User Tag List

Results 1 to 5 of 5

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    4
    Posts
    12

    Default NF's: Do you often feel responsible for other people's feelings?

    This has been an ongoing issue for me throughout my life, although recently I've gotten quite a bit better at putting my own emotions first. A few days ago I really put my foot down and ended a friendship with someone who has been pretty selfish and neglectful of me in recent months, and who I feel has been blowing me off (we used to date but decided to just be friends earlier this year). The thing is, he's terrible at communicating his feelings and understanding his own selfish behavior (He has bipolar disorder and I suspect may also even have mild Aspergers), and I've been plagued with guilt ever since I ended it. I know I did the right thing for myself, and that I was never going to get the kind of friendship/relationship that I'd wanted, but I still can't shake the feeling of guilt that he may not fully understand why I left and may just think I'm being mean. But in the end I can't just stay in a situation that is draining me just because I'm afraid he won't get it, can I? I feel like I have tried to let him know what my needs are and he just doesn't have that energy to give. Or maybe he just doesn't want to give it, I can never tell! Either way, its not a good situation.

    Does anyone else struggle with feeling guilty in situations like this? Any tips for changing up my thinking patterns so that I don't feel so guilty? Logically, I know I did the only thing I could at this point. Emotionally, I feel like I should have known better than to get involved with him in the first place and should not have had such high expectations of him...but hindsight is always 20/20. Advise?

  2. #2
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    6w5 sp/sx
    Posts
    3,939

    Default

    I totally hear you. I went through a similar situation (in some respects) with someone who I felt was selfish and it was a friendship where I put a lot in, in both a practical and emotional sense, and never got much if anything back, and in fact was very drained and hurt by it in various ways in an ongoing way.

    I feel guilty too when I cut someone loose. It happens very seldom and if I do it, I probably had a good reason for it. I guess there are a couple of ways you can look at it. One is that you need to look after yourself first, and it's not entirely selfish because it's not just about your own well-being - it's about continuing to be healthy and have energy and happiness for other people in your life who might be a better investment, rather than one or two people who are just draining you. Another is that sometimes if you cut someone loose, it might actually prompt them to examine themselves and make some changes for the better. I have mixed feelings about that, I think it could be a rather self-righteous view. But I also think there's something to it.

    And, as far as feeling responsible for others' feelings...I certainly have that problem. But people are responsible for themselves and their feelings first and foremost. I think it's common to end up feeling this way in a situation where the other person has issues and complains to you about them, etc, but you realise that they're doing nothing to improve the situation - just dumping on you, and that's fair to no one.
    Female
    INFJ
    Enneagram 6w5 sp/sx


    I DOORSLAMMING

  3. #3
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Enneagram
    4 so/sp
    Posts
    6,931

    Default

    Interesting... when I saw just the thread title, I immediately thought 'Yes, all of the time!' - but when I read the OP itself, I can't relate as much to feeling guilty in situations where I remove someone from my life when the relationship is no longer healthy, beneficial for both parties, etc etc. I guess I become pretty pragmatic when it comes to relationships that seem off-kilter. Also for myself my having little to no guilt for ending those might have to do with my enneagram 5, and maybe more in particular, the self-preservation first. That in and of itself tends to make me more protective of my own needs, and making sure my needs aren't being stomped on/taken advantage of. However, boundaries can sometimes be an issue for me - i.e. overcompensating and being more rigid in my own protection, when it really doesn't need to be that way.

    As to thinking patterns so that you don't feel guilty? Well, to me, a one-sided relationship isn't much of a Relationship. A Relationship - that entity itself - two people interacting together and that dynamic - is only good if BOTH are getting something out of it and BOTH are desirous of helping the other out. It's a healthy mix of give and take, and there isn't resentment associated with the giving, nor a feeling that you're not getting much out of it. If you're not getting much out of it -- why in the world are you in it?? Why do that to yourself, and why build 'relationships' that are so off-kilter like that? Why work hard at a relationship that is lacking in something, and that doesn't work for BOTH, when you could instead be maximizing your energies working on and finding relationships that are positive for you as well as the other person? It always takes two - otherwise it's not really a relationship of equals, but more of fulfilling roles - whether that be emotional caretaker/psychologist, parent, etc etc.

