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Discussion Starter #1
Hello INFP's

Well the reson is to aks for some advice...its about my relationship with my mother. She is typed as an ESFJ. I'm an INFP and we kind of clash. I don't feel we have a bond of unterstanding and acceptence.. or that could be just me. I'm very emotional, and she sees that as sign of weakness... whenever I show deep emotions she doesn't understand it. She gets mad of me, and says I'm inmature for letting myself go... but it is really that those emotions are me. I cannot change who I am. I could become more careless, more solid. But then I woudn't be myself anymore... What also ennoys me is that she has no imagination at all, obsesses about unimportant little details... she is also very rigid. Its her way or the highway. She doesn't like things that aren't usual. When I first expressed my love and feeling for the goth and alternative styles she kind of freaked out. She doesn't unterstand the beauty of it. She sees it as silly and or weird. The same thing about art. I go to art school, and she doesn't unterstand it at all... When she sees people who are diffrent she automaticly judgess them. She is always very chatty and positive to others. She has to have people around her and doens't unterstand my longing of solitude. To be alone from time to time. She sees my introversion and percheving as very bad qualitly. I aqtualy feel that deep down inside so looks a bit down on me. For being the way I am. I also see her as superficial. Always being so happy and caring for other. But aqtually she doen''st like all of those people. But she acts that way because she thinks it right. She values traditon and social convensions very much. I don't really care about such things... does that make me a bad person? Also, she isn't really envolved in the world and the big picture... like I can cry when I think at animals in a farm factory, Im vegatarion. She sees that as stupid and anjoying because she has to cook diffrent for me. She doens't deeply feel my reson for it. I could on and on about these things...Doesn't like mess either and is obsessed with her invironnement... She has to be in control of almost everthing. I feel a bit bad to be so negative. But the truth is that if she wasn't my mother I wound't want to deal with her at all... because of her personality. I hope you guys aren't offended by these tread of mine. But I hope you see were Im coming from. Do you know other ESFJ's? How do you deal with them? What of the INFP's traits annoyes ESFJ'S? What annoyes you about them? I really want to know how you think of this.

Thank you!

Love,

GoldenDawn

PS sorry for the grammar mistakes, English isn't my native language....
 

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That's a tough one. I'd type my mother as an esfj, and she doesn't seem anything like that. Sure, we butt heads sometimes, but my mother has always taken interest in most of the things I like. Heck, when I went through my goth phase, she was the one that bought a trench coat and shirts we all manner of skulls and monsters, haha.

To be blunt, when I deal with people like that, I tend to walk them in intellectual circles and then make them sound stupid. But, being your mother, I guess that wouldn't be such a good thing. I wouldn't worry about it too much; you and your mother are two different people, and if she doesn't like that, that is too bad. Her words don't make the world go around. Some of the greatest people in the world that have instilled change have been NFs. Ghandi, Martin Luther King jr, Tolkien, The Virgin Mary, JESUS CHRIST himself. Perhaps you could point that out to her.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's a tough one. I'd type my mother as an esfj, and she doesn't seem anything like that. Sure, we butt heads sometimes, but my mother has always taken interest in most of the things I like. Heck, when I went through my goth phase, she was the one that bought a trench coat and shirts we all manner of skulls and monsters, haha.

To be blunt, when I deal with people like that, I tend to walk them in intellectual circles and then make them sound stupid. But, being your mother, I guess that wouldn't be such a good thing. I wouldn't worry about it too much; you and your mother are two different people, and if she doesn't like that, that is too bad. Her words don't make the world go around. Some of the greatest people in the world that have instilled change have been NFs. Ghandi, Martin Luther King jr, Tolkien, The Virgin Mary, JESUS CHRIST himself. Perhaps you could point that out to her.

Thank for replaying. That means a lot :) Well the thing is.... I do worry alot about this. I got the feeling I'm unwanted... for the person I really I am. I can't indentify with both of my parents...But thank you! The things is that she acts in those ways about me... makes me feel like '''the outsider''. My own stagety now, is to leave her alone, and don't let her in to much.... I won't involve with her either. Just withdrawing... it's ok.

