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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How long does an INFP (Te) Grip last?

Hi All, from a Fellow INFJ.

I believe my best friend who is an INFP is currently going through a (Te) grip phase. My question to INFPs who have gone through this is how long does this grip phase normally last and what helps you to get out of it? To anyone who knows any INFPs who have gone through this, have you been able to help them come out of this and how?

My dearest friend is the kindest, most sincere, understanding and empathetic person I have ever known in my life. But since over a month now he has become increasingly isolated, crudely rational and apathetic. What's triggered this is the realisation that he is unable to live his life as who he is, with the addition of coming close to turning 30 and thinking that he has not accomplished much in life. Little does he know how special he really is. I know he feels lonely and also suffers from depression and anxiety like me.

It's heartbreaking to watch because as an INFJ, I want to be there for him but he has chosen to ignore all his emotions and although I would never force it, he does not wish to talk about anything which may initiate his emotions. I text him several times a week just to let him know I'm here even if just to listen, but he say's he is fine when I know he is most certainly not.

He says he does not want to meet me for a while, which causes me even more confusion because normally just from looking at him I can tell what he is feeling/thinking. Normally when he is stressed, he talks to me and he feels so much better. I do the same with him when I'm feeling stressed. But this phase he is going through is something else entirely and over text I am unable to grasp his emotional state properly so don't know how to respond accordingly.

What I am trying to do is just to listen, acknowledge and validate his feelings and let him know I'm here. But he's saying that he's just 'getting on with it' and I should do the same. I feel that he can only do this for so long before he crashes and I don't want him to be alone when he does. I'm just very worried for him.

This experience has caused me myself to enter an INFJ (Se) grip and living is hard at the moment. It's okay though, I'm prepared to go through this for my friend, he's worth it.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Warmest regards,

Jonah
 

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Hi All, from a Fellow INFJ.

I believe my best friend who is an INFP is currently going through a (Te) grip phase. My question to INFPs who have gone through this is how long does this grip phase normally last and what helps you to get out of it? To anyone who knows any INFPs who have gone through this, have you been able to help them come out of this and how?

My dearest friend is the kindest, most sincere, understanding and empathetic person I have ever known in my life. But since over a month now he has become increasingly isolated, crudely rational and apathetic. What's triggered this is the realisation that he is unable to live his life as who he is, with the addition of coming close to turning 30 and thinking that he has not accomplished much in life. Little does he know how special he really is. I know he feels lonely and also suffers from depression and anxiety like me.

It's heartbreaking to watch because as an INFJ, I want to be there for him but he has chosen to ignore all his emotions and although I would never force it, he does not wish to talk about anything which may initiate his emotions. I text him several times a week just to let him know I'm here even if just to listen, but he say's he is fine when I know he is most certainly not.

He says he does not want to meet me for a while, which causes me even more confusion because normally just from looking at him I can tell what he is feeling/thinking. Normally when he is stressed, he talks to me and he feels so much better. I do the same with him when I'm feeling stressed. But this phase he is going through is something else entirely and over text I am unable to grasp his emotional state properly so don't know how to respond accordingly.

What I am trying to do is just to listen, acknowledge and validate his feelings and let him know I'm here. But he's saying that he's just 'getting on with it' and I should do the same. I feel that he can only do this for so long before he crashes and I don't want him to be alone when he does. I'm just very worried for him.

This experience has caused me myself to enter an INFJ (Se) grip and living is hard at the moment. It's okay though, I'm prepared to go through this for my friend, he's worth it.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Warmest regards,

Jonah
Hello Jonah

The solution to an inferior grip experience is always, regardless of type to return to the dominant function. He needs to engage once more with Fi, which would discard the materialistic accomplishments in the outside world and focus on living his life according to his values (you mentioned he feels like he hasn't accomplished anything).

A thing I think would help would be if you, beside telling him that you're willing to listen (INFPs will rarely initiate the sharing of feelings), you could also remind him what you appreciate about him. Remind him why you appreciate him as an individual, what makes him him, what sets him apart from others in a good way, what his character and his values are and why you appreciate them. I think in this way you would drive home that his Fi is good and he is good. He needs to return to the use of Fi. He is still young, at 30 he still has time to accomplish things... You could try and give him examples of people active in one of the interests/hobbies he's passionate about who succeeded after that age.

I hope everything turns out ok for you!
 

