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Discussion Starter #41
I fell in love with an INFP girl once. We knew eachother for quite a time and were friends for years. I always liked her and I always found her really pretty and cute; short chestnur hair, hazel eyes and a sparkle in them that enchanted anybody who was sensitive enough to see it. She was playful, sweet and very artistic. A person with a very big heart.

We were really good friends... but, as I said, I fell in love with her and those feelings were tormenting me. To be so close to somebody you love... but yet so far. I couldn´t take it, I had to tell her. If I would stay silent, I would hate myself for the rest of my life. And so I told her the truth... through a letter... and a poem that I made just for her. I pourred my whole heart into those words. Words of affection and admiration. I really did my best to tell her how much she mattered to me.
But she didn´t respond... somehow she thought ignoring me would be an answer in itself. I can´t even tell how frustrating it was. Basically, I had to "beg" her to tell me "no". To put me out of my misery. Because only a clear NO could finally bury any hope that was still opposing my otherwise rationale self.

So she told me the words. And I can confirm that I feel much better now knowing that she didn´t like me the way I liked her. Well... indirectly she told me I wasn´t good enough for her(and that is really painful).

I mean... I am not mad at her. But I find it somewhat stupid and unfair that she has no problem going on dates with random guys she has just met while she totally ignored someone who liked her not for her looks(like those guys), but for her other qualities.

With that said, I can clearly tell you that I am glad that I told her the truth. I am finally free now. But this experience left me very cautious when it comes to INFP girls. Because even if they are so sweet, artistic and noble, they still have this hidden dark side that is so incredibly selfish. Too selfish for an INFJ.
I'm so sorry for your pain...I know what this is like. To love another deeply, to be "close to them and yet far", and to either face outright rejection or get left in the dust.

I don't agree with how she went about it, but as an INFP, I think I do understand what she was trying to do. (Or avoid doing, at any rate.) And again, I might be wrong on this, and I'm not trying to paint her or any other INFP who has misbehaved as being totally innocent, but I'm just trying to look at it through my own eyes and experience as an INFP and maybe offer you some consolation or further understanding into her actions. So when you said she "ignored you"....I think I get it. I think she probably didn't possess the same feelings as you (just saw you as a dear friend), but felt that rejecting you out right would hurt you more - as it would probably have hurt her, if she was the one who confessed and was rejected. (You know INFPs - they can often sympathize or empathize by trying to understand how they would feel in the other person's shoes. She might well have imagined it if it was her in the situation, and outright rejection could be too cold a response. It's quite hard for INFPs, I think.)

Now, I'm not saying she went about it in the right way. She didn't, and there is indeed an element of selfishness in not being an adult about things and being upfront and saying the truth. But I don't think she did it to hurt you. I think she cared about you very much and realized - or at the very least truly feared - that saying no would break up your friendship. I don't think she did it to be malicious or play games. No, it wasn't a good idea, and she did end up hurting you. But I don't think her intention was to do so.

May I ask how she said you "weren't good enough for her"? Was there any clear indication in her actions or words? I'm just wondering if it might be another case of miscommunication - and you know how we always read between the lines of each other's words and actions, sometimes inputting ideas that aren't actually there. (This has been a mutual problem for my INFJ and me, though for my part, I'm learning how to take things bit by bit and never assume I know his feelings or thoughts without his direct input.) If I can supply some feedback on that point and maybe help clear the air, I would be glad. You don't deserve to be made to feel like you are not good enough, after all!

One more question for you...I am an INFP girl, so I am very curious as to why you believe all INFP girls have a dark side that is hidden and "so incredibly selfish". May I ask what you mean by that? Or could you clarify in any way? This would be an excellent thought to let....well, stew for a while, haha.

Take care, and thanks for the reply!
 
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Why do you think E9 (especially among INFPs) would end up this way? I would have thought 4 could tend more towards selfishness...I know I'm not including all the points of these examples' special penchant for...well, being toxic (they're obviously more than just selfish), but I do wonder...
9s are all about covert, very rarely overt anything. An unhealthy 9 may end up in a spiral of bad coping strategies >> overwhelmed by stress >> disengagement... If nothing forces them out of it, they can be subjectively "functional" i.e. their internal experience isn't very painful. It's sort of the opposite of many 4s, whose internal experience may be excruciating while they seem to be doing reasonably OK externally.

9s can sometimes quite literally burn in hell externally yet internally be on a video game picnic. That's why I recommend beating them up until their internal experience becomes painful enough for them to do something. Obviously only when they're very badly stuck yet don't do anything about it. Unhealthy 9s are the kind of zen students who really need to be beaten with a stick.

It would be more obvious in INFPs because they tend to be less focused on keeping their practical shit together (inferior Te) even in the best of circumstances, never mind when going deep down the E9 rabbit hole.

For what it's worth, I'm kind of getting 6w7 vibes from you. I've never seen a good Enneagram test, IMHO the best way to figure out your type is to very closely scrutinise your worst behaviour - how do you malfunction when the going gets really tough? That should give you some of the best clues.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Wonderful @odinthor ,

I've got a long reply coming up for you! Sorry for the wait on this! I like to take extra long time to just sit and think about what you've said. Although in the last comment, you did bring something very important to mind for me. I learned something super important about my INFJ through it. Can't wait to get back to you on that! :)
 

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I fell in love with an INFP girl once. We knew eachother for quite a time and were friends for years. I always liked her and I always found her really pretty and cute; short chestnur hair, hazel eyes and a sparkle in them that enchanted anybody who was sensitive enough to see it. She was playful, sweet and very artistic. A person with a very big heart.

We were really good friends... but, as I said, I fell in love with her and those feelings were tormenting me. To be so close to somebody you love... but yet so far. I couldn´t take it, I had to tell her. If I would stay silent, I would hate myself for the rest of my life. And so I told her the truth... through a letter... and a poem that I made just for her. I pourred my whole heart into those words. Words of affection and admiration. I really did my best to tell her how much she mattered to me.
But she didn´t respond... somehow she thought ignoring me would be an answer in itself. I can´t even tell how frustrating it was. Basically, I had to "beg" her to tell me "no". To put me out of my misery. Because only a clear NO could finally bury any hope that was still opposing my otherwise rationale self.

So she told me the words. And I can confirm that I feel much better now knowing that she didn´t like me the way I liked her. Well... indirectly she told me I wasn´t good enough for her(and that is really painful).

I mean... I am not mad at her. But I find it somewhat stupid and unfair that she has no problem going on dates with random guys she has just met while she totally ignored someone who liked her not for her looks(like those guys), but for her other qualities.

With that said, I can clearly tell you that I am glad that I told her the truth. I am finally free now. But this experience left me very cautious when it comes to INFP girls. Because even if they are so sweet, artistic and noble, they still have this hidden dark side that is so incredibly selfish. Too selfish for an INFJ.
 

I actually got scared and had to look some stuff up about you to make sure you weren't my high school INFJ, who could have and might have easily mistaken me for an INFP, no matter how close we were. I was pretty shy at that time. I had such an emotional reaction to what you were saying that I forgot I don't have short chestnut hair or hazel eyes.

I'm so sorry. I bet she is also very sorry. Back then I thought I was way too young for that level of serious feelings. I thought people moved on fairly quickly. I'd get powerful crushes on people I knew I shouldn't and the feelings would blow over after I (usually very intelligently and properly) ignored my feelings for them. But that's not how it was with my INFJ, but I thought he would easily get over me because we were so young and because I thought so highly of him and felt he was destined for great things. But he did not make me say how I felt, he couldn't. I was away. His friendship made me incredibly happy and my self-esteem double by the time he spent with me. The one thing I want to tell mine (and often I wonder if I should contact and tell him) is that I never thought he wasn't good enough. In fact, I still think he is the smartest, best guy out there and I'm incredibly and quietly proud of everything he has accomplished in his life so far. It makes me verklempt to think that he might actually be out there thinking that I thought he wasn't good enough.... I wonder if she felt/feels the same. Like the devotion of an INFJ who is in love with you is a hard thing to shake, and I felt it really kind of defined and shaped me. But I was way too young. I had to complete lots of goals and I had no idea of the value of our friendship without more experience. There's no way I could have made the decision to commit at that time and dating was only serious in that it was a learning game to find out what I liked and didn't like.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I hope something I said helps some. I'd actually love to hear your response on this. I sometimes wonder if I should contact him and explain about that feeling of being too young and just needing to experience things to know what I liked or disliked like Ne Fi needs to, because he got no explanation from me at all and I'm sure he believed I didn't value him. And I don't know if you can understand that either. I'll give you an example on me, though, to give you an idea of how powerful the need to see and experience everything before making a decision is to an ENFP, anyway. I once went to 9 Spanish classes in one day to figure out what teacher I wanted to learn from. That's how powerful that need is...and how far on the perceiver side I was. I felt like a baby in the world of experiencing feelings. You can bet once I did commit I felt like I knew exactly what I was getting and needed... and that's important so that Ne-Fi or Fi-Ne doesn't feel the pull of a "What if?" kind of thing. So, not as much selfishness as much as just a strong need to learn everything before deciding. Again, I hope this helps some.
 

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Yes, selfishness is clearly innate to him. I am utterly disgusted by how cruel this man is. I don't want to go back into the realm of discussing mental illnesses in types, but in this case as well, I can't help wondering how much of this is his INFP nature or him just being completely toxic. Hearing what you said me shudder and feel sick. I've just gotten out of an abusive situation, and that utter neglect, that lack of compassion (playing games while his partner is in pain, living off of her with no regrets, etc.) sounds like the better days of the abuse I experienced. Is she really doing okay, his partner?? I'm worried for her.
I worry for her too, but not because of him (but despite him maybe?). If you just think of her as if she is a single mother then it would be about the same but with somewhat less child-care. She doesn't have a good family to rely on... so when I think of it, she's doing the exact right thing just to ignore his faults and realize she is alone in responsibilities. Maybe I should have said, but the affair part of it was years ago. Still, he doesn't appreciate her like he should. He sees her hard work as par for the course. I actually got brave a few weeks ago and tried to talk to him about some possible jobs I thought he could have with his skills and experience and he started to rhapsodize about how much he cared about his last part time job of bussing around school children... which he quit... I said, "Enjoying your job is priceless if it pays the bills." And he said, "But you see, I didn't do that job for the money." And I said, "I wish we all had that luxury, but most of us have to worry about rent and food." And he might have gotten a bit annoyed with me, but not enough. I said "It is worth a shot to apply!" probably 8 times with him barely showing... well, probably not enough annoyance. A slight shake of the head and eye roll to show that he thought I was way off course on my idea.

Unhealthy 9s don't mean to be cruel, they just think they can ignore life, do something purposeless they enjoy, keep their heads down, and have it not really affect anyone. If they do think about their actions affecting people then they can feel way out of control and sometimes even suicidal if they are hard-core reminded of it. Also, if forced to be reminded they will call it abuse sometimes. Their first reaction is to ignore you like you're crazy. So there's this really strong defense of obliviousness and things like video games, eating (e,g, Her INFP brought his own cheesecake to dinner and while we were all talking and I was finishing up making dinner for us all (I think 13 people) he got the cheesecake out and started to eat it on his own, his daughter came over and wanted some too, she was obliged. I said "We all will eat dinner in 3 minutes together." He said, "I'm sorry, but when I want cheesecake, I don't wait, I just take." Okay... picture me right now trying to make an annoyed face... but it's so ridiculous! Ugg, but I'm kind of laughing at myself for my reaction. That was so ridiculous of him!) and sleeping. My husband's main one when he's not feeling healthy is sleep. He will sleep and ignore everything. He does the other stuff too. It's a really strong defense! And they get super annoyed and act like you're crazy if you try to tell them their oblivion stuff is not helping and when you ask them to focus on what they should be doing. I bet even this guys' affair he would justify to oblivion somehow and yet I believe on some level that he is incapable of acknowledging the amount of pain he caused.

