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  1. #81
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Orangey, Randomnity, Protean and cascade have made all the points I would have attempted to make, but I'll add this:

    It greatly bothers me that the ISTP's venting is being characterized by Orobas as "cruel." Saying a few unkind things out of frustration doesn't even begin to approach what I would consider to be cruel behavior. That is a bit dramatic. Cruel behavior would be giving them hope and taking it away on a whim, just to watch them suffer. Cruel would be telling her to her face what a horrible mother she is, and berating her for not making a better life for her children. Cruel would be letting them stay on the streets, in the cold, with no place to stay, and small children to house, knowing that you could provide shelter for them, at least temporarily. Maybe "cruel" is a slight exaggeration on Orobas' part...? Maybe like some of the ISTP's rhetoric was in her vent session? If so, it should be a little easier for Orobas to understand. Because if she really sees the venting as "cruel," it must be unbearable to live in this world for Fi.

    The post you took so much offense, to, Orobas--Orangey's post--made some very, very good points. Why is it so much better to have warm, fuzzy feelings about this woman, than to actually DO something that helps her out, that gets her off the street, that puts food in her children's mouths? Why does the ISTP get painted in such an unkind light? She's actually DOING something. Venting is her coping mechanism. Why fault her for it? Why not see it for what it is?

    Something else I've noticed is that the moment someone professes to be a Christian, people will come out of the woodwork to judge YOU for judging others, or for not being absolutely perfectly Christlike at all times. Christians are human. The Christian life is a journey, a lifelong process of trying to live according to Christ's teachings. Maybe the ISTP is working on herself. Maybe she extended herself in an act of charity, trying to do the right thing, but it's a challenge for her to deal with the repercussions of other people's behavior? Maybe she needs to work on that, and maybe she knows she needs to work on that. Maybe she's working on that, and she'll work on gossiping later? Christians aren't perfect, but many are really trying to do the best they can. That's something you won't know unless you're inside her head, though.
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  2. #82
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix;1462282

    [LIST
    [*]She also hasn’t toilet trained any of them,[*]The kids are sick all of the time because she is filthy and her children are filthy.[*]They wear diapers all day long and she doesn’t dress them in clothes at all or even bother to clean. [*]She was using the paper plates and napkins in the kitchen and left dirty dishes in the sink. [*]The diaper bin was full and the whole church smelled bad.[/LIST]

    Are those valid reasons to be upset and frustrated?
    .

    So to address these points more specifically...the ISTP does see these as signs of neglect and poor parenting. I disagree. She is making a lot of noise, but when probed on each count she didnt provide in depth support for her claims-instead she would attack from a different angle...ah very Nish actually. Silly context shifts. Like she was looking for reasons to poke, once i discounted her first point actually.

    • The kids are not potty trained-but they are under three. Many, many kids-including her four grand children were not potty trained until three. This is not neglect.
    • They are sick all the time-having colds and ear infectious has little to do with a dirty face. All the kids and many adults are actually sick this year-including her grandkids and poor ummy who keeps getting sick from my kid. It is just a rough fall/winter to be honest with a lot of crap going around. This is not neglect.
    • She was using church paper plates and not doing dishes. She had a dirty diaper pail and the church smelled.-Once she asked them to address these issues, they were addressed and not repeated. But she keeps bringing the issue back to light even though the problem was solved. This was potentially not thoughtful, but if the issue was addressed-it is over isnt it?
    • They wear diapers all day long and she doesn’t dress them in clothes at all-so the diapers are a requirement if not potty trained. But is it a requirement or neglect to let kids run around in your living area in a diaper without wearing an outfit? To call that neglect would be silly. Tacky, sure, but neglect?
    • Her and her kids were dirty--little kids are dirty, messy creatures. Three little kids are a lot to keep up with. It doesnt surprise me that the kids are not perfectly clean (actually there isnt a bathtub there or a shower-they go to the YMCA to bathe). But is a dirty kid neglect? Again tacky, sure, but neglect?


