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  1. #61
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    My SO's (INFP) relationship with his mother is very interesting to me. As well as his entire family dynamics which has a lot to do with his mother and things that happened early on in his parents marriage.

    SO is Mom's favorite. He will tell you that and it is entirely clear upon seeing the family interact after a few get togethers. SO will also say they have a good relationship (I think) and they do for the most part.

    But being the "favorite" has had more than a few detrimental effects for him, I believe. The entire family avoids upsetting Mom, so very minor things are allowed to slide that in any other normal relationship you would feel free to bring up, discuss and find a resolution. Being the "favorite," SO is very laid back, very go with the flow of what the family (Mom) wants. He has always done this since childhood. And I believe has felt great pressure in being Mom's favorite. We, SO and I as a couple, have had just one issue (not a biggie) with his Mom and it is like scaling Mt. Everest to get him to approach this with her.

    The family "Unfavorite" (SO's brother) has not always done this and is crucified for voicing opinions on minor issues that otherwise no one would have a problem with. He doesn't go with the flow and so far, imo, has had reasonable requests, opinions, wants etc. I keep being told "wait, you will see what we are all talking about" and so far have not seen it. The one issue so far (again, another small issue that in most families would be accepted and it is very common for all adult children to do but MOM doesn't want to do it and won't hear of it) "Unfavorite" has voiced normal opinions and he was lambasted for having them because it is going against what the family (Mom) wants. And then, "Unfavorite" will not be so happy to be around the family, will be touchy at the family gathering but SO (favorite) says this is proof of how "Unfavorite" is. It is hard to show him that "Unfavorite" is this way because of years of not being able to have healthy boundaries and not being able to voice wants/needs for years. It's also hard for him to recognize the passive-agressive pattern his family has adopted with "Unfavorite."

    SO is in therapy. He has spent years developing unhealthy relationships with people. He also had a very screwed up way of approaching romantic relationships and very unrealistic ideas of women. I'm not sure how much they discuss his Mom in therapy but I do know he has taken steps to addressing and putting two and two together so to speak about some of the kooky of his family. Before he would describe his family like a Norman Rockwell painting.

    He has noted that everyone was expected to act in a T like manner, when most members were F. Ontop of that my observations have been that everyone is supposed to act like T, but Mom is the only one allowed to act F. Even among the other girls, there is no F allowed.

    fwiw, I do like his mother. We get along well but sometimes I wonder if it is because I'm the Favorites SO.

  2. #62
    Senior Member hermeticdancer's Avatar
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    A lot of types have mother issues. Perhaps the INFP, is better able to explain this than the other types you have come across. Also there are some studies on pubmed about MBTI and INFP/ISFP males and a strong correlation with unipolar depression. Here is the abstract.
    Myers Briggs Type indicator personality profiles i... [World J Biol Psychiatry. 2002] - PubMed result

  3. #63
    Senior Member GirlFromMars's Avatar
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    There's only one male I know offline that is an INFP for sure. His father died (suicide) when he was just two. He felt his mother smotherd him and tried to stop him from being independant. Maybe so to not lose him as well? He says he loves her very much, but kinds of blames her for a lot of his insecurities now.

    There's another guy I know, but not so well. I don't know 100% that he's an INFP, but I'm pretty sure. He has a good relationship with his mum from what he says, but his dad's a big problem.

  4. #64
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirlFromMars View Post
    He felt his mother smotherd him and tried to stop him from being independant. Maybe so to not lose him as well? He says he loves her very much, but kinds of blames her for a lot of his insecurities now.
    This is very close to my story. My mom is codependant, and would sabotage my attempts to gain independence and autonomy (like getting a social life or moving out) while rewarding behaviors that kept me dependent on her (like playing video games in my room all weekend).

    Self growth is hard enough without having people sabotage you!

  5. #65
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    I do think that a lot of moms have problems letting go and letting their children grow up, especially SFJs, who feel the need to be needed, and to be the one to protect and provide for their children. I know it shouldn't be like that, but it's scary when people suddenly just don't need you anymore. That coupled with the awareness that you are getting old and are on the decline can be very frightening, so you cling on to what you know and try to maintain the close mother-child bond that you used to have.
    Last edited by 21%; 12-08-2009 at 11:23 PM. Reason: typos

  6. #66
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    Interesting hypothesis. I'm going to throw out the first things that come to my head based on the OP and then go through the posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cranky View Post
    whatever the damaging characteristic may be, they all have mothers who were deeply influential in their lives in a negative fashion.
    My mother was/is deeply influential in my life, yes, but I think it is very positive. In fact, I would say that I have exceptionally good relationship with my mom. But, this might actually be part of the phenomenon you are describing. My relationship with mom is hardly "normal" by any standard. I was sort of a confidant for her already at the age of ten. We were always close, but especially after I grew up from my teenage cynicism, I've been more like her in many ways. I have always interpreted the change as me becoming more like I was "originally" meant to be, but I guess you might as well interpret it as me becoming more like my mother.

