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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are there any other INFJs out there with an XSFJ mother?? I have a rather bitter ISFJ mother who tends to be a "loose cannon"... all the time growing up she would yell at me for doing things that I was never taught or told what I should do and not do. This has continued up to now (I'm 23, almost 24) and even today she calls me to leave a voicemail message yelling to me about how I parked behind her in the driveway and she wants to leave and doesn't have keys (there were some in the house and she eventually found them before I got there.... but still, this gets old).

She never really does anything meaningful in her life or seem to find anything that makes her happy... just always complains and it makes it more difficult for me to enjoy life at times. There are many times where I'll go into my INFJ counseling mode and make an insightful comment to perhaps get her to think about what she's complaining about but it never gets anywhere. I just have no hope that any insightful thing I say will sink in.
Then it drives me crazy how she never calls me for anything important... like if a relative has died or is in the hospital.... instead, she would rather call me to tell me how a credit card bill in the mail came in and I need to pay it.
Agh, if it wasn't for my father I would have lost my mind a long time ago. Its like the classic SJ life cycle.... they always seem to start at a young age good and achieve dreams early but then when middle age comes around they're just in a rut and there's no getting them out.

So aggravating.... can anybody else relate or tell me how they've coped??


P.S. (Sorry mostly venting) Then it bugged me last night the comment she randomly made (after a few hours that I had been home) when she had been talking health stuff with my dad and she started on this rant about how these magazine health articles are a bunch of crap, basically. Then goes on to say how if one article was right that overweight women are more likely to get breast cancer that her mother should not have breast cancer and that my dad's mother should. My dad did not say any response and he then took the conversation into asking how my week was... but intuitively I knew though he was empathetic of my mother that he was still not pleased with the comment she made. Of course, I felt the same way because... well, both that she was referring to are my grandmothers and I love them both because they have both taken care of me well in their own unique way.
 

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My mom is an ISFJ, and I love her to death, but I can relate more or less to what you're saying. She has a really developed intuition that almost makes her seem an intuitive but her approach to life is very down-to-earth and is very practical. She has a really strong duty to her responsibilities and makes sure that everything she does is what she considers to be the correct thing to do.

She is sometimes taken back by my thinking because I have this skeptical view on what is right and wrong, even though I have really strong values and morals. She insists that there is only one way to be right, and only one way to be wrong which is something that I'm not sure I agree with. She's also overly protective of my brother and me to the point that I sometimes have to leave deliberately from her life up to a year for her to realize that I'm a very independent person that isn't comfortable being watched like a baby.

On the upside, I know I can count on her in whatever I want. She is the hardest worker you'll ever meet, and will do anything to see her family happy. I really couldn't ask for anything better despite the big differences that we have.

I'm sorry to hear about your mom thegirlcandance, I'm sure she loves you in her own way but unfortunately sometimes we don't realize that until it's too late.
 

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My mother is ISFJ and we have a great relationship. She is content taking care of the house and our family and often comes to me for support when she's worried about something (read: every week). My mother would also call me in case there's a credit card bill I forgot to pay, but she'd definitely call when there's something really important going on. It's just that practical matters are also really important to her. I'm thankful for that because I'm usually utterly oblivious to things that need to be taken care of. I'm just too busy thinking about my own pet projects.

I don't think you have those problems because your mom is an ISFJ, but because she is an unstable ISFJ. The woman clearly has issues, the only thing you can do it put your foot down and if she doesn't listen then perhaps its time to stop listening to her altogether. Get a new phone number and don't tell her what is, whatever you need to do. Of course the best thing you can do is try to help her somehow so she gets out of that rut and you two can have a fulfilling mother-daughter relationship, but it seems you've already tried that. There's only so much you can do before you have to make the decission to simply let it to be and distance yourself from her.

It may sound uncaring, and I'm sorry if that's the case. But in these type of situations people sometimes just refuse to be helped because taking out their anger on other people gives them too much relief, even if only for a minute. That's when you have to decide to distance yourself, or risk going down with them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She's also overly protective of my brother and me to the point that I sometimes have to leave deliberately from her life up to a year for her to realize that I'm a very independent person that isn't comfortable being watched like a baby.
Yeah... I couldn't wait to go away to college because I got tired of telling her time and time again that I want to take responsibility of myself and do not want her to intervene by telling me when my bills are do and what-not.

I'm soon to be finishing my student teaching and then college by the end of November and I'm in a bit of a dilemma because I want to live around home area (because its home, I miss it, and besides my mother I want to be around the rest of the family because I appreciate that more now after being away from home for the last 3 1/2 years). My mom made the comment a few months ago about how she wasn't sure where my stuff would go when I moved back in my house and the immediate response that came to my mind was "Move back home in the house?! Heck no.." So I'm thinking of finding an apartment by like December... maybe January.