    • The kids eat everyday. My MIL just didnt like it that the mom gave them milk in a sippy cup or what the mom fed them or that they didnt eat at the same time everyday. Neglect? no...


    Its the same story with all of the complaints. Is it ideal parenting? perhaps not, but the complaints are not legitimate according to any external objective measure of "neglect". In her opinion it is neglect-because it isnt what she would do....it doesnt fit her specific ideas of what "good parents" do...In my mind legit complaints are inability to pay bills, feed children, or physical/emotional/sexual abuse of these children. These children are not abused at all and to say so is silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I address that discrepancy, that is what unsettles me as a Fe user. That is inconsistent, that is where actions, behaviors, words, and feelings misalign. To me that is the travesty of the situation. You say you love your kids, you hug them and kiss them, but you won't even change their dirty diapers? How is that consistent? How is that caring and loving?.
    What determines what we provide to our children as parents? We each give birth and then identify the things that we find most important to bring them as healthy adults. We impart our values and our ideas about the way we think they should live. As we do so, we select what WE value. I value ideals over external displays of politeness or over structured environments, thus in effect I devalue some things that some Fe users would innately value. I love the child enough to impress my values upon them I suppose.

    Where is the line drawn? How many "actions" must one fail to do before it becomes "neglect"?

    A dirty diaper is seen as a sign of no love? Taking your kid to the store in just a diaper? Unbrushed hair? bottle cavities? Mismatched socks? A crooked haircut? Letting the dog kiss them? Hair that is too long? Clothes that dont make a cute outfit? A dirty face? Not using napkins at dinner time? Dirt in the corner? Drinking milk through the big straw rather than the skinny straw? Not pulling their hand in the air everytime they cough? giving them milk when they have a cold? Letting them drink sprite with a happy meal? Feeding them happy meals? Pants that are too short? Letting kids sing loudly in the cart at the grocery store? Letting them take off their shoes during dinner at a restaurant? Eating french toast and ice cream for dinner? Putting them to bed grimy because they fell asleep on the way home from the playground? Letting them open the door of the freezer and drive thomas through the bag of busted flour, then through it in the air to create "snowclap"? Oh, there was that time he filled the vacuum up with water put of the facet...

    I know this seems like a silly distinction and I know this ISFP and family needs to improve things, no argument...but how and where do lines get drawn about what actions consititute good parenting? (I am totally cool with firm guidelines on this...I am more hesitant about opinions or what "should" be done and more looking for what needs to be done)

  3. #83
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    The point made in the above paragraph is a good one, and it seems like the church woman is also being condemned for not already knowing it (just like it seems she is condemning the ISFP for not *magically* picking up on certain ‘rules’). Just like it would be best to reserve harsh judgment on the ISFP until she refused to do things that were made clear to her- wouldn’t it be best to reserve judgment on the church woman until she was given a chance to consider new information?
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Christians are human. The Christian life is a journey, a lifelong process of trying to live according to Christ's teachings. Maybe the ISTP is working on herself. Maybe she extended herself in an act of charity, trying to do the right thing, but it's a challenge for her to deal with the repercussions of other people's behavior? Maybe she needs to work on that, and maybe she knows she needs to work on that. Maybe she's working on that, and she'll work on gossiping later? Christians aren't perfect, but many are really trying to do the best they can. That's something you won't know unless you're inside her head, though.
    Agreed.

    -----

    Another small thought: why O says the venting is cruel is because if the young mom is an ISFP, her Fi will almost certainly pick up on the negative feelings from the ISTP. Unlike an Fe user, she will not be able to readily dissociate the feelings this other person has for her from her feelings about herself. She will feel that if this person finds me useless and contemptible, that's what I must be. She'll hear it in her tone, and feel it from her manner, and see it in her actions. It's just the way young Fi orients. It tends to believe that the feelings other people have for you are legitimate, more so even than one's own opinion of oneself.

