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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, I'm new to the forum, and was finally labelled officially as ESFJ, though I'm right at the halfway between S and and N, so it can go either way.

I'm only 23 and not currently pregnant, a parent or with any immediate plans to be either, but I have been reading through and I'm getting really freaked out by how many of you hate your ESFJ mothers because it sounds exactly like my mother (the implications of me possibly having the same personality type as her are too much for me to bear right now) and I always swore I would NEVER NEVER NEVER do things like she did to my kids. Now, all I hear is that all of you people hate you mothers, and as someone who would like my one-day-in-the-distant-future kids to not feel desperate to leave me at a moment's notice, I just thought I would post and see if there is ANYONE who has a good relationship with their ESFJ mother. Most of the people complaining seem to be Introverts, but I can't really predispose my future offspring to a particular type to avoid their hating me...
 
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As an ENFP with an ESFJ mom, I think it highly depends on two things: 1. the personality types of your kids and 2. whether or not you are a healthy ESFJ or an unhealthy one.

1. As an ENFP, I hate hate hate hate being controlled. My mom was all about being in control all the time and saw our relationship with her being "up here" and me being "down there" and therefore she could treat me as shittily as she wanted and still have the right to be extremely angry at me if I ever retaliated. She was also a neat freak and I obviously am not, and when I wasn't able to keep my room clean she would actually take it personally. She's also huge on rules, etc. while I'm very free-spirited so it was a constant battle. (Keep in mind that I was NOT a difficult child-- we're talking straight A student, didn't drink, etc.) But if I was an SJ type (like both my sisters) many of these issues would not have existed.

2. She was not mentally healthy, which made all her less desirable ESFJ traits come out full force, like guilt manipulation, etc. and just getting ridiculously upset over everything. Someone healthier wouldn't take it to such an extreme and, for example, scream at their child for leaving the shower curtain pulled back, or the bathroom towel crooked-- but those are the kind of things she would get unbearably upset over.

With that said, I've lived with two ESFJs and am friends with others and I love them all... probably because they are not in a position of authority over me, and also because they are sane! So basically I think it depends, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. Being aware of your personality type and its strengths and weaknesses will give you a huge leg up in figuring out the best way to raise your kids.
 

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Alright, I'm new to the forum, and was finally labelled officially as ESFJ, though I'm right at the halfway between S and and N, so it can go either way.

I'm only 23 and not currently pregnant, a parent or with any immediate plans to be either, but I have been reading through and I'm getting really freaked out by how many of you hate your ESFJ mothers because it sounds exactly like my mother (the implications of me possibly having the same personality type as her are too much for me to bear right now) and I always swore I would NEVER NEVER NEVER do things like she did to my kids. Now, all I hear is that all of you people hate you mothers, and as someone who would like my one-day-in-the-distant-future kids to not feel desperate to leave me at a moment's notice, I just thought I would post and see if there is ANYONE who has a good relationship with their ESFJ mother. Most of the people complaining seem to be Introverts, but I can't really predispose my future offspring to a particular type to avoid their hating me...
: ). I'm sure you will be fine. No worries. Despite having the same personality type as someone else you can definitely still be QUITE different. Especially SF's since your surroundings seem to effect you a lot more than other types.


I think it depends really on your kid. You can't really be liked by everyone... and you can only be yourself... so that's all that matters really. That prolly doesn't fly well with Fe.... but if you are able to tend to your individual children you should be fine. Just see them for who they are and appreciate that....and they should love you. That's all anyone wants..... is to be seen and appreciated and respected for who they really are.

Who they really are may not be how you see them though.... so be aware of this.... and know that your perception of who someone really is..... may not be accurate. I would say....

1. Seek to realllllly understand who your child is.
2. Love who your child really is
3. Challenge them and be a good parent to the best of your abilities.

Hope this helps. Sorry for all the ESFJ bashing. In a world where we introverted intuitives are not very abundant we can get quite worked up about how our viewpoint isn't accepted. Sometimes we may point a finger.... but underlying all of that is what I said earlier. We just want to be appreciated for who we are. And whoever doesn't..... we feel misunderstood and hurt by.
 

