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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ISFJ's are by nature practical people. This practicality, however, does not always translate well to the other personality types. NT's, if they respect the ISFJ, will have the easiest time adjusting to the ISFJ's mannerisms and speech patterns. SP's often fine the ISFJ as restricting, but can come to appreciate the ISFJ's point of view. NF's though, are quite naturally at odds in the communication department with ISFJ's and it can lead to many misunderstandings. The following is the collective ideas on the subject that I have gathered in my studying and observing of ISFJ's interactions with the NF's and how to better communicate with those individuals in an ISFJ's life.

Let me preface this by saying that in no way that I believe that the MBTI and related materials are fact; I believe that they are a helpful tool in which people can learn why people do certain things and there thinking behind it. In understanding, we can learn to have patience with those that otherwise would seem to be acting foolishly.

The first thing about relationships between NF's and ISFJ's is that both individuals have to be willing for it to work. ISFJ's can say very blunt things that can be misconstrued(like when I used the word "relationship" that might be seen as me talking about "more than friend" kind of stuff, when in fact, it is just the broad word for interactions in between people). ISFJ's have to watch the possible connotation on their words and NF's have to be willing to take a step back and not possibly jump to conclusions on what the ISFJ was saying. It often can come down to a trust issue in between the NF and the ISFJ.

NF's also like things to flow. They want relationships to progress naturally and can sometimes see the ISFJ's reaching out as a forceful attempt to get closer and the ISFJ's actions as plastic/fake. This can often push NF's away. ISFJ's on the other hand, can see the interactions with the NF's as constricting and plastic/fake. They can feel as if the friendship is being stifled while the NF sees the ISFJ as forcing the relationship on prematurely. The best remedy for this is communication. Talking between the NF and ISFJ on a regular basis really helps them to understand one another. Unfortunately, if the ISFJ tries to open talking, this can seem to an NF as pushing communication, and thus push the NF away.

INFPs are the individuals I found to be the most willing to work through the tough process of translating between NF and SJ talk. Their natural optimism and flexibility is a great factor in helping the building of friendship between themselves and the ISFJ. INFP's can(seemingly to an ISFJ) be hurt easily and if they are hurt, will try to shy away from the ISFJ for awhile to recover. This can happen without the ISFJ knowing that anything is wrong until the INFP becomes distant. Fortunately, INFP's are flexible people and if they realize that the ISFJ was not trying to hurt them, they can bounce back pretty easily.

INFJ's are interesting in their interactions with the ISFJ. If the INFJ is in a good place/positive mood, then they can be extraordinarily warm and affectionate towards the ISFJ, and a real encouragement. In this temperament, they, out of all the NF's, the most likely to understand the ISFJ. However, if the INFJ perceives motivations contrary to what the deem acceptable, whether those motivations are there or not, the INFJ can become quite frustrating to communicate with.

ENFP's are quite wonderful friends to have for the ISFJ. They are almost always warm and affectionate and positive toward the ISFJ. They will often smile if they notice the ISFJ observing them. It is good for ISFJ's to smile back at these times, it helps the ENFP's interactions with the ISFJ. ENFP's have a need sometimes to nurture the ISFJ's(ironically). This can come off as them treating the ISFJ as a kid, and can be very condescending unintentionally. Fortunately, through communication, this is replaced by a mutual respect for one another with the same warm and fuzzys passing along.

ENFJ's can be quite a positive force for and ISFJ. Though they can come on a little strong sometimes, ENFJ's are often very positive and invigorating people. They can sometimes close themselves off at first and be kind of hard to get to know, but when they do get to know someone, they go full force.

As with all things involving the personality types, individuals may very from the norm. Some INFP's if they don't see anything "wrong" with the relationship, will not be willing to necessarily "fix" anything. This goes for all NF's as well. NF's see friendship as a river, constantly flowing with the natural forces. ISFJ's can see friendship as a fortress, built stone by stone. The thought of water and stone is often seen as opposites, but when they come together in harmony, it is quite beautiful. Like a rock, sitting in a river. The rock effects the rivers flow and the river softens/smooths the rough rock.