    That's the part that's cruel folks. It will cause the hurt Fi to withdraw and the ability to really help here will suffer for it. I am not blaming anyone in particular for that either. It takes a great deal of experience to feel out what tool is the best to help each individual with.

    It's very likely the ISTP is venting because she feels her opportunity to help is slipping away, and can't for the life of her understand why.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
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  4. #84
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Complaining about this feels more condemnatory than just "blowing off steam" ... it feels like writing people off as losers, failures, which feels wrong to do. Does that help explain it?
    Tallulah^^Peace baby captured why it seems cruel here. She is venting-but it is exceptionally unkind. Even if she and other Ti users wouldnt feel it to be meant to be unkind, if heard by the person being commented on, it would do a great deal of emo damage and actually defeat the efforts being made to help the person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Orangey, Randomnity, Protean and cascade have made all the points I would have attempted to make, but I'll add this:

    It greatly bothers me that the ISTP's venting is being characterized by Orobas as "cruel." Saying a few unkind things out of frustration doesn't even begin to approach what I would consider to be cruel behavior. That is a bit dramatic. Cruel behavior would be giving them hope and taking it away on a whim, just to watch them suffer. Cruel would be telling her to her face what a horrible mother she is, and berating her for not making a better life for her children. Cruel would be letting them stay on the streets, in the cold, with no place to stay, and small children to house, knowing that you could provide shelter for them, at least temporarily. Maybe "cruel" is a slight exaggeration on Orobas' part...? Maybe like some of the ISTP's rhetoric was in her vent session? If so, it should be a little easier for Orobas to understand. Because if she really sees the venting as "cruel," it must be unbearable to live in this world for Fi..
    You guys do call us overly sensitive...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    The post you took so much offense, to, Orobas--Orangey's post--made some very, very good points. Why is it so much better to have warm, fuzzy feelings about this woman, than to actually DO something that helps her out, that gets her off the street, that puts food in her children's mouths? Why does the ISTP get painted in such an unkind light? She's actually DOING something. Venting is her coping mechanism. Why fault her for it? Why not see it for what it is?.
    It wasnt simply the warm fuzzys...it was the notion of not having respect for others and the idea it is okay to look at others with contempt but then profess to want to help them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Something else I've noticed is that the moment someone professes to be a Christian, people will come out of the woodwork to judge YOU for judging others, or for not being absolutely perfectly Christlike at all times. Christians are human. The Christian life is a journey, a lifelong process of trying to live according to Christ's teachings. Maybe the ISTP is working on herself. Maybe she extended herself in an act of charity, trying to do the right thing, but it's a challenge for her to deal with the repercussions of other people's behavior? Maybe she needs to work on that, and maybe she knows she needs to work on that. Maybe she's working on that, and she'll work on gossiping later? Christians aren't perfect, but many are really trying to do the best they can. That's something you won't know unless you're inside her head, though.
    Perhaps this behavior is because of the drive to convert or evangalize? Thus a person is telling you how you are flawed and live in sin and need to change and live according to the ideals of a religion, but you watch them as they "work" on their issues by treating others badly, being judgmental and being gossipy. (maybe we could all wear nametags with what issue we are working on? ) It creates a very bizarre contrast and is actually repulsive when you feel as though you lead a reasonably good life. I suspect that if the drive to convert was not so strongly exerted, then you would not see this sort of critique nearly so often.

  5. #85
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Agreed.



    Agreed.

    -----

    Another small thought: why O says the venting is cruel is because if the young mom is an ISFP, her Fi will almost certainly pick up on the negative feelings from the ISTP. Unlike an Fe user, she will not be able to readily dissociate the feelings this other person has for her from her feelings about herself. She will feel that if this person finds me useless and contemptible, that's what I must be. She'll hear it in her tone, and feel it from her manner, and see it in her actions. It's just the way young Fi orients. It tends to believe that the feelings other people have for you are legitimate, more so even than one's own opinion of oneself.

