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Thread: ESFP sister driving me insane

  1. #11


    moving would work. Also isolate your space from her. Find your own religion/hobby/class/activity and then use it as an excuse to not engage when she invites you or date the guys she introduces you to.

    Dont even bother engaging with the "you are a snob/elitist/know-it-all" arguments. Also dont criticize her or try and give her advice. She wont listen and it will precipitate an argument. Dont argue about her food choices. Ideally just dont express any opinions and agree with her blandly and then move on and do your own thing. She is looking for, and is, highly sensitive to your critique.

    Be wary of emotional manipulation. I grew up with an ESFP brother and sister and an ENFP mom. It teaches a young ENFP to develop a strong Te very early on. Otherwise they will try and use their emotional pain due to their poor choices to make you feel bad and help them. They will use their Fi to "pluck" your Fi. It hurts to ignore but you cant be responsible for cleaning up after another's poor choices, especially when you try and advise before the fact. You learn to be very wary of who you trust Fi to, but as an INFP you are likely already pretty good at protecting it.

    good luck.

  2. #12
    half-nut member Array briochick's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    ;) sx


    Happy Puppy; Wow. sounds like you have some experience in all this. Thank you for all the suggestions.

    "I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."
    -Teddy Roosevelt

  3. #13
    Was E.laur Array Laurie's Avatar
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    Jan 2009


    See, my ESFP sister grew up. She is 30 now and is responsible. At 18 she was still floundering.

    Sky has it right, just look at what she does better than other people. The "friends all the time" IS a strength of hers. Some of the stuff you are judging her for really isn't fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by briochick View Post
    I try to ask her about her friends but she doesn't know anything *about* them. Maybe where they live or who they're dating, what they did last week, or a food they like. But what they think, what they fear, what they believe and hope for, what they resent. Nope.
    This isn't a bad thing, it's just different from you. It is nice to have friends who just accept you for who you are and have fun with you. Her friends treasure her for that, not for being an in depth thinker (although she might be, or might develop it)

    Quote Originally Posted by briochick View Post
    She also keeps trying to hook me up with losers (well, he graduated high school, and he's worked at Taco Bell for six months, *and* his parole is almost up. He even believes in God. You should meet him). Maybe I'd rather be single.
    Tell her you are not interested in being set up with anyone. Ever. If you have complained about not having a bf she is just trying to help you out, probably.

    Quote Originally Posted by briochick View Post
    It's like we speak different freaking languages. Anything I think is an appropriate topic of conversation she thinks is snobby and dogmatic and a waste of time, and what she considers good topics of conversation usually result in me staring open mouthed because of it's a. inanity, or b. sheer moral apathy.
    You really just need to listen to her when she talks the "stupid" stuff and turn off the "deep" stuff. This is a good test for you to learn how to deal with people who are extremely different from you. Take it as such.

    Basically, with my sister I don't tell her the "why" of things. I can tell her my conclusion on a deeper subject I was thinking about, but not the detailed here and there thoughts that I got there with. But I do have friends (and my mom, who is ESFP and is just older) can listen to it and understand it a little better. You need to also work at not judging her for who she is. The "moral" and "inanity" are your thoughts, not a fault of hers.

    As an INFP I see this as a great chance to learn to reach outside of your comfort zone, your "moral" zone and your "I'm better than" zone. Take your opportunity! (which I think you are, by even posting about it and listening)

  4. #14
    Senior Member Array
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    Nov 2008


    I have an ESFJ sister and we had some of these issues growing up. She's never ever read a non-fiction book that wasn't assigned to her as part of a class, I'm almost always reading some kind of history or science book. By college, I realized there was no point in trying to make her more curious intellectually, so I stopped picking on her for being a simple airhead, while she stopped asking what reading about Benjamin Franklin was "going to do for me". Guess I'm repeating some of the earlier posts about not pointing out each other's flaws - nothing productive will come of it.

    I guess you can say we disengaged in many respects, but what held things together was I got her into parties when she was younger, and we both follow pro sports. Not a close or deep connection, but I've figured out how to tolerate her a lot more than when we lived in the same house.

  5. #15
    RETIRED Array CzeCze's Avatar
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    Sep 2007


    Family is the opportunity to understand and get along with people that you would normally never ever ever associaet with.

    It's not going to be possible for you to totally "fix" this situation without your sister flexing. Also, it sounds like her age is compounding the situation, you're also the older sister so she may feel like you are picking on her or not doing your sisterly duty of being all warm and fuzzy with her.

    I think I know two ESFX women (they are both aestheticians who own their own spas) they are both very bubbly but they get offended much more easily and count what you might consider "superficial" or even "meaningless" social interaction to be important. I'm going to guess that she is reading your reactions and questions to her as you basically bothering her unecessarily.

    I don't have any ESFPs relatives but I would take the advice of another poster here and just ease up trying to understand her or help her the way that you have. Just accept her at face value and tag along to something you know she does like. If you both eat fast food and she makes those comments, just commiserate with her or smile. I'm thinking also being 18 she's probably kinda a whirlwind of hormones and all that and extra sensitive.

    For myself, I keep things civil now with my brother who is INTP. I mostly ignore him and hold my tongue and keep things polite and that works. You can still get something out of that. He is much better now than he was in his late teens.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux


  6. #16
    Pumpernickel Array
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    Aug 2009


    It sounds like the Se your sister uses is very much like my sister's, highly people oriented, not as much physical. She (ESTP) is an extremely high extrovert, and her best state is when she is in a room full of her friends talk about everything and nothing, and just laughing and enjoying the moment. It took me a while to appreciate that as a strength, and I am actually extremely jealous of her ability to live her life like that.

    It used to also kill me that she was so disinterested in all the things I found important in life, like learning new things and discussing theoretical ideas and putting careful thought into her actions and (this is a Te thing) striving to achieve more in life.

    Your sister probably feels like you are the one missing out on what's important. An ESFP friend once told me he feels like everyone is missing out on life by constantly being too preoccupied to appreciate what is happening right before their eyes. You just have to realize that her ability to do that is just as much a strength as anything.

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