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Hello everybody, I read the forum sometimes but this is my first post.

I'm a 24 years old, INFP, and as long as I can remember, I always had difficulties with communication, no matter who I am talking to, it's always there. Well, it's never been a problem because I never had too many relationships with people, I don't know if I have not had relationships because of lack of communication, or I didn't learn communication because I didn't had relationships with people. But the problem is there.

It's not like I can't talk with people, I can if I have to, and if I get along with someone, I can talk for hours as long as I'm having an interesting conversation (which usually doesn't happen). My problem is when the relationship becomes deeper and implies emotional involucration. I'm a shit when talking about my emotions, I'm the worst when it comes to talk about how I feel, or if I have a problem with how the other person interacts with me. I tend to avoid the problem, I tend to not face the problem and pretend it doesn't exist.

Now, I have a relationship with a girl (INFJ) who tends to have a little mommy behavior, and when she notes that I have a problem and I don't solve it, she feels like she HAS to help me to solve it, and obviously, one gets tired of it, and so she has.

She is the one who always has to come and ask to me how I'm feeling, because even when I decide to meet with her to express my feelings, I can't start to talk about it, and I don't know why, in my head it's like "well, I don't want to be a problem, I don't want to worry her with my problems". I have to say that she once said to me something like "I already have a lot with my problems (she has some serious mental issues/illness), and I don't need more problems, what I do need is something positive, not something negative", so that makes me feel even worse because it's like I'm afraid of worrying her. I don't want to be a problem. But then I found myself that I can't solve it by myself, I don't know how, and then I ignore it. If she makes me feel bad, I ignore it, if there's some miscommunication, I ignore it, if I have some problem with her behaivor, I ignore it.

For example if she spends one month without talking with me too much, or talking to me like I were a strange and I feel like she has no interest on me as a person, I feel bad. And I won't say to her that I feel bad, and I'm not going to feel like talking to her happily if she is on a period when she isolates herself, so she interprets that I have no interest on her or that I don't put enough dedication on the relationship, but it's not that, it's that I don't know what to do.

So, for example, she is the kind of people that sometimes can switch herself off for some time, and when it happens, I tend to adopt a passive position, like "well, she will speak to me again when she feels doing so", and like this, with every situation like this, but then she doesn't talk to me even when she has passed that phase, and I'm asking to myself why, but take no action, that is so bad from me, but the fact that I adopt such a passive position, is because I fear rejection, I don't want to talk to her and be rejected. I don't want to talk to her and feel like she doesn't care about me, so, if I take an active position, chances that she reply cold like this are high and it hurts me so much, then I become passive. And she is tired because she feels like it's her who has to reinitiate the dinamycs always.

That being said, we talked yesterday and she said she would like that I solve this problems by myself, that she expects of a partner to have communication skills, and I don't have them right now, and that she can't force me to change, but at the same time she doesn't want to live with these problems around her, so that just leave one option which is to break up. But I don't want to, I really love her, and I'm fucking tired of this problem of mine. I'm tired of not being able to communicate with people, it has been a lot of time, so many years, all my relationships are superficial because I don't make them deeper, because I don't know how, and that leads me to feel alone, detached from every single people I know. I want to solve it, not just for the relationship with her, which I want to save, but for my life, I don't want to be like this anymore, I don't want to be incapable of expressing myself because it's like a black hole where I consume myself with my own feelings. I want to change, I really really do, but I don't know how. I imagine that it has to do with low self steem, which I hate to admit, but I think that the time when I have to face my faults has arrived, and I have to confront the reality of who I am, and I'm totally willing and totally open to change that part of me that ruins every relationship I have. But I don't know how, I really don't know how, it's so easy to think "well just talk", but the feelings that are behind it are very strong, and they build up a wall around me that separates me from other people, and I don't want that wall. My ex once said to me something like "I feel like I've never reached your heart, that I don't know you at all", and though at the time I was reconsidering that relationship (I was going to end it), these words hit me very much, because it's a remainder of who I really am, and I'm very, very scared to be 50 years old and not having connected with anybody. I 'm scared of not connecting with anybody. And being that passive Alex who doesn't take actions on his life and doesn't do anything, doesn't put any effort on anything, then my fears will come true, so I want to change and stop that, for real. My studies goes well, my hobbies goes well, in general my life goes well and I'm happy with it, though I don't have any life purpose yet, but that doesn't worry me too much because I feel I'm very near to know it, everyday I have it more clear. But that part of my life, the social part, it's killing me.

