Why Introverts (INFJ) Cut People Out Their Lives With the Door Slam

An INFJ (or Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judger) is one of the Myers Briggs personality types and one that often cuts people out of their lives, often indefinitely. 

Many people might read this without having a clue what an INFJ is, let alone an INFJ “door slam.” However, INFJs, and those who have been involved in relationships with them, will understand exactly what it is.

INFJ is a personality type characterized by the Myers Briggs Personality archetypes. They are believed to make up approx one percent of the population and the initials stand for: introverted, iNtuitive, feeling and judgment.

What is the Introvert ‘Door Slam’?

Out of all the INFJ traits, the “door slam” may be the most infamous. The reason is not due to the actual hypothetical door slamming but because of what takes place up until it’s firmly shut.

When INFJs connect with someone they give it their all, so if someone repeatedly takes advantage of the fact they have become emotionally invested, or if they are abused relentlessly, INFJs eventually decide enough is enough and will sever all ties. This can include blocking telephone numbers, social media links and, in extreme cases, moving house and giving no forwarding address.

INFJs are tolerant creatures and are renowned for allowing people to treat them badly. They are compassionate, empathetic, forgiving souls and they try to give people the benefit of the doubt and offer chance after chance in hope the person will change.

INFJs hope that by slamming the door it will make the other person realize what they have lost and trigger them to put in a huge and genuine effort to make amends and attempt to work things out. INFJs don’t enjoy drama or leaving on a negative note so in many ways the door slam can be a final chance for the other person to be jolted to action. Even if the relationship can’t be fully salvaged at least there would be no lingering hard feelings.

Often, by the time the door has been slammed it is “too little, too late” to make amends, as too much water has passed under the bridge. INFJs want the other person to get the message that they have gotten to this stage, so the other person doesn’t try to walk back through the door thinking all’s okay.

What takes place following the door slam gives the INFJ all the information they need about the state of the relationship, friendship or family dynamic. If silence follows, the INFJ will just keep on walking without glancing back.

The reason INFJs get to this place of strength is that they grieve and mourn the loss before they actually lose the connection with the person. This makes it far easier for them to accept that the relationship they thought they had was based on an illusion and what they thought they had didn’t actually exist.

INFJs are introverts, which means they internally process much of what goes on around them. Therefore, if they do not feel emotionally safe with someone they may not openly express what they are thinking or feeling.

Instead INFJs will figure things out in their own time in their own way and make decisions that may appear sudden and shock those around them. However, at an internal level, the decisions are far from sudden and are usually the results of days, weeks or years of deliberation.

Before the door slam INFJs usually give out numerous warnings and let whoever is involved know they do not find their behavior acceptable. Door slams usually happen when an INFJ has distanced themselves after being repeatedly and relentlessly hurt by someone and most likely when they do not feel the other person is willing to make any effort to change.

Therefore, when an INFJ is done they feel liberated and lighter and they swiftly move forward. They may remove all reminders of the past and appear to others, or the person they slammed the door on, as though they are cold and calculated. However, they only reach this place if that person has continuously been cold hearted with them.

Introverts Won’t Make Demands, But They Read Situations Well and Expect Others to Be on the Same Page

INFJs are not the types to make demands upon people and tell them how they want to be treated, or how they should, or should not, behave, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. They hope that if someone cares deeply about them, their actions and words will reflect how they feel.

The trouble here is that because INFJs are highly intuitive and read situations well, they sometimes forget that not everyone has this ability. They may expect people around them to be mind readers and to analyze situations as intently as they do. When they don’t, instead of offering clues, INFJs might close off contact.

Although INFJs are compassionate, it might serve them to try to communicate as openly as possible and explain how and why they feel the way they do before opting out.

INFJs would do well to not allow the situation to get to the stage where they feel burned out, used and abused. Although the door slam is as a self-protection mechanism, INFJs can try to discern whether they are devoting too much time and energy to those who do not hold the relationship in the same high regard. Pulling back from relationships that are not mutually respectful prevents INFJs from feeling hurt and disappointed when people do not treat them fairly, or do not show them compassion or care.

Although the door slam sounds severe, INFJs are forgivers and may allow the person they’ve slammed the door on a place in their lives in the future, but only if they feel behavior has changed and they aren’t going to fall back into the same unhealthy dynamics.

Sometimes the door slam only happens in the mind and heart of the INFJ, and they continue to remain in contact with the “door slam” person. However, a significant change in the relationship has occurred by this point, and the INFJ will no longer be investing the same time, attention, and energy into a relationship.

It is rare for an INFJ to entirely trust someone they once slammed the door on, therefore, the relationship will likely never be the same as what it once was.

Those who are in a dynamic with an INFJ can work out how serious the door slam is by observing whether the slam was done in haste and fury, or calmly and rationally. If it’s the latter, the likelihood is the decision has been firmly made and there is little chance of getting back in.

INFJs are far more likely to slam a door quickly and for good when someone has hurt someone they love and care about. Sadly, they may allow themselves to be abused over and over, but they will not tolerate abuse of any kind when it is directed toward someone else.

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Writing: Alex Myles

Main Image Unsplash Eugenio Mazzone

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28 Comments

  1. mildred dennis says:

    This so true, I really never saw it before.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is right on!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Finally after 50 years someone has some understanding……

      1. Ken says:

        Ditto – for me it has been 60years

      2. Anonymous says:

        Finally someone understands Me!
        Spot on and 100%accurate

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am an INFP

  4. Sandra says:

    That’s me too 🙂 I really do give people something like a final notice, something which they do not understand then but is the hidden reason for their behavior. It’s deep wisdom or a psychologic diagnosis.

