Let’s be friends





My friend Sam messaged me last Monday and asked if I wanted to go see Nine Inch Nails. I’m a Trent fan. I like Trent’s business models but the last time I loved his music, Def Leppard was still getting airplay. Also, I’m broke.

Sam promptly replied that he asked me if I wanted to go, not whether I had money. Because apparently, that’s what friends do. It suddenly hit me that I have friends. It was bound to happen after spending years of free time with the same people.

I don’t like the word friend. I decided to stop having friends in my mid-20’s. Without friends, it’s easier to people fit into two categories: People I like being around and the people I avoided. INFPs idealize friendship. The word friend has subtext.

When I said that a person was my friend, I meant they were my close friend who I could tell about the body secrets to. Everyone else wandered this vast limbo of acquaintance-hood outside the door of my secret club of friends.

My friends were only those who could understand who I really was as a person. Pledging my club included figuring out their MBTI. We’re they INFPs because only INFPs or maybe an INT/J or P could understand me. INFPs use all sorts of initiation rituals for friendship. Astrology is quite popular as an INFP form of hazing.

I stopped making friends because people couldn’t quite live up to my idealization of them. People disappointed me. I felt hurt and betrayed because they should have known me better than that. Looking back at it now, I can tell you the most important thing I learned about friendship:

Friends are there to be your friend, not to make you feel less lonely.

I’ve known Sam for 7 years. I don’t know how long we’ve been friends. I never expected us to be friends and that’s probably why we are. I didn’t “go INFP”* on him.

Today, I call friends those people who’s company I enjoy and I spend time with. The other requirements I’ve learned to let go of. They don’t have to return messages in a timely manner. They don’t have to show up on time. They don’t have to learn the secret handshake and I’ve eliminated the blood sacrifice completely.

I don’t expect anything from my friends except for them to be who they are. They have lives that they’re trying to muddle through also. I’m almost a grown up now. I can deal with it.

As for the those deep dark secrets I was saving to tell close friends. They don’t need to know where the bodies are buried. Isn’t that what blogging is for?


* I’m formally coining the phrase “going INFP”. Going INFP is when an INFP projects an ideal onto a person or a situation which results in disappointment due to unmet expectations.

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48 Responses to “Let’s be friends”

  1. D. Mark

    Jun 15, 2009

    2:16 am

    I intended to leave this comment last week.

    I think ‘go INFP’ is brilliant. I know exactly what you meant when you said it.

    And from your latest post “INFP Limbo” should also be a tag.

    “…this INFP Limbo mailbox is full. Please delete some projects so that new projects may be saved…”


  2. Reem

    Nov 14, 2009

    6:57 pm

    Hi Corin,

    I’m also an INFP . I’m 22, I am just out of college and I’m just starting to face the real world. I think you’re posts are very intelligent and have a witty humor.

    This particular post really struck a cord with me, because I’m at a point in my life where I feel like I have more friends then I ever had, but I’m constantly disappointed in them. I was starting to think that maybe I’m not demanding enough and I should force people to meet my expectations, especially that I tend to go to great lengths to make sure I meet other’s expectations and I feel bad when I don’t.

    But, after reading this, I think maybe I need to change my expectations and appreciate what my friends have to offer even if it’s not always what I expect.

    I hope you keep blogging, because you’re thoughts could be very helpful to many INFPs out there.


  3. Ben

    Nov 25, 2009

    6:21 am

    I find it interesting how much variance there is within INFPs, but also how much similarity. The subtext associated with ‘friend’ definitely strikes a chord with me. I think I have 2 friends, and one or two others who might be close. Maybe. If they play their cards right for the next 15 years.

