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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ursa's Avatar
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    Default How to spend time with an INFJ without awkwardness?

    I am happily scheduled to pal around with an old INFJ buddy who recently moved back to my area. I am really excited to see her and catch up with her, but every time we meet, we basically sit on our rear ends and have a conversation punctuated heavily with awkward pauses. I know that she values me, because she otherwise would not ask me to spend time with her.

    I value her too, and I worry that perhaps I don't understand her needs as an INFJ, and that she is too shy to ask me to honor her needs (whatever those may be). I know that when I ask her what she wants to do, she says she will do what I want to do. My ISFJ mother says that a lot, too, but my mother says that to be polite and to not make waves, which tends to only serve to make our interactions more awkward and less balanced.

    Here are some questions I have that may help me understand better:

    1. INFJs, when (and why) do you tend to have awkward pauses?
    2. How do you relate to extroverts, and how do you want them to relate to you?
    3. What activities do you like to do in one-on-one time? Would you rather talk?
    4. How do you like people to communicate with you?
    5. (Any topic you want to add that you think is relevant.)

    Any help would be appreciated. I absolutely adore XNFJs, but sometimes I can't understand them on my own.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Lia_kat's Avatar
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    The last time you both got together, what did you talk about?
    "..But my dreaming self refuses to be consoled."- M.Atwood
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  3. #3
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    1. When we're not comfortable with you, or we feel you're just only there to critique rather than listen.
    2. I think this is a question more individual, for me I relate in ways that I sometimes speak before I think and I am extremely talkative.
    3. Board game, video game, talking + hang out, eating together, museum, teaching each other, etc.
    4. Listen. YES. Give us possibilities if you can. Hug when we're feeling down (yes the men too, gosh). Don't criticize until you heard their whole argument. Be sensitive. Actually consider our possibility rather than shooting it down just because it's different and think about it.
    5. Maybe I'll add more if I think it is appropriate.
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  4. #4
    Member her-space-holiday's Avatar
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    1. When I'm not comfortable around that person or I am in a bad mood I'll talk less. Sometimes there's just nothing to say. I can usually do the leg work in a conversation and can talk about anything and everything as long as the other person seems into it - sometimes I run into people who just seem like they're not into talking and just don't seem interested in conversation or anything that I think of talking about, but they also don't seem to initiate any topics of conversation on their own. I'm fine with not talking - my closest friends and I can hang out and ignore each other with 0 awkwardness but I feel rude doing that with people I don't know as well. I feel like I have to entertain or engage those types of people and when they're not receptive to that then the awkward pauses might start up.

    2. My best friend is an extrovert, and I get along well with most extroverts - people usually mistake me for one thanks to a heavy dose of Fe. As long as they don't feel the need to chatter constantly for the sake of making noise, and as long as they are okay with the fact that I do need my me-time then it's a non-issue. I admire their energy and can draw me out of my shell, which is an invaluable quality that I look for in friends. Sometimes they remind me of adorable puppy dogs, constantly pestering me for attention - love it, but god they just keep going and going.

    3. I agree this will vary from person to person.
    Activities = making or building stuff, art projects, crafts..sheet forts. I have pretty bad adhd and unless I'm totally exhausted, it's hard for me to sit still and just watch a movie, but I can do it - I prefer doing things though, hiking, board games, etc. I prefer smaller gatherings to big parties, and usually they consist of 5-8 of us drinking at someone's house instead of a bar and just chilling out - most of my friends are creatives so it's normal to see a few people on the floor making art while a few others play mariokart or something. I'm not terribly good at sports but I'd love to find a non-serious adult league..like a kickball league or something silly where I won't make a total fool of myself. Basically, I enjoy interactive activities when I hang out with other people - as opposed to sitting in silence and watching a movie, not always, but most of the time.

