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I always thought that ENFPs were quite social.
Are you sure that he's an ENFP?
It probably is low self-esteem but I'm not really sure how to improve self-esteem.
 

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This doesn't seem all that weird for an ENFP. The ones I met were pretty self-concious and wouldn't admit to being at fault at stuff, while at the same time being intelligent and fun to be around. Being socially awkward isn't all that weird for an Ne-dom, their mind just works a bit different. Most of society want everyone to fall in line neatly, but the Ne-dom can't help but always finding new and different ways to approach everything in life.
Talking about everything with mom also doesn't seem so strange. Fi needs a lot of time to process everything and interprets reality according to the user's own value system. It can be a great help to the Fi-user to talk things through with someone who shares that same value system and gain some perspective that way.

As to why this is making you anxious: INFJ's really like to see everyone get along, and if they see someone they care about trying so hard and still failing to fit in, that can be a painful thing to watch. You're scared that he might see himself as a lesser person if he tries and fails.

SO fior once, this seems like a situation where type really does explain a lot of the situation. As to how to go about this whole thing... That might be a little harder.
 

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You kept saying it made you sad to see how awkward he was, but it honestly made me sad to read about how you were judging him. Are you sure other people are reacting negatively towards his behavior, or is it just you? I would say, just ignore it. His social struggles are not really your business, unless he thinks there's something you can do to help and actually asks you to help. The quality of your relationship should be based primarily on the quality of your interactions with each other specifically. It's understandable that you may not love the way he interacts with others, but cant you just ignore it? What matters is that YOU enjoy his company.
 

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You kept saying it made you sad to see how awkward he was, but it honestly made me sad to read about how you were judging him. Are you sure other people are reacting negatively towards his behavior, or is it just you? I would say, just ignore it. His social struggles are not really your business, unless he thinks there's something you can do to help and actually asks you to help. The quality of your relationship should be based primarily on the quality of your interactions with each other specifically. It's understandable that you may not love the way he interacts with others, but cant you just ignore it?
I agree with everything above, especially what I bolded. I'll be brutally honest for a second... I've seen this happen with more than once INFJ's - somehow another person's personal struggles become yours, and usually it's for very superficial reasons. This time it's because this ENFP's social struggles somehow make you feel anxious or look bad. Since he admitted to struggling with social situations in the past, he's not oblivious to behavior... which instantly makes me think, how do you think he feels being looked the way he is? How do you think he feels when he's "left hanging"? It just seems a little self-centered to me... like, why does this relationship exist in the first place?

Surely this person has some redeeming qualities, so I'd personally focus on those instead. Just like @kirsten.j said, what matters is that you enjoy interacting with him. If you can't ignore how he is with other people and it bothers you to the point that you feel the need to write here (and you find him "weird"), maybe he isn't the person for you. In any case, you need someone who doesn't make you cringe and makes you feel comfortable, and he deserves someone who will support him through his struggles and will grow with him.

Also, side note, I hope you aren't pushing this guy into seeing a psychiatrist. That might seem logical and straight forward but it's not always the best approach, especially if he has never seen one before. I recommend finding someone down to earth and understanding from that Church circle for instance.
 
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I an INFJ have been dating my boyfriend an ENFP for about 2 months now. He's a really nice guy but recently I’ve been having some anxiety about our relationship.

This weekend we went on a church camp with the youth group, he begged me to go cos I hate camps. I tended to sit back and watch throughout most of the camp and as I watched him I noticed that he was struggling with social interactions.

He is new to the church community and the youth group, mostly because his parents never took him to church when he was younger so he didn't grow up with the rest of us; most of us have known each other for 15-30 years depending on your age. Also, most of us speak Arabic rather well and he doesn't because his parents never taught him which kind of makes it difficult for him to communicate when we all talk in Arabic, he kind of gets left out, makes me feel really sad for him.

on the first night there we were having late night discussions, as people do, and it was just 4 or 5 of us, so a rather small group. It really upset me what he had almost no input in the conversation and when he did speak it was rather random and almost stupid.

I asked him the next day about it and he told me that it’s just because he is getting to know people still and what not. The answer however did now sit well with me, bullshit detector going off.

Later that day he played beach volleyball with a bunch of people and I sat back and watched with a few people. I noticed that when people were hi-5 ing and he put his hand up he was always left hanging. I honestly almost cried.

I spoke to him later that night and we talked about things for a while and I told him about how much it hurt me to see him not really click with anyone, in any way. Like people look at him like he is not normal, the same sort of look and smile you give to someone you know is mentally disabled.

He told me he was bracing for me to break up with him. That really upset me because I don’t make rash decisions.

This morning we kind of evaded the workshops to talk, talked for about 4 hours straight, and he was telling me about how he has always struggled socially and how he doesn't really have any friends. It honestly broke my heart to hear. I’m supposed to be the introvert not him.

