[INFJ] Leaving friendships for personal development and growth

Leaving friendships for personal development and growth

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This is a discussion on Leaving friendships for personal development and growth within the INFJ Forum - The Protectors forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; I am so hesitant to write this. I only have a few good friends and I try to treat everyone ...

  1. #1
    Unknown Personality

    Leaving friendships for personal development and growth

    I am so hesitant to write this. I only have a few good friends and I try to treat everyone with respect regardless of my friendship with them or not. But lately, I am torn by two things - one is my desire for my own personal development and growth; and the other is my fear of growing too much and leaving behind people that are important in my life.

    This past year, I went through some hardships, which required a lot of self-nurturing as well as guidance from someone special, and just a lot of effort to re-envision things for myself to take steps to get my life back together. During and after this process, I started to get disenchanted with some relationships in my real life (primarily with friends). These are some quotes from an online article that describes how I feel:
    • The old ways and the old relationships just arent cutting it. All the ways you use to connect with old friends no longer feel good. Many of them just seem off. You want to tell them about what's happening with your marriage (no, I'm not getting married; this is just from an article I found that used marriage as an example)
    • Talking about superficial things just isn't nourishing you anymore--especially when your life has been falling apart and you've had to do some work to get to center. (it's not even superficial things, but they seem superficial to me, given some of the scarier and darker sides of life i experienced, such as that fear of inadequacy I gave into)
    • As people get healthier, they have a much lower tolerance for unhealthy. As you get better boundaries, you notice the poor boundaries of others and you want nothing to do with it. What used to be fun gossip, now doesn't sit right in the pit of your stomach....(I relate to this, because one of my friends is constantly criticizing other people, and spends a lot of her time ranting to me, belittling the incompetence of others; it was never fun for me, but now I can't even stand it. She also spends a lot of time finding ways to excuse her own incompetence, but now I am so tired of J rambling about how other people are wrong, because I now can't help but feel she needs to take the blame for some things, too.)

    However, these are still important relationships in my life; and I feel it's better to have something, rather than nothing, and I don't want to be lonely. I sometimes find myself consciously holding myself back in my growth though, so I can still be on the same page as some relationships with those who I don't share the same values with anymore. But it seems like I shouldn't, and I should aspire to be the best I can be for myself. It's just hard for me to "move ahead" though when some of the people I care about don't also share my same desire for growth, and also motivation/ambition for life, or other newfound values I have.

    Ironically, when I am with the opposite type of people - overachievers, people who pursue things for the sake of ambition and advancement (even when they aren't passionate about it), people who are very driven and motivated, people who are slash-throat competitive and willing to stab you in the back, etc, I tend to revert to shut-down mode. Ha, ha, I guess I was meant to be lonely. Anyways, have you guys experienced anything like this?



  2. #2
    INFJ - The Protectors

    I can only give my personal experience here and don't assume I'm trying to tell you what to do. You have to ultimately come to your own conclusion. I was feeling the same way a year ago. I was in a 3+ year relationship that was about to turn into something serious - along the lines of marriage. I had to decide which path I was going to take. I spent a solid two weeks thinking about that decision, but ultimately I chose to break up for selfish reasons. I knew that if I went down that one path I would be following the footsteps of my father: 1) meet someone cool, 2) get married, 3) have kids, 4) struggle to survive, 5) struggle to raise a family, etc. Not that I can't take that route at some point in the future, but it certainly didn't seem right at this juncture. I didn't have a decent job, I had no life experience to pass on, and I was still trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life. I've been living on my own for the past year with nothing but free time. I've spent much time and energy researching interesting topics and I order new books every paycheck. This month alone I've already read four books. I read less than one book a year previously. I still look back on my decision and wonder, but it's been hard to regret it. I now have the knowledge I needed in order to live life. If I knew what I know now I probably would have chosen the other path, but I needed this path to gain that knowledge. There's a quote I've heard over and over again and I'm just now starting to understand it: "Life is what you make of it." If there's something you want to do the only thing holding you back is you. I'm currently struggling to figure out how to do what I want (to be an author) and for now I'm content just reading and gathering knowledge and experiences. So to follow my own advice I keep telling myself I need to wait, but at the same time I realize that I could be writing now anyway. So now I'm trying to figure out the right balance. Anyway just wanted to share my own experiences in the last year. Perhaps it will help in some way.

  3. #3
    Unknown Personality

    Thanks for sharing your perspective. I guess it helps because the friends I mention are really independent anyway, and rarely keep in touch, and it is usually me making the effort to initiate get-togethers (maybe abut 90% of the time). I'm just afraid of letting us drift, because I realize how much potential rests solely in my hands...
    Invidia, efromm and ertertwert thanked this post.

