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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My boyfriend is an INFJ and I'm quite sure he is the first INFJ I've been close to. I am incredibly fascinated by his personality and I don't even know where to begin in expressing how interesting I think he is. People often call others interesting when they've been there and seen that, but that all pales in the the shadow of the never-ending intellectual stimulation I experience in seeing his mind at play.

At the same time, it's been incredibly tough for me. As an ENTP, I've always had either NT types or SP types around me and I've made the best of it. So cooperating with the whole NF and FJ is very draining to me.

This being said, I have one big hurdle which I would like to ask your advice on, as experts with an outside perspective, so to speak :)

I have a very hard time dealing with him jumping to conclusions. This goes completely against my own philosophy (I'm quite a textbook ENTP). I feel like he is so used to figuring people out and he hasn't been REAL close to people much (if ever), that his intuition has gone unchecked. And since he's been hurt a lot, he feels it's justified to translate my actions to certain motivations without getting feedback on it.

He has expressed the desire to be close and to build a life together, so this seems like something we will have to deal with. I just don't know how. How can I be more predictable to him and how can I let him see that I don't always fit the framework he's projecting on me and where is the balance? Any thoughts? Thanks guys, it's my first post ^_^
 

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Are you saying that your INFJ boyfriend accuses you of things and doesn't trust you? How long have you been dating this guy? INFJs have a sensitive soul and I agree that sometimes we can over-analyse things. But I also read that ENTP can be insensitive because you guys are so rational, often misjudging others' feelings and pushing your arguments too far. I would imagine that when these two types come together, they're gonna need some adjustments and mutual understanding. This can be easily solved with good communication - explain your intention and PoV clearly and get to know your INFJ's landmine. Also, INFJ has to learn to be less sensitive to people's remarks and ENTP has to learn to be more sensitive to the other person's feelings.

I don't know your boyfriend at all and what he has gone through so I can't conclude if he indeed likes "jumping to conclusions" like what you said but I would like to point out that people who don't understand how our cognitive functions work may think we jump to conclusions because we can say things out of nowhere, but what you don't know is we have most likely analysed the situation many times in our minds before we even tell you. And we don't just conjure wild ideas out of nowhere. We collect data, analyse every related situation and sum it all up to make our conclusion. Our conclusions may be right, maybe wrong, but jumping to conclusions arbitrarily isn't what we do usually unless you have hurt us way too often and have scarred us. Then it will become phobia reaction, not a healthy INFJ trait.
 

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Thank you for your elaborate comment! I do realize that he makes observations about my words or actions, analyses then and THEN draws conclusion. Thing is though, that when you do this whole process internally, it's possible that you use false assumptions. To me, not asking feedback about your assumptions can often be even more damaging than not analysing. That's why skipping feedback to me is also jumping to conclusions.

Example: I'm quite a bubbly person and when I'm upset I can become quiet. I also become quiet when I'm in a very satisfied, chill mood. When my boyfriend sees I'm quiet, he assumes that it means I'm upset, he starts questioning internally what's wrong, what he did, what he can do and starts trying to make me feel better. All of this is wrong, because his first assumption quiet=upset is incorrect. But by then he already drew his conclusion. And when I tell him I'm actually chill, he doesn't believe it, because he's stuck on the quiet=upset part. Sometimes he gets upset and I feel I have to make up being upset, just to avoid upsetting him. See what I mean? Maybe it's not neccesary INFJ, but it looks like it from what I've seen online.
 

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He probably does have his personal demons and fears, but I think the big confusion point is Ne vs Ni.

I get into tussles with my INFJ friends over this. (Also because N is their dom and my aux, but anyway....) INFJs sound like they jump to conclusions a lot because Ni converges a lot of information, then the assumption is expressed through a judging function. I think they are quite open-minded on the inside, but things come out like hard and fast truths, especially to my ears and I don't like that! Ne likes to be more exploratory, and then your/our judging function is more internalized and organizes us rather than organizes others. Sometimes I do have to grin and bear it with someone's Ni + Judging because all I hear is the Judging.

