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  1. #21
    Aspiring Troens Ridder KLessard's Avatar
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    Gloriana (INFJ) recently started a thread about INFJs and narcissistic mothers. She saw a correlation there.

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...c-mothers.html

    I have had a difficult relationship with my mother for many reasons, and one of the most painful feelings I got was that what I was and what I was interested in did not matter to her. So, yes, I keep a lot of things to myself because I feel that nobody cares, unless they open a door and appear interested. And sometimes they do, and I still won't open up. Once, my ENFP friend said to me: "Don't assume that we don't care about what you are saying."

    I guess we can be enigmatic and only open a tiny window, hoping people will understand we need them. I don't blame you if you don't get it. Fellow NFs are usually good at guessing, though.

  2. #22
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLessard View Post
    Gloriana (INFJ) recently started a thread about INFJs and narcissistic mothers. She saw a correlation there.

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...c-mothers.html
    The only problem with these sorts of attempts at correlations is that A) You're only going to get feedback from those who DO relate, even if, say, 95% of the rest of the infj's do not relate and thus do not post, and B) There isn't a correlation unless you create an identical thread for all other 15 types, same overall sample size/pool, and learn that the other 15 types generally never had narcissistic mothers.

    Basically, I'd expect just as many estp's in the world to have had narcissistic mothers, same with intp's, same with enfp's (actually greater overall numbers with some of the other types, since there are greater numbers (supposedly) of these other types within the entire population than there are infj's, but maybe it would be the same % within type)... but again, the way each type reacts and incorporates all of this into their life view will vary.

    Same goes with what was mentioned of 'troubled childhoods' ..you're going to have millions of children out there with the same sort of external factors in their lives, be it violence or any number of other things..but those millions are going to be comprised of all 16 types, each perceiving and therefore reacting and coping differently to the same stimulus. Potentially. In some cases, the reactions might be the same.

    By the way, this isn't directed towards you at all, and I'm in no ways diminishing anyones' negative childhoods or life experiences , as we've all had them, some much much worse than others... I'm just challenging the concept of these supposed correlations.


    ------------

    To the OP - truthfully, I don't know if I do this or not, or if it's perceived by others in this light. Those who I am close to would be much better at knowing whether I speak in the manner you are referring to.
    "...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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  3. #23
    Senior Member Onceajoan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    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.
    This is me. This is my childhood. Except: Didn't grow up poor. But my family struggled financially. Two brothers instead of one.

    In terms of the protective instinct, my best friend once told me that men are attracted to my vulnerability. It's probably true. I find that some men are protective of me (even those without a romantic interest - sensing somehow that I am wounded). It does bother me that they perceive me this way because I am actually quite strong. However, I do appreciate their warmth, comfort and chilvalrous ways. idk, there's some mixed feelings there. I'm not looking for a Knight in Shining Armor. I don't need to be rescued. A "Knight in Shining Armor" is a red flag for me. Coming across as vulnerable is not a safe thing. There are men who have tried to take advantage of my vulnerability to fullfill their own needs.

    Secondbest - Since you mentioned how your protective instinct goes into high gear, should I assume you're attracted to vulnerable women?

    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    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.

    I'm not sure if I understand the apartment metaphor. It's very poetic though I'll try to pretend I understand. Leaving the apartment is an impossibility in that state. There's such a profound sense of pain and loss (speaking from my own experience). Especially if you've been in denial in the past regarding the extent in which you've become wounded and damaged. It's hard to connect with the world because all you end up doing is reliving the memories, experiencing the pain, reliving the memories, feeling sad, feeling angry. You become caught up in it. It cycles over and over again til you're dizzy and there's no escape. You try to comprehend it through your internal dialogue but all you hear are echoes. You need validation to heal. You need others to hear you. You need others to hear your pain. And many people just don't give a shit! Those who do seem to care, don't understand. It seems that no one understands the hell you've been through. But still, you need them to hear the pain. And it's not pretty and it's not fun. Yet, you need someone to hear. It seems selfish because it's your life not theirs. Why should they feel your pain? But why the hell not? YOU felt the pain, the pain THEY feel for you could not even come close to the pain you experienced. Besides, these so called friends don't really understand anyways. So, as we're all exchanging stories about our wonderful childhoods and it's now your turn, you reply: "No I didn't have the idyllic childhood. Unlike you, I don't have relatives in San Diego. We don't go visiting every Christmas. In fact, I don't even know where they live because I don't talk to them anymore. (That's great as a conversational stopper). *mouths drop* Really. No one really wants to hear the truth. You're better making up some bullshit story.

