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  1. #331
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    ... I have no idea what I would say if I was having The Talk (as suggested in your other post) with an INFP after they had flaked out on something important.
    Yeah, if you start out The Talk with a snippy or hurt attitude, you might easily get the same in return. Your INFPs might get defensive or they might feel they are being pressured in ways that go against their Fi “free spirit” ethic.

    So this would be a good time to use a little anger management. For example, start by enumerating all the ways that you appreciate what your INFP friends bring to the friendship. If done well, it will put the problem in proper perspective. For example, “We have a strong friendship that I treasure greatly. There is just one small area where we seem to be misunderstanding each other....”

    Another option over the long-term is to let your INFP friends be free spirits and simply adjust for it. These days I tend to figure that everyone comes to the table with an agenda, including me. And if I’m honest and up-front about my own agenda, then I needn’t resent the agendas of others or the fact that they don’t neatly dovetail with mine.

    For example, let's say I’m preparing a dinner party. I look at the guest list and determine the “agendas” of everyone there. Then I figure out my own “agenda” for each:

    Person A’s agenda is to be a good guest. She helps with set-up and take-down, and she socializes well. My agenda with respect to Person A: I wish I had a hundred more like her. Result: She gets star billing.

    Person B’s agenda is to get drunk and loud and obnoxious as quickly as possible. My agenda: I don’t want him at the dinner portion of the party, but I don’t mind if the party gets loud afterward. Result: I’ll tell him that I don’t have enough seats at the dinner portion of the party, but he should come over right after dinner for dessert and drinks and bring along a couple bottles of wine and five of his drinking buddies. He’ll love it.

    Person C’s agenda is to be mousey and sit in a corner quietly and not talk to anyone. My agenda: But she makes a fantastic beef stroganoff and I need her to cook that as the entree. Result: She gets star billing.

    Person D’s agenda is to be a total bore and a fop. My agenda: But he loves to dance. Put on some music, clear some floor space, and he’ll grab a partner and kick off the dancing instantly. Result: He gets star billing.

    Person E’s agenda is to be an artistic free spirit. She brings a certain atmosphere and cachet; but she accepts my invites and then never shows up half the time. My agenda: I pretty much need confirmed attendees for the early dinner party. Result: She can’t attend the dinner party. But I can invite her to come for dessert and drinks afterward; if she skips the party at that point, it won’t be as big a problem.

    And so on. The point: Appreciate everyone for what they bring to the table, and make allowance for what they don’t. They have their agendas and you have an agenda of your own. Don’t get worked up about it. Try to get the various agendas to dovetail, and don’t get resentful when they aren’t a great fit.

    Also: I find the bolded very interesting, and maybe not correct for me? Because I've never thought of my priorities/values as being societal. I just feel like, when I put a lot of time and effort into doing something for/with someone because I care about them (e.g. setting aside time in my busy schedule to have lunch with them, or help them with something), it hurts when they seem to disregard that. It makes me wonder if an INFP wouldn't be offended, if they put a lot of time and effort into something only for their close friends to ignore it or flake out with a vague excuse. I guess my feelings on that could be societal, in that I wouldn't have those expectations if they hadn't been enforced in me somewhere. But I dunno.
    My rule of thumb is that:
    1) Fi/Ti = “Dependability is an important value/principle for me. So I should be dependable.”
    2) Fe/Te = “Dependability is an important value/principle for me. So everyone should be as dependable as me, or society will just fall apart.”

  2. #332
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riva View Post
    I skipped the whole thread. So apologies in advance if the question is repeated.

    Dependability?

    INFPs and dependability? An INFP would almost always empathize and emotionally be there for someone. But when it comes to actually helping others INFPs seem to fall short.

    Is this 'my' bad experience? Or do you (INFPs) indeed find yourself 'unable' to help others when needed?
    I think this can be quite prevalent.

    Some of it could be explained by instinct stacking differences and enneagram.

    Speaking for myself... I know that I love doing things for people and helping them out so long as this desire springs solely from the pool of my idea. Once it becomes an expectation and obligation, I often shut down or distance myself or do the opposite. I was a very annoying child.

    Growing older now, I have made it a point to work on this and try to be better about my promises and availability. My resentment doesn't build as much as I used to. I consider it a perspective shift wherein I modified how my Venn Diagram of inner core values is placed and now helping others is a higher priority and bubble than it was before.

