Comparing yourself to ENFJs | INFJ Forum

Comparing yourself to ENFJs

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by sleepycloud, Feb 19, 2009.

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  1. sleepycloud

    sleepycloud Regular Poster

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    I came across this post while lurking typology central which really struck a chord with me:

    This has been bugging me for quite awhile, I can't stand being around my enfj friend when she's around others (in fact I'm pretty much only an obvious friend of hers when we spend time one on one) because we share similar values but she seems to have more success exerting them, as if having the same ego-syntonic functions makes me feel as though she's a more appealing version of me. Of course I wouldn't trade my individuality for the world since it's pointless basing self-worth on fundamental differences but I guess I'm yet to grow out of having strong emotional reactions regarding a sense of social inadequacy. Plus I've scored enfj on those 'which type do you want to be' tests :/

    Once I'm back home I would prefer to be infj so maybe it's just being easily overwhelmed. I tend to burn out pretty quickly and obviously can't 'accommodate' people as friendly and funnily as she can. It's not very fair to feel down over this but I have to consciously fight those negative inclinations to the point where I've given up on participating in groups altogether. Part of my resentment would be result of a fallout we had awhile ago about her misunderstanding my aloofness as uncaring (as if in contrast the Fe I express in a more subdued manner/intimate setting suddenly fails to match up) and even though I've explained it to her, I think my tendency to lock up in crowds still makes her feel uncomfortable/bored and the tension still lingers unresolvable. When we're in a social setting it's like both of us wants the other to display more compromise but she won't tone it down and I will try to distance myself.

    I don't feel as jealous around other e types, I think it's more a matter of wanting Fe to be more developed, but it could be heightened because I tend to compare myself more to either best friends or people with similarities to see who's more adept at pushing their own boundaries. I don't wish to be competitive with anyone so I'm usually passive but my situation is an example of being frustrated with the extraverted counterpart of our type. I was wondering if anyone here has experienced something similar?
     
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    #1 sleepycloud, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  2. anica

    anica dark dreamer
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    My experience has been the opposite, but that may be because the relationship is different, the ENFJ in question being my lover. Though sometimes I feel a little one-down in social situations, his wit and charm are for the most part a source of ejoyment. It probably helps that he's so appreciative of my own wit, which is more apparent when we're alone together. When I worry about my crowd-avoidance, he just says, "Hon', I knew about that going into this." And he does, since we were long-time friends before the relationship turned romantic. It might be more of a problem if he weren't so affirming of who I am, introversion and all.

    But, yeah, a lot of what you say resonates with me on some level. It's just not a problem...yet.
     
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  3. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I understand where you're coming from. I have a good ENFJ friend, and occasionally it's hard to keep up with him in social situations. I want to be more out there, but I'm usually just more of an observer. I don't think I've really gone through this with him, which I might sometime since I do talk about MBTI a lot with him.
    I do think the good outweighs the bad, though. It's just a matter of finding that balance...
     
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  4. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    Fe carries with it an internal sense of social role. It seems very likely that as an INFJ, your social role with your friend is very concrete to you. When she is out in public, she shifts her role, most likely making you feel alone in the crowd because she's no longer fulfilling your sense of the role you've established for her. In essence she stops being the person you have a bond with, and abandons you in a sea of strangers. Abandonment causes a sense of anxiety, which may be what you're feeling in these moments. Jealousy causes a sense of self focus, and would actually help you introvert in a crowd.

    I think it is only 'salt in the wound' that she's becoming the person you might want to be in the process of 'abandoning' you temporarily, but because that part stings more it becomes the focal point for the unpleasant feelings you're experiencing.

    My suggestions? First, reform your 'role' for her to include the fact that she behaves that way in a crowd, and that it does not in any way mean that she is not the same person nor the same friend you know and love. Secondly, resolve in yourself to be her back up in those situations, occasionally backing her up with supportive comments as she does what she does best. Not only will this help her draw you into the process and re-establish the bond that you may feel is missing when she switches roles, it will help you develop your Fe, and become more like the ENFJ you want to be.

    I hope that helps. :)
     
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    #4 VH, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  5. darkstar

    darkstar Community Member

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    Oh that's SO NOT FAIR. I feel for an ENFJ girl and it did not turn out well. And of course, I had already "let her in"(emotionally) so it feel like pulling a tooth out.

    I'm glad you have a great guy though.
     
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  6. OP
    sleepycloud

    sleepycloud Regular Poster

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    Thanks for your thoughtful response. :) Yup this is exactly the case. She feels bad for shifting roles but says a lot of it is subconscious so I'm not going to be possessive and deny her needs. I've tried being a back up but usually when another person is around it escalates to being a conversation between them and when that happens I'm disinclined to try to inject myself into their bubbly juice. Jealousy tickles my nerves during such moments and counterproductively thwarts any motivation to try. Instead we've decided to hang in different groups but still make time to hang alone elsewhere.
     
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  7. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    Try to engage yourself with someone else (you don't have to completely change groups). When she's talking or hanging with others, allow yourself to become comfortable with the other people in the group-- either talk to them or listen to them. Remember that it's okay to be quiet-- don't make it uncomfortable for yourself.

