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  1. #1
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Default I really need some help with my ENFJ mom (long post warning)

    EDIT: This was more of a rant than anything, I know what I need to do. You can still read it if you want though.

    For those of you that have seen me post about my mom before, she's an ENFJ, not an ENFP. She tested as an ENFP, but it's very clear to me that she's a J with her tendencies and such.

    Anyways.

    So me and my mom have always conflicted with each other. We can't see where the other is coming from. She thinks I'm selfish and cruel (and I honestly have no idea why), and I see her as annoying. She really just doesn't make any sense to me, everything I try doesn't work to make her feel better when we have a dispute. It just makes things worse.

    The thing we conflict about the most is she thinks that everyone should show their love by doing things for people. I have a completely opposing view of things, I show my love by being there for someone, going out and doing things with them, talking to them and showing I care, etc. Physical things are cool, but they don't mean all that much to me. Physical things are the world to her. She gets VERY upset if someone doesn't give her gifts for Christmas, her birthday, mother's day, or valentine's day. She thinks if people don't give her gifts that they automatically hate her (I'm being completely serious). If it's not on time, she's pretty much crushed.

    This time around it was recently mother's day, and I'm broke. I told her that I'd get her something, I'd get her a flower from a particular shop (it's cheap and the plants are of good quality) that she could plant in her garden. She was of course happy and appreciative to hear that. We established that I would get this plant for her with some of my tax return check, and that I couldn't before that.

    Well mother's day comes around and I don't have it. I tell her it's because I had just gotten the check and didn't get a chance to get her it yet. She seemed fine about this, and instead we had an outing just for her. We went on a hike, ate at her favorite restaurant, and saw the new Star Trek movie (she's a Trekkie). She seemed pretty content.

    That was on mother's day. After that I go to my dad's house (I stay with her during the weekend) and and chill out on Monday. On Tuesday I cash the check, but that night I had a lot of homework to do, so once again I couldn't go to get her her plant. On Wednesday I had to stay home to take care of the animals at the house, since my dad had to go out and run errands all day, and at the end of the day go to band practice. So once again I couldn't do anything. On Thursday my friends wanted to hang out, and I hadn't seen them in about 10 days (nor socialized in 10 days) so I took the opportunity, no one is off work much anymore nowadays. Once again I couldn't really get it for her.

    Now it's today, Friday. I call my mom and she asked me if I could get her the flower. I explained all of the above to her, and I told her that this weekend I'd get it since there was nothing I was doing. She seemed fine about it.

    I get home, and she has three Amethysts for me, since I had been wanting one. But she forgot that we had discussed this the week before... and I didn't really want anything from her (she doesn't seem to understand people not wanting something). The type of Amethyst I wanted was overly expensive, and it wasn't worth it. I was totally ok with it, I didn't need it anyway. We established this. So then she shows them to me and says "Well I got you these, what do you think? Do you want them?" I just kinda sat there and tried thinking to myself "Wait... why did I just get these?" I totally had forgotten. Then from my body language she thought that I didn't want them, so she freaked out and started blabbering about how no one cared about anything she did for them (when that's a lie), and how no one has ever cared for her in her life (which is also a lie). I'm sitting here thinking "Whoa whoa... "

    When I explain to her the reasons behind my body language she just won't take it. She gets completely irrational when she's angry, she won't listen to any reasoning. What she's feeling in the moment is all that should ever matter in the entire world to anyone, that seems to be how she feels. She told me that the fact that I seemingly didn't care about her gift that she felt betrayed, and I tried to reason her out of it. Then after that she guilted me and told me "You don't even care enough about me to get me a stupid flower, do you know how much that would have meant to me?" Then I repeated why I couldn't get it and she just wouldn't have any of it. But as I said above, nothing works, everything fails and just makes things worse. I have to yell and stomp around to get her to stop talking over me.

    This just seems totally absurd to me... I really don't understand why anyone would act this way. With her the way I acted and spoke (like I always to, which is to the point, covering all bases, and just caring about intention and not so much context) meant more to her than my intent... which was that I was sorry I couldn't get her anything and that I would, and that I even promised her that I would.

    This really makes no sense to me. I'm awkward with gifts, I don't really know what to do but say "thanks". I don't really know what I'm supposed to do. Everyone just gives me money for gifts, since I have a high standard of what I want, and it's better if I can buy something for myself. I had a discussion with my family about this, that they don't need to spend much on me, and to just throw me a $20 bill or something instead of spending a lot of money on something. My mom thinks that this is because everyone apparently realizes that I'm just selfish and that I don't understand the meaning of a gift.

    Sigh. This is ridiculous. It doesn't help that I don't understand ENFJs almost at all... I really can't understand truly why any of this really matters... It all just seems so stupid.

    If you're familiar with styles of love, my mom is a primary gift giver (of course), and secondary acts of service. I'm a primary quality time, and a secondary physical touch. We are totally different in this aspect.

    I really don't know why she feels this way or why any of this means so much to her. I understand logically, but I'm not "getting" it.

    What do you people think? I would really appreciate another viewpoint on this, I don't know what to do.

    EDIT: Read the rest of my posts on here before responding to avoid misunderstanding.
    Last edited by BlackCat; 05-17-2009 at 02:03 AM.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  2. #2
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    Completely unhelpful advice: punch her in the ovaries.