@Marvin the Dendroid helped me understand all of this 9 stuff better and gave me a language for it, when I had had no language. I was like "My husband is the sweetest, most sensitive man and understands me better than anyone and YET he does nothing when I am in agony strongly communicating my exact needs. I kept feeling like he was able to have compassion and know what to do when talking about any other girl and no compassion and no self-reflection when it came to me and him. But mine is getting so much better. Enough so that I was talking about this couple and I said to him finally, "You know this was you, right?" and he ignored my question for a while and I wondered if he was capable of handling the truth on this. He kept brainstorming about what this INFP should do and I asked him again and he said, "I mean... yeah.... I do. But I'm not like that now." And I agree, he isn't like that now. I said, "You should share how you got out of it with other people." I'm able to move along, I don't like to dwell on the past, but he is still a 9 and always will be. lol. Just a much healthier one. And the comfort of a 9 is very high... so there are lovely benefits to the type too, like every type. Obliviousness is their way of dealing.

"The kids are in and out of the psyche ward."

Oof, I feel triggered. INFP daddy in this story is sounding sicker and sicker to me. :( I know we can't know for sure what's happening, but dear lord I hope those poor children are going to be okay...
The psyche ward stuff really has to do with both of them being so indulgent and also teaching a type of powerlessness. I doubt you'd be this way. I'm trying to think of an example. Basically the kids are allowed to be as unhealthy and rude as they want with no check on behavior and then taught that other people are the problem and need to change everything. Here's another thing that I kind of see in my kids as well to a much lesser extent. The oblivion is also to keep out anxiety and the comfort of being around a 9 is so high that they don't feel like there is anywhere else that they are as comfortable or as accepted. Their 9 year old daughter will drop a spoon and say loudly, "I dropped a spoon." and wait for her dad or mom to disengage from the adults they were conversing with and come across the room to pick it up for her.
Yes, that's key: "put your energy into loving others and quit putting all your energy in hating yourself"

Self-love is everything in relationships! We can't expect others to love us (as in this very case presented above) if we can't even love ourselves. We can let real love slip right through our fingers because not knowing love, we wouldn't recognize it when we had it. If she can't get onto a path of healing soon, she might indeed lose all she has. And I'm sure she'll realize what that was once it's gone...

How sad...
Agreed. How we feel about ourselves is a self-fulfilling prophecy, isn't it? My sister is a very unhealthy 4, by the way. I do know healthy INFPs and have known some through the years. I went for a hike with a new friend on Saturday and realized she is a healthy INFP and I'm so excited to get to know her more! It's so nice when you can find wisdom in a friend and shared interests and true encouragement. My other new friend is a ENFP and I really... well, I love us NFPs, because we understand each other so well and can usually give what we are hoping to get from each other if not unhealthy, which is one of the many reasons I married my husband.

I feel like ending all of my long posts with 'MBTI is true'! lol
 

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I'm so sorry...But I understand what your therapist means, in a way. It's like, if people can't imagine it, they don't want to believe it could happen. And sometimes, when things are seemingly "too extreme", they feel like it's impossible.

My own tale of "woe" or "whoa":
 
I remember a point in my life not too long ago where everything was going wrong. My grandmother passed away and I couldn't be with her (though I'd promised I would). Then both of my jobs started falling apart at the seams. One because of poor management and the company going bankrupt, and one because a client (who it turned out had been jealous of me, as stupid and petty as that was) had complained. (Took months of discussion with my boss over my otherwise clean record and my other clients' approval of me before that was cleared up. Useless misery!) After that, got scammed by two different people over a visa in my current country of residence (I was in the process of losing mine), ended up without the money to pay my rent and had to move to a dangerous neighborhood to live in a kind of group home where I was attacked in my room one night by the drunk landlord and his friends (I'd been late on my rent). Ran away, got scammed by the second visa guy, ended up homeless.


^ Tale of stupid misery.

But when I told people about what had happened to me, what I most often met with was disbelief, or people thinking I was exaggerating. It's very sad that it's like that. I also think some people simply can't handle it, or the thought that it could happen.
First,:sad: sympathetic hand pat for the loss of your grandmother. I lost mine a few months ago. She was more like my mother than my mother was. Second, thank you for sharing. Your story makes your observations about what people will let themselves believe even more poignant and validating. It ends on a cliffhanger, though! How did you find a way back to safety?

Also, what is it with the INFJ/INFP relationships and the women being older? Of the few pairings I know, all three of them are this way, with the age gap varying just a bit...I wonder if something about the pairing makes it more acceptable than society would paint it to be...(Still so much stigma, I know.) The maturity factor, perhaps?
It could be that INFxs simply tend toward age-blindness. Not literally, but in terms of what we take account when we're initially getting to know someone. We see so many things in a new person, by the time our relatives ages emerge as a factor, the relationship is already in motion, and we don't much care.

Or, it could reflect a tendency of INFPs and INFJs to settle for patterns of imbalance in relationships. Giver, receiver. Grownup, child.

I'll don a veil. Or drop 1. Whatever I'm doing.
"Oh goody," I thought when I read that, "because I think I know how this dance ends when Llyralen does it . . ."

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". . . and I'm in the mood for nice little bit of Head o' John On a Platter with salt and lemon reality sauce. Not to mention the fact that she's spared me some dancing."

 

He has had an affair [. . .] Both INFP guys are the type of person that when they know you are going through a ton of S or T type stresses that cause a great deal of emotional stress as well, then they will sympathize and understand you
Well, maybe? In theory? As long as they can't tell themselves you might be implying they could possibly be a source of any of that stress. Because then it's necessary for them to throw blaming tantrums behind closed doors, just to make sure all the imagined blame gets transferred back to it's imagined source.

but my INFJ's INFP does NOTHING to try to relieve these stresses in a S or T realm and will often disengage when the going gets tough. That to me is kind of a Judah's kiss. It's like it's worse than not being understood, imo. Being understood exactly but your loved one doing nothing except focus on video games when you are in pain...makes the pain 10x worse and loneliness worse, imo.
Yep, except understanding can be turned off, by means of chronic dissociation, and in my experience that's no better. And video games can be anything. For instance, coding projects or life-threatening extreme wilderness sports.

because this INFP just expects for other people to deal with S and T better than he does and maybe even can't completely realize that he could and should do something to help.
I thought this for years until I learned from him no, he'd understood. He was just frozen.

But this low self-esteem with it's accompanying vision of what she wants is really hurtful to a guy who actually gives up a lot for her daily. So to me... I'd say put your energy into loving others and quit putting all your energy in hating yourself. Which also strikes me as a general lack of Te... but Ne first also gives you the idea that you can figure out anything if you put your mind to it.
Ni first does the same thing, and I'm thinking a parter's Ni can-do spirit might be an even more resented trait to an unhealthy type 4 INFP than the Ne kind.


. . . but in fact none of that was what ended the relationship, just part of the backdrop for the stuff that ended the relationship. So it seems I have veils for another day.


9s are all about covert, very rarely overt anything. An unhealthy 9 may end up in a spiral of bad coping strategies >> overwhelmed by stress >> disengagement... If nothing forces them out of it, they can be subjectively "functional" i.e. their internal experience isn't very painful. It's sort of the opposite of many 4s, whose internal experience may be excruciating while they seem to be doing reasonably OK externally.

9s can sometimes quite literally burn in hell externally yet internally be on a video game picnic. That's why I recommend beating them up until their internal experience becomes painful enough for them to do something. Obviously only when they're very badly stuck yet don't do anything about it.
My INFP ping-ponged back and forth between these two states. He really must have a 9 as well as a 4 in his tritype. Only, what you express as bad E9 coping strategies, I saw in terms of a maladaptive trauma response retained from childhood (freeze/dissociative).

Does beating up really work? Did you ever find someone to do it to you? And what a burden to put on a partner: thrash me until I stop mistreating you; no don't stop yet, no keep thrashing, there's a prize for you at the end of all this. Your arm's tired? Too bad.

A e9 cudgeling seems like it would have been redundant in my infp's case, both he already did it himself constantly to no effect, and because he could just keep flushing himself out and running back and forth for cover from e9 stuckness to e4 stuckness and so on. Accountability only works on the accountable.
 
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My INFP ping-ponged back and forth between these two states. He really must have a 9 as well as a 4 in his tritype. Only, what you express as bad E9 coping strategies, I saw in terms of a maladaptive trauma response retained from childhood (freeze/dissociative).

Does beating up really work? Did you ever find someone to do it to you? And what a burden to put on a partner: thrash me until I stop mistreating you; no don't stop yet, no keep thrashing, there's a prize for you at the end of all this. Your arm's tired? Too bad.

An E9 cudgeling seems like it would have been redundant in my infp's case, both he already did it himself constantly to no effect, and because he could just keep flushing himself out and running back and forth for cover from e9 stuckness to e4 stuckness and so on. Accountability only works on the accountable.
I think unhealthy 9 behaviour is exactly that, maladaptive coping strategies learned in early childhood. In some sense, all unhealthy Enneagram traits are, regardless of type. IMHO that's where the Enneagram is at its most useful, since most people tend to exhibit type-specific dysfunctionality.

I don't think partners should handle any of it, just pointing out the only thing I am aware of ever having worked with very unhealthy 9s. It should probably be handled by mental health professionals, it's much too heavy a burden to place on a partner. However if your partner is an unhealthy 9 and they exhibit this sort of behaviour, then I believe it is valuable to understand that as long as their internal experience is more or less painless, they are highly unlikely to change their behaviour when it requires significant effort. They might if it only requires low-level, low-stress effort.

Your INFP sounds more like a 4 to me, all the 9s I know - myself included - withdraw, power down and evade instead of flaring up. I've never seen an E9 actively beat up themselves, even I don't really do it, in spite of hating the E9 parasite in my brain. Verbally maybe, but when it comes to real action... It's all evasive manouvers as soon as the going gets tough. Maybe a 9w8 with a very strong 8 wing.

And yes, I have found partners willing to beat me up. Both my 1st relationship (ex-wife, xSFP) and my 3rd and latest (INFP) included very significant amounts of beating me up, which eventually (INFP) made me wake up to what's wrong with me. Prior to that, I was pretty happy with who I was, and passive-aggressively blamed everyone else for my problems.
 

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It could be that INFxs simply tend toward age-blindness. Not literally, but in terms of what we take account when we're initially getting to know someone. We see so many things in a new person, by the time our relatives ages emerge as a factor, the relationship is already in motion, and we don't much care.
I'm 4 years older than my hubby. It's kind of a moot point now we're 42 and 38.

Or, it could reflect a tendency of INFPs and INFJs to settle for patterns of imbalance in relationships. Giver, receiver. Grownup, child.
I think other people might say so of me.

"Oh goody," I thought when I read that, "because I think I know how this dance ends when Llyralen does it . . ."
Me: "How? What? OH....oh....ow."

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". . . and I'm in the mood for nice little bit of Head o' John On a Platter with salt and lemon reality sauce. Not to mention the fact that she's spared me some dancing."
I didn't go far enough, I know. Mine is currently a tap dance. I'm still with mine who has been improving. The problems are so hard to describe, so oxy-moron-ish, and I'm glad you went further describing the "understanding"/lack of understanding points. Because, yes, there's plenty of refusal to understand. There's plenty of being angry that I pointed out the problem. Yeah... there's all that. I told this to @Marvin the Dendroid once. The closest time I ever came to leaving was because he just got super stubborn about me asking him to tell me he loves me. He almost lost me and the kids over it and couldn't tell the magnitude of what was going on, just clung to that feeling of stubbornness and dissociated... it was the smallest thing to ask, I thought, from someone who loves me. I don't know... .it's like when they are that unhealthy you're not supposed to have any needs. Definitely not bring up truth "We don't need your facts here.". I want to kind of stress something too. It is part of my job to motivate people, and I think I know every trick I need in my office, but with my husband....there WAS a huge problem changing. Was is emphasized, because he is changing.

Well, maybe? In theory? As long as they can't tell themselves you might be implying they could possibly be a source of any of that stress. Because then it's necessary for them to throw blaming tantrums behind closed doors, just to make sure all the imagined blame gets transferred back to it's imagined source.
Yep, except understanding can be turned off, by means of chronic dissociation, and in my experience that's no better. And video games can be anything. For instance, coding projects or life-threatening extreme wilderness sports.
I thought this for years until I learned from him no, he'd understood. He was just frozen.
Sing it, Salome! All of it! Yes!