    They never understand it when I give it to them but at some point in life after evolving in their own understanding, they remember and finally understand what was the true meaning of my ‚final notice‘ and that’s when they really go looking for me.

    When they find me then, I welcome them back with open arms but never before they evolved and understood. But those who try to cling on or come back before evolving are either dependent and have to learn to exist on their own or narcissists.

    I’m not judgemental. But I know when there is nothing I can do for another and I’m leaving because it hurts to observe a loved one torture themselves. Plus to get away from abusive energy vampires and narcissists.

    I know that when I do this I’m perceived to be an asshole and many times insulted by a collective but I have learned to not get hurt from it anymore.

    It’s like a superpower that goes unnoticed by the majority but it’s deeply appreciated by those who grow a vision for it.

    The fun part: I just went from a 2%er to a 1%er due to this article. But please don’t do that. Don’t measure us. People read it and distort it due to their perception of measurement.

    I’m off the 100% – we’re just all walking towards the same destination on different paths of which not one is a shortcut but may appear as if.

    Thank you for this article.

    1. Tonya Bock says:

      While reading your comment, it honestly seemed as if the person writing it had been randomly plucking my secret thoughts over the spam of my lifetime…
      It’s as if I wrote this and forgot…

  5. Sandra Asani says:

    This is fun for me, as I have just recently done that – again. And tried to explain myself to my husband for doing it.

    Every time I leave a person for good, I let them know why. And, depending on how I feel for them, leave them with a piece of wisdom they do not understand (yet).

    I do so, because I observe everyone long enough to see which vail is covering their Vision and leave when I find them holding on to it with extreme and often destructive force. There’s simply nothing to do for those who do not want to see or to be seen.

    When I find people like that, I leave them to proceed on their own path, so they evolve or do not. It’s their free will and nothing to interfere with due to universal law.

    Those who do evolve however, remember the message, receive it finally and go looking for me with a heart overflowing with love. They will always find me waiting and welcoming them back with open arms. Experience has proven this to me and played out as mentioned many times. I know who those people in my life are.

    While those who just won’t accept my decision — as they are perceiving it as an act of evilness and tend to come after me violently — reveal themselves as Dependents who still need to find the light in themselves or in worst case abusive energy vampires and narcissists. Individuals I do not welcome because they drain me actively and distract me from my own path. Something I cannot allow no matter the love.

    You see, I’m always a bad person due to most common understanding but only I know what I truly am and only I can protect it. This Awareness allows me to accept the blame and to face the violence wherever I go and to leave without bitterness or hatred as I move on. There’s no condemnation and judgement from my side at all.

    1. Anonymous says:

      This is absolutely the most beautiful comment I’ve ever read, this speaks to me m. Thank You

  6. This explains my personality type since I was a child. I left toxic family relationships young. I have left many false friendships, unfulfilling jobs and abusive boyfriends. People have free will. They know how they ate treating you. If they don’t appreciate your presence, grace them with your absence.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. Ive been here, some past actions are now clear.

  8. Brandon Wedgman says:

    I don’t understand why they don’t believe what we tell them? Especially when we show them the proof. I get tired of being used and lied too. I cut 2 out this year already for it. I hate being used and lied to. It hurts more than anything in the end.

  9. I think we just need to be alone. I find it nearly impossible to find a partner who is adequate and I have left many relationships due to this – giving so many chances for them to correct their behaviors first and wasting so much time in the process. It’s a hard life emotionally being an INFJ.

  10. Leeanne says:

    I highly agree. I am a Infj and I have as gone as far as no contact and block the individual, to protect myself from further harm and recharge my batteries , as they, are so draining , especially for narrassitic people

  11. Anonymous says:

    Very true. Every single word describes me. I am slowly claiming & embracing my powers as an empath. Never knew for years I was one until the age of 21…& I’ve never looked back.

  12. Anonymous says:

    So unbelievably accurate!!

  13. Alison H Brown says:

    Wow. I’m in shock as to how this completely explains me better than I could explain this myself. I feel like I finally “met someone” who gets me – and it’s an article! lol!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I read about myself…

  15. donna tench says:

    this is exactly me I’m 50 n just had my personality personal life the shit I’m dealing w summed up in 4 letters in INFJ…ME THANKS

  16. I’ve definitely learned something in there I think I’m a door Slammer and I’ve been dealing with a narcissistic pathological liar forgiving over and over and over again I think one year a being lenient is more than enough so I’m in the fuck it fuck you and good fucking luck with that barrel of Karma and Crow that shows up at your front door cuz they’re all that’s going to be hard to choke down as I lay on the ground and roll around howling with laughter

    LMFAO

  17. Jaime Cybulski says:

    Wait…Did I write this? About myself?!?

  18. LaQuista says:

    Awesome information here

  19. Anonymous says:

    WOW!

  20. GONCALO says:

    this is me. cannot believe there is only 1% of us out there…to be frank, I just want to live surrounded by that 1%! But the universe always knows what’s best…

  21. Anonymous says:

    So true.

  22. Yep that’s me!

  23. Lisa says:

    So me.

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