  3. #333
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    My question is: Since I obviously don't have a natural talent for reading people, how can I tell the difference between an INFP who is responding awkwardly because they're thinking "This person is opening up to me and I don't want them to be, why can't they leave me alone", and an INFP who is responding awkwardly because they're feeling too many feelings to be able to express them in a way that is approved by their picky Fi?
    I only really respond with the first when they're a stranger or I don't know them well. It's funny that Saturned mentioned this too:

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    It has never helped that throughout my entire life, I get people who meet me and minutes or hours later, start spilling their guts. I always felt so on the spot and YIKES I DONT KNOW THIS PERSON!!! etc.
    You would be surprised how often strangers will open up to me (and it seems, to all INFPs). I have the exact same reaction as above, I'm very unnerved and I'm looking for the exit. But if I know someone, I don't usually react that way, especially if I like them and/or care about them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned
    Strangely enough, learning to become more Te and organized and unafraid to just call a spade a spade has made my Fi-ness much more effective.
    Yeah, Te development is very helpful for INFP maturity. It makes us stronger, more stable, and more capable of expressing dissatisfaction and standing up for ourselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    1) The INFPs I know are very sensitive, and I can never predict when their Fi will explode at me... and when their Fi does explode, and then they seem fine the next day, I worry that they aren't actually fine, but will build up resentment about me that will suddenly all explode and lead to an NF doorslam. (This worry comes from having experienced this with a former friend, and from not knowing how to read people well enough to predict that sort of thing in advance.)
    I think it's hard for outsiders to predict what will make a INFP go off. We let feelings build up inside until a tipping point is reached and then unleash. You're right about seeming fine the next day - I usually am embarrassed and completely over the whole thing (unless the issue is serious or the other person is/would be unapologetic). I just want to put such things behind me. This is the main reason I don't like blowing up in the first place, is the anger is merely a (silly) passing feeling and because I don't like feeling like a fool for losing it.

    The best thing to do is, when the INFP is calm (ie. hours later or the next day), ask her to explain why she reacted the way she did, in a non-accusatory fashion. Explain that you don't understand and that you want to better. Even if you don't get an in-depth answer, you will at least be a little reassured that it wasn't only about you.

    2) When I most want to bring it up, I'm the most angry, so in the times I have brought it up, I've been unable to suppress my anger enough to not be snippy, so I end up saying things like "It's okay, but next time, could you tell me when you're going to stand me up and eat lunch somewhere else?" (It's because dependability is very, very high on my Fi list (i.e. in my top five).)
    I think basically that appealing to their Fi is useful. It's true that "dependability" isn't a very meaningful value to INFPs, however if you rephrase the term or look at the underlying root issues, it will have more of an impact on us. If you think about it, the word is really about: respect for others, trust, responsibility, not constantly indulging in your selfish needs/desires, being there for others, avoiding behaviour that is erratic, burdensome or difficult etc - and these sorts of values make INFPs sit up and pay attention.

    I have a ISFP friend that I was helping with her thesis a few years back. I was committing a lot of my time and energy, but in spite of this she always showed up late to our meetings. She always had a huge list of excuses and was very apologetic but it started to get very irritating - one time I lost it because she was over an hour late. She was also the sort of person whom you would make plans with and she would back out at the last minute because she was bogged down with completely foreseeable problems (eg. finishing an assignment she had know about for weeks). Eventually I had a talk with her and explained how disrespectful her behaviour is. Her repeated lateness says, indirectly, that her time is more valuable than mine; that I'm less important than the silly distractions that stopped her from showing up on time; and that it's perfectly acceptable that I sit around at her beck and call. Also if she makes plans to spend time with someone, she should attempt to work her obligations into that time frame and compensate for the time (or money/effort/whatever) lost. Failure to do so indicates that to her it's preferable to ditch/disappoint her friend and miss out on spending time with her, than to make the effort to organise herself ahead of time. Explaining these things to her had much more of an effect than, "Could you show up on time for once?" or the like.

    I think the same thing works on INFPs. Sometimes you just have to put their mistakes and failures in perspective for them, reframing it in their language, and then they'll understand why it was wrong and why they should try harder.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  4. #334
    actinomycetes raindancing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post

    Speaking for myself... I know that I love doing things for people and helping them out so long as this desire springs solely from the pool of my idea. Once it becomes an expectation and obligation, I often shut down or distance myself or do the opposite. I was a very annoying child.
    I really struggle with this... even if I really feel like I should do it, I can hardly barely bring myself to if it feels like an expectation. Often it's like my entire brain rebels and wont' let me. I will completely forget, then when laying in bed I can't fall asleep because I suddenly remember this thing. Waves of dread. Promise myself I'll address it or do it or whatever, tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, it doesn't even enter my mind until I lay in bed again. Repeat cycle. It feels like self-sabotage. (Because of course if I really wanted I know I could remember)

    But I love doing stuff for people that I think of. So really, I am a nice person --on my terms.
    “Can a man of perception respect himself at all?”
    ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  5. #335
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    Quote Originally Posted by raindancing View Post
    I really struggle with this... even if I really feel like I should do it, I can hardly barely bring myself to if it feels like an expectation. Often it's like my entire brain rebels and wont' let me. I will completely forget, then when laying in bed I can't fall asleep because I suddenly remember this thing. Waves of dread. Promise myself I'll address it or do it or whatever, tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, it doesn't even enter my mind until I lay in bed again. Repeat cycle. It feels like self-sabotage. (Because of course if I really wanted I know I could remember)

    But I love doing stuff for people that I think of. So really, I am a nice person --on my terms.
    @bold, BINGO.

