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@orion83uk yeah, apparently the test can come back false negative (which isn't too comforting). Still, from what I've read, although it's very contagious it's about 1% chance fatality for those who have it, except for older people or people with heart issues or diabetes. So of course no one wants to catch it, however if something happens and you do, the chances of it being fatal are pretty small. However I very much don't want to catch it, and I am being careful (aka hiding in my house most of the time).

I'm glad your company is taking precautions though. That's good! Hopefully everyone can stay healthy. That is the best option, for sure.

My friend got a kitten a week ago. I haven't got to see him yet. I really want to! Ah, I really miss people right now. I would love to not be stuck at home everyday. ;( I hope you can have a good week and things will begin to slow down for you.
 

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@orion83uk @Sophi

D'awww, ESFJ care feels so good :proud: Thank you guis. I came back with a completely clean bill of health for my lungs, which sounds dumb to be disappointed in, but I really wanted to get to the root of my shortness of breath when doing the most menial tasks. He has no idea either, so he ordered 5 different tests that'll play out over the course of 6 weeks. Was really hoping to know what's going on sooner, but I guess I'll have to wait longer. How're you guys?
 
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So I have a friend. We will call her Cheryl (not her real name). I've known her for 2 years now. Cheryl is a depressed, grown woman who lives with her parent. Her parent verbally attacks her, throws things, etc. and Cheryl feels like life sucks alllllll the time. She is of the perspective nothing can change, and laments her lost time all the time.

Now, I've tried to be supportive of her, and encourage her to get help (like a therapist) or find a support group for abuse victims, or even offered her a place to stay if she wants. I have tried to encourage her to leave the situation multiple times. Yet, she is unwilling to leave the circumstance. She has a lot of reasons why she can't. (Especially "it's too late to change anything now.")

At this point, I don't know what to do. I know she doesn't have many friends, so I don't want to "kick her to the curb" and she has suicidal thoughts etc. But I find it emotionally draining when she messages me about how depressed she is. She exclaims no one will help her, and then literally refuses any help offered to her, which in turn makes me frustrated and feel bad.

I don't do well with just sympathy. If someone needs help, I will help them. If they want me to say, "Oh, that must suck, I'm so sorry, poor you," I really, really hate that. I realize there is a time and place for that, but then it's time to stand back up and do something, you know?

Anyways, I don't know what to do right now...I think I am one of her closest contacts, so I don't want to abandon her, but I am so, so tired of her complaining, and then unwillingness to look for or accept help of any kind.
 

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Discussion Starter #106
Hey Sophi,

I get that's a tough situation and I've been in some before where the friendship became toxic. I honestly think that we ESFJs sometimes spend so much time thinking of other people that we don't stop to recognize our own needs and that you also have the right to not be bombarded with talks of suicide, depression, etc. You have been a good friend to her, offered her help, and she has chosen not to change her situation. This is not on you. My recommendation to you is to remove yourself from that friendship. You can just tell her that you care a lot about her and will always be there for her when she's ready to make a change but you can't sit idly by and watch her continue to suffer. It isn't good for your own mental health and energy. And in the end, it will affect your own wellbeing and your other relationships in your life. You can't keep investing yourself in her because it will end up leaving you drained. And there's always the option to just do the slow fade... you can just be more busy and not respond to texts etc. Up to you how you want to handle it but you need to put your own needs first over a toxic friendship because she will not be looking out for you.

I know that may sound harsh since like you said you might be her only friend but honestly at this point she's just using you to get enough emotional comfort for her to keep living in the same messed up situation. Perhaps if you weren't in the picture she would have to actually face her own issues. I understand you're worried she might self harm but again staying in a friendship out of fear the other person will hurt themselves is not a place you need to be for your own wellbeing. That is a toxic friendship and you need to get out of it. You can leave the door open if she wants to change something but otherwise you'll be sucked in this cycle for years to come.

I should add this: Have you ever heard of the drama triangle? There are 3 components:

1. Victim (your friend)
2. Villain (her abusive parent)
3. Hero (you)

You cannot be the hero. You can't be her therapist. You need to remove yourself from the drama triangle or it will suck you in forever.
 

