What is the INFJ Door Slam, and how does it work?
Guest post by Bridget Bauer
I found out in college that I am an INFJ personality type. At the time it didn't carry much weight. It wasn't till I got out of college and prioritized a lot of self reflection to really understand certain identifiers of this type and how I related to them.
Now, humans are multidimensional so to categorize 8 billion people into 16 neat, organized personality types is an over-generalization at best. However, I do believe each type has certain bench marks that can help us understand why we think and feel the way we do. For me, the most relatable identifier is known as the "INFJ door slam."
Before getting into the door slam, I want to bring up a few aspects of this personality type as a whole.
INFJ's tend to be empathetic, intuitive and gentle. We *love* being the ones others confide in. We crave complex, profound relationships with others. Surface level relationships and the concept of acquaintances feel very vapid. As such, we value relationships with our few yet select loved ones to an incredibly high degree.
(The above paragraph probably sounds like an INFJ circle jerk. Not my intention at all...I am a highly flawed individual and firmly believe that every human, myself included, has equal capability of being a complete asshole haha. Just needed to throw that out there).
One of the pitfalls of our type, however, is that we are conflict averse to the point of being highly passive, which often leads to getting taken advantage of emotionally.
While it's sensible to avoid fights, confrontation is necessary in certain situations. But due to our overwhelming passivity, we often wait until we have already reached a breaking point to confront the problem at hand.
So the damage has been done and conflict resolution is beyond the realm of possibility.
I have played therapist to one too many people who could not even spare 2 minutes of a 60 minute conversation to merely ask how my day was.
This narrative gets exhausting, and frankly insulting, after a year or more of dealing with it and not speaking up (INFJ's...we need to do better!).
When we are pushed to a certain point, or feel betrayed by someone we highly value, our worlds are turned upside down and we close ourselves off completely as a last resort defense mechanism.
It can come off as very flooring and abrupt to the person on the receiving end, however in the INFJ's mind there have usually been several events that have built up to this point. We have internally forgiven and offered chances one too many times.
I never actively realized that I am and always have been a textbook door slammer in regards to how I manage my pain.
I have door slammed quite a few times in my life. Toxic friends, exes, people who have hurt me on some level. My tendency is to speak my peace, mourn the end of the particular relationship, then strive onward because such is life (so no, it is very much NOT the same as ghosting someone, just in case the concept seems similar). It is a quick, clean severance for the most part. The approach may vary slightly from person to person, but this is the general life cycle of the door slam.
Now, this may sound simply like the concept of eliminating someone from your life. And it certainly can be. However, you can door slam people that you still interact with. This is actually the case with a couple people that I cross paths with somewhat regularly.
We even converse at times, however, I actively choose to not engage beyond basic politeness. There isn't bad blood, just indifference. I cannot claim what the perception is from the other individuals' perspectives, because it no longer concerns me the way it once did.
I don't deny that in some cases the door slam is harsh. There are always shades of grey. That being said, I overwhelmingly believe in the door slam because it has given me the agency to choose who I allow into my inner world (even if it has required growing pains to reach this point).
It has allowed me to let things go, move on with grace, and make room for those who build me up. It has reinforced my confidence in knowing that I am worth surrounding myself with others who love me, and whom I love in return.
Have you been on the fence about cutting out a toxic presence in your life? Maybe this route is the way to go for you too. Maybe not.
At the end of the day there is no right or wrong way to go about dealing with pain and navigating the healing process, this has merely been the most naturally effective method for me. Only you know what is best for you!
However, I've also heard talk of another approach known as the "ENFP bitch slap," perhaps to be reserved for a future post by the owner of this blog. :)
Until then, with the door wide open,