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Contrary to its name, an INFJ door slam is not forceful, aggressive, or loud. It is both quiet and firm.
All personality types have their own ways of cutting people out of their lives. But unlike other personality types, INFJs silently disappear, leaving no trace behind. Once we leave, we leave for good. You don’t get to see us again. No amount of apologies or amends can open the door that has been shut forever.
While it may seem harsh to other personality types, the INFJ door slam is a necessary act of self-preservation. It is only used as a last resort after careful consideration. INFJs do not take pleasure in shutting people off, but we believe it is essential for our well-being.
In this blog post, I will give you an insider account of the INFJ door slam. I will illuminate the various stages, explore the underlying causes, and identify the telltale signs of this intriguing behavior.
But first, let’s understand what an INFJ door slam is.
What Is an INFJ Door Slam?
An INFJ Door Slam is when an INFJ abruptly and completely shuts someone out of their life, often without warning or explanation. It is a form of self-protection that allows them to distance themselves from difficult emotions or experiences.
However, it is worth noting that an INFJ door slam is not a common occurrence. Typically, INFJs decide to sever ties only with individuals who display toxic or narcissistic traits, or when they have reached their limits with them. It is not to be mistaken with temporary withdrawal that INFJs may undergo from time to time.
If you are friends with an INFJ, you will know that we are often accommodating and forgiving. Crossing our boundaries is no easy task. If you are late, we are quick to brush it off. We don’t hold your bad mood against you when you are having a rough day. We embrace your imperfections and celebrate your uniqueness without judgment.
Major Triggers for an INFJ Door Slam
The INFJ door slam is not an impulsive display of anger, but rather a protective measure taken after enduring prolonged emotional exhaustion and disappointment. INFJs don’t slam the door out of rage or spite. We only distance ourselves from individuals who cause us significant distress and pain.
To trigger an INFJ’s door slam, the other person must have pushed their luck too far and repeatedly performed one or more of the following:
- Engage in emotionally, verbally, or even physically abusive behavior.
- Cross the INFJ’s personal boundaries,
- Complain about their lives and the world,
- Create unnecessary drama or conflicts,
- Manipulate or betray the INFJ’s trust, or
- Take advantage of their kindness.
If you only do it one time or even a few times, an INFJ will typically forgive you and let it go. But if you do it multiple times, it will result in a door slam.
5 Distinct Stages of an INFJ Door Slam (Real Example)
INFJs prefer to carefully plan and execute their actions. The INFJ door slam is usually a deliberate and gradual process. Here are the 5 stages of an INFJ door slam explained using an example from my personal experience.
Stage 1: Warning Signs
INFJs are known for their friendly nature towards others. If you notice your INFJ friend becoming distant and detached, it could be a sign that they are feeling hurt. Due to their conflict-avoidant personality, INFJs often prefer to drop hints instead of directly communicating their issues. However, healthier INFJs may establish clearer boundaries.
For example, once, a long-lost schoolmate invited me to hang out, but later I realized that he had ulterior motives. He wanted me to sign up as an affiliate for his business. I politely declined the offer, but I didn’t express my feelings of being deceived.
Stage 2: A Second Chance
INFJs have a strong belief that people are inherently good. Even when we are hurt, we make an effort to consider the perspectives of others. It could be that they are simply having a rough day or are occupied with work. It is possible that their behavior is influenced by their personality or past experiences. We try to understand the other person better and find ways to resolve conflicts independently. We are often inclined to give others a second chance.
In my particular case, I perceived that my schoolmate was in desperate need of income. I assumed that after declining his request, he wouldn’t bother me further.
Once we have justified your behavior and felt better, we will forgive you. If we value the relationship, we may even reconnect with you as though nothing ever happened.
Stage 3: Resentment
If you refrain from repeating the same behavior, everything will be fine. The relationship can continue as it is. However, sometimes people are unaware of the offense they have caused, resulting in the recurrence of their actions.
At this point, frustration and resentment may start to build up. We may think, “Why didn’t the other person understand or consider our perspective?” This could lead to withdrawal and unresponsiveness in our communication.
In my example, my schoolmate repeatedly asked me to promote the products of his other business. Even after I explained that I had a limited network and lacked a large contact base, he continued to message me about it. Ignoring his messages didn’t deter him. Instead, he sent me multiple messages and persisted in getting a reply, which only aggravated me further.
Stage 4: Evaluation
The evaluation stage is where INFJs withdraw their Extraverted Feeling (Fe) function and start analyzing their relationship with the other person. During this stage, we primarily rely on our Introverted Thinking (Ti) function for a logical and cold analysis. Below are a few questions we may ask ourselves:
- Does it make sense to continue the relationship?
- Will this person ever change their behavior?
- Is this person worth keeping in our lives?
- Will this person continue to hurt us?
- Can we handle this person while maintaining our peace?
The door slam is a defense mechanism where INFJs shut down their Extraverted Feeling (Fe) function towards specific individuals. However, we still maintain our Extraverted Feeling (Fe) function for others and retain hope for humanity as a whole.