    I think your friend was probably so full of emotions and processing things from her past that she needed to release them in a safe environment. Was she in therapy at the time? I remember being in a phase where I did that a bit. Or I suffered in silence, but was so good at "acting" (coming across as sooo together) that no one knew. It was good, BTW, that she had good friends like you to talk to, otherwise, it could have been potentially dangerous. In my case, I realized it wasn't fair to have my friends carry that burden. I went into therapy which helped immensely. My relationship with my friends improved and became healthier as a result.

    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    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.
    You're a natural - therapist. It's a good theory. In my case, I wouldn't say that was the case. I am a One, however, in part, due to my childhood upbringing, I think. Superego is strong. Constant dialogue with the inner critic. Need to feel in control. Control is maintained through the mind and withholding emotions. This all develops because there is too much chaos and emotions in the environment. Control needs to come from within. Things need to make sense because nothing makes sense. If nothing makes sense, I will go insane. But I wouldn't say that I felt that was all I had to share with others because during childhood I didn't associate with what was happening to me. I disassociated. That doesn't mean I didn't feel pain. But I didn't share it with others. Only later, removed from the situation, having left home could I really start processing any of it.

    Sorry about your mother. I'm familiar with PTSD (unfortunately).

    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    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?
    Not sure I see the connection. Only I can come up with: NFs are highly sensitive types. I think that they may be more susceptible to PTSD. This could also apply to SFs (I think) - the key is F. When you combine a sensitive child NF with a whacked out mom, it's not a good combination. An NF child is less likely to have the armor to protect him or herself. In my family, my brother (the most sweetest person in the world) an ISFP, was completely destroyed by my mother. It's really sad how his life has turned out. Unfortunately, he was born with a temperment that made the whole situation worse for him. My second brother, an ESTP, seemed to turn out relatively well (although he was doted on--another story...) In my case, I was a sensitive child (my mother always said, "why do you have to be so damn sensitive!), however I was always in my head as a way of defending myself. I'm borderline INFJ/INTJ - so the NT came in handy (unfortunately, I ended up repressing a lot of my feelings which it's taken years to recover).

    Sorry for the long post. I could relate to a lot of this. Thanks. That was very helpful. But it made me cry when I reread it.
    Last edited by Onceajoan; 09-01-2010 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Perfectionist

  4. #24
    Senior Member Onceajoan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheFlesh View Post
    It's like I don't understand my emotions fluently enough to just state them as a fact, and even as I state what I am feeling I have to state what makes me think they could be something else so the person can see the whole jumbled mess going through my head.

    Sorry, that last part might be really confusing
    This makes perfect sense to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    I had a seriously traumatic childhood and teen years too. I think INFjs in general have very rich inner dialogue, I know I do, its why I think writing comes easier to me then speaking, less fumbling around and I never have to leave my head and use my mouth. Just my fingers. I think INFJs tend to be super self introspective and we spend a lot of time in our heads working things out and figuring things out, so when we do decide to spill the beans, it flows rather clearly, and people are shocked at the ease and the depth of knowledge I have of myself.
    Yep. This ^ We're quite clever that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    INFJs being long term thinkers also tend to plan out what we think and would say to people about certain things looooooooong before it ever comes down to the actual talking.
    Yep. Yep. Yep. I have a conversation all planned out six weeks from now. We're really schemers and manipulators. MMMMWWWWAHAHAHAHAH!