So, if somebody have been on a similar situation, or knows about this topic, I would be so thankful to hear some advices, or some stories of superation. I want be feel good when talking about my feelings, and I don't want to be passive, I'm tired as hell of being passive, I won't achieve nothing in life being like this, and that's something I CAN'T let to happen.

Thank you very very much for your time and for reading me, and sorry, I'm from Barcelona and my english is not very good.

Have a great day.
 

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aww

It's not your communication skills. More like you not really having what to do in life, and having too much time which you spend on thinking about her and how you feel in general. You can't make your relationships deeper because you are thinking too much, and end up doubting yourself. When you do nothing because of your indecisiveness, your situation gets worse, and everything becomes even more complex. Then you think even more, and try to solve things.

If now, you do something for 2 days, and simply forget about these things, you open a chat, and see the same question you couldn't answer, you'd most likely do just fine. But then, you would go back to your habits and overthink, and it would become difficult again.

Habit of overthinking. How you stop it? Being busy. Of course it might be problematic if you try to be busy with something that is not related to people, cuz then you might feel lonely and feel like you gotta get back to talking and thinking about them.

Finding new people and developing a habit of just talking, and saying what you think is a must thing if you want to improve on this ;)
 

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I can relate to you in some aspects really well. I think you're kind of an overthinker, as I am naturally too. I think that's the real problem, and it's not a lack of communication skills problem. Just take a look at your post; you explained your situation and how you're feeling really well! Because you're great at analyzing things. That's a great skill if you learn how to develop it. But, I can see you're struggling with your overthinking tendency. Being an overthinker and a great analyzer comes together for us, the xNFPs. I'm not that extroverted, so I can relate to you. Sometimes our emotions are too confusing, and we struggle trying to understand them, so we get overwhelmed. If you're an introvert, it's normal that your tendency it not to share very much with others, and maybe you're feeling pressured about it.

Also, one of my best friends is an INFP. She has shared very difficult things about her life with me, but she tends to laugh for no reason when she's feeling bad, and, in general, she's always covering or not recognizing her real feelings. When she was younger, she was really really quiet, but she has been learning how to feel more confident about herself, so she's way more expressive now. I've learned that's not ok to force her to be more communicative about herself, because I'm quite sure that she feels worse when she's pressured. I try to be honest with her, and I try to ask her honest questions, and I'm always trying to be open with her about how I am. I try to encourage her to do it naturally, not forcing her. She needs her time to do it, I know it's not easy, and I try my best to respect that.

So, if you want to learn how to understand yourself better, so you can express your inner feelings better, I suggest you to read more about INFPs struggles and about your type in general. What's you're experiencing is really common and solvable. I know this because I've searched a lot about it, that has been such an struggle for me too (before thought I was an INFP)!

If you're honest with your girlfriend exactly about what you explained here, I'm sure she would understand you better. Just be patient with yourself and try to stop yourself when you know you're being too self-conscious and when you're overthinking. People won't notice that, just you!

Good luck :)
 

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You are afraid of opening up and you're also afraid of not being able to connecting with somebody.

It all comes to not allow fear to dictate how your life should go, neither your relationships.

My boyfriend of nearly 5 years, is a INFP like yourself, and in the last two years we had major problems with communication, which we are working on right now, and I think sharing our experience would help you.

We have gone through a terrible crisis, and we almost broke up, when we were already talking about marriage, having kids and the whole thing. It took all of that for him to finally open up to me. I might have come across to him as judgemental before, but I always tried to be as understanding as I could to him.
He did something really bad to me, and I gathered all my inner strenght to try to understand him. I wish I didn't have to do it, and that we didn't have to go through it to get our relationship back on track.
Only after I showed a incredible amount of comprehension and forgiviness, he decided to open up. I think that was the first time in years that he felt like he could fully trust me, share his thoughts, fears, insecurities. I had to prove, in the most selfless way possible, that I wouldn't leave, reject him. Only after that he decided to open up.