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@SummerRoads
Yeah, I'm definitely not willing or interested in being her "hero." Like I said, I don't mind encouraging her, or helping her find services to help her, but I don't want to be her therapist. I've told her in the past that I would "help" her, but maybe what she heard and what I meant are 2 different things.

I meant in a physical, "I will help you find a place to stay, people to talk to you," sort of way, as opposed to "I will be your constant sympathizer." Maybe if I can find a way to communicate that, she could understand. I just know she will play the victim card again and assume that I am abandoning her like everyone else, but that's not it at all.

Now, I don't know about other ESFJs, but for me, sometimes I have a hard time seeing other perspectives, which is where the decision paralysis sets in. Which is why I find it very useful to talk to someone else, as it lets me pick one side and them pick the other so that I can actually explore the issue and make a good decision. So forgive me, but I'm going to play the devil's advocate here.

Hey Sophi,

I know that may sound harsh since like you said you might be her only friend but honestly at this point she's just using you to get enough emotional comfort for her to keep living in the same messed up situation. Perhaps if you weren't in the picture she would have to actually face her own issues.
1) From what I know about her, I really, really doubt it. Part of the issue is, she really does need a support system. She is a grown adult, but I don't think she could keep a job down long enough to move out. She has no college degree, so she could only get a part time job. She has no savings that I know of. She really is in a bad way.
2) There is not a good mental health support system where I live. It's almost non-existent from what I understand.
3) As for the "hero" card, I have quit viewing her as a victim, and I try very hard not to treat her as such. When she starts texting me about some depressing event or other, or how something makes her angry, I've basically quit responding, except to say, "have a nice day" or something along those lines. Whenever she starts complaining about how she's lost her life, etc. I always tell her she can start today.
4) I guess the crux of the issue, which is what you were getting at, is that I can't play the "hero." Rather, she needs to realize she is letting herself be a victim, and that she's no longer a child who has no control in her life. That she can be her own hero. But I don't know if she can or will ever determine that on her own, that's why I haven't cut her off. But I don't really know how I can get her to recognize that beyond what I've already done...which is encourage her to start today, or look for professional help/a support group (both are hard to find here).

So...is cutting her off really going to help her at all? Will that be the thing that kicks her into gear? Or will that be the thing that sends her over the edge?

That's kind of where I am right now. If we could find a healthier dynamic where I am supporting her but she is making changes to her life (aka she is her own hero, and I'm there when she needs a reminder that she can do it), I wouldn't mind. But if things keep being the way they are--where as you said I am basically an emotional dumping ground--I don't think that is good for either of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #108 (Edited)
Hey Sophi,

I hear you, it's all super challenging especially when your heart goes out to her. I have to tell you though

1) From what I know about her, I really, really doubt it. Part of the issue is, she really does need a support system. She is a grown adult, but I don't think she could keep a job down long enough to move out. She has no college degree, so she could only get a part time job. She has no savings that I know of. She really is in a bad way.
=> This isn't your problem. Totally being blunt here but you cannot fix this for her. It may be true that she will totally fail if you're not in the picture but she's already not making it even WITH you in the picture. In the end, it's her life and you can't "fix" it for her.

4) I guess the crux of the issue, which is what you were getting at, is that I can't play the "hero." Rather, she needs to realize she is letting herself be a victim, and that she's no longer a child who has no control in her life. That she can be her own hero. But I don't know if she can or will ever determine that on her own, that's why I haven't cut her off. But I don't really know how I can get her to recognize that beyond what I've already done...which is encourage her to start today, or look for professional help/a support group (both are hard to find here).
I totally get what you're saying but I just want to point out that whether you realize it or not you are playing the hero here. You may not see yourself as the hero swooping in that is able to fix her whole life but you are saying / believing that you can't cut her off because you "don't know if she can or will" figure out she can be her own hero. So you think you need to keep being involved to help guide her to see that => you being the hero.

You need to really ask yourself if there isn't a small part of you inside that doesn't want to let it go because you enjoy being asked for help, kept in the loop, feel like you can help someone who is in a bad spot, give sound advice, etc. You don't have to answer that here but it's good to keep watch on when we think we're doing something good for someone else but in the end we internally are having hero-syndrome.

