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  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default INFPs and Friendships/Relationships

    I have a number of possible INFPs in my life - some I know well, and some are new friends.

    Just for fun, what are some of the ways you form connections with other people? How do you like to form friendships? How do you communicate when forming new relationships with people? Do you keep things light and distant, or sharing deeply early on, playful banter, intensely personal topics, etc.

    I can try to think of some more specific questions, but I like keeping things rather open, just so people are free to respond in whatever way is most relevant to them. Mostly I suppose just share with some of the processes you have experienced in forming friendships/relationships, things that have specifically turned you off, and how you might idealize the process.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  2. #2
    Earth Exalted Thursday's Avatar
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    I like to take interest in what they are doing. If they happen to reciprocate, then we move forward. If not, it was nice to get to know someone. Now if they do ask questions about my person and I'm not feeling them, I amiably retreat.
    I N V I C T U S

  3. #3
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I don't tend to seek people out as a friend. I may be nice & say hello or whatever, if I see them repeatedly; but if they want to get to know each other more, then they often have to take the steps to move conversation past mere politeness. I generally have found that when I try to be friends with someone, it somehow doesn't "work". I find myself chosen by other people to be their friend.

    I mostly form a connection with someone if we spend time one-on-one and there is some emotional opening up on their part. I'm slower to open up in that way. I am a confidante to friends I consider close. I tend to play a role as a listener & occasional adviser. It can turn me off if I begin to feel like I'm just their personal, unpaid therapist.
    My 3 closest female friends would probably be: INFP e9w1, ISFJ e9w1, and ESFP e6w7.

    We also tend to share thoughts or ideas we have that might amount to philosophies. We'll share stuff we've read or learned somewhere that we thought the other person might appreciate.

    My ESFP friend told me once that it took me 5 years to open up. She told me every time she talked to me it was like the first time; I'd have some way about me that seemed as if I had never met her before. But then one day, I guess I just started talking more. I remember telling her mom I thought she was pretty cool, and I think that adjusted how she read me & approached me. Anyhow, I laughed at this, because it's probably very accurate, although I have become fast friends with a few people in my life. Early on, it is always just listening for me, an active listening & commenting, but not really saying much about myself.

    I am a more serious person, and so I don't tend to bond over humor. But a sign I am comfortable with people is if I joke around with them. I tend to be wry or make silly & absurd statements, and some people get it or do not. I like friends who are funny in conversation (& to have "inside jokes" that are ongoing), but not the kind of people who are "entertaining" all the time & not making it a reciprocal dialogue. People who are never serious or just want an audience can turn me off.

    Other friendships can be based on shared interests & that sort of thing. I have some "music friends" I just chat with about music because we have similar tastes, and we'll share new music we come across.

    Most of my male friendships are based on interests & female friendships on emotional bonding.
    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

  4. #4
    Riva
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    My sister has a infp friend (like all infps I've met she is quite intelligent) whom when I talk to her (which is rare) it constantly bothers me whether she feels bothered. And then/when I ask her whether i'm taking too much of her time she giggles and says no. She also adds to the convo, shares jokes, observations etc but it is usually I that have to take the lead. It doesn't bother me at all being the initiator though it probably might bother others. add to it, she is really laid back, amazingly non-judgemental, smart (my sister always points this out too), funny, independent, goofy and most importantly doesn't need too much attention I sometimes think that an infp could be a good life partner though infps and I have rarely anything in common. When she tries to start a convo i've noticed that she makes observational remarks and either quickly look at the eyes of the other before looking away as if to see whether that person is interested or gets lost inside her head.

  5. #5
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I don't tend to seek people out as a friend. I may be nice & say hello or whatever, if I see them repeatedly; but if they want to get to know each other more, then they often have to take the steps to move conversation past mere politeness. I generally have found that when I try to be friends with someone, it somehow doesn't "work". I find myself chosen by other people to be their friend.
    Agreed. Most of the people I'm friends with have ended up that way, because we drifted together (eg. through a mutual friend, proximity etc) or because they made an effort to get to know me. I almost never initiate contact. There are few people I've met that I felt a magnetic connection with, but often I will actively attempt to avoid them now and then. When I feel that strong pull towards someone, I worry I'll get carried away, that I'll talk too much, or crowd their space and generally come across as a creeper - actually, I'm pretty certain that I would/do . So it's necessary to step back a bit, let them come to me occasionally and demonstrate they want to be around me as well. I need to know that they are interested in me and aren't just being polite - I worry about that a lot.