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Hmm so that's what it is the Te. Yeah I've been somewhat like this for 4 years, maybe even longer! I was a pretty grumpy teenager. Hmm, I don't remember being very Te like though when I was a teen.... Yep I'd say for about 4 years and... Ongoing. Not that I want to be a rude asshole, but yeah, I... Yep. Don't feel like explaining the details. If it helps I've had depression and anxiety since I was about 12. Hmm, I feel what gets me personally, out of the Te is good quality of life, and meditation. By good quality of life I mean, being genuinely happy, and doing things you enjoy etc. I'm definitely not in that state, probably won't be for a long time. The same repetitive shit and depressing life and whatever else contributes really makes us feel down in the dumps and unfortunately its not a quick fix, or as easy to fix as it may be for other people; because we have to be happy overall with our life and feel satisfied, etc. I mean, what makes us happy is the hard bit to obtain. ESTPs moods get lifted by just 'getting out the house', INFPs need something more than 'just getting out the house'. You'd get what I'm saying lol. Sorry for rambling on.

PS: Some people feel more happy overall from temporary happiness but that doesn't really work for me, I would have to be continuously 'happy' to stay happy. Also, unlike your friend I like to talk about my feelings. I'm half living with my Fi at the moment because I know realistically... Things can't be all rainbows and sparkles and yay everybody's happy... It gets me down real bad.
 

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increasingly isolated, crudely rational and apathetic. What's triggered this is the realization that he is unable to live his life as who he is, with the addition of coming close to turning 30 and thinking that he has not accomplished much in life.

he has chosen to ignore all his emotions,

he does not wish to talk about anything which may initiate his emotions. I text him several times a week just to let him know I'm here even if just to listen, but he say's he is fine when I know he is most certainly not.


he's saying that he's just 'getting on with it' and I should do the same.
HAHA! I found out I might be getting fired from my job, crudely rational and apathetic are the words. So I am sort of just getting out of my "grip".

Your INFP friend does not want to be an INFP right now. He does not want to care, because that's what has gotten him to 30 with nothing. If he's anything like me right now he wants to take his Fi and chuck it against a wall and feel strong and unaffected. for lack of better words, your friend does not want to give a FUCK! anymore. Or he just wants to indulge in his Fi impulse and not give 2 flying fucks about where his life is at.

He realizes, he cares too much, he doesn't want to care anymore, because it just comes with pain, fear, and all the weak things in the world. Don't want to be weak anymore, want to remove yourself from the weak part of you, and do anything else that makes you feel less weak and more, strong, unaffected. I chose to listen to aggressive music, because it made me feel like I didn't give a fuck anymore. Maybe your friend wants to feel some kind of control in his life, or lack of concern for having control in his life and just be, without any responsibility on him, but just be what and who he is.

He's liable to hurt people close to him, because he doesn't want to give a fuck anymore, but he can never truly stop caring, but I suggest you let him do his thing, even if it's hard.

I've had healthy Te grips too but your friend yea he's not in that, and his grip might take as long until he either feels like he has control over something or his Ne can find something to wonder about again. All in my opinion of course, I have just experienced this myself and still sort of am.
 

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Hello Jonah

The solution to an inferior grip experience is always, regardless of type to return to the dominant function. He needs to engage once more with Fi, which would discard the materialistic accomplishments in the outside world and focus on living his life according to his values (you mentioned he feels like he hasn't accomplished anything).

A thing I think would help would be if you, beside telling him that you're willing to listen (INFPs will rarely initiate the sharing of feelings), you could also remind him what you appreciate about him. Remind him why you appreciate him as an individual, what makes him him, what sets him apart from others in a good way, what his character and his values are and why you appreciate them. I think in this way you would drive home that his Fi is good and he is good. He needs to return to the use of Fi. He is still young, at 30 he still has time to accomplish things... You could try and give him examples of people active in one of the interests/hobbies he's passionate about who succeeded after that age.

I hope everything turns out ok for you!
Ok INFP whisperer. Lol

That's grade A advice Jonah.
 

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HAHA! I found out I might be getting fired from my job, crudely rational and apathetic are the words. So I am sort of just getting out of my "grip".

Your INFP friend does not want to be an INFP right now. He does not want to care, because that's what has gotten him to 30 with nothing. If he's anything like me right now he wants to take his Fi and chuck it against a wall and feel strong and unaffected. for lack of better words, your friend does not want to give a FUCK! anymore. Or he just wants to indulge in his Fi impulse and not give 2 flying fucks about where his life is at.

