I recently read somewhere that INFJs tend to chase people. At first, I didn’t believe it. We are introverted, quiet people as a rule and don’t like to push ourselves on others. We love when our people are just as crazy about us as we are with them. But we don’t chase them. It sounded crazy, like something a stalker might do.
But then I thought about it–the “chase.” As an INFJ, I love with my whole heart. The people I care about mean everything to me. I love talking to them, messaging them, being near them. I remember all the times I contacted a friend I hadn’t heard from in a long time. I missed them. Was there a reason they weren’t contacting me? And even though they usually respond in a positive way and seem happy to hear from me, they don’t reach out to me again–until I reach out to them–again.
Bam! I realized that maybe I do chase people, not in a crazy, stalker-like way, but in a love my people and want to stay in touch kind of way.
But I never thought that reaching out to my people was chasing them. I believed I was being a thoughtful, kind person. A good friend. But what does it mean when my people don’t think about me? Don’t contact me just to say hi and see how I’m doing? Does that mean they don’t care about me the way I care about them? After all, it doesn’t take much time or effort to send a message. And I know we all make the effort to do what’s most important to us.
I confess that I’ve been going through a bit of a difficult time lately, and it has prompted these thoughts and this post. Over the past year, I connected strongly with a cousin who is also an INFJ and HSP. We became fast, close friends, and I was excited because I believe we’re the only ones in our large family. We bonded and couldn’t wait to spend time together and work together to help others like us. I had business plans, family plans, happy plans. And she mirrored my joy. Or so I thought.
It turns out, she had other plans all along, ones that don’t include me. By the end of this month, she’s moving to another state and joining a small religious community. The members of this community will be her family now. She says she’ll come back to visit once a year. She makes no excuses or apologies. She simply says that this community is where she belongs and where she’ll truly be happy. She stresses that everyone has their own lives to live and, in time, it’ll be like she was always there.
Am I wrong to feel crushed? To go through days of depression? To wonder if our close connection was mostly one-sided? To wonder if maybe I chased her and she didn’t want to be chased? It’s more than just missing her because she’s my cousin and friend. She’s also like me, in an INFJ way, and I don’t meet or bond with many people like that.
But she’s made her choice, and she’ll soon become a part of my past. She’ll devote her life to the isolated community she’s joining. And what will I do? Will I continue to reach out to her through text or email? Will I try to keep the friendship going like I’ve done with others before? Will I chase her?
If you’re highly sensitive or an INF type, you know the struggles of constant thought, self-criticism and anxiety. You feel deeply and are therefore deeply wounded by your people. That’s just the way it is for us. So I feel what I feel, and I’m not going to apologize for it.
I learn about myself every day. I discover who I am and how I feel and what I want. I struggle with my flaws and fears but still move forward the best way I can. And, at this time, I’ve learned that chasing people doesn’t help me or the people I chase. I should devote my energy, time and kindness to the people who reciprocate my feelings. It seems simple and obvious now, but it wasn’t clear to me most of my life.
Maybe my cousin leaving is a good thing, a learning experience for me. After all, it’s not like I don’t have amazing people in my life. Just in the past few months, I’ve met some kind, empathetic, wonderful people who do reach out to me and always remember me when I reach out to them. I am grateful and blessed to have these people in my life.
Letting go is always brutal, but is always necessary for spiritual and personal growth.
So this post is for my special cousin and friend, Antoinette, who came into my life for a time, and then was gone. Thank you for the time we had, for your kindness and understanding. I wish you the best always.
And for my readers, and INFJ friends, I hope you continue to be kind and amazing, but don’t chase anyone. Just bask in the blessing of the people who do care about you.