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Discussion Starter #1
So since my first thread didn't work out, I'm going to give it another shot. :)
My mom is an ISFJ who loves chores, she always has to be doing something, be it cleaning, washing and stuff like that whenever she's free. I don't necessarily have any problems with that, what bothers me though, whenever I try to have a conversation with her about something important, she never pays attention. Like last night I was quite depressed and tried talking to her about something that's bothering me for a while but as always I felt like she didn't want to listen, she just kept doing what she was doing at that moment, I still tried to communicate and she went like "yeah yeah I get it, now do the dishes..." Needless to say it made me feel even worse. Also I suffer from social anxiety and generalised anxiety and at times can feel very lonely and misunderstood (coupled with being an INFP of course!) but I feel like she just doesn't get any of it, even when I try to explain, maybe its too abstruct for her? Or maybe because she doesn't see most "normal" people (SJ people in other words) acting like that. I know she loves me a lot and wants the best for me. She's always been very nurturing and attentive to my health issues and security or anything practical, making sure I always get what I want. And living by myself now I understand the importance. I can always count on her for concrete and practical stuff but growing up I've always felt emotionally unfulfilled, she just never understood my intense emotions, my highly sensitive nature or mood swings. I've tried telling her that it bothers me when she doesn't pay attention while I'm talking, but she basically told me that she always listens despite being busy but stays silent as most of the times she doesn't have anything helpful to say. I don't want her to always say something helpful, I understand that's not always possible. But she could atleast show that she's paying some attention! So I guess what I want to ask is, can other ISFJs relate to this? Also, should I just stop talking to her about my problems since I end up feeling more frustrated and discouraged when I do?
 

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Your mother doesn't sound like an ISFJ to me. Do you have anyone else to talk to? It's important to have someone to "lash out" emotional thoughts and feeling towards, but there has to be someone willing to really listen. I have tried talking about stuff like this to a close friend, but he was simply unable to "listen" and show proper affection and care. I can relate to how that feels, and it doesn't feel good, it makes it worse as you said. Luckily I have a mother that listens.

Have you ever had a satisfying conversation with your mother were you tell her about emotional feelings and thoughts, and get helpful feedback?
 

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Ummm... What I'll tell you is from my own personal philosophy in life and not about an MBTI profile.

It's healthy when we are open to others and we express our feelings (for them or in general) but if you are old enough to live by yourself, and you do, then talking to your mother about personal issues is not a good idea.

Friends are more appropriate for that but if you feel the issue is something more than a short-lived thing or if it's something more serious, then friends might also not be able to help. I know I've been overwhelmed with friends that had real problems.

I could very well be wrong but I get this feeling that the source of the issue is that your mother is not giving you the attention and understanding you want from her. And this isn't something that's happening for a couple of weeks or months, it's older:

she never pays attention

growing up I've always felt emotionally unfulfilled

she just never understood my intense emotions
May I recommend you talk to a therapist or a psychologist?
 

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My mom is an INFJ, and she sounds very INFJ to me. She always put work first and had to finish doing everything before she relazed. As an ISFJ- I'm not like that at all. I like to make sure that my family knows how much I love and appreciate them.

She couldn't understand or comfort me when I was going through struggles earlier in my life. I would call her and talk to her about them but she would just say things like "just keep going" and "I think you just want to pity yourself." And instead of helping and trying to have me focus on the good things, she just seemed to point out the obviously wrong things about me. That was about it. Things got better but I had to come through the reasoning on my own. Everyone has struggles and life is hard but we're all in it together. We have each other and there are still good things despite all the bad that seems to ruin it.

It's all about perspective and how you view reality. But anyway, I hope you find help! Send me a pm and we can compare/contrast our moms or something :p
 

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My wife is an ISFJ and I see this from her sometimes with our kids. She truly cares for them, but gets focused on other details and tunes them out sometimes. Doesn't help that we have at least one that never stops talking, I have a hard time keeping that one tuned in, after awhile it's just background noise.

I would suggest getting her out of the normal routine, maybe say I really need to talk to you and invite her to lunch or somewhere that the constant distractions aren't present. Then go from there.
 

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Now I'm doubting if I am ISFJ, because I experienced the same intense emotions and horrible mood swings coupled with depression and anxiety.

My mom, I suspect, is an ISFJ and she was always there for me. She tried every way possible to cheer me up, dedicating a lot of time and money. It actually aged her a lot :sad:. But what I learned was to be vocal and open about my feelings. Just talk to her and let the emotions just come out. My mother didn't understand at first, but just by me talking and thinking out loud, she started to comprehend. Through trial and error, she learned when to leave me alone to sulk, and when to intervene.

Just remember, it gets better. The most important thing is communication and patience. Every mother wants their children to be happy deep down.
 

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I am an ISFJ mom and I have a twenty year old daughter. If there is only one thing I have done right in my life, it's that I have always been there for her no matter what. I would never think about making chores or anything else more important than being their for my daughter or anyone in my family that needs support. I think this is actually pretty typical for ISFJs to put family and friends first before chores.

I also feel like it's a false stereotype that ISFJs are so focused on chores and not much else. I hate chores!!! I try to keep a comfortable home for my family, and if there is something that needs to be done, I do it, but my family comes first. My daughter has never even had to do regular assigned chores. I ask for her help once in awhile, and sometimes she even offers to help me with something without being asked, but that's not the same thing as "chores."
 

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I can't say I understand your mother's behavior. I have two sons and they always come first, especially if I feel they are troubled. ISFJs are quite proactive in protecting their kids and providing options for solutions if needed. I think it's important to understand that kids don't come with a book of instructions and most parents are doing the best they can. I think often times parents get so stuck in their own element they fail to see what is going on around them. I like the comment of getting her out of her routine and asking her to lunch. Why not try to take evening walks together? Is your father around? Are you able to connect with your father better?
 

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My sister ISFJ is sometimes like this. Bluekitdon's post sounds bang-on to me. Shale's does as well.

My sister adores her family but is so stressed out, with good reasons, that she can be fairly dismissive. Her three children mean the world to her but she is so busy trying to hold down the fort (husband is very uninvolved and unhelpful) that she often isn't there emotionally for her kids, especially her ENFJ son.

My grandma is also ISFJ and also had the same issues. She confessed to me that she just didn't know what to do since she didn't learn from her widowed mother. She also was very stressed with an unhelpful bad husband and 5 kids.
 
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