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  1. #1
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Default ENFPs and Being Controlling

    Are ENFPs even known to be controlling?

    My mother is an ENFP, and I have heard so many times that she is one of the most controlling people they have ever met...some people mistake her for being mean because of it. I've met only one other ENFP who is also somewhat like this.

    I almost doubt that they're ENFPs, they seem like they have way more Te than they need/can handle.

    So, to ENFPs, do you find yourself to be overly controlling at times, or not at all?

  2. #2
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I can be. I am an enneagram type 8, which centers around control. But.. my controlling aspects of my life come entirely from within, as in, I need control over MY life. I really don't need control over anyone else's life, decisions, etc. I can barely handle myself, moreless someone else.

    To give an example: I am very restrictive on myself.. but I would never tell anyone I cared about to do things my way. I get no pleasure or happiness from controling or babysitting or watching over others. I like to treat people like adults, even sometimes before they even are truly adults.. and I enjoy it when I get that treatment back. My controlling behavior only pertains to me.

    Though.. anyone who wanted to date me would have to fully understand that too. I don't tell other people not to display their affections in public, they can do it all day long in the nude in the middle of the day for all I care. But I'm not going to kiss all over you, and hug you and skip down the yellow brick road with "I <3 LOIS" t-shirts anytime soon. That's just part of my restrictive behavior. Don't like it? That's cool, you don't have to. Can't handle that in a relationship? You're probably not the one for me.
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  3. #3
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    I hate controlling others or being controlled. But Te is really hard to wave about in a precise way, I find, especially when it comes to people. It's why I've refused for so long to use it. I try to develop it now...away from people
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  4. #4
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I can be. I am an enneagram type 8, which centers around control. But.. my controlling aspects of my life come entirely from within, as in, I need control over MY life. I really don't need control over anyone else's life, decisions, etc. I can barely handle myself, moreless someone else.

    To give an example: I am very restrictive on myself.. but I would never tell anyone I cared about to do things my way. I get no pleasure or happiness from controling or babysitting or watching over others. I like to treat people like adults, even sometimes before they even are truly adults.. and I enjoy it when I get that treatment back. My controlling behavior only pertains to me.
    I'm an enneagram type 8 too (8w9), and I strongly relate lol. I absolutely can't stand the feeling of being out of control of myself, especially in terms of others controlling me. I will do anything for another person, as long as they word it in a way that seems like they're asking me to do it out of my own will, rather than ordering me to go do it. I expect others to treat me this way because I treat others with immediate respect and never try to control or demand anything out of them or the environment around me. I already blast my personality around everywhere, so I don't need to do that and be controlling at the same time. I prefer to "show" others how to behave and exude my deserving-of-respect-ness rather than "tell" them what to do. Even if it it's in the case of children, I always just say to them that I'd like to see them behave in x way, and make sure they understand why. But if they still don't do something I won't force them... I'll be firm and show them the consequences of their behaviour but I'll just make do using my own means.

    I always thought my ESxJ mother was a control freak, especially when I was younger - hence my hatred of others trying to exert control/dominance over me and my reluctance to inhibit others or make them feel bad for the way they think or act just because I want them to. Then again, that opinion is shared by my father, as well as everyone else that knows my mother. But maybe thinking this way is somewhat more of a common mother/child thing. It may be common to see your mother as a controlling figure. All I know is that I had to fight harder than most I know to gain freedom while living under the same roof.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Malkavia's Avatar
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    I'm not an enneagram 8 but can relate to what others have said.

    I need to be in control of MY life, however, it goes against by personal values to try and control someone else.

    So yes, controlling, but maybe not in the sense you were thinking.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    I'm an enneagram type 8 too (8w9), and I strongly relate lol. I absolutely can't stand the feeling of being out of control of myself, especially in terms of others controlling me. I will do anything for another person, as long as they word it in a way that seems like they're asking me to do it out of my own will, rather than ordering me to go do it. I expect others to treat me this way because I treat others with immediate respect and never try to control or demand anything out of them or the environment around me. I already blast my personality around everywhere, so I don't need to do that and be controlling at the same time. I prefer to "show" others how to behave and exude my deserving-of-respect-ness rather than "tell" them what to do. Even if it it's in the case of children, I always just say to them that I'd like to see them behave in x way, and make sure they understand why. But if they still don't do something I won't force them... I'll be firm and show them the consequences of their behaviour but I'll just make do using my own means.

