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  1. #1

    Default Has anyone else experienced this? (ENFP growing up in an overwhelmingly xSJx family).

    (Edit: Woops, typo in the title. Make that *STJ.)

    As I mentioned in my post title, I'm an ENFP who grew up in a heavily xSTJ environment.

    First, a quick personal story about me and my family. As a heads up, this issue is a very sensitive one for me, so I'm probably going to come across as wounded and subjective. I apologize for this in advance. :/

    While my family (all strongly xSTJ individuals) is filled with good people who mean well and who supported me financially while I was an adolescent, we disagree on everything from ethics to what kinds of behavior we find publicly acceptable. Moreover, we disagree to a great extent over whether it's better to be practical and truthful, or emotionally supportive. (I prefer emotional support over criticism, but when I try to express this I get head-tilts and side-eyes all over the place. There's just no consideration of my feelings, or the idea of treating people kindly first, and criticizing second. They see what I'd consider being kind as coddling me and withholding the truth.) When I'm with my family, I always end up feeling ganged up on, and I hate it because when I'm ganged up on I get combative and angry and I really dislike feeling that way. My emotions are also usually treated as either irrational or an overreaction, regardless of what I'm upset about. (My father's response to a period of my life when I was very depressed was to call me "disturbed". Despite his own tendency towards depression and anger, he doesn't seem to understand displays of strong emotion as anything but unwanted/signals of mental instability.)

    Through no fault of my family's, I grew up feeling very isolated, alone, and like the person I am and the thoughts I have are wrong and fundamentally unacceptable. I grew to be afraid of showing and offering public displays of affection, all the while craving them deeply. I clung to belief that something was wrong with me until I was 22 (I'm 23 now) wherein I started to accept my identity and depend less upon my parents' perceptions of me as markers of objective truth. To be clear, their criticism and general dismissal of important parts of my identity do still affect me sometimes, but I've learned to consider my viewpoint valid and dismiss their worldviews as ideas that work perfectly well for them-- but not for me.

    So, anyway, my personal story aside, have any other xNFPs experienced something like this? How did you/do you cope with it? Is there a way for an xNFx in an overwhelmingly xSTJ family to coexist peacefully with people who don't appreciate (and fundamentally don't understand) xNFx "free-spirited"ness in whatever ways it expresses itself?

    Thanks in advance to everyone who reads/responds to this. <3
    Naked on a mountaintop. Brb.

  2. #2
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    Yes I was married to an istj who told me I was weak when I was numb and checked out from life after losing my little sister. I came back from her funeral and he had put my dog to sleep. The dog I had for 10 yrs.

    We separated pretty soon after that. It was too much.

    But before all that there were many years of just not valuing the things the other valued. I think for you... And this being your family you're just going to have to accept that they act according to their values and what they prioritize and you shouldn't take it personally. That's all any of us do really.

    Just try to surround yourself with people who do give you value and try to be compassionate towards the ones who can't.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  3. #3
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Everyone here accuses me of being enfp. Out of my family almost all were Ss outside of the immediate family, but they were mostly ISxxs or xSFxs. I would imagine it would be quite common as 75% of the population is supposed to be S.

    father - quote possibly extp
    mother - esfp I believe
    brother - enfp almost assuredly
    sister - infp

    aunts: esfj, isfj, istp, isfp
    uncles: istp, intp, esfj
    cousins: istj, isfp, estj, entj, isfp, istj, intj, istp, esfp, infj

    Hmm, I never noticed before, but it is a pretty eclectic mix.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chiharu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cattywample View Post
    (Edit: Woops, typo in the title. Make that *STJ.)

    As I mentioned in my post title, I'm an ENFP who grew up in a heavily xSTJ environment.

