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There is no person that I love more than my mother, but we could not be more opposite. As an adult woman, I find myself struggling with our conflicting personalities more and more as the years pass. I am her only child, and she craves constant contact with me. I'm fiercely introverted and independent, and most of the time I just prefer being left alone.

I know the core of our difficulties arises from the things that both give us energy, and the things that drain us. Socialization often gives her energy and motivation, whereas it often zaps mine. It's difficult coming to a compromise for how we should approach our mother/daughter relationship when I feel that she should respect my need to be alone, but I should also respect her need to be enmeshed in the lives of others (mostly me).

Is there a better way I could be communicating with her? A lot of times I just close myself off because I become so annoyed. If you had a family member you craved more from, what would you want them to do differently that wouldn't compromise who they were as a person? I want to give her what she needs emotionally but I would also like it if she understood that I require much more time alone than she does (and I often don't get any​, since I am married and my husband doesn't go out with his friends very often).
 

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Can she switch to a more rational mode or is she purely emotional? Does she respect boundaries you establish? Does she listen to what you tell her makes you happy?

(I like older istjs, but i tend to have a rational side that is well developed)
 

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Can she switch to a more rational mode or is she purely emotional? Does she respect boundaries you establish? Does she listen to what you tell her makes you happy?

(I like older istjs, but i tend to have a rational side that is well developed)
She's very emotional, and she has the capability to be rational, but she is very set in her ways. She denies it, but she tends to think everyone ought to be exactly like her. I've sent her articles about introversion in an attempt to help her understand, and I've talked to her about it, but nothing really ever seems to change much. I do humor her sometimes, and I go have an after work drink with her sometimes when I don't feel like it, but other times when I'd really rather just stay at home, I feel like I hurt her feelings by declining her invitation. I guess I feel like I'm making an effort to accommodate her needs, but she doesn't really understand mine.

I don't mean to make her sound worse than she is—she's a really great person, and I love who she is, it's just been a struggle getting along with her now that I'm older and we're on a more even keel than say, when I was a teenager.
 

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Your mother sounds like a Fe user, tbh. I'm not sure 'set in her ways' and 'wants everyone to be like her' is a manifestation of Ne-Fi. She definitely sounds like an extrovert though, so maybe ExFJ?

Have you tried being straightforward with her? Be honest. Convey your needs. You may be surprised at how understanding she can be. Your annoyance can be interpreted wrongly. You have to make it clear that it's not really her, but your need to have more alone time than the average person. As long as she knows it's not a personal issue, things should go well.
 

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She may be some other type- I'd have to know more to say for sure- but let's assume she is an enfp. I have seen many older enfps who kind of do get stuck in their own version of what is right. Often that is skewed toward what they find emotionally comforting.

When young we tend to be very open to others perspectives but as we age, our FiSi can come together to produce a sense of rigidity- her unwillingness to allow you your own identity and separate worldview frustrates me.

You have tried to talk and to be honest, have been met with a childlike response, so I would suggest managing her behavior, as though you were dealing with a sweet child who means well.

With inferior si enfps will respond very well to schedules of emotional affection- she won't like it and will ask for more, but if you set a specific block of time for her each week and then stick with it, she'll settle and feel loved by the continuity and steadiness of the interaction. During these blocks of time, give her little surprises, like flowers or cookies or other shiny objects that are novel that she would like- this helps her know that you were thinking of her outside of the time you spent with her. This becomes her special time with you.

Next is the you part of the problem. As an sp enfp I deplore emotional manipulation, but my sx enfp cousins tend to use it unconsciously in a sweet childlike way- it is totally an authentic expression of how they feel- but that doesn't mean you have to feel compelled to give into it. If you called her manipulative it would make her very sad, as she doesn't mean to be- but you have to look into yourself and feel it is okay and the right thing to do to make personal time for your own needs- thus be okay letting her sadness sort of flow past you. If you set aside the special time for her, you can establish a boundary that meets both your and her needs- but realize her emotional Clinginess is honestly something she does out of a need for ...emotional grooming.... and does not trump your need for time alone so you do not and should not carry setting aside time for yourself as guilt. You have needs that she is not respecting, even as you have asked her nicely, so dont feel bad for doing what is best for you in this situation.


It's obvious you love her a great deal and she loves you, but she is being a bit self centric on this one, so don't feel guilty about managing her if need be and showing her love in a scheduled way that allows you your own space.
 

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I'm an ENFP with an INTJ teen daughter. I know there are differences, but the core aspect of Introvert vs. Extrovert is still there, so maybe I can help a little. I have understood the difference between Introvert and Extrovert for a long time, so when I found out my daughter was an introvert, I knew I couldn't expect her to be anything like me. What I struggle with as an extrovert mom is the balance of letting her know I'm there for her without being there too much. Maybe you need to help your mom find that balance - that boundary. If she doesn't know where it is, she may think she is neglecting you or you may feel smothered. For her sake, however, you are going to have to go outside your comfort zone. Think of how much you love her and respect her for who she is and turn that into a currency of affection - think "I really love my mom a whole lot but how much of her can I deal with today (and try to stretch a little beyond just tolerance)?" Then tell your mom - "I love you so much, I'm going to come have lunch with you" or "I love you so much I wanted to call you on my coffee break" or "I don't have time to talk, but I love you". If you let her know that there is a time limit on your ability to tolerate togetherness you are meeting your need - if you are expressing your love for her and giving her even just a moment of your time, you are meeting her need. It's a small step, but it might help.
 

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My brother is ISTJ. He has a tendency to say some of the wisest things, but has a difficult time being patient. You have to understand that it can sometimes take a little while for your concise one liners to sink in. If you can manage being patient and displaying a warmer disposition, you will find that your words make a lot of sense to people like me.
 
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