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Okay. My mom is a typical ISTJ. The organized, hard-working type. And as a mom these features tend to get worse and fall over me (I'm an only child). Could anyone explain to me (as an ENFP who is not nearly as organized as an ISTJ), why do ISTJs usually have to be such perfectionists in pretty much everything they do?? Okay, I have to admit, I love this type. But you're really hard to please, aren't you? :)
 

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Okay. My mom is a typical ISTJ. The organized, hard-working type. And as a mom these features tend to get worse and fall over me (I'm an only child). Could anyone explain to me (as an ENFP who is not nearly as organized as an ISTJ), why do ISTJs usually have to be such perfectionists in pretty much everything they do?? Okay, I have to admit, I love this type. But you're really hard to please, aren't you? :)
For myself it comes down to a personal obsession with doing things. Doing something well is expected, doing absolutely perfectly (in an almost-OCD manner) is praise-worthy.

I'd be interested in knowing, actually, if the typical ISTJs didn't get much praise when younger. That might explain our perfectionist tendencies: it's a craving for approval from authority figures. And why we are so selective with choosing our true deep friendships - only those who can match up with our (sometimes unrealistic) expectations rate it in our minds.

I feel like I'm so cold-minded and OCD at times. XS
 

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I think you just described traits typical of about half of all parents.

I regrettably must confess that I have very personal experience with an ISTJ who has on occasion been lazy and disorganized.

There's a ton of different reasons why different people are perfectionists. Some people feel lazy if they don't do 100%. Some people are bothered by the sight of something unfinished or imperfect. Some people want to prove something. Some people... you get the idea.
 

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Okay. My mom is a typical ISTJ. The organized, hard-working type. And as a mom these features tend to get worse and fall over me (I'm an only child). Could anyone explain to me (as an ENFP who is not nearly as organized as an ISTJ), why do ISTJs usually have to be such perfectionists in pretty much everything they do?? Okay, I have to admit, I love this type. But you're really hard to please, aren't you? :)
It depends on how healthy said ISTJ is. I'm an ENFP with an ISTJ mum :) She's had years that she was quite literally the dream parent, but she's also had years that were not... ehhh, quite so wonderful. Shit went down and she let it keep her down for a while. When in her unhealthy state, it's like she wasn't even the same person. She was critical of everything that didn't meet her standards, and especially over-critical of things she deemed "wrong" in other people's lives. She was rude, judgmental, and controlling, and she pushed away many of her friends and family... myself included. Our relationship has improved tremendously, and she is now back to being the mother that I grew up with. In her healthy state, she's very loving, accepting, organized, courteous, reasonable, giving, patient, and friendly. I'm glad to have her back ;)
 

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Perfectionism, and the drive to change your offspring into the perfect child isn't necessarily the province of one MBTI type.
My INFJ mother is one of those mothers that always goes into public perfectly dressed and has gracious, impeccable manners. I thought I could never measure up to her, either. She despaired of me as a child because I never paid enough attention to my clothing, didn't respond socially in what she considered the proper manner, and was clumsy.

My father is an ISTJ and an uber perfectionist, but I never felt as much pressure from him as I did my mother.

Yeah, I'm a perfectionist, but with two perfectionistic parents I don't think I had a chance to become anything else.

I have high expectations for myself, but I make a conscious effort not to push my kids too hard. I want them to be the best they can be but they are not an extension of myself, they are their own persons.

Hope that makes sense.
 

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"You are never going to make it in the real world! How can you just be so lazy and blind to the messes you're making?!?"
Uh... Well, it's just not part of my personality to be mindful of such things. I simply just don't see the mess in the laundry room most days.
"No. You can't say it's part of your "personality" when it's just sheer LAZINESS!"

Ever had this conversation? Well I learned a few things from having this conversation:
A) Never use your personality as an excuse, especially when the other person is already raving mad... It won't work.
B) "you'll never make it in the real world"... Sometimes the most hurtful things are hurtful, because they're true... I might have "made" it without this person's instruction but I wouldn't have made it nearly as far. The "real world" likes people who can get things done efficiently and in an orderly manner.
C) Best approach with this sort: take the hit, calmly and without exploding... Then after they've cooled a bit, apologize for upsetting them, thank them for bringing this area you can grown in to your attention and then move on and actually attempt to "fix" the problem.
 

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I'd be interested in knowing, actually, if the typical ISTJs didn't get much praise when younger. That might explain our perfectionist tendencies: it's a craving for approval from authority figures. And why we are so selective with choosing our true deep friendships - only those who can match up with our (sometimes unrealistic) expectations rate it in our minds.
On the contrary a number of personality resources describe ISTJ kids as being the darlings of their parents and teachers. Serious/organized/obedient yadda yadda.

Growing up I don't think I've really ever craved for approval per se. That to me comes across as something rather personal/emotional (ie. approval of who I am as an individual.) That's never meant a lot to me. I've always responded better to recognition (of what I do and how well I do it.) The exhilaration of knowing that I'm excelling at something - and pwning everyone else - that's what drives my perfectionistic tendency. Call me shallow but I do like 'winning.'