    I always thought my ESxJ mother was a control freak, especially when I was younger - hence my hatred of others trying to exert control/dominance over me and my reluctance to inhibit others or make them feel bad for the way they think or act just because I want them to. Then again, that opinion is shared by my father, as well as everyone else that knows my mother. But maybe thinking this way is somewhat more of a common mother/child thing. It may be common to see your mother as a controlling figure. All I know is that I had to fight harder than most I know to gain freedom while living under the same roof.
    I'm a 8w7, and I share a lot of those sentiments, and also had a very controlling mother.

    I hate controlling other people though. I want to have no influence in their decisions. But I do try and challenge people a lot, sometimes. I like to help others become better. An ENFP would classically do this by inspiring. I see that in myself too, but I couple it with challenging people.


    But yes, I'm terribly scared of losing control over my own life. Which is funny considering I always had little control over it anyway...

  7. #7
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    As the others have mentioned, I seek to be in control over my own life. It is way to protect myself emotionally. I can be extremely independent as a result.

    Keep in mind though that TeSi = a baby ESTJ in our basement. It serves as the "Middle manager of Fi" around us. At the worst we do the stupid things ESTJs do at age ten that piss everyone off.

    Very unhealthy, under stress ENFP control behaviors:

    I have been watching several older ENFPs in the workplace and when placed under moderate to severe stress, they can quickly revert to being extremely direct or make snap judgments about logistical (ie control) issues to minimize uncertainty, as uncertainty equates to change and change in the past is typically painful via an FiSi loop.

    As an example, I work with an ENFP who is in a Manufacturing area. She is under stress and has attached Fi values to the way she does her job. It must be done a certain way, not just because it is the correct or logical way....but because it is the RIGHT way via Fi and responds with very controlling actions as a result

    Another ENFP I work with was going to refrain from releasing a software patch as "I dont trust our software group". I dont trust our software group either, but that doesnt mean the software patch should be held in check. I explained what an FiSi loop was to her, and that she was clinging tightly to the status quo in order to prevent change, as change can be so very painful in our workplace. Things had been changing too fast with too much pain on other groups and as a result she was in survival mode. She chilled out and released the patch for better or worse.

    Another ENFP-is actually an ENFP with fairly weak Te. She appears very soft at first and affirming. However when placed under stress she has become exceedingly controlling of her subordinates who threaten her position. She has fired two people who were more skilled than her and snapped on an ENFP man about when and how he scheduled his trips-after giving him permission two weeks before to schedule trips. Again, a fear of change under stress, leading to trying to control others to protect herself.

    These are all fairly unhealthy examples under large amounts of stress. When in healthy places, I have seen several ENFP COOs who were very good. We have a knack for Operations and Marketing, as Te gives us some structure, but Ne gives us flexibility. The Fi allows us to understand the innate people factors of organizational dynamics. Combined we can grok complex systems and identofy problem areas from a very high level, even if we dont understand the Ti details of a system.


    More Moderate in the moment stress:


    It can be hard to pay attention to details around us. I find I can get a bit snappy if pulled into Se land when I am trying hard to focus on something. This looks like snappy behavior, our even cranky controlling behavior. I must admit my kids can be the worst about this.

    Because it is so hard to organize, if others around us mess with something we have organized-again we can be a bit cranky.

    Never back an enfp into an emotional corner. If they are overly emotive and you keep pressing you risk a bitchslap.

    COMMUNICATION: !!!!!!!!!!

    This is a tricky one. Since you are Ti/Fe, many things she does will be either bizarre or offensive, not due to her or you being wrong/right or her seeking to control, but due to linguistic diffs in how you communicate knowledge and emotions, and how you might seek to help others around you.

    She will offend your Ti due to the abrupt, pointed, absolute Te way she states things. "This IS That." Then when given new data, she will change her mind, yet be absolutely right again. Then when given more new data, well, look she is right again. The other Te users do this too, but since the ENFP is always perceiving via Ne , the models are constantly being updated-thus we are really quick about it changing the data-yet always sound like we are RIGHT. My ENTP wants to kill enfps over this one. She says it is hideously offensive, as , since she is a Ti user, the RIGHT answer is never really known, thus should never be presented verbally as REALLY known. The more stressed or trying to focus the ENFP is, the more abrupt and stilted the speech, especially written, will be. Te requires extra energy, so we hop in long enough to finish the task-compile a stilted, abrupt response, then hop out again.

