User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 65

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    145

    Default ISFJ's Inflexibility

    I hear all kinds of stories about INTJs but gosh, I work with an ISFJ woman that is one of the most inflexible human beings around. You can't have any level of spirited discussion about anything because if your opinion differs from hers, she gets so rigid and judgmental. It's painful being around her because I just have to keep my mouth shut and agree. That's hard for an INTJ to do but it is the only way to keep peace. She has no level of objectivity. Anyone come across this when dealing with an ISFJ? Any help in dealing with her would be appreciated. It's painful for me to be with "SJs".
    I can tolerate "SPs" far greater.

  2. #2
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Posts
    4,601

    Default

    Yes I know what you mean, I've an ISFJ friend who I used to roleplay with, and everything had to be done her way, there was just no negotiation. I remember another of our friends wanted to roleplay with us, but needed a ride home - she lived right near him, but she refused to give him a ride because it would mean she'd have to go by a VERY SLIGHTLY different route than the one she prefers, and she wouldn't budge on it. She would happily leave in her car, leaving him behind to walk home at night, I don't know how she lives with herself. The guy she snubbed is ISTJ, and I find him a bit easier to deal with, a bit more reasonable.

    I found that the only way to persuade my ISFJ to do anything that was slightly out of her preferred routine, was to use a bit of emotional blackmail by saying that not doing so would cause hurt or offence to someone she liked, or knew she couldn't afford to offend. Or to subtly suggest that not cooperating with me might necessitate an open admission of her dislike/disrespect for someone, risking a 'scene' in public where people would confront her. That was the only leverage I could ever use with her - the obsessive sense of propriety and fear of confrontation.
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  3. #3
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    6
    Posts
    24,060

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    Yes I know what you mean, I've an ISFJ friend who I used to roleplay with, and everything had to be done her way, there was just no negotiation. I remember another of our friends wanted to roleplay with us, but needed a ride home - she lived right near him, but she refused to give him a ride because it would mean she'd have to go by a VERY SLIGHTLY different route than the one she prefers, and she wouldn't budge on it. She would happily leave in her car, leaving him behind to walk home at night, I don't know how she lives with herself. The guy she snubbed is ISTJ, and I find him a bit easier to deal with, a bit more reasonable.

    I found that the only way to persuade my ISFJ to do anything that was slightly out of her preferred routine, was to use a bit of emotional blackmail by saying that not doing so would cause hurt or offence to someone she liked, or knew she couldn't afford to offend. Or to subtly suggest that not cooperating with me might necessitate an open admission of her dislike/disrespect for someone, risking a 'scene' in public where people would confront her. That was the only leverage I could ever use with her - the obsessive sense of propriety and fear of confrontation.
    This seems odd to me for an ISFJ, unless as you imply she really doesn't like the ISTJ who needed the ride. ISFJs are more likely to over-extend themselves than refuse to help, at least for people they respect. I can see this happening with someone the ISFJ doesn't have much respect for, though. And I can certainly imagine an ISFJ being motivated by the threat of having to be "rude" and admit his or her lack of respect to someone's face.

    As for getting along on a day-to-day basis, if there are many areas in which you and the ISFJ in question disagree, it may behoove you to stick to light topics. Another option is to use active listening with her instead of arguing back when she issues a judgment, and simply try to understand her positions (while benevolently refusing to betray your principles). I do this with my mom sometimes, who doesn't like hypotheticals at all and doesn't seem to understand the concept of playing "devil's advocate." I love her and want to get along even though there's A LOT we don't meet up on, so I sometimes just listen and barf back what she just said in other words, and try to sympathize. It takes some creativity but I've gotten quite good at being a mirror instead of a lamp to her.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  4. #4
    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    type
    Posts
    1,555

    Default

    You might also look at these two threads:


    Ivy's right about the active listening.

    I'm married to an ISFJ. I've had experiences like those discussed and there's always a reason for the behavior, although it might not be understandable without effort to an NT.

    [edit]
    As I've gotten older, I've started to understand some of it. Introverted Sensing (Si) is ISFJ's dominant function and may be INTP's tertiary. Si is not in INTJ's "top four," so an INTJ experience it, but it will be very uncontrollable. In a nutshell, Si deals with personal responses to things you can sense, sort of like nostalgia. (More here.) An event, thing, person, etc is weighted with Si--all the chain of personal connections. Trying to weasel these out can be challenging, especially for NTs.
    Who rises in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "I think I will do something stupid today?" -- James Hollis
    If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
    Whaling is illegal in Oklahoma.

