Where you end and I begin | Page 2 | INFJ Forum

Where you end and I begin

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by soulareclipse, Feb 28, 2019.

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  1. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    No you're spot on, soular.
     
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  2. OP
    soulareclipse

    soulareclipse Community Member

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    Was this more of a self-referential statement rather than a universal one?
     
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  3. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    I think so, but more along the lines of 'I'm a boring nerdy introvert really', and I need people to know that for some reason. Like, 'I can't guarantee that I'll stay entertaining forever'
     
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  4. worthy

    worthy Regular Poster

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    I can relate to the OP's experience of boundaries. I didn't know what they were until somewhere in my mid to late 30s. I grew up with codependent parents and no emotional boundaries in sight. It was revolutionary when I discovered the word and the concept. And ever since then, I've been catching up and honing my boundary skills.

    And now I'm doing my darndest to teach my kids about healthy boundaries in time (which means, before they reach adulthood). I learned as a child that the definition and practice of love was to figure out what other people needed and provide it before they had to ask for it. If they had to ask, it was a "failure" on my part. This was implicit, not explicit, but you can imagine that as an INFJ, I was REALLY GOOD at it - to my own detriment.

    And I married someone who was stunted by a traumatic childhood, chronically depressed, emotionally immature, who was abandoned by his mother and abused/neglected by his father, etc etc etc. My mother said, "You always bring home the wounded birds." She was right. That marriage ended after many years and much emotional suffering. I vowed not to allow any of those patterns to repeat in our kids' generation.

    So now I know better. I can see the red flags and I can make deliberate decisions about how close to get to someone who is needy. But it has been a long process of learning, and I still sort of get a bit high when I meet someone who needs a lot and whose needs I can easily meet. It's like an addiction, almost. I have to hold myself back and remember that the most generous and helpful thing you can do in many cases is step aside and let the person feel the consequences of their own actions (or inaction) so that they are internally motivated to make change happen for themselves. And to wait for someone to ask for help before rushing in to help them, or at least ask if they want help, without assuming.

    It has been an interesting journey, for sure. Mindblowing when I discovered that boundaries seemed to be part of most people's vocabulary but not mine.
     
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  5. OP
    soulareclipse

    soulareclipse Community Member

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    So this! Yes. And when you're taught by example from childhood that people shouldn't have to tell you what they need because you should just know it if you truly love them, then the reverse must also be true and gets carried into adulthood and subsequent relationships.

    Three different women have told me that my people picker was broken, one of whom was my mother, oddly enough.

    We're INFJs - we crave that connection that @Fidicen mentioned and it's quite effortless for us to do that by caring for someone. It's just what we do. So it stands to reason that reigning ourselves in requires a conscious effort. And I still suck at it a lot of the time.:laughing:

    The concept of boundaries was revolutionary for me as well; a game-changer, for sure.

    Instilling the importance of healthy boundaries in your kids' lives means you're doing a good job, mama. :wink: Every parent worth their salt wants their child/children to have it better than they did, an easier go at life if at all possible.

    It sounds like you're well on your way, which is inspiring.
     
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  6. ThomasJ79

    ThomasJ79 Pondering

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    I related to much of the OP. I have spent years in a marriage where my feels were never validated, only hers seems to matter. Every time I would try to address this it was like talking to a brick wall. I felt so alone, ignored, and invalidated. I'm currently at a stage where I am reevaluating my relationships and will not settle for anything less than reciprocation, or so I hope that I will. I tend to get into relationships where I give emotionally and never receive. Hard boundaries are never there for me and I tend to blend into or merge with others. Trying to have a healthy sense of self has always been a struggle.

    I want to know what it is like to be in a relationship where the other person is empathetic, self aware, intuitive, and reciprocates. Hopefully, in time I will.
     
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  7. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    Great thread, @soulareclipse. Thank you for creating it.

    The interaction between @Hostarius and @Fidicen sounds like a difference between Fe and Fi to me.
    Fi users use their emotional experiences to relate to others. It can sound like they are painting their experiences as universal experiences because the emotional experiences are coming from within, and they are using those experiences to relate to what is out there.

    I am curious if other INTJs have an issue with over-sharing. My INTJ SO overshares.

