INF Personality Types, Narcissists, and Enmeshment

Lauren Sapala
2 min readMay 26, 2024

Many INFJ personality types and INFP personality types grow up in homes where enmeshment is a common occurrence. Enmeshment is a form of codependency that is not often talked about in relation to narcissism, but it is strongly linked to narcissistic family dynamics.

With enmeshment, the boundaries between family members (especially parents and children) are vague, blurred, unpredictable, and constantly changing. In an enmeshed parent-child relationship, the parent consistently merges their energy with the energy of the child. They expect the child to share their preferences, needs, attitudes, goals, and motivations. If the child attempts to pull away, assert a boundary in any way, or individuate as a person, the parent will punish the child, either overtly or passively-aggressively. The usual weapon of choice for parents who are enmeshed with their children is to coldly and silently withdraw their love until the child “falls in line” and stops trying to assert a boundary against the parent.

For INFJ personality types and INFP personality types who grow up in this type of situation, this results in an inability to feel their own center, and it also results in great difficulty differentiating what belongs to them and what belongs to someone else. This can happen with emotions, energy, and also space, territory, and physical objects. The INFJ personality type or INFP personality type has been so programmed to merge their energy with the energy of others (especially loved ones) that establishing boundaries of any sort feels as if they are doing something wrong. And this is how so many INFJ personality types and INFP personality types become easy targets for narcissists.

I talk more about this in the video below:

I’m teaching a workshop called Narcissists and Boundaries, happening on Wednesday May 29 at 4:00pm EST. This is a 90-minute workshop for INFJ personality types and INFP personality types who are actively dealing with narcissists in their lives, or have a history of relationships with narcissists and want to avoid falling into that same dynamic again.

You can find all the details and register here:

NARCISSISTS AND BOUNDARIES

And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me here.

I would love to see you there!

Lauren Sapala is the author of Writing on the Intuitive Side of the Brain, The INFJ Writer, The INFJ Revolution, and the creator of Energy and Intuition for INFJs, an online course for INFJs on intuition, relationships, creativity, and more. She is also currently offering a free copy of her book Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers to anyone who signs up for her newsletter. SIGN UP HERE to get your free copy.

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Lauren Sapala

Writer. Writing Coach. Author of The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World’s Rarest Type. www.laurensapala.com