  5. #5
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INXP
    Posts
    5,584

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rivercrow View Post
    You might also look at these two threads:


    Ivy's right about the active listening.

    I'm married to an ISFJ. I've had experiences like those discussed and there's always a reason for the behavior, although it might not be understandable without effort to an NT.

    [edit]
    As I've gotten older, I've started to understand some of it. Introverted Sensing (Si) is ISFJ's dominant function and may be INTP's tertiary. Si is not in INTJ's "top four," so an INTJ experience it, but it will be very uncontrollable. In a nutshell, Si deals with personal responses to things you can sense, sort of like nostalgia. (More here.) An event, thing, person, etc is weighted with Si--all the chain of personal connections. Trying to weasel these out can be challenging, especially for NTs.
    I concur.. there is a lot to be said to trying to work out the cause of unhelpfulness, particularly in SJs as often it is that you are being "punished" for some other infraction. It isn't therefore (probably) that they are inflexible, it is that they refuse to bend because of something else.

    Finding out, is tricky, but an ISFJ will go out of their way to help if they like you.

    -Geoff

  6. #6
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    3,619

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhash View Post
    I hear all kinds of stories about INTJs but gosh, I work with an ISFJ woman that is one of the most inflexible human beings around. You can't have any level of spirited discussion about anything because if your opinion differs from hers, she gets so rigid and judgmental. It's painful being around her because I just have to keep my mouth shut and agree. That's hard for an INTJ to do but it is the only way to keep peace. She has no level of objectivity. Anyone come across this when dealing with an ISFJ? Any help in dealing with her would be appreciated. It's painful for me to be with "SJs".
    I can tolerate "SPs" far greater.
    You want her to come to your ground.
    A mistake.
    Go to her ground.

  7. #7
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    FREE
    Enneagram
    594 sx/sp
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    42,333

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    You want her to come to your ground.
    A mistake.
    Go to her ground.
    I agree. (From a practical perspective, Zhash has a much better chance of stepping into the ISFJ sphere than the ISFJ has of stepping into hers.)

    I guess Zhash is partly asking how she can do that, however; my mind doesn't seem to be working coherently enough this morning to come up with some concrete ideas, but hopefully something will kick in later...
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ENFj
    Enneagram
    2w3
    Posts
    801

    Default

    My closest circle of relationships are with ISTX's. My next closest friendships are with numerous ISFJs. I have only met one ISFJ who was completely rigid and judgmental. She was an absolute pain in the ass and I worked with her for a couple of years. I would disagree with the route of having to keep quiet to keep the peace. I would think for an INTJ that would cause a simmering resentment that would later backfire. I know with this lady I couldn't keep quiet anyway I am too strong-willed myself. Here are a couple of little tips that help when my friends start getting a bit "anal". I used them with her as well with varying degrees of success.

    1. Focus on cooperation-the best route to go with them seriously. I've had to explain and emphasize during the course of a conversation that a.We are aiming for the same goal. b. I like their ideas and contributions c. We need to look at all the options to insure we are looking at the entire picture(word this carefully as they always want to believe they are!)d. We need to look at the long term not just the immediate solution/issue. I personally as well with any type of personality look for the win/win. ISFJs can be brought around to this with work and patience even the rigid one I mentioned above!!

    2. ISFJs are the 'rules' people. I am a loop-hole and rules are subject to interpretation person . This is where ISFJs and I have had the most conflicts. However I personally do not mind going head-to-head using their own tactics against them if necessary! This 'game' (looking at it like that helps my tolerance level) can actually be fun. Here is the catch however, be prepared for the long haul!! I have won many an argument with an ISFJ who later after getting them to concede come back with a rebuttal the following day. I was shocked the first time this happened as the lady I mentioned above came back WITH NOTES. I also advise being clear and using as few carefully chosen words as possible. ISFJs have remembered EXACT conversations we had years earlier. I know for me standing very rigid myself and stating that an agreeable solution WILL be sought and carried out for all parties involved-not just them- can be a good thing. If they are in a position above you though this is unlikely to work .

