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Thread: Ask an ESTJ!

  1. #1031
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    Hi. I want to say that I really like this thread. I've learned to appreciate ESTJs. I find their straightforwardness and lack of self-conciousness very charming and refreshing.

    I've got a co-worker that's an ESTJ that I've worked with for over 10 years. I'm afraid that the relationship was rather rocky all that time and it's 90% my fault. I was very socially inept and a mess during a lot of it and took advantage of a lot boundry issues that she has. And, also, I did manage to step over some boundries when trying to be well meaning.

    Over the years the work relationship pretty much swings between comrade in arms, friends, and strained and awkward. Work is stressful enough without dealing with awkwardness. So I've been making a directed effort to smoothing things over. First of all, I respect the boundries. Second, I make myself scarce when I get even the faintest impression that I'm less than welcome. The plan's been in effect for many months.

    This is working, and is better than the alternative, but it gets tiring for this INTP. The work part is going very smoothly. The problem is, there is hardly ever active reaching out to me initiated from her on the social level, which I might understand. But If I don't make occasional social visits then she starts reacting badly. But if I visit on a regular basis, she starts getting avoidant. Honestly, I'd like to be friends, but I'm fine with just being coworkers. But I hate being in an indeterminate state.

    Is there anything I should be doing? I don't want to cross over any more lines than I have. Will time settle this out?
    Everything except the bolded makes sense to me. When I dislike someone based on repeated offenses, but then they try to make nice, I'm definitely hesitant to trust them, and I will definitely not make the first move. However, I don't get why this ESTJ would want you to visit her socially, if she doesn't like you and/or doesn't trust you. If it were me, I wouldn't care. How did she react, when you said that she "reacted badly"?

    As for advice... I'd keep reaching out to her in different ways. If she responds apathetically, quit the particular thing and try something else. When she reacts well to something, that's when she'll start putting herself out there. It'll be a gradual process, I'm sorry to say. But don't quit - if you don't reach out, she'll think you don't care.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  2. #1032
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    Thanks for the reply, but then again I had a feeling that I could count on one.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Everything except the bolded makes sense to me. When I dislike someone based on repeated offenses, but then they try to make nice, I'm definitely hesitant to trust them, and I will definitely not make the first move. However, I don't get why this ESTJ would want you to visit her socially, if she doesn't like you and/or doesn't trust you. If it were me, I wouldn't care. How did she react, when you said that she "reacted badly"?
    I guess we're on the same page. What will happen is pretty predictable, it's actually a wonder to me on how predictable it is. If I don't drop by for a suspiciously long time, say 3 or 4 days, she will either use a thin excuse to get me over, or will more rarely come over to my cube with a thin excuse. At first, I thought I was imagining things, but its so close to clockwork that I'm about 95% sure I'm reading this correctly. In either circumstances she will turn a very bright red while asking a question that in normal circumstances she'd figure out on her own.

    If I chitchat, I usually feel welcome for a couple weeks until I start feeling unwelcome again. If I just give an answer in a friendly manner and don't chit chat, and I always keep things as friendly and stable as possible, she'll eventually go into avoidance mode and start ducking out in the hall, looking nervous at unavoidable meetings.

    If I had an idea as to motivation behind all this, I'd feel a lot better on how to react. But I have zero idea on how to figure out any behind the scenes on this one.

    The situation is actually pretty complicated, and I'm guessing you can't get the full picture without a *lot* of detail, probably more than I'm willing to post in a public venue. Also, even though she's definitely an ESTP, she's very idiosyncratically so.

    If you have any insight on this one, please let me know.

    As for advice... I'd keep reaching out to her in different ways. If she responds apathetically, quit the particular thing and try something else. When she reacts well to something, that's when she'll start putting herself out there. It'll be a gradual process, I'm sorry to say. But don't quit - if you don't reach out, she'll think you don't care.
    Ahh, okay. I don't wonder that I might be coming off in a way that I don't really intend to, I suppose I can change that. But that sort of adjustment feels very tiring and unnatural to me. *sigh*. I'll have to think on this for a bit.