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsAGuy View Post
    I'm not sure what was supposed to have been troubled about my childhood, though. Nothing I can recall. I know being introverted in school made me an outcast, and that didn't help (and further reinforced being introverted), but nothing traumatic or stressful to speak of.
    It's not that IF you are an INFJ, you are somehow screwed up or experienced trauma. I theorize, however, if an INFJ was exposed to potentially traumatic inducing experience, that INFJ might more likely develop trauma (PTSD) than another type. For example, during major wars, veterans often develop PTSD. It would be interesting to determine whether INFJs suffered from PTSD with more frequency than other types. I'm sure there are studies that indicate personality attributes which makes individuals more susceptible.
    Last edited by Onceajoan; 09-01-2010 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Messed up quotes

  5. #25
    Aspiring Troens Ridder KLessard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    The only problem with these sorts of attempts at correlations is that A) You're only going to get feedback from those who DO relate, even if, say, 95% of the rest of the infj's do not relate and thus do not post, and B) There isn't a correlation unless you create an identical thread for all other 15 types, same overall sample size/pool, and learn that the other 15 types generally never had narcissistic mothers.

    Basically, I'd expect just as many estp's in the world to have had narcissistic mothers, same with intp's, same with enfp's (actually greater overall numbers with some of the other types, since there are greater numbers (supposedly) of these other types within the entire population than there are infj's, but maybe it would be the same % within type)... but again, the way each type reacts and incorporates all of this into their life view will vary.

    Same goes with what was mentioned of 'troubled childhoods' ..you're going to have millions of children out there with the same sort of external factors in their lives, be it violence or any number of other things..but those millions are going to be comprised of all 16 types, each perceiving and therefore reacting and coping differently to the same stimulus. Potentially. In some cases, the reactions might be the same.

    By the way, this isn't directed towards you at all, and I'm in no ways diminishing anyones' negative childhoods or life experiences , as we've all had them, some much much worse than others... I'm just challenging the concept of these supposed correlations.
    I agree with you that a difficult childhood will not produce a particular type. I just pointed out to a thread with a similar reflection to that of the OP and thought he might be interested in reading those testimonies.

    I think a difficult past will amplify puzzling traits in the INFJ or any other type for that matter.
    A child INFJ's feeling of rejection or abandonment will probably make him even harder to read later in life, because he will hide and retreat more than what is expected out of shame and fear. Unless he experiences true healing.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onceajoan View Post

    Secondbest - Since you mentioned how your protective instinct goes into high gear, should I assume you're attracted to vulnerable women?
    It certainly seems that way, especially in recent years. In the past, before this freshman, I've been attracted to the kind of women who exhibit a type of innocence - a pure and untainted way of looking at the world, something I craved to experience for myself. Lately, I'm more drawn to those who have suffered greatly in their lives, as I guess, I seek to be understood as well as to be in a position to understand. Not entirely sure.

    What I can say for sure in terms of what attracts me in a woman, and what has irrevocably left me in something of a pickle lately, is witnessing the way in which a woman loves others . I don't know if you remember from your INFP and male gazing thread, but I had mentioned someone that I had met online a few months ago and since lost contact with as a result of her disinterest. I could tell you the exact moment that I fell for her - it was the way she responded to a friend in distress. The purity, intensity, and focus with which she redirected her energy towards the friend was something I had never seen anyone do - except me. It was STRIKINGLY familiar and to this day, and I can't stop thinking about how rare and impressive that intuited moment was.

    They say that people love others the way they want to be loved themselves. I wanted the chance to love her the way she was loving her friend, but I think I may not be equipped to do so anymore, for reasons I won't get into right now. Perhaps, that's why she was not interested.

    Most recently however, I have begun to question my instincts regarding this incident and have since slowly learned to let go.

