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Thread: By the time you know the INFP had a problem, they're long gone?

  1. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    [....] like if i don't walk the straight and narrow (and invisible) path the NFJ thinks is best, the NFJ could be quite cold to me. that can really make it hard for an NFP's general operation, which is to be pretty fluid and open. that may feed into the reason for an INFP not voicing things.

    imo, FP/FJ differences have a HUGE impact in relationships, especially between NFs (i think that must have something to do with how N obscures and "bends" F, as opposed to more up-front and clear SFs).
    Yeah, great point! If an INFJ were to get thin-lipped and disapproving on me, I would treat that as a get-out-of-jail-free card and slip away quietly. If the other party can't be bothered to facilitate communication, then that relieves me of any responsibility to invest in communication myself.

    Same with NTs who dog me about being too expressive or explaining myself too much or whatever. There comes a point where I feel they're putting up too many obstacles to communication and I slip into comfortable silence and wait for a good opportunity to slip away.

    I try to be straightforward with people and communicate with them honestly. But as an introvert, my default mode is uncommunicativeness: Give me a good reason to go there, and that's where I go.

  2. #12
    Lay the coin on my tongue Array SilkRoad's Avatar
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    As was already said on this thread, I think INFJs can be a bit like that too, but perhaps before the exit out the door, you are more likely to be on the receiving end of an INFJ explosion of rage and distress where they'll dump EVERYTHING that's wrong on you. Perhaps INFPs skip the explosion part. Hmm...
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  3. #13
    Dependable Skeleton Array Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarsPer View Post
    I've recently come into watching for this behavior in INFPs and wanted to extend the observation to all of you to get some more input.

    From my experiences I've had first-hand or been around in my personal life, I've started thinking that INFPs may have a propensity for managing (or not managing) their feelings and self-awareness in such a way that while in a relationship, they are not communicative and thus solution-oriented about their dissatisfactions. And that by the time they finally commit to their dissatisfaction and make it known, it is on their way out the door, leaving their partner with no say, no hope, no relevance.

    A little more info thus far would be that I've seen this happen twice with INFJ/INFP relationships and of course when I say "not communicative" that is coming from an INFJs standards. The INFPs seem to harbor a mentality along the lines of that if something is wrong, they "shouldn't have to" point it out. To me that just looks lazy and self-defeating of the INFP.

    If this is a pretty habitual way of handling problems, communication and relationships for INFPs, then I have to say that they sound like really unreliable lovers. And that they will move on completely, emotionally, without your having any idea of it seems outright inhumane to me. Again, though, I am an INFJ.

    So! Somebody call me an idiot and somebody tell me that I'm right? I'm really curious as to whether other people can and have observed this, and would love any opinions on how and why this may be.. especially if I can view this demeanor as simply being different, rather than really lousy.
    This sounds exactly like my relationship with my ex. The best she would do with this would be to slightly hint that something was bothering her, then say it was fine when I apologized or asked how I could make it different. The only warning I got that she wasn't happy was when she told me that she was seeing one of the guy friends she was hanging out with recently and didn't want to be in our relationship anymore. The way she said it was completely unapologetic and in a way, directed at me bluntly, like it should have been self-explanatory and I should have known and just adapted. I don't know, maybe it was because she was also kind of a bitch, but this seems quite similar to what you described.

    Of course, being a t6, and an INTJ, I did what any other of my kind would do: cut her out of everything I did after a moment of letting her know I was extremely disappointed in her behavior and shocked that she considered our relationship so temporary that she didn't have the common decency to tell me anything about this. In contrast, two months before, she was talking about getting married.

    So, yeah.
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    "Over the heartache that they say/Never completely goes away..."

  4. #14
    Senior Member Array Santosha's Avatar
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    I'm not a confirmed INFP either.. falling more into that "ambivert" region. So my post may have little bearing. I would expect this issue your talking about has more to do with the level of introversion and the inidivual all together.

