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  1. #21
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    I hope it goes well, SilkRoad.

    I know the feeling of being someone's toxic waste dump. Recently I was having this problem where a friend was constantly dumping the same problems on me. She was a good friend, but what happens is when someone is in this kind of turmoil, I don't want to add to their stress by opening up about my problems. So the onesidedness begins. She, too, seemed to be resistant to changing her situation. It was only later that I found out part of the problem was that she was receiving conflicting messages. She was also confiding in someone who has a toxic personality and who, through her influence and counsel, was prolonging my friends problems. Now that person is out of the picture and things are much better, our friendship is in balance again and my friend has dealt with her problem and is very happy.

    It is so hard. Sometimes people may be wanting us to open up to them, and they are trying to invite it by spilling their troubles. But sadly its true, people exist that just want what Cascade described, to use someone else solely to dump on. I knew a girl like this whose main activity was being in a fight with someone in our circle of friends so she could kvetch about them with supposed justification. After the target would capitulate she would choose a new target. Finally, I felt compelled to doorslam this person because I saw the writing on the wall and knew it was a matter of time. The pure ugliness of the whole situation was very hard for me to cope with.

    I hope it doesn't sound like I think the answer to every problem is to cut someone from your life, that is far from the truth. I know hard it really is. I really hope that your friendships endure and improve.
    Thanks. yes, sometimes there are also outside influences you don't really know about. I have also found that sometimes when people vent to you, they are telling you absolutely everything about certain aspects of their life or how they feel about something, but there's a whole other area they're keeping quite hidden from you which is actually very related. That just confuses everything even more.

    I hope my friend takes what I've said to him ok. He might get mad because he can get quite immature when his feelings are hurt. I am bracing myself for that. Or he might just get very cold and withdrawn. I'm sort of hoping for the best that even if he first reacts really badly, or if there is some distancing between us, he goes away and thinks about it a bit when he calms down and we can be closer again when he has some things sorted out. I do know that he's the type of person who doesn't do much self-examination unless he has a shock or there is an immediate threat that he's going to lose something, like an important friendship. Although I did emphasize that I want to stay his friend and that's actually why I'm telling him all this, but I really wouldn't be that surprised if he takes it badly

    I know there are all kinds of different friendships out there. You may have some friends who you spend more time having fun with, others who you have more intellectual discussions with, others who you discuss your emotions and problems with. A mix of all of those is by far the best and healthiest but most friendships will be more weighted in some direction or other.

    But one thing I know about myself for sure, partly through painful experience and partly through studying personality and typology and the like, is that I have to be more assertive about my own needs, and to tell friends when they are trespassing on inappropriate areas, using me, etc. It is sometimes essential to talk to people, even if it's hard and painful, before all the resentment and damage buildings up and explodes.
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  2. #22
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    My friend just wrote back to me and said this:

    "Well I really dont want to make it awkward or anything, but also dont want to put extra issues on your shoulder. I know i have things I need to work at...

    I guess in a open friendship I thought it was about expressing ones thoughts and feelings, i guess not and I have not been the best with personal relationships.

    So I guess we can call it here and see each other when we see each other..."

    I feel sad I don't think he really understood and I think I have hurt his feelings or he feels like I have abandoned him. It's the second part that makes me think that. I don't know if I will write back or what I could say. I might see him socially this weekend with some other people, but it will probably be awkward.

    It's so hard. I think this is someone who I am always guaranteed to have misunderstandings with.
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  3. #23
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    My friend just wrote back to me and said this:
    It comes across slightly narcissistic to my mind. It does indeed sound like he is reacting from hurt and abandonment. Notice he doesn't acknowledge any of the pain you were carrying for him as a friend or any of the ways you offered to sustain the friendship. Its a pity that he cannot see that. I'm sorry, Silk. It sounds like you were a very good friend to him, if that is any comfort. What a shame he couldn't understand your message or feelings properly. He is probably going to feel your absence.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    But one thing I know about myself for sure, partly through painful experience and partly through studying personality and typology and the like, is that I have to be more assertive about my own needs, and to tell friends when they are trespassing on inappropriate areas, using me, etc. It is sometimes essential to talk to people, even if it's hard and painful, before all the resentment and damage buildings up and explodes.
    This is such vital wisdom. I relate to it very much. You did the right thing.

  4. #24
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    It comes across slightly narcissistic to my mind. It does indeed sound like he is reacting from hurt and abandonment. Notice he doesn't acknowledge any of the pain you were carrying for him as a friend or any of the ways you offered to sustain the friendship. Its a pity that he cannot see that. I'm sorry, Silk. It sounds like you were a very good friend to him, if that is any comfort. What a shame he couldn't understand your message or feelings properly. He is probably going to feel your absence.

    This is such vital wisdom. I relate to it very much. You did the right thing.
    Thanks. I guess the door is not closed. I didn't want to doorslam him.

    You make a good point about narcissism. He certainly has a very hard time seeing things outside of his own perspective and needs. It's all complicated by the fact that I had feelings for him for a long time. That part I never handled well, but I think I still tried to be a good friend to him. He has acknowledged that a few times, but almost everything is from his perspective. I don't know how he became such a self-centered person, it kind of freaks me out. It has often seemed to me that he has extremely well developed social graces (he's probably ESFP) and knows how to give the appearance of being someone who cares, reaches out to others. But it tends to be a facade. Being someone who really cares, and not just being someone who LOOKS like they care, is very hard for him, I think.

