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  1. #11
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    An INFJ who never fully leaves her apartment. That's perfect.

    My childhood had some rough spots, no question. And I do the painfully brutally honest thing, too, and then feel just scalded with shame about it afterwards. Conversations always get too personal too fast because that's where I live -- in the (very) personal.
    Me too - but doesn't it get boring otherwise? When someone else turns a conversation to the deeply personal, something inside of me breathes a HUGE sigh of relief and feels like I can start pretending.

    Went to lunch w/ some really extroverted coworkers yesterday. The pros? I didn't have to talk much. The cons? 75% of the conversation was fluff... but I suppose the mundane details of people's lives are good to know.

  2. #12
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    In my senior year of college, I met a freshman who I became interested in. We would've dated I think if it weren't for the fact that I was leaving school and we had only met in the beginning of the spring semester.

    She was an INFJ and a smart one. Did very well in her classes, but I should also note that she had a very difficult childhood - her mother, it seemed, was highly unstable. Her relationship with her father fared a bit better - though she only saw him on a limited basis. She also grew up very poor and had an unusual amount of responsibility thrust upon her shoulders, taking care of both her little brother and her unstable mother. I also got the feeling there was a lot more to it than anything she ever told me, certainly. Nevertheless, I felt my protective instinct go to full throttle whenever I was with her.

    So here's the meat of this thread: I remember something very distinct about the way in which she'd engage others in conversation. It was almost as if when she did open herself up to other people, it was more a revelation of her internal dialogue than it was a conversation. And it was always just brutally honest about herself and her feelings - often very painful for me or anyone else she trusted to hear. So it's kind of like she was opening a window into her apartment for certain people to see - as opposed to leaving the apartment altogether into the world and interacting with it.

    This was certainly not something she did all the time, but it was safe to say that it was her primary mode of conversing.

    I should also note that my own mother is an INFJ and displays similar patterns of conversing. She also has had some serious trauma in her past. I would brush off the case with the freshman as an isolated incident if it weren't for this fact.

    My initial thought is that, because her outside environment was so troubling and traumatic, that she completely withdrew into herself, sometime in her early development. And as such, the internal dialogue that made up so much a part of her early life is all she has to share with others. This may not be limited to INFJs, but might be a behavior pattern indicative of two primary introverted functions in the cognitive development profile.

    I'm not sure if any of this makes sense, but if it does, I'd love to hear your thoughts. What do you think explains this correlation? Has anyone else noticed this about INFJs in conjunction with difficult childhoods? Do you know of any INFJs who do this?

    Thanks for reading.
    I'm an INFJ who probably would do this in my earlier years. I'm also an INFJ to whom other INFJs do this, and if I'm close to them, I like this behavior a lot. My perspective is something like this -- I mean, aren't novels/books often conversation and questions of a very deep nature? Isn't that part of what they're there for?

    I only recently realized that when people hear about your huge burden of pain you're carrying, they sort of flip out because they don't want to deal with it or it's disturbing to hear. Or they want to keep it light. I'm not exactly sure why people flip, I just know most do.

    I'm the opposite. You become real to me and I can connect with you. My family had this dynamic... my parents would tell me about these things. Only later did I realize this was not normal or healthy - but it became an integral part of my conversational style.

  3. #13
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheFlesh View Post
    Well, I think a lot of INFJ's have troubled childhoods that set them in that personality type. We all have our own barrage of issues
    I disagree that a 'troubled childhood' would set you into a particular type. There will be people of ALL types that had traumatic childhood experiences and yet reacted to those experiences in very different ways and are very different adults.

    Anyhow, 'troubled childhood' is such a vague term. Are we talking physical abuse? Neglect? Apathy? Alcoholism in the family? There are so many things.

