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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm an ISTP, and I have an INFP friend. She's very quiet and mostly keeps to herself about a lot of things. She once told me that what I considered to be a fun, private joke actually hurt her (which shocked me!).

I like her a lot and think she's super cool and talented, but I struggle to find common ground with her or really get to know her. She's very humble and rarely talks about herself.

Any advice for becoming better friends?

Thanks. :)
 

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We don't usually volunteer information unless we feel the other party really wants to hear it, so I would show interest in the things that interest her! You mentioned you think she's talented, so what makes her talented? Ask her questions about those things. An INFP might not want to admit it, but we can talk anyone into a hole when we're asked about ourselves. We really appreciate others being a listening ear for us, because that's a primary way that we show friendship in return.

That covers the common ground part, but getting to know her will be a choice of her own mind. I have common ground with a lot of people, but only a select few have earned my trust to the extent that they know ME as a person and not simply my interests. So, I would focus on just knowing her interests, and if she wants you as a close friend, you'll know. :)

EDIT: It's good that she told you the joke hurt as well, so let her know that communication should be open, and for her to not hesitate to tell you if jokes are taken too far.
 

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INFPs can be extremely subtle and sensitive. Unless she had a lot of experience with T-oriented jokes, it is possible that those jokes come across as criticism--maybe a passive-aggressive comment covered as a joke. I know that is not your intention, but it can be heard that way if your friend is a more sensitive INFP.

As to become a better friend, INFPs tend to go very far with reassurance. A lot of compliments and feeling of feeling "special." However, this needs to feel genuine. INFPs are very good at detecting lies and will know if you are trying to get at something else. Be your kind, warm-hearted self. I can tell you like her a lot. Express that to her as often as you can. When she makes self-deprecating comments, let her know you don't think that way. Boost her self-confidence. And be very clear about boundaries as well. Sometimes INFPs do not know where the relationship stands unless they hear it. Be casual about it and sneak in, "Do you know how much I like you?" Sort of comments. If your INFP likes you as well, she will open up.
 

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Agree with many points made by the posters above.

I'd say
1. If she's decided in her mind already that she doesn't trust you, it's nearly impossible that you'll be able to weasel your way in to her trust zone. The more you do, the higher she will build her wall. But! see point 2.

2. I find it an excellent sign that she told you that your comment hurt her. I wouldn't bother to create conflict with an acquaintance by bringing up something unpleasant if I believed that I am in no way going to let the person into my trust zone. If I had already refused inside my mind to get close to a person, I would just shut up and not invest energy into unpleasantries, and I'd keep everything superficial and running smoothly. So addressing unpleasantries is in itself a way of opening up, imo anyways.

3. Quality time. With my acquaintances & friends, out of sight is out of mind. Keep in touch regularly (if she lets you, she seems very withdrawn), and hang out together in the flesh. I don't know if she initiates contact or not, but definitely do from your side, invite her to do things together, watch a movie at home or something, or go do something out there in the world.

3.1. The very act of reaching out/initiating will indicate to her "what? somebody remembers my existence????" and it will fuck up with her belief system that she is alone/an island in the world.

4. Express positive thoughts about her sometimes. It must be genuine. And even then, half the time you compliment her she will dismiss the compliment, if not to your face then for sure in her own mind. So know that if you give her 10 compliments, only 2-3 of them will actually registed in her brain, if that! That's not your fault. Also, don't overdo it or anything. Go with the flow with this.

Your success will not depend on you exactly, but on her. If she has low self-esteem and has a pattern of keeping people at a distance, or if she is traumatised by past hurt or something, and if she's decided in her mind already that she will never open up to you, then that will be the result of all this, and there's nothing you can do about.
Whenever I've decided to keep certain friends at a distance, no matter what they did for years and years, I kept them in the place that I wanted them to be in, and I was having none of their compliments, none of their reaching out, none of their supposed love. I even had a female friend write me a love letter (friendship love, not the romantic kind) and she literally begged me to open up because she said she loved me so much. To this day I still haven't integrated that letter into my psyche, I just don't believe a word, and it went in one ear and out the other. My friend cried and cried, and I felt nothing for her other than pity. So... she will make silent decisions in her mind and there's little you can do about it. But you can always invest in her if that's important to you and she seems receptive, and see if the seed turns into something great :)
 

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Find some fun activities you like to do together!!

