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No one likes being on the receiving end of the INFJ door slam. INFJ (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judgment) is one of Myer and Briggs’s 16 Personality Types.
Individuals with this personality type are known for suddenly cutting others off without explanation. Loved ones are often left confused and hurt by the INFJ’s habit of kicking them out of their lives.
I assume you’re here to get a full understanding of why your INFJ partner, friend, or family member resorts to such a drastic reaction.
I’ll explain common reasons why this happens and, more importantly, how to prevent them from pulling away. Also included in this guide is a list of ways to respond if the individual has already locked you out.
What Is the “INFJ Door Slam?”
The INFJ door slam is a proverbial phrase that sums up what an individual with INFJ traits does–which is to slam shut the door on a relationship.
The action appears sudden to the other person, but not to INFJ personalities. The drastic step has been in the works for a while. They’ve only now decided to completely distance themselves from you.
There are usually one or more valid reasons for the decision. However, NFJs carefully think things through over a period of time to determine whether this is the best step. Usually, it’s when they've had enough of whatever it is you’re doing that hurts or pisses them off.
People with this personality type have no problem closing the door for good if you’ve done something they think is unforgivable.
Needless to say, behavioral experts deem door-slamming an unhealthy coping mechanism because it involves a lack of communication, withdrawal, and avoidance. The other person typically doesn’t know why it happened or get a chance to defend themselves.
It’s important to note that other personality types suddenly disconnect from relationships too. However, INFJs tend to use this conflict resolution method more frequently and intensely.
What Causes the INFJ Door Slam?
Knowing how INFJs function can help you understand what pushes them to distance themselves from loved ones. First, take a look at what each letter in the personality type means:
INFJs are typically empathetic and loyal, sometimes to a fault. These individuals are also extremely private individuals who are selective in who they share time and intimate thoughts and feelings with.
They are intentional about life and how they interact with the world, mostly to avoid wasting time and making mistakes. Because of their thoughtful approach to life and knack for providing great insight and advice, INFJs are called “The Counselors.”
Against this backdrop, you have to be super careful of how you deal with and treat them. As much as they are caring, helpful, and forgiving, they will do an INFJ door slam to protect themselves from getting taken advantage of.
Many experts conclude ending contact with someone typically comes after the person hurts or betrays them deeply in some way.
Here are SEVEN common situations that trigger the seemingly radical response:
- You have crossed an important boundary.
INFJs set up strong boundaries to protect their physical and emotional space. Although introverted, they usually tell you what those boundaries are.
If you cross any of them, they will take it as a lack of respect for their space, wishes, or feelings and will door-slam you. Lying, cheating, and abuse are some serious boundary violations.
- You take advantage of their kindness.
Even INFJs have limits, as generous, giving, loyal, and patient as they are. They observe those who are in it only for the benefits and won’t hesitate to cut ties with those who take advantage of their good nature.
- The relationship becomes too one-sided.
One partner generally does more than the other in a relationship. While this is normal and acceptable, your INFJ partner will become resentful if they give far more than they get in return. Like you, they want to feel seen, heard, loved, and respected.
- You lied to them.
Honesty is a core value for INFJs. It’s so essential that catching you in a lie one time can destroy their trust. The door slam will more than likely happen if you lie about something fundamental, such as your marital status, age, or personal background.
They’ll feel uneasy around you and will ultimately cut you out of their lives to avoid the fear and anxiety that comes with distrusting people.
- You hurt someone they love.
INFJs are emotionally sensitive individuals and will defend their loved ones at all costs. Therefore, hurting them is an absolute deal-breaker. Their tolerance is so low in this department, they will more than likely end a relationship after one single violation.
Their protectiveness extends to their pet or pets belonging to their loved ones. So for heaven’s sake, do not kick the cat!
- You treat them like you don’t value them.
INFJs are intentional, sensitive, and highly in tune with the needs of their loved ones. They want you to treat them kindly, even if they don’t say so expressly. If you keep overlooking their needs or dismissing their thoughts and opinions, they will conclude that they mean nothing to you.
Disappointment, anger, and resentment will fester in their hearts until they door-slam you without warning. The INFJ door slam is more likely if they repeatedly express their needs and you keep taking them for granted.
- You are toxic.
INFJS are very introverted, which means they get easily stressed and overwhelmed by noise, chaos, and drama. Toxic people, such as those with narcissistic tendencies or abrasive personalities, will unnecessarily overstimulate them.
They will have no choice but to cut those individuals off to maintain their emotional and mental balance and solitude.
How to Prevent the INFJ Door Slam
Preventing your INFJ partner or friend from pulling away isn’t that difficult.
