Perfect INFJ contradiction:
INFJ’s can’t STAND it when people don’t communicate their feelings of anger, especially if it is directed at them.
If you are angry, tell me WHY and then we can go from there! Passive aggressive makes an INFJ’s skin crawl, and they’d rather be hurt by harsh, unplanned words (and deal with that temporary pain) rather than watch someone pout or pretend not to be mad when they clearly are. An INFJ pet peeve might be the good old passive aggressive pouty phrase: “I’m not mad!”
Remember, INFJ’s are acutely sensitive to the turmoil of other people — meaning that INFJ’s can both pick up on people’s unexpressed emotions as well as find their own mood altered by those emotions. This goes for a wide range of feelings, but especially negative ones. So, INFJ’s will want to resolve that anger that they sense in other people, especially if it directed at them, both to restore the peace in the relationship, and also to calm the inner alarms that are going off.
An INFJ will act according to each person who they are dealing with. If the person is stuck in denial of their anger and seems to somehow be enjoying dragging out the anger process, INFJ’s will try to spur gentle reminders of love and happiness, without being direct. They will do this until the person cracks a smile, which the INFJ totally catches, and the conflict reaches an unspoken resolution, free of anyone’s embarrassment. Phew, exhausting work, but the INFJ will wear themselves out to get it right. (If it goes too far though, the INFJ will essentially wipe their hands clean and let the person mope if they want to. INFJ ain’t about to grovel.)
If the INFJ knows that the person just wants to scream at them but personally needs some kind of trigger or permission in order to do so, the INFJ will purposefully trigger the other person. This may either happen in some planned way, or the INFJ will simply say something along the lines of, “Please just talk to me. I know I messed up, tell me how. I won’t be mad, I just want to listen.”
(It should be noted that this is the preferred way. However, it will be hard for the INFJ to embrace the criticism. They will keep their promise, though! They won’t get mad – at least not in a way visible to the outside world.) Which leads to the contradiction…
When INFJ’s get mad at someone, they might do that exact thing: go quiet, maybe a bit of sulking, definitely withdrawn.
(Note: if the person messed up just a little, they’ll get just a tiny little taste of the silent treatment. This serves 2 purposes. First, it gives just the tiniest clue that the INFJ’s feelings are hurt without the INFJ having to say anything. A simple apology should do the trick. Second, the INFJ actually does need a little bit of time to personally recover in order to get back out there and continue liking/loving the person. So if space is needed, give space. Hug later, aka after space. But if the person messed up big time, like with trust or something, omg good luck. INFJ is about to whoop your a**.)
They might even toss out the phrase that they hate so much to hear: “I’m not mad.” Partly, it’s to try to convince themselves, but it’s mostly because they need the other person to work their butt off to make amends. INFJ’s want a giant “I AM SO SORRY AND I STILL CARE” sign, but not a literal one. They want to feel that genuinely from the other person.
To fix this, the INFJ is going to need a lot of genuine apologizing and signs of deep care/love/affection. (I seriously emphasize both genuine and deep since the INFJ will call your b.s. instantly and you’ll be back to square one ASAP, or even negative one.)
Most of all, they will just need the constant assurance that you’ll never make that mistake again. Depending on how big the mistake was and/or how many times it has been made before, the INFJ may or may not take you back into their lives. But don’t worry, if the INFJ is still somehow communicating with you after a couple of days — passive aggressively or not — you are still completely and entirely in their “Keep” list. If the INFJ has stopped talking to you all together or has verbalized that they very seriously do not want to see you again, I’m really sorry, but you must have messed up in a major way. Best of luck, but most of all, never do it again.
I hope this is in some way validating/reassuring/explanatory to people out there.
As an INFJ myself, I know it’s something I wish more people would understand about me. MOST of all though, OVER EVERYTHING, we just want the love and cuddles and positive words of affirmation. We don’t like being mad! We don’t like it when other people are mad! We want everyone to be happy, which is probably more of a human thing than an INFJ thing. Haha okay, great plan then. Hugs all the way.