  3. #1033
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnestic View Post
    She looked at me and told me I was ruining the beauty of it! But in my mind, so much of the beauty is in the intricacy of the details. It's beautiful on its own, but thinking about the intricacy makes it even MORE beautiful.
    I can really relate to this :-) I wouldn't connect your anecdote to a type, but rather to the more scientific mindset. I visited an art museum recently and read there "wonder is when you'd never understand" - I almost fled.
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  4. #1034
    don't fence me in sui generis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    I can really relate to this :-) I wouldn't connect your anecdote to a type, but rather to the more scientific mindset. I visited an art museum recently and read there "wonder is when you'd never understand" - I almost fled.
    I wonder if it's a T thing? I ran it by two of my loved ones, INTJ and INTP, the next day, and they both understood where I was coming from. Then again, I've always felt like I have a lot in common with NT types.
    Murphy Brown: What is it with us? Why can't we take the easy road once in awhile?
    Avery Brown: Because it's boring and dishonest and uncomfortable, like wearing a pair of shoes all day that pinch your feet.

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  5. #1035
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    EJCC I just wanted to say I so greatly appreciate your thread as it gives me a lot of feedback about how to use my own baby Te a bit more effectively.

    However I actually have a question about a real ESTJ.

    I recently attened a training course and was put in a group with an ESTJ man. Initially I was pretty Ne with a lot of suggestions and even gently corrected him on a fe wpoints as we worked through group assignments. Note I corrected him in front of our group and instructor (yikes...)

    that day he became somewhat dismissive an dby the next day would not make eye contact and would very bluntly dismiss anything I contributed. After the third time, I stopped contributing at all and just listened.

    On the third day, he was trying much harder to be nice and actually sought my opinion on a few topics.

    What would have been the best way to correct him in a group setting with out provoking a defensive reaction? Also with an ESTJ I have just met, I would assume they are not familiar with my knowledge or competency, so would be hesitant to listen, until I had proven myself a bit? Is there anyway to speed this process up? Any other thoughts?

    Thanks!

  6. #1036
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    I guess we're on the same page. What will happen is pretty predictable, it's actually a wonder to me on how predictable it is. If I don't drop by for a suspiciously long time, say 3 or 4 days, she will either use a thin excuse to get me over, or will more rarely come over to my cube with a thin excuse. At first, I thought I was imagining things, but its so close to clockwork that I'm about 95% sure I'm reading this correctly. In either circumstances she will turn a very bright red while asking a question that in normal circumstances she'd figure out on her own.

    If I chitchat, I usually feel welcome for a couple weeks until I start feeling unwelcome again. If I just give an answer in a friendly manner and don't chit chat, and I always keep things as friendly and stable as possible, she'll eventually go into avoidance mode and start ducking out in the hall, looking nervous at unavoidable meetings.

    If you have any insight on this one, please let me know.
    The only hypothesis that I can come up with is that she really does like you a lot (because if she didn't, she wouldn't ever try and get you to come over), but that, because of her "boundary issues", she can only get so close before she runs away. It's a force field that you keep bouncing off of. And if that's true, then what she really needs is professional help...

    And that's really the only way that her behavior would make sense. If she doesn't have serious issues, then I don't think she's an ESTJ, because the thing about ESTJs, generally, is that we're not the sorts of people that send mixed messages. We're unsubtle creatures, so it's easy to tell what we think.
    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    EJCC I just wanted to say I so greatly appreciate your thread as it gives me a lot of feedback about how to use my own baby Te a bit more effectively.
    Thanks!
    What would have been the best way to correct him in a group setting with out provoking a defensive reaction? Also with an ESTJ I have just met, I would assume they are not familiar with my knowledge or competency, so would be hesitant to listen, until I had proven myself a bit? Is there anyway to speed this process up? Any other thoughts?
    I would have told him up front, as you were correcting him - "Though your point makes sense, it's untrue, and I know this because of (insert logical facts here) and because of (insert credentials here). So, instead, I would suggest this particular path because it does (insert facts here), and (if applicable) because I've seen this work on numerous occasions, including (insert times here)." You definitely need to be thorough, because if you just stand up and tell an ESTJ "You're wrong. We should do this instead because it's better", then you're going to come across to the ESTJ as rude, obnoxious and, in a way, threatening. (Not that you came across exactly like that - you were probably much nicer about it - but it's a pet peeve of mine when people expect me to believe them when they don't give me a good reason to believe them except for "Because it's the best way to do it.")

