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  1. #21
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    It does sort of leave you wondering if ISFJs are just naturally prone to low-self esteem. That sort of constant need for reassurance is an example of not being secure, or feeling worthy enough of love.

    I do think that ISFJs are overly concerned about bringing value to other people, at least this is true for myself.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    It does sort of leave you wondering if ISFJs are just naturally prone to low-self esteem. That sort of constant need for reassurance is an example of not being secure, or feeling worthy enough of love.

    I do think that ISFJs are overly concerned about bringing value to other people, at least this is true for myself.
    Is it possibly an xSFJ trait .. I can reach such highs and i know what i am capable of. But i also have such doubts in myself at times.

    I always try to bring value to others and usually it is at a cost to myself .. I am not quite sure how you find absolute balance there.

    Lol .. I've always said i'm a work in progress
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  3. #23
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    That sort of constant need for reassurance is an example of not being secure, or feeling worthy enough of love.

    I do think that ISFJs are overly concerned about bringing value to other people, at least this is true for myself.
    When I think about the one ISFJ I know, one could also word it differently, that she often overestimates the degree of the other person's need, liking or expectation. So when she does something to fulfil that need/expectation it's like she's not aiming for the correct target and her arrow goes over the mark, so she doesn't get the effect/response she intends, which then reinforces her feeling that people don't appreciate her enough, fueling her need for even more reassurance, etc.

    Example: When she notices I like something, she often reads that (mistakenly) as I absolutely adore it, so she thinks I'm going to be super happy (and so she will be happy) if she gets it for me or gives me a large amount of the thing. While it's clear her intentions are good, this can lead to stress for me if for example, I'm forced to eat more than I want of a food so it doesn't go to waste or throw it out because there was too much and it's expired or I have to force myself to show a huge emotional reaction to something that maybe is just ok for me because if I don't do that she'll feel unappreciated all based on exaggerated conclusions she's made based on a few observations combined with what seems to me a lack of ability to pay attention to and recognise accurately how another person is feeling. She wants to connect through these gestures but most of the time it does the opposite and actually pushes me away because I feel so unrecognised.

    I'm not saying I think all ISFJs make this mistake. I only know this one and she has other issues beyond type. It's just an idea as to what might be contributing to the big need for reassurance.

    It's a shame because I don't dislike her but I really can't connect with her beyond superficially though I've tried.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbah View Post
    When I think about the one ISFJ I know, one could also word it differently, that she often overestimates the degree of the other person's need, liking or expectation. So when she does something to fulfil that need/expectation it's like she's not aiming for the correct target and her arrow goes over the mark, so she doesn't get the effect/response she intends, which then reinforces her feeling that people don't appreciate her enough, fueling her need for even more reassurance, etc.

    Example: When she notices I like something, she often reads that (mistakenly) as I absolutely adore it, so she thinks I'm going to be super happy (and so she will be happy) if she gets it for me or gives me a large amount of the thing. While it's clear her intentions are good, this can lead to stress for me if for example, I'm forced to eat more than I want of a food so it doesn't go to waste or throw it out because there was too much and it's expired or I have to force myself to show a huge emotional reaction to something that maybe is just ok for me because if I don't do that she'll feel unappreciated all based on exaggerated conclusions she's made based on a few observations combined with what seems to me a lack of ability to pay attention to and recognise accurately how another person is feeling. She wants to connect through these gestures but most of the time it does the opposite and actually pushes me away because I feel so unrecognised.

    I'm not saying I think all ISFJs make this mistake. I only know this one and she has other issues beyond type. It's just an idea as to what might be contributing to the big need for reassurance.

    It's a shame because I don't dislike her but I really can't connect with her beyond superficially though I've tried.
    Actually that's something that I can identify within myself. There are many time that I go around assuming that I know what the other person wants, only to realise that I was always just setting up extremely high and sometimes unrealistic expectations for myself to achieve.

    The problem stems from the whole desire to 'mind-read' another person and to trying to make them happy. When you inject in the desire to be perfect (A common trait for many SJs) and produce the best result, things can become a little problematic such as over-estimating what the other person wants. In some ways, it's a little egotistical to assume that one action could bring tremendous joy to another person, but that might just be my cynicalism.

