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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How to motivate an INFj to make better decisions?

Okay so I'm an ILE and have been dating an EII for 3 years. Recently there's been some issues where she has been compulsively lying to me due to her doing things and hanging out with people she shouldn't be that get her into trouble. She's 18 so she's still young and immature in a lot of ways. I suspect she lies to avoid confrontation and criticism. She admits she has a problem with lying when she's in a good mood, she will not however admit lies at first when I confront her unless I have absolute evidence or bluff about evidence correctly. I am quite good at gathering information from her and ruling out what I think is true or not, but honestly it's driving me nuts. I feel like I have to fact check everything she does, and it's turned me into this controlling boyfriend that I never was before the lies started. She tells me I annoy her and treat her like a possessive probation officer even lol. But our relationship is great except for the fact that she lies. She lies because she hangs out with people who party too often and she'll give in and make stupid mistakes.

How should I approach this better? Currently she says I am annoying her with my fact checking and not believing her. How should I deal with this? I suck at emotions and the fact that she's my supervisee makes it extra difficult to gain the other hand, because when I criticize her lying habits, she can easily discredit me with my pathetic Fi abilities.

I don't know what to do about this, we have a 2 year old daughter together and CPS took custody away and gave it to her mother because of her recklessness, so I can't just drop the relationship. I love this girl, and we're great. I want to move past this, regain trust, and motivate her to better and not push her away because that's exactly what I'm doing being controlling. But my mind races and it drives me crazy when I know she's lying and doing things she's not supposed to. I wish I wasn't so smart and were oblivious, that or just not caring about her at all. Because this is causing way too much anxiety for me. It's like every day there's another lie :/ how do I motivate her to do better? I just can't seem to say the right things.
 

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Okay so I'm an ILE and have been dating an EII for 3 years. Recently there's been some issues where she has been compulsively lying to me due to her doing things and hanging out with people she shouldn't be that get her into trouble. She's 18 so she's still young and immature in a lot of ways. I suspect she lies to avoid confrontation and criticism.
Ouch. Yes, she does sound really immature, which makes it hard to sit down and have a serious talk with her - I bet she gets really defensive when that happens? Even now that I'm better at communicating, I find direct confrontation really difficult, especially with Ti which feels cold and harsh and somewhat nitpicky. A calm discussion where no one needs to win is ideal, but I can see how that veers dangerously close to "sharing feelings" which might not be good for you then!

I think you're right about the reasons for her lying; at least that's usually why I lie. It's like, I'm going to do what I want to do anyway, so why bother upsetting the other person by being honest when I can just hide it? Which obviously backfires when I'm caught out. XD

I grew up with a controlling parent, so there's still that leftover paranoia that I'll get into trouble for doing things that I "shouldn't" be. It makes me a lot more evasive than I should be, and I tend to lie or get defensive if, for example, my ILE partner catches me procrastinating on schoolwork - even though he doesn't care what I do. I wonder if your EII has a similar background, which could make her more predisposed to lying in these kinds of situations?

How should I approach this better? Currently she says I am annoying her with my fact checking and not believing her. How should I deal with this? I suck at emotions and the fact that she's my supervisee makes it extra difficult to gain the other hand, because when I criticize her lying habits, she can easily discredit me with my pathetic Fi abilities.
Stuff like this makes me really glad I didn't try this kind of relationship when I was younger. I can see how she would be feeling stifled by your behaviour, however with her being a mother I can understand exactly why you're doing it. I don't really know what advice to give to you; I suspect I'd have a lot more to say to her, being of a similar personality type.

I love this girl, and we're great. I want to move past this, regain trust, and motivate her to better and not push her away because that's exactly what I'm doing being controlling.
Ooooh yes, that sounds familiar. :) What is her attitude towards this, when she's not out with her friends? Does she have any goals, or is she interested in growing as a person? Is there anything in her background that she's trying to escape from (you don't have to say it here if you don't want, just think about it)? Because unfortunately, pushing isn't going to work, but if she's dead set on escaping her responsibilities she's not really going to take initiative to better herself either.

