I can't really offer much advice, but I sympathize with this a lot because one of my good childhood friends is in a similar situation -he's 18, he has a criminal record (assult), he has no direction in life, and I would guess he's depressed (I can only guess the depression based on his lack of direction, drug habit, and the way his older brother talks about him. I'm not emotionally close to him any more). He might be ENFP, too, lives with his parents and sells weed... My childhood friend's older brother went through a similar, but less consequential depression (less consequential in that he never got a criminal record), and he's just sort of naturally out growing it now on his own.
I was more depressed and sad and angry when I was a younger kid/preteen and I believe what got me out of that and in a way greatly prevented depression and drug abuse now (I'm 17) was getting a good hobby. For me it was playing guitar. It gave me an emotional and creative outlet, it gave me something to work very hard on that also came naturally, and it showed me that I was worth more and improved my self esteem when I realized I was actually getting better at it. Giving him something outside of himself to identify with could be helpful, but I realize it's easier said than done.
I'm rooting for you though, I feel very concerned for kids like your son and my friend, I care about their problems and I always hope they get better. I'm rooting for you 100%.
One suggestion i have is... (if you're Christian) get him to talk to God more? Reading scripture/going to church/getting support from church friends etc. I understand this may not be possible though. Might not even be effective if your brother feels patronized. But this is something that's REALLY, REALLY worked for me and I thought it could help
I think the main thing is that he needs to believe in himself again. I agree with noigmn that this depressed 'stage' is probably something we all need to go through (ENFPs, i mean). After we get through this terrible, horrid dark unhappy excruciating period, we learn a lot. At least, that's what I feel/think.
I think he's lacking a lot of confidence right now and is feeling really hopeless, so he doesn't think he can accomplish anything. He thinks he lacks the ability/drive to do anything remotely positive. I agree with the others here; you could help by just encouraging him, emphasizing his strengths and firmly, honestly believing in him and his abilities, believing in him as a person, telling him that he can do it. Be logical and realistic when you tell him this because if not it will seem like you are being patronising/unrealistic, and he will close up and not listen. I agree that giving him logic and facts will help him get out of this emotional wreck - snap him outta it.
Then from there, see what educational courses or work his strengths can lead to. Try to get a list of ENFP careers (there are quite a few on the internet) as well as ENFP education majors, run through that with him, it may help? And help him to IDENTIFY WHAT WENT WRONG, what triggered all this, what brought on everything and his bad decisions and his unhappiness. Every minute thing that could have contributed to this, help him run through it/think through it. Maybe once you guys realize the main reason (or was it a combination of reasons?), you can figure out how to tackle this problem better. Was it a rejection? A failure that led to low self-esteem? A strong need to be socially accepted? It could be anything; I found that for me personally it was an event - I was rejected from a school sports group I really wanted to join. Once you figure out what the problem is you can see how to do damage control; fix the original problem.
Just my two-cents worth, I'm not sure it really made sense (i think i could be going round in circles here) but anyway i hope this helps
I'm a 20 year old ENFP who has been depressed for approximately 5 years. It's very difficult for you to logically appeal to this ENFP when he has his own visions of what to do and his Fi telling him it is ok. His Fi must be worked on, so anything that is causing that unhealthiness needs to be realized as unhealthy by him. How do you make this happen? I don't know. An ENFP can be a very stubborn type to deal with as far as making them change their minds about things. For instance, I don't agree with following laws set forth by a state that I don't agree with, written by people I do not know and voted on by people who do not represent my interests. I would never follow the law just because it's "the law," that is, I would commit any crime within my own moral code provided that I was sure I would not get caught. Your brother doesn't seem to be very good at not getting caught when violating the law. Therefore, his behavior is going to have to change or else he's going to find himself in serious trouble. I would propose that a radical overhaul of his self is the only thing that could save him, since past behavior is such a good indicator of future behavior. This could mean recommending he see a doctor. Perhaps if he were more content or less lethargic, he could carry out routine tasks more easily and get himself on the right track to doing something he could excel at and enjoy. In short, if he didn't get so much displeasure from working in a typical manner, behaving in a typical way, working for some time at a typical job, he would not resort to theft anymore. Theft is the product of laziness, and laziness is a product of depression. Maybe he needs to be treated, these underlying factors may be the cause of the behaviors. Focusing on fixing the behaviors themselves will not work.
Edit: Possibly insert "dealing drugs" in place of "theft," but this guy is certainly trying to fast-track the money if he needs it, because he isn't going to survive in a typical work atmosphere.
I would just give him my whole heart..give him my full attention, love for him, in any way you can, because in one way or another, he will benefit from it; rethnk things, start over, after a while..and he will pass it on to others, he will understand..one simple act of love triggers a chain reaction, and it's the technique for the healer..we love, and it goes farther then we ever expect it to go..
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?
encourage him as a person. the best way, for me at least, to pull an ENFP out of a funk is to a) encourage them, as a person. point out all of their good qualities and tell them how those qualities will help them in the future, and point out the bad qualities and how to eradicate them (also try to downplay those bad qualities a little). b) try to lend some logic to the situation. it gets them out of the emotional funk and back into the real world. truthfully an ENTP would be excellent at getting them out of this, but you are an INFP so you should be able to associate with them
so be kind and caring but use logic to bring them back and encourage them as a person. got it ?
That will definitely work. I agree with mlittrell. Hope your bro gets out of the funk.
Actually, I think a good solution is to get him involved in music (as in learning an instrument). It is a great venting tool, a guitar or bass would be a great start. Plus, all that songwriting inspiration!
I can't really think of anything else to add. Being an 18 year old myself, I think what would help me the most would be seeing the potential for change. He should be around people that motivate him and inspire him, but still interest him. What he needs to see is that change is possible and within reach.
I know you say you don't want to meddle, and that's understandable, but he's 17 and is accustomed to a certain lifestyle from criminal activities? I don't know too many people who would blame you for "meddling". It sounds like he needs some SERIOUS guidance in his life right now, and it might come more easily from a sister (who is closer to being a peer) than a parent.
"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." - Edward Abbey