PS do you still like the goth style? I do, it's so beautiful :) I especially like the romantic styles.
 

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Thank for replaying. That means a lot :) Well the thing is.... I do worry alot about this. I got the feeling I'm unwanted... for the person I really I am. I can't indentify with both of my parents...But thank you! The things is that she acts in those ways about me... makes me feel like '''the outsider''. My own stagety now, is to leave her alone, and don't let her in to much.... I won't involve with her either. Just withdrawing... it's ok.

PS do you still like the goth style? I do, it's so beautiful :) I especially like the romantic styles.
Sometimes it takes losing something to make you appreciate it. I think if you distance yourself, and make it known what she does is hurtful, she eventually come around when she realizes she may lose you. Any good parent will usually realize that.

Not quite as much, I guess I've gotten more into the punk/rocker look more so than goth really. I hate to go along with the crowd, but I honestly love the stuff affliction makes. I don't like being associated with macho asshats at bars, but I just can't get over how cool the artwork on their clothes is.
 

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Hey Dawn,

I totally understand what your going through. My mom is also a ESFJ and the behavior of you mom sounds just like mine. From reading your post it sounds like you're a lot younger than I am. (I am approaching middle age....:) Anyway, over the years as I have become more comfortable with who I am, the acceptance of my mother means less and less. She loves me dearly, but she will never "get" me and that's OK. I've almost gotten to the point where I feel somewhat superior in the relationship. I feel like I have an emotional maturity that she will never have. I see the world in a totally different way than she does and I actually feel kind of sorry for her sometimes. To be so closed minded and blind to the beauty of people's differences is really sad I think.

So I guess what I'm trying to say, is hang in there. You're already ahead of the game in knowing why you don't get along. (It took me many years to get to that point) Remember that she does love you and you don't need to apologize for who you are.
 

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Hey there...

I'm pretty sure my mom is an ESFJ. She's always worried about something, always trying to get something done, always trying to get me to get something done, always prying into my personal life about mundane details that don't matter at all...

It's a tough situation. Trust me... I know. I'm going through a bit of a depression right now, and I can't help but believe that it's somehow associated to this situation. My only advice is to draw your boundaries with her. Fair warning, they're bound to be crossed over and over again, and she still probably won't understand you, but make it in your best interest to vocalize how and when she's crossing the line with you. It will be frustrating, but it's better than doing nothing.

Also, try to stay calm rather than yelling... Yelling makes you come off as an angsty teenager. Is it wrong that we're not allowed to be angry when our ever so precious boundaries are being crossed? Of course. But this isn't exactly a fair situation. You gotta do what you gotta do.
 

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so true! my mom is also an esfj. our biggest issues are our seperate overall views on the world. She hates things that are different and is extremely concerned with social 'norms'. She is extremely practical and doesn't like big concepts and theories. She is very emotional though, and i am also that way. But instead of trying to support me when I am upset, she just gets made at me. If I have a bad day and cry infront of her, she won't ever say "its okay" or "give me a hug" she will just try and calm me down in what ever way she can so i can be more practical. this is becoming a rant but now i am starting to have some depression now too because of it.
 

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My relationship with my mother has much in common with yours. I do not know my mother's personality type but she is definitely highly extroverted. Her inability to understand me and her strong will to judge me has manifested itself in many hurtful ways as I am sure it has done with you. I believe a parent's responsibility is to instill a sense of self esteem in their child and to nurture them toward fulfillment of their true selves. You sound very strong in your self awareness in spite of your mother's lack of support and I salute you for this strength. Your strong convictions probably irk your mother even more! Your statement that you would not have anything to do with her if she were not your mother certainly rings true with me and it is very sad. I believe on some level we choose our parents, however, and I am still trying to figure out why I chose mine. Perhaps we both have chosen our mothers as a challenge to our growth! Grow we must do at any cost and we must be true to ourselves. It sounds like you are doing this at the risk of alienating your mom. You probably wish that you loved her more, but loving yourself is the first step.

