What if the situation is a big deal, though? And I really want someone’s advice for it? It just doesn’t seem truthful for me to appear casual if it’s not. Would that scare an INFP off?Anyway, if you want to bring up a touchy subject in conversation, I think it would be acceptable to do the following with just about anyone, including an INFP:
When there’s a brief pause in the conversation, look a bit awkward and say, “I have a personal issue going on in my life, and I would like to run it past you just to get a second opinion. No pressure: It concerns only me and it’s not a real big deal. It’s just that I like to run things past a neutral observer who knows me. Just sometime when you have a few minutes.”
I think that sort of direct request would appeal to an INFP. It gets past the tap-dancing about whether or not you actually want to talk about it, and it suggests that the two of you can discuss something personal without obligation or drama. The key is to make the request very casual and keep expectations low: purge the request of any hint of pressure or personal investment required on the INFP’s part, and an INFP will become as curious/nosy as anyone else. Then let the INFP’s desire to play therapist do the rest.
I’ve read somewhere in this forum that Fi-users will sometimes feel that the person is in a bad/painful mood, and they’ll deliberately not ask about it because they feel like they can’t handle taking on that person’s painful emotions right now. Does that seem right to you? (Any Fi-user who wants to comment on this is welcome to!)I like talking about feelings. Scratch that, I *love* it. But I know most people don't. So when they're doing the polite thing and unless it's part of a group discussion or they mention something like 'I need your opinion on this', I try not to go there (I fail, often though). I won't ask about your day, coz when you talk to me, I can feel your mood. I already *know* the most important thing. And, as Skylights said, you might not wanna talk about it. I'm likely to check, just to make sure though and go: 'hey, you feeling alright today, you seem a bit..off '
I’m not sure if it’s A or B. It could be A, since I do think she’s less focused on feelings than you seem to be by your description. B is also possible. And if so, I want to change the contract! I’m someone who loves sharing feelings with people I can trust; it’s just that I’ve been not sharing because I’ve been waiting for the social cues. So she may have taken this as me not being someone who likes to share things like that too often or not wanting to share it with her.If your friend doesn't do that, it would appear that a) she might be less focused on discussing stuff like this in general and/or b) you guys don't have a 'talking about feelings' bond. You share different common grounds, so she's not really ehm..using her skills to check on you emotionally, as you never indicated a need for that/that was never part of your friendship 'contract' (Fi-users tend to make individually tailored 'contracts' in their relationship while Fe-users seem to use the 'standard contract' provided by society). However, that contract is fluid and can be changed over time easy peasy, at least with me. It's kinda like a bond that grows, and when a person indicates that they trust me, and show me that, I'll reciprocate, mirrorring that trust, and deepening the bond, opening our friendship up to more indept convo about who we are and all the vulnerable dirty little secrets that entails. I have people though that don't know me at all and somehow seem to need someone to talk to, sometimes come to me and ask for my opinion on a situation they're in, and i'm more than happy to help if I can. That's more of a professional counsellor-'patient?' type of bond or that's how I feel it, since no bond was established before yet. My point is, talking about feelings doesn't really usually require bonding (at least for me), but if you are friends and it's not naturally part of your friendship, you might have to nudge her sensitivity to this stuff, and just be, as said before go:
'Hey, can I talk to you about something for a sec? I could use your perspective on this matter as I'm not sure what to do '
It's simple, to the point, and will make her fully focused on you. Keep in mind that if you ask this though, she'll go into problemsolving mode. If you want to actually just have her listen without saying anything, without solving anything, phrase it differently:
' Hey, can I rant at you about something for a bit, I have this thing that's just annoying the shit out of me right now.'
=> indicates listen only, and no jumping in with helpful solutions, just empathizing hard
Also, I love your two recommendations and the reaction that each one is likely to provoke, thanks! It's helpful