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  1. #21
    Undisciplined Starry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    How do you tell an ESFJ that the friendship is over without them going crazy on you? I'm posting this in the general forum because I want to open it up to responses from all types (including ESFJs whose insight is especially welcome).

    You guys, I am really confused. So, this story has happened to me on two separate occasions now. Through mutual friends, I met an ESFJ. We hung out a lot and did stuff together, and I always thought the relationship was fine. They would always try to invade my space too much (prying too much into my life, expecting me to be way more sensitive to social consensus than I am, the usual complaints people have about ESFJs, you know), and I would kind of beat them back and ignore them when they would sulk about it. From my perspective, we were friends but not super-close-best-friends-forever type of stuff.

    So anyway, eventually they would invite me to something way too intimate for my level of friendship with them (i.e. let's take a trip to the mountains!), and I would politely decline. Then, they went crazy on me. Acting like I had just committed a felony or something, trying to rope lots of people in to be aghast at my "unacceptable" behavior, and when they realized our mutual friends didn't think I did anything wrong, they'd sulk even more. In each case, we were separated by some event (i.e. graduating from college, moving, etc), and when I didn't show enough interest in maintaining the friendship, they would demand an explanation for why. And I would tell them that we were incompatible as friends, but they would want very literal examples of incompatibility and then, would try to refute those examples.

    I'm sorry, but I find this to be bizarre. When people don't want to be friends with me, it sometimes makes me sad for a while, but I would never demand to be friends with them. The vast majority of friends I have, we go through time periods when we're close and some when we're distant...and sometimes they end. It's usually not a big issue. So, what's the deal here? How do you convey to an ESFJ that they didn't do anything "wrong" and you didn't do anything "wrong" but that you're not BFFLs and they should learn how to conduct friendships of different levels of intimacy?
    Honor, I don't really understand... well this entire thread really. But I guess I don't fully understand what the challenge is in this scenario. What you describe above is just one of those 'life things'. Every single day people of different types meet other people of other types...and more often than not one person will want more than the other can or cares to give. It is not your place to teach this ESFJ how to 'conduct friendships of different levels of intimacy' (???) No, your job is merely to explain yourself and your intentions. What you are willing and able to give if anything. And if you want out of the friendship... I am unable to gauge from your post how deeply involved in each others lives you two currently are and if mentioning you wish to end the friendship is even necessary or if you can just slowly back away but yah. There's no lesson you need to provide this ESFJ when exiting.

  2. #22
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Ahhhh. That's probably your answer, then. We bond really tightly with people, more tightly than they often do, and almost always more quickly. It's hard for me to describe the feeling of having one of your "people" you've bonded with not want to be with you as much as you want to be with them, but it's very painful. That's why they freaked out - the whole trip or whatever endeavor is essentially worthless without one of their "people" along to enjoy it with. That explains the prying into your life, then, too. We like to go in depth and learn everything, every facet of you. Sorry that this sounds a little stalkerish, lmao. Anyway, even after separating events, letting go is painful.

    A lot of my friends from high school seem So dominant and they've kind of just drifted away, but I don't really understand it, because I still feel a strong attachment to them, even if we haven't interacted in a long time. I do understand distance and time moving us apart, of course, and I don't think there's any necessity to pretend like we're close. But I guess in my head, I feel like there's something very special about being close, and it's something that's permanent - once you've heard the intimate details of someone's life for a certain period of time, it's strange to think that you're no longer welcome. I do think what Sx-doms cling to is the possibility of being close again, so breaking that friendship tie completely is very painful for us.

    I don't think you have to be beholden to them, but if they complain, I think it could be useful to try explaining that while you still enjoy time with them, you're very busy, and would really love to maintain a lower-key friendship with them.
    This was so helpful, skylights. I have no problem spending time with them, and I do care about both of them. I was just really confused about what was motivating them to act this way, felt upset by their reactions, and wanted some clarity. I think I get it now, though. We were closer friends when we were younger and we still saw each other in recent years, but I had definitely begun to strongly identify with other groups of people as academic/professional interests took me away from them. I guess that bond had not dimmed for them (hard to believe for me because the fact that we weren't living in the same place and studying/working on the same types of things gave us very little to be bonded over) whereas I had formed strong, intimate attachments to new people in other groups.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    Sorry to disappoint Elaborating on why you don't like it would be helpful if you want me to disappoint you less in the future.

