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When people try to win over you or have the upper hand

1695 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  curious0610
So I knew this very charismatic ENFJ a while back and from the first time I met her I did not feel uncomfortable around her because I sensed a lot of insincerity on her part. Although nearly all of our acquaintances called her so "genuine," my vibes said otherwise. I couldn't put my finger on it at that time, but something was always off.

Anyway, flash forward. Basically, I always had this uncomfortable feeling because I felt that she was always trying to "win" over me and have the upper hand in our friendship. It's hard to explain... but I constantly felt this covert competition going on. As someone that does not like being competitive, I was just intuitively turned off by this behavior because I do not view my friendships or life in general as a competition. I have my own race; others have their own. I find myself cheering and being very happy even for friends who attain something I am also going for -- this is because I view everyone as running their own race (even if it may be going for the same goal or same types of goals).

Although I sensed bad vibes, I wanted to give her the benefit-of-doubt, accepted her into my life, and treated her the same as I did to all my friends. After a while, I realized it was always me trying to make things work and it was always me trying to understand her. A third party (a thinker type) saw the situation objectively and pointed out that it seemed like I was making all the effort in the friendship. Around that time, I also heard from others that she would get angry and vent to them about me -- usually when she found out other friends and I spent one-on-one time together. She said some things, but everyone basically said they dismissed what she said because it was clear to them that she was being jealous. I spent these times with my friends in an unplanned way - we happened to meet at the library, or found out we were in the same class, or we ran into each other on the way to the store. On the other hand, this ENFJ friend would always schedule one-on-one time with people; also, if she found out I happened to be with someone, she also had to be there and would drop what she was doing and rush over. She would also schedule multiple times to hang out with someone if she found out I even just talked to that person. I was always puzzled at this behavior - she was so outgoing and charismatic and was always the center of attention so I could never understand why she'd get so worked up when I'd randomly have tea with someone or she felt people wanted to just be friends with me. I always accepted her as the "Queen bee" in the group and did my own thing (i'm pretty independent). Anyway, once I started really noticing this behavior (delayed INFJ reaction, lol), I started to distance myself from her and she started freaking out. I could see her being really disturbed and she started getting obsessively intrusive on my life.

That was long.. lol... but that took me a REALLY long time to realize (delayed reaction!). but anyway, today, I realized that I have this uncanny ability to sense when people are trying to win over or have the upper hand/be controlling in a relationship. I sense all the invisible power dynamics between people, and although I'm not aware of it at that time, I intuitively get put off by that type of power-tripping behavior and intuitively tell myself to distance myself. Do you guys relate to this?? I've also found that ENFJs have been jealous of INFJs as an overall pattern of people I've observed first hand - both for myself as well as other ENFJ/INFJs I know. Any guesses as to why?
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I think what you are witnessing is the dark side of Fe - she is trying to bend you into what she sees should be the social order of things. I think Fe also experiences a very strong desire to connect to people, but we introverts keep to ourselves so we probably can frustrate it. It is like refusing to argue your logical point of view on things with an ENTJ. You lose their respect. So if you keep distance I think you can lose ENFJ the same. I remember how angry my ENFJ best friend got once back in school I said I don't want to tell her who my current crush is. She was steaming over it for days and accusing me of not trusting her. This whole crush deal undermined our relationship for weeks.

As for being jealous of ENFJs ... not sure ... I can remember at least one thread posted back some weeks ago by an INFJ stating that she is feeling jealous of how easy ENFJs have it in social situations. May be they are jealous of us because they see that we can separate ourselves from the group, and be on our own, be our own person while they can struggle with this because of their dominant Fe. To the contrary we can see how easy it is for them to extravert and be together with the group, while in us it always induces a conflict - a push-pull between our Ni and Fe where desire to connect usually gets overridden by Ni's desire for seclusion. ENFJs probably experience same conflict, but in them it wins in reverse, and so they see in you what they desire to achieve but cannot.

Also, man, having introverted thinking as 4th function must suck. I don't know how it comes out in them but I know this function usually comes out in a very primitive manner, all or nothing kind of deal, and I'd much rather have Se or Si placed in there.
I know an ENFJ. Let's call him Bob. Bob will literally give you the shirt off his back and is a really nice guy. Seriously he will take in strangers to his home, feed them whatever they ask for, and give them money without even thinking about it. However, I got the idea that he tries hard...too get you to like him and be his friend. Something was off putting about it and I never perused the friendship. A few months later I had a conversation about it with an INTJ friend who goes way back with Bob and she made me realize that Bob's motive is basically "Win-Win". He want's to give so he can get. Pretty much all of his many many friendships are based on that. Don't ever say no to Bob or else he can't get anything in return later. And that pisses Bob off! Ha! I'm sure not all ENFJs are like that. Sorry if i offend! I think that's the darker side of that personality, we all can get to that, but it was pretty accurate the way my friend put it. Scientists tend tell it how it is. Hope that helps in your situation.
Vel - I think that's a good observation. I can really see the reversed Ni-Fe conflict playing out. I think the Ni desire for seclusion can be considered selfish especially by ENFJs whose Fe wins out. They probably see our need for seclusion as a selfish thing. Interesting story , thanks for sharing. :) It put a small smile on my face. I can totally imagine all the ENFJs I know steaming over a similar issue and accusing me/others of not being trusting. The image just made me laugh right now. When I see INFJs steaming, I see a rice cooker (with steam coming out in a focused stream). For ENFJs, I visualize a cartoon of someone turning red and steam coming out from both of their ears.. in a cute, childish way.

and thanks for sharing about your friend Averic. I relate to your experiences. I'm not sure I'd say they only give to get back, but I think they definitely react negatively/defensively if you say "no" and reject what they give you. At the same time, with some ENFJs at least, sometimes I've felt that they only "give," to buy your love and friendship, which really puts me off even more.. and makes me feel that even attempting to do that cheapens our friendship.

Oh by the way, vel -- I only distanced myself once I noticed all the unhealthy behaviors (competing for our friends' time, being jealous of me, throwing off-handed comments). Otherwise, I wouldn't have, but all that underlying power competition was way too much stressful for me to handle. I don't even think INFJs are specially qualified to handle those kind of social situations, haha, at least i'm not
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