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  1. #1
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    Default ENFJ - how do you process your romantic interest and if it's reciprocated?

    So, I posted something last week about a situation I had questions about and got some great feedback, but I'm looking for a little bit more ENFJ specific info....
    Thoughts?

    It seems that as far as romantic relationships go these are common characteristics of both INFJs & ENFJs:

    1) Fear of rejection

    2) Needing to be sure that the other person reciprocates feelings before letting your own feelings be known


    Personally, as an INFJ, I am terrified of letting someone know I'm into them first. I tend to overthink things to the extreme and can imagine scenarios that the other person might be thinking, doing, etc. that probably have nothing to do with reality. I sometimes act the opposite of how I feel when I really like someone. I so badly don't want to let on that I'm interested that I act pretty cool at times and it could be interpreted as if I'm not interested. I could see that as being extremely confusing and I hate that I do it, but it comes from a place of fear.

    I am very interested in hearing more about how the ENFJ acts in pursuing or developing romantic relationships:

    1) How do you process your feeling of interest in someone and whether you feel there is reciprocated interest?

    2) If you had feelings for someone but weren't sure where the other person stood, how would you most likely act/re-act?

    3) Would you be afraid to make an existing friendship uncomfortable by letting them know you were interested in them?

    4) Would you be very sensitive to possible signs of rejection (even possibly unintentional signs) or the other person not paying enough attention?

  2. #2
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mystory View Post
    Personally, as an INFJ, I am terrified of letting someone know I'm into them first. I tend to overthink things to the extreme and can imagine scenarios that the other person might be thinking, doing, etc. that probably have nothing to do with reality. I sometimes act the opposite of how I feel when I really like someone. I so badly don't want to let on that I'm interested that I act pretty cool at times and it could be interpreted as if I'm not interested. I could see that as being extremely confusing and I hate that I do it, but it comes from a place of fear.
    I know that I have two modes: forward and backward. If I'm full of myself and being forward, whatever may happen won't wound me too much, though it requires the body shield of charm and a little swagger. If I'm running cool and am unsure of myself, not only do I go backward, I seem to go faster in reverse than I ever did going forward. It's perplexing and odd, and the more I think about it, the less it makes sense. I have the double difficulty of being a borderline e/i NFJ so I tend to behave like a deeply insular and self-contained ENFJ or a schizophrenic intense INFJ.

    I'm plagued by my INFJ father's temperament and insecurities with the world and people, yet I seem to have just enough charm (or forcefulness) to make myself more of a nuisance.

    My backward/forward behavior also stems from trauma and being constantly told as a young woman how attractive I was while being told I'm nothing and easy to walk away from. That only served to make my will harden into concrete (hard enough to take the hits but zero flexibility or yielding) and my self-esteem ricochet like a pinball.

    I am very interested in hearing more about how the ENFJ acts in pursuing or developing romantic relationships:
    How do you pursue? You've told of your fears, but what are you like when you aren't afraid?

    1) How do you process your feeling of interest in someone and whether you feel there is reciprocated interest?
    ProteanMix and I have had long conversations about this. I was telling her about a recent situation with me and she asked how I knew for sure that someone was into me (as an objective question), and my answer was: instinct and unconscious signs. I knew the guy was into me because MY body felt different in proximity to his, like EMF radiation. A vibe, so to speak. The mouth may deny deny deny, but everything else says "I want you." What determines how I react is whether I like him and whether or not he's going to continue with the charade. The more he denies, the more turned off I get.

    I like to play, but I don't like to torture. Play is only for an already acquired target. If there's a question, I seek to clear it up immediately, either by asking or by reading him. If he's into me, good. If he's into me and covering it up, I move on.

    2) If you had feelings for someone but weren't sure where the other person stood, how would you most likely act/re-act?
    I would be direct. Once an ENTP I'd started a courtship with was trying to swagger and bluff me into a corner over something about our work.

    Him: BLAH BLAH SWAGGER RATTLE BLAH DOMINO BLAH
    Me: *deep sigh*
    Him: BLAH BLAH ELECTRIC SLIDE GALDANGED BLAH
    Me: (calmly over the noise) You know I love you. So shut it.
    Him: (blushes violently) *crickets*

    He nodded and looked away because Mr. Cool couldn't suppress a small smile cracking his lips. The element of surprise paired with the truth = win.

    3) Would you be afraid to make an existing friendship uncomfortable by letting them know you were interested in them?
    Ok, this is a good question, mostly because the answer can change wildly depending on the person and situation. Let me ask *you* something? Do you assume that others are just as guarded or able to conceal their like for someone as you are? Do you consider your ability to read another's preference for you correctly or do you find it a minefield? Are you unsure of your ability to know with any certainty what the other person is displaying toward you?

    4) Would you be very sensitive to possible signs of rejection (even possibly unintentional signs) or the other person not paying enough attention?
    I can tell almost immediately when someone is not receptive and I never say anything at all. Then again, I'm rarely that interested in anyone, so when the interest happens, it's almost always mutual and the receptiveness is there. What tends to perplex me id when all the signs say "I'm into you" and then the person begins to act like they aren't. I tend to regard that as gameplaying. I know everyone fears looking too eager (I feel that way too) and that can cause problems when the other person is being just as vague for the same reason.
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    Reading this made me a little sad and also smile. Thanks for your detailed response. I don't have time for a proper post right now, but I will tomorrow.

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    I'm resurrecting this thread because I want more info

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    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Hey, we are still waiting that proper post you was supposed to have written on 02-12-2011. Stop behaving like a P!
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    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


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  6. #6
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    I would think an ENFJ would know almost instantly if there's interest, since they would probably be great at social analysis. They probably are great at being subtly flirty in order to see if they are reciprocated. As an E, they would read into things too quickly, and require steady attention to prevent thoughts of possible rejection. E's versus I's, feel it more important to experiment rather than to contemplate, which usually lead to more direct, faster, but not necessarily thought out results.

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    Hey, we are still waiting that proper post you was supposed to have written on 02-12-2011. Stop behaving like a P!
    I know! That was so P of me! I still owe a detailed response

  8. #8
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    How do you pursue? You've told of your fears, but what are you like when you aren't afraid?
    I don't pursue. I have only been in relationships with guys that have pursued me. I think the only times that I'm not afraid is when I have nothing to lose, like when I just feel friendly towards someone and there aren't deeper feelings involved. If my emotions are in it, the fear kicks in and I'm paralyzed. I've been burned in a big bad way by my ex and I think the scars run deep.

    instinct and unconscious signs. I knew the guy was into me because MY body felt different in proximity to his, like EMF radiation. A vibe, so to speak. The mouth may deny deny deny, but everything else says "I want you."
    I get that! I can usually feel it too and I DO feel it with this guy I know. Problem is that I don't trust my feeling because I want to feel it.

    Let me ask *you* something? Do you assume that others are just as guarded or able to conceal their like for someone as you are? Do you consider your ability to read another's preference for you correctly or do you find it a minefield? Are you unsure of your ability to know with any certainty what the other person is displaying toward you?
    I don't assume that all people are guarded or hide their feelings like I do, but I know there are others like me. The one person I'm interested in may be as guarded if not more than I am based on what I know about his past and personality type. He also sends a lot of mixed signals my way.

    I trust my ability to know when someone is interested in me only when I'm not interested back. Then, I can see it a mile away. When I'm interested, my ability to read things gets clouded and I second guess everything. I think 'if this was anyone else, like someone I'm not interested in, I would totally read this as interest. But since I like him, maybe I'm just seeing things the way I want to see them'. Then I second guess it all.

    I also become extremely sensitive to anything that seems like non-interest and can become all bummed out over little things. I try to connect the dots and make up stories in my head to explain things in a negative way towards him liking me. Usually, this has nothing to do with reality.

  9. #9
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mystory View Post
    I don't pursue. I have only been in relationships with guys that have pursued me. I think the only times that I'm not afraid is when I have nothing to lose, like when I just feel friendly towards someone and there aren't deeper feelings involved. If my emotions are in it, the fear kicks in and I'm paralyzed. I've been burned in a big bad way by my ex and I think the scars run deep.



    I get that! I can usually feel it too and I DO feel it with this guy I know. Problem is that I don't trust my feeling because I want to feel it.



    I don't assume that all people are guarded or hide their feelings like I do, but I know there are others like me. The one person I'm interested in may be as guarded if not more than I am based on what I know about his past and personality type. He also sends a lot of mixed signals my way.

    I trust my ability to know when someone is interested in me only when I'm not interested back. Then, I can see it a mile away. When I'm interested, my ability to read things gets clouded and I second guess everything. I think 'if this was anyone else, like someone I'm not interested in, I would totally read this as interest. But since I like him, maybe I'm just seeing things the way I want to see them'. Then I second guess it all.

    I also become extremely sensitive to anything that seems like non-interest and can become all bummed out over little things. I try to connect the dots and make up stories in my head to explain things in a negative way towards him liking me. Usually, this has nothing to do with reality.
    I could have written this!! I've considered telling guys I like them, in cases where I'm not sure, but I always hold off in the end - I'm afraid of being hurt by rejection, and I kind of feel that ultimately they'll do something about it if they want me. In the last couple of cases where I was in this situation, one denied he had feelings beyond friendship for me (weirdly, he brought it up in an angry exchange that we had, without me bringing it up - guess he read between the lines), and the other informed me one day that he'd started dating someone. He later told (or implied to) a mutual friend that he'd had no idea I liked him, but I am not sure I believe that.

    I do tend to feel that I don't really fall for people unless I receive some liking/signals of interest/encouragement back. Like you, though, "I don't trust my feeling because I want to feel it." These people do tend to be male friends who seek me out in a different way from what I'm used to, pay me meaningful compliments, open up to me and want to spend one on one time with me. However, that isn't necessarily conclusive.

    It's so hard to know if people won't be clear about their interest or lack thereof. And unfortunately, I tend to fall for people who are charming and attentive and send mixed signals, at least somewhat flirtatious - perhaps to prop up their egos - and don't have the decency to simply come out and say they see me only as a friend; perhaps because they are actually confused about how they feel about me, or perhaps because they can't be bothered or think it would be awkward. Because of the whole thing with being relatively guarded (I tend to seem fairly relaxed around guys I like, though more giggly than usual), they may simply assume that I only want friendship and there's no need to even bring it up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mystory
    I trust my ability to know when someone is interested in me only when I'm not interested back. Then, I can see it a mile away. When I'm interested, my ability to read things gets clouded and I second guess everything. I think 'if this was anyone else, like someone I'm not interested in, I would totally read this as interest. But since I like him, maybe I'm just seeing things the way I want to see them'. Then I second guess it all.

    I also become extremely sensitive to anything that seems like non-interest and can become all bummed out over little things. I try to connect the dots and make up stories in my head to explain things in a negative way towards him liking me. Usually, this has nothing to do with reality.
    me. too.

    i wish i had any good advice or things to add besides empathy!

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