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  1. #1
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    Default Dealing with control freak ESFJ/ESTJs

    Hi,

    I'm a college student majoring in business (ah why did I do that I regret it so much), which, as I learned later (ironically in my organization management class), is predominantly consisting of SJs, especially ESFJ/ESTJs.

    Sure enough, the last team project was awful. I was on a team with this long-term friend of mine who was an ESFJ, but half way through the project, she started acting all bitchy at me for no reason (the only think I could think of was because I got much more attention from guys when the project team went to a retreat during spring break. She accused me of acting "loose," but was only nice to me when other guys were around).

    She would immediately shoot down any of my contributions to brainstorming, always quick to correct me (which majority of time she turned out to be wrong), and would have to have her way in doing things, whether it's the format of the writing or where to place the picture in the report, what size font to use, etc.

    I detest being controlled and told what to do in detail, especially if I am doing things right. So I started withdrawing, only doing what's asked of me to do, never less, but never more. When she would boss me around, I would intentionally not pick up her call, and wait to give her my portion of the work until the last minute deadline.

    I am so relieved that the project is finally coming to an end. But I am still angry at her for personally attacking me on many occasions (she's called me "bipolar" because usually I'm a warm friendly person but I started withdrawing). I want to call her out and bitch the crap out of her. But business school is all about keeping your composure, and as much as I hated her treatment of me, I deemed it wise to keep quiet and endure for the duration of the project.

    Now that the project is done, I am definitely cutting her off from my contacts, there's no doubts about that. But I have a choice of whether to bring up the problem with her, or just let it pass, and let action speak louder than my words. What would you do if you were in my situation? How in the future can I best deal with these control freak people?

  2. #2
    Probably Most Brilliant Craft's Avatar
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    As with any unhealthy type, be frank to them and leave them as fast as you can. Do not hesitate or tolerate in these circumstances but do not become a savage beast.

    Let them think for themselves.


    "Dammit woman! I'm tired of your x and y's!" "Listen! You are too X and too Y" "Please think about that" *leave*.

  3. #3
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    1) Are you sure she isn't ESTJ? I ask this because I've been close to ESFJs and they tend to take on a mother hen type of role, even when they're unhealthy it's just like weirdly INVASIVE and manipulative oh my god...shooting down your ideas and correcting you in vivid detail seems more ESTJ imo.

    2) In my experience in dealing with particularly irritating ESxJs (though there are a few ESFJs I am fond of) the only way to deal with them is to avoid them. I've had probably more than my fair share of confrontations with evil ESxJ women and frankly it just seems like a pointless fight to the death with no real resolution. It seems to me that if she were an ESFJ, and really your friend, you'd be able to connect with her through Fe. If you feel that you can't do that and reason with her directly, then just end the friendship.

    3) In the future, just smile and nod, unless it's really important, then assert yourself.

  4. #4
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    Personally, when I work with Ne dominants, I can sometimes see them as a bit "out there" or "not focused." It's not so much your problem - the Ne penchance for pulling ideas from random places out of thin air is awesome. Just that Si people have a pretty set way of doing things I guess?
    I mean, sometimes, it's better to conform to the expected way of doing things and just force a bit of Si into you now and then. You're not exactly helping by responding to her in such a fashion either - withdrawing, handing things in late - this just makes her more resentful.
    In my opinion she's just acting as ESxJs act best - keeping things under controlled for the good of the group/project. It may be partly that ENTPs don't work well under such an influence that you're reacting this way. Do consider that she may be just as right as you are.

  5. #5
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    I understand your frustration. I don't know anyone who enjoys being in the presence of overzealous controllers, including other overzealous controllers! It's particularly bothersome when we are treated harshly by people we care about without what seems to be just cause. It seems unacceptable for your friend to have handled her displeasure with you as she did; but also, we can underestimate our contributions to problematic situations. Sometimes long-time friends will allow offenses to accumulate until they hit a breaking point. When they begin to unravel on you, it may feel as though they're coming out of left field; but to them, the fallout was a long-time coming.

    In truth, people always have a reason for their actions. Jealousy, as you already mentioned, could have been the case. Maybe not though. Perhaps she felt as though some of your interactions with the male members were distractions from the group, or an unwelcome change to what she believed to be the group dynamic and the goals that were originally set forth. Simply ask her why she treated you the way that she did. Let her know how you were impacted; how you withdrew exactly because of the way she was treating you.

    Controlling people are usually "helper" personality types gone wild, but not necessarily SJs. Often times they're under considerable stress, feeling resentful, and taken advantage of in some way. You will gain insight through a cooperative discussion with her, even if you decide to leave your friendship behind.
    There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

  6. #6
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    Controlling types eh?!? Just give them some positive feed back.

    i.e. You know, you're annoying as piss. Fuck off!

  7. #7
    Oberon
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    I have found that we ENTPs tend to both annoy controlling types and inspire them to action... specifically, action to control us. I have worked for a boss just like the person you describe in the OP.

    My solution? I worked on my resume.

  8. #8
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Read this to save your sanity, and maybe even your life.

    http://www.tonguefu.com/media/articles/dealing_critic.html

    Control freaks are far more prevalent than you most people realize...
    --------------------
    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
    "If somebody asks your MBTI type on a first date, run". -Donna Cecilia
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  9. #9
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    I've often found that at the root of this sort of behaviour is a kind of jealousy. It's typical behaviour for many people, when jealous, to resort to "denouncing" the other person, making them look bad/stupid, deny them the opportunity to demonstrate their "perceived"/feared superiority etc... perhaps it was the attention you got from the guys, perhaps it's just that she felt threatened by you in regard to the work, if you're good at it.

    Well if you're cutting her off and don't have to deal with her again, then what's the point having it out with her? Think carefully about WHY you feel that need, and you might find that the need diminishes in the face of the honest answer...

    I say that because I found when I did that, in most cases I realised that no constructive purpose could be served by "having it out" with the person in question. I knew that nothing would be achieved - they wouldn't listen, they wouldn't change their mind, they were highly unlikely to apologise - so the real reason was simply revenge for my bruised pride. Vanity. When I realised that... well, I didn't want to do it so much. But that depends on your values - personally I value quite highly the ability to resist my personal vices such as pride and vanity, and it makes me feel happier to know that I have resisted them, and the resultant chaos that comes from giving into them. It only makes situations worse.

    So just put her behind you, let your actions speak for you (as you rightly suggested), and get on with your life. That way, you win. She's been a slave to her vices, but you've not let her drag you down with her.
    I'm male and over 30, FYI.
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  10. #10
    One day and the next Rainne's Avatar
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    She probably thought you were distracting the group, drawing attention away from her (the leader), and hindering the overall success/progress of the project. It could have been a legitimate concern.
    Weathergirl: District 38 is sunny. Slight rock showers this morning. Chance of rock showers into the afternoon—20 percent. District 39 is cloudy. Chance of rock showers this afternoon—10 percent.
    Edward: Bebop here here! Alright woo hoo!
    Weathergirl: Chance of rock showers today upgraded to 90 percent.
    Edward: Really.

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