In fact, it’s as easy as understanding how they function, what upsets them, and what makes them happy. You could start by referring back to the reasons they shut you out as explained above. Here are some ideas to help get you started:
Stopping the pull-away from happening also requires you to keep an eye out for the signs they are withdrawing from the relationship. For example, becoming physically or emotionally distant while still in the relationship.
They may start taking care of their own needs, overlook yours, stop confiding in you, and refuse to be vulnerable. Once they emotionally check out of the relationship, they are no longer affected by your toxic behavior.
Closer to the end of their ‘rope’, they usually appear apathetic. Apathy is a sign they’ve lost interest in the relationship and no longer believe it could work.
All of this is simply their way of shutting down and protecting themselves from getting hurt any further. It's only a matter of time before they end the relationship.
Ways to Respond to the INFJ Door Slam
Those with INFJ traits need harmony and a healthy give-and-take in their relationships to feel happy. Don’t take it personally when they kick you out of their lives. The infamous INFJ door slam is nothing more than a defense mechanism and an act of self-preservation.
That said, for an INFJ to shut the door on you, you must have violated their code of conduct. These are usually unwritten rules they set up for how people should treat them and their loved ones.
Not all of those rules are expressed, making it easy for others to break them. In all fairness, you should not be penalized for breaking rules you're not aware of.
Either that or the relationship has become so toxic and intolerable that they feel forced to end it. That doesn’t mean they won’t let you back in. You can get back in their good graces by dealing with this delicate situation the right way.
Initially, you’ll feel hurt or angry. That’s okay. Just be mindful of what you do in the aftermath and work on creating an opportunity for healing to take place. Consider the following problem-solvers.
1. Avoid reacting in any way that will worsen the pain.
You should allow yourself to feel your feelings. Next, think about what went wrong and how you may have contributed to the drastic decision to cut you off.
Remember, it’s not about blaming yourself. The idea is to understand your role, so you could correct any unhealthy behavior that is causing tension or conflict.
2. Work to regain their trust.
Ultimately, you’ll need totake steps to make the INFJ believe they can trust you again. It’s the only way they’ll reconsider taking you back into their life. You may have to prove to them you are remorseful for any pain you caused, intentionally or not.
3. Accept your role in the problem.
They may also want you to take accountability for your actions and apologize for the pain you caused. More importantly, they must feel sure you are committed to changing harmful behaviors and the way you treat them. Healing can begin once you cover all of these grounds.
Is the INFJ Door Slam Harmful?
Of course. INFJs tend to blindside people by slamming the door too quickly when there are more harmonious ways of coping. Ending the relationship hurts them as well, even though they may act like they’re unaffected.
As an introvert, your partner may bottle up their feelings and allow them to fester instead of communicating how they feel. Sometimes they expect you to know you’re doing something wrong. It’s wholly unfair. You’re not a mind reader.
By not saying anything, they contribute to the conflict and cause the situation to grow worse. If they communicate their needs and emotions, there may be no need to pull away and hurt you in the process.
While you take accountability for your action that led to the INFJ door slam, they, too, must do the same. Both of you have to correct your behaviors to try and make the relationship a balanced, healthy, and loving one.
Can You Come Back from an INFJ Door Slam?
It depends on the nature of the wrongdoing. Sometimes the pain is too great, forcing the individual to end things for good. They may cut off all contact with you and wipe every trace of you out of their life.
For example, unfollowing you on social media, taking down photos together, deleting your number, and going NO CONTACT. With this in mind, you must mentally prepare yourself to accept it is the end if they move on. In some instances, they’d rather be single than sit through an unhealthy relationship.
Final Thoughts on Understanding the INFJ Door Slam
People with the INFJ personality exit a relationship so often and so quickly, it feels like frequent breakups. Putting up walls is their way of coping.
While they are understanding and forgiving individuals, an INFJ will slam the door on the relationship if they’ve reached their breaking point. Typically, it’s when they’re unable to move past the hurt or betrayal caused by a loved one.
Inevitably, they’ll see no other way to resolve the situation but to disconnect from you and protect their emotions. Regardless of the cause, constantly getting cut off by your loved one without an explanation is downright painful.
Altogether, I hope this guide provides a deeper understanding of your INFJ loved one. The knowledge will help you to be more sensitive to their needs. Remember your behavior towards them also influences whether they allow or revoke access to their world.
Show them you love and care for them and avoid the risk of getting permanently kicked out of their lives. Want to stay on the good side of an INFJ? Learn 11 Rules for Forming a Friendship with an INFJ Personality.
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.