    But the expectations part threw me a bit. In my experience, strict rules about friendship are more of a **TJ trait . Though seeing as I haven’t added any new friends to that list since Uni, maybe I’m not being completely honest with myself πŸ˜‰

    Enjoying the blog – keep up the interesting work


    bimbim Reply:

    “I think I have 2 friends, and one or two others who might be close. ”
    ha2 same case with me
    “If they play their cards right for the next 15 years”
    i would rather choose “If we play our cards right for the next 15 years” πŸ˜‰


  4. Vy Le

    Jan 1, 2010

    2:10 pm

    Hahahhaa, this is so true. Man, now i understand why i value friends so much, it’s in the INFP…and also why us INFP are easily disappointed. Hahhahaa


  5. Ann

    Jan 2, 2010

    12:05 pm

    The word or words to describe the filtering process for who is considered close or not can be tricky, but the fact that there are barriers to getting “in” is shared among INFP’s, it seems.

    The other shared trait is what may unconsciously cause someone to be “out”, which is some form of hurt, which could be anything from a political belief that squicks our moral code to hurting our feelings.
    We just leave, quietly. Disappear.

    This post is good in that it is self aware and promotes tolerance of others differences. Maturity breeds acceptance of others’ shortcomings, which may only be our judgements.
    Tolerating true abuse is another matter.


    ockhamdesign Reply:

    I think the reason why INFPs have this gauntlet for friendship is that we feel that we only have enough energy for a few people in our lives. The problem with that is that with the few we do choose as friends, we put this mountain of idealism and expectation on the friendship. Who wants that kind of pressure?


  6. danny microwave

    Jan 9, 2010

    12:39 pm

    i’m an infp, also. your writing is clear and concise (and the content is dead-on infp) and so i’ll check this blog from time to time πŸ™‚ check out mine if you’d like. “going infp” on someone is something that causes many people to dislike me. i’ve been conned into taking leadership positions at several points in my life. terrible. terrible. terrible. it seems that no one loves an idealist for more than a few minutes. it’s one of the reasons we have to distance ourselves from the crowd. we’re easy to sacrifice when the shit hits the fan. if you have a moment, read this (ultra)short poem i just wrote today:



    ockhamdesign Reply:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with idealism as long as you keep it to yourself.

    Expectations, even unspoken ones, create alot of pressure. Since 65 percent of communication is non-verbal, other people pick up those unspoken expectations and it’s a lot of pressure. Who wants a friend that pressures you all the time.


    Jeanine Reply:

    Sigh. But say you’ve been friends with someone for oh, 30 years or so.

    Shouldn’t there be some things you could reasonably expect? Well, maybe not but I did and was quite disappointed and am declassifying this “friend” from “friend” to “person with shared history”.

    Typically INFP I suppose.



    Kathleen Reply:

    “Since 65 percent of communication is non-verbal, other people pick up those unspoken expectations and it’s a lot of pressure. Who wants a friend that pressures you all the time.”

    Fellow INFP here, and I have actually put distance between myself and a friend because of this. For me, friendship is exactly what you described, and I don’t have time or the drive to satisfy someone else’s high expectations. If they want to be my friend, they can hang out with me and talk to me. If not, they don’t have to. That’s literally all there is to it.


  7. Mark Suever

    Jan 12, 2010

    1:13 am

    How do you know me so well?!? Wait a minute, how do I know YOU so well?

    This post has me feeling so…. well, you already know how I’m feeling.

    Thanks! πŸ™‚


    Jeanine Reply:

    That’s very cute! INFPs are cute (and hey, that’s what I am).


  8. Mak

    Jan 19, 2010

    4:27 am

    I remember having a conversation with a couple of “friends” the other day.

    We got into an argument over my definition of the concept of friends: I basically told them that most people have “friends” (people they like to hang out with…all the time. people who would be first pick in a if-you-were-stuck-on-a-deserted-island-type reality) and they have “substitute friends” (people you’d call to hang out if the people in the former group were busy or unavailable).

    They thought that i was crazy, that no one actually classify it like that. must be INFP kind of thing. I totally related with the article


    ockhamdesign Reply:

    I think all relationships are about timing. You and that other person have to be going in the same life direction to connect on a meaningful level.