A lot of the arguments between NF's and ISFJ's can boil down to semantics and perceived motivations. Patience(and clarification through communication) is the best weapon against this. Knowing where the otherside is coming from, and not deciding to take offense instantaneously, interactions between NF"s and ISFJ's can be quite harmonious and wonderful.
 

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Thanks for this brilliant analysis.

As an INFP, I'm having a lot of trouble with an ISFJ friend of mine. As you said, I feel my interactions with her are really fake, there's nothing spontaneous about them. Unfortunately it's pushing me way, while she considers me one of her best friends. I don't think I can talk to her about it though, as I'm pretty sure she wouldn't understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for this brilliant analysis.

As an INFP, I'm having a lot of trouble with an ISFJ friend of mine. As you said, I feel my interactions with her are really fake, there's nothing spontaneous about them. Unfortunately it's pushing me way, while she considers me one of her best friends. I don't think I can talk to her about it though, as I'm pretty sure she wouldn't understand.
Well, if you she may not understand just by telling her about it, but if you give examples that often helps ISFJ's.

One of the best ways to connect with ISFJ's spontaneously is through humor. INFP's and INFJ's both have Ne function. If you can get your friend laughing, she should often return the favor and get you laughing as well. That is how I first connect with my INFP friends. Through joking around. It may be slightly awkward at first, but it can really help. Communication is always good. Staying up late at night and talking about feelings and life experiences really can draw INFP's and ISFJ's together.

Just remember, as long as you are both willing to make it work, friendships will always be their. Sometimes it just needs some time, or an event to push it in the right direction. ^_^
 

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ISFJ's are by nature practical people. This practicality, however, does not always translate well to the other personality types. NT's, if they respect the ISFJ, will have the easiest time adjusting to the ISFJ's mannerisms and speech patterns. SP's often fine the ISFJ as restricting, but can come to appreciate the ISFJ's point of view. NF's though, are quite naturally at odds in the communication department with ISFJ's and it can lead to many misunderstandings. The following is the collective ideas on the subject that I have gathered in my studying and observing of ISFJ's interactions with the NF's and how to better communicate with those individuals in an ISFJ's life.
Interesting. I've actually found that I get along with NF's more than I do SP's and NT's, though this is mostly coming from my point of view. In addition, the NF's I'm thinking of are INF's....I think I would be a little rockier with ENF's.

SP's sometimes overwhelm me and NT's sometimes intimidate me. The INF's I know though I feel really comfortable around. They feel seem so open minded that I don't feel like I have to act differently...I can just be myself. I can relax and don't have to worry about coming across too touchy-feely.

I do think this is partly due to me having a pretty well developed Ne. I've noticed that as I've talked to people on this forum...I feel like I understand and get along with N's a lot better than a lot of the SJ's they've encountered.



Trigun64 said:
INFPs are the individuals I found to be the most willing to work through the tough process of translating between NF and SJ talk. Their natural optimism and flexibility is a great factor in helping the building of friendship between themselves and the ISFJ. INFP's can(seemingly to an ISFJ) be hurt easily and if they are hurt, will try to shy away from the ISFJ for awhile to recover. This can happen without the ISFJ knowing that anything is wrong until the INFP becomes distant. Fortunately, INFP's are flexible people and if they realize that the ISFJ was not trying to hurt them, they can bounce back pretty easily.
I definitely agree with INFP's being the most open for ISFJ's to work with. I have a close INFP friend, and we get along really great and have a lot in common. I do think he views me as somewhat boring and set in my ways, and he's really big into politics while I'm bored with them. I can definitely see the N in him because he thinks about big picture issues so much more than me. However, he's also come to understand and appreciate me, especially when it comes to talking about day to day issues, and I do like talking about the big picture of education with him since we're both teachers, and I even humor him in discussing some political issues and things like feminism as well.

I have noticed we have different senses of humor, though, and we're kind of hit and miss when it comes to movies we like. But we really connect on being able to share one another's feelings without feeling weird, because we do have similar lifestyles as well.

Trigun64 said:
INFJ's are interesting in their interactions with the ISFJ. If the INFJ is in a good place/positive mood, then they can be extraordinarily warm and affectionate towards the ISFJ, and a real encouragement. In this temperament, they, out of all the NF's, the most likely to understand the ISFJ. However, if the INFJ perceives motivations contrary to what the deem acceptable, whether those motivations are there or not, the INFJ can become quite frustrating to communicate with.
Unsurprisingly, I have an INFJ friend who I think I'm closer with than anyone from the other NF categories (I say unsurprisingly because S/N is our only difference, though I've actually heard about troubles between INFJ's and ISFJ's on here as well, so maybe it's not a surprise).