    I do have to add that my closeness with her doesn't mean that I think the same, or have the same opinions with her or anything as obviously "weird" like that, but I admit that my relationship with her is a bit strange just because it is more close than my relationships with just about anyone else.

    And, if it is relevant, I didn't have healthy relationship with my dad. That might have emphasized the importance of mom. Honestly, I think I'd be a wreck now without such a mom. I feel quite lucky.

    EDIT:
    Ok, I read the thread. Of all the opinions I feel that the most convincing ones are "INFP males are weird boys, so their mothers are more likely to not understand them" and "INFPs are more likely to think and express mother issues"

    I'd also like to add that I don't like the attitude people seem to have against the "negativity" of the thread. I don't think it is fair to assume that a person that likes to explore the more negative implications of a type has to have some resentment for the type. I would actually like to have more discussion about the negatives, if it is done without obvious type-hating. I have recently had this feeling that people are against the probing of negatives. I don't see no reason to keep the discussions limited to the easy subjects. There have been people who do like to make superficially intellectual posts with the type-hating motivation, but as much as I hate the "Feelers are shit because they are not rational" and "Jesus was a mistake because he was a feeler" threads, I still think that we should resist the temptation to label all the threads with a negative tone as a type-hate thread. And, as we see now, the general opinion here seems to be that we aren't after all mistakes of our parents. The truth emerges, and it is good.

  7. #67
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    I hate everybody.


    And it's all my mother's fault.













  8. #68
    Senior Member Cranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post

    I'd also like to add that I don't like the attitude people seem to have against the "negativity" of the thread. I don't think it is fair to assume that a person that likes to explore the more negative implications of a type has to have some resentment for the type. I would actually like to have more discussion about the negatives, if it is done without obvious type-hating. I have recently had this feeling that people are against the probing of negatives. I don't see no reason to keep the discussions limited to the easy subjects. There have been people who do like to make superficially intellectual posts with the type-hating motivation, but as much as I hate the "Feelers are shit because they are not rational" and "Jesus was a mistake because he was a feeler" threads, I still think that we should resist the temptation to label all the threads with a negative tone as a type-hate thread. And, as we see now, the general opinion here seems to be that we aren't after all mistakes of our parents. The truth emerges, and it is good.
    The more responses I get, and the more I talk to my IRL male INFPs, the more a picture is starting to emerge of FATHER issues CAUSING the mother issues. The story I am hearing again and again is either a lack of a father, or that father misunderstanding the sensitive boy's nature...and God help us all, trying to make a 'man' out of him.

    The mother is passive in this tale.

    And I do appreciate that you're not jumping down my throat for posting this topic. I am curious, is all. Everyone has their issues, and I just wanted to explore the subject. I really, REALLY INFPs. Promises and pinky-swears.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biaxident View Post
    I hate everybody.


    And it's all my mother's fault.














    you don't hate me, do you???



    Personally, *I* think I'm hysterically funny.

  9. #69
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I'd also like to add that I don't like the attitude people seem to have against the "negativity" of the thread.
    I don't think any of us has any problem with looking at the weaknesses and bad points of an INFP. Like all other types, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. And I agree that certain problems tend to occur more often to INFPs (depression, melancholy) because of the way we behave and think.

    What I do challenge is the assertion (not in the OP but in one of the responses), that the problem is caused by the person being 'too' INFP or using too much Fi or whatever combination of INFP functions, and that the solution to the problem is to be less INFP and work on using other functions.

    My point is that it is the misuse and not the overuse of the INFP functions that causes the problem. And fixing it requires understanding and using Fi (or Ne, Si, Te, whatever) correctly.

    I don't have any proof or theories to support this, but this is what resonates the most with me at the moment. Of course, if you ask me again in a week's time, my INFP self-doubt and over-analysis would make me give you a different answer
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

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  10. #70
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by William K View Post
    I don't think any of us has any problem with looking at the weaknesses and bad points of an INFP. Like all other types, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. And I agree that certain problems tend to occur more often to INFPs (depression, melancholy) because of the way we behave and think.

    What I do challenge is the assertion (not in the OP but in one of the responses), that the problem is caused by the person being 'too' INFP or using too much Fi or whatever combination of INFP functions, and that the solution to the problem is to be less INFP and work on using other functions.

    My point is that it is the misuse and not the overuse of the INFP functions that causes the problem. And fixing it requires understanding and using Fi (or Ne, Si, Te, whatever) correctly.

    I don't have any proof or theories to support this, but this is what resonates the most with me at the moment. Of course, if you ask me again in a week's time, my INFP self-doubt and over-analysis would make me give you a different answer
    This post resonates with me.

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