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MOTM Feb 2011
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Discussion Starter #1
I keep hearing that ENFJs are good at manipulating people. So why is it that I don't seem to have that skill and instead I keep getting people trying to manipulate me?

I have 2 ESFPs in particular I refer to. They give me nothing but heartache. One is my mother. I can not handle the guilt trips and the pity parties and the manipulation. Today I had a gutsful. I am getting very intolerant of their drama queen ways. I come from the school of harden up, why don't they?

So I am wondering this...

How do I stop these people from constantly stressing me out in this way?


Have you been in this situation?


How did you get out of it?



Oh and P.S... What type does an ENFJ become when they stop getting sucked into caring about people so much?
 
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I can be manipulative. I usually use it in a good way, but I can get people to do what I want them to do, or feel what I want them to feel. Not something I'm particularly proud of, but when solving conflict it can be very useful. I know exactly what to say for a situation to evolve one way or the other.


How do I stop these people from constantly stressing me out in this way?

Block them out. Even if it affects you, act like you don't care about them or what they have to say. They'll get frustrated and stop trying to manipulate you.


Have you been in this situation?

Not really, though I think I've been used by people and have let some do it because I liked them... sucks.


How did you get out of it?

Power shift. Turn it against them.



When you stop caring, you become an ENTJ. It's often easier to act like you don't care than to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. : / Acting like an ENTJ is my protection.
 

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I keep hearing that ENFJs are good at manipulating people. So why is it that I don't seem to have that skill and instead I keep getting people trying to manipulate me?

I have 2 ESFPs in particular I refer to. They give me nothing but heartache. One is my mother. I can not handle the guilt trips and the pity parties and the manipulation. Today I had a gutsful. I am getting very intolerant of their drama queen ways. I come from the school of harden up, why don't they?
ENFJs are good at getting people on board with what they are enthusiastic about - without consciously trying. We're the infectious type of persuasive. We don't try to do it consciously. It just happens, kinda like how we 'flirt' with people. That enthusiasm of ours gets other people to feel things. We inspire people without trying because we are so passionate about whatever it is that we're expressing.

However, the reason we're infectiously inspiring is because we're primarily extroverted feelers (Fe). This is our dominant function, so our thought processes start here. Combined with introverted intuition's (Ni) subconscious pattern recognition, and it allows us to express and emote on levels that no other type can - knowing exactly what to say and do to best express ourselves to others - because we care so much about others as extroverted feelers.

Problem is... our deep caring for others is a double edged sword, and while it fuels our ability to persuade others, it also makes us serious suckers when others have needs, desires, or wants. If it wasn't for our ability to see through people as well as we do, we'd be the most easily manipulated type in the system. Problem is our Fe (the wanting to help part) comes before our Ni (the seeing people's motivations part), so we really have to force ourselves to stop and take inventory when people want things from us - especially when our radar DOESN'T go off. We are usually really good at spotting people who have ill intentions, especially when we're not already emotionally invested in that person so it lures us into a false sense of vigilance. However, it is difficult for us to trust our intuition if our feelings are engaged because our minds are wired to trust feelings over intuition reflexively.


How do I stop these people from constantly stressing me out in this way?

Stop and temporarily disengage your feelings on them, which will allow your other functions to see more clearly what's going on and why. Once you see clearly, you can then change the way you feel about what they are doing.

Keep in mind though, that the amount of emotional investment you have in them will be in direct proportion to how difficult it will be to temporarily disengage your feelings. The more invested you are, the longer it's going to take to really force yourself to feel nothing (or neutral) about the person. It might only take a few seconds to do this with someone you've just met, but a few days with someone you're really invested in - like a parent or best friend.

This is a difficult thing for ENFJs to do, as it is entirely going against our nature - so don't be surprised if this is really hard to do at first. But, at times it is necessary to step outside of our pattern so we can see the real problems from another perspective.

Have you been in this situation?

Clearly, hehe.

How did you get out of it?

The easiest way for me to get out of it was to internally villify whoever was causing me the problem into an 'us vs. them' bracket. Only then could I disconnect and allow my mind to solve the issue objectively. Once I'd had them on 'time out' emotionally for a while, my mind would eventually solve the issue, and then I could forgive them and start over.

Oh and P.S... What type does an ENFJ become when they stop getting sucked into caring about people so much?
According to Beebe's model for stress adaption, ENFJs stress modes are INFJ when 'pressed', then ESTP 'highly stressed', then ISTP 'overwhelmed'. The theory states that the mind adapts when its normal mode of thinking can't overcome a stressor and switches the order in which it uses the functions.

Though, in my own experience, I've found that I go INFJ when stressed by my feelings or things of a spiritual nature. I go ISTP when stressed by problems that require logic, and I go ESTP when threatened by something that causes me danger or forces me to be competitive... which seems to be more reactive use of each dominant function respectively. The upside to being in them is that they help us develop our other functions. INFJ mode develops Ni. ESTP mode develops Se. ISTP mode develops our weakest function Ti.

When we slip into our STP modes, it's really easy to stop caring about people so much. However, these are all temporary modes, and we always come back to 'normal' when the stress is removed... but with greater use of the functions we developed while stressed.
 

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Interesting...those stress mode functions may not be for everyone.

This is what happens to me:

Normal = ENFJ (or whatever I am)
Mildly stressed = same (mild to moderate stress is normal and daily)
Starting to get overwhelmed, prolonged stress = ESTJ then INTJ
Even MORE stress for longer times = INTP

Then ISTP, ESFJ, then ISFJ...The bottom of the barrel. When I'm practically suicidal no-sleep panic attack stressed. This has happened only a few times in my life, and it was the worst. Just NOT me at all. Like being operated by an alien.
 

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MOTM Feb 2011
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Discussion Starter #5
Nobleheart, you seem to be a well of information. lol.
 

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Normal = ENFJ (or whatever I am)
Assuming you are an ENFJ, and not an ENFP, then you're probably misinterpreting your modes. (However, if you are an ENFP, then what you're describing is quite accurate.)

Mildly stressed = same (mild to moderate stress is normal and daily)
This is where you're starting to slip into INFJ mode. The two types are very similar, but your Ni is starting to take over and your Fe is letting go of control. You're less social and outgoing in this mode, but still have the same 'core' personality. Ni and Fe are at the top. Se and Ti are at the back. (Unless you're an ENFP, at which point you're starting to slip into INFP mode)

Starting to get overwhelmed, prolonged stress = ESTJ
What you think is ESTJ mode is very likely ESTP mode. You're still using your Ni and Fe in these modes. Your mind is simply letting Se and Ti drive. You don't literally become another type. You just amplify the parts of yourself that are dominant in those types, so you seem like a hybrid of them. ENFJ + ESTP can seem like ESTJ. I can assure you, unless you suffer from multiple personality disorder, you're not spontaneously developing dominant Te. It's a combination of Ni, Fe, Se, and Ti in a form that seems like ESTJ to you because Se and Ti have taken over, pushing Fe and Ni to the back. However, you're still Fe dominant, so you're going to seem more like a J than not. (If you're an ENFP, than ignore all of this because you'd be in ESTJ mode here)

... then INTJ. Even MORE stress for longer times = INTP
Same here, but with respect to ISTP. ISTP + ENFJ can look a lot like INTP or INTJ. You're using your Ni and Ti more than your Se and Fe in this mode. (If you're an ENFP, then you'd be in ISTJ mode - Si and Te - with a strong dose of Ne and Fi so it would also look like INTJ or INTP)

I hope this explains adaptive stress modes better.


Nobleheart, you seem to be a well of information. lol.
Thanks, I've studied the hell out of this stuff for years. I'm glad all of that time and effort can be of benefit to others. (Also... totally putting that in my sig, hehe)
 

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MOTM Feb 2011
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Discussion Starter #7
Well in that case maybe I am turning INFJ at the moment.
I definitely don't have the capacity to be my normal ENFJ self. I just want to retreat from these drama queens. I look at myself and think "Gee when did you get so hard?" I have these thoughts that are like, "She should just harden up and sort it out already".
 

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Well in that case maybe I am turning INFJ at the moment.
I definitely don't have the capacity to be my normal ENFJ self. I just want to retreat from these drama queens. I look at myself and think "Gee when did you get so hard?" I have these thoughts that are like, "She should just harden up and sort it out already".
Yup. That's a natural part of the stress progression for us. It might be unpleasant, but it means you're healthy and normal for an ENFJ. It means you'll come to a conclusion and sort it all out eventually. It also means you'll be developing more of your Ni and Ti... something we ENFJs can always use.

