Do INFPs "dig" for verbal affection?

Do INFPs "dig" for verbal affection?

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This is a discussion on Do INFPs "dig" for verbal affection? within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; I dated someone whom I suspected to be INFP, and when we were together, he would keep asking questions like: ...

  1. #1
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Do INFPs "dig" for verbal affection?

    I dated someone whom I suspected to be INFP, and when we were together, he would keep asking questions like: "Do you know what you want from this relationship?" "Can you honestly see long term potential in this?" "Do you think we should keep doing this?" And making statements such as "I don't know what I want". When we first got together, I asked him very bluntly if he was doing this because he likes me in some way, he said, "well, I can't say I don't like you." I was quite tongue tied after he said that. He'd be utterly romantic and affectionate, and for some reason, words just never came to me. Not long afterwards, he ended it a couple of days before I was supposed to leave, saying we shouldn't get attached because it'd make parting easier, and summer was ending. I agreed with him because his reasoning appealed to my logic, and we broke up with a hug. I might not have said it, but I did care for him, for whatever its worth, and I still can't figure out what was going on in his mind. It's like he couldn't even consider the possibility of trying at it. Some people have told me he probably wanted to hear something from me. From an INFP point of view, could this be true?



  2. #2

    I don't know about anyone else, but I never dig for verbal affection because if I do I spend weeks afterwards bashing myself over it. It's a totally selfish reason, but hey, at least I don't ask for compliments, haha

  3. #3
    Unknown Personality


    Hmm. I sometimes ask questions like he asked ("Do you know what you want from this relationship?" "Can you honestly see long term potential in this?" "Do you think we should keep doing this?") but I would phrase them more.. subtly. The reason why I would ask these questions, is to really understand what the other person wants from the relationship. Personally speaking, all I want is to be on-par with people. To try to understand where each of us are coming from. Other than that, I would ask questions like that to make sure that the person is not wasting their time with me. That I am not going to end up forcing them into a direction they dont want to go down.

    The answers to these questions, I consider to be really important. I tune into how people feel and if I sense they don't like me for whatever reason, or I feel I cant have a positive influence on them for some reason, I back off. If I dont get the same level of intensity, I back off. Maybe he sensed that you didnt like him? it's not just about affection, it's more a reciprocal response. I have a feeling he made the decision to end it, with you at the forefront of his mind?
    I dont know for sure, I dont know him. Just some of my thoughts
    OrangeAppled and LadyJava thanked this post.

  4. #4
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by NatalieAnne View Post
    Hmm. I sometimes ask questions like he asked ("Do you know what you want from this relationship?" "Can you honestly see long term potential in this?" "Do you think we should keep doing this?") but I would phrase them more.. subtly. The reason why I would ask these questions, is to really understand what the other person wants from the relationship. Personally speaking, all I want is to be on-par with people. To try to understand where each of us are coming from. Other than that, I would ask questions like that to make sure that the person is not wasting their time with me. That I am not going to end up forcing them into a direction they dont want to go down.

    The answers to these questions, I consider to be really important. I tune into how people feel and if I sense they don't like me for whatever reason, or I feel I cant have a positive influence on them for some reason, I back off. If I dont get the same level of intensity, I back off. Maybe he sensed that you didnt like him? it's not just about affection, it's more a reciprocal response. I have a feeling he made the decision to end it, with you at the forefront of his mind?
    I dont know for sure, I dont know him. Just some of my thoughts
    I'm completely baffled, alright. Ten minutes before we broke up, he held me close, looked me in the eyes, and asked if I can feel his heart beat. I smiled, and kissed him again. A friend told me he might have interpreted my signal as purely sexual. It's like I'm trying to understand something completely foreign to me. After I had time to process it, I was never so sincere when I asked myself "What in the name of God just happened?" I never felt so completely used in my life; he was the one who initiated it, and he tossed it away, just like that. He was even very good at pretending I didn't exist for the following days. It even crossed my mind that he did it because he was feeling horny, but we did share some sort of friendship before it happened, and it didn't seem like that, nor do I want to believe it.

  5. #5

    I don't see that as digging for verbal affection so much as digging for answers. INFPs, being dominant judging, have a need to define and add value to things. This includes relationships. We can hold off for awhile, because Ne-aux is content to ponder possibilities and doesn't want to be limited, and once we make a decision it is MADE. This can mean we are not eager to commit too fast also. It sounds to me like this guy was at a point where he was ready to commit, but before limiting his options, he wanted to make sure you were in the same place. So in that sense, he needed confirmation, yes.