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It's important that the ESFJ parent understand who the child is, accept them for who they are and steer them to be the best of what they can be. The problem really lies in the fact that the ESFJ is so obsessed with their own reputation and rejects any personality trait that may not line up with what they feel is acceptable. So then the whole critical, controlling and nagging is dumped on the child who is not living up to their standards. The child is seen as an extension of them. So it's not about the child, it's about their own selfishness.

I give you a lot of credit for asking.
 

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It's important that the ESFJ parent understand who the child is, accept them for who they are and steer them to be the best of what they can be. The problem really lies in the fact that the ESFJ is so obsessed with their own reputation and rejects any personality trait that may not line up with what they feel is acceptable. So then the whole critical, controlling and nagging is dumped on the child who is not living up to their standards. The child is seen as an extension of them. So it's not about the child, it's about their own selfishness.

I give you a lot of credit for asking.
nice ..... nice
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As an ENFP with an ESFJ mom, I think it highly depends on two things: 1. the personality types of your kids and 2. whether or not you are a healthy ESFJ or an unhealthy one.

1. As an ENFP, I hate hate hate hate being controlled. My mom was all about being in control all the time and saw our relationship with her being "up here" and me being "down there" and therefore she could treat me as shittily as she wanted and still have the right to be extremely angry at me if I ever retaliated. She was also a neat freak and I obviously am not, and when I wasn't able to keep my room clean she would actually take it personally. She's also huge on rules, etc. while I'm very free-spirited so it was a constant battle. (Keep in mind that I was NOT a difficult child-- we're talking straight A student, didn't drink, etc.) But if I was an SJ type (like both my sisters) many of these issues would not have existed.

2. She was not mentally healthy, which made all her less desirable ESFJ traits come out full force, like guilt manipulation, etc. and just getting ridiculously upset over everything. Someone healthier wouldn't take it to such an extreme and, for example, scream at their child for leaving the shower curtain pulled back, or the bathroom towel crooked-- but those are the kind of things she would get unbearably upset over.

With that said, I've lived with two ESFJs and am friends with others and I love them all... probably because they are not in a position of authority over me, and also because they are sane! So basically I think it depends, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. Being aware of your personality type and its strengths and weaknesses will give you a huge leg up in figuring out the best way to raise your kids.
My mother is also not really in her right mind. However, I am very conscious of the liklihood that I could be driven to that extreme and I see no incentive to have kids if I'm going to be their worst enemy like she was for me. I am a bit of a neat freak but I'm also free-spirited and she has had a hard time watching her only daughter move across the country and live in her car for awhile. I thought it might also have something to do with being a single parent and raising an only child, but apparently people can't stand you regardless. I was also a pretty out of control kid, so I do plan to be well-disciplined with my kids, but I feel like I would obviously respect them a lot more since I'll always remember what a nut my mother was/is.

I also wonder if there is a higher propensity for daughters to hate their ESFJ mums than sons. It seems like most guys let things roll off of them more easily... but then again the whole purpose to this site is highlighting the fact that my last statement is probably completely flawed.
 

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I'm 84% sure my mother is an ESFJ, so I'll try to give some input. Well, she isn't a terrible mother at all. Actually, she's really amazing in a lot of ways.

Of course there are a few areas that we butt heads. She has a strong attachment to traditional value systems. I guess her motto would be "things are the way they are because that's just the way they are." When I would suggest that values are arbitrary she would never respond well. It was like I shook her cage a bit. I just learned to keep my thoughts to myself. No need to cause unnecessary turmoil.

Also, she doesn't always realize how certain actions affect others. She used to try making plans for me but I quickly voiced my objection to that(This might be an ENTJ/ESFJ thing). She never had bad intentions, she just doesn't see things the way I do.

I think there are other factors that don't allow us to see eye-to-eye in everything. For starters, she immigrated from Italy to the U.S. when she was 30. So she wasn't very familiar with American culture or the language as I was growing up. Lot of times I played interpreter for her.

Another factor is she wasn't given a lot of educational opportunities growing up. She was only allowed to attend school up until the 3rd grade because my grandfather needed her to work on the family's farm (yeah, my Italian family is old school). So, she wasn't really exposed to new ideas, critical thinking and wasn't really taught to challenge the status quo.

