The INFJ Doorslam
There have been plenty of articles written on INFJ doorslams. Truth is, the INFJ doorslam comes in many variations. INFJs are not the only type to doorslam another person. But stories of INFJs doorslamming others are more common than with any other type. Why? And what different forms of the INFJ doorslam exist?
The INFJ Doorslam
It is believed that the primary culprit in INFJ doorslams is introverted thinking. Introverted thinking is the third function for an INFJ. It's their sidekick function. It's often described as more immature than the second function, which is an INFJs mentor or higher awareness. But introverted thinking can help protect an INFJ from anxiety and from heavy stress. The primary role is to give relief. Another trigger is that the INFJ is getting incredibly overwhelmed by a situation and that they see no choice but to pull away from it.
I think the reason INFJs are so often associated with doorslams is because the presence of an INFJ is sometimes incredibly strong, and sometimes almost invisible. You know when you have an INFJ nearby. Extroverted feeling is passionate and warm and bright. Extroverted sensing is loud and direct and present. So when the two functions dissapear, it's easy to wonder where they went.
The Different Forms Of Doorslams
Ghosting is one of the worst forms of doorslamming, which is when the other person completely dissapears from the surface of earth, leaving no notes, taking no calls, and can't be reached anywhere. This is one of the worst and most toxic forms of doorslamming, and signals the most immaturity in a person. Ghosting can be a sign of volatile psychological disorders, and has little to do with being an INFJ. Ghosting is often used to control others. Still, I wanted to bring this up to distinguish beween ghosting and doorslams.
2. The Doorslam
Less bad, but still bad, the doorslam is when a person lets you know they will never talk to you again. They've completely lost their patience with you or the situation. This doorslam may not be permanent, but often is. INFJs may use the doorslam as a last resort to try to provoke you to change. They will still always care for the person, but keep their distance to ensure they don't get too hurt.
The problem here is that an INFJ has become too invested in your life and your choices. Or they have become too overwhelmed by the situation and can no longer stand to be there. Sometimes INFJs just lack the strength to continue, or they take on way more than they can chew. Doorslams can be avoided by finding the right balance in a relationship.
3. The Detach Mode
The detach mode is when an INFJ who is usually very passionate with extroverted feeling appears completely unemotional and dispassionate. Nothing you say seems to matter to them anymore and they give you nothing but a dead stare. When asked what's wrong, they may pretend it's nothing. (And well, sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't.) This is the most common form of light doorslam, and it can last indefinitely, or just for an hour or so, until the INFJ has finished processing.
Going cold is directly the result of introverted intuition and introverted thinking. I call it the INFJ Detach Mode. Seeing an INFJ in the detach mode is the most cold and dark experience you could possibly witness. It's used to make a very detached and rational judgement about a situation, and requires you to completely tune out from others. But all mature INFJs quickly learn introverted thinking is a terrible decision making process.
The answers in this mode are hardly rational and often immature, and they don't reflect an INFJs true wishes. An INFJ finds their true needs and feelings only when they use introverted intuition and extroverted feeling together. To do this, actually sit down and discuss your feelings and issues with the other person before you make your final decision. Be vulnerable, and allow them to be a part of helping you make a good decision.
4. The Ni Dissapearance Act
An INFJ or an INTJ may sometimes completely dissapear from the situation, leaving everyone wondering where they went. Or they start off being really loud, but then all of a sudden, they go completely quiet. This is not really a doorslam. Ni just takes over completely and the INXJ leaves to go catch their breath from the party or the intense situation.
The dissapearance is rarely intentional and the INXJ is not gone. You can propably call them or find them somewhere if you want to, they've just gone into the twilight zone for a bit. Often, you're more than welcome to follow them as they go, just ask first.
How To Avoid Doorslamming Others
As an INFJ, I used a light door slam to get my dad to quit smoking. I was about six years old and had just heard that smoking kills. I told him I wouldn't visit him anymore unless he stopped. He didn't. I regret doing it even today.
1. Take time to yourself like a boss
The lessons I've learnt over the years is, let loved ones know where you go when you dissapear. Assert your need to be alone but tell them when you're gone. Check in sometimes, just to let them know you're alright. Find ways to be alone with others around.
Teach them to navigate inside your introverted intuitive world and show them they don't have to be afraid of what comes up there. Find people who you know will trust you. Affirm to them that introverted intuition, while sometimes a dark and strange process, always seeks wisdom and answers that will lead to positive growth.
2. Help others without hurting yourself
Don't get too invested in the other persons life and issues. If you feel yourself getting too frustrated or angry about something that has nothing to do with you, but only with them, let the other person know that it is hard for you, and ask them if you can talk about something else instead.
Some things, such as drug abuse, and others self-destructive habits can be impossible to bear to watch. Its okay if you don't have the patience. But if you want to make it work, find ways to be their friends without becoming their counsellors. Be there for them in a way which works for your energy and needs.
Learn to separate your own issues and theirs. Make sure you are their friend, not their counsellor. Answer like a friend would, true to yourself, talk about things you love. Show them who you are. Be yourself. (Unless you actually are their counsellor, then you're fucked.)
3. Always be just as warm as you feel comfortable being
INFJs extroverted feeling make them potentially among the warmest personality types. The INFJs introverted thinking make them among the potentially the most cold types. While INFJs may start off being extremely kind or nice, but then they may stop, leaving others wondering where the kindness went.
It may be hard for others who get invested in your kindness and come to depend on it. A sudden absence in the rain of smileys and polite and friendly remarks can be hard for the other person. They started off so nice!
This one, I have no perfect advice for. It's okay not to always be nice or polite. You don't always have to be emotionally on with another person. Eventually they will get used to the fact that you're not always a ray of sunshine. The only advice I can give is, don't give them false expectations in the beginning.
Don't make a habit of being overly on when making new friends - go in as you are, use extroverted feeling to a degree you feel comfortable with, so the other person knows what your "level of normal warmth" is. INFJs sometimes exaggerate their extroverted feeling and extroverted sensing when making new friends. If the friendship is to feel permanent and balanced, eventually we have to switch back to a comfortable amount of Fe. Especially IXFPs may struggle with an INFJs absence in extroverted feeling. It's not our dominant function. It's on when we're happy and well, but it sometimes goes off when we pursue relief in introverted thinking.
How to deal with doorslams
It is impossible to change an INFJs mind when set. You will most likely not be able to change their mind on you once they've doorslammed you. So how can you deal with a doorslam?
The best thing is to learn to anticipate an INFJ doorslam in advance. Learn to notice when an INFJ is becoming frustrated with you. When they seem angry over something and when they're becoming overly invested in something. Try to encourage them to set better boundaries. Ask them if they're overwhelmed and help them relax.
When extremely overwhelmed, INFJs fall in the grip of extroverted sensing, and they can make immature and bad decisions. In this situation, it's important that you don't contribute to the overwhelm by pushing them to make a bad decision. It can be easy to become anxious by an INFJ who is stressed out. When they go dark or cold, it's easy to jump to the worst conclusion. But INFJs are overall loving people - people who want to love and need to feel loved. The best way to make an INFJ feel loved and understood is patience.