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  1. #41
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    4w5 sp/sx


    So what I did was just send a bunch of super nice messages to alot of people that are important to me including the two INFPs (and will send more to other people), but not limited to them. That way if I get an 80% return, I can focus on the people who respond. That can really help me with feeling vulnerable because I am as much so as what is described in this thread.

  2. #42
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    4w5 sp/sx
    IEI Ni


    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    My impression is more that this particular individual has a complex intertwining of sensitivity and apathy.
    A truer thing may not be said of the typical Fi-dom.

    I just have a hard time figuring out which is which and I do feel personally devalued, but I don't think everyone has to value me just because I value them. People have an honest personal right to not want to connect to me. I've always been anxious that she felt we were in competition because musicians have an awful culture of behaving that way. I don't want to compete at all. I just happened to form an internal ideal of being good friends with her, possibly even sharing recitals with students, etc., and my internal concept just never mapped to reality, so I was disappointed.
    I will own to having confusing behavior with people. I continue to emphasize lack of awareness, unrelated moodiness, indirect communication, extremely poor sense of time as being very REAL things about many INFPs.

    I think I mentioned in this thread the friend of mine who for 5 years found me difficult to read, and did not know I liked her until I made a direct statement about it to her mom. I also did not know this took 5 years until she pointed it out.

    From my perspective, I sometimes cannot read people who are nice to everyone. Because of an exaggerated sense of humility, I may think "they don't really like me; they're just nice to everyone". So what is more often devalued is that person's niceness, not the person herself. I realize this is not particularly fair of me, but it stems from a point I made in another thread about reading people's BS - I can & have been naive in accepting people as genuine when the were just BSing to get something or to fit some image that benefits their reputation.

    So directness can bee good. I've learned to be more direct with people when I want to establish where we stand, as a part of expressing more positive feeling as well.

    This has not come too easy for me, as like many NFPs, I never felt a need to define things with people. It's only when I began to see how nothing ever moved forward because someone else needed a more defined status.

    I looked back at my childhood and saw how bestowing "best friend" titles on people went a long way to promoting a more intimate friendship. People get security in these titles; they symbolize a lot. That's why I don't think formal marriage is going the way of the do-do bird.

    I know there is a vulnerability in expressing directly when it comes to liking someone when you are unsure of whether they like you, but I can tell you that I have never really responded negatively to someone who has expressed a direct interest in being friends. Sometimes it did not work out because of circumstances (could never seem to get together), but it was never some cold shoulder rejection from me. There were times I was disappointed when someone did not follow through on their expressed desire, and even ignored my attempts to respond to it. But directly stating intent or requesting a status is okay.

    The difference here is like most J types (I have noticed this anyway), you approach people like goals. You focus on someone you've decided meets your criteria (or "vision") for a friend and you've made attempts to make that a reality. INFPs, and I'd venture to say most IxxPs, don't really approach things like that. As FineLine said, we kind of just end up being friends with whoever invites us out to pizza over & over.

    From the opposite perspective, I have found this Je+Pi mentality frustrating because I have just randomly sauntered over to someone with a "hey what's up" and gotten some "You are not my vision of friendship!" response. They have this attitude of "why are YOU talking to ME?". But I guess they don't realize I am not trying to establish anything with them. They were simply in my line of vision, and I had an unusually chatty moment. I don't have visions of friendship the way they do. I mean, I certainly imagine such things, but it's not with a real goal in mind. Even my romantic fantasies don't have any calculations in them; they're extremely removed from reality.

    So perhaps when a J type approaches a INFP type for friendship, the INFP's response is not an acceptance/rejection of some vision of friendship. It's a response to the current context and their own mood in relation to it. But the J type is reading them according to some assumption that they operate the same way, namely that they are trying to form reality to fit an inner vision, when they are instead exploring reality as it happens & seeing what develops to meet an ideal.

    I know an INTP who has been friends for years with some individuals he later admits he didn't like all that much. They were just always hanging around. When asked why they were even friends, he'll just shrug and "Well, he just came over all the time." I've had very few friends like that, and only really realized/expressed it later. For us, you don't strategize reality - it happens and you adapt to it. I know this is likely your "fear" (to be some imposing friend the other doesn't really like), but given your own sensitivity, I find it unlikely you will push yourself into someone's life when they don't like you all that much. Instead of being too obtuse & going where you're uninvited, you're being too cautious and seeing walls where there may be none.