    Also, INFPs may be "deceptively caring" at first in romantic relationships. We're simply interested in people's emotions, which people (especially Ts) seem to mistake for romantic interest or even romantic feelings. My interest in emotions is rather, um, "abstract". Imagine it like solving a puzzle. The INFP wants to solve people - put them together, heal them. It's a mental challenge, like solving a math problem. It's less personal than in line with our universal ideals....we care about everyone, and yet, we feel neutral towards most individuals.

    However, we know we are not detached emotionally and cannot be, so we will hold you at arms length internally until we are sure it is safe to open up. There's a good chance you hit a wall with this guy, and you didn't pass the emotional test to get past it. (It's like you're Indiana Jones and you chose the wrong option and so the moving wall has come down and trapped you there, where you will die - no exotic INFP treasure for you.)

    INFPs are generally slow to develop deep feelings, because once they are they, they are firmly rooted. We know infatuation from real love, because we have a clear image of love in our mind, and so we're more cautious than even we would expect while in the infatuation stage. I don't trust new feelings - they must be evaluated and placed in my value system accordingly. It's not that dry and linear of a process, but I'm describing it that way to make it clear to you.
    Last edited by OrangeAppled; 11-15-2009 at 06:29 PM.
    Spooky, susurration, Blueguardian and 3 others thanked this post.

  6. #6
    INFP - The Idealists


    Quote Originally Posted by Persephone View Post
    I dated someone whom I suspected to be INFP, and when we were together, he would keep asking questions like: "Do you know what you want from this relationship?" "Can you honestly see long term potential in this?" "Do you think we should keep doing this?" And making statements such as "I don't know what I want". When we first got together, I asked him very bluntly if he was doing this because he likes me in some way, he said, "well, I can't say I don't like you." I was quite tongue tied after he said that. He'd be utterly romantic and affectionate, and for some reason, words just never came to me. Not long afterwards, he ended it a couple of days before I was supposed to leave, saying we shouldn't get attached because it'd make parting easier, and summer was ending. I agreed with him because his reasoning appealed to my logic, and we broke up with a hug. I might not have said it, but I did care for him, for whatever its worth, and I still can't figure out what was going on in his mind. It's like he couldn't even consider the possibility of trying at it. Some people have told me he probably wanted to hear something from me. From an INFP point of view, could this be true?
    The over all feeling I get from your post is that there was a lack of verbal communication between both of you. I see the questions but I do not see the answers and therein lies the reason why they were continually, in some form or another, asked by him. If I knew how you had answered his questions my insight would be clearer. The fact that he kept asking them in some form meant he was confused and was holding himself back.

    Actions (physical affection, sex) = nice, Words = adequate at times, Actions + Words = Ideal, especially when they both confirm the other.

    From my male INFP point of view I will attempt to translate his questions with my personal INFP translator, not to be confused with other INFP brands/types, void where prohibited.

    Do you know what you want from this relationship? - Without knowing how you answered and due to the fact that he kept asking it meant he was receiving mixed signals from you in some shape or form. More like lack of signals, of the verbal kind.

    Can you honestly see long term potential in this? - This is what all the questioning was about. He wants to know if he should shut down his love line and turn on his hedonist one. Are you the one? If you don't know, is your heart open to the possibility? If not, how shall we proceed.

    Do you think we should keep doing this? - He wants to continue but he is confused, your words and actions, or lack thereof, are not in alignment and he is having trouble being objective. He is probably hurting.

    I don't know what I want - He knows what he wants alright but he just doesn't know if you are worth committing to.

    Most INFP's have a hard time doing the dating thing, especially summer flings. We want everyone that we are dating to be open to the option of something long term, possibly life long. This is unrealistic at times and can be a hard lesson for an INFP to learn.
    LadyJava thanked this post.

  7. #7
    INFP - The Idealists


    Quote Originally Posted by Persephone View Post
    He was even very good at pretending I didn't exist for the following days.
    He is probably hurt on a deep level. In mbti terms he prolly went into ESTJ mode (shadow functions) in some form or another. "The determined realist" It's a self preservation thing.
    LadyJava thanked this post.

  8. #8
    INFP

    He probably needed reassurance.

    That wouldn't be the words I'd use if I were digging for affection. Those are things I'd say if I felt like the other person wasn't giving the relationship enough for me to be sure about it.

