INFJ/INFP relationship dynamics

I am curious about peoples’ thoughts regarding INFJ/INFP interpersonal dynamics.

I’ve noticed a tendency (as an INFJ) to seemingly connect well with INFP’s at first, but then something just goes… off. I remember reading about this in some of the Stellar Maze articles about the differences between the two types.

In particular, I am thinking about a recently ended friendship with somebody whom I strongly believe to be an INFP. At first, I thought that they could be an INFJ but as time went on our differences became more apparent. This person was one of the sweetest and most compassionate human beings I have ever met. I really wanted this friendship to work. It looked so promising. And yet… it was like a possibility that just never materialized.

Some differences I noticed:

People seem to initially describe me as a kind and thoughtful person. However, those who know me well know that I am not really “nice.” I value connection and rapport but am not above disappointing people or hurting people in the service of truth and authenticity. I very much feel that I have equal amounts of light and darkness inside of me. I am not afraid to confront the dark, cruel and selfish parts of my psyche. I choose to live out more of the light based upon my personal ethical and moral code which I have painstakingly built and refined over the years. But this is very much a code that is unique to myself. There are things that most people would consider “immoral,” that I won’t bat an eye at and there are things that most people think are “fine,” that are totally off limits to myself. Integrity is important to me but I see this much more as an alignment between my inner and outer worlds rather than a desire to be a “good,” person in the eyes of society.

My friend appeared to be much genuinely repulsed by anything that hinted of selfishness, power or force. They seemed much softer, through and through. Like you pull back the outer layers of kindness, and there’s just more genuine kindness. I felt that this person saw me as being a much “nicer” person than I really am and, in this way, I felt somewhat misunderstood. I held back some of my truer feelings because I felt that they would be too harsh or violent in the presence of this gentle soul. I shared about this openly, eventually.

I also noticed that, while my friend was very bright, they were not particularly keen on lengthy discussions. It was more, “Let’s just enjoy the moment!” Which, honestly, I could learn to do more of! I have almost a compulsion to continually seek out challenging and difficult experiences. I want to feel like I’m confronting greater and greater depths. In this connection, my friend appeared to feel put off by my intensity and I felt bored, like, “We’ve only scratched the surface! Let’s find out what we’re really made of!”

Also, I noticed that this person was very affectionate and wanted to connect openly from the beginning. I can be very charming and friendly upon first meeting, but I am slow to really open up. I feel like people instinctively pick up on this and keep their distance. While I can make people feel at ease when I engage them in conversation, I am rarely approached first. When I do care, however, I am all in. This is all very internal for me, so sometimes I think that people don’t realize how deeply invested I really am. I don’t have a lot of fluff in my conversation or feel-good small talk. It’s more like a deep honoring for the soul of the other person rather than a giggly “your-my-bestie” kind of deal.

All of that said, I feel that I learned a lot from this connection. I learned that, despite my freakish intensity, there is value in the small, more human parts of life. The sweet gestures and tokens of affection. The connection of sharing simple, ordinary acts of life. Sometimes there is no deeper meaning- or rather, the deeper meaning is already in the experience and it doesn’t have to be any more or better than it is. There is joy and value in respite from the harsh realities of the world, at times.

So, that was my INFJ/INFP experience and adventure. Again, curious as to other peoples’ experiences and thoughts:

Since no one’s answered, I agree with your description. I’m infp. I am aware that eventually infps disappoint infjs (intjs too). What is great is that once you know that pattern you can have lower expectations and wouldn’t be surprised with the next infp you meet. I know that I have lower expectations and don’t expect as much as I used to from infp/infj relationships (although as infp that goes pretty much for all types, expectations just go down all lifelong and I think for infp it’s really positive). I think infjs don’t feel free to share themselves or want to be cracked open in a particular way infps got no clue about and really are left wanting with what infp offers back (little of what infj needs) and infps feel they are a specimen in an experimentation lab when infj does all the prodding. It’s funky. Alright. I’m letting my subscription run out for a true break:)

Thanks for sharing! Could you share more of what you mean by the “want to be cracked open” and not feeling free to share? What do you think causes this or is at the heart of this dynamic? What do you think the info needs/is looking for and how is this similar/different from an infp?

I’m not sure. But maybe infj needs someone verbal. Since everything is exploration, it helps to talk to someone who can just decode along with them. I don’t know. I’m aware of it though when interacting with infj. Just straight up sympathy doesn’t mean that much to infj. It’s all that decoding as well. They want something reflected back at them but possibly reflected back with nuggets:) A form. Feel free to disregard any of this.

This is so true @lunar, at least for me…
Thank you for sharing.

@lunar, are you Turbulent or Assertive tested and do you think it is true? Do you consider yourself non verbal?

That feels very true. I think there is an element of deep understanding that I crave. It can be a part of love, but not necessarily. And I feel that I value that almost more than love. It’s a digging feeling- the sense that a person is trying to know me through and through.

Yes. I can’t talk about things I can try to write about. It just goes away face to face with a person. Presence of person engages nonverbal parts. I can do random chit chat but something turns off if it gets too pressured. Edit: I don’t remember if I tested for turbulent or assertive but I would probably be turbulent.