    So “substitute friends” do end becoming “desert island friends” when life direction starts syncing up. It also goes in the other direction where you move apart from “desert island friends”.

    Desert Island Friends move away from you naturally. They grow or you grow up. They pair up. They develop different priorities and start leading different lives. This is inevitable. And sometimes, they are no longer available as hang out friends.

    Eventually, your “substitute friends” stop hanging out with your because they’re hanging out with their “desert-island friends” and you’re not one of them. Then what?


    nicole Reply:

    I totally relate on that. I actually set it up with circles. Inner inner circle, outer inner circle, inner outer circle and outer outer circle.


  9. Sue London

    Jan 21, 2010

    7:58 pm

    “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.” ~ George Washington

    My INTP husband tends to have more issues with disillusioned friendship than I do, but I’ve always organized my relationships into multiple levels and try to “love people for who they are” rather than expecting them to be who they aren’t. I don’t run people through a gauntlet, per se, but I observe their behavior and file them under a friendship category in my mind. Even though, yes, I’m well known for my personality test/astrology/game testing – I just don’t assume things like “I only get along with INFPs” or anything like that.
    (1) At the outer rim there are “casual friends,” those people who you are always happy to see and they are happy to see you, but there is no investment beyond that.
    (2) There are “buddies” who are the ones who just want to hang out/have fun. They’re the ones who come to your parties, go with you to movies, and want to know if you’re hosting a game or something else fun. Do not call these people when you move or need anything, they WILL disappoint you. You’ll notice that when they ask you for a favor it feels like an imposition.
    (3) There are “good friends.” Sometimes not as fun as buddies but they are really, really good people and there is a mutually supportive energy that binds you. These are the people who can call you at odd hours to ask for a favor and you will happily do it. On some level you know that the favor/karma will be returned.
    (4) Last but not least are “true friends,” the inner circle, the sanctum sanctorum. These are the people you marry or adopt in that “friends are family you can choose for yourself” sort of way. Sometimes they are harder to get along with than good friends because the investment is so deep and you expect/hope for so much from them. These are the relationships that make you say things like a bad day together is better than a good day apart. Sometimes you’re downright inseparable.

    Yes, friendship is something I think about a lot.

    “It’s the friends you can call up at four a.m. that matter.” ~ Marlene Dietrich

    “Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren’t bad people; they’re just acquaintances.” ~ Jay Leno


    ockhamdesign Reply:

    Here’s something I’ve been thinking about: Is the “level of friendship” dependent on what they would do for you or is it what you would do for them? Are good friends those people who would help you move or the ones you would help move? Does it have to be reciprocated?

    Because if level friendship is dependent on what other people do for you then meaningful relationships will always be out of your control. You can’t control what other people do. You can only control what you do.

    It’s that locus of control thing. Happiness is dependent on how much control you feel you have with your life.


  10. Sue London

    Jan 22, 2010

    8:38 am

    For me the level of friendship indicates what I would do for them.


  11. Bindy

    Apr 9, 2010

    3:54 am

    I spent my teen years in my ivory tower with my high ideals and freely cast judgement on everyone else who failed to see just how important and fundamental these things were (the poor unenlightened multitudes). Needless to say, at any one time I had at most 2 friends but that was fine by me because I was special (and incredibly lonely, but that was part of being special).

    Anyway, roll on 20 years and I have all different kinds of friends. In fact, the other day I tried to ‘type’ them (in my head) a la MBTI and I’m pretty sure my friendship group has members in all 16 areas. Sometimes I recall the teen years and that behaviour seems strange to me now. Sure, there are some friends who I would consider closer than others, some who are the ‘good-time’ friends to share meaningless banter with and some for the deep and meaningful conversations, but all are so very important to me. Just because they are ‘good-time’ friends doesn’t mean I value them less; I appreciate them for bringing me out of my shell more and helping me grow as a person by giving me the opportunity to see how they view the world. The deep-and-meaningfuls tend to be NFs and while I treasure them, sometimes (especially with the INFx) it can be very intense. I think my closest friends are all ExFx – I like to share the feeling function and extraverts always bring out the more extraverted side of me. Anyway, I’m rambling a bit here but the main thing is how much I love having friends from all the different types. I love seeing their different perspectives. I guess I’m growing up!


