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Discussion Starter #1
I know the title is somewhat weird, but I'll try to explain what I mean :tongue:
My mother is an ESFJ, and very difficult to deal with... She was a single mom and I have no siblings, and she was very dominating and influenced me a lot. After 7 years with my INTJ boyfriend I have in many ways freed myself from her influence, but she still manages to make me defensive with her criticism/hars judgments and makes me doubt myself. She knows how to push my buttons.

I think one of the main problems between us is Fi vs Fe (She is the only Fe user I know that I know of, so I am not sure is the Fe that is the problem, maybe it's just her...)

Still when we live apart and don't see each other two often she sits in the back of my head and makes me feel bad for not being Fe-like (or ESFJ-like). That is, if my boyfriend and I decide not to have a traditional dinner but to just eat bread and spread I feel guilty because I know my mother would say that is totally unacceptable ("because EVERYBODY eats dinner, and that's just the way it is and always HAS been!"). Unlike her I'm not as good when it comes to remembering birthdays etc. and I feel it is insincere to give birthday presents to someone I do not like or do not see very often. I feel that I must be true to my values whereas she seems to only care about how things look like to others, and she always compares me to others and thinks I'm incredibly lazy, selfish and non-practical (that's because of Ne probably). When I told her we had been visiting my boyfriend's parents (for dinner) all she cared about was whether or not I had brought a present (flowers, wine or some nice chocolate), but I hadn't. I know they don't care about such things, and tried telling her and she yelled at me saying "I don't care if they care about it or not, what would people think! I have been a bad mother because you behave so badly" when in fact my in-laws like me a lot. When we had both her and my in-laws over for dinner, my mother would talk down to me like I was an obnoxious little child, saying things like "shut up! We grown-ups are talking" (I'm 27..), and "Omg, I am so embarassed, you didn't remember to buy napkins and now we have to use kitchen paper. I am so sorry (adressing my in-laws) my daughter is so thoughtless!!":angry:

I always thought I was like her and tried to be like her, but I realize I'm quite different. I am not such a great hostess - and I feel guilty about it, I am not as good as giving gifts (though when I do give gifts I give people things I think they will like, whereas my mother just buys things SHE likes. Even though she knows my boyfriend couldn't care less about her hobby, she will buy him several books about it!)

Anyone else struggling with this? I just hate it when people want me to do what doesn't come naturally to me and give me a guilttrip for not doing so. I still feel somewhat guilty for not being a Fe-user, and for being "lazy and selfish" :rolleyes:

At least my INTJ boyfriend accepts me for being how I am :kitteh:

(oh, and I am also really annoyed by the fact that she admires arrogant snobs with a lot of prestige, and how she likes people who know the right people etc., and tries to gain influence in order to meet with high social status people. She is the least thoughtful/wise person I know, whereas my INTJ boyfriend is the most thoughtful/wise person I know)
 

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My honest suggestion, stop feeling guilty and be proud of what you're. Your mom is different and so you're. Everyone has faults and flaws, your mom can't be like you nor you can be like her. It's saddening that your mom didn't get to know you well all these years, but you know her. Explain this to her and tell her to accept the way you're. Obey her as much possible, but don't change yourself because of her when you know that it's irrational. Just be yourself.
 

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Think of it this way...do you want to live YOUR life, or your Mother's life? We only get one shot, so choose wisely :) If eating bread and spread is fine to you and your boyfriend, then enjoy! I understand to an extent because I am very different from my ENTJ parents, but I am comfortable with me now...I live my life the way I want it to be, not how they want my life to be. Make sense?

My Mom always said "you do not call boys! You let boys call you!"...well, how the heck was that gonna work if say I was interested in a shy introvert? Her personal views are different than mine, and that's ok...it doesn't mean either of us are more "right" than the other in general; it's whether we are "right" to ourselves or not :)

When she tries to tell you what is "right", perhaps respectfully say, "it is right for you, but not necessarily for me", and change the subject if you can. If she keeps on, just say "Mom, I'm sorry if this upsets you, but I am who I am, and I'm happy that way".
 

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ISFJ mother and holy crap does my superego act like a giant megaphone for her values sometimes. ;) I love my mom, though. She's great, despite our occasional quibbles. I'm sorry you've had to deal with someone that overtly rude/hyper-critical. Especially speaking down to you as an adult in front of other people. That's...really not OK. I don't see how she thinks that's more polite than forgetting napkins. Glad that your second family accepts you more readily for who you are.
 

