growing up, back when I was 13-15 I used to be really private about my feelings. Now I'm very open about them when socially appropriate and I never hold my thoughts for myself anymore.

    7) Long gaps in correspondance or putting off a job that matters a lot - Yes!

    8) Not creating clear enough boundaries for people around them - I used to be like this, but in order to get out of depression you need to learn self-love. And to learn self-love, you need to respect your boundaries!

    9) Find it difficult to assess when is the time to make a Big Deal out of something - I guess so?

    10) Hate being not in control of their emotions, yet sometimes underestimate how strong those emotions are till they are swamped by them. - The first part is correct, but not the second one. I'm in touch with my emotions since it was necessary to get out of depression.

    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 - Totally, totally me!

    12) Sometimes have a hard time recognizing when they need to pull back or give less so that they can continue doing so cheerfully - Not really.

    13) Tendancy to be poor with paperwork, locating items quickly under pressure - Yes.

    14) Am a responder more than an initiator - The completely opposite, actually.

    15) Not good at paying attention to detail (in my environment, and in instructions) - Yes.

    16) My intimidation by Te, and some oversensitivity leads me to sometimes not express my opinions when I should - This is the opposite. I feel some kind of frustration when dealing with either EXTJs or ISTJs (I get along easily with INTJs), so my opinions get angrier and more extreme, which is equally bad.

    17) Over-indulgent when under stress - Yes!

    18) Put off jobs that are unpleasant or that I am not sure how to do - Yes.

    19) Stubborn - Yes! But it only happens to bigger, more important ideas.

    20) Promising more than I can actually deliver - I can relate.

    21) Lazy about figuring out technological stuff or leave it to others - I'm actually great at figuring out technological stuff!

    22) Sometimes my very closest friends may feel that I disagree with them but don't express it. That is occasionally true, but if it is not a huge issue of integrity, I'm not sure how expressing it would be helpful. And yet, I don't think that I have to change my mind about it either, as long as I still like and respect them and am not being passive-aggressive. I think INFPs are much better friends in this respect - The exact opposite, actually.
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  8. #638
    Member Array Florence Atley's Avatar
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    Fidelia, your original post is like... spot on for me. Scary actually. I'm only just now finding the personality stuff, and it's super insightful and scary accurate! The only point I don't tend to have is point 11: I actually give my best advice when someone is being calm and rational rather than when they're super emotional. When they're super emotional my overwhelming need to make them feel better takes over my knowing that long-term advice is about more than feelings.

    Actually, talking about feelings seems to be the biggest difference between myself and most INFJs I come across. I almost never talk about my emotions (although I'm happy to talk about other people's because I empathize with them like crazy and I like to help). My inner world is so intensely emotional that I can hardly think clearly most of the time, so I've had to work really hard at not basing my opinions and beliefs on emotions. Plus, the idea of sharing my emotional landscape with anyone else is positively terrifying for so many reasons! 1. I don't understand my emotions myself, so I have a hard time trusting someone else's advice about it 2. People don't usually get me and they often give misplaced advice, which would hurt SO much more if I did let them into my insanely sensitive inner sanctum. 3. Emotions often get in the way of clear judgement since I feel them so intensely, and if i want to save the world (which I do) I need clarity of thought to run my chaotic pattern-recognition and zillion levels of perspective. Emotions take up too much retail for me to be in my element with my thinking. 4. And lastly, it almost seems like a waste of time to discuss my emotions in any form, when I much prefer to be doing detailed heroic stuff to help other people.

    With all that said, I am consumed by emotions on the inside (despite my best efforts). I constantly psychoanalyze everything in reality, I'm intuitive to such an extreme that sometimes I'd worry I'm a conduit rather than a real person if it weren't for the intense feelings of joy and pain reminding me I truly exist, and when other people think with their heart rather than their head I'm uniquely able to get what they're saying. I LOVE sub-text

    Another big difference between me and most other INFJs I come across is that they usually say they're pretty shy in public. I don't get that way unless people are talking about things I don't feel strongly about. Most of the time, though, in public I find something to feel strongly about because I am in my element when I am giving everything in my power to help other people by inspiring them to peek under the surface, to achieve their dreams and to love each other. I love campaigning about that. Plus, since I almost never put myself in a position around people (like once or twice a week tops), I always have an incredible amount of ideas that bursting at the seams to come out. I verbally barf all over my close friends every time I see them, because I'm so pent up from not being able to share anything with 'normal people' who don't understand a word I say.

    Most of the time I spend hours holed up behind my laptop trying to create utopia for the masses. And if I get pushed beyond my limit to perform socially, I do immediately get super tense, nervous and just want to run away (and sometimes I do). Especially if someone is upset with me, I'm a terrible mess as I try to stay calm to do a good job at fixing the misunderstanding, then I'll run away and hide under my blankets for at least half a week.

    Anywho, love reading fellow INFJers, and I must admit... it's super refreshing to post a lengthy spiel like that without needing to apologize
    You and I compose reality - the sharing of human intimacy, a topic whose depth takes endless breath to understand, though the bravest try through books. Yeah. We are all fans of decadence, but do know: what you know is incidental. Who is speaking? The truth speaks.

  9. #639


    Public places, invading minds, feeling emotion and vibes without being able to do much.

  10. #640
    Junior Member Array Kerik_S's Avatar
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