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Hi, I'm an ISFJ and I have a friend who is an INFJ. We've been friends for 5 years and she is my closest friend. But recently we did recognize we were not as close as we thought. So I'm looking for some neutral thought from other INFJs as well as ISFJs out there so I can have a look on my friendship.

At first we already knew we think and do total differently from each other, I completely did not understand what and why she said or do sth. Before she decides to not open up with anyone anymore since she got misunderstood many times and when she stopped explanation about herself, friendship ended. She agreed to open up with me because of my honesty and patience. But recently, she became distance with me and finally she admits after many years talking to each other, I'm still the same. She appreciates my efforts to try to understand her but I cannot understand her at all. Talking with me makes her become like me, talking about daily things, small things and she want to stop that. I'm lack of depth (usual term of ISFJ :unsure:), our conversation is one-sided where she talked a lot and I listened a lot. She looks for a friendship balance and this is not gonna work out.
Now we still keep in touch but I feel that she keeps a wall on me. When I share a story she just give neutral comments or thank you.... while she used to give me a speech-length reply and numerous questions. And ofc no more stories from her life.

I think I can understand her at some level. Now I do know why she did this and that, I do not feel her weird anymore. I also feel the lack of depth, I want to practice share things slowly as I'm not used to talk about myself and I need to gather all info but she already jump to conclusion. Or maybe I'm too slow.
I still want to be friend with her because I have learnt a lot from her. Talking with her feel like my brain works extra hard to think about every aspects of the situation, which I'm very weak at. The most I like about her is her different point of view. Talking may lead to more differences and struggles, it doesn't mean we will understand each other 100%, but I hope I can see how the other individual thinks and the differences between our observations. She does not admit but I believe she still feel lonely when no one can truly understand her. I cannot be that one but I do not want her being lonely (an ISFJ thing)

What do you think? How should I reach out? I feel like she already gave up when she did not tell me she had problem with me until I asked her. And if she opens up again, how should I keep the friendship balance ? I would like to get neutral thoughts to not misunderstand her motivation before decide anything.

She studies abroad, we just chat online, I'm not sure online communication is a matter.

Thanks :)
 

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Hmmm... It's hard I know.
My mother is an ISFJ and we are close, but there's always a gap between our understanding of the other.
I share the annoyance of daily conversation topics, but if she's really your friend then she needs to extend the same courtesy & respect to you that you give to her when she's talking.

One kinda amusing thing you can do to/for an intuitive who is bored of social conversation topics, is help them see normal stuff in a different light. This is something that for sensing inferior types comes with age & maturity, but you can help her along.
So what I mean by that is... Say for example that you're telling her about your preferences in regards to a brand of bottled water you prefer to drink over others, and say you notice her eyes glaze over as she's not interested in the topic.
You could offer some points of connection for her to see water choices in a different light.
Something like "I've noticed that with the water I like, I drink more. Studies show water consumption is directly linked to markers of health. If we live a really long time, I wonder what the future will look like?"
and then let her run with that. In this way, you make normal life more acceptable to her mind and help her integrate her primary function into sensory areas that are frustrating for us.


On the other hand, with you two talking online, in this relationship dynamic it does matter more... Because you aren't able to use all of your great qualities and demonstrate that side of friendship that ISFJs do best, like making sure their friends don't step into a pothole, or noticing when they're having difficulty with a task and providing helpful assistance. I don't want to broadly stereotype here, but also... ummm... the brownies :eek:h:


One more note... Part of the draw here for you is that your inferior intuitive function is drawn to her intuitive musings. I have that same element of dynamic with my mother, she craves conversation with me and then quickly gets tired. Then I get frustrated 'cause I was on a roll, then she notices & feels guilty and tries to stick it out for my sake. I notice she isn't enjoying the conversation anymore and I feel guilty & selfish for talking and try to wrap it up quickly which usually results in her not understanding me and then she feels less intelligent because she doesn't just get it naturally. Then I feel responsible for having the conversation in the first place because I know she needs a certain kind of explanation in order to follow along which is not her detractor but rather a testament of my inability to explain clearly things that she is perfectly capable of comprehending.

So anyway, on that note (about your inferior function), keep in mind her ability to hurt your psyche completely unwittingly on her part, simply by her being an intuitive and wielding that thing all around the place.
It can leave you feeling like less even though that's not the case whatsoever. It's just like a foreign language, only they haven't made a Rosetta Stone or even any decent books on learning how to speak it.
By turn, sensors can make us feel like less totally unintentionally. "You didn't know to do it that way?!" and so on.

I hate to say it because I understand the draw of the friendship for both parties, but since this is purely online and she doesn't seem mature enough to be making the effort to truly understand YOU as well as demanding you understand her... Well it might be better for you to cut ties. I think she's just going to continue to drag you down because she doesn't really get the differences yet, let alone accepting you as you are.
You deserve friends who are there for you as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, it's interesting to know opinion from another INFJ.

She really hurts me sometimes, especially when she said I'm lack of depth. But being with her for many years, I know that just the way she is and accept it.
You're right. Many times I wish I could have the ability like her and then try to reach up with her level by imitating her when we're talking. It makes me tired and not feel like myself. I stopped it now as it do nothing good for us.
I thought of ending this friendship sometimes, but it still feel I have not yet done all the thing I could do, something new. I'm thinking of practice your advice. Seeing stuff in another view is so fresh for me.

She will graduate and come back permanently this summer. I wonder what the future look like :)

Anyway, can you share with me what topic you and your mom can talk a lot without feel boring? When you have sth important to decide or sth big in your life, do you look for her thoughts ?

Thanks
 
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