Personality Cafe banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I was wondering if any ESFPs could give me some suggestions on how to reach my ESFP sister! Before I explain further, I want to start off by saying I LOVE my ESFP sister! Among her many talents, she has amazing people skills, and an infectious zest for life! I know, from experience bringing up ESFP struggles can be difficult for an ESFP so I want to make it clear that what I am about to say is coming from a concerned, loving place. While reading up on ESFP recently, I reached a section on ESFP strengths and weaknesses. I saw her in most of the ESFP strengths but what was overwhelming was realizing that she is living in all the listed ESFP weaknesses. I reflected on our childhood, teenage, and early adulthood spent together and I realized, for as long as I can remember she's been living to some extent this way...but recently it has gotten much worse. It is a little long but here is the portion from the website I was on that concerns me because honestly, this is her right now:

"Nearly all of the problematic characteristics described above can be attributed in various degrees to the common ESFP problem of being overly absorbed by the sensations and immediate apparent facts of the external world. ESFPs are usually very spontaneous and outgoing people who have little time for analysis of the complexities behind the world they live in. They are likely to treat any point of view other than their own rather shortly, waving away in particular the more intellectual and intuitive understandings of others as irrelevant and totally secondary to the obvious realities of life. If the ESFP does not learn how to deal with the tension that arises between, what to them, is the most obvious and satisfying way to deal with the world, and those deeper intricacies which lie behind its facade, the ESFP will begin to shut out any incoming information which produces this tension. This is a natural survival technique for the ESFP personality. The main driver to the ESFP personality is Extraverted Sensation, whose purpose is solely to perceive the realities of the external world and by which the ESFP orients themselves towards the things they need or desire. If an ESFP's image of the world is threatened by demands for careful judgement or reasoning, the ESFP shuts out the demand in order to preserve and honor their world view. This is totally natural, and works well to protect the individual psyche from getting hurt. However, the ESFP who exercises this type of self-protection regularly will become not only more and more careless of other people's needs and perspectives, but also cut off in a world where the facts and realities which they perceive become interwoven with a belief system which supports only the ESFPs desire driven view. Under such circumstances they will justify their own inappropriate behaviors in the most astounding or rationally simplistic ways, and will always find fault with others for trying to complicate and disturb what ought to be a simple and obvious way of life. It will be difficult for them to maintain close personal relationships because they will not only have unreasonable and simplistically concrete expectations, but will be unable to understand why such expectations cannot be easily met.
Its not an uncommon tendency for the ESFP to look to their inner world only for feelings that justify their desires and perceptions. However, if this tendency is given free reign, the resulting ESFP personality is too self-centered to be happy or successful. Since the ESFP's dominant function is Extraverted Sensing, they must balance this with an auxiliary Introverted Feeling function which is sufficiently refined to make reasonably objective judgements about the value of the ESFPs actions and the people and things in their life. The ESFP makes value judgements via Introverted Intuition. This is also the ESFP's primary way of dealing with their own internal subjective world. If the ESFP uses Introverted Feeling only to serve the purposes of Extraverted Sensing, then the ESFP is not using Introversion effectively at all. As a result, the ESFP does sufficiently consider the effects of their actions and perceptions sufficiently for a strong value system to arise in their personality. They see nothing but the joys, satisfactions and sensations of the world outside themselves, and deal with feeling only so far as it supports their need for constant stimulation and gratification. These individuals can often come across as coarse and lustful, although can just as easily seem the complete opposite, as refined and tasteful connoisseurs who, nevertheless, at closer quarters reveal their complete indifference to anything but the satisfaction of their own desires."

My family and I love her unconditionally, but she is honestly hurting us so deeply! Various members of the family have tried to talk to her about her behavior, tone, etc., but she doesn't seem to care, or she says she's going to make a change and then never follows through! We are in a really tough spot...really any suggestions at this point would be helpful...any ideas on how we can help her reach a more healthy place would be great. My deepest fear is that there is nothing that can be done and she will only realize the damage she's caused to herself and important relationships when it is too late. I hope this post is not taken as bashing on ESFP because that's not my intention... My family and I are at a loss...if you have any questions feel free to ask! Again, any thoughts are deeply appreciated!
Thanks,

-INFJ sister
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sai

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,529 Posts
My first suggestion is more paragraph breaks. =P

Secondly, everybody is going to demonstrate strengths and weaknesses of their type, that's just kinda the way it is. If you love her unconditionally, then that's great. Not everybody has a family that does that. You didn't say exactly how old she is, but you implied she's an adult. If so, you pretty much just have to let her live her own life. If she hurts you, let her know, and shut her out from having access to hurt you if necessary.

I dunno what else to say with so little specific to go on. No one who posts here likely knows you or your sister well enough to give good advice. All we can really share is our own experiences. So if there's something specific you want to know about me, ask away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
I'm in a similar situation with my ESFP sister. Childhood traumas and mental illnesses definitely bring out a personality-type's weaknesses. From my experience, you have to step back. If she wants help, she has to actually want it! Promise to be there for her and meet her halfway if she ever needs it. In the meantime, keep whatever distance it takes to not get hurt or sucked in.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sai and emgm

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
I'm going to make a response first just in case you never log in again :p I'll add to this post as soon as I'm done.

