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I am an ISFJ/ISTJ and have a very good friend who is an ENFJ. We get along very well. She is outgoing, very personable, loves talking to people, and can be a good listener. I met her three years ago and we have been very good friends since. She has always been a bit negative and has a pretty gloomy outlook on life (i.e. thinks life is out to get her when in reality she is doing these things to herself). A representative example of this would be her getting towed for parking in a tow zone that is clearly marked, but her response is "Of course I would get towed..I see cars parked there all the time, but they picked tonight to tow ME...just my luck." Instead of owning up to the responsibility of parking in a tow zone. In the past these events were isolated, but recently she has gotten so much worse.

About 8 months ago, everything went downwards. And I mean EVERYTHING. She is now very negative. As in cannot see the good in just about anything that happens to her and focuses so strongly on the negative in literally every situation (most of which she does to herself). She has a negative outlook on her future as well. She has depression, but I feel like she uses this as an excuse for her mood too often now. She still loves to go out in the evenings and see and talk to her friends (so she can't be too depressed, since often people with depression have a hard time being around people) but she constantly has to complain and talk about how life is out to get her. Honestly, I feel like she is looking for attention. She loves to involve people with how awful her life is and this just seems strange for a person who is depressed. I have a very good friend who suffers from depression and she just hermits herself when she is in those moods. This friend loves to involve everyone in it. Even strangers.

Now, as an ISFJ, I am typically very understanding and sympathetic of people. And I was with her at first. Yes, she was making her own problems, but sometimes people have a rough break in life. But this has been going on for three years and I am now finding my T side come out with her (which typically NEVER happens with people I care about. Only to strangers that have pissed me off really).

I guess what I would like is advice. From either ENFJs that have this issue of seeing the world in doom and gloom all of the time or from people who have been around this type of person. As an ISFJ this is becoming a huge problem for me because I want so badly to help her. I see very simple ways to fix her problems, but she just doesn't seem to want to fix them. I listen to her A LOT. When she complains I say 'I'm sorry' 'I'm here for you' and 'that sucks, I wish I could help.' But I am running out of things to say and patience. I do try to offer advice (which doesn't work so I don't do often anymore). The biggest issue I am having now is leaving a friend's house where she hasn't really had much to drink and seems totally sober and then she sends me very scary messages where she says I am driving home drunk and stuff like that and it really worries me (I am a huge worrier to begin with).

Any thoughts? Do I just leave her to complain to all of her friends because this is how she will always be? Does she just need constant attention? Or is there something I can do to help her through this? She is a really nice, fun person, so I hate to see her like this...Everyone tells me I can't help everyone and that they have to want to be helped. But I just don't know what to do for her anymore. Not helping her is not an option for me really.
 

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I love ISFJ. I would wear a t-shirt saying it. They've done so much for me. Sorry to hear about your experience with your friend.

I don't want to generalize, but I have a few ENFx friends, and they can be quite absorbed in themselves. You may not understand that because the typical ISFJ nature is incredibly selfless.

Here you are troubled about a self-absorbed friend, and the first thing you think about is how you can help her? That kind of devotion is indeed something I've only seen in ISFJ.

That said, if I were you I would counsel you to replace her. But that would contradict your selfless nature, and you may find that difficult to do.

Thing is, some people need to be left alone so they can handle their own problems. You may want to google the term "enabling." If you keep staying with her and helping her you might actually be worsening her condition, because you are making her dependent on your attention and love. I have undergone depression myself, and I would say that the best thing that happened to me then was when I was left alone to myself, and I had to uproot all those ugly psychological muck by myself and face them one by one.

The best thing to do for your friend right now might be to just leave her alone and just observe from a distance. I also hope that you reconsider your connection with her and other people as well. I've seen too many ISFJ fall victim to manipulative friends. It breaks my heart all the time.
 
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