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When dealing with broken friendships/relationships do yo:

  • Hold resentment and bitterness?

    Votes: 5 23.8%
  • Self-criticize and take more blame than necessary?

    Votes: 8 38.1%
  • Forgive and try to mend as much as possible?

    Votes: 1 4.8%
  • Objectively analyze the situation and assign responsibility as necessary?

    Votes: 7 33.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure there's not going to be a cookie-cutter answer on this, and I don't know if, even individually, we INFP's are consistent on this.

But I was just wondering how the old INFP "loyalty" and our penchant for self-criticism comes into play when dealing with betrayal, hurt, etc.

Without going into gory detail, I was in a relationship that ended recently.

But I can't hold any resentment at all toward my ex (it feels mean to me even calling her that). And I find that I criticize myself a lot for what went wrong in the relationship, even though I know she was very much at fault for certain things.

It's not that I can't objectively say "yeah, she had issues too," but it's just that I guess my bent is toward laying blame at my own feet.

I can't say it's specifically "forgiveness" I'm talking about, though I have already forgiven her for everything.

I'm just wondering if it's that "fiercely loyal" descriptor at work - when I've committed to someone in some way, or forged that bond - even when it's broken I can't seem to dredge up an "It's all your fault and I hate you" attitude. And I end up sometimes still defending her to people even though I don't need to, and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't want me to.

Just, in dealing with broken friendships/relationships/family situations, do you guys tend to:

A: Hold onto bitterness and resentment
B: Criticize yourselves and take the blame
C: Look at the situation and objectively analyze (*did I just list that as a possibility in an INFP forum?*)
D: Forgive and move on, try to mend things as much as possible

'Splain, please!
 

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I think I do all of the above. I was really close friends with someone all through high school, through college, and a several years after this. We were like brother and sister. We even promised each other once that if we were both 60 years old and unmarried, that we would marry each other to keep each other company. Then he decided to open a business and hire me. Our relationship completely changed and now we are not friends anymore. I blame him because I had no intention of ever leaving our friendship, but I think he decided a business relationship was what he wanted and he pushed me away. I have a TON of bitterness and resentment toward him. a TON. If any of my other friends start talking about him, they know not to get me started because it will be an instant mood killer. I came to the conclusion that the ending of this friendship hurt me more than my parents' divorce.... so yeah, it sucked. and it still does. He is still my boss, I see him every day.

Anyway, as I said, I still have a lot of resentment built up, but it is starting to go away. I am starting to move on and accept what happened. It has been 3 years since this all unfolded. I still don't understand it, but I am accepting it. I decided that if someone can throw away an 18 year long friendship because of money and status, then maybe he's not the person I thought he was. In this situation, I don't really blame myself. I do think of a few times when my anger got the best of me and I lashed out at him at work and purposely did not bow down to his authority like he wanted. I probably said a few things that added to the fire. But I know in my heart, I never wanted this to happen so it can't be my fault.

I could see if I had wanted it to happen and I went and did destructive and hurtful things, but I did not.

So to answer your question, the bitterness and resentment is there. But the forgiveness and acceptance is close behind. And that only comes from analyzing the situation to death and trying as hard as I can to see it from his point of view. As hard as it is to understand why he doesn't want to be my friend anymore, I can respect his decision and hope that he didn't just take it lightly and that it effected him to some degree, too.
 

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I took the MBTI test a few more times and if I'm not completely split down the middle I'm usually off by a few percentages (3% or less) on the F and T. Only reason I think I'm more INFP is because my personality and thoughts seem to ring through more with other INFPs. But I like to think that means I'm pretty well grounded when it comes to things like this.

C. Look at the situation and objectively analyze

Once I'm over a relationship and have no desire for it I do tend to analyze everything and take any experience I can get from it. Realize the things I should've sooner with my ex as well as take note of the mistakes I made. I don't try to mend broken relationships anymore as they aren't worth it when there are new people I can have a fresh start with.
 

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None of the above.

If a relationship or friendship gets to the point that it needs to end, then for me it must be toxic or damaging. And at that point, I sever all contact and do my best to move on completely.

By the time a relationship or friendship is unrecoverable, I've already invested a lot of work into rehabilitation. I forgive over and over until there really is no hope of solving the issue. I let myself be treated pretty poorly for awhile, while trying to fix things.

