[ENFJ] ENFJ ignoring/cold to a close friend?

ENFJ ignoring/cold to a close friend?

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This is a discussion on ENFJ ignoring/cold to a close friend? within the ENFJ Forum - The Givers forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; Hi ENFJ's, I'm a new poster so feel free to move this if it should be somewhere else. I am ...

  1. #1
    ISTJ - The Duty Fulfillers

    ENFJ ignoring/cold to a close friend?

    Hi ENFJ's, I'm a new poster so feel free to move this if it should be somewhere else.

    I am an ISTJ who had a very close friendship with an ENFJ-- I considered her (and still do) to be one of my closest friends. I opened up to her emotionally in a way that I never had to anyone else, and being an ISTJ that's saying a lot...The problem is that I suppose I became a bit dependent on being close to her and feeling affection from her, through hugs, conversations, or spending general downtime with each other. Several times I've felt that she became distant/for whatever reason did not want to be around me as much as she had before, and my doubts really shook me emotionally. I expressed my concern those few times and she tried to assuage my concerns/adjust her behavior so I didn't feel that way anymore. We recently graduated, and I kind of expected her to become distant again-- which she did. But this time I wanted to see if I could myself just cut off my dependency on her, and so I deliberately kept only sparsely in touch-- it worked to an extent, but several months later I honestly can't get rid of the feeling in my chest that I miss her sorely. I started calling her, initiating conversations, etc, because I missed her and because I hoped I could rekindle our friendship. I know that she does not miss me equally, because back when we were closer she used to clearly express that she missed me, by chatting online or finding a way for us to hang out...but there's none of that now that we've graduated. I've been doing a good job of not letting her know that this hurts me, though recently I became irritated and told her (online) that she never wanted to hang out with me the few times I brought it up, which she denied (likely because she doesn't remember, in my opinion).

    I can understand her being distant because we aren't going to school together anymore (it hurts, but I suppose I can understand), but I can't explain why she still behaves distantly towards me the few times I am able to get together with other mutual friends and her. For example, the last time I was in this situation I felt that she was deliberately avoiding looking at me, while she was showing very obvious affection and attention to others in our gathering (about 5-6 people- 1 of whom has probably taken the place in her heart of 'best friend'). I sort of felt that I had to force her to talk to me, by mentioning something funny that she did once or the like, and that then she was finally able to look at me properly.

    This is getting quite long, but I'm writing to ask if there might be a specific reason why my ENFJ friend is behaving this way. Before our graduation I had begun feeling similarly (that she was becoming distant/avoiding conversation), and when I confronted her about it I realized that she had been behaving that way because she didn't know what she could do to help me-- (because I'm dumb and don't know how to express my feelings, I would deliberately look especially sad/upset with life when I saw her, in the hopes that she would express concern and the distance between us would be crossed). This was really surprising to me, because if a good friend had been looking sadder lately I would have tried to talk to her about it! (or so I hope). Is it likely that I did something to make her uncomfortable with me/for whatever reason, not be as close to me? (and I think I might have-- I told her once that I thought she became bored of friends/no longer interested in them over time when I last confronted her about feeling distant with her--that might have been understandably quite insulting)? Or was I right, and sometimes ENFJ's become distant from previously close friends for no specific reason?

    Obviously the best solution would be for me to ask her directly-- but frankly, I am tired of bothering her about this and I'm tired of feeling so pathetic each time I tell her that I need her and that she's not caring for me enough. I might eventually ask her, but each time I've told her "I think we've been distant" she's seemed quite thrown off/surprised by the suggestion, which has always left me feeling like a dependent idiot. And in case anyone asks this, I am certain that she at least at some point considered me to be a best and very close friend--she had been very clear about that.

    Sorry about the length! I appreciate any answers.
    greedygreen, Happy about Nothing. and Cross thanked this post.

  2. #2
    ENFJ - The Givers

    If you were to ask her why she became so distant, there'd be a pretty large chance that she will either deny it or have some sort of excuse, like she was very busy or something similar. I have a very close ISTJ friend, she's female, and I've become increasingly distant with her as well. She had.. problems, small illnesses she felt ashamed of, and I was the only one outside her family whom she had told about it. Because of how stressed out she was, she became snappy and emotionally dependent at the same time. She often didn't realize that she would upset me with what she said until much later. The last two years with her have been an emotional rollercoaster: either we were distant (much to the surprise of everyone around us), or we tried to make up after what we had said to each other. I think we had gotten too close after 4 years of a very close friendship, and especially after every talk I've had with her, thinking it would change her pessimistic attitude without any notable results, I started to sort of.. give up on her. The little things of her started to annoy me, and I didn't want her to know.. so I've started distancing myself. She was on a trip to South-Africa for a few months, and I still missed her a little, but the moment I saw her again I felt like I was already done with her. In the end, I felt like it was too much effort to keep the friendship going, as I felt both of us were just.. done with each other, but she manages to find me and strike me up for conversation everytime, and every conversation gets less and less satisfying, I'm afraid.