But my INFJ friend understands me extremely well, and I feel like I can tell her just about anything. She's always extremely accepting and supportive of me. Sometimes I feel like she knows me a lot better than I know her, though...I do think I have a little trouble truly "getting" her. But she's an awesome friend and I feel like we have a great relationship.

Trigun64 said:
ENFP's are quite wonderful friends to have for the ISFJ. They are almost always warm and affectionate and positive toward the ISFJ. They will often smile if they notice the ISFJ observing them. It is good for ISFJ's to smile back at these times, it helps the ENFP's interactions with the ISFJ. ENFP's have a need sometimes to nurture the ISFJ's(ironically). This can come off as them treating the ISFJ as a kid, and can be very condescending unintentionally. Fortunately, through communication, this is replaced by a mutual respect for one another with the same warm and fuzzys passing along.

ENFJ's can be quite a positive force for and ISFJ. Though they can come on a little strong sometimes, ENFJ's are often very positive and invigorating people. They can sometimes close themselves off at first and be kind of hard to get to know, but when they do get to know someone, they go full force.
I've recently read a few threads about ENFP's in relationships with ISFJ's. It's been very fascinating and I've learned some about ENFP's. I do see the whole condescending thing happening (I think I've felt that way from people who could easily be ENFP's), but in some ways I think we ISFJ's ask for it. At the same time, though, I picture the relationship being frustrating...but I think you're right in that if good communication is established, it can work out very well.

I actually don't think I know any ENFJ's, and they're still a pretty mysterious type to me.

Trigun64 said:
As with all things involving the personality types, individuals may very from the norm. Some INFP's if they don't see anything "wrong" with the relationship, will not be willing to necessarily "fix" anything. This goes for all NF's as well. NF's see friendship as a river, constantly flowing with the natural forces. ISFJ's can see friendship as a fortress, built stone by stone. The thought of water and stone is often seen as opposites, but when they come together in harmony, it is quite beautiful. Like a rock, sitting in a river. The rock effects the rivers flow and the river softens/smooths the rough rock.

A lot of the arguments between NF's and ISFJ's can boil down to semantics and perceived motivations. Patience(and clarification through communication) is the best weapon against this. Knowing where the otherside is coming from, and not deciding to take offense instantaneously, interactions between NF"s and ISFJ's can be quite harmonious and wonderful.
That's a very interesting friendship view analogy, the river and the fortress. I'll have to keep that in mind.

But I agree with the patience thing. My NF friends have told me that due to my shyness and slowness to open up, I initially come across as dull and sometimes a little cold. But once I've opened up, they thought I was a fantastic person. So patience is key.


Very interesting post!
 

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Thanks for the insight. :) My closest friend is an ISFJ, and we have frequent misunderstandings, but we nevertheless just click so well. The most common reason for our misunderstandings is that he is very lighthearted and often will joke with me, while I tend to be overly serious and take offence to his not being in the same mindframe when I genuinly thought we were. At points like these, I feel like we will never truly understand eachother, but we always quickly bounce back. I tend to be the fickle one in this relationship, never knowing what I want out of it (we've crossed in to friends-with-benifits territory a few times), but he always is able to just roll with the punches and I love him for this.:happy: All in all, I believe that he is my life's greatest friend and always will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting. I've actually found that I get along with NF's more than I do SP's and NT's, though this is mostly coming from my point of view. In addition, the NF's I'm thinking of are INF's....I think I would be a little rockier with ENF's.

SP's sometimes overwhelm me and NT's sometimes intimidate me. The INF's I know though I feel really comfortable around. They feel seem so open minded that I don't feel like I have to act differently...I can just be myself. I can relax and don't have to worry about coming across too touchy-feely.

