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  1. #11
    Señora Member Elfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I've brought this up in several threads, but no INFJ will address it.

    I've had this experience with several INFJs:
    You tell them that you are hurt by an action of theirs. They get upset that someone dare implies they are capable of being hurtful. You acknowledge that they did not have bad intentions, but you note that you still cannot accept this behavior, because it is hurtful regardless of intentions. This is an action not tolerated by most people; it is not a Fi value coming out of nowhere (two examples are: cruel name-calling and blowing someone off when you made plans with them). They basically insist YOU need to change how you feel now that you know they did not mean to be hurtful. Somehow, their intentions are supposed to make very disrespectful behavior okay, so that you are not allowed to be hurt by it or ask for different behavior in the future. So even though THEIR behavior was hurtful, they expect YOU to change as the solution; namely, to change your feelings about the behavior.

    I don't understand this thinking. It's like only the INFJ is allowed to be hurt, and everyone has to change for them; they refuse to adjust to accommodate others' needs/feelings. It's a complete invalidation of the other person's feelings, insisting all compromise occurs on the other's end. You can't call them on it either, because again, they get hurt that anyone could suggest they are even able to hurt others, and so they will cut people off before they make even the smallest adjustment in their behavior. It's very "my way or the highway". Then they have the nerve (or maybe the delusion) to see themselves as victims. Is it possible to get through to such people, or is it a lost cause? The thing is, I've seen them do it with others, so that they have a negative, destructive pattern. It's self-sabotaging, but they refuse to take responsibility for the pattern, continuing to blame others. How does a person like this EVER grow or change? What has to happen to cause them to see that they even need to?
    My mom acts more or less like that... And I think she's ISFP...

  2. #12
    Step into my office. Luv Deluxe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I've brought this up in several threads, but no INFJ will address it.

    I've had this experience with several INFJs:
    You tell them that you are hurt by an action of theirs. They get upset that someone dare implies they are capable of being hurtful. You acknowledge that they did not have bad intentions, but you note that you still cannot accept this behavior, because it is hurtful regardless of intentions. This is an action not tolerated by most people; it is not a Fi value coming out of nowhere (two examples are: cruel name-calling and blowing someone off when you made plans with them). They basically insist YOU need to change how you feel now that you know they did not mean to be hurtful. Somehow, their intentions are supposed to make very disrespectful behavior okay, so that you are not allowed to be hurt by it or ask for different behavior in the future. So even though THEIR behavior was hurtful, they expect YOU to change as the solution; namely, to change your feelings about the behavior.

    I don't understand this thinking. It's like only the INFJ is allowed to be hurt, and everyone has to change for them; they refuse to adjust to accommodate others' needs/feelings. It's a complete invalidation of the other person's feelings, insisting all compromise occurs on the other's end. You can't call them on it either, because again, they get hurt that anyone could suggest they are even able to hurt others, and so they will cut people off before they make even the smallest adjustment in their behavior. It's very "my way or the highway". Then they have the nerve (or maybe the delusion) to see themselves as victims. Is it possible to get through to such people, or is it a lost cause? The thing is, I've seen them do it with others, so that they have a negative, destructive pattern. It's self-sabotaging, but they refuse to take responsibility for the pattern, continuing to blame others. How does a person like this EVER grow or change? What has to happen to cause them to see that they even need to?
    I don't want to out myself, exactly, but speaking as an "unhealthy" INFJ, I think I might have some insight. (I'm putting "unhealthy" in quotes because I believe that we all have our issues. I'm not trying to seek any sort of uniqueness with that label; furthermore, everything is relative.)

    What you're describing here sounds something akin to a defense mechanism called splitting, which is essentially a form of dichotomous thinking designed to ignore the coexistence of good and bad qualities in the same person (especially under stress). Combine this with extreme emotional sensitivity, and you've got someone who constantly plays the victim because they really do believe they are being victimized. Maybe for some it's a manipulation game, but from my perspective, it's sincere. It's a genuine but irrational flow of feeling that can get out of control very quickly. It goes something like this: you were a good person, a friend - but now you're hurting me by being so accusatory, and I don't know why this is happening since I didn't mean to hurt you, but now you're trying to hurt me on purpose because you're angry, why can't you just see things from my perspective because I've tried being empathetic to you, but it just wasn't good enough! And then it snowballs: you're just like everyone else who ever did this to me! You horrible human being, go screw yourself.

    At its core, it's just invalidation breeding invalidation. I think being exposed to the wrong environment as a kid (especially if you're already a sensitive person) can encourage and even worsen this behavior well into adulthood. If you grow up learning that you're not supposed to cry, you're not supposed to feel this way, no one's going to listen to you, shut up and ignore it, etc...it can leave a lasting mark on very thin skin. So even in a small-scale, present-day argument, it is very easy to hit a sensitive person's triggers. However, in desperately defending oneself as the victim, the other party involved has his/her feelings disregarded, too - and this is not good.