    I need to know people very well to open up about a lot of stories and aspects of my life. Knowing them well could happen right away if we have a deep connection, or it could take months or years. I don't think this is being inauthentic. I try to watch and listen for cues about what boundaries the other person has, and what kind of bonding is best for them. Some people bond over sharing personal stories and emotions, and other bond over shared experiences and don't do well with emotional situations and stories. I can tell when I mess up and reel it back in. There is also the fact that the impression someone has of me when we meet (without me telling stories to influence them) tells me a lot about who and what they are.

    Like many INFJs, my biggest problem area was learning how to set boundaries with those seeking my advice and support. I'm good at it now, but I let vampires and people who feed off having problems and drama and also feed off receiving attention for those problems, take up too much of my time when I was younger. I am there for people who are usually stable but have been sucker-punched by life. It happens to everyone at some point. Eventually the day comes when they don't inbox me to "talk". <3 We maintain a bond, and they communicate occasionally as healthy friendships do, but there is an end to the 'need'.

    I've had some other boundary challenges I won't discuss now, but I think I'm coming along with them and doing OK. I could improve. So, I'm always looking for sources on cultivating healthy boundaries and techniques for implementing them.
     
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  8. Fidicen

    Fidicen Community Member

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    I see the difference between Fe and Fi to be more about values, but there's also something about boundaries. My experience here is about INFPs rather than INTJs since Fi use is more obvious there (and I've been more intimate with them), but maybe it applies here as well. It seems that the Fe desire for harmony can appear very relativistic to a Fi user, which is one potential cause of clashes, because, perhaps ironically, INFJs can be just as stubborn in their ways, trying to come up with an alternative view, sometimes not even noticing that the other person is taking the difference in values much more seriously. So partly it could be about emotional experiences, but the Fi value system is internalised to such an extent that it doesn't feel emotional anymore. This is something I've found difficult in interacting with Fi: the insistence that their values are right because they're logical and objective, even though it's clear that there's a root of subjectivity, which is present in any human argument. And when I say that, it again sounds relativistic, though I don't deny the existence of truth, I'm just questioning the human capacity for objectivity.

    And when it comes to boundaries, this quest to find an alternative view, to try to understand someone's emotions inside out, can make the Fe user a "cold empath" because they're trying to build a connection so intensely that the Fi user feels that they're being intruded upon. So the Fi user is perhaps likely to see their interlocutor as somehow defective, imagining that if they were that eager to connect and share feelings, it would mean that they'd completely lost the sense of boundaries. Since this is the Fi way of relating to people, they might have difficulties understanding that the Fe conception of boundaries is different. And of course this works the other way around as well, Fe not understanding that their good intentions are perceived to break boundaries on both sides in an unhealthy way.
     
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  9. Lady Jolanda

    Lady Jolanda The Queen of Sophistry
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    I'm curious. What exactly is "oversharing"?

    Offering up a piece of intimate information to someone you don't know very well?
    But isn't that how you get to know each other better?
    How are you ever supposed to make real friendships if all you talk about is superficial factoids?
     
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  10. Fidicen

    Fidicen Community Member

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    I'd say oversharing means offering up pieces of information that the other one is not comfortable knowing, considering the current state of intimacy between you. Usually people get to know each other gradually and not by having 7-hour conversations about traumatic events :sweatsmile:. They're more careful about observing how much the other person reciprocates before divulging more. I'd say Fe people are more likely to go straight to the deep end though. Could they be less likely to identify strongly with the shared details, which would make it easier? Or is it just about the desire for harmony which is created by sharing things quickly rather than waiting for some sign that now's the right time to talk?
     
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  11. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    Hmm, I think it's important to remember that we all use all of the functions, it's just that our MBTI types are determined by our order of preference, and so in each of us there's a complex interplay between - in this case - Fi and Fe. So to take the example of 'disagreeing with someone', I know that it's going to make me somewhat uncomfortable to do it or consider it (Fe), but I do it anyway because in some sense the Fi 'overrides' the Fe. I think I experience Fe - a lot of it in fact - but the Fi is in control. Sometimes I experience what I might call 'Fi mode', where, say, a lot of people I like a lot are saying things I disagree with, and this can force me to pariah myself for the sake of staying true to my Fi-values - I'll temporarily stop caring about maintaining harmony or being liked and accepted, or the feelings of those I disagree with; I just think 'fuck it this is the truth'. In my case, it can appear to others that I suddenly become morally judgemental and very harsh, saying things like 'you all ought to be ashamed', &c.