    It is quite alright, the effort will be duly matched.

  4. #24
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starry View Post
    Honor, I don't really understand... well this entire thread really. But I guess I don't fully understand what the challenge is in this scenario. What you describe above is just one of those 'life things'. Every single day people of different types meet other people of other types...and more often than not one person will want more than the other can or cares to give. It is not your place to teach this ESFJ how to 'conduct friendships of different levels of intimacy' (???) No, your job is merely to explain yourself and your intentions. What you are willing and able to give if anything. And if you want out of the friendship... I am unable to gauge from your post how deeply involved in each others lives you two currently are and if mentioning you wish to end the friendship is even necessary or if you can just slowly back away but yah. There's no lesson you need to provide this ESFJ when exiting.
    lol, I'm not trying to provide her a lesson. I was just unable to get the message across that we weren't close friends and she should stop stalking me, hahaha

  5. #25
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    How do you tell an ESFJ that the friendship is over without them going crazy on you? I'm posting this in the general forum because I want to open it up to responses from all types (including ESFJs whose insight is especially welcome).

    You guys, I am really confused. So, this story has happened to me on two separate occasions now. Through mutual friends, I met an ESFJ. We hung out a lot and did stuff together, and I always thought the relationship was fine. They would always try to invade my space too much (prying too much into my life, expecting me to be way more sensitive to social consensus than I am, the usual complaints people have about ESFJs, you know), and I would kind of beat them back and ignore them when they would sulk about it. From my perspective, we were friends but not super-close-best-friends-forever type of stuff.

    So anyway, eventually they would invite me to something way too intimate for my level of friendship with them (i.e. let's take a trip to the mountains!), and I would politely decline. Then, they went crazy on me. Acting like I had just committed a felony or something, trying to rope lots of people in to be aghast at my "unacceptable" behavior, and when they realized our mutual friends didn't think I did anything wrong, they'd sulk even more. In each case, we were separated by some event (i.e. graduating from college, moving, etc), and when I didn't show enough interest in maintaining the friendship, they would demand an explanation for why. And I would tell them that we were incompatible as friends, but they would want very literal examples of incompatibility and then, would try to refute those examples.

    I'm sorry, but I find this to be bizarre. When people don't want to be friends with me, it sometimes makes me sad for a while, but I would never demand to be friends with them. The vast majority of friends I have, we go through time periods when we're close and some when we're distant...and sometimes they end. It's usually not a big issue. So, what's the deal here? How do you convey to an ESFJ that they didn't do anything "wrong" and you didn't do anything "wrong" but that you're not BFFLs and they should learn how to conduct friendships of different levels of intimacy?
    I will spare you the 3rd degree (context can be important!) and keep it simple. If you've scorned or pissed off an ESFJ, you're on a shit list that knows no forgiveness. Unless you completely capitulate and give in to their every demand, preferably with tears or at least misty eyes and a plea to their sense of sympathy.

    Bonus Answer: If you ever want to get an ESFJ to do something you think they'd never agree to, gather up consensus behind their backs, high value people, then corner them and lay it on them matter of factly.

    P.S. I've had to work VERY closely with a female ESFJ for two years now. Worked/s for me!
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #26
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpankyMcFly View Post
    I will spare you the 3rd degree (context can be important!) and keep it simple. If you've scorned or pissed off an ESFJ, you're on a shit list that knows no forgiveness. Unless you completely capitulate and give in to their every demand, preferably with tears or at least misty eyes and a plea to their sense of sympathy.

    Bonus Answer: If you ever want to get an ESFJ to do something you think they'd never agree to, gather up consensus behind their backs, high value people, then corner them and lay it on them matter of factly.

    P.S. I've had to work VERY closely with a female ESFJ for two years now. Worked/s for me!
    Hahahahahahaha, truth.

  7. #27
    Retired Nicki's Avatar
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    Just ignore them and hope they leave you alone. Confrontation isn't something they tend to like. It'd be better for both of you. But if they ask about it, try to be as polite as possible. Don't be too blunt.

