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Thread: Common INFJ issues

  1. #71
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    I definitely relate to the need for closure too.

    And yes, I have high standards. What I ask from close ones is honesty, open communication and a lack of manipulation. If some people only swear by "absence of judgment, spontaneity, light-hearted banter', that is their choice. I'll stick by mine. If it looks rigid, well, tough! One cannot please everybody.

    Not knowing when to cut someone off sooner? Well, I am having this problem right now. A younger male who is accountable to me, has refused to be held accountable. I've given him far too many second chances that I am getting heartily sick of it. The trouble is that I know his family background and that makes me sorry for him and want to give him structure in his life where structure is absent or inadequate. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and if I am not deluding myself, that kid has got potential if only he will stop his bullshit and clean up his act. What saddens me is that it is highly possible that all these 'second chances' have been seen as 'weakness' and him thinking that he can get away with anything...Never turning up on time for his appointments, flouting the rules, etc.

    Is the problem with ME? Am I part of the problem and not the solution?

    He complained that I was keeping him in a prison with all these rules... I explained to him that these rules are to provide structure. He is a highly narcissistic boy who never seems to care for his peers but always demands that rules be waived for him, that special treatment be given him, that the preferences of others be set aside and his own be given priority. I have refused many times and tried to make him understand that he has to flex for others too.

    I still think that sometimes, no matter how much you act decently towards other people and maintain professional standards and sincerity and integrity, there will be people who will not understand and dismiss or abuse or belittle or make little of the time/concern/care that has been extended to them. It seems like sometimes, you just have to let someone fall flat on their faces and break a nose or something for them to understand.

    Does this sound as one INFJ who is too rigid and too convinced of being right? I can relate with Fidelia - there is much caution before we get to the point where we cut off someone completely.

  2. #72
    にゃん Array runvardh's Avatar
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    Sorry, but these interested me.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    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.
    If you're willing to come at it from the side rather from the front an Ni Ne loop to think of the ideas, then mark them down and judge them last as to the order they can be tried would be the best way to do this in my case with later discussion if either side needed to. Or that would be my attempt at a compromise in my case of needing some thought space.


    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    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?
    As long as this is not your ONLY communication with me, I'm fine with venting. My issue with venting is when that's the ONLY thing or damn near it that I hear from the other person. This is why I pay particularly little attention to my brother's venting is because 80-90% of his communication is venting. Then again, if we're talking about SO as opposed to family and friends I'm more inclinded to deal up to 90% as much as I'd rather not.

    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.
    Would it be helpful to take gas like ideas and help sublimate and crystallize? Like I said before, come at it from the side and take down the ideas, see what may work, then move?
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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  3. #73
    にゃん Array runvardh's Avatar
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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.
    Why not say, "not right now," in the case of little time to think about it, leaving the possibility open for the other so it's not as much of a jerking for them when you decide to do it anyway?


    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.

    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.
    I wonder how you would deal with a situation where the other person is doing the same thing?
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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    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.


  4. #74
    にゃん Array runvardh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    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.
    Hahaha, I'd have to ask the same. I should watch for other's suggestions on this too. ^^;;
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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    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.


  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    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.
    Some of my conclusions are also born out of objective observation, intuition and gut instinct as well.
    If there is a problem with my presentation then that is something I still need to work on. However most INFJs have no problem when my message is positive, and I don't think my method or intent changes with regard to the content. Of course, I could be delusional.

    I don't know if the medium should ever outweigh the message, But I guess that is something that really matters to some people.

  6. #76
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    In response to EJCC:

    No, I think closure and grudges are completely different. Grudges are an issue of immaturity or handling things badly, not type. Closure should be about trying to understand what happened and being solution oriented. I do find that I more than some types need to get it all done as quickly as possible because I sense that there might never be another chance to get it all taken care off. However, with the delayed processing thing, I think I'm done and then I think, "But what about this?? Oh, no, that changes things. I've got to check back." When the questions are all answers and a course of action planned, then I'm done with it forever. I appreciate you adding to the metaphor regarding how you handle it. I have more questions, but need to mull first on that.

    Re venting: In that case, I would like to use this as an excuse to thank you for so graciously listening to my venting about my ESTJ who was in a rather bad place and not representative of typical healthy ESTJ behaviour. You really did perform a very valuable service and I'll never forget it.

