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Thread: Common INFJ issues

  1. #61
    hyggelig Array EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitseleh View Post
    Well, the use of the phrase "character flaws" kind of like comes as saying like those flaws are inherent and universal to ALL INFJs when in reality, that's probably not true or accurate. Unless the statement absolutely true, it comes off "rigid" and "judgmental", IMO. I think that's where the huge issue lies. As a NFJ, sweeping statements like that rub me the wrong way.
    Makes sense. Also, some "character flaws" may end up being strengths when used in a different situation. Hence the idea that no type is better or worse than any other.

    Edit/reminder: I have another post on the previous page. It's got questions! Don't miss it, please - I'm still curious.
    and it's nice enough to
    make a man
    weep, but I don't
    weep, do
    you?

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    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw or gryffindor (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  2. #62
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    EJCC! I'm so glad you stopped by. Give me a sec and I'll answer your questions!

    Argghhhh!!!! I just spent the last hour giving a super duper reply, hit something by accident on my computer and it all disappeared and can't be found. How frustrating! Well, I'll try again in a bit. I haven't forgotten you.

  3. #63
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    Alright, I'll do this in pieces!

    re closure: This way of dealing with it is an attempt to not only get closure, but to prevent future problems either by figuring out what went wrong and how to avoid it, or to establish a better way of dealing with things next round. Wounds require disinfectant and removal of all debris, or they will appear to be healing, but then get full of pus and badness. You could also compare it to cleaning out a junk drawer. You could dump the whole thing in the garbage, but it's possible you would be dumping all kinds of things that may be important in the future. Some items worth keeping might not be recognizable without examining it. Sometimes you need other people's help to determine if something is valuable or not, or where it can go (I've realized not all types require others' help to do that). Once it is order, there is a tremendous feeling of relief and a chance to keep from accumulating unnecessary clutter in the future.

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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    re venting: I was completely unaware until coming here that some types actually feel burdened by the information received while being vented to and are compelled to feel some kind of action or response to it. Therefore, I figured that as long as I was judicious in the volume and frequency of the venting, it really wasn't an issue. I assumed that everyone processed problems similarly to me and therefore needed to vent, so I don't get all that emotionally invested because I assume they are just blowing off steam so they can settle down to a real discussion of the problem later. I since have understood that it's necessary to tell someone what a service they are doing just by listening, and to assure them that you will get to the solution part after the emotion has dissipated. I am learning to thank people for listening. Would it overall be better though to not engage those who find it taxing unless absolutely necessary, or does expressing appreciation help make it less of a frustrating experience?

    I find that talking aloud helps untangle my thoughts with are like a ball of knitting yarn that all knotted up. You know how House needs his team to help him come up with solutions (usually by figuring out what ISN'T the answer)? Whether it is a problem, or just an idea I'm trying to articulate or clarify, talking to someone is incredibly helpful. At the same time, I do gauge my internal responses by how they react, so they are really performing a very valuable service. It's kind of like coming across a tree that's fallen over across the road. The listener may assist me in removing the tree so that I can more quickly drive on through, or by not listening/understanding my frustration, it's like they are felling more trees for me to move all by myself. I don't want to listen to their solution if it feels like they are creating more obstacles for me to have to remove before I can get on with navigating the road.

  5. #65
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    re structure: Being presented with a new idea for me is like going to the furniture store with a friend. While I may be open to buying a little bookcase or an end table, I are not looking to buy anything major. However, a wonderful deal on a couch comes up. Rather than jumping on it right away, I have to mentally calculate if I really need it, how it may displace other furniture, if it fits the colour scheme and is the right size for the room, what style it is, how comfortable it would be, how I could arrange the room, if it being a good deal necessitates buying it. If I am in a hurry or do not have the energy to do so, it may be easier just to reject the idea with no further thought. I already have a fully functional living room that I am quite pleased with. Upon further reflection, I may decide that I need a fresh look, or that it better suits my needs, that I could give my old couch away to someone who needs it and so on and end up buying it.

    New ideas are like that. They take a little while to get used to, especially the bigger they are. I already have arranged a framework of philosophy that accommodates my values, decisions, thoughts that are important to me and ideas and which has nice hooks on which to put all the new information that I acquire. If I am going to adopt something new, it may require a new framework or it may displace some of what's already there. Therefore it requires some time to decide whether it is just an affinity for the familiar, whether the old structure is already serving me well, or whether this new idea is worth amending or changing the whole structure to accommodate.

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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    re non-disclosure: As mentioned before, I hate emotional surprises. Therefore, before I put something out there, I would like to have weighed what your likely reaction is vs whether it is important enough for conflict or the feeling that reaction may engender in me.

