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Discussion Starter #1
Hi ENTJs! I'm a college-age INFP who has realized over the course of the summer that her ENTJ-mother/INFP-daughter dynamic is not quite as healthy as it should be. I should preface this by saying that my mother is a wonderful mother who always wants what's best for me. However, I've been noticing that whenever we have different opinions regarding a situation, decision or action and I voice my opinion as a second option to hers, she either assumes an irritated/argumentative/scornful attitude that asserts her opinion as the clearly better one, or she in effect pays no real attention to what I say and continues on without ever having considered my suggestion. Suffice it to say, I am growing quite irritated with how my mother never comes to accept my opinion whenever we have a conflict of thoughts. When I do try to assert my opinion, she inevitably turns the conversation into a stubborn, one-sided argument that leaves me feeling drained and unhappy. My theory on her unyielding attitude is that the prospect of losing control of a situation repels her so strongly that she views the act of deferring to another's opinion as an act of relinquishing control.

If any of you ENTJs have suggestions regarding how I could make this aspect of my mother/daughter relationship more healthy, and how I could convince my mom to somehow let up on her need for absolute control, I would greatly appreciate it!
 

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My first question is what makes you so sure she is ENTJ?

Assuming she is:
Youre going to have to try and appeal to her Te.
Im not sure what examples you could provide us concerning what types of arguments/debates you have, but it's my belief that there is a clash because you are using methods in your skill set that she doesn't understand.

A common problem I've had with some INFPs is that debating with them is for me one of the most irritating experiences of any type besides ENFJs/ISFJs.

Reason being is once I see the argument is going sour for them (ie: I have the upper hand), they will pull at straws to get back into a stable place in the debate, even though the straws they pull have little to no relevance in the conversation.
Thus, at that point I get irritated, because instead of continuing the argument using appropriate points, they are just grabbing at whatever they can get.
Thats when I get impatient and begin to think my "opinion as the clearly better one".
Im not implying you do this to your mom, Im just stating what is possible she could be perceiving from her end.

INFPs are Fi Ne Si Te
ENTJs are Te Ni Se Fi

Te being your less used function, it might be best to appeal to it a little more so that she can see you are making your points clear and concise.

Ne is a fickle bitch of a function that I dont use very often and have a hard time understanding, however I think if you can exercise your use of Te and Ne together, perhaps your points will come across more organized to her, and it might be easier to deal with her.
Also, it doesnt help for the ENTJ having Fi the last of the first four functions, and INFPs have theirs as the dominant.

My best advice besides the above is be as rational as you can possibly be so that she is respecting what you provide to the debate.
I hope you guys work it out.
Not fun fighting with your mom all the time. My mother is an ENFJ and we get into horrible arguments.
 

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When I make decisions, emotions barely exist. I put tangible value to aesthetic pleasure, but the rest is purely utilitarian. This is actually so extreme that I have difficulty choosing a favorite color or band and absolutely hated when that kind of bullshit was called for in team building exercises in grade school and such. I guess it was better than the typical team building exercise of giving us a huge fucking project and having me ask for people's opinions until it was painfully obvious nobody knew how to actually get a damn thing done and start delegating... but i digress.

It would be extremely helpful if you could give us examples. Hypothetically speaking, if you say you want to go to college to study culinary arts and be a chef, if I were your mother I would think that is not worth the cost of a college degree because your earnings start low and cap early and you would be better off going with a cheaper form of education. Furthermore, I will think that if you are smart enough that you should really be going to college, you should probably own at least one restaurant and you would still be working with your passion of fine/fun/whatever dining, which would best be served with a degree in management or accounting, not to mention the security and opportunity of the other doors that degree would open, even in the food industry. See how I dissect that?

I seem like a real hard ass now, but I assure you that I am excellent at patching up disagreements, you just need to be open about what you are honestly thinking. If I shoot something down that you really like, don't be offended because I'm probably just not used to assigning value to something that stems from your emotion toward it. If you realize that your argument stems from that and start laying on the bullshit I'm going to tear it apart and wonder why you are refusing to get to the bottom of it. You will think I am being confrontational and argumentative, perhaps stubborn and mean. You just need to tell me why you think the things that you honestly think so I can evaluate your plan properly. If I still think it is dumb, I'll at least be able to tell you why and possibly even offer a suggestion that will make both of us more comfortable with the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for all your responses! I can definitely see how taking a rational, facts-based approach to explain why I feel as I do would catch an ENTJ's attention in a way that simply giving voice to my feelings would not. Lesson learned: a person with Te as her primary function cares nothing for Fi unless it is dissected and explained logically. Should be helpful in future dealings with my mom or any other ENTJ - thanks again!
 
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