User Tag List

Results 1 to 6 of 6

  1. #1
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    MBTI
    ISFP
    Enneagram
    4w5
    Posts
    631

    Default A relationship paradox

    One of my difficulties is that I crave alone time and I want to have deep relationships with people at the same time.

    I read one INFP saying they worked very hard to have relationships. It was hard to get to where they were. What exactly was the work you did?

    I speak of both friendships and romance, whereas most threads here often are about romance.

    I want to have some closeness, and people who love me. I want to have people who see my life as a comedy of errors rather than a tragedy.

    However, generally I need lots of time alone and unstructured by other people, or so I believe. If people are too needy for me to entertain them when they are bored or start obligating me to do things, then I feel irritated or depressed and just withdraw.

    How do you INFPs (and others) resolve this issue of needing time alone, but needing to do things to keep it going? Do you just take extra vitamins? Do you let your irritation show?

    What types would be most sensitive to my dilemma? Like "Please Understand Me" talks about how your "opposite" will be best for you, but I think that's hokey. The opposite sounds like precisely what would NOT work.

  2. #2
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    4w5
    Posts
    807

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BAJ View Post
    One of my difficulties is that I crave alone time and I want to have deep relationships with people at the same time.
    Wow, that's almost like talking toward myself! You're not alone.



    I read one INFP saying they worked very hard to have relationships. It was hard to get to where they were. What exactly was the work you did?
    Yes, I worked too hard, perhaps. I usually not regret it even if the relationships become weaker. Though that would make me feel depress for months, and if I do get over it. Door-slamming could be one of the alternatives. Once I've gotten over some sour grapes (and yes, I'm referring to friendships as I value it more than love relationship, oddly enough), I felt there's a need for me to have a fresh start. Thus, I'm not good at keep acquaintance.

    What exactly did I do? Well, all of the emotional investments, like being there for them "whenever" they need, even to a point of "canceling" my other appointments if I felt they were really in bad shape. I've always been "extra" alert, constantly trying to scan their emotional state, even if they seem to be fine. I suppose I gave it all (not to all people, only to those who I felt I can "connect" with) of my energy and personal space for them (especially my inner-mind, which I share selectively).



    I want to have some closeness, and people who love me. I want to have people who see my life as a comedy of errors rather than a tragedy.
    That's the problem I'm having right now. Whenever I'm really depress (which I am at this stage), I really need time to be alone as a self-therapeutic journey. Though at the same time, I wish people would just contact me, well at least trying to find out if I'm okay. I know this surely does sound like attention whoring, but I honestly believe in there's a big difference between people who are 'shutting down' and just 'taking breaks.' The re-assurance of knowing people are still caring about you for INFJs (well, at least for me) is one of the most important element to grab our hearts.



    However, generally I need lots of time alone and unstructured by other people, or so I believe. If people are too needy for me to entertain them when they are bored or start obligating me to do things, then I feel irritated or depressed and just withdraw.
    Well, that depends on people in my case. I'll nevertheless try to fulfill their needs only if I consider them as "important" in my life. I want them to be needy of me, not the rest by the way. On the contrary, those people who I felt having a weaker-connections, yes, they do bug me if they become to clingy of me.



    How do you INFPs (and others) resolve this issue of needing time alone, but needing to do things to keep it going? Do you just take extra vitamins? Do you let your irritation show?
    It really depends how serious it is. If I'm feeling depress, then yes, I don't want to be bothered by anyone (unfortunately, that's when others felt the most frustrated of our behaviors). However, if I'm just taking breaks just because I'm feeling wearing out, I'll at least try to reply them via text or Email, but not immediately and absolutely no personal contact nor phone calls even. At least I try to be polite, and at the same time, trying to drop hints to them that I'm retreating myself.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    4sop
    Socionics
    IEE
    Posts
    1,505

