No Regrets

Friday, September 16, 2016 2 Comments A+ a-

Hey, guys! Am sitting in my local coffee shop with a white-mocha-caramel-one-shot-breve latte. Trying saying that three times fast, lol. But it's super yummy. No regrets. :)

Speaking of no regrets, I was recently asked about the INFJ Doorslam. The question came from another INFJ who had just stumbled across that term. Over the course of her life, she told me, she'd had to cut a few people off, and she wanted to know if the "doorslam" was a typical thing for us.

I assured her that it's pretty normal, and we often do it to protect ourselves from people who are hurting us with abusive or toxic behavior. It's basically self-defense.

Which is true. The INFJ is compassionate, forgiving, and tolerant. That makes us a target for abusive people, and without the doorslam, we might find ourselves in a never-ending stream of mistreatment. But the doorslam concept goes much deeper than that. It's actually rather complicated, with more layers than most people realize.

Anyone with a basic understanding of INFJs knows that we are feelers. They also know that we can be intense. What they might not know, however, is that those two qualities go hand-in-hand. We feel intensely. And because we're the only intuitive types with an auxiliary Fe, there's really no way for other types to comprehend this. We can't help but just happens. Our own feelings, other people's feelings -- even an animal's feelings -- can have a huge impact on us. Most biological organisms give off emotional energy, and like it or not, we absorb it like sponges.

"...the magnetic field produced by the heart is more than 100 times greater in strength than the field generated by the brain and can be detected up to 3 feet away from the body, in all directions..." -- HeartMath Institute, Science of the Heart

In other words, put an INFJ in the vicinity of a beating heart, and there's a good chance we'll end up taking on a feeling that isn't ours. Somehow, we have to deal with it. 

So it's a little annoying when I see forum threads or articles written by other types who think the INFJ Doorslam is absurd, harsh, or a dramatic ploy for attention. I seriously challenge anyone to spend a few days inside the mind of an INFJ and not want to slam a door in someone's face before retreating into the nearest bat cave.

Don't bother me. I'm recharging.

This isn't about low tolerance or tantrums. It's about the give and take of emotional energy, which we aren't always able to control. It's one reason we don't do well with conflict. Negative energy is really hard to process. If someone in our lives has a pattern of confronting or criticizing us, we have to find a way of dealing with that negativity without draining ourselves. Maybe we reason with them, or tweak the way we handle them. Avoid them when they're stressed out...whatever. We'll try just about every angle. If it's not resolvable, though, and we can't escape the situation, then we're apt to take more drastic measures.

By drastic, I mean one of two things: we fight fire with fire and unleash our INFJ rage, or we shut off all our feelings for that person and act as if they don't exist. 

If those seem a bit extreme...well, they are. Remember, though, that we are all-or-nothing kind of people with a limited amount of energy. That energy is precious. It takes a lot of solitude to replenish it. We'll gladly give what we have to the people/causes we care about. But when someone starts demanding it, we have to decide whether they're worth the depletion. It's not so much about them as it is about their access to our emotional energy and how much we can or can't handle in order to be healthy.

I'm similar to the INFJ who reached out to me, in that I've been doing this all my life without putting a label on it. My parents called it burning bridges, whereas I simply called it survival. And up until a year ago, I'd never even heard of an INFJ Doorslam. But it must be an instinctive part of us, because I've been doing it. The thing is, it's not always a slamming door. Sometimes I just draw a mental curtain across the person's path to me. It can be a thin, clear curtain -- where they can see me and wave and smile, but not much more than that. Or it can be a thick, heavy curtain -- where they know I'm there, but they can't see me and have to take careful, deliberate measures to request my presence.

Or it can be a door. As in, you know...KEEP THE HELL OUT.

It's my energy, people. No regrets.

So really, I think the INFJ Doorslam gets a bad rap. It's not something we use for leverage or drama (well, most of us don't, anyway). It's simply a way to keep a lid on strong emotions and preserve our energy. It can be a deafening slam or the quiet pull of a curtain. Every INFJ is different and has to decide how much they can take.

How about you? Do you doorslam? Are you okay with it?

Lemme know,


Image Credit: Door Slam, Batman Recharge, Keep Out


Write comments
Colin Machan
September 18, 2016 at 2:43 AM delete

This is a matter of boundaries. I know that my personal need for space and some precious 'me time' always seems to rub up against everyone else's need for 'a piece of you'. I have lost count of the number of times I've been disturbed from my precious 'me time' by someone who wants something, or wants a chat, or simply "you're on your own, are you OK..." I must admit, the altruistic side of me relents, and I'm back in the world. Reluctantly. But it niggles. Can't they see I wanted a moment or two alone. (No, they can't. Perhaps we're too subtle...)

I think if there was a way to simply disappear - in a way you couldn't be found, or tracked down - that could make it easier. Oh, for the power of invisibility. But not all the time - I need to be visible in order to make a difference to this world.

The door slam - sounds dramatic. But we do subtle, too... It might be the headphones that I wear on the train most mornings. It might be the choice of the comfy chair well away from anyone in the coffee shop. "Keep out!" or sometimes, simply "Back soon..."

September 26, 2016 at 12:30 AM delete

OMG you are speaking my language, Colin!