Conflict solving with INFJs | INFJ Forum

Conflict solving with INFJs

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Conflict solving is a very important skill to obtain. Once discovered, it can be used in everyday life for nearly any situation and is apt to make things run a lot smoother.

Recently I have discovered that conflict solving is extremely difficult with INFJs. I think it's due to an inability to state a problem and solution in a short, precise, straight to the point manner. I have also observed that they will go on and on about a problem for much too long, when the explanation could have been said in few words. For me this is confusing. I do not understand how to cut out the fluff of an explanation. Also, a lot of things I think are 'problems' with INFJs, they state that they were just pointing something out or trying to aid me in my own personal growth. This confuses me. Why would one state that something is a problem, but instead of solving it, resolve to drop it because 'it was just a suggestion'. My usual four step problem does not work with INFJs.

1. State the conflict in a short, technical, straight to the point way. Use one or three sentences; condense it.
2. State possible resolutions to the conflict in clear points, such as a bullet list.
3. Discuss together the conflict and possible resolutions and come to a resolution.
4. If a resolution cannot be made, bring in a mediator and start at step 1.

How would you suggest I go about resolving conflicts? What about this method seems ineffective?
 
In short (since you like that kind of thing) too much T not enough NF.

I've found that it's very hard to cultivate Ti as an INFJ and I wouldn't be surprised if many INFJs haven't bothered developing this faculty very much at all. Your way of solving the problems involves the INFJ shutting down their emotions, which is their default mode of operating, and go into rational analysis mode. I can do this, but it takes a lot of effort. I'm not even sure if I can usually do it when it involves my own emotions, depending on the severity.

What you could do if you have a problem with INFJ is start by acknowledging the validity of their feelings and possibly apologize for having made them feel upset/hurt/angry/whatever, as speaking from my own perspective that will calm me down a lot. Then try and solve the problem as usual when the INFJ in question is calmer and more susceptible to thinking rationally.
 
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For some reason the idea of apologizing for hurt feelings makes my eyes bleed.

However...I'll try.
 
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I think it's worth it just to apologize. You don't have to understand every single thing that contributes to the emotional make-up of someone hurt in order to be sorry you hurt them in the first place.
 
It's just a lot of the time I apologize and then after that the conflict is 'over' for the other person, and it isn't really resolved. Apologies are a quick-makeup that never resolves any problem. You have to understand what exactly hurt a person's feelings and then solve that, not apologize about it.
 
Conflict solving with INFJ... that's quite a topic that you are tackling there :D

Depending on the strenght of feeling, you may find an objective system to go down in the flames of INFJ anger O.O
 
If you want me to solve a problem that way, it has to be in a professional-type setting. I'm a completely (nearly) different person at work. I'm always the "go-to" person for conflict resolution and troubleshooting. However, in my personal life I am much like you described. It's probably b/c we aren't technical people in our personal lives. We're spiritual and philisophical.

I also think that we take so much consideration when it comes to feelings that we get lost in our words. I can have the solution in my mind, but I feel the end-result isn't nearly as important as the way you get to it. Therefore, I wind up explaining the path and then never have enough breath or time to get to the solution, because I've used it all up blabbering.

If it would help, I could make you a flow chart for your conflict, but it would be one giant fucking flowchart.
 
Flow chart for what conflict? Explain.
 
What you could do if you have a problem with INFJ is start by acknowledging the validity of their feelings and possibly apologize for having made them feel upset/hurt/angry/whatever, as speaking from my own perspective that will calm me down a lot. Then try and solve the problem as usual when the INFJ in question is calmer and more susceptible to thinking rationally.

I agree completely.
 
Apologies are a quick-makeup that never resolves any problem. You have to understand what exactly hurt a person's feelings and then solve that, not apologize about it.
Then apologize but add "... and I'd like to analyze what caused this situation to happen in the first place so it doesn't happen again". I'm sure they'd be receptive to that.
 
Then apologize but add "... and I'd like to analyze what caused this situation to happen in the first place so it doesn't happen again". I'm sure they'd be receptive to that.
Hmm.
Noted.
 
Any conflict you want resolved.
Oh. I didn't have a specific conflict in mind, it was a hypothetical question I thought of as I was thinking over my difficulties in communication with INFJ, in fact, most F types I have difficulties with.
 
Oh. I didn't have a specific conflict in mind, it was a hypothetical question I thought of as I was thinking over my difficulties in communication with INFJ, in fact, most F types I have difficulties with.

I know. I was referring to your hypothetical conflict. It was a joke about the flow chart.
 
Are you finding that other INFJ's aren't being clear what their emotional needs are? Is that an INFJ trait? I find I'm very clear and direct when it comes to crap like that. I don't LIKE conflict, but I don't avoid it. If I'm mad or hurt and I bother expressing it, I'll tell you why. If I can't explain my emotions, I keep them to myself for the most part until I can figure out a way to articulate them.
 
Conflict solving is a very important skill to obtain. Once discovered, it can be used in everyday life for nearly any situation and is apt to make things run a lot smoother.

Recently I have discovered that conflict solving is extremely difficult with INFJs. I think it's due to an inability to state a problem and solution in a short, precise, straight to the point manner. I have also observed that they will go on and on about a problem for much too long, when the explanation could have been said in few words. For me this is confusing. I do not understand how to cut out the fluff of an explanation. Also, a lot of things I think are 'problems' with INFJs, they state that they were just pointing something out or trying to aid me in my own personal growth. This confuses me. Why would one state that something is a problem, but instead of solving it, resolve to drop it because 'it was just a suggestion'. My usual four step problem does not work with INFJs.

1. State the conflict in a short, technical, straight to the point way. Use one or three sentences; condense it.
2. State possible resolutions to the conflict in clear points, such as a bullet list.
3. Discuss together the conflict and possible resolutions and come to a resolution.
4. If a resolution cannot be made, bring in a mediator and start at step 1.