    This does not remove responsibility on an INFP's end to send clearer signals, but you can't change someone else's behavior.
    I think I mentioned how when I turn down an invite now, I will clarify I appreciate it and would be open to a similar invite in the future. I have found this effective in letting people know it's not personal. Friends can & have called me out on disappearing acts. I pulled the stupid girl thing of ignoring some friends when dating this guy, and my INFP friend simply said, "I never heard from you when you were dating him. You just disappeared for awhile". This simple informing worked to make me realize I had not been reciprocating as a friend. Notice, this does not go over into guilt-trippy territory. She didn't say it hurt her feelings. She just stated behavior & let me determine what it signified (FJs can go overboard there & then make an FP stubborn not to comply).

    Rarely, if ever, do I feel serious competition with people. You must know as a 4 that it's not how many of us experience envy (which is more of a pervading longing that you can't quite put your finger on). I suspect ISFP or INFP makes a difference here though, if temperaments hold true (and I think they're a decent guideline for outer behaviors & focus). Supposedly SPs can be more competitive, which is not so common to NFs. Nonetheless, I see my easygoing ISFP step-dad pretty much hang out with whoever makes an effort to hang out with him. An ISFP childhood friend was only playfully competitive, and I think it's a view to actually motivating each other.

    The irony is that I also can be too distant and when younger was specifically accused of it, but would compensate by smiling at people. I'm too close and distant at the same time.
    This is a problem I hear a lot of IxFx types talk about, but I think it's worse for INFx because the detachment from immediate reality that iNtuition can bring. This is why directness is sometimes needed to stop trying to decipher people and get on the same page.

    Edit: Socially I can relate to much of what you describe. I've been a bit more open as I get older and take greater risks just because I've experienced enough genuine rejection and survived that I've been pushed past the point of something.
    Right... and a lot of these "risks" are just deemed normal social interactions to others. It's an IxFx sensitivity, IMO, that leads someone to put too much weight onto these things. Self-esteem helps here - someone not responding to your attempts at friendship is not a determiner of YOUR value as a friend, and especially not as a person.

    Edit: I really hope I can figure this out because it applies to a few people, all of whom I value highly, but their behavior does feel like it contains some authentic rejection of me. I suppose it is possible that if they value me the rejection is pre-emptive. I just wonder if it could be just spaciness when it resonates so strongly of rejection. In both recent cases I had significant things in common, so I wasn't just a random person. With one we are the only two around our same age who are professionals on our specific instrument and we both value using music in therapeutic contexts. All of our goals are the same and aspects of personality as well, so it seems like it's meaningful. In the second we are both creative and unusual and had what I thought were possibly the best music conversations I've ever had, but now that INFP completely ignores me on FB. They like all the other band members new profile pics from our performance, but not mine. Both have hurt my feelings quite deeply, and it's just my rational mind that keeps taking risks, but it never changes in the first, longer case. Oh well.
    I still assert a lot can be chalked up to moodiness in the IxFP. And remember that Fi is often not directly responding to the external environment. It's like whatever feeling we've been chewing on is what is affecting our mood, not necessarily the person in front of us. Something has to be striking to me, to touch on some ideal of mine, to get a real-time response that changes my mood. I have gotten better at social niceties and appropriateness with age though, so that I will put moods aside in view of the bigger picture. I take some ownership of these miscommunications and look to see what I can change on my end. But you can only handle your end too. So sometimes you have to just leave it where it is until the other person decides to do their end, if they ever do.

    If I were to offer a conjecture of what could be going on -
    You're nice to people.
    You're nice to the INFP.
    You have a great exchange with the INFP.
    INFP thinks you're nice to everyone & have such exchanges with most people.
    INFP doesn't want to burden you with more, assuming you probably are stretched thin & they might be demanding too much to initiate another similar exchange.
    They figure you'll come back around when you have the time/energy for it.
    OR INFP enjoyed said exchange, but has a lot going on and doesn't want to stretch themselves too thin & lose track of other priorities.

    Have you been devalued? Yes, but not as an individual. What has been devalued is the significance of your niceness & interaction and/or given a lower priority than other established things in the INFP's life. The context is what is making the INFP devalue, so perhaps you have to give them a new context. Sometimes you just have to keep giving new contexts over & over. The persistence of ExxPs in this way is often why I have easy friendships with them.