He realizes, he cares too much, he doesn't want to care anymore, because it just comes with pain, fear, and all the weak things in the world. Don't want to be weak anymore, want to remove yourself from the weak part of you, and do anything else that makes you feel less weak and more, strong, unaffected. I chose to listen to aggressive music, because it made me feel like I didn't give a fuck anymore. Maybe your friend wants to feel some kind of control in his life, or lack of concern for having control in his life and just be, without any responsibility on him, but just be what and who he is.

He's liable to hurt people close to him, because he doesn't want to give a fuck anymore, but he can never truly stop caring, but I suggest you let him do his thing, even if it's hard.

I've had healthy Te grips too but your friend yea he's not in that, and his grip might take as long until he either feels like he has control over something or his Ne can find something to wonder about again. All in my opinion of course, I have just experienced this myself and still sort of am.
Everything makes so much sense now.
 

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Whenever I'm Te-ing, I wish someone would tell me to stop being a self-absorbed jerk and think about how my actions are hurting the people who have come to rely on me. "Snap out of it." etc. Because, yeah, I'm focusing on the wrong thing, and I need to change my perspective to a more creative and constructive one. Pessimistic, moody people who are shut down from life are exhausting to be around for long. If I was like that, I wouldn't want to be with me either.

Of course I would be super angry at anyone who pointed that out, and I might not ever want to involve them in my personal affairs again, but it would definitely get me thinking about the way I'm acting. Remembering the virtues/skills of patience, perseverance, a strong will, basic human decency and kindness, and more. Then I would see that I'm not acting the way I believe, and I would begin to work on improving myself. These self-improvements would improve my demeanor, outlook, and the situation which caused the Te-grip in time.

Maybe I could re-friend the person who pointed out my failure to act like who I am, but we would just have to never bring it up! Like we have a falling out, and then next week at work we find ourselves laughing at something together. Then just pretend like nothing ever happened!
It is a revolting memory that I was not acting in accordance with what I believe, and it was offensive in the highest regard for my friend to point that out to me——Inwardly, it was disgusting that my friend(!!), of all people, had to see me acting that way. I don't want to be reminded of that failure! It would be from my own shame that I would desire to end the friendship. Failure to live in accordance with what I believe—failure to be my true self—is the only thing I am ashamed of. But if my friend could point out my shortcomings and still choose to forgive me and continue to enjoy my company, they would be a true friend. They are a great person to have around because they're helping me have less moments to be ashamed about. I would go to them for real help in the future and hold them in high regard.

I'd say that my grip phases last as long as it takes until I realize that I'm being an idiot and decide to change. When I'm first trying to make the change, it seems so big that I can't do it, but it eventually works itself out since I've changed my perspective and mindset on the issue. I'm approaching my third week of being a new teacher. I had a grip phase that started to develop, and I was increasingly upset at my more experienced coworker. When I failed a few times—and it was definitely my own fault—I started feeling better, connecting with her more, and laughing again. I'm going to fail some more in week three as well, but it will get better, and everything will be okay. I'm taking it all with more humility now. That grip lasted about 3 days, and it developed over the last couple of weeks.

Recognizing when I fail at things and being humbled helps me improve. Someone listening to me gripe and complain doesn't fix a thing. It's like I'm marinating in my own bad outlook because it is reflected back to me if someone is just "listening." I tell certain people about certain problems because I trust them to provide constructive feedback. My mom(ISFP) is great because when I was upset about my coworker, she provided the coworker's perspective for me. I felt much better when I was able to see the situation through someone else's eyes.

---
Jonah, it's nice of you to be extra nice to your friend and validate him and all that, but you're supporting the way he is acting right now. The way he is acting is hurting you. It's not okay for a friend to be hurting another. You care about him, and you want him to do better, but you can't tolerate him behaving so carelessly and pushing you away. It hurts you, and that won't do.

I think that the more you "listen", the more he will stay the way he is. (Fe doesn't reconnect someone's latent Fi) The more you feed a self-absorbed person, the fatter they get until they are so big that they crush everyone else by their weight. He needs to be left alone with the thought that he's acting in a bad way and that he needs to find a way to fix it. Plus, Fi is introverted and mysterious—he needs the alone time. He needs to be by himself right now because the only one to make the pieces click together is him. I think he needs more tough love than support. If he's of a good character, as you know he is, he only needs a wake-up call. Then his positive qualities will help him emerge stronger than before.

——But I'm attaching this disclaimer to everything I've said because he has clinical depression and anxiety. Our literal brain chemistry is different because I do not have either of those, yet I've given you advice to what would work for me. Perhaps he needs prodding to go to a counselor instead of anything else I just said.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dear Strelnikov,

Thank you sincerely for your help; you have given me continued hope in people.

