There once was a group of strangers whom I met with periodically. It was comprised of:
- an ENTP 7 leader
- an INFJ 4 co-leader
- an ISFP 9
- two other IxTPs
- and me, an INTJ 5
Apart from it being an Fe-heavy group, I was also the only female. The group didn’t take well to my Te way of communicating and I was consistently misunderstood. Rather than exiting prematurely, I made myself stay and tried to work on improving my communication and interpersonal skills — ‘tried’ being the operative word.
Things turned sour pretty quickly and rather early on. The ENTP 7 felt as though I was constantly attacking him and he blew up at me in the end, making outrageous and ad hominem arguments that caused me to leave the party with finality. To quote the accurate depiction of the compatibility issues between a 5 and a 7:
In the lower Levels, Fives can see Sevens as too escapist, superficial, intrusive, and coarse. The Seven wants the Five to be more fun so that their experience will be more positive. Sevens embarrass Fives by being too effusive and glib. On the other hand, Sevens think Fives are cold and unresponsive. Conflicts with each other’s style make both dig in their heels: Sevens become more demanding and pushy, whereas Fives become more withdrawn and uncooperative. Sevens may act out to get the Five’s attention, but they may go too far causing Fives to close the door. A lack of trust and difficulty in finding a safe common ground to work out differences makes things worse as both types tend to take extreme, well-defended positions. (Reference)
Because I didn’t bother to stay and explain myself or defuse the situation, he held the power to influence the rest. I merely muttered some pleasantries and then upped and left.
When I was still part of the group, I made attempts to connect with the ISFP 9 — he was my only Fi buddy in the troop. But it was difficult; he had his own problems and was cut off from his own emotions. I don’t think he liked me all that much, and so:
Unless there is an intense reason to see each other frequently, the stubbornness, inertia, and autonomy issues of the Nine will mix with the withdrawal, detachment, and indifference of the Five and the relationship will wither away. (Reference)
The INFJ 4 tried to urge the others to be more J-like, which I was irked by even though I, too, was a J — the only other J there. I was aware that the rest were Ps and that it wasn’t their natural way of functioning, that they wouldn’t appreciate it and that they would find it stifling. When I first met him though, it was like my ears perked up in anticipation and excitement. I knew almost instantaneously that he was an INFJ, and was filled with intrigue. Within what seemed like mere minutes, he started to find me offensive. Misunderstanding after misunderstanding on his part began piling up. He asked if I was happy; I gave a direct and honest answer. I tossed the question back at him; he beat around the bush, said that he was, and emphasised it for good measure, as though trying to convince himself of it as well. But I knew that a happy NF wouldn’t be treating another this badly. After many tries, I finally had to close the door on him. It was only after this turning point that it seemed to dawn on him the mistakes and misjudgements he made. This was how it transpired:
Each time upon leaving our meet-up, the group of us would always walk a distance in the same direction until the point where I split off from them and headed towards a different direction. At the end of what was to become the last meeting before the big blow up, we all headed off together in the same direction, but when the rest of the group started to split off in the other direction, the INFJ 4 stayed by my side. The ENTP 7 turned back and asked if the INFJ 4 was going with them, to which the INFJ 4 replied that he was going to hang back and take a cab instead. I stiffened, knowing that it was his attempt to talk to me. The ENTP 7 raised his brows, peered at me and then back at the INFJ 4, shook his head and walked off. “Is this what it feels like to be an adult? Is this what adulthood is like?” I thought. Both the ENTP 7 and INFJ 4 had a wife, and this would have been the furthest thing that I’d have done; it’s so unlike me. The INFJ 4 noticed the ENTP 7’s reaction but didn’t respond to it.
When it was just the two of us, I immediately started to think of how to escape. I didn’t wish to talk to him. It was too late; I’d already closed the door on him. He started making small talk. I responded but could tell that he wasn’t paying attention to what I was saying, that the mental gears were churning in his mind about how to broach whatever topic he intended to talk to me about.
Escape Attempt #1: Failed
I tried hinting that I was tired, asked if he was tired as well but didn’t wait for his response and continued by saying that I had an early day the next day too. He knew what I was trying to do and smiled.
Escape Attempt #2: Saved by the bell!
I confirmed with him whether he was taking a cab and turned to see an available cab driving down the road towards us. I grabbed his elbow (lightly) — his eyes widened in a stunned look — and walked him out onto the road to hail the cab for him.
That was the last I saw of him. I sometimes wonder what he wanted to say, if he wanted to apologise, and how much he realised that he had been wrong about.
(The Four’s) emotional florid reactions confronting (the Five’s) emotional detachment and rational analysis quickly get to an impasse that may spiral into a breakup. (Reference)