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  1. #1
    Junior Member martin87's Avatar
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    Default Helping a depressed enfp

    I have a close friend of mine who is going through some rough times and I really wanna support her. I know she wants me to be nearby, but she doesn't like me coaching her. I tend to do that by telling her what I would do in her situation and she says that most of these things are not useful to her. This whole depression of hers is a combination of stress and unsuccessful relationships. I feel it's not enough to just sit and listen to what she has to say. If I were to be myself I would tell her that her way of running her life is just pathetic and only gets her into trouble, but I know it will only get her really upset instead. So how can I help her?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gen's Avatar
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    As much as you hate it, just sit and listen to what she has to say. Make sure you're paying attention and that it shows that you care. It matters to you that she's upset. You show that by acting in a caring way, not by telling her a better way to live. Pay attention to her and make her feel like a worthwhile human being; which means telling her how good she is, not how wrong she is.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin87 View Post
    I have a close friend of mine who is going through some rough times and I really wanna support her. I know she wants me to be nearby, but she doesn't like me coaching her. I tend to do that by telling her what I would do in her situation and she says that most of these things are not useful to her. This whole depression of hers is a combination of stress and unsuccessful relationships. I feel it's not enough to just sit and listen to what she has to say. If I were to be myself I would tell her that her way of running her life is just pathetic and only gets her into trouble, but I know it will only get her really upset instead. So how can I help her?
    Don't tell her what to do, ENFPs like to think they are super independent. As much they constantly tell everybody else what they could and should do they are not really prone to listen to other people themselves unless they ask for advice first.

    Just listen to her and understand her. Do not, under any circumstances, judge or neglect her choices or feelings! You might for the sake of honesty vaguely imply that some of her choices, in retrospect, were not the right thing to do. Remember, she's an ENFP, if you're not sincere about your motives, she will know!

    Oh, and you might want to take her out to meet new people, that will probably cheer her up some.

    You know, that's all ENFPs really want, someone who listens to them that they can connect deeply with, and meeting new people all the time

  4. #4
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin87 View Post
    If I were to be myself I would tell her that her way of running her life is just pathetic and only gets her into trouble, but I know it will only get her really upset instead. So how can I help her?
    What's more important? Her happiness or cordiality? Just tell her what you said here. And use those words.
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sriv's Avatar
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    OMG this happens too much.

    Just tell the ENFP to list all the reasons why she is depressed and how it helps her.

    Chances are she'll come to some realizations and shortcomings.
    Reyson: ...If you were to change your ways, I'm sure we could rebuild the relationship the two of us once shared.

    Naesala: Oh no, that I could never do. You see, humans are essential to the fulfillment of my ambitions.

    Reyson: You've changed, Naesala. If this is the path you've chosen, I've nothing left to say.

  6. #6
    To the top of the world arcticangel02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mort Belfry View Post
    What's more important? Her happiness or cordiality? Just tell her what you said here. And use those words.
    Seriously, please don't do that. It will just crush her.

    Criticism doesn't work at all on an already depressed ENFP.

    It sounds like she really just needs a shoulder for support. Get her to talk - she might need a bit of coaxing, but once she's talking, and sorting through her feelings in her mind, she'll inevitably start to feel better. Your job is just to be there for her and listen. Listen, and not judge. If she needs advice or solutions, she'll ask. Otherwise, don't.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticangel02 View Post
    Seriously, please don't do that. It will just crush her.

    Criticism doesn't work at all on an already depressed ENFP.

    It sounds like she really just needs a shoulder for support. Get her to talk - she might need a bit of coaxing, but once she's talking, and sorting through her feelings in her mind, she'll inevitably start to feel better. Your job is just to be there for her and listen. Listen, and not judge. If she needs advice or solutions, she'll ask. Otherwise, don't.
    I agree on arctic here. No criticism. Let her talk and listen to her. You might suggest her some solutions but don't force her to make her mind about anything. Brainstorming might be good but without a need to come to a conclusion. Support with some empathy would be best.

  8. #8
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Depending on the causes of depression, I know for me, the most effective combination is empathy, listening, and scenario building. Instead of just saying, 'you should do this' -- it helps to say 'when you do this X happens and when X happens you feel this. if you do Y then X wouldn't happen and Z would happen instead and then you would feel this.' Talk it out the way I talk out things when my friends have problems.

    Honestly though, if I'm depressed and there is a situational reason for it (not just seasonal depression or just low hormone levels ^_^) I want someone strong there for me. Someone who not only gives me empathy and sympathy and *validation* for how I'm feeling, but also seems to understand people/life/my situation enough to support me in making good decisions. Help me walk through stuff.

    Someone kind and honest! And yes, that combination DOES exist in real life.

    Then again, hopefully your ENFP friend has more than 1 person for support. In which case as long as the net sum gives her the emotional support and the practical advice, it should work out. I know I have some more blunt friends, some more emotionally 'deep' friends, some more hugs and kisses friends, etc. and in the end I get a nice range of support and advice.

    P.S. I am all for giving your honest opinion as I think that's what friends do -- but timing and method go a long way into how she receives it.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

  9. #9
    Senior Member sketcheasy's Avatar
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    i know that whenever i get stressed or encounter interpersonal conflicts, i have a tendency to berate myself and start thinking and behaving negatively.

    i know that when i find myself that way, i tend to start compromising my value system and my usual thought patterns start to act opposite of what what i normally believe/say.

    however, if an ENFP can usually put him/herself back on track if they really have a solid value system and can start learning to balance himself out. ENFP's are a very wild card type personality and learning control is an uphill battle but gets easier with experience. this will be a good experience for her i think in the end and it will help her adapt to similar situations in the future. talk to her but let her start monologuing, because she'll start to work it out in her head as she talks which will definitely make her feel better as well as start her off in the right direction. also, i find that since these situations often feel like attacks/emergency situations, being an ENFP i can find myself working it out thoroughly and methodically when it gets/feels really bad because ENFP's do well in tight spots. however, the mood thing may be a bit of a barrier at first but it can definitely be broken through if she's strong enough.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dom's Avatar
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    ENFPs are mostly (or atleast I am) postivie feedback people, they work best in an enviroment that is providing postivie feedback for when they are doing well and is supportive.

    Do not, especially when she is depressed, act in a manner that appears judgemental or negative. Yes, some of her issues are undoubtably her own making due to bad choices, and yes she needs to understand that to avoid it in the future, but she needs to get to a place of review and learning first, right now she is in a deep dark whole were she probably feel worthless and foolish anyway, telling her she is right about this will crush her.

    Listen to her talk, don't feel shy about askign her questions that may prod at some of the bad decisions, but let her evaluating them. If you just tell her that you think her life style is pathetic there will only be bad consequences. She will either; stop thinking of you as a friend entirely, allow your words to reinforce the lack of self respect and confidence she already had or provoke her to demonstrate how much control she does have which could express itself in a number of ways but would probably start with cutting you out of her life.

    ENFPs tend to over evaluate their own thoughts and feelings, she is probably stuck in a negative feedback loop that her own mind has made when she attempts to evaluate what has gone wrong, you throwing in your negative evalution will only tighten and cement that loop. She needs support until she's able to herself out of it.

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