    Some of those behaviors might even be a little self-righteous. It's easy to feel like you're sooo infallibly empathetic (even though nobody is) that it actually catches you off-guard when you've accidentally stepped on someone's toes. And then it's erroneously perceived as an attack on your character when the other person points it out. Or worse - you feel like the other person did something to trip your moral code alarms, and therefore you believe they are deserving of an attack. If it can't be stopped before the situation spirals out of hand, there will be a lack of compromise, total misunderstanding, and extremely keyed up emotions that cause those infamous grudges and door slams. It's very honestly why I think we saintly INFJs might actually be capable of some very ugly things when unwell and crusading under the mask of our morality. (I'm not a religious person - let morality here just be a strong sense of right and wrong.) We can hurt ourselves with our own beliefs, I think.

    I wouldn't give up on people like this, though. I decided to see someone about it, and I'm learning more all the time. I would like to be a better person, and I do genuinely feel bad when I look back on an episode and realize what a jerk I was. (I guess that's one way that I try grow and change as an FJ.)

    I'm replying because I recognize those issues in myself and I happen to be an INFJ. Maybe there's something about INFJ wiring that makes us especially prone to these problems, or maybe several others will read this and go, "What the hell are you talking about? That's not me at all!" I actually don't know. Maybe I've just thrown myself off the extreme deep end and haven't made much sense to anyone at all. Hopefully it helped with your questions a little bit, anyway.

    Now, if anyone needs me, I'm going to find a hole to crawl into.
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  3. #13
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    FJs can grow by
    - learning to leave other people the f@$k alone
    - identifying and moving toward taking care of their own needs
    - learning personal boundaries, both of themselves and others
    - learning to step back and look at a situation from a more detached vantage point
    - learning to disagree/conflict with someone when agreeing would detriment them
    - learning to be assertive and speak up when something is wrong
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I've brought this up in several threads, but no INFJ will address it.

    I've had this experience with several INFJs:
    You tell them that you are hurt by an action of theirs. They get upset that someone dare implies they are capable of being hurtful. You acknowledge that they did not have bad intentions, but you note that you still cannot accept this behavior, because it is hurtful regardless of intentions. This is an action not tolerated by most people; it is not a Fi value coming out of nowhere (two examples are: cruel name-calling and blowing someone off when you made plans with them). They basically insist YOU need to change how you feel now that you know they did not mean to be hurtful. Somehow, their intentions are supposed to make very disrespectful behavior okay, so that you are not allowed to be hurt by it or ask for different behavior in the future. So even though THEIR behavior was hurtful, they expect YOU to change as the solution; namely, to change your feelings about the behavior.

    I don't understand this thinking. It's like only the INFJ is allowed to be hurt, and everyone has to change for them; they refuse to adjust to accommodate others' needs/feelings. It's a complete invalidation of the other person's feelings, insisting all compromise occurs on the other's end. You can't call them on it either, because again, they get hurt that anyone could suggest they are even able to hurt others, and so they will cut people off before they make even the smallest adjustment in their behavior. It's very "my way or the highway". Then they have the nerve (or maybe the delusion) to see themselves as victims. Is it possible to get through to such people, or is it a lost cause? The thing is, I've seen them do it with others, so that they have a negative, destructive pattern. It's self-sabotaging, but they refuse to take responsibility for the pattern, continuing to blame others. How does a person like this EVER grow or change? What has to happen to cause them to see that they even need to?
    Just add trust issues (his) to that mix and that would be basically what brought about my recent breakup with my ex (ENFJ).

  5. #15
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntiheroComplex View Post
    I wouldn't give up on people like this, though. I decided to see someone about it, and I'm learning more all the time. I would like to be a better person, and I do genuinely feel bad when I look back on an episode and realize what a jerk I was. (I guess that's one way that I try grow and change as an FJ.)
    Thank you so much for this explanation! A lot of what you said hit the nail on the head as to what I'm referring to (as I'm always wondering if I explained it clearly). I don't doubt that not all or even most INFJs have this "issue", but it's a specific way of doing this that I have found unique to the ones I've known, and you really grasped just what that was. A lot of you said is what I suspected, but the childhood invalidation part was interesting. As an INFP, I can relate to that a bit (I think it's common for INFx children to have feelings/perspectives invalidated), but it caused different adult issues .

    What made you realize you sometimes had this tendency? It seems the main hurdle is simply acknowledging it to yourself. You've reached a point where you know a change is needed within, but how did you get there?
    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)

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  6. #16
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Some of them can learn to not turn every conversation into an opportunity to remind you how generous and selfless they are. It's the Bryan Adams syndrome - "No, you don't understand, you can't criticize me, I'm doing this for you! ".

