Overdefensiveness | INFJ Forum

Overdefensiveness

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Motor Jax, Jun 3, 2008.

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  1. Motor Jax

    Motor Jax randomness included
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    i know i have flaws, but i don't like them pointed out. i end up getting pretty defensive at times

    maybe even just to protect that inner integrity the INFJ type is so fond of

    anyone else like this?
     
  2. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    With me I'm pretty sure it's a defense mechanism, a need to protect. I become hyperalert when I sense criticism. I think I used to confuse it with Intuition and so I'd give it more credence than it deserved. It all stems back to childhood and mentally unstable mother issues, of that I'm sure of.
     
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  3. sriv

    sriv Community Member

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    Seems like an F thing going back to the doing without thinking.

    I see if the criticism is valid, then I agree or disagree. Usually it is incorrect and I have to correct, but it is perceived to be defensiveness.
     
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  4. Lurker

    Lurker Has nothing to destroy
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    I definitely see this in the F's I know when they get hurt, I feel I have to be particularly sensitive to how I raise any concerns for fear of their defensiveness, when they get upset about my bluntness I may as well be talking to a brick wall of stubbornness and hurt.

    I hate it when I say something without fully thinking it through and see them get hurt, I usually do something to make them smile to lighten the mood but I still feel them withdraw. Damn my INTJness!

    So tell me, what would work for you if I said something upsetting to help you get over it immediately?
     
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  5. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

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    Lurker, that depends on every situation, helping us get over hurt, which is usually the source of our defensiveness from the sounds of it. For me, it helps for others to recognize the hurt, apologize and/or agree to change the subject after a respectful silence . . . hugs sometimes help, too!! It's the thought of sensitivity and caring compassion more than the words, for me anyway.

    I find I'm mostly defensive about dating and romance. For example, when making new aquaintances, if they asked whether or not I was dating, I would "accidentally" rip them up. It's a sensitive issue for me. I'd like to wear a sign saying "No, I don't date, and you don't have the right to know why, so don't ask or I'll hurt you in places you never knew existed". How's that for defensive!!

    At some point it was so bad random guys couldn't talk to me without getting burned (have I mentioned that we can be terribly vicious when we're ticked?)! My BFF has been helpful in getting me over that, but now I'm back to accidentally leading people on, which I can't seem to get out of, either.

    The point is, for me, anyhow, defensiveness is the result open emotional wounds. You help us by being gentle and protective. And not attempting to force us to heal before we are ready. Naturally a good sense of humor helps to put everything in perspective! So, when in doubt . . . gentle humor.
     
  6. sriv

    sriv Community Member

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    That sounds like inviting artificiality to me. "Do this, this, and this to make me feel better and not lose control of myself." Little bit unappealing to me, no offense. :|
     
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  7. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

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    I'm not saying anyone should try to appease, I was just replying to Lurker and her questions about helping us INFJ's and our defensive behavior! I suppose it could be artificial . . . have to think on that one . . . I give her kudos for attempting to be sensitive in the first place. It's a start.
     
  8. Lurker

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    It's true though, all my staff have the beloved F gene and I can see that they don't feel good about a bad situation until they can talk about it and have their feelings heard. Once that happens it's like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders — small price to pay from my manipulative, results orientated perspective (no I'm not really that calculated and cold).

    Ideally a self aware person who knew this about themselves could change their reaction and not be hurt so easily.

    @Kwistalline, I can do gentle humour and emotions but I don't do hugs :cry:... Except for the cyber kind, I do lots of them.
     
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  9. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

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    Lurker, that's ok! I'm not sure it would be appropriate with staff members anyhow . . . that's more of a "close friend IRL" function.
     
  10. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    What helps me when I get caught being 'over' defensive is if someone can make me laugh at myself and move on, shrug it off or just give me a bit of space. It's when someone tries to embarass me or make a mountain out of it that drives me nuts.
     
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  11. Inkling

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    See, this is why you need to wear a fake engagement ring at all times! Goodness gracious those guys just seem to fall all around you! lol... one more reason you can't prove that I'm prettier ;)

    Weird... I wonder where the defensiveness comes from (ahm a leeetle rusty on the functions), because i just quietly back out of the situation if it seems like someone's gonna get a whole lot more awkward. Afterward, I say "Whew... that was just creepy!"
     