    I find it weird that I've never really experienced this problem of feeling devalued that seems to be a common problem listed for ISFJs. But I suspect it might be due to the fact that I internalise problems, rather than assign blame onto other individuals. It's not that I'm not valued enough, but that there is nothing to be valued. Ultimately I still have the problem of requiring reassurance.

    Ignoring my own situation. I wonder why the ISFJ above has a tendancy to overestimate other people's desires, that would mean that she's technically reading reality incorrect. Did you ever bring it up with her? Is she aware of the behaviour?

  5. #25
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    I think that strategy would work perfectly with me (well, it actually does, since I've had many good relations with ISFJs). If I say I like something, I reaaaally like it and I don't have a problem, say, over-eating or over-doing something (in fact, quite the opposite)
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  6. #26
    Senior Member Shadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    It does sort of leave you wondering if ISFJs are just naturally prone to low-self esteem. That sort of constant need for reassurance is an example of not being secure, or feeling worthy enough of love.

    I do think that ISFJs are overly concerned about bringing value to other people, at least this is true for myself.
    The one thing that I can find frustrating about my ISFJ boyfriend is how apologetic he can be. Actually, early on in the relationship we kept saying sorry to each other for the slightest things (I started doing it, which is unlike me, probably my politeness...) In the end we both agreed to stop ourselves from saying "sorry" if we ever felt we were going to say it. We still don't apologise to each other ! (except if it's really necessary!) We love each other, so clearly if we do something it wasn't to hurt the other.

    He does have low self-esteem, but I think it's grown in the three years I've been with him. Not saying this is in any way a result of being with me, but it's definitely happened. Funnily enough his work just sent him on a course where they evaluate your personality and how you come across to people (wish my work sent me on a course like that!!) They said he came across as negative about himself and had low self-esteem. It didn't surprise me at all to hear that, but it did make me sad.
    Thing is, what can you do? You can tell someone constantly how brilliant they are, while meaning it (I've been doing it for three years), but they need to feel good about themselves from within.

    If I'm brutally honest though, I wish he would stand up for himself more sometimes. I'm the sort of person who will always stand up for myself and it makes me feel really bad when he won't and really should. I wish he'd be more independent as well. He's still very close to his mum and almost follows her decisions in some ways, without actually thinking to himself whether it's best. She can be critical (INTJ) and I think he's always trying to prove his worth by gaining her love by doing/being what she wants.
    I've been very accepting because I know his family is really important to him, but I can't deny I'm starting to resent feeling dependent on his family by proxy. If anything will drive me away from him, it'll be this.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Shadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbah View Post

    Example: When she notices I like something, she often reads that (mistakenly) as I absolutely adore it, so she thinks I'm going to be super happy (and so she will be happy) if she gets it for me or gives me a large amount of the thing. While it's clear her intentions are good, this can lead to stress for me if for example, I'm forced to eat more than I want of a food so it doesn't go to waste or throw it out because there was too much and it's expired or I have to force myself to show a huge emotional reaction to something that maybe is just ok for me because if I don't do that she'll feel unappreciated all based on exaggerated conclusions she's made based on a few observations combined with what seems to me a lack of ability to pay attention to and recognise accurately how another person is feeling. She wants to connect through these gestures but most of the time it does the opposite and actually pushes me away because I feel so unrecognised.
    That sounds *exactly* like my mum (ISFP).

  8. #28
    Perfect Gentleman! =D d@v3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    Also, I've looked a lot like the guy you describe when in past relationships, unfortunately. Even though it would annoy me, too, if it were happening to me.
    +1
    Freedom Isn't Free. [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #29
    Senior Member SubjectA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna212 View Post
    There is an ISFJ guy that I have been interested in for a while. This person is very sweet, kind, considerate, typical ISFJ qualities.

    He's also slowly driving me nuts. He is always scared that he is going to insult me or offend me. If he teases me or put himself out there, he will always withdraw what he said, to a certain degree. He will almost always apologize, as well.

    He seems to need constant reassurance that I still like him.

    An example: Last Friday I said I might go out, or I may just go to bed early, as I was very tired. He asked why I was tired. The he said "I hope you are not tired because I asked you out". Of course, this has nothing to do with me being tired. He just wanted to bring it up. Again, needs constant reassurance that ok, you do like me, you do want to go out with me.