Maybe try backing off, gently encouraging her to turn her attention to more fulfilling pursuits, and distracting her with other things? Even if being romantic isn't your strong point, just spending quality time together, having fun instead of grilling her (which would certainly feel invasive!) might be a good start. Rebuilding trust is going to take a long time for both of you, but baby steps!

Just a thought, and it might be completely off-base - but if she feels stuck in a rut, your Ne might actually come in handy, because engaging that is exactly what we need to get out of our loops. The key is not to come on too strong - don't force her waaaayyyy out of her comfort zone - but just finding little ways to put a bit of variety into your routine at home. I'm reading between the lines here, but if she's hanging out with people who like to party and be wild, it sounds like she's craving some excitement and/or trying to escape something.

I'm sorry, I tried not to ramble. I'm not good at giving advice but hopefully I've given you something to think about?
 

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That was insanely insightful. Thank you so much! It's like hearing her telling me what I should do. It's hard to explain, you sound so much like her.

I'll explain her a little better so maybe you could help me out a little more if you don't mind?

She's an 18 year old mommy and we had our daughter when she just turned 16. She was made to leave highschool and do online school so she lost all of her friends because she could never hang out or do any teenage things. She basically didn't get to be a teenager. When she turned 18 and got her drivers license, she finally got the freedom she'd always wanted and could make friends that she never did before. Unfortunately, the only social connections she had were with my old friends that I brought her around, and by this time they were heavily into drugs and I didn't want them around her because she is very impressionable.

I started trying to control her at this point, told her if she talks to any of them I'm going to leave her(bad decision). She just started doing it anyway and just lying to me about it. She craved the confidence boost a thriving(if you could call it that)social life provided and she liked feeling of people wanting to be around her, because every one of her friends ditched her when she got pregnant.

We broke up for a few weeks and got back together recently, and our relationship is great like it's always been. We perceive the world in similar ways. For one we share Ne and Si and also we grew up together so we think similar things are funny. But when it comes to logic and ethics, we're just soo.... different. How should I handle her continuing to hang out with friends? What should I do/say or not do/say? Right now I'm being overbearing, how would that make you feel if your boyfriend would blow up your phone and not believe a word you said and try to constantly fact check everything you do? I know it's annoying.. but the fact checking happens automatically and I easily notice inconsistencies and call her out on it. Lately though, I've been noticing waay too many inconsistencies to the point where it's just plain paranoia and I call her out on things she's not even lying about just because my judgment has a negativity bias due to all that she's done.

I'm going into depth trying to explain the problems in my behavior, because I am definitely not blameless.
 

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She's an 18 year old mommy and we had our daughter when she just turned 16. She was made to leave highschool and do online school so she lost all of her friends because she could never hang out or do any teenage things. She basically didn't get to be a teenager. When she turned 18 and got her drivers license, she finally got the freedom she'd always wanted and could make friends that she never did before. Unfortunately, the only social connections she had were with my old friends that I brought her around, and by this time they were heavily into drugs and I didn't want them around her because she is very impressionable.

I started trying to control her at this point, told her if she talks to any of them I'm going to leave her(bad decision). She just started doing it anyway and just lying to me about it. She craved the confidence boost a thriving(if you could call it that)social life provided and she liked feeling of people wanting to be around her, because every one of her friends ditched her when she got pregnant.
Oh the poor thing! I don't relate to the impressionability - I've always been very in touch with who I am and what I want, and I'm stubborn as hell - and I hated every minute of being a teenager so it was a relief for me to turn 20. But I have definitely made bad choices in friends due to wanting to see the good in people. If she's been abandoned and is feeling lonely, it's not surprising that she's latched on to whoever came along and was willing to let her join in. It's possible that there's an underlying sense of unworthiness, feeling like her old friends ditched her for a reason and that she has to just take whatever she can get. Hopefully I'm not projecting here, but it seems like something that could apply to others of my type? It basically comes from being able to see multiple other perspectives, even if we don't agree, and also from a lack of faith in our own abilities.

