Is the #INFJ door slam a real thing or a hyped-up rumor? Find out! #MBTI #Personality #typology
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What is the INFJ “Door Slam”? The Rumors and the Truth

If you’re an INFJ and you’ve been part of the personality community for long, you’ve probably heard of the infamous INFJ “door slam”. According to popular belief, “Door slamming” occurs when an INFJ cuts someone completely out of their life without warning. They “purge” the person from their existence and avoid them at all costs. According to some writers, the INFJ does this with more frequency and severity than other types. I’ve seen self-professed INFJs brag about door-slamming, question if they’re an INFJ if they don’t door slam, or simply begin door slamming after they read about it in an article somewhere.

My opinion on the INFJ door slam will likely be unpopular to some. In my time as an MBTI® practitioner, I haven’t seen this practice be any more specific to INFJs than breathing air or hating the sound of people chewing. I myself am an INFJ and have only “door-slammed” someone once. In that situation, the individual was literally stalking me and was psychologically unwell. I don’t even know if you’d call that “door slamming” as much as avoiding.

Disclaimer: “Door-slamming” can be a good or bad thing. In some cases, it is similar to ghosting, which can be very hurtful. In other cases, it’s a form of self-protection when someone is abusive, hurtful, or perpetually dishonest. This article isn’t meant to place judgment on people who door-slam, it’s merely my opinion (along with data I’ve collected) on whether or not this is truly an INFJ thing.

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What is the INFJ “Door Slam”? The Rumors and the Truth

“Door Slamming” Doesn’t Appear to be Specific to INFJs

I surveyed over 20,000 individuals on my email list and asked them if they “door-slammed” and, if so, what it meant to them.  Turns out INFJs are no more likely to door-slam than ENTJs or ISFPs. INTPs actually ranked as the type most likely to door-slam, but even that was by a very small margin.

Here are quotes about door-slamming from some of the people I surveyed:

“I don’t really get the whole “door slamming” thing. If someone is toxic or abusive, then sure.  I might avoid them. But if it’s a friend or a partner then I’ll give plenty of warnings first. I’m not just going to suddenly disappear.”
– Eric, an INFJ

“I have “door slammed” once or twice. I only do it in emotionally abusive situations, though, when my well-being is on the line.”
– Gloria, an INFP

“I don’t know if you’d call it door-slamming, but I’ve “ghosted” before. It’s not something I’m proud of, but sometimes I just can’t handle the emotional demands that someone puts on me. I have social anxiety and I think that’s a part of it.”
– Trevor, an INTP

“I will withdraw and detach if things aren’t going well, but I almost never cut people off completely. That seems rude and childish in most cases, and is reserved for people who absolutely refuse to respect my boundaries.”
– @MsWired, INFJ Twitter User

“I try to (door slam), I really do, but I can’t. I see door slamming as just being up to a certain point fed up with someone’s behavior and essentially cutting them off completely without them even knowing you did so.”
– Denzel Mensah, ENFJ Life coach

“I do, often enough to where I wonder how much is too much. Usually, it’s when I’ve consistently put in effort to the relationship that’s been unreciprocated. Ironically, the only person who has ever taken a step to make amends is my INFJ best friend.”
– Monique, an ENTP

“I door slam in cases of betrayal or dishonesty. Also if someone tries to limit my activities and thoughts to their own standards.”
– @Kyasaaat, ENTJ

“I’ll door slam on occasion, but only if someone is making me feel unsafe or especially uncomfortable. I had an old boyfriend who seemed to stalk me at and just gave me the creeps. I changed my number and avoided him as much as possible. I think that’s self-protection more than “door-slamming” though.”
– Angelina, an ISFJ

“Door-slamming is efficient sometimes. If I don’t like someone or they’re selfish or dishonest then I don’t want to waste my time. Some people deserve it, and maybe if it happens enough they’ll realize they need to change the way they’re behaving. I don’t think I intentionally door slam. I’m just busy and if somebody’s going to act foolishly I may not waste my time trying to explain why they’re wasting my time with their needless drama.”
– Merlin, an ESTP

No Official MBTI® Literature Mentions the Door Slam

If you ask about the INFJ door slam at an MBTI® certification course, the teacher is likely going to laugh and shake their head (as mine did when it was brought up). If you sort through the pages of the MBTI® Manual there will be no mention of door-slamming. In fact, if anything, most books will say that INFJs have a hard time letting go of negative relationships and it can take them a long time to put an end to them.

Does this mean INFJs don’t door slam? No. Some do, and some have good reasons to do it. But nothing in the data shows that they do this with more frequency or intensity than other types.

But You’re Invalidating My Experience!

As I’ve said before, I’m not saying that INFJs never door slam – I’m only saying that it is not an exclusively INFJ habit. Many people I’ve spoken with have very good reasons for shutting people out of their lives. Some people shut people out for bad reasons (they don’t want to be accountable for a mistake they’ve made, or they’re just too anxious to be direct about their feelings).

How DO INFJs Deal with Negative People?