    Though I guess it depends a lot on the frequency of the questions.

    If it's every now and then, then it's probably just INFP moodiness. In all honesty, it really doesn't take much to rattle an INFP's emotions, and even if nothing did, they're a bit cyclic. Things will make us mad or sad or whatever that don't even have that effect. We just react to it because it's a stimulus and we it's time for us to change moods.

    But yeah, either way, he needed you to say something.

    It's kind of like survivor's guilt. The thing they need to hear most is that they're forgiven, even though the people around them will naturally feel the need to tell them that it isn't their fault and that they don't need to feel sorry.

    It probably would have helped him a lot for you to have told him what you wanted from the relationship, to have told him taht it was important to you, that he was important to you.

    Because, for whatever reason, he was unsure of everything.

    Idk, there's a lot of things those questions could mean. The answer probably would have been as simple as asking him what was really wrong.

    But it's not your fault or anything. He probably just didn't want to make you feel bad with whatever it was that was bothering him, so he was trying to be subtle about it. And it was just so subtle that you missed it.

    But no, I don't necessarily dig for verbal affection. I mean, I seek it, but not the way you're talking about.

    Usually because if I have to keep digging for it, the more effort I put into getting the response the less the reponse actually means.
    Blueguardian thanked this post.

  9. #9
    INFP - The Idealists

    I can tell you an infp loves to be pet the right way with words. Whats the right way? Focused and concentrated true love for the infp as he/she is. We love to be loves for who we are, notheing better actualy! I know infps are masters at subconsciously digging for answers... but if this digging messes with our ideas and we are aware of it, we stop immediately. But I guess I shuld not talk for all infps because Love is so different for everyone. I think an infp is eventualy looking for someone they would die for if nessasary. That lever of love. This sort of romantic sacrafice appeals to me atleast. However I talk much time to get there. At one point I would of died for a paticular lover of mine. Ehh

  10. #10
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I don't see that as digging for verbal affection so much as digging for answers. INFPs, being dominant judging, have a need to define and add value to things. This includes relationships. We can hold off for awhile, because Ne-aux is content to ponder possibilities and doesn't want to be limited, and once we make a decision it is MADE. This can mean we are not eager to commit too fast also. It sounds to me like this guy was at a point where he was ready to commit, but before limiting his options, he wanted to make sure you were in the same place. So in that sense, he needed confirmation, yes.

    Also, INFPs may be "deceptively caring" at first in romantic relationships. We're simply interested in people's emotions, which people (especially Ts) seem to mistake for romantic interest or even romantic feelings. My interest in emotions is rather, um, "abstract". Imagine it like solving a puzzle. The INFP wants to solve people - put them together, heal them. It's a mental challenge, like solving a math problem. It's less personal than in line with our universal ideals....we care about everyone, and yet, we feel neutral towards most individuals.

    However, we know we are not detached emotionally and cannot be, so we will hold you at arms length internally until we are sure it is safe to open up. There's a good chance you hit a wall with this guy, and you didn't pass the emotional test to get past it. (It's like you're Indiana Jones and you chose the wrong option and so the moving wall has come down and trapped you there, where you will die - no exotic INFP treasure for you.)

    INFPs are generally slow to develop deep feelings, because once they are they, they are firmly rooted. We know infatuation from real love, because we have a clear image of love in our mind, and so we're more cautious than even we would expect while in the infatuation stage. I don't trust new feelings - they must be evaluated and placed in my value system accordingly. It's not that dry and linear of a process, but I'm describing it that way to make it clear to you.
    So it's basically a communications failure, this is what I'm getting so far. I thought actions were sufficient, he didn't. I sort of had some ideas that it was what he wanted even when he was asking me; my own insecurities go way back, when I liked an ESTJ and he liked me back. I interpreted his "cues" incorrectly and assumed that he was committed enough to ask me out. He wasn't, and it did hit me hard. From then on, I forced myself to take every cue at face level. I think my intuition naturally reads between the lines to get at what he was really asking, but I've learned to doubt it. It's clear that both of us wanted each other to say the same thing; that we have feelings for each other, I chose to ask him directly (The question was: Are we doing this because you want a fling, or do you actually like me on some level?), he didn't give me a straight answer (Don't know about anyone else, but "I can't say I don't like you" is not a very straight answer to me), he tried to get at it indirectly, I ignored his hints, because I kept telling myself to be realistic and not repeat my elementary mistake of getting my hopes up.

