When INFJs confront…
Reblogging because I’ve…
My boyfriend is an INTJ and it’s actually why I posted this - I was about to go into severe withdrawal (but we talked it though). It was a lot more severe when I was in high school; I’d go for entire summers without talking to friends and then return, ready for school, and my friends would have no idea what happened with me.
INTJ’s are very pragmatic and logical even with emotional matters, while with me, a blunt answer or an unintended-but-misunderstood offhand comment can just set me off into withdrawal because I’ll try to deal with it myself and process it without showing him that I’m having difficulty with something he said.
I think that INTJs are no strangers to long periods alone, either.
I can’t speak for all INTJs, but we’re usually not very easily offended. I’d rather be told that someone had difficulty with what I said than try to understand withdrawal. The typical INTJ would find “mute withdrawal” to be passive aggressive and confusing behavior, and INTJs don’t like to play emotional games. I don’t mean to offend, but that’s how it comes off to us, probably because we get confused and frustrated when we’re expected to decipher someone else’s feelings…which we’re not very good at. I used to tell him “I’m not psychic!!”
I can’t speak for all INFJ’s, but my (faulty?) logic behind the mute withdrawal goes as so: if I told someone I was going to withdraw, it would go against the logic of withdrawal as I’d just be engaging/involving the person further. Also, what tends to happen is that people might start treating the INFJ differently and distance themselves. This isn’t good, especially when the INFJ wants things to stay normal so we can return to the familiar way we left them. Even when someone is in withdrawal, it’s necessary to keep checking up on them for when they are ready to come back out. People will start to instinctively omit you, say, not inviting one to dinner with friends because they think you won’t want to go, when the INFJ needs it the most to return back to normal.
I can understand that. Pointing it out defeats the purpose in the first place. Kind of like asking for a compliment.
You have to remember, though, that INTJs don’t understand WTF you’re doing, and if we care about you at all, then not understanding what you’re doing will make us upset. Like, freaking out upset. And when we are set off to get that upset, sometimes there’s no going back to that “familiar place” you describe…INTJs can hold grudges for a loooong time. So, the key to our hearts is being honest and upfront about stuff all the time. No surprises.
Mute withdrawal feels like I’m setting myself on “auto-pilot” when I find things or emotions particularly overwhelming and requires no thought or effort on my half, but it takes time and people around us telling us the effects of this behavior for us to really understand. Also, having people around us willing to listen when we’re about to go into withdrawal (because at least I tend to go into a very dark place) or even when we’re in withdrawal makes all the difference. Sometimes it has nothing to do with a particular person at all and we’re just tired of social interaction. Even in that case, the occasional check-up is much appreciated when we want to come back out.
That’s really helpful.
In the past, I honestly didn’t know it would be OK for me to check up. I was confused when I discovered that he was shutting people out but he still wanted me to check up? In such situations, the NT brain says “DOES NOT COMPUTE” and fizzles out and gives up. I learned, though, to be persistent about getting in touch with him, because in the end, it was appreciated. Still doesn’t make much sense to me, but hey, it works, so that’s what matters.
Glad you guys talked it through. :)
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