    I form friendships with people I find easy to talk with. It doesn't matter what we talk about, but I like natural, flowing conversations - when you can just talk and talk and completely lose track of everything else. I also like people that relax me, and have a disarming quality; people that I don't have to be on my guard about what I say and do. These qualities create fast friendships for me, although there are exceptions to this.

    Most of my friendships are light; I don't open up and speak about things close to my heart. I accept that there are different friends for different sides of yourself - they don't all have to be best friends. What determines whether the friendships are light or more intimate is nothing to do with how long I've known them or how much time I spend with them. It's just down to the vibe I get from them. I need to feel an intellectual and emotional connection with them. I need to feel like they are an understanding person, willing to open up to me in return. When I think of it, there are certain types that tend to give me that vibe. Almost all the people I've felt most connected to, or feel most easily connected to, were ENFJs, ENFPs and ISFPs. Other types have been good friends but rarely the kind I talk about personal things with.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  6. #6
    Insert witty line here... Ponyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    Just for fun, what are some of the ways you form connections with other people? How do you like to form friendships? How do you communicate when forming new relationships with people? Do you keep things light and distant, or sharing deeply early on, playful banter, intensely personal topics, etc.
    Most of my connections are made through my job, a few social events, and mutual friends. I tend to keep things rather light at first. Occasionally, I'll meet someone who I just click with and will open up rather quickly. Conversely, I have met people who I instantly didn't like for no discernible reason. Only a handful of them have managed to turn my opinion around and we became friends. I think probably the most common for me though is an almost "mirroring" of the other person. Like if they talk a lot, I tend to talk more. If they are rather quiet I almost feel forced to make conversation even though if I had to choose, I would prefer to let someone else lead the conversation.

    hmmm....after rereading this, I think it applies to more of a group setting. I tend to be more comfortable in a one-to-one situation.
    I'm never wrong, I'm just sometimes less right

  7. #7
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Agreed. Most of the people I'm friends with have ended up that way, because we drifted together (eg. through a mutual friend, proximity etc) or because they made an effort to get to know me. I almost never initiate contact. There are few people I've met that I felt a magnetic connection with, but often I will actively attempt to avoid them now and then. When I feel that strong pull towards someone, I worry I'll get carried away, that I'll talk too much, or crowd their space and generally come across as a creeper - actually, I'm pretty certain that I would/do . So it's necessary to step back a bit, let them come to me occasionally and demonstrate they want to be around me as well. I need to know that they are interested in me and aren't just being polite - I worry about that a lot.
    What if someone gets carried away with you? Is that a big turn off? If you don't respond is that a way to communicate that you want the other person to back off? I tend to worry about that sort of thing also, and can't always gauge what I'm doing. I tend to be a bit direct and honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I form friendships with people I find easy to talk with. It doesn't matter what we talk about, but I like natural, flowing conversations - when you can just talk and talk and completely lose track of everything else. I also like people that relax me, and have a disarming quality; people that I don't have to be on my guard about what I say and do. These qualities create fast friendships for me, although there are exceptions to this.

    Most of my friendships are light; I don't open up and speak about things close to my heart. I accept that there are different friends for different sides of yourself - they don't all have to be best friends. What determines whether the friendships are light or more intimate is nothing to do with how long I've known them or how much time I spend with them. It's just down to the vibe I get from them. I need to feel an intellectual and emotional connection with them. I need to feel like they are an understanding person, willing to open up to me in return. When I think of it, there are certain types that tend to give me that vibe. Almost all the people I've felt most connected to, or feel most easily connected to, were ENFJs, ENFPs and ISFPs. Other types have been good friends but rarely the kind I talk about personal things with.
    This is also helpful.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  8. #8
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    What if someone gets carried away with you? Is that a big turn off? If you don't respond is that a way to communicate that you want the other person to back off? I tend to worry about that sort of thing also, and can't always gauge what I'm doing. I tend to be a bit direct and honest.
    Yeah, this isn't easy to determine. I tend to be polite and pleasant even when I desperately want to run in the opposite direction - and it seems a lot of people can't tell when I'm just being polite. I think when I like or start to click with someone I appear much more engaged; I perk up a bit and display more enthusiasm/interest in what they're saying. I think I ask more questions, talk a lot more, and use less platitudes.

