I typically shrink away from physical contact, but hugs from children are different, I’ve come to find. It’s borne out of such innocence, which makes it trustworthy.
Some time ago, I told a pretty, little ENFP child that she’s smart. “I’m not smart,” she responded softly. In that moment, it was as though my ceramic heart cracked. “You are smart,” I emphasised, but she shook her head. She told me that I’m friendly. « Je ne suis pas gentille. Tu es gentille, plus gentille. » I said to her, and placed a hand lightly on her shoulder. She held my arm, and I knew it was a moment so I held onto hers as well, and she said, “You are good at your work, you are a good person, and you are a good friend.” I looked at this sweet, little ENFP, thinking about how she’ll learn to intuitively tell what truly matters to others as she grows, and gave a smile and nod.
There was this other time when another bright, little child stopped slurping her spaghetti, looked up at me and said, “You have something here,” while tapping the side of her lips. I looked at her, saw her chin and cheeks covered in a beard of pasta sauce, and burst out laughing.
When talking to two adult INFJs on separate occasions about my experiences with children, they each said, “You’re a good person, you know?” Ah, the NFs and being a good person. “You’re just like Katniss,” one of them commented, which is amazing — that they see the resemblance, that they understand.
As I retreat further into myself, my world becomes smaller and I feel more alone. As I retreat further into myself, I then truly become more alone. The connections I make through work fuels me, yet the sadness persists. I’m caught in the land in-between, sinking further down into the soil. Some have come to me with their problems, some while crying. I feel sad for them, but I also wonder why they feel comfortable enough with me. Shouldn’t I, a stone-cold INTJ, be the last person others would want to approach with emotional issues? Perhaps it’s the environment we’re in — the conducive atmosphere. From an outsider’s perspective, it must seem like such a bizarre setting. I feel like a fraud helping them. I am in no way qualified to do so, and I’m much more troubled and unhealthy than they are. It’s strange, isn’t it?