    I love talking about art, music, world affairs, nature, ideas, and I like figuring out what makes people tick. My ideal conversation is a mix of silliness and intellectual stimulation, I like to learn things and ask questions, I like friendly debate and I definitely can catch people off guard with the intensity in which I'll debate something but never in a mean spirited or personal way, so I love it when I meet people who match my intensity in that arena. I can probably find meaning or some kind of deeper personal opinion about any subject, as long as people are open about where that subject goes(i.e. abstraction) then I struggle to find anything I couldn't talk about.

    4. Equal parts contributing to conversation and listening, ideally. I'm happy to take the lead, and I'm happy to sit back and listen, and I'll adjust from person to person based on their demeanor, but I really love people who will listen to what I say and then expand upon it with their own thoughts. If someone disagrees with me then I want to hear why, I don't see differing opinions in a conversation as a bad thing at all, while it's enthralling to meet someone who you click with and can find a lot of common ground with, different perspectives, ideas and experiences are fascinated and should be shared imo.

    5. The exception to the above is when I'm with friends who I'm close enough to that we can enjoy each other's company while each doing our own thing, and my entp friend and I can chill and ignore each other like no other and still enjoy the time spent with one another. Conversation might ebb and flow, it might not, either way we're both totally at ease. She's my closest friend though and we have no issues entertaining ourselves.
    “I don’t want to be human. I want to see gamma rays, I want to hear X-rays, and I want to smell dark matter. Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can’t even express these things properly, because I have to—I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid, limiting spoken language, but I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws, and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me. I’m a machine, and I can know much more."
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  5. #5
    Member morganelise48's Avatar
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    1. Often times, at least for me, we tend to be interested in certain things. We know a lot about random things that often don't come out for others in an average casual conversation. If we don't think much of it would interest you, than we have nothing else to say. We just don't know what to say. Sometimes I find it hard to talk about what's going on in my life as well, which is a common topic. If questions are asked, it's much easier. It brings up more thoughts through Ni, and gives us more to talk about than we realized.
    2. This really depends on the person. Though once an INFJ is loosened up (easier for some than others,) Fe shines. But I will tell you, the more you talk to them, the more they'll talk to you and the more comfortable they'll feel.
    3. Again, it depends on the person. Hiking or just being in nature is one for me. Generally relaxing or trivial things. Watching a documentary, playing board games, seeing art, going to a history/science museum.
    4. Talk, vent, do your thing. Don't sugar coat anything. We like raw emotion and understanding. I tend to ask a lot of questions, and seek for elaboration. Give them a chance to talk too though. Sometimes the more people talk, the less we feel we have a place to.
    5. Sometimes we just like to soak things in. This may just be personal, but I to like to be outside. Just not over-exerting myself. Building a campfire, going on nature walks, riding four-wheeler , or just enjoying the view. Idk haha.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Ursa's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your responses! These are helpful.

    Sorry I didn't get around to acknowledging your input sooner - I mistakenly didn't set up notifications for this thread.

  7. #7
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    Bear in mind that I am not a typical INFJ (strong connection to E3 and ambiverted). However:

    Quote Originally Posted by Meow Mint Tea View Post
    Here are some questions I have that may help me understand better:

    1. INFJs, when (and why) do you tend to have awkward pauses?
    This will happen if I don't feel a connection to the other person, but out of guilt feel a need to keep "giving them a chance" and thus drive the conversation forward. I end up becoming an unwelcome interrogator of sorts; asking lots of random yet subtly related questions to mix things up, but I can't create any warmth and passion from the other person, so...pause upon pause.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meow Mint Tea View Post
    2. How do you relate to extroverts, and how do you want them to relate to you?
    I can relate to extraverts and introverts. Whether we get on depends more on their energy level/intensity (the higher, the better), comfort with emotional self-expression and intellect. I would like an extrovert to show sensitivity to my feelings, need for personal space and time away from the group. But I value people showing their true selves, and can sense with ease if they are not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meow Mint Tea View Post
    3. What activities do you like to do in one-on-one time? Would you rather talk?
    I love talking to people, but not all the time, because I need to recharge. This is something which the few who know me enough to get a glimpse of my life find confusing - I can be so energetic and imposing, but then after a while, I need to retire and curl up in my own quiet space. One on one time? I really enjoy "wandering" - a broad word - around with someone, talking about feelings and abstractions, so we create our own little world, whether we're in an art gallery, craft beer bar or hiking (sorry if this sounds a bit stereotypical), and fueling a powerful atmosphere between us through this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meow Mint Tea View Post
    4. How do you like people to communicate with you?
    Directly and passionately, ideally with touch I want to know what you are feeling and why. I am not at all intimidated by candour, on the contrary, I like it, especially if it's in tandem with a dry sense of humour.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meow Mint Tea View Post
    5. (Any topic you want to add that you think is relevant.)

