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Thread: Ask an ESTJ!

  1. #1141
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    That was my issue too!!! Why bring someone up as a scientific case study when you're just going to be depressed when you hear the accurate results?!? If you're gonna do SCIENCE, you gotta be SCIENCE-Y. And science-y-ness means keepin' your feelings to yourself.
    I told it to my husband. His first reaction?
    "Well that so-called 'friend' is the professor himself! That's why he reacted like that when you start analyzing problems."
    I think there is a bit of truth in it - maybe the friend is not the prof, but at least the prof has a personal contact with him, which makes it much harder to put aside the feelings and start analyzing.
    Another thing - the whole discussion made me realize something. I think ESTJs would be less likely to refrain from the analyzing and problem-solving mode even if the other person is there. I remember a few times where my ESTJ said "I think your problem is..." which is pretty frustrating after a while, because he never has problems. I feel like my husband needs a better wife.
    Got questions? Ask an ENTP!
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  2. #1142
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    I told it to my husband. His first reaction?
    "Well that so-called 'friend' is the professor himself! That's why he reacted like that when you start analyzing problems."
    I think there is a bit of truth in it - maybe the friend is not the prof, but at least the prof has a personal contact with him, which makes it much harder to put aside the feelings and start analyzing.
    That makes a lot of sense. I'll bet that's what it is, because if the professor acted like that with every case study, that would be bizarre.
    Another thing - the whole discussion made me realize something. I think ESTJs would be less likely to refrain from the analyzing and problem-solving mode even if the other person is there.
    What do you mean by this?
    I remember a few times where my ESTJ said "I think your problem is..." which is pretty frustrating after a while, because he never has problems. I feel like my husband needs a better wife.
    The bolded is a sad problem with ESTJ relationships, it seems like. Here's the math going on in an ESTJ's head:

    Problems = vulnerability
    vulnerability = uncomfortable = BAD
    therefore
    Problems = BAD

    Also, something I just thought of (random insight of the day?) = another reason (I think) that I find opening up about problems to be so uncomfortable sometimes, is that these are the standard options for interactions:
    Me: *insert sad life event here*
    Friend 1: ... Oh. That sucks.
    *uncomfortable silence*
    Me (unverbalized): That got awkward fast. I guess I shouldn't do that again.

    Me: *insert sad life event here*
    Friend 2: OMG I'm so sorry *insert motherly, touchy-feely speech here*
    Me (unverbalized): This sucks. I still feel vulnerable, but now I feel like I'm the weak one in the friendship. I guess I shouldn't do that again.
    And neither of these are positive for me. The only kind I'm okay with goes like this:
    Me: *insert sad life event here*
    Friend 3: That's horrible! Something similar happened to me once - *insert sad life event here* - and *insert wise words learned from the event*
    *and then the two of us proceed to advise/comfort each other like equals*
    But this hardly ever happens. In fact, one of my best friends (an ENFJ) still manages to do the touchy-feely thing when we talk about serious matters. The one time where this happened and it wasn't ever awkward at all was actually when I opened up to an ENTP. It worked out so well because it was just like the 3rd interaction I quoted.

    But I dunno how the other ESTJs here (hint hint mnestic! ) would relate...
    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)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw + wampus (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  3. #1143
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for this last post. I both identify with that feeling of being the person who appears to have problems as opposed to the other person who never does. Makes me feel both like I'm no good and also that the other person is never vulnerable and doesn't need me for anything.

    I appreciated your scenarios for how to properly handle something when it does come up and will tuck it away to inform me for later.

  4. #1144
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Thank you so much for this last post. I both identify with that feeling of being the person who appears to have problems as opposed to the other person who never does. Makes me feel both like I'm no good and also that the other person is never vulnerable and doesn't need me for anything.

    I appreciated your scenarios for how to properly handle something when it does come up and will tuck it away to inform me for later.
    No problem. I suppose that if you're actually going to take my post to heart, I should elaborate. Here is a basic summary of ESTJ-ness with regards to vulnerability, from my experience with it:


    Even though I generally don't think of myself as "better" or "stronger" or "more capable" than other people, I really really really want to be reliable, i.e. I want my friends/SOs to be able to depend on me to be good, and strong, and capable. And when, in a situation when I'm vulnerable, a friend or SO misguidedly tries to comfort me in a touchy-feely way*, even though they're kind of comforting, it's still incredibly awkward for me, because
    1. it puts me in a situation where I am absolutely not fulfilling my role as the reliable, strong and capable one, and
    2. It's making me even more emotional when I'd rather be made less so.
    The thing with my ENTP friend worked so well partially because she was also speaking matter-of-factly. I get the feeling that it helped her open up, too - by detaching ourselves from the emotions that we were talking about, we wouldn't have to experience them again. We could try (and maybe succeed) to remain objective.

    *e.g. "You're a wonderful person and they had no right to treat you like that - just remember that your friends love you and those other people don't matter."
    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)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw + wampus (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

  5. #1145
    don't fence me in sui generis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post

    1. You're not a strange ESTJ. You actually remind me a lot of You'reWrongI'mRight, sometimes, and I'm 99% sure that the reason why is that both of you are sillier/goofier on the internet than in real life. (Well, actually, YWIR is pretty hyper in her videos, but she's told me that she's a lot more calm and Te-ish most of the time.) That's the case even for me. Also, you're an 8 and I'm a 1, which automatically makes me much more subdued/restrained than you. In short, we're all normal here

    2. That video is beyond anything you can imagine, man. It's like - take the most bizarrely energetic a person can be, and then keep that energy maintained at its EXACT level for like FIVE STRAIGHT MINUTES. It's awesome. Watch it.
    Where is this video? I looked for it but failed to find it.

    Also, I think I'm pretty much similar in text to how I am IRL. I mean, there's almost no one in my life who would describe me as "calm". I like me, and I've learned to like my personality a whole hell of a lot, but I barely qualify as ESTJ, I think. It's only been in the last couple of years that I've started testing as an S, and I think that's right, but... yeah. I'm *barely* ESTJ, but I'm more ESTJ than I am anything else. Like JoSunshine's signature that says "Slightly ENFJ, totally JoSunshine". That's how I am. Slightly ESTJ, totally me.

    And I read your post, about emotional conversations, and I am thinking about it. Will try to respond soon.
    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.

    approx 55% ES, 90% TJ

  6. #1146
    don't fence me in sui generis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    :
    The bolded is a sad problem with ESTJ relationships, it seems like. Here's the math going on in an ESTJ's head:

    Problems = vulnerability
    vulnerability = uncomfortable = BAD
    therefore
    Problems = BAD
    I can relate to this. I definitely have the "vulnerability= uncomfortable - bad" response sometimes. Although sometimes it's shortened to simply "PROBLEMS = BAD" because I place such a high value on self-sufficiency and independence.

    these are the standard options for interactions:

    Me: *insert sad life event here*
    Friend 1: ... Oh. That sucks.
    *uncomfortable silence*
    Me (unverbalized): That got awkward fast. I guess I shouldn't do that again.

    Me: *insert sad life event here*
    Friend 2: OMG I'm so sorry *insert motherly, touchy-feely speech here*
    Me (unverbalized): This sucks. I still feel vulnerable, but now I feel like I'm the weak one in the friendship. I guess I shouldn't do that again.
    And neither of these are positive for me. The only kind I'm okay with goes like this:

    Me: *insert sad life event here*
    Friend 3: That's horrible! Something similar happened to me once - *insert sad life event here* - and *insert wise words learned from the event*
    *and then the two of us proceed to advise/comfort each other like equals*
    But this hardly ever happens. In fact, one of my best friends (an ENFJ) still manages to do the touchy-feely thing when we talk about serious matters. The one time where this happened and it wasn't ever awkward at all was actually when I opened up to an ENTP. It worked out so well because it was just like the 3rd interaction I quoted.

    But I dunno how the other ESTJs here (hint hint mnestic! ) would relate...
    I don't want to sound like "oh, I am so much more evolved of an ESTJ than you are", because, um, I'm really not. But my first reaction to this was, "I used to feel this way, but I don't anymore." Or at least, it's different.