    And if the other person thinks you're 'being mean' for ending it? Well... do you really value his opinion in particular? The opinion of someone you don't particularly want in your life anymore? Turn it around: He was 'being mean' for being neglectful and blowing you off. *Everyone* can 'be mean' according to one person or anothers' own value systems/personal needs. We're all different.

    To the thread title - I DO relate to feeling responsible/accountable for others' feelings, in the sense that I know very well that all of my actions and words will have an impact on someone else. So that's my element of control - I know that whatever I put out there (or whatever I choose to keep to myself) will impact everyone else in some way. *Should* I be 'responsible' for how the other person, of their own volition/personality, chooses to respond? Absolutely not. Their own reaction falls on them. I always have to remind myself of that. But I'm definitely aware that had I worded something differently, had I approached it slightly differently, whatever, their reaction might have varied a bit. So that's my half of it. It's a fine balance.

    But ultimately it's a control thing I think - trying to control/account for everything. To learn not to do that as much can be hard, and to let go of the Relationship itself - the other persons' half in particular - is something that I know I strive for but it doesn't come naturally. In the end, a relationship where you notice yourself attempting to do all of the work, to 'make it work' - well, what sort of relationship IS that? It should always be about 50/50, in the big picture, and of course depending on life events for one or the other, it might be 40/60 or 70/30 at times... but overall, both are prioritizing the other relatively equally.
    "...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

    My Photography and Watercolor Fine Art Prints!!! Cascade Colors Fine Art Prints
    https://docs.google.com/uc?export=do...Gd5N3NZZE52QjQ

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    4
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Thanks for writing in, SilkRoad and Cascadeco. I definitely see myself shifting to a more pragmatic approach to relationships, too, and you're totally right, its just a waste of time to try to pour energy into a situation where the other person is not reciprocating. If that person wanted to be engaged in a friendship, they would be contributing and I would not be getting a bad feeling from the situation. It was confusing because at one point I felt like he was reciprocating (still not as much as I would have liked, but definitely WAY more than towards the end), so I think it just took me a while to realize he wasn't really interested in a friendship anymore for whatever reason.

    I think this is a codependency issue. Stems from childhood, where I was trained to take responsibility for my mentally ill mother and overextend myself to make her comfortable. It's so weird how ingrained patterns can defy all logic, lol!

    I'm feeling much better and stronger as the day goes on. Plain and simple, I've been blessed with a number of friends who DO reciprocate equally and this situation was just nowhere near my standards. I feel a lot more confident knowing I can take care of myself in this way...I'm making a promise to myself that I will never engage in a dynamic like this again.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Idiosyncrazy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Wow, i went through a similar situation like an hour ago lol!!! I told this guy that I'm not ready for a relationship and that i just rather be friends. He says he's okay with that but I cant help but feel so guilty :-(

Similar Threads

  1. [ENFP] ENFPs, do you ever feel more like SPs or NTs than NFs?
    By Elfboy in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 11-14-2011, 10:19 PM
  2. [MBTItm] SPs, do you have any advice for an NF on how to better enjoy the "now"?
    By TheEmeraldCanopy in forum The SP Arthouse (ESFP, ISFP, ESTP, ISTP)
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 06-19-2010, 11:02 PM
  3. [NF] NFs, how do you deal with Thinking...
    By SolitaryWalker in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 83
    Last Post: 01-27-2009, 10:34 PM
  4. [NT] Do you agree: NT searches for identity? How alike or different from NF's?
    By Afkan in forum The NT Rationale (ENTP, INTP, ENTJ, INTJ)
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 01-11-2009, 05:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO