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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I seek advice for a serious problem: My older brother, an ISTP, continuously changes since two years. It all started after he spent his holidays with relatives we only see once a year. He leaves without us, which is okay, but comes back different every time (he's abroad twice a year now). He developed a quick temper and became more serious. I can't even be sarcastic with him anymore, because he suddenly takes everything personally and starts throwing a tantrum. He even insults me during his fits. The most trivial stuff can trigger his anger and he blames me, even though he's the one starting the fights. We believe he subconsciously suppresses personal conflicts he hasn't dealt with yet.

Do you have an idea what could be the reason behind this and how I should approach him?
He used to be a calm and reasonable guy with a great sense of humor, but he never talks about his problems and feelings (which was okay until it started affecting the family). Objective logic doesn't work anymore, he follows his own principles and refuses to listen to our opinions. While he's influenced by values and views of other people quite easily, I can't imagine what kind of stuff he discusses with our relatives to change this much.

Any tips? Please? I miss the old version of my brother :crying:
 

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His age might be a more determining factor than his personality type, whatever it is. Young people are pretty stupid. Hopefully he will grow up, sooner or later.

He might also be in love. When he visits his relatives there's probably a girl in the picture as well. Nobody likes their relatives that much.
 

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I'm assuming you asked him to no effect, but have you tried asking your relatives? They might at least be able to point you in the right direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sure he's ISTP?

I've been very angry for long periods of time, but for me to put Objective logic aside for a long time would be impossible.
Yes, I'm very sure. That's why his change is so alarming. He suddenly adopts all the negative traits of my narcissistic father, which is quite unusual. He always used to be very independent.

His age might be a more determining factor than his personality type, whatever it is. Young people are pretty stupid. Hopefully he will grow up, sooner or later.

He might also be in love. When he visits his relatives there's probably a girl in the picture as well. Nobody likes their relatives that much.
This is possible. He ditches every person and promise if his feelings are involved (thankfully this is a rare occasion). There is one cousin in the family, paternal line, he likes a lot. She manipulates him for years in a subtle but ruthless way, making him neglect us to spend time with her. Even my maternal grandparents (both my maternal and paternal grandparents are/were neighbors) pointed out their unusual close relationship.

Side note: We grew up as brothers and sisters on the maternal side, and this is normal for my parent's culture. Considering this, their relationship seems even weirder.

Regarding his age: He's 23, your typical bachelor minding his own business playing video games, once in a while going to parties, spending time with close friends etc.

I'm assuming you asked him to no effect, but have you tried asking your relatives? They might at least be able to point you in the right direction.
I wish this would work. They are all like this, hiding their problems and pretending everything's okay and trying to make you believe their circle is some sort of heaven. They actually might be a part of the whole influence-thing.


My brother denies everything, of course. I don't even think he realizes he's driven by his feelings.
 

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He sounds like he's in an unhealthy ISTP state. I can't answer for what is causing it but he portraits the characteristics of the ISTP shadow functions.

"Under extreme stress, fatigue or illness, the ISTP's shadow may appear - a negative form of ENFJ. Example characteristics are:


  • displaying intense feelings towards others, or insisting on things being done without any logical basis
  • being very sensitive to criticism
  • having a gloomy view of the future
  • attributing unrealistic negative meaning to others actions or statements
"
 

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Old people can be pretty damn stupid as well. If someone young acts up it's quite often something wrong with their sorroundings.
No, I was talking about his susceptibility to the influence of others. She said:
While he's influenced by values and views of other people quite easily, I can't imagine what kind of stuff he discusses with our relatives to change this much.
...and that's not a typical ISTP trait. ISTPs are naturally quite resistant to the influence of others. But on the other hand, most people go through a stage in their youth where they're prone to suggestion regardless of their type. So I'd have to either question his type, or attribute his behavior to youth and inexperience.

As ISTPs we generally don't benefit from letting other people do our thinking for us, so with a little experience we learn to stop doing that. In my case, I was about 24 when I finally got out of that embarassing "naive" stage.


There is one cousin in the family, paternal line, he likes a lot. She manipulates him for years in a subtle but ruthless way, making him neglect us to spend time with her. Even my maternal grandparents (both my maternal and paternal grandparents are/were neighbors) pointed out their unusual close relationship.
Yeah, I think your answer lies in that direction. The whole thing smells of some nefarious female influence, and his resulting confusion about his own feelings. That would certainly make him lash out in strange ways.

I had a similar situation with a brother of mine. He fell prey to some manipulative bitch and seriously damaged his family relationships in the process. It was pretty sad.
 

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Yes, I've read somewhere that it takes about 2 years until you start seeing through close, manipulative people. Maybe it has something to do with the honey moon period ending. In the end it's hard to keep the lies floating.

I think he will see through her in the end and gain lots of experience. Sometimes it's better to become closer to someone so that you really get a feel of what they're really about.

I still think it's a bit strange that you can't talk about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Which traits?

No one wants to be an island. If he choses one bad side, maybe he thinks the other side is worse.

If she acts all Rasputin maybe his view of the map is wrong.
Aside from the promise breaking, he:
  • can't stomach critique anymore,
  • takes out his anger on me,
  • is rude and insulting,
  • treats me like shit while other people get a luxury treatment,
  • immediately breaks off discussions if we don't agree with his views (!),
  • is hypocritical (!!!).

And good luck telling him that girl is bad news... :unsure:

He sounds like he's in an unhealthy ISTP state. I can't answer for what is causing it but he portraits the characteristics of the ISTP shadow functions.

"Under extreme stress, fatigue or illness, the ISTP's shadow may appear - a negative form of ENFJ. Example characteristics are:


  • displaying intense feelings towards others, or insisting on things being done without any logical basis
  • being very sensitive to criticism
  • having a gloomy view of the future
  • attributing unrealistic negative meaning to others actions or statements
"
Oh god, THIS.

No, I was talking about his susceptibility to the influence of others. She said:...and that's not a typical ISTP trait. ISTPs are naturally quite resistant to the influence of others. But on the other hand, most people go through a stage in their youth where they're prone to suggestion regardless of their type. So I'd have to either question his type, or attribute his behavior to youth and inexperience.

As ISTPs we generally don't benefit from letting other people do our thinking for us, so with a little experience we learn to stop doing that. In my case, I was about 24 when I finally got out of that embarassing "naive" stage.
Sorry I misunderstood you. But I didn't mean influence like "But Salem said...". It's more subtle. When he stays in another environment for a longer time (he's always gone for 2 months), he adapts parts of the mentality. Yes, everyone does this to a small extend, but this is getting extreme.

Like I said, he's usually very independent. When my parents and me get into fights, he would, if it's a serious matter, mediate between us and provide his own thoughts to save the family. He's also not afraid to call out bullshit, no matter who you are.

I had a similar situation with a brother of mine. He fell prey to some manipulative bitch and seriously damaged his family relationships in the process. It was pretty sad.
Yes, sad is the perfect word for this. Especially if it doesn't seem to stop. Sorry it happened to you.


We cleared out some misunderstandings today, but the issues with his waning patience, bad treatment and the whole criticism thing still stay. I'll continue to watch how the situation develops. Hopefully he'll get back to his old self when my maternal grandparents come back (=weekly family gatherings), because I won't endure his negativity any longer.

Maybe he also gets frustrated with his life, I don't know. I can't get him to open up, we usually never talk about our problems but solve them on our own.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I forgot to mention this earlier, but thank you for your thoughts so far. It's always good to have input from the other type.
 
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