Shutting people out of your life after they’ve hurt your or someone you love isn’t specific to INFJs, but it happens often enough that we’ve given it a name: The INFJ Door Slam. I like the definition given in “How INFJs Deal with Conflict: 10 Confessions.”
It means you’ve hurt me so much, I’m no longer investing any of my (limited) supply of energy in you. It means I’ve come to resent you. If you value me, don’t let it get to this point. It’s really hard to go back.” – Jenn Granneman
This may or may not involve actually cutting a person out of your life. Depending on the circumstances, a door slam can range from ignoring someone completely, to limiting contact to the bare minimum, to carrying on as normal from the other person’s perspective. In the INFJ’s mind, though, something has definitely changed.
INFJs are typically tolerant, understanding, and patient. We hold ourselves to a strict code, but we don’t expect most people to adhere to that code and we’re understanding of individual choices and personality differences. The closer you get to an INFJ, though, the more we expect from you. In our close relationships, we want a certain level of trust, commitment, and commonality — just like every other personality type.
It takes INFJs a long time to open up, and once we let someone in we’ll do just about anything to keep that relationship. Too much disappointment, especially a breach of trust, results in the “door slam.” This rarely happens to casual acquaintances — there’s no point in “door slamming” someone who wasn’t close to you once. We’ve poured energy into this relationship, but if it just turns into a one-way energy drain that’s hurting us emotionally, then we finally reach a point where we cut off contact. Usually there’s a build-up to this in the INFJ’s mind, but it may not be apparent to the other person until the INFJ starts distancing themselves from the relationship.
If you’re an INFJ on the giving side of a “door slam,” make sure you’re not shutting people you care about out of your life simply out of a desire to avoid conflict. Sometimes slamming the door on a relationship is good for you, sometimes it’s not. Knowing the difference is a key to healthy relationships.
If you’re on the receiving end of an INFJ door slam, know that it’s a symptom of much larger problems in the relationship. Rebuilding the relationship after an INFJ has cut you off is possible, but it’s not going to be easy and it will require lots of honest communication over a period of weeks, months, perhaps even years depending on what happened.