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I read that the primary stress style for INFJ's is "flight" as in to remove ourselves from the situation- mentally, emotionally, physically what have you. This is differentiate to the INFP's primary stress style which is to freeze in place for example.
Why do we do it?
Is there something pertinent to an average INFJ's personality that gives them the tendency to detach or dissociate when they undergo stress?
 

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I don't know about why others do it, but I do it because I don't want to burden other people with my stress. I withdraw so it can't touch them.

It also gives me some time to think things through without distraction or people trying to give me advice, persuade me, or just in general add more tangles to the situation. It's only recently I've found a friend I can confide most anything in, and I'm getting a bit better at reaching out to him when I need a hug.
 

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I'm assuming that part of it is from how quickly our senses get overloaded from conflict.

I wonder sometimes if the saying, "You could have cut the tension in that room with a knife", came from an INFJ, because the stress level is almost palatable in some cases.

If the conflict is directed right at me, and unwarranted, I can take the time afterwards to think about what happened, think about it some more, sleep a bit, wake up and think some more, and eventually decide whether this matter can be forgiven, or if it is time to put up the wall that keeps that person out in every sense.

That's my reaction to it, but I don't believe that it is in the vast majority of other INFJs.
 

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I feel like I'm unable to dissociate in the sense that I don't feel any difference between thoughts/emotions that occur inside my body and thoughts/emotions that occur outside of my body in the form of "other" human beings.

It all feels like it's me or mine. My body processes and chews on it all as if it belongs to my own self.

Falsehood or self-contradiction spoken on the Internet by a stranger impacts me in the same way as falsehood or self-contradiction generated from my own self impacts me. It bothers me and I have to reconcile it. I can't dissociate from it. I can't ignore other people's thoughts any more than I can ignore my own thoughts.

If anything, I feel like most human beings I encounter exist in various states of dissociation and fragmentation. A lot of people feel like half-beings or fragmentary expressions or embodied egos to me. I feel them as beings that have an exaggerated preference for one side or the other of different pairs of opposites.

Jung talks about people who have a tendency to dissociation, meaning they have the capacity to split off irreconcilable traits of character for considerable periods of time and thus they pass themselves off as being simpler than they actually are.

I feel like I don't have this ability to split off what is irreconcilable. I'm just assaulted by the fragments until I can integrate them. My attention is drawn inward and I feel the thing cycling through and digesting and trying to get the pieces to fit.

Even by "closing the door" or isolating myself, I still don't feel like I'm truly escaping or detaching or dissociating from other people's junk that I've picked up.

Isolation just gives me time to digest and process but I'm never able to dissociate from other people's stuff.
 

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Everyone has their own little reasons for why, but cognitively speaking, when people are under stress, they fall back on WHO they are. (This is why one should never marry someone only after dating them for a while, because you honestly haven't seen beyond their "act." Which everyone acts... that's a good sign. I'd be worried if someone wasn't on their best behavior while first dating... rant over.)

For INFJs, who we are is Ni, first and foremost. Under stress, we rely on Ni, which pushes back Se. By that very nature, we dissociate from our surroundings and seek refuge in our own mind.
 

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I feel better acting than freezing. Even if my options are limited, working on a problem is more satisfying than not acting.

I dislike talking about problems because its tiring. I'm consciously dialing back the emotions, because when I feel stressed it makes others stressed, which makes me more stressed, etc. Horrible cyclical thing.

I just feel like I can push through whatever it is if I retreat into my head and protect myself.
 

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If you're INFJ and also test as an EII, the reason is that either you are "flight"ing to get away from displays of power, which are your point of least resistance, or because you need to thoroughly think through the situation. Thinking through things is the EII mode function, while human relationships are the leading function. The leading function and mode function of any type can not be used simultaneously, so to be able to "process what just happened," you have to turn off the human interaction part of your brain to turn on the categorical/organizational logic portion of your brain. When I go away from people to introspect, I do so to be able to fit everything together into my own internal structure, not because I am avoiding the situation, but because my head starts to feel like there is a cluster-F going on up there, unless... You know... I left because I just don't like them or they got confrontational.
If you are an INFJ that tests as an IEI, then I have no idea, as they like beneficial displays of power and their Ti is in a spot that doesn't conflict with relationships.
 

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Well, not so sure on whether we do it more than other types, but here are some random guesses + generalizations on the topic as a whole.