So, no blame. No mending. No grudge. Just ending. I believe in letting the dead remain dead. For relationships, this extends 10x.
 
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A: Hold onto bitterness and resentment

I'm not sure what to make of this. While some part of me still feels that twinge whenever I think of what went wrong in my past relationships, and it still bothers me to think about it, I don't harbor any resentment towards them. I don't think of my ex as a horrible person. I do hold onto how this and that made me feel though. If I was to sit down and think again about my relationships, I'd be able to re-experience all the negative feelings I felt at the time, the disappointment, the hurt, the jealousy, etc. I guess it's because I ruminate about my past a lot, so my emotions are amplified in the process. Weirdly enough, this doesn't maintain the resentment. It tends to fade after a while. I don't hold grudges, at all.

B: Criticize yourselves and take the blame

God, yes.

C: Look at the situation and objectively analyze
Yes, I tend to do that a lot. I try seeing it from many perspectives, his perspective, my perspective after time has passed, outer perspectives to try and see what I could've done better or not done at all, what could've been prevented, etc. I'm sure it's not a hundred percent objective, but it helps me learn at lot from what happened, and use it in ulterior relationships.

D: Forgive and move on, try to mend things as much as possible

Try to mend things as in.. try to stay friends? It depends on why we broke up. Mainly, if he hurt me, I wouldn't even consider letting that person be in my life afterwards. If it ended on more or less okay terms, after a while and some distancing, I could maybe consider letting them back in, as a distant friend I suppose. I do forgive though, yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A: Hold onto bitterness and resentment

I'm not sure what to make of this. While some part of me still feels that twinge whenever I think of what went wrong in my past relationships, and it still bothers me to think about it, I don't harbor any resentment towards them. I don't think of my ex as a horrible person. I do hold onto how this and that made me feel though. If I was to sit down and think again about my relationships, I'd be able to re-experience all the negative feelings I felt at the time, the disappointment, the hurt, the jealousy, etc. I guess it's because I ruminate about my past a lot, so my emotions are amplified in the process. Weirdly enough, this doesn't maintain the resentment. It tends to fade after a while. I don't hold grudges, at all.

B: Criticize yourselves and take the blame

God, yes.

C: Look at the situation and objectively analyze
Yes, I tend to do that a lot. I try seeing it from many perspectives, his perspective, my perspective after time has passed, outer perspectives to try and see what I could've done better or not done at all, what could've been prevented, etc. I'm sure it's not a hundred percent objective, but it helps me learn at lot from what happened, and use it in ulterior relationships.

D: Forgive and move on, try to mend things as much as possible

Try to mend things as in.. try to stay friends? It depends on why we broke up. Mainly, if he hurt me, I wouldn't even consider letting that person be in my life afterwards. If it ended on more or less okay terms, after a while and some distancing, I could maybe consider letting them back in, as a distant friend I suppose. I do forgive though, yes.
That's pretty much the way it works for me, too.

I was kind of wondering if I'm weird because I really don't hold grudges ...

There are a lot of things I believe that happen to me that would make a lot of "normal" people hold grudges and bitterness and (maybe) hatred.

So I didn't know whether our type in general is one that holds grudges or more lets them go.

I know we can tend to hold onto things too long and let ourselves be used. But when it comes to a breaking point, as things do, are we the type to intentionally retain bad feelings?

I'm getting the impression that it's not weird to let things go and take more blame than necessary on ourselves, and even to "over-forgive" as @SnowyBernard said.

Also, @JigglyJello, I also normally test a tad higher on the T than the results in my signature indicate. I'm probably more like 40% on T and 60% on F, if I average out all the different tests I've taken.

So for me sometimes I find myself gravitating toward detaching from my feelings, at least in a post-traumatic-experience phase. Normally it ends up going back to how my analysis makes me feel in the end, but there are those moments where it's not hard to see it in a fairly objective light.

And @ethylester that stinks! Yeah, if I were in a situation like that I can't say that I would end up with any different of a perspective than you have.

I think for me, I've moved several times, so I never had those two decades to develop that close a relationship with anyone, save my best friend I've kept in touch with and my family.

