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  1. #11
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    ^ This has been my experience with INFJs -- primarily with my INFJ mother but also with INFJ friends.

    Two things that may or may not help:

    1) From my experience, INFJs compartmentalize particular people for particular sorts of conversation. Everyone does this to an extent, but when INFJs need someone to talk to, they aren't going to do what an inferior Fi user like me is going to do, which is to almost exclusively go by vibe/gut feeling, re: how safe and trustworthy a person is. They're going to think, which friends will be able to cope with this? Who will be able to listen when I need them to, without being insensitive or trying to go into problem-solving mode? When you have an INFJ friend, they may choose you or they may not, but in the end that's their decision based on how they evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. With INFJ relatives, they may include you even if you aren't going to deal with it the way they want -- but they'll train you to react the right way, because you're family and it's your job to be there for your family. That's what happened with my mom, my dad, and me. (Both me and my dad are problem-solvers, so my mom outright told us what she wants from us in particular situations. It's mostly worked. )

    2) INFJs -- and correct me if I'm wrong, since this is a recent thing I've noticed that may not be 100% accurate -- make all decisions, realizations, and internal changes on their own. There's almost never a moment when someone tells them something and it changes their mind. The way they process, is to take in all input, as well as their own internal musings, and then make their decisions/changes based on that collection of trends/data/impressions. So if you're trying to convince an INFJ to do something, or change their mind, the best you can do is throw your best argument into the well and wait for them to make their own decision. Kind of like buying a lottery ticket and then waiting to see if you won.

    My point, with the above, is that there isn't much you can do besides what 21% suggested: telling them outright that you're there for them if they need you, and checking in once and a while. It's completely their decision, besides that, and there's no real shortcut.
    This. Also what 21% said.
    Just being present as a friend, without smothering, & being able to not take gaps in communication personally can go a long way, ime.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  2. #12
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Definitely what EJCC said.

    Also, I think with most INFJs, you won't see a lot of raw grief. A lot of my processing is done internally, at least in the initial stages. Often during that time, I just need someone to do thoughtful things for me that say they are aware I'm going through a hard time, but less overt talking about it or active comforting, unless I initiate it. For me at least, I need processing time and after I feel I'm over the messiest part of things and my feelings have settled out a bit, that's when I will choose someone I think will be likely to understand to talk over certain aspects of my experience with. The more backed up I am emotionally, the more work it may feel like to try to keep in touch with people or make decisions. So, I guess, what Lexicon said - don't take gaps in communication personally and if there are ways that you can avoid making the other person have to make a lot of choices during that time, it might be helpful?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by felicity View Post
    I have an infj friend who lost a friend. Just curious how I could tell her I'm there if she needs me. Of course grieving is dependent on the person and type of friendship. But would there be any patterns to how infjs grieve?

    Not sure this would change how I try to care for her, but just curious.
    All this BS about how different types react like separate species when they've experienced loss

    It really depends on how close she is to you.

    Whatever the case, bring her some flowers and tell her you are sorry for her. If she's a close friend, you should reinforce that by doing some day-to-day things to help her, as people often neglect their personal life when depressed. You will know what she would appreciate better than me.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kullervo View Post
    All this BS about how different types react like separate species when they've experienced loss

    It really depends on how close she is to you.

    Whatever the case, bring her some flowers and tell her you are sorry for her. If she's a close friend, you should reinforce that by doing some day-to-day things to help her, as people often neglect their personal life when depressed. You will know what she would appreciate better than me.
    Already told her I am sorry before coming here. And long distance, not same city.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by felicity View Post
    Already told her I am sorry before coming here. And long distance, not same city.
    Ah. I can't really comment then.

  6. #16

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    Thank you Fidelia.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kullervo View Post
    Ah. I can't really comment then.
    Distance complicates cuz there's no physical non-verbals. Anyhow, I've received lots of useful feedback. Thanks to you and everyone.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by felicity View Post
    But would there be any patterns to how infjs grieve?
    Speaking as an INFJ whose father died about a month and a half ago ... I don't know how much of my response is INFJ-related and how much is other layers, but to add to the data in this thread for pattern-seekers:

    1. Along with other INFJs- for me, @EJCC's post here is largely accurate. For me, though, the one part that isn't accurate is the part about us thinking it's family members' job to be there for us in particular ways. Not at all applicable to me personally, just isn't part of how my specific landscape and life is set up. So it could be that that bit likely varies by person and context, rather than being INFJ-specific.

    2. With only one exception, and as @fidelia's comment suggests to some extent: no one has seen my raw grief about this. NO ONE. I can't even access it until late at night and it comes when it comes and if someone else was in the room, it just wouldn't.

    The one exception to the above was how I responded to the initial shock when I learned my dad had died. It was completely unexpected, out of nowhere, an email sent to me out of the freaking blue, and I freaked out and called my partner out of the bathroom (poor thing) and slid down the wall crying and saying "it can't be, I don't understand, that can't be true, it makes no sense." But the only reason she saw that was because I was in some sort of bizarre shock at that moment given the specific circumstance.