For me it goes like this:
Does it matter verbal or non verbal as well as the difference between someone’s TELLING you something and someone who TALKS to you at a certain point and time. I don’t mean to sound harsh but to voice my own needs. They are fucking deep, not real maybe.
Take your pick.

Can you say this a different way so that I may understand it?

Well, I’ll try…
It’s like someone saying “l love you” frequently and maybe mean it but for me these are only words. To understand them I need to feel these words, to know they are real. You need to be creative, to have a deep thinking about the way you can express or show your love. It is the knowing. Something like this…
And I don’t know if this is possible. Is it a wishful thinking?

Or, what do you want from me when you tell me something, what kind of response do you expect from me, do you expect something at all??? So
why are you saying this to me? Is there a purpose for all this verbal shit? Stupid Me and my fucking craving for meaning.

Totally makes sense, @natinka.

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Wanna round 2? :wink:

Thought you leaned turbulent but was not sure. I fo sho lean turbulent. My husband, pretty sure he is INFP-A. In a lot of ways he, like other male INFP’s [perhaps also assertives] does not fit all that well into common descriptions/ideas of the INFP. You kind of have to lift the surface up and see what he is actually like… what his functions are doing, that is to say I don’t think descriptions of INFP’s are… I don’t think they are remotely adequately understood. There seems quite a lot of variance [like I think any type has that is so often not accounted for]. Also, I don’t know if I’ve said it before but I love the way INFP’s explain things. Sometimes when I need something explained I will go to youtube and find an INFP for that very reason. My husband can pull lectures from ages ago and I usually tell my kids to go ask their dad.

I asked him just a bit ago if he was verbal or non verbal. He said both. Then we were trying to see if we were on the same page as to what verbal or non verbal meant. We did not finish clarifying, I had to go out.
He said he takes cues from those he is around and may be more or less verbal accordingly but also thinks he does talk a fair bit.
I talk less than he does. Meaning is something I kick around in my own head rather than require it of people via conversation most of the time, I am in fact shy to ask/begin unless I just find myself in an interesting conversation and am inspired to take part. If people around me go deeper, I am intrigued and I may join, but I would not say I start these things… unless it is just that if we are talking, I will sometimes take a chance and delve… so maybe in some cases people are following my lead? I don’t know for sure.

I will say that my husband is very willing to converse for a long while on topics that are deep and on a lot of interesting topics but it is more light hearted and I take some of the Ne areas we visit too seriously, in fact I am usually the one that begs off after a while so I don’t get stressed out. I can’t do the Ne ride for as long and maybe that is part of the thing, where Ne is bouncing from star to star [most of the conversations we have include an INFP, ENTP, INTP’s and and me] and I am a little tired and want to go collect heaps more information online, which I find very soothing. The P’s, especially the ENTP often wants to hit up on what is happening in the world around them and I am usually trying my best to escape the shit people do to each other and everything else in their path.

I knew when I wrote “verbal” it was off, the wrong word/words. I just felt too tired to get it to where it’s clean. Even realizing it’s the wrong word I barely know I was trying to say anymore. Now that I think about it I can even have verbal diarrhea. So nonverbal isn’t it. I know I was getting at something but I lost it. Im very tired.

Actually I believe you about what you said about yourself. Sounds like you. I’m sure an infp could talk lots more than an infj.

Lol. So I take everything back

No need to take anything back. Verbal or not is tricky not knowing exactly what that entails, when, where and how.
And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve relished the thought of a vow of silence. When you go off sometimes, it is like you’ve taken one. I understand… but I want you back!

… and because I am inclined to insert music wherever…

And it pertains… somehow.
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Don’t take anything back! And I don’t think infp talk more than infj. And like to read the things you wrote.

Some FLASH thoughts in 2 minutes:

  1. INFJs and INFPs usually look similar on the outset…
  2. INFJs are more intense than INFPs.
  3. INFPs will be intrigued by the complexity of INFJs at first.
  4. INFJs will be intrigued by INFPs quirkiness and goodness.
  5. INFPs might have a hard time grasping INFJs’ vast tendency to overthink and their obsessive, psycho, irrational Fi dilemmas. INFPs will have a much simpler take on all this - it can be good or bad depending on the situation.
  6. INFJs are certainly darker and more prone to evil than INFPs.
  7. INFPs don’t deserve INFJ assholery.
  8. INFJs should probably learn to let go of INFPs “fully understanding” their complex psychological dilemmas. INFPs can do it, if you LET them. Their Ni id and Ne aux can do wonders. But you need to give them space. It will arrive at them very quickly in a flash when they don’t feel pressured and guilty for not “understanding you enough.” INFPs are very capable of insight, you just have to wait for it.
  9. Contrary to what you said, my personal experience with INFPs are that they love long-length intellectual discussions if you convey your thoughts in an Fe-friendly manner. INFPs like Fe. They may or may not like Ti subjects, but when it’s Fe’d, it tickles their Ne. They also like it when you give them, again, enough room to relax and ask questions - any questions, even the dumbest ones (that usually aren’t dumb, just that they think its dumb). INFPs are great students and contribute very interesting ideas/questions if you don’t make them feel nervous.
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