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Caught in an Fe trap, i don't envy you. My INFJ dad used to try and make me feel guilty often when i was growing up, it used to work too. If you don't mind me asking, are you still living at home ? Once i left and went out on my own my attitude changed. I stood up to my father, and didn't mind saying things my way. He eventually learned to respect that we wouldn't see eye to eye on some things and let me be my own person. It wasn't worth the arguing in his mind, nor in mine. I would tell your Mother that you have your own life to live. Even if you don't agree with her on everything, it doesn't mean you love her any less, but she needs to respect your thoughts also. I think its important to set boundaries, yes, even with parents.
 

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I'd be careful of describing that kind of behavior as Fe. My mom acts similarly and has tested as ENTJ; Fe isn't even one of her four functions. Even if your mom tested as ESFJ, I doubt this is typical Fe-dom behavior. Fe is not about foisting your own values on others and I can't think of a single cognitive function that is.

In fact, I even know some Fi users that have pulled similar things. While most FPs I allow myself to associate with tend to adopt a live and let live attitude, I do know others that have turned minor things like social norms into a moral crusade. Cognitive functions are more about the reasoning behind one's actions, not the actions themselves.

Anyway, dealing with my mom's constant attempts to tell me what's "right" was rather annoying to me. Then I discovered the issue was that she and I were perceiving our actions differently. I saw her as attempting to needlessly constrict my behavior by telling me what's "right." She saw it as teaching me proper behavior. So when I'd attempt to ask why I should care about most of the things I saw as pointless and unnecessary, she'd see this as me attempting to justify "laziness" or "thoughtlessness" or some other undesirable personality trait, whereas I just thought she was being controlling.

When I noticed we were interpreting our behaviors wrong, I explained how she sees me behaving improperly while I saw her trying to control aspects of my life that she thinks about more than me. Fortunately for me, she either got the point or figured it out for herself. I remember a couple months ago when she realized how much it annoyed me and how often she did it, she said "Something I'm just now learning is that a big part of life learning to accept others' differences." I pretty much just said "that's what I've been trying to tell you all my life."
 

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@BuddhistENFP
nobody makes you doubt yourself. you doubt yourself.

Still when we live apart and don't see each other two often she sits in the back of my head and makes me feel bad for not being Fe-like
proof that she actually does not make you doubt yourself, or make you feel bad for that. you feel bad for it. why do you feel bad for it. it's not who you are. whatever fe is. accept that.

Unlike her I'm not as good when it comes to remembering birthdays etc. and I feel it is insincere to give birthday presents to someone I do not like or do not see very often.
its not bad or good. it's a preference. i couldn't give a flying fuck about birthdays. they are not significant to me. you grow in age. big deal. such a groundbreaking event. don't feel bad. or insecure, it's very trivial.

I feel that I must be true to my values whereas she seems to only care about how things look like to others, and she always compares me to others and thinks I'm incredibly lazy, selfish and non-practical (that's because of Ne probably).
you say you must feel or do feel true to your values. so far, upon reading your content that is not the essence that i can see. you seem to give a great deal of thought, time, and energy onto what you are expected by your mother. news flash you cannot fulfill the needs of others when you haven't fulfilled your own basic needs. you cannot meet everyones expectations and to be frank.. why would you. you are NOT put here onto this earth to appease other people. you are here to find yourself, and be the best you can be, navigate YOUR way through this life. not your mothers. and stop blaming a cognitive function to excuse your mother. it's not 'ne', you're mother is a narcissistic. plain and simple. she gets a kick out of grandstanding you. you're capable and at an age where you can decide on how to deal with your mother. you can either:
a) take YOUR life into YOUR hands
OR
b) continue to blame her for your deficiencies.

I always thought I was like her and tried to be like her, but I realize I'm quite different.
no. you are not like your mother. you're mother sounds like she suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. and if i am correct, you have the ability, that she does not which automatically identifies that you are nothing like her - you're a little more self-aware and reflective of what is going on around you. narcissists have no idea, they live in their own bubble, this bubble does not reflect reality. the fact that you came here, asking questions, and showing concern proves you are not like her. narcissists are not capable of insight, or self-analysis.

oh, and I am also really annoyed by the fact that she admires arrogant snobs with a lot of prestige, and how she likes people who know the right people etc., and tries to gain influence in order to meet with high social status people.
she is a narcissist. does that reality actually surprise you?

stop blaming her. you're an adult now. you are not a child anymore, don't act like one. this is your life, not hers. it'd be wise of you to perhaps seek counseling, some form of therapy to help repair your self-esteem and overall image of yourself. victims of narcissistic mothers... i don't normally feel sorry for others, but i do feel very sorry for victims of narcissistic mothers. but you do not need to be a victim forever. if it is possible for you, seek psychotherapy. you need it. and i don't say that to make you feel bad or be condescending. you will really benefit from it.

g'luck mate. pm me if you wish, i will be your momentary therapist for now. but don't wait too long, by morning my mind might change, i'm really in a euphoric state.
 

