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  1. #1
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    Default Getting Along With ESFJ's

    How do you guys (all NFs) get along with ESFJ's? My roommate is an ESFJ, and recently she set me off pretty badly for two main reasons:

    1. No respect or understanding of my privacy. She constantly wants to know where I'm going, where I went, what I did all day, what my conversation with so-and-so was about. She opens my bedroom door in the morning without asking or even knocking sometimes. She asks me what I'm thinking about at times. She doesn't seem to comprehend the need I have to keep some things private about myself. She seems insulted by my unwillingness to attend every, single social event and talk to every, single person. The time I spend alone seems to completely baffle her.

    2. She tries to be my mother. She has a constant need to control, manipulate, and demand. She nags and treats me like a child, commenting on my driving-- when I should put on my breaks, what lane I need to be in, where I'm going, even when I know. She cleans obsessively, and when I try to help, she freaks out if I don't do it right, and barks commands about HOW to do it, which REALLY doesn't sit well with me, since it makes me feel demeaned and humiliated and defeated; there was no way to meet her standards.

    Her mother tendencies are the worst, though, when she tries to give me advice (which is all of the time). It's always black and white, rigid, and limited in perspective. There is only one way to do it, and it's her's. I recently told her all about a possible new relationship, and despite me telling her I want to be sure to be wise, careful, and slow about it, she proceeded a few minutes later to tell me how I need to be wise, careful, and slow! It's as if she didn't hear a word I just said! It seems there is no way the relationship could be right in any form. To top it off, I hear her tell me to do/ not do things that are contrary to her own relationship with her boyfriend.

    Does anyone have experience with close relationships with ESFJ's? Does this sound at all familiar? How do you, as NF's, respond to this?

  2. #2
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    Posts like these really make me wonder about how much is due to type (nature) and how much is due to nurture (parental guidance for example).

    I think some people simply didn't have proper guidance about privacy and respect for other's space, and they lacked the tools to develop these ideas on their own. The latter may be due to type, but the former is about how they were brought up.
    The purple sun won't heal my purple bruises :ouch:

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    My mother is an ESFJ. I'm an old woman and only see her at Christmas if then, and she still has the power to drive me insane with those same behaviors you describe. I found myself chanting to myself "leave me alone leave me alone leave me alone" one visit when I was in my 40s and realized this was exactly how I felt most of my life, I had just not said it to myself since I was about 17 and left home. We got into arguments because she would go into my closet in what was supposed to be "my" room while I was there for a visit, and wash my clothes, and it embarrassed me that she was in there picking up my underwear. She can't get my reaction and accuses me of ingratitude. And so it goes.

    I don't know what to tell you but I feel ya.

  4. #4
    Member Jaded Idealist's Avatar
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    My mother is an ESFJ in the same vein as you describe. And my dad is ESTJ. Matters are further complicated by the fact that English is my first language but only their second, since we are an immigrant family.

  5. #5
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    My mother is an ESTJ. I try and stear clear of SJ types in general because I find that I am typically too far out there for them and my self-esteem plummets in their hypercritical presence.

  6. #6
    I drink your milkshake. Thessaly's Avatar
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    My mother is an ESFJ and my ex of 4 years is an ESFJ. I relate to you so well right now it's not even funny. I find it difficult to stand my mother for long periods of time and well the ex is an ex....so I haven't a solution for you. Run?

    It's really a clash of values in this dynamic and in a battle of wills the ESFJ will always win until the INFP goes fucking insane and throws in the towel much to the control freak ESFJ's dismay.

  7. #7
    Senior Member MrRandom's Avatar
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    This is all too familiar to me! My mother and my sister are both ESFJ.

    Both of these ESFJs have always been trying to change my room (and nowadays my own apartment) and move my furniture, etc. When I tell them "No, this as it is works the best for me", they aren't getting it. Once, after a twenty-minute repetition of "No." I had to let my sister rearrange my furniture. When she left, I immediately moved everything as they were. They are utterly intrusive.

    Everything that happens to my sister I hear from my mother. I've told her that I'd rather hear about my sister's life from herself, because whenever I meet her (we live very close by), our discussions are like: "I know, mom already told me". She also tells everything I say to my sister, so it works both ways. Sometimes I think she's living her life through other people, because she doesn't seem to have anything to talk about her own life.

    If I'd send a work/school application or something else like that, I'd be rather calm and cool waiting for the result. Maybe it has something to do with me being an INFJ (preventing big disappointments). However, both of these ESFJs take every frickin' application or moments like that in my life and get 100 times more excited than I am. I like to get support, but what they are doing actually upsets me! I'd like them to feel the things in my life, but not to exceed my own feelings by a thousand miles. It always feels as if they were living my life instead of me.

    I've recently noticed something... they both have been hanging up the phone if I have managed to upset them somehow. Is it an ESFJ thing to do? For example, my sister called me and requested for help. I couldn't help her at the time, so she got so mad she hang up the phone and I was cut mid-sentence.

    Neither of them really listens to what I'm saying. It's like they have a filter that blocks everything that's even slightly unusual. Both of them think they know me, but they can't know me if they don't really listen to me. They treat me like a generic guy, even though I'm quite eccentric in many ways. They both give me the most generic advice that would apply to the most ordinary people, but not to me who has different values.

    As funny as it may sound, I think (at least these two) ESFJs are extremely self-centered. As primary Fe, they might seem the opposite of self-centered, but that's exactly how I see them. They don't take no for an answer, even when they're the ones offering the help, and they get very upset when things don't go their way. Usually they don't even ask others how things should go as they just force others into their ways.

    I can't help but like my mom, but she really drove me insane. I was just a kid when I first told my friends that I'm gonna move out as soon as the first opportunity arises.

  8. #8
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    So I have to say that I love these guys. I have a group of students (a group of three), two of which are ESFJ. It's so much fun to work with them. We complement each other so well in the group - it's really great.

    My grandmother is also ExFJ...and although some things she does drives me bat-shit crazy, I have to admit I love her practical intelligence tempered with a healthy mix of intuition (Ni). It really complements my weaknesses and helps me grow.
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  9. #9
    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrRandom View Post



    Everything that happens to my sister I hear from my mother. I've told her that I'd rather hear about my sister's life from herself, because whenever I meet her (we live very close by), our discussions are like: "I know, mom already told me". She also tells everything I say to my sister, so it works both ways. Sometimes I think she's living her life through other people, because she doesn't seem to have anything to talk about her own life.
    ^ This. It's frustrating and deflating. Not to mention I don't really want to hear all of the bad things people did. Both my mom and sister are ESFJ's. My mom sounds similar to your post and it can be difficult to deal with. I have learned to ignore it and not fall into the traps she sets. I don't think she is a really healthy person. My sister on the other hand is awesome! She may not 'get' me the way other people would but she is nothing like my 'overly emotional, makes it a point to stomp out dinner because that means she won' mom.

    So if your roommate is like my mom run! If your roommate is like my sister, she means well but if you talk to her kindly and tell her what the problem is she'll genuinely try to accommodate you. She may have her feelings hurt for a minute but she'll come around and see it from your perspective. At least it's that way with my sister Good luck

  10. #10
    Cat Wench ReadingRainbows's Avatar
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    My mother is an unhealthy esfj. I cringe at the thought of all this.
    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    St. Stephen took rocks and St. Sebastian took arrows. You only have to take some jerks on an internet forum. Nut up.

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