I do think this is partly due to me having a pretty well developed Ne. I've noticed that as I've talked to people on this forum...I feel like I understand and get along with N's a lot better than a lot of the SJ's they've encountered.
If an ISFJ has a high 'F' they can usually get along with NF's better. If SP's do not see the ISFJ's position as respectable to what they believe, they can be very difficult to get along with, so I can understand where you are coming from on that. With NT's, they can sometimes see ISFJ's as juvenile or too detail oriented. So yeah, I can see NT's being intimidating sometimes, but if you have a healthy relationship with them(which entails an equal respect for one another) then they can be really good friends to talk to(generally non-feelly stuff). If not, then it feels like you have to constantly prove yourself to them, which can be frustrating. There is also generally a difference between xNTP and xNTJ. ENTJ is suppose to be someone that an ISFJ gets a long well with, but I generally get along better with xNTP's.

Ne is really the best thing to have to get a long with NF's I believe, so I can understand why you do well with NF's.



I definitely agree with INFP's being the most open for ISFJ's to work with. I have a close INFP friend, and we get along really great and have a lot in common. I do think he views me as somewhat boring and set in my ways, and he's really big into politics while I'm bored with them. I can definitely see the N in him because he thinks about big picture issues so much more than me. However, he's also come to understand and appreciate me, especially when it comes to talking about day to day issues, and I do like talking about the big picture of education with him since we're both teachers, and I even humor him in discussing some political issues and things like feminism as well.

I have noticed we have different senses of humor, though, and we're kind of hit and miss when it comes to movies we like. But we really connect on being able to share one another's feelings without feeling weird, because we do have similar lifestyles as well.
Yeah, I really know where you are coming from there; it sounds very similar to my interactions with INFPs.

Unsurprisingly, I have an INFJ friend who I think I'm closer with than anyone from the other NF categories (I say unsurprisingly because S/N is our only difference, though I've actually heard about troubles between INFJ's and ISFJ's on here as well, so maybe it's not a surprise).

But my INFJ friend understands me extremely well, and I feel like I can tell her just about anything. She's always extremely accepting and supportive of me. Sometimes I feel like she knows me a lot better than I know her, though...I do think I have a little trouble truly "getting" her. But she's an awesome friend and I feel like we have a great relationship.
Oh yeah, if an INFJ is willing to make a relationship work, then they are amazing friends. INFJ's do hold a lot back though, so I can understand why you would have trouble "getting" her. However, if INFJ's do not want an ISFJ to get closer, or they see the ISFJ trying to force friendship upon them, then being friends with them is like swimming against the current(to keep the water analogies going). You just have to hope for a break.

I find that my Si really helps me understand INFJ's in combination with my Fe and Ne. Sometimes though, and INFJ will be surprised if you pick up on something, cause they are used to being able to hide things.

I've recently read a few threads about ENFP's in relationships with ISFJ's. It's been very fascinating and I've learned some about ENFP's. I do see the whole condescending thing happening (I think I've felt that way from people who could easily be ENFP's), but in some ways I think we ISFJ's ask for it. At the same time, though, I picture the relationship being frustrating...but I think you're right in that if good communication is established, it can work out very well.

I actually don't think I know any ENFJ's, and they're still a pretty mysterious type to me.
One of the things with getting along with ENFx's is how Extroverted they are, compared to how Introverted the ISFJ is, and how the ISFJ feels about Extroverts. If they are really Extroverted(as well as really 'J') it can be really intense. If, however, they are not extremely Extroverted(as well as possibly being 'P' or a layed back 'J'), the relationship can be really smooth. ENFP's can sometimes see the ISFJ's as too exacting and uptight, but if they get to know them, and understand that the ISFJ really cares, then ENFPs can be really awesome and fun to hang out with.

That's a very interesting friendship view analogy, the river and the fortress. I'll have to keep that in mind.

But I agree with the patience thing. My NF friends have told me that due to my shyness and slowness to open up, I initially come across as dull and sometimes a little cold. But once I've opened up, they thought I was a fantastic person. So patience is key.


Very interesting post!
ISFJ's mannerisms can often be seen as cold and our shyness can be see as uncaring. If the NF can get past the awkward exterior(to them) and if the ISFJ opens up and truly acts like theirself, through patience, NF and ISFJ relationships can be awesome.
 

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Well, if you she may not understand just by telling her about it, but if you give examples that often helps ISFJ's.

