Being natural empaths with extraverted feeling, INFJs are particularly at risk for falling into unhealthy codependent types of behaviors.
How many times have you dropped everything to help someone? Then when you need help its…..crickets chirping. Or you hold your tongue and let things go until the final nail in the coffin results in your sassy INFJ doorslam? Or you say yes to something you really don’t want to, so you don’t have to feel guilty?
I have been so, so guilty of these behaviors.
As an INFJ I have felt so torn between keeping the harmony (at my own expense) or simply calling the b.s. as I see it. I have gone along with stuff I shouldn’t have. I have avoided addressing real relational problems as the arise. I have been more protective of the feelings of others than my own.
INFJ’s also tend to be more gentle, more in touch with everyone else’s feelings. Blame extraverted feeling again. When someone wrongs us it is hard for us to get in touch with our own feelings enough to say, “No, I wasn’t at fault here. You were.” Something so simple to most becomes the dreaded Ni-Ti loop. Looking at the problem from a million different angles and putting ourselves in their shoes while the answer is basically simple and straightforward.
I’ve seen a lot of victim mentality on INFJ boards. One guy was complaining about his entire family being narcissists (the buzz word, yo) and I gently suggested that he should examine himself. You’d think I’d accused him of being Hitler reincarnated.
My thoughts are that if we consistently draw or enable narcissists in our lives we need to examine what it is in us that needs to change.
We show others how to treat us.
Just last night I went to work and was scheduled for a closing shift…alone. I work for a big corporation that doesn’t treat it’s employees the best. So I am supposed to close down a coffee shop and run the store, simultaneously, by myself? It’s basically impossible. I was fuming. Instead of bottling it up I quickly addressed it. I told the person in charge that I needed help. Help I got.
I probably wouldn’t have been able to do that a few years ago. Learning to be direct and speak up for yourself is so vital. You can be kind and caring but also assertive. You can be supportive without being a doormat.
It’s a skill like any else. It takes practice.
I was so afraid to step on toes for so long. But you know what? My “toes” matter too. When I started being honest and addressing things that needed to be addressed I physically felt better. I started sleeping better. I felt ridiculously empowered.
You can’t feel that if you stay trapped in a victim mentality.
I’ve had my own run-ins with narcissist personalities as well. I’ve been hurt. However, I turned those situations into learning experiences. I did some honest soul-searching and addressed the traits I had that would enable a narcissist.
We all start life as amateurs, right? It’s a dance that you learn as you go. Situations happen, hurts happen and you can chose to get bitter or you can chose to get better. Chose to get better.
Keep your extraverted feeling in check. Don’t keep the harmony in a situation where you intuition is screaming at you. Get alone before you say ‘yes’ to a big commitment. Learn to say no, without writhing in agony. Practice self-care. Put on your big girl (or boy) panties in the morning. You got this.
I’m an INFJ, a wife and mother, a Christian and a coffee freak.