    What you may also observe is you tell her about soemthing you are dealing with and she goes "well I once did X, and Ionce did Y, and I once felt this, and I once felt that" followed by "You should do X, Y, and Z." It sounds first selfish, then second commanding and controlling.

    In reality, it is really meant to be "I hear and understand your situation and I want to share that I once felt something this myself, so you are not alone in your frustration, greif, confusion etc. All of your feelings and thoughts are perfectly valid and acceptable and it is okay and you are an awesome person and there is nothing wrong with you or what you feel" then "Based upon what I understand from my past, what I understand of your situation, and from others situations, there are tons of things that may help you, if they are of value, but they are only suggestions. You might first try X, Y, Z......."

    Since she is your mom, she loves you, and has a value is trying to do the best she can for you-thus potentially pushing those suggestions more strongly-not understanding that your entire perceptional/judging framework for all intents is in another universe from hers.

    Also be exceptionally careful regarding to try and predict her motives and intent. It is highly likely you will read into her actions and words.

  8. #8
    Senior Member alexx's Avatar
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    As I've gotten older I feel the need to have order in my life, I don't think that is what you are asking. I cannot stand being controlled or controlling others, they are equally distasteful.

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  9. #9
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    COMMUNICATION: !!!!!!!!!!

    This is a tricky one. Since you are Ti/Fe, many things she does will be either bizarre or offensive, not due to her or you being wrong/right or her seeking to control, but due to linguistic diffs in how you communicate knowledge and emotions, and how you might seek to help others around you.

    She will offend your Ti due to the abrupt, pointed, absolute Te way she states things. "This IS That." Then when given new data, she will change her mind, yet be absolutely right again. Then when given more new data, well, look she is right again. The other Te users do this too, but since the ENFP is always perceiving via Ne , the models are constantly being updated-thus we are really quick about it changing the data-yet always sound like we are RIGHT. My ENTP wants to kill enfps over this one. She says it is hideously offensive, as , since she is a Ti user, the RIGHT answer is never really known, thus should never be presented verbally as REALLY known. The more stressed or trying to focus the ENFP is, the more abrupt and stilted the speech, especially written, will be. Te requires extra energy, so we hop in long enough to finish the task-compile a stilted, abrupt response, then hop out again.

    What you may also observe is you tell her about soemthing you are dealing with and she goes "well I once did X, and Ionce did Y, and I once felt this, and I once felt that" followed by "You should do X, Y, and Z." It sounds first selfish, then second commanding and controlling.

    In reality, it is really meant to be "I hear and understand your situation and I want to share that I once felt something this myself, so you are not alone in your frustration, greif, confusion etc. All of your feelings and thoughts are perfectly valid and acceptable and it is okay and you are an awesome person and there is nothing wrong with you or what you feel" then "Based upon what I understand from my past, what I understand of your situation, and from others situations, there are tons of things that may help you, if they are of value, but they are only suggestions. You might first try X, Y, Z......."

    Since she is your mom, she loves you, and has a value is trying to do the best she can for you-thus potentially pushing those suggestions more strongly-not understanding that your entire perceptional/judging framework for all intents is in another universe from hers.

    Also be exceptionally careful regarding to try and predict her motives and intent. It is highly likely you will read into her actions and words.
    Wow! This has got to be the post of the year for me. I think this is EXACTLY what is going on between me and some of the Fe/Ti users on this forum. Thank you Orobas. Thank you.
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  10. #10
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    As the others have mentioned, I seek to be in control over my own life. It is way to protect myself emotionally. I can be extremely independent as a result.

    Keep in mind though that TeSi = a baby ESTJ in our basement. It serves as the "Middle manager of Fi" around us. At the worst we do the stupid things ESTJs do at age ten that piss everyone off.

    Very unhealthy, under stress ENFP control behaviors:

    I have been watching several older ENFPs in the workplace and when placed under moderate to severe stress, they can quickly revert to being extremely direct or make snap judgments about logistical (ie control) issues to minimize uncertainty, as uncertainty equates to change and change in the past is typically painful via an FiSi loop.