    That's the part that's cruel folks. It will cause the hurt Fi to withdraw and the ability to really help here will suffer for it. I am not blaming anyone in particular for that either. It takes a great deal of experience to feel out what tool is the best to help each individual with.

    It's very likely the ISTP is venting because she feels her opportunity to help is slipping away, and can't for the life of her understand why.
    well said PB. (Also ZBuck, excellent points as well.)

  6. #86
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post

    Another small thought: why O says the venting is cruel is because if the young mom is an ISFP, her Fi will almost certainly pick up on the negative feelings from the ISTP. Unlike an Fe user, she will not be able to readily dissociate the feelings this other person has for her from her feelings about herself. She will feel that if this person finds me useless and contemptible, that's what I must be. She'll hear it in her tone, and feel it from her manner, and see it in her actions. It's just the way young Fi orients. It tends to believe that the feelings other people have for you are legitimate, more so even than one's own opinion of oneself.

    That's the part that's cruel folks. It will cause the hurt Fi to withdraw and the ability to really help here will suffer for it. I am not blaming anyone in particular for that either. It takes a great deal of experience to feel out what tool is the best to help each individual with.
    This is the point I was trying to make myself- that it is possible to do harm by 'helping', if the church woman wasn't hiding her criticism very well. Only I don't see how it applies especially to Fi users. Anyone woman who is 20 years old, with children and basically homeless is probably going to have a very depleted self-esteem and be impressionable (value the judgment of others over her own). Having someone around her who is disgusted with her (at least, before it's made clear why the judgment is there, thereby opening a door to show how change is possible) is not a good idea.

    [edit:] I want to point out that I agree with others who have speculated the church lady might have been venting. Je exploring always looks like end-all assertion to it's introverted counterpart.
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  7. #87
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    edit: apparently i have been kind of an ass in general today. i'm sorry if this post comes off that way. my intention is just to clarify/help...

    holy hell this thread moves.

    tl;dr version of this whole post: not believing in your actions can be just as harmful as not acting at all.

    proteanmix, i just have felt (just an emotional sense) like one of your main points in every Fe/Fi thread that i have read is to talk about how little or how low-quality empathy Fi thinking has. perhaps that snippet i quoted was not an example of that, but i have felt it elsewhere in your posts in this thread. it's frustrating, because i identify very much with being empathetic - it is a core part of who i am - and i see plenty of empathy coming from what orobas has written here. i also have trouble thinking that you, especially as a mod, were not aware that i deleted that post within seconds of writing it because i realized it was an overreaction and unfair. i don't really retract my comment - i still feel disdain coming from you towards how orobas felt and that was what caused me to react - but i am sorry that i posted it. it was a dumb reference and not meant to misconstrue your point. it should have been a type-and-backspace; alas, i acted in anger and posted. this thread has me heated because of the value judgments being thrown left and right... i can feel anger and frustration from others and it builds inside me until i do dumb things. so, i am sorry for making that comment, but i do sometimes feel that maybe your protectiveness of Fe ends up slipping into disdain for those of us who utilize less of it. in any case, my apologies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    If some expectations were not communicated, then it's simply because the ISTP/INTJ overestimated the good sense/functionality of the family that they were taking in. [...]I mean, since no repayment was being asked for at any point (hence no legal documents were required), why would anyone have drawn up a list dealing with that kind of minutiae? With less ignorant beneficiaries, such a list would have only served to condescend.
    good point.