And because she's so over protective, I've noticed that it hasn't helped influence my brother to grow up. My dad has commented to me several times about how he thinks he should go away to school to get away... but at the same time wants him around to help work. So in the back of my mind I'm thinking -- ok, I get an apartment around here and then just have my brother move in with him and I'll treat him like an equal roommate rather than a child of mine so he'll be able to gain some responsibility.... because he's not going to when somebody is there every day to remind him when to take medication, when to leave for work, when to pay a bill, etc.
 
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I am a caregiver for my ESFJ grandmother who raised me.

She is the nicest person you could ever meet. She worries about other people's well-being all the time- so much that she can make herself sick over it. But what bugs me is that she is absolutley obsessed about cleaning the house. She will do it every single day. She is hunched over, but that doesn't stop her from dusting everything and cleaning the windows and sometimes even scrubbing the walls. She's going to have some people over next week, and she is already getting ready for it. She told me that the type of cleaning we are now doing is "deep cleaning", and I still don't really know what that means. :unsure:

I try to help her. I just got through vaccuming, as a matter of fact, but I get tired of it. I guess the good thing about it is that it motivates me to get out of the house more. Sometimes I will go workout so I can get away from it, or I might post on this forum to take a break, which isn't the healthier option, I suppose. Maybe I should buy a treadmil and somehow attach a computer to it so I can do both. :dry:

Good luck with your situation though. :happy:
 

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It drives me crazy. I posted about this when I first joined the forum, too. but basically, i feel so damn unsettled when she is nearby. She is always putting something into place or verbalizing things that need to be done or reminding me of things I should do. I almost feel like jumping up and down and tearing my hair out. I don't like to hear the same things over and over again, so I just tolerate what my mom does. I don't take it as a lack of responsibility or failure on my part, but just how my mom is.

Sometimes, i still seriously feel that my personal space is being violated though, physically and mentally. I'm sitting down, reading, thinking of something, and a great idea comes into my mind, and then all of a sudden a voice, followed by a person, intrudes on me "and dont forget to __ and why did you not ___ and did you remember to ___!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

edit: I didn't answer your question - I cope by not taking it seriously, which I am prone to do. When my mom said things, i would take everything to heart and subconsciously, I think it bugged me because I felt that when my mom said these things, she was implying i was irresponsible. But now, 22, I know I am responsible and I've proved it to MYSELF. It's okay if my mom thinks i'm not responsible because I don't jump up and do things right away the way she does with practical matters. And it's okay if my mom repeats things over and over again. It's just HER way of coping. and I try not to see it as indicating my failure or irresponsibility. Having physical space away from her REALLY helps. It's the only concrete way I can establish my space. physically and mentally. HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It drives me crazy. I posted about this when I first joined the forum, too. but basically, i feel so damn unsettled when she is nearby. She is always putting something into place or verbalizing things that need to be done or reminding me of things I should do. I almost feel like jumping up and down and tearing my hair out. I don't like to hear the same things over and over again, so I just tolerate what my mom does. I don't take it as a lack of responsibility or failure on my part, but just how my mom is.

Sometimes, i still seriously feel that my personal space is being violated though, physically and mentally. I'm sitting down, reading, thinking of something, and a great idea comes into my mind, and then all of a sudden a voice, followed by a person, intrudes on me "and dont forget to __ and why did you not ___ and did you remember to ___!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

edit: I didn't answer your question - I cope by not taking it seriously, which I am prone to do. When my mom said things, i would take everything to heart and subconsciously, I think it bugged me because I felt that when my mom said these things, she was implying i was irresponsible. But now, 22, I know I am responsible and I've proved it to MYSELF. It's okay if my mom thinks i'm not responsible because I don't jump up and do things right away the way she does with practical matters. And it's okay if my mom repeats things over and over again. It's just HER way of coping. and I try not to see it as indicating my failure or irresponsibility. Having physical space away from her REALLY helps. It's the only concrete way I can establish my space. physically and mentally. HTH
Yeah, physical space helps a lot but its frustrating at times when that Fe part of me desires that family closeness..... though it isn't easy when she is in the equation. Guess I just try to focus on other family members and try to keep her to a minimum as much as possible... though she occasionally gets all emotional and has to hug me and stuff when I'm going back to my apartment. On an instinctual level, I don't think she realizes just how much she drives me crazy and hurts me emotionally... and I don't know how to make it any more obvious considering she's been doing it my entire life. Aghhh!!

