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Hello, I had a realization today that kind of frightens me but also makes a lot of sense. I was thinking about all of my friends today as a whole, and I realized that every single one of my friends are broken in some way. All of them with deep trust issues/pain that derives from being abandoned, betrayed, and/or abused from a young age. It seems like the more "broken" a person is, the closer I get to them. Basically everyone I'm confident enough to call a friend is so "broken", they would be considered 'toxic' by most people; but I feel like I truly understand them so I just cant help but love them (in the friendly way). I think Im attracted to these types of people because maybe psychologically I relate to them? Or maybe I enjoy trying to put them back together because Im incapable of putting myself back together? What are your guys' thoughts?
 

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So I relate. Not all my friends, by any means, but some. Do you think you have a strong need to be needed maybe? I think i do. I don't think its necessarily a bad thing. There are some diamonds out there unnoticed.
I'm grateful to be able to see the beauty of people who maybe don't feel comfortable with everyone. I see these relationships I have as a privilege. Someone trusted me after not being able to trust others. Wow. We all need deep meaningful connections. Not everybody needs me and I treasure those who do.
 

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I like to call it transitive coping.

Attention and focus on yourself is uncomfortable. People ask you questions about "you," and you look down, or away, not wanting to answer it, almost trying to hide from it. It's not that you don't focus on yourself, but you don't like it when other people focus on you. You feel they're going to uncover something, but you're not really sure what that is.

However, people that have problems. All the focus goes on them. All the questions are geared toward them. They have unravel themselves, while you listen, safely, and in control. The way to cope with unwanted attention is by transferring the attention to someone else, and it's easiest with broken people.

People who rely on humor do the same thing. Humor is a barrier between you and other people--not that you're intentionally trying to separate yourself. After all, people like funny people. But humor rarely if ever has personal information in, making it harder for people to connect with you, because they don't know you. Creates confusion with those people, "He seems nice, and really funny; I don't know why we haven't invited him out to drinks?"

If you listen and observe, you can usually spot these people in every group.
 

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All my friends are broken people.
Think about it this way, if you can't admit you're broken in some way, either you are a robot or you have a very big ego.
If you feel tired of empathizing, or that someone is being toxic, you can step back for a while. Easy peasy.
I wouldn't think about it too much. Some people are just more caring than others.
 

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I like to call it transitive coping.

Attention and focus on yourself is uncomfortable. People ask you questions about "you," and you look down, or away, not wanting to answer it, almost trying to hide from it. It's not that you don't focus on yourself, but you don't like it when other people focus on you. You feel they're going to uncover something, but you're not really sure what that is.

However, people that have problems. All the focus goes on them. All the questions are geared toward them. They have unravel themselves, while you listen, safely, and in control. The way to cope with unwanted attention is by transferring the attention to someone else, and it's easiest with broken people.

People who rely on humor do the same thing. Humor is a barrier between you and other people--not that you're intentionally trying to separate yourself. After all, people like funny people. But humor rarely if ever has personal information in, making it harder for people to connect with you, because they don't know you. Creates confusion with those people, "He seems nice, and really funny; I don't know why we haven't invited him out to drinks?"

If you listen and observe, you can usually spot these people in every group.
I think this is really insightful. A lot of wisdom here, I hadn't thought of it this way, but this is me too. I don't like attention on me, I couldn't tell you why. Have you figured out why?
 

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Hello, I had a realization today that kind of frightens me but also makes a lot of sense. I was thinking about all of my friends today as a whole, and I realized that every single one of my friends are broken in some way. All of them with deep trust issues/pain that derives from being abandoned, betrayed, and/or abused from a young age. It seems like the more "broken" a person is, the closer I get to them. Basically everyone I'm confident enough to call a friend is so "broken", they would be considered 'toxic' by most people; but I feel like I truly understand them so I just cant help but love them (in the friendly way). I think Im attracted to these types of people because maybe psychologically I relate to them? Or maybe I enjoy trying to put them back together because Im incapable of putting myself back together? What are your guys' thoughts?
Life incidents (and genetic make-up) led them to have a soul, or in societal speak, toxic waste (usually shortened as toxic).
You are of course one of them, or there would be no sympathy feeling.
 

