Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone other INFPs out there with an ESTJ parent? What has your experience been like?

I just found out today that my mom is an ESTJ and I was shocked. I would have never guessed that we are complete opposites. We get along great (despite the fact that she always think she is right, haha). She has always been a very nurturing mom and I envisioned ESTJs to be colder and less emotional but that is not the case at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
my dad is an ESTJ and I hate him usually.
He's a drunk though, so that might be mostly why..
but he's such a drama queen.
He can't take it when somebody challenges him.
Interesting perspective, thanks for sharing your experience. I guess it goes to show that there is a lot more involved in relationships than "type" alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
My dad is an ESTJ and I was quite surprised when I found out about his type being my opposite. Honestly, I always thought I was more like him than my mom (who is ironically an INFP). My dad's always been supportive of me but when I think about it we are not that similar. He loves attention and he only cares about himself during conversations. He will rarely ask me how my day went even if I had mentionned earlier that I had an exam for which I was stressed for. He does not know how to read emotions at all and just feels uncomfortable with anyone who is not in an happy mood.

Otherwise, he's quite generous and he tries to be understanding...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
My dad is ESTJ - an unhealthy extreme. The only question on the test he had a little trouble with was 'do you do things the right way, or your way?' His answer: My way IS the right way! Yeah, we never really got along. I was never good enough for him, and he always tried to ridicule me and bully me into doing things and thinking like he does. I've since found out that while INFPs tend to show love and respect by accepting people for who they are, ESTJs tend to show love my trying to make you 'be happy' like they are. Made for a rough childhood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
Another INFP child with an ESTJ father here. I know what you mean about being surprised that your parent was ESTJ because my dad's very supportive and easygoing most of the time, which went againt the cold, strict stereotype I had for ESTJs. I questioned his type for a while but I now think ESTJ fits best. We actually have always gotten along pretty well, but I was always a good student and never really got into trouble (unlike my ESTP brother) so I guess being responsible kept me on his good side. I wouldn't say we're super close though since most of our conversations involve us joking around or him telling me about his day or whatever boring ass thing he's watching on TV at the moment (I guess his lack of ability to notice or care that he's boring me to death sometimes is his T in action?). We don't get deep enough for any conflicts to come up.

I think the more dangerous combination is INFP and ESFJ (my mother). We get along most of the time, but because she feels enough to be concerned about me but doesn't understand me it leads to a lot of conflict where she just annoys the hell out of me: "Why are you like this?" "Why don't you do this?" "You should do that." Ugh, I hate it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
I had to join this forum because I wanted to post a reply here. First, I want to ask slownumbers and others something. Is it really that hard to guess your parent's type? I've never had my mom take the test but she's definitely an ES and J. After reading the description of an ESTJ mother, I'm convinced that she's an ESTJ. ESFJ isn't that far away though.

I actually found this thread because I was looking for some guidance on understanding my ESTJ mother better, and that's because I want her to understand me better. We've been writing email messages for some time now. I've figured there's a pattern in how we misunderstand each other. We think differently. I'm an abstract thinker whereas she's the opposite, a concrete thinker.

We get along just fine, except for when I'm living my life my own way. Then she doesn't understand me but she floods me with questions. I explain but she still doesn't understand. She asks for examples and clarifications and I'm having trouble coming up with good ones. She understands the examples, the facts and the truths that she's asking about, but when she asks me "this is how it is, right?" it just doesn't sound like me at all. I want to say "yeah but it's not that simple!" I'm guessing that leaves her pretty confused. Well she can't admit that she just doesn't understand. She thinks she can understand anything if she tries hard enough. I was sensing that kind of an attitude once and I told her about it and she took it as a compliment although I found it something negative. That just shows how she misunderstands me a lot. She's quite prejudiced whereas I'm very open-minded and adventurous. She's having a hard time understanding how I didn't choose to be this way at some point of my life. She asks me if it's been good for me to be so open-minded (because to her it means dangerous). How would I know about anything else...? How could I suddenly change myself into something like her?

I've got a few childhood memories too. My mom used to make fun of me because something I did was "cute" and she wanted to share it with others. Well my reaction to her unintentional public humiliation was to stop sharing my life with her. So we were never really close. We only started to talk when I was in my late 20's.

