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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! This is my first post here, and I have a question/situation I'd like some advice on. I am an INFJ dude currently in college. I'm living at home with both of my parents while I study (shockingly) psychology and counseling. My father is an ISFJ and my mother is an ENTJ; in general we all get along wonderfully, but recently I've been finding it harder and harder to communicate with my mother. We've always had a penchant for arguing far too intensely about dumb things, but it had never really affected our relationship until recently.

Being quite familiar with both the INFJ and ENTJ types, I'm aware of the clashes between her Te and my Fe. I know that I tend to be too abstract for my mother, who loves black-and-white certainty, and more than a little sensitive when she criticizes me. Her tendency to forego affection and emotion for cold logic has always been a bit difficult for me to navigate, but it wasn't until recently that it became an issue. It seems that now we'll get caught in cycles of her misunderstanding what I said and me getting frustrated over her response. Specifically, during many conversations it seems like she's hearing what she thinks I mean rather than what I'm actually saying, and she in turn insists that I am being mean or critical even when I'm trying hard not to be. This flusters me and makes it even harder than usual to convey my thoughts in a concrete way, so I usually end up digging the hole deeper by defaulting to an emotional appeal that makes sense to me but none to her. At this point I feel like I'm walking on eggshells around my mom so I don't say anything that could turn into an argument, and that bothers me as someone who values open communication.

I apologize if this is too vague or poorly worded, but what I really would like to know is if anyone here has experienced something like this as an INFJ dealing with an ENTJ, or has advice on how to better approach this situation to avoid further misunderstanding. When it comes down to it, my mother and I have a great relationship, but I'm just getting tired of feeling like anything I say could be taken the wrong way. Thank you so much! :happy:
 

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I don't know how to fix your problem, but let me just say: ENTJ girls :cool:. They got that femme fatale appeal.
 

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That's your problem. Obviously I wasn't talking about her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Of course, just joking bud. I actually don't know many other ENTJ women, so I can't say what I think of them in general. I do tend to dislike really argumentative and competitive types though, so I don't know how well I'd take to another ENTJ romantically.
 

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It sounds like you might need to first appeal to what she wants to hear, and respond on terms of how she would think. Dig in to her brain and first try to relate with how she's thinking. Then share everything else once you think she is happy you are supposedly on the same page as her. Hopefully this will open her mind up a bit more to hearing out all of your thoughts too!
 

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Honestly she doesn't sound ENTJish. ENTJs generally appreciate straightforwardness and competency, even if they don't agree they respect someone who pushes back.
And they never misunderstand, only ignore or refuse to acknowledge, but this is only for people who they don't care for or appreciate in some regard, and since you're family I would imagine you'd be excluded form this list.

In my experience ENTJ INFJ relationships are actually quite fun because they quickly become friendly and sportsman like games of one-up-man-ship.

Also I have to say, Fe and Te really don't clash all that much. The real clash would be Fe and Fi, or in this case more likely Te and Ti.
 

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My advice (coming from the wife of an ENTJ) is to take some time with your feelings & try to arrange them into a language that she can understand. You need to tell her point blank what the problem is and stand your ground. She is then going to feel the need to solve said problem, so you need to plan for that. If you need her to just listen and not micromanage the issue, say so. They don't speak in subtleties.

Keep in mind that they have Fi (even if it's weak) so try not to use terms like "You do this & that and it pisses me off" etc. They will get butthurt & then rationalize it as your fault or that you are automatically wrong. Try instead "I'm really feeling agitated because this is happening and that happened" etc.

I've found (at least with my husband) that he really never tries to hurt or upset me. He really doesn't see it when he does. So I always know that which makes it easier for me to understand how to be gracious toward him and cut him some slack. I still air my grievances, but I try to let little stuff go. It's been funny when he has an ah-ha moment when I reveal something about our relationship he hasn't even ever considered. It takes him a while to reset. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My advice (coming from the wife of an ENTJ) is to take some time with your feelings & try to arrange them into a language that she can understand. You need to tell her point blank what the problem is and stand your ground. She is then going to feel the need to solve said problem, so you need to plan for that. If you need her to just listen and not micromanage the issue, say so. They don't speak in subtleties.

Keep in mind that they have Fi (even if it's weak) so try not to use terms like "You do this & that and it pisses me off" etc. They will get butthurt & then rationalize it as your fault or that you are automatically wrong. Try instead "I'm really feeling agitated because this is happening and that happened" etc.