    An ENFJ doesn't forget insults easily, and while we tend to be rather forgiving, if little spats happen too often then we might be inclined to feel that the 'connection' is lost, but don't expect us to be quick to say that to your face. What's interesting is that my ISTJ friend started to look sadder when she was around me, too. I felt responsible for her feelings, but a few days after helping her out (and this has literally happened roughly 15 times), she would just go back to being snappy and emotional. It's not that I dislike her for it, I feel sorry for her more than anything, but being around her now just tires me out so much. Quite frankly, the times she brought up that we have been distant I feigned surprise (it hurts to do this, and I know it's weak), so she might be doing that, but I can't say that for sure. I suppose part of me doesn't want to just let her go, either.

    This is just speaking from rather personal experience, so I don't know if that could help you much, but the situation feels somewhat.. similar. The only piece of advice I could give you is arrange something with her, something you two used to do in the past when you were really close together. Try to recall good memories together, and then when you've had a really good time together, you could try confronting her about it. She'll be 'in the mood', so to say, and there'll be a pretty big chance that she won't deny it this time.

    Helping you with this got me thinking, I might just try to do the same thing pretty soon, and this time, I will confront her about how I have been feeling!

    I hope I helped you a little. Best of luck to you!

  3. #3
    ENFJ - The Givers

    I don't enjoy hanging out with negative people. If you just revert back to your happy, healthy self consistently that should help. I don't think it was anything you did besides making her feel like she had to maintain you all the time. I hate that.

    I mean you've clearly made her uncomfortable. Have you considered it being anything else besides what you've said? Cause there could be more at play here. She could just not find you fun anymore. Not a good friend. Or maybe she liked you and when you went to different schools and became distant she shut you out emotionally for self-preservation. From what you've given us information wise it could range from something extremely serious to something very mild as to the reasons why she is no longer close to you.
    genx, BlueSeven, Summery and 2 others thanked this post.

  4. #4
    ISTJ - The Duty Fulfillers

    Thanks iCastPizza, this was really helpful-- and you are right, our situations are somewhat similar, and that also helps a lot. Thank you especially for the advice about how to approach her regarding this. I like to be direct, and especially with my close friends-- I didn't realize that this approach might be why she's denied our distance in the past. If I can get her to acknowledge that there is distance between us, that would make me feel a lot better than me thinking that she didn't care enough to notice that it existed in the first place.

    to both you and iamken: I can't think of anything else I might have done to upset her, other than that statement and perhaps, like iamken said, making her feel that she had to maintain me. To be honest, the reason I made that statement was because a formerly close friend of hers (who was still close to the ENFJ then) had said (to both of us-- but more to me) that my ENFJ friend would not be close to me for long- that she loses interest in others over time. Of course, she said that half-jokingly, half-jealously (she is my friend too now), but I remembered it and since then I worried that it would become true. When I saw my ENFJ friend become distant to people whom I thought she had been once close to, I felt that my fears/the other friend's assertion was confirmed. And when I noticed the distance between I and my ENFJ forming, I thought that her disinterest had finally moved on to me. So my question is-- should I go ahead and explain this to her whenever we do broach the topic of our distance? Or will this just reaffirm her possible feelings that I don't trust her and make it more likely that she will continue her distance?

    (I am ashamed of this but after I voiced my fears/made that statement, she responded with a brusque 'No'-- and, realizing that my fears might have been wrong the whole time, I blurted out "I am sorry that I don't have more faith in you." It was more a statement of self-realization and I should have kept it in...but I am so used to saying exactly what I think with her that I didn't.)

    iCastPizza-- I hope you are able to reconcile with your friend. Being direct with her is probably the best way to fix the situation, I don't think we read non-verbal cues very well...and if your friend really cares and is upset by the distance between you two, she will do whatever it takes to correct the problem. Given the characteristic ENFJ tact and guiding/nurturing nature, I think you will be able to help her. My ENFJ friend has always influenced me to change for the better.
    iCastPizza, iCastPizza, iCastPizza and 1 others thanked this post.

