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Discussion Starter #1
I wish I could get my motherinlaw to take the personality test, but she has no online access, probably isn't interested and I am conflict avoidant. I am ISTJ.

I don't know what she is. I seem to think if I can better understand what she might be then somehow it will help our relationship, or help me not to become so stressed out when I am around her. I mean I feel as if I am in a state of rage after spending the day with her. Here are some clues...


She has a very "strong" personality.

She's always right and it seems as if though she expects you to change your mind and agree with her.

Her way of thinking seems to be very negative, this is part of what makes it draining to be around her.

She is very self-centered, always talks about self, her job, her coming retirement, and work she is doing around the house.

She can't seem to relate to any talk that doesn't revolve around work.

I am pretty sure she has obsessive compulsive disorder.

She keeps lots of lists and reminders of things she's going to do.

She used to call my spouse and I a lot to remind us to do things, until we told her off.

When talking to her about careers, she can't seem to get it through her head that a person like me might actually want to go for a job that they "like" doing. She keeps insisting I go into the medical field, although I have no interest in doing so. To her its more about job stablility, I think.

She has never seemed to be very interested in having a relationship with her grandchildren... she lives about 6 miles away and sees them only on Holidays and Birthdays.

She's very impersonal when it comes to gift giving, always gives money and tells us how much we mean her and she loves us... but I don't think she knows what loves is due to her uninvolvement in our and her grandchildren's lives.

She once stopped by to visit about 15 years ago when my son was 1, walked in the house and then went back home immediately, citing she could not stay because the house was "too messy."

And I don't know if this has anything to do with type, but she is anti-religion... she's attacked my faith on more than one occasion. I don't feel comfortable spending religious holidays with her knowing they mean nothing to her, and everything is about the food we're having and the big "money exchange" on Christmas.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ESTJ?
She sounds like my grandmother...
I don't know. I was thinking maybe ENTJ, and that is close to what you said also. If she is ESTJ, and I am ISTJ, then she and I are more alike than we are different, which sort of frightens me.

I do agree, however, that she has the "E" instead of "I" for the first letter. Though she doesn't go to parties much I don't think its because she feels uncomfortable being around a lot of people as I would. She can talk and socialize fine whereas I feel nervous and out of place.
 

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Well she could be ENTJ because my grandfather is one and he's quite similar to that, he just uses a lot of complicated language to disguise what he is really trying to say and so he can manipulate.

I think she's definately an ExTJ though, but I don't know her so it's hard to judge the S and N.
 

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She has a very "strong" personality. - would generally indicate Extroversion

She's always right and it seems as if though she expects you to change your mind and agree with her. - definitely Judging

Her way of thinking seems to be very negative, this is part of what makes it draining to be around her. - could mean anything, there is no direct correlation between negative thinking and MBTI

She is very self-centered, always talks about self, her job, her coming retirement, and work she is doing around the house. - perhaps a sign of an unhealthy J. The actual specifics seem to indicate Sensing.

She can't seem to relate to any talk that doesn't revolve around work. - again would suggest an unhealthy xSxJ

I am pretty sure she has obsessive compulsive disorder. - usually I wouldn't use psychological problems to find someones MBTI. Possibly another indication of an unhealthy J

She keeps lots of lists and reminders of things she's going to do. - Judging (again)

She used to call my spouse and I a lot to remind us to do things, until we told her off. - again, indication of an unhealthy J

When talking to her about careers, she can't seem to get it through her head that a person like me might actually want to go for a job that they "like" doing. She keeps insisting I go into the medical field, although I have no interest in doing so. To her its more about job stablility, I think. - pretty good indication of xxTJ

She has never seemed to be very interested in having a relationship with her grandchildren... she lives about 6 miles away and sees them only on Holidays and Birthdays. - could suggest a very unhappy Thinker (then again could mean anything - use of the underdeveloped tertiary cognitive function rather the secondary usually results in this sort of problem, although considering she looks like an ExTJ - meaning Extraverted thinking is the primary function rather than secondary/tertiary - I think it's unlikely).

She's very impersonal when it comes to gift giving, always gives money and tells us how much we mean her and she loves us... but I don't think she knows what loves is due to her uninvolvement in our and her grandchildren's lives. - Thinking. But don't interpret the lack of expressed affection as an absence of it - for strong Ts things life gift giving are the equivalent of a verbal expression of love, the mentality is "why say something when an action will speak stronger then words".

She once stopped by to visit about 15 years ago when my son was 1, walked in the house and then went back home immediately, citing she could not stay because the house was "too messy." - Judging

And I don't know if this has anything to do with type, but she is anti-religion... she's attacked my faith on more than one occasion. I don't feel comfortable spending religious holidays with her knowing they mean nothing to her, and everything is about the food we're having and the big "money exchange" on Christmas. - could potentially mean anything, but considering she is so forward in her views it would suggest an Extraverted judging function - in this case Thinking.

Thinking + Judging seem to be the two clear conclusion I can reach. Primary function seems to Extraverted Thinking which would indicate ExTJ. Considering her focus seems to be on the present and visible (e.g. the focus on work etc.) it would suggest Sensing. All of that would imply ESTJ.