  8. #28
    Undisciplined Starry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    lol, I'm not trying to provide her a lesson. I was just unable to get the message across that we weren't close friends and she should stop stalking me, hahaha

    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    How do you convey to an ESFJ that they didn't do anything "wrong" and you didn't do anything "wrong" but that you're not BFFLs and they should learn how to conduct friendships of different levels of intimacy?
    ^^I was just going off of the bolded. There didn't seem to be any indication that that should not be taken literally... and so I quickly responded with that advice. And it is a relief really to learn this was not what you had in mind because, for reasons similar to those in SpankyMcFly's post, what I wrote goes doubly for the ESFJ. As it stands right now it will merely be your own reputation/social position she will systematically destroy. There's really no reason to bring your family's reputation, your future partners, unborn children, pets, etc. into it. <--OMgosh I'm kidding! kidding, kidding.

    Seriously though, I thought you were talking about someone relatively new in your life. Like a person you had recently met that was wanting an 'instant best friend' and you were just not feelin it. But this is someone that you were close to in your past? Wait I better quote that as well or you may come back and act like you didn't say that either...

    Quote Originally Posted by Honor View Post
    We were closer friends when we were younger and we still saw each other in recent years, but I had definitely begun to strongly identify with other groups of people as academic/professional interests took me away from them. I guess that bond had not dimmed for them (hard to believe for me because the fact that we weren't living in the same place and studying/working on the same types of things gave us very little to be bonded over) whereas I had formed strong, intimate attachments to new people in other groups.
    That almost makes me feel sad...and no... I no longer feel her desire to reconnect or spend some time together is inappropriate or unreasonable or that there's just something 'off' about her because wow can't she take a hint? Yah...lots and lots of people...including a handful of ENFPs (imagine that!) actually buy into that whole crack-pot 'once a friend always a friend' ideology. <--Which, as *crazy* as this may sound, things like distance, new friends, new schools, careers and paths...those are the easier of obstacles to clear...and are certainly not obvious indicators that an old friend shouldn't call or write or invite you to do things or 'stalk' as you would say.

    With so many new intimate connections with new friends perhaps you just can't be bothered? So you can either make this fact known to her...or continue to avoid her. But do try to keep in mind that not everyone has such an 'out with the old in with the new' attitude where friendship is concerned...and I highly doubt she sees her behavior as irritating or stalking. It sounds like she's just being an old friend.

  9. #29
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starry View Post
    ^^I was just going off of the bolded. There didn't seem to be any indication that that should not be taken literally... and so I quickly responded with that advice. And it is a relief really to learn this was not what you had in mind because, for reasons similar to those in SpankyMcFly's post, what I wrote goes doubly for the ESFJ. As it stands right now it will merely be your own reputation/social position she will systematically destroy. There's really no reason to bring your family's reputation, your future partners, unborn children, pets, etc. into it. <--OMgosh I'm kidding! kidding, kidding.

    Seriously though, I thought you were talking about someone relatively new in your life. Like a person you had recently met that was wanting an 'instant best friend' and you were just not feelin it. But this is someone that you were close to in your past? Wait I better quote that as well or you may come back and act like you didn't say that either...



    That almost makes me feel sad...and no... I no longer feel her desire to reconnect or spend some time together is inappropriate or unreasonable or that there's just something 'off' about her because wow can't take a hint? Yah...lots and lots of people...including a handful of ENFPs (imagine that!) actually buy into that whole crack-pot 'once a friend always a friend' ideology. <--Which, as *crazy* as this may sound, things like distance, new friends, new schools, careers and paths...those are the easier of obstacles to clear...and are certainly not obvious indicators that an old friend shouldn't call or write or invite you to do things or 'stalk' as you would say.

    With so many new intimate connections with new friends perhaps you just can't be bothered? So you can either make this fact known to her...or continue to avoid her. But do try to keep in mind that not everyone has such an 'out with the old in with the new' attitude where friendship is concerned...and I highly doubt she sees her behavior as irritating or stalking. It sounds like she's just being an old friend.
    Cool, you're entitled to your own perceptions/opinions! I appreciate you contributing.

  10. #30
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleda View Post
    Just ignore them and hope they leave you alone. Confrontation isn't something they tend to like. It'd be better for both of you. But if they ask about it, try to be as polite as possible. Don't be too blunt.
    That's what I've decided to do.

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