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  1. #1
    Unapologetic being Evolving Transparency's Avatar
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    Default I Don't Know How to Say No Any Better to an INFP, I Need Help!

    There are several problems that I have been letting build up between my INFP and me.

    First - She has character. She is a sweetheart like most INFP's. She's also fun, and hilarious.
    Second - All of the above happens when she is OUT of work (We're friends and we work together)

    So I love her out of work (cause at work she stresses me out from Ne interruptions)....At least I thought. Bear with me.

    At work she fuels the drama. She doesn't like it...but she complains about it.(Which gives others more to run off with) <---I know this place is so caddy

    So when stuff like this happens she stresses out about one tiny little thing that she takes soooo personally. I try to just let her be and do my own thing so that her "panic mode" does not spread.

    So outside of work is where I let her vent and we have fun doing other things.

    But then more and more I am starting to notice that I need my space and time. I don't have money right now and I'm kinda in a transitional period in my life. All I want to do is try to keep my ducks in a row... But she keeps wanting to hangout more and more...Which is fine because we are friends I get it. But one of the biggest problems is our car situation. Hers sucks and mine sucks...I don't even have one...I'm borrowing other peoples'. And we live 30 mins away from each other.

    So she will say "When are we doing this?" and then the next day the same thing. EVERYday she has said it. And I say "I can't" ...or "I don't have money to do that." Or I have even said "Are you going to pay for it?" or "No, I'm not going to be able to do anything the next couple months"...<---I have said all these things many times...

    I feel like she refuses to take no for an answer. I am starting to get annoyed. I don't want to hurt her feelings. She is extremely sensitive. I'm getting stressed out from her resistance. What can I say that will make her understand?
    "Once the game is over, the Pawn and the King go back into the same box"

    Freedom isn't free.
    "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ~ Orwell
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Are you sure she's an INFP? I can't speak for all INFPs but my friends usually have to pester me to spend more time with them. I can happily remain in a state of social isolation for months, especially if work is stressful. It's worth noting that ENFPs are sometimes referred to as "the shy extrovert".

    Assuming she's an INFP, unless she starts getting really pushy or offended by your refusals, I'd treat it the same as a kid on a car-trip endlessly repeating "Are we there yet?" Just keep telling them "Nope, not yet." So in this case just keep telling her you can't until you can. She should be fine on her own. If she's actually an extrovert you may have to explain the recharge-your-batteries-by-being-alone nature of introversion. A lot of extroverts (especially young ones) see solitude as the state of someone with nothing better to do, in which case persistently refusing to hang out signifies you probably don't like them as much as they like you.

    For any XNFP though it's probably better to let them know that you enjoy their company and would like to hang out but can't right now (ad nauseam), than to tell them to stop asking to hang out all the time. Many INFPs also prefer to let others organize things (organization not being our strong point), so she may just be letting you know that she wants to hang out and could you make some plans for it whenever (sooner the better). It's also possible that she's just being spontaneous (we do that) without thinking things through. "Hey, I heard Nathan Fillion might be Han Solo in the new Star Wars movie. We should have a Firefly marathon. Then watch Serenity. We should do that NOW!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urarienev View Post
    There are several problems that I have been letting build up between my INFP and me.

    First - She has character. She is a sweetheart like most INFP's. She's also fun, and hilarious.
    Second - All of the above happens when she is OUT of work (We're friends and we work together)

    So I love her out of work (cause at work she stresses me out from Ne interruptions)....At least I thought. Bear with me.

    At work she fuels the drama. She doesn't like it...but she complains about it.(Which gives others more to run off with) <---I know this place is so caddy

    So when stuff like this happens she stresses out about one tiny little thing that she takes soooo personally. I try to just let her be and do my own thing so that her "panic mode" does not spread.

    So outside of work is where I let her vent and we have fun doing other things.

    But then more and more I am starting to notice that I need my space and time. I don't have money right now and I'm kinda in a transitional period in my life. All I want to do is try to keep my ducks in a row... But she keeps wanting to hangout more and more...Which is fine because we are friends I get it. But one of the biggest problems is our car situation. Hers sucks and mine sucks...I don't even have one...I'm borrowing other peoples'. And we live 30 mins away from each other.

    So she will say "When are we doing this?" and then the next day the same thing. EVERYday she has said it. And I say "I can't" ...or "I don't have money to do that." Or I have even said "Are you going to pay for it?" or "No, I'm not going to be able to do anything the next couple months"...<---I have said all these things many times...

    I feel like she refuses to take no for an answer. I am starting to get annoyed. I don't want to hurt her feelings. She is extremely sensitive. I'm getting stressed out from her resistance. What can I say that will make her understand?
    Question: What exactly are you saying no to? Doing something special as a one-off?