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Well I think we all have something we carry around, and all are broken in some way, some more than others. When that is said, I think it is because people who are broken in some way are more humble and/or deep. Which are both qualities I appriciate in people and therefore is more likely to connect with. People without any problems, I tend to find a bit shallow.

But yeah I know it, this morning I had a thought (that I have had before) - Maybe I can fix this person with my love.. Which I know is cray cray, and it is not my job to fix anyone but it made me wonder..

Do we need to find someone who needs fixing because that way we are needed in a relationship?

Or maybe it is the fact that then we can be broken together.. I also think there is something right about what @Alesha said, that someone trusted me after not being able to trust others - a huge privilege/honor.

Or maybe it is just as you said @MusiCago we understand their pain in some way because we are such empaths - and because we share it in some way our selves..
 

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Empathy and/or sympathy. We are attracted to, and attract people that are like us in some way. We attract people who want something from us, and we want something from them to. Ugh, it sounds like a crappy generalization, I'm sorry. But we tend to pull in people who resonate with us, and to repel those who don't. It happens to everyone, and it's not always conscious.

You might be more aware of people's problems because you are open to discussing them. Other friend-groups, that don't include you or any sensitive INFJ, have problems too, and maybe even some broken people, they're just not acknowledging of the fact that they need help.
 

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I enjoy trying to put them back together because im incapable of putting myself back together alone
As a child my older infj brother would ask what i was having or had for breakfast, and eventually he began apprehending the food resources i had shown him, and the various combinations that can be made from them. This behavior was infuriating, as it meant running out of stock was a regular occurrence. It escalated to a point where i would not let him eat in the morning. I did not understand, until i learned a few years after that when it came to decisions that involved only himself he became disoriented. After that miscommunication i began dividing the resources evenly as he is part of the tribe.

Here's a hypothesis. The less broken a person is, or the less one is willing to show their broken side and ignores it for whatever reason the more attention is brought onto the infj. Besides being uncomfortable, this is an unproductive situation for both people and affects the levels of attraction the infj has for the other since there is no value in that interaction. Every mbti type seems to have a role and the infj one is to fix broken people.
 

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Yeah, historically I have been attracted to broken people. I've heard it said a few times that INFJs are "Nature's psychologists", and whether I'm an INFJ or not I 100% identify with that.

... but I got older, and hopefully wiser. I realised that some people can't be helped, or do not want to be helped. I effectively shut my feeling side down and became incredibly cold, disconnected and - ultimately - cripplingly depressed.

Fortunately, I then got married and had kids. Now I can 'Fe' like a motherfucker with people who actually matter. Find that. Find people who REALLY matter, and to hell with the rest. It isn't our responsibility to fix those who do not wish to be helped. As hard as it may be, let them sort their own shit out. Save your energy for a special few.
 

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Not people, but characters; All of my favorite characters are highly dysfunctional, broken individuals. Likewise, I can't remember writing a character who isn't broken in a way or another. I can't help it.

As for people, I suppose I wouldn't enjoy being with someone who is perfectly adjusted and happy, the contrast with someone like me would be hard to ignore; For me, I think it would be a suffocating relationship. On the other hand, being with someone who is broken... I don't know, the baggage could be too much for a relationship to work — After all, as I already implied in this post, I am not particularly well adjusted.
 

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I am into misunderstood but not "broken" men. I have pretty strong maternal instincts but that has nothing to do with sexual attraction. :kitteh:
 
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I can only cure someone who knows they are sick.
 
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I think this is really insightful. A lot of wisdom here, I hadn't thought of it this way, but this is me too. I don't like attention on me, I couldn't tell you why. Have you figured out why?
Haha, well, that' tough to answer. It's like giving a doctor a symptom and asking him what could be the cause.

