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  1. #1
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Default Boy Advice for My ENFP Sister

    I was hoping that someone might have advice/perspective to share for my ENFP sister.

    My baby sister is beautiful, intelligent, and immensely charming, but genuinely struggles with boy-girl stuff. She's turning 20 this year and has yet to kiss a guy, much less date one. I only ask because it's the source of a great deal of consternation for her, and I'd like to be able to help.

    From what I can tell it seems to break down to two somewhat related issues for her. She's got ridiculously high standards, and won't give 99.9% of guys the time of day. She's incredibly exacting about how she wants to be approached, and will brush a guy off in a heartbeat. Meanwhile, she's basically terrified of the opposite sex, so when one comes along that she does like, she's completely at a loss on how to interact with them. In fact, the only males she interacts with regularly are her gay guy friends.

    She's talked to most of the women in my family, and we're all kind of at a loss on how to help her. At this point, the fear is that she will get swept off her feet by the wrong kind of guy and get her heartbroken.

    Clearly, it's not exactly a life or death issue, but it weighs on her a lot. Any thoughts that ya'll would be willing to share would be appreciated.

    (She's also a 6w7 if that's helpful.)
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  2. #2
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    You shold intro her to a "good guy" as a friend and sneak courtship upon her. With her walls up that's the best bet.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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    Johari/Nohari

  3. #3
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Your sister's two issues are the same issue, as you suggested. Her standards are just her way to keep men at arm's length.

    Why is she terrified of the opposite sex? Or rather, a sexualized relationship with the opposite sex? That seems key.

  4. #4
    flowing quietly by River's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    Your sister's two issues are the same issue, as you suggested. Her standards are just her way to keep men at arm's length.

    Why is she terrified of the opposite sex? Or rather, a sexualized relationship with the opposite sex? That seems key.
    This.


    Also, is she comfortable discussing her sexuality? Would confusion about that be a problem in your family and/or culture?


    It could just be discomfort. The initial confusion leading to freezing up, shame for reacting that way and the downward spiral of insecurity ensues. If that's the case then it may take either meeting just the right man to court her in a way she feels comfortable with or that 'wrong guy' to break the initial barrier. Perhaps one of her gay friends will 'turn' for her xD!

    Perhaps the most important thing to continue to state is that there is nothing wrong with her.

  5. #5
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Oh hai!

    Your sister is pretty much me, rewind a year. I'm 24 now and didn't really do anything serious with guys until a little over a year ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Udog
    Why is she terrified of the opposite sex? Or rather, a sexualized relationship with the opposite sex? That seems key.
    Yes, this.

    For me, it was my very low self-esteem as it related to body image, as well as recognition of my very instable mood and addictive tendencies (thank you, e6 sx!). Always seemed easier to keep people at arm's length than to actually have to have them see my issues.

    Now that I have been in a relationship... I wish I had gotten over myself and started earlier, and learned more experientially about relationships.

    I don't know about her, but I have this HUGE trouble with getting over the "hump" into starting something. Getting a new job, starting a relationship, really anything. It's like as soon as I start considering something new, I'm paralyzed with extreme commitment phobia. My boyfriend had to really push, push, push me to see him in a romantic light, and then even more to actually get me to go out with him. I think now I would have a much easier time with starting a relationship, though. It's just that first one that's so terrifying, especially as you get older and start to realize that people could hold your age + inexperience against you.

  6. #6
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Is she intrigued by Love and Guys in general, and wants to know more? And afraid of putting it into practice?

    Coz then I'd recommend you get her all of Helen Fisher's books, starting with 'The anatomy of Love'.

    I'tll give her Fi the info it desperately needs to find some parameters on how to judge the guys approaching her ,as well as the info it needs to understand what love is all about and what kind of love woudl feel 'right' to her, before jumping in, as such. I personally seek shelter and safety when I feel uncomfortable about something by reading about it, and researching real life examples, in order to get an oversight of what to expect (terrified Si).

    Meanwhile, if she ever wants to do a q and a, i'm up for it
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  7. #7
    Unlimited Dancemoves ® AgentF's Avatar
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    this
    Quote Originally Posted by Wind-Up Rex View Post
    beautiful, intelligent, and immensely charming
    plus this
    She's turning 20 this year and has yet to kiss a guy, much less date one.
    plus this

    ridiculously high standards, and won't give 99.9% of guys the time of day.
    is probably the key to what's going on. (why would an Ne dom not jump in with both feet and sample all of the delights being thrown her way?)

