This INFJ is dreading the holidays (and so is her husband). I've recently discovered that almost all my in-laws don't really like me very much. Or at least have had trouble accepting me the way I am. This came as a total surprise to me, as I've liked and even loved all my in-laws since the day I've met them. I've talked and thought about this endlessly with many different people (including some of my in-laws) so it's impossible to give an accurate, brief description of their problems with me, but it seems to have to do with two things:
- I'm too straight-forward, take too much initiative, am too controlling, am too intense, am too arrogant, am too know-it-all. This is hard for me to hear as it comes down to the very core of the way I've been trying to actually contribute in a positive way to their family for the past six years. But apparently it was the wrong way. It's also hard for me to change: in my own family being straight-forward and taking initiative is something we praise in others. It's the way I was raised. My in-laws are the opposite: they don't like change/improvement and they want everybody to just play the role they've played for their entire lives.
- This brings on part two: they think I've 'changed' or 'influenced' my husband into something they don't like. He's an INTP and used to be very easy-going (or so they thought). He just said 'yes' to everything. Of course they weren't aware of the fact that he may say 'yes' while thinking 'no'. However, I guess due to our relationship and due to the fact that my husband has grown as an individual anyway (career-wise, age, etc) he's now more clear about what he likes and wants. Which means he sometimes says 'no'. Apparently that's my fault.
I believe the trouble is in our IN-ness. As healthy introverts with a busy life we just have to say no sometimes to the endless invitations of family-fun. As intuitives we tend to want to improve things I guess, create some positive growth, explore new possibilities and roles. My in-laws are either Extroverted or Sensing or both. They want to have as much fun with each other as possible, preferably in a way it has been for 30 years. Saying 'no' or taking control in anyway when it's not the role you were given is not in their book.
Bottomline: ES-family dislikes IN daughter/sister-in-law and is actually beginning to dislike IN-son/brother as well. How on earth are we going to survive in a way that we can stay true to ourselves, but harmonically blend in with the established roles anyway. Any thoughts?