I'm INFJ and I seem to struggle to communicate with people.
I'm doing a lot of volunteering work and we have common chats for that on the net where all volunteers are gathered for exchanging information. For me it's heaven, because it's my favorite way of communicating with others: by writing. I always choose my words carefully, try to write as authentic as possible, using a lot of emoticons for nuance.
If anyone of you has done any volunteering work then you know that communication can be tricky. And most of the volunteers aren't very organized. I, on the other hand, can see clearly how everything works or where problems will/can occur. I'm always on top of things. I always look for ways to make everything better, so that it all works smoother and that we can find the best way to be of service as volunteers. I find flaws in the system easily. And... because writing is my passion, I'm not afraid to write about how I feel.
So, to make a long story short: recently I've found another flaw in our working system and communicated this in the chat, with a few probable solutions. I only received positive reactions and constructive responses. Everyone seemed to be open to recognize the flaw and find new solutions to get it fixed so that we could make things better. Not everyone said that in so many words, but I did not receive criticism, nor did anyone object. So I thought everything was okay.
On our next meeting and volunteering activity everything went great. Great collaboration, a good vibe, happy people, etc... I thought: YES! Score!
But I noticed someone was not present. One of the volunteers did not show up.
So, I asked another volunteer about this person. She answered me that he had his concerns about my recent writing in the chat. He felt personally attacked and therefor he decided that he would not want to be part of it. Also, he hated communicating through the chat so he didn't want to discuss it there. He decided to just stay at home instead of coming over for the volunteering activity. The horror was: after asking around, everyone knew about this matter, except for me and my husband (who's also volunteering). I felt betrayed. But the other volunteers made it clear that they didn't want to take part in it, which I could understand because he was making it a personal conflict between him and me.
Still, he left me completely in the dark. His wife, who is also volunteering, asked my husband and I to try to contact him by phone or meet irl to discuss the matter. I felt immediate resistance. Every fiber in my body wanted to resist having to call or meet him. My time and energy is very limited and I did not want to risk engaging energy and time in something that would not get me anywhere. First of all: I'm not good with telephone conversations, especially if the person on the other side of the line does not really want to talk to me (otherwise, he would have called me already, would he have not?). Second: meeting him in person is asking for a big commitment from me, because of all volunteers I live the furthest away from the volunteering centre (40 minutes drive) and I simply don't have the time to plan this in my schedule at the moment. It's already difficult for me to plan the volunteering activities on a regular basis. He knows this. He only lives a 5 minutes walk from the centre. I just don't want to invest so much time and energy in someone who did not even take the effort to let me know there IS a problem.
Now I feel torn. I feel like I cannot be myself with this person. And I feel awkward because everyone seems to already have had a conversation with this person but me, about this problem. If he takes initiative to let me know he has a problem to sort out with me, then I'm more likely to say yes to a meeting. But like this, with the silent treatment he gives me? No!
The fact is, his wife contacted me again yesterday, reminding me about his telephone number. I have not responded yet, because I hate the situation, especially her pushing me to do something about it. I don't like the fact that she is sort of 'the middle person' in this communication (or lack of communication). What are they like, 12 years old? He's a fully grown man of 40+ years!
I don't know what to do. And I'm scared to ever communicate my feelings/observations again in the chat.
I feel betrayed. I don't know what will happen. I love this volunteering job. I love the people I work with and I do feel we can make a difference as volunteers. I don't want the people I work with to know that behind the scenes a lot of sh*t is happening. I work with traumatized people and they do not need this kind of burden. I strongly feel that this person who has a problem with me makes it into an "ego thing" rather than put the people he works with up front. I hate it.
And now I feel so frustrated. I made it my problem while it is actually HIS problem. I can't sleep and I'm constantly worrying about it. At the same time nothing happens. He still communicates in the chat, with chitchat, wishing me and my husband a fine Holiday, etc..., but he is silent about this as if nothing's the matter. It's hypocritical!
I don't know what he thinks, how he feels, ... and it's driving me crazy. I don't want this volunteering job to be compromised because of this, because I love it so much. I wish he was out of the picture, but that will not happen any time soon :/
I would love to read your feedback on this.
Thank you in advance.