  6. #336
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Argh! I had this huge post all typed out and then it deleted itself. So I'll try to be fast and not use quotes:

    @raindancing, your example really rings true for me, which I find interesting, since -- as @Saturned would say -- I'm like your reflection in a funhouse mirror. I had a huge fight with one of my friends a while back, and I was convinced that I was 100% in the right, but I came to realize that I was going to have to be the one who made the first move, if we were going to be friends again -- meaning, I'd have to apologize insincerely to her. I followed the cycle described in your post for at least two months (during which she and I gave each other the silent treatment), before I finally apologized.

    @Southern Kross and @FineLine, you guys give very, very good advice that I definitely need to follow. FineLine, your delegating example is very good, and before you posted that, I thought I was good at delegating, but obviously I have a lot to learn. Southern Kross, I'm glad you brought up ISFPs as being similar in these sorts of regards because I just remembered that I had an ESFP friend who I could easily lump in with my INFP friends in terms of responding awkwardly when I open up. I wonder if it's a maturity issue on the part of those SFPs/NFPs, because none of the people I used as examples are older than 21, and none of them are more mature than their age would suggest, and also because you and FineLine and Saturned are older and have all moved past the phase in their life when they would react that way to people. (Also, I have a very mature ENFP friend who is great to open up to.)

    Now, I suppose, I have two concerns:

    1) Implementing the changes suggested, regarding how to treat Perceivers when they flake out on important things. This will be hard for me because I'll have to control my anger when it really, really wants to be let out; holding in anger is easier for me when I feel like it's not justified, but when I have a very good reason to be angry, my willpower starts to wane.

    2) Adjusting my attitude towards the SFPs/NFPs who react awkwardly to me when I open up. This will be hard for me because I feel very hurt when they do that, and my instinct when that happens is similar to that of a kid who touches a hot stove element: Don't do that again! Maybe it's because I'm sp-dom, or Fi-inferior, but I'm having a difficult time making myself believe that it would be worth it, with my less mature FP friends, to open up to them ever again, until I'm fairly certain that they would know how to react. I keep thinking, EJCC, you have other friends who would react better than that (like your ENFP friend!), and maybe you should talk to them instead. You don't want anyone to poke and prod at your raw wound -- you want someone to help you sew it up.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  7. #337
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Now, I suppose, I have two concerns:

    1) Implementing the changes suggested, regarding how to treat Perceivers when they flake out on important things. This will be hard for me because I'll have to control my anger when it really, really wants to be let out; holding in anger is easier for me when I feel like it's not justified, but when I have a very good reason to be angry, my willpower starts to wane.

    2) Adjusting my attitude towards the SFPs/NFPs who react awkwardly to me when I open up. This will be hard for me because I feel very hurt when they do that, and my instinct when that happens is similar to that of a kid who touches a hot stove element: Don't do that again! Maybe it's because I'm sp-dom, or Fi-inferior, but I'm having a difficult time making myself believe that it would be worth it, with my less mature FP friends, to open up to them ever again, until I'm fairly certain that they would know how to react. I keep thinking, EJCC, you have other friends who would react better than that (like your ENFP friend!), and maybe you should talk to them instead. You don't want anyone to poke and prod at your raw wound -- you want someone to help you sew it up.
    If it makes you feel better those two concerns (ie 1. don't lose your temper because it's unproductive; 2. don't freak out and get all paranoid about what others are thinking about you) are very familiar to me. I have to spend a lot of time working on those myself.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  8. #338
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    Dear INFPs,

    Do you overanalyze situations to death?

    <3 One of You

  9. #339
    actinomycetes raindancing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Dear INFPs,

    Do you overanalyze situations to death?

    <3 One of You
    No time for in depth response, but in a word: YES (and beyond)
    “Can a man of perception respect himself at all?”
    ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  10. #340
    Member CreativeCait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Dear INFPs,

    Do you overanalyze situations to death?

    <3 One of You
    YES! It's almost like a process I have to go through, unwillingly even. I pick everything apart untill its meaningless and I've been through the whole gammut of scenarios, feelings and reactions and then re-construct it with whatever 'fits'. Geez, sometimes I frustrate myself

    Oh, and I often cocoon during this period and get frustrated when other people/things impinge on my analysing

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