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Hi ISTJs,

I am a gay male ENFP, and in the last year I have struggled in coming out to my mom who is an ISTJ.

I have told her multiple times, but she tells me that I need to give girls a chance, and that the only reasons that I never had a girlfriend was because I was just never socially comfortable [I am very extroverted, have lots of friends, all of them are girls, I am very comfortable with them]. Finally, she tells me that, if I ever did have a relationship with another guy, she would always love me, but could never approve of me. Last time I tried to talk to her, she baked me cupcakes to show that she loved me and to bribe me to "go straight."

While it would be nice to find some way to truly come out to her. But, to me this is a big thing and not so simple. But, even the simple things in life I have a hard time communicating to her why I like things, or what I did the other day with my friends, or why I am majoring in my major. She gives me love, and yes, I need love from my mom. But, I am looking for understanding and wondering how to make this connection easier between us?

Please, any help would be much appreciated. :D
 

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Best of luck with that. We (XSTJ's) are really traditional and we will try to control anything that is in our "circle" of influence. I'm sure she will try hard to be kind to you and show you love even though she doesn't approve. Don't read into her facial expressions and just appreciate the fact that she's trying, even though you'll be able to tell that she's uncomfortable. Don't point it out or you guys will get into an argument. Let her know that you appreciate her effort and just give it time. We don't like change, but time generally makes everything ok. Again, good luck! Be patient with her!!!
 

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*This is very stream-of-conscious so I apologize in advance for the disjointedness.*

I'm not an ISTJ, but I'm an INFP that has an ISTJ mom. While admittedly I haven't had the same situation, I've experienced similar behavior with my mom. (And I should note here that my mom was unhealthy during my formative years but has slowly made progress in improving her emotional health.)

Last time I tried to talk to her, she baked me cupcakes to show that she loved me and to bribe me to "go straight."
This is manipulation, pure and simple. And if you've been having this conversation for a year's time, I'd guess you have experienced passive-aggressiveness on some level, too. You want to please your mom. It's hard-wired into an ENFP. If she's unhealthy, she might use this against you.

Until just recently (last three years or so), I absolutely craved my mom's approval which was very difficult to earn because of her perfectionism. I never quite measured up to her standards. I poured my heart and soul into earning a B in molecular biology and was greeted with, "Why didn't you get an A?" I didn't tick hardly any of the boxes of her Southern debutante image. I wasn't the petite, together, sophisticated, perfectly-coifed girl she wanted me to be. I was the tall, awkward girl who always wore jeans, t-shirts and my hair in a ponytail. I have felt that, socially, I was (and still am) a failure in her eyes.

And even on a deeper level, I have not felt accepted by her. Loved? Certainly. Cared for? Yes, she'd do *anything* for me. Accepted and understood? Very, very rarely. I didn't feel accepted for who I was; it was always about what I did or accomplished. Good grades, placing in writing contests, earning first chair in band were all causes for celebration. My unmeasurable, intangible strengths (emotionally intelligence, supportive and caring nature, etc.) however went unnoticed or were even dismissed. This was exceptionally difficult to bear.

Boundaries. You have to set your own boundaries. And you'll have to keep enforcing your boundaries even though it is difficult and draining to do.

1. Are you self-supporting? If you are still living on her dime, it might be difficult to live the lifestyle that you'd like. Space and distance can be a good way to give both of you some perspective.

2. If she is still supporting you financially, respecting her will go a long way in keeping the relationship strong. I mean, you should be respectful anyway (and I'm not implying that you aren't) but I think respect is a valued currency for ISTJ's. She may be more willing to see things through your eyes if she has directly been shown respect.

3. ISTJ's hallmark means of communication is linear, concrete thinking. The disorganized, random thought process of an ENFP is difficult for concrete, linear thinkers to follow. If you'd like to have a heart to heart talk, consider doing these things:
- Ask your mom for a time to talk. This will help her prepare for an emotionally intense conversation, which is draining to most ISTJ's.
- Organize your thoughts. This will help you stay on topic and not get lost on a rabbit trail that isn't important to the conversation.
- Don't expect an answer or a response right away. Give her the opportunity to analyze and dissect your conversation.

I am looking for understanding and wondering how to make this connection easier between us?
You might consider relaxing your expectations of your mom. The connection you are seeking might develop over time and may not be possible right now.

There are other ENFP threads here in the ISTJ forum. However most of them are about romantic relationships (where the ENFP and ISTJ should be on equal footing) and not about parent/child relationships (with the ISTJ being in authority over the ENFP until adulthood). This further reading could help you understand the ISTJ mindset even if it doesn't directly address all of the different facets of a parent/child relationship.