Sorry you're going through it, but I promise you'll be a healthier stronger person before it's over. :)
 

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Well in that case maybe I am turning INFJ at the moment.
I definitely don't have the capacity to be my normal ENFJ self. I just want to retreat from these drama queens. I look at myself and think "Gee when did you get so hard?" I have these thoughts that are like, "She should just harden up and sort it out already".
why don't YOU harden up. You've been whining about these whiners in multiple posts now. And I wasn't even stalking you..

Though this is coming from an infamous ranter herself, so take this observation as you will. :p
 

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How do I stop these people from constantly stressing me out in this way?
Stop letting them
I know you feel torn right now and helpless, but you aren't
Others only have power over you if you give it to them

Have you been in this situation?
Many times, there are individuals in my family who have a habit of doing exactly this. I understand why they are this way and sympathise to certain extent but cut them off mid-sentence when they begin a tirade. If they continue to wail, I leave (physically go somewhere else)

I realised that they didn't actually want things to change for the better (not really). They don't like their situation but they've grown so comfortable in it that they won't change until some external factor forces change upon them

Jung said it best "That which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate"

How did you get out of it?
Go for a walk, call up a friend and see how they're doing. Always good to catch up with old friends

Oh and joining a volunteer group helped a massive amount
Helping someone who's homeless, recovering from gunshot wounds and had their family massacred but still manages to remain upbeat (because he'd be literally dead if he couldn't remain positive about his life and keep pushing forward) kinda puts most people's petty problems in perspective

There are people out there who you can help with the smallest effort and others who nothing seems to help

Focus your energies where you can do the most good
 

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MOTM Feb 2011
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Discussion Starter #11
why don't YOU harden up. You've been whining about these whiners in multiple posts now. And I wasn't even stalking you.
Not a very helpful comment. I have been 'whining' about it as you put it because this is the only place I do whine. I have to suck it up IRL. But the stress is getting too much now.

Oh and joining a volunteer group helped a massive amount
Helping someone who's homeless, recovering from gunshot wounds and had their family massacred but still manages to remain upbeat (because he'd be literally dead if he couldn't remain positive about his life and keep pushing forward) kinda puts most people's petty problems in perspective

There are people out there who you can help with the smallest effort and others who nothing seems to help

Focus your energies where you can do the most good
This is good advice, thanks. I have already volunteered to help with something which will start in November, so hopefully that will help me to feel a bit healthier about myself focusing on others. This grief thing is a bit self indulgent unfortunately, I was just thinking that if my ISTJ dad hadn't died I could have talked to him about things and he would have made me feel like 'I could do it'.
 

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ENFJs are insightful and influential.

Some people don't like others being able to look inside them, they project onto you can call it manipulation.

I wouldn't worry about it.. We can't control how people feel.. They need to take responsibility for their own emotions.

I am not a charmer.. some people just find me charming.. it's not the same thing .
 

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Sounds like you need a hug

Where are the huggers on the forum?
Is there a hug signal that we can shine into the sky like when they call Batman?
 

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MOTM Feb 2011
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the hugs guys.

I have realised now that I need to stop her from saying certain things to me, which will never come to anything good. Next time she tries the guilt trips and emotional blackmail I am going to try cutting her off before the comments take root.
 

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I have realised now that I need to stop her from saying certain things to me, which will never come to anything good. Next time she tries the guilt trips and emotional blackmail I am going to try cutting her off before the comments take root.
You can't win with toxic people. You just can't. The only thing toxic people hate more than themselves are people who are happy with their lives.

If she makes you feel like shit, that's not her problem. If anything, why would she think she's doing anything wrong since you keep coming back for more? You need to take control of your own emotions. What are you getting out of this relationship with her? Why do you talk to her?
 

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MOTM Feb 2011
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Discussion Starter #20
What are you getting out of this relationship with her? Why do you talk to her?
You know we're talking about my mother aye? Not someone I can just ditch. I love her but unfortunately she has these really annoying ways. I need to toughen up and make some boundaries with her, because she has always been able to get her own way with our family. And it's not that she is toxic so to speak, more that she lives in the realm of guilt tripping and emotional blackmail. But don't worry I can see that I need to stop empowering her.
 
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