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Thread: infj paradox

  1. #1
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    Default infj paradox

    "If a friend seems intent on self-destruction and totally refuses help, the INFJ cannot in good conscience continue to sit by and do nothing while a friend goes down in flames. The relationship must be severed.

    In short, they care too much.

    And so they don't let people in readily at all."
    (Quote from another thread.)

    Do you see the paradox? What on earth does 'care' mean here? If you have closed the door or make sure you keep your sensitive head in the sand, what good do all the feelings in the world do? Isnt this just blatant self protection?

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's blatant self protection. That's why I wouldn't phrase it as having to do with good conscience. You can't save people from themselves. You can try to help, but if it's obvious your efforts are ineffective, going down with the ship is pretty stupid and doesn't help anybody. I don't think it's about caring too much, but about having overactive empathy, which is not the same thing, IMO. And I don't think there is anything wrong with self-preservation or self-defense in most circumstances.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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    We need to feel like we're helping. If we try to help and the friend can't/won't accept that help, it makes us feel useless and inept. So yes, it's a bad situation for our egos and shows the limits on us being able to "care too much". Real caring too much is done by ISFJs IME.

    If the friend yo-yos up and down, we get enough of a stroke to our ego to carry on "caring"...

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    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    What if the friend is a fellow INFJ and that friend has shut you out, won't answer the phone, won't answer a text, won't even talk to anyone? What if he has retreated to the hills and hollers and nobody can reach him? I have a friend like that and I don't want to give up on him but I have no idea how to reach him.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  5. #5
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    What if the friend is a fellow INFJ and that friend has shut you out, won't answer the phone, won't answer a text, won't even talk to anyone? What if he has retreated to the hills and hollers and nobody can reach him? I have a friend like that and I don't want to give up on him but I have no idea how to reach him.
    Let him do his own thing.

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    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saudade View Post
    Let him do his own thing.
    Thanks, Saudade. It appears, at this stage, that I have no other choice.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  7. #7
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    Thanks, Saudade. It appears, at this stage, that I have no other choice.
    Yeah that's true. Just don't work yourself up over it.

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    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    @Saudade also good advice. A little easier said than done, but good advice the same.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  9. #9
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    A little easier said than done,
    Mhm, I know. Sorry.

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    Two things:
    1) Are you sure you are an INFJ, @Saudade? I'm getting some strong T vibes from you
    2) My INTJ best friend of 16 years has been, for quite some time now, jobless, overweight, does nothing all day, any money he gets goes to weed and alcohol. By "some time," I mean ~4 years now. The ONLY thing he cares about is his ISFJ girlfriend who has emotional and self-esteem issues and enables him. She also pays for him on the rare occasion they go out for lunch/dinner.

    I've tried to help him. I spent a large chunk of my summer trying to "coach" him. But I noticed it was dragging along slowly. VERY slowly. Then, I came to the realization that it was ME who wanted to help HIM, not HIM wanting help from ME. So I stopped. We're still friends, we still hang out, but ever so often, I just get really angry about the entire situation. He's my best friend, and comparatively to me, he's nothing. I don't know why he couldn't, more or less, "keep up."

    It's a relationship that I KNOW I should give up on, but I can't. I don't know why. I feel like it'd be a divorce. Just too many shared memories, too many "firsts," and we know too much about each other. But, for my own sanity and health, I KNOW I have to give up on it. Of course, on paper we'll still be "friends," but I have other best friends.....one an INTJ going to Johns Hopkins University. THAT friend, I'm SO proud of. This INTJ, however, I need to let go of so I can grow. He keeps me from moving on with personal growth.

    So, yeah, I think INFJs are ultimately like that, but some relationships are harder to move on from than others.

    Just my .02.

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