    I did not have a 'troubled childhood' in this sense. I grew up in a very safe and privileged (when comparing to the world at large) environment in many ways, of which I am very thankful. But was I a 'troubled child'? In some ways, very much so. I had my own issues that I was battling, just as probably every other teenager in existence did - they just happened to have a different set of issues than the ones I was facing.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  4. #14
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    I disagree that a 'troubled childhood' would set you into a particular type. There will be people of ALL types that had traumatic childhood experiences and yet reacted to those experiences in very different ways and are very different adults.
    Thanks...! I needed to hear that.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Ha! Well, no question that I like it, and immediately take more interest, but other people often seem uncomfortable with it. I have a hard time talking fluff. I keep thinking I'll practice, like, read things I could bring up in fluff conversations, etc. What I usually do is stop talking and listen. Which is fine, too.

  6. #16
    Crazy Diamond Billy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    AAAAAAAAAH! Is this true? It's true that a lot of my female friends are INFJs, and that a lot of them had TONS of family pressure (but they're also immigrants/minorities and a host of other things... but not all are). Are you serious?

    As an INFJ with a fairly ugly past, I'm so scared that this is true. And part of MBTI, for me, was feeling like all my quirks are part of the INFJ personality type, and not just me being damaged. The worst possible read of this statement is that all INFJs are damaged... I'm taking a leap here, I know this isn't logical, but it's where my brain goes and I wanted to share so that some older / wiser INFJs who have dealt with their pasts in more helpful ways could respond.
    I'm willing to bet most of the female friends you have that are INFJs aren't INFJs INFJs are only 1% of the population.
    Ground control to Major Tom

  7. #17
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    Ha! Well, no question that I like it, and immediately take more interest, but other people often seem uncomfortable with it. I have a hard time talking fluff. I keep thinking I'll practice, like, read things I could bring up in fluff conversations, etc. What I usually do is stop talking and listen. Which is fine, too.
    Yeah - just listen, ask questions, and bring up random stuff you have in common... usually good enough Or you can steer it to talk about things you care about but aren't necessarily YOU. Just some [unsolicited] ideas for your list

  8. #18
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    I'm willing to bet most of the female friends you have that are INFJs aren't INFJs INFJs are only 1% of the population.
    I test them And this is a total of like 4 people over a lifetime... so maybe it's possible?

  9. #19
    Crazy Diamond Billy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    I test them And this is a total of like 4 people over a lifetime... so maybe it's possible?
    Oh def possible, the way you worded it I thought you had like 12 of your girlfriends pegged as infjs lol... I didnt realize it was so few over so long a time. So def possible
    Ground control to Major Tom

  10. #20
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    I'm an INFJ who probably would do this in my earlier years. I'm also an INFJ to whom other INFJs do this, and if I'm close to them, I like this behavior a lot. My perspective is something like this -- I mean, aren't novels/books often conversation and questions of a very deep nature? Isn't that part of what they're there for?

    I only recently realized that when people hear about your huge burden of pain you're carrying, they sort of flip out because they don't want to deal with it or it's disturbing to hear. Or they want to keep it light. I'm not exactly sure why people flip, I just know most do.

    I'm the opposite. You become real to me and I can connect with you. My family had this dynamic... my parents would tell me about these things. Only later did I realize this was not normal or healthy - but it became an integral part of my conversational style.
    This has been my experience, as well, aside from the part about your parents. I've really learned to tone it down, personally, because even though my goal is to create a sense of sharing that will get the other person to open to me, it usually just makes them feel emotionally responsible. They hear me talking about all of these problems, and they feel an automatic obligation to comfort me or somehow fix what's wrong.

    And truthfully, that's not far from my goal, since a friendship consists of people who share a concern with each other's happiness, and one person stands to benefit from it as much as the other. It's just that obligation part that I don't like; there are few things that will make someone resent you as much as foisting an unwanted responsibility on them. So I've learned that it's important to keep quiet about my problems unless someone shows a desire to deal with them, and in the meantime, to operate in the capacity of a willing ear.

    It can be very difficult at times--I often find myself making subtle allusions to negative things in my life, as though this is any better than being upfront about it--but ultimately, it leads to greater happiness for everyone involved.
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