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  1. #1
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    Default INFJ and EST/ESF friendship problems

    I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on an issue/problem I am having with a friend? I'm an INFJ.. to my knowledge my friend tested ESFJ or ESTJ a couple of years ago, though I don't know how accurate the test was.

    I feel like I understand her but I don't feel that she understands me. Hence, I don't feel I can talk to her about half of the things in my life, how I am feeling, my thoughts, etc. I feel like we don't have that emotional DEPTH to our friendship, and I also feel like I can't discuss things on a very deep level with her because she doesn't seem to comprehend. I think she's amazing in her own ways, but it's like our thinking is just in different places or different levels. So I spend a lot of time not saying what is really on my mind, how I am feeling, etc. So it all slipped out one day when I was feeling particularly emotional, and now I am trying to explain it to her but I have no idea how! I mean, how do you explain something like this to someone? She's a very caring and loyal person, so it's not that she doesn't feel strong emotions.. but how do you explain to someone that you feel they don't have the depth you need and you don't feel like you connect with them on that level. She'd be so confused if I told her that, as though I was speaking nonsense to her. Especially given the combination of her extraversion and sensory preferences - she tends to take things at face value and I am the absolute opposite.

    And I just feel so frustrated because I feel like it's become a conflict and I abhor conflict plus I feel like I'm being a jerk to her despite the fact that she's reacted in some tactless and rude ways.

    She means a lot to me but I want to have friends who understand me and whom I can be myself around. I feel like I over-accommodate to her personality otherwise if I was more myself, I don't know she'd understand or appreciate it (ex. me voicing my options). So instead, I've kept quiet which has led her to not really get to know me as I am (my doing.. yeah I know), and the friendship has become very one-sided without her fully realizing. From what I know, she just thinks I've become more distant.

  2. #2
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Writing... down on paper how you feel...

    Provide incidents as example. What you tried to say, what she did not comprehend, how her reactions affected you.

    Hand said paper over for her to read.

    Inform her you'll address any further questions she has after she finishes reading.

    Have fun.

  3. #3
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    thanks.
    We've been talking through email, thank goodness. I do express myself much better in writing. plus, hopefully, the written version will give her something she can re-read if she's confused in any way.

  4. #4
    Content. Content? DigitalMethod's Avatar
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    "I feel like I understand her but I don't feel that she understands me."
    -If you understand her you wouldn't be asking how to get through to her. I understand what your saying though, that you basically understand her, but you don't think she understands you. Personally, if the same level of thinking wasn't there, then I wouldn't be there either. I would assume it's the S and N parts of you two. I really only find myself attached/attracted to other N's. It's the whole level of thinking that you can share with another person that makes the relationship beneficial for both parties.

    "So I spend a lot of time not saying what is really on my mind, how I am feeling"
    -What is on your mind? What are you feelings? Do you want a relationship or something?

    "I mean, how do you explain something like this to someone"
    -What is "this"? Sorry I might have missed that, is it that you want to explain to her that you want her to understand you? Be sure you know yourself before you try to explain yourself to others.

    Don't hate conflict, at least not any constructive conflict... if that makes sense...

    And I'd say follow nightning's advice too.

    Hope this helps, good luck
    "The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful."
    - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Forget everything you've ever learned about MBTI and be yourself? If she's confused, then she'll just have to take the time to figure you out. I'm sure you don't want to have to explain things all the time to her, and I think she's intelligent enough to figure out that that's just the way you are. A lot of this is "I feel like she doesn't understand me." which isn't the same as "she doesn't understand me." Instead of going off hunches, the next time you say something that you haven't normally said to her ask, "does that make any sense?" I usually do that when I'm not sure the other person knows what I mean. More often than not, they know approximately what I mean, regardless of type. And if they don't, then they have the opportunity to ask me to clear something up for them.

    I obviously don't know your friend, but from what you've posted, a lot of the problem seems to be constructed inside your head and is probably only your perception of who she is. For all you know, you might not know her as well as you thought and she might have been holding back as well!

    Nightning's advice is sound, by the way. Though some people can be put off by written explanations...at which point you can say that it's easier for you to write things out.
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

  6. #6
    Content. Content? DigitalMethod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    I obviously don't know your friend, but from what you've posted, a lot of the problem seems to be constructed inside your head and is probably only your perception of who she is. For all you know, you might not know her as well as you thought and she might have been holding back as well!
    Very good observation.
    "The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful."
    - Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    i have tons of friends that i feel the exact same way about -- i feel like i understand them completely and they don't really get me as much as i want.

    i DO think this is a problem INFJs face quite often. for me, it's not necessarily dependent on N vs. S, although i will say it applies to all the ESxx types in my extended network of friends. but i have the same problem with 2 ENTJs, an INTJ, and an INTP. and my ISFP friend seems to understand me fairly well.

    anyways, it doesn't seem like a solvable problem to me. just try to focus on the good in the friendship and accept the limitations. if it isn't worth the effort, well, then move on.

    i've found myself sorta dropping a lot of friends like those recently to free up some energy to put into relationships in which i feel more deeply connected. unfortunately, it's quite hard to find people that can connect as deeply as an INFJ (well, except ENFPs)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Motor Jax's Avatar
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    i have an ESTP g/f, and it was like that all last week

    we had a major falling out, and she told me she needed a break from everything. 5 days later, we're talking on the phone again, discussing what we had both been thinking and our point of views about everything. i think it has brought us closer, though i don't know how she feels about it

    she can be rather cold at times though. like when she said she needs a break, she just cut off all communication right there, and i was just left with a bottle in one hand and a broken heart in the other.

    besides the fact that she lives 10 hours away, we are still both determined to make this relationship work

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