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  1. #1
    Senior Member gretch's Avatar
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    Default Series #2: The effect of parenting on you.

    I am working on a few new theories about parenting styles, people who are x's ( as in like xnfx) etc.

    I have quite a lot to say on the subject, but more than that I desire to know the inner workings of family on your lives and quirks.
    As much in detail as you can would be most welcome! I'm terribly interested.

    As for Me, My mother is and ISTP my father is an ESTP. As for me I am an ENFP and my brother who is close to me is one messed up INFJ. It took me forever to type him because he's so screwed up.
    Basically, my dad is a narcissist (but a good heart) who projected his image onto my poor brother who only ever wanted to be good, but was caught up in this sort of moral dilemma. You know I've heard that INFJ's take constant criticism the hardest, because deep down they are so incredibly in tune with other's feelings that they cannot stand to disappoint nor betray a person's feelings. so I think it was hard for my brother to live in such a controlling critical environment where he was basically set up to fail to be like my dad.

    It's funnily the same kind of thing for me and my mom. I am her 'hardest' child. Always pushing boundaries and crossing lines. I'm considered the bad kid in my family, even though I've only ever done everything they asked of me. -no sex drugs or rock and roll.... well maybe a little rock and roll. Anyway,b tu my anomally with a strong suit in tactics came from a high amount of practice in the area.... Hmmm I should start another thread. about that.


    Please! I am all ears and can't wait to hear about you guys!
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    -Victor Hugo

  2. #2
    Senior Member tovlo's Avatar
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    my brother who is close to me is one messed up INFJ. It took me forever to type him because he's so screwed up.
    Basically, my dad is a narcissist (but a good heart) who projected his image onto my poor brother who only ever wanted to be good, but was caught up in this sort of moral dilemma. You know I've heard that INFJ's take constant criticism the hardest, because deep down they are so incredibly in tune with other's feelings that they cannot stand to disappoint nor betray a person's feelings.
    I'm curious your theory on x's.

    As an INFx who was in the care of an emotionally abusive stepmother from the time I was 9 until I was 16 (emotionally abusive also by my likely ISTP brother's assessment, so I'm probably not just being overly sensitive), you've suddenly left me wondering if the natural INFJ temperment (what you describe feels right to me, btw) combined with that difficult environment, could be part of what confuses my type expression.

    Would you mind elaborating on why you feel that parenting (caregiver) situations might affect type expressions? I'm particularly curious to hear more about in what ways you think a difficult home life left your sensitive and eager not to disappoint brother so messed up. I resonate.

    I do think there was some interplay between my temperment (similar to how you describe your brother's, sensitive to other's emotional expression and eager to determine what is expected and meet those expectations), combined with living with a woman who was regularly angry, harshly dissatisfied with my expression, and inconsistent about what was needed from me in order to please her, has left me a little "messed up" too. Wish it wasn't so. Sometimes it seems overwhelming how "wrong" I seem. Ah well, touched an already sensitive nerve tonight.

    Curious to hear your thoughts.
    "We don't see things as they are,
    we see things as we are."
    ...Anais Nin

  3. #3
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    I am an INFJ and the anomaly in my family. My mother is ESFP, my little brother is the same, my grandmother is ESFJ, and my grandfather is ISTP. Surrounded by sensors, it was pretty tough childhood. I can remember always being torn up about something because I was so sensitive and my lack of awareness combined with a tendency to overreact was the prefect excuse for kids to torment me. I became obsessed with understanding why people didn't "care" as much as I did. Eventually I learned to just not show any emotion even when I was dying from the pain and isolation inside.

    My mother was very loving but was also very indifferent as a parent. I seldom saw her growing up because she was usually working or sleeping. Even at a young age, the responsibility fell to me to see to the care of my little brothers. When I moved to my grandparents, it became obvious quickly that they were very overprotective and they treated me like a child all the way into my 20's. It was not a good exchange for a kid who had had so much responsibility heaped on his shoulders to take care of the house and get good grades to end up being treated as a "know-nothing kid". Nonetheless, their style of parenting was very permissive as even when I was "grounded" they never enforced it.

    It wasn't until my 3rd year of college that I had a complete emotional collapse and was finally able to take responsiblity for my own life.

    Anywho, I'm told I was a very outgoing and friendly child, bouncing off the walls with energy, and trying to make friends with everyone when I was very young. I often wonder if the hell that was junior high and my mother and grandparents less than ideal parenting lead me to become so introverted.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gretch's Avatar
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    Tovlo and Kiddo,
    Thank you for your responses, they are invaluable. I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Well I have a few theories. My husband has been a keirsey enthusiast for about a decade or so, and I was introduced to it by a close family friend when I was about 12 or so. He was an ENTJ and I felt like I would rather sit at his feet and listen to his stories and thoughts and theories more than anything else.