Negativity, conflict, and frequent criticism can create a lot of stress for INFJs. These personality types find themselves feeling anxious, hurt, or even physically sick in conflict-ridden environments. They tend to take on the perspectives of the people around them, imagining where they’re coming from and seeing many different sides to a situation. Because of this, it can be difficult for them to tune into their own feelings about what’s happening around them. They may get caught up in trying to please people or diffuse conflict and, in the process, lose sight of what they need. INFJs also tend to absorb the moods and emotions of people around them, which means that negative or angry people can be exhausting for them to be around. This doesn’t mean that INFJs will drop their friends at the first sign of negativity. In fact, INFJs tend to enjoy counseling and listening to people who need advice. However, if people are directing that negativity outward in combative, hurtful ways, INFJs have a low tolerance for this.

In friendships, INFJs tend to have a small circle of deep, long-standing relationships. They are fiercely protective of their loved ones and can have a hard time letting a relationship go because of how much they value loyalty. They are unlikely to cut someone out of their lives unless that person has repeatedly offended them or has betrayed their values in some way. That said, there are both mature and immature INFJs. Some may be loyal and compassionate friends, while others may be manipulative and self-serving.

Here are some of the ways that INFJs deal with negative people:

  • If a person is consistently negative or draining, INFJs may space out interactions so that they don’t get too overwhelmed.
  • They may tactfully address their concerns with the friend directly.
  • They may seek relationship or friendship advice from a therapist or friend
  • They may take some time away from the individual to sort out how they feel.
  • They may door-slam if they feel that they won’t be listened to or their boundaries won’t be respected.
  • They may write an email or letter to the negative person so that they can speak their mind without getting flustered by the other person’s feelings or arguments.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you agree or disagree with this article? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments! You can also explore more about the INFJ personality type in my eBook, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic.

INFJ Understanding the Mystic

 

Here Are Some Other Articles You Might Like:

5 Things That Every Stressed-Out INFJ Needs to Hear

10 Signs of an Unhealthy INFJ

24 Revealing Quotes About the INFJ Personality Type

Is the #INFJ door slam a real thing or just a rumor? Find out the truth! #MBTI #Personality

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Susan Storm is a certified MBTI® practitioner and lover of all things psychology-related. She is the mom of five beautiful children and loves using her knowledge of personality type to understand them and others better! Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest to learn more about type!
Is the #INFJ door slam a real thing or a hyped-up rumor? Find out! #MBTI #Personality #typology

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30 Comments

  1. I have done that many times but never knew it was called doorslamming. Morever, I never understood keeping people in your life who are toxic to the life you want to live. I like to help and care for people but I learned early on that it is detrimental to the life you want to live if you are always anxious and living in someone else’s toxicity. I don’t send letters or anything, I just move on with other things I want to do and be with. Or just be alone. I find being alone better than living with anger and toxicity.

    1. I am INFJ, and for self protection I went no contact on an narcissistic abuser. And just recently door-slam another potential partner do to showing signs of being over controlling. For instance he was calling me after he texted me, when I told him not to call I was tired. These are not people that I just decide to leave but they invaded the boundaries that I am now learning to set down.

  2. INFJ here, its not completely cutting them out, it’s creating a boundary and sticking to it. I have a threshold, after many forgivings, one time too many, when it’s crossed, it’s cool chills of ambilence, friendly but not connecting.

  3. I only discovered in the last 10 years or so I am INFJ – A. On the first two I score pretty close to 50/50 but not the others. I lived with some masks for many years that made me appear more Extroverted and Thinking but I am INFJ and am ok with that now at 58 and a man. I have been divorced twice and the second was just 7 months ago. I understand the “door slamming” but I think it is in extreme situations to avoid hurts. I have not done it with friendships more just letting them go like the seasons of our life. My really close friends I have had for decades. My first divorce was not my choice and she had an affair and was at time business was failing with Great Recession. I did door slam her as best as possible while still raising my kids. She was narcissistic to an extent. My second marriage was a “growing relationship” that turned into a marriage because it started immediately after first divorce while I was dealing with trauma and had not healed. She had dealt with trauma all her life including a marriage to a narcissist for 20 years and a bad one at that. This woman gave me a great gift of opening me up to who I really was and experiencing love and compassion. Unfortunately what also came with that was also lots of emotional fights from that trauma (on both sides) and a large blended family and few boundaries on her side. Even with tons of therapy we could not make it work. But I did discover me and was fully broken open. I finally had to leave. I had never experienced that intensity of emotional reactivity and never want to again. And the expectations were just too one sided. As she really even in the end would not see that she could not connect her wounds to how she acted in our marriage I did a very loud door slam. I just could not take the hurt anymore. Doing much better now being alone and with a great support group and some online groups and much reading. Really working the grief process this time and know who I am. In this past marriage we would always talk about how I was an “once you are out you are out person” and that is very true. So I feel that is more part of the INFJ thing. We like our relationships very close – you are either in or out. We can have acquaintances and I even like to strike up conversations with strangers at times (needs to be one one one NOT multiple). But for me if you are either in or out. So the door slamming I guess has some validity but I agree with the article that it probably is a bit of an “urban myth”. In my situations I do get push back from others about my two door slams on my divorces but the people who really know me and are my real friends completely understand and are very compassionate and empathetic about it. In concluding it is more you are either in or out and that is probably more unique to us INFJ. How we go about doing that is probably like most others and I think that is healthy. In some cases you let it fade. But sometimes and especially when it has been an intense emotional relationship you have to go full blown no contact for your own health. This is part of the disentanglement process that is necessary for healing and especially for divorce. Time can make things change but for us that is very slowly. My first ex and the mother of my children is still blocked on phone and social media and we rarely communicate because we do not have to. But when we do now it is pretty simple and easy and I know how to protect myself to avoid the “Lucy, Charlie Brown and the Football Syndrome”. I hated doing that to my most recent ex and it added so much to my grief. Having worked through most of that and especially any lingering guilt it is better. But the locks stay in place for awhile and I have no need to rethink or apologize for the door slam at the end

  4. I agree that door slamming isn’t just exclusive to the INFJ’s. The experience is like numbing someone’s influence on you until it’s like that of acquaintance than that of a friend. It hurts at first, but after the numbing, any interaction with them feels lukewarm but comfortable.
    I offer notebooks or ask for personality gift ideas from my friends to see what MBTI they are, just like this notebook on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1702476421

  5. I’m a registered nurse, with a heart in pediatrics (BSN, hem/onc/bmt, picu, community and public health) during my senior year Nursing Leadership course, we had to take a personality test. This was intended to help us understand ourselves and how we can best serve as leaders and team members in healthcare.

    I’ve always been a writer. I love sculpture, specifically sand. A typical beach sculpture I make will be around 15 feet tall, use about 500-600 gallons of water, and will be up and down on 1 summer day. I have always enjoyed the company of others, but in more intimate settings. I’ve never had casual acquaintances, but I can count my friends on one hand and by friends I mean nonfamily who are family. In social settings I’m not the one talking in the group conversation. But neither am I absent. I will strike up side conversations, and will usually have 1:1 conversations with everyone present with the occasional laugh or chime in.

    Back to Nursing Leadership. I was the student with the 4.0 GPA who never spoke about his grades to classmates or nursing friends. When asked I would simply note I passed, and would listen and talk with others over the stress of the program, or a recent grade, I sat once with a girl in the student lounge who had to retake her ATI, and had failed. I got her Kleenex from the dean’s office while other students left the testing room cheering, or exasperated, and didn’t even notice us there.

    The first exam had recently been taken. We did an exam review, then we took this personality test. We had letters, and then our letters went up on the dry erase board. There were a lot of extroverts, and mixes.

    Then, there was an outlier. Mine. I felt more naked and afraid than I have ever felt before. The summary nailed me, and I did not anticipate it being such an invasive experience. Later on, I thought to myself it must just speak in generalizations. It’s something where if you look for it you can find something identifying just by its broad terms. I thought, about the science behind it and test accuracy and reliability. So I took multiple unofficial variations of the test because the experience left me blindsided feeling exposed among my peers.

    I always had gut feelings. And people made sense. Sometimes I could identify the kindness with intentions, or the kind to be kind. I have always searched for genuine, real, and intimate friends and partners. I have strong beliefs and faith, I have patience. I can tolerate the vulgar, the aggressive or combative patient, and often (not always!) get a thank you in means of by the end of a shift “will you be around tomorrow?” I genuinely care about being a change agent, and the largest challenge is that we all have an individual narrative which can be hurried, and in daily life when the situation arises, being able to take a minute for someone else who may not even ask for it, but you can recognize the situation when it’s there. To help, or be good for the sole purpose of being good, and nothing more.

    But I have definitely been someone who, will walk from others as well. Sometimes in relationships – it comes up because of a small inference. It’s when you are aware of the little things of your partner’s needs. But they will not give you that basic little back. It’s not the gifts, it’s not the words, it’s the consistent patterns of behavior and actions. The repeated inconsistencies. Sometimes – it’s not even them. It’s me. And I can’t explain why. There is a situation where I can’t approach it comfortably. Sometimes an obligation as well. I have fear, and will ignore. Which hurts someone else. Then I feel worse on top of what I am feeling. While they repeatedly back to back only further reach out and push me away.

    I never read anything about an INFJ door slam. Honestly, I always just thought I wasn’t a jerk, but by an inability to act, I allowed situations to snowball which resulted in failing communication and pain to others. And I cowardly just disappear. And throw away a lanyard or a wallet because it is too painful of a memory to use. I still don’t entirely understand how, as someone who has empathy, emotionally can be found in these cowardly patterns of cutting others out. Sometimes a loved one, a friend, even family members. It’s so painful, and it just ricochets around inside like a bullet that can’t escape it’s kinetic energy. And every action has an equal and opposite reaction, in theory. This act is very painful. Never understood that part of myself. And honestly, I hate knowing it’s a pattern of behavior. Becuase it’s so, so hard to CBT that aspect of myself into change.

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