Hey fellow INFJs! I'm back with another thread seeking advice. It's long (i warn you in advance!) but advice would greatly be appreciated. Thanks!
I consider myself inclusive and it really bothers me when people complain that I'm not being inclusive for something. Whenever there are group activities, I'm always the person making sure everyone is included, and I'm the person everyone calls for a "roll call" because I'm usually in touch with everyone. Growing up, i moved around a lot and Im always aware of group dynamics, so I always make sure to create an inclusive atmosphere. And sometimes, within the group, there may be a person that doesn't really like the other person as much, but I still always try to keep the group together. Harmony.
When I was in college, I didn't have a "group" of friends, but a lot of people I knew. With some of these people, I eventually grew closer to them, because we had some classes together, went to the same school organizations/churches, had similar hobbies. And slowly, over time, we've developed a really strong friendship. And I'm thankful for these people. Most of these people already have their own social "circle" or "group," but they took the time to get to know someone outside of that group, and took the time to allow our friendship to grow. And every so often, we meet up for a coffee chat or some quality one-on-one time together working on similar hobbies. A part of me is saddened sometimes, because I know they have their own circle of friends and I'm just a good friend outside of that part of their life.
I am seriously so thankful for rare moments in life where I've found a good friend that accepts me for who I am, and I feel that we have a lot of trust and bond between each other. However, outside of this trust and bond I feel, I don't go out of my way to initiate settings exclusive of just me and that person. It usually happens spontaneously, we finished a class together and headed for coffee at a cafe... we had a group project together, and we shared many life stories while working together... one of us called each other during a rough day... things that occurred naturally that allowed this friendship to grow.
And it upsets me. When people say I need to be inclusive, because it suggests I am being exclusive in some way. And I feel upset because... I go way out of my way to be inclusive in group settings, to include everyone and to remember everyone's birthday/everyone's quirks and whatnot. For most of my life, I grew up without friends (moved around a lot), and I've even been bullied in situations where a socially influential person excluded me. In high school, i was lucky to find friends that accepted me, but still for the most part, I feel that i've never been somewhere where I just belonged and was part of the community. It just seems like a double standard to me. On one hand, you have really socially exclusive people with cliques and a huge quantity of friends, and they are never asked to be inclusive. And then you have people like me, who only have a few good friendships throughout their lives, and this is considered as selfish and exclusive. Really? And this usually comes from people who have a huge quantity of friends. I wish they can leave me alone sometimes.
Example: recently... this friend and I have gotten closer over a long period of time. She is ISTJ, and I guess this is where your advice comes in. With all of our mutual friends, I was always the one initiating get-togethers for all of us, and always the one making effort to keep in touch and to remain active in their lives. However, most of these friends became busy with their own lives and went on their own ways, and to a certain degree shutting out room for friendship (they are currently in med school right now). With this ISTJ friend though, as times got harder, we got closer because we started talking more and started experiencing hardships together, shared laughter and tears together... And even while pursuing graduate school, we still remained in touch every so often, whereas the other friends gradually drifted... After years of trying to keep us all together, i sort of had to "let go" in the sense that I continued to try often, but i realized they had moved on. And around this time, I got burned out on my end, too. Recently, all of us had a chance to mingle again (initiated by me, to celebrate's someone's graduation plans). And I guess some people didn't like how me and this friend had gotten closer. Some voiced their thoughts on this and complained that "you guys are so close" or seemed uncomfortable with the idea that we have 2-3 hour long phone calls. And you know what? I tried calling these friends, keeping in touch with them, but they were the ones who always were too busy to call back, too busy for conversations. And I guess now these friends want to be more active in each others' lives, but one of them complained to me that I needed to be more inclusive.
And after this comment was made, the close ISTJ friend had been distancing herself from me. I am guessing she felt pressured to be more fair with her time or something. It bothers me because before, they didn't give us a minute or care of their time, and now they are complaining that I am not being inclusive enough. I guess there are two things: 1) I feel that I've done the best I could do in this situation, but I feel that there is negative judgment towards me for being closer to one friend. Given how our friendship progressed and how others got busy, I feel that it's not something where we intentionally became closer while excluding others, but given the situation, it just happened. That's life, no? Am I wrong for feeling /thinking this way? 2) It would be nice if things were back the way it was with my ISTJ friend and I. I miss talking to her, just sharing our happy and sad times together. I feel that she is distancing herself from me just a little, so that others won't keep saying we are too close, but I am confused. Any advice would be appreciated.
Anyway, would love to hear all y'all thoughts on this from fellow INFJs. Do any of you relate to this?