    That was (and I really think will be) her only - and I mean ONLY - glimpse of my raw grief. This is someone who is most entwined in my life and with whom I share a home. My raw grief is so private for me that at one point after a week or two, she got worried about me because she didn't think I was actually grieving. I had to tell her that there was far more happening in and with me that she would be able to see.

    3. And it takes TIME. There are lots of substantial elements of my raw-response grieving that couldn't even begin to happen until now, well over a month later. And it really feels to me that this unfolding will continue for many more months if not years.

    And speaking of INFJ processing time:

    Quote Originally Posted by felicity View Post
    What is it like when it is not like this. Don't people always change their minds on their own? Do you mean kind of that the infjs have to go somewhere and think about it to change their mind? So it's a slower kind of thinking? I actually think I have experienced this with an infj, but I always thought it was just something unique to our dynamic and hadn't thought of it as an infj thing. Maybe it was. Guess what you are describing is a very independent mindset.
    I think for me, it is far more about needing lots of processing time and bringing together lots and lots of input/data/information than independent mindset. I take in a lot. It takes me a long long time to really process information into cognitively usable form. And again, IMO @EJCC pretty much nails it with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    The puzzle/filing cabinet metaphor doesn't work with INFJs because they seem to have a need to overhaul and reformulate ALL data when presented with something new. Weighing it against what they have, and molding their worldview into a totally different shape. Which sounds extreme to someone like me, but Ni apparently makes for an ever-changing and nebulous internal structure.
    Yes.

  9. #19
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    For me, as long as they show a good intention, I'm pretty open to different types of consoling. If I know my friend is more of a "brick wall," I'd not expect them to be as forthcoming with their sympathies.

    As long as I detect some sincerity, I'm quite content with whatever is comfortable for the person. Knowing that my friend made a thread like this would, for me, be a pretty good measure of good intent.

  10. #20
    Junior Member KellBell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    ^ This has been my experience with INFJs -- primarily with my INFJ mother but also with INFJ friends.

    Two things that may or may not help:

    1) From my experience, INFJs compartmentalize particular people for particular sorts of conversation. Everyone does this to an extent, but when INFJs need someone to talk to, they aren't going to do what an inferior Fi user like me is going to do, which is to almost exclusively go by vibe/gut feeling, re: how safe and trustworthy a person is. They're going to think, which friends will be able to cope with this? Who will be able to listen when I need them to, without being insensitive or trying to go into problem-solving mode? When you have an INFJ friend, they may choose you or they may not, but in the end that's their decision based on how they evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. With INFJ relatives, they may include you even if you aren't going to deal with it the way they want -- but they'll train you to react the right way, because you're family and it's your job to be there for your family. That's what happened with my mom, my dad, and me. (Both me and my dad are problem-solvers, so my mom outright told us what she wants from us in particular situations. It's mostly worked. )

    2) INFJs -- and correct me if I'm wrong, since this is a recent thing I've noticed that may not be 100% accurate -- make all decisions, realizations, and internal changes on their own. There's almost never a moment when someone tells them something and it changes their mind. The way they process, is to take in all input, as well as their own internal musings, and then make their decisions/changes based on that collection of trends/data/impressions. So if you're trying to convince an INFJ to do something, or change their mind, the best you can do is throw your best argument into the well and wait for them to make their own decision. Kind of like buying a lottery ticket and then waiting to see if you won.

    My point, with the above, is that there isn't much you can do besides what 21% suggested: telling them outright that you're there for them if they need you, and checking in once and a while. It's completely their decision, besides that, and there's no real shortcut.
    As an INFJ I am going to say that this is one of the few times I have ever heard someone say something about me that I have never really noticed or considered before but that it still completely true. My Ni Fe functions will alert me if you are reacting to what I am telling you in an unfavorable way and I'm very slow to open up, so that would make me shut down. Being open is by far your best bet. I greatly appreciate people saying they're there for me but even then sometimes they make me feel like I wish I hadn't opened up to them about something and that makes me wall them out just a bit, at least on that particular subject matter.

    An example of this would be when I was talking to my friend Summer about my ex boyfriend Tom. She is really supportive and all in general, she's an INFP, but she has made up her mind that she doesn't like him and therefore doesn't like talking about him. She brought him up the other day and asked how I was emotionally and I told her honestly and she said she couldn't take hearing about it. That is just about the worst thing that could have happened.

    My advice is to be as compassionate, open and understanding as you can, INFJs are excellent with dichotomy and so we appreciate it when you are unconditionally sympathetic regardless of your ability to actually empathize. As well, I don't personally mind it when someone gives me advice, but only when I ask for it. I am much more receptive to clarification questions and feedback if that makes sense. I like feeling understood more than anything else. Moreover, INFJs have Fi as their critical parent function and our feelings are extroverted, sometimes I am literally just trying to figure out how I feel because of my lack of Fi, this is why I'm so drawn to INFPs as friends, two of my three best friends are INFPs.

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