    Anyway, my husband originally mistyped me to an ESFP, and I became obsessed with keirsey. The more and more I read it the more I realized that I didn't fit the mold of Artisan, but rather idealist. I had built a pretty thick coating around myself to 'fit in' if you will. But my husbands thought ran along the line of tactics. "You are such a tactician," said he, "there is just no way you could possibly be anything but an artisan." Eventually I got him to understand me -actually it was the less I was out of the severely poisonous (for me) environment that was highly controlling and very critical and with my -super- sane husband that I started to again feel 'safe' to allow myself to be me. He saw me first as an artisan and admired me for it, then as a more 'soulful' artisan, then as an X, then as an Idealist with artisan tendencies. He was actually only ever following my cues, to be honest. That he has been ever supportive and lovely has endeared him to me a lot.
    Because it was so important for me to truly be one with my husband and have him understand me completely, I kept with it. One word Keirsey used to help me in my quest was "In normal development" Which got me thinking that the personality typing wasn't very in tune with neurosis, or 'issues', but was highly accurate with people who didn't go through some kind of trauma in childhood.


    Anyway, basically in my quest to understand why some are 'X's I have just been using the types as a 'control" that's when i got into Isabel Myers book Gifts differing... she's a little harder to follow.... but anyway she believed that the two center letters (at least from how I got it) were inherent to us and that the two outside letters were developed as we better understood our preferences... In short center letters: Processing, outside letters: preference. She said that how developed the J/P preference was, is a matter of how successful one feels. She said that failure to develop a strong J/P prefereence was a matter of questions over one's life as to how successful they felt at their way of processing. I think she even suggested that P's and J's be given different sorts of task more suited to them.

    Also Keirsey said of INFJ's "INFJ's respond to praise and use approval as a means of motivating others just as they themselves are motivated by approval. If they are subject to hostile working conditions or to constant criticism, they tend to lose confidence, become unhappy and immobilized , and can eventually become physically ill."

    Immobile was the word that struck me in that sentence. That word described my brother so perfectly! He was terrified of making a bad decision, rendered immobile by an abstract cage. My father was always disappointed in him, he being highly emotional, and very understanding and caring. He was my parents only son out of 4 kids, and I think that had my father had another son more like him in typing e might have left him alone about it more. I developed strong P tendencies because my father heartily approved. I am his only P, like him and he felt a bond with me. Whereas my poor mother thought I was pure hell on wheels. I am never satisfied with a because answer and always wanted to know the why's of her discipline... she would always sned me to my father who had given me so much practice in the art of tactics and admired my P-ness so much I had him wrapped around my finger.

    Anyway. I heard a few days ago that Boys ask their fathers over and over again in their lives one question unknowingly (or knowingly) "Dad, am I a 'man'?" ANd Fathers answer that question a thousand times.

    So between our dad and the many SP's at school my brother got on with he always felt inadequate, like why didn't he always get that hot chick? etc etc.... Anyway... I hope that answers questions about theories a bit.... sorry for being long winded.

    I love INFJ's! I think it's marvelous that at almost first glance they seem to know what your emotion is and feel it right along side you ( and sometimes *before * you want to get in tune with it) I have vast amounts of faith in them.
    Tovlo I can empathize with your feeling of wrongness. NF's are only ever happy when they have become self actualized.
    Kiddo, I totally understand how difficult it was for you surrounded by S's who were unsympathetic to your way of processing. What an odd dichotomy. To ends of the freedom spectrum. One being given the parent's responsibility, then moving in with mother hen.
    I have a few recommendations for you guys I got it on Netflix instant watching. Jef Gates "dysfunctional families" was really enlightening for me.... actually I will post some stuff about it tomorrow.
    A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labour and there is invisible labour.
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    -Victor Hugo

  5. #5
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Interesting. My mother is an ESFP and my grandparents who also helped raise me were ISXJ and ESTP. My ISXJ grandmother was the only real stability in my life. My ESTP grandpa spoiled me, but could not be depended upon. He would disappear without apparent explanation for periods of time. Both were overprotective.

    My mom took care of almost all the concrete responsibilities, but she frequently changed partners, moved us a lot and could not hold a job for more than a few months at a time. I tried to be the voice of reason, but it never worked. I was just part of the entourage. I ended up as a kind of pseudo-parent to my younger brother, an ESXJ.

