Hello fellow NF's;
I'm not sure how to start this post, so I'll just dive right in. What I want to discuss is pretty straightforward.
Some of the hallmarks of an NF is our ability to empathize and our depth of feeling. Over the past year I've noticed myself becoming more detached. There's either a lack of emotion on my part or a general feeling of distance. Emotions are muted (the majority of the time) and (according to others) I'm angry and cynical a large portion of the time. I'll ask that you take my word for it that a majority of the anger and cynicism is justifiable. Well, as justifiable as those two traits can be.
In short, the INFJ characteristics that used to be so prevalent for me (Patience, kindness, empathy, caring, warmth.) are all but gone. They still surface occasionally around one or two people, but I'm very analytic and probably don't even seem to be an INFJ anymore to the majority. "Asshole" is probably a more accurate typing.
This is from The Tin Man
[I realize she is NOT a preferred source, but I was checking her website out anyway. I agree that she's out there :crazy: some things, but on others she seems solid. This appears to be one her more lucid moments xD.]
The pertinent portion of that entry;
Except I don't feel a need for a hug anymore.When Catalysts get emotionally injured, they tend to erect psychological "barriers" to avoid suffering further damage. It's a completely understandable reaction. The paradox is that the same barriers which protect them from getting wounded will also act as barriers that inadvertently preclude them from feeling loved.
It can be a dangerous trap for a Catalyst to become a shielded "tin man." The "protection" thwarts them from getting their own greatest needs met, and thus they can become the bitterest and angriest of people -- with their potential for love, empathy, and understanding completely wasted. Their aptitude for love can become dwarfed by their capability for cynicism, bitterness, and even hate.
It takes great courage to stay vulnerable and open to the possibility of being hurt when you've been injured in the past. It's even illogical to do so! Nevertheless, the obvious remedy of growing "tin skin" will only result in the Catalyst "dying" inside psychologically.
It's hard to keep the barriers down, especially when it feels more powerful to live out of your opposite. Unfortunately, when you get stuck in that seemingly "safe" place, you can't really develop or grow.
So be vigilant, and examine yourself often for signs of "tin skin." If you meet a fellow Tin Man, give 'm a hug.
Have you personally [or a fellow NF that you know] ever gone through this? If so, would you agree that the excerpt from "The Tin Man" article is salient and accurate? Does this happen to ALL INFJ's as they get older, to some degree? Or is it just an unhealthy and uncommon coping mechanism?
Most importantly. How would one reverse that process?
INFJ's in particular are of interest to me, naturally, but any NF's (or other types!) are welcome to weigh in. Any and all thoughts on the matter are welcome.
I'd love to hear @fidelia and @SilkRoad weigh in.