I reached out to my friend following your advice and he did respond. I had a gut instinct that he was going through something painful and I sent him a message that I wished him continued strength with whatever he was going through. He replied that he appreciated what I was doing. He said his head was all over the place but told me "You don't need to worry yourself".

However when I did point out to him that I am here for him and entwined into my texts what makes me appreciate him, his replies were short "Cheers buddy" and "Thanks".

i said that we could have a drink in the future sometime, at a time when he's ready. It is at that point he said he has so much on his mind at the moment, namely the funeral of a very close family member. As he told me, he said that he did not want to talk about this specifically with me. i said I completely understand and passed my condolences to him and his family. His following reply was "Thank you man. I really didn't want to get into it with you. I understand you're probably down a lot at the moment but just need to get on with our lives at the moment".

I thought it was best to give him some space because normally when going through something like this, he deals with it better solely. Bu then come Sunday night, he sent me a message stating he hoped I had a great weekend and wished me a good week ahead; it seemed like he may have been drunk. We exchanged a couple of texts, I just told him about a movie I watched (knowing I could not ask him about anything deeper) and then he said "goodnight, speak soon" after briefly discussing the movie with me.

I've not heard from him since and think it's best to give him some further space; is this the best way to go? Also, does it seem like he's phasing me out as a friend, or is that just my insecurities?

Thank you again for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Lord Pixel,

Thank you for your comments. I'm sorry to hear about your job; i hope everything works out perfectly for you.

You've given me great insight; cheers. I can feel the anger in him as you have described. My friend told me last month that he has had two separate arguments with friends; I can see that his patience is wearing thin.

I am trying my utmost best to let him deal with it by himself. However, now knowing that a close family member of his has passed away, it is causing me further pain as he does not want to talk about it with me. I'm remaining firm in not contacting him though because on previous occasions such as this he has needed time to be alone to deal with it.

I think I may just have to wait for him to start coming out of his 'grip'. How long have you been in yours?

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you ButIHaveNoFear!

Cheers for the heads-up on what not to do; you may have just saved this friendship for me:) I definitely won't be pointing anything out to him as I know he takes criticism very harshly. But like you said, listening will just make him worse too. If only I knew what would give him that wake up call.

I think I need to put this on hold now anyway, as he is grieving the loss of a close family member on top of being in a grip. He has become even more distant as a result. The situation just seems to be getting more complicated by the day.

He already feels like he is failing in life so I'm not sure it would help him improve as it (I'm glad to know) did for you.

Thank you for your concern, it means a lot. Although I'm hurting (even waking up in the middle of the night thinking about him), he has been the greatest friend I have ever had and I still want to be here for him in any way I can.

I completely agree that he needs his alone time, as everyone else here has pointed out too. But this has been going on for over a month now and I have seen that he is significantly more online on Whatsapp over this time. He said he was just continuously sending mates meaningless texts. So I think he is trying to block out all his thoughts through mediocre socialising as well as heavy drinking rather than work through them.

Thank you again for your advice.
 

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Thank you ButIHaveNoFear!

Cheers for the heads-up on what not to do; you may have just saved this friendship for me:) I definitely won't be pointing anything out to him as I know he takes criticism very harshly. But like you said, listening will just make him worse too. If only I knew what would give him that wake up call.

I think I need to put this on hold now anyway, as he is grieving the loss of a close family member on top of being in a grip. He has become even more distant as a result. The situation just seems to be getting more complicated by the day.

He already feels like he is failing in life so I'm not sure it would help him improve as it (I'm glad to know) did for you.

Thank you for your concern, it means a lot. Although I'm hurting (even waking up in the middle of the night thinking about him), he has been the greatest friend I have ever had and I still want to be here for him in any way I can.

I completely agree that he needs his alone time, as everyone else here has pointed out too. But this has been going on for over a month now and I have seen that he is significantly more online on Whatsapp over this time. He said he was just continuously sending mates meaningless texts. So I think he is trying to block out all his thoughts through mediocre socialising as well as heavy drinking rather than work through them.

Thank you again for your advice.
Oh man! He's grieving close family?? That changes the tone of my advice a lot because grief is weird and hard and long. Let him set the way he wants to communicate or reach out. Try not to feel offended about his online presence. He's not intentionally trying to rub it in your face. Grief takes it's own time, and it doesn't make sense for a lot of it.

Take care!
 
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Oh! Te Grips! The one time INFPs are tolerable. A trying time for INFPs.

I have recently gone through an inferior function grip that lasted for seven months. I am unsure if they typically last that long, be advised that they apparently have the capacity to.
 
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