INFPs are one of the most peace-revering and gentle spirits of the Myers-Briggs personalities. At first glance, they appear to be quiet and gentle. Things get even better as you realize how their kindness and soft hearts radiate genuinely.
However, it’s a misconception that these Dreamers are all goody and wishy-washy. I’m an INFP, and honestly, we have a dark side, that very few will only know.
It’s that to things that matter to us, we are sensitive and are not very tolerant.
To people who are ultimately close with an INFP — no, not best friends or childhood friends. But a partner or a family member who lives under the same roof with an INFP — my question is, have you ever had a problem with their stubbornness and pridefulness?
One day, you had a fight, and you have heard not a soul from them ever since. Worse, any attempt to communicate backfires. And you’re there, frustrated and at wit’s end, asking, “hey, why in the world does this INFP not care?”
But to be honest, INFPs care. A LOT.
But emotions can overthrow logic when the heights of their morals have been violated. It causes great friction among INFPs.
It breaks my heart when these naturally compassionate people can’t express such anger or frustration in words, and people see them as the bad guy for being unable to communicate.
To be fair, whenever INFPs are absorbed in such black holes of emotions, I must say, other people have all the right to be mad.
But while they look stubborn, evasive, and passive-aggressive on the outside, deep down, an INFP who chooses to keep quiet is filled with bursting emotions they cannot share.
It’s just that they want to, but they don’t know how.
To further understand INFPs distancing themselves, here are 6 Reasons you should know about your INFP partner, family, friend, or even children if they display behaviors of being evasive and distant.
6 Reasons Why INFP Distance Themselves From People
1. They’re in an uncomfortable environment.
What do INFPs want the most? Ultimately, it boils down to independence and the freedom to be themselves. Truth is, INFPs rarely ask for validation. They just want a space where people let them do what they gotta do.
This is why many INFPs don’t often get along with ESTJs who try to cage them within a structure and rules. Since they’re drawn to pursue authenticity, it’s a subconscious deal breaker when making friendships and relationships.
So, if they stay in a home where they’re constantly forced into an expectation, made fun of for failing, or continuously scolded for who and what they want, then the INFP have no choice but to keep all their desires, ideas, and feelings to themselves.
Judgment and harsh criticism make INFP self-conscious. And a self-conscious INFP becomes more private. If you’re someone who can never be supportive of them, the gap grows, and they will entrust nothing to you. That’s how INFPs deal with it.
“If telling my plans gives you an opportunity to judge or stop me, I’d rather not tell.” – your regular INFP.
2. They feel betrayed.
INFPs are incredibly loyal friends. Only a few get to be in their circle, and that’s because INFPs only cling to people they resonate with. Unlike more extroverted types who value the number of friendships, INFPs are keen on keeping it small, but true.
So if they consider you a real friend, they consider you a part of themselves. They involve you in their plans and genuinely care for your well-being. Investing in such a great amount of trust and love makes INFP flip 180 degrees when betrayed.
It doesn’t have to be major, like cheating or badmouthing them.
It’s as simple as deceit, dishonesty, and discovering that their secrets are not safe with you because you share them with your mom or office best friend. (Yikes!)
INFPs cut off relationships and friendships when they feel like they’re the reason for others’ suffering.
INFPs are the Healers of Myers-Briggs Personalities. That said, when an INFP fails to be a “good person” and unintentionally inflicts harm on others, it internally destroys their soft and supposedly kind heart.
They would rather disappear with their self-deprecating thoughts and think, “they’re better off without me,” “I don’t deserve anything,” or “I’m such a burden.”
They would rather disappear into thin air, bid goodbye, and think that will solve all their problems. (But hey, INFP, leaving people doesn’t solve anything.)
4. They’ve hidden for too long and don’t know how to bring back the relationship.
An INFP eventually calms down after shutting everybody down and wants to reach out to people once again. However, when that time comes, the next obstacle for INFPs is thinking that they’re “unforgivable beings.”
But I’m glad many INFPs also find the courage to reach out and apologize, and be forgiven.
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5. INFPs distance themselves because they chose peace today.
Sometimes, INFPs don’t vibe with people, and would love to be alone rather than unwillingly socialize. They walk away from arguments and toxicity.
They would rather be stuck in a library for a day than in a group they don’t fit in.
6. They can’t put words into their emotions.
Ever experienced INFP silent treatment? I’m an INFP, but after all the challenges I’ve gone through, I can say I’ve become more into the expressive side. I don’t care if I cry, but I will express my feelings.
And that’s probably because I can put words into my emotions now. (All thanks to being a writer.)
