...but, how do you *help* an INFJ??? | INFJ Forum

...but, how do you *help* an INFJ???

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Auburn, Jun 13, 2009.

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  1. Auburn

    Auburn Regular Poster

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    When an INFJ is under a lot of stress, it appears they're able to hide it very well. It seems that, often times, close to nothing wrong will be noticed by others until the INFJ has reached a breaking point. This is not to say signs don't leak though, but they are seldom perceived by others.

    I may be way off, but I can only assume that they wish for others to intuitively understand. In silence, they await for someone that will notice their subtle pain, but probably will never speak of it themselves until it’s too late.

    I'm not entirely sure, but do INFJs often think nobody can truly help even if they tried - and so they try not to express signs of weakness which would only be met with pity form others, and not with any genuine help?

    If this is so, then for someone who sincerely wants to help an infj, what can we do?

    What are some of the signs that we should look out for?

    I’m an intp, meaning I don’t possess developed Ni, which works to my disadvantage in such a situation, no matter how good my intentions may be. But I thought I would ask you guys directly – ideally, could you fabricate an example of a friend who would be a perfect help in a time of need? Please elaborate as much as you wish.[​IMG]
     
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    #1 Auburn, Jun 13, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  2. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    I think you described me perfectly Auburn. I don't want anyone viewing me as weak so I will hide most of my feelings, regardless if I'm facing something really serious. My pride is much more stronger than anything else. Even in this forum sometimes I would like to tell everyone of what I feel but I just don't feel at all that adequate of disclosing what I really have inside. Don't take it the wrong way guys, I feel really comfortable here, it's just that all my life I've been known to solve other people's troubles but noone has ever dealt with mine.Anyway's, I wish I could give you advice on how to help an infj, but me being one of them, am completely oblivious to my own feelings.
     
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  3. Ortorin

    Ortorin Community Member

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    Speaking from my own expirances, it seems that when I'm feeling down, or angry and I'm hiding it, I guess I do want people to just know that something is wrong with me and try to help me.

    I have a bad problem with passivly showing my emotions. It leads to most people not understanding why I feel bad.

    Prime example: When I was away at basic training, I found out that my girlfriend at the time cheated on me. When I got back, I never showed her that it bothered me, though on the inside it was killing me. Since I didn't let her know how I felt, she continued as if nothing was wrong too, but the whole time I was wishing that she would say something, and more importantly, do something to fix how I was feeling.

    She never did anything, and I ended up leaving her in a giant blow-up argument. Through my hurt, I blew all of my $15,000 bonus from the National Guard on stupid stuff instead of getting a apartment, or car, or anything else I needed at the time. Now I'm basicly homeless and jobless because of the fact that I let everything blow up, but if she would have made an effort to fix things between us, the story would be compleatly diffrent.

    So my best advise to you is, look for the subtle signs, think about what has happened and how it would make you feel. If anything you see leads to problems, then try to talk to them about it. Though your best course of action is just that, action. Show them that you want to make things better in whatever way through your actions, it would be the best way to reach them before the blow up.

    *Edit* I agree with everything relaxingmelody21 said. It seems to be a very common thread.
     
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    #3 Ortorin, Jun 13, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  4. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    Hey Auburn, I think the whole wanting to look composed on the outside deal is our Fe, we know how other people's emotions can make US feel, so who are we to give our emotional garbage to other people. 'If they aren't having fun, i'm not having fun' is generally how other people view it, but even if they are having fun, we (infjs) might not be. I think Infjs know that there are people who can help them, but we are so used to helping others that we don't seek it for ourselves, we know how we represent ourselves, how we make others feel, and know our 'feelings' so we figure we should be able to 'handle' it.

    Signs depends on the infj, but withdrawal is probably a major one. Probably a reduced ability of assertion and others. If you really want to help an infj, just ask them how they feel.

    Edit: Since the other peepz are doing it, when I get 'emotional' I tend to bottle it up inside. It's a natural reaction. Fairly, if ever, do I say something is bothering me to my friends, I actually would prefer to talk to some random person than talk to my friends about it. I don't want to be seen as weak, or judgemental, or emotional, I suppose. I know i'm not perfect, but I don't think it's fair for me to put my emotional train on their 'tracks' but i'm starting to realize that my friends are there to help me with my emotions, sometimes.
     