Interestingly enough I've rarely held high expectations when it comes to other people. It always comes as a pleasant surprise when people are nice to me and I'd be invariably grateful. Upside of this is that I seldom get disappointed in anyone. Downside is that I suspect I remain emotionally detached in my interactions with most people. And that thought bothers me somewhat.



Okay. My mom is a typical ISTJ. The organized, hard-working type. And as a mom these features tend to get worse and fall over me (I'm an only child). Could anyone explain to me (as an ENFP who is not nearly as organized as an ISTJ), why do ISTJs usually have to be such perfectionists in pretty much everything they do?? Okay, I have to admit, I love this type. But you're really hard to please, aren't you? :)
It's likely because you're her daughter.

I can't imagine NOT being emotionally attached to my kid. While I can casually indulge my friends and acquaintances, something tells me I'll be behaving a bit differently with my future hypothetical kid. I'd probably do my damned best to instill everything I know into this kid so that s/he would grow up to be the best person s/he can be.

I suspect that this is what your mum is doing with you. I also agree with @Owfin and @littledeer in that this may be a parent thing rather than a personality type thing.
 

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It depends on how healthy said ISTJ is. I'm an ENFP with an ISTJ mum :) She's had years that she was quite literally the dream parent, but she's also had years that were not... ehhh, quite so wonderful. Shit went down and she let it keep her down for a while. When in her unhealthy state, it's like she wasn't even the same person. She was critical of everything that didn't meet her standards, and especially over-critical of things she deemed "wrong" in other people's lives. She was rude, judgmental, and controlling, and she pushed away many of her friends and family... myself included. Our relationship has improved tremendously, and she is now back to being the mother that I grew up with. In her healthy state, she's very loving, accepting, organized, courteous, reasonable, giving, patient, and friendly. I'm glad to have her back ;)
This describes my ISTJ mother completely. She is actually the one who introduced me to the MBTI way back when through a team building exercise for her work. She is unhealthy now, and I wish I could somehow help her, but I find the negative traits you mentioned, and her general negativity, to be toxic. I cannot handle the criticism and the unsolicited black and white knee-jerk moral condemnations (not directed at me, per se, just at people in general). I am far too open-minded to be around that for long. She engages in many unhealthy habits, including hoarding, and has allowed her health and general hygiene to deteriorate. I feel guilty for not being there, as if I am somehow responsible for abandoning her (I was in the military, and have spent a considerable amount of time backpacking, and now live outside the country). Frankly, it breaks my heart. I am trying to learn to understand that she is responsible for her happiness, despite what she has done for me over the years. I cannot very well sacrifice my dreams to dig her out of her loneliness and depression. I remember her being the model parent when I was growing up, however. I do attempt to help her on occasion, but such attempts are generally met with resentment and negativity.

She and my ENFP sister have an extremely unhealthy relationship, to the point that my sister has has decided to cut her off. I am often in the middle of these clashes, and try to mediate in the most gentle, logical, accommodating manner. Lately, it has gotten to the point where I will not listen to either if they begin talking about the other. My sister and I can both see that it is my mother's fault-finding, negativity, and moral condemnation that are the source of the problem, and we both try to reach out, but any hint that our mother might be wrong, however gentle we may be about it, even if we accept partial responsibility and suggest a compromise, produces an angry outburst or a defensive rant. "That you would be loved, be lovable" sums it up I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
On the contrary a number of personality resources describe ISTJ kids as being the darlings of their parents and teachers. Serious/organized/obedient yadda yadda.

Growing up I don't think I've really ever craved for approval per se. That to me comes across as something rather personal/emotional (ie. approval of who I am as an individual.) That's never meant a lot to me. I've always responded better to recognition (of what I do and how well I do it.) The exhilaration of knowing that I'm excelling at something - and pwning everyone else - that's what drives my perfectionistic tendency. Call me shallow but I do like 'winning.'

Interestingly enough I've rarely held high expectations when it comes to other people. It always comes as a pleasant surprise when people are nice to me and I'd be invariably grateful. Upside of this is that I seldom get disappointed in anyone. Downside is that I suspect I remain emotionally detached in my interactions with most people. And that thought bothers me somewhat.





It's likely because you're her daughter.

I can't imagine NOT being emotionally attached to my kid. While I can casually indulge my friends and acquaintances, something tells me I'll be behaving a bit differently with my future hypothetical kid. I'd probably do my damned best to instill everything I know into this kid so that s/he would grow up to be the best person s/he can be.

I suspect that this is what your mum is doing with you. I also agree with @Owfin and @littledeer in that this may be a parent thing rather than a personality type thing.

I mean, she demands perfection from pretty much everyone. She's always bossin' people around in some sort of way. Like, she does everything right. Nothing in her life is actually imperfect. And if it is, she tends to get stressed pretty easily. Because she takes everything very seriously, mainly her job. It's her life.
 

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Regardless of type, parents can be a bit overbearing at times; it comes with the territory.

This sounds like a rant more than a question being posed to ISTJs.

Carry on.
 