    I think I've alluded to this before, and at least posted about it on other threads, but I've had experiences that have forced me to get in touch with my inner F (e.g. severe depression/anxiety). I know this may sound dramatic, but there have been several times when my choice has literally been "embrace your F or die". Because of these experiences, I'm somewhat more comfortable both giving and getting emotional support, but there's definitely times that I feel like what you've described.

    It definitely depends on the person who's trying to give me emotional support. If it's someone who doesn't know me very well, especially someone who is over-the-top F-type, I am uncomfortable with it. Even though I've made great strides in terms of embracing my emotions, I still want to be able to choose who I'm being vulnerable with! I'm very choosy about the people I trust with personal problems, because I've played out your first scenario too many times. The awkward silences made ME feel like there was something wrong with me for needing emotional support, and I haven't opened up to those people since.

    I think I have a much higher tolerance for touchy-feely F-empathy than I did when I was younger, but there's still times that I find it off-putting, almost infantilizing or insulting. The people I feel most comfortable talking with about emotional things are the ones who strike a balance between acknowledging my feelings, acknowledging that talking about feelings isn't my favorite thing, and reminding me of my own strength and capability.

    Learning to deal with my own feelings (mostly through therapy, somewhat through having F-pref friends) has made me more comfortable with others' feelings as well, so I'm more patient and less "...." when people talk about emotional things with me. Not to say that that's how you are, but before I had to make peace with my F, I was very uncomfortable with watching other people express emotion. Now, I still find it kind of draining, but it doesn't feel like I'm *completely* out of my element. It's still kind of like writing with my left hand.

    I DO like your third scenario best of all, both because it makes me feel like an equal partner instead of some sort of underling, but also because being all S-type and all, it helps me to have concrete examples of what other people have done to deal with an issue and survive it.

    .... I feel like I've typed forever, here, and not really said or proven anything, but I hope some of this makes some sense. I think that a lot of what you said is spot on, but I also see it slightly differently on account of my developed-under-duress F-skillz.
    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.

    approx 55% ES, 90% TJ

  7. #1147
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnestic View Post
    I can relate to this. I definitely have the "vulnerability= uncomfortable - bad" response sometimes. Although sometimes it's shortened to simply "PROBLEMS = BAD" because I place such a high value on self-sufficiency and independence.
    Absolutely. Although that's how it is with me most of the time - you know, I'll be offered something, or I'll consider doing something, and my brain goes "THAT'S BAD SO DON'T DO IT!" ... so I listen to that voice and I stay the hell away

    I didn't simplify it because I've started going into way more detail with these things on TypeC than I do in real life. Sometimes it seems like most of my (successful) introspection has happened since I got here, and not so much before. (Not that I wouldn't have introspected anyway, but forcing myself to confront questions like these has really made me better at figuring myself out.) I guess I'm kind of more in the habit of adding more steps, now, when I describe this stuff to people here, since so many of them would ask for details if I said (truthfully) that it's basically this: I give myself orders, and I follow them.

    But YOU understand!! Yes!!!!
    I don't want to sound like "oh, I am so much more evolved of an ESTJ than you are", because, um, I'm really not. But my first reaction to this was, "I used to feel this way, but I don't anymore." Or at least, it's different.

    I think I've alluded to this before, and at least posted about it on other threads, but I've had experiences that have forced me to get in touch with my inner F (e.g. severe depression/anxiety). I know this may sound dramatic, but there have been several times when my choice has literally been "embrace your F or die". Because of these experiences, I'm somewhat more comfortable both giving and getting emotional support, but there's definitely times that I feel like what you've described.
    Jeez, yeah. I can definitely see how that would help. Of course, you are a lot older than I am, so it's probably just a life experience thing. Nonetheless, I still relate to a lot of what you posted below.
    It definitely depends on the person who's trying to give me emotional support. If it's someone who doesn't know me very well, especially someone who is over-the-top F-type, I am uncomfortable with it. Even though I've made great strides in terms of embracing my emotions, I still want to be able to choose who I'm being vulnerable with! I'm very choosy about the people I trust with personal problems, because I've played out your first scenario too many times. The awkward silences made ME feel like there was something wrong with me for needing emotional support, and I haven't opened up to those people since.

