By: Dani Kessel
If you’ve ever studied the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), you’ll know people fall into 16 personality types. These personality types don’t cover all aspects of a person; however, they do help people understand themselves, their behavioral tendencies, and the world surrounding them. Everyone’s categorized into extraversion or introversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving based on this test. ← Click to take the test online for free
INFJs (my personality type) are believed to be the rarest type as only 1%-2% of the population are estimated to fall into this category. They exhibit traits of empathy, creativity, gentleness, compassion, vision, and high moral standards.
They are also known for a behavior called the INFJ door slam.
Technically, some studies indicate that the door slam is no more specific to INFJs than any other MTBI personalities. While this may be true, INFJs are more prominently known as door slammers because of the jarring contrast between the warm, caring, forgiving tendencies and the seemingly cold, harsh door slam.
“But, what is the INFJ door slam?” you may ask.
When you’re in any kind of a relationship with an INFJ you’ve got a person who’ll be loyal and supportive–the best friend/partner/family member a person could ask for. An INFJ will forgive you time and time again so long as there is clear effort on your part. They’ll make regular attempts to address and resolve issues. It’s in their nature. Once they realize that the relationship is damaging, one-sided, constant drama, unreciprocated, and/or damaging to one’s mental health though (without any likelihood of change), they’ll slam the door on your relationship. They’ve grieved the loss already. They’ve come to grips with the falsities, so they’ll seem icy and uncaring. The contrast in behavior is unthinkable and disturbing to anyone looking at the situation from the outside. By the time an INFJ door slams, there is little to nothing you can do to open the door again. Even if you eventually re-open the door, you’ll almost never get back to the relationship you had before.
The reasoning for the INFJ door slam is heavily tied to their personality profile.
Due to their strong tolerance and patience, INFJs will deal with an immense amount of pain and emotional abuse before even considering the door slam. They notice problematic behavioral patterns but give a person many chances to change/fix the problem. There is very little they’re unwilling to forgive. They feel emotions so deeply that there cannot be a middle ground. They are truly the epitome of ride-or-die. Still, even INFJs have a breaking point. Once an INFJ’s line is crossed, if they believe there is no other solution, they will withdraw their mental, physical, and emotional investment. They slam and lock the door from the relationship in order to maintain their sanity and balance.
There are two usual INFJ door slam options.
- The INFJ cuts off all contact, blocks social media accounts, throws away pictures, and tries to remove all traces of the individual.
- The INFJ, if unable to physically remove a person from their life, will emotionally block out the person being door slammed. They’ll be cordial and tolerate the person’s presence; yet, the INFJ’ll never see them if they don’t absolutely have to. They won’t share their thoughts or feelings. They essentially build a mental barrier to keep out the toxic relationship.
All in all, the INFJ door slam is a coping mechanism used to handle unhealthy or toxic relationships. It may seem uncharacteristic of the personality type, but INFJs are very complex individuals with contrasting traits of emotionality and rationality. I myself have grappled with the decision of whether to slam the door on people in my life. It’s not a decision made lightly, but it definitely has occurred many times.
In order to avoid being on the receiving side of this, be a decent human being.
Show reciprocal effort, authenticity, and loyalty.
Try to own up to your problems, apologize, and grow.
If you do get INFJ door slammed, know that it has probably been a long time coming. It may seem like a 180, but your INFJ most likely tried handling the situation in other ways first. They probably addressed it without any change in behavior. This may be a sign to do some real introspection and self-actualization.
*Final note: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has been scrutinized for its validity and reliability. Psychologists cannot seem to agree on these things. Studies vary in results. It is wise to look at the MBTI as a tool for self-understanding rather than a definite personality index.