    For me, I have been EXTREMELY prone to bringing up things that need to be discussed, but suck ass at realizing when things just can't be resolved and leaving. I am usually very cautious of who I "plug into" with relationships.. so by the time I'm very close.. I've analyzed the other person to death with various scenarios of trust, self disclosure, and if they give back equally. Once plugged in.. I become the one that ALWAYS wants to talk through issues and resolve. It is infact, unbearable for me to be in a bad or restricted relationship. It really fucks my shit up.. I can't focus on work, friends, projects, etc. if I have a problem brewing in my own home with my partner. I am the poster child for "lets work it out.. how do you feel.. what do you need.. heres what I need.. how can we change our relationship for the better.." etc. Then again, perhaps I am really an extrovert. In terms of INFJ's.. my first great love was with an INFJ.. and this person did tend to hold back on problems.. gloss over stuff.. so there were many times that he was unhappy but I didn't pick it up. BUt those things would eventually come crashing down too.. (3 months after a BBQ when I made a comment about him being out of work) and would eventually be delt with. So what is my point here? Oh yes... my guess is that more accurately typed INFP's should post and let you know if they've responded this way.. but I'm thinking it might be more individual than type.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  5. #15
    Senor Membrane Array
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarsPer View Post
    By the time you know the INFP had a problem, they're long gone?
    I think I use this kind of "strategy" in a more subtle way. By the time you realize I had a problem, the problem is long gone. And most of the normal problems fall to this category. The obvious issue is that I can't be certain when this is a good strategy. There's also the question of honesty. I don't want to start pointing the flaws in the other, because once I point them out, they will focus their attention to those flaws and it will most likely be blown out of proportion. To not point the flaws is not as honest as I would like, but I don't know if it is better to point out things that are from my perspective flaws, and then they will have to try to change themselves according to that info? Fineline said it pretty well:

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Too honest to lie and too tender to be honest, I can see where INFPs might look for any justification for avoiding that particular part of the break-up interview and perhaps opt for an unannounced bail-out or maybe just storm away for good after a petty squabble.
    I would add that this is not just a question of "too tender". It goes right down to my idea of individuality. I don't believe that people should conform to my ideas. I don't want people pushing their table manners on me, so I can't go doing it to them. There are levels of voicing your needs, though.. So, it's not all or nothing deal. I guess the problem of OP will be more manifested in INFPs who have less options between "Hint that there is something wrong" and "Walk out the door". In other words, the more black and white the INFP, the less they will have tools to move on these gray areas of conflicting ethics.

  6. #16
    Anew Leaf


    I would say this is a problem for younger/more immature INFPs.

    It probably stems a bit from our ridiculous idealization of other people. We think we are mind readers, and that everyone else is one too.

    I did something like this in a relationship I had with an ENTP. He was 5 years younger than me, and we were in completely different places in life... But I loved him a ton. In my head I was already trying on the idea of what marriage/family might look like. Until one night he told me his Real thoughts on marriage (what's the point?) and kids (no thanks) and sharing finances (hell no) and it hit me that we were not compatible in this realm. So from his perspective he saw: me being loving and sweet. From my perspective I saw: love and happiness contrasted with the cold reality of "this isn't going to the train station i want it to, and I'm crazy to want to change him.". So I broke it off.

    I don't think this holds to just INFPs though. I've been blindsided by an INTJ and INTP before.

    Now that I know what I want, I am more prepared to being upfront on what I want, and therefore I will more likely get what I want. I could have saved a lot of my own heartache and others as well if I had done that from the get go.

  7. #17
    Paragon Gone Wrong Array OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarsPer View Post
    From my experiences I've had first-hand or been around in my personal life, I've started thinking that INFPs may have a propensity for managing (or not managing) their feelings and self-awareness in such a way that while in a relationship, they are not communicative and thus solution-oriented about their dissatisfactions.
    I admit I do try & solve problems on my own because evaluating things is an introverted process for me. I don't communicate my feelings directly to others to solve them. Fi types tend to internalize feelings & emotions to deal with them. It's the nature of the mindset. Part of it is the need to make sure the feeling is valid. I know I am very sensitive, so I like to chew over a feeling for a bit to make sure it's not just an overreaction. We also tend to look inward first when there is a problem, to see what we can do to improve. From my perspective, it seems FJs tend to look outward first, seeing what the other person needs to do. Fi types are more likely to blame themselves & adjust, until they can't anymore, and then they resent that others are not adjusting (this is born out of the assumption everyone makes that others think as they do).

    Anyhow, if I determine a feeling is valid and I'm not able to settle it myself, then I turn to other people for ideas (Ne idea-bouncing, let's call it), but I still don't like to have to define exactly what I feel. I'll often discuss it in a hypothetical, general form. This is because Fi-dom often experience dismissal of their feelings as invalid or unacceptable, or simply unfathomable, so they learn to only expose their feelings very carefully. Our feelings tend to be deep, but vague also; I can't say "X is important to me", but I can communicate a general philosophy, and from there I do expect someone to be able to discern in general what may or may not offend me. And when I say that, I mean very much in general, not specifics.

    So INFPs possibly do tell you how they feel, but it's indirectly stated. We don't tend to do dramatic confrontations.