    3. If all else fails and you have no qualms about it ISFJs can be fairly easily 'manipulated'. My conscience will get in the way sometimesbut most ISFJs are not above manipulation themselves. I hold a 'if they use it first' rule. Rigid SJs are indeed quite easy-the more rigid the better. The way of course is to let them think they won on "points"!! Sprinkle in a few "you are so right on that!". You can word things to make them think 'overall' they won. Its actually quite humorous to see the smugness they get when they think they won. This also helps with tolerance when they start getting under your skin. ISFJs also tend to play the 'martyrdom' card quite often. I know and care about LOTS of ISFJs for all of those who may be reading this but frankly I have yet to meet a single one who did not use this tactic. The rigid one I mentioned above played this like a champ. I find this is the absolute best time to get at them. I don't mind expressing 'appreciation' for their 'sacrifices' often. Acknowledging their work even casually is a good way to bring them around and get them to open up.

    4. If you want to be downright 'nasty' however substitute mentioned some good ways. Question their integrity on the things they value. Just keep in mind that by doing so too often you are likely to create an enemy which of course is unwise in a working relationship. Cooperation is likely to be your best bet. Remember as well that ISFJs primary focus is on conservation and protection. Point out contradictions bluntly to what they say and do. They want to believe they are always 'doing the right thing for everyones own good'.

    To summarize ISFJs are great people though it's no surprise at all that you appreciate the SPs utilitarian view similar to your own. They have many great qualities and are hard working and loyal. Out of all of the types I have 'studied' this is the most frequent one I have encountered. I am an NF so I tend to focus on the positive and cooperation myself. I generally tend to value their input more then the SP but not by much. It sounds to me like you are 'stewing in your own juices' about this person. I think jumping into her shoes and looking objectively at how she views you could also help. SJs are unlikely to change. I would find points of agreement with her and pick your battles carefully.
    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

  9. #9
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    yupp
    Posts
    29,781

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rivercrow View Post
    You might also look at these two threads:


    Ivy's right about the active listening.

    I'm married to an ISFJ. I've had experiences like those discussed and there's always a reason for the behavior, although it might not be understandable without effort to an NT.

    [edit]
    As I've gotten older, I've started to understand some of it. Introverted Sensing (Si) is ISFJ's dominant function and may be INTP's tertiary. Si is not in INTJ's "top four," so an INTJ experience it, but it will be very uncontrollable. In a nutshell, Si deals with personal responses to things you can sense, sort of like nostalgia. (More here.) An event, thing, person, etc is weighted with Si--all the chain of personal connections. Trying to weasel these out can be challenging, especially for NTs.
    That's interesting my dad's an INTP (I think I haven't gotten him to take the test yet, I might do that later today I know he's IxTP) and my mom's an ISFJ I wonder if they view each other in a similar manner you and your spouse do.

  10. #10
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Enneagram
    1w2
    Posts
    5,514

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lookin4theBestNU View Post
    Really good advice!
    I agree. I work with ISFJs and I have a number of ISFJ friends. First make them feel appreciated and acknowledged, because that usually settles them down and then they'll help you. I think ISFJs are very easy to satisfy. Once I pulled a Employee of the Hour (!) template of the internet and gave it to one of my ISFJ coworkers in appreciation for helping me with something I really didn't want to do. She still has it hanging up in her cube and was really grateful for it.

    I'd first caution you to examine how you approach her as others have already said. You may not be aware of what you're doing that makes her react the way she does, so get yourself straight first. Also, this one time when I wouldn't advocate blunt communication. The ISFJs I know deny that anything is wrong which makes it damn near impossible to get any straight talk from them. Just start doing, make changes on your part first so they can see you're doing some sacrificing, since they so often feel like they sacrifice.

    If this person still wants to be a jackass, proceed with L4BNU's 3 and 4.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

Similar Threads

  1. [ISFJ] Where my ISFJs at?
    By Oberon in forum The SJ Guardhouse (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ)
    Replies: 377
    Last Post: 10-11-2017, 03:56 PM
  2. [ISFJ] I have this weird problem: ISFJ women.
    By mysavior in forum The SJ Guardhouse (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ)
    Replies: 99
    Last Post: 01-20-2017, 11:15 PM
  3. [ISFJ] Support for Stressed ISFJ
    By Buds of May in forum The SJ Guardhouse (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ)
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 05-22-2008, 04:02 PM
  4. [ISFJ] ISFJ friend being stalked, advice?
    By UnitOfPopulation in forum The SJ Guardhouse (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ)
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 03-30-2008, 06:49 PM
  5. [ISFJ] Help me understand and respect my ISFJ mate?
    By crandolph in forum The SJ Guardhouse (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ)
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 01-16-2008, 03:22 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO