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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default It meant a lot less to them than it did to you - what do you do...?

    I've been reflecting on this based on some other comments in some other threads, plus some recent experiences, plus some not so recent experiences.

    I think this could be a particularly INFJ problem but of course it does not need to be type specific. But if anyone wants to come at from the INFJ angle I guess I'd find that especially interesting

    I'm starting to think that I should assume that any meaningful interaction between myself and another person is, in fact, much less meaningful to them than it is to me. It seems as though when I've already assigned the label "meaningful" to it, I'm already well on the way to being over-invested. This could be in a developing friendship, or a friendship which has the potential for a romantic relationship, or an actual relationship...or maybe even something like a business transaction, where the person swears they will do something or help you with something, and then they just don't bother.

    Are people just untrustworthy? Should we approach things on that basis? Should we assume that if someone says they care about you or they admire you or they appreciate your thoughts or they love you or they respect you...it's not true? Or it means something completely different to them?

    I'm tired of getting over-invested, I guess that's what it comes down to. And while I'm a bit oblivious while in the middle of it...I'm not entirely oblivious, so maybe I should just get better at backing off and stopping the process or putting up more defenses. But I have too much hope, I guess, or I trust people too much.

    Am I making any sense? Thoughts?


    EDIT: Maybe I should have called this "It meant a lot less to them than it did to you, or possibly it meant something completely different."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I really like threads like this, possibly because I dont invest like that, at least not anymore and not since I was in my late teens or early twenties, I think perhaps 21 to 25 was my time for feeling reactions in overdrive.

    Although, I'm not sure I think that now I have a tendency to under rate situations and find them less significant than other people or minimising the significance even when I suspect it is a significant interaction.

    In part its because of an aversion to melodrama in my day to day dealings, because there's a certain amount I encounter at work which goes with the territory.

    Although its mainly because I dont like how shallow a lot supposedly significant situations really are, people re-enact dramas from TV, books, film or their family histories when they really should know better and time is passing on and life is not a dress rehearsal. Can I ask the OP on the overinvestment thing, is it emotional hurt that makes you want to avoid that or what? I try to avoid it because of a kind of margin costs experience, I feel like time is precious.

  3. #3
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I know what you mean; I've definitely felt this way before.

    I think one thing that might help, although it might not be the most 'pleasant' thing to face/think about, is to remember that our definition of 'love', or of 'connection', or of 'meaning', or of any number of other things, and the actions we take to demonstrate that or way we interpret the presence or lack of, is going to vary from one person to the next. That seems kind of obvious, but I think it's really, really easy to forget that. And I think it's when we end up projecting our own self onto others that we either misread things, or becoming hurt/disappointed. Some of it might be tied to expectations, too - if we think the other person should be getting the exact thing out of it that we are, or doing what we would do in the same situation, we're essentially wanting them to be us.

    I think the other thing that's easy for us to do is to try too hard. I mean, I'm guilty of this too. I'm sure part of it's tied to hope, and it's not always a bad thing - especially if you're in a committed relationship and have already made that choice - means you'd fight all the harder to fix any issues that came up. But, earlier on, I think it means we have the tendency in us to try to 'force' a relationship when it just might not be what the other person really wants, or in the end it might not be what is really best for US, we just get caught up in the Idea of making it work - focusing on all of the positives, turning a blind eye on all of the negatives.

    Anyway, it's never easy. Relationship/friendship-wise, It's *hard* to find something mutual, where both people are on board. Really hard. I think it gets harder too as people get older and become busier. Not impossible, though. Don't give up.

    When it comes to more everyday things - business transactions, people not following through, etc -- well yes, some people are NOT reliable/trustworthy in the slightest!! There are certain people I wouldn't ever turn to if I needed something to get done.
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  4. #4
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Thanks for your perspective Lark

    Yeah, I think it's mainly emotional hurt that makes me want to avoid this. But I know what you mean about time, too. I think of them together sometimes. I find myself thinking or saying "I wasted all that emotion over that person...er, time...er, emotion...no, I mean time..."

    It doesn't happen to me all that much, which I guess is a mercy. But when it does, it can be huge. I think it's partly the fact that I don't come across people who I want to invest or over-invest in all that much, that makes me over-invest when I find them...does that make sense? I don't see a lot of people with the potential for real closeness in friendship, I don't see a lot of men as romantic potential. That makes the investment, and the letdown, that much greater.

    I can't stand melodrama either, though I have a very small number of friends I put up with a lot of it in. In those cases, it's because we have a friendship built up which I really value. Or I feel like I am doing them some good and the emotional drainage might therefore be worth it (like in the case of a depressed teen I've been befriending and helping out.) Or that person is there for me most of the time when I need them, despite the ongoing drama in their life! But in a way...although I keep drama in my external life to a minimum, sometimes I feel like there is quite a lot in my head. I over-dramatize situations, especially when I get to the point where I've been hurt. I've been thinking to myself that maybe I try to minimize drama in the outer life because I have enough to cope with in my head...

    I am getting a little better, though. I can laugh at myself more. If someone disappoints me, I can think of past experience and say "well, it happened before, and it hurts, but you survive and move on." It's just age and experience partly. But I do feel bitter sometimes. I know it sounds totally woe is me, but I feel like I waste all this caring and emotional investment on people who are ultimately rather selfish and don't really care.
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  5. #5
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I know what you mean; I've definitely felt this way before.

    I think one thing that might help, although it might not be the most 'pleasant' thing to face/think about, is to remember that our definition of 'love', or of 'connection', or of 'meaning', or of any number of other things, and the actions we take to demonstrate that or way we interpret the presence or lack of, is going to vary from one person to the next. That seems kind of obvious, but I think it's really, really easy to forget that. And I think it's when we end up projecting our own self onto others that we either misread things, or becoming hurt/disappointed. Some of it might be tied to expectations, too - if we think the other person should be getting the exact thing out of it that we are, or doing what we would do in the same situation, we're essentially wanting them to be us.

    I think the other thing that's easy for us to do is to try too hard. I mean, I'm guilty of this too. I'm sure part of it's tied to hope, and it's not always a bad thing - especially if you're in a committed relationship and have already made that choice - means you'd fight all the harder to fix any issues that came up. But, earlier on, I think it means we have the tendency in us to try to 'force' a relationship when it just might not be what the other person really wants, or in the end it might not be what is really best for US, we just get caught up in the Idea of making it work - focusing on all of the positives, turning a blind eye on all of the negatives.

    Anyway, it's never easy. Relationship/friendship-wise, It's *hard* to find something mutual, where both people are on board. Really hard. I think it gets harder too as people get older and become busier. Not impossible, though. Don't give up.

    When it comes to more everyday things - business transactions, people not following through, etc -- well yes, some people are NOT reliable/trustworthy in the slightest!! There are certain people I wouldn't ever turn to if I needed something to get done.
    I totally hear you on all this. Could have written some of it myself. I need to not project my hopes and dreams and desires onto others. Sometimes you just feel they are so in sync with you, but it turns out to be an illusion.

    Perhaps it's too easy for INFJs particularly to get caught up in the fascination of forcing it, as you say, or feeling it just has to work because you care so much. At least I haven't been in the position of being in a marriage and trying and trying and trying and the other person just...won't. And ultimately it falls apart. I know people who've gone through that.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Perhaps it's too easy for INFJs particularly to get caught up in the fascination of forcing it, as you say, or feeling it just has to work because you care so much. At least I haven't been in the position of being in a marriage and trying and trying and trying and the other person just...won't. And ultimately it falls apart. I know people who've gone through that.
    This is part of the reason that I'm comfortable being alone and single, knowing about people who are now trying to repair totally broken marriages or families and not having that to deal with.

    There is a risk of people believing that the work they put into things will result in a particular result because of a sense of justice, reciprocity or mutual obligation but it doesnt work that way.

    There's only been one person that I've totally been in love with, sometimes I dream that it'll be rekindled and remind myself that life is long and a lot can happen but its ultimately unlikely. Sometimes I think maintaining hopes of this is really a sort of excuse which allows me not to try to develop other leads in relationships but any time I do I discover they pale by comparison.

  7. #7
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    It pains me whenever I have to remind my (INFJ) sister that everyone doesn't feel the same way as she feels about them.

    As for me, having been hurt many times by friends in the past, I've developed a thicker shell so I don't get scalded again. I still feel I invest a lot in my close friendships but I really care for those people and I don't want to repeat what the friends did to me.

    I hope this makes sense. I'm not very awake in mornings.

  8. #8
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    This is part of the reason that I'm comfortable being alone and single, knowing about people who are now trying to repair totally broken marriages or families and not having that to deal with.

    There is a risk of people believing that the work they put into things will result in a particular result because of a sense of justice, reciprocity or mutual obligation but it doesnt work that way.

    There's only been one person that I've totally been in love with, sometimes I dream that it'll be rekindled and remind myself that life is long and a lot can happen but its ultimately unlikely. Sometimes I think maintaining hopes of this is really a sort of excuse which allows me not to try to develop other leads in relationships but any time I do I discover they pale by comparison.
    Yes, I think I get tripped up by the sense of justice thing sometimes. Life can simply be "unfair" and sometimes people make that harder on themselves by their expectations. In my case I believe that marriages should only be dissolved in fairly extreme situations, certainly not lightly. So I can only imagine how awful it must be to feel stuck with someone having apparently realised that your investment is much greater than theirs, or that you are expecting things of each other that you cannot really provide. I know what you mean about seeing the advantages of being alone/single because I think people go in with great hopes, and yet the distressing thing is I know people who technically have "happy marriages" and yet they feel pretty lonely and even depressed and don't feel they can talk to their partner about it, and feel that as hard as they may be trying, their partner will never really understand what they need.


    Quote Originally Posted by thealchemist View Post
    It pains me whenever I have to remind my (INFJ) sister that everyone doesn't feel the same way as she feels about them.

    As for me, having been hurt many times by friends in the past, I've developed a thicker shell so I don't get scalded again. I still feel I invest a lot in my close friendships but I really care for those people and I don't want to repeat what the friends did to me.

    I hope this makes sense. I'm not very awake in mornings.
    As far as your INFJ sister...I think that's the kind of thing I "know" intellectually, but sometimes I don't "know" it emotionally, and that's one of the ways I get hurt. This is particularly likely where romantic feelings are involved and clouding all the issues, though it has also happened in friendships.

    It made sense, don't worry
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  9. #9
    Another awesome member. Curator's Avatar
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    I relate to almost everything posted here, however have greatly improved on the whole projecting thing over the last year or two, as well as many other things... who knows, maybe im a J after all:P lol...or maybe a bit of both...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Neutralpov's Avatar
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    This relates to ENFJs also, or at least me. I think it is a priority clash since relationships and meaningful connections are a life priority and need. Other's not so much. Anyone seen the movie A Single Man? The way he realizes the connections bring color (literally in color in the movie) and life to his world? That movie subtly conveys the main character's meaningful interactions and relations.

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