So...is cutting her off really going to help her at all? Will that be the thing that kicks her into gear? Or will that be the thing that sends her over the edge?
I would say again that this in the end isn't your problem. In a toxic friendship you can spin circles asking yourself these questions and you'll never make headway. It's not your responsibility to make sure she "kicks herself in gear." It is not your fault if she gets "sent over the edge." These are on her. I know it feels really real to you (I've been there!) because you care and are invested and are a kind empathetic person... but at some point enough is enough. You can't want this for her more than she wants it for herself and you can't stay trapped in a friendship out of fear she'll go down in flames. She is an adult. Yes, she's in a terrible situation but you have done all you can do. You have shown her kindness, given resources, been a friend, and yet all of that is not enough. I don't know if you need someone to just say it out loud but you can give yourself permission to let this go and realize you've done all you can.
 

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@SummerRoads. Well I understand what you are saying. I'll think about what to do. I won't see her for a little while, so that will give me time to think it over.

Thank you for helping me look at. It from a different perspective! I appreciate hearing from someone less attached to the situation looking at it from the outside.
 

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Hi fellow ESFJs (and ISFJs). Amazing what can change in a week - although none of it a shock!

So the company I work for has now put a blanket ban on any travel. This also includes domestic travel UNLESS we can do so in a car (public transport business travel is banned). My office this morning is like a graveyard. I'm gearing up now for being told to work from home long term. From what I gather we're not alone here.

Panic buying is currently very much in fashion across the UK, with toilet role and pasta still being the nations favorite panic buy item, and large numbers of events are being cancelled across the country.

How are things where you are?
 

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Hi fellow ESFJs (and ISFJs). Amazing what can change in a week - although none of it a shock!

So the company I work for has now put a blanket ban on any travel. This also includes domestic travel UNLESS we can do so in a car (public transport business travel is banned). My office this morning is like a graveyard. I'm gearing up now for being told to work from home long term. From what I gather we're not alone here.

Panic buying is currently very much in fashion across the UK, with toilet role and pasta still being the nations favorite panic buy item, and large numbers of events are being cancelled across the country.

How are things where you are?
Hey @orion83uk ! My family back in the USA told me it's been really hard to buy different things, same as for you. I'm hoping my parents and grandmother will be all right. My brother just graduated with a nursing degree and started working in hospitals, so I'm going to check in on him. There aren't a lot of test kits right now, so I'm not sure how my hometown is looking. So far there has been 1 confirmed case there.

The town is a middle sized town, about 300,000 people, so I don't know how well it will fare compare to bigger cities like New York, LA, Chicago, etc.

I'm still in South Korea. Everyone is doing pretty well here. They have pretty well contained the virus. The amount of those getting sick are decreasing everyday. People are still being cautious and not going out as much, and still wearing masks. However there is a surplus amount of sanitizer at the stores now, so I suppose that's good. The stores never really emptied out here--except for masks and sanitizer (which didn't even exist really before this virus. Maybe that will change. That would be wonderful.)

Food never really flew off the shelves like they have been in the USA, and neither did toilet paper like it did in Japan. At least not in my hometown here in Korea...perhaps it was worse in Daegu, which is the city that got hit the hardest.

Korea never closed down cafes or restaurants either...people just stopped going or only getting takeout. The only thing Korea did was close down schools, ask for religious meetings to be held online, and canceled concerts. It's amazing really, how everyone kind of self monitored, especially now that I know how people have been reacting in the USA.

I feel really frustrated by my friends and family who haven't been taking it seriously, despite my best efforts to explain to them that it's not like the flu at all, and much worse. Of course, I really hope that things aren't too bad, and the virus is contained. But from what I've seen so far, I'm not sure how that's going to go. So I can only really pray for people to use wisdom. And hopefully stop hoarding and share with one another.

It's amazing how when disaster strikes, people can become so selfish, isn't it? I think it really starts to show a person's true character.

Edit: I forgot to add that school has been postponed again! It won't start until April 6th now. It was supposed to start March 2nd. I am starting to go a little stir crazy. The only thing keeping me sane is going out for walks everyday...and this past week I've been going to cafes again to work on my laptop. (But there are no cases in my city so it's okay...right???)
 