However, my INFP partner, on the other hand, is still on his journey to understanding his personality. One time, we had an argument, and after all the points I said, he kept his silence
“What do you think about it?” I asked. He was silent.
“Do you want to talk?” No response.
“How do we solve this if you’re not talking to me?” Again, no answer.
That time, I lost my patience. My heart feels like bursting because it’s like a 10-minute monologue with a wall. My anticipation for even a one-word response was killing me.
Fast forward, it was the biggest fight we had yet. I’m fully aware this behavior exists in INFPs, and he apologized for it.
He said, “I can’t talk because I know you’re right.”
How do I make sense of that? Here’s how:
It’s an argument between his mind and emotions. His mind knows what to do, but his emotions reject it.
INFPs understand what’s right. But the battle against his feelings is so strong that he can’t put his emotions into words because it would sound irrational.
INFPs constantly wrestle between what’s right and what feels right.
Not to mention, many INFPs, as empaths, take in multiple problems at once – their failure, the angry tone of their boss, the mistake they made in the past, and even the jealousy they feel — all leading them to shut down.
If you’re an INFP, I understand how hard it is to describe emotions without sounding irrational. People may even be surprised how your problems today are all rooted in the issue you had a month ago.
So when an INFP does silent treatment, it’s not because they don’t care. It’s because they care too much about everything all at once, making their reasons emotional and illogical. And INFPs dislike being judged for it.
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What Can INFPs Do To Avoid Unintentional Silent Treatment Towards People?
Give yourself time to process.
Sometimes, you don’t know what to say in an argument, and that’s okay.
INFP’s feelings and emotions are temporary. One day you feel hopeless; the next day, you feel like conquering the world.
So when you’re arguing, respectfully tell the other person you can’t think properly now and need more time.
Tell them, “I’m too emotional right now,” or “I don’t have the words right now.” If they respond negatively, the problem’s on them, not yours. What’s important is, at least you gave them your boundary.
Whatever happens, never leave people hanging.
INFPs’ issues often go berserk due to the lack of communication. As an INFP, you love giving people generous compassion and empathy, especially when you understand what happened to them behind the scenes.
The rule applies to you, too.
But unfortunately, many INFPs just run away and give no room for others to understand them. Or maybe, it’s because INFPs don’t understand themselves, either.
So next time, if people ask you what’s wrong, answer with “I’m trying to make sense of it” instead of a classic and lousy “I don’t know.”
I tell you, saying “I don’t know” part does much psychological damage to others, too. But when you’re honest about how you can’t put your emotions into words, it’s more understandable to the person who cares for you.
However, to improve this, be diligent enough to find the right words in your emotions. I know it’s hard, but as you learn more about yourself, you communicate them better.
Knowing the right words allows you to communicate better. Communicating your emotions makes you expressive. Being expressive frees you.
What To Do When You Want To Close The Gap Between You And INFP?
Listen, don’t lecture
INFPs are individualistic people. They rarely ask for help. They’re self-aware of what’s happening around them and have a good sense of what’s right and wrong. Tendencies are, your lectures would be something they’ve thought of repeatedly, too.
The problem is the emotions. If you want to close the gap, you have to help them get through those bursting emotions. How? By simply listening.
This may interest you: 9 Ways To Take Care of Your INFP Partner
Don’t force communication.
Other personality types prefer to be straightforward. However, INFPs can’t, simply because their issues aren’t even linear! Emotions can create swirls of problems that overlap each other.
Here’s a communication many INFPs can relate to:
Someone: What’s the problem?
INFP: I feel overwhelmed.
Someone: What makes you feel that?
INFP: I don’t know…
Someone: What do you mean, “I don’t know”?
INFP: Maybe because I feel left behind.
Someone: But you have a good life!
INFP: Yeah, but…
Someone: Then, why???
The next day…
Someone: What’s the problem?
So to people who want to close the gap, it’s better to remain compassionate and kind until they open up. Wait for them to be ready, but don’t make it look like you’re waiting for them.
Just act natural. Don’t interfere in their deep mental processing of emotions.
Keep them moving.
Let them take their time. The more you chase them, the more they repel you. The more you force communication, the more they run away.
You don’t have to solve their emotional problems because they will solve them independently. But your role is to keep them moving.
Talk about things that are not about them. Make them feel that their roles are significant. Give them important errands to keep their thoughts in touch with physical reality.
And one day, poof! They’re okay. While you’re making sure that you’re there and didn’t give up on them, they also love the opportunity to find answers on their own.
That’s it! I hope this gives you insight about INFPs who detach themselves from people and the world. Thanks for reading!
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