One thing that helped me was to simply print out an information sheet on caring for an infp and emailing it to my mother. I didn't need to talk to her (she is a BAD listener), and she could read it and process it at her leisure. She actually thanked me for sending it. I think if people read something written by someone who is supposedly an authority on something and has credentials, then it manages to sometimes get through their thick extroverted skulls.

I think the best you can do is to continue to be successful in being who you truly are. No one, even your mother, can argue with that. Best of luck!
 

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My best friend is ESFJ (we have known each other for most of my life), its a mixed bag for him when it comes to my emotions and how he deals with them. I catch him by surprise most of the time for lack of a better way to put it......... sometimes i'm like a Vulcan and other days i'm like a Klingon (Yes this is a Star Trek reference :laughing:). I have to admit he really is a very understanding guy for the most part. I recently had the talk with him about me being an introvert, needing space at times and not taking it personally in addition to being typed as an INFP. He totally ate it up, as a matter of fact he seemed elated that I finally explained why I get like that sometimes. I know its hard as there are many people in your life that can not understand what you are let alone what makes you tick. Its harder for them..... remember that you don't quite measure up to what they believe is normal because in their world everyone acts just like they do. You just have to be patient and keep trying to explain it to them. Thats one of the things i'm learning as well there are some people that will never get it and you can not expect them to, but there are those that will and they most likely be the ones that will stand with you and help you to become a better person.
 
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I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. Your mom sounds exactly like my mom, and she treats me exactly the same way as she treats you. I'm a senior in high school, so i'm forced to live with her. But she has caused me so many problems with my self esteem and my mental health. Because of her, I struggle with feeling accepted, and I always question my abilities and often feel anxious about how other's perceive me. I know this may be a common infp struggle, but I feel like she has only amplified it. Home is somewhere I consider to be a sanctuary, but most of the time I find myself hiding in my room to avoid her constant outbursts of rage over the smallest things. I can feel a negative energy surrounding her every time she talks to me. And the worst part is, no one understands what i'm talking about and thinks i'm overreacting because she puts on such a sweet and caring front for everyone else, when in reality she is the most judgemental person I have ever known, yet she somehow is able to put on these dramatic outbursts about things she watches on the news. She is very manipulative, and gas-lights me often, to the point where I sometimes question my sanity. It is only when I tell my friends about her reactions that I realize how crazy she really is. I know it's horrible of me to talk about my mother like this, but she has shown me time and time again that she really doesn't care about my emotional well being. All she cares about is being 'liked' by me, so she will act sweet towards me whenever it suites her needs. I love her of course, because she is my mother, but I know that I may not have a relationship with her in the future when I move out, especially if I come out to her as bisexual.
 

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As a plain ol' mother, I'd like to chime in. Your mother loves you and is concerned about you, but doesn't know how to express it. She can try, but it doesn't work. You just have to understand that you won't see eye to eye on certain things, and that's OKAY.

1) Too emotional ... this is a generational issue, not a MBTI issue. Look at past generations, how everyone had to learn to "suck it up" and harden themselves. The longer one is exposed to issues that bother them, the more desensitized they are to them over time (i.e. your mom.) Doesn't mean she doesn't care, it just means she is desensitized.

2) Art school. She wants you to be successful. As long as you have a goal and focus for your future, there should be no problem.

I want you to watch this following video, if it seems like it's your mother talking to YOU ... perhaps you might understand her personality and stance as it intertwines with yours.

 

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I too have an ESFJ mother (wow, there's a lot of us here!), and while I can sort of understand, my mum and I do get a long and have a mutual understanding for many mundane things.

I would suggest that while they say your mum should be your best friend, it's not necessarily true. If you can't see eye to eye, then a fair portion of that friendship is lost. I certainly wouldn't be friends with someone if we didn't have similar interests, or if they made my way of thinking seem inadequate. I'm not saying that you shouldn't love your mum. Just because you two don't understand one another, that doesn't mean to say that there is no love there. I'm certain your mother loves you very dearly, but can't seem to understand that people process information very differently. I wouldn't rely on her for advice, especially if she can't fathom the feelings you experience, but I would suggest you try showing her the basics of how each human processes information depending on their personality.

