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  1. #1
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Default 14 year old ENFJ son cuts off nose to spite face

    ... and it's driving me insane!!!

    [This is NOT a rant thread.}

    What in the world can I do??
    (I realize the solution will require long-term application.)

    I'm 90% sure he's ENFJ, it's just that he's pretty observant and has a great sense of direction, so...
    But otherwise, when you take in the big picture, he seems ENFJ, or even INFJ, at times.

    This morning I was supposed to have him at school at 7 AM. He was supposed to wake me up at 6:15, but he overslept and woke me at 6:55. He didn't want to take the time to eat. He said he guessed he would just have to wait until lunch time (which he's always starving for, by the time it comes). So I grabbed a food bar and poured him some milk in a travel mug so he could eat in the car on the way over.

    When we arrived at school, I realized he hadn't eaten, so I suggested he should bring the stuff in with him. He refused! It's like he punishes himself on purpose. He's way too rigid and I don't know how to help him!

    He has always been stubborn and perfectionistic. It started when he was 2.
    His biggest problem is controlling his desire to break things when he gets frustrated.
    He's not "sick" enough to need medication.

    Anybody had success with this??

  2. #2
    Junior Member Enjamin's Avatar
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    It's always very hard with family. Do you think he didn't eat because he overslept and is punishing himself or for some other reason?
    Musical, Linguistic, ENTP, Originator, Intellectual

  3. #3
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    So he missed breakfast. Maybe he didn't feel like eating it. What's the big deal?
    hoarding time and space
    A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
    — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  4. #4
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    I've had success with it (being an s.o.b. kid like that).

  5. #5
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IF3157 View Post
    So he missed breakfast. Maybe he didn't feel like eating it. What's the big deal?
    Yeah that's exactly what I was thinking.

    Maybe he didn't want to look lame carrying in a travel milk mug to school?

  6. #6
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Ugh, I've an ExFJ daughter who's just the same. She panicks and frets about something, then when you stand there holding out a free of charge solution for her, she seems to just want to reject it in favour of more panicking and crying. Like she's ENJOYING it or something and doesn't WANT to solve the problem... then makes the problem even worse because she won't solve it... then gets all despondent and stuff and... gahhh!!!

    Actually I've been told it's a T mistake that we do sometimes, to think that when the F is upset, that they want solutions to their problems. I mean they probably do in the long run, but first off and primarily, they want empathy for their feelings. They want you to listen to how they feel and validate it, stuff like "yeah I can understand you feeling that way" or "I'd feel the same in your shoes" or "loads of people have that problem, you're not alone" and stuff like that. You've got to devote some time to neutralizing the emotional stuff before they can kick their intellect into gear to start thinking about actually solving the problem.

    This is just what I've heard... I've not yet met with much success at putting it into practice...

    Possibly in the case of your son, he was too focused on the panic of possibly being late and all the emotional consequences of what might happen if he's late, punishments and reactions and whatever... and in that state he wasn't able to just sorta say "oh well!" and eat his breakfast. Maybe he needed some sort of reassurance that... fuck, I dunno. I just don't know how these Fe types work

    My daughter last night flew into a tizzy because she had some geography homework. All she could think about was how this stuff desperately needed to be done because the teacher was SO strict and if it was late in or of too low a standard then she'd get this punishment and that punishment and the sky would fall on her head etc etc etc., and when I was like dude, why don't you devote your energy to just doing the homework instead of panicking, then you don't need to worry at all about the consequences of not doing it? and like, dude, you don't have to worry about any of that stuff cos it's all under your control as to whether it happens or not... well, somehow, it just seemed to make her cry even more. I'm at a total loss... I don't know what I was supposed to do...

    Except that I've seen a friend of mine (an INFP) sort her out when she's like this. She just sorta doesn't say anything or give any advice or anything verbally, she just gives her a hug and lets her stand there and sob for a bit or whatever, then when the moment passes she'll say "Right come on then, let's do this together" and it seems to work. I keep telling myself I ought to try that, but in the heat of the moment it's the last thing I think of doing...
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  7. #7
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enjamin View Post
    It's always very hard with family. Do you think he didn't eat because he overslept and is punishing himself or for some other reason?
    Welcome to the forum.

    I don't believe there's some other reason.
    It's all connected with suffering for waking up late.
    He can't make a contingency plan.
    It didn't work out perfectly, so it's not going to work out at all.

    Poor thing. I do that too. We're doomed!

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IF3157 View Post
    So he missed breakfast. Maybe he didn't feel like eating it. What's the big deal?
    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Yeah that's exactly what I was thinking.

    Maybe he didn't want to look lame carrying in a travel milk mug to school?
    Do either of you have kids?

  9. #9
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    No, but I am relying on years of experience in the position.
    Is there more to the story than you are letting on?
    hoarding time and space
    A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
    — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #10
    Welcome to Sunnyside Mondo's Avatar
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    For a lot of young people, especially F-types, feeling guilty feels worse than being hungry.
    The paradox is that even though he is self-denying, the actions he's been taking are entirely selfish in nature.
    MBTI Type: iNTj
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