It's very possible that he doesn't think he comes across in a structured way at all. If you tell him he's jumping to conclusions, you might get the blank stare! But he also might think he's got all the data he needs to create his convergent iNtuitions——But why on earth would he think that?? Beats me. You probably already do this, but make sure to show him why he is attracted to the openness of Ne. Show him that anything can happen. Just because someone has been hurt, doesn't mean they will be hurt. You don't have to be more "predictable" for him. That might send you to shadow mode, and then you'll be really out of place with him!

Do you do any hobbies/work/projects together? I'm asking because activities where you both put your functions to use will teach you a lot about each other and how you best work together. Getting him involved in active sensory data collection will help whenever you're both having a lazy day and he's thinking a lot. Then he would have a better chance at hitting the "right" conclusion. But to Ne, is the only "right" conclusion the one that is in progress?

I kind of want to know if he is using his inferior Se at all or overusing it. I don't have any hypothetical symptoms or tests for you though! The only Se-takeover I can think of is rampant perfectionism. That's a very unhappy INFJ...
 

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I wouldn't advise you to continue in pretending to be upset when you are truly not upset just in oder to try to appease/pacify him. I'm an INFJ married to another INFJ and I while I would say that often times my husband guesses right about my inner motivations (sometimes before I'm even aware of them myself - so this is something to look out for too - honestly ask yourself if there could be some truth in what he's seeing), there are still going to be a few times where he's off in his interpretation of my behavior - whether that be due to an emotional trigger (misperceives an action of mine as being intentionally hurtful) or through over relying on a behavior pattern of mine (something I do the majority of the time). So I can understand how that would get him stuck. I've been guilty of the same as well. It happens. Whenever this happens (him doing it to me), I just remain adamant about my true intentions/feelings and I don't give in. I am stubborn about it. We are both stubborn sometimes (for better or worse lol). And eventually I figure out a way to get through to him and he calms down and understands it's just a misperception. I wouldn't say it happens too terribly often though. But every now and then - yes.

I don't know how long y'all have known each other or been together but I would imagine y'all will learn to adapt to one another in time as well and just get more in tune with each other. He means well and he wants to help. It's coming from a good place in that one example. So that's the good news. I would be open and honest with him from here on out even if it's initially hard to get through to him. He will eventually be forced to accept and understand if you're adamant about it. It's the only way he'll come to learn the real you. There's no point in pretending to be otherwise. If he's committed to the growth of this relationship, then he'll be willing to work on it with you. I would directly talk to him about this issue too - when you're not currently directly dealing with this type of scenario - just so emotions are not heightened and he can view the whole thing from a more neutral/detached perspective.
 

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Thank you for your elaborate comment! I do realize that he makes observations about my words or actions, analyses then and THEN draws conclusion. Thing is though, that when you do this whole process internally, it's possible that you use false assumptions. To me, not asking feedback about your assumptions can often be even more damaging than not analysing. That's why skipping feedback to me is also jumping to conclusions.

Example: I'm quite a bubbly person and when I'm upset I can become quiet. I also become quiet when I'm in a very satisfied, chill mood. When my boyfriend sees I'm quiet, he assumes that it means I'm upset, he starts questioning internally what's wrong, what he did, what he can do and starts trying to make me feel better. All of this is wrong, because his first assumption quiet=upset is incorrect. But by then he already drew his conclusion. And when I tell him I'm actually chill, he doesn't believe it, because he's stuck on the quiet=upset part. Sometimes he gets upset and I feel I have to make up being upset, just to avoid upsetting him. See what I mean? Maybe it's not neccesary INFJ, but it looks like it from what I've seen online.
Why do you need to pretend to be upset when you're not? I'm trying to understand the part where you said you explained that you were not upset but he wouldn't believe it. Besides being quiet, how was your body language? Remember that when we're with a loved one, every of their action/word is magnified.