    Hope that helps
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  7. #1037
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    The only hypothesis that I can come up with is that she really does like you a lot (because if she didn't, she wouldn't ever try and get you to come over), but that, because of her "boundary issues", she can only get so close before she runs away. It's a force field that you keep bouncing off of. And if that's true, then what she really needs is professional help...

    And that's really the only way that her behavior would make sense. If she doesn't have serious issues, then I don't think she's an ESTJ, because the thing about ESTJs, generally, is that we're not the sorts of people that send mixed messages. We're unsubtle creatures, so it's easy to tell what we think.
    Oh, she's definitely ESTJ, and she definitely needs help. If she's indeed well meaning, I'll keep the lines open. Thanks so much

    Okay, you've been so helpful, as a reward I'm going to ask even more ESTJ questions.

    As you have mentioned ESTJs are unsubtle creatures. But, I assume eventually the ESTJ learns to watch for indirect communication, things like hints and innuendo suggestion, etc. Somtimes my thoughts can be disconnected and I often bring up subjects that have only tenuous connections to anything at hand. I often talk about things in only a theoretical manner, or sometimes to play devil's advocate.

    As an ESTJ, do you find this annoying? Also, are you able to easily tell the difference between ramblings of an INTP and indirect communication (suggestions, innuendo, etc)?

  8. #1038
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    As you have mentioned ESTJs are unsubtle creatures. But, I assume eventually the ESTJ learns to watch for indirect communication, things like hints and innuendo suggestion, etc. Somtimes my thoughts can be disconnected and I often bring up subjects that have only tenuous connections to anything at hand. I often talk about things in only a theoretical manner, or sometimes to play devil's advocate.

    As an ESTJ, do you find this annoying? Also, are you able to easily tell the difference between ramblings of an INTP and indirect communication (suggestions, innuendo, etc)?
    I'll be honest ( speaking of unsubtle ESTJs): My dad is INTP, and whenever we get into debates, I get really frustrated with him. He'll go off on these tangents and I'll have no idea what his actual point is - which is funny/ironic/hypocritical, since he gets really irritated with people who take too long to get to their point. And because he does that, I interpret that as meaning that I have permission to act the same way with him, so I always feel free to butt in and say "But what's your point?" or "I'm really confused. What are you trying to say?" And when even that won't help the situation, I'll refuse to talk to him about it any more. Not because it's annoying (although it is that), but because it's so draining. I don't want to have to work that hard to understand what someone is talking about, when I could talk to someone else who is actually clear about what they're trying to say.

    But that situation is different from most. So, to answer your broader question, yes, I have learned to interpret the vague and confusing signals that people give off - how else could I give advice in a thread like this? - because I need to have that skill in order to function in society, where 80% of people are always confusing and uneven with regards to when they're telling the truth. However, that doesn't mean that I have to act the same way. I accept that people lie, and that people will do anything to get people to think of them in a particular way, and when I see that trait in those I meet, it does frustrate me. So, I follow my own set of rules in that regard.

    Case in point: One of my best friends is an ENTP with trust issues. Whenever anyone is nice to her, she suspects them of secretly hating her and talking about her behind her back; however, she still trusts me completely, because I make it so obvious that I will never bullsh*t her, and never pretend to be something I'm not, and never lie about how I feel towards her or anyone/anything else. I take so much pride in that trait, that I get warm fuzzies whenever someone recognizes it in me.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  9. #1039
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I'll be honest ( speaking of unsubtle ESTJs): My dad is INTP, and whenever we get into debates, I get really frustrated with him. He'll go off on these tangents and I'll have no idea what his actual point is - which is funny/ironic/hypocritical, since he gets really irritated with people who take too long to get to their point. And because he does that, I interpret that as meaning that I have permission to act the same way with him, so I always feel free to butt in and say "But what's your point?" or "I'm really confused. What are you trying to say?" And when even that won't help the situation, I'll refuse to talk to him about it any more. Not because it's annoying (although it is that), but because it's so draining. I don't want to have to work that hard to understand what someone is talking about, when I could talk to someone else who is actually clear about what they're trying to say.
    Yes, we are bad (to some). I do actually delight having these sort of conversations with other NPs (NTs?). And I have trouble with certain types of 'get to the point' conversations. This is why I like MBTI, it gives me the perspective to understand these sort of differences as just different and not necessarily worse ways to do things.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    But that situation is different from most. So, to answer your broader question, yes, I have learned to interpret the vague and confusing signals that people give off - how else could I give advice in a thread like this? - because I need to have that skill in order to function in society, where 80% of people are always confusing and uneven with regards to when they're telling the truth. However, that doesn't mean that I have to act the same way. I accept that people lie, and that people will do anything to get people to think of them in a particular way, and when I see that trait in those I meet, it does frustrate me. So, I follow my own set of rules in that regard.