In my case, I had not seen my schoolmate for 10 years, and all the messages he sent me were transactional. Ultimately, I concluded that it would be a waste of my time to remain in contact as our interactions lacked depth and I didn’t know him well enough.
Learn more about the top four cognitive functions of an INFJ.
Stage 5: The Door Slam
When we reach the point of concluding that someone is not worth keeping around, it becomes a definitive decision. We completely cut off ties with that person, closing the door for any future interaction. Our minds are made up, and nothing can change that.
As an INFJ, a Judging type, closure is crucial to us. We don’t like leaving things unresolved. Therefore, we take our time to reflect and make a decision. Once we have made up our minds, it is highly unlikely that we will reopen the doors to that person. In fact, we might even choose to ghost them and block them from our lives completely, ensuring they have no means of contacting us.
In my case, after I made the decision to completely sever ties with my schoolmate, I took the necessary steps to remove him from all my social media platforms. This was how he initially contacted me. Furthermore, I blocked his phone number to prevent any further contact.
5 Warning Signs of an INFJ Door Slam
INFJs may withdraw or disappear for different reasons, but it doesn’t necessarily imply that we have completely shut you out. If you suspect that an INFJ has distanced themselves from you, look out for the warning signs below.
1. INFJs start to give you short, one-word replies.
INFJs are known for their thorough and detailed text communication. We tend to express our opinions through essay-like messages. However, if you start receiving short and cold replies like “no” and “ok” from an INFJ, it might indicate disinterest in further conversation. Please respect our boundaries and avoid persisting. Continued messaging only leads to a complete disconnection, similar to how I distanced myself from my schoolmate.
2. INFJs become slow and unresponsive to your messages.
If an INFJ is taking a while to respond to your messages, it may indicate that we are creating some distance. Although we don’t want to actively engage in a conversation with you, we have not made the decision to sever ties completely. As a result, our responses may take longer than usual.
Having said that, INFJs tend to reflect before replying, so don’t write us off just yet for our slow response. However, if the lack of response continues along with other warning signs, it could mean that an INFJ door slam has been initiated.
3. INFJs stop confiding in you and become emotionally distant.
INFJs are known for their reserved nature. But when we trust and feel close to someone, we will open up to them. However, if an INFJ stops confiding in personal matters or discussing deep topics with you, it could be a sign of a potential door slam. We are trying to emotionally distance ourselves from you.
While we may still engage in conversation, we become more guarded and refrain from sharing our emotions, struggles, and dreams. Our interactions become limited to small talk, as we no longer feel comfortable divulging personal information when trust is lost.
4. INFJs give off a cold, distant, and unapproachable vibe whenever you are around.
INFJs are typically known for their warmth and friendly nature towards others. However, if you notice a sudden shift in our behavior, such as appearing distant and unapproachable, it may indicate we are avoiding interactions with you.
It’s important to note that INFJs are not angry with you, but rather, we are apathetic and no longer concerned with your needs. When we lack empathy for you and do not care about you anymore, it may be a sign that you are on the verge of being “door slammed” by us.
5. INFJs stop communicating the issues with you.
When INFJs value a relationship, we don’t simply withdraw without making an effort to resolve the issues. If an INFJ has communicated concerns or boundaries multiple times, but no changes are made, we may start to question the viability of the relationship and cease discussing the matter further.
INFJs prefer to avoid conflict. Our lack of argument does not indicate agreement. Rather, we are currently in the evaluation stage, assessing whether you are deserving of our time and energy. We may have given up on explaining our perspective to you.
Can You Recover from an INFJ Door Slam?
The simple response is no. As previously mentioned, INFJs don’t sever ties with individuals unless they push us to the edge. Apologies are ineffective because INFJs don’t trust that you won’t repeat your behavior.
One common misconception about the INFJ door slam is the belief that our decision is solely driven by emotions. Some may assume that once we have calmed down and processed our feelings, we will forgive and forget, reversing the door slam. However, they fail to recognize that the INFJ door slam is a rational decision, not an impulsive, emotional reaction. Although triggered by hurt and anger, the decision-making process is purely logical and devoid of emotions.
INFJs prioritize peace and cutting certain people out of their lives brings immense relief, eliminating drama, conflicts, and resentment. The decision to door slam is based on the INFJ’s dominant cognitive function, Introvert Intuition (Ni), and its consideration of long-term consequences. Reopening the door requires a genuine display of change rather than mere verbal commitments.
An INFJ door slam is not something that can be easily reversed. Once a door closes, it typically remains closed unless there are compelling reasons to reopen it.
If you are facing this situation, it’s best to accept closure from the INFJ and respect their wishes. While it is possible for the relationship to be mended in the future, it requires significant transformation on your part and this may take years.
INFJ door slam is a difficult but necessary process that allows us to protect our mental health and well-being. For INFJs, the decision to close the door for good is often a result of deep reflection and consideration rather than an emotional reaction.
It can be challenging for those on the receiving end, but it is important to accept closure and move on. Read this article to learn more about INFJ in relationships so that you can better relate to INFJs in the future.
Featured Photo Credit: Door / Dorte