As an introvert, let alone an INFJ Introvert, one of the most difficult thing to me is making new friends. If you asked me how I was growing up around people, it would usually be the similar answer “I was quite quiet around people I didn’t know very well, but a lot more open with my family and close ones”. I am quite a private person, and will distance myself to those who I feel disconnected with. However, there have been many cases where I’ve met someone lovely, but something, makes me feel like a treasure chest that can’t quite open now. Not yet. Yet, the main problem that I come by, is talking to people who share the same conversation time and time again – you know the one I’m talking about – the surface leveled, small talk or shallow conversation.
I don’t mind listening to others talk about their own personal lives like an open book. However, in this area, I feel almost intruded in a way when people want to know more about my life. I feel as if I need to know someone for a great deal of time, create the trust and know for sure that this person will be my friend for years to come. Another difficulty was being hurt so often by past people. INFJ are wonderful listeners, and unfortunately this calls for a case for being vented out upon. Listening to others issues endlessly can be very toxic if you surround yourself with negativity.
INFJ’s crave long term relationship that they know will last a long time. They don’t want to waste their time on casual relationships that lead nowhere. This can often make INFJ easily misunderstood. They need much more time alone to reenergise, yet they still feed off that human energy with someone they feel they can share intellectual and intuitive conversations or feel completely comfortable with in silence. I know from many years of high school experiences, that personally I do not like the feeling of even having to try fit in. It didn’t feel true to myself and unfortunately it led to being left out a lot.
Group conversations can often be very difficult, which also comes into social networking. It’s incredibly difficult to share input when I don’t feel comfortable with people I am not close to, however it has been something I’ve had to learn over the years to open up more. Although, most of the time I am still the person that is nodding my head, and doing less of the talking. Let’s face it, us INFJ can often be thought of as very strange and different people and that’s what makes us so special. At the end of the day, INFJ are perfectly happy to have just one or two extremely close friends they can call life friends.
To be nobody but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. –e.e. cummings
Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit. – Aristotle
If you are interested in knowing more, a wonderful article I read by Marissa on How To Be Friends With an INFJ is a great read that explains it so clearly!