Good luck to you. :)
 

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Hi ISTJs,

I am a gay male ENFP, and in the last year I have struggled in coming out to my mom who is an ISTJ.

I have told her multiple times, but she tells me that I need to give girls a chance, and that the only reasons that I never had a girlfriend was because I was just never socially comfortable [I am very extroverted, have lots of friends, all of them are girls, I am very comfortable with them]. Finally, she tells me that, if I ever did have a relationship with another guy, she would always love me, but could never approve of me. Last time I tried to talk to her, she baked me cupcakes to show that she loved me and to bribe me to "go straight."

While it would be nice to find some way to truly come out to her. But, to me this is a big thing and not so simple. But, even the simple things in life I have a hard time communicating to her why I like things, or what I did the other day with my friends, or why I am majoring in my major. She gives me love, and yes, I need love from my mom. But, I am looking for understanding and wondering how to make this connection easier between us?

Please, any help would be much appreciated. :D
between the ages of 13 and 16 i (tried) to convert to buddhism. we were enrolled in christian schools but we never went to church. my dad didnt care but my mom is a retarded cunt (and i mean that) who always told me that when i was under her roof i was a christian. now thats as far as it went, and when i was 17 i was as atheist as you could get, anyway. when i went to school and people were told that i was a buddhist most people didnt care, but some people (including my 8th grade teacher and this kid who i grew up with who was a grade a douche) would say "oh yeah, well im a christian, what do you think about that?" and then this person would be labled "cocksucker" in my head for the rest of my life. what im trying to say is it can be hard to tell other people youre different, and not everyone is going to understand, and its especially hard when your parents openly disaprove. i held a grudge against religiously catholice people for much of my highschool career, because for the most part i had only known that they can be only assholes to people who dont believe what they do. and that ruined a relationship with someone i liked. my mother would later boast infront of me that the new dog was her favorite child and that she should have only had dogs, she would say this to ym face and smile. at this point my mother had extensivley proven her lack of humanity and intelligence and i only saw the disgusting shell of a retarded cunt that she was, so by then i was unnoffended or suprised. can you be supprised when a dog barks? no you expect it. so you may want to accept that your mother may never understand or approve of your lifestyle, if you continue to dig you may see parts of her you are not ready or willing to see.
 
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maybe the question is innapropriate but do you know why she dont approve gay ????

@mercer do you still like her a little or she dead for you
 

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maybe the question is innapropriate but do you know why she dont approve gay ????

@mercer do you still like her a little or she dead for you
she's as dead as she could get without being in a box
 
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While it's true that we ISTJ's hate change, I believe the example given above was not necessarily the "response" of an ISTJ, but rather, the response of someone who simply doesn't like/approve of your life choices.
As a parent to a non-ISTJ child, this was how the conversation went when I suspected that my daughter was not "straight":

Me: Your MySpace page says that your sexual preference is "bisexual". When did that change?
Her: Uh ... recently.
Me: Are you seeing (the girl that she was seeing at the time)?
Her: Yes. Are you mad?
Me: No. Are you sexually active with her?
Her: We've kissed and stuff, but I haven't had sex yet. Are you sure you're not mad?
Me: I've got better things to worry about than who you're kissing on, ok?
Her: Okay. *sigh of relief*

... and so that's how it is. She's since become sexually active (she's 19 now) and is dating a young man, but seriously, as long as she's happy and her partner treats her well, I consider myself to be a fortunate parent. I might be a traditionalist, but I'm also a pragmatist. My daughter is my only child and I love and accept her unconditionally. Period.
 

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I was forced to come out as an atheist to my ISTJ mother a year and a half ago...and that was before I knew MBTI. It was really awkward for a while. but as the topic came up every know and then I would put forward a little bit of logic at a time. I'm sure good solid logic made a big difference. It would probably help your case greatly if you could use reasoning and follow logic to explain why you believe being gay isn't bad. Of course that could lead into religion and, oh boy.

I also had to explain to mom that I wasn't a satanist or anything. I guess at first she thought I was trying to be a badass (I had only recently turned 18) and thought I was into devil worship and the like. Then she got on a kick where she figured that I thought "everything in the world was bullshit". I still don't know what that means. It seemed like as soon as she realized I had arrived at my conclusion through a straight line of logic and wasn't supporting any double standards, she stop fighting and just let it go. And a year and half later, we're best buds.
 
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