If I had something that meant that much to me, that ended like that, there would be no way for me to "move on" as quickly as I have from other broken relationships.

And lest I sound like a saint - there are things in my life where I realize I held resentment for a long time without dealing with it. Sometimes, I think, my "forgiving" consists of pushing something to the side, saying I don't care about it, only to realize long after that fact that I never truly dealt with it, and there's still some stuff under the surface.

I think that realization has contributed to the way I am now - that people probably see as WAY too intense, just because I insist on dealing with things as they happen - even the smallest things. It probably drove my gf nuts that, when there was a random not-too-intense argument, I had to talk about it afterwards and make sure we were both okay.

I think she grew to hate the phrase "you okay?" and saw me as hypersensitive on issues of feeling, where she was a very strong T.

Yeah, but anyway, thanks for your replies. This definitely makes sense to me, and glad I'm not the only one who doesn't hold grudges about most things!
 

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icicle84 said:
I also normally test a tad higher on the T than the results in my signature indicate. I'm probably more like 40% on T and 60% on F, if I average out all the different tests I've taken.

So for me sometimes I find myself gravitating toward detaching from my feelings, at least in a post-traumatic-experience phase. Normally it ends up going back to how my analysis makes me feel in the end, but there are those moments where it's not hard to see it in a fairly objective light.
That's funny, because I do that as well. I don't recall ever falling apart after breaking up with someone. I'm not really sure why this happens.. I just find it really easy to dissect the situation and think of it, analyse it, examine it without really being emotionally involved in the process. It caused me a lot of distress, because I was so very in love while I was in the relationship, but I didn't go through that heartbreak process like everyone else did. It even caused me to reconsider my feelings at some point. I remember asking my friend if he thought I was a bad person after I admitted to this, and he helped me understand that not everyone heals the same way.

I still think (read obsess at first) about the situation and the person, but.. I guess I do detach myself. I don't know, you've given me a lot to think about.

Not really sure about my T/F ratio. I think it might be similar to yours, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's funny, because I do that as well. I don't recall ever falling apart after breaking up with someone. I'm not really sure why this happens.. I just find it really easy to dissect the situation and think of it, analyse it, examine it without really being emotionally involved in the process. It caused me a lot of distress, because I was so very in love while I was in the relationship, but I didn't go through that heartbreak process like everyone else did. It even caused me to reconsider my feelings at some point, which I stopped doing after a while because I realize that I just did things differently. Not everyone heals the same way. Of course, I still think (read obsess) about the situation and the person, but.. I guess I do detach myself. I don't know, you've given me a lot to think about though.

Not really sure about my T/F ratio. I think it might be similar to yours, though.
I think, to me, it depends on how it ends.

One ended, and I was the "ender" of it. I think that, it being my decision, I was able to get to the objective analysis and realize it just wasn't right.

Second one completely floored me, and I went through a really really bad heartbreak.

But looking back, there were ample times when I could have given the thinking analysis to it, but I chose to ignore it because ... well, yeah, you know the phrase "blinded by love," and I thought with enough hard work I could make it work.

I think I was afraid of thinking too objectively about it, because I knew if I did, that I wasn't going to like what the "logical conclusion" was.

Anybody who's heard me argue/teach logic to people will tell you I can be pretty intellectual when I want to. Problem is, most times I just don't want to. ;)
 
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I think, to me, it depends on how it ends.

One ended, and I was the "ender" of it. I think that, it being my decision, I was able to get to the objective analysis and realize it just wasn't right.

Second one completely floored me, and I went through a really really bad heartbreak.
In my last relationship, I was the 'ender' as well. I can relate to the objectiveness, and it sort of makes sense. I wasn't satisfied or happy anymore.

In my other relationship, we both ended it, but there was just way too much going on with me at the time for me to really dwell on the relationship. He was seriously the last thing on my mind.

Is it weird I actually feel ashamed of this? Blah.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In my last relationship, I was the 'ender' as well. I can relate to the objectiveness, and it sort of makes sense. I wasn't satisfied or happy anymore.

In my other relationship, we both ended it, but there was just way too much going on with me at the time for me to really dwell on the relationship. He was seriously the last thing on my mind.

