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  1. #31
    Senior Member Trentham's Avatar
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    My mom is an ESFJ. The only factor that ever gave me pause (and consideration of ISFJ as a possibility) is her tendency to avoid excessive socializing with people outside the immediate family, but I believe that's due to some rather serious self esteem and depression issues that transcend her personality type. In other words, I think she would very much like to be a social butterfly, but that desire has been suppressed by decades of poor self esteem and constant worrying about what everyone else thinks of her. There's no question in my mind, however, that she leads with Fe. There is never a doubt as to what emotional state she is residing in at any given time, she is prone to histrionics when she doesn't get her way, and her foremost concern in life (no exaggeration) is maintaining the perception in others (i.e., those outside her immediate family) that All is Well® and that she and the rest of her family are perfectly normal. In fact I believe it's that very need to always keep up appearances with the neighbors and extended family that has led to her problems with depression and poor self image.

    There are positives. She's very good with money, is a quick learner and has an exceptionally sharp memory for someone her age (Si). She's an exceptional caretaker and can have a very charming personality and sense of humor when her mood is right. She does however tend to overplay the caretaker role to some extent, and will sometimes use it as an excuse to martyr herself if things between us aren't going the way she expects them to (i.e., "I've done SO MUCH for you over the years!"). The dilemma is that she has a strong need to be that caretaker, but she also expects more in return than just your eternal gratitude - she expects her hard work and sacrifices to pay dividends in other areas. Again, her foremost concern is to avoid any possible embarrassment and ridicule from outsiders, so if something happens in my life which could potentially cause that for her, she takes it as a personal offense.

    This obsession of hers has resulted in a strong need to control the flow of information to the outside world, which invariably translates into a need to exert direct control over members of the family (dad, sister, me, and while they were alive, my grandparents) via emotional manipulation. When my sister and I were kids, the control mechanisms also went beyond manipulation and into direct, invasive intervention in our lives. Basically, we had no privacy and were granted very little respect or autonomy. Her fear of looking like a bad parent even extended itself to the subjects we took in school - she discouraged both of us from taking challenging science & math classes because we might not make "A's" and our names would therefore be left off the honor roll in the newspaper, which she would presumably have to answer for. Obviously, the worst punishments she could dish out were reserved for the (rare) times when we publicly embarrassed her or the family reputation in some way.

    I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating or beating a dead horse. Honestly, there's not enough bandwidth on this site to tell enough stories or analyze this enough to do it justice. My dad and I have spent countless hours doing just that and we've barely scratched the surface.

    As to the OP's question - yes, she has somewhat colored my perception of ESFJs, although I am quicker to indict her obvious mental health issues than her cognitive functions. I've met plenty of ESFJs who don't act (exactly) like she does.
    83% I 70% N 64% T 73% P | 5w4 sp/so/sx | Chaotic Good

  2. #32
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Do you know your Mothers type? ENFJ
    Has it had a positive, negative or no affect on you in regard to that type? No affect. Other elements of my family had impact on FJ in general though.

  3. #33
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    My mom's an ESFJ and she's the best mom ever. I don't think it's had a negative affect for that type for me, seeing as I also married an ESFJ.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  4. #34
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    My mother is an XSFJ. The positives are that she's a good listener and if I ever get into serious trouble, I know I'll have someone I can go to. She's very considerate and respectful of others and in public comes across as very pleasant and polite. She is highly intelligent and has a lot of common sense but she's more down to earth than intellectually oriented. She has a wonderful sense of humor and we both tend to find the same sorts of things funny.

    She can be quite overprotective. I'm a grown adult now, I live on my own and she still wants me to call her every night to let her know how I'm doing and gets made when I don't. When we're together, she's constantly asking me if I'm okay. I just tell her I'm fine and if I wasn't I'd tell her. I let her know that I'm annoyed by her constantly asking me. I know she means well and everything but enough is enough.

    When growing up, I didn't feel like my privacy was always respected. If I told her that I didn't want to tell her or show her something she would keep pressuring me into trying to share with her. She'd say things like "you can tell me anything, I'm your mom." In theory yes, but in practice there are just things about me she's better off not knowing.