  12. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

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    OMG!! You haven't met these men! They are the lowest of the low!! Beauty has nothing to do with it. I'm just so darned passive and submissive . . . the controlling man's dream come true. No way am I selling myself short,though (in spite of my vertical challenges)! Oy. I think I smile too much.
     
  13. Silently Honest

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    I'm not so much overly defensive, as I am excessivly evasive.
     
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  14. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Regular Poster

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    Me too.

    I once went to a pizzeria for dinner with an INFP friend. It's a tiny-yet-famous hole in the wall where one man has been making incredible pizza every day for the past 40 years. Hour-long waits are the norm there. So my friend and I placed or orders and waited. And waited and waited. One hour passed, and then another. I noticed that people who had come after us were getting their orders ahead of us. My friend was unwilling to say anything, so I went up to the counter woman, and said in my nicest Informing-style voice, "Excuse me, we've been waiting here for two hours." And what do you know: In five minutes, we had our pizza.

    We finally sat down with our pizza (which was worth the wait, I must say!) and my friend said......"That was very rude of you." And the pizza turned to ash in my mouth. Huh? Rude of me? I was a little assertive in the nicest way possible and that made me rude? I guess no one ever told him not to bite the hand that feeds him pizza.

    I became a little defensive at first - I am a New Yorker after all, I protested, and its not in our nature to be all sweety-nice all the time. But the moment passed. After we had finished our dinner, I made the oh-so-casual comment, "You didn't really think that I was rude, did you?" I thought that he would be sated and slightly tipsy by this time (we passed the long waiting time by buying beers from across the street), and would admit that what I had said wasn't all that bad after all. Nope. He launched into a treatise about exactly how rude I had been, until I cut him off with a "That was really hurtful!" He finally got the message and shut up, but the evening still ended on a bad note.
     
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  15. sriv

    sriv Community Member

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    Few things I'm noticing. There is a lot of experience-sharing on here which points towards Si (dominant trait of ISFJ) which I LOVE (because I'm ISTJ sometimes[also dom Si]).

    Elizabeth, your friend was obviously arguing emotionally. In addition, INFPs is probably the least self-confidant type, which makes them very unlikely to take intiative or assert themselves. He compared your actions to what he would do and took personal offense that you didn't do what he thought you should have done. IMO that's wrong.
     
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  16. OP
    Motor Jax

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    i tend to think we can share best when we tell our own experiences

    my ex was always like, "you, you, you... every time you tell something, it's always about you."

    idk, maybe its just my observation...
     
  17. Silently Honest

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    Good observation. That's when we are best. Sharing our past expierances and applying them to present day expierances.
     
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  18. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Regular Poster

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    That's very good! I think you're right.
     
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  19. wormheart

    wormheart Newbie

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    This is reminding me of my INFP mother who is so kind but too enabling of a doormat at times. You teach people how to treat you!! Whenever we go out to dinner my dad (ESFJ) blatantly orders the waitresses to hurry up, he'd have me heaving under my breath "they'd better hurry up" so he wouldn't have to keep reminding them! :oops:

    It's amazing how we can recall subjective experiences so vividly, yet when it comes to facts and details... *FLUSH*

    Haha awh, I feel awfully self-absorbed for disclosing too much but it's only to encourage the other person to open up, yeah? And when they do, our attention won't be dismissive but immersed. I enjoy hearing more of the other person’s stories than telling my own without evoking a response. We share to found connections by relating to each other.

    Well said, you encapsulated my feelings perfectly. I was recently accused of being selfish by a friend who didn't understand my integral reasons for not complying to her expectations and appeasing the masses. We INFJs take a lot to heart and people don't realise we are critical of ourselves enough. Before I knew what being an introvert meant, the tiniest remark like "you're too shy" used to make me feel absolutely dumped!

    It may sound unhealthy but this is one of the milestones I'm proudest of: My sense of self-worth has derived from rejection and defensiveness. I've observed in other self-deprecating people I know too that they become very defensive when personally attacked, and it's only then they'll truly realise how much they value and champion what they stand for. As long as it doesn't lead to arrogance or denial of accountability, our defensiveness can actually get us in tune with refining our motives. Or maybe that's just me.
     
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  20. sciski

    sciski Regular Poster

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    I can take criticism when the intent truly is to improve me or point out an error - but not when I can detect some underlying resentment or ulterior motive that is the source of the criticism (damn you, intuition!). However, despite the initial offended reaction, I do try to sift through their point to see if there's anything to gain from it.
     
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