    As an example, I work with an ENFP who is in a Manufacturing area. She is under stress and has attached Fi values to the way she does her job. It must be done a certain way, not just because it is the correct or logical way....but because it is the RIGHT way via Fi and responds with very controlling actions as a result

    Another ENFP I work with was going to refrain from releasing a software patch as "I dont trust our software group". I dont trust our software group either, but that doesnt mean the software patch should be held in check. I explained what an FiSi loop was to her, and that she was clinging tightly to the status quo in order to prevent change, as change can be so very painful in our workplace. Things had been changing too fast with too much pain on other groups and as a result she was in survival mode. She chilled out and released the patch for better or worse.

    Another ENFP-is actually an ENFP with fairly weak Te. She appears very soft at first and affirming. However when placed under stress she has become exceedingly controlling of her subordinates who threaten her position. She has fired two people who were more skilled than her and snapped on an ENFP man about when and how he scheduled his trips-after giving him permission two weeks before to schedule trips. Again, a fear of change under stress, leading to trying to control others to protect herself.

    These are all fairly unhealthy examples under large amounts of stress. When in healthy places, I have seen several ENFP COOs who were very good. We have a knack for Operations and Marketing, as Te gives us some structure, but Ne gives us flexibility. The Fi allows us to understand the innate people factors of organizational dynamics. Combined we can grok complex systems and identofy problem areas from a very high level, even if we dont understand the Ti details of a system.


    More Moderate in the moment stress:


    It can be hard to pay attention to details around us. I find I can get a bit snappy if pulled into Se land when I am trying hard to focus on something. This looks like snappy behavior, our even cranky controlling behavior. I must admit my kids can be the worst about this.

    Because it is so hard to organize, if others around us mess with something we have organized-again we can be a bit cranky.

    Never back an enfp into an emotional corner. If they are overly emotive and you keep pressing you risk a bitchslap.

    COMMUNICATION: !!!!!!!!!!

    This is a tricky one. Since you are Ti/Fe, many things she does will be either bizarre or offensive, not due to her or you being wrong/right or her seeking to control, but due to linguistic diffs in how you communicate knowledge and emotions, and how you might seek to help others around you.

    She will offend your Ti due to the abrupt, pointed, absolute Te way she states things. "This IS That." Then when given new data, she will change her mind, yet be absolutely right again. Then when given more new data, well, look she is right again. The other Te users do this too, but since the ENFP is always perceiving via Ne , the models are constantly being updated-thus we are really quick about it changing the data-yet always sound like we are RIGHT. My ENTP wants to kill enfps over this one. She says it is hideously offensive, as , since she is a Ti user, the RIGHT answer is never really known, thus should never be presented verbally as REALLY known. The more stressed or trying to focus the ENFP is, the more abrupt and stilted the speech, especially written, will be. Te requires extra energy, so we hop in long enough to finish the task-compile a stilted, abrupt response, then hop out again.

    What you may also observe is you tell her about soemthing you are dealing with and she goes "well I once did X, and Ionce did Y, and I once felt this, and I once felt that" followed by "You should do X, Y, and Z." It sounds first selfish, then second commanding and controlling.

    In reality, it is really meant to be "I hear and understand your situation and I want to share that I once felt something this myself, so you are not alone in your frustration, greif, confusion etc. All of your feelings and thoughts are perfectly valid and acceptable and it is okay and you are an awesome person and there is nothing wrong with you or what you feel" then "Based upon what I understand from my past, what I understand of your situation, and from others situations, there are tons of things that may help you, if they are of value, but they are only suggestions. You might first try X, Y, Z......."

    Since she is your mom, she loves you, and has a value is trying to do the best she can for you-thus potentially pushing those suggestions more strongly-not understanding that your entire perceptional/judging framework for all intents is in another universe from hers.

    Also be exceptionally careful regarding to try and predict her motives and intent. It is highly likely you will read into her actions and words.
    Wow, nice!

    I agree with the communication differences, and how it can cause us to disagree, but (this may also sound controlling, but I don't want it to be) how could I help her change how she communicates with me so there are less and less misinterpretations between us, so that she can say what she meant to say in the first place, and vice versa with me communicating with her?

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