    First of all, given the things the "ISTP" supposedly said in the OP, it is an extremely over-dramatic interpretation to say that she was "negating their worth as people." All she did, so far as I can tell, is sneer at some of the ISFP lady's crude behavior behind her back. What is the harm in this, besides being perhaps in poor taste? It's not like the ISFP lady even knows what was said, or that anything was said at all. Second, yes, shelter and physical well-being are MORE important than the ISFP lady's feelings, especially when it's not only her own well-being involved, but that of her children as well. If she thinks otherwise, then she IS just as stupid and irresponsible, and unsuited to parenting, as the ISTP was implying in the OP. Third, why is it necessary, in the first place, for the ISTP lady to respect the ISFP lady in order to give her aid? Why is that an expectation of her giving? One can maintain civil interaction without sharing mutual respect, and respect is something that has to be earned anyway. So why, especially given the description of the ISFP lady's ignorance, should the ISTP lady respect her? What has she done to earn it?
    please don't call me or my interpretations dramatic. it's not drama; it's Fi judgment. i think it's great if we're debating and you refute my points... i mean, i'm not going to learn or grow otherwise... but saying that my points are dramatic seems like an attempt to discredit them without really even addressing them.

    as to your questions – one of the the problems with helping someone while not respecting them is that your negative attitude will almost invariably seep into everything you do. sometimes my INTP dad, for example, will come to the kitchen table for dinner raging about some frustration or another. he thinks it's good that he has shown up to family dinner, but he is snappy, blunt, bangs things around, and makes it a generally unpleasant experience. similarly, this woman might be trying to help, but invariably her disdain is going to show up in how she treats the family. it's bad because it hurts at a soul-level - though i'm going to go ahead and assume this is a Fi thing.

    why should her aid be accompanied by such feelings anyway?
    because in an ideal world, all people would care for others at both a behavior level and a heart level. because otherwise, she has some other motive for helping - serving herself, most likely. and that will motivate her actions. will they help? perhaps, but it's living a shallow husk, in some ways. living pretense. what if everything was like that? what if our friendships were like that? what if no one you thought liked you and appreciated you really did?

    At least the ISTP lady condescended to treat her with the appearance of respect to her face
    we are different, then. i would prefer for someone to be frank with their feelings about me.

    i have to give props to orobas, too, for suspending judgment in the situation. to Fi that feels disingenuous, but as i read others' posts i see more and more of how the Fi reactions are one-sided.

    You make it sound as if this is some lifestyle disagreement, with the ISTP lady trying to impose her own lifestyle on the equally plausible/functional lifestyle of the ISFP lady. That is most certainly NOT the case.
    do you know that? i thought it was assumed that we did not know the extent to which this woman was maltreating her children.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Well it seems like you expect the ISTP lady to be perfectly magnanimous because she's a Christian.
    not perfectly magnanimous. i would be frustrated too... if i seem a bit harsh on this, it comes from years of being raised in catholicism. you see a lot of hypocrisy, a lot of people doing things for their own benefit that appear to serve others. it doesn't work to a certain extent because the heart of it is not there. it's a gesture, but a meaningless one. there is little goodwill behind it, just a latent desire that the problem goes away so we don't have to deal with it. it's entirely self-motivated, nothing altruistic. nothing that those people claim they stand for. it's weird: people who preach, who practice, yet who... don't believe.

    incidentally flannery o'conner is an awesome writer on this sort of thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    why don't you step into the gap and up to the plate? [...] If you care about something, there will be fruits of your caring...there will be some sort of output.
    i think orobas already mentioned it... but there are so many cases like this in the world and only one of me. why does this woman in particular need or deserve her more than everyone else? i would not feel a moral mandate to help because there are so many people in situations like this or even worse. someone should help her. someone should help everyone. there is so much to deal with...