I personally think it can be divided into one, or all, of three groups:

Insecurity:

Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us are insecure over things. We, as a people, misunderstand where to find our worth, and so we start to find our worth in areas where we shouldn't--money, materials, relationships, so on. This can make us feel insecure to other people, and when the focus is on us, we fear those insecurities will come to light, and people will be able to clearly see them. That prospect is uncomfortable. (I feel more shy types fall into this category.)

Disconnectedness:

Complicated to describe this section, but a feeling if disconnectedness comes from awareness. We see people, and we watch them interact, and to our eyes, it comes off like a game. A social game. A game they are unaware they are playing. But because we are so exquisitely aware of it, we feel a little disconnected from forming relationships with people. When someone asks us a question about who we are, or our past, we feel uncomfortable. We know they're asking because it's simply what you do in that situation, like when you go to the doctor's office, and they ask you what you did for the holiday. It's not that they're incredibly interested, or will remember after you leave--it's just something you do. This awareness is awkward to be aware of, because suddenly interactions feel disingenuous, despite the fact that those people are unaware that everyone does it. Thus, having focus placed on us isn't great. We crave more genuine conversation, and knowing that you're about to share parts of yourself that isn't going to be remembered, or isn't really wanted by the person, makes us not want to do it. So, we focus on the other person.

Think of it like coding in a video game. The coding is the final reality, but the game itself is also a reality. And while most people are in the game, others see the code. Once you see the code, it's hard to behave normally in the game. A question about your interests isn't just a question anymore, but numbers. (I find more intuitive people fall into this category. Those too lost in their own head.)

Vulnerability:

Vulnerability is painful. Being able to be open to people, and freely share yourself, is a risk. You don't know if they're going to judge you secretly, or if they're going to dislike you. If you're someone who lives your life as a peacemaker, like 9s, for instance, where you've carved yourself into a state of neutrality, opening up about anything leads to a lack of neutrality. Think of counselors. Their job is to constantly focus on you, and ask you questions. They have empathy, but they aren't vulnerable. The moment you ask them a question, they're thrown off guard. There's entire courses in grad school for counselors to be prepared for when a client turns the tables. An you don't need to be a counselor to be a counselor type. When you spend you whole life helping others through their problems, and no one ever asking how you're doing, it can feel uncomfortable to experience it. Like a superhero who is never the one being saved. (I find Fe types to fall into this category).

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And a trait all of them share is habit. The more someone doesn't ask you a question, the more you don't have an answer, the more troublesome it is for someone to ask it. It's a cycle.

Say you're studying something in school, like psychology. You love psychology. It's just something that interests you.

Finally, someone asks what you're studying, and you answer. And then they ask a question you weren't prepared for: why do you like studying psychology?

You kind of freeze, and stumble through the answer. It's not that you don't have one, it's just that you never prepared one, because no one's ever asked. You haven't filtered through what you what to share. You haven't made sure it either hides your insecurity, feels connected, or isn't too vulnerable. You lose the control. And you hate every moment of it. Kind of like stage fright. So you avoid it.

"...I just like learning about why people do what they do. But, anyway, what about you? What did you study? What got you into it? Oh, that's cool, so what kind of plans do you have?"

You go back into comfort mode, and focus on the other person, avoiding the training it requires to open yourself to others. Because it does require training. However, "most" people like talking about themselves (which is why a quick way to make someone like you is by asking questions), so most people get the training needed. When you lack it early on, it creates a habit.
 

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Growing up and into my 20's, this was always true for me. I think INFJ's are just naturally comfortable going deep with people, it doesn't scare us, and interacting with complicated people is actually interesting for our Ni. As I've gotten older I've gotten better at putting up some boundaries to guard my own interior world a little, but I would say I can still elicit the "therapist" response from people in the grocery store line in record time.

One memorable example: I was in Costco with my INFP daughter, and a woman with blue skin (yep, blue skin) came up to us randomly in the aisle, told us we had a beautiful relationship, and shared how lonely she was in the span of just a minute or two. (I think the blueness might have put some people off, but not us!) We stood and talked to her for about 20 minutes just because it was nice to do. I have experiences like this all the time. Aside from the blue thing. That was a first.