  3. #3
    Systematic chaos Cenomite's Avatar
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    I gotta admit I don't have much advice for you. It's really easy to preach to someone in this situation, but I know that if I was in your shoes and it was my Mom, I wouldn't have the nads to do much that I'd like to suggest to you.

    The best advice I could give is to just sit her down and have a talk about how you feel about her actions in-general. I realise that that sounds really lame, and I never really do things like that, but if you can clear up her opinions about you then it would be a good step in the right direction. In other words, have a "big picture" discussion.

    I don't think anyone can give you good advice though, at least unless they know your Mom and have also been around you your entire life.

    Also...

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    Completely unhelpful advice: punch her in the ovaries.
    Hahahaha
    The probability that I was procrastinating when I was typing this post:

    P(have big assignment due) = 0.6
    P(posting on TypoC) = 0.2
    P(having big assignment due | posting on TypoC) = 0.7

    P(posting on TypoC | having big assignment due) = .......


    Eh, I'll finish it later.

  4. #4
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cenomite View Post
    I gotta admit I don't have much advice for you. It's really easy to preach to someone in this situation, but I know that if I was in your shoes and it was my Mom, I wouldn't have the nads to do much that I'd like to suggest to you.

    The best advice I could give is to just sit her down and have a talk about how you feel about her actions in-general. I realise that that sounds really lame, and I never really do things like that, but if you can clear up her opinions about you then it would be a good step in the right direction. In other words, have a "big picture" discussion.

    I don't think anyone can give you good advice though, at least unless they know your Mom and have also been around you your entire life.
    When I have these big picture conversations they get forgotten, and her feelings mean more than a conversation to her. It's highly annoying.

    But yeah... I don't know if anyone can truly help, but if they can provide some input then that's great.

    Thanks for yours, I appreciate it.

    I don't have to put up with this much longer, I am graduating from high school in 3 weeks. After that I'm moving out, I already have it all set up. I just don't want to leave on bad terms.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

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  5. #5
    Member invaderzim's Avatar
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    Err... well judging from my ENFJ dad, its not going to stop. Its like their Fe gets an emotional high from the theatrics. She probably set you up anyways. Just get her cards for every holiday (Earth day as well) and make sure they're on time. Resistance is futile.

  6. #6
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    Wow, so you went on a hike, saw a movie, and ate at her fave restaurant and she is still freaking out about a flower? I don't know what to say. I have nothing of value to contribute other than my deepest sympathy. That kind of behavior would make me feel angry and hurt.

  7. #7
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invaderzim View Post
    Err... well judging from my ENFJ dad, its not going to stop. Its like their Fe gets an emotional high from the theatrics. She probably set you up anyways. Just get her cards for every holiday (Earth day as well) and make sure they're on time. Resistance is futile.
    Gah... I hate having to waste money on cards. I guess it's unfortunate that I told her that I didn't really see that giving someone a piece of paper showed that I cared.

    You really do seem correct in this sense... I'm glad there is someone else that has an ENFJ parent. She really does set up for emotional drama all of the time. In friendships, family, with me, and with my dad (now her ex husband).

    I'm surprised my dad survived four years of that. They basically got married, waited two years, had me, then divorced when I was 2. I am an only child, so I get the full brink of this from my mom. My dad is just a poor INTP musician that wants to enjoy life and not have to deal with that bullshit, after having realized that he got married to that my sympathies go to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Wow, so you went on a hike, saw a movie, and ate at her fave restaurant and she is still freaking out about a flower? I don't know what to say. I have nothing of value to contribute other than my deepest sympathy. That kind of behavior would make me feel angry and hurt.
    Thanks. I feel anger and frustration mostly, I don't get hurt around my mom anymore.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

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  8. #8
    Member Gengar's Avatar
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    Default ehh

    I have an ENFJ mom as well and I experience exactly the same things as you.

    Firstly, you should try to see it from her perspective as irrational and illogical as it may seem. (I'm attempting to see what she's thinking, so this paragraph might seem a bit jumbled) I think she bought those amethysts because it is your last year in the same house as her. She knows that you're going to leave, and I suppose it's her way of making sure you leave on good terms with her. But in her effort and attempts, she received a somewhat 'blank' response? And with that blank response comes her descension into pessimism. Then she recalls how you put homework over her Mother's Day present, and it's not even THAT timely to get a flower. When she puts the two together, it would seem to her that you don't care about her enough to spend less than an hour (I presume) to get her a flower and you don't appreciate her present. When she gets to that stage, there's no convincing her (even when you hiked and watched a movie with her).

    So now, I suppose the only thing to do is to apologise to her for making her feel that way, even if it feels as if you're not at fault. Sure, you may lose dignity as you do this, but what can be more important than making your mother feel a tad bit more happy? I'm quite certain she loves you very much, and as long as you remember this, I don't think it'd be hard to apologise. Go ahead, buy her something better than a flower. Surprise her; mothers love surprises from their husbands, but they love it even more from their sons.

  9. #9
    Member invaderzim's Avatar
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    ^^^ yeah but then again she did clean your behind as a baby. She atleast deserves a flower.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by invaderzim View Post
    ^^^ yeah but then again she did clean your behind as a baby. She atleast deserves a flower.
    But he hung out with her all day on Mother's Day and explained why he had not yet purchased the flower. It's not like he did absolutely nothing for her and didn't buy the flower out of sheer negligence.

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