I think he has a real self-esteem problem and I think he should talk to someone, ideally a professional, but anyone is better than no one, except his mother, he tends to talk to his mother about everything, which weirds me out.

Anyway, we decided to take a step back until we can collect our thoughts properly. I personally want to hear my psych’s opinion.

I just don't understand why it gives me such anxiety that he is struggling socially. Am I over analysing catastrophizing? I just didn't expect him to be that awkward socially; this was the first time that I had seen him have to deal with a large group of people. The only reason I can think of as to why I’m so anxious is that I can struggle socially, mainly because I am afraid to initiate conversation with people I’m not so comfortable around (church people) and was hoping an extrovert might propel me to interact. But that sounds like a half assed answer to me.

I mean for me, I have a rather broad knowledge of things and hence am able to talk to anyone about anything. Yes I’m selective about who I talk to, but I still have common courtesy and talk to the people I’m around. He on the other hand has a very limited knowledge of things and even when he talks about the topics he knows well, he just doesn’t articulate himself very well; with the exception of music because he plays and teaches both piano and violin.

He isn't stupid, but he definitely comes off as stupid because of his lack of confidence.

Can anyone explain why he is like this and why I may be so anxious?
Well, that's not how extroversion works. It merely means that the dominant function is oriented towards outside world. IXXJs will in general be more articulate than ENFPs because Fe and Te is responsible for articulation. Te is tertiary for ENFPs so it costs energy to use.

If your boyfriend is really an ENFP, you may find this book useful, particularly chapters Nyy’xai Misreading as Subjective
and Nyy’xai Social Awkwardness & Magical Appeal. Also, explanations of what functions do starting on page 101.

Also, this book could help him with communication. It's relatively non-creepy, unlike some other books about communication.

Does he have any traumatic events in his pasts?

Also, why do you think him talking about stuff with his mother is weird?
 

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Do you even like him? You say how others look at him like he's stupid and mentally off. If you feel badly that you think others are treating him that way, step up and think kinder thoughts and be nicer!! Seems to me like you are being very unkind, and maybe that is because you need someone confident by your side, in which case let him go for sure!!!
 

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Honestly, as I was reading your synopsis of your conversations, I was thinking, "Why isn't she supporting him at all?!"

It actually sounds like the way you were talking to him may have made things much worse.
The first night he had to explain himself to you of why he was having small issues... and it doesn't sound like you were providing him with any understanding at all.

I think the hallmark of true INFJ's is that we understand...
we may not always care, and we may not always do shit about it, and sometimes we may even do the wrong thing out of negative feelings...
BUT we always understand. We know why people are feeling the way they're feeling. We have a good idea of where they're at mentally.


This was/is a Christian camp. Do you know how hard it is to fit into a close knit circle? You're honestly upset with him over high fives???!
Where's the Compassion, the Love, the Grace?

Where's YOUR effort, seeing as you've known these people for so many years, to introduce him to people and welcome him into the group, as is the right thing to do?

Instead you agreed to go, but you never really showed up. You just sat back and judged him, and planted more doubt in his mind instead of being there for him.


As a somewhat anxious person myself... I have to say I just don't care about why you felt anxious.
Because what matters is what you do with it, and using it as an excuse to throw others to the wolves is not alright in my book.
 

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Firstly, I don't doubt you typed him right at all just referencing all those comments about their doubt about him being extraverted. I'm an anxious ENFP. Him being an ENFP makes sense.

when he did speak it was rather random and almost stupid.
Sounds like it's just his Ne throwing things out there which seem off beat and random. Not unusual for an ENFP.

I asked him the next day about it and he told me that it’s just because he is getting to know people still and what not. The answer however did now sit well with me, bullshit detector going off.
Do you not think he's being truthful with you? Anxiety doesn't normally have rational reasoning.

I spoke to him later that night and we talked about things for a while and I told him about how much it hurt me to see him not really click with anyone, in any way. Like people look at him like he is not normal, the same sort of look and smile you give to someone you know is mentally disabled.
If you actually told him this I think it did more harm than good. I have a feeling that you are putting more pressure on him not fitting in than he is (it's generally not something ENFPs care for as much) but to be told that people see him as mentality disabled or not normal would crush someone's confidence. If he has anxious then you are feeding his fears only making him 'worse'. He needs positive encouragement.

I’m supposed to be the introvert not him.
Your over reliance on him playing up to the extravert stereotype is only going to push you apart. You want him to be something he's not. ENFPs are the least likely extravert to fit the extravert role.

I think he has a real self-esteem problem and I think he should talk to someone, ideally a professional, but anyone is better than no one, except his mother, he tends to talk to his mother about everything, which weirds me out.
If he needs someone to talk to then don't push him away from the only person who he does talk to. That will only isolate him more. I think suggesting him talking to a psychologist may be a little extreme just because he doesn't fit your idea of normal.
 
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I an INFJ have been dating my boyfriend an ENFP for about 2 months now. He's a really nice guy but recently I’ve been having some anxiety about our relationship.