That said, her unhealthy attitude towards relationships etc. could easily suggest a different type which is malfunctioning. As we get older we begin to access functions other than our primary and secondary - hence the term 'mid-life crisis' (there's a good post somewhere in the forum about the development of functions - it should be stickied on one of the boards) - the psychological problems you indicated might suggest that she is using a function (Extraverted Thinking in this case) she is not used to accessing on a regular basis. If this is the case (and I'm not saying it is - she could just as well be an unhealthy ExTJ) it might be worth considering what she was like earlier on in life rather than the present. Just a thought...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That is very interesting. I would like to know about what she was like earlier in her life, what made her this way. I wish I had the nerve to ask her.

I've often wondered if losses people experience shape their thinking. Her mother died early, and her spouse also died early. I met my mother in law about a year after her spouse died and she was already coming across as cold and bitter then. She would have been about 42 years old.

My husband and I noticed that when she started dating a few years later, her life revolved around the new boyfriend. And we thought that he was controlling her. But we found that when she had another boyfriend a few years later who wasn't anything like the first, her life revolved around that one too and she practically shut us out.

What is disturbing to us also is that she has a sister whom she has barely spoken to in the past 30 or so years because of a disagreement they had back in the 70's.

I've also found it disturbing how she has shut out my husbands side of the family (his half brothers and sisters from his dads first marriage) and forbid him to speak to them.

She's very antirelationship. I don't know what she presently has a boyfriend for... sex maybe. Lol.:shocked:


She has a very "strong" personality. - would generally indicate Extroversion

She's always right and it seems as if though she expects you to change your mind and agree with her. - definitely Judging

Her way of thinking seems to be very negative, this is part of what makes it draining to be around her. - could mean anything, there is no direct correlation between negative thinking and MBTI

She is very self-centered, always talks about self, her job, her coming retirement, and work she is doing around the house. - perhaps a sign of an unhealthy J. The actual specifics seem to indicate Sensing.

She can't seem to relate to any talk that doesn't revolve around work. - again would suggest an unhealthy xSxJ

I am pretty sure she has obsessive compulsive disorder. - usually I wouldn't use psychological problems to find someones MBTI. Possibly another indication of an unhealthy J

She keeps lots of lists and reminders of things she's going to do. - Judging (again)

She used to call my spouse and I a lot to remind us to do things, until we told her off. - again, indication of an unhealthy J

When talking to her about careers, she can't seem to get it through her head that a person like me might actually want to go for a job that they "like" doing. She keeps insisting I go into the medical field, although I have no interest in doing so. To her its more about job stablility, I think. - pretty good indication of xxTJ

She has never seemed to be very interested in having a relationship with her grandchildren... she lives about 6 miles away and sees them only on Holidays and Birthdays. - could suggest a very unhappy Thinker (then again could mean anything - use of the underdeveloped tertiary cognitive function rather the secondary usually results in this sort of problem, although considering she looks like an ExTJ - meaning Extraverted thinking is the primary function rather than secondary/tertiary - I think it's unlikely).

She's very impersonal when it comes to gift giving, always gives money and tells us how much we mean her and she loves us... but I don't think she knows what loves is due to her uninvolvement in our and her grandchildren's lives. - Thinking. But don't interpret the lack of expressed affection as an absence of it - for strong Ts things life gift giving are the equivalent of a verbal expression of love, the mentality is "why say something when an action will speak stronger then words".

She once stopped by to visit about 15 years ago when my son was 1, walked in the house and then went back home immediately, citing she could not stay because the house was "too messy." - Judging

And I don't know if this has anything to do with type, but she is anti-religion... she's attacked my faith on more than one occasion. I don't feel comfortable spending religious holidays with her knowing they mean nothing to her, and everything is about the food we're having and the big "money exchange" on Christmas. - could potentially mean anything, but considering she is so forward in her views it would suggest an Extraverted judging function - in this case Thinking.

Thinking + Judging seem to be the two clear conclusion I can reach. Primary function seems to Extraverted Thinking which would indicate ExTJ. Considering her focus seems to be on the present and visible (e.g. the focus on work etc.) it would suggest Sensing. All of that would imply ESTJ.

That said, her unhealthy attitude towards relationships etc. could easily suggest a different type which is malfunctioning. As we get older we begin to access functions other than our primary and secondary - hence the term 'mid-life crisis' (there's a good post somewhere in the forum about the development of functions - it should be stickied on one of the boards) - the psychological problems you indicated might suggest that she is using a function (Extraverted Thinking in this case) she is not used to accessing on a regular basis. If this is the case (and I'm not saying it is - she could just as well be an unhealthy ExTJ) it might be worth considering what she was like earlier on in life rather than the present. Just a thought...
 

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ENTJs can be very stubborn about things... but your description of her has a more rigid feel to it.

Seems very SJ to me, and no one does inflexibility like ESTJ. Their minds are open as kids, some stuff gets dumped in, then the lid is closed and that's all the info they have to go on. Nothing else gets in.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You guys have convinced me, I think she is ESTJ. And possibly enneagram (sp?) type 8

ENTJs can be very stubborn about things... but your description of her has a more rigid feel to it.

Seems very SJ to me, and no one does inflexibility like ESTJ. Their minds are open as kids, some stuff gets dumped in, then the lid is closed and that's all the info they have to go on. Nothing else gets in.
 
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