XXIII. Setting Boundaries as an INFJ

Hello, dearest reader! I’m glad you can be here today.

I’m going to talk about one of my biggest weaknesses as a person, and that is setting boundaries with people.

I am naturally a giver. It makes me happy to see the people I care about succeed, and I try to do everything I can to help those people get to where they aspire to be. However, my time, energy and emotional resources are limited. I can only do so much as a single person to lift everyone up around me before I get overloaded and withdraw from society (a mechanism I’ve lovingly named “turtle mode”).

Going into turtle mode confuses even some of my closer friends at times. All they see from their perspective is me cutting them off– they have no idea on their own why this is happening or for how long this is going to last. I need to explain that I’ve stretched myself too thin and I need some time to recover. It’s the emergency valve that stops the pressure from building up inside of me and bursting.

This brings up the question of what is causing me to stretch myself too thin in the first place, and that comes back to setting boundaries. I try my best to maintain outer social harmony (auxiliary extroverted feeling), which sometimes causes me to sacrifice my own needs in the place of others. Doing that for too many people drains me and causes me to realize I am not taking care of myself as much as I should. Although the turtle mode mechanism is the emergency release, I could avoid these problems in the first place by setting better boundaries from the beginning.

Some signs of unhealthy boundaries:

  • going against your personal values to please others around you
  • becoming overwhelmed or preoccupied by one person
  • talking at an intimate level at the first meeting
  • falling in love with an acquaintance or anyone that reaches out
  • allowing others to direct your life and define your reality

I’ve learned that it is not conceited to want to take care of yourself. My needs (and your needs) are just as important as anyone else’s. If someone does not respect any boundaries you have set up, perhaps it should be considered that this person does not have your best interests in mind. It is also equally critical to be vocal of those boundaries as well to avoid any confusion. Communication is very important in friendships and relationships. By setting boundaries, people can be happier because they surround themselves with people that respect their wishes and needs.

What are your thoughts on boundaries? I would love to hear from you in the comment section. Talk to you all soon!

Seize the day!
Ryan
19 December 2016 9:13 PM

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