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  1. #1
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    Default Some of the worst things have been done with the best intentions

    How many of you NFs didn't particularly enjoy reading that? Not many I'm guessing. It does insinuate that some of the beliefs and/or past decisions you pride yourself on may not necessarily be something to be proud of, after all. Which is exactly why I don't know how to tell an INFJ friend of mine that some of the things she thinks are absolutely stupid.

    The thing is though, is that I'm not going to be attacking anything that's actually important to her. She did something to me that really upset me (and the damage is irreversible) but when I asked her why it turned out she was being noble; she did it with the best intentions (which didn't actually surprise me, she is INFJ after all). The fact that she wasn't just willing to make a sacrifice for me but that she actually did sacrifice something for me isn't the problem - hell, her nobility is the bright side to all this. The problem was her reasoning behind her decision.

    And I'm not just going to be saying this because I got hurt, I'm actually more worried that she could very well have been even more hurt by this than I was. I've known her long enough to know that this is a recurring theme with her too, and that it'll keep happening if something doesn't change. I love that she's willing to go as far as she is (has) for my sake (anyone's, really), but it scares the crap out of me to know that her nobility could wind up (has wound up) hurting not just the person she intended to help, but her as well.

    I don't want to go into much detail but one of the examples I can give is this: She's very sick, and she'll probably only last 20 more years at the most if she's really, really lucky. She said without saying the other day that she doesn't want people getting too attached to her because she'll just wind up dying on them. The fact that she'd willingly subject herself to a life of loneliness and misery so that others wouldn't have to be miserable is incredible, but it's ridiculous. The fact that she doesn't have much longer makes me want to spend as much time with her as possible before that unspeakable thing. She thinks she's doing everyone a favour but it would be a crime if the world didn't get to hear what she has to say, if no one else gets a chance to meet her and realize that there actually is someone in the world who gives a damn about them (I could go on and on with this). She doesn't seem to realize that that not all good deeds need to take away from her own happiness, or that not all acts of nobility have happy endings for even a single person.

    But I don't know how to tell her. I'm afraid that when I drop the first bomb on her she'll just shut down or block me out and she won't hear the rest of what I have to say - the part I actually want her to hear. I could just wind up causing her harm without helping anything. And even if it does all get through to her, she's still going to be devastated when she realizes the extent of the damage she caused despite the fact that she did it with the best intentions. Her self-esteem is already low enough as it is too and she gets depressed very easily (and I mean really depressed). She's also running low on friends right now and has told me I'm her best friend and that I'm "one of the only people who believes in her". What kind of things is she going to think when I spring this on her?

    There really isn't any way for me to talk to her about this without doing any damage and that scares the crap out of me because I have to say this to her so she doesn't do this to herself anymore. How am I supposed to talk to her about this? Is there anything I can do or say to soften the blow? I need some advice. NFs, INFJs especially, if someone were to cut you down (sigh), how would you want them to do it?

  2. #2
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    I know you didn't tell the whole story ... but coming from the perspective that you want to "cut her down" isn't really going to help. If you want to help her truly, then you need to forgive her within yourself first and come from a place of love. If you are still too hurt or angry or resentful to do this and you are coming from a place of telling her like it is... you will hurt her because part of where you are at still includes that need to "show her".

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty Mouse View Post
    I know you didn't tell the whole story ... but coming from the perspective that you want to "cut her down" isn't really going to help. If you want to help her truly, then you need to forgive her within yourself first and come from a place of love. If you are still too hurt or angry or resentful to do this and you are coming from a place of telling her like it is... you will hurt her because part of where you are at still includes that need to "show her".
    Maybe "cut her down", was a bad way to put it. That really isn't my intention at all. I just know that no matter how I say it, it's going to hurt her.

  4. #4
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    How about, "I love you and I want to help you... Will you let me help you?... Do you trust that what I say to you is out of love?... I want to share something with you"

  5. #5
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    *shudder*. Sorry, I'm INTP.

    But would that alone be enough? If she doesn't hate me for it, she's still going to hate herself.

    And she could wind up telling herself I'm doing something so great by telling her this, and out of love, but be unconvinced by what I'm saying. Then she'll think she has to keep away from me because she's only going to wind up hurting such a (supposedly) great person again, avoid me, and the cycle will continue.

  6. #6
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    Ok... how about...I'm your friend and I care about you. I see how your pushing people away and I understand why. I know you think you are doing it for their benefit. What if I told you we would rather be with you no matter how much time that is than be pushed away? Are you open to the possibility that we want to be with you no matter what?... If we were on opposite sides of this situation would you want me to push you away?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty Mouse View Post
    Ok... how about...I'm your friend and I care about you. I see how your pushing people away and I understand why. I know you think you are doing it for their benefit. What if I told you we would rather be with you no matter how much time that is than be pushed away? Are you open to the possibility that we want to be with you no matter what?... If we were on opposite sides of this situation would you want me to push you away?
    I like this approach, especially the last one. Nice thinking, and thanks for the help.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavilion View Post
    I don't know how to tell an INFJ friend of mine that some of the things she thinks are absolutely stupid.
    Whatever you do, don't tell her that what she's doing is "stupid". Instead, what I think you should do is explain to her how much you (as well as others) love her and how important she is. I think it's vital for her to hear that it would hurt a lot of people if she cut everyone off. I would also try to explain to her the importance of spending time with the people that you love when you know that it's possible that time is limited- although, time is limited in general. Use an analogy if you have to. Turn the tables if you have to and ask her if she were in your shoes how would her reaction be.

    Perhaps, she's pushing others away not for their sake but for hers. Then again.. maybe not... Either way.. One thing I do believe is that we should give those we love their flowers while they live. Tell her that you want to give her her flowers, and you want to receive hers.
    Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse, while all the others were making ships. ~Charles Simic

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  9. #9
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Everyone thinks their intentions are good and their actions are reasonable given their situation. The people that don't realize this have lots of problems resolving interpersonal conflict.

    There's something in psychology called the actor/observer bias or something like that. When people think of their own negative actions, they look to the situation to explain them. When they think of someone else's negative actions, they look to long-term personality traits to explain them. For example, I didn't do the dishes because I had a ton of homework and I was stressed and mad at my roommate for being a bad friend. He didn't do the dishes because he's a slob.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Hmm. Perhaps tell her that the pain of her passing is nothing compared to the joy of being with her while she still lives?

    I would be tempted to tell her that grief passes and that it won't last forever. Eventually everyone gets over the pain of it, even if they still miss you. That it isn't her fault (her being sick/dying), never was, and what will happen is clearly unavoidable so why not make the best of it while she can. That no matter what she does, someone out there will be sad about her going, and there's nothing she can do about that either. Of course, that bit will hurt her a little...because there's nothing more frustrating than realising you can't really do anything about what other people think/feel.

    I don't know what else to say. I'm fairly sure if I were in your shoes I would have lost it in frustration by now.
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

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