    #4 Reon, Jun 13, 2009
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  5. Heliwyr

    Heliwyr Newbie

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    If you think something is wrong, ask directly. That's the most efficient way.

    Actually, the INFJ should also learn to be upfront about what they need or if something is bothering them. Assuming someone will pick up on our troubles is a very, very poor habit to develop in relationships. No one can read minds (no one, I mean it), so expecting someone to anticipate our problems is entirely unfair to ourselves and to other people. What happens when such assumptions are made is something like what happened with Ortorin. Emotions and problems get bottled up and then they explode and the other person is caught by surprise.

    It's taken a lot to make myself feel like I'm not imposing on someone when I tell them something is not going right for me. I do not whine or complain much usually, so I should see no reason not to express how I feel about a situation when it seems important to do so. Something as simple as saying to a friend when we hang out, "I'm really not feeling so great this week, so I apologise if I'm not as chipper or energetic as usual" helps to open the channels for communication. More often than not, I'm given ample opportunity to discuss what's wrong and am met with support. Whatever was bothering me is immediately less prominent and I feel relieved and a little bit better about the situation.

    As for helping, for me, talking about a problem helps me to get a better perspective. Once I've talked about something with someone else and they have listened, given support (which is not much more than understanding that what I am feeling is real--like "That sucks. I'm sorry that happened." or "I know, I've been there too."), and offered any advice/feedback/opinions on the situation, I can begin digging myself out of whatever emotional hole I'm in and get to solving the problem.

    But most of all, I just need someone to listen and maybe offer a hug if we're close enough (or joke about it if we are not).
     
    #5 Heliwyr, Jun 13, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  6. dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    If I can avoid spilling my guts then I will. It's frustrating to no end to the people that love me, especially my hon. I will completely shut him out in my mind but he will barely know it until I'm crying and saying I need a break.

    If you really want to help, try to find the root of the problem. Look outside the box, and not necessarily in it. Perhaps the person you love is having a hard time because of school. Help them study, or better yet, take them for a walk and talk about nothing, and make them laugh. Maybe they are going through family problems, go to an amusement park for the day, or do something equally interesting to get their mind off of the situation for a minute. We tend to have active imaginations, capitalize on that. We use that as a form of retreat yes, be we need to get away sometimes. Or if we are stressed because of responsibilities, join us for a day of chores, it might suck, but we would appreciate the company. And when we are completely at our wits end, do what you can to give us our space completely to ourselves to regroup. Don't leave us overwhelmed and hanging.

    We are complex. I'm sorry. We don't want to be a bother, we especially don't want to be high maintenance. We even see it as our job to make you feel better, at least I do. But if you really want to help... well, maybe some of these things are where you can start.

    Even this is my way of helping you feel better.....
     
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  7. Detective Conan

    Detective Conan Doesn't Cast Shadows

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  8. OP
    Auburn

    Auburn Regular Poster

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    @ Scorch & relaxingmelody21 - I'm actually surprised this did describe you accurately, I wasn't so sure if my observations were accurate, but this helps confirm them more. Thank you guys.

    @ dneecey - I've looked over your post several times. It amazes me how much of what you wrote applies to my situation. Thank you so much for this post, I sincerely appreciate your help. I too wish to help, but first I want to learn how. And
    I will definitely take this advice. ^^

    @ Reon & Heliwyr - If I understand correctly, an INFJ does not want to exhibit emotional weakness because they don't want to cast their burdens onto others, correct? And also because they like to maintain a collected, almost independant, appearance I assume.

    I suppose that explains why it would be better to speak to a stranger, a pet, nature, or even something inanimate. You can't really burden those things with your problems if you speak to them, and it doesn't matter if you show weakness in front of them. I guess this may make them seem like safer outlets. Interesting…

    And yes, I do agree it's rather unrealistic to expect people to know your troubles intuitively, as witnessed in Ortorin's story - which is why I believe that many infjs don't actually *expect* them to know, but nonetheless, they still silently *wish* they did.

    Ideally it makes sense that a reformation of that habit would be best, but I am nobody to tell them this. I know how difficult it can be to compensate for those gaps that come with every personality, including my own, and so I can't really say I blame you guys.


    ***

    I have one other question:

    What type of conversation would be the most uplifting to you if you were down? From what has been said thus far, I assume it wouldn’t be a good idea to have a conversation where the infj feels like a pity-party, right?

