The following is a somewhat true account. I DO NOT want bashing of either type. That's not why I'm posting this. What I want to know is... what misunderstandings, what functional clashes do you view as the reason behind the ending of this story? I look forward to hearing your input. Also, if you don't like the people descriptions, don't get all mad at me and stuff. They're real descriptions of real people. I didn't make these chracters up. I only do that in my lab over in the Fluff Zone
.................................................. ..............INFP/INFJ At Friendship's End............................................... ...............
An INFJ is researcing a particular subject online. She encounters an INFP who seems to have a good understanding of the subject, so she intiates contact. The two exchange several productive letters, discussing it, which leads to other subjects. They exchange letters about many topics and over the course of several months, a friendship develops. Sometimes they talk on the phone.
However, prior to the beginning of their friendship INFJ has a circle of close-knit friends in real life that are long term friends. She is involved in promotion of a cause that she believes in and is often called upon to be a spokesperson or make appearances on behalf of the group. Her friends are all a part of that group. In addition, she works full time and is part of a large extended family and is in a long-term relationship with an ISTJ.
INFP is retired and spends most of her days online, other than an occassional trip to the laundromat, grocery store or doctor's office. She putters around doing whatever she feels the need to do. She has never liked people and particularly dislikes ENFJs and ESTJs. She is shy around men and fumbles her conversation when she tries to talk to them.
INFJ is younger, stylish, admired in her community for her talent, her looks and her charity work. She's in a long-term relationship and has a family depending upon her. She is sought after wherever she goes and literally has to hide to escape the people who want to get to know her.
INFP's children are grown and she was never close to rest of her family anyway and the few that are left don't really bother to contact her. She has a lot of time on her hands.
INFJ realizes that INFP is different, yet she values her insight and input. When they first become acquainted INFJ is in a lull of activity and the two of them speak often. Still, she hasn't made INFP the top priority in her life. After all, she's an online friend who lives 6,000 miles away.
As time goes by, INFJ has little free time for getting online and answering emails or for talking on the phone for that matter and sometimes, she wants to use what little free time she does get, just to recalibrate herself. Still, she stays late at work often just to have a little while alone to really think about INFP's letters and give them a decent answer. Sometimes, she stays up to the wee hours of the night, knowing she has to get up before daybreak. She stays up to answer INFP's letters because she doesn't want to hurt her feelings or disappoint her. She thinks she's going the extra mile, but she can't keep up the pace. She has a lot less time to invest and sometimes, she just doesn't have the energy to answer a five page letter. Sometimes, she does and sometimes, she even writes one herself.
She starts to get hints from INFP that she doesn't really want to hear about INFJ's real life friends, her hobbies or etc., She doesn't want to hear about the weekend she spent with the real life friends of her inner circle anymore. She starts to believe that INFP only wants to hear about things that focus on her and their relationship.
Meanwhile, INFP is bothered by INFJ's "busy-ness". At first she tells her that she understands that her life is busy and she knows that she can't respond to "everything." She is, at first, unbelievable tolerant of the talk about the real life friends, about the interests, hobbies, etc. But eventually INFP feels that INFJ has time for everybody but her. She feels she is having to play "second fiddle" to the people in INFJ's immediate world. She doesn't want to hear about INFJ's close friends from the "cause." And thus, she begins to try to determine just "where she fits into INFJ's life." INFP is thinking that she is only an option in INFJ's life, while INFJ is a priority in hers. INFJ feels bad about it, but she can't change it. She had a busy life from the start and to her the fact that she even finds time for INFP at all is a great accomplishment. INFP tells INFJ that she is too "aloof" that she isn't letting her into the "inner circle" but INFJ can't let her into the inner circle. It's not a place she can just grant to people. She isn't sure how people get into the inner circle. They either have that certain "something" or they don't. She can't define it and although she tries to put INFP there. She can't, because INFP doesn't "get" it and she doesn't know how to help her "get it."
At first, when INFP starts asking "Where am I in your list of priorities? Where do I fit into your free time?"
INFJ is like "you fit." That's all that matters, but the subject won't go away. It crops up again and again. INFJ begins to feel like INFP is trying to "guilt" her into spending more time answering her emails and talking to her on the phone. She feels like INFP is trying to manipulate her and that she is nit-picking the subject to death and that she has become possessive. She isn't sure what INFP wants. She is giving her all of the tiem she can actually afford to give her, but INFP doesn't feel that way. She feels that INFJ puts too much time in with the group of people in her real life, the people she has spent several years builidng a relationship with, that she can physically touch and eat with and do things with.
INFP then sends INFJ a letter stating that she won't settle for just "second fiddle" that if she can't be a major part of her free time then she just doesn't want to communicate with her at all. INFJ responds, "Well, if that's the way you feel...okay, but remember, it doesn't have to be all or nothing; the door's always open." For two months INFP doesn't write and INFJ doesn't either because she thinks that's what INFP wants. Then one day INFP sends her a letter and says that she won't get so clingy this time, but within six months they are right back to where they were and INFP starts in again with wanting to know what priority she plays in INFJ's life. INFJ hates that. Why does it matter? She wants to know. "You're a part of my life and that shoudl be all that matters. You're my only online friend that gets more than an occassional private message."But it DOES matter to INFP. It matters a lot. She doen'st want to be second place to those real life people that INFJ hangs out with. She sends INFJ another letter talking about where does she fit in; she says INFJ spends frivoulous time with those unnessecary people, and then INFJ responds. "I do not like it when people try to manipulate, coeherce or control me. You shouldn't always concern yourself so much about where you fit into my life; you fit, so long as you want to, and that should be all that matters."
To that INFP replies. "You'll never have to worry about it again." And abrubtly ends all contact with INFJ. She unfriends her on facebook and sends her no more letters.
INFJ let's out a sigh and thinks, "Oh, well." Then she responds with one word. "Okay." She knows that she's killing the relationship, but at this point she doesn't care. She knows that in two months INFP is going to regret "cutting her nose off to spite her face," but again, at this point she doesn't care and she isn't sure she will care then either. If INFP comes back she will let her in again. She hasn't doorslammed her, but if she comes back, she will not even let her imagine that they are closer than online friends with 6,000 miles between them.
Then she thinks about pursuing and rebuilding the relationship, that maybe she was too hard on INFP but then she realizes that for the first time in a long time she doesn't feel pressured to answer her emails or that she has to worry about hurting her feelings and "Maybe," she thinks, "maybe it is for the best."
She thinks that INFP, despite her more mature years, is childish and that maybe INFP was right all along. Maybe she doesn't have time for her. Maybe she doesn't fit. She is sad because they had good conversation. She thinks about the lost friendship and feels a little like a failure but decides to just let it ride because if she pursues, if she happens to rekindle or knocks on the proverbial door and gets INFP to open, still, nothing will change. She knows that in time they will be right back there again.
She wonders how INFP feels and hopes that she is okay, but as for herself, she feels nothing except a need to understand which cognitive misfunctions led them to this place. She thought she would feel something but she doesn't.