My ENFJ mother is one of the very best friends in the world that I have. I have been fortunate to get to know her as an adult and have found that she is similar, yet different from me and the perfect person to bounce ideas off of. In most cases, I fairly instinctively understand her. There is something I need some ENFJ input on though.
I find that she feels terribly guilty about ever resting (she's 67 and does the work of eight women put together). Not only that, but since I've moved home in the last year, she insists on doing my laundry, making all the meals etc. Even if I want to make her a birthday meal, she ends up in the kitchen. I believe that she cares about the job being done right, but even moreso feels guilty if I do what she perceives as being her responsibility. She's worried I'll cut my hands in the kitchen (I'm a musician, but I HAVE lived alone for 15 years!). When they left for a week and I was looking after the plants, she insisted on taking down a couple of the hanging planters because she decided it was too risky for me to climb onto the brick ledge to water them (although she does it every day). I have tried explaining that in her efforts to help, it makes me feel like she doesn't trust me to do a good job. In most cases when my dad or I do something, she'll have had a better way to do it (and yet it seems to be sincere, not in an effort to belittle etc. She just wants us to know for next time). I sort of feel though that at the beginning of a job you make all the specifications you want to, and after that, don't keep coaching. As a result, I've quit doing a lot of things that I might and I feel bad about it.
What is going on here? Every now and then, she'll just go ahead and do something far too big on her own without even notifying me, but then when I say that she should have told me, she acts like the work needed to be done and we weren't around so she just did it (even if we checked earlier on in the day and agreed on a general time of day to do it).
I'm probably super-sensitive to this after being with an ESTJ who constantly was trying to explain the one right way to do everything or who didn't trust me to do even the smallest task for him.
Is this an ExxJ thing? Is it that she doesn't feel like her needs matter? She is almost creating people's dependency and then every now and then feels frustrated that she has to make all the decisions.
Any insights you ENFJs have would be most welcome!
EDIT: I should add that she isn't needy or manipulative and isn't the kind of person who just stays busy to avoid looking at the bigger problems in her life. I do know that she has a lot of things she's sad about right now (and feels rejected by some family members for completely unrelated reasons to her), but I don't know how that would impact this.