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Thread: INFJ shifting to INTP?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Array
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    Nov 2010

    Default INFJ shifting to INTP?

    Heya :blushing:
    New to the forum, but I've started reading some days ago ^_^

    I'm an INFJ in need of some insight and clarification about something I'm going through.
    I'm not able to fully classify actions/behaviors thru the 4 letters yet, and I think I'm in need to do this, cos I want to understand what's happening to me.
    I feel I'm sliding into another type, to cope with the situation I'm in.
    I want to know which one... not knowing is making feel kinda stranded.

    I'm a girl and I'm at my first relationship with another girl.
    We met three years ago, in an online game.
    She lives in another country, 10 hours of flight far from mine... but last year we met and spent a weekend together. Things went great so we decided to give this relationship a serious try: I planned to spend 3 months at her.
    I arrived here in August and I'm going to live in early December.
    She lives with her parents, after a failed, abusive marriage she was in.

    We dreamt a lot, together, about this.
    We used to spend hours in imagining all the things we could in these 3 months.
    Watching movies or our fave TV shows together, cuddling on the sofa, cooking our fave dishes for each other, etc etc.

    I couldn't wait to come here and have all of this.
    I arrived and things didn't turn out as I expected.

    She wasn't so affectionate to me as she was online, to the point to make me feel neglected.
    To this I reacted in the worst way: I started to give affection, loads... sort of try to compensate what I wasn't getting.
    So the less I was getting, the more I was giving... and of course she wasn't responsive to my tries.
    I started to be demanding, clingy, needy, controlling.
    This is an aspect of my personality I NEVER experienced before.
    As INFJ I'm alergic to control... so what happened?

    Is this my F gone wild? Or which other letter messed up so much with me?

    I was watching myself not understanding what I was doing, sort of: this is not me.

    I think she's INFJ too... but I'm not sure.
    (She seems more ISTJ to me now... maybe she's shifting too x_x)

    I know for sure that she caves.
    She was dwelling in her cave when I was doing that... and it was poisonous to her.

    As INFJ, I have an understanding of cave time... I go in that mode a lot, and I know how it feels to be pressured to go outside by needy friends.. I know how it makes me feel bad and how I do NOT need that, cos it makes me feel guilty and it actually slows down the process of exiting it.

    So here it's my second question: how can it be, that being so understanding of cave time, when I see it in her... I don't recognize it and I feel abandoned, left out?
    Is this cos I'm involved and I'm having an attached vision of it?
    Is this again my F?

    She tried to talk to me and said that I was being too much affectionate for her, that she's not used to that, that she spent most of her marriage feeling neglected and in isolation and just can't take so many hugs and cuddles in a day.
    She asked to slow down and to build up affection...
    I understood this rationally, but I just couldn't stop.
    I guess I was eaten up by my anxiety and feelings of being abandoned.

    I was in some serious pain, cos we weren't doing things together... in our daily life and not anymore online.
    You have to keep in mind that for all the last year most of my time online was spent with her.

    This feeling of being so close to her, yet so far... to live under the same roof, even in the same room, yet being on two different PCs, doing separate things, was driving me mad.

    There were lots of days where I used to run to bathroom and cry - trying to hide my pain from her.
    I didn't hide too well, since she noticed I was in pain and felt horribly guilty.

    I kept pressuring about spending more time together and I took her to the breaking point.
    She wrote me a letter where she said that though loving me a lot, she wasn't in love.
    That she couldn't feel the spark anymore... and that she couldn't understand why.
    And also that she was feeling horribly cos I was in pain.

    Then she added that she felt pressured a LOT... that she was caving but she felt pressured to go out and this was affecting us negatively.

    This sorta worked as a (hurtful) waking call for me.
    I realized the damage I was doing, and that I was smothering the point that she was doubting her feelings for me.
    So I asked not to break up, that we had 2 more months to spend under the same roof... and to give us time.
    She accepted.

    And I started to change.
    I backed off completely.
    I immediately stopped the random hugs and kisses and physical touch (holding her hand, caressing her shoulder etc).
    I tried to forget my expectations.
    This was very hard and there's still times where I think of what I dreamt to have, what I was supposed to have... and it's hurtful.
    But I'm slowly accepting things as they are. Not as I planned them to be.

    So I need to live in the moment.
    To deal with one thing at time.
    To plan as things go.
    To not plan at all.
    To be super understanding and to accept whatever way she wants to spend her time.

    I needed to stop taking things personally.
    I started to respect her caving, her need to be separate from me online or in the daily life.
    I stopped asking things.
    I started to occupy my time differently.
    I stopped being dependant.

    Then I slowly moved to find some kind of balance in this:
    I started to ask again - but at the same time accepting a no.