I've noticed now that I've started teaching I'm developing more confidence to just say what I think, be assertive, and just take charge. Before I'd be afraid to make a comment to my mother about my view on something and now I say it more often.
The thing that I fear sometimes when teaching is if I'm properly disciplining kids or if I'm just falling into a trend that my mother would. It can be a little easy to get cranky some days trying to figure out classroom management, HS kids trying to push your buttons, and the overall stress of responsibilities. I want to make a difference, not be known as the school witch. :unsure:
 

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i took a similar approach as you did - focusing on other family members and keeping my mom to a minimum. and this is what i usually do when i encounter people i have problems with (like coworkers who slack off on a project) - i just focus on the others more. in this case, i would advise against it because i went down this path and it ended up with me trying to sort of block her out. however, in order to block her out, i sort of had to block the rest of my family out, since a family is one unit after all. it was just a huge internal struggle for me. and its still hard for me, but its been easier ever since i stopped thinking about it this way. i would just advise that you treat everyone as u usually do, until you have the time to get some time/space away to settle on your own. you might regret your actions later? i've often regretted how i treated my mom. i know at that time, it was my only method of coping, but i think i left her some scars though she just doesnt let on. and as someone that has been scarred by others i trusted, i mentally cringe and cry thinking that i mightve hurt my mom who only had good intentions to begin with.

it's hard finding a balance. i think it has to do with INFJs being extremely independent and hating the idea of depending on others for anything. and with SFJ in a patronizing position, this desire is often undermined. with my SFJ mom, i found that it was partly about wanting some kind of emotional reciprocity from me to acknowledge that she was needed, which is hard because 1) i can be aloof and 2) i dont like to often acknowledge i need others... a lot of things going on there, but if you end up focusing on just other family members, it'll make the dynamics even more tense in my experience. and then it'll start becoming a "me or her" mentality... just my 2 cents, and of course you don't have to follow this advice or anything, and i know it's so tough to be in that position, but sometimes the best thing you can do is to tolerate it and lovingly see this as one of your mom's quirks... no matter how irritating , annoying and frustrating it is. as long as YOU know for yourself, it shouldn't bother you too much what your mom says. having the physical space helps though, because if i am too close to my mom, even physically, i have a harder time retaining my sense of self and my decision making because she slowly tries to take over and control everything i do. our relationship is at best when we have a positive distance. also , things get better when i dont tell her about bad things im going through. i just pepper her with positive information.
 

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My mom is ISFJ as with the trend is seems. I bet there's some kind of connection between parents personality types and that of their children, although this may be entirely coincidental and have everything to do with how they raised you. Anyway, my mom is the most annoying person I've ever met - and paradoxically, also one of the most caring. She cares about people and their feelings, but her own always take precedence. She will never back down from her point of view or see it from another person's angle. She holds grudges long after everyone else has forgotten. She also steals credit for everything. I'll talk to her and explain something to her, and then she'll be on the phone and say, "Yeah, I was doing this and that and came up with this." All the while, I'm watching her and thinking "I totally just told you that. Don't pretend you are that smart." She is nutso, but there's nothing wrong with her.; she's only human.
 

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OMGGG ertertwert. MY MOM TOO. SHE ALWAYS steals MY IDEAS! sometimes when i say things, she totally ignores it or doesnt believe it because i usually say things that are foreseeing something or saying something that hasnt been widely espoused by authorities yet. and THEN, years later, someone with a fancy name and title will say it, and she'll be like "oh I knew that all along" and talk about the ideas like it's a a matter of fact and something she came up with!
 

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You pull out all your hair, preheat the oven to 400 and put your head in... Oh wait... You asked how we cope! Sorry, not what I want to do most of the time!

Seriously, though, (and I'm the only one in my family that CAN cope with it) I learned how to keep my goddamn mouth SHUT! I just smile, nod, and back away and thankfully she talks enough for all of us so she never notices the fact that I haven't said more than, "Is that so? Really?" in the last 20 min. I absolutely have learned to run a constant interior monologue of what I would say against what I should say when I'm in the presence of any ISFJ, and then I say what I think would make any situation better, and I still get the ever living thrill of walking on eggshells while I wait for them to decide whether or not they're offended by what I said, didn't say, did, didn't do... Ad nauseum. You just choose to love them or choose to leave them. Since I rarely choose to leave it amounts to "Love 'em and shut up the rest of the time.":sad:
 