Ni first does the same thing, and I'm thinking a parter's Ni can-do spirit might be an even more resented trait to an unhealthy type 4 INFP than the Ne kind.
Could well be. What I see is a lack of momentum in the INFP/J couple, stagnation, stuck-ness. E/INFP self-indulgence, enabling. ENFP/J I consider an ideal that I do not know except by way of friendship, which means I wouldn't know. But my experiences are with the couples I have discussed and specifically with INFP 9s. Many INFPs have told me ENFJs changed their whole outlook on themselves, friends or relationships. Shrug. I don't know. I know I wanted that tight understanding and friendship most. And it's not like my INFP/INFJ pairs aren't friends, they are. It all comes down to healthy/ not healthy. I think my husband and I will really take off... he is starting to really come into his own now, so I am able to relax (boy, that's new) and trust him.

So it seems I have veils for another day.
Indeed. No head on platter yet.

Does beating up really work? Did you ever find someone to do it to you? And what a burden to put on a partner: thrash me until I stop mistreating you; no don't stop yet, no keep thrashing, there's a prize for you at the end of all this. Your arm's tired? Too bad.

A e9 cudgeling seems like it would have been redundant in my infp's case, both he already did it himself constantly to no effect, and because he could just keep flushing himself out and running back and forth for cover from e9 stuckness to e4 stuckness and so on. Accountability only works on the accountable.
This is what I'm saying/wondering too. I mean... how sexy do I get to feel while trying to tell my grown child to stop playing video games and come to bed? Also, it doesn't work, right? Cry a thousand oceans and they don't want to face what they've done. The most engaged they get is always going to be on their own terms, likely when I've given up and am calm from numbness and resignation then he wants to happily talk about a cool fantasy, our kids, or politics... and hey, I'm there again, hoping and enjoying the relationship as I can. But anyway... .it's loads better for us now. This doesn't describe me now, it described me a year ago when I got myself counseling. And finally I found someone effective and he is responding. He hasn't been depressed in months at this point.
 

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I think unhealthy 9 behaviour is exactly that, maladaptive coping strategies learned in early childhood. In some sense, all unhealthy Enneagram traits are, regardless of type. all the 9s I know - myself included - withdraw, power down and evade instead of flaring up. I've never seen an E9 actively beat up themselves, even I don't really do it, in spite of hating the E9 parasite in my brain. Verbally maybe, but when it comes to real action... It's all evasive manouvers as soon as the going gets tough. Maybe a 9w8 with a very strong 8 wing.

And yes, I have found partners willing to beat me up. Both my 1st relationship (ex-wife, xSFP) and my 3rd and latest (INFP) included very significant amounts of beating me up, which eventually (INFP) made me wake up to what's wrong with me. Prior to that, I was pretty happy with who I was, and passive-aggressively blamed everyone else for my problems.
My husband beat himself up verbally. He would revert to that whenever I pointed out anything that should change. Meaning I always ended up trying to comfort him. But now he is stepping up. If something is wrong, he will now trouble-shoot with me, thank God. Thank you, too, btw. Thank my counselor.
I want to know her technique. Wish I could clone her and scatter her, 1 per household. It's rare to find a truly effective counselor.

I'm not sure if any of this talk has been relevant to @DTsuDTsu but it's been useful to me and hopefully to @Paper Shade Veil 3 off? lol
 
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My husband beat himself up verbally. He would revert to that whenever I pointed out anything that should change.
Wasn't it more of a "woe is me, please feel sorry for me" sort of behaviour though? That's definitely something 9s do, I have done my share as well. It's not real "I will be hard on myself until I fix this", not in my experience anyway. That's maybe more of a type 3 thing.

I'm not sure if any of this talk has been relevant to @DTsuDTsu but it's been useful to me and hopefully to @Paper Shade Veil 3 off? lol
Oops :tongue:
 

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Wasn't it more of a "woe is me, please feel sorry for me" sort of behaviour though? That's definitely something 9s do, I have done my share as well. It's not real "I will be hard on myself until I fix this", not in my experience anyway. That's maybe more of a type 3 thing.



Oops :tongue:
Yes, I mean the self-hate seemed real enough, but there was no change. So it often was just like going in a circle, it was very upsetting. The end would always mean him going to sleep, ending with me feeling completely alone with the problem even though I'd given him all I had emotionally. Because the point was never to make him feel bad about himself, the point was improving a system with action. But this was very hard for him to separate. I don't think it was calculated, but it was his automatic go-to. It sucked.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I think @DTsuDTsu won't mind. She's lovely, of course. It kind of evolved, and honestly a big part of the problem for me was not feeling like I had the language and that feeling of being so happy one day and the next day if I tried to push some issue absolutely demoralized. Talking to other people with 9s this seems the norm.
Question: "Is he abusive?"
No
Q: Is he cruel?
No
Q: Are you friends?
Yes
Q: Does he love you?
Yes
Q: What's the problem?
EVERYTHING!

Anyway, you guys will be here to help dtsudtsu. =)
 

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I'm so sorry for your pain...I know what this is like. To love another deeply, to be "close to them and yet far", and to either face outright rejection or get left in the dust.

I don't agree with how she went about it, but as an INFP, I think I do understand what she was trying to do. (Or avoid doing, at any rate.) And again, I might be wrong on this, and I'm not trying to paint her or any other INFP who has misbehaved as being totally innocent, but I'm just trying to look at it through my own eyes and experience as an INFP and maybe offer you some consolation or further understanding into her actions. So when you said she "ignored you"....I think I get it. I think she probably didn't possess the same feelings as you (just saw you as a dear friend), but felt that rejecting you out right would hurt you more - as it would probably have hurt her, if she was the one who confessed and was rejected. (You know INFPs - they can often sympathize or empathize by trying to understand how they would feel in the other person's shoes. She might well have imagined it if it was her in the situation, and outright rejection could be too cold a response. It's quite hard for INFPs, I think.)

Now, I'm not saying she went about it in the right way. She didn't, and there is indeed an element of selfishness in not being an adult about things and being upfront and saying the truth. But I don't think she did it to hurt you. I think she cared about you very much and realized - or at the very least truly feared - that saying no would break up your friendship. I don't think she did it to be malicious or play games. No, it wasn't a good idea, and she did end up hurting you. But I don't think her intention was to do so.

May I ask how she said you "weren't good enough for her"? Was there any clear indication in her actions or words? I'm just wondering if it might be another case of miscommunication - and you know how we always read between the lines of each other's words and actions, sometimes inputting ideas that aren't actually there. (This has been a mutual problem for my INFJ and me, though for my part, I'm learning how to take things bit by bit and never assume I know his feelings or thoughts without his direct input.) If I can supply some feedback on that point and maybe help clear the air, I would be glad. You don't deserve to be made to feel like you are not good enough, after all!

One more question for you...I am an INFP girl, so I am very curious as to why you believe all INFP girls have a dark side that is hidden and "so incredibly selfish". May I ask what you mean by that? Or could you clarify in any way? This would be an excellent thought to let....well, stew for a while, haha.

Take care, and thanks for the reply!



Well, she was always like that. I mean, she was just... unable to say "no" when a situation required it. She was just too scared to use the word.
I knew she would reject me, but I had to hear it. The fact that she avoided me only made me feel more miserable. But when she finally told me she doesn´t like me(and never will)... in that moment I felt... so relieved. It was like pushing a huge stone off of my chest.
That is why it doesn´t bother me anymore. On the one hand, yes, it would be fine to have a girlfriend like her; someone I knew for years, with whom I shared so many things we both loved and with whom I was compatibale on so many levels. But on the other hand that´s life. I cannot force anybody to like me, and I am at peace with that. The only thing left for me was to let my feelings fade away. And thanks to her clear "no" there was no hope left for them to cling on to. I just accepted the truth and let my love for her die.

No, her intentions truly were not to hurt me, I know that. But ignoring me and my confession was the way she always has dealt with any challenge in her life. To ignore them. And I was prepared for that. That´s why I had to "beg" her to tell me "no". I had to explain her that it is not bad to refuse me and so she did – online. But hey, even that is a refusal, so I was "happy" with the result.

Well, she never said dirrectly that I am "not good enough for her", but when she started naming things what I am and what I am not, how her ideal partner looks like and what he should be like, you really get the picture that you are just not enough for her. And as a matter of fact, most guys are not. Atleast when it comes to looks(I admit, I really don´t look like Russel Crowe in his 30´s – I am a way different type).
She even admitted that she is a perfectionist and that´s why she has been single since she was 17(she is 25 now), but at the same time she would rather be single(in her own words "to be left alone") that to accept anything less than her ideal.

The hidden selfish dark side... Let me explain. Despite the fact that INFJs and INFPs are so compatible in so many ways, there is a huge difference beween them: the extraverted feeling(Fe) of the INFJ and the invtrovrted feelling(Fi) of the INFP. I have read so many things about both INFJs(my type) and INFPs(my love interest) that it isn´t even funny to count all the hours "lost" trying to figure out this one girl. Because never in those articles, blogs, theories of all kinds have I ever read about what happens when an INFP gets under stress and how such a person thinks in specific circumstances. There is a big difference between a healthy INFP and an unhealthy or emotionaly unstable INFP – I have to calirfy this at the very beggining.
So what made me think that INFPs(women in my case) have a hidden selfish side? Experience of course. Life circumstances in which they would betray the very core beliefs on which all their personality/morals/worldview are based on. It was not just this one girl that refused me, it is also my mom(who is also and INFP), another friend of mine(who also happens to be an INFP) and my former classmate. I don´t want to generalize or start pointing fingers(I am not that type of a person), but these people have taught me that when the circumstances are right and a stressed-out crisis-plauged INFP is forced into a decision that is either THIS or THAT, then their Fi will make them choose a decision based on pure selfishness. In that moment they disregard all their ideals, betray their core beliefs.
One example. Me and my former love interest were(are) both dog lovers. I´ve personally saved several stray and abused dogs and helped several dog shelters in my country in different ways(money, transportation, temporary home etc.). My five dogs are a living proof of my core beliefs. They are my best friends and I would go to hell and back for them if I had to. This girl was the same in her actions and rhetoric, although she has only one dog.
I am "talking" too much so I will make it short. Last year she moved do UK for some time and I accepted that I would take care of her dog while she was away. She really liked it there and made plans to stay there. I was like "ok, when will you come for your dog". Her reply was something in the way, that she wants to start a new life, to meet new people, to live through new adventures and that she doesnt´t want to come back. And that I can KEEP the dog. I was utterly shocked. She had the dog since it was a puppy and the dog loved her so much. When I confronted her and told her she can´t do this to Sheyla(dogs name), that she is everything to her, she replied that she has a RIGHT to be selfish atleast once in her life. To be ridden of all those responsibilities(the dog was on of them) and all the people who "want to control her and say what she should do with her life". I said I will take care of the dog(despite the fact I already have 5 of them), but she betrayed Sheyla in a way that nobody ever could have.

That being said, we didn´t talk for two months. Until the moment when she told me that she is coming home and that she will come for Sheyla. They are back together now. And yet again she is an active animal rights activist.

I could give you more such examples, but I think this one is good enough.
 

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I actually got scared and had to look some stuff up about you to make sure you weren't my high school INFJ, who could have and might have easily mistaken me for an INFP, no matter how close we were. I was pretty shy at that time. I had such an emotional reaction to what you were saying that I forgot I don't have short chestnut hair or hazel eyes.

