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  1. #21
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    I've been thinking more about the OP's guidelines. The 'rules' might sound rigid, but I think actually there are only a couple of underlying things that are vital and perhaps INFJ-specific.

    I'm never good at objective guidelines, so I'll share what I feel is important to me. Here goes a rather subjective take on what INFJs are like in relationships

    Emotional Connectedness
    This is probably the core of every relationship, but I seem to have a slightly unhealthy tendency to focus all my energy on it that all other factors become puny trivialities. I can be emotionally high-maintenance, but that's because I need to feel emotionally connected to you all the time. However, I'm not hard to handle if you know how. I know it's different for everyone, but actually all I need is talking. I don't care what we talk about, but talk to me. Share your ideas. Tell me how you are feeling. Ultimately, I want to understand everything about you, and I wish you would want to completely understand me as well, and then we can grow together, and become one whole unit of love and fuzziness. Anger outbursts, storming out on disagreements, not picking up your phone and not calling back, silent treatments, passive-aggressive responses when we try to fix things, defensive hurtful words, all these things indicate that you are shutting me out. The emotional connectedness is broken, and if that doesn't get fixed very soon or if it keeps happening, the relationship is no more.

    Direction
    I remember reading somewhere a long time ago about how INFJs want the "perfect relationship" and they will end the relationship if it falls short of their ideals. At that time I thought it was totally not true. Over time, though, I started to realize they might be on to something. Once I think about it, I have to admit that I'm not very good at "enjoying the journey". I do enjoy the journey, but only as long as it leads somewhere. However, I don't have the concrete definitions of what a "perfect relationship" is either, except that ultimately we should be able to achieve that mutual understanding and growth. So, there is definitely room for adjustments. I think a lot of INFJs will end a relationship if we don't see it going anywhere, such as when we perceive that the other party is uncommunicative or unwilling to move towards mutual understanding. The problem is, sometimes we forget to tell people this, and perhaps sometimes we are not even really conscious of this need in ourselves. More concrete examples would be people who don't know what kind of life they want and cannot say if they want the same thing, people who after years are still unsure about the relationship and still talk about hypothetical future partners, people who seem to be trying to keep their options open without including the INFJ in the picture -- this is very threatening to the INFJ's sense of direction and they usually end up leaving because they see no happy ending at the end of the road.

    Vigilance
    INFJs are very guarded. There are layers and layers and layers of guardedness. We are also easily spooked and we over-analyze everything. Because we have our eyes on the ultimate connection, anything that threatens that will be spotted and immediately 'fixed'. Ni also partly tries to foresee trends, so for us, "little things" are indicative of hidden "big issues". For example, one time my friends and I were discussing make-up, and I said that ideally no one should feel like they have to put on make-up. A guy friend laughed and said "Oh, but some women really need make-up", and I found that comment very disturbing and I secretly questioned his respect for women in general. We fret over these seemingly little things, and again, most of the time we will not tell you about it unless we know you fairly well and trust you or until we have found more information to support or eradicate our doubt.

    Other Issues
    A lot of people have mentioned INFJs' "high standards/expectations" and how INFJs try to "change" or "fix" them. I think I have already included that in my three points, but I feel I should elaborate a little more.

    Actually it's not as much "high standards/expectations" as "growth", really -- and mutual growth at that. That's the only thing that matters. INFJs might seem pushy and judgy when something is not moving towards that growth, but I can assure you that with understanding, the judging is much, much less. So make sure you talk a lot and don't let conflicts go unresolved.

    Once you're 'in', just be prepared for a lot of loving
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  2. #22
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    However, I'm not hard to handle if you know how. I know it's different for everyone, but actually all I need is talking. I don't care what we talk about, but talk to me. Share your ideas. Tell me how you are feeling. Ultimately, I want to understand everything about you, and I wish you would want to completely understand me as well, and then we can grow together, and become one whole unit of love and fuzziness. Anger outbursts, storming out on disagreements, not picking up your phone and not calling back, silent treatments, passive-aggressive responses when we try to fix things, defensive hurtful words, all these things indicate that you are shutting me out. The emotional connectedness is broken, and if that doesn't get fixed very soon or if it keeps happening, the relationship is no more.
    I didn't know that this is a common issue among INFJs and always took it personally whenever this happens. Every word you've mentioned rings a true bell to me.

    Thanks for posting this!

  3. #23
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    The emotional connectedness is broken, and if that doesn't get fixed very soon or if it keeps happening, the relationship is no more.
    To me, the doorslamming part doesn't have to do with feeling a waste of time or feeling bad about over-investing on someone, but the urge to stop feeling pain of being totally heartbroken as it is simply unbearable.

  4. #24
    Junior Member janea's Avatar
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    Oh yeah! everything 21% said rings true for me as well. Also for my INFJ ex....all of that is spot on. Very nice post!

    Crescent Fresh, I really relate to what you said about the doorslamming part. When it comes to very close relationships or romantic relationships, the only way I would consider the doorslam would be because I feel totally heartbroken and simply can't take anymore pain & hurt. However with friends that aren't really close, I've had a tendency to shut them out if I get to a point where I feel like the friendship requires too much of my energy and is not really going anywhere positive. I usually try to see the good in the relationship and give it the benefit of the doubt, so it takes me quite a while to finally shut the door on someone but if I eventually get to a point where I feel like it is a waste of my time and energy then I usually do shut them out eventually. So, for me I guess it's different depending on the type of relationship as far as why I ultimately doorslam them.
    The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

  5. #25
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janea View Post
    Oh yeah! everything 21% said rings true for me as well. Also for my INFJ ex....all of that is spot on. Very nice post!