    I think I have a much higher tolerance for touchy-feely F-empathy than I did when I was younger, but there's still times that I find it off-putting, almost infantilizing or insulting. The people I feel most comfortable talking with about emotional things are the ones who strike a balance between acknowledging my feelings, acknowledging that talking about feelings isn't my favorite thing, and reminding me of my own strength and capability.
    Yes, definitely, as long as they're matter-of-fact as well. I really dislike it when people put on a psychologist tone with me. In fact, the one semi-psychologist I've had (a school counselor in middle school) really irritated me because she seemed so fake and overly sweet and condescending.

    Of course, it's important to note that I hadn't introspected about this much at all (or with any success, anyway) until today. Before, when I'd open up to someone and it'd turn into an Oprah show episode (with me being the random person suffering from the issue of the day), my thought process would be like "Okay, that was helpful, I guess... she was kinda comforting... so why do I feel so awkward and uncomfortable and weak?" And I guess the answer I came up with today must have been accurate, or else you wouldn't have related to it...
    Learning to deal with my own feelings (mostly through therapy, somewhat through having F-pref friends) has made me more comfortable with others' feelings as well, so I'm more patient and less "...." when people talk about emotional things with me. Not to say that that's how you are, but before I had to make peace with my F, I was very uncomfortable with watching other people express emotion. Now, I still find it kind of draining, but it doesn't feel like I'm *completely* out of my element. It's still kind of like writing with my left hand.
    I'm definitely getting better at handling other people's emotions now than when I was younger, but it still goes a little like this:
    Friend 1: *insert sad life event here*
    My internal voice: OMG I'VE GOTTA BE SYMPATHETIC....think think think think think!!!
    Me (aloud): ... Um... *insert attempt at third comforting example here - i.e. wise words plus similar example from my life*

    What I really need to do is not freeze up at the beginning. And I figure, the more people open up to me, the better I'll be at handling it.
    .... I feel like I've typed forever, here, and not really said or proven anything, but I hope some of this makes some sense. I think that a lot of what you said is spot on, but I also see it slightly differently on account of my developed-under-duress F-skillz.
    It's definitely made sense. Lots of sense! And it's awesome to see a post of yours that's longer than a couple of paragraphs More detail means more of an opportunity to see just how similar we are, and what the differences may be.
    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)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw + wampus (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

  8. #1148
    don't fence me in sui generis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I didn't simplify it because I've started going into way more detail with these things on TypeC than I do in real life.
    I can understand that. It makes sense to expand (I originally wrote "expland", which is apparently explain+expand!) it out for the benefit of those whose minds don't work like yours/ours.

    so many of them would ask for details if I said (truthfully) that it's basically this: I give myself orders, and I follow them.

    But YOU understand!! Yes!!!!
    YES. Though I think I view the "giving myself orders" as a very specific part of holding myself to very high standards. It's a battle for me, personally, though, because I struggle to balance those Very High Standards with just letting myself explore who I am and who I want to be. The Very High Standards contribute to my depression and anxiety, but I can't just... not have standards.

    Yes, definitely, as long as they're matter-of-fact as well. I really dislike it when people put on a psychologist tone with me. In fact, the one semi-psychologist I've had (a school counselor in middle school) really irritated me because she seemed so fake and overly sweet and condescending.
    HATE. THAT. SHIT. I have seen many therapists, some of whom have been amazing and helpful, and some of whom have been, well, useless assholes. I don't have patience for those who aren't as intelligent as I am and can't speak my language, which is lots of them. I don't mean to make this post into My Therapy Stories, but it's a little relevant.

    "Okay, that was helpful, I guess... she was kinda comforting... so why do I feel so awkward and uncomfortable and weak?" And I guess the answer I came up with today must have been accurate, or else you wouldn't have related to it...
    I know what you mean about "kinda comforting"-- it's like the super-sappy meant-to-be-comforting things don't entirely suffice because while you know they mean well, there's also an intellectual, t-based need that strictly-emotional soothing just doesn't touch.