    I stopped guilting her.

    I found a moment of the day that she could accept as 'cuddles'.
    When she goes to bed, I go there and I rub her shoulders.. or I caress her head till when she falls asleep.
    I asked if this was ok for her to handle - she's fine with it and enjoys it.
    It's now an established routine.

    I'm not pressuring to have more - and to have an actual romantic moment, like a kiss.

    I'm listening her a lot and I'm understanding, even if she needs to talk about stuff that hurts me.

    Things are now better for both of us, cos this way is less painful for me - though it demands a huge, constant work on myself - which I'm willing to do cos I see hope.

    And she started to be much more responsive, to spend more time with me and even to try some first steps (like..walking to me and hugging me etc)

    So my big question is... what am I becoming? o.O
    I'm holding back all of my needs.
    I'm forcing myself to understanding and acceptance. (T?)
    I'm forcing myself to constantly adapt to the scenario she places me in. (P?)

    My guess is that I'm moving to INTP.

    I also would like to know if this is common.
    Cos I feel I'm acting as a chamaleon... has this happened to some of you?
    Shifting to another type in order to deal with a difficult situation?
    Is this change something "in surface" only?

    Please let me know your thoughts

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array INTP's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    5w4 sx


    people dont change their type, but they can act like different type than what they actually are in some situation(long or short term). the fact that you need to force yourself to understanding and acceptance for example proves that it doesent come naturally to you, means that its the kind of behavior outside of your type. even if you would be able to act in these ways freely after forcing yourself to do so for a while wont make you a different type, your type will remain the same, but you learned to act in different way.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung


  3. #3
    Consulting Detective Array Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Aug 2010


    That's an interesting story and I hope all works out for the best of both of you. It sounds like she has a bit of conflicted feelings.

    No, you're not moving to INTP. The Fe function often tries to please people and relies on social interaction and affection. It's lucky you're not Fe dom or you probably wouldn't have been able to stop. I think your Fe is just taking a step back and realising that to create the best harmony in the relationship and keep both of you as happy as possible, it must be less affectionate, at least for the time being. Hopefully eventually, she will become more open to it or you will become less emotionally needy. She was in an abusive relationship so it is not at all unusual to be rather avoidant of human contact, as part of the trauma involved.

    Good luck.
    Ti | Fi | Ne | Si | Te | Ni | Fe | Se
    Enneagram: 5w4 sx/sp

    "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array cafe's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    INFj None


    I've found that I usually adapt to the needs of others fairly quickly. I've been married to an INTP for quite awhile, and early in our marriage he was kind of overwhelmed and still adjusting so he needed space. I learned to give him space. It was a little lonely, but I've always been a reader and have my own interests, so I managed.

    Now that we more used to each other and our kids are less needy and he doesn't work around people, he actually seems to have a greater need for attention/affection than I have a need to give, so I am making an effort to adjust to that.

    I imagine I've developed some of my TP traits in response to my partner more than I might otherwise have. Other traits I've had to develop the opposite to make up for the shortfall. Still others I've been free to let go because they aren't important to us or I know he will take care of it so I don't have to think about it. Still an INFJ. Test as an INFP most of the time, though, because most of my J is in my head and I'm spacey as all get out.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #5
    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    4 sx/sp
    INFp None


    Relationships are difficult. I wish you the best. It's a difficult situation to feel guilty for having an emotional response and someone finding out. When hiding that pain a person ends up feeling the guilt they are sparing the other person for not finding out. That can get out of balance and can help to have counseling which always focuses on the neutral quality of emotions - they just are neither good or bad.

    In a way I've shifted to different types all my life, but only in a certain kind of way (internally), so on one level I'm not sure what came first or what is at the core. That question probably goes deeper for more people than realize it. I tend to see my true self as the one who asks the hardest questions internally, felt the deepest pain, and solved the hardest problems in my life. Other people certainly have a variety of unrealistic impressions of me. I think that might be part of the INFJ type.
    The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN

    If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY

  6. #6
    Emerging Array Tallulah's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    Yeah, like others have said, you're not becoming an INTP. You're an INFJ who is adapting her behavior.
    Something Witty

  7. #7
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    Nov 2010


    Thankies for all the responses, this is helping me a lot

    Can anyone reply to my question about not being able understand cave time if I'm excluded from it?
    Is it cos my emotions (=abandon) are in the way of my understanding?

  8. #8
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    May 2009
    1w2 so/sx


    This sounds like a T who is processing things by caving and who also is having a very difficult time with trusting anyone. INFJs tend to turn to people close to them when they are going through stuff and they also need to talk to process things. Therefore her turning away when she's going through stuff feels like complete rejection of you and makes you feel panicky (this is somewhat type related and somewhat related to her previous experiences). Her non-verbal behaviour confirms those feelings of panic, so you hover, trying to establish home base before you can feel good about venturing further away.