    I'm not sure if I understand the apartment metaphor. It's very poetic though I'll try to pretend I understand. Leaving the apartment is an impossibility in that state. There's such a profound sense of pain and loss (speaking from my own experience). Especially if you've been in denial in the past regarding the extent in which you've become wounded and damaged. It's hard to connect with the world because all you end up doing is reliving the memories, experiencing the pain, reliving the memories, feeling sad, feeling angry. You become caught up in it. It cycles over and over again til you're dizzy and there's no escape. You try to comprehend it through your internal dialogue but all you hear are echoes. You need validation to heal. You need others to hear you. You need others to hear your pain. And many people just don't give a shit! Those who do seem to care, don't understand. It seems that no one understands the hell you've been through. But still, you need them to hear the pain. And it's not pretty and it's not fun. Yet, you need someone to hear. It seems selfish because it's your life not theirs. Why should they feel your pain? But why the hell not? YOU felt the pain, the pain THEY feel for you could not even come close to the pain you experienced. Besides, these so called friends don't really understand anyways. So, as we're all exchanging stories about our wonderful childhoods and it's now your turn, you reply: "No I didn't have the idyllic childhood. Unlike you, I don't have relatives in San Diego. We don't go visiting every Christmas. In fact, I don't even know where they live because I don't talk to them anymore. (That's great as a conversational stopper). *mouths drop* Really. No one really wants to hear the truth. You're better making up some bullshit story.

    I think your friend was probably so full of emotions and processing things from her past that she needed to release them in a safe environment.
    Was she in therapy at the time? I remember being in a phase where I did that a bit. Or I suffered in silence, but was so good at "acting" (coming across as sooo together) that no one knew. It was good, BTW, that she had good friends like you to talk to, otherwise, it could have been potentially dangerous. In my case, I realized it wasn't fair to have my friends carry that burden. I went into therapy which helped immensely. My relationship with my friends improved and became healthier as a result.

    You're a natural - therapist. It's a good theory. In my case, I wouldn't say that was the case. I am a One, however, in part, due to my childhood upbringing, I think. Superego is strong. Constant dialogue with the inner critic. Need to feel in control. Control is maintained through the mind and withholding emotions. This all develops because there is too much chaos and emotions in the environment. Control needs to come from within. Things need to make sense because nothing makes sense. If nothing makes sense, I will go insane. But I wouldn't say that I felt that was all I had to share with others because during childhood I didn't associate with what was happening to me. I disassociated. That doesn't mean I didn't feel pain. But I didn't share it with others. Only later, removed from the situation, having left home could I really start processing any of it.
    This was EXACTLY what I was looking for - though in retrospect I wasn't too clear in wording the question. Thank you!!


    Not sure I see the connection. Only I can come up with: NFs are highly sensitive types. I think that they may be more susceptible to PTSD. This could also apply to SFs (I think) - the key is F. When you combine a sensitive child NF with a whacked out mom, it's not a good combination. An NF child is less likely to have the armor to protect him or herself. In my family, my brother (the most sweetest person in the world) an ISFP, was completely destroyed by my mother. It's really sad how his life has turned out. Unfortunately, he was born with a temperment that made the whole situation worse for him. My second brother, an ESTP, seemed to turn out relatively well (although he was doted on--another story...) In my case, I was a sensitive child (my mother always said, "why do you have to be so damn sensitive!), however I was always in my head as a way of defending myself. I'm borderline INFJ/INTJ - so the NT came in handy (unfortunately, I ended up repressing a lot of my feelings which it's taken years to recover).

    Sorry for the long post. I could relate to a lot of this. Thanks. That was very helpful. But it made me cry when I reread it.
    It seems the conclusion that I've come to is that the ones who haven't had difficult childhoods in the way I meant it in the OP are few and far between...

  7. #27
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    She was an INFJ ... she had a very difficult childhood - her mother, it seemed, was highly unstable. ...

    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.

    This was certainly not something she did all the time, but it was safe to say that it was her primary mode of conversing.
    wow, you've just described two INFJs: myself and my soulmate. She had an abusive childhood and is somewhat damaged as a result (which makes me wonder how much of the INFJ traits are activated environmentally rather than being innate), but I'd never had anyone open up to me like she did. It was absolute and total bliss for me. I on the other hand, totally open up my inner conversation when I communicate. This mode of conversation was too painful for my GF, so I've got to watch that around her. She can be completely open, but doesn't like to be around those who are likewise open, but I see this partly as an avoidant issue, she needs to counseled by but not be the counselor to her significant other. But with others I trust (or am above in a power dynamic), i can go completely into stream of consciousness conversation. It disturbs some people that I am so open, so self-critical, so conflicting, so deconstructionist with my own thoughts.

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