    Jivin made some good points, one I felt the need to raise however is the possibility that she is only asking these questions because she thinks you want her to ask them. To be precise, her Fi may want her to be connected to you due to being someone she values; although she can survive without your company there is probably a fear in there that if she does not make the effort then the bond between you two will lessen and even break. If the frequency of your "hang-outs" have steadily increased over time she may believe that she has to maintain or even exceed this level of frequency in order to prevent a potential souring of the relationship due to a perceived lessening of interest on her part. This is what it's like for me (it may be my issue rather than an INFP one) and although it is rooted in insecurity and perhaps irrational it may be in effect. All this may even be re-inforced with inferior Te: a need to be useful in the external world which she believes would be appeased by spending time with you doing something she believes you want to do (perhaps more than she wants to do it.)

    Have you asked her why she wants to do this so much? If she's doing it for your sake then let her know it won't. She is probably worn out inside and would be slightly relieved (the sensitivity may be in effect for a short while after but then correct itself.)

    Or perhaps I am wrong about the above.

  4. #4
    Unapologetic being Evolving Transparency's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Are you sure she's an INFP? I can't speak for all INFPs but my friends usually have to pester me to spend more time with them. I can happily remain in a state of social isolation for months, especially if work is stressful. It's worth noting that ENFPs are sometimes referred to as "the shy extrovert".

    Assuming she's an INFP, unless she starts getting really pushy or offended by your refusals, I'd treat it the same as a kid on a car-trip endlessly repeating "Are we there yet?" Just keep telling them "Nope, not yet." So in this case just keep telling her you can't until you can. She should be fine on her own. If she's actually an extrovert you may have to explain the recharge-your-batteries-by-being-alone nature of introversion. A lot of extroverts (especially young ones) see solitude as the state of someone with nothing better to do, in which case persistently refusing to hang out signifies you probably don't like them as much as they like you.

    For any XNFP though it's probably better to let them know that you enjoy their company and would like to hang out but can't right now (ad nauseam), than to tell them to stop asking to hang out all the time. Many INFPs also prefer to let others organize things (organization not being our strong point), so she may just be letting you know that she wants to hang out and could you make some plans for it whenever (sooner the better). It's also possible that she's just being spontaneous (we do that) without thinking things through. "Hey, I heard Nathan Fillion might be Han Solo in the new Star Wars movie. We should have a Firefly marathon. Then watch Serenity. We should do that NOW!"
    She has started to just say to me..."I'm gonna let you figure it out" or "let me know when you're ready"... but it's after she says lets do this...so then it's like I have to plan it

    She does the last thing in bold a lot!!! And we just simply don't have the resources. ie car, money, etc.

    You may be right....I'm usually very good at typing. I just didn't think she acted like and ENFP though.

    She thinks before she speaks a lot, I think Fi is her primary mode that she is in, because she takes EVERYTHING personally. I'm really afraid of messing up my friendship with her because of that. She is probably a more extravert INFP though you're right...she said as a kid even up until about 10 years ago(she's about 40) she was VERY shy. So I think she has just developed that over time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    Question: What exactly are you saying no to? Doing something special as a one-off?

    Jivin made some good points, one I felt the need to raise however is the possibility that she is only asking these questions because she thinks you want her to ask them. To be precise, her Fi may want her to be connected to you due to being someone she values; although she can survive without your company there is probably a fear in there that if she does not make the effort then the bond between you two will lessen and even break. If the frequency of your "hang-outs" have steadily increased over time she may believe that she has to maintain or even exceed this level of frequency in order to prevent a potential souring of the relationship due to a perceived lessening of interest on her part. This is what it's like for me (it may be my issue rather than an INFP one) and although it is rooted in insecurity and perhaps irrational it may be in effect. All this may even be re-inforced with inferior Te: a need to be useful in the external world which she believes would be appeased by spending time with you doing something she believes you want to do (perhaps more than she wants to do it.)

    Have you asked her why she wants to do this so much? If she's doing it for your sake then let her know it won't. She is probably worn out inside and would be slightly relieved (the sensitivity may be in effect for a short while after but then correct itself.)

    Or perhaps I am wrong about the above.
    This is what it seems like might be happening too, what you have described here. (It bothers me a lot when a good friend is upset, and I don't want her upset with me...I just don't know how to "soften the blow" or whatever)

    I'm saying no to simple things that I'm not able to do. Like often it's going out to do something, after work...or even worse on a day off. That means I have to drive all the way out there and I literally only have enough gas for 5 days a week. So I simply can't do it on a day off. I want to put in the effort but it's too stressful for me.

    I can see her Te in these situations...cause normally I'm the person that likes to say, lets do this and I will plan it...but this year has been too stressful to be the good friend I normally am. (We have only known each other a year and a half)

    She is the type of person that likes to do these things too. I am not. I am an extravert...but experiencing is just not what I enjoy all the time. I just like to talk. lol But it's like her Ne wants to see new things, and go new places and just do , do , do. That in itself stresses me out. We are good when we are just talking.


    These posts are all very good feedback! Thank you both!!!
    "Once the game is over, the Pawn and the King go back into the same box"

    Freedom isn't free.
    "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ~ Orwell
    I'm that person that embodies pretty much everything that you hate. Might as well get used to it.
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  5. #5
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urarienev View Post
    So she will say "When are we doing this?" and then the next day the same thing. EVERYday she has said it. And I say "I can't" ...or "I don't have money to do that." Or I have even said "Are you going to pay for it?" or "No, I'm not going to be able to do anything the next couple months"...<---I have said all these things many times...