Also, one thing to note of the IJ vs IP communication style. The IJs use a directive style whereas IP uses informative style and that's why IJs' words can come out more judging. However, IJs are actually inner perceivers, meaning to say while we may sound like we've already formed our conclusion, we remain open-minded internally and with new info, may change our conclusion. IPs, on the other hand, are inner judgers, so they may sound open-minded but their judgement may have already been formed long ago.

If these are not it, then your INFJ may be experiencing phobia from past trauma. Your best bet is to gently communicate your motivations and let him understand you better while you also learn to understand him. Again I'm not sure how long you've dated this guy but no matter which MBTI type, this the first step towards any healthy relationship.
 

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First of all, hello Batmun34 and welcome to Personality Cafe! Enjoy your (hopefully long) stay!

About your topic. You introduce us an issue with your boyfriend. You tell us you admire him and want to build something with him. You also tell us that, on occasion, spending time with him is draining (because you're not used to stay with FJ or NF types). That, and the fact he is often too judgemental and, when he judges you, you think he misunderstands you.
So your request is for us to help you giving you a different perspective on things (seeing the world as he does?) and at the same time give you an advice on how to deal with his judgemental nature.

Premise. I am one of these INFJs that are detached from the world, so take my advice with caution as it may be flawed, or wrong. I can't tell you how you should act in this situation and while I will hand some advices, bear in mind I know very little of the situation at hand. So be critical of any input from my side!



Why the judgemental nature?
Now, as stated by others, INFJs are led by Introverted iNtuition, which means they are - inside their world - perceiving and attentive. Regarding the outside world, they are more detached and may appear cold and judgemental.
But are they? Well, depends.
INFJ adopt two main approaches towards their relationship with others.
In the first one, they contemplate people in order to understand them / in the second they want to in-form society with values and ideals.

As you can see, these two approaches are mutually inclusive, but when the second approach overshadows the first one, INFJs risk getting a partial view of the world and attempt to enforce such a flawed vision on others, trying to make them follow the INFJ standard rather than focus on the other individual's self-development. It occurs that the INFJ, instead of trying to understand the other for what she is, understands the other in relation to his own values. Without a good understanding of the world (and its people) the INFJ view is partial and will try to enforce many people into a role they do not fit in.


My suggestion is, could it be that you should speak to him more directly and express your disagreement? As stated, INFJs are perceiving types. That means they are usually open to feedback and different opinions. More often than not, they want feedback and honesty. Try to remain calm and not look/speak as if you are telling a joke or provoking him: explain yourself and your reasons. Challange his world if you don't fit in - if he wants a comprehensive view of it and share a life (or important parts of it) with you, it is important.
But do so with an open dialogue.

By stating you believe your INFJ missed something, you are also inviting him to widen his horizons - something he will be grateful of in the long run.

Example: I'm quite a bubbly person and when I'm upset I can become quiet. I also become quiet when I'm in a very satisfied, chill mood. When my boyfriend sees I'm quiet, he assumes that it means I'm upset, he starts questioning internally what's wrong, what he did, what he can do and starts trying to make me feel better. All of this is wrong, because his first assumption quiet=upset is incorrect. But by then he already drew his conclusion. And when I tell him I'm actually chill, he doesn't believe it, ... Sometimes he gets upset and I feel I have to make up being upset, just to avoid upsetting him. See what I mean?
Yes, I see. When I'm with some SP friends it happens to me too and it is frustrating. We can see it this way, negatively.
However at the same time, we can also view it this other way: in this example he is asking you for feedback. Yes, INFJs will ask you a dozen of time how you feel. And then, as you watch the clock and realize it's only lunch time, you'll likely sigh and wonder how many times he will ask you that.
We INFJ are not being obsessive with this question, we are trying to understand (you) at a deeper level: gather details on how people behave, underline that their feelings matter to us and also ask for honesty.
He is asking you to be sincere and to open up. I strongly advice you do it because INFJs want to understand others and, atleast when it comes to the relationship, you should do your best to give him as much feedback you can.
Giving a simple "no, i'm fine" as an answer most likely won't do (maybe it's the same answer you give when you're irritated too?). You're closing the discussion, whereas he's trying to initiate one.