    The over all feeling I get from your post is that there was a lack of verbal communication between both of you. I see the questions but I do not see the answers and therein lies the reason why they were continually, in some form or another, asked by him. If I knew how you had answered his questions my insight would be clearer. The fact that he kept asking them in some form meant he was confused and was holding himself back.
    I can definitely tell you, I was holding myself back because I didn't get a straight answer from him the first time I asked him if he liked me; if there's ambiguity, I proceed with extreme caution.

    Do you know what you want from this relationship? - Without knowing how you answered and due to the fact that he kept asking it meant he was receiving mixed signals from you in some shape or form. More like lack of signals, of the verbal kind.
    I told him something like, I don't really know what I want, but to me, this is somehow not just a fling.

    Can you honestly see long term potential in this? - This is what all the questioning was about. He wants to know if he should shut down his love line and turn on his hedonist one. Are you the one? If you don't know, is your heart open to the possibility? If not, how shall we proceed
    Quite honestly, I was open to the possibility of a long term relationship. He was the one who first told me he doesn't think this should last beyond summer, so I'm not sure what he's getting at here. If he was expecting me to refute him, then all I can say is, he caught me in a time when I no longer give my intuition any credit when it comes to romance. All out or nothing; if he doesn't ask me directly, I'd have to make a couple of assumptions myself, and I always risk making myself look stupid, as I did with the ESTJ. My past failed romance is clearly sabotaging my future ones.

    Do you think we should keep doing this? - He wants to continue but he is confused, your words and actions, or lack thereof, are not in alignment and he is having trouble being objective. He is probably hurting.
    In my defense, his communication hasn't been straight either; it's quite unfair that he expects me to be, when he's beating around the bushes himself.

    I don't know what I want - He knows what he wants alright but he just doesn't know if you are worth committing to.

    Most INFP's have a hard time doing the dating thing, especially summer flings. We want everyone that we are dating to be open to the option of something long term, possibly life long. This is unrealistic at times and can be a hard lesson for an INFP to learn.
    If I didn't think we could have long term potential, I would have nipped it in the bud. The fact that I was still there probably says a lot. But then again, I can't possibly expect him to know that. I was mentally frowning when he was evasive at my question about whether he has feelings for me, but I still wanted to give it a try, because we bonded on common interests and what we perceive to be a depth of character in each other; in other words, I appreciated his mind, and I think it was reciprocal.

    He is probably hurt on a deep level. In mbti terms he prolly went into ESTJ mode (shadow functions) in some form or another. "The determined realist" It's a self preservation thing.
    I actually sought him out the day after; I thought through it, and arrived at many of the conclusions that you did, and resolved to tell him how I felt. I don't know if you'd understand, but ever since the ESTJ fiasco, I've been almost hypersensitive to rejection, and as a consequence, I've never gone after a relationship in my life (they still come to me, strangely enough). It sort of took a lot of... emotional will power to coax myself into it. When I approached him, however, he didn't even give me a chance to open my mouth before trying to humor me and acting like it didn't affect him. I was literally seeing red; felt completely humiliated that my first time working up the courage and stepping over that mental threshold to be confessionary turned out to be a joke. Well, after that, I definitely wasn't going to talk to him again; making the same offer twice isn't my style. I felt like a beggar; like I've comprised my pride to ask him something like that (and not even really getting to do it). If he went into ESTJ mode, then I think I went into shadow ESFP mode. I grew closer than ever with my friends (most are men), and I couldn't stop asking them about it, but they didn't have a lot of insight to offer. I became more social than ever, bonding with my friends and trying to demonstrate (to him, myself, or the world, I don't know) that I don't need him, and told myself that he was perfectly expendable. A day later, one of my acquaintances and I shared a kiss. He technically started it, but at that point, my mind just told me to kiss him back. I think I was so angry, so in need of reassurance that I was good enough for him, and that I was better than him at dating, and he was just one of the tens of "prospects". I went on such lengths just to prove it to myself, but thinking back, I never really believed it even then, because I knew the truth but wanted to deny it. I still find it hard to accept that I let him affect me so much, and it bothers me tremendously. It makes me feel even more stupid that I'm still hung up about this, while he probably doesn't give a rat's arse about it anymore( I wouldn't know, since I haven't spoken to him). It's driving me crazy how I should face him when I see him again next year; there's a good chance I will, and I don't want the awkward tension between us to ruin my experience.
    LadyJava thanked this post.


     
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