    Bindy Reply:

    I forgot to add – I’m INFP!


    ockhamdesign Reply:

    As I got older, I realized that no one person can provide everything you want in friendship. The deep conversation type friends usually don’t have the carefree, spontaneity that I’m looking for in my spur of the moment, let’s-hang-out friends. Also, it’s a lot of pressure for another person to be everything to you. So I’ve learned to spread out my friendships among a diverse group of people, each appealing to a different part of my personality.


    GunsAndRoses Reply:

    That’s interesting. What if you met a copy of yourself, do you think you’d become good friends? That’s basically what I have been looking for all this time but never found (the odds are against me).

    What you describe makes more sense but is something I’ve always had trouble doing. I’ve had extremely high expectations of friends, and thus ended up lonely most of the time.

    I’m now starting to realize that a more relaxed approach is a better way to go – i.e. this friend is fun to play tennis with, then we play tennis and don’t talk about how to solve the problems of the world.

    Thanks for an interesting blog.


    ockhamdesign Reply:

    That’s an awesome questions. Would I ever be friends with myself? Now, yes. When I was in my 20’s, that’s a definitely no. That’s the reason why it never worked out with my first love. We were too much alike.

    One friend can’t be everything. We connect with people in different ways. The people that I do spur of the moment activities with don’t have the same personality traits as the people I have long late night conversations with. I have a need to connect with other people. I’ve just found it more polite to spread that neediness across many people so it isn’t a burden on a select few.

  12. Lisa

    May 4, 2010

    2:58 pm

    wow the part of this entry that strikes me the most is the word ‘friend’ part. i dont like the word ‘friend’ either! and i’ve never met anyone else who’s said something like that. but then again, i’ve never asked anyone if they like the word ‘friend’ or not. i guess i feel like…i dunno, ‘friend’ sounds flat and unchanging…i like the idealized qualities of what a ‘friend’ should be and i like the feeling of friendship, but i dunno. it is easier to see people as various people/relationships then to lump them all together as ‘friends’. but yes, maybe part of it is a sort of ‘gauntlet of friendship’ kind of thing…words that a thrown around a lot like ‘friend’ and ‘love’ are the hardest for me to use


    ockhamdesign Reply:

    To me the word “friend” seems full of obligation and expectation. When I like spending time with someone, I call them. It doesn’t matter if they call me or not because I’ll call them the next time I’m not busy. Calling a “friend” has this expectation of that person calling you back or else they’re not a good friend. I find my relationships work better when I don’t expect anything,


  13. Lana

    Jul 10, 2010

    11:46 am

    just found this website. Happy about that. I read a lot of descriptions about infp’s that say that infp’s aren’t liked very well. I have found the opposite to be true and I am a strong infp. What happens is something that you mentioned. I DON’T HAVE THE ENERGY FOR ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE MY FRIEND!!!!! I have found this very distressing, but over the years I too have changed my idea’s about friends. Once I stopped trying to be “understood” and started to talk about “general things” I was happier and my friendships grew. But I am lonely a lot. Everyone needs people who do understand them…and if you don’t have people in your life like that, it’s hard. Any articles that deal with that? How can an infp make THEMSELVES happy?


    Corin Reply:

    I’ve been thinking about friendship a lot lately. What I do make me who I will become. Why I do something makes me who I am. Okay, here’s the thing. Sometimes, it’s very difficult for me to figure out the real reason why I do something. A person has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.

