Hey there, dearest reader!
Today I’m going to talk about the bane of INFJs everywhere: the feeling that the effort that we are putting into a friendship or a relationship is one-sided.
So, let’s just say I meet a new person and I like them. I pursue a closer bond– friendship or otherwise– and it doesn’t end up going the way I wanted it to it to. I’ll try my best to break down what happens in my head:
1.) When I meet this new person, I can compare our values and interests at an intuitive level. Because of this, I am able to make decisions about our compatibility pretty quickly.
2.) Once I’ve processed what I think about a certain person, I decide whether or not they passed the compatibility test. If they pass the compatibility test, I remove my INFJ shroud and I will be myself around them. If they fail, they can really only be good acquaintances at best. Most people don’t pass the test, and it’s rare that someone climbs to my inner circle after failing. This is because I know what I want in a person, and I’m pretty good at figuring out if people will be good for me or not. We will say that this new person I’ve met is an exception. They are one of the few that have passed the test, and I open myself up to them.
3.) Here’s where things can get tricky. Because I am able to size potential friendships intuitively, I can open myself up to people very fast. When there’s really that “click”, life is good, because the other person is equally interested. Other times, I come across people that aren’t willing to open themselves up as quickly, or don’t show their friendship in a way I am expecting them to. For our purposes, we will say our friend is cordial but not necessarily opening up like I am.
4.) I put all of myself into the people I care about, and I expect the same in return for my efforts. If a person is either unable or unwilling to give me the emotional investment I am giving them there is an issue. I start questioning things. Why are they holding back from me when I’ve already opened up to them? Can’t they see that I’m taking such good care of their feelings? Why can’t I get that back in return?
5.) At this point the friendship isn’t flowing naturally/smoothly, at least from my point of view. I start doubting whether they really want me talking to them, or they are just holding conversation to be polite. I give them chances to see if they are really interested or not. If I feel like they aren’t, I start to withdraw from their life. Sometimes it’s gradual, sometimes it’s very sudden (the infamous INFJ doorslam… more on that in the future!)
Coming to terms with all of this is very difficult. On one hand, I know that I have a good heart and I care a lot about the people around me. I know I deserve friends that treat me well. On the other hand, I know that there are plenty of reasons why it’s not the other person’s fault that things didn’t work out. Sometimes I open myself up to people very quickly and they’re not ready for it. Some people can be feel like they’re close with others without having to express it often, or in the same way I do. And sometimes people are just different than I thought they would be.
I suppose the root of this problem lies in my expectations of people. I give my best, so I want the best from others in return. INFJ idealism at its finest. The thing is, friendships and relationships are far from ideal. The struggle comes in being able to compromise while still surrounding myself with people that share my values and drive. It’s something I grapple with every day.
What do you all think? I’d love to hear what you have to say about this in the comments section. Talk to you all soon!
Seize the day!
19 October 2016 10:27 PM