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Finding it hard to connect to most people

11522 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  AriesLilith
I'm wondering if any of my fellow INFJ's can relate.

When I'm trying to branch out and make new friends... or even hold conversations with some of my current friends, I'm left with this feeling of emptiness and disconnectedness. Sometimes the conversation can be enjoyable, but on a deeper level, I know they really don't get me. It feels like there's a lot of things I can't go into conversation to with the majority of people because they just wouldn't get it. I'm not insulting their intellect or anything, but it just feels like it would be a fruitless conversation because they just wouldn't be able to relate.

The thing is, this leaves me with such a sadness and feeling of being cut off from most of humanity. I feel like I'm on a lonely island sometimes because I don't think the majority of people can understand me. I hope this doesn't sound elitist or something because it's not at all meant that way. I just feel different than most people. I think as INFJs, we tend to think about and pick up on things that many people simply wouldn't think about at all.

Just wondering if any of you ever feel the same.
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Geez, I wonder why I name myself lonelyinfj. :dry:

On the serious side, I was struggling with this awhile back but it has improved a lot though I'm not sure how. I know that people won't ever "get me" but I find it okay since I'm focusing more on building relations with people, and I hope through those relations it will build a more fruitful friendship thus fruitful conversations will happen. I try not to rely on first contact since it's such a discouraging thing to false hope that they will get it because it won't happen for them right away. Connecting with people varies just as people are different.
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Sometimes it helps to not expect anything from conversation or at least to realise in the moment that enjoyment can occur whether the subject matter is shoes, attire or something deeper... I have often noticed how so much of conversation will never result in exchanging details or 'shall we meet again on Tuesday' when bars, in public or outside structured environments are 'more expendable'.
I think we've all felt like this at some point of our lives.

Now, if you're anything like me, you'll agree that people are innately curious. That means, regardless of background, interests, lifestyle, and what have you, everyone genuinely has a curious mind. Now, how do you spark their curiosity? Talking about the weather? Inquiring about their weekend? Profession? Nah... all of this reaks of stuff that everyone else has asked them a million times over, most often in an uncaring tone.

(I'm in a rambling mood because of I'm hyper from my green tea, so you're welcome to skip the rest)
Here's what I mean about sparking curiosity -- an example of a conversation I had with a volunteer I have never met before.

*dead air*
Me> So are you a reader or a writer?
Her> Uh? I enjoy doing both.
Me> Well, yes... everyone is CAPABLE of doing both, but everyone has a slight affinity towards one.
Her> I'm more of a reader.
Me> Ohh... I'm more of a writer. So what draws you to reading though?
Her> (something about wide array of stories and new concepts).
Me> What are you reading right now?
Her> (talks about some book relating a wolf pack to the dynamics of a family. She goes onto explain a story about how the man was adopted into a wolf pack after he lost his own). What do you write about?
Me> *I ignore her question because it's an automatic social reflex to reflect back a question* That sounds pretty interesting actually. How do you feel about adoption in general?
Her> *vague response meaning she hasn't thought too much about it* It's good.
Me> Personally, I've always wanted to adopt because... *philosophy jargon*

From that point forward, she kept asking me about adoption and that eventually deviated into questions about spirituality and ghosts even. All in all, she turned into the question asker, which is rare because, as you know, most people prefer to talk about themselves. Personally, I think she thrived on being able to talk about essentially everything which wouldn't really be spurred by most small talk lingo that happens nowadays.
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@leoni Yes, I often experience an inner loneliness similar to your description.

I think connection / successful communication is difficult for most people. But whereas some (most?) people are able to take a poor connection in their stride (e.g. "He's just living on another planet" **shrugs**) INFJs may be hit by a quadruple whammy:

desiring/needing a good connection (eg to feel understood in depth);
probably even lower chance than most people of experiencing this;
being more likely to notice that there's been a connection failure;
experiencing any failed connection as painful.​

Such a scenario isn't unique to INFJs but it's probably us who are most likely to experience this.

No easy answers. I do think that quality rather than quantity is what counts in friendships. A big part of my "salvation" in my life was meeting the woman who has been my best friend for many years and who is also INFJ. She "gets me" pretty much 100%

Plus don't overlook the value of PCafe! Here you can connect with other INFJs - in threads of course and perhaps by PM is even more valuable.
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Welcome to one of the INFJs coomon feelings - the desire to connect in a deeper level, and the loneliness of not getting it. I guess that being a more complex and different type, it makes it harder to find similar people. And then our introversion doesn't help either.

I guess that it's hard to determine if you can connect with a certain someone just by having small talks. Everyone does small talks and they make us seem superficial, thought behind the small talk there can actually be an interesting individual and you might actually click in a lot of things. But it's hard to get past the small talks, unless there are chances to do so.
Honestly, I don't know how to get past the superficial barrier as I'm shy and socially awkward myself lol, but in the past, when I used to talk to my classmates or online friends by the internet, we ended up getting past the barrier pretty easily. I've found it easy to do so online, and we ended up sharing deeper thoughts and feelings.

But when it comes to even deeper level, almost to our INFJ cores... I'm not sure if we can really connect that deep, as it would require someone who is almost identical to ourselves (to feel in identical ways). There will always be some difference even if we can find someone so similar and can share a deeper understanding.

Sometimes, it does feel lonely. When I was young, I used to be very different and independent from other kids, and even when I grown up, I feel that I'm still an odd ball compared to others. Thought what eased my loneliness is that I could identify certain parts of me with the friends I came to meet, and then even thought I'm not fully understood, some still accepted me. And then I've also found beauty in them, and I just like being with my loved ones even if we can't connect at deepest levels. Maybe my Ni is doomed to never be fully known or explored/connected, maybe all humans are doomed to not be able to 100% connect due to each of our uniqueness. Maybe INFJs cares too much about connecting at the deepest levels. But there is beauty in having relationships and interacting with others, and I guess that by time I have found my peace.
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