    In addition, INFJs tend to want to feel understood by the other person and crave to understand them as well. When we are thwarted on both counts it makes us feel uncertain, resentful, lonely, and needy, even if we loathe all of those qualities. We like alone time just fine. It's the potential negative emotional surprises and uncertainty that you are reacting to.

    I totally identity with what you are describing and tried to do what you are doing for three years. My advice now would be to get out. There's definitely a lot of flex that both people have to develop to make a relationship work, particularly when they are very different. Her past experiences combined with her behaviour though indicate that this is about more than adjusting to differences in type (which is difficult enough!)

    You deserve someone who is in emotional shape to meet you in the middle. You can twist yourself around to try to make this thing work, but the fact is that this is an individual problem, not a couple problem. You are not disrespectful of someone's need for alone time. You just need to know that all is well and that assurance is being withheld. Because of the trust issues there, it is more likely that she will leave after you have invested even more heavily and yet she will do the push pull thing with you enough in the meantime (because she truly does like you but then panics when she gets too close and realizes she would be in bad shape if things didn't work out) which will keep you coming back for more.

    It is tempting to try to "fix" things for the other person (INFJs are suckers for that), but it is a bottomless pit that only the person themselves can fill. She will not be able to absorb your love until she faces those things that made her insecure in the first place and resolves them. Intimacy and communication are only possible when there is vulnerability and trust. Vulnerability is not possible when the person is constantly making a contingency plan for what to do if they can't trust you or is pushing you away whenever they start to feel emotionally attached. This is an individual problem and she needs to face it on her own before she will be able to be content with you or with any of the circumstances or people in her life.

    INFJs are loyal and accommodating to a fault and it takes a long time for us to catalogue behaviour, decide if our reaction to it is reasonable or not, then try every solution possible on our part to fix it before finally giving up. In most cases the other person will call it quits first. Sometimes it is important to think about how this affecting you, so that you don't your sense of self or have your personal resources bled dry so you can't take care of your own needs, let alone anyone else's.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array mochajava's Avatar
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    Jul 2010


    Fidelia, what do you mean by "cataloguing behavior"?

  10. #10
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    May 2009
    1w2 so/sx


    I mean having enough small things happen to start noticing common underlying patterns in them. I think at first, I anyways, tend to discount a misunderstanding between me and someone else as being my own fluctuating emotions, that I was tired, that we are getting to know each other, that I've got other stress that was making my rope shorter. However, after some time goes by, I think most people notice what usually triggers problems between them as a couple, what their individual responses are etc. Over time, patterns usually develop that would indicate it is not about that particular incident, but rather an underlying problem - whether an insecurity, an anger or control issue, a habitual way of dealing with something, a response to stress, a repetetive problem in how one or both of you express frustration etc.

    Kind of the same thing as when you keep a food journal and suddenly discover that you get hungry for bad stuff at the same time every day and need to have a healthy snack handy for then, or that you reach for food when you are feeling stressed etc. This is the same thing, except looking at what causes problems and some ways of heading them off.

    The problem with insecurity is that it is not something that the other person can fix. It manifests itself in many different ways and makes direct communication virtually impossible, so nothing can get resolved. The lack of resolution or the symptoms manifested by insecurity is usually what creates the distance, not the insecurity itself.

    Usually misunderstandings arise from a lack of information. However, when the person who might be able to offer additional information is not able to express their needs or fears or give background to explain their behaviour, it leaves the other person in a bewildering and frustrating position without any productive course of action to follow. The emotional landmines could be anywhere, which makes them become overly cautious and fearful, immobile, or overaccommodating.

    Other symptoms that happen when dealing with this is that the more insecure person tends to hold the most decision making power, while retaining the least amount of responsibility in the relationship (this may be emotionally, financially etc). Often the insecure person becomes jealous of anyone or anything that matters too much to the healthier person, so they end up cutting themselves off from those things to avoid further conflict (or because they are busy trying to establish their relationship more securely). This means that they end up lacking the perspective that other activities and a support system would normally give and feel even more needy and smothering, even if that kind of behaviour is very uncharacteristic of them. The more insecure person easily stays in control of the relationship because their partner feels emotionally uncertain and is trying to accommodate and make things work. I don't think much if any of this is consciously done, but it has a very harmful effect. For a relationship to be healthy, the balance of power needs to be equal, both in decision-making and in responsibilities.

    It is not someone's fault that things have happened to them that have shaken their trust in people. However, it is important for them not to ignore the subsequent work that is required for them to do personally before they will be able to be fully present and invested in any relationships that happen afterwards.

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