I'm so sorry. I bet she is also very sorry. Back then I thought I was way too young for that level of serious feelings. I thought people moved on fairly quickly. I'd get powerful crushes on people I knew I shouldn't and the feelings would blow over after I (usually very intelligently and properly) ignored my feelings for them. But that's not how it was with my INFJ, but I thought he would easily get over me because we were so young and because I thought so highly of him and felt he was destined for great things. But he did not make me say how I felt, he couldn't. I was away. His friendship made me incredibly happy and my self-esteem double by the time he spent with me. The one thing I want to tell mine (and often I wonder if I should contact and tell him) is that I never thought he wasn't good enough. In fact, I still think he is the smartest, best guy out there and I'm incredibly and quietly proud of everything he has accomplished in his life so far. It makes me verklempt to think that he might actually be out there thinking that I thought he wasn't good enough.... I wonder if she felt/feels the same. Like the devotion of an INFJ who is in love with you is a hard thing to shake, and I felt it really kind of defined and shaped me. But I was way too young. I had to complete lots of goals and I had no idea of the value of our friendship without more experience. There's no way I could have made the decision to commit at that time and dating was only serious in that it was a learning game to find out what I liked and didn't like.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I hope something I said helps some. I'd actually love to hear your response on this. I sometimes wonder if I should contact him and explain about that feeling of being too young and just needing to experience things to know what I liked or disliked like Ne Fi needs to, because he got no explanation from me at all and I'm sure he believed I didn't value him. And I don't know if you can understand that either. I'll give you an example on me, though, to give you an idea of how powerful the need to see and experience everything before making a decision is to an ENFP, anyway. I once went to 9 Spanish classes in one day to figure out what teacher I wanted to learn from. That's how powerful that need is...and how far on the perceiver side I was. I felt like a baby in the world of experiencing feelings. You can bet once I did commit I felt like I knew exactly what I was getting and needed... and that's important so that Ne-Fi or Fi-Ne doesn't feel the pull of a "What if?" kind of thing. So, not as much selfishness as much as just a strong need to learn everything before deciding. Again, I hope this helps some.


Hello and thank you for your response. :)

I am sorry to hear that my little "confession" brought up some bad memories. I am from Slovakia(eastern europe) by the way.... so yeah, not a chance you are the girl I was talking about. :)

There is nothing bad about not being prepared for anything serious when you are young. I am 28 now and only after many years and broken hearts have I finally understood that human relationships and the dynamics that accompany them are a hell of a mess. It would be really unfair to expect from a teenager to know what he or she wants so early on in their life(especially in relationships).
So, if I were you, I wouldn´t torment myself for what happened so many years ago. I personally don´t feel any spite or anything negative towards the INFP girl I fell in love with and I think the INFJ guy feels the same way about you. We INFJ are quite the romantics, but we also know when the odds are against us.

There is nothing to be sorry about, really, I take it as a life experience. I mean, I was heartbroken, but things got better from the moment she rejected me. I am not mad at her or anything and nor do I blame her for anything. Such is life. Such is love.

Yeah, I dated an ENFP once so I really know what you are talking about. :D The urge to experience all the possibilities yourself, to see them with your own eyes, to feel them on your own skin... if this is not something that describes an ENFP than what is?
 

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Discussion Starter #54
9s are all about covert, very rarely overt anything. An unhealthy 9 may end up in a spiral of bad coping strategies >> overwhelmed by stress >> disengagement... If nothing forces them out of it, they can be subjectively "functional" i.e. their internal experience isn't very painful. It's sort of the opposite of many 4s, whose internal experience may be excruciating while they seem to be doing reasonably OK externally.

9s can sometimes quite literally burn in hell externally yet internally be on a video game picnic. That's why I recommend beating them up until their internal experience becomes painful enough for them to do something. Obviously only when they're very badly stuck yet don't do anything about it. Unhealthy 9s are the kind of zen students who really need to be beaten with a stick.

It would be more obvious in INFPs because they tend to be less focused on keeping their practical shit together (inferior Te) even in the best of circumstances, never mind when going deep down the E9 rabbit hole.

For what it's worth, I'm kind of getting 6w7 vibes from you. I've never seen a good Enneagram test, IMHO the best way to figure out your type is to very closely scrutinise your worst behaviour - how do you malfunction when the going gets really tough? That should give you some of the best clues.
 
This makes a whole lot of sense, indeed! And also very true about INFPs being less focused on keeping their shit together (hahaha)! Guilty as charged!

I did get 6w2 on the Enneagram, for at least one of the ones when I got the wing with it. I just wish there was a free official test that I could take to know for sure. It bugs me when I can't be certain of my results, haha! I still feel a bit confused, even though I'm guessing the 6 has a big role to play in there regardless. I'd love to try it for my INFJ, as well - as best as I can. That way I could have a starting point to work out which he might be...The idea of looking at one's own worst behavior is fantastic, though! As fantastic as it can be, haha! I will make note of this when I go to check - thank you!!



First,:sad: sympathetic hand pat for the loss of your grandmother. I lost mine a few months ago. She was more like my mother than my mother was. Second, thank you for sharing. Your story makes your observations about what people will let themselves believe even more poignant and validating. It ends on a cliffhanger, though! How did you find a way back to safety?
 
Oh my goodness...I'm so sorry to hear that! How are you doing now? I lost mine soon five years ago, but it does still feel like yesterday, and if I think too long on it, I cry. Like you, she was more like a mother than my own mother, and she was my best friend in the world. Even as a child (typical INFP with that innate understanding of sadness and human suffering), I used to have nightmares about losing her, and I'd wake up with tears streaming down my face. I'd immediately run to the family phone and call her, just to make sure she was okay, and oh how that voice soothed! I always promised myself, after those many nightmares over the years of my childhood, that I would never miss her funeral....And that's just what I did! Incredible. Fast forward to when I lost her......And yes, all my worst nightmares came true in that single instance. :(

I hope you'll take your time to grieve, as she was clearly someone very dear to you. Some things that helped me then was "talking" to her. (I do feel she heard it, somehow.) Even when I could finally get back home, I sat by her grave and just talked to her. This was so healing to me, and I felt close. If it's possible for you, or if you're a spiritual person, I recommend it, I really do. Take your time! :heart:

As for the story....Hahaha! Well, I've become so used to people not believing what happened, or even outright shunning me when I mention it (which I sort of get - they probably feel they don't want such negativity in their life and do so out of fear), that when I tell it, it always feels like a one giant joke. "A Series of Unfortunate Events"....My life story! Ha!

I apologize for the cliffhanger! In the end, after a few weeks homelessness, a friend offered his place. I stayed there for about a month and a half, trying to get back on my feet. Regrettably, I sensed that the friend was expecting something for the stay (sexual favors, or the sense of that expectation, was strong), so it wasn't the most comfortable arrangement, but certainly better than being on the streets! Eventually, my cousins insisted I get in touch with my father (who I hadn't seen or spoken to in over a decade, courtesy of my abusive mother). I was leery and didn't want to, I also didn't want him to think I was reaching out only for money or help, which seemed disgusting to me, but they pushed me.......and I can't say how grateful I am that I did. How many years lost with my dad because of my mother, but he never stopped loving me all that time. He helped me get back into school, get a place of my own, and showered me with all the years of affection we'd lost between us. Him and my stepmother. Some of the most beautiful souls I know! :heart:

So there's a relatively happy ending there! Problem is, the other family abuser was with me through it all, and once we were in the clear, she seemed to realize she needed new supply - and that was me.

Well, woe is me. :tongue: I'm doing much better. I'm away from her now, too. I do regret that she seems to have had some effect on my INFJ partner and me, though. Though what that is for sure, I'm not entirely sure. I'm so afraid she'll do something bad to him. She knows just how to break people, and she said some awful things about her intentions where he's concerned....UH! -shudders-

Oh dear....that got long again!


It could be that INFxs simply tend toward age-blindness. Not literally, but in terms of what we take account when we're initially getting to know someone. We see so many things in a new person, by the time our relatives ages emerge as a factor, the relationship is already in motion, and we don't much care.
 
So true!! I really think you're right on that. There is so much to see in other people, that age is not a predominant thought unless it's really obvious. I love this!!! I love that my INFJ partner is the same way. He's the one who explicitly said he likes older women. He seems to see younger women or even those the same age as people to take care of or watch over, like little sisters. I think he hopes to be doted on by an older woman. He has said this, too. (Well good, cuz I always loved doting on him when we were together. :) )


Or, it could reflect a tendency of INFPs and INFJs to settle for patterns of imbalance in relationships. Giver, receiver. Grownup, child.
 
Also a very interesting point! I noticed this in my relationship, as well. But oddly enough, the two of us seemed to keep switching back and forth in these roles. That must have been confusing for my INFJ gent, as I know he said he felt, or at least thought he felt, that he wanted to be the one doted on!
 

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Well, she was always like that. I mean, she was just... unable to say "no" when a situation required it. She was just too scared to use the word.
I knew she would reject me, but I had to hear it. The fact that she avoided me only made me feel more miserable. But when she finally told me she doesn´t like me(and never will)... in that moment I felt... so relieved. It was like pushing a huge stone off of my chest.
That is why it doesn´t bother me anymore. On the one hand, yes, it would be fine to have a girlfriend like her; someone I knew for years, with whom I shared so many things we both loved and with whom I was compatibale on so many levels. But on the other hand that´s life. I cannot force anybody to like me, and I am at peace with that. The only thing left for me was to let my feelings fade away. And thanks to her clear "no" there was no hope left for them to cling on to. I just accepted the truth and let my love for her die.
 
I'll bet she was - unable to say "No", I mean! That seems to be a big issue with us INFPs. We need to have more certain boundaries, and yet we're always afraid of hurting people. Stupid people-pleasing nature...!


No, her intentions truly were not to hurt me, I know that. But ignoring me and my confession was the way she always has dealt with any challenge in her life. To ignore them. And I was prepared for that. That´s why I had to "beg" her to tell me "no". I had to explain her that it is not bad to refuse me and so she did – online. But hey, even that is a refusal, so I was "happy" with the result.
 
Okay, I'm glad you know that. And right, because there are two people's feelings involved here. Neither of you deserved to be hurt. It probably hurt her (and maybe even scared her) to have to say no to you. So I'm glad a middle ground was reached there...


Well, she never said dirrectly that I am "not good enough for her", but when she started naming things what I am and what I am not, how her ideal partner looks like and what he should be like, you really get the picture that you are just not enough for her. And as a matter of fact, most guys are not. Atleast when it comes to looks(I admit, I really don´t look like Russel Crowe in his 30´s – I am a way different type).
She even admitted that she is a perfectionist and that´s why she has been single since she was 17(she is 25 now), but at the same time she would rather be single(in her own words "to be left alone") that to accept anything less than her ideal.
 
Okay, I'm glad about this, too. I think both our types are very guilty of reading between the lines and inputting our own fears in there. So I rather hope you won't take her words personally. It's not that you are not good enough for her. It's that no one is, clearly. I guess if she's okay with being alone, that's good for her, and I wish her the best. But yes, please don't think it means you're not good enough. She has superhuman ideals that no one can live up to, and even she recognized that, it seems. I was going to say...It would seem much too cruel if she had insinuated that you, and you alone, would not be good enough for her as a romantic partner. That would seem needlessly cruel, and sort of disgusting!


The hidden selfish dark side... Let me explain. Despite the fact that INFJs and INFPs are so compatible in so many ways, there is a huge difference beween them: the extraverted feeling(Fe) of the INFJ and the invtrovrted feelling(Fi) of the INFP. I have read so many things about both INFJs(my type) and INFPs(my love interest) that it isn´t even funny to count all the hours "lost" trying to figure out this one girl. Because never in those articles, blogs, theories of all kinds have I ever read about what happens when an INFP gets under stress and how such a person thinks in specific circumstances. There is a big difference between a healthy INFP and an unhealthy or emotionaly unstable INFP – I have to calirfy this at the very beggining.
 
Absolutely - an unhealthy INFP can end up in a whirlwind of inner chaos. And I do think the sensitivity can lead to....well, worse things. But surely it's true of any type. Just, I think the sensitivity of an unhealthy INFP can lead to chaos.


So what made me think that INFPs(women in my case) have a hidden selfish side? Experience of course. Life circumstances in which they would betray the very core beliefs on which all their personality/morals/worldview are based on. It was not just this one girl that refused me, it is also my mom(who is also and INFP), another friend of mine(who also happens to be an INFP) and my former classmate. I don´t want to generalize or start pointing fingers(I am not that type of a person), but these people have taught me that when the circumstances are right and a stressed-out crisis-plauged INFP is forced into a decision that is either THIS or THAT, then their Fi will make them choose a decision based on pure selfishness. In that moment they disregard all their ideals, betray their core beliefs.
 