    If you are not close to me, I will either decide that your opinion doesn't really matter to me and go for it, or that it's not something worth talking about if it is not affecting our relationship and it may create unnecessary conflict and is not a moral integrity kind of issue. Te in particular makes me feel very put on the spot. If I know that I will have to defend it, I'd like to have an argument ready.

    If you are closer to me, I probably will have thrown out smaller feelers for how you will react to something that really matter to me. This is not because I think you are a bad person who is not worthy of my confidence, but because I value my relationship with you, want your good opinion and don't want to be hurt by your response if it is negative. In this case, I will push myself to be more transparent because I really do want to be completely known and understood by you and just need to get together enough shared history and comfort level to do so. However if your earlier responses indicate that you will not understand or that the stakes are too high, I probably will wait and try something more on a lesser level until I trust that you understand that something matters a lot to me or that I am in a very vulnerable spot.

    I wanted badly to share the things that were important to me with my ESTJ. Sometimes it was a victory with a kid at school or something that was distressing me within my family, etc. His responses let me know that we really didn't share the same main values. He was not interested in the events that made up the most significant parts of my life if they were uncomfortable or didn't include him or he would make dismissive statements about people who mattered most to me. That made me want to wall those parts of my life off from him, yet there was also a drive for authenticity and transparency that made me want to try to share them. It resulted in feeling very alone and rejected, although I don't think that was his intent. I just wanted him to celebrate along with me or see that I was sad and empathize a bit. When he didn't, it either marred what should have been a happy experience or created more emotional obstacles to deal with in an already difficult time.

  7. #67
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    re martyr complex: Don't worry! I believe the aforementioned problems are indeed problems. To some extent maturity and experience do help balance some of these issues out. Being around an ESTJ for a long time, I think I had a chance to see how some of his qualities that were different than mine, made things go more smoothly for him and ultimately that was what convinced me privately to start working on them. If you can give specific examples of how what we are doing is not working and then present some possible, specific solutions of what we can do instead, and then let us mull it over and argue over any points we aren't sure about, I think that is helpful. This is best done AFTER hugs and sympathetic noises though! I believe the problem is a mix of needing to draw firmer boundaries for people, while also learning to take some risks. It takes a little bit of time to do that and sometimes helps to be walked through it.

    I think you should largely ignore the content of the venting about the world at large. They are just trying to gather up enough emotional energy to attack what's bothering them with renewed energy or look for a better way to go at it. If they feel empathy from you, it's not going to engender more whining, but rather get them over it sooner. Leave them with some ideas to think over and I think they will give them more thought than it may appear to you right away.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    re structure: Being presented with a new idea for me is like going to the furniture store with a friend. While I may be open to buying a little bookcase or an end table, I are not looking to buy anything major. However, a wonderful deal on a couch comes up. Rather than jumping on it right away, I have to mentally calculate if I really need it, how it may displace other furniture, if it fits the colour scheme and is the right size for the room, what style it is, how comfortable it would be, how I could arrange the room, if it being a good deal necessitates buying it. If I am in a hurry or do not have the energy to do so, it may be easier just to reject the idea with no further thought. I already have a fully functional living room that I am quite pleased with. Upon further reflection, I may decide that I need a fresh look, or that it better suits my needs, that I could give my old couch away to someone who needs it and so on and end up buying it.

    New ideas are like that. They take a little while to get used to, especially the bigger they are. I already have arranged a framework of philosophy that accommodates my values, decisions, thoughts that are important to me and ideas and which has nice hooks on which to put all the new information that I acquire. If I am going to adopt something new, it may require a new framework or it may displace some of what's already there. Therefore it requires some time to decide whether it is just an affinity for the familiar, whether the old structure is already serving me well, or whether this new idea is worth amending or changing the whole structure to accommodate.
    Wow, that post is full of WIN. What a cool analogy for new ideas and how they might (or might not) fit into your life.

    I feel like that too, thinking about something new and unexpected that might just be worth the energy, and then deciding how (or whether) to investigate it further, and if I have enough energy for it.

    Very interesting and well-written!

    * heading back to read the others... you're a great writer.

  9. #69
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    This has been rather long! If any other INFJs want to chime in, I certainly don't think that I am the representative of us all and not everything I've written may be reflective of how other INFJs feel.