    I actually don't mind advice, but I want to be sure that the person has taken the time to fully understand the situation and waited until the emotional storm is over. I do find other people's perspectives useful and they often affect me more than they may original believe.

    Re opening up: Yes! I hate it that I am as transparent as I am, and yet sometimes it is not productive to talk about things when I haven't sorted them out in my own mind yet. I don't want to be hasty and I am picky about being accurate in what I am expressing. It is not a manipulative tactic (see how upset I am, but I won't tell you why because you should know if you're a good person). It's more that I may have to interact with the person, I'm trying desperately hard to be normal and not to indulge in alarming displays of emotion without anything solution-based to offer. I hate crying in front of people or being dubbed over sensitive by people I care about. In the ESTJ case, they are too good at hiding how they have been affected which leads more transparent types like myself to think they really don't care or that they are doing more fine that they really are. I'm not sure whether it's better in that case to leave them alone to deal internally (which seems to be more the T way and the Fi way) or to try to pry a little (which is what I want people to do with me).

    I never did tell the ESTJ exactly in those words. I thought it was obvious that he mattered the world to me that I desperately wanted to go to him about the things I cared about most. Sometimes I think he found it just added to the load of things that he had to worry about, and was frustrating if I wasn't going to just take his advice to make it all better. (Sister-in-law bugging you? Tell her off. She's being ignorant. Or Which would be fine if it didn't impact a lot of other relationships, including access to my nieces and nephews or create more problems down the road. Family is a critical part of my life and you don't just write people off that aren't behaving as you feel they should.) In his own way, he tried to be supportive, but he got frustrated if he couldn't just fix it immediately and make it go away and sometimes if there was something good going on, he felt either jealous or like it was a competition.

    re having an argument ready: My value system is based on evidence that I've seen, but sometimes it is difficult to articulate it quickly and succinctly (particularly if it's something complicated or very important to me) and Te impatience and need for closure doesn't really want to wait around until I untangle my thoughts in a way that is going to resonate and make sense. Probably the difference is that even if ESTJs don't have an argument on hand, they are very good at thinking on their feet and making up one as they go. I remember seeing my ESTJ totally pull things out of his butt that had I not been aware that it was not an area of his expertise, I would have assumed that he knew what he was talking about. I remember him being quite put out at me when I and another girl (both of whom he had just met) contradicted him about where the north star was and we turned out to be right! Something factual like that is no problem. Something that you can't go to a dictionary or atlas or wikipedia and look up for proof is different.


    re your INFJ ex-roommate:

    While it's a weird way to deliver information, usually we don't put any clues out there unless we're testing the waters for how interested/receptive you are in listening. If we pause and you don't pick up on what we just said, we take that silence as tacitly saying you don't feel comfortable encouraging us to talk more or that it isn't a good time. This might be a Fe vs Fi thing. For Fi users, not doing or saying something is neutral. For Fe users, it usually means something. Don't know if it's that, but that's just my theory.

    The way I would usually respond to a remark like that is: "Wow! Have you been having a problem with that lately? How long has he been gone for? What was your relationship like?" etc. Questions that to some people might seem sort of intrusive, but since the other person opened the door for it, I'd assume that they wished to be asked and just weren't sure how to bring it up. If they said, "I'm sorry, I don't want to talk about it", I might double check that they really felt that way and then leave it. So when someone doesn't pick up on something like that, it is taken as either disinterest or discomfort and we figure that marks the spot for where emotional interchange is not going to happen with that person. See, to me, I would just feel that by asking questions, I was gaining more insight into the person's behaviour and unburdening them of their emotional load, but I wouldn't feel that it required a lot of load on my shoulders, other than being sensitive to their needs or not misusing that information.

    I think you are right in part that she needed to unburden herself, but just wasn't sure how, especially since you weren't well acquainted. If it was a habitual thing, I'd say that she just didn't have much awareness or was overly insecure. If it was just occasional, it would mean that she thought you were trustworthy and she had too big of a load to carry without talking about it. Sometimes just from talking it out, it straightens out the problem in my mind and I come to a more workable solution which doesn't just happen from thinking about the problem.

  7. #77
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    If you're willing to come at it from the side rather from the front an Ni Ne loop to think of the ideas, then mark them down and judge them last as to the order they can be tried would be the best way to do this in my case with later discussion if either side needed to. Or that would be my attempt at a compromise in my case of needing some thought space.
    Are you saying write down a list of the problems and possible solutions? I think that is what I do mentally, but maybe I don't understand completely either.