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Hi @Sophi

I honestly think South Korea are about the only country holding up to all this, while the rest of us descend into chaos - but a really pathetic and unnecessary chaos of our own making. Panic and selfishness appear to go hand in hand at times like this. Having said that, tabloid media and social media have a lot to answer for.

I hope they have good training measures in place for your brother, especially as he will be on the front line. How is he getting on since you responded? My best mate is a nurse and I have a few other friend's who are also nurses and they have all been getting additional training and fitted out with additional protection gear. How are the rest of your family and freinds getting on now - have they managed to get prepared?

My family and my partners family are all good for now. Most of them are all now working from home in some capacity or another, and have the essentials covered. I just accepted this week that I'll need to do food shopping at odd times and use different shops to get essentials. We're basically just changing what we eat to accommodate. I refuse to join in on this panic buying frenzy.

Edit: I forgot to add that school has been postponed again! It won't start until April 6th now. It was supposed to start March 2nd. I am starting to go a little stir crazy. The only thing keeping me sane is going out for walks everyday...and this past week I've been going to cafes again to work on my laptop. (But there are no cases in my city so it's okay...right???)
I think 'walking' could start to become fairly popular over the next few weeks. I've actually started looking into walks around my home area to give us something to do.
 

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Hello @SummerRoads, @Sophi, @Suntide

How are we all holding up during these strange times?

Currently on week 3 of lock down in the UK, and week 4 of working from home for me. I've been spending most of my free time catching up on small DIY tasks around the house, however I'll soon run out of materials which will bring that to a grinding halt at which point the boredom will start.

What have you been doing with yourselves?
 

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Hello @SummerRoads, @Sophi, @Suntide

How are we all holding up during these strange times?

Currently on week 3 of lock down in the UK, and week 4 of working from home for me. I've been spending most of my free time catching up on small DIY tasks around the house, however I'll soon run out of materials which will bring that to a grinding halt at which point the boredom will start.

What have you been doing with yourselves?
Hi! Well, my daily life is almost identical to how it was before. I work in a food testing lab (critical for obvious reasons), so I still have to physically go to work every day, 45 hours a week. I was already kind of a hermit before, so my after-work life was already just going home lol. The only real difference now is that I don't go to my sister's house on Thursday nights to hang out, and I'm doing contactless grocery delivery instead of going to the store (fine by me, I really hate going to the store). Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out 3 weeks ago, and that's all I've been doing when I have the chance. I'm about 115 hours into my save file right now. I still haven't become bored yet, since I prefer to spend my free time alone doing whatever in my room anyway. Though it is sad I can't go hang out with my sister anymore, and I'm bummed that my family can't have Easter dinner on Sunday, since the only time I see my family is on holidays. Since Easter is cancelled, I probably won't see any of them until the summer, maybe July 4th.
 

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Discussion Starter #115
Hey Orion and Suntide! So nice to hear from you guys! Yeah, this pandemic is pretty wild. We up and moved to a different city in the midst of it and are now homeschooling kids plus working remotely etc. It's just been a lot. Hard with young kids since all the playgrounds are closed and then the parks are closed now too since too many people were going to them. Feel more anxious than usual but I think it makes sense with all the changes and uncertainty and lack of routines. Definitely trying to work on creating our new normal and unpack a new house etc. Jumped on the "Tiger King" bandwagon and watched those episodes and I have to say it was a great distraction! Not sure that Netflix show has caught on in the UK but it's become a pretty big deal / joke over here. Hope you all are feeling well!
 

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Hey Orion and Suntide! So nice to hear from you guys! Yeah, this pandemic is pretty wild. We up and moved to a different city in the midst of it and are now homeschooling kids plus working remotely etc. It's just been a lot. Hard with young kids since all the playgrounds are closed and then the parks are closed now too since too many people were going to them. Feel more anxious than usual but I think it makes sense with all the changes and uncertainty and lack of routines. Definitely trying to work on creating our new normal and unpack a new house etc.
MBTI Type nothing - I think anyone would be anxious if they had just moved house with all change and then getting plunged into all this, especially when you also have a family with children to protect.

How are you finding working from home with the home schooling? Is your company well setup IT wise for that?