  5. #5
    ISTJ - The Duty Fulfillers

    Thank you so much for the response, iamken! Beside the statement I made and, like you said, making her feel that she had to maintain me all the time, I don't think I've done anything else to make her uncomfortable. I elaborated a bit more on that in my response to iCastPizza, if you'd like to take a look at that.

    Even if I wasn't much fun for her anymore I don't think it would explain her avoiding eye contact/conversation with me when I last hung out with her in a group. Though the time before that in which I hung out with her and a few other friends, I was a bit distant from her myself (because I was annoyed that we were distant and I wanted her to realize that...go figure). I resolved to be REALLY warm to her the next time, in case her being distant was a reaction to my distance the first time...Idk if this made sense.

    I really appreciate this, both of your responses have been extremely helpful.
    Cross thanked this post.

  6. #6
    ENFJ - The Givers

    Welcome to PerC!
    Thank you for posting this genx. Being an ENFJ, I'm currently ignoring an ENFJ friend as well, since he's friends with everybody. It seems, since he was the one who changed me to an ENFJ (yes ENFJs! it is possible to make ISTJs into ENFJs) , that I have grown emotionally attached to him.

    Through his mistakes, I have learned to appreciate my current friends right now, even though they bore me sometimes mainly because I feel as if the things they do are the same things over and over again! Thus, I like meeting new people while being careful not to make my friends jealous.

    I will not become my ENFJ friend, but better! :)
    Believe in yourself, your former ISTJ comrade.
    genx and Cross thanked this post.

  7. #7
    ISTJ - The Duty Fulfillers

    Thanks greedygreen-- I definitely changed a lot from being around my ENFJ friend too. Crazy that your whole type changed though. Thanks for the words of support!
    Cross thanked this post.

  8. #8
    Unknown Personality

    Hey I hear some ENFJs get hot and cold when they emotionally can't handle a relationship anymore.
    the pressure can get to them and they sort of become that choppy t.v. channel.

    just hit the screen a few times and the picture will come back.

    ... :D

    i mean... no but in all seriousness maybe she just needs some space.

    sorry. didn't read your full post and I am already spouting out my reply. lol.

    also. get dependent on other friends. there are more fish in the sea.

    in the wild if you rely to much on one food source you can die if that food source gets wiped out. you need multiple food sources.
    greedygreen, Summery, Cross and 2 others thanked this post.

  9. #9
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenCoyote View Post
    Hey I hear some ENFJs get hot and cold when they emotionally can't handle a relationship anymore.
    the pressure can get to them and they sort of become that choppy t.v. channel.
    INFJ here, and I can relate so much with all the ENFJ's responses. If I sense negativity, I try to repair that, but being around negative people all the time is really bad for me. It makes me absorb it, internalize it, and make the bad things in me come out. I believe ISTJ's may be more apt at handling their own emotions, understanding them, and being honest with themselves, for even though Fi is their tertiary function, it does develop for them in time. For INFJ's and probably ENFJ's... dealing with that would be a big mess. We need time to sort out these emotions, and for INFJ's that might be a very long time (so I understand why your ENFJ friend is in some way trying to get as much distance as possible without completely severing her relationship with you by saying, "I don't want to be your friend anymore", which would only make her feel worse I assume, mostly because it makes you feel worse and it'll take its toll on her too, through extraverted Feeling).

    I've trying to learn more about ENFJ's and I found that ENFJ's enjoy light conversation; and I have also learned through your thread, that the more positive that light social interaction is, the better. I don't know if that helps. Thanks for the thread! This discussion is quite interesting.
    genx, Summery and SuperNova85 thanked this post.

  10. #10

    If it were me, I might be ignoring you because I had my nose knocked out of joint from when you kept sparsely in touch.

    At the same time, people often seem to feel that I have either made the relationship too close or that they are so close to me. The thing is that no closeness matches the closeness that I have with my fellow ENFJ friends. So an ISTJ might feel that we are having this super emotional or even overly intimate conversation. But to me, that kind of conversation is every day fare and does not even begin to go deep. So either the ISTJ thinks that I am pushing too much intimacy and totally doesn't get me. Or in some instances, people will say, "I feel so close to you," when really I've had ten conversations like that. Then again, "I feel so close to you" could also be the thing that guys say when they are just trying to sleep with you, which is so often the case.
    genx thanked this post.

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