    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh
    As long as this is not your ONLY communication with me, I'm fine with venting. My issue with venting is when that's the ONLY thing or damn near it that I hear from the other person. This is why I pay particularly little attention to my brother's venting is because 80-90% of his communication is venting. Then again, if we're talking about SO as opposed to family and friends I'm more inclinded to deal up to 90% as much as I'd rather not.
    Oh yeah, nobody likes that. Or a person who is only willing to talk about their own problems but not reciprocate. Talking mostly about SO, roommate or parent here. Something really close.

    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh
    Would it be helpful to take gas like ideas and help sublimate and crystallize? Like I said before, come at it from the side and take down the ideas, see what may work, then move?
    Elaborate, please!

  8. #78
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    Why not say, "not right now," in the case of little time to think about it, leaving the possibility open for the other so it's not as much of a jerking for them when you decide to do it anyway?
    Now that I've become more aware that other people don't think that way, I will more often.

    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh
    I wonder how you would deal with a situation where the other person is doing the same thing?
    Yeah, I've thought about that. I think it's one of the reasons why I need to get better about being less protective and also why I don't think INFJs should be in relationships with each other. Too much potential for misunderstanding and nothing to draw either one out or make them take more risks.

  9. #79
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    Some of my conclusions are also born out of objective observation, intuition and gut instinct as well.
    If there is a problem with my presentation then that is something I still need to work on. However most INFJs have no problem when my message is positive, and I don't think my method or intent changes with regard to the content. Of course, I could be delusional.

    I don't know if the medium should ever outweigh the message, But I guess that is something that really matters to some people.
    I don't know if the medium should outweigh the message either, but I know in my case that it does. On the boards here, I have noticed (usually ENFPs) run into trouble with some types over that issue as well. With me, it's usually how I express/interpret shades of emotion. With them, it is semantics. How it is stated matters almost as much to me as what is said. I wish it didn't matter so much. I think INFJs are pretty sensitive to criticism, so you don't have to worry that what you say is not getting through. If anything, it probably does get magnified more than it was intended to be taken. If the INFJ doesn't think you properly understand the situation or that you are attacking them as a person rather than their behaviour, they will get all bristly.

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immaculate Cloud View Post
    I definitely relate to the need for closure too.

    And yes, I have high standards. What I ask from close ones is honesty, open communication and a lack of manipulation. If some people only swear by "absence of judgment, spontaneity, light-hearted banter', that is their choice. I'll stick by mine. If it looks rigid, well, tough! One cannot please everybody.

    Not knowing when to cut someone off sooner? Well, I am having this problem right now. A younger male who is accountable to me, has refused to be held accountable. I've given him far too many second chances that I am getting heartily sick of it. The trouble is that I know his family background and that makes me sorry for him and want to give him structure in his life where structure is absent or inadequate. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and if I am not deluding myself, that kid has got potential if only he will stop his bullshit and clean up his act. What saddens me is that it is highly possible that all these 'second chances' have been seen as 'weakness' and him thinking that he can get away with anything...Never turning up on time for his appointments, flouting the rules, etc.

    Is the problem with ME? Am I part of the problem and not the solution?

    He complained that I was keeping him in a prison with all these rules... I explained to him that these rules are to provide structure. He is a highly narcissistic boy who never seems to care for his peers but always demands that rules be waived for him, that special treatment be given him, that the preferences of others be set aside and his own be given priority. I have refused many times and tried to make him understand that he has to flex for others too.

    I still think that sometimes, no matter how much you act decently towards other people and maintain professional standards and sincerity and integrity, there will be people who will not understand and dismiss or abuse or belittle or make little of the time/concern/care that has been extended to them. It seems like sometimes, you just have to let someone fall flat on their faces and break a nose or something for them to understand.

    Does this sound as one INFJ who is too rigid and too convinced of being right? I can relate with Fidelia - there is much caution before we get to the point where we cut off someone completely.
    I've run into just what you are talking about too. Maybe it depends someone on the person's prior experiences and on what personality type they are themselves. Halla's approach where he feels sometimes people just need to hear it straight up works amazingly well for some, and would only harden others. Our approach of trying to take everything into account and seeing the potential can sometimes become delusional or taken advantage of, or for some it may be the bit that they need as a catalyst for change. That's why I think we all need a variety of kinds of people in our life. They all impact us differently.

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