Shutting people out of your life after they’ve hurt you or someone you love isn’t specific to INFJs, but it happens often enough that we’ve given it a name: The INFJ Door Slam. I like the definition given in an article by Jenn Granneman titled “How INFJs Deal with Conflict: 10 Confessions” (which is no longer available online).
“It means you’ve hurt me so much, I’m no longer investing any of my (limited) supply of energy in you. It means I’ve come to resent you. If you value me, don’t let it get to this point. It’s really hard to go back.”
An INFJ door slam may or may not involve actually cutting a person out of your life. Depending on the circumstances, a door slam can range from ignoring someone completely, to limiting contact to the bare minimum, to acting almost normal. In some cases the person who’s been door slammed can’t help but notice, while in others they don’t realize anything has changed (though something definitely has, at least in the INFJ’s mind).
Trust and Forgiveness
INFJs are typically tolerant, understanding, and patient. We hold ourselves to a strict code, but we don’t expect most people to adhere to that code and we’re understanding of individual choices and personality differences. The closer you get to an INFJ, though, the more we expect from you. In our close relationships, we expect a certain level of trust, commitment, and commonality (which is something every type is looking for, to be honest).
It takes INFJs a long time to open up, and once we let someone in we’ll do just about anything to keep that relationship. But we can only take so much. Too much disappointment, especially a breach of trust, is going to result in the “door slam.”
A door slam rarely happens to casual acquaintances. There’s no point in “door slamming” someone who has never been close to you. Door slams happen when we’ve poured energy into a relationship and just can’t keep doing that. If the relationship turns into a one-way energy drain that’s hurting us emotionally, then we’ll reach a point where we cut off contact. Usually there’s a build-up to this in the INFJ’s mind, but it may not be apparent to the other person until the INFJ starts distancing themselves from the relationship.
Perspectives on the Door Slam
If you’re an INFJ on the giving side of a “door slam,” make sure you’re not shutting people you care about out of your life simply because you hate conflict. Sometimes slamming the door on a relationship is good for you, sometimes it’s not. Knowing the difference is a key to healthy relationships.
Wondering how to tell if it’s time for a door slam? Click here to read “How Do You Know When To ‘Door Slam’ Someone?”
If you’re on the receiving end of an INFJ door slam, know that it’s a symptom of much larger problems in the relationship. Rebuilding the relationship after an INFJ has cut you off is possible, but it’s not going to be easy. It will require lots of honest communication over a period of weeks, months, and perhaps even years depending on what happened. You’ll also need to be prepared to give the INFJ space. Trying to intrude on them right after they door slammed you will only make them want to add locks to the door.
What are your experiences with an INFJ door slam?
*Featured image credit: Free-Photos via Pixabay
If you’d like to know more about the INFJ personality type, check out my book The INFJ Handbook. I just updated it with a ton of new information and resources. You can purchase it in ebook or paperback by clicking this link.