Hmmm....Do you have any more examples in regards to this point? I don't know that it's decisions based on pure selfishness...At least, I don't know that that is the INFP's intention. I have been an unhealthy INFP! I came from an abusive home and learned all sorts of terrible coping mechanisms and survival tactics and so on. I pointed out in this thread, I've been homeless, attacked....I've been through the mill a few times over, haha! I can see all the bad choices I have made in the past, and it's still not always easy for me to know which ones will be the right ones here in the present/for the future, too, however hard I might think on it. However, I know that when I made those choices in the past, it was never out of selfishness. It was because I was in a whirlwind of sheer chaos and simply had no idea what path was the right one. If you can imagine being inundated with options, all of them terrible and none of them leading to a clear path to something better....It's like you can't really choose something and even expect that things will get better as a result of it. You're choosing the lesser of many evils. Or sometimes, if you're confused and pained enough, you're choosing whatever option presents itself first. It's not done out of selfishness...It's done out of pain, confusion, and self-preservation. Looking back, it might seem selfish when one has the mind clear enough to reflect on everything that happened and every choice that was available then...But in the moment, it's just chaos. You can't recognize anything clearly and sort of have to desperately feel your way through it - the good decisions, and the bad - and hope you get through to better days, when you can make better, more well-thought-out decisions.

So I do actually think it's a bit unfair to claim that INFP women have a hidden selfish side. I guess if you were in our shoes, it would be easier to imagine a bit.

One more thing I'd like to say on that point....When I was in bad situations and ended up in these chaotic moments where I had to just grasp for whatever option was available to me, never knowing what it would lead to...Ialways deep down feared that my loved ones would hate me. I never felt like any of my options (limited as they seemed, then) would lead to approval or support from my loved ones. I always feared being left alone and abandoned by them, even worse - that they wouldn't believe me, regardless of the choices I made and situations I faced. I feared I would inadvertently hurt people, but I never knew which choices would do that. Again - all confusion and chaos. Like reaching into a stormy sea trying to retrieve something important one's lost. You grasp blindly around, never knowing what you're going to pick up, and feeling sure that it's very unlikely you'll find and see your important "thing" again. So that fear, that fear of hurting others and not wanting to but not having the means to see a clear path that would avoid those kinds of things......That doesn't seem selfish to me. That seems like a human being just trying to survive, and unfortunately causing damage along the way. But it's damage that the person couldn't recognize as being bad, or even more likely, damage that the person did not want, but didn't see coming when they made the choice that led to it. :( Does that make sense?

I'm rambling here, so I'll lay off, haha. I do actually take a bit of issue with the idea of anyone saying INFPs (of either gender) are innately selfish. I also don't think it's innate to INFPs alone. Anyone, in bad times, can seem to be selfish. I think that's regrettably human nature, and the nature of self-preservation and survival in difficult times. But I hope with the image I painted above - the utter confusion of being in a dark situation, especially for INFP people - can showcase how maybe it's not quite selfishness at all, but rather fear, trying to survive, and simply not being able to see what our choices will mean for ourselves and those we love/others around us. I really do believe we feel hurt (generally) if we know we've hurt others with our choices. We feel responsible for the hurt we've caused. We just might not always realize/recognize when that hurt has happened, which is where our loving partners and friends and family (like you, in your INFP's case) need to step up and gently let us know, "Hey, this hurt, and I know you didn't mean it, but it really can't happen again."

^ Well, actually, not sure how well an unhealthy INFP could handle these words, as they'll be extra sensitive and emotional, but still. We do need our loved ones to let us know clearly rather than let resentment build.


One example. Me and my former love interest were(are) both dog lovers. I´ve personally saved several stray and abused dogs and helped several dog shelters in my country in different ways(money, transportation, temporary home etc.). My five dogs are a living proof of my core beliefs. They are my best friends and I would go to hell and back for them if I had to. This girl was the same in her actions and rhetoric, although she has only one dog.
I am "talking" too much so I will make it short. Last year she moved do UK for some time and I accepted that I would take care of her dog while she was away. She really liked it there and made plans to stay there. I was like "ok, when will you come for your dog". Her reply was something in the way, that she wants to start a new life, to meet new people, to live through new adventures and that she doesnt´t want to come back. And that I can KEEP the dog. I was utterly shocked. She had the dog since it was a puppy and the dog loved her so much. When I confronted her and told her she can´t do this to Sheyla(dogs name), that she is everything to her, she replied that she has a RIGHT to be selfish atleast once in her life. To be ridden of all those responsibilities(the dog was on of them) and all the people who "want to control her and say what she should do with her life". I said I will take care of the dog(despite the fact I already have 5 of them), but she betrayed Sheyla in a way that nobody ever could have.
 
You're not talking too much...! Don't worry! Look how much I've talked throughout this (and sorry for that).

I was starting to wonder if I'm even an INFP, if this behavior you're indicating (and the ones indicated in the thread that got closed) are really "normal" for INFP people......Because the thing is, I can't imagine abandoning a pet, either. I actually feel like I empathize with animals even more than I do humans, perhaps because they are vulnerable and innocent. Even when an animal simply doesn't get fed in a movie, or something probably silly-seeming, and the animal becomes sad.....That hits me so hard. I hate that stuff in movies!

But actually....I did end up moving overseas, and my pet cat stayed with my family. I can't say how much I missed him. It broke my heart. I had to actively try to keep him out of my mind and tell myself that he was with my family, and thus in a good place and with people who loved and would take care of him. It hurt that much to think of him, but I just couldn't come home. Hard to explain, but it is what it is. I needed to finish school, I got a job here (and it paid much better than any job I could get in my home country, which is very lacking in work)...Going back home would have meant going back to the abuse, too. There were many reasons, but I never forgot or stopped loving my pet cat, and I missed him terribly. He ended up passing away JUST before I was coming home to visit a few years ago, and to this day, it haunts me. It is a regret I will always carry.

So I guess what I want to say is that I don't think that your INFP did it purely out of selfishness. I'm willing to bet there was immense pain there, pain that she was adamant to block out, and knowing how good and loving you are, especially with pets, she felt that her doggy would be safe and happy with you. She probably thought she could also come home to see him occasionally. I mean, this is assuming I share a similar thinking pattern to her, but I felt like I got where she was coming from to some extent, in your example.

Thing is, sometimes we get so caught up in what's happening in our lives that we end up in a place where we really can't go back home, if that makes sense. I've often wondered if/when I'd ever go back, but I am still in the country I moved to. And somehow I know deep down, even on the worst and loneliest days here, that I can't go back. I can't explain it. I just know it. It's not an easy thought, either. Sometimes I really regret it or feel sad.

But right, so, I don't think you should assume she did it purely out of selfishness. It's not a selfless act, of course, and certainly not a kind one, but I really do believe she missed her pet and felt the doggy would be safe and happy with you. I can believe that she maybe needed to be away, for whatever reason, or otherwise couldn't find the means to come home. (And I don't mean "money" or anything like that. I mean more of a spiritual journey, or simply "life going on", as it tends to. In the case of a spiritual journey, it could well have been that she knew she would fall to pieces or become terribly depressed if she didn't take care of what needed to be taken care of in that moment, which I see as becoming even worse for you and her dog, in the long run. All that built up resentment, and possible depression...? Yipes!) I can see how you would see it the other way, though, in this case. Plus, it's not fair that you were expected to care for the dog, just like that. For that part, I absolutely see the selfishness.


That being said, we didn´t talk for two months. Until the moment when she told me that she is coming home and that she will come for Sheyla. They are back together now. And yet again she is an active animal rights activist.

I could give you more such examples, but I think this one is good enough.
 
Well sure! If you feel up to it, go ahead. I'm curious as to what behaviors INFJs perceive as being selfish or self-oriented! Because if it's behavior I am also exhibiting and it's not coming from a place of selfishness, then maybe I can help offer counterpoints for you and assuage some of your feelings, while also working out what my INFJ partner might end up seeing as selfish without realizing where it's coming from.

Thanks again!! And thanks for the honesty!
 

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Hello and thank you for your response. :)

I am sorry to hear that my little "confession" brought up some bad memories. I am from Slovakia(eastern europe) by the way.... so yeah, not a chance you are the girl I was talking about. :)

There is nothing bad about not being prepared for anything serious when you are young. I am 28 now and only after many years and broken hearts have I finally understood that human relationships and the dynamics that accompany them are a hell of a mess. It would be really unfair to expect from a teenager to know what he or she wants so early on in their life(especially in relationships).
So, if I were you, I wouldn´t torment myself for what happened so many years ago. I personally don´t feel any spite or anything negative towards the INFP girl I fell in love with and I think the INFJ guy feels the same way about you. We INFJ are quite the romantics, but we also know when the odds are against us.

There is nothing to be sorry about, really, I take it as a life experience. I mean, I was heartbroken, but things got better from the moment she rejected me. I am not mad at her or anything and nor do I blame her for anything. Such is life. Such is love.

Yeah, I dated an ENFP once so I really know what you are talking about. :D The urge to experience all the possibilities yourself, to see them with your own eyes, to feel them on your own skin... if this is not something that describes an ENFP than what is?

I'm very grateful for everything you wrote. I think because my experience was very similar with an unanswered letter that I really got a lot out of hearing this from you.

That closure was so important it sounds. That it really helped you.

I know this is somewhat irrelevant and maybe a perception thing, but I couldn't help but be struck by your description of the ENFP you dated, the "see with my own eyes, feel on my own skin." Doesn't that sound more like a ESFP? That was lovely what you said, though, I loved the description, but it just doesn't sound like me. I think my husband would say "Never stops thinking.". Although I do like to travel in person and experience all I can. My imagination without my body does probably 80% of my exploring in theorizing, analogies, and concepts, not that my body isn't coming along with me as I learn. I wonder how many people meet ESFPs and think they are ENFPs....? But... well anyway, it doesn't matter...

Anyway, thank you again!
 

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I'm very grateful for everything you wrote. I think because my experience was very similar with an unanswered letter that I really got a lot out of hearing this from you.

That closure was so important it sounds. That it really helped you.

I know this is somewhat irrelevant and maybe a perception thing, but I couldn't help but be struck by your description of the ENFP you dated, the "see with my own eyes, feel on my own skin." Doesn't that sound more like a ESFP? That was lovely what you said, though, I loved the description, but it just doesn't sound like me. I think my husband would say "Never stops thinking.". Although I do like to travel in person and experience all I can. My imagination without my body does probably 80% of my exploring in theorizing, analogies, and concepts, not that my body isn't coming along with me as I learn. I wonder how many people meet ESFPs and think they are ENFPs....? But... well anyway, it doesn't matter...

Anyway, thank you again!
Well, I am not sure wether she was an ENFP or ESFP. She always tested as an ENFP, so I took it for "granted" that she is one. But yet again, I know a girl who also identifies as an ENFP and she is nothing like the girl I dated with. The first girl was an adventurer(she has calmed down quite a bit in the last few years), while the other one was and is very reserved – she is a single mother so I think that might play a major role in her behaviour.
But I think they both are defintely ENxx types, because I have a really hard time to appreciate ESxx types(sorry ESxx-types :D). They are a energy drain for me. :D

Closure in these kinds of situations is really important – and not only for INFJs. Yeah, people get the picture when the other side stays silent, but the silence makes them even more miserable. Like... they are not even worth a simple "no". As I said, I was prepared for that, but many other people aren´t and it hurts them badly. It takes them some time to heal. That´s why I think your shouldn´t contact the guy who wrote you that letter. I don´t think he is mad at you after so many years, but reminding him of his old feelings would bring only pain.

Thank you too!
 

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Odinthor, I'm so sorry for the wait on this...And look how long it is...CRIPES!!

With my closest friends and intimates, I have always liked to think of the dynamics of the relationship as if the other person in the relationship were my local guide through the sights and adventures of his/her own foreign land. It seems strange to me that people would want to be tourists within themselves.
 