I have read the ESFP personal growth page many times over and over and I still struggle to fix my weaknesses. The problem is, weaknesses can't be fixed or changed, they can only be improved. In my opinion, the degree of weakness is associated with age. I am only saying this because the same situation is happening to me. Sometimes, I am completely oblivious to what others are feeling, especially when I say or do things with little or no thought all. If you read the whole page, I'm sure you'll remember "May become totally self-focused and oblivious to the havoc they wreak on others feelings."

Every now and then, I do self reflections and ask my self and think about all of the things I do and how it affects others around me. I honestly want to improve as an individual and be accepted in this society. It's not that I'm not accepted, it's just I don't feel as accepted as I can be, because mainly of what I do. And the main reason I'm here right now is because of my self reflection. Coincidentally, I run into your post which also asks about ESFP personal growth and it's the perfect time for me to reflect on my weaknesses and what needs to be improved. Now I just realized how much I've talked about myself.

I don't know how old your sister is, but I'm 17 and I'm realizing all of the possibilities that can result from my weaknesses, and it's starting to worry me. I'm going off college soon so I really need to pull my life together. And if I'm not wrong, according to your post, your sister is becoming more and more self centered and not realizing the opinions of others and is constantly doing things for her self interest/pleasure. I can completely relate to that, as that's happening to me. I think the main part of realizing and improving comes from the feeling of incomplete or unhappiness. And in the post you quoted, "...the resulting ESFP personality is too self-centered to be happy or successful."

I truly admire you taking your time to read about your sister as I wish someone could do the same for me and aid me in my process of personal growth. With that said, you should take the time to talk to her and ask her about how her life is going. Ask her about her future intentions, how she's feeling, whether she's happy or not, etc. It will be the perfect opportunity to ask her if she's interested in reading about her personality and show her the personal growth page.

I hope by sharing some of my views and down falls that you come to a better conclusion of what you can do. Thanks for your time :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I really really appreciate your response-very thoughtful and I admire your maturity in your self reflection!:) After more reflection and reading, I'm actually fairly positive that she is not ESFP but rather ESTP. None the less I think some of what you said is still applicable to my situation! I do however have an ESFP in my life-my grandmother! She is by far one of my favorite people-I admire her for her unfailing generosity and her go with the flow attitude!:) Anyways, thanks for your response:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sai

·
Registered
Joined
·
885 Posts
Well, i totally relate to your post. I dont have a ESFP sister, but i have an ESFP mom.

As your sister, she also seems to have all the ESFPs weakness.

I noticed how many times you said that this post wasnt intended to offend or judge ESFPs, and i know the reason. It seems that any form of criticism directed at ESFPs, even if its positive, will seem like a direct attack on them.
Ive tried all my life to give advice to my mom, and the most difficult part of it its making her realize that im not attacking her. When she doesnt want to listen she just starst crying and playing the victim role. She always does this, and as an INFJ its extremely hard not to be affected by this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I also have an ESFP mom and have experienced similar difficulties. Because of this I’ve spent a lot of time over the years trying to comprehend why she is the way she is and how any understanding garnered could help me accommodate her /speak her language.

One inherent difficulty for an INFJ and ESFP interactions is that ESFP’s primary cognitive function is extraverted sensing. This includes not only concretely experiencing their immediate environment but also acting on it. With my mom, this often takes the form of her feeling strongly about something that has happened and then communicating it so effectively that her feelings have usurped the situation.

An INFJ’s primary cognitive function is introverted intuition (foreseeing likely effects of behavior) and our secondary is extraverted feeling (considering and connecting with others). Both of these make it difficult for an INFJ to deal with the ESFP’s strong displays of extraverted sensing (if inappropriate or negative). One reason for this is that our sensitivity (Fe) to how others feel is completely overwhelmed by the ESFP’s passionate display of feelings. This is especially true when the ESFP’s behavior is self-serving and not likely to illicit constructive change. (The painful awareness of this is caused by introverted intuition).

I think sometimes that sensitivity for how she feels combined with her tendency to see the situation only from her impassioned stand point, can make me feel like the ESFP’s is being emotionally manipulative- even though they are clearly unaware of the impact their Se is having. (I’m sure they would tread more lightly if they were aware) And it’s not entirety the ESFP’s fault- because the INFJ will withhold how it overwhelms them if they don’t trust the ESFP. I’m sure if given good communication the ESFP would care about the affect they were having and do something about it.

On the ESFP side of things, I’ve heard several comment that they are deeply hurt by an INFJ’s unwillingness to “let them in” and this cyclically evokes the behavior that repulses the INFJ because the ESFP will often try to pull the information out of them. I also get the impression that ESFP’s consider the INFJ overly judgmental- and I have to say they’re probably right (as least when it comes to me). ESFPS- please comment on what else frustrates you- I’d love to know! And I hope you can forgive me for being too judgmental, M’working on it.

I think ultimately when the two types have difficulty with each other it’s because they live in different worlds. My ESFP mother lives in the moment- she lives in a world awash with passion. It’s a world that’s concrete, sensory, and fun. They’re the life of the party! Conversely, INFJ’s live in a world of complexity, hidden meanings, convictions, depth, multiple perspectives and subtly. And we could both become more balanced if we spent some time in the other's world.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top