Meaningful connection. I am coming to understand that it is the life force that sustains me. I believe, with my whole self, that the moments where someone sees me for who I am, when someone completely ‘gets’ me, are the moments when I feel the safest in my life; grounded. I seek connection with people every time I am out and about. I seek connection in my daily interactions with co-workers, with the person I am dating, with friends, and with my children. When I cannot find it, or it does not satisfy or live up to my expectations, I am left feeling a bit panicky and, yes, disconnected.
If I am at a party or out with friends, and the conversation is trite and surface-level, I feel more alone. If I go a whole day without a check-in from the people in my life who really understand me and accept me for who I am, I feel scared and invisible. Connection is a need for me; it might be the most important and meaningful one in my life. Without it, I feel adrift. Without connection, I feel as if I am floating away, completely alone; with my intense thoughts and emotions. The most terrifying part of this is when I believe someone close to me sees me for who I am, intimately and deeply, and it turns out they don’t. That realization is like a fast and painful punch to the gut and it can leave me reeling for weeks and make me very wary of future interactions with that person. It hurts.
I don’t know how to sustain a conversation about work or the weather or hobbies. I don’t understand how to engage with people who don’t want to talk about relationships, life, love, hurt, pain, death, and the universe. Yes, I know I’m intense. I know I struggle with casual.
I have come to accept that part of the reason my marriage failed was because we forgot how to connect with each other. We stopped seeing each other as a couple and instead operated as a family. We stopped connecting as two people in love and in life. Our sex life suffered, our marriage suffered, our entire lives fell apart as we grew more and more distant. I know it was having children that broke us and, of course, it wasn’t their fault. It was our fault for not working hard enough to balance the family-life and our relationship outside of that unit. We broke; and the result was that our family broke too. I remember bringing our first child home from the hospital and sobbing. I was heaving with tears as I turned to my husband and said, “You and I will never be the same. It won’t ever be just you and I again.” I was scared. I sensed the immense shift; the permanent change in our relationship.
I was right. Nothing was ever the same for us again.
INFJs get frustrated when they make an attempt to connect with someone and the person fails to share their enthusiasm. INFJs can read people extremely well, so when they make an attempt to connect with someone on a deeper level or discuss something that means a lot to them, they can instantly tell when the other person isn’t on the same wavelength as them. This leads them to wonder why they even bothered at all and makes them more hesitant to reveal other things about themselves in the future.
That blurb makes SO much sense to me. It helps me to find forgiveness for myself with something that worries and troubles me. It helps me to feel less alone. Why can’t I function without meaningful connection in my life? Does that mean I am frightened to be alone? That somehow I am not secure in who I am? This is something I am still puzzling through. I am trying to understand if this is an insecurity or completely valid and okay (I am trying to understand why I want to understand at all); I can never just let myself be. Sometimes I detest being an INFJ. I feel like a mistfit, a weirdo, and an outsider and none of those things feels good.
I long for connection. I am constantly searching for people who see the gaps between the cracks. Individuals who looks at the world from a different angle; a different lens. I want people who reflect back to me the version of myself that I know to be real; that I know to be true. I do this for people nearly everyday and it is rare that it is reciprocal in nature. I am looking for people I can let into my private, inner universe. That space that fills my heart and my soul. I long for these qualities in my friendships but more importantly in my intimate relationships. I deserve and want someone who chooses me every single damn day.
And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.