What a beautiful way of seeing it, and it sure makes it all the more exciting to "explore" and "learn the customs". That definitely adds an enhanced sense of respect, which I feel like my INFJ relationships (partner or my friends) naturally bring out of me. Immense respect. Oh, I do think I'll borrow this idea from you and try to apply it to my life and those I meet and love. :)

(I wish you had a chance to do some of the fiction you hope to...It's very clear here how gorgeous it would be. It's own world to be explored, even if it's realistic fiction!)


Here's the tale in short: I thought that the best way to become an established writer would be to write "something useful," even though my main interests have always been fiction/play-writing/poetry/ whimsical essays. I consequently wrote a non-fiction tome, which was published by the first publisher it was offered to. I then became a prisoner of that subject, and half a dozen (published) books exploring the same subject ensued. To refresh myself, I then turned to another non-fiction subject, and two more such (published) books ensued (and I'm engaged on the third such). Will I ever get back to my real goal? Such is to be hoped. But, for poetry, I limp along posting some here at PerC.
 
I'll have to check out some of your poetry! Are there any particular pieces you are proudest of? Would you like to link to it??

And I find it sad when we get stuck in genres that we maybe like or maybe are good at, but don't want to keep writing or be limited to. I mean, I'm glad you've got some excellent work, but I really do hope we'll get to see some of your fiction or scripts someday! (Which for the record, I hope you'll message me if you do get something published!) Even if you're just doing little by little, that could be good!

Hey, random question on that note...Has your INFP partner ever served as inspiration for you? I find that my INFJ partner is a constant muse for me! There is always some character out there that his beautiful soul is waiting to become. I'm sure us both being actors helps in that regard, but I also think it has a lot to do with how intimately I can feel his soul and presence, even when he's not beside me. And I have to admit, the works I've created with him as my muse have turned out to be some of my best, I do think.


Insecurity and paranoia. It's what all the really kool kats do! But Se moderates the extremes of this. Se says, impatiently, "Oh, stop worrying, get real, and have some fun!"
 
Ah! So you are a 6 as well! I keep getting 6 on the random versions of the test I've found for free around the web - got a 6w2 for one in particular. I'd like to take the official one, but don't have the money at the moment. Maybe a good free one will pop up. But in any case....6....WOW! Okay! And the Se moderates the extremes of it, I see.

Do you feel that that 6 is another reason why you are so devoted to your partner? When I read about the type, it felt clear to me why I tend to stick faithfully to those I love, especially in romantic relationships. I can't abide by cheaters or people like that. Really makes me sick, that kind of betrayal. :(


Yes. "Loyal" is one of the prettier sides of insecurity.
Alas, too true!

Yes, it's a good candidate for the hardest thing of all. When does caring and loving attentiveness become controlling and intrusiveness? That's why a person need to be on one's toes always gauging the situation.
 
Yes, we can't be too stubborn here. Have to know where to draw the line and when we're being overprotective to the point of being controlling and intrusive, indeed. Again, keeping wary of this has helped me a lot recently. I'm still learning the back and forth with my INFJ, but when I seem to get a little niggling that he ignored a message or seems upset with me, I always step back and say, "Give it a moment. He has a lot of other things going on. It's probably not you at all. If the feeling goes on for much longer, talk to him. If it doesn't and he's okay, then let it pass. It's probably nothing to do with you."

Really has helped to actively not read between the lines and worry needlessly!


Well done! If only others would strive to look outwards and learn rather than to turn inwards and stoke resentfulness!
Indeed....And I do think most of us are capable of it. I know it's not easy, but it actually feels good to force one's self to step back, "be cool", and try to learn.

We were made for each other. Unfortunately, it took fifty years for us to find each other. Sigh.
 
I know it must seem like a long time, but I'm glad you found each other at all. So enchanting! I feel like some people - perhaps most - never find the kind of soulmate you have! :heart: Perhaps in the next life, you'll find each other much faster!


Yes, well observed. With my strong Se, I'm not to be taken as being representative of the usual INFJ. [ponders] I wonder if it's my strong Se which makes me partial to INFPs (and, formerly, ENFPs)...?
 
Ahhhh! I see. That's a really interesting point! And now that you've mentioned it...Being a writer, you said, helps. Do you feel it was an especially big help for you for developing Se? I was thinking about that while running errands today - what you said. And it dawned on me that I'm always trying to understand what I see and feel, what I physically sense around me. I wonder if this has helped me out a bit, too...Although I'm not going to pretend I'm anywhere near your level, because I am not. :tongue:


Excuse me if I've overlooked things; but how exactly was the trust lost?
 
Oh no, you didn't miss anything. I probably didn't explain. And I could be overreacting on his behalf. But I did feel that I lost some of his trust throughout some of our blow-ups, especially as we didn't talk about it. I mean, even by the time I'd said we need a break, he was still warm to me and treating me like nothing had ever happened, so maybe I am overreacting. But he so often talks about "security" and "feeling safe" or "relieved" with close friends of his, that I guess I sort of surmised that I'd lost some of his trust by what had happened between us. Which makes sense to me, because he'd lost some of mind. (For instance, with the last blowup that made me say we needed time...Well anyway, I can maybe reference it later, but he needed me to know that he'd been hurt, so he did something that hurt me badly so that I could feel what he was feeling. And that was too much for me. The next time I looked at him, I felt a sense of betrayal and loss of trust like I'd never felt before. That was why I asked for time away. Because beyond that was still the powerful love and respect, and I knew there had to be more to all of this than was immediately obvious then. (There was.) On top of that, I think we'd ended up in a kind of cycle, and the only way to get out of it, was to take a break and start fresh.

In any case, I'm sure I must have lost some of his trust by stepping away. I spent the holidays on my own. Didn't reach out to him or talk to him at all. It was too painful. I was trying to see if I could figure myself out and work through more of my own issues, work through what had gone wrong, and also just see if it would be possible to move on. (It wasn't. He was always in the back of my mind and my heart.) He wanted me to come see some performance he was doing, and I didn't go. I wanted to - badly - but I wasn't ready. I also felt that he wasn't. I know this was very sad for him, and he made this kind of plea (not to me directly, but it was so out of place and so pointed, that I think it was geared towards me) about not being perfect and having made mistakes and wanting certain people to know that he missed them and their words and what it all meant. I'm sure it sounds so cryptic, but he was always the type to not come out and say what he was feeling, and he's very sensitive, so I'm sure it was done like this so that if he did ultimately get hurt, it would be easier to pretend like it had never been aimed at me in the first place, like he was guarding himself while at the same time trying to show what he was feeling.

Oh dear....it's so damn sad.....In any case, I didn't respond to that, as I also was still trying to work things out. And I felt like he must have lost some hope. We did meet again recently, and it's all still there, still longing to hug him tight, and his wise, lovely eyes seeking me out, just watching me with the same gentle love as always....Oh dear, oh dear....Why am I making this all so sad...?


He still has mine, even after the hurts. I always leave him little hints and clues in our messages together, and he sometimes (I think when he feels confident that they're geared towards him and his trust) responds in kind.
Sounds like me!
 
Ah! So do you mean that you do the same thing I do? Or that you react the same way he does, or both? I always wondered if I was thinking about this too deeply. (Well, clearly I am.) But is it true that you can sort of feel when messages are geared towards you or hinting at you, and then respond in kind? If so, I wonder if that is something that just us INF-s do. He is the only one who has ever caught on and responded. Although with the recent time apart, I think he's started to fear - as I have at many points - that it was all just an illusion and we couldn't possibly have been on the same wavelengths like that.

But dear INFJ...we were! WE WERE!


My navigation was "steady as she goes." I think it was my dependability which turned the tide. Well, of course, my insight, talent, charm, good luck, and funny stories too. And [spends half an hour listing his own dubious attributes]. Probably other things too that I forget at the moment. Oh, yeah--like Humility.
 
Hehehe, all those fantastic traits are indeed hard to pass up! But I can absolutely see the dependability being a key factor...How lovely! Okay, may I ask another thing? (As usual. Didn't I say only one more question? And here I go asking the world of you.) For you, what was the thing that made you sort of cave in to your partner? I can see what eventually drew him in, but for you, what made you know for sure, may I ask?

As always, if you don't feel comfy answering, please don't worry!


Narrow-mindedness, too. Everything has some precious gem to offer. If one can't see it, one shouldn't be dismissive . . . one should look within one's self and ask "What is lacking in me that I can't see the miracle here?"
That's a great point!! Something else I will try to mentally store away and use in the future. We could always use a bit of growth like that!

My interest in Horticulture teaches me a lot about everything. It's crazy to plant and nurture a seed and expect it to grow into something other than what it is. But, in dating, people harvest Zinnia seeds, and then complain that they don't grow into Marigolds.
Another spectacular analogy! Indeed, if we are saying we love and accept someone for who they are, that includes all the bad and the unexpected. To turn on them is so cruel....

Exactly the way I feel with my guy. But--and this is important--that's what makes me want to live up to my highest potentialities. I want to deserve him in my view as well as in his. I do give myself points for trying. ;-)
 
Ooh, I feel you on this! I think I mentioned it here or in the other thread, but being with my INFJ always made me want to make sure to be the best possibly version of myself. I've told him this, and I know it made him so happy. But it's absolutely true! He inspired me in so many ways to improve myself. Never something he insisted or asked for - just something being with him encouraged me and made me excited to do. Whenever I even think of him, I feel it all over again.

With that said, do you give yourself points! I think it's incredible that our types can inspire each other like this. I've liked an ESFJ in the past (very deeply so), and though I adored him immensely too, I never felt this sort of adamant drive to be my best self the way I do with my INFJ. Oh, that is lovely. Virtual high five for self-improvement goals! (On that note, my INFJ started picking up music when he found out I come from a musical family. ;) Guess it really does go both ways!)


There's a coincidence: My guy has done acting and (a little) modeling. Perhaps needless to say, I'm very very proud of his diverse accomplishments and attributes.
As you should be, and as I'm sure he's so, so grateful you are!

Insecurity is an evil demon which is hard to exorcise, and it's pretty much something the insecure person has to accomplish on his/her own. All the other person can really do is to be understanding and try to keep from inadvertently feeding the insecurity. Another thing to file under "Nobody said Life was easy."
 
Yes indeed! And it's hard at times to know what will trigger that insecurity. Sometimes even just spending time with my friends, if they are male, seemed to bother him. I recall an instance he tried to make me very jealous because I had spent time with two male friends. One who is gay, the other who is married. I pointed this out specifically because I didn't want him to be upset, but he still tried to make me jealous by showing off with this beautiful other girl....Well, I let him know how I felt by not talking to him for a while (rather than talking about it - my terrible mistake), and sure enough, he ended up horribly depressed and upset about what he'd done and hurting me. Lord, I hate that we can see how we hurt each other, or we could then, but still couldn't stop it. What a shame...


This adds to the delightful mystery. Meanwhile, INFJs are cryptic (to others) even though we generally understand ourselves with our sort of clarity. But my impression is that our INFJ inner understanding is personally understood via personal hieroglyphics that are often hard to translate into other-person language. Fun. :-(
 
How true! I would have to say the same. It's a beautiful mystery, though, and I find it enchanting because of that. In fact, even more respectable because of it. Well, what can I say? It's just too beautiful for words! But at least you all are a lot more self-aware about your thoughts and feelings. Ours tend to go into the Arts or wherever we can put them, where they do take specific form, but still aren't always easily understood in our own minds. Literally mind-blowing, haha!


He seems to sense, unprompted, where my feelings and thoughts are at any given time, and so says or somehow addresses just the right thing. Spontaneous insight. An INFJ would get that via Ni, I'm pretty sure; I'm not sure what function facilitates that for the INFP. What would you think?
 