I've found (at least with my husband) that he really never tries to hurt or upset me. He really doesn't see it when he does. So I always know that which makes it easier for me to understand how to be gracious toward him and cut him some slack. I still air my grievances, but I try to let little stuff go. It's been funny when he has an ah-ha moment when I reveal something about our relationship he hasn't even ever considered. It takes him a while to reset. Lol
Thank you, this is really insightful! It makes a lot of sense. I know she isn't trying to be reactionary, and she's usually very level-headed, so I'll try my hardest to be as clear and straightforward as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
In my experience ENTJ INFJ relationships are actually quite fun because they quickly become friendly and sportsman like games of one-up-man-ship.

Also I have to say, Fe and Te really don't clash all that much. The real clash would be Fe and Fi, or in this case more likely Te and Ti.
That's why I'm confused, really. We usually are like that, and I'm not sure where the disconnect is. She's really the epitome of an ENTJ, so I'm wondering if maybe her drive to command and "win" arguments is just exacerbating my dislike for conflict.

Also, thanks for the clarification on Te Ti, that makes sense.
 

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Family dynamics can trump personality type sometimes I think. She may be dealing with the fact that you are growing up and individuating (i.e you are now studying in college for your future adult life on your own).

Another theory I'll throw out there is that you may be trying to argue things with her that she doesn't want to talk about with you, but she does want to spend time with you because you are her son, ergo your relationship is changing a bit and will find its new rhythm. I find personally it is hard to get a positive emotional response from someone who is physiologically in the anxious state (heart pumping faster, shallow breathing etc..) once most humans are in that state, we need apparently 20 minutes or so to calm down and re-connect because our own nervous system went into fight or flight mode.

It is so nice that you are investigating how to communicate with your mom in a good way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Family dynamics can trump personality type sometimes I think. She may be dealing with the fact that you are growing up and individuating (i.e you are now studying in college for your future adult life on your own).

Another theory I'll throw out there is that you may be trying to argue things with her that she doesn't want to talk about with you, but she does want to spend time with you because you are her son, ergo your relationship is changing a bit and will find its new rhythm. I find personally it is hard to get a positive emotional response from someone who is physiologically in the anxious state (heart pumping faster, shallow breathing etc..) once most humans are in that state, we need apparently 20 minutes or so to calm down and re-connect because our own nervous system went into fight or flight mode.

It is so nice that you are investigating how to communicate with your mom in a good way.
This... makes a whole lot of sense. She's definitely been taking my whole transition into more adult life hard, and I've had to talk to her a couple times about being too controlling. She's been very understanding and says it's mostly because she's so used to being my authority that she has trouble letting go. That very well may be a big part of it. Thanks pal!
 

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I imagine when I am in her position I'll be looking at videos of when the child was younger (and feeling that 'loss' as they became and adult!) and it's emotional to watch your child grow up. But its a natural and real emotional experience for her and you as you become a college kid.

Let her be your mom - your relationship with her will be unique as you get older, and of course, keep doing your own thing with college etc... because it's how life is supposed to go (people get older, it's natural but emotional). It doesn't mean it's always easy for everyone in the family to adjust to how everyone grows over time!

Maybe she is already thinking ahead to 'losing you' to a mate eventually, and she's feeling it. That's a rough transition for some parents! But again, its the natural order of things.
 

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That's your problem. Obviously I wasn't talking about her.
And your problem is that you posted off topic and provided no value to the thread.

I think logic types can be draining. They have little time for the type of feely emotions INFJs are used to. While the logic types cannot get into INFJ way of thinking, the INFJ can get into thinking types way. It's just that it makes little sense over feeling. Maybe if you try to get on her level and argument your stuff logically with a dash of feely.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think logic types can be draining. They have little time for the type of feely emotions INFJs are used to. While the logic types cannot get into INFJ way of thinking, the INFJ can get into thinking types way. It's just that it makes little sense over feeling. Maybe if you try to get on her level and argument your stuff logically with a dash of feely.
That's very true. Logical types are usually really taxing for me. I try my best to rise to their level of logic, and I'm articulate enough to succeed most of the time, but eventually I just want to say "It's just that I FEEL it man!"
 

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First, hear her side of the story out. ENTJ women want you to know their side of things, and they expect their side of things to be acknowledged and FULLY understood first. I am guessing that her "hearing what she wants to hear" comes from emotions that she has no idea what to do with - that's right, emotions! Her lashing out or being stubborn is probably because there is some underlying concern that she manifests into a "listen to me!" tantrum. So really listen to her, address her insecurities and feelings. Address her problem before yours, and then clearly articulate your problem or issue - in a concise manner, not a long monologue that leaves her more emotional and confused than before.

To me it sounds like she has some deeper insecurities that she is dealing with. ENTJ women sometimes have a lot of guilt and regret that tends to come out at random times that don't really seem applicable. Love her and build her up, she has feelings too!
 
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