  4. #4
    Unknown

    I have a hard time letting go of any relationships/friendships -- including very unhealthy ones. However, when a close friendship/relationship of mine did end a few years ago it was for the best and my life has opened up in a bunch of different ways. I'm still not emotionally over the parting of ways, but it was for the best and I've become a healthier and better person since then.
    efromm, ertertwert and Rory thanked this post.

  5. #5
    Unknown Personality

    @Vaan -this is the same thread as the other one you said you were half reading.

  6. #6
    INFP - The Idealists


    Maybe it is an INFJ thing -- as an INFP, although it is true that sometimes we can close the door for awhile for space/health reasons, if I really care about the person, I just can't keep that door shut. Especially if they are healthy and still very enjoyable to speak to. Once I establish a deep connection with someone -- this isn't really that often, so it is noteworthy for me -- even years later they hold a unique, special place for me and I wish to speak to them. I'm always reminded of the unique, special moments we shared that cannot be replicated with another person, and so I guess for me that connection always kind of stays open in the long run. Lots of stories I've heard of with men or women on a lone "spiritual journey" who depart their friends/family to "find themselves" almost always turn out to be INFJs. Do you think it might be an INFJ thing, or just something we all do equally? Oh, and another question -- is it the same kind of thing as an INFJ doorslam, or different?
    Invidia and efromm thanked this post.

  7. #7
    INFJ

    Quote Originally Posted by curious0610 View Post
    @Vaan -this is the same thread as the other one you said you were half reading.
    ah sorry i must've gone into the wrong thread XD

  8. #8
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by xezene View Post
    Maybe it is an INFJ thing -- as an INFP, although it is true that sometimes we can close the door for awhile for space/health reasons, if I really care about the person, I just can't keep that door shut. Especially if they are healthy and still very enjoyable to speak to. Once I establish a deep connection with someone -- this isn't really that often, so it is noteworthy for me -- even years later they hold a unique, special place for me and I wish to speak to them. I'm always reminded of the unique, special moments we shared that cannot be replicated with another person, and so I guess for me that connection always kind of stays open in the long run. Lots of stories I've heard of with men or women on a lone "spiritual journey" who depart their friends/family to "find themselves" almost always turn out to be INFJs. Do you think it might be an INFJ thing, or just something we all do equally? Oh, and another question -- is it the same kind of thing as an INFJ doorslam, or different?
    I'm a little like you, in that I usually don't shut the door on someone forever, even with people who make me seriously angry. But my J-P value is also pretty close, take that as you may.

    I think a doorslam is more from being too fed-up to take anymore. "Hit the road, Jack, and don't come back!" At least for me. There are times when I disappear, but usually its nothing wrong with the relationship, just that I'm personally overloaded and need some space. If you come at me when I'm like that, I may give you something like a doorslam, but it's not a permanent thing.
    xezene and efromm thanked this post.

  9. #9
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Yes, its hard but the truth is that some people can keep up with your own personal growth and advances and others can't. Some friendships are meant to exist for a short while and others are meant to last a life time. This is the difficult part about being an INFJ.

    I will say for myself, I've growth tremendously in the last 9 months when I had student teaching and now am a substitute teacher. There are some friends now where I feel like I can't even level with them anymore.

    There is one guy friend, for instance, that was in my major but now did not follow the education route with his career. I had dinner with him back in February since I was in the same town that he works and I figured it'd be nice to catch up. It was sooo awkward and just "off" even though I had talked to him on the phone several times in the last few months. I could tell that we were just now on two completely different pages and had nothing in common anymore. Unfortunately this is what happens in life.

    Personally, based on my experience, it only causes problems to just follow people and not continue on with my growth. I believe, on some level, this is why all of my romantic relationships were short lived. I'd feel like I was "losing myself" in the relationship by accustoming to their views rather than have my own. I felt like they were keeping me closed in this little box rather than helping me progress and become a better version of me. I think that the dating I did in college just left me stagnant. I could've taken advantage and did more things if I had not been so involved in the guys I were dating and pleasing my dominant Fe friends.
    Invidia and efromm thanked this post.

  10. #10
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    You raise a lot of interesting points, and there are many intricacies to consider for sure.

    I think you should worry about your personal growth. It is hard to think about, but if you outgrow people, then you outgrow people. Remember though for every person you outgrow, you grow into another and if you are improving yourself, these new people well be healthier for you. It's a natural progression. People do grow apart. There isn't any fault on anyone, it is just a fact.
    thegirlcandance, Invidia, efromm and 1 others thanked this post.


     
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