    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I think I view things a bit oppositely […] The offerer to me shouldn't be the one who bends to accommodate the accepter of the offer, since it's the offerer who's sacrificing some aspect of their life in the first place -- it's the accepter who should be flexing, and if the 'terms' of the offer are unacceptable to them, then they'll need to find another alternative.
    i see your points. i just think you have much more of an awareness than this family does. they probably have no idea they're being so disruptive, or at least don't really know how to change it. FWIW, i feel a similar way about being in someone else's house. i've been told i have decent Fe, but i don't know. i feel like that is general respect. but if the family has little idea they're acting in a disrespectful way... then... how could they know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    How, exactly, do you have the moral high ground here???
    in my eyes Oro has the moral high ground because she has turned anonymously to a group of people who are gathered to help one another. she has not named the person she feels upset towards. it seems like a neutral case study. no names, no disclosure, no harm done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    In other words, I don't think that the ISTP intended to come across as devaluing the ISFP as a human being, but only to express her frustration and get sympathy. She may have sounded like she was condemning the person, but that's because we tend to identify the emotions with the ACTION, so what we really mean is that the actions appear uncaring, not that the person does. We don't know what the person is feeling, but the point being made seemed to be that the ISFP is performing poorly in her role as a mother, not that she's a bad person. Fi users tend to identify the emotion with the PERSON, so when we condemn the action as uncaring, it's assumed that we're condemning the person as uncaring, when that's not the case at all. We just want the person to start acting like how we believe that someone who cares should act.
    this ^^ is excellent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    That is exactly the kind of behavior Fi users tend to engage in that frustrated me a couple years ago. I later discovered that Fi users tend to espouse ideals, not expecting us to take them as realistic depictions of their behavior. They tend to judge things according to ideals as well, while not really expecting them to be practically achievable. Also, I first assumed that they wanted to be seen as unconditionally moral or loving, when in reality, they merely mean to say that they value such things and strive for them, not that they embody them. It seems like she's talking about behavior, when she's actually judging the (seeming lack of) ideals she believes that the other person holds, based on their words alone. This can be very aggravating, I realize.
    accurate. and the opposite can be aggravating, obviously. why bother to act on something you don't believe in? what's the point? who can ever trust you if your actions are not always in line with your beliefs?

    I'm reading some Fi comments as "it's better to not help, rather than help while secretly being horrified at this person's neglect" and I'm sure you're not saying that, but it's hard not to hear it from what you're saying.....
    it's better to not help than make a show of helping while secretly spreading hateful speech.

    edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate
    Anyone woman who is 20 years old, with children and basically homeless is probably going to have a very depleted self-esteem and be impressionable (value the judgment of others over her own). Having someone around her who is disgusted with her (at least, before it's made clear why the judgment is there, thereby opening a door to show how change is possible) is not a good idea.
    EXACTLY

  8. #88
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    So to address these points more specifically...the ISTP does see these as signs of neglect and poor parenting. I disagree. She is making a lot of noise, but when probed on each count she didnt provide in depth support for her claims-instead she would attack from a different angle...ah very Nish actually. Silly context shifts. Like she was looking for reasons to poke, once i discounted her first point actually.

    • The kids are not potty trained-but they are under three. Many, many kids-including her four grand children were not potty trained until three. This is not neglect.
    • They are sick all the time-having colds and ear infectious has little to do with a dirty face. All the kids and many adults are actually sick this year-including her grandkids and poor ummy who keeps getting sick from my kid. It is just a rough fall/winter to be honest with a lot of crap going around. This is not neglect.
    • She was using church paper plates and not doing dishes. She had a dirty diaper pail and the church smelled.-Once she asked them to address these issues, they were addressed and not repeated. But she keeps bringing the issue back to light even though the problem was solved. This was potentially not thoughtful, but if the issue was addressed-it is over isnt it?
    • They wear diapers all day long and she doesn’t dress them in clothes at all-so the diapers are a requirement if not potty trained. But is it a requirement or neglect to let kids run around in your living area in a diaper without wearing an outfit? To call that neglect would be silly. Tacky, sure, but neglect?
    • Her and her kids were dirty--little kids are dirty, messy creatures. Three little kids are a lot to keep up with. It doesnt surprise me that the kids are not perfectly clean (actually there isnt a bathtub there or a shower-they go to the YMCA to bathe). But is a dirty kid neglect? Again tacky, sure, but neglect?


    • The kids eat everyday. My MIL just didnt like it that the mom gave them milk in a sippy cup or what the mom fed them or that they didnt eat at the same time everyday. Neglect? no...