    I feel like she refuses to take no for an answer. I am starting to get annoyed. I don't want to hurt her feelings. She is extremely sensitive. I'm getting stressed out from her resistance. What can I say that will make her understand?
    Hmm, as an aside I too would be wondering as does @JivinJeffJones if she is an introvert ... we INFP's tend to value our space and are very sensitive to the space-needs of others.

    What to say to make her understand? Note that some of your answers are not actually answers to the question:

    Q: "When are we doing this?"
    A: "I can't" ...or "I don't have money to do that."

    I would suggest answering the question even more directly. A better answer would be "As fun as that sounds, I won't have the cash until March 2013. Let's talk about it after Christmas, no sense talking about it again until then. Unless you can think of a way we could make it work out financially ..." (That might engage her Ne to try to suss out a creative solution.)

    Are you NFJ? You think you've answered the question, but not to the ears of Fi - it seems more like you're inferring answers that you expect her to "get." I think INFJ's can believe they are more blunt than the reality of their spoken words. Unless they are really unhappy and let both barrels fly.

    And I agree with @Standuble too in that if she thinks you want to do whatever this task is, or it is something important to you, she might just be asking over and over to show you it's important to her too.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
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    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
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  6. #6
    Unapologetic being Evolving Transparency's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Hmm, as an aside I too would be wondering as does @JivinJeffJones if she is an introvert ... we INFP's tend to value our space and are very sensitive to the space-needs of others.

    What to say to make her understand? Note that some of your answers are not actually answers to the question:

    Q: "When are we doing this?"
    A: "I can't" ...or "I don't have money to do that."

    I would suggest answering the question even more directly. A better answer would be "As fun as that sounds, I won't have the cash until March 2013. Let's talk about it after Christmas, no sense talking about it again until then. Unless you can think of a way we could make it work out financially ..." (That might engage her Ne to try to suss out a creative solution.)

    Are you NFJ? You think you've answered the question, but not to the ears of Fi - it seems more like you're inferring answers that you expect her to "get." I think INFJ's can believe they are more blunt than the reality of their spoken words. Unless they are really unhappy and let both barrels fly.

    And I agree with @Standuble too in that if she thinks you want to do whatever this task is, or it is something important to you, she might just be asking over and over to show you it's important to her too.
    no I'm an entj. I am using Ni though you're right. I did assume that she would get it, you're right. I just find it so hard to talk to her directly like that. I just don't like when she gets upset. I'm trying to avoid that. So if I were being my blunt self I think she would feel attacked, you know?

    I will have to try harder.

    This is very helpful thank you!
    "Once the game is over, the Pawn and the King go back into the same box"

    Freedom isn't free.
    "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ~ Orwell
    I'm that person that embodies pretty much everything that you hate. Might as well get used to it.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    I think @Standuble has raised a good point, one which I logged on to make (so you know it's a good point ). INFPs have a tendency to lose contact with people they don't want to lose contact with via neglect. We go into our bubbles for one reason or another and suddenly it's 6 months later. A lot of people can't maintain an 'active' friendship status after 6 months of non-communication. Probably most people. They write us off. That 6 months can blow out to 12 months (numbers arbitrary) or more if the guilt incurred by said neglect sends the INFP into a guilt spiral. Which only increases the risk of involuntary termination of active friend status.

    So if she's an older INFP it's possible that she's aware of this risk through past experience and is overcompensating. She's making absolutely certain that the ball is in your court and hasn't bounced past her weeks ago while she was off looking at kitten jpegs.

  8. #8
    Unapologetic being Evolving Transparency's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    I think @Standuble has raised a good point, one which I logged on to make (so you know it's a good point ). INFPs have a tendency to lose contact with people they don't want to lose contact with via neglect. We go into our bubbles for one reason or another and suddenly it's 6 months later. A lot of people can't maintain an 'active' friendship status after 6 months of non-communication. Probably most people. They write us off. That 6 months can blow out to 12 months (numbers arbitrary) or more if the guilt incurred by said neglect sends the INFP into a guilt spiral. Which only increases the risk of involuntary termination of active friend status.

    So if she's an older INFP it's possible that she's aware of this risk through past experience and is overcompensating. She's making absolutely certain that the ball is in your court and hasn't bounced past her weeks ago while she was off looking at kitten jpegs.
    ha ha, this is a good point to make. And it's also nice because if it's true that this is the situation, then it's ok because in my experience we have nothing to worry about. And it gives me a starting place to talk to her. I can reassure her that there's nothing to worry about because after 12 months of barely talking, it doesn't matter who it is...I'm still the same way I was around them as if nothing changed...I actually do not like when that happens either, so I have no problem making it so it doesn't feel that way. Thanks a lot!
    "Once the game is over, the Pawn and the King go back into the same box"

    Freedom isn't free.
    "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ~ Orwell
    I'm that person that embodies pretty much everything that you hate. Might as well get used to it.
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  9. #9
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    Like a bandaid, its best just to get it over with. It will hurt, but if you do it all at once, she'll suffer less.
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