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This thread reminds me a lot of my ENFJ mom, who pushed her Fe values a LOT while I was growing up. I think having an ENFP dad tempered her some, however, so I haven't harbored any guilt over growing up with my own outlook. Whenever I visit home, though, we get back into the old Fe/Fi fight pattern. I love her to death, but I'm happy to no longer live with that.

As for your mom, you shouldn't keep any guilt over her pressure. Her views are just as biased as anyone else's.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks everybody. I moved out 7 years ago (I'm 27), and have lived with my boyfriend for four years now after living on my own. My mother is all by herself (no husband/boyfriend, no other children and she has lost several of her friends - no wonder why..)

I have talked to her several times about everything pretty much, about how I want her to behave when she is with me, how we are different and what I won't accept etc. She seems unable to understand that or change, she just gets very defensive every time. She has however improved the last years bc if she was mean or yelled in the phone I would hang up and behaving bad lead to consequences for her. She was very depressed a couple of years ago (still very unstable) and threatened to commit suicide if I exclude her from my life (as I am all that she has). I told her that's not ok to say and I kept a distance for a long while, but even when I do the right thing (action-wise or in what I say) I still feel terrible about it. I think this is easier to understand for an ENFP (or other feelers) than for thinkers because it's not logical/rational but very emotional/sentimental. My INTJ boyfriend does not understand why I'm so upset about it eithe. He has helped me a lot setting boundaries and expectations when it comes to my mother (he is very wise and always knows how to behave around people, so when he is there she behaves better).

I do know I am responsible for my own life, but I do not have the strength to cut her out completely. She has good sides as well - a lot of people like her and she can be a lot of fun. Things are going better. We live in the same city yet see each other less than once a month (although she'd love to see me all the time), but I'm hoping it will continue to improve.

Sorry about mistakes, English is not my native language and I'm typing this on my phone
 

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@BuddhistENFP, for me personally, I like to understand things and the reason behind them in order to find clarity. It sounds like a good possibility your Mom has a bit of Borderline Personality Disorder going on. I'm not trying to offend you, or speak ill of your Mother; it's just that some of the things you said are symptoms of BPD. If she does in fact have something like that going on, it might benefit you and even comfort you to have an understanding of it.

http://bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a108.htm

Borderline Personality Disorder | Psych Central

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borderline_personality_disorder
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@BuddhistENFP, for me personally, I like to understand things and the reason behind them in order to find clarity. It sounds like a good possibility your Mom has a bit of Borderline Personality Disorder going on. I'm not trying to offend you, or speak ill of your Mother; it's just that some of the things you said are symptoms of BPD. If she does in fact have something like that going on, it might benefit you and even comfort you to have an understanding of it.

Children of Mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder - Jane Middelton-Moz

Borderline Personality Disorder | Psych Central

Borderline personality disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thank you!
Ever since I heard about personality disorders a few years ago and read about the "symptoms" I figured it was very possible she has one. Don't worry, I'm not offended ;) She has a lot of issues and during the last two years she has lost her two best friends (whom she has known for decades) which is very sad, but it is because of her behavior. So she ruins things for herself and that breaks my heart. I know she is unhappy but I can't do anything about it which is very frustrating for an ENFP daughter (at least for this ENFP daughter who wants everybody to be happy and get along, hehe).. Because I do love her and she was a fantsatic mother when I was little. She did so much for me (good things!) and was the greatest mom ever. But when I was a teenager she started changing and after I turned 20 it has gotten a lot worse. Indeed very sad :(
 

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I can definitely relate- I myself have struggled with an emotionally manipulative and deluded mother. I agree that the best thing you can do in this situation is to distance yourself from her, and stop letting her affect you- learn to feel confident in being your own person. Embrace who you really are and use that as a starting point for growth. I know this is easier said than done (I'm still struggling myself with many issues- many of which are emotional) Therapy/counselling is a good suggestion.
 

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I have had a similar experience with my mother. I like to approach things rationally and with a clear head but when it came to my mother I turned into a child again and felt like I was not my own person but an extension of her. I took a year off from the relationship, no contact at all and it helped. I grew a lot in that time apart, her voice faded away in my head and my own voice grew stronger. It's easier to talk to her, ignore her barbs and feel compassion towards her now. I also think by severing contact, the balance of power levelled out. She couldn't manipulate me into doing what she wanted because I wasn't there!

I guess my advice is like the others, know yourself, know your good characteristics, know your faults, so when she comes at you with things that aren't true, it can't hurt you.
 

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I was going to write a post about how she doesnt recognize your right to be your own person and you need to stand up to her and set some boundaries, but than I read your second post. My reaction was like wow respect.

It sounds like your doing a great job in a difficult situation. good luck.
 
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