    She's very pleasant with others when going out in public but in the privacy of her family she can be quite irritable and crabby about things, especially when she's told us to do something and we didn't take her advice.

    Like what Trentham said, she doesn't really have a social life outside her family. She comes across as pleasant and socially graceful and talkative but no real good friendships have been cultivated.

    She is quite talkative. We will be driving somewhere together and she will talk the entire time. I wonder how she can talk nonstop like that and never run out of things to say. Of course she does repeat herself alot too. I tune her out alot because I already understood the first time but she thinks I never got it the first time, hence the repetition.

    She has a really good Si memory. Sometimes she'll say things like "didn't you use to have x?" or "didn't you say before that....." And I'll say, I did? Honestly I didn't remember.

    She's very traditional and believes rules are meant to be followed and not questioned. She doesn't have the strong need to know *why* for everything like I do. She doesn't fully understand that In order to have good self-esteem I strongly need intellectual mastery.

    I remember when growing up, whenever I wanted to try something new it seemed like she was always pointing out the negatives. She's very much a play it safe sort person and doesn't like change very much although when there are changes around her she actually adapts quite well.

    She is always doing things for her family and I think that's the primary source of her self-esteem. I know she doesn't like it when I tell her thanks but no thanks. I think if she's not helping someone, she's literally lost as to what to do. I've tried doing things for her but it doesn't work so well that way. She generously gives gifts yet when I ask her what she wants for Christmas she'll say "nothing really, you don't need to get me anything."
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  5. #35
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    I'd say the main similarity I have to my mother is what we would describe as a 'realistic' view of the world (bordering on paranoia that everyone in the world is out to screw you over). The biggest difference though is that she is an assertive/dominant person and I am a very passive/submissive person in general. She once made the comment that she "didn't know how she managed to raise such a pussy."

    Oh, speaking of - We're both very blunt. Nothing gets sugar-coated, heh.
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  6. #36
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    My mom's an ISTJ. I've always had a fine relationship with her, although in my 20's made the conscious effort to try to 'get closer' to her. That didn't pan out terribly well, as my method of trying to get closer to people is either to open up a little bit more about myself, and with my mom that tends to just result in probing, totally pointless questions on details while missing what I'm actually trying to say, or else criticism, or the other option is my asking more about her, and then I just realize she's into things I'm not that into. haha. So I've reached a level of peace that I'm not ever going to 'connect' with her in a way that would be super close or satisfactory to me, but that on a more superficial level we get along quite well, and that that's actually quite all right with me. (Actually it's the same with my father) I've also learned over the years that with both of them if I somewhat playfully assert who I am, and am unbending in that, they accept it quite well and I don't get all of the questioning.

    My mother (combined with my father) created a very stable environment growing up. It was also for the most part a drama-free and emotion-free environment (which has its positives and minuses). Home-cooked meals every day, they were quite happy and willing to shuttle my brother and I around to various music or dance classes or school activities (well, at times my mom's true feelings would emerge and she would grumble when she was growing tired of shuttling around), and all of my physical needs were provided for. Very dependable and accountable for getting everything done that needed to be done and getting my brother and I to wherever we needed to be. The negatives specific to my mother were simply that she could be extremely critical and probing/questioning (just her nature) and I know that impacted my self esteem a bit and also created a dynamic where I simply didn't want to share or discuss anything with her at all because I didn't want the tedious questioning. Also, out in public as a family, my mother was usually the source of minor social embarassments.... she is extremely tactless, partly because she's so unsure of herself in social situations...typically this is evident when we're at a restaurant or in a clothing store and she's trying to be 'pleasant' in posing a question or whatever, and it comes across very awkwardly... basically it's the scenario where she speaks and everyone else in the group is totally silent for a second or two, then someone comes in and makes a graceful 'save'. haahaha. I used to get very embarrassed on her behalf at times, growing up.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  7. #37
    Senior Member Trentham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    She can be quite overprotective. I'm a grown adult now, I live on my own and she still wants me to call her every night to let her know how I'm doing and gets made when I don't.
    Mine just stalks me on Facebook when I don't call.

