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My ENFP roommate gets frustrated with me because she's always trying to introduce me to her friends or drag me out with her. Sometimes I go along with her wishes and have a nice time, but other times her efforts seem sort of wasted. She can't understand how my reactions can be so varying, or why I make "snap" judgments about whether I like or dislike the people she introduces me to. She jokes that there's a tiny group of people known as the "Brittany Circle" - the people I let in and care about - and then there's the rest of the world that "doesn't matter."

I know the rest of you are probably like me in that you have a small group of people you trust and spend time with. For me, the Brittany Circle is for my own protection. I can't know someone and not care about him/her - even if the person is an absolute bastard. It takes so much for me to not see someone as a person, and therefore feel a degree of sympathy toward him. Also, I'm not good at setting limits that protect myself, therefore I'm easily exploited. However, if I keep people outside of the Brittany Circle, then I can limit the energy I expend on them. Does this make sense? Anyone else this way?

How can I explain this to my roommate? It really hurts that she thinks I'm a selfish, callous person, especially when I feel the situation is quite the opposite!
 

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Just tell her what you told us. Just explain it the way you said it above, tell her that you give a lot to the friends that you allow into your circle and you really shell out your heart to the Brittany circle and that's why its a small circle because it is difficult to give so much to so many people.
 

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Makes perfect sense to me! You could ask the same question on the ENFP forum to get their perspective as well...
 

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I can't know someone and not care about him/her - even if the person is an absolute bastard. It takes so much for me to not see someone as a person, and therefore feel a degree of sympathy toward him. Also, I'm not good at setting limits that protect myself, therefore I'm easily exploited. However, if I keep people outside of the Brittany Circle, then I can limit the energy I expend on them.
Oh thank you for that! That explains it so well! When I try to explain it to anyone it gets all tangled in my head and doesn't make any sense at all, but it's because I wasn't fully understanding why I felt that way, I just knew I did it. Yeah, that's pretty clear and concise, but running it by the ENFP forum may help. But I'm thinking if she still doesn't get it, then she either isn't listening or she's *special*.
 
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hehe I am in similar situation - I live with an ENFP who tries to drag me out and I often have to politely decline

We had the introvert/extravert talk with her the very first month that I've moved in. I tried to explain it best I could, gave a few examples of people in my family. I tried to be as open about it as I can. It is difficult for some people to understand but what can I do. She was quite accepting of it as she has studied psychology herself. Being my INFJ self I am sometimes spurred to do something nice and random for her. I hope that offsets me appearing cold and callous and not as interested in interacting with people as she is ^^
 

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I'm the same way. Some people you connect with and others, you realize there is nothing there worth your time or theirs. I said that in a pretty blunt way but it's true. I have people I consider true friends (although few) and others are merely friendly aquaintances. Most times, other people's drama is draining and pointless to an INFJ. Can't we all get along? What makes it most difficult - as an INFJ I'm not a huge social butterfly. I can't keep up with the lives of everyone because similar to what you had said, there is not enough time in the day or enough of ourselves to invest so deeply in everyone we meet. We are the black sheep of the group everyone thinks is a bit strange, very quiet and boring. The thing is, they just don't realize how much is going on behind our eyes...they are too busy grabbing everyone's attention. Hmm, it's a bit like the idea of jewlery. INFJ friendships are precious metals and gems, they hold their value long into the future. We have a few pieces we invest a lot into. That's much better than costume jewlery anyday!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to all of you for responding.

What a great metaphor, waterviolet! I agree, we invest a lot in a little. How well put!
 
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