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7 Things to Remember When Dating an INFJ

7 Things to Remember When Dating an INFJ

INFJs are one of the rarest personality types out there. With our energy primarily focused internally, we are quiet, intuitive and idealistic dreamers with an empathy for everything and everyone. We live in another world – one entwined with hidden meanings, possibilities, and symbolism – this can make us quite odd at times for those who find themselves around us.

At first, other personality types might see us as mysterious, even intriguing, but this can also cause problems within our relationships, as these characteristics can quickly make us appear aloof and blasé.

There are a number of things one should know before jumping head first into a relationship with an INFJ – not all of them necessarily negative, but needed to know before you can move into a more serious phase and a deeper understanding of the relationship:

1. No hook ups

INFJs do not want something temporary that can dwindle away with the first indication of a strong, potentially stormy wind that blows in its direction. We seek soul mates, those with whom we can connect on a spiritual, emotional and intellectual level.

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We do not do casual or friends with benefits; it only frustrates us and makes us feel guilty for compromising our ideals and our value systems. This by no means make us judgmental towards others who prefer to explore and experiment; it is just not something we wish to pursue.

2. Trust does not always come easy

INFJs are keen observers of the world and all that goes on in it. We not only see the pain, we also feel it. This is one of the reasons behind us being so hesitant to just jump into a relationship before knowing if we really connect with a person.

If there is any indication that the person is not being honest or open with us we will immediately retreat. We are good readers of situations and people and if the dynamics of the relationship has changed or if the person fails to give his or her all, we will sense it.

3. We do not give up

INFJs do not easily give up on a relationship, it is thus that we need you to be honest. If we feel the dynamics – as mentioned above – has changed, we will slowly start disappearing mentally, emotionally and even physically. We do not like conflict—this also makes us (or perhaps only me personally) terrible verbal communicators when it does come to the point of conflict. We avoid the elephant in the room and will often wait for the other person to break things off first.

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4. We need time alone

We tend to give our all in a relationship and often neglect ourselves in the process, which most likely leads to us being exhausted and overstimulated. This, in turn, might cause us to lash out, saying or doing something we do not mean.

Therefore, we need time alone to center ourselves; we need our other half not to take it personally when we tell them we need a weekend alone without seeing, texting or phoning each other. Our loved ones need to be able to let us go for long enough to enable us to recharge and recuperate. It is the only way we will be able to function “normally” in the world we find ourselves in, as well as in our relationship again.

5. Snobs are a buzz kill

Look, we all love a good dose of confidence, style, and a positive body image. Great for the guy or girl who has it, but they should not dare use it as a weapon to bring others down. If they do, they will not see us hanging around for long, if at all.

This was a major pet peeve in one of my relationships and in the end contributed to some of my own insecurities. I never saw the flaws he pointed out in others, but it made me consciously look at myself through his eyes, wondering if he felt that way about me too. It was only after I did some soul searching and was able to recollect myself and my sense of worth and value that I knew this was not something I could stand for.

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You have to understand, INFJs are affected by the energy provided by the environment around us and we cannot stand for an energy of criticism, arrogance, and elitism – we despise it. We see people’s souls; we do not care about status, appearances, and accessories. We hope to find someone who appreciates the simplicity and makes room for what matters.

6. We are the peculiar children

INFJs are beautifully complex – so much so that it is often frustratingly confusing not only to those around us but also for ourselves. We have a rich inner life and often get lost in idealistic dreams and fantasies about life and the world we wish to save. We know we might seem strange to others and because of this awareness we will often feel alone and misunderstood.

We rarely feel that anyone truly gets us and this can often cause tension in our relationships. However, bear with us; work with us when we feel this way. We might not admit it, but we do need you.

7. The deep pit of depression

INFJs tend to struggle with periods of depression. Whether it is because we feel helpless and hopeless in our pursuit of saving the world and all its inhabitants, or due to the fact that we are experiencing a crisis and blockage in our work, perhaps even because we feel lonely and misunderstood. This can play a role in our relationships and we might feel the need to creep back into our deep, dark and lonely pit.

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It is wise to know when to let us creep back in and to just let us be, allowing us to sort through our thoughts and emotions, but it is also wise to know when we need that helping hand to pull us back into the light. Please, please do not abandon us completely.

This is us. Take it or leave it. But one thing we can guarantee the guy or girl if they do decide to take it is loyalty, support, absolute love, acceptance and someone that will always be ready to go on new adventures with you. All we need is your trust, your openness and your ability to stay with us through the sticky and rough patches in our lives – we will not forget it, and we will be devoted to you until the end.

If you are an INFJ, let us know how you find your relationship to be like and if you were lucky enough to find the one that dances with you through the rain, the one whose love roars louder than your demons; the one who knows how to make you feel both secure and wild.

Featured photo credit: Junebug Weddings via junebugweddings.com

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Bianca Gouws

Freelance Writer, Director and Actress

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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