    I actually call my parents' house fairly often to talk to my (IsTP) dad, because he and I have a lot of common interests so there's often plenty for us to talk about. The facebook stalking will begin when I go for 2 or 3 days without calling them after having spoken to them several days in a row previously. She will facebook me or send me an email asking if "everything's all right" or if I'm mad at her or my dad. WTF?? I'm not calling because I don't have anything to talk about. It's that simple. Very annoying and no matter how I handle it she still doesn't understand where I'm coming from.

    When growing up, I didn't feel like my privacy was always respected. If I told her that I didn't want to tell her or show her something she would keep pressuring me into trying to share with her.
    Nothing got my mom's ire up worse than me closing the door to my room. I think it may be part of the reason I value privacy so much today.

    She's very pleasant with others when going out in public but in the privacy of her family she can be quite irritable and crabby about things, especially when she's told us to do something and we didn't take her advice.


    Like what Trentham said, she doesn't really have a social life outside her family. She comes across as pleasant and socially graceful and talkative but no real good friendships have been cultivated.
    My mom has only one "friend" she spends any time around, a neighbor up the street whom she's known for about 40 years. This neighbor (also an ESFJ) talks to mom on the phone constantly, gossips with her, invites her places, chats back & forth with her on Facebook, etc.

    The twist is, mom actually despises this woman. Makes fun of her and talks shit about her all the time. Secretly plots to one day haul off and move to another state without telling anyone where she's going, just to get away from her. But, mom is so afraid of the social implications of pissing her off that she expends enormous amounts of energy putting on a happy, laughing face for her and never has the guts to say "no" or not answer the phone. As much as mom likes getting phone calls from me, she will put me on hold if this woman calls while we're talking. I find it bizarre in the extreme. Dad has been around it so long that he just laughs at it now.

    She has a really good Si memory. Sometimes she'll say things like "didn't you use to have x?" or "didn't you say before that....." And I'll say, I did? Honestly I didn't remember.
    Mine will relate stories that each and every other family member has at least mostly forgotten (even my ISTJ sister). It seems that she hangs on to everything we've ever done. I suppose it's her only hobby.

    She's very traditional and believes rules are meant to be followed and not questioned. She doesn't have the strong need to know *why* for everything like I do. She doesn't fully understand that In order to have good self-esteem I strongly need intellectual mastery.
    Again i can only nod my head in agreement.

    She is always doing things for her family and I think that's the primary source of her self-esteem. I know she doesn't like it when I tell her thanks but no thanks. I think if she's not helping someone, she's literally lost as to what to do.
    Yeah, with mine it can be something as simple as what meal to prepare when I drive down for a visit. I am not at all a picky eater. She knows this. She also knows that I believe her to be a good cook and there's nothing she could fix that I wouldn't enjoy. Yet, she INSISTS on rolling out a full menu days in advance of a visit to make sure I fully approve. Bear in mind that I have never (at least since early childhood) complained about her cooking. Sigh...

    She generously gives gifts yet when I ask her what she wants for Christmas she'll say "nothing really, you don't need to get me anything."
    Mine will say this, but she doesn't really mean it. I've seen her become visibly hurt when my sister or dad got "more" for Christmas than she did. Another aspect of the martyrdom factor at work.
    83% I 70% N 64% T 73% P | 5w4 sp/so/sx | Chaotic Good

  8. #38
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Hmm, most people have SFJ/FJ mothers.

    I kinda find it hard to believe, TBH. Stereotypical Fe behaviors are most often associated with motherhood, caretaking. I've even noticed in the FJ "Most Awesome" threads people are putting up pics of older, matronly women. Do other types not have as many children?