So how do I make her understand me better? Or just accept that I'm very different from her? How do I make her understand that she doesn't understand?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,588 Posts
ESTJ father here - it took many, many years before we were able to come to some sort of understanding that I was not going to be like him. I avoided home like the plague from the moment it was possible to do so, and it was often very difficult to sit down for even dinner. From about the time I could start questioning him, around the age of seven, our relationship changed drastically. I was no longer daddy's girl, I was someone who took every opportunity to make his life difficult as is possible. That was when I really started to withdraw from the world and into my world of books, and why it is so easy for me to go days without human contact. Any human contact/communication.

Anywho, we've come to some sort of understanding recently. I have worked on being more responsible and doing that whole adult living thing, and he sees the effort and life is tolerable. There are still arguments where neither of us can understand the other, we pretty much speak and entirely different language, but we both at least try to figure it out, even if it is a few hours/days later when we've both calmed down.

So... I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is possible to come to some sort of truce or understanding if your interaction with an ESTJ parent was not so great while you were growing up. It's not easy, but it is worth it. I love my dad, always have, always will, and I think he's finally understood that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
My husband (ESTJ) has an uncle that I believe is also an ESTJ. His motto could be "My way or the highway". He has two children that I went to high school with, and they're both very nice people - soft-spoken, easy to get along with, nice to be around.
They have had no contact with their father for years, because they were never good enough for him. He has never seen his grandchildren. My husband tends to be very sympatheic to his uncle and doesn't understand how his kids could treat him so badly. He can't see that the uncle is reaping what he sowed. It's very sad. But Unccle "knows" he's right and will not give an inch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
My mother is an ESTJ. We don't get along and we never have... However, we do have moments where we're "okay" with each other. She has made me cry more than I can count... My father is an ESTP and he's no fun either.

If I were to move away someday, I'd like our contact to be short and to the point. I've realized the cold hard truth that we just plain don't like each other and we're better off without each other in our lives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
The part where the ESTJ parent doesn't understand you at all didn't hit me until very recently,

it's not that we disagree on the details; we disagree on the fundamentals.

The XTSJ's #1 priority is to be able to provide (food, shelter) for his family. Having a meaningful life is not so important, and is assumed to be a side-effect, or I dunno, maybe they even laugh at the idea of "meaningful" life, like there's no such thing.

For me, the #1 priority is to have a meaningful life. Money is not so important; it sort of comes and goes. The important thing is not to "save" money, but to develop yourself so that you have values you provide for the society, if you have that, you can always make money. (wealth is not the same thing as money). For me, money is wasted if it stays as mere numbers in a bank account, the whole point of money is to spend it to get what you want.

XSTJ's don't have that intuition, they don't see beyond the surface, they confuse wealth with money.

Say you work your ass off for money, what do you do with it?

The XSTJ would think, gee, I better save it because if I spend it I will have to work ever harder to get it back.

For me, and INFPs in general I think, we'd say: gee, I worked my ass off, I better enjoy it otherwise all my hardwork is wasted. I mean, wtf, I worked hard, I have the right to pamper myself (at least a little, dammit). What's the point of working hard and then not reaping the fruit of it?

You don't need to hang on to every dollar as hard as you can; you just need to gauge yourself, make sure you're earning more than you're spending, and that you're taking future plans into account (I need to save X for next year to do Y).

The problem with XSTJ's is they're not convinced by arguments. They don't have the concept of "this is my opinion". They think they just "know". Ironically, they often accuse others of being stubborn. Sometimes they try to understand, but they often can't. They have to work extra hard to understand. They hate seeing things from another person's perspective as much as we hate doing things XSTJ's try to force upon us.

Their attitude when approaching conflict is "How do I convince him/her to do this?". WTF, this drives me crazy. Why can't they approach it with the attitude of "How can we understand each other?" instead?

They seem to be just as bothered by the conflict as we are, but they don't try to resolve it, they keep trying to push their ideas up your ass, which makes the conflict even worse. Mind you, they *do* think they're working towards a resolution, but a resolution to them means convincing you of their opinion (and having you think like they do).

I found something that might be useful: while they're not convinced by talking, they *are* convinced by action.