This weekend we went on a church camp with the youth group, he begged me to go cos I hate camps. I tended to sit back and watch throughout most of the camp and as I watched him I noticed that he was struggling with social interactions.

He is new to the church community and the youth group, mostly because his parents never took him to church when he was younger so he didn't grow up with the rest of us; most of us have known each other for 15-30 years depending on your age. Also, most of us speak Arabic rather well and he doesn't because his parents never taught him which kind of makes it difficult for him to communicate when we all talk in Arabic, he kind of gets left out, makes me feel really sad for him.

on the first night there we were having late night discussions, as people do, and it was just 4 or 5 of us, so a rather small group. It really upset me what he had almost no input in the conversation and when he did speak it was rather random and almost stupid.

I asked him the next day about it and he told me that it’s just because he is getting to know people still and what not. The answer however did now sit well with me, bullshit detector going off.

Later that day he played beach volleyball with a bunch of people and I sat back and watched with a few people. I noticed that when people were hi-5 ing and he put his hand up he was always left hanging. I honestly almost cried.

I spoke to him later that night and we talked about things for a while and I told him about how much it hurt me to see him not really click with anyone, in any way. Like people look at him like he is not normal, the same sort of look and smile you give to someone you know is mentally disabled.

He told me he was bracing for me to break up with him. That really upset me because I don’t make rash decisions.

This morning we kind of evaded the workshops to talk, talked for about 4 hours straight, and he was telling me about how he has always struggled socially and how he doesn't really have any friends. It honestly broke my heart to hear. I’m supposed to be the introvert not him.

I think he has a real self-esteem problem and I think he should talk to someone, ideally a professional, but anyone is better than no one, except his mother, he tends to talk to his mother about everything, which weirds me out.

Anyway, we decided to take a step back until we can collect our thoughts properly. I personally want to hear my psych’s opinion.

I just don't understand why it gives me such anxiety that he is struggling socially. Am I over analysing catastrophizing? I just didn't expect him to be that awkward socially; this was the first time that I had seen him have to deal with a large group of people. The only reason I can think of as to why I’m so anxious is that I can struggle socially, mainly because I am afraid to initiate conversation with people I’m not so comfortable around (church people) and was hoping an extrovert might propel me to interact. But that sounds like a half assed answer to me.

I mean for me, I have a rather broad knowledge of things and hence am able to talk to anyone about anything. Yes I’m selective about who I talk to, but I still have common courtesy and talk to the people I’m around. He on the other hand has a very limited knowledge of things and even when he talks about the topics he knows well, he just doesn’t articulate himself very well; with the exception of music because he plays and teaches both piano and violin.

He isn't stupid, but he definitely comes off as stupid because of his lack of confidence.

Can anyone explain why he is like this and why I may be so anxious?
I had similar troubles when I first started dating my ENFP. It wasn't so much that he had a hard time fitting in with people (he's pretty confident in himself and doesn't pay much mind to that sort of thing), but he did -- and still does -- have filter problems. He's gotten into trouble on a few occasions because he either said something that was too blunt or put in a way which could be easily misconstrued into something bad. It comes with the ENFP package; the delightful quirkiness sometimes manifests as social deviancy.

Getting past this will require some work on his part, but it will also require a significant amount of work on your end as well. Here are some things you can do:

. Try to relax. I completely understand the often overwhelming sensation of social anxiety, but you can't let it rule your life or your relationships. He doesn't click with others? What matters is if you click with each other. It took me a little while to get this concept nailed into my head, but once I did I was much happier for it.
. Remember that you aren't being scrutinized. There's a psychological concept known as the "spotlight phenomenon", and pretty much everyone has it to some degree. We tend to think that everyone is watching us, judging our every move and blunder. The simple fact is that this isn't true, and if someone is doing this to you, they're the weird one who needs to get their nose out of your business. Most people are too busy struggling with this phenomenon themselves to turn around and scrutinize others.
. Figure your priorities out. Does this boyfriend make you happy? Is your relationship going well otherwise? If it is, then please don't let these issues be what brings it to an end. There were times when I seriously considered breaking things off with my ENFP because I thought that I couldn't handle the anxiety, but once I got past that I couldn't believe myself for even entertaining the idea. If there are other legitimate problems with your relationship, then that's different, but don't let public opinion dictate your love life.
. Talk things out -- tactfully -- with your ENFP. If there is a particular behavior which makes you uncomfortable or you really do consider to be a social gaffe, try to explain this to your ENFP. Again, emphasis on tactfully. Don't approach him like it's a deal breaker or some awful flaw; be calm and kind.

I am happily married to my ENFP, and I think that they often make wonderful life partners for INFJs. They can do things out in public which can make us grit our teeth, but it's that same mindset they have which gets us out of our comfort zone and helps us grow. Give it some time and see what happens. :proud:
 
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