For starters I would like to tell you guys that it looks like my schedule might get even busier. I was recently accepted by Geeks and Gamers as an article writer and their demands are kind of steep. They want three articles a week, and if I write an opinion post or a review the article needs to be a minimum of 1000 words. News articles can be shorter, but you lump all this in along with my blog, my personal writing, my new job, working out, etc. and there's a lot of stuff going on in my life right now. I decided I would try it to see if I can put up with the pressure and stress--if I can't, I'll resign. This and my novels and stuff is much more important.
Anyway, on to tonight's topic.
So I've been going through a rough patch with a friend of mine. I considered her a close friend, but it really doesn't seem that way given some of our disagreements recently. Taking stock of my overall friend situation, I question if those I consider my friends are actually my friends. They may consider me their friend, but you know INTJs, we keep people at a distance. This is so we protect ourselves, so when we do finally "let someone in," it's a big to-do. There's no party or cake, but it's a big deal to us. With lesser relationships we can just walk away, but with those who we consider to be our confidants, it's not that simple. And when we can't walk away we feel foolish because that makes us feel soft and vulnerable.
Part of my problem is that "friends" is no longer an easy concept for me. When I was about 11, I had a shrink say to me that my friends were just "acquaintances" because I never did anything with them outside of school. That one statement has f*cked me up for nearly two decades. Ever since then I haven't been sure of who's my friend and who isn't, and finding out I was an INTJ didn't help. I don't want to pigeonhole myself, but I'm afraid I may have as my standards for everything, including what I consider a friend, has greatly risen. As a result, I'm not an easy person to befriend or be friends with.
Part of the friend standards thing is I have an ideal of what it means to be friends. (Everyone probably does.) But unlike some others who accept that their ideals may never be real, INTJs admit to reality while always striving for the ideal, especially when it concerns things they have control of.
Getting back to the ideal friend(ship), if for whatever reason we think the ideal friendship exists or has been found, but something happens and it doesn't match the ideal, that means we're wrong. This particular "wrongness" is quite disconcerting because it means we opened ourselves up under false pretenses, which means there's some very private information out there that shouldn't be. Imagine our panic.
Given this new insight into how difficult it is for INTJs to trust and befriend and be befriended, you can imagine how difficult it is for us to have best friends. Not only is there an extremely high criteria for it, but it also comes with a level of trust and support from us that if you betray, your f*cking head will roll. Maybe not literally, but there will be a sh*tstorm of homeric proportions.
So, going back to my original question: do INTJs have best friends? Answer: It's possible, but not very probable. That level of trust does not come easily. Regarding my current friend and the troubles I've had with her, I've begun to re-evaluate things on multiple levels. Why? I don't know, but after reading up on the difficulties surrounding opposite-sex friendships and the "friend zone," I think her sex is definitely contributory to our problems.
Despite my problems the conclusion is that INTJs can have friends and even best friends, but it is not an easy position to obtain. One meme on Pinterest says, "If you're friends with an INTJ, you're not an average person," and that's very true. But given who my friends and my "friends" are and why I consider(ed) them friends, that statement is still true, but applies to fewer people in my life now. Don't misunderstand me--I have greatly appreciated the companionship offered by my FINOs (friends-in-name-only), but if things don't match what I want/need, something needs to change.
One more thing: It absolutely blows an INTJ's mind when there's someone out there who actually looks forward to seeing us. We know how big of a pain in the ass we are, and if we were our friends, we'd have quit on ourselves a long time ago. So whenever someone does put up with us and stays by our side, we're deeply touched and grateful. It's something we deeply desire, but it's not something we expect to happen.
I apologize for this post being all over the place and for the paragraphs being long, but it's an emotional time for me, and being an INTJ, I have a lot of thoughts about it and a lot of feelings that I tend to suppress. And if you want to make sure you never miss another messy emotional moment of mine, please join my mailing list, or if you want to make sure I keep writing despite whatever displeasure life throws at me, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Even $1 a month cheers me up.
As for next week's post, I'm still in that creative, emotional purgatory. I'll probably cover what INTJs look for in a relationship, and that'll cover both friendships and dating. And I apologize if it's late because I'm writing for Geeks and Gamers.