    I guess it's pretty typically ISTJ of me to find this is irritating rather than endearing.

    I think that if I say anything about how I wouldn't go out with him after all, he will blame himself, take it really personally etc. He won't realize that his need for constant reassurance was what drove me away, rather than I didn't like him.

    Anyway, if you've made it to the end of this, my thanks.

    Do you guys think that he sounds like a typical ISFJ? Am I being a typical ISTJ? And do you know of ISTJ/ISFJ pairings?
    This.


    This sounds exactly like my ISFJ guy. He's very quick to blame himself, sometimes no matter how many times I reassure him that it has nothing to do with him.

    I'm thinking that ISFJ's typically need a lot of verbal reassurance. Sometimes (often) they just want to hear your appreciation from them. I'm not sure with ISTJ's, but with INTJ's we tend to forget that unspoken feelings aren't as obvious to someone else as they are to us. And the T just makes us that much more ignorant of other people's emotions.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #30
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    I find it weird that I've never really experienced this problem of feeling devalued that seems to be a common problem listed for ISFJs. But I suspect it might be due to the fact that I internalise problems, rather than assign blame onto other individuals. It's not that I'm not valued enough, but that there is nothing to be valued. Ultimately I still have the problem of requiring reassurance.
    Oh my dear, of course you have value!

    When I was much younger I assumed I had no value, which led me to make some bad mistakes and cause myself unnecessary suffering. I'm not ISFJ so I did not act out on that by self-blame or going too much for reassurance (for me it was more becoming really indifferent and hopeless) but it was only in recent years that I really understood what it means to value yourself and recognised that oh actually, I'm pretty valuable. That has led to a much more accurate understanding of myself and other people, so I actually feel how they value me. I don't know your specific issues but for myself, seeing things more accurately as they truly are was one of the major things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Ignoring my own situation. I wonder why the ISFJ above has a tendancy to overestimate other people's desires, that would mean that she's technically reading reality incorrect. Did you ever bring it up with her? Is she aware of the behaviour?
    Yes, I think she's reading reality incorrectly. She takes herself and her own preferences and experience too much as a reference point (her Si I guess). If she could put aside her notions and fear and go with the flow of the change and unpredictability and mystery of reality and people, including of herself (I think she is afraid to deal with some of her own issues), and be more curious about what those things truly are, she would hit her mark more accurately and satisfy those around her better as well as herself.

    No, I've never brought it up with her. She's my mother-in-law, I'm really not in the position to have some sort of heart-to-heart talk with her. And no, I don't think she's very aware of her behaviour. Her own children have told me that they can't really talk to her because she doesn't actually listen. She will wall off anything she doesn't want to hear or is afraid of dealing with, but she is extreme. Her daughter once told me she can't talk about her work as a school teacher with her mum because for her mum it's not something she knows or can relate to, so she doesn't want to know. And that's not even a difficult topic. You can imagine how difficult that makes it to deal with her. People just sort of walk around her and don't tell her things, which just reinforces her isolation. So even though her kids love her and there's so much she could be enjoying, it's like she doesn't know how to enjoy what is available.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    The problem stems from the whole desire to 'mind-read' another person and to trying to make them happy. When you inject in the desire to be perfect (A common trait for many SJs) and produce the best result, things can become a little problematic such as over-estimating what the other person wants.
    Oh yes, I can feel her trying to mind-read me sometimes. I think the problem here is she takes her cue too much from concrete signs. Sometimes I get this sense like I have to be careful what I say because I can see her storing it all away in her mind or scanning me while we're in a shop and I'm looking at something. That makes me uncomfortable because I'm afraid of the demands of response I'll have to deal with when she's blown up the things I've said or what she's seen. Since she's afraid of talking and listening, she doesn't try to get to really know me, and these outer cues are not enough. Even when I say it directly it doesn't always get through, like when I said, I don't want more of this type of dishware. Don't buy any more. But she still bought me some!

    Also, for a lot of people, the key to pleasing them is not tied up with providing material care, at least not only that, so providing more and more of the same doesn't endear her to me more over time and actually makes me more afraid of having to deal with her.

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