I hope you can find a resolve.
 

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I also have an ESFJ mother. At one time or another, I have felt all of those things. I've let go of my expectations. You really can't expect anyone to be anything; they are what they are. My mother has very rigid beliefs and thinks I'm ridiculous in almost every way. I believe she loves me only out of necessity, but I appreciate all that she has done and continues to do for me and understand that she expresses love in her own way. I let her think what she wants and do small things to appease her. We will never see eye to eye, but we can coexist.
 

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I am amazed at the number of similar stories here. I thought I was alone in the way I perceive my relationship with my own ESFJ mom. Now I'm starting to wonder if immature/toxic ESFJs actually tend to raise INFP children despite themselves. It's like, maybe Fe as a cognitive function would come across better to a developing mind if it didn't present itself as so controlling and petty.

Healthy and mature ESFJs are wonderful caretakers; they can be the "glue" that holds a family/company together. I have worked for such ESFJs and it was a wonderful experience. (Other types trying to fit themselves into the "ESFJ" mold, not so much... trying to be something you're not is a surefire recipe for resentment and toxicity.) I'm afraid, though, that enjoying the status of most-popular female personality type can stunt some people in their growth as individuals. Not everyone, but some.

And no one does the Entitlement Police routine better than someone who feels "actually" entitled to their good life.

My ESFP mom was a great mom in many ways. She tried very hard to accept my different personality. She said all the "right" things, like "You can do anything you put your mind to." But I always felt like she would have said that to any child that was hers. In fact, I grew up feeling like I could have been easily interchanged with any other child, if it happened at the very beginning of our lives, and my parents would have been just as happy with them. Maybe more so. My mom did make a point of praising aspects of me she liked. But mostly it was a barage of criticism over the years. I wasn't allowed to have any negative perceptions of anyone if she didn't share them. No matter how closely related or distantly associated the person, no matter how petty or how damaging their behavior, I was never allowed to think of them badly (unless she got mad at them first). She would always swoop in with "another perspective" to explain how my negative one was wrong. (I choose the word "always" deliberately. It was the consistent pattern, with the specified qualification that her own opinion expressed first could make mine "okay.") "Gaslighting" is exactly the right word to describe the effect of her parenting me.

I finally confronted her about it several years ago. It wasn't pretty. I didn't vent my full frustration; I did express that she had made me feel incompetent as a person growing up. She took it as an accusation that she was a horrible mother. It didn't matter how much I assured her she had been wonderful in many ways; in her eyes it was either that she was a horrible mother, or "motherhood was the one thing I thought I had done right." And I took that away from her. And after she unburdened her feelings to the rest of the family, they thought I was a horrible person. (Except my brother, who did make an effort to see both sides). Older family members compared her to my physically and verbally abusive grandfather. She indeed came out relatively favorably, and justifiably so. No one could understand why any child of such a sweet, caring person as my mom could fail to think that they had the most wonderful, nurturing mother in the world.

I'm glad I was open with her. Over the years she has made more of an effort to listen to my perspective (even though she still slips back into parroting "other perspectives"). She has realized that talking about me to other family members in fact is "gossip," that damages my reputation with them, and she tries to control herself. (I have encouraged her to express her feelings about me with friends who don't know me well, but she's reluctant). And the fallout was painful, but in the end it is worth it. I needed to see the favoritism that was rampant in our "perfect" family. I needed to see that hierarchalism and favoritism go hand-in-hand. I'm glad my eyes were opened before I tried to "refine" the authoritarian approach to parenting with my child.

I would encourage other INFPs to talk to their ESFP parents, when you are feeling healthy enough, and don't let it build up over the years until it explodes, like I did. Chances are they do care enough to do right by you if they can be made to understand the unintended consequences of their behavior. Younger INFPs, especially minors, should be very careful about it; work for small goals of understanding, patience and some breathing room; maybe enlist the aid of a family friend who can be trusted, or a counselor. Just know what you may be getting into. :shudder:
 
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