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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first thread so bear with me. I've been reading some really interesting posts about the juxtaposition of cynicism and idealism in the INFJ personality. It's something I feel like I've always struggled with and I love knowing I'm not the only one. So I want to know about other INFJ's and that cynicism and idealism in different types of relationships.

In my friendships I'm the ultimate INFJ in that I gloss over imperfections and want to help my friends with any hardships they face. I'm empathetic and compassionate. I realize every fault my friends have but I don't focus on them. At work, I am direct care staff in a residential treatment program for teenage girls with emotional disturbances, mostly rooted in severe past trauma. Again, I'm aware of their faults and downfalls but I will do anything to help them through it. They can swear at me, throw furniture, and I still care. I've only had one resident in the past where I was just "done" because her anger and behavior were out of control. She physically assaulted staff on a regular basis, spit in our faces, and even bit me to the point of drawing blood once. I'm just trying to give you an example of the extremes it took for me to essentially doorslam her.

Now we move to romantic relationships and it is a complete 180 degree turn. When I was a teen I had a long term boyfriend in which I glossed over every bad thing about him and it ended pretty horribly. I blame ignoring his faults on being young and immature. As an adult I can't seem to break the cynicism. I see the negative aspects of a potential boyfriend and focus on only those aspects. The great things about the guy fade into the background. I desperately strive for perfection in romantic relationships but not with any others. What gives? I also hate that I'm so aware of it! There's a battle in my mind between "this guy is really funny and we share similar values" and "wow sometimes his confidence teeters on arrogance." The arrogance wins out an an emotional wall comes up. Guys are more than willing to accept my crazy INFJ quirks, but I can't accept their little idiosyncrasy.

To wrap up a very long post:
Are there any other INFJs that share this problem?? I'd love to hear your experiences! Also, any advice for breaking this habit?
 

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I had a similar experience in high school where I was unable to come to terms with some truly horrible qualities about the person I was dating. For some reason I was unable to let go. The whole thing ended up being very traumatic for me, and I didn't date again for 4 years. During those years I would shoot any and every guy down at the very first sign of... weakness? I'm not sure. I took them as red flags. Anyway, after a few years I met someone but had a feeling things weren't quite right. My friends all told me I was just holding onto my past bad experience, and I went for it with this person anyway. It ended up being sort of a repeat of the first relationship.

So I'm not sure what is right. Perfectionism is not a good thing, but ignoring my intuition and taking a chance may not have been the wisest choice either.

Sorry, my friend. I wish I could give you some real advice.
 

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Iam the exact same way with guys and I'm not sure why. I postedsomewhere else that I value my singleness for many reasons such ashaving my space, independence, and freedom, and I tend to cling tothose and not analyze why I hold potential boyfriends to suchperfectionist standards. I'm just like you in finding things thatconstitute red flags in potential mates do not occur as problems inother relationships.


Inever wholly related it to being an INFJ, though. I figured it wasbecause my parents divorced and now I am very particular about who Iam with because I don't want to divorce like my parents did. I want aloving, monogamous, faithful, lifelong, fulfilling marriage if awedding is in my future. And so I am always thinking, Is this someoneI could be with forever?


Standardsaren't terrible by themselves. I've had friends who would date anyguy that they thought was hot and who was muturally attracted to themand most turned out to be jerks. I'm “hard to get” in my group offriends and turned-off/oblivious to/unmoved by most flirting. I'm thewholesome, innocent, goody-two-shoes of my circle.


I'malso really old-fashioned when it comes to dating and thatcomplicates things further for me. I like the idea of a guy gettingto know me a non-romantic community setting over a period of time anddiscerning if we are potential marriage material for each other,asking my parents for permission to “pursue” me romanticallyafter we've been friends for awhile, and marriage always beingexplicitly on the table during the dating process. I like the slowpace, intentional focus on marriage, group settings, shorter periodof romantic involvement, and the participation of family as a checkagainst the fast-paced, hormone-driven, exclusivity that dating oftenhas which I personally don't think is always conducive to a lastingrelationship. I also reallywant to do six months to a year of premarital counseling.


Iam trying to be more lenient with people because I know that nobodyfits an idyllic standard. I do have a list of things that Iabsolutely cannot and will not stand: (1) having to tell a him morethan once to stop, (2) feeling the need to fix him, (3) he looks atpornography, (4) he hits, pushes, does anything frightening, (5) hegets drunk or takes drugs, (6) he doesn't care if I lie to my family,(7) he leads me away from my faith, (8) he puts me down, even if hesays he was “just kidding,” (9) he cheats, (10) he lies, (11) heflirts with other girls,(12) he uses guilt to get what he wants, (13) he resents time I spendwith family or friends, (14) he behaves badly and blames it on otherpeople or things that have happened to him, (15) he can't stand onhis own two feet without me, (16) or I have trouble being pure withhim.