    At least he acknowledges he has things to work on. Whether he does or not is another matter.

    I hope he will be ok and that he will understand why I wanted to step back in certain respects. Honestly I feel sad for both him and me.
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  5. #25
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    SilkRoad, I think you should still reply to him or maybe talk to him in person? His response isn't very nuanced -- perhaps filling it in, or responding to those points would help? Just an idea. He says he's not been the past (sounds apologetic), wants to work at it, and thinks that friendships are about sharing thoughts/feelings. Maybe you can jump in and say, "we all ahve things to work on, I'm happy you want to fix it; I do too, because you mean a lot to me. And yes, please do share your thoughts and feelings, but just know that I have my problems too and even though I want to always listen, I can't, and I have to take care of my own things too." Or something like that?
    Last edited by mochajava; 08-11-2010 at 11:21 AM. Reason: More thoughts

  6. #26
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    SilkRoad, I think you should still reply to him or maybe talk to him in person? His response isn't very nuanced -- perhaps filling it in, or responding to those points would help? Just an idea. He says he's not been the past (sounds apologetic), wants to work at it, and thinks that friendships are about sharing thoughts/feelings. Maybe you can jump in and say, "we all ahve things to work on, I'm happy you want to fix it; I do too, because you mean a lot to me. And yes, please do share your thoughts and feelings, but just know that I have my problems too and even though I want to always listen, I can't, and I have to take care of my own things too." Or something like that?
    Thanks for that. I did reply as follows:

    "I hope that things will work out well for you whatever you decide. I hope you will be happy. You have a lot of gifts and so much to offer. It's just that sometimes in our lives we have to step back and examine ourselves and work things out largely by ourselves...

    I still consider you my friend and I hope you will still consider me yours."

    I guess it sounds a bit distant, but I am just exhausted. I am not kidding when I say I feel like I have been having steamrollers going up and down across me. I feel drained. There is a long and complicated history to this friendship. I don't think I have ever had such a difficult friendship in my life in terms of the kind of work I have put in and the kind of emotional ups and downs there have been. I am by no means certain whether or not it has been worth it.

    It's likely I will see him this weekend but I'm not sure. If I do it will be in a large group and I anticipate we might just have awkward small talk. It wouldn't be a good setting to get into a big discussion. And I just don't think I can right now.

    With all this, even with a voice in my head shouting "just step back, you're just going to be exhausted and emotionally frustrated", I am quite intensely worried about him because he seems both low and confused. I'll probably leave it for a bit and check in with him down the line. I don't know.

    EDIT: I've repeatedly tried to express a lot of affection and concern for him. I hope he picked up on some of that but it's really hard to tell. I tried to emphasize that so it didn't sound like I was walking away from the friendship.

    Another thing...I start feeling so guilty when I have to distance myself. Even though I probably shouldn't...
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  7. #27
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    Yeah, there may be a point where it's very difficult to make sure that you're understood and everything's clarified. You can caveat and caveat and caveat your words over and over again ("I didn't mean x; what I really meant was y. ... No, not w; I meant v."), but it gets exhausting if taken to an extreme or taken too far.

    Hopefully it all works out, but just know that the exhaustion can be normal.

  8. #28
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Now can I caveat my thoughts?

    You're exhausted - rest. You will do better with this whole exchange, deciding whether or not you want to be distance, etc. if you're rested. I can't think of a single reason you shouldn't rest, whether it's in terms of sleep or in terms of not exposing yourself to emotionally exhausting events.

    I'm reading on another post that it's incredibly INFJ-ish to give advice. And - I am indeed guilty. So, FYI, I am open to hearing when to stop.

  9. #29
    Senior Member You's Avatar
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    Ever tried using the Jedi Mind Trick?

  10. #30
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    Now can I caveat my thoughts?

    You're exhausted - rest. You will do better with this whole exchange, deciding whether or not you want to be distance, etc. if you're rested. I can't think of a single reason you shouldn't rest, whether it's in terms of sleep or in terms of not exposing yourself to emotionally exhausting events.

    I'm reading on another post that it's incredibly INFJ-ish to give advice. And - I am indeed guilty. So, FYI, I am open to hearing when to stop.
    Thanks, you're absolutely right. I have a lot on my plate at the moment - not just this, but also: I live in the UK and airports might close due to strike action at the end of the month, affecting my planned holiday; if the holiday does go ahead ok, I suffer from a fear of flying phobia so am not looking forward to flying; I'm moving in just over a week and am nowhere near ready; I lost my credit card at the beginning of the week and the bank always makes a hash of sending me new ones; I'm kind of behind at work; etc.

    Additional emotional stress is not what I need. I do have to step right back for now. I have done all I could to reassure this person of my continued friendship, I guess for now it's up to him how he takes that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Deja Vu View Post
    Ever tried using the Jedi Mind Trick?
    Damn, I wish that was an option. I always assumed it was fictional. Does it actually work?
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