[ENFP] How to handle a grieving ENFP without getting burned

How to handle a grieving ENFP without getting burned

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This is a discussion on How to handle a grieving ENFP without getting burned within the ENFP Forum - The Inspirers forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; Just seeking some impartial input. I have an ENFP who has been grieving a breakup for the last week and ...

  1. #1
    INFP - The Idealists

    How to handle a grieving ENFP without getting burned

    Just seeking some impartial input. I have an ENFP who has been grieving a breakup for the last week and a half. She was dating an INTJ and he broke it off with her and she has been going through an emotional roller coaster and leaning heavily on her friend network for constant support.

    The issue for me is, part of her grieving process is dwelling on his faults. Sure, the guy has some issues and I would have broken it off if it were me, but a lot of his behaviors that she is constantly pointing out is just normal introvert stuff (among his own unique problematic behaviors). Naturally, her disdain for these things and the way she talks about them makes ME (an introvert) feel like worthless shit. I have to go home/get off the phone and remind myself that she's just upset and don't let it get to me because clearly she doesn't have life figured out either. But man, it's kind of taking a toll on my psyche a little to hear a friend daily bashing characteristics that I also share.

    I know she's caught up in her grief and probably not aware that she's insulting me, but it's making me feel bad and I'm not sure how to approach it with her. I don't want her to feel bad, I don't want to affect her healing process, I don't want to make it weird between us, I don't want to look selfish in her time of need. Any suggestions on how to gently talk to her about this?



  2. #2

    ENFPs handle it well when it comes to suddenly realizing that they're inadvertently hurting those they care about. Best to be direct and say, "Edwina, I know you don't realize this, but that [whatever she has just complained about] is something I do too. It's a natural introvert thing." This could snap her out of her breakup-bitterness at least a little, and give her some perspective. If there's anything I've learned from my experience with ENFPs, it's that it's best to stop dancing about and just give them the plain truth, when it's something of personal consequence. They appreciate it.

  3. #3
    INFP - The Idealists

    Quote Originally Posted by odinthor View Post
    ENFPs handle it well when it comes to suddenly realizing that they're inadvertently hurting those they care about. Best to be direct and say, "Edwina, I know you don't realize this, but that [whatever she has just complained about] is something I do too. It's a natural introvert thing." This could snap her out of her breakup-bitterness at least a little, and give her some perspective. If there's anything I've learned from my experience with ENFPs, it's that it's best to stop dancing about and just give them the plain truth, when it's something of personal consequence. They appreciate it.
    Yeah, I tend to think you're right and it probably has to do more with my own avoidance of conflict (or perceived conflict.) Although she did get upset about an ENTJ who recently suggested a possible fault of her own that she didn't want to hear. Then again, that could be different in her mind because it's not hurting anyone else but potentially her. But I do think she would not want to hurt a friend so maybe it's me who needs to get over my hangups and just say it. In normal times I would, but I just haven't said anything because it's seems to be something she needs to do to mentally get over him.

    Edit: I did fail to mention that she's a certified MBTI trainer (doesn't work in the field, but has the certification) so part of my thinking is that she does or at least should know what is normal behavior for an introvert, and that she's dwelling on those behaviors nonetheless. So my thinking veers towards, A, she knows it's just an introverted thing and still finds it repulsive, or B, since she knows or probably knows it's normal for an I, criticizing it really is just helping her feel better and I should just ignore it.
    Last edited by TuesdaysChild; 08-13-2018 at 12:18 PM.
    odinthor thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    @TuesdaysChild I'm curious what sort of introvert behaviors she's complaining about . . . ?

  6. #5
    INFP - The Idealists

    Quote Originally Posted by odinthor View Post
    @TuesdaysChild I'm curious what sort of introvert behaviors she's complaining about . . . ?
    Pretty basic introvert stuff, like that he doesn't have a huge network of friends like she does, that he prefers a balance of more down time (aka doing stuff at home together) vs. social time than she does, and that he's "low energy" towards social interaction and activities that don't particularly interest him.
    odinthor thanked this post.

  7. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by odinthor View Post
    ENFPs handle it well when it comes to suddenly realizing that they're inadvertently hurting those they care about. Best to be direct and say, "Edwina, I know you don't realize this, but that [whatever she has just complained about] is something I do too. It's a natural introvert thing." This could snap her out of her breakup-bitterness at least a little, and give her some perspective. If there's anything I've learned from my experience with ENFPs, it's that it's best to stop dancing about and just give them the plain truth, when it's something of personal consequence. They appreciate it.
    As a fellow ENFP I completely agree with this wholeheartedly


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    odinthor and TuesdaysChild thanked this post.