    And this is hard to explain.

    Friend 1: *insert sad life event here*
    My internal voice: OMG I'VE GOTTA BE SYMPATHETIC....think think think think think!!!
    Me (aloud): ... Um... *insert attempt at third comforting example here - i.e. wise words plus similar example from my life*

    What I really need to do is not freeze up at the beginning. And I figure, the more people open up to me, the better I'll be at handling it.
    I think I've gotten to the point where I no longer freeze, more like I skip for a second like a scratched CD would. There's still a moment of shifting gears, since it is definitely my less-prefered gear, but it doesn't take me as long to reach that gear. How's that for a mixed metaphor!

    It makes me think of this comic by Tamske:
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ml#post1232482
    She accurately portrays what's going on internally and externally for me in emotional situations. It's definitely not spontaneous, I'm totally narrating my actions in my head.

    it's awesome to see a post of yours that's longer than a couple of paragraphs More detail means more of an opportunity to see just how similar we are, and what the differences may be.
    I agree. And maybe if I'm encouraged to talk more, I'll never shut up.
    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.

    approx 55% ES, 90% TJ

  9. #1149
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Here's another video:

    My Interests and How I Think, part 1 on Vimeo

    Might be useful for anyone who wants another glimpse into the ESTJ mind. Even though I talk about my interests for most of it
    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)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw + wampus (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

  10. #1150
    don't fence me in sui generis's Avatar
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    Watching right now.

    "This video's like ten minutes long, aaah!" I do this! Only I do a sort of cost-benefit analysis, taking into account the subject matter of the video and how much it interests me vs the time required to watch it.

    I don't think I've ever gone to a museum alone... wait, scratch that. I went to the Holocaust Museum in DC alone, bc the friend I was staying with was at work, but I discussed it with her later. I suppose I could go by myself, since I also enjoy doing most things by myself. But I'd most likely call someone up afterwards and extrovert (yes, this is a verb in my world) about my favorite parts of it.

    History is OK. I agree about how it addresses how things got to be the way they are... though I'd never explicitly thought about it that way. I like the stories it tells and don't care for memorizing dates.

    I also enjoy crafty stuff, but I don't knit. I tried crocheting once, and otherwise I just dabble when I'm feeling creative. I thought I was going to double-major in art when I was in college, but I actually kind of suck at art. Still, it's fun and relaxing.

    I am so impressed by your woodworkingness! I've never tried that, but I like the idea.

    Music This isn't what you addressed, but... when I studied music (two years of school band and six years of private flute lessons! ) I really enjoyed the music theory part, the notation and the math involved in it, perhaps as much as I enjoyed the sounds and the emotional process of making music. My INFP BFF is horrified by this-- the math/science part ruins it for her.

    But I do agree about the joy about hearing something new/interesting in a piece of music. for that reason, headphones are my favorite way of listening to music. It's like you can get it further into your head that way. I recently discovered an ineresting drum beat in a song I've known for years by listening to it on the headphones. It's driving me nuts because I can't figure out how to write out the drum rhythm.

    /music geekery

    Anyway...

    I'm not a movie fan, really. I suck at suspending disbelief, I hate the dramatic music and feel like a lot of them are cliche. I am fascinated by the idea of watching a movie through the eyes of a non-main character. I may have to try that sometime. I do love Office Space. But when we have our ESTJ Girls Sleepover, I'll totally watch action movies with you.

    I loved English class! It's kind of out-of-character for me as an S to enjoy the searching for symbolism and deeper meanings in a text, but it's fun for me! (Also, I'm only half S. ) I took an English minor in college not because I wanted to read ~classic literature~ (yawn) but because I wanted to learn how to write. I was able to take only a couple of literature classes and a bunch of writing courses.

    I prefer TV to movies. Partially because it doesn't require me to suspend my disbelief as long, but partially because of what you said-- more involved plotlines and characters. I LOVE shows with long involved backstories and complicated characters.

    Food is good. I hