“Door slam” is a phrase originally coined out of the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator system as a means of self-protection, specifically for the INFJ personality type, where someone cuts ties with another person who has deeply wounded them. As typology has progressed however, I feel like any and all personality types can be, in some fashion, associated with the door slam, not just the INFJ type, although an INFJ may be more likely than other types to slam the door on someone based on how the underlying cognitive functions stack up.

Healthy door slams take place when someone has been deeply wounded by a person repeatedly and they can no longer tolerate the person’s toxicity. Unhealthy door slams take place when there isn’t a pattern of toxicity. Perhaps the person’s intuition (a dominant trait in the INFJ, INTJ, ENFP, and ENTP personality types and used by people of any personality type, albeit as a lower priority) flashes some warning sign. This is not a reason to slam the door on someone, although sadly it happens frequently. A flawed perception of reality does not give someone the right to door slam another person. I’ve unfortunately been on the receiving end of such a hasty reaction and it left me confused and bewildered.

So, when should a door slam take place? I do not think it should happen hastily, or early on, or without factual information, but with the understanding that everyone is different, I believe the reason for a door slam is unique to the individual. Whether it be some rational boundary or something even more idealistic doesn’t really matter. I do believe it should entail a high degree of fairness (“do unto others”, right?). There should also be a certain amount of familiarity involved. For example, if some total stranger attacks you on Twitter and you block them, that’s not a door slam. That’s a stranger being a jerk-like troll. Door slams are more personal. It’s something that takes place with someone you know. After all, can you really slam a door that hasn’t been opened yet? That’s certainly something to think about.

Healthy door slams take place when someone has been deeply wounded by a person repeatedly and they can no longer tolerate the person’s toxicity.

I also believe taking a personality test, then forever labeling yourself as the resulting type from that test, then taking a few memes to heart, and door slamming a person because someone in your past has “treated you badly” and the meme told you to do it is what nightmares are made of. Determining your personality requires a much deeper dive than taking a test. You need to learn the underlying concepts, like cognitive functions in socionics or MBTI, so that you can better identify which type you truly are. You need to introspect. In some cases, a personality test may serve as a good starting point, but even that can be quite misleading. Of course, if you’re just learning your personality type for fun, that’s great, but you shouldn’t go around slamming the door on people because of it.

I’m generally not a fan of the “door slam”, but if I were to slam the door on someone, that door would remain unlocked. That leaves room for change and even more importantly for forgiveness, which I think is vitally important in life. If the other person does what needs to be done, then the door can be opened back up. If it were up to me, door slams would never be necessary, but with so much hatred and so little humility in the world, I think it is absolutely necessary at times.

So, in the future, if someone makes you angry or uncomfortable in some way, instead of slamming the door on them, perhaps communicate with them in some way, as if you see their soul equal to yours. If that’s not possible, then just lay low and wait for a pattern to develop.

I’ll leave you with one final nugget of caution: If you put up too many walls by slamming too many doors, you may just come unhinged.