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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, there's a girl I know who's definitely an INFP, she's very shy and keeps to herself. She doesn't seem to have a lot of friends, especially at college. I'd really like to become her friend, she seems very nice. I myself am a little bit more outgoing, but not too much. I've tried making friends with her, and I've tried carrying on conversations, and she does, but she still doesn't seem overly friendly with me, even though I've gone out of my way to talk to her many times. I just want to know some tips on making close friends with an INFP person. What kind of things do they like hearing, what kinds of conversations, should I give complements, how should I approach them, how do I earn their trust, should conversations be deep or more trivial based, etc? What about things I shouldn't do? What makes them uncomfortable? Just some help would be nice. I believe I'm an INTP by the way.
 

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Well, firstly you have to know that every INFP is an individually person so the following doesn't have to apply on every INFP out there. And I'm also not an expert!

Most I's prefer deep conversations, they aren't really drawn to small talk a la 'nice weather, huh?'. But before they open up they have to trust you. Only then they will actually talk to you.
I personally find it hard to tell someone how they should convince a person that they can be trusted. It feels wrong. Trust isn't a goal to archieve, but something that's constantly developing and shouldn't be manipulated. Just like friendship.

You also don't know what this girl might have been through; INFPs are very sensitive. Maybe she's going through a hard time and doesn't really feel the need to open up to new people right now. I think it's important to not only listen to her words but actually trying to understand her overall behaviour.

Most importantly, give her time. Like I said, friendship should never be a goal. The best friendships are those you can't even remember why you got to be friends with that person. INFPs long for close relationships that feel right and in which they can truely be themselves without being judged.

I think it's hard to really get there someday. I myself only made two (and a half, haha) friends like that in my life this far. I think there was once a person who tried the exact same thing you're trying now. I didn't realize until much later. INFPs can sometimes be oblivious of their surrounding when they are drifting off inside their heads.
 

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First of all, are you sure that she is an INFP? INFP's may be introverts, but they often times are not what you would typically call "shy." They often are very out there and social--and basically all of the time they are quirky. That being said, I would like to re-state what was said: you don't know what has happened in her past, so she could be an INFP that is shut down.

In answer to your question, do not try trivials with an INFP. A true friend in an INFP's mind does not talk about the weather. That is disgusting in an INFP's mind.

If you want to make friends, start with common ground. Ask what kind of music she likes. If you like anything similar, emphasize that. Suggest other things you listen to that is similar. When she suggests something back, check it out. (Yes, that seems slightly trivial, but it is something important to an INFP.) Do the same thing with books. Chances are that she reads (INFP's are readers/writers.) Once you have latched onto common ground, then you can move to things that have more significance, such as why you like those things. What is the idea behind those things that you like? Deep thought.

Don't lie to her. Ever. If you don't read books and she does, don't lie and say you do. If you lie, you have betrayed her Fi, and you are in trouble then.

If she is indeed emotionally shut down because of the past, don't hurt her more.
 

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Whatever you do, try to be consistent in your friendship with her. As an INFP female, I notice how people behave toward me and if they start acting differently they can easily come across as two-faced. Find some creative common ground like hobbies or favorite things as a kid.
 

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Talk about things you're enthusiastic or passionate about. INFPs usually really love it when people are genuine with them. They have a good sense for authenticity, which is why INFPs cannot stand doing small talk. If you're genuinely interested in a thing, definitely talk about that thing a whole lot. Even if it's not a common interest.

Even if it's counterintuitive, don't try to fill the void of silence when silence falls. Don't do all the talking. INFPs do like to talk about themselves and their own interests quite a bit, and will take your little monologue as an invitation to open up their own personalities. INFPs love to share stories, so be prepared for anecdotes.

What makes us most uncomfortable is small talk, professionalism, and authority. All those things are devoid of authenticity. Even when we're shy, we like people. We like to hear all about what people are interested in, what weird projects they're working on, all the dumb crazy drama in their lives, and what their opinions are in obscure nerdy debates. We like people who like hearing about our stuff, too-- our rivalries with mean violinists, our current artistic endeavors, our hypotheses on what life would be like if everyone lived underwater. Pay attention to all that stuff, because that stuff is the important stuff. We like hearing about what you love because we wish everyone could do what they love, all the time, instead of being confined by professional and social obligations. We like knowing that there are other human beings who think it's cool to be passionate about things they like. We like authenticity in others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, I'll bear that advice in mind. Thanks! We usually talk about movies and stuff like that, but I think I definitely need to ler her talk and express herself more. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing too much talking.
 
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