Personality Cafe banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My best friend is an INFJ. I honestly couldn't ask for a more loyal, trustworthy, and amazing friend, BUT sometimes it's difficult for me to understand her. I naturally feel the need to break the rules that need to be broken and have trouble taking things too seriously. I am hardly religious, if at all. She is very loyal to her parents, but some things that her parents make her do are ridiculous. She can't watch any PG-13 movies or YouTube videos that her mom hasn't pre-approved. She's super-religious, even though she doesn't try to change my views (which I really appreciate, since I've dealt with people who did). She also really underestimates herself. None of this has really affected our friendship until now. She spent the night the other night, and she acted so quiet, modest, and just plain good. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it's just that I can't seem to ever get her to loosen up. I think a lot of it was the fact that she was out of her element. At my house, things really have no structure and we don't usually make much effort to be "polite". I really admire how true she is to her values and her loyalty to her family, but I just wish she would relax every once in awhile. Is this normal for INFJs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
852 Posts
I had a similar situation with a friend when I was young.

If she has the INFJ ability to see multiple viewpoints (and it seems that she does since she respects your beliefs and lifestyle), she's already aware that her family is different from most others, which probably makes her self-conscious; she knows how different she must seem from everyone outside her family. Likewise, everything about your family is probably quite novel to her. So this combination of feeling self-conscious and being in an environment so different from her home would naturally geek her out a bit. She is, as you noted, "out of her element."

As she gets older, she'll either decide she wants to live differently from her family, in which case she'll learn some new habits and attitudes, or she'll decide to adopt their lifestyle for herself. If she decides to follow her family's traditions, she'll probably become more comfortable just from knowing that it was her choice to do so, and that it's not being imposed on her. It's hard to toe the line when someone else is making all the rules, you know? She can never simply consult her own feelings. She always has to answer to her family's expectations. How do you act naturally when you're always worried about transgressing some boundary or other?

I think the best thing you can do for your friend is exactly what you're already doing: be her friend. Don't judge her lifestyle, don't try to talk her into changing or loosening up, or doing something she might think is wrong, and try not to react with surprise to things you learn about her family. Instead of telling her it's okay to relax, show her that you are a person she can trust and be herself around. You are probably already doing all these things. Even if you don't see an immediate change in her, it really will affect her just to bear witness to the fact that there are many different ways to go through life, and that she doesn't have to be uncomfortable just because hers is not very common. You sound like a great friend!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,025 Posts
It sounds like she grew up in an environment that focused on seriousness. I think you just need to take her out to have fun and show her that life isn't so serious, y'know?
 

·
MOTM October 2013
Joined
·
6,445 Posts
What's the trouble exactly, then?

For something like this, I'd say don't assume she's unhappy because she doesn't hold the same values as you do. While I'm not as extreme as what you describe, I am more religiously-bent and modest than most of my peers. It's annoying having it be insinuated that I grew up repressed because I hold those values. Even more annoying when told I should be enjoying the grittier things because now I'm an adult. Fact is, I just don't, even though I am fully free to pursue such things. Perhaps this is the same for her?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,362 Posts
Just keep asking her to come and spend the night. Given some time she may get more comfortable at your house and open up more. :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,289 Posts
My best friend is an INFJ. I honestly couldn't ask for a more loyal, trustworthy, and amazing friend, BUT sometimes it's difficult for me to understand her. I naturally feel the need to break the rules that need to be broken and have trouble taking things too seriously. I am hardly religious, if at all. She is very loyal to her parents, but some things that her parents make her do are ridiculous. She can't watch any PG-13 movies or YouTube videos that her mom hasn't pre-approved. She's super-religious, even though she doesn't try to change my views (which I really appreciate, since I've dealt with people who did). She also really underestimates herself. None of this has really affected our friendship until now. She spent the night the other night, and she acted so quiet, modest, and just plain good. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it's just that I can't seem to ever get her to loosen up. I think a lot of it was the fact that she was out of her element. At my house, things really have no structure and we don't usually make much effort to be "polite". I really admire how true she is to her values and her loyalty to her family, but I just wish she would relax every once in awhile. Is this normal for INFJs?
INFJ's have trouble relaxing in unfamiliar situations. Also, she might be experiencing reality shock by viewing your household compared to hers.

It's just a fact that we're most comfortable in our natural environments. Now if she comes over a lot, she should start to loosen up some, I would think.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SMS2016

·
Registered
ENTP 3w4 so/sx
Joined
·
2,889 Posts
She probably feels that is the way she is supposed to act. I would say be patient and encourage her to "loosen up" but make sure she is comfortable doing such things. From what you tell me of her, if you feel like you are coming across as too "dominanting" or too "forceful", you probably are. This will take time. However, be friendly and awesome and she should gladly feel more comfortable being herself at your house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
I do not know if other INFJs are this way but I am kind of the person who believes in the mentality "When in Rome, act as the Romans do" but it comes down to being familiar with my environment. So as people have already said it may take some time but it's mostly just something to slowly ease into. Don't try to be forceful, just let her take her time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Why are you trying to fix someone who's not broken? Would you like it if she tried to fix you? There's nothing wrong with her and it bugs me that you're trying to push her into something she's not. Damn. Let her be, oh I dunno, howabout let her be her own goddamn person?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
^Ouch. Personally I like my friends to push my boundaries a bit, they know well enough when to leave me be though.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top