I will say that I believe my mom is very intelligent. She's fluent in 3 three languages: Italian, Spanish, and English (almost) which she taught herself. She was also a successful business woman in Italy and ran her own clothing store. She's a very warm hearted person and I appreciate her for who she is.

Oh and yes, we do have a good relationship.
 

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My mother was an ESFJ. I call her Mrs. Sociopath Cum Dumpster for short. Haven't spoken with her in five years.

Tip 1: Don't whore yourself out trying to find a substitute father to the kid, deliborating to his or hers future mental, physical and sexual abuse.
Tip 2: Don't blame your kid for your mistakes.
Tip 3: Don't nitpick on the kid (Looks / Intelligence).
Tip 4: Don't tell your kid that he is not your son / she is not your daughter in anger.
 

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My mother is ISFJ & she is mostly a very good mother. My grandmother is an ESFJ and mostly a great grandma, and she was a good mother also.

I think njchick gave a very good idea of how an ESFJ parent can go down the wrong path in raising their children.

I see in my ESFJ grandma a great difficulty in accepting "different" personalties. She wants everyone to be the same, namely, like her. She has a hard time accepting people with different values, and can see them as a threat. It's a downside of FeSi. Their mindset seeks to protect & promote that which they see as good based on their personal experience & the past, and anything which does not align with that may be treated with suspicion, until it proves to not be a threat or that it may even be stemming from the same values. I realize ESFJs can & do change their beliefs when they see the results of them are not good in reality - they are very practical in that way & prefer empirical evidence that something is good or true. So it may be good to try and stay open to new/different ideas, approaches & beliefs until you know enough about them to make a judgment; they may not conflict what what is good to you at all. If you have creative children, this is important, as they will want to try new ways; try not to see it as a rejection of you personally.

My grandma can come to accept different people, but it takes time, and she has to have a reason to try (ie. they are a family member), and she often needs a frame of context (ie. comparison to someone she already accepts). Sometimes she devalues people's strengths because they are not what she personally likes. For instance, book smarts are not very impressive to her, but a warm, friendly demeanor is greatly admired by her.

It's great you've discovered MBTI, as it's a really useful tool to understanding the basic concept that people have different ways of thinking & different personalties, and one is not inherently better than another. As a parent, try and appreciate your child's strengths, even if those do not align with what you personally feel is most important.
 

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Just accept the fact that if you are a mother and you have a daughter, your daughter is going to hate you and crush your heart at some point. This goes beyond type. Parenting is NOT for the weak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just accept the fact that if you are a mother and you have a daughter, your daughter is going to hate you and crush your heart at some point. This goes beyond type. Parenting is NOT for the weak.
Hence why I'd much rather have a house full of boys than girls... but apparently boys hate their mums too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm 84% sure my mother is an ESFJ, so I'll try to give some input. Well, she isn't a terrible mother at all. Actually, she's really amazing in a lot of ways.

Of course there are a few areas that we butt heads. She has a strong attachment to traditional value systems. I guess her motto would be "things are the way they are because that's just the way they are." When I would suggest that values are arbitrary she would never respond well. It was like I shook her cage a bit. I just learned to keep my thoughts to myself. No need to cause unnecessary turmoil.

Also, she doesn't always realize how certain actions affect others. She used to try making plans for me but I quickly voiced my objection to that(This might be an ENTJ/ESFJ thing). She never had bad intentions, she just doesn't see things the way I do.

The thing is that so many associate the ESFJ with strict adherance to rules and traditions... but I don't think of myself that way. I personally think a stupid rule is fine to break and while I appreciate tradition I think I'm a lot more 'go with the flow' than most ESFJ. That might be where my EXFJ comes in...
 

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It's important that the ESFJ parent understand who the child is, accept them for who they are and steer them to be the best of what they can be. The problem really lies in the fact that the ESFJ is so obsessed with their own reputation and rejects any personality trait that may not line up with what they feel is acceptable. So then the whole critical, controlling and nagging is dumped on the child who is not living up to their standards. The child is seen as an extension of them. So it's not about the child, it's about their own selfishness.

I give you a lot of credit for asking.
I've just discovered my mum is an ESFJ.