The best way I bond with people is by doing stuff with them, anything really! Is there a movie you've been wanting to see? Is there a new restaurant in town? Just a hunch, but you'd probably have more success with something of an intellectual nature rather than a physical one.

When you do an activity together, it's not about interviewing the person—the pressure is off! You two can just have a good time together and the conversation will come. You can even invite a mutual friend along, just make sure they aren't a conversation hog! You'll want to hear her fascinating perspective on the things you're doing :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All right, thanks, y'all! I'm gonna do my best to follow your advice. :)

Just another thought:

We're part of a group of girls - me, her sister, and three others (plus a couple others who come and go), and we're fairly close (at least in a way; I don't usually open up to them the same way I would to my best friend; I doubt any of us are 100% honest, but it still feels safe to me).

I don't usually see her a lot apart for that group - and never apart from her younger sister (ENTP, though that's not necessary info, I guess). I worry sometimes that she gets a lot smushed with all the other people in the group. Even I do a little, I guess, although I frankly don't care/feel excluded. Should I just leave her alone when we're with the group and give her space, or should I try to include her more, encourage her to talk more? Would it make her uncomfortable? Like I said, we are fairly close within that circle. I know if varies a ton from person to person, but in general, how would someone with a similar personality type feel?
 

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@KellBell I would say engage her in the conversation, or even start your own with her about a topic the main group discussed. I do that with people often, and love when they pull me off to the side for one on ones. That's one of the INFP's favorite activities generally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@KellBell I would say engage her in the conversation, or even start your own with her about a topic the main group discussed. I do that with people often, and love when they pull me off to the side for one on ones. That's one of the INFP's favorite activities generally.
Okay, thanks! I actually actually prefer that. One on one is the best. :happy:
 

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@KellBell I have an ISTP buddy, we talk for HOURS. get to the nitty gritty and good stuff. INFPs like finding out what makes you tick and the things you wouldn't tell anyone else. Like how you huffed sharpies as a kid (a true story from an ISTP I know). It made me crack up, and feel much more comfortable telling him how weird I am. INFPs don't want to admit this either, but we are weird as hell and do and think things that humans just...ought not to think. At least in the case of my ISTP, I know that he is the exact same way and that's where we connect. IxxP oddballs. :tongue:
 

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@KellBell
What @neutralchaotic said. Talk to her directly even though you're in a group. Maybe it will be awkward at first, but it's a matter of warming up the engines and getting used to talking more one-on-one.

If you address her in the group in a way that makes her the center of attention, I don't think she'd feel self-conscious necessarily, because I am imagining that she feels comfy in the group, otherwise she wouldn't accept to go out with you, plus her sister is there and that's extra comfort (or so I assume). So I'd say don't worry about asking her things and making her the center of attention, but! Don't make her the center of attention by like... pushing her to sing on karaoke night xD Keep it intimate and low key. And yeah one on one is excellent.
Use your Se to engage her Ne.
I get along with the ESFPs in my life only because of Se and Ne (our Fis clash like crazy). That Se-Ne pattern keeps repeating itself as I fill my life with people whose personality I usually dislike and we shouldn't get along technically, but for some reason we always have a good time. This "some reason" turns out to be not that mysterious when I saw how much Se is the culprit for my good relationships with certain people xD So go use it. Go do sensory activities together, her Ne loves this. And activities/externalities are great conversation makers.
And like chaotic said, feel free to confess your weirdness. We drink up the weird/vulnerable side of people like it's delishus nectar heehee.
 
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