    Hear that, ESFJ dad? /slightly bitter
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  7. #17
    Step into my office. Luv Deluxe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Thank you so much for this explanation! A lot of what you said hit the nail on the head as to what I'm referring to (as I'm always wondering if I explained it clearly). I don't doubt that not all or even most INFJs have this "issue", but it's a specific way of doing this that I have found unique to the ones I've known, and you really grasped just what that was. A lot of you said is what I suspected, but the childhood invalidation part was interesting. As an INFP, I can relate to that a bit (I think it's common for INFx children to have feelings/perspectives invalidated), but it caused different adult issues .

    What made you realize you sometimes had this tendency? It seems the main hurdle is simply acknowledging it to yourself. You've reached a point where you know a change is needed within, but how did you get there?
    I think I just had so much emotional turmoil and so many short-lived relationships (platonic or otherwise) that I decided to figure out what was happening, at the very least. I feel like both parties in such situations could always use more understanding. If the other people in my life weren't going make an effort, I felt that I ought to, especially since the problem seemed to follow me everywhere. And I think it's helped!
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  8. #18
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfa View Post
    My mom acts more or less like that... And I think she's ISFP...
    Yes, I don't necessarily see this as an Fe thing. I think it does deal more with F than T, though, because of values and how one is focused on their relationships with others. Typically the F types take pride in how "nice" they are or how "good" they are or how "sensitive" they are or how well they treat others (while T's tend to obsess about other aspects of themselves), so criticizing that aspect of their character can trigger a bad reaction if the person relies too much on that image to justify their value or if they are just having a bad day.
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  9. #19
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    ^ Because of the nature of Fi, I think Fi-dom are more likely to turn judgment inward though, as opposed to always seeing the problem as the other person's fault. This creates a different set of problems when criticizing them, no less difficult, just different.

    I don't think it's truly a Fe issue alone though....what I specifically described seems Ni+Fe. There's an element of ignoring facts (poor sensing) & choosing to interpret things as it suits them (the perspective shift). This is noted on some INFJ profiles*, and many Fe & Ni descriptions include aspects which easily combine to produce this quality. I'm interested in hearing how such individuals overcome this tendency. Thanks again to @AntiheroComplex for the feedback.

    *Personality Page:
    -May apply their judgment more often towards others, rather than towards themselves
    -With their ability to see an issue from many sides, they may always find others at fault for any problems in their lives
    -May believe that they're always right
    -May quickly dismiss input from others without really considering it
    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)

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  10. #20
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I've had this experience with several INFJs:
    You tell them that you are hurt by an action of theirs. They get upset that someone dare implies they are capable of being hurtful. You acknowledge that they did not have bad intentions, but you note that you still cannot accept this behavior, because it is hurtful regardless of intentions. This is an action not tolerated by most people; it is not a Fi value coming out of nowhere (two examples are: cruel name-calling and blowing someone off when you made plans with them). They basically insist YOU need to change how you feel now that you know they did not mean to be hurtful. Somehow, their intentions are supposed to make very disrespectful behavior okay, so that you are not allowed to be hurt by it or ask for different behavior in the future. So even though THEIR behavior was hurtful, they expect YOU to change as the solution; namely, to change your feelings about the behavior.

    I don't understand this thinking. It's like only the INFJ is allowed to be hurt, and everyone has to change for them; they refuse to adjust to accommodate others' needs/feelings. It's a complete invalidation of the other person's feelings, insisting all compromise occurs on the other's end. You can't call them on it either, because again, they get hurt that anyone could suggest they are even able to hurt others, and so they will cut people off before they make even the smallest adjustment in their behavior. It's very "my way or the highway". Then they have the nerve (or maybe the delusion) to see themselves as victims. Is it possible to get through to such people, or is it a lost cause? The thing is, I've seen them do it with others, so that they have a negative, destructive pattern. It's self-sabotaging, but they refuse to take responsibility for the pattern, continuing to blame others. How does a person like this EVER grow or change? What has to happen to cause them to see that they even need to?
    I'm inclined to think that this could happen with any type but that the rationale/reasons behind it would be different with all of them. With INFJs I supposed it could be the infamous "always right" syndrome which is a sort of combination of "my Ni gives me flawless intuition, and my Fe makes me perfectly diplomatic."

    But I certainly don't think it's exclusive to Ni/Fe dom/aux. I mean, in all honesty I think I've run into something similar with FPs. In the case of FPs I suppose it is more like "my Fi means I must be true to how I feel right now - even if it means apparent external inconsistency and unreliability, and hurting or letting others down, it's how I feel and that must be right so I have to stick to it regardless of how it affects others."

    I think I've seen the above in xNFJs and xNFPs both, and unless I'm way off that's approximately the reasoning behind either. But in any type I think it's indicative of an immature and selfish outlook. A lot of people are not able to properly take responsibility for their own actions and prefer a victim mentality whereby it's always someone else's fault. That's certainly not type-exclusive.
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