Jumped on the "Tiger King" bandwagon and watched those episodes and I have to say it was a great distraction! Not sure that Netflix show has caught on in the UK but it's become a pretty big deal / joke over here. Hope you all are feeling well!
Yup this show is in the UK too - and everyone is talking about it. There are companies selling greeting cards with memes from the show on the front of them. We just started watching it 2 nights ago as it happens.

We just finished episode 3 yesterday - I think they are all a bunch of nut jobs! Joe is an immature ****head with zero compassion for the people working for him, Carole comes across as a sociopath and the other guy is just creepy. I'm enjoying watching it, in a weird sort of way, but all this focus the show gets on whether Carole murdered her husband or not kinda distracts from the big issue i.e. how these animals are treated!
 

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Hi! Well, my daily life is almost identical to how it was before. I work in a food testing lab (critical for obvious reasons), so I still have to physically go to work every day, 45 hours a week. I was already kind of a hermit before, so my after-work life was already just going home lol. The only real difference now is that I don't go to my sister's house on Thursday nights to hang out, and I'm doing contactless grocery delivery instead of going to the store (fine by me, I really hate going to the store). Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out 3 weeks ago, and that's all I've been doing when I have the chance. I'm about 115 hours into my save file right now. I still haven't become bored yet, since I prefer to spend my free time alone doing whatever in my room anyway. Though it is sad I can't go hang out with my sister anymore, and I'm bummed that my family can't have Easter dinner on Sunday, since the only time I see my family is on holidays. Since Easter is cancelled, I probably won't see any of them until the summer, maybe July 4th.
Hi Suntide

Hope your work are putting measures in place to help keep you and your colleagues safer! We've been doing contactless grocery shopping as well - most of the supermarkets around here offer 'home delivery' service thankfully, although it is a challenge to get a slot at the moment.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
I'm clueless about what computer games are out there, but I did find myself browsing through Steam at the weekend looking for older games our ancient desktop PC might be able to run.

I hope you can at least have a video call with your family over the Easter weekend.

A positive thing that is coming out of this working from home is its really forcing us all to make better use of technology. On the first week of lock down I was meant to travel 400 miles to spend 4 days carrying out a factory acceptance test (FAT) of a new motor control centre (basically a switchboard with control features built in) at the manufacturers family. This got cancelled for obvious reasons, but we were able to carry the whole test out using Microsoft Teams. It was so successful in fact, both our company and this manufacturer, want to look to do future FATs like this.
 

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Hello @SummerRoads, @Sophi, @Suntide

How are we all holding up during these strange times?

Currently on week 3 of lock down in the UK, and week 4 of working from home for me. I've been spending most of my free time catching up on small DIY tasks around the house, however I'll soon run out of materials which will bring that to a grinding halt at which point the boredom will start.

What have you been doing with yourselves?
Hey! Sorry for never replying. Thankfully South Korea is heading towards normal life. The first 2 weeks I was great. Cleaned my house, lost some weight, pretty okay. 3rd week my sleeping schedule got all messed up. I was going to bed at 3am waking up at lunch time. 4th week I woke up and was like, "yep I am in a definite depression."

Thankfully I am now required to go back to work, although we are teaching our kiddos online. This has helped me get a semblance of a schedule back in place.

I'm not really social distancing anymore, although I avoid traveling to the big cities. The cases have really dropped here, so I feel fairly okay about it. My life still feels totally surreal. I'm remaking my bullet journal this weekend and jumping back on the diet band wagon.

I definitely needed a schedule in place, I think that was my biggest mistake. 😕 Things are slowly getting better now, though!
 

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Hey guys!

So I'm not too sure how often I'll be coming on to personality cafe, especially since everything is so slow here.

Anyways, I wanted to say I'm really happy I got to meet everyone! And hopefully I'll be back. But if I'm not back for a while, I'll catch you around!
 

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Hey guys!

So I'm not too sure how often I'll be coming on to personality cafe, especially since everything is so slow here.

Anyways, I wanted to say I'm really happy I got to meet everyone! And hopefully I'll be back. But if I'm not back for a while, I'll catch you around!
Hi Sophi

It has been pretty dead here recently - I can count how many times on one hand that I've posted since Covid hit.

All the best with everything out in South Korea and keep safe.
 
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