    Its the same story with all of the complaints. Is it ideal parenting? perhaps not, but the complaints are not legitimate according to any external objective measure of "neglect". In her opinion it is neglect-because it isnt what she would do....it doesnt fit her specific ideas of what "good parents" do...In my mind legit complaints are inability to pay bills, feed children, or physical/emotional/sexual abuse of these children. These children are not abused at all and to say so is silly.
    Thank you for clarifying. I feel like if people knew some of this earlier maybe you wouldn't feel like you have to defend yourself.

    Do you see them once in awhile when you go visit your ex in laws and base everything on what you see for a couple of days while your ISTP MIL has seen it at least for a month or so? You are good mother to your children so you believe this ISFP will be as well, even if she's off to a rough start. If you choose to, what can you do to get the ISFP the support she needs to care for a children? I'm no Pollyanna, she may or she may not get it together. One is no more likely to happen than the other. Prepare for both outcomes.

    What determines what we provide to our children as parents? We each give birth and then identify the things that we find most important to bring them as healthy adults. We impart our values and our ideas about the way we think they should live. As we do so, we select what WE value. I value ideals over external displays of politeness or over structured environments, thus in effect I devalue some things that some Fe users would innately value. I love the child enough to impress my values upon them I suppose.
    Where is the line drawn? How many "actions" must one fail to do before it becomes "neglect"?

    Here's a website that lists possible signs of neglect:

    Consider the possibility of neglect when the child...

    • is frequently absent from school
    • begs or steals food or money
    • lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations or glasses
    • is consistently dirty and has severe body odor
    • lacks sufficient clothing for the weather
    • abuses alcohol or other drugs
    • states that there is no one at home to provide care


    Consider the possibility of neglect when the parent or other adult caregiver...

    • appears to be indifferent to the child
    • seems apathetic or depressed
    • behaves irrationally or in a bizarre manner
    • is abusing alcohol or other drugs
    • Physical neglect includes the refusal of seeking necessary health care, child abandonment, inadequate supervision, rejection of a child leading to expulsion from the home and failing to provide for the child's safety as well as his or her physical and emotional needs. The child may rummage for or steal food.
    If you are 200 miles away, how are you capable on a regular basis of observing whether or not these signs are present? Once again I ask, why wasn't the couple's family available to help them out? Is there any substance abuse? I feel like there are important details missing from this situation and you don't know either so you're leaping to conclusions and calling your MIL cruel. Your MIL may not know herself. In the end, does this negate the assistance this woman received?

    A dirty diaper is seen as a sign of no love? Taking your kid to the store in just a diaper? Unbrushed hair? bottle cavities? Mismatched socks? A crooked haircut? Letting the dog kiss them? Hair that is too long? Clothes that dont make a cute outfit? A dirty face? Not using napkins at dinner time? Dirt in the corner? Drinking milk through the big straw rather than the skinny straw? Not pulling their hand in the air everytime they cough? giving them milk when they have a cold? Letting them drink sprite with a happy meal? Feeding them happy meals? Pants that are too short? Letting kids sing loudly in the cart at the grocery store? Letting them take off their shoes during dinner at a restaurant? Eating french toast and ice cream for dinner? Putting them to bed grimy because they fell asleep on the way home from the playground? Letting them open the door of the freezer and drive thomas through the bag of busted flour, then through it in the air to create "snowclap"? Oh, there was that time he filled the vacuum up with water put of the facet...
    Honestly, these sound like criticisms (fairly or unfairly) that have been leveled at you with your own parenting style. You don't like what your MIL critiques because at some point you had the same critiques said to you. You see a lot of similarity between yourself and this ISFP, which puts you in a unique position to mentor her. You can do something about this, in whatever little way you can, if you choose to. You also have the choice not to do anything. But I'm not going to sit here and read you cry the blues about cruelty and hypocrisy and you're not lifting a finger to alleviate the situation.