    Arclight, I wanted to say that I believe you hit the nail on the head. EW and your posts are born out of negative INFJ experiences that engendered a lot of pain or frustration. It is hard not to feel criticized when it is framed in the context of "You should never do this!" rather than "Why do you act as you do? This thing here doesn't make sense to me." However, I do not want to cut off discussion. Both of you bring up issues that are important. How you frame them though will probably impact whether the discussion is productive, or whether people just get defensive. Be more specific and ask more questions, or be specific about an incident and tell what impact it had on you and I think you will get further. This conflict is actually valuable in itself because conflict with all the types is often what distracts us from getting to the heart of the problem, yet the way of going about it effectively is often type specific. I'm learning from it too.

    Blucie - I'd be interested in the feedback you get from your INFJs on this too. I'm glad if any of it has been of interest or use to you. I really wish someone would do something similar for the other types. I don't know enough about some types to know what to ask, and yet it would be nice to have a bit of an "owner's manual" or userguide.

  10. #70
    hyggelig Array EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    re closure:
    This makes a lot of sense, and I do some of that myself. But with regards to the "wound" metaphor, I sometimes feel like, by holding on to these wrongs that were committed to them, the INFJs I know are intentionally leaving the wound raw. Do they consider it to be "closure" when they've settled on putting the problem in a neat little box labeled "grudge" and placing it safely elsewhere?

    To continue the metaphor with me - and this could just be my Si talking - there are always inevitable moments when I open up the junk drawer a couple of years after I've organized everything. And then, if I see a form of organization that I used before that I don't like anymore (e.g. a very messy grudge), I fix it, and close the drawer again. That way, the way I interpret the past becomes more positive and easier to live with. But in the present tense, if a new fact arises, I just go into the junk drawer, take out the old fact and place the new one where the old one was. I guess this is because I approach my memories and beliefs in a very utilitarian and Te way.

    This really is an amazing thread. I had no idea about most of this stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    re venting:
    Would it overall be better though to not engage those who find it taxing unless absolutely necessary, or does expressing appreciation help make it less of a frustrating experience?
    Depends. With people who obviously hate it and resent it, then maybe venting at them more briefly and in a more subtle way, or warning them that you're about to vent and that you don't need advice (which is what my mom does with my INTP dad), or venting at other people, would be better. But in my case (dunno about other people), I'm totally fine with it - because I recognize that I'm being helpful when I listen despite not giving advice - as long as I don't feel like I was shamelessly used by the end. Even the tiniest acknowledgment helps.
    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    re non-disclosure: As mentioned before, I hate emotional surprises. Therefore, before I put something out there, I would like to have weighed what your likely reaction is vs whether it is important enough for conflict or the feeling that reaction may engender in me.
    Interesting! After all those times we've talked on TypeC and ESTJs not wanting to open up - this is so similar! I guess the difference is that with ESTJs, you can't always tell that they're holding anything in at all (hence the fact that awkward things often happen when ESTJs open up, in my experience), whereas I can always tell when my INFJ friends are withholding something. It makes me feel like "I already see that you're upset - am I allowed to know why?"

    So sad about your ESTJ, though. Did you ever end up telling him how you felt about that - i.e. that you were telling him about these things that were important to you and that he gave no response, and that you wished that he could support you in those situations?

    And the "having an argument ready" thing is very interesting to me. I always forget that some people's value systems are based on what they believe, vs. evidence they've seen. Which is stupid of me, because obviously everyone has convictions like that (even NTs, much as they would deny it). And obviously, ESTJs pretty much have an argument ready for every topic

    So thank you for that.

    Oh, and p.s. My INFJ ex-roommate had this interesting habit - my theory is that it came from knowing that she needed to let that information out, and instead of worrying about people's responses, she would deliver the information in a particular way so that she might control the way people responded.

    Example=

    Me: You look exhausted. But you got to bed before me. Rough night sleeping?
    Her (in a cheerful voice): Yeah, I was avoiding going to sleep because I knew that I'd have dreams about my dead father. *pause and subject change* So...
    Me (in my head): AAAAH! WAIT!!! WHAT??!?!
    Me (out loud): *goes along with subject change*

    On the one hand, apparently she trusted me with that information, which is good. On the other hand, it seemed like way too much information to throw on a poor ESTJ roommate that she'd only known for a month and a half. But she needed to talk to someone about it... and I wanted to be supportive... but I just felt like, every time she'd throw out a scary little zinger like that one, wha-BOOM there's another 100 lb weight on my shoulders that I have to deal with. I know this is an unusual example, but it was one of those continuing situations that's uncomfortable in ways that it's difficult to express, and I really hate those situations.
    and it's nice enough to
    make a man
    weep, but I don't
    weep, do
    you?

    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw or gryffindor (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

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