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Hello...I'm new here...I have a question. I didn't know whether to ask it in the INTJ forum or here. I decided I would ask it here because even though the answers may be more blunt, they also may be more accurate.

I am in an internship. The coordinator is an ESTJ female (as identified by herself). Some issues came up as soon as the program began and the downside of her nature revealed itself. I found her to have no capacity for empathy at all. Any concerns of mine were met with dismissal and she interrupted me often. She was bossy and made snarky, rude comments. This seemed to happen even if I was keeping my distance and even if I was trying to be polite. We couldn't exchange more than a few sentences without her saying something callous.

I decided that since even minimal talk wasn't working--and I don't want to blow up at her--the best thing to do would be for me to ignore her. Well that didn't help at all because I found that if I'm not talking TO her, but AROUND her, then she will interrupt my conversations with unnecessary rude comments. She also still bosses me around, whether I ignore her or not.

I try to remain cool, calm, and collected in all situations, but it is getting difficult with her. I have to suck it up. I can't respond to anything she says because she is the coordinator--kind of like a supervisor in this situation, but not the direct supervisor--and she would just run off and complain to the direct supervisor. That would get me in trouble and jeopardize my internship. I've been doing good so far, but it's reaching the point now, though, where I'm afraid that one of these days she will say something and I will lose my cool.

I think I know what you all are going to say: it's my problem. Yeah, I know that (one of this person's favorite phrases is that something is not her problem). My question is, since ignoring her isn't working, and attempts at politeness aren't working, is there anything I can do to get her to stop talking to me and stop telling me what to do?
 

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I dunno about the "it's your problem" bit. Personally, I completely sympathize with you; that's a tough spot to be in, especially as none of the typical ignore/minimize contact routes seem to be working (which would also be my go to actions if in the same situation).

If the company is large enough that it has an HR department, it might be good to reach out and try to talk with someone in that department about your situation. Also, was the ESTJ the one who picked you for the program? Or were you interviewed and chosen by someone else? If so, you may be able to talk to them about your "internship experience" and express how some communication problems with the ESTJ have made the experience more difficult than educational.


Tbh, I think there are other users on here that might be able to offer better insight on how to handle this:

@MsBossyPants (if I remember correctly, you work in HR, yes?)
@niss
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Pilot, it's nice to meet you. You seem like a nice person, so maybe I was too quick to judge (about the "it's your problem" thing)...she is the only ESTJ I had had a lot of contact with, so naturally I guess I've been wary of the personality type ever since.

To answer your questions, no, she was not the one who picked me for the program. The person who picked me for the program is the program director (the ESTJ is simply the program coordinator). The program director is the one the ESTJ would likely complain to if I finally talked back to her.

I think you may have a good point and I have been considering the same thing. However, the program director is predictable, and I'm pretty sure that she would tell the ESTJ; the ESTJ would get defensive for about 2 seconds, then decide not to care, then forget about it two seconds after that, and then keep treating me the same way; and then the program director will stage some kind of "intervention," bringing both me and the ESTJ into her office. But I am seriously considering this option.

The other thing I have been considering (as an INTJ, I overthink everything), is just going along with it. See, I think this particular ESTJ (not all of them) is a narcissist. I wonder if I can defuse her by going along with her snarky comments and orders. Instead of ignoring her, I could say with a smile, "Of course!" or "You're so right!" and roll my eyes inside.
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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Hello...I'm new here...I have a question. I didn't know whether to ask it in the INTJ forum or here. I decided I would ask it here because even though the answers may be more blunt, they also may be more accurate.

I am in an internship. The coordinator is an ESTJ female (as identified by herself). Some issues came up as soon as the program began and the downside of her nature revealed itself. I found her to have no capacity for empathy at all. Any concerns of mine were met with dismissal and she interrupted me often. She was bossy and made snarky, rude comments. This seemed to happen even if I was keeping my distance and even if I was trying to be polite. We couldn't exchange more than a few sentences without her saying something callous.

I decided that since even minimal talk wasn't working--and I don't want to blow up at her--the best thing to do would be for me to ignore her. Well that didn't help at all because I found that if I'm not talking TO her, but AROUND her, then she will interrupt my conversations with unnecessary rude comments. She also still bosses me around, whether I ignore her or not.
Empathy for what? Rude how? Specifics, please.

I try to remain cool, calm, and collected in all situations, but it is getting difficult with her. I have to suck it up. I can't respond to anything she says because she is the coordinator--kind of like a supervisor in this situation, but not the direct supervisor--and she would just run off and complain to the direct supervisor. That would get me in trouble and jeopardize my internship. I've been doing good so far, but it's reaching the point now, though, where I'm afraid that one of these days she will say something and I will lose my cool.

I think I know what you all are going to say: it's my problem. Yeah, I know that (one of this person's favorite phrases is that something is not her problem). My question is, since ignoring her isn't working, and attempts at politeness aren't working, is there anything I can do to get her to stop talking to me and stop telling me what to do?
If she it the project coordinator, talking to you and telling you what to do is her job, isn't it?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't really want to get into specifics because the program director does a lot of google searching of everything and everyone, and I don't want to give any details that might trace back to me. I simply want to know the best way to treat this personality type.

The second question: I suppose I should be clearer, but I can't be but so clear for the reason stated above. Suffice it to say that it's a very independent program and though she is the program coordinator, we are not working FOR her. We simply have to meet with her. And that I don't mind; I listen, without saying a word. That part is her job. What is not her job is when I am involved in private conversation with someone else, outside of scheduled meetings, and she overhears and interjects with some comment.

Also suffice it to say that her bossiness isn't, like, meaningful bossiness if that makes any sense. It's not like she's telling me how to do something work-related or offering performance critique. That I would accept perfectly fine. It's nitpicky bossiness, like "stand here" or "put this there" or "go over there." The tone too, is so dismissive, and it's so constant, that it seems like she thinks I'm her servant. I know it sounds trivial but these little things from her have been adding up for a while.
 

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This doesn't really have anything to do with type to me... there are shitty people that act just like this in almost every type.

My only advice would be that if what is happening isn't working for you and she doesn't have the capacity to fire you, I would just tell her (when she does it again) "I don't think it's productive to say things like that" or even just "well that's unkind" or something along those lines. Don't say something like "I don't like when *you* do that" or "could you not do that", it might just make her be shittier about it.

If you do that, I'd also go to your HR or the equivalent and tell them you had that conversation. That way they're aware, and so if she tries to get you fired/demoted/whatever, you've preempted that.

If you feel you can't talk to her about it directly, I'd go to HR. Personally if I made someone feel this way and they went to HR before at least mentioning it to me, I'd be ticked off and think they were copping out of facing me (at least at first... I might empathize later once I found out how they felt because it'd be my fault and I can be a scary bitch without meaning to... but that doesn't seem like it's this lady's problem).

I hope that helps.
 
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