    Anyway, just two possibilities of many. I hardly do any of that consciously, as in literally assigning value. It's more of how I respond to things in a certain context as it appears before me immediately.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  3. #43
    Glam Fool Video's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    4w5 sx/so


    In my own experience, I could see ISFP being more inclined to competition than its N sibling. A type 3 influence coming in from multiple angles helps. The core "defect" of the four can make a truly primal chief driver behind it all when its nuances light it up in this way: especially as a teenager, thinking you have to push a little harder than others to carve out your special place in this world because of what you are missing inside. Think of your tribe being chased by a tiger when you know you're the least in shape.

    Unlike the three, though, survival isn't grasped at by sublimiating felt inspiration, but is fueled by it. When burnout occurs, it's more like heartbreak and can really separate two chapters of a life. One has fallen in love and hate with the dream and living exemplars of it, danced with it, cried with it, taken walks with it under the stars, bluh, bluh, bluh.

    While that all sounds maudlin as shit, it's actually locked-down private. What you see is just a quiet, intensely focused but approachable person who works on their projects at weird hours and probably won't open up about their passion until the situation prompts. And would be pleased to hang out with your group some Saturday. I would certainly hate to find out that someone else felt pushed by the competitive aspects.
    4w5 6w5 1w2 sx/so

    A lonely island where only what is permitted
    to move moves, becomes an ideal.

  4. #44
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    4w5 sp/sx


    I really appreciate the input @OrangeAppled and @Webslinger. I think you are right, OA about me having a preconceived notion about friendships. I have an idealized concept of it, but it is softened a bit by being pretty flexible with the actual result. Having moved around alot as a kid I would always pick out a few friends in my mind and just wish for it w/o it ever happening. I was best friends with my older INFP sister, but she was always in a different grade and actually did better than me with having one or two friends of sorts wherever we lived. I'm actually really *off* socially which is likely evident from this thread, although most people don't expect it because being quiet and smiling, or saying what is supposed to be said in the role of a teacher at school seems to cover pretty well. I've also always been married to INTPs who are known in their families for being distant (not an implied criticism), but I am terribly mis-calibrated for communication. I admire the INTPs I have been with because there was/is some mutual understanding because of being different, a value placed on inner coherency, and their distance is a natural result of those two qualities. I guess I don't care as much now if I make a fool out of myself. I don't really have the same sort of ego expressed by the norm.

    That is probably why I keep valuing INFPs - because they are not norm driven and they seem like a real connection is possible. My preconceived notions are based mostly on my best guess at people with whom there might be mutual understanding. I did spend most of my younger days being open to anyone who needed a friend, and they were important to me, but I didn't feel understood. Sometimes there were issues of them latching on and being controlling of me. I have more limited energy now, so reserve that sort of interaction to my profession, but still maintain a little of that idealism of picking out people that I wish for a connection with.

    I'll mention one other thing that OrangeAppled said. The devaluing of someone being "nice" to everyone is something I understand as well because I've known extraverts (usually ENFPS) who do that and so I'm afraid to assume that I am special. For myself there are specific cues for the difference between the common love and concern and when someone is more special. I realize they couldn't know, but it has to do with the level of risk. It also has *alot* to do with how much personal vulnerability I share. I used to listen to a lot of people's problems, but didn't reveal anything that vulnerable. In my mind there is a huge difference between "I like you as a person and want you to be well and happy" and "these are my vulnerabilities which I think you may be able to understand". I guess it comes down to if the exchange is based only on emotional giving or if there is any hint at a need to take something. I never, ever, ever, express a personal need to someone one-on-one or in a personal context if I don't trust them. It is also a huge risk because then the rejection feels like I imposed.

  5. #45
    Earth Exalted Thursday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    8w9 sp/sx


    Quote Originally Posted by Lyedecker View Post
    I tend to keep myself very guarded. I make acquaintances of people quite often, but for me to really open up and start baring my soul, there has to be some deeper connection or they have to share something I'm really interested in. I also find it difficult to want to form bonds with people who share little in common with me to begin with. I simply don't have time for small talk about trivial day to day bullshit. If someone wants to discuss music, particularly the stuff I'm into, history, eastern religions and philosophy, alternate history and time travel, mystery science theater 3000, or any other number of things I care about, then I start to let my guard down and will find myself wanting to spend a lot more time around that person
    I second this notion.
    I N V I C T U S

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