    When my grandma died, I ended up being almost a pseudo-parent to my mother, too. It wasn't until a few years ago with the help of therapy that I was able to see clearly the unhealthy role I had taken up and to break loose from it. If I didn't have my own husband and children to think about I'm not sure I would have been able to do it. I was driven to do just about anything so that she would love me and so I would be at least an important member of the entourage.

    I come out INFP on almost every MBTI test I take, but I'm pretty sure I'm an INFJ. Nothing was expected of me as a child but that I be pleasant and stay out of trouble and not be disobedient or embarrass anyone. Unless grandma was around to make me do my homework, that is.

    I never got the feeling that any of my family disliked me or disapproved of me. My mother seemed to think my tastes were plain, but my grandparents appeared to be delighted with everything about me except my grandmother disapproved of my untidiness and tardiness, etc. Nothing major, just the occasional comment.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #6
    To the top of the world arcticangel02's Avatar
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    Actually, upon first reading the types, your family seems similar-ish to mine: I'm an ENFP (and the eldest at 20), my dad is an ESTJ, my mother an ISFP. I have two younger siblings, my sister is an ESFP (18), and my brother (I think) an INFJ (14). We're all still living at home.

    We all get on fairly well, thankfully, but there is a thing or two I noticed in your post that echoed (but less extremely) with me.

    For example, Dad is one of those impossibly dedicated, responsible, organised, etc, people. He sets high standards for himself, and consequently expects others to live up.

    We all get on fairly well, thankfully, but there is a thing or two I noticed in your post that echoed (but less extremely) with me.

    For example, Dad is one of those impossibly dedicated, responsible, organised, etc, people. That's just the way he is. He sets high standards for himself, and consequently (naturally) expects others to live up, too.

    His sense of humour tends to be on the teasing side - he enjoys remarking upon and teasing us and laughing about, heck, any sort of variation from our ordinary, day-to-day behaviour. I know he doesn't mean anything by it, but I've come to be a little afraid of varying my behaviour in front of my parents, for fear of being teased about it.

    If I'm wearing make-up, say, when I don't normally, I will be very reluctant to go out into the main part of the house so that anyone can notice and remark. That sort of thing. It's fairly minor (compared to you guys, omg!), but still I notice it affect me: I'm perfectly happy to let anyone know that I'm haha, omigod, totally braindead today, or haha, whoops, I slept in so late today. But when it comes to anything personal, about the me beneath the grins and bubbles, well, I'm find I'm rather skittish about people knowing me, or something I truly feel strongly about. Even around my good friends, who I know love me the way I am and that isn't going to change if I dye my hair blonde, or something. I do notice myself altering my opinion of things to concur with my friends. She likes that? Well, I kinda like it too!

    On another hand, I'm totally avoidant about any issue at all that may cause an argument or a lecture. For example, I didn't show my parents my results for one semester at Uni for two or three months after they came out, because I failed a class. (Oh, I don't think they're out yet. Hmm, I haven't had a look in a while. I'll check tomorrow.) Eventually they made me sit down and check them. That was rough. Of course, they realised I felt absolutely abysmal about it (maybe the tears had something to do with it - unlike my sister who just sort of went 'oh well!' - that got them riled up), and so they weren't too harsh, but of course later on he'd make teasing remarks about too much time in my room on the computer and last time I did that I failed a class!

    Egh.

    Okay, so I've blabbed on too much. I dunno how much of that is just general ENFP insecurities, or to do with having an ESTJ dad, so *shrug*. But I hope it's sort of what you were looking like.

    Oh, and Dad's relationship with my brother isn't too bad. He expects a lot of the kid, and my brother does do his best, but it's clear sometimes Dad's exasperated at the fact my brother tends to be absent-minded. But for the most part they do pretty well. I seem to recall having a conversation on roughly this with my brother ages ago... but I remember that he understood how I felt with the being reluctant to be completely myself, or a bit different. He can be annoying and too clingy, but we do understand each other, when it comes down to it. Maybe the whole N's as a minority in the family of S's.

    Seriously. Stopping now.
    ANFP:
    Extraversion (52%) ---- Introversion (48%)
    Sensing (26%) ---- iNtuition (74%)
    Thinking (16%) ---- Feeling (84%)
    Judging (5%) ---- Perceiving (95%)

    9w1 so/sx/sp

  7. #7
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    All gone.
    Last edited by alcea rosea; 12-30-2007 at 05:47 AM.

