I'm starting this thread to have a place for people to post about tools and insights from your experience that have helped to create and/or maintain healthy INFP-INFJ relationships.
Here are some parameters for the thread:
1. Based on actual relationships between INFPs and INFJs as friends and/or couples.
2. The tools/insights don't require either the INFP or the INFJ to change or adapt away from our (self-defined) normal cognitive processes.
3. Blinding glimpses of the obvious are just fine, as are less obvious tools/insights.
4. This thread is NOT a place to hash out frustrations or difficulties with each other. Plenty of other places to do that. This one is for what works/feels right, grounded in actual relationships where we care about each other.
So I'll start. I'm an INFJ in a 4-year relationship with an INFP and we recently realized something huge (for us). I'm pulling this writing from another thread where this topic was a tangent.
It's ok to go our separate ways in the "middle process"
My INFP partner and I have long noticed that we very often end up in the same place but come from opposite directions. Recently, we had an interesting discussion about a pretty big-deal real life logistical issue requiring our attention and action over time.
She brought up the difference between process and goal in a way I find really useful. She said: look, we share the same goal here, but our processes for understanding how to get there are very different. She suggested that we focus on the fact that we share the goal and not try to share the process. The metaphor she used was walking through the woods with a destination in mind. We start together at the beginning of the trail, and we know we'll meet up at the end (our shared goal). But we each go our own way through the woods (our different processes to get there).
This made/makes a lot of sense to me. We know from experience that we very very often wind up in the same places, share the same goals. We know also that our ways of getting there are very different. We've run into trouble when we've tried to do that middle part - the process of getting there - together. When we try to do that, one or the other or (all too often) both of us feel steamrolled.
I feel like at some level, I've worried that if we can't move well together through the middle process, then something is very wrong in our communication and interaction. The problem has been - we haven't been able to find a way fix that problem. It's felt impossible, and yet necessary, which has led me to have a "banging my head diligently against a wall" feeling in our ongoing efforts to try to make it work.
It's just such a relief to me to consider that what we actually need to do is step away from the wall entirely and just give each other space during that middle process. And trust that our shared goals and different processes will most likely yield the solutions we need for whatever we're trying to accomplish. *deep relieved breath* This makes so much more sense than what we've tried to do before.
INFJs and INFPs with tools and insights that fit in this thread - would you share them?
(Note: @Coriolis, given our dialogue in that other thread, I was tempted to try to find a place where we could discuss this as INxJ-INxP. Decided in the end to post in the NF sub-forum, but if you and/or other INTxs want to post here as well about tools/insights for INTP-INTJ relationships, I think it could be interesting as well.)