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Ok. So.

I had a rough childhood in which my mom was in and out all the time due to drug addictions, and my ENTJ dad kind of held the fort for me. Mind you, she did all she could to brainwash me against him as a small kid, yet he maintained stability for me despite the fact that I had been tricked into thinking he was the fucking devil by my ultra-manipulative mother (and he knew that she had done this - he always seemed to know everything). Things between me and dad were really tense from 10-16 or so; we'd get into screaming arguments, I'd absolutely refuse to open up about things and that would frustrate the hell out of him, etc. I think that the way my mom had painted him still had an effect on me for those years, so I was VERY defensive around him.

Well, I'm an only child and he was my sole guardian for my teenage years, and things went from being super harsh to being super formal in the last couple of years that I lived with him. I wouldn't open up to him (though I could definitely tell he wanted me to at times), we had short concise conversations about what needed to be done, etc. I was a good kid, did well in school, whatever, I just wasn't keen on being friends with him.

As I've gotten older, he's gotten better at expressing the fact that he wants us to be friends. I'm not one to jump to conclusions, so I'm sure I've missed a myriad of hints that he was desperately hoping I'd get as our relationship started to heal later on. I think he always wanted a relationship with me, but I'm a very complicated little person. He often had issues understanding what I needed emotionally because I sure as shit wasn't opening up to say it. As a kind of funny example, after we'd have a big fight that he started, he'd always apologize by buying me something (without ever apologizing verbally, lol). I'd just find a huge candy bar on the countertop or something without even a note to say "here, don't be mad at me", lmfao.

It's been so many years that it's been my emotional paradigm to avoid opening up around him. I know that if I do, things will go well - I have a few times, and we're actually very similar people in many ways. I'm blindingly direct about my emotions and what I need when I open up to someone, and I think that's what he wants from me. We've just both had these fronts up for so long that it's a complicated issue of taking them down, and I know he's waiting on me to do it first, because he's unsure of the emotional situation.

I'm just here for you guys' advice on this. If you were my dad, what would you want me to do?

Thank you guys
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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I'm just here for you guys' advice on this. If you were my dad, what would you want me to do?

Thank you guys



“The past is the past. Let’s forgive each other for any hurts, real or perceived. We’ve both learned and grown since then. Starting today, we move forward. I love you. I want you in my life.”

**Now hug me, because I’m probably going to be trying not to cry.**
 

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I have had a similar relationship with my dad. I pegged him INFP because of his irrational behavior at times and silence at others only to later realize in my Fi grips that he's an ENTJ in Fi grip. The way he acted outside family was too ENTJ-ish to deny. I've been in physical fights with him and despite all that, he still hasn't completely abandoned me. My relationship with him now is very formal. My way of trying to smooth over the ragged edges is to shake his hand as firmly and honestly as I can every time I meet him. Mom tells me to start hugging him but that feels too awkward, honestly.

I've tried holding a straight-forward conversation about moving on from the past with him before. It didn't work naturally as we got into another fight some days after that talk. I didn't expect it to work either. If someone tells me to move on together, I accept it only as a confession of intention. I don't drop my guard until a good enough time without conflict has passed. And if I don't drop my guard, it just completely kills the point. Same was with my dad in the time between that confession and the fight.

ENTJs place a lot of value in the advises they impart to others, especially their children. The only time I see my relationship with dad improving is when I stop being a rebellious turd and take his advice to heart. I can see a visible happiness on his face then. And I imagine that as a father, my biggest disappointment (almost a frustration actually) would be to see my kids discard my lifelong experience and go on to commit the mistakes I warned them against. I know if I had followed some of my dad's advises, my life would be better and the fact that I still resist his ideas sometimes is what irks him the most.

Obedience and physical contact, are the only slow burn solutions I've discovered so far. The rest either fucks with my Fi or his. I'm only waiting for the day I take one of my dad's advises and do something valuable. That day I can walk up to him and say, 'I was able to do this because of you', and that will be the magic moment of reconciliation. I won't bet on a confessional in your case. Even when I fought with my INTJ bestie, I didn't have to tell him that I'm moving on for him to pick on the fact that whatever has happened has failed to damage anything between us. Our Fi values actions and concrete reality far too much to give words much value.
 
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Have an ESTJ dad. We had similar ways of expressing our views, and unfortunately, we had opposite philosophies on life. The past was the past, you were in the volatile teenage years, and I think you'd be a bit more developed since then. Just pitch a visit out to him, maybe make plans, hang out, and thank him for being a patient dad somewhere during the hangout.
 

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I came from a similar background
over time we mended fences only to form a really strong bond
I would suggest meeting him out once a week for coffee, lunch, etc
letting go of the past and invite him to a event [movie, play, music etc] that he might enjoy
being ENTJ he enjoys intellectual stimulation
my father passed this past July and he knew I loved him deeply upon his death
in essence forgive, forget and re bond
 
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