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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in a situation.... and I need some advice from my fellow INFJs. The ENFJ & ESFJ in this situation are family members... and the ENFJ is currently making many important life decisions.

There's an age gap, and when I was his age, I was faced with almost the exact same choices and held the same opinions he does now. However, i either didn't have any knowledge or wrong information, so I had to settle for choices i wasn't sure about. years down the line, i now have this knowledge and resources, and one of the things i overcame recently was getting over this. I spent some of my early years of "adulthood" beating myself up that i made a decision based on an uninformed opinion. I'm over it now, it was a learning experience.

Years down the line, I now have more knowledge and resources to look to in this aspect. I was asked for help by ENFJ & ESFJ, and I spent a lot of time collecting resources, information, and a LOT of time and effort. however, when it came down to it, a decision was made... completely disregarding all the research I did. The reasons? "Because everyone else is doing something else." My research/help was invalidated because it didn't match with what they saw everyone else doing. Plus, the ESFJ's reasons? "Nobody in authority has even mentioned any of the stuff you showed us...." And another reason my help was invalidated was because "You made a mistake for yourself... why should we listen to what you say now?" This made me upset, because I had spent so much time collecting information and a lot of time/effort contacting different people/organizations. Why ask in the first place, if that's what they were going to say in the first place?

I guess... I just want them to CONSIDER the information I've collected. Honestly, if I had someone to help me and tell me all of this when I was making my own decisions, I would've been so thankful and it would've changed so many things. This is a sensitive issue for me... because I myself didn't have any of this knowledge/resources when making the decision. They even acknowledge on a regular basis that I didn't have access to these resources when I was at that age. And now I want to help. I guess my protective/counseling side is coming out here. I just want to help them to make a decision based on all the resources that are now available to them. Instead of making a decision based on what everyone else is doing and following the tradition, which is what I did and... yeah, I just feel the ENFJ has SO much potential. And with all these resources to help him, he can really succeed in this path... This has happened several times this year, and each time, I told him my opinion, helped out with research, only to have my opinion completely disregarded. And each time, I was in a situation where I could say "I told you so...." because my (informed) hypothesis turned out to be right.

Sorry for the long post. I'll edit this after dinner and make it more concise... But if anyone has advice on how I could reason with them, that would be great. For me, it all looks so obvious. "The point is... look, you're making this decision. I felt the same way you did when I was your age, but I lacked the knowledge and resources. And now we have access to all this information... and I think you could benefit by at least giving it a chance to look at. Can you consider this information before you make your decision?" I've already let too many times go by where I should've stood by my opinion more firmly. I just want to help them. and i feel that with all these resources... they could at least just look at it and make an informed decision. Instead of doing what i did. So any advice as to the best way to relay this information? Am I being too logical?
 

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See, this is exactly why I don't go out of my way to help people anymore. The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

I'm more content to just let them make the mistakes for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
See, this is exactly why I don't go out of my way to help people anymore. The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

I'm more content to just let them make the mistakes for themselves.
Yeeah. I just don't get why they get me involved and invested in the first place, if they're just going to throw out everything i did to help out. If they made a decision in the first place, fine. BUT, they specifically asked me for help, citing the need for extra resources to make this decision. And after all that I did... to go out of my way to help them, it seems minimally reasonable to just listen and even just CONSIDER my research instead of saying "I'm not doing that, because everyone else is doing this. we have different opinions. so your help ... i dont care." And the funny thing is, they are the ones getting mad at ME. What, are you serious? It's not like i'm sitting around, having nothing to do. I have my own life, my own concerns, and my own need for personal time to myself. And out of that time, I put in time, effort and hard work to help, because I was asked. And now.. you're saying that despite all this information that shows you otherwise, you don't care. And THEY are the ones getting upset at me and getting hyper-sensitive/defensive. ja;sdj;djj; i'm so upset right now. I really just want the best for him, but i need to deal with my own emotions right now, too.a adja; a
 

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Well, now you have a legitimate reason to not help them in the future, and instead spend time on stuff you'd rather be doing.
 

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Part of this isn't even a type thing, it's a young people thing. Not everyone is the same, but a lot of times young people have to experience something themselves...experience is the only teacher. As much as older people try to help them prevent the same mistakes, sometimes the only way a person can truly learn something is to make the mistake themselves. It's something that older people have always been extremely frustrated by in society, always. But it's also something that in some ways they just have to accept, too...they can offer all of the advice in the world, but sometimes it will be followed and sometimes it won't be. That will probably never change.