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Somehow I get along better with my ESFJ grandmother than my ISFJ mother, even though my grandmother nags me more being an extravert. I think this is because both INFJs and ESFJs are positivists - the glass for us half full rather than half empty, we give more compliments rather than reprimands, and talk about how things are or should be. ISFJs though are negativists - for them glass is half empty, they are more reprimanding than complementing, and like to mention how things aren't or how they should not be. Growing up in family of two negativists (my ISFJ mom and INTJ father) I very frequently heard reprimands and compliments came may be once every blue moon. Only person who was helping me grow some self esteem was my ESFJ grandmother. Later when I grew up I called my mother's attention to the fact that she showers her children with negative remarks, but when either my sister or I do anything well she rarely gives us any positive compliment, sometimes she even gives yet another negative comment.

How I deal with it is basically just not react to it. I understand that it is just her way of caring for us. If I take a look at her actions and disregard her words I see that she has been frequently sacrificing herself for the sake of the family. Only thing that still gets to me is the heightened emotional reactivity - she reacts emotionally very strongly in response to what is occurring right in this moment. For example we were watching a movie and there was a scary episode in there somewhere. I was sitting in a chair in front and she was sitting behind me and suddenly she shrieks very loudly. I jumped off my chair my heart racing thinking something is wrong. Turns out she was just scared by the movie episode. And I feel like somebody just splashed me with a bucket of ice cold water. She can pick a comment and become angry about it really fast, so I have to calm her down, then just as fast let it go, then she finds something else to get angry about, and the cycle repeats. This sort of emotional rollercoaster thing tires me out sometimes.

My mom is ISFJ as with the trend is seems. ..
approx 36% of women type as xSFJ so it is the personality type that most of us are likely to have for a mother or a grandmother
 

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It drives me crazy. I posted about this when I first joined the forum, too. but basically, i feel so damn unsettled when she is nearby. She is always putting something into place or verbalizing things that need to be done or reminding me of things I should do. I almost feel like jumping up and down and tearing my hair out. I don't like to hear the same things over and over again, so I just tolerate what my mom does. I don't take it as a lack of responsibility or failure on my part, but just how my mom is.

Sometimes, i still seriously feel that my personal space is being violated though, physically and mentally. I'm sitting down, reading, thinking of something, and a great idea comes into my mind, and then all of a sudden a voice, followed by a person, intrudes on me "and dont forget to __ and why did you not ___ and did you remember to ___!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

edit: I didn't answer your question - I cope by not taking it seriously, which I am prone to do. When my mom said things, i would take everything to heart and subconsciously, I think it bugged me because I felt that when my mom said these things, she was implying i was irresponsible. But now, 22, I know I am responsible and I've proved it to MYSELF. It's okay if my mom thinks i'm not responsible because I don't jump up and do things right away the way she does with practical matters. And it's okay if my mom repeats things over and over again. It's just HER way of coping. and I try not to see it as indicating my failure or irresponsibility. Having physical space away from her REALLY helps. It's the only concrete way I can establish my space. physically and mentally. HTH
I'm not INFJ but I know where you're coming from. My ISFJ mother used to hound me every fucking day to "clean myself up" and like you I just realized she's got her standards and I've got mine. Distancing myself from her worked for a while but SJ's are damn intrusive. There came a time in my life I decided to start bringing up all the things she thought were wrong with me and what I should be doing with myself and proceed to rip them to shreds, over and over. She still hasn't got the point but will leave me be more often than not. Si doesn't seem to accept differing points of view.

Has anyone else met SFJ's who are so god-damned practical and so in touch with reality yet come off as utterly delusional to you?
 

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Yeah... I couldn't wait to go away to college because I got tired of telling her time and time again that I want to take responsibility of myself and do not want her to intervene by telling me when my bills are do and what-not.

I'm soon to be finishing my student teaching and then college by the end of November and I'm in a bit of a dilemma because I want to live around home area (because its home, I miss it, and besides my mother I want to be around the rest of the family because I appreciate that more now after being away from home for the last 3 1/2 years). My mom made the comment a few months ago about how she wasn't sure where my stuff would go when I moved back in my house and the immediate response that came to my mind was "Move back home in the house?! Heck no.." So I'm thinking of finding an apartment by like December... maybe January.