  8. #7

    Tell her she's hurting your feelings and why.
    Then let her apologize, which she probably will.

    It's normal for someone to trash their ex for awhile (in her case, it's probably helping her distance herself from him emotionally) but if it goes on too long, that's just immaturity rearing its ugly head. I doubt she wants to hurt you, but an angry ENFP doesn't always have other people's emotions in mind. ;)
    TuesdaysChild thanked this post.

  9. #8

    It's admirable that you're there for your friend despite the pain.

    My theory would be that if she says those things so liberally is because she doesn't associate those traits with you.
    It would NOT be selfish to tell her how you feel about her trashing of the traits you share in common with her ex.
    Like @odinthor mentioned, "Edwina" (love it) could probably use the calibration your point of view could offer. So, in the end, you telling her that may actually help her (as long as you don't express it in a "You're being irrational/wrong/your crying holds no value" way... which I will surmise is the way the ENTJ expressed it) so that the reasons for her grief can be more accurate.

     

    When we grief, it's like we're holding a machine gun for our defense, and someone just threw a cloud of smoke at us. We'll begin to shoot in all directions hoping to hit the target. We could hurt anyone who's around, including people we love.
    Everyone will appreciate the one wounded friend who tells us where the enemy is and helps us land the shot. It's better than having no friends because they're all dead and now you're out of ammo and are about to get thrown into another black cloud of smoke.


     

    Also, the MBTI training certification is not to be considered too seriously. It's a highly imperfect theory. It's currently under development and heavy revision. Since it still lacks solid, objective facts, it can still be molded after a bias.
    ... Who the heck made it possible to be certified for this? What the heck?

    TuesdaysChild and Falling Foxes thanked this post.

  10. #9
    INFP - The Idealists

    Quote Originally Posted by ANAXEL View Post
    It's admirable that you're there for your friend despite the pain.
    I don't know that it's pain on my part, per se. More like..... Gah! That was a bit prickly

    Quote Originally Posted by ANAXEL View Post
    My theory would be that if she says those things so liberally is because she doesn't associate those traits with you.
    It would NOT be selfish to tell her how you feel about her trashing of the traits you share in common with her ex.
    Like odinthor mentioned, "Edwina" (love it) (I love it, too!) could probably use the calibration your point of view could offer. So, in the end, you telling her that may actually help her (as long as you don't express it in a "You're being irrational/wrong/your crying holds no value" way... which I will surmise is the way the ENTJ expressed it) so that the reasons for her grief can be more accurate.
    I doubt I'm in danger of saying it like an ENTJ

    Quote Originally Posted by ANAXEL View Post
     

    When we grief, it's like we're holding a machine gun for our defense, and someone just threw a cloud of smoke at us. We'll begin to shoot in all directions hoping to hit the target. We could hurt anyone who's around, including people we love.
    Everyone will appreciate the one wounded friend who tells us where the enemy is and helps us land the shot. It's better than having no friends because they're all dead and now you're out of ammo and are about to get thrown into another black cloud of smoke.
    Okay, this is hands down an awesome metaphor. I'm annexing it into my repertoire.

    Quote Originally Posted by ANAXEL View Post
     

    Also, the MBTI training certification is not to be considered too seriously. It's a highly imperfect theory. It's currently under development and heavy revision. Since it still lacks solid, objective facts, it can still be molded after a bias.
    ... Who the heck made it possible to be certified for this? What the heck?

    I don't know what the certification is for, really. I mostly offered it as evidence that I would assume she knows pretty well what is normal behavior/social patterns for an introvert.

    What I've been doing the last couple days is generally pointing out normal "I" stuff when she mentions it rather than making myself the focus (as in, "I do that, too," or, "My feelings are hurt."). That way I can correct assumptions without putting me and my feelings at the center of it since I really don't want it to be about ME, I just don't want to get stung in the process
    ANAXEL thanked this post.

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by TuesdaysChild View Post
    Okay, this is hands down an awesome metaphor. I'm annexing it into my repertoire.
    I'm very glad.
    Wish the best for you and your friend.
    XNFP's are freaking strong. She'll be fine soon.
    TuesdaysChild thanked this post.


     

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