    If you notice that Fi-doms avoid telling you how they feel, you may want to examine your reactions to them. They might find you dismissive & not understanding. You may be unintentionally misunderstanding what they feel or not even realizing when they are communicating a feeling.

    And that by the time they finally commit to their dissatisfaction and make it known, it is on their way out the door, leaving their partner with no say, no hope, no relevance.
    This is because Fi types often don't see their feelings as something that can be moved by others. So what can you do to change them? Nothing. Of course that is not entirely true, but the mindset tends to be that only they can alter how they feel, and if they have not been able to change their feeling of dissatisfaction with a situation, then it's the situation that needs to change.

    The INFPs seem to harbor a mentality along the lines of that if something is wrong, they "shouldn't have to" point it out. To me that just looks lazy and self-defeating of the INFP.
    I hate when people do this also. I never expect someone to read my mind.
    However, often when I try to express a problem, it is dismissed, invalidated or just not understood. This is because Fi values are quite individual & often unrelated to what others around them deem important.

    Anyhow, I often take these reactions as a refusal to solve the problem & to take any responsibility for it. Then the processes I mentioned above start. I try to solve the feeling of dissatisfaction myself, but it can't be changed, so then I leave, because it seems that's the only option left. However, more often than not, this process cycles a bit before I actually bail. I'm very loyal, and once I'm attached to someone, then it takes a lot to permanently sever the relationship. I reattempt to communicate feelings many times before I give up.

    Another thing I will also say is, I do not want to have to "teach" someone how to be in a relationship. I don't expect a mind reader, & I will allow for growth to occur, but I do expect some emotional sensitivity and awareness of how I feel without me having to spell it out constantly. I'm very liberal with what I tolerate & very patient, so this is not unreasonable, IMO.

    In the case of a person just being wrong for me as a whole, then I don't want to give them a chance to solve the problems, because I've deemed them unsuitable for a relationship. It's not anything they do or don't do so much as just who they are, period.

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    In any case, I think INFPs can bail on a relationship in a rather peremptory manner. But I think it tends to occur mostly a) when the relationship is still new and the INFP hasn’t fully committed to it in the first place; or b) when the relationship has been having obvious problems and the INFP figures it won’t be much of a surprise if he/she bails out unannounced. At least, that’s when I’ve seen it happen.
    I agree with this. The INFP has evaluated the relationship as not worth the trouble & that usually only happens when it's new or very casual & shallow. It's likely the INFP had little emotional investment to begin with.... In the case of "b", the INFP probably sees the situation as unsolvable, but I bet they still did not come to this conclusion without the process I described above.
    "Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself. But it's always with love - So much love it looks like everything else. Charlotte Sometimes - So far away, glass sealed and pretty." - The Cure

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  8. #18
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    I find that infjs' typically assume and ascribe meanings to my actions based on their views, not on my reality.

    There are two ways with dealing with a problem- changing your view of it, or changing the situation. If I have an issue, I will try the former way first, because I don't expect a person I'm in a relationship with to change their personality for me.

    It is not about expecting someone to read my mind- I highly doubt an Fi-dom would like their mind or feelings to be "read", in fact I would hate that. If I wanted my feelings known I would express them! I don't expect anyone to know what I do not express! I find Fjs' can become clingy around me because they assume so many things about my behaviours as being dismissive or that something is up or wrong with me.

    I like to fully understand a situation before I leap into dealing with it. I let it parse out before I come to conclusions, otherwise I wont have the proper information to deal with it. Sometimes by the time i've gathered data, I acknowledge I made the wrong decision in dealing with the person. This mostly happens in short term relationships that move fast without me getting a good read on the person, or if that person starts changing their behaviour shortly after we start engaging. I always see the good in people, and sometimes it takes a while for my rose coloured glasses to come off to realise, that it's not going to work. And I have every right to do what's best for me. I also acknowledge that being together would not be in the best interests of the other party as well.

    I don't bail on someone who has good interpersonal skills. I have instead, walked away from people who weren't ready for a relationship themselves; who weren't healthy. People often blame infps' for their non communication, and assume that if the infp brought the issue up, the relationship would be fine. Well, it takes two to tango. Sometimes relationships aren't salvageable, and actually focusing on fixing the problems wont change much at all. It's not just infps' who make decisions based on probable outcomes- everybody does it. If it's fixable, sure I would bring up the problem and work on it, if it's not, it's simply going to hurt the other person to keep it going any longer. I would rather end it, then drag someone along. I'm not co dependent, and I do not go into a relationship expecting someone to change! I take and accept people as they are and am fully equipped to realise when a relationship is not going to work in the long term!

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