One of the best ways to connect with ISFJ's spontaneously is through humor. INFP's and INFJ's both have Ne function. If you can get your friend laughing, she should often return the favor and get you laughing as well. That is how I first connect with my INFP friends. Through joking around. It may be slightly awkward at first, but it can really help. Communication is always good. Staying up late at night and talking about feelings and life experiences really can draw INFP's and ISFJ's together.

Just remember, as long as you are both willing to make it work, friendships will always be their. Sometimes it just needs some time, or an event to push it in the right direction. ^_^

yep true that...I think that's how my isfj friend and I start off when we meet up again :laughing:
 

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Thanks for that. My mom is an ISFJ and we're both trying really hard to understand each other and have better communication so I appreciated this a lot. :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for that. My mom is an ISFJ and we're both trying really hard to understand each other and have better communication so I appreciated this a lot. :happy:
You are quite welcome! ^_^ Yeah, I know how it is, my mom is and INFJ, but we have started working on our communication with one another.
 

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Married to ISFJ - he is so dogmatic and rule oriented that I have given up trying to communicate with him
I'm really sorry to hear that.

If you've seriously given up, I would reconsider that because in the long run I don't see how a lack of communication will improve anything.

Have you considered attempting new strategies at communication? When us INFJ's just "know" something, it confuses the hell out of an ISFJ, and they'll want it explained in a way they can understand.

There's 2 roads to communicate with an ISFJ for us INFJ's.

The first road is to use our extroverted feeling. This, however, is only capable of "making-up" and improving their mood. It's not necessarily capable of convincing them of something. It's the best way to get them to open up, but if there's a disagreement, this may not work.

When you're trying to explain something in a disagreement, you have to change communication methods to the second road. You have to begin using extroverted sensing. This is the hardest function for us INFJ's to use, but we have it. "These shoes are terrible because whenever I am in them, I trip. I fell down in the mud today because of them!" That is -sensing- talk. An ISFJ will understand that.

"Joe Blow is a moron. People who think they can craft a country to fit an ideal of what they think it should be are just misguided idiots." That is a very much -introverted intuition- statement. An ISFJ will hear that and scratch their head. You're expounding your personal beliefs without credible sensor details that they can make sense of.

Instead of using such intuition statements, change your approach and try to come up with metaphors, analogies, and examples.

"Joe Blow is a moron. He's like a man who builds a flimsy bridge when he knows it's going to flood next season, only to wash the bridge out again." That statement is more likely to resonate with an ISFJ.

(I know my examples are rather silly, but focus on the delivery of the message, not so much what I am saying.)

Going into sensory speech is the only way you're going to communicate properly in an argument environment with an ISFJ.

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Oh and if none of this makes sense to you, consider the idea you might be an INFP. INFP's are known to withdraw from situations where their feelings are hurt. INFJ's might do it for a little bit, but we're likely to be so irked by what's going on that we'll jump back into the fray.
 

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My mom is an ISFJ! (๑→‿ฺ←๑)
I love my mother. I stress the heck out of her and she frustrates the fawk out of me sometimes, but there really is a genuine love there. And there always has been. She's probably the best caretaker I've ever known in my life.
And we always have an easy time with heart-to-hearts when I'm really stressed out about people and live, love...all that.

The only thing(s) that get in the way is the fact that I'm pretty sure she doesn't want me to leave home and she has a hard time dealing with wild unconventionality. Which....is pretty much what i'm all about.
I need to be out and doing new things, expressing myself, wearing wacky clothes, and living life, and she really likes just chilling at home. On Ebay. (-д-;)
And she tries to tell me how things are a lot of the time. Which doesn't fly well with me cause I feel like everything is all up to perception, and her definitions will not ever match mine.

But nevertheless, I love her. We get along just swell until it comes to issues & decisions that involve our personal definitions/preferences of lifestyle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Married to ISFJ - he is so dogmatic and rule oriented that I have given up trying to communicate with him
Cutting off communication is one of the worst things to do. If you continue communicating, even if its rough, generally things will get better. ISFJ's can seem arrogant often, without intending to be(see the thread: Sense of superiority/confidence?). Usually, ISFJ are willing to compromise, especially for harmony, however, if they deem something as "dangerous" they can get quite firm without really going into why. There is usually a good explanation for this that the ISFJ will leave out. By talking through things, you can often get to rational behind it.