As for your own personal situation, if you haven't already, you should just be very clear about your feelings to this ENFJ person. Just let him know that it bothered and hurt you that he asked for you help and then completely disregarded it. Tell him that this makes you a lot less likely to help him again in the future.



But one day he may very well come back to you and tell you that you were right. That feeling kind of makes up for all of the irritation and frustration that occurs along the way.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice. I do think this has to do with type, because the ESFJ involved is older than I am.... a LOT older... I guess in my experiences with ESFJs, it's always about what someone in authority says, even if it is BS. And in my experience with ENFJs, it's often about what other people are doing... And it's something i've been facing for years, and i still don't know how to respond to something so irrational in my perspective.

I don't even know how he'll take me telling him about his feelings. He (ENFJ) gets soo pissed off when I make any reference to the possibility that there are other good decisions out there.

In the future, I now have a reason not to help out or get this invested, but at this point, i'm so involved/invested in this, i can't just jump out of it as if I didn't care, because i've already poured out so much time, thought and effort into it.
 

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And now you want to pour in more time and effort to legitimize your previous efforts, I understand.

But at some point you need to just decide to cut your losses.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I do think this has to do with type, because the ESFJ involved is older than I am.... a LOT older... I guess in my experiences with ESFJs, it's always about what someone in authority says, even if it is BS.
As an ISFJ, I can relate to this feeling, I end up doing it a lot myself. There are deep personal psychological reasons why, I went into a lot of detail in it in another thread. I think you have to accept that even if it's not always rational, if it makes someone happy and doesn't affect you, you probably just have to let it go. You can't force people to do anything, and even if you don't agree with it, sometimes what works for you won't work for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And now you want to pour in more time and effort to legitimize your previous efforts, I understand.

But at some point you need to just decide to cut your losses.
It's just hard to turn my back and not care anymore. In my past experiences, I've been able to step out, cut my losses, and gradually start helping them less. But this matter affects all of us and with previous decisions, i was able to just sit out on the benches, and this is the first time I've been feeling this emotional about a decision.

A part of my feelings is because this is so sensitive to me.. because of the lack of resources, i faced some of my hardest times. and it seems so ridiculous to forego these resources when you are fortunate enough to have them in the first place!

I'm torn cause i want to help, and I don't want a family member to go down the same path. It's one thing to go down a similar path, but i feel so emotional just thinking about someone I care about having to suffer the same things i did. I want to say "do what you want" and pretend like I don't care, but internally, I'm just really anxious for them and want the best possible for them.
:sad:
 

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If you didn't suffer before and deal with your mistakes, you wouldn't be able to rationalize your mistakes as mistakes now. To put it another way, you wouldn't have grown into the person you are.

I hear, I forget; I see, I remember; I do, I understand.

You're dealing with a protective instinct that's related to family or just INFJ-ness. If you protect them, though, they won't understand why they're being protected, or from what.

Of course, I'm not really sure what the heart of the issue is, since you've left the details out, so I'll just have to leave it at that. I'm not sure how trivial or serious the issue is.
 

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It is unfortunate that they disregarded your advice, especially when it is they who asked for it in the first place. But then, that is youth. At the very least you have presented them with an alternative, and it will be there in their subconscious for later analysis and comparison to their future situations.

I cannot speak for the ESFJ, but it does seem to be an S thing to respect authority and tradition. As Teddy says, a lot of this has nothing to do with type, and more to do with individual quirks, age, and inexperience. Unfortunately, there is generally no way for young people to gain that experience but through mistakes and hindsight. And who knows, maybe their way will prove viable after all. I think Zwanglos is correct. I think you may simply have to let it go for now, even though you may be helping to put out fires in the future. There seems to be little else you can do at this point but observe and act as a gentle sounding board and voice of reason as they proceed with their plans.

I know an ENFJ and she is fiercely independent. She is older, and so more open to opinion (quite so actually), but I can imagine her in her youth; rebellious, independent, and with no concern for authority or the ways things are done. She would want to break away and make her own way, her own mistakes. I was equally rebellious in my youth and would very likely have done just what these two have done, ask for advice and then reject it. It was a tumultuous time for me, full of uncontrollable emotion and earth-changing choices.
 

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Remember ESFJs and ENFJs are naturally more-so people pleasers than we are because they are dominant Fe. So they're much more likely to just follow the group.
 
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