If you ignore what they say, act cold, and do it your way, and succeed, they can't ignore that. It'll take a while and you'll feel guilty, but I've yet to find a better way. My dad used to drive me crazy telling me I have to get a PhD or else I'm not worth it. I was baffled by this notion, I tried to explain to him that millions of people lead good lives without a PhD, but it didn't work. In the end, I just did it my way, and I managed to land a job relatively quickly after I graduated with just a BS. Now he seems convinced that a PhD is not as important as he thought it was. My point is, I proved him wrong by action, and this is the only thing that convinced him. The problem is the INFP child never gets to do this until they're 22, by that time they already have plenty of wounds and scars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
my mom's either an esfj or an estj and we get along quite well. She's really loving and reminds me to do those silly plebian things such as tying my shoes and taking showers and not wearing my pajamas 24/7. Though her lack of imagination (or at least what I percieve as imagination.) can be somewhat frustrating, along with our different senses of humor. For some reason, the thought of going to wine tastings makes her giggle-y. She doesn't really get wacky humor. Neverless, I could hardly ask for a better one :happy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,541 Posts
My dad's an ESTJ & was the biggest jerk I've ever known, although it wasn't his type that was the problem. He grew up in a highly dysfunctional environment & carried his demons with him into the family. He was always enraged over something & I was his safest target. Major boundry violations even to this day. It STILL pisses him off that I'm nothing like him. I quit trying to earn his respect long ago & I rarely speak to him over the phone. All he knows about me is my name & what I looked like a year ago. Anyway, I've known some ESTJ's who were wonderful, friendly people. Unfortunately my dad wasn't one of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
hasenj, your post was very perceptive. My ESTJ husband is prone to accuse me of wanting to spend just for the sake of spending, even though I'm actually pretty frugal. I became frugal out of fear of his wrath for spending a dollar more than I "should" have. I've never been a shopper, but I absolutely hate it now, from having to justify and defend every chioce I make. I've always been smart enough to know to pay my bills before spending on unnecessary things, but he thinks I have to have this spelled out to me. But I look at money as a tool to use to enrich your life. What's the point of having it if it's just going to sit there, while you get too old to pursue your dreams?

The not being convinced by arguments hits home with me, too - he "knows" he's right and seems to assume my position, if it opposes his, is based on illogical emotions, and he has to convince me to see things his way, never the other way around. If he can't get me to agree with him, he just won't talk about it. Because I'm too stubborn to acknowledge the truth.

While this isn't an "ESTJ parent" thing, it feels like it - I often feel like I'm his child instead of his wife. He talks down to me like I just don't get things. And then wonders why I don't want to talk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Well, I think both of my parents or SJs, (although my Dad might be a SP) and they really, really hate my preference for Perceiving. They think I'm lazy and disorgainzed, and often get frustrated with me constantly losing things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I had to join this forum because I wanted to post a reply here. First, I want to ask slownumbers and others something. Is it really that hard to guess your parent's type? I've never had my mom take the test but she's definitely an ES and J. After reading the description of an ESTJ mother, I'm convinced that she's an ESTJ. ESFJ isn't that far away though.

I actually found this thread because I was looking for some guidance on understanding my ESTJ mother better, and that's because I want her to understand me better. We've been writing email messages for some time now. I've figured there's a pattern in how we misunderstand each other. We think differently. I'm an abstract thinker whereas she's the opposite, a concrete thinker.

We get along just fine, except for when I'm living my life my own way. Then she doesn't understand me but she floods me with questions. I explain but she still doesn't understand. She asks for examples and clarifications and I'm having trouble coming up with good ones. She understands the examples, the facts and the truths that she's asking about, but when she asks me "this is how it is, right?" it just doesn't sound like me at all. I want to say "yeah but it's not that simple!" I'm guessing that leaves her pretty confused. Well she can't admit that she just doesn't understand. She thinks she can understand anything if she tries hard enough. I was sensing that kind of an attitude once and I told her about it and she took it as a compliment although I found it something negative. That just shows how she misunderstands me a lot. She's quite prejudiced whereas I'm very open-minded and adventurous. She's having a hard time understanding how I didn't choose to be this way at some point of my life. She asks me if it's been good for me to be so open-minded (because to her it means dangerous). How would I know about anything else...? How could I suddenly change myself into something like her?