    Any help would be appreciated. I absolutely adore XNFJs, but sometimes I can't understand them on my own.
    Be honest, or at least don't lie (they're not the same). I won't lie to you, and can say that as a rule, STJs and NFJs are a poor fit romantically and the two can struggle as friends because both have strong opinions but a totally different way of coming to them, which makes communicating difficult. I don't say this lightly, but it might be better for you to cut your losses and look for someone who will be easier for you to get on with.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Ursa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kullervo View Post
    I don't say this lightly, but it might be better for you to cut your losses and look for someone who will be easier for you to get on with.
    Yes, that's my usual policy when it comes to personal relationships. Normally I don't have time to waste on people who don't mesh with me. Life is too short.

    She is often the one who contacts me to hang out with her, and she and I were childhood friends and have kept in sporadic contact for over a decade. Right now, I want to do what I can to improve our in-person communications. I have a feeling it mostly has to do with the fact that she recently moved back to my area and that we haven't seen each other in quite some time.

    But cutting ties is something I will continue to keep in the back of my mind if the friendship just doesn't "do it" for either one of us.

  9. #9
    Member ameeker's Avatar
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    The title of this thread baffles me because I hate silence.

  10. #10
    Member morganelise48's Avatar
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    Oh another thing. If an INFJ is awkward, it tends to be because they feel like other people can't relate to them. Scared that they may not be able to conversation with you unless it's 'all about you.' Because we're really good at connecting to people from an emotional standpoint. Weither that emotion be good, bad, or indifferent.. However, we're not just creatures of feeling. We (typically) think a lot about heavy issues. For me it can be hard to communicate my insight because unless I think about it before talking, (which is generally hard for us when around people) I I can't explain where I pulled insight from. Which is kind of important hahah.

    We often feel inclined to talk about things that sensors are interested in, because that's kind of the typically way to go about small talk. This can be awkward for us because we often don't pay mind to it, so it doesn't come naturally. So we have to think about about it. Like things we've done, the weather... You know, things people typically talk about. We tend to think things that seem somewhat far-fetched, and even though we're aware it may be to an extent, we're just waiting for Ni and Ti to complete the process. Others insight can help that. This is kind of what we're interested in. In general at least, and this can manifest in different INFJ's a different way.

    This is something I've struggled with but am much better about. I think we tend to find ourselves intense on the inside, but subtle on the outside. Somewhat contradictory by nature.

    We are well aware when we're acting awkward. We certainly notice when you think we're acting awkward. The complete answer to your problem is hard, because it differs from individual from individual.

    Ask questions about their life. Maybe their goals. Bring up heavy topics that you're interested in (connection is a 2-way street) , they'll probably know a thing or two about it. Act warm. Feel free to answer questions they ask honestly, so long as your comfortable with that. We tend to value pure honesty, wither it manifests emotionally or not. However, I'd recommend not trying 'too hard' to relate, because your friend may likely pick up on that. Which will likely make them uncomfortable, thinking that you're forcing yourself to relate.

    When an INFJ is unhealthy, it tends to show in a very awkward kind of way. And I can't say that everything I've said will work, because let's face it... From my knowledge, I've met 2 other INFJ's in my life. I'm no expert, and every INFJ is different. But I think this will help.

    Good luck. (:

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