    Crescent Fresh, I really relate to what you said about the doorslamming part. When it comes to very close relationships or romantic relationships, the only way I would consider the doorslam would be because I feel totally heartbroken and simply can't take anymore pain & hurt. However with friends that aren't really close, I've had a tendency to shut them out if I get to a point where I feel like the friendship requires too much of my energy and is not really going anywhere positive. I usually try to see the good in the relationship and give it the benefit of the doubt, so it takes me quite a while to finally shut the door on someone but if I eventually get to a point where I feel like it is a waste of my time and energy then I usually do shut them out eventually. So, for me I guess it's different depending on the type of relationship as far as why I ultimately doorslam them.
    Actually I really don't want to paint a negative picture of INFJs whenever the doorslamming topic comes out. I think INJFs are just not good at giving criticism (even constructive) to people who they don't feel connected. I once had a friend and she just doesn't know when to hang up the phone even after I had dropped many obvious hints. She usually complain about her ex-boyfriends and 90% of the conversation revolves around her. The funny thing is when we gathered with other friends, she's quite talkative but not as much compared to phone conversation. I still remembered I had bared nearly 5 hours just to listen to her ranting about her past relationships. I honestly felt irritated, but also felt pity toward her. I think for INFJs we easily feel sorry for people and we try hard to persuade ourselves that when people choose you to vent, there's a reason behind it and it usually has to do with how easygoing, patience, and flexible (in terms of personal time) we are.

    The problem is that when things started to become too dragging and sucking our energy excessively (usually negative energy), that's when we'll start to re-evaluate the relationship and comes up with the ultimate final decision---doorslamming.

    I know this may sound egoistic to doorslam someone without giving them a proper reason, though what good will it do if that's something impossible to change? I wouldn't want someone to change his/her personality in order to "adapt" my sets of standards, especially when it comes to accquaintance, or friends who we didn't invest our emotion deeply.

    Though if we do felt hurt and have a strong urge (Fe) to doorslam someone, that's usually a sign when we felt we're not being loved or being ignored by someone who we considered to be very important. This probably explains why INFJs can tend to be ultra-picky toward selecting their close friends as we want to reserve our energy only to those who deserve it as we can't risk our hearts being shattered...And unlike Exxx, our recovery isn't speedy at all, it takes at least a few months (well, in my case) to be fully recovered.

  6. #26
    Junior Member CurlyJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    We are also easily spooked and we over-analyze everything.... Ni also partly tries to foresee trends, so for us, "little things" are indicative of hidden "big issues".
    Yes! I agree that INFJs are easily spooked and that they see trends in little things, but I struggle with this. As an ISTP, I also analyze things and see trends, but one or two data points do not make a trend.

    I feel that my INFJ girlfriend often overreacts. If I am unresponsive during a phone call and say that it's because I'm tired, she rarely takes that at face value. No, she has to read something else into it. There must be a problem in the relationship. I'm no longer interested. Whereas if she is unresponsive and says she is tired, I believe her and think nothing more of it. Only if it was repeated often would I look for other reasons.

    I can be on my best behavior for months, but if I do one thing wrong, she will still be spooked.

    Spending all of your time looking for hidden "big issues" may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  7. #27
    Junior Member janea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyJoe View Post
    Spending all of your time looking for hidden "big issues" may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    You have a very good point here! I tend to search for hidden meanings in a lot of things and rarely take things at "face value" but this has caused me problems in the past so, it's something I'm really working on. It's a tough one though because I really don't like to be surprised. I want to understand the meaning behind pretty much everything because there is this belief, or perhaps illusion, that if I do finally get to a point where I understand the meaning behind things then I feel adequately prepared and I feel "safe"... it's an illusion of security.
    The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

  8. #28
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyJoe View Post
    Yes! I agree that INFJs are easily spooked and that they see trends in little things, but I struggle with this. As an ISTP, I also analyze things and see trends, but one or two data points do not make a trend.

    I feel that my INFJ girlfriend often overreacts. If I am unresponsive during a phone call and say that it's because I'm tired, she rarely takes that at face value. No, she has to read something else into it. There must be a problem in the relationship. I'm no longer interested. Whereas if she is unresponsive and says she is tired, I believe her and think nothing more of it. Only if it was repeated often would I look for other reasons.I can be on my best behavior for months, but if I do one thing wrong, she will still be spooked.

    Spending all of your time looking for hidden "big issues" may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Lol - Try switching your responses around. She needs to take you at face value, and you should consider that maybe when she says she is tired, it could mean more.

    INFJs generally want to be reasonable and fair and they are also likely to try to do more than share of accommodating, which in the end creates problems for both partners.

    In the quest to constantly prevent problems and seem reasonable, they often end up creating problems and can be perceived by a thinking partner as overemotional.

    Sometimes they are not sure if it's a big enough thing to bring up and are still trying to decide if the problem is a factor that originates with them (lack of sleep, other stressors, past hurts, lack of enough information to understand behaviour in context etc), or if they've exhausted everything within their power to improve their perspective or their feelings about the situation. They may also first try to change the situation to something that accommodates both people without disturbing the partner unnecessarily.

    While they are doing all this, they sometimes underestimate how strongly they are feeling until the dam breaks and it all comes rushing out in an embarrassing and surprising mess. If there's a pattern that emerges of several little incidents that they have tried to deal with internally or they think they have brought up with you and they have gone unaddressed, they start to suspect that the problem lies with you or they start to question your feelings for them. Then all of these seemingly little incidents/statements/issues come up.

  9. #29
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    Once you're 'in', just be prepared for a lot of loving
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  10. #30
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    This thread is a bit frightening. Let's hope that INFJs use their knowledge of MBTI to grow as individuals and become better mates than those described in the OP.
    haha....most of them are not that bad. I just hate it when they can dish it out but not take it. That's the biggest flaws in most INFJs I've known, and the worse it is, the harder they are to bear.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

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