Hey all, so here's the story (There's a condensed summary at the end || read the bold as well):
I'm an INFJ who's come to have a lot of emotional stress centered around my relationships, particularly friendships and romantic interests. I've had a lot of high points and low points related to communicating and relating with friends, especially those I've met online through apps and dating sites. I've noticed that I seek deep intimacy and connection with new friends to the point where the relationship feels one-sided - with me initiating a lot of the conversation and asking the other person intimate questions to continue getting to know them more and more. This happens particularly with INTPs, as I am able to easily build rapport with those types and they often seem to like me. When we connect in meaningful ways (shared identities, interests, etc) or they express their appreciation of some aspect of my personality, vibe, or appearance, I feel so happy. Conversely, if there are periods of time where I don't hear much from them, I feel sad, believing that it is a sign that we're drifting apart as friends. But I hide a lot of my emotions and inner struggles from them for fear of turning them off, making them uncomfortable, or losing their approval. I find myself doing my best to gauge their interests/preferences and tailor my own behavior to what I think they would like. (If they appreciate their friends to be funny, I try to bring out my humorous side often, etc). Also, I have realized that I often subconsciously mirror the people I'm close to, down to using the same acronyms, emojis, and phrases they do when texting. I have one online INTP friend in particular who I have tried, months over, to stop idealizing. I realized I often use their approval of me as external validation to boost my self-worth. I have been trying to scale back the feelings of infatuation I have for them, and stop envisioning a future where we end up together as a couple (since they've expressed that they just cannot do long dist. relationships), but the tendency to idealize them (and us together) still remains. Before I realized I was even doing so, I had been saying things like, "You're the best," and genuinely meaning them literally. Yet, consciously, I know that this person is just another flawed (yet well-meaning) human and being with them isn't going to "complete my life" or anything, but I can't help but see them as near-perfect, and pretty much anything they do is, outwardly, automatically okay with me, even if it makes me sad or uncomfortable or annoyed inside. I often write-off these feelings.
All this time, I've recognized my issues as those of a "turbulent" INFJ with low-self esteem. After all, INFJs are known to be sensitive, extremely empathetic, idealistic, and intuitively oriented towards people due to Ni-Fe. I felt like it was natural for an INFJ to desire deep insight into others, but at some point I realized that going so deep meant that I become so attached, and overly-invested in them and I don't like it. I'm wary of engaging new people because of it. Previously, I never consciously thought that I feared abandonment, but I think that's the case, as I now feel drained of energy at the thought of connecting with people and I even predict the end of a relationship right as it begins. I met another person online recently, and I actually told her that she was probably going to lose interest in me in a couple of months, but I hope we can hang out a couple times before then. Looking back, I'm surprised the person didn't just ghost me right at that moment; I was waving a red flag, don't you think? (BTW, don't ghost people, it's rude. Be direct and end things.)
A while ago I came across a short description of Borderline personality disorder and recently my intuition kept bugging me about looking into it further. So I did. After going through multiple different internet sources, I see a lot of similarities between my own issues and the issues described as indicative of the "quiet" BPD sufferer, who acts-in rather than out, tends to see things as strictly all-good or all-bad, has intense emotional ups and downs, and still has a lot of trouble feeling in-control of their own emotions, which can change rapidly.
Could it be possible that what I'm dealing with is actually BPD, and not related to mbti type? What do you all think?
- I'm INFJ(-T), having emotional issues with regards to my close friend relationships
- I often seek deep understanding of others, through constant communication, deep conversations, and mbti research of their type
- --Although I resent myself for it, I can't help but often:
- Seek validation/approval from people I fancy or idealize
- Hide my emotional struggles from friends, esp. Thinking types
- Subconsciously mirror others communication style, mood, and enthusiasm
- Idealize romantic interests and demonize (ex) close friends who have "left" me and don't talk to me
- Feel both positive and negative emotions quite intensely, often as reactions to interactions within my relationships
- Feel out of control emotionally, and very self-critical of myself because of that
- Can completely/abruptly reverse a bad mood by re-framing my perceptions of "negative" events as positive ones. That is my go-to "coping method" when I'm in a funk.
- Internally predict the end of new relationships from the start/ avoid becoming close to others
- --I actively try to stave off any fear/ sadness of losing relationships, willing myself to accept this normal part of life, yet still struggle with it; I fear/dread loneliness
- --I sometimes binge-eat or spend money irresponsibly when under stress, which could be related to BPD as well.
I'm looking for informed opinions here. If you have an understanding of what (quiet) borderline personality disorder is like, let me know if you think this sounds like that, or if I'm just an INFJ who needs to keep working on personal development (which I already do, maybe that's why I'm so late realizing this might be more than I can handle alone). Also, why do you think I'm even having this uncertainty? Why is it that the traits of an "unhealthy" INFJ, as they're often presented, are so similar to symptoms of a personality disorder?
But yeah - thanks for reading and joining the conversation.