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So, I'm looking to understand my sister a bit more. I've done a lot of reading on ENFPs and having known her all her life helps. I know she is super sensitive and does not take criticism well, but after something she said last night, I realized I had no idea that she could twist anything that I say and make it sound like I attacked her personally.

My dad said he could say he doesn't think she should have painted her room blue and she would take it personally. My sister responded with, "Well, yes! That's an attack on my personal preferences which is basically a personal attack against me!"

Are all ENFPs this sensitive? And what are some other areas in which you tend to take things personally?
 

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I do not take criticism well.
My cousin is an ESTJ.... he was like my big brother growing up... but god can he be so insensitive. He will literally just tell me I need to put on make-up or that I'm just an attention seeking moron.

Now, because I love everyone and understand that he just lacks tack when talking to people... I let it slide. I cried a lot over the years, but I accept him and overall I know how much he loves and values me..

ENFP's need to be reassured. We need to be valued. Our sense of self can be really effected by those close to us invalidating our opinions, ideas and authenticity.

The older I get, the less offended I become. I look less at people misunderstanding me as an offense, and more just a simple lack of understanding where I am coming from.
 

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My cousin is an ESTJ.... he was like my big brother growing up... but god can he be so insensitive. He will literally just tell me I need to put on make-up or that I'm just an attention seeking moron.
Um... I'm pretty sure I'm not /that/ insensitive to my sister. In part probably because I look up to her in a lot of ways. I don't really see the need to tell her to put on make-up or that she's just a moron...

Now, because I love everyone and understand that he just lacks tack when talking to people... I let it slide. I cried a lot over the years, but I accept him and overall I know how much he loves and values me..
It is comforting to hear that you know how much he loves and values you despite the fact that he lacks tact. Because I lack tact, as well, and the last thing I want is for my sister to think I don't love her and value her despite the fact that we're different.

The older I get, the less offended I become. I look less at people misunderstanding me as an offense, and more just a simple lack of understanding where I am coming from.
So it gets better with experience? I suppose I shouldn't blame it all on the personality type. Even though certain personality types have a tendency to have trouble in one area or another, they can always learn to overcome them, to some extent.

Thank you for your response. It was helpful.
 

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Hey Emma :)

I know when I was younger I found it very hard to differentiate between someone making a general observation about the way I had said or done something, and a criticism. It's interesting you put it exactly "Well, yes! That's an attack on my personal preferences which is basically a personal attack against me!" Which it isn't. People are allowed to have opinions, and we are allowed to differ. ENFPs struggle when opinions differ from our own, we are hyper-sensitive to conflict of any kind (especially perceived conflict from trusted and highly valued friends and family). It makes us feel like our opinion is 'invalid' (whether it actually is or isn't depends on the confidence and emotional healthiness of the ENFP).

I think that's very much what was going on in my head. It has taken me years of reading and getting my head around this almost instinctive reaction to learn to pause, really think about what is being said and then react more rationally and less hysterically.

As we mature we firstly get more stable and secure in ourselves, and we become better at discerning the difference between a *real* attack, and people just making observations of us. Is she into Myers-Briggs? I found the Personality Page a revelation when I discovered it about 13 years ago Portrait of an ENFP The Personal Growth page was very helpful to me is recognising this trait in myself and taking responsibility for thinking about things more instead of just reacting.

I am also a lot more likely to flip out when I am tired, ill, and hormonal. God forbid if I'm all 3! I am an irrational lunatic :) That's not going to change no matter how old I get ;)

And @mrssummersmith hits the nail on the head about needing validation. Our whole understanding of ourselves is based on how we perceive others feel about us. Although innocuous, if your sister is close to your father and feeling vulnerable already, him not liking her new room colour, probably a project she has been thinking about and planning for ages, will seem like a criticism of her, and her choices and the things she loves. But he's allowed to not like it, does he like plain colours? I know the moment I moved out of home my mother painted my pinky, purple/green room with a blue ceiling that I had decorated a couple of years earlier to my own design and really loved, Magnolia ;)
 

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Hey again yourself. =)

People are allowed to have opinions, and we are allowed to differ. ENFPs struggle when opinions differ from our own, we are hyper-sensitive to conflict of any kind (especially perceived conflict from trusted and highly valued friends and family).
What I find hard to understand is why she would even perceive it as conflict. But then, I'm not sensitive to conflict. ESTJs are more interested in resolving the conflict than avoiding it...

It has taken me years of reading and getting my head around this almost instinctive reaction to learn to pause, really think about what is being said and then react more rationally and less hysterically.
I wouldn't say she acts hysterically. She's the only F in our family, so she's learned to get along with thinking types and usually just takes everything quietly, but I've learned that that doesn't necessarily mean it didn't still bother her. The reason she responded as she did here was because we were talking about the situation, not actually about her room color (though she did afterwards ask if he really didn't like it blue).

Is she into Myers-Briggs? I found the Personality Page a revelation when I discovered it about 13 years ago Portrait of an ENFP The Personal Growth page was very helpful to me is recognising this trait in myself and taking responsibility for thinking about things more instead of just reacting.
Not particularly, but because I am so into it she knows about it and I try to keep her on the same page with me. She's the person I talk to about everything. And she's at least interested enough that she wanted to do a little reading on her type. She might find that Personal Growth page helpful, as well. Thank you!

And @mrssummersmith hits the nail on the head about needing validation. Our whole understanding of ourselves is based on how we perceive others feel about us.
I guess I kind of knew that about her now that I think about it, but I have never heard it expressed like that. Very interesting. That will help me to understand what she does a lot better now, I think. Thanks.
 
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