    one possibility: she is discerning...and more intelligent than most men her age know what to do with. when combined with beauty + the sensitivity + ideals of an ENFP, the net result is that she will probably take a long time to warm up to the idea of dating and intimacy. we are hyper-conscious of hidden meaning in people's actions, including our own, and until our basic behavioral "map" of cause/effect is complete, and until we know precisely what we want out of a situation, there may be far too many unknowns to safely take risks. we are also sometimes overwhelmed by our emotions to take effective action, even when we identify someone with whom we want to share those emotions.

    i was ~ 22 before i seriously dated anyone...before i took any man seriously enough to pursue or allow to pursue me. most men my age didn't know how to handle me or how to get me to interact with them in meaningful ways. they pursued me but made fools of themselves along the way, and it caused me to more closely examine the concepts of love and attraction. i also had no "future vision" for our interactions and was hesitant to expend emotional energy on such pursuits, when books held more excitement and zero possibility of being hurt.

    so i observed for a very long time and took baby steps before i entrusted anyone with my heart. simply because the stakes are so high and relationships require an understanding of pretty odd rituals, such as flirting with intent. we also need time to figure out which types of men interest us and can access our inner core.

    do you know anything about the types of men she's interested in? personalities, their dynamic? that would be helpful.


    ETA: i didn't have low self-esteem, i simply had no self-esteem specific to relationships. thus far, i had found deep satisfaction from exploring intellectual pursuits with my INTJ best friend (in many ways, that relationship probably carved the important neural pathways that would later dictate what i wanted in relationships). so when men and romantic pursuits came on the scene, it came as a jarring surprise and only later did i learn to appreciate it, uncover the latent skills to enjoy it, and acquire new skills to better ensure its success.
    I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
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    7w6 ❣ sx/so ❤ physical touch ❥ sanguine 70%, choleric 30% ❦

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  8. #8
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    yeah, furrina makes a good point about flirting with intent. you know what i'm awesome at? flirting. you know what i suck at? flirting because i actually want to get someone's attention. i, like, shut down. i get all quiet and serious when i actually like someone - because all of a sudden it matters. it's like the total reversal of what is expected. and it probably has shut plenty of people down in the past.

  9. #9
    Unlimited Dancemoves ® AgentF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    yeah, furrina makes a good point about flirting with intent. you know what i'm awesome at? flirting. you know what i suck at? flirting because i actually want to get someone's attention. i, like, shut down. i get all quiet and serious when i actually like someone - because all of a sudden it matters. it's like the total reversal of what is expected. and it probably has shut plenty of people down in the past.
    you got it.

    ...and this is a self-amplifying activity, flirting with intent esp. when emotions are in play. because we are very aware of the impact of our actions. this is conscious. we also have an unconscious awareness of the cataclysmic things that might transpire within us, were we to orchestrate a successful bond with someone who moves us deeply. this un-nameable feeling represents more Meaning than we can cognitively and emotionally process and can stop us dead in our tracks.

    the pattern-watchers should be more closely watched for this pattern. a skilled person can identify it and guide us through it...and build enormous trust along the way.
    I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
    ~ Catherine the Great


    7w6 ❣ sx/so ❤ physical touch ❥ sanguine 70%, choleric 30% ❦

    Johari.

  10. #10
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    I've skimmed, but not thoroughly read, the previous replies, so my apologies if I'm retreading ground that's already been covered, but, here's my take...

    Your sister needs to get over herself. In both the good way and the bad way.

    On one hand, she seems to think she's too good for other guys.

    On the other hand, she's probably actually terribly insecure about herself.

    I recommend the following (I'm not sure if it will work, but it would be interesting to see if it does):

    1. She needs to realize that when she starts acting like a fool when she's around a guy that she's attracted to, well, that's what every guy is going through when they try to ask her out. So who the hell is she to judge them for their potentially botched approaches that don't meet her exacting standards? I mean, she finds herself a catch, but she's not exactly smooth in this regard, right? Well, the single most important rule of morality is reciprocity: if she turns into a bumbling idiot when around someone she's attracted to, then she needs to realize she has no right to judge others for being the same way. We all should already realize this, but perhaps she needs to have it very flatly laid out to her. That can serve as an opening to the next step.

    2. Next, she needs to realize that a big part of her "exacting standards" and what not is a front to cover up her own insecurity. It's fine to have high standards, but it's not okay to use high standards as an excuse for inaction or to cover up one's own insecurities.

    Now, part of me says she's a young, irrational girl, and, as such, the above rational approach won't actually work, but, frankly, it's what she needs to hear/recognize, and I'd be interested to see what comes of her being told/coming to realize/accept these truths. As an NF, she should be capable of compassion, and compassion, in a lot of ways, is the root of morality, and this is all basically just golden rule shit, so, theoretically, she should be reasonably disposed to picking up on it (even if other theories [evolutionary psychology, particularly] would say that morality is too false and thin of a veneer to affect her behavior in the sexual arena).

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