    My job is nutty about MBTI...I've had to take it at least three times since August for different activities. Not surprisingly, quite a few SFJs and the majority of them are under-35. Just in conversations I've had with various SFJs there's way more education and career focus than family and children focus. Quite a few of them are married with no kids (and no immediate plans for kids) and I'm a little surprised at the vehemence have about not having kids. I've even found some confirmation of my observations about young women in my age group being more about their careers than family:

    Women ages 22 to 30 with no husband and no kids earn a median $27,000 a year, 8% more than comparable men in the top 366 metropolitan areas, according to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau data crunched by the New York research firm Reach Advisors and released Wednesday..."Young women are going to college in droves," Reach Advisors reports. "Nearly three-quarters of girls who graduate from high school head to college, vs. two-thirds of the boys. But they don't stop there. Women are now 1.5 times more likely than men to graduate from college or earn advanced degrees." Armed with degrees, young women command higher salaries.
    I wonder if people would accurately type an SFJ mother as SFJ who let's say had higher educational attainment (thus increasing your Openness score in the Big Five), wasn't a teacher or nurse (an SFJ engineer or scientist), wasn't always trying to lick you to death, stuff you with cookies and other baked goods, and didn't obtrusively insert herself into your life.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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  9. #39
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Hmm, most people have SFJ/FJ mothers.

    I kinda find it hard to believe, TBH. Stereotypical Fe behaviors are most often associated with motherhood, caretaking. I've even noticed in the FJ "Most Awesome" threads people are putting up pics of older, matronly women. Do other types not have as many children?

    My job is nutty about MBTI...I've had to take it at least three times since August for different activities. Not surprisingly, quite a few SFJs and the majority of them are under-35. Just in conversations I've had with various SFJs there's way more education and career focus than family and children focus. Quite a few of them are married with no kids (and no immediate plans for kids) and I'm a little surprised at the vehemence have about not having kids. I've even found some confirmation of my observations about young women in my age group being more about their careers than family:



    I wonder if people would accurately type an SFJ mother as SFJ who let's say had higher educational attainment (thus increasing your Openness score in the Big Five), wasn't a teacher or nurse (an SFJ engineer or scientist), wasn't always trying to lick you to death, stuff you with cookies and other baked goods, and didn't obtrusively insert herself into your life.
    I don't know why it would be hard to believe. Fe is just friendly and sociable (in most instances) and Si likes reliable traditions/schedules. They're pretty good parents in general. And I'm sure many SFJs do focus on education and occupation more, but keep in mind that there are statistically a lot of SFJs, particularly female ones.
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  10. #40
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trentham View Post
    Mine just stalks me on Facebook when I don't call.

    I actually call my parents' house fairly often to talk to my (IsTP) dad, because he and I have a lot of common interests so there's often plenty for us to talk about. The facebook stalking will begin when I go for 2 or 3 days without calling them after having spoken to them several days in a row previously. She will facebook me or send me an email asking if "everything's all right" or if I'm mad at her or my dad. WTF?? I'm not calling because I don't have anything to talk about. It's that simple. Very annoying and no matter how I handle it she still doesn't understand where I'm coming from.
    I don't talk to my mom as much as she'd like me too because I feel like I don't have much worth sharing. At least not the sort of stuff that would interest her or that she would approve of. My mom's terrified of Facebook and putting information about herself on the Internet. She's terrified that she'll get her identity stolen or that her computer will be infected with some major virus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trentham View Post
    Mine will relate stories that each and every other family member has at least mostly forgotten (even my ISTJ sister). It seems that she hangs on to everything we've ever done. I suppose it's her only hobby.
    Yep. It's as if she has no life of her own. Sad, really. But she claims she's happy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trentham View Post
    Yeah, with mine it can be something as simple as what meal to prepare when I drive down for a visit. I am not at all a picky eater. She knows this. She also knows that I believe her to be a good cook and there's nothing she could fix that I wouldn't enjoy. Yet, she INSISTS on rolling out a full menu days in advance of a visit to make sure I fully approve. Bear in mind that I have never (at least since early childhood) complained about her cooking. Sigh...
    LOL about the meal stuff. My mom is much the same. It's bad when we go out to eat because she always insists that I pick a place. I tell her I'm not picky and I'll let her pick once in a while. Thing is when I pick a place, she'll never come out and say she doesn't want to go there but she will give hints to suggest she's not the most enthusiastic about my choice.
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