    And to help the jealousy, try to change your train of thought from "I wish I could be like that" or "I'm jealous that she's not paying attention to me" to "Wow, she looks like she's enjoying herself" or "I really appreciate her strengths."
    The ideas are very similar; however, one set tends to cause negative effects or is thought negatively, whereas the other is more positive and should be thought in a positive way.
     
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  8. darkstar

    darkstar Community Member

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    Many of my friends are ENFJ.
     
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  9. mexymoo3

    mexymoo3 Newbie

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    my best friend was an ENFJ, and our friendship ended because she couldn't understand why I couldn't attend every event. Then, when I'd specify I wanted to hang out, just us, she'd invite the whole world WITHOUT telling me. After numerous of times, it was better for us to move on.
    I also realizes that I actually hated being around her in groups, I would never speak to her or even want to be around her. But when it was one-on-one, we were okay. I just realized I was never excited or happy to be around her in group enviroments and it became easy to let go of the friendship.

    P.S. I never became jealous, only irritated, because she seemed like such a drama queen.
     
    #9 mexymoo3, Feb 24, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  10. in_wonderment

    in_wonderment Regular Poster

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    the one enfj i know, is one of the most emotionally needy human beings ever.

    she seems similar to me, except for the emotion is all on the outside. and she needs constant, constant engagement and emotional feedback.

    i appear colder than her, i also need way less attention and interaction.

    not sure how much this has to do with myers-briggs, and how much it has to do with self-esteem and social conditioning.
     
    #10 in_wonderment, Feb 24, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  11. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    My best friend is ENFJ, and we truely complement eachother completely...She loves to be social but doesnt force me to attend, and about everything else we just click on! We have our disagreements about things...but we have been freinds for over 15 years... since JR high.
     
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  12. anica

    anica dark dreamer
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    I love the fact that my b/f handles people so much better than I do. I'm quite content to remain in the background while he does so. When we're alone, it's a different story, though, and we are much more equal partners. If anything, I often take the lead there.
     
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  13. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    ^^ That's kind of how my relationship with my ENFJ is
     
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  14. anica

    anica dark dreamer
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    I wonder how common this is in successful INFJ/ENFJ pairings.
     
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  15. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    Thats how my relationship with my ENFJ bff is too!
     
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  16. CoffeeShopDiva

    CoffeeShopDiva Community Member

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    I find I've not felt this jealousy towards the person in my life who is an ENFJ. But, this person is my father, so I think that while, in social situations, I would like to be like him, I believe it is more admiration than jealousy. This is probably because he is in a 'role model' role though, instead of being my peer. Also, I think it helps that my father isn't as Extroverted as other ENFJs may be, because he definitely closer to the E/I border than most.
     
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  17. Eniko

    Eniko May snark if provoked
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    I'm not sure if she is actually ENFJ but considering this is basically the way I feel around my best friend, I think it's pretty likely. Our relationship is strongest when it's just us (or a very small additional group of people we both already know) but when you add new people to the mix she kicks into second gear extroversion and I'm just kind of left standing there in the dust.

    Maybe I'll try and coax her to figure out her type at some point just to see if I'm right.
     
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  18. Julia

    Julia Community Member

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    I find it confusing to switch from spending one-on-one time and building a friendship that way and then interacting in a group. I typically get left behind. I have very little rhythm for group interaction. If I do think of something to say, i get it rehearsed in my head, then the anxiety builds as I try to find that pause in the conversation where I can say it. The moment passes, or my timing is off, or I've spent such a long time anticipating it that it's just not worth it. I have occasionally had ENF friends who really get into the flow of the crowd, and so I have learned to not expect any interaction in that setting. I find it's better to adjust my level of interest and involvement in other people based on their reactions to me - to let go when overlooked.
     
  19. sassafras

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    Hmm..

    I never really wanted to be an extrovert, really.

    Question: Do all INFJ's just feel uncomfortable in social situations for most part, and therefore, avoid them as much as possible? Or, are they the sort to go out, do their thing, mingle, and then come back into themselves?

    Because I do the latter. I don't have trouble dealing with people at all, and I enjoy social situations. Mind you, I prefer smaller groups of people, but I'm not bothered by crowds. Nor am I self conscious (around other people)

    I usually go through periods of going out several consecutive nights in a row (sometimes I seek them out myself), but then I get weeks where I need to recharge and do not seek out companionship at all.

    Are there other INFJ's like me in that respect?
     
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    #19 sassafras, Jul 11, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  20. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    Yeah, that's how I am; most of my good friends are extroverted, actually, and I can almost always keep up with them. I'm actually more social than my ENTJ sister. I like being out there. However, I like being in small groups, but not intimately small groups (as in, more than just me and someone else) unless I'm good friends with the person. I can get really uncomfortable sometimes and pick up on little signals that other people normally don't catch: little signs of boredom or judgment or insincerity.

    That's why I like my ENFJ friend. He takes the lead, and I'm his back up; although he's very social, he likes having someone there to ground him, someone he knows well and feels very comfortable with, in all situations. So, I'm his support.
     
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