    My style is one that can provide the necessary atmosphere in a conversation to invite a person to be vulnerable, because they know they can trust in me. I show them that it’s alright to open up from time to time, and possibly even a necessity of every human to have someone to be fragile with and know they’ll be safe.

    However, perhaps a different approach would be better? For example, being the type of friend that, although never gets into deep conversations, will always leave you with a smile on your face at the end of the day. Perhaps it would be better to be an uplifting friend, and let the infjs handle the deep stuff on their own? Or would you guys still wish for someone to have a deep conversation with, even though it may mean showing weakness…
     
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    #8 Auburn, Jun 14, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  9. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    Let me first state that I am a single male who lives alone. I work enough that social life is a rare thing. Bear that in mind while reading my responses.

    For me, this would work greatly in your favour. I want to talk with someone who I trust and who I can be vulnerable with. Someone who's stable and won't break even if I do. That's pure gold as far as I'm concerned.

    I first need a little time to give me distance from the issue. Then I go into a kind of "seeker" mode where I'm looking for someone to talk with. This is the first time I've given this any thought, so I don't really know what signs I exhibit.

    What I need most of all is for a trusted friend to talk with me one-on-one. A trusted friend who will say "Something's wrong. Talk to me." or "You're not yourself, you need to talk about it." Not an emotional, pleading, Hey-are-you-okay approach. Just a simple statement that you perceive things are off and you're concerned enough that you want to talk about it.

    It is incredibly rare for me to initiate this type of conversation with someone. If I do, it's a HUGE sign of my trust in them. But I have no problems with someone else initiating this - provided I trust them. If I don't want to talk to that person (ie it's not the right time, or I don't trust them enough) then I simply won't talk about it.
     
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    #9 Milon, Jun 14, 2009
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  10. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    I have no idea how you help an INFJ. I'm a pretty difficult person.
     
  11. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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  12. Ortorin

    Ortorin Community Member

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    Poke them with a sick? :m058:(I'm out of ideas at this point)
     
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  13. corvidae

    corvidae ohai internets
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    I think that being as low-key and casual as possible with an INFJ helps them calm down. Their emotional overload can be eased by an ISxP. I think this is why I like slant, she's very matter-of-fact and straightforward.

    On INTPcentral I read a theory that people are generally most compatible partners with people of the same I/E and opposite N/S-F/T-J/P. (coincidence?)
     
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    #13 corvidae, Jun 15, 2009
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  14. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    I generally push away help. I am very independent when it comes to dealing with my feelings, thoughts, and emotions. While I will share them with people I trust, and I might want feedback on it. This is different from me finding help. I am learning more and more that I am really the only person that can help me. I find that support from others is usually helpful, but it usually won't dig me out of the hole that I am in, I have to do that myself.

    There are times though where I am so far down (I had periods of this this past semester), that I feel desprate and will try to seek out help. However, it usually does nothing for me.
     
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  15. MonkeyGrassGirl

    MonkeyGrassGirl Regular Poster

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    Honestly, the only other people who have been able to help me are those in my inner circle. And they must be forceful enough to make me talk. Come to think of it, the two closest friends I have are individuals that I know have my best interest at heart, and who are brave enough to risk shutting me down when they command me: "Spill!"

    If I don't trust a person, their forcefulness is off-putting. If we're close, but they don't dig for answers, I won't talk. It has to be the combination of the two for me. :)
     
    #15 MonkeyGrassGirl, Jun 15, 2009
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  16. OP
    Auburn

    Auburn Regular Poster

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    :m083: hmm.....
    :m125: *thinking*.....
    :m080: *still thinking*.....
    :mpff: *sigh*......

    I have somewhat of a direction now...
    Thank you guys, I really do appreciate it...^^;
    I'll do the best I can with the information you've given.
     
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  17. Ortorin

    Ortorin Community Member

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    Still think poking with a stick will help! :m058:

    Or at least be fun for you!
     
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  18. Julia

    Julia Community Member

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    Probably the best help for a distressed INFJ is to be willing to approach them even if it doesn't feel reciprocated in the short term. Withdrawal and increased passivity can be signs of distress. I try to avoid receiving pity and find it unnerving. If I feel vulnerable and someone pities me, it makes me feel like they've lost respect for me. People who encouraged me by reminding me of my strengths as a person, complimented me, or just made me laugh helped the most. In the instances of my withdrawal it isn't an expectation of someone seeing my subtle pain, but giving up on the possibility of making a connection with someone.
     
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