    First, a quick personal story about me and my family. As a heads up, this issue is a very sensitive one for me, so I'm probably going to come across as wounded and subjective. I apologize for this in advance. :/

    While my family (all strongly xSTJ individuals) is filled with good people who mean well and who supported me financially while I was an adolescent, we disagree on everything from ethics to what kinds of behavior we find publicly acceptable. Moreover, we disagree to a great extent over whether it's better to be practical and truthful, or emotionally supportive. (I prefer emotional support over criticism, but when I try to express this I get head-tilts and side-eyes all over the place. There's just no consideration of my feelings, or the idea of treating people kindly first, and criticizing second. They see what I'd consider being kind as coddling me and withholding the truth.) When I'm with my family, I always end up feeling ganged up on, and I hate it because when I'm ganged up on I get combative and angry and I really dislike feeling that way. My emotions are also usually treated as either irrational or an overreaction, regardless of what I'm upset about. (My father's response to a period of my life when I was very depressed was to call me "disturbed". Despite his own tendency towards depression and anger, he doesn't seem to understand displays of strong emotion as anything but unwanted/signals of mental instability.)

    Through no fault of my family's, I grew up feeling very isolated, alone, and like the person I am and the thoughts I have are wrong and fundamentally unacceptable. I grew to be afraid of showing and offering public displays of affection, all the while craving them deeply. I clung to belief that something was wrong with me until I was 22 (I'm 23 now) wherein I started to accept my identity and depend less upon my parents' perceptions of me as markers of objective truth. To be clear, their criticism and general dismissal of important parts of my identity do still affect me sometimes, but I've learned to consider my viewpoint valid and dismiss their worldviews as ideas that work perfectly well for them-- but not for me.

    So, anyway, my personal story aside, have any other xNFPs experienced something like this? How did you/do you cope with it? Is there a way for an xNFx in an overwhelmingly xSTJ family to coexist peacefully with people who don't appreciate (and fundamentally don't understand) xNFx "free-spirited"ness in whatever ways it expresses itself?

    Thanks in advance to everyone who reads/responds to this. <3
    My family exactly. They're rather fond of me because I'm among the youngest in my extended family and the youngest in my immediate, so I get "coddled" more than you seem to. Just be strong in yourself as an individual and calmly and clearly state your wants/needs/feelings. Hopefully they'll respect that <3
    Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness." ― Kurt Vonnegut

    ENFP. 7w6 – 4w3 – 1w9 sx/so. Aries. Dilettante. Overly anxious optimist.

  5. #5
    Junior Member ms-mngrl's Avatar
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    I think Lady X gives good advice to surround yourself with people who will be more supportive of you. Sometimes our friends become the best family we can have. I am surrounded by sj's at work and find some of them to be (just my opinion here!) overbearing at times. Thankfully I have a couple of good NF friends that help me maintain a sense of balance in my life = I am able to me and they enjoy me for who I am. I always try to see the good things that each person has to share, but I tend to feel more appreciated/accepted around NF's, NT's, SP's and a couple of unusual SJ's. Good Luck!
    Funny the way it is, if you think about it...
    Dave Matthews

  6. #6
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    From a neutral perspective: The NFPs I know tend to experience similar things with the STJs in their lives, though it varies based on their mental health and the mental health of the STJs.

    From an STJ perspective: I think it's natural for STJs to react to explosive Fi as being "extreme" or "an overreaction" or "irrational" or something to try and suppress, in general -- because that's how STJs treat their own Fi. For STJs (especially ESTJs), Fi is us at our most vulnerable and our most raw. Often, it represents everything we hate about ourselves and everything we wish we would never be, even though we know deep down that we're proud of it too. Think about it: we try our best to be objective, truthful, and an epitome of Justice. But what is justice without the principles behind it? How can you strive for justice and truth in the STJ form, without being driven by your Fi? It's an inherent contradiction.

    But I digress; my point is that we have a serious love-hate relationship with Fi and when we show it to people, it was an accident, and we regret it immediately. So if we see it being displayed by an NFP -- someone whose philosophy in life relies heavily on the justice of Fi expression, and the importance of accepting Fi and letting it drive you -- we naturally superimpose our Fi ideas onto them. Obviously this doesn't work, for many reasons, including but not limited to the fact that your Fi is much more balanced than ours and therefore not something to worry about like we do.

    Keeping all that in mind, though, my primary response is that, although your situation is common, it's only common with particularly closed-minded STJs, or at least STJs who have had a serious communication breakdown with the NFP in question. One of my best friends is an ENFP and my initial reaction to her Fi (and free-spirited Ne) was to see it similarly, but once I got to know her better, I learned to change my approach. It's a shame that your parents never learned to do the same.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

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