I agree, this is basic: accepting your child for what it is and not as an extension of yourself to show off to people so they can admire you or like you

My mum was never nagging, but she was critical to the point that she is the person that has hurt me the most and has left really deep wounds in me. As an INFP, one of the worst things you can do to me is criticise me, and I still cringe and feel deep pain when I remember some things she has said to me as a child.

My mum wanted me to be good at things I wasn't good at, like for example drama, not for my own benefit, but so she could glow at the christmas play and beam with pride. She was always very critical of my appearance and again for the same reason. I am in my mid thirties and she still says things to me like: you can't possibly come with me dressed like that. Again, it's not about how I look, it's about how she looks next to me.

She wasn't the typical earth mother at home cooking dinner either, all her effort and enthusiasm was projected outside, to her work and social life.

On the plus side she is extremely generous and fiercely loyal and for that I love her. (even though she drives me nuts).
 

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Just accept the fact that if you are a mother and you have a daughter, your daughter is going to hate you and crush your heart at some point. This goes beyond type. Parenting is NOT for the weak.
That wasn't the case with my sister. In fact, she loved our mother a lot.
 

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I am married to an ESFJ. I don't disagree with rules and traditions for children. The resounding message here is that the child becomes aware that ESFJ parent is not giving corrective criticism/rules so that the child will be better off. Instead the message is, "Don't make me look bad" or "No kid of mine is going to act like that." Even though that is never said.
 

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My sister is an ESFJ - my mother was probably ENFJ - and she's intelligent, warm and great with kids. I think it does depend on the person far more than it depends on the person's type. My stepmother is an ISFJ and she's a very stereotypical "1950's housewife" - very much a socially conditioned doormat, and she's a rubbish mother to my stepbrother - she's more interested in doing everything for everyone and acting like a servant rather than being a mother or thinking about herself (she actually whines if she doesn't get to put our food on the table, or if we go to the kitchen and get it ourselves. Not to mention that she would probably feed us herself if we allowed her to). If my sister has children, she will be a far, far better and more loving mother than my stepmother could ever be.

You can be a good mother regardless of type, just like you can be a good person regardless of type.
 

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Not if you don't have any to be hated by.

But to be honest, my egg donor is an ESFJ and I have nothing to do with her. But she's mentally fucked up in the head, too. Which isn't Jung's fault.
 

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My entire family is SJ[that's bro, mom, and dad] and growing up I felt inadequate..not sure of a better word here. My mom and brother are ESFJ, and even though brother is only 13, i can definitely see the similarities.
My mom is a fabulous mother. She's kind, loving, helpful, does things for us, etc..long list:happy:
On the downside, she can be VERY critical, and you have the obsession about everything being ****-&-span NEAT!![lol my roomie was like that too] I'm definitely organized, but MY organization is more "let me jot this down in my daily planner and calculate how i can get X and Y done in this time frame.." Surroundings..i can live with a bit of clutter especially since im not actually in my room to do work:crazy:
Critical..oh yes, without fail. And I took it personally too.There was also the emotional manipulation if she didn't feel appreciated or I didn't listen to her, etc. Also the lecturing to go out and make more friends and socialize with more children my age, when I just wanted to read a book:crazy: and was content with the few friends I had. Even my brother lectured me. They're also really concerned about keeping a reputation and their place in society[gotten this lecture too].
ESFJs are VERY responsible and organized..and they have all the friends too! Oh well, they're warm and friendly:happy: It's also fun to watch them...you can tell exactly whether they're happy, sad, or angry, unlike me who usually just has a stone face or a surprised/confused face.
But if I told her something was important to me, she encouraged me to do it and at the end of the day..loves me! yay!
 

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I can tell you what it's like for an INFP

Well I adore my ESFJ Mam. But a MAJOR, MAJOR downside is that I feel she never understands me. She can be very conservative without even knowing it. She thinks I'm a spacer and she never understands my ideas... It can be really, really hard for me. But that goes vice versa too because she gets really frustrated with me because I'm such a 'weird' daughter and she really does not have the patience to even try to comprehend me sometimes. My poor Mam.

But at the end of the day I respect her for who she is, even though she's my polar opposite. I think that ESFJs are generally good people with golden intentions. She is a great mother and does so much for me, always has always will. It's just extremely difficult for us both at times because we're so different. But I the end of the day, I really do love her, she's the most important person in my life.
 
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