Is it weird I actually feel ashamed of this? Blah.
Not weird at all - I think it's perfectly natural. Maybe it's something you should regret, maybe it's not.

I sometimes need to keep in mind that there area million things that could always have been done differently, and could have changed certain outcomes by 180 degrees.

I think that's part of what keeps me from holding grudges. It's that I realize - yeah, you could have done some things differently. But so could I. And if we had both lived our lives perfectly up til now, we might not have even met each other.

Sure there are things I regret. But most of the time it comes down to - nope, can't change it. So I'm going to choose to let it go instead of holding onto hard feelings. And sometimes that means forgiving myself too.

I think I'm way harder on myself than I am on other people. If only I had done something differently! There's shame and there's regret and there's sorrow. I think we tend to forget that we need to learn to forgive ourselves, even when something is completely, 100% our fault.

I know I struggle with it. Man, I think I need to have a good "forgive myself" session tonight. ;p
 

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@ethylester I really don't know what to say except I feel compelled to say something. I only hope that this experience has not damaged you to the extent that you will struggle to let anyone else back in. To me, such an action is unforgivable. I think you're stronger than me because given the context I would be unable to refrain from laying all my cards on the table and continuing to push for an explanation until either my temper or my tears got the better of me. It's not often that I pour out everything and I know it would be counterproductive but if I had to see them every day at work I'm not sure I would be able to stop myself. I can count the number of people in I am so emotionally close to in my life on one hand and if that happened to me I am not sure if I would be able to forgive them for wounding me so. I never break promises, whether to myself or others, it's why I hardly ever make them. I just hope that you can find some inner peace for your own sake.

As for the topic, I think it really depends on the context. I think my initial impulse is to blame the other because I've experienced a lot of disappointment and I can't remember the last time I made myself feel terrible. But then I become more objective, and try to see things from the other person's point of view - as much as I like to think I can empathise with others, I have a terrible habit of giving priority to my own feelings when I'm hurt. However I also realise that I can exhibit a lot of self-defeating behaviours. I also don't like to play the martyr, nor do I want to be a hypocrite. So I have to accept that some or even much of it may be down to me, too. I would much rather learn the lesson and move on, though, rather than turn to self-hatred. I have seen too much of that around me to go down the same path. As far as forgiveness is concerned, I have a motto: forgive but never forget. A lot of the time what happens to us happens for a reason and I have to consider if it is liable to be a part of another's pattern of behaviour or if the two of us are not compatible together as people in the long term. I don't believe in harbouring grudges in the form of resentment because the only person that is harming is yourself. If the other person seems genuine then I will be receptive, or if I strongly believe I have wronged someone then I will probably not be able to think about anything else until I have at least spoken with them. As to where it goes from there... it depends.
 
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@ethylester I really don't know what to say except I feel compelled to say something. I only hope that this experience has not damaged you to the extent that you will struggle to let anyone else back in. To me, such an action is unforgivable. I think you're stronger than me because given the context I would be unable to refrain from laying all my cards on the table and continuing to push for an explanation until either my temper or my tears got the better of me. It's not often that I pour out everything and I know it would be counterproductive but if I had to see them every day at work I'm not sure I would be able to stop myself. I can count the number of people in I am so emotionally close to in my life on one hand and if that happened to me I am not sure if I would be able to forgive them for wounding me so. I never break promises, whether to myself or others, it's why I hardly ever make them. I just hope that you can find some inner peace for your own sake.
Thank you. I have definitely shed several tears over it and wrote a couple songs about it too. I have never confronted him because I do have to see him every day and he is one of my bosses, so my job and 40 hours of my week is dependent on maintaining some kind of working relationship with him. It has been a struggle though. If you could ask any of my close friends or husband how I feel on the subject, they would all know and be able to tell you that he hurt me a great deal. I don't think I will ever be able to let him back into my friendship circle again, if he ever tries to get back in, which I doubt. It isn't my business, but it bugs me that some of my friends still want to be friends with him too. But I can't ask people to pick sides... I just know that if he is hanging out with them, then I make up an excuse about why I am not joining them. And he seems to do the same with me. We knowingly avoid each other. it's pretty sad.

anyway, thank you for the support. It's nice to know that other people can understand the hurt such a betrayal could cause you.
 
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