Hi INFJs -
In the past few months I've noticed a theme. That theme is: we often are horrible people to get into relationships with. And I think we do it unintentionally, but there's a recurring story on this forum. So many people have posted about this one issue - both INFJs and non-INFJs (and I've experienced it myself with other INFJs, often, and been guilty of this behavior myself), so I think it's time to (1) discuss it openly; and (2) commit to a little more maturity, less selfishness, and personal growth.
Here's the story, and it goes almost the same, every time:
Boy/Girl likes INFJ. INFJ is mercurial, hot and cold, difficult, internally confused, complicated. Boy/Girl is unsure of how INFJ feels. Boy/Girl is on tenterhooks, feeling insecure. Boy/Girl feels wonderful connection with INFJ, but INFJ is wary, slightly distant, unsure of emotions...
Boy/Girl finally gets brave, tells INFJ that they have feelings. That they like the INFJ. They may not be asking for a commitment or a relationship, but they're brave enough and strong enough to share that they have developed real emotions, real caring.
What does INFJ do? INFJ SHUTS DOWN COMPLETELY. INFJ withdraws completely. Withholds all communication. Goes radio silent. Absent. AWOL.
Boy/Girl is crushed, confused, brokenhearted, because they have strong emotions, and now they can't even talk about it with the object of their affection. Even getting an honest response from the INFJ is out of reach, so there is no closure, no way to resolve the issue. Just this ringing silence, and ... waiting. And maybe hope. And then that hope diminishes over time, but so slowly, so painfully...
[Caveat: I'm not saying that this is every INFJ. Far, far, far from it. And enneatype probably has a lot to do with this (I'm looking at you, 4s). But I've noticed this story so much here that it's a theme. And maybe it's not associated with being INFJ, maybe it's just a maturity thing.]
I will say, in full disclosure, that I have been this INFJ. I totally do this and have done this. If I'm on the fence about anything, I disappear, withdraw, vanish. But as I've matured, I've learned not to do this. But now I've also had the "joy" of being involved with INFJs who have done this to me. And it is NOT cool. And it hurts.
(1) Why do INFJs have a tendency to do this? What's so difficult for us that we turn avoidant, instead of communicating openly, honestly, with compassion? One would think our Fe would prompt us to reach out and communicate, but sometimes we don't. Is it our fear of conflict? Our desire to not have the difficult conversations?
(2) What can we do to stop doing this? What affirmative steps can we take to act more maturely and more gracefully around the people who love us, even if we are scared, confused, unsure or even indifferent toward them. I'm sure we all want to be better people, so let's DO this!