When you're trying to explain something in a disagreement, you have to change communication methods to the second road. You have to begin using extroverted sensing. This is the hardest function for us INFJ's to use, but we have it. "These shoes are terrible because whenever I am in them, I trip. I fell down in the mud today because of them!" That is -sensing- talk. An ISFJ will understand that.

"Joe Blow is a moron. People who think they can craft a country to fit an ideal of what they think it should be are just misguided idiots." That is a very much -introverted intuition- statement. An ISFJ will hear that and scratch their head. You're expounding your personal beliefs without credible sensor details that they can make sense of.
Yes, some ISFJ's might not be able to understand that, but its generally more likely that they don't see the value in it. Not that they do not value personal opinion, however ISFJ's often forgo their own personal opinions for the good of others.
 

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Just be aware that when you stop communicating, the relationship tends to end.
Exactly

He has a masters degree in Psychology. When I mention feelings or relationship issues, I am immediately dismissed because he is the expert (he actually told me this). My opinions are worthless.

It is impossible to talk openly to this guy. I appreciate the encouragement to "keep communicating" but have found that the best way to handle his irrational behavior is to walk out of the room. It seems that the more I talk, the more entrenched he becomes. Walking away breaks the negative feedback loop.
 

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Wow, sorry. SJ type with a degree in psychology sounds dangerous.
 

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Wow, my ISFJ is planning on getting a degree in Psychology. I think he'd be wonderful at it. He's one of the most understanding, kind, warm individuals on this planet. As far as SJs go, ISFJs are the most agreeable type, IMO.
 

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Mmmm... agreeable? Yes, they often are, but they can also be very stubborn.

See, Si is often referred to as a brick (as opposed to a sponge). If their Si has yet to make a determination on a topic using sensory data, then they are often very open-minded an accommodating. The thing is, as Si expands with age, the brick becomes bigger and harder. Trying to pose arguments against the brick is very tricky business because there aren't many cracks. Any argument against the brick will be dismissed because they have specific knowledge in their heads that speaks to the contrary. Nuances of meaning are not an SJ's forte, so their knowledge and experience becomes very rigid.

This sort of stubbornness can yield situations where they may be technically right, but ohhh so wrong, which may describe datagirl's marital problems. Her ISFJ husband is probably right when he's discussing psychology, the problem is he's applying his professional topic to his marriage. Personal relationships can't be defined by books, especially psychology texts which have a lot of erroneous garbage in them to begin with.

The SJ temperament is the most likely to fall into this type of behavior, and I have a hunch it gets worse with age and experience if my ISTJ step-dad is any indication.
 

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The SJ temperament is the most likely to fall into this type of behavior, and I have a hunch it gets worse with age and experience if my ISTJ step-dad is any indication.
Very perceptive. After 27 years of marriage, I can predict almost everything that he is going to say in conversation. Mostly negative.

As far as his profession, he seems to be well liked and respected. We live in a small town in the deep South and, well, people talk. He treats his clients fairly, strictly by the rule book. His African-American clients love him because he does not participate in the good ol'boy status quo.

Wow, my ISFJ is planning on getting a degree in Psychology. I think he'd be wonderful at it. He's one of the most understanding, kind, warm individuals on this planet. As far as SJs go, ISFJs are the most agreeable type, IMO.
My husband is 48 yrs old, Southern Baptist, Republican. (Please hold any snide, Liberal put downs - this is not a political thread). I only mention these qualities because he is so typical of the "average guy" in this community. Am no expert but I suspect that the ISFJ (and perhaps ESFJ) is more likely to be shaped by cultural norms. YMMV
 

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My Mom is an ISFJ and my Dad an INFJ they really argue all the time over minute things that seem unnecessary. My mom will break down into tears and not say why, she seems like she wants attention from us INF's constantly but won't show it. So thanks for all the info here to help me understand her, she confuses me to death but I can always make her laugh which keeps our relationship stable. But the most annoying thing is that if I am upset she'll laugh and mock me and sometimes not even care but if she's ever upset i'll let her console in me give her a hug and try everything to make her smile + then sometimes she'll just make me leave her alone and not help... its really confusing to be so full of love for a family member but they never give it back or accept your love
 
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