How would you suggest I go about resolving conflicts? What about this method seems ineffective?


Your method is sound logically. However, please keep in mind that solving problems in this manner is very difficult during emotional upset. So, your first goal should instead be to wait for things to calm down on both sides or find some way to mitigate the emotional upheaval. If you approached me with that method while I was crying and huffing and puffing, I'd be at a loss and would only experience more upset out of frustration. Your best bet then is to recognise that I am upset (meaning, don't laugh at me or dismiss how I'm feeling) and do something to show that I should not perceive you as a threat. Usually this means we should both stop raising our voices, take a number of deep breaths, hug or something, and then sit down and be quiet for a few minutes and collect ourselves.

Yes, I agree with the overthinking a problem. Ti manifests itself in INFJs that way quite often. Overthinking and overanalysis can be the bane for us in decision making and can block the way for understanding. This does not mean that INFJs cannot be rational. They can, but in order to access that clear reasoning, we need to have Ni and Fe under control first. In this case, Ni would manifest itself with negative possibilities, assumptions, and paranoia. Fe would start trying to play the matyr card or look for various injustices in the scenarios presented by Ni (or it will find all the things we think we did wrong to hurt you and we will beat ourselves up relentlessly). Having both under control and returned to a steady state allows for the usage of both those functions in a much more effective manner. It is then that Ti can be used in a more useful fashion...rather than one that serves Ni and Fe with all the reasoning they need to formulate a ridiculously incorrect conclusion to the situation at hand. Open communication is the key to nipping that crap in the bud. Don't let us come to crazy conclusions...it's very, very dangerous.


Edit: My views as stated in no way reflect the views of all INFJs. But what I have described seems to be a problem that I've noticed.
 
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I would acknowledge the feelings of an INFJ in a conflict situation but see if there was a way to have a meaningful discussion when everyone's emotions had some time to cool down a bit.
 
Conflict resolution has to take several things into consideration.

Each party's perspective.
Each party's problem.
Each party's priorities.
Each party's ideal resolution.

The problem is simple. You're assuming that INFJs have similar perspectives, problems, priorities, or ideal resolutions to your own. This is unwise because INFJs are the least like any other MBTI type.

For example:

Your perspective: The problem can be defined logically by isolating the inefficiency.
Their perspective: If there is a problem, it is one of philosophical absolutes that cannot be defined, and likely serve no purpose explaining, as this will only cause more problems.
(INFJs see where you are coming from. It's what we do.)

Your problem: We are not communicating effectively.
Their problem: We are in a conflict with someone who cannot understand our perspective, yet demands to communicate with us effectively.
(INFJs are communicating just fine. We can't help it if you can't keep up with us, and put forth a fair amount of effort to compensate for your inability. Please afford us the same luxury.)

Your priority: Resolving the conflict that is causing the inefficiency.
Their priority: Maintaining peace and tranquility so that they can ponder more important things, without being distracted by conflicts.
(INFJs know how things are supposed to be. There is no conflict when things are the way they are supposed to be. When they're not, just make them right and move on. Badgering people isn't part of the solution. Why would we bother with it?)

Your ideal resolution: We come to an understanding that allows for clear communication.
Their ideal resolution: You develop the ability to understand where we are coming from so that you can then understand why we're not bothering with conflict resolution, and we can both agree to disagree and move on to something relevant.
(INFJs see where you are coming from and know how things should be. Why are we still talking about irrelevent issues with lesser thinkers? If you keep pestering us about it, you will push us to the point of angry parents.)
 
Yes, I agree with the overthinking a problem. Ti manifests itself in INFJs that way quite often. Overthinking and overanalysis can be the bane for us in decision making and can block the way for understanding. This does not mean that INFJs cannot be rational. They can, but in order to access that clear reasoning, we need to have Ni and Fe under control first. In this case, Ni would manifest itself with negative possibilities, assumptions, and paranoia. Fe would start trying to play the matyr card or look for various injustices in the scenarios presented by Ni (or it will find all the things we think we did wrong to hurt you and we will beat ourselves up relentlessly). Having both under control and returned to a steady state allows for the usage of both those functions in a much more effective manner. It is then that Ti can be used in a more useful fashion...

That was very well said! I agreed with the whole thing, but especially with this part that I've quoted!

My perspective on conflict resolution:

Assumptions:
If the conflict issue is raised within the conflict, now may not be the best time to deal with it as emotions are likely running high. But now is a very good time to schedule a later time to deal with the conflict. If the person is bringing it up after the fact, then they've given it some thought and are likely to be emotional stable. Now may be an excellent time to deal with said conflict.

Actions:
1. Listen. First, above all else, listen. You MUST understand the problem as the other person sees it before you try to tackle it. When you think you understand the problem, restate it in your own words, ie "So just to make sure I'm following you, the problem is that..." If the person agrees, you've made progress. They see you're not an enemy - you're willing to work with them for resolution.
2. State your concerns. Make it clear what your limits are (ie monetary, time constraints, emotional issues, whatever).
3. Ask how the other party would like to resolve it. Knowing your limits, they are much more impowered to come up with good resolution. You're putting power in their hands by asking them how they'd like to resolve it, and you don't have to respond with "we can't do that because..." since you've already given them the guidelines to work with.
4. State what you like about the proposed solution, and state any difficulties you'd have with the solution, and why. This is negotiation. "I like what you said about how to handle this, but that part wouldn't work very well for me because of... What could we do for that?"

Parts 2, 3, and 4 usually blend together so much that they can't be given a linear sequence, but that's the 'ideal' model. Part 1 absolutely MUST come first, though, or you're just perceived as an enemy to be conquered.