    Default

    I spend a lot of time with my friends and have no problem. I actually need that time with them to get out of my own head. But these friends are people who I feel completely comfortable with and we just hang out. When I am with people I don't know well and have to put on more of an act and be alert, I get exhausted really fast. I have a hard time finding new friends because you usually have to shift through awkward first 'dates'. I have been roommates with two of my close friends and alone time has never been a source of problem. I love hanging out with people I can relax and be silly with. Also, being friends with other introverts help. But trying to make new friends is difficult for me and it is exhausting, esp. if the other person is really different. I stick to my comfort zone, which may be a bad thing. I don't push myself to hang out with people I know I will have nothing in common with. I have put myself through that enough times to know I just don't have a good time, no matter how hard I try. My advice is not to push yourself socially if you know already that it won't work out and to always enjoy the interaction as much as possible. When you can be completely yourself, you know these are the right people for you. And don't feel guilty if you need alone time, that's perfectly reasonable.

  4. #4
    Senor Membrane
    Join Date
    May 2008
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    3,190

    Default

    I've started to think that there are quite big differences in social behaviors of each type. For me the ideal situation is a small group of people I am comfortable with and who have no expections of creating any activity. To make this more clear: I am not against activity, I am against the idea of having to make up something to do in order to not have awkward silence. And to make it even more clear: I am not against it, it just isn't optimal People I am comfortable with are usually quite ok being silent.

    I've mentioned this a couple of times, but... My view of my social skills was greatly improved when I started living with my friends. Before that I found myself quite handicapped because it's not too easy going from the acquitance to no-awkward-silence friend. The way people are often so busy living their lives leaves too little time for developing the kind of close relations that would satisfy me, and I assume this goes for other introverted NFs, but I think more INFPs than INFJs (due to Fe). The thing is, even the room mates I've got that are more acquintances than friends are in some ways closer to me now than people I called friends before. This is pretty difficult to describe, actually. It's like, the time I spend home, seeing the person who I would not have hanged out with live their lives makes me understand the life they have way deeper than would be possible in other ways. Then I don't see them as being someone I wouldn't hang out with, but as someone "neutral" that I have compassion for. It doesn't necessarily make me like them more, though. I think the liking part is a different scale than the compassion scale. I guess this would be biblically described as love thy neighbor. But then, if they reveal more and more of themselves, I might start to like them more too.

    Shit, that sounds like I live with people I don't like... Maybe it's enough to say that the people I like-like are very few, and the people I definitely don't like are few. Then there are these more or less neutral people that can range from wouldn't-want-to-be-alone-with to someone-I-am-very-comfortable-with.

    This is probably the messiest post I've written...

    EDIT: Oh, yeah, I was about to comment about the paradox. I think it is paradox only when you think of friends in the ordinary way. I guess I am still quite poor at initiating contact with other people and all that, but it doesn't bother me, since I get something out of just having people around. And the way these relationships evolve, it feels so much more natural than forcing myself to hang out with acquitances. So, the way I see it, the way it originally was in the age of mammoths, INFPs were part of a tribe like anyone else, but wouldn't be the ones going to the next village by themselves to make new friends. We need a tribe, I'm sure of it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    MBTI
    ISFP
    Enneagram
    4w5
    Posts
    631

    Default

    Thank everyone for sharing their experiences. I may add more later, but let me say I read all thread, and I appreciate your insights.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Rationista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    11

    Default

    I think it's possible to have your own space, but at the same time, still maintain close relationships. It's a balancing act that gets easier to manage over time. At this point in my life, most of my friends understand that, though I love them, I also need my space. I'm always there in times of great need, but I'm generally not available 24/7 whenever someone wants to, for example, go for coffee or chat on the phone about absolutely nothing. On the other hand, I have made progress towards touching base with my friends and arranging social gatherings whereas in the past I would normally keep to myself until "summoned". It gets wearing on a friendship when you're always the one calling and wanting to hang out. I understand that now, and but it's taken work to get here. I totally get that you need your own space, and as an introvert you need lots of it. Believe me, I'm the same way. However, one of the most valuable (and hard won) lessons I've learned is to relinquish some of that space or even let people invade it a little. It's the uncomfortable situations and irritations in life that have taught me patience and empathy which have, in turn, deepened my love for the people in my life and made me more open to those I would have shunned in the past. I have an extremely rich inner world, and I used to think that was enough. I know different now, and it's that knowledge that keeps me doing the things I do to maintain my relationships with others.

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