The Mirror Relationship
This is a video/article request from Becky, one of my newest supporters on Patreon.
Like in Socionics, I describe the ENFP and INFJ relationship as a mirror relationship, or a relationship between two types that come at the same problem from a different dimension. There is a big likemindedness from the two types. We share similar interests and values yet have a completely different approach to decision making and control. To add to it, I have found that ENFPs and INFJs share a strange mix of passion and conscientiousness, yet it comes off differently.
The INFJs passion comes off in our communication and in our visionary side. The ENFPs passion comes off in their free-spiritedness, opportunity-seeking and their deep care for “the people” in their life and for nature and for right and wrong. The ENFP is a conscientious and careful listener that wants to find the right word or phrasing for things, and the ENFP is always scanning for options, trying to find the right path forward in life, where as an INFJ, I tend to only see “one path”.
What makes an ENFP and an INFJ start dating?
As an INFJ, I do take things very slow in relationships and my relationship with my girlfriend was the same way, it took many months before we actually started talking, and many months after that before we started dating, and an additional set of months before that before I actually made the commitment. I have had this pattern in dating many times.
Quick and fast decisions would crash and burn, when I have been able to take my time the decision has been far more long-term. My girlfriend is also very freedom loving and has admitted that if I tried to push it early, she might have broken off. I believe the INFJ and ENFP relationship can start in one of two ways. Either, it begins with a big misunderstanding.
The ENFP is taken aback by the INFJs decision making and personal style, which feels wrong, or the ENFP is drawn in to the INFJ because of the INFJs original ideas and foreign but sound values. The ENFP and INFJ relationships are like two people from different cultures meeting, and you have to listen carefully to see where the INFJ is coming from and what they mean. There is a chance that the INFJ misreads the ENFP as fickle or lacking in depth, and that the INFJ misses the great care and the deeper thought process the ENFP will put into things.
We are more likely to be drawn to a mirror when we want to be shown another way and when we are open to learn and to try something new. We are not going to be open to a mirror if we are too sure of ourselves or too stuck in our own ways. If we need reassurance from a partner, we are better pursuing someone that is the same type as ourselves. If we are more set in our ways, it may be best to start dating a rival or “true opposite”.
What makes an ENFP and INFJ relationship work?
I believe beyond just sharing a similar type you have to have similar needs for a relationship to work. Just having shared values is not enough, you need to look at the Enneagram to discover your needs. Just to give some examples, the enneagram two needs a happy home, and may struggle if they date a partner that is very performance and career oriented, like the enneagram 3.
If one person cares more about performance and success and one cares more about relationships and about having a good time together, that can be a big collide in a relationship. Another problem is if both types are very cautious and want the other person to make the first move. It can lead to both partners struggling to open up to one another. Maybe the relationship won’t take off at all. That’s why it is common for one partner to be very outgoing, and for one to be more reserved. Two outgoing partners may lack the stability necessary for anything beyond a short-term fling.
The number one problem in mirror relationships will always remain the same. Miscommunication, misinterpretation, misunderstandings. I have found that the only solution to this problem is vulnerability. You can never be too sure of yourself, and you have to get to a point where you during the argument are prepared to let go and to open up and be real with your partner.
ENFPs need honesty in their relationship, and are often afraid of giving of themselves to others. INFJs are very giving in relationships, but find it hard to open up and be real with their partners. Still, ENFPs value giving highly, and INFJs value honesty highly, so if you can put your values above your fears, that will answer most problems in a relationship.
I think that over time the real success of our relationship came after the conflict stage, as we began to become more aware of each others triggers. We discovered we both were sensitive, but to different things, and that we both needed time to process things, but in different ways, and when we were able to acknowledge this in each other the relationship became a lot more stable and free flow.
I love my ENFP girlfriend very dearly. She has brought real magic into my life and she has shown me so many opportunities and possibilities. She has helped me stay bullshit free and sane. She has sometimes brought me stress and the push necessary to get moving in life. And other times she has been the necessary distraction for me when I got too obsessive or deep into something.