"You see, sometimes I am quiet when this thing happens. Not only when I am nervous." eventually, if you want to share the topic of your thoughts, he'll be internally overjoyed as you open up "I am thinking about this stuff".

How you voice your disagreement is also important.
Don't tell him his vision of the world is flawed and all that. I don't know if that is true, perhaps you don't know if that is true (i'll get back to this point) and he can't prove it anyway. It doesn't matter if he is right or wrong for the moment, leave that for an intellectual discussion. What matters here is your relationship and the way you two are living in it (I imagine, duh).
I feel like he is so used to figuring people out and he hasn't been REAL close to people much (if ever), that his intuition has gone unchecked.
Thing is though, that when you do this whole process internally, it's possible that you use false assumptions.
Yes, it is possible. Or, when you do the process externally, it's also possible that such assumptions are wrong aswell because, you know, it's always possible that someone is wrong and stuff.

This type of input is something that an Ni-dom will hardly spend much thought on. Ni looks at the process and mechanism, so-to-speak, of the mental contents. Strictly speaking, it doesn't need to perceive reality through an extraverted perceiving function as much as an Ne-dom like you does. A lot of great Ni authors were greatly detached from people and still described them fairly well - I dare add, much better than most others.

Furthermore, regardless of the accuracy of the critique, it's wasting time. The critique can be correct, but this critique will inevitably find a lot of resistance from said type, because you are accusing his main function, something he is strongly attached to, of being inherently flawed. By extension, you are accusing the way through which he processes informations of being flawed. You can discuss that, sure, but not when you speak of your relationship. If you do, you place him in a bad situation and kind of try to place your life-style on a pedestal, above his. This will find a lot of resistance and indirectly force him to either defend his position on an intellectual level or side with you against an essential part of himself...
...That will not work.

The fact he takes a somewhat detached approach towards the external world is inevitable: that's what Ni is about. And with the proper data, Ni can be correct. So that is not a problem.
What matters here, is that you feel misunderstood. So tell him that and tell him what he is missing. You don't have to criticize him - if he's intelligent as you say, he can realize it on his own as soon as he accepts that he misunderstood your signals.

Open up. When he gives a judgement, ask him to elaborate his intuition. "Why is that so?" "Can you tell me how you arrived at this conclusion? I know it's difficult to elaborate, but I'm sure speaking about this stuff can help both of us".

What is important is that he doesn't find resistance from you. Because, let's be honest, if he offers only a judgement and doesn't open up (does he?) there is a reason. Two out of my hat:
- Save mental energies: elaborating the process of Ni everytime can be tiring, I assure you. When I do it I'm always with a selected amount of friends and when I am done not only it took an hour minimum, but we are both very tired (a good type of tired however, as it is very rewarding). So maybe he just wants to save energies. Think of the lenght of this post - and I'm leaving out a lot of stuff.
- Is there a reason he thinks he might find resistance from you, should he open up? You said it's draining to be in the presence of NF / Fe-doms. So maybe you are dismissing his feedback aswell? By throwing a comment here and there, INFJs also test your reactions. If an INFJ finds a subject resistant to his comments and (he) has a somewhat timid nature, he might close rather than open.

In both cases, he needs honest feedback and encouragement. Avoid giving too much pressure and judgement on how he processes information: focus on what is comming from him and fix that. If you like stimulating conversation, they should indeed follow!


Now, I'm speaking too much so I'll be quick: NF and Fe nature.
You claim you value his intelligence, deep personality and overall his being very stimulating in conversations. However, you also say that often staying with him can be draining and all, because you're not used to NF and FJ types.

How are you two going with emotions and connection? Because intellectual connection is cool and dandy but it's not everything in a relationship. The only part when you speak of it in your post sounds a bit the NF and FJ types, where you say you don't click with them very well. Maybe this is a key issue and perhaps he's not being as judgemental as you think; maybe you're both resisting to parts of each other's personality? It would be awesome if you could elaborate more on this part.
 
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