  1. As a coping mechanism, commonly children from abusive or neglectful homes learn to detach (or run) from people or situations and mentally go to another place. It's the equiv of going into your room and locking the door.
  2. Most of us are loners, antisocial, and/or socially inept. Basically, we've learned to be independent for a good chunk of our lives.
  3. We're usually the counsellor not the counsellee. Others often open to us, but we're unlikely to open up to them.
  4. When you put others first, sometimes you vent or talk to them more-so as a courtesy so they feel needed, rather than them actually helping you. If we're highly stressed, we don't really have the energy to put on this charade or listen.
  5. When we are overwhelmed the last thing we need is another voice in our head. It's like adding a stack of papers on top of another stack.
  6. You did something to betray us in a way or you're not deemed trustworthy.
  7. We're not confident in your ability to help.
  8. We're going to pick apart everything you say and analyze what you're trying to do, thus reducing its effectiveness.
  9. Quite simply, we may not want to burden you or bring you down with us.
  10. We don't want to look like a looney tune so we're going to play it cool like nothing is wrong, but we need some space and so we don't arouse suspicion or make you worry, so we'll lie and just say we're busy with... work/school whatever.

I'm sure the list could go on forever.
 

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For me it is when I am around others I can't help but to try my best to be good around them, and often when I am stressed it is because there is work I need to do FOR MYSELF. And I know that if I am around others I will just get distracted, so I close myself off from them so I can do what I need to do. Similarly if I have a lot on my mind, often I will try to get away from others so I can deal with myself.
Notice a theme? When I am stressed I go into a selfish self-preservation/must do what I need to do for myself mode. And being around others can actually break me out of that mode, and often that mode will help me survive... so I "have" to withdraw.
 

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This is extremely relevant to me right now...recently I've been in a non-stop dissociation mode, I just can't feel anything and when I do feel it is overwhelming. An awful lot of guilt is attached to this too for me because I feel like I should be caring more about people and because I don't, they deserve better than me.
 

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Question is , How does one deal with this destructive behavior?
Not letting other people to help you for example?
-Ob.
 

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I read that the primary stress style for INFJ's is "flight" as in to remove ourselves from the situation- mentally, emotionally, physically what have you. This is differentiate to the INFP's primary stress style which is to freeze in place for example.
Why do we do it?
Is there something pertinent to an average INFJ's personality that gives them the tendency to detach or dissociate when they undergo stress?
It's the best way I can resolve the situation. I can know the details and put it all in order and come up with a rescue plan. I get a satellite view and get a better picture.
 
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I read that the primary stress style for INFJ's is "flight" as in to remove ourselves from the situation- mentally, emotionally, physically what have you. This is differentiate to the INFP's primary stress style which is to freeze in place for example.
Why do we do it?
Is there something pertinent to an average INFJ's personality that gives them the tendency to detach or dissociate when they undergo stress?
I think that our natural tendency toward dreaminess is one contributor. Another is the fact that many of us are so sensitive and our bodies require such care, that we learn that not being fully embodied temporarily has us feeling less pain/discomfort.

My biggest issues lately have to do with boundaries and being an empath. Feeling others certainly does not feel like a gift, though I’m hoping to discover that aspect at some point. At the moment I’m working to stay in my body, use protection exercises, and just notice where I end and others begin. What a trip, huh?
 

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I'm assuming that part of it is from how quickly our senses get overloaded from conflict.

I wonder sometimes if the saying, "You could have cut the tension in that room with a knife", came from an INFJ, because the stress level is almost palatable in some cases.

If the conflict is directed right at me, and unwarranted, I can take the time afterwards to think about what happened, think about it some more, sleep a bit, wake up and think some more, and eventually decide whether this matter can be forgiven, or if it is time to put up the wall that keeps that person out in every sense.

That's my reaction to it, but I don't believe that it is in the vast majority of other INFJs.
Good description. This is very real to me.
 

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I feel better acting than freezing. Even if my options are limited, working on a problem is more satisfying than not acting.

I dislike talking about problems because its tiring. I'm consciously dialing back the emotions, because when I feel stressed it makes others stressed, which makes me more stressed, etc. Horrible cyclical thing.

I just feel like I can push through whatever it is if I retreat into my head and protect myself.
Thanks for writing this, insightful and helpful to me.
 

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I haven't noticed that INFJs dissociate so much as withdraw from conflict situations quickly.

There's a big difference. Dissociation involves physical sensations in which you feel "numb" or "paper thin" and the psychological perception that you are distant from your body. It is a coping mechanism people use when they are not able to escape abuse. Can sometimes become maladaptive if the person begins to use it automatically as a day-to-day coping mechanism. This most often occurs if the person picked up the tendency in childhood and hasn't had the opportunity to develop healthier coping strategies yet. Source: I was hospitalized for a dissociative disorder twice during my teens after an abusive childhood.

I've always thought INFJ's withdraw because they find fighting to lack propriety. They'd rather protect their dignity than engage.
 

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Recently I've been pretty stressed and the reason I withdraw from those around me is because I don't want to hurt them. I lose pretty much all my capacity for patience and can easily snap on someone. I've learned to let my family and friends know that I'm worn out, need to recharge and that I'm not going to be very social or upbeat. The distance from others also gives me more time to think and relax.

@Antipode and @Lad nailed it
 
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