    Too much forwardness can sometimes be a turn off. If we're connecting really well, it isn't usually an issue, but if I don't feel like I'm connecting to them, I can feel very uneasy. OTOH when I first met my INTJ friend, I though he was way too much. I wanted him to leave me alone (the first few times) but he kept persisting, and then we ended up really good friends. Now I forget that he can come across weird, that is, until I introduce him to other people. I think a bit of forwardness is great - I certainly need some from other people. You just have to make sure that what you feel for the other person (attraction/connection) isn't clouding your judgement of their response to you.

    And as a aside, I must say I have a tougher time being forced to talk to really introverted or shy people - and this is coming from a shy person. God, I hate those overly brief, cul-de-sac responses and the awkward silences that inevitably follow. I start to get panicky.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  9. #9
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I have a number of possible INFPs I like to try to be friends with, but sometimes with two introverts I find some communication confusion. I have one friend who is a bit distant and so I've thought she was trying to show me that she did not feel a connection. I also am kinda distant and relate to a lot of what is said here, but I will tend to take crazy risks when it's important to me and I'm up to it. A recent, new INFP friend I can tell tends to worry and read into things, so I've reassured a few times, but this person sends what could be interpreted as mixed signals. They seem pretty shy in communication and even nervous, but we've chatted and it felt very much at ease for me, so it felt like a real connection. We are friends on FB, but now I feel like any responses to messages are quite abrupt and sparse, so it feels like I should stop communicating, but I thought because of the shyness and connection I felt irl, that I should just go ahead and communicate as I normally would w/o feeling stressed about being an intrusion.

    What's hard for me - and I don't know if it's type or not, but being an annoyance or intrusion is a huuuuge fear of mine, so to keep plugging away like I am in this instance makes me uneasy and even a little scared.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  10. #10
    RDF
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    [...]What's hard for me - and I don't know if it's type or not, but being an annoyance or intrusion is a huuuuge fear of mine, so to keep plugging away like I am in this instance makes me uneasy and even a little scared.
    Based on that line alone, I would say to keep plugging away. Here are three considerations in favor of that conclusion.

    1) In my shyer days as a younger INFP, most of my friendships were largely the result of people shouldering on past or plugging away at the walls of chilliness that I surrounded myself with.

    2) It’s true that sometimes I ultimately rejected people no matter how hard they tried to get to know me or even ingratiate themselves with me. So let’s assume that 70% of the time “plugging away” results in a friendship and 30% of the time “plugging away” gets you a rejection. It’s up to you whether you can handle those odds. Hopefully the rejection won’t be too severe; and meanwhile it’s important to remember that the successes will give you access to friendships that you couldn’t otherwise enjoy.

    3) More generally speaking (IOW, not specifically related to dealing with INFPs in particular), I think it’s a good exercise to “keep plugging away”; it’s kind of like an Fi exercise. Here’s the mental script that goes with “plugging away”: “I’m being nice to this person, but he/she is remaining chilly and sending me mixed signals. I ask myself if I’m stepping on this person’s toes or otherwise screwing up, but when I go over my actions and words with this person, I’m convinced I haven’t done anything wrong or blameworthy. So fuck it, I’m going to press ahead and see what happens. If they can’t handle it, it’s on them to tell me what’s wrong. Otherwise, it’s not wrong of me to try to be nice to someone.”

    I think this is a good exercise because it also works for trickier things like relationships or the workplace. When things get a little crazy due to problems in the workplace or a stressed-out partner, you need the confidence to weigh your actions and words and then press forward when you find yourself doing the right thing. This is your inner compass. You want to have that inner compass and trust it to guide you through; otherwise, you’re going to get pulled down into the craziness and paranoia with the others. Meantime, if following your inner compass results in a confrontation of some sort, then so be it--you’re not in the wrong, either way.

    Also, Halla gave you some good advice in your blog about this kind of thing. Just be yourself. Occasionally touch base with the other person and ask them nicely but directly if you’re being too forward or otherwise imposing on them somehow. If they say you’re doing fine, then press on. IOW, once you have gotten your bearing on your inner compass, then it’s up to the other person to provide any needed course corrections. If they won’t do that in a clear and unambiguous manner, then continue on your original course. Someone has to take charge of the situation and bring it to a conclusion of some sort; it might as well be you.

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