    Case in point: One of my best friends is an ENTP with trust issues. Whenever anyone is nice to her, she suspects them of secretly hating her and talking about her behind her back; however, she still trusts me completely, because I make it so obvious that I will never bullsh*t her, and never pretend to be something I'm not, and never lie about how I feel towards her or anyone/anything else. I take so much pride in that trait, that I get warm fuzzies whenever someone recognizes it in me.
    It was pretty amazing when I learned that certain people for the most part are their surface. I like that, I even admire it as a quality in people I otherwise dislike. I always am trying to guess people's motives and intents, and honestly I've done a lot of harm not realizing that people aren't like me in that regard. Now, I'm not dishonest, actually I am very honest, sometimes to my detriment.

    Mostly, my question pertains to my original predicament. I think I may sometimes shoot myself in the foot with my INTP ways, and it's easier for the ESTJ to interpret my ramblings as some sort of 'message' instead of what it often is, just hot air. I wonder if what happens is that I end up saying something that I didn't mean to say. Does this in fact happen to you on the ESTJ side?

  10. #1040
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    Yes, we are bad (to some). I do actually delight having these sort of conversations with other NPs (NTs?).
    I would enjoy it, too, except that I can never follow the thought process. It's like trying to follow someone through a maze, but losing sight of them at every turn, and having to call out to them so they can back-track and find me again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    This is why I like MBTI, it gives me the perspective to understand these sort of differences as just different and not necessarily worse ways to do things.
    Absolutely.
    It was pretty amazing when I learned that certain people for the most part are their surface. I like that, I even admire it as a quality in people I otherwise dislike. I always am trying to guess people's motives and intents, and honestly I've done a lot of harm not realizing that people aren't like me in that regard. Now, I'm not dishonest, actually I am very honest, sometimes to my detriment.
    That's the thing about ESTJs - with regard to opinions and motivations, we're incredibly up front. But that's not to say that we don't hide things. Everybody has a facet of themselves that they don't reveal to everyone. It's just that what we hold in are feelings, not facts. A lot of Thinkers are like that, from my experience - blunt, but avoiding vulnerability.
    Mostly, my question pertains to my original predicament. I think I may sometimes shoot myself in the foot with my INTP ways, and it's easier for the ESTJ to interpret my ramblings as some sort of 'message' instead of what it often is, just hot air. I wonder if what happens is that I end up saying something that I didn't mean to say. Does this in fact happen to you on the ESTJ side?
    Interesting that I'd hear this from an INTP. Most people I've encountered who have this issue are INFJs. They vent at people, and ESTJs take it as sincerity and get confused/bewildered. With regards to ESTJs reading messages into things - my theory is that it's because, no matter how talkative an ESTJ is, they don't use many unnecessary words. They get right to the point. So, because they have that internal standard for themselves, they can't help but project that on other people, and assume that they mean everything they say.

    The closest thing that I can come up with is that I sometimes think out loud. My INTP dad, for example, will call me out on the fact that, when asked, I won't necessarily give THE reason for why I do something right away. And I have to explain to him that I didn't know the real reason, right away. I have to brainstorm. And I have to do that because - and this is something that he doesn't get about me - I have a hard time just sitting and thinking of a reply, when asked to sit and think of one. Without outside stimulation, I start to think about the fact that I'm thinking, and my mind wanders, and suddenly I am completely unable to get my mind to work, and the pressure builds up and I can't even answer the question anymore. Just spouting off reason after reason comes more naturally to me.

    However, that differs from venting, because I still mean everything I'm saying - all the reasons are still valid (except for select occasions, and usually the statement will be followed by "Wait, that's not even remotely true. Sorry about that"). They're just not in order of importance.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
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    want to ask me something? go for it!

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