    With that being said, Asa, I think what you say here is pretty accurate, though again I want to be careful not to paint myself into a stereotype because I think I experience both Fi and Fe ways of connecting with others. In Fi terms, I am definitely moved by emotional 'resonances' within me - there will be something about the other person that forces me to empathise with them more deeply, because I will have literally felt their emotion myself in the past or because what I'm witnessing is important to me. So when I see fathers and sons interacting happily and lovingly, I am strongly moved because I personally feel that such a thing is precious. On the other hand, if someone is experiencing an emotion for a reason that I don't recognise in myself, I think I become moved in a different way. I will absorb the level of intensity of their emotion - so if they are crying, I will cry or want to cry sympathetically (it's involuntary), though I will sometimes try to repress this if it's inappropriate - though I won't necessarily understand their emotion in all its complexity. My care and concern will grow to meet their emotion in intensity, but I'm not sure that I'll be feeling exactly what they're feeling, like a spongy empath might. So in this sense, my empathy is more skewed towards the reactive than the absorptive. My feeling is balanced more towards 'I need to help this person (to feel better, &c.)' rather than 'we need to share this feeling'.

    I get what you're saying here. The values can become so concrete and inviolable, that the metaphors used to describe them take on this aspect, too. In my case, I've described my deepest-held values as my 'steel core' (regardless of the cliché); they are 'iron', 'unbreakable', megalithic, towering. They don't feel emotional, they feel more like absolute laws or something, though ironically recalling them might trigger a powerful emotive response (like just happened with me now, lol).

    I don't think so... I don't really have problems with Fe-users, except when it comes to consistency of affect. So when someone is overwhelmingly warm and kind, &c. one moment, but in another they reveal that actually you're not that important to them, it can feel very confusing because for an Fi-user, such affect comes from deep within. For some Fe-users, they're just like that with everyone, which cheapens it for me. I think this is true only of the unhealthy Fe-users, though, and thankfully those people aren't in my life anymore. For an Fi-user, this can be a boundary too, I think (though I'm into heavy speculation here): we ought not to behave in ways that are properly reserved for those who are close to you.
     
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  12. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    Talking to your female colleague about your wanking habits.

    Talking about your existential crisis to people you just met on a night out.

    I have no fucking boundaries about this stuff sometimes. I can go straight from joking about bullshit to this kind of nonsense from moment to moment.

    Part of it is to do with being 'emotionally independent', but the problem with this is that you should reserve some things about yourself for those people who are closest to you.

    Funnily enough, I was wondering if in fact I 'overshared' or if I was just being hard on myself, so I asked Puzzle about it, and her reaction was something along the lines of 'oh God, yes, a thousand times yes. You are the king of oversharing.' I was all 'hmm, but do I overshare?', and she was all '10000% yes you do' :tearsofjoy:
     
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  13. Fidicen

    Fidicen Community Member

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    This is why I mentioned that my experience is related more to dealing with INFPs. I've never had such clashes with the INTJ friends, but with a Fi dominant things get much more intense in this area, when the feeling functions are opposites and highly valued approaches. All my exes probably have been Fi dominants, so it does create a strong sense of connection. But there's also great potential for drama :sweatsmile:.

    Guilty as charged :screamcat:. I've done that even quite recently. Well, not to a complete stranger, but an acquaintance who probably found it a bit strange.
     
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  14. Lady Jolanda

    Lady Jolanda The Queen of Sophistry
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    I'm laughing my ass off here. :tearsofjoy:
     
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  15. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    @Hostarius – of course. If I ever talk about functions this way, Im talking about the more dominant one.
     
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  16. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    'Hey I like the music in here!'

    'Yeah, me too, but it reminds me of a dark time in my life when I became one with the void!'

    'Haha, yeah... what?'
    group-young-adults-nightclub-talking-5488904.jpg
    *dies inside*
     
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  17. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    @Hostarius - if you become an artist/musician/poet/author you can talk about that stuff all you want in your work. :tearsofjoy:
     
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  18. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    I sense a new thread being born, though this one could serve the same purpose
     
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  19. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    That's me only instead of dying inside I get mad that people don't relate, or rather pretend to not relate.
    We're all thinkin' it, c'mon.
     
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  20. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    @Fidicen

    LOL...Sorry, I forgot to write commentary.
    I agree. I think about this, too. It upsets some people to mention it, though.


    @soulareclipse's thread is fine for this. :)
     
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    #40 Asa, Mar 2, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
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