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.