    It’s the real reason that makes you understand who you are. And if I can’t figure out my real reasons, I can’t blame others for not understanding me.

    As for happiness, I have a tons of articles on my views about happiness and INFPs.


  14. Prachee

    Aug 7, 2010

    12:04 am

    Wow! This makes so much sense. Thanks for clarifying the concept of friendship for me.
    I almost became a recluse in my mid-twenties because my friends didn’t meet my expectations. In your words, I was ‘going INFP’ on all of them. A few years later, the loneliness got to me and I went back to my old friends, and to my surprise, they accepted me without any complaints about what I had been doing to them the in past few years.

    I realized that others have very few expectations from friendship. They can make do with imperfect human relationships. Now I am learning from them how to accept a relationship for what it is, instead of imposing my impossible standards on it.


    Corin Reply:

    It’s been hard letting go of expectations. I just had two friends cancel on me. We were suppose to hang out and eat unhealthy greasy-spoon food over at my favorite diner. I hadn’t seen either. First one canceled. Then my second friend who I called after the first one canceled, changed their mind and decided to be a homebody introvert tonight.

    Ten years ago that would have bugged me because I wanted to be social tonight. Fifteen years ago, I would have been pissed.

    Now, I just look at it as the universe’s way of telling me to stay in and answer comments.


  15. Angelica

    Aug 18, 2010

    7:07 pm

    Wow. That hit me right in the spot. I keep being disappointed with my ‘friends’, too, so I don’t know… I don’t really consider people I hang around with my ‘friends’ anymore. But now that I don’t expect them to be the perfect friends, I find it more fun to hang out with them. And I guess that is why I can’t go into any kind of relationship. I tend to find flaws in everyone. Maybe if I try to not look for all my ideals in a person, it could work.


  16. Olivia

    Jan 30, 2011

    9:51 am

    Hi Corin, whenever I come read your posts I feel like I’m reading “How to: Understand Olivia” guide. Sometimes I get a little lost in the INFP woods!
    I’ve recently made a friend; we get along quite well and we can talk about many different things. However sometimes I notice my going INFP on him. I haven’t been overt about my going INFP, but definitively working on simply appreciating his company over my expectations.
    Thank you for sharing, I appreciate your guiding insight. πŸ™‚


  17. Cyber Witch

    Apr 16, 2011

    2:37 am

    But… But… I love blood sacrifice!


  18. Kimi_Kazoo

    Apr 17, 2011

    2:32 am

    Hi I’ve only just come across you blog and it is very enjoyable.
    This really struck me:

    “people couldn’t quite live up to my idealization of them. People disappointed me. I felt hurt and betrayed because they should have known me better than that”.

    I think that at the moments friendship terms are just too confusing and too emotionally all consuming for me, but weak and strong ties and people to avoid seems really doable.

    Thank-you πŸ˜€


  19. Jumpingjoy88

    Jul 12, 2011

    7:09 pm

    I have to tell you. When I first saw your site I hated it. What I mean by that is all the things you brought up were things about myself that I did not want to be true.

    I finally got beat up enough in my friendships (in a certain relationship in particular) I remembered this website and came back to it. It’s been eye-opening. I like this site because it’s the only one that INFPs aren’t saints. (The Goddess and such)
    Please keep this up! You are very good at it. I hear what you are saying, but I don’t feel like because it’s true I am the scum of the earth and a blight to the eyes. πŸ™‚


    Mike Reply:

    @Jumping –

    “I have to tell you. When I first saw your site I hated it. What I mean by that is all the things you brought up were things about myself that I did not want to be true.”

    This is exactly how I feel. I’m still trying to climb down from the proverbial ledge.