And because she's so over protective, I've noticed that it hasn't helped influence my brother to grow up. My dad has commented to me several times about how he thinks he should go away to school to get away... but at the same time wants him around to help work. So in the back of my mind I'm thinking -- ok, I get an apartment around here and then just have my brother move in with him and I'll treat him like an equal roommate rather than a child of mine so he'll be able to gain some responsibility.... because he's not going to when somebody is there every day to remind him when to take medication, when to leave for work, when to pay a bill, etc.
I can totally relate on the influence my mom has on my brother as well, it's not healthy to be honest. I notice that whenever she is helping him do the homework, she has the tendency to do all the work for him and tell him exactly what to put on assignments that ask for my brother's specific opinion in the subject, not hers. This triggers a discussion between us telling me that I was brought up the same way as he is, as a result, there shouldn't be a problem because I turned out well. I tell her that we're not the same(my brother is an ESFP), and that just because I turned out fine(gulp, well sorta :laughing:) doesn't mean that he is going to end up the same way. This, however, doesn't register for her and I end up just nodding and leaving the room pissed off haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OMGGG ertertwert. MY MOM TOO. SHE ALWAYS steals MY IDEAS! sometimes when i say things, she totally ignores it or doesnt believe it because i usually say things that are foreseeing something or saying something that hasnt been widely espoused by authorities yet. and THEN, years later, someone with a fancy name and title will say it, and she'll be like "oh I knew that all along" and talk about the ideas like it's a a matter of fact and something she came up with!
Um yeah... my ISFJ mother does that too. In fact, both of my old ESFJ roommates would steal my ideas too. Between living with my mother and then two of those roommates I wondered for a while if I would ever live with someone who could think for themselves and not steal my ideas. :crazy: I could say anything and they'll believe it and run with it and tell everybody about it.

.... then when I lived with the second ESFJ I realized my other roommate (it was a 3 bedroom) was an ENTJ so talk about experience a sense of relief of having someone on the same page!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Has anyone else met SFJ's who are so god-damned practical and so in touch with reality yet come off as utterly delusional to you?
To simply answer: Yes.



Typically what I do in situations where the XSFJ is going off about some truly meaningless thing I'll get up go to the fridge, grab a beer, and sit and just listen while savoring every sip and silently thinking to myself "You are so blind".... as, of course, they did not think to ever wonder why I got up to get that beer.
... or wine, or whatever drink I am feeling at the moment.


Funny story:
I did this once with my second ESFJ roommate... I told her that I broke up with my boyfriend at the time and rather than letting me talk, she simply thought it was appropriate to talk about herself and her relationships for the next hour. So I just sat there and drank while shaking my head and not saying a word.
 
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hm wow... My mom is an ISFJ too. We are quite similar on various levels. We barely get into any fight. We just like/care about each other a lot and the rest of the family.

About the idea stealing thing. My dad is going through a tough phase these days and we talk a lot about what is going about it. She seams to take all my idea about his situation and bring them back to him. She doesn't "steal" them since she always says it's from me but I think she likes how I think.
 

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Holy shit, there are a lot of us with ISFJ moms/maternal figures! Very uncanny, indeed. Anyway...

I can relate to a lot of what you mentioned, although my mom has definitely improved for the better within the last few years. My mom used to be a loose cannon who would be set off by the most mundane bullshit. I think she might still be this way, but I've learned to diffuse the situation before it gets out of hand. It's also bizarre that you mentioned the early success followed by midlife stagnation in ISFJs because that's exactly how it worked out for my mom, too.

As much as it sucks, I've found that I have to keep things relatively superficial with my mom. We're close, but I find myself withholding advice or personal observations because she tends to take them very personally. I've also found that when my mom complains or comes to me with a problem, she's really just looking for affirmation and seemingly empty compliments (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)

If I sense a blow out is on the horizon, I get on that shit ASAP; don't let it fester. I don't care how irrational my mom is being, I almost always offer up an insincere apology and recognition of wrongdoing. If I diffuse the situation by apologizing and mixing it with some lighthearted self-deprecating remark, she seems to respond positively. I know it goes against our anti-superficial INFJ ways, but when it comes to diffusing meaningless squabbles, faking it can be a real life saver.

My parents are divorced and my mom still gets off on talking badly about my dad and stepmom. Most of the time I let it go because if I stand up for them, it will undoubtedly end up in some sort of guilt-trip ("Oh, your father can do no wrong in your eyes, can he?") I guess I've just realized that my mom is still deeply hurt from their divorce and tearing my dad down helps her to feel better about herself. It's not the healthiest coping mechanism, but I let her have it.
 

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i to have an isfj mom! worst combination ever. Shes hates how im not like other kids (extroverted sensors). She hates how i always look up stuff about personality type and thinks its bad im limiting myself to one title. She doesnt want to understand that its the opposite and it makes me a better person. Shes like this with everything, she always goes by the book and doesnt want to listen to my reasoning or logic. I still love her though lol
 
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