By Andy Davis.
I think, as INFJ, we have a strong tendency to pursue post-relationship communication with our ex-partners in any situatuation that hasn’t irrevocably resolved via a “door slam“.
This isn’t necessarily because we’re still striving to fix the relationship; although further communication often leads to unintentional reunification and further failed attempts. At worst, that tendency can form a pattern leading into a habitual love-hate/on-and-off relationship cycle forming.
Attempting further communication can be due to a strong INFJ desire to understand the dynamics of what happened. A break-up can leave many unanswered questions, and we know there are lessons we have to learn – so as not to make them again in the future.
INFJ have very weak introverted Feeling (Fi); it’s actually a shadow function – the 6th “Critical Parent” function that processes entirely within our subconsious mind. This means that we have a very diminished capacity to be ‘in touch with’ our own feelings, emotions and memories.
Under the emotional stress of a relationship failure, that subconsious Fi is likely to manifest as self-criticism, a feeling of failure and insufficiency. If we’re also angry or hurt by the break-up, it can result in judgemental feelings about the low values or morals of the former partner – a form of unhealthy ego projection.
As we recover emotionally, and providing we are mature, with hindsight we’ll regret those negative and scathing Si-spawned critiicisms – seeing them as the emotional ‘knee-jerk’ reaction that they are. The end result; we can be left perplexed about why the relationship broke down.
INFJ typically don’t process break-ups internally with much success. We need to judge the relevant information from an external source, using our much more preferred extroverted Feeling (Fe) auxiliary function. The best external source from which to judge what happened is typically… our ex-partner.
We might also feel somewhat ego-driven to “get our side of the story” across to them. This can be the case where an INFJ had refrained from voicing their complaints and feelings when actually in the relationship – something they might do due to their extroverted Feeling (Fe) putting harmony ahead of their own personal need to vent.
These are dangerous compulsions. As already mentioned, continued communication post-split can often lead to reunification of a relationship… even unintentionally. Once communication resumes, and the talk progresses to eachother’s feelings and motives, it’s far to easy for the INFJ’s Fe empathy to reignite and for consideration for ‘another chance’ to become a reality.
I’ve learned to never communicate with an ex, if the split was acrimonious or unpleasant.
The nature of a split is the most honest and open understanding of the truth of that relationship and your partner’s true feelings that you’ll ever get. Know that the truth comes from your Ni, and resist the urge to compensate for the inevitable subconscious Si demands.
Never, ever ignore or over-ride the truth you perceive when a relationship breaks down.
Don’t tempt fate by communicating any further if your instincts have told you that the relationship had no positive future.