  20. Amber

    Aug 17, 2011

    11:28 am

    Last night I learned I was an INFP by taking the test as part of my Group Dynamics Course at Whitworth, and it was like an “aha” moment went off for me. I have struggled for so long understanding why I am awkwardly sky and trust only a handful of people, why I have had some disastorous relationships, just in general struggled with understanding myself. I think it is so important to understand who we are, and recognize those strong suits about our personaility and realize what weaknesses we also carry. I’m sure somewhere buried in my subconscious I knew that I make up rules in relationships, Im high strung about these Im passionate about. I dont need to dive into explanation, but it feels good to know this is why, and why as an INFP I seek the why’s.

    Also, I find this as a good starting point for me to start being more aware of things I may not have been. Be more aware if Im overstepping, and since taking the test I have read up about others. I think communication and how to act around people are two good things in life. This blog though has been helpful, extremely. Well put together. So hello other INFP’s. πŸ™‚


  21. Animesh

    Dec 29, 2011

    11:19 am

    Hey Corin and fellow INFPs…

    πŸ™‚ smiles and happy new year 2011 to everyone…

    Uff…All the stuff here is really intense and heavy, I need a beer to lighten me up…

    Anyway, I am an INFP with a very moderate I and a moderate N but with a high F and P.

    I would have to say this site has been a real eye opener for me. Although I agree that all INFPs share some common threads, I also agree with Corin that MBTI types are a general thing, so dont stereotype yourself into one single personality.

    I have gone through depression for one year, came out of it and am feeling really fine now. I have also most of Corin’s blogs and find most of them to work…

    To simplify, we could use the following :

    1. As INFPs, we are bound to take life and feelings seriously and passionately, but LETS NOT.
    2. Lets not idealize ourselves and others. We will make much more friends
    3. Make friends with other types, understand and feel that they too are just like us, dealing the world in their own ways.
    4. Lets dream and work for a dream, but lets not fantasize, OK BUDDIES?
    Live for today, K?
    5. Dont expect much from yourself or others.
    6. Focus on one thing that we think we are good at. K?
    7. Try to improve your thinking and judging functions.NOT EASY, but will stand us in good stead
    8. Simplify things.


    Come on yaar, we can do with a few more jokes and laughs here on this forum.

    Love u all…



  22. Animesh

    Dec 29, 2011

    11:22 am

    Oh Man, Forgot its New Year 2012…



  23. Dell

    Mar 6, 2012

    11:31 pm

    This describes my view on friendship so accurately.

    So I have a question? If its better to have friendships without expectation, then aren’t our friendships losing their depth? For example, I have acquaintances that I don’t expect things from and am not affected by their actions whether they call or not is not as important to me.

    Then I have my close friends and it does matter to me if they call or not because these are the ones that I share a close relationship with. So is the solution to keep everyone at an arm’s length? Its easier said than done especially when friendships can be so intimate with depending on one another for support throughout life’s hardships.

    I do see your point though about depending too much on friends to be your “everything” which is not fair. When you engage in these “strong -tie, weak -tie” relationships, do you consciously keep your distance or withhold information etc..from your friends? do you still have the same depth in your friendships? is the point to erase this idea of “obligatory depth” in friendships?

    Please clarify, thank you


    Corin Reply:

    It depends on what you mean by depth. I don’t measure relationships in terms of depth. It’s all about vulnerability. If you search for Brene Brown’s TedTalk videos on YouTube, you can find her lectures on vulnerability and relationships. When I hear most people talk about depth, they’re talking about how vulnerable they choose to be with people. That has everything to do with us and nothing to do with the other person. We choose how much we share. And any conditions we impose before we share is our issue and not theirs.

    A weak-tie is someone I have one thing in common with. A strong tie is someone I have multiple things in common with. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t share my problems and look for support in my weak-ties. I share my problems and search for solutions and support in the one area we have in common. For example, I have weak-ties where our common issue is raising children. I discuss kids issues and schools and teachers and stuff that I think is very important to me. I have these people over for dinner. I mean, these people watch my kids and I watch theirs, but I’m not going to be sharing my programming work issues with them. I have other people for that.