Ithink those are indicative of major problems and indicate problemsdown the road and baggage in marriage. I think it's a fair list. Itry to let stuff that is minor in comparison slide.


Ido believe that I need to completely trust whoever I am with and thatis non-negotiable. It takes a long time for me to build trust into aperson and so I need someone who will be my friend and build thatfoundation of trust. I will not stand for jealousy or control issues.I want to be trusted as well and I want to be treated like a womanwith agency, not a child to be coddled. I want complete fidelity.Like I already said, even flirting with other girls is not okay withme. I want to be with someone whose personality I admire, not someonewho I feel the need to “fix” which is hard because I think INFJswant to fix something in everybody. Generally, I mean I won't be thegirl who dates the bad boy to bring out his soft side “A Walk toRemember” style because relationships aren't for rehabilitation. Idon't want a relationship that focuses on physical intimacy. I wantus to really do stuff together and have intellectual orheart-to-heart discussions. I wouldn't want to be with someone I wasalways bickering with because I like peace in relationships. I getthat people have disagreements and that's fine, but I want them to befew and far between and for us to work things out without contempt orname calling or insults, and for us to understand each other's pointof view. It is mandatory for me that my parents approve of who I amwith and that they would approve even if they knew everything aboutour relationship. I want to be open and honest with my family aboutour relationship and not feel the need to hide certain things. Itrust my friend's opinion on if a relationship is good for me. Ithink I should be able to say that I could see myself marryingsomeone even if they never change. If there is something I am hopingwill go away, I feel it is better to assume it won't and pursuesomething else. I want to take my time with marriage too because Ivalue being single and there are things I want to do first and so Ilike to take it slow, not rush. I want to be with someone who wouldbe a good father, who I would be proud of have sons just like. I wantmy morals to be strong and uncompromised when I am with someone. Idon't abide with sexual pressure, coercion, or manipulation. Nodrunkenness, drugs, or pornography. I don't care if he's had sex inthe past but I want a relationship where both of us are waiting untilmarriage to have sex and I want us to be pure even beyond justabstinence. Chastity is important to me and I want to know a guyloves me for me and that he isn't just an infatuated guy who wantssex. Ideally, he would be Catholic or at least some kind of Christianbecause I'd like to us to share faith and go to church together. Iwant our relationship to bring me closer to God, and for us to prayfor each other.


Ithink if we have a solid foundation of trust and faithfulness, goodcommunication, the support of family and friends, strong morality andspirituality, and are thinking about the future then we are buildinggood authentic love. To me, love not just butterflies and fireworks.It's unconditional, selfless, active, thoughtful, volitional,altruistic, and all-encompassing. People who love are giving, want tothe best for the other, care for them, and are forgiving, loyal,patient, understanding, willing to make sacrifices. I like love borneout of friendship because that means there is a bedrock of intimacyand respect that is already there.


Ithink my standards and ideals are high but I also really want thisand I think what I want is healthy. I feel like, with this as myfocal point, smaller pet peeves can be glossed over because I knowwhat I want and what I won't tolerate. I don't know if I made anysense. But that's how I feel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Inever wholly related it to being an INFJ, though. I figured it wasbecause my parents divorced and now I am very particular about who Iam with because I don't want to divorce like my parents did. I want aloving, monogamous, faithful, lifelong, fulfilling marriage if awedding is in my future. And so I am always thinking, Is this someoneI could be with forever? [/QUOTE]

I totally understand that feeling! It seems like my friends and acquaintances like to date people to pass the time and not be lonely. I think that is totally pointless. Am I expecting every relationship I have to lead to marriage? No, but why even get into a relationship with someone who has qualities you would never consider in a lifelong partner? It seems like a lot of trouble and work for something that you know will never go anywhere. I'm generally a pretty liberal, progressive person but this is where I'm definitely old fashioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
INFheyy, I never thought of it this way. You think you didn't give me real advice but you definitely did. I normally rely heavily on my intuition, but that's become muddled with memories of my past relationship so now I need to learn to separate the two. Now when concerns come up I know I need to sit down and say "Ok is this a gut feeling, or does this just bother me because it reminds me of the ex?" I'm probably oversimplifying because it'll never be that easy with the craziness that goes on in an INFJ mind haha but it'll be a learning process :)
 
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