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My mom is an ISTJ too, and let me tell you, it's not that easy to deal with her when you're an extreme P. For me, if I don't clean my room now, I can do it later, no biggie. I do enjoy having a neat room, I just don't have to do everything NOW and according to schedule. Like someone said above, chalking up your behavior to your personality will only get you in more trouble, haha. I mean, believe me, I tried it, I tried explaining that it was just how I was, and it would just drive her CRAZY. That was no excuse in her book.

I also dislike how rigid she and my father seem to me (yeah, both ISTJ's). I don't mind how perfectionnistic they can be, because I am as well, except only in things that matter to me, whereas their perfectionism extends to all things around them. It can be pretty exhausting to live up to their standards, especially when it's the only way to get some peace.

What I suggest, is instead of trying to change her, to be on her good side by behaving exactly the way she wants you to. I try to lay low and conform to their ways, instead of trying to get them to understand or be more flexible because let's face it, that's not happening. My dad gives me the argument of "I'm fifty years old, I'm too old to learn new ways" and I'm like.. SERIOUSLY? People learn their entire lives ! *shakes head* Anyway.. you get the gist. Don't try, either by logic, or persuasion, or rebellion, to get HER to change. Not gonna happen honey. You're the one who has to adapt to her.

Things with my mom are so much better now, though. I find her so cute, and ever since I became extremely organized (which happened for no identifiable reason), she seems to love me more hahaha.
 

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FWIW, many times kids mis-type their parents as ISTJs due to the naturally occurring parent/child relationship. IOW, most parents appear ISTJish to their children - especially while still living at home. The vast majority of parents have to repeatedly tell their kids to clean their rooms, do their chores, etc., and have to maintain several to-do lists in order to keep a household from degenerating into chaos. This behavior is not indicative of an ISTJ parent.
 

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FWIW, many times kids mis-type their parents as ISTJs due to the naturally occurring parent/child relationship. IOW, most parents appear ISTJish to their children - especially while still living at home. The vast majority of parents have to repeatedly tell their kids to clean their rooms, do their chores, etc., and have to maintain several to-do lists in order to keep a household from degenerating into chaos. This behavior is not indicative of an ISTJ parent.
In my case, I made them take the test AND read the description of ISTJ's. It fits them perfectly. I can see how you'd think that though :\
 

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In my case, I made them take the test AND read the description of ISTJ's. It fits them perfectly. I can see how you'd think that though :\
I've seen it happen many times. The parents that I'm personally familiar with IRL, where I know their type and know what their kids say about their type run the gamut to include almost all of the 16 types.
 

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For me, if I don't clean my room now, I can do it later, no biggie. I do enjoy having a neat room, I just don't have to do everything NOW and according to schedule. Like someone said above, chalking up your behavior to your personality will only get you in more trouble, haha. I mean, believe me, I tried it, I tried explaining that it was just how I was, and it would just drive her CRAZY. That was no excuse in her book.

I also dislike how rigid she and my father seem to me (yeah, both ISTJ's). I don't mind how perfectionnistic they can be, because I am as well, except only in things that matter to me, whereas their perfectionism extends to all things around them. It can be pretty exhausting to live up to their standards, especially when it's the only way to get some peace.
The bolded is EXACTLY how I felt while growing up in my parents' household. Except I happened to be the ISTJ whereas my mother is an ISFJ. It's a parent-child thing more than a type thing I tell ya.



Case in point:

At different times my daughter has accused me of being "controlling", "dogmatic", "judgmental" and "old fashioned". She has also told me many times that I am an introvert because I "don't like people". Her friends all think her "mom is way too strict". It's true. They fear me. Lol.

Whatever. Her and her friends are teenagers and lack full formation of their frontal lobe. They have little animal minds inside a growing adult body. No offense to any teenagers reading this. I'm sure you're all fully formed. :wink:
The member who wrote the above post is an ENFP.



FWIW, many times kids mis-type their parents as ISTJs due to the naturally occurring parent/child relationship. IOW, most parents appear ISTJish to their children - especially while still living at home. The vast majority of parents have to repeatedly tell their kids to clean their rooms, do their chores, etc., and have to maintain several to-do lists in order to keep a household from degenerating into chaos. This behavior is not indicative of an ISTJ parent.
QFT.
 

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@Rhee, you do know ISTJ's and ISFJ's are really really close right?

I mean, sometimes I suspect my mother of being an ISFJ because she's so sensitive - but that doesn't change how orderly and anal she is :laughing:

But yes, I get your point. There's no way in hell my parents are ENFP's though, or any other type.. The entire ISTJ description fits them waaay too much.
 

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@Rhee, you do know ISTJ's and ISFJ's are really really close right?

I mean, sometimes I suspect my mother of being an ISFJ because she's so sensitive - but that doesn't change how orderly and anal she is :laughing:

But yes, I get your point. There's no way in hell my parents are ENFP's though, or any other type.. The entire ISTJ description fits them waaay too much.
Not to be pedantic, but while ISFJs may appear to be similar to ISTJs on the surface, their motivations and approaches are quite different, as the ISTJ's functions are SiTeFiNe while the ISFJ's functions are SiFeTiNe. Really a huge difference.
 
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