Ooh, I'm not sure at all! But I've felt this with my INFJ. The problem for us (maybe not you both) was that I relied on this too much, and because I was so often right about what I sensed or felt from him, that when times were more complicated or particularly difficult, I relied on what I sensed, and having always been right before, when I was wrong, it led to misunderstandings - me thinking my senses were spot-on, and him thinking the same, that I would read him correctly as I usually did (and vice versa, as he always got me) but then both of us getting hurt and disappointed when the reaction we got was not at all what we expected and perhaps even worsened the situation. But we really often were spot-on with each other. I just don't know what function of an INFP would facilitate that...Could it be a certain type of INFP maybe? Do you know your guy's Enneagram?

Also by the way....Quick, lovely memory....I remember the first time I met my INFJ....As I speak his language and he doesn't speak mine, I'd been trying to think of what to say to him...I said something that was very obviously planned, as I'd been spending the last few hours trying to make sure I'd gotten it right and it would be meaningful. (Which of course it could not be, when it's not spontaneous and real. I mean, I meant the word, but they were being recited from the head, not coming from the heart.) Anyway, I'll never forget looking into his eyes in that moment, and seeing his say as clearly as though he had said it out loud, "Bullshit." :laugh: Oh lord, so funny!! And I felt so embarrassed and upset that I could have been so stupid, and lo and behold, the look in his eyes instantly changed, softened, and there was his innate understanding and compassion, and he was asking me if I was okay.

Oh I love that. I love a soul that sees beyond the outside, sees what's happening inside. I laugh so hard every time I think of that memory. I've never ever heard another person's thoughts so clearly. And anyone else who HAD been able to tell I'd rehearsed it would have left it there and walked off. He was the one who saw the change in my eyes, had the goodness and sense to be gentle and warmly ask me if I was okay, clearly knowing I wasn't.

Well, I was after that. :)

Ohhhhhhh sentimentality!


His Ni sent him a message of the nature of, "Hm! What she just said/did is highly ambiguous. Proceed with caution!" Now, the thing to remember about Ni--at least, as I experience Ni--is that Ni never explains anything. Ni just issues stark suggestions and mandates. So if you'd ask him about it, he'd likely just look at you blankly, because he wouldn't know how to explain it. And the way out of the situation is only to continue doing what you yourself feel is you being you, and let Ni at length content itself that, in reality, everything's OK. In other words, patience rather than reactivity. Yes, I know it's hard not to do something to address a perceived problem . . . but the doing something has a high likelihood of making things worse. In other words, be mellow.
 
Wow. Wow wow wow - THANK YOU!!!! I've unknowingly adopted this approach in recent months since stepping away, telling myself that the only way he will feel trusting is if he sees that I am consistent, that I am still there for him, and if I don't react to what he says/does, especially without knowing for sure if it's geared towards me. I'm really happy if this will keep working. And I do see now...So even if that Ni is telling him to worry a bit, it's better just to let things pass, be consistent, and go on to show him that it's smooth sailing. That nothing's wrong, I'm still there, and everything's going to be okay.

WOW, that is mind-blowing and AWESOME. Thank you!!


About all I can say is, Never startle an INFJ. It makes us sound the alarm and put everything under martial law. (Of course, maybe other INFJs will dispute every jot and tittle of what I'm saying; but what I'm telling you derives from what I've observed in myself and in other INFJs.)
 
Okay, so I was especially excited to reply to this comment. THIS was a biggie for us. And I didn't realize that "startling an INFJ" was such a serious thing. It's answered, or at least I think it has, a very serious question for me.

As you know, we are both actors. My birthday was coming up for one of his performances, so I thought to myself...What better way to spend the day than supporting him and seeing his work? So I got a ticket, managed to get a front row seat, didn't tell him I was coming, and excitedly sat down for the performance to begin. It did. He did a great job, as expected, though he seemed a little nervous (also to be expected). Curtain call comes, he's standing right in front of me. He ignores me. I feel a bit hurt and odd about it, but try not to think too much about it. Later, I'm waiting for him - nothing. I wait for a message - nothing.

I can't tell you how badly it hurt. I didn't understand. It turned out my abuser had also attended the show, and so for the longest time I wondered if she'd said or done something beforehand to upset him or paint a bad image of me or something. But for the days that followed, when I ignored him, grieving my eyes out on the floor of my apartment and wondering what on earth could have gone wrong (we'd had a really magical and romantic time together at a party only a matter of days before my birthday, so I couldn't understand the sudden change)...During those days after my birthday, and with my distance, I can't begin to tell you how sad his eyes were. I do think he must have been crying when he was alone, too. Such sadness. That was the first time anything like that had ever happened, and honestly, it was the very first hurt that led to the rest of them later on. The year before that had been sheer enchantment and magic, and deep, deep trust and love between us. That was really when everything began to fall apart.

But I get it now. We never talked about it, just tried to move on, because I think both of us had gotten so hurt (he knew he'd hurt me badly, and I think he was punishing himself for it)...But couldn't that be it? I didn't tell him I was coming, and this was an important production for him. I was right there in the front row, too. Often right where ended up onstage, which wasn't planned, but alas - that's how these things go. I must have startled the hell out of him.

Do you think that's possible? Knowing this now, I know to be more clear about what's going to happen rather than spontaneous. No more sudden surprises.


I can see that such could happen in an INFJ/INFP relationship. But me, I'm stoic in the moment; the emotion comes later in reflection, so it's best to handle things during my stoic period. My long experience with ENFPs seems to indicate that they are tendentially emotional in the moment; and perhaps INFPs share in this. And so, what to do if one side is one way and the other another? Patience, forbearance, love . . .
 
Yes, find the middle ground....I mean, it's good if you can be stoic in the moment! Something that helps me (as I tend to be emotional in the moment, like you said), if I can't step away to cool down, is to force myself to think about how much I love the person opposite me and to be an ADULT. Just think rationally and express things through my feelings, not as accusations. "Well, I felt like this when THIS happened..." or "This action made me feel like you don't care, or whatever..." It never helped in my relationship with my abusive family member, of course, who is incapable of reasoning, but I know this could be a big help between who truly love and care for each other.


My guy is very good about saying what needs to be said when there is a pressing situation of dubiety. I'm not sure if this is standard INFP or a special personal attribute of his. Between my Ni looking into its crystal ball and issuing wise (if unexplained) directives and his insight and saying quickly what needs to be said, any clouds on the horizon are very quickly dispersed. It's quite nice. Much recommended! ;-)
 
Maybe being deeply in touch with feelings helps? I don't think I can usually find the right words without sitting down and writing them down, mulling them over, but I could maybe express the feelings in some way. It's amazing that your INFP has that ability. I don't know if it's an INFP one or a special trait. Maybe it depends on the health levels of the INFP? Maybe a healthier one will have that ability to access the emotion, recognize it, and convey it. <3

Ohhhh it does indeed sound very nice!!!


I personally am voracious, so between that and his good sense, it would be difficult for that to happen. I can't imagine myself thinking or saying, "Ye gods! Would you effing leave me alone for a minute?!?!?!???" My attitude is, "Bring it on!" If you're sensitive to his sensitivites, this wouldn't come up for you either.
 
HAHA! Well that's lovely to hear! My INFJ gent is very cuddly, let's say. He's always got arms around or hugging people close to him. He's just loving and gentle like that, like a little doggy. Very loyal, very loving. So indeed, I guess it would be a matter of just not being suffocating, but also in general being sensitive to his sensitivities! Thank you!


Bless you. "Hard to get" has always been, for me, a big big turn-off. I would always assume the person has, in his or her wisdom, decided that it wouldn't work out between us, and so would shrug and move on quickly to my next victim candidate.
Is it really!? Well, I'm actually glad to hear that! I feel the same way...It's just a bit hard when society constantly tells you that you have to go about things this way, lest your partner get bored. :/ It really is a childish game at the end of the day, though.

Wait a minute. "Surely" because you know, or "surely" because you're making an assumption? INFJs are not necessarily ever looking for more excitement.
 
Well-spotted! I mean, he obviously craves security and a sense of safety, but I can't shake the feeling of things being TOO comfortable between us during the better times. I mean, it could all be in my head, too. It could be - or have been - my own fear that he was getting bored and would (as 6's do indeed fear) leave me behind for someone who could provide him with a bit more entertainment or spontaneity. Although, I do know what that's like for INFJs now, thanks to your comment above - many thanks!


If you were suffocating him, he'd find ways to put you off and/or let you know.
True - better to trust that he'll show it, if so.

It's hard to address without having examples of exactly how he responded to one thing or another. Are you suspecting his feelings from how you would possibly feel in his situation, or has he done indubitable off-putting?
 
Well, I almost feel like I'm rather clingy...Perhaps the remains of my codependency issues from growing up in an abusive household. So I feel like for me, I need constant reminder that my partner is faithful and want to show my partner the same, that I am there for him and he need not worry. I know this can be suffocating for many people of any type, so it's a general fear of my own, indeed. But during our more peaceful times...it's not that he showed explicitly that he felt this way, but his responses were never quite like they'd used to be in the past. Maybe it's more that we'd had that big hurt I referenced above, and suddenly became unsure about things after an otherwise glorious year of nonstop bliss. I mean, that's our own faults. I'll even take responsibility for not approaching him about it immediately rather than becoming a bit of a hermit for a time and allowing myself to grieve away the hurts. I'm rambling, but maybe it's not that he was bored or anything like that, and simply just trying to figure out where we were at and what was happening since that big hurt had happened. Honestly, right before it had happened, that time at the party....That was truly the happiest day of my life. We'd had such a good time. It was all sort of like a fairytale, it was too perfect. Kept checking on each other, he kept making me laugh, he was telling stories and jokes and I had the happiest time just listening to him - especially with him being so open and truly enjoying himself, which made me enjoy myself all the more...Later on, both of us talking about how much it had meant to us and how happy we were...You could see it in his eyes then, you absolutely see it in mine. It was just one night, but even after time together, it truly felt like we'd taken the next step forward, only for everything to fall apart a matter of days later on my birthday. So yes, all my rambling aside, maybe it wasn't simply "getting too comfortable" and "knowing I'd always be there", so much as both of us left floundering wondering what step was best to take next and so on...

I'm not sure I explained that very well! :( I'm sorry!


You make it a great pleasure!
Well same here! And I always feel like I have so much to sit and ponder with your replies, so thank you! I'm only sorry this one took so long, and see? Now it's become a small novel of it's own. Alas! Apologies for that! ><
 

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I'll bet she was - unable to say "No", I mean! That seems to be a big issue with us INFPs. We need to have more certain boundaries, and yet we're always afraid of hurting people. Stupid people-pleasing nature...!




 
Okay, I'm glad you know that. And right, because there are two people's feelings involved here. Neither of you deserved to be hurt. It probably hurt her (and maybe even scared her) to have to say no to you. So I'm glad a middle ground was reached there...




 
Okay, I'm glad about this, too. I think both our types are very guilty of reading between the lines and inputting our own fears in there. So I rather hope you won't take her words personally. It's not that you are not good enough for her. It's that no one is, clearly. I guess if she's okay with being alone, that's good for her, and I wish her the best. But yes, please don't think it means you're not good enough. She has superhuman ideals that no one can live up to, and even she recognized that, it seems. I was going to say...It would seem much too cruel if she had insinuated that you, and you alone, would not be good enough for her as a romantic partner. That would seem needlessly cruel, and sort of disgusting!




 
Absolutely - an unhealthy INFP can end up in a whirlwind of inner chaos. And I do think the sensitivity can lead to....well, worse things. But surely it's true of any type. Just, I think the sensitivity of an unhealthy INFP can lead to chaos.




 
Hmmm....Do you have any more examples in regards to this point? I don't know that it's decisions based on pure selfishness...At least, I don't know that that is the INFP's intention. I have been an unhealthy INFP! I came from an abusive home and learned all sorts of terrible coping mechanisms and survival tactics and so on. I pointed out in this thread, I've been homeless, attacked....I've been through the mill a few times over, haha! I can see all the bad choices I have made in the past, and it's still not always easy for me to know which ones will be the right ones here in the present/for the future, too, however hard I might think on it. However, I know that when I made those choices in the past, it was never out of selfishness. It was because I was in a whirlwind of sheer chaos and simply had no idea what path was the right one. If you can imagine being inundated with options, all of them terrible and none of them leading to a clear path to something better....It's like you can't really choose something and even expect that things will get better as a result of it. You're choosing the lesser of many evils. Or sometimes, if you're confused and pained enough, you're choosing whatever option presents itself first. It's not done out of selfishness...It's done out of pain, confusion, and self-preservation. Looking back, it might seem selfish when one has the mind clear enough to reflect on everything that happened and every choice that was available then...But in the moment, it's just chaos. You can't recognize anything clearly and sort of have to desperately feel your way through it - the good decisions, and the bad - and hope you get through to better days, when you can make better, more well-thought-out decisions.