    I don’t understand sharing our hardships in all ares with a few people. That doesn’t make sense because unless that hardship is in their area of expertise, they’re not going to understand or relate. I’m not going to talk about creativity and writer’s block issues with people I discuss health and diet issues with.

    Some people define friendship as people they hang out with, go to the movies and do activities with. Basically, friendship is based in common interests. I don’t tend to seek relationships based on common interests because interests change. I tend to seek relationships based on common problems, looking for people trying to solve the same life problems as I am. If the problem is a life-long problem then you have these other people who are walking the same path you are looking for answers. Those relationships, I find last longer than relationships based on if you have the same taste in books and movies.


  24. Nicky

    May 13, 2014

    11:35 am

    This makes total sense. I even can see how I ‘go INFP’ in relationships. Always get/got confused if I expect too much or not enough. I often type others (friends and relationships), try to figure out how compatible we would be. I was unfortunately nicknamed ‘the judge’ in my early 20s by my old roommate, for how judgmental I seem/act with who I chose to hang out with, and allow to enter into my INFP club.


  25. Erin

    Jul 8, 2014

    7:10 am

    I think I’m starting to realise exactly what you’re saying. I’ve always wanted one of those friendships people write books, movies and television shows about but it’s never happened and people always disappoint me. I almost feel like they think I don’t care about them just because I’m quite a solitary person when really I care more than they do.


  26. KayT

    Feb 22, 2015

    5:28 am

    I love it when you describe your “true” friends as “someone whom can share/help me bury the body” because thes exactly what I think of them. Other people can stay in their “acquaintance” circle. This post helps me realized a lot of thing about the dissatisfaction and disappointment when “friends” didn’t do what they were supposed to do. Definitely time to readjust


  27. Ace

    Jul 30, 2015

    4:26 am

    This. I can’t even begin to describe how much I felt reading your post. It was like a checklist. I know how you feel. When I was in high school I went through 5 potential friends and lost connection with them when they didn’t live up to the pedestal I put them on. Ugn.


  28. John W

    Oct 31, 2016

    4:29 am

    I’m a bit shocked after reading this article and the very eye-opening comments.

    I’m left wondering, what did I have my small number of ‘friends’ for?

    Some, when I was a teenager and in my early 20s seem to have been for having fun with and going out to the pub. They weren’t necessarily very similar types to me. Really great fun times, but little in the way of deep conversation.

    Later, after art college and being involved in music, I made deeper friendships with people who were more like me. Softer, more creative introspective types. Not rowdy raucous wild comedian types. What worries me is that I poured my heart out to them to much, burdened them with too many of my deep feelings and worries and disappointments with the world and life. At times they did the same with me. I’m not sure that we were being of much help to eachother, but rather compounding our issues. Maybe we needed to be mixing with more dominant, or inspiring, or ‘positive executive’ types?

    One of your commenters asked if I would like to be friends with someone who was a copy of myself? That scared me. I’m not sure. It made me suddenly see more objectively what i’m like to be with. Would I have the patience for all the deep heartfelt stuff they’d be confiding in me? And then I wonder about my wife: who has been my main friend for about 27 years and has had that every day. That I may have been much too emotionally needy and helpless and times.


  29. Lana

    Jul 17, 2017

    6:11 am

    I’m pretty sure I’m gonna put your definition of “going INFP” in about eight different spots as reminders for myself…you certainly hit the nail on the head with that one!


  30. Nic

    Jan 18, 2018

    12:06 am

    I realize this is several years old and am not sure if anyone will read it, but as far as friends go, I found I have surrounded myself (miraculously) with other xNFPs and if we don’t place expectations on each other, it is easy to drift apart… worried that the others are finding better company elsewhere and feeling alone. We in fact really need each other. We remind each other that we are valued, seen, heard, cared for and NOT ALONE in a world that is often challenging for INFPs. I has been hard for each one of us to make close friends over our lives.


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