I guess it's probably too late, and it sounds like our circumstances were a bit different, but just to tell you how my SO handled me having less-than-ideal friends... He very very patiently listened to me pour my heart out (this was back before I knew his personality type... poor thing, so much Fi) about how lonely and misunderstood I felt. He didn't go over the top with trash-talking them, but he did gently point out when their behaviour was out of line and reminded me that I shouldn't have to put up with it. He tried to work on my self-esteem, and we spent a lot of time together, just hanging out or exploring new parts of the city (probably helped that we were in the honeymoon stage of a new relationship). There was one incident in which he confronted one of them over something and shit really hit the fan, and in hindsight it was probably a bad idea, but he wasn't happy with my plan to not do anything about it and I suppose you'll probably understand that better than me, haha. So that was bad, and oh man did I get an earful about how controlling and abusive he was! But eventually we got out of it and I cut off contact and after meeting new friends in a new city, I don't miss them at all.

Of course that would require her to be unhappy with her friends, and for it to be feasible for you to move to a new place, and for her to be able to find better friends.... -_-

We broke up for a few weeks and got back together recently, and our relationship is great like it's always been. We perceive the world in similar ways. For one we share Ne and Si and also we grew up together so we think similar things are funny.
The shared Ne is like a breath of fresh air, I tell you! It doesn't mean that we never have to explain our thought processes to each other, of course. But it's a nice change from getting that side-eye from people who just don't get the mental leaps or the need for novelty. Speaking of which, that's probably contributing to how well things are going for you at the moment: the excitement of getting back together and starting something new. Use it to your advantage!!

But when it comes to logic and ethics, we're just soo.... different. How should I handle her continuing to hang out with friends? What should I do/say or not do/say? Right now I'm being overbearing, how would that make you feel if your boyfriend would blow up your phone and not believe a word you said and try to constantly fact check everything you do?
It would drive me away too. I cannot stand being controlled. I can't even put up with my parents telling me what to do; no way I'd accept it from a partner, and he knows it too. If you want to get through to me, you need to suggest it. The more subtle, the better. Give me time to think things over, without any pressure to go one way or another. Let me come to that conclusion on my own. Let me pretend it was my idea. (God, I sound like a pain in the neck here!)

Of course I've grown up since my teens. I couldn't even get into a relationship back then; I guess they could smell the crazy, haha. That was pretty good incentive to change. And that's what your girlfriend needs, although if losing you and her daughter wasn't enough, I'm not sure what will be. :-/

If he didn't trust a word I said, I would wonder what he was doing with me in the first place. For me, there are always going to be parts that I'll never let anyone see. I think that is in the nature of Fi: my inner world is personal and can't easily be described, so if someone tries to intrude too much, it feels like it's in danger of being misunderstood (due to my own incompetence) at best, mocked or desecrated at worst. I can imagine it must hurt to feel like they're being shut out, but even if I try to minimise it, it's an unavoidable part of being close to me. So my guess is that a little of her caginess is that. That's not necessarily a lack of trust, in her mind at least.

I know it's annoying.. but the fact checking happens automatically and I easily notice inconsistencies and call her out on it. Lately though, I've been noticing waay too many inconsistencies to the point where it's just plain paranoia and I call her out on things she's not even lying about just because my judgment has a negativity bias due to all that she's done.

I'm going into depth trying to explain the problems in my behavior, because I am definitely not blameless.
Don't worry, I can see that you're trying to be objective about the situation, and I appreciate the honesty!

All my instincts are screaming that you need to back off and give her some space. With a relatively healthy and responsible EII, that will almost certainly work. But my worry is that she's not in a good place, and she needs some guidance. What are the chances of you two starting a new hobby together? Or is there some kind of club she can join, or somewhere she can volunteer, where she can meet likeminded people?
 

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What would you say to her?
Bit hard to say without having spoken to her.

If you want more perspectives, you'll probably hear from more people in this thread. It's not a Socionics-based forum but it's more active, and seeing that we're such individualists it's probably a good idea to talk to more than one of us.
 
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