So I do actually think it's a bit unfair to claim that INFP women have a hidden selfish side. I guess if you were in our shoes, it would be easier to imagine a bit.

One more thing I'd like to say on that point....When I was in bad situations and ended up in these chaotic moments where I had to just grasp for whatever option was available to me, never knowing what it would lead to...Ialways deep down feared that my loved ones would hate me. I never felt like any of my options (limited as they seemed, then) would lead to approval or support from my loved ones. I always feared being left alone and abandoned by them, even worse - that they wouldn't believe me, regardless of the choices I made and situations I faced. I feared I would inadvertently hurt people, but I never knew which choices would do that. Again - all confusion and chaos. Like reaching into a stormy sea trying to retrieve something important one's lost. You grasp blindly around, never knowing what you're going to pick up, and feeling sure that it's very unlikely you'll find and see your important "thing" again. So that fear, that fear of hurting others and not wanting to but not having the means to see a clear path that would avoid those kinds of things......That doesn't seem selfish to me. That seems like a human being just trying to survive, and unfortunately causing damage along the way. But it's damage that the person couldn't recognize as being bad, or even more likely, damage that the person did not want, but didn't see coming when they made the choice that led to it. :( Does that make sense?

I'm rambling here, so I'll lay off, haha. I do actually take a bit of issue with the idea of anyone saying INFPs (of either gender) are innately selfish. I also don't think it's innate to INFPs alone. Anyone, in bad times, can seem to be selfish. I think that's regrettably human nature, and the nature of self-preservation and survival in difficult times. But I hope with the image I painted above - the utter confusion of being in a dark situation, especially for INFP people - can showcase how maybe it's not quite selfishness at all, but rather fear, trying to survive, and simply not being able to see what our choices will mean for ourselves and those we love/others around us. I really do believe we feel hurt (generally) if we know we've hurt others with our choices. We feel responsible for the hurt we've caused. We just might not always realize/recognize when that hurt has happened, which is where our loving partners and friends and family (like you, in your INFP's case) need to step up and gently let us know, "Hey, this hurt, and I know you didn't mean it, but it really can't happen again."

^ Well, actually, not sure how well an unhealthy INFP could handle these words, as they'll be extra sensitive and emotional, but still. We do need our loved ones to let us know clearly rather than let resentment build.




 
You're not talking too much...! Don't worry! Look how much I've talked throughout this (and sorry for that).

I was starting to wonder if I'm even an INFP, if this behavior you're indicating (and the ones indicated in the thread that got closed) are really "normal" for INFP people......Because the thing is, I can't imagine abandoning a pet, either. I actually feel like I empathize with animals even more than I do humans, perhaps because they are vulnerable and innocent. Even when an animal simply doesn't get fed in a movie, or something probably silly-seeming, and the animal becomes sad.....That hits me so hard. I hate that stuff in movies!

But actually....I did end up moving overseas, and my pet cat stayed with my family. I can't say how much I missed him. It broke my heart. I had to actively try to keep him out of my mind and tell myself that he was with my family, and thus in a good place and with people who loved and would take care of him. It hurt that much to think of him, but I just couldn't come home. Hard to explain, but it is what it is. I needed to finish school, I got a job here (and it paid much better than any job I could get in my home country, which is very lacking in work)...Going back home would have meant going back to the abuse, too. There were many reasons, but I never forgot or stopped loving my pet cat, and I missed him terribly. He ended up passing away JUST before I was coming home to visit a few years ago, and to this day, it haunts me. It is a regret I will always carry.

So I guess what I want to say is that I don't think that your INFP did it purely out of selfishness. I'm willing to bet there was immense pain there, pain that she was adamant to block out, and knowing how good and loving you are, especially with pets, she felt that her doggy would be safe and happy with you. She probably thought she could also come home to see him occasionally. I mean, this is assuming I share a similar thinking pattern to her, but I felt like I got where she was coming from to some extent, in your example.

Thing is, sometimes we get so caught up in what's happening in our lives that we end up in a place where we really can't go back home, if that makes sense. I've often wondered if/when I'd ever go back, but I am still in the country I moved to. And somehow I know deep down, even on the worst and loneliest days here, that I can't go back. I can't explain it. I just know it. It's not an easy thought, either. Sometimes I really regret it or feel sad.

But right, so, I don't think you should assume she did it purely out of selfishness. It's not a selfless act, of course, and certainly not a kind one, but I really do believe she missed her pet and felt the doggy would be safe and happy with you. I can believe that she maybe needed to be away, for whatever reason, or otherwise couldn't find the means to come home. (And I don't mean "money" or anything like that. I mean more of a spiritual journey, or simply "life going on", as it tends to. In the case of a spiritual journey, it could well have been that she knew she would fall to pieces or become terribly depressed if she didn't take care of what needed to be taken care of in that moment, which I see as becoming even worse for you and her dog, in the long run. All that built up resentment, and possible depression...? Yipes!) I can see how you would see it the other way, though, in this case. Plus, it's not fair that you were expected to care for the dog, just like that. For that part, I absolutely see the selfishness.




 
Well sure! If you feel up to it, go ahead. I'm curious as to what behaviors INFJs perceive as being selfish or self-oriented! Because if it's behavior I am also exhibiting and it's not coming from a place of selfishness, then maybe I can help offer counterpoints for you and assuage some of your feelings, while also working out what my INFJ partner might end up seeing as selfish without realizing where it's coming from.

Thanks again!! And thanks for the honesty!

As I said earlier, I don´t want to generalize or start pointing fingers, I just talk from my own experience. I wouldn´t dare to call someone selfish(yet alone a group of people) just because I think they are selfish, and I certainly don´t think INFPs are selfish as a group of people, but those who I have met in my life(and I highlighted it in the very beggining) were and are emotionaly unhealthy. That combined with stress and the Fi function may lead to selfish behaviour. And I witnessed it on my own eyes.

I certainly have sympathy for people who have many life problems and I can clearly understand that decisions they make under such conditions shouldn´t be judged.
Maybe I wasn´t clear enough, or the fact that I am not a native english speaker took the best of me. I didn´t mean to say that ONLY INFP women have a selfish side, but I don´t know any INFP men. That´s why I said I have experienced it with women exclusively.

That being said, let me clarify my last comment.


If I wouldn´t know the girl for so long, I would never use the word selfish. But her actions, no matter how much I would like to think otherwise, were IN MY EYES, indeed pure selfishness. Because there was no need for her to go to the UK in the first place. She had a stable job, her own appartment, a big and supportive family and lot´s of friends who loved her(not many people have all these things). So no, she wasn´t forced to move to the UK due to some life hardships, she just had the opportunity and wanted to use it.
Because, in her own words, life here in Slovakia was boring, she had no opportunities to realise herself, she wanted to meet new people and live through various andventures. She just wanted a fresh start.
And that´s the problem here. All those things she did... she didn´t have to do them!
Leaving me with her dog for a few months because she couldn´t take it with her? – Yeah, that makes sense. I´m ok with that.
Telling me that she doesn´t want the dog anymore? – Well, that is no OK with me.
Even more, telling me, that if I don´t want Sheyla, then I can take her to her sister or to a dog shelter. – Like, what the hell?!
Because she doesn´t want to come back home. Because she is fed up with all the local people. Because she is fed up with her family. Fed up with her friends. With the responsibilities including Sheyla. She has a life opportunity and wants to use it. It is her life and she wants to live it to the fullest.

Sorry, my INFJ-ness might be talking right now, but this is pure selfisnhess in my eyes. I explained her, that if she really feels this way about me, her friends or family, then that´s fine – we don´t need eachother, we can live without eachother. But for Sheyla, she is her whole universe. She cannot do this to Sheyla. Betray her like this. She should find every way possible to bring her there, where she wants to start a new life. Even if it should take some time. Sheyla can wait, I can wait. There is no need to abandon her like this.
But yet again, this is the way she always has dealt with problems: to ignore them or "solve" them on a "non-personal" level. That means she would never find the guts to abandon her dog like this if she PERSONALLY would have to do it. Just like she was unable to tell me "no" PERSONALLY. Only through the internet... or telephone... thorugh every possible way except the one where she PERSONALLY would have to be confronted with reality.
That´s why I highlighted the difference between a healthy and emotionally stable INFP and the one that is not. This girl is not stable, nor emotionally nor mentaly. And that´s why she makes decisions that are so "un-INFP" in so many ways. That´s why she has such an unrealistic standard for her potentional love interest. That´s why she is so wrapped-up in a fantasy world and wishful thinking. And that´s why she is so irritated by people who in her eyes want to "control her life", even if all they want to do is help her.
That´s why I dare to say, that deep down in INFPs I know, there is a hidden side that is driven by selfishness. Because when you observe them as an INFJ, when you live with them and when you try to help them, and see this behaviour, you cannot call it any other than selfishness. Especially if their deeds contradict with core values they hold in such a high regard.

But yet again, it might not be that way and maybe my INFJ-ness makes me see things that are simply not true. But nonetheless this is how I see it. Because when an INFJ believes in something he may be quite fanatical about it. He would not abandon his ideals, just like a captain refuses to abandon his sinking ship. In my eyes she betrayed her core values, and I could see it in her eyes when she had to return due to some legal issues. I never reminded her her own words and let her take Sheyla back(she was really happy to see her again), but I could see that she was ashamed of herself.
That´s why I symphathize with her and want to help her. So that she can finally become a healthy individual. Because she is so sweet, caring and even inspiring when she is "at her best". And that´s it: I fell in love with the girl "at her best"... Every man would fall in love with such a great girl.


I really didn´t want to insult you or anything, or make your think that I don´t like INFPs(I do), but these are my experiences. Experiences that left me quite suspicious about INFPs in my life. But I cetrainly don´t, as we say here in Slovakia, put people in the same bag and I do realise that I came across some really unhealthy individuals. How much of that unhealthiness has to do with being an INFP, I don´t know, but it certainly has something to do with the Fi function. Atleast in my eyes.

Thank you for your reply. :)
 

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"We don't need to speak" jumps out at me. All couples need to be able to communicate with each other! It doesn't matter how strong your empathy is, you just can't mind-read people.

Which ironically was probably the most negative part of my experiences with most INFPs. I would act a certain way, they'd assume it was because I felt a certain way which I did not, and no matter how often I would try to tell them the real reasons for my actions, they'd get upset and keep trying to convince me it was really because I felt XYZ, and then they'd get all suspicious I wasn't being honest with them...while also admitting they had that "safe, loving" vibe from me. It honestly started to feel like gaslighting with a couple of them.

In reverse, my experience with them was someone very in-tune with emotions, but only if those emotions matched their own. If the two of us was going through a misery together (say we both had the same sucky job), we could stay up all night discussing it and gaining validation from each other, but the moment my feelings or ideals departed from theirs, it was like they just couldn't comprehend that. Or only comprehend it for a few seconds if I pressed them on it, then jump right back into their own worldview and fight for it to the death, with the insinuation that I was wrong and even a little bit evil for not feeling or thinking the way they did.

I'm really sorry I don't have anything positive to relate. Most of my INFP friendships have been very conflict-ridden. For them, having to put their feelings on a backburner to rationally contemplate that others have different emotional experiences seems really challenging, whereas I naturally like to harmonize on an emotional level, and am not so good at setting boundaries or gently letting people down who start to go against my values. It was like we'd let each other all the way in, but then have no clear way of dealing with the mismatches deep inside. I would accommodate and accommodate, they would push and push, until I couldn't take it anymore, and they were left wondering what ENTJ-ish dragon they had poked in the eye.
 
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