  8. #8
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I'm pretty close to being IXTP, and I think it might be because my parents and siblings are all strongly Ns.

    But I'm not sure if I had S tendencies and acquired N traits by growing up with N's, or if having N parents made me more S because I felt like someone in the house had to have some common sense. I suspect the latter, but who knows really.

    I also think that my procrastination/disorganization/negative P qualities are largely a result of my upbringing, which was very much hands-off, letting me do whatever I felt like, pretty much. Although I was (and am) very strong-willed about having that freedom, so I'm sure that was a factor as well.

  9. #9
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I've always known I was INxx.

    I can say NOW that I feel like I'm definitively an INFx, but it has taken a LONG time for me to uncover that -- in retrospect a lot of my childhood/values/perspectives/behaviors towards others were NF. But I was an extremely repressed NF who was scared of nearly everyone around me and didn't know how to interact with people. I'm an NF who was completely emotionally repressed growing up, had no 'safe' outlet for expressing myself (in the sense that I perceived being ME wasn't fully accepted - not in the sense that there was abuse or whatever -- because as a child, I didn't think there was anything 'wrong' about my family -- we did a LOT of wonderful things together, and in many ways it was great), and only in the past 5 yrs or so have I really been 'unfolding'. The emotional side was foreign to me, because I had no emotional connection with my parents growing up, didn't learn much socialization from them, and had to basically self-teach myself everything, in terms of social and conversation skills, because our family didn't really have in-depth conversations at all.

    However, my parents WERE very supportive in letting me follow any activities I wanted to pursue (although in the case of the piano, they forced me to keep playing even when I wanted to quit, because I was good at it and they didn't want me to quit - so my personal desires were ignored there, and I was very resentful of that). As an adult I'm left with the feeling that my parents appreciate my *accomplishments/abilities*, but not who I AM - or rather, they equate my identity with what I DO. A few years ago you have no idea how unsettling it was when I was going through a self-exploration/job-type book, and the book asked to ask family members and friends what my strengths were. My Mom mentioned a few, bless her heart, but my Dad could only blurt out: 'Well, you're not using your strengths in your current job!!!', and huffed out of the room. I truly believe this is why my personal identity and personality traits are more of a source of confusion for me than they 'should' be - my personality was never really affirmed growing up...but what I DID was. Again, it's all my perceptions, though, and it impacted me more adversely simply because I'm pretty sensitive to begin with. And, it's not that I'm really caught up in my past, because I'm not...just stuff I've mused over over the years - but my relationship with my parents is very good today -- well, as good as it can be, given our differences. :-)

    I think for a while though, going into college and right after, I believed I was an NT, just because I was good at school and intellectual stuff, and my Dad encouraged me to follow more of your science/math career when I didn't know what I wanted to do.

    My mom is almost certainly an ISTJ (either that or a really messed up, repressed, and tactless ISFJ), and my Dad is an IxTJ - I rather think INTJ because he seems much more big-picture than my mom.

    I've never connected on a deep level with my father - everything stays at the surface, and I don't really know how to 'talk' to him. The few times I've dared to express my opinion about something or attempted to get his feedback on more interpersonal stuff, regarding 'who I am', he has gotten uncomfortable (talking about me as a person) or patronizing/'I'm more wise than you' (when talking about intellectual stuff) and that is reflected in his demeanor of impatience/frustration. So, I rarely bother anymore, and just keep things at the surface. And things are dandy if I do that!

    My mom can grate on me, and in general I have felt she's always judging/critiquing/***questioning*** my motivations for things. Not always, as I know she means well and she's just being herself, and I know she loves me. So I don't have any angst against her or anything, and in recent years we have had more of a connection, although I can't open up to her about my true feelings/opinions because she's not receptive to me in a 'listening'/supportive way - she immediately goes judgy and questions, and misses the 'point' (or MY point) of trying to just connect on a human level. So it's best to just keep things on the surface with her too, as it's usually not 'safe' for me to really open up, because I just get critiqued or questioned.
    Last edited by cascadeco; 11-27-2007 at 05:07 PM.

  10. #10
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Anywho, I'm told I was a very outgoing and friendly child, bouncing off the walls with energy, and trying to make friends with everyone when I was very young. I often wonder if the hell that was junior high and my mother and grandparents less than ideal parenting lead me to become so introverted.
    My mom tells me as a toddler I'd worry her because I'd go up to strangers, and was really curious and friendly.

    Like you, junior high marked the beginning of my retreating fully inward. That's where the fear of people set in, because I didn't understand why all the kids around me were so 'mean' and 'petty'.

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