The thing is, that as much as I made the choice to do so, to get to that point is completly unfair on your partner. It's hard to feel like your carrying the whole relationship on your shoulders, as your SO seems to be indifferent.
You might be giving away the impression that you do not care, and that's not only false, but damaging for and you and your partner.
But I think that you know that.

All I ask is, do not let something you value be destroyed out of fear. It's your life after all, you should be the one deciding where you are going, not your fear of rejection. In relationships we need to put our pride at risk, nothing is certain.

I know sharing your feelings demand a lot of energy. Having an INFP in my life, I know it can literally drain you, but if you love her and care for this relationship, the effort is worth it.

Keep in mind the possibility of being welcome. That will feel wonderful, and it's more likely that will happen. INFP's tend to assume things from others, that sometimes aren't true. Think about how much she is doing to keep your relationship going, dealing with her own personal problems. Let your gratitude be greater than your fear.

Right now, after all the bad things happened, and my boyfriend finally decided to open up, our relationship is 200% better, and exciting. I feel like now he is really my partner, because we share the struggles of our lives, our relationship and so on.

Do you listen to her? That's really important too. Sometimes that's why we can't open up, and it my help if your exercise that part on yourself.
Another thing is, if talking isn't working, maybe just write? I did that in multiple occasions. It's thoughtful, it shows you care.
Be frank with her, and tell her that you would like to opening up more, but you don't know exactly how to do it. You'll find a way together, I'm sure.

If I was her I would think you didn't care much, when it's the exact opposite.
 

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One glow is that you are actually articulate and you know you have a problem and want to change it.
One grow is that you need to work on your issue of conflict avoidance and you may be lacking a sense of self.

I might suggest looking at the Enneagram Type 9 personality. I am an INFP as well and I am a type 9.

First off, before you can open up, you need to understand how you feel. This means some introspection may be in order.
Ask yourself "How does this make me feel?" "Why do I feel this way?" "What did I like?" "What did I dislike?" "What would I have done differently?" "What do I want and/or what do I know that I do not want?" .... It is all about knowing yourself more and giving yourself direction. It is okay to be flexible, but you need to be active in the decision making process (even if you start out small at first, your wants and needs are just as important as hers, so stop pushing yourself to the side all the time).

Next part is conflict. Once you know what bothers you and why, you are in a position to talk about it. You can go over in your mind what you need to say or jot down some points you want to discuss on paper. However you prepare yourself is fine, but you absolutely have to bite the bullet and speak up. Say how things make you feel (practice makes perfect and eventually you will be able to point out if something bothers you in real time). This is going to require you to fight your nature and maybe just blurt out that you need to talk. If something is too negative for her to deal with right away and it is truly something that can wait, then put it in the parking lot (write it on a sticky note and post it on the fridge) and return to it at a more appropriate time.

That said, try not to numb out and/or wait for someone else to talk to you. Tell yourself "I matter and my needs matter" then contact her. I know I hate to be a bother, but most people are not bothered by people keeping in touch and one can not exist without bothering some people, so remember it is okay to exist and live your life out loud. If you want something, it is okay to go after it. If you miss her, it is okay to talk to her. Instead of bothering her, she will love it. And remember that the more you avoid conflict the more conflict you create and the more you avoid your problems, the more they grow.

*hugs*

It may also help just practicing to go out of your comfort zone with things you want to try. In doing so, being emotionally vulnerable or having conflict may get easier to take step to overcome. It is all about growth.
 

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Hi @alex.lennon :)

You remind me of my ISFJ and I. I am more like you; he is more like your INFJ. As a general rule, FPs and FJs don't emotionally communicate in the same way. FPs are passive and responsive, while FJs are active and initiating. You probably expect that people will just do what feels right for them and things will work out fine. Your INFJ probably expects that people who love one another will take care of one another and actively solve each other's problems. Neither perspective is wrong, of course, but they're different.

My suggestion would be talking with her and explaining that you want to be emotionally communicative with her but you could use her help in knowing when and how to open up. That would make her feel included and give her a way to help and it will help you get better at emotional communication. Also, I think you could just make a rule like "I will reach out to her every 3 days" and then follow it regardless of whether she responds very much or not. You could even always send the same text, which I think is funny. Just make it a habit that you always do so she knows you're always there even if she's not ready to respond yet.

Good luck :)
 
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