I've got a few childhood memories too. My mom used to make fun of me because something I did was "cute" and she wanted to share it with others. Well my reaction to her unintentional public humiliation was to stop sharing my life with her. So we were never really close. We only started to talk when I was in my late 20's.

So how do I make her understand me better? Or just accept that I'm very different from her? How do I make her understand that she doesn't understand?
This sounds EXACTLY like my ESTJ mother. I don't bother explaining things to her when she asks me something or confronts me about something because there's no way to win. Her way is the only way she can possibly conceive, and any other opinion is moronic. I love her, and she's a wonderful mother, but the word "understanding" has never been introduced to her. She's extremely concrete, tends to judge quickly and can be quite prejudiced. The embarrassing child scenes sound way too familiar.
The last question you asked, "How do I make her understand that she doesn't understand?" is one I've asked myself for a long time. I'll be thankful if someone else has an answer, because I sure don't.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
467 Posts
My dad is an ESTJ and I was quite surprised when I found out about his type being my opposite. Honestly, I always thought I was more like him than my mom (who is ironically an INFP). My dad's always been supportive of me but when I think about it we are not that similar. He loves attention and he only cares about himself during conversations. He will rarely ask me how my day went even if I had mentionned earlier that I had an exam for which I was stressed for. He does not know how to read emotions at all and just feels uncomfortable with anyone who is not in an happy mood.

Otherwise, he's quite generous and he tries to be understanding...
Sounds like my dad too. I'm a little worried because this guy I've been into forever is the same type, and certainly I have felt hurt and not liked/valued because of my dad (and this guy) being a little self-absorbed and not asking about me. They both can be critical of others and the being right thing or thinking your perspective is the most accurate one is troublesome. I don't have a very strong emotional connection with my dad as I'm afraid of being criticized more for sharing feelings. I try to not call when upset mostly, and he doesn't usually see me cry, though I do so a bit on my own and the better relationships seem to be with people who ask about me or let me cry and encourage communication. It kind of set me up to be awkward with men who actually are caring, because it is unfamiliar to have so much attention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I just recently tested my mother and she turned out to be an ESTJ. This fact brought me much relief. I subtly always blamed myself for not measuring up to her standards and thought that there was something wrong with me for not feeling loved by her. Now I know why I felt the way I did.
Growing up was really challenging. I yearned for verbal affirmation and physical affection, which were almost non-existent. She would kiss or hug me three times a year (Christmas, Easter and birthday) and never said that she loved me. I would scream and cry, because of the emotional deprivation, and she never understood what was the problem. Later I learned not to expect any emotional support from her, but at the expense of a heart break. Even today I chill at the fact that my mother would hug me. There is too much hurt. So, if you are an SJ parent and have an NF child, please hug, kiss and show a lot of verbal affirmation to your child.
Later I learned some of the ways she loved me. She would do acts of service, cook and provide material things and opportunities. Although she communicated encouragement by saying what I should do better, instead of what I already do good, she financially and concretely supported my wishes and desires (especially school-related).
Our two worlds began clashing more intense when I left the Catholic church to become an evangelical Christian. Although her only investment in my spiritual development was to push me to go to church until I reached high-school, she is to this day deeply hurt by my decision. She, herself, does not go to the Catholic church, and has no interest in spiritual things whatsoever. But the constant clashing regarding this over the last 10 years and all the practical decisions related (studying theology, changing a career), have helped me to build boundaries and know who I am. Her personality is very strong. If it weren't for this clash, I would probably succumb and live her life instead of mine.
I remember that going shopping with her was a nightmare (mostly for her). My slow decision-making was killing her softly. :) In the end, she decided to quit shopping with me and just give me money if I needed.
Her desire to control and supervise still irritate me, but learning that this is who she is prevents me to complain. I try to concentrate on the good aspects she has given me, like a sense of security, stability, concrete acts of service as signs of love and care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,449 Posts
My dad is ESTJ and we honestly get along great. He was a really caring father, I think because his father was for sure an NF type and that was the sort of father template he followed. He was not super affectionate but he always let you know he cared through concrete gestures. We totally can joke if we are both in the mood, sometimes his humor can be slightly cruel, but I can still see his point of view. The only time we don't get along is when we are working together, like on a project.
We tried to build a deck together once, he doesn't listen... GRRR, We also tried to write a song once (per my request) really just not a great experience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sweethomealabama
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top