    No, ONE dirty diaper is not a sign of no love. Repeatedly having the children in dirty diapers is. Taking your kid to the store in just a diaper? I think it's cute in the summer, but not in the dead of winter. Unbrushed hair? Everybody runs out of the house a few times a month without brushing their hair. Having dirty and matted hair consistently, yeah I'd wonder. All the rest of the stuff you listed is petty and trivial...who cares about straws, mismatched socks, and Thomas through a bag of flour. The kids are playing. Your conflating possible indicators of real neglect with basic childhood antics. You seem to be ignoring the fact that there may be REAL neglect here and focusing on the fact that the your MIL isn't cotton ball soft to this woman's family.

    I know this seems like a silly distinction and I know this ISFP and family needs to improve things, no argument...but how and where do lines get drawn about what actions consititute good parenting? (I am totally cool with firm guidelines on this...I am more hesitant about opinions or what "should" be done and more looking for what needs to be done)
    Talk to the ISFP and find out what needs to be done. Even if you're willing to talk to her a couple times a month, just listen if you can't do anything else. She knows her situation better than any of us.

    As far as good parenting, that's a slippery argument. Children's basic needs should be tended to, needs related to their food, clothing, hygiene and health. But I also understand what constitutes food, clothing, hygiene, and health are highly political and value driven. One parent may think it's totally OK to feed their 18 month YO a constant supply of Gatorade and another parent may not dream of such a thing. For example, I know with breastfeeding some women believe you shouldn't breastfeed past a certain age while others do so until their kids are four and five. It's a difficult question to answer, but there are very very basic things that let you know something is amiss.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  9. #89
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    As someone who is looking to develop Fe..and as someone whose Fe is most likely their inferior function..the op doesn't seem to me to be very representative of how inferior Fe manifests in behavior, at least in my experience.

    Personally,I find inferior Fe to be way less certain. It won't know how exactly how people are feeling but it will have a vague idea. It will also drive the person to want to know how other people are experiencing their emotions and why they are feeling what they are feeling. It will try to draw conclusions, but, at least in my case, since inferior Fe knows it isn't as good as it could be it will be very open to drawing different conclusions. Ultimately the goal of Fe seems to be to make other people have good feelings. While this obviously comes with judgement "What are they feeling?" "What do they want/need?"..these judgments don't exist just to exist..they exist to achieve it's goal.

    Inferior Fe manifests itself in my behavior by trying and not being able to understand other peoples emotions. It makes me very conscious of how others might be affected emotionally by my behavior. At my worst it makes me a people pleaser and a bit paranoid that people are experiencing negative emotions due to me. Perhaps there are other ways in which it can manifest itself..but ime this is what it does to inferior users of it.

    The istp in question sounds a lot like an istj I know. He'll make what I think are harsh judgments just like those in the op. I think it's Fi coupled with the whole SJ mindset being expressed. And, correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't an Fe user look at the situation in the op and feel bad for the lady? And her kids? It seems to me that Fe would feel bad that people are obviously not being as happy as they could be. It wouldn't seemingly delight in being better, it would work to achieve an equality because Fe is never satisfied unless other people are satisfied. Something to think about..but ultimately you know the person in question better than I ever will.

    But op I'm sure if you dig deeper you'll find that her intentions are sincere, regardless of her type. Especially if she is using Fe since it's goal isn't to judge but to produce results. Judging is just part of the whole getting results process. Fe just wants others to be happy.

    My 2 cents.

  10. #90
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    I just think I'd rather someone help me in concrete ways, regardless of how they actually feel about me from moment to moment, than have wonderful, warm feelings toward me and not do anything to help. I'd rather people write a check to charity even if they secretly suspect they might be throwing money away than wait until they felt like their feelings perfectly matched their motivation to act. I'd rather someone put me up in their house but be wary that I might take advantage than not do anything because they might feel like a hypocrite.

    It's fine to feel the opposite--but just know that doing good without waiting for perfect charity of heart STILL does a lot of good for a lot of people. There are plenty of people in need of charity that won't really care about the state of mind of the giver. The action will be enough for them. And they will think well of the giver because of that action.
    Something Witty

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