INFJ's are magnets for the hurting, and as long as we have proper boundaries for our own mental health, we have a lot to give.
 

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I once wrote a post related to this. I'll use it as a basis for my response to you. Here it is:

Seq said:
I'm not sure what you mean by 'charming' and 'telling them what to think'. However, I am very aware that there are certain norms and expectations that one is often supposed to conform to when interacting with others. Personally, I ignore those norms and expectations. I simply cannot bring myself to care about them, no matter what I do (such is the life of ignoring Si).

Instead of abiding by the rules of convention, I tend to move on to abstract ideas immediately. Generally speaking, people don't appreciate that. Even if they don't dislike abstract ideas, they often seem to find the sudden shift to ideas intimidating. Furthermore, I tend to pursue logical consistency quite relentlessly when I have such conversations. I think that this is probably quite overwhelming and unusual to people.

For the most part, the above also applies when I talk theoretically to people about themselves. So long as the relevant norms and expectations are in force, people won't open up. However, if someone is feeling bad, they're far more receptive to having theoretical conversations (about themselves) than is normally the case. Thus, I usually develop relations with other people by talking abstractly to them about themselves during circumstances when they have little choice but to ignore the norms and expectations.

Unexpectedly, I tend to feel disadvantaged and isolated from people due to norms and expectations. It might be that you're looking to express a similar feeling. I always long to meet people whom are open to having the kinds of conversations that I am interested in having, without the therapist detour. I don't mind talking to people about themselves, but I would prefer to do it on equal terms, where I can feel sure that they're not discussing my other ideas with me for no other reason than that I helped them out with their personal problems (to the point where they trust me blindly and dogmatically).
As I suggest in the above post, I think that INFJs have an easier time befriending people who have personal problems because such people are more willing to talk about an abstract topic (e.g. themselves). People who don't have such problems are more likely to want to avoid these discussions, for familiar reasons to do with conventions and appearances. If this theory is correct, then one would expect to find that INFJs have more friends with personal problems than other types do.

One would also predict that, in some cases, once the personal problems have been dealt with, the person will drift apart from the INFJ.
 

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One would also predict that, in some cases, once the personal problems have been dealt with, the person will drift apart from the INFJ.
Heartbreaking but true. I always feel extremely underappreciated by my friends and it will always be because at the end of the day, I care about them more than they will ever care about me. Once they got what they wanted from me (basically attention), they move on. I'm also an so/sx, so my crave for real, intense connections with a person is never really fulfilled (or hasn't been yet). Because I crave this connection, I have a habit of trying to get really close with someone, only to be disappointed and shut out. I have such a hard time letting people in myself, so it really hurts when I do come across a person I actually want to get really close with and it doesn't ever go anywhere.
 

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As I suggest in the above post, I think that INFJs have an easier time befriending people who have personal problems because such people are more willing to talk about an abstract topic (e.g. themselves). People who don't have such problems are more likely to want to avoid these discussions, for familiar reasons to do with conventions and appearances. If this theory is correct, then one would expect to find that INFJs have more friends with personal problems than other types do.

One would also predict that, in some cases, once the personal problems have been dealt with, the person will drift apart from the INFJ.
THIS! Yes. Oh you put it so well, thank you.
It is so true, once the problems have been dealt with, I'm soon out of their life.

I noticed a strange pattern in my past relationships. Whoever I was with, I thought this person would be the one for me. That I don't have to look around anymore, just focus on this one person, no rules of convention, go all out. However, once I become "sure" about that person, and really "fall in love", they would drift away! Of course, this would devastate my young, over-romantic heart. But looking back, like when I meet these people again on Facebook, they are so much better off. A few found their ideal partners shortly after breaking up with me. These people were broken when I first met them, and now they're thriving! One girl found that she was into BDSM, something I would never try. Now she is happy with her very dominant partner. One boy went on to be a kind of political expert with a handful of followers/fans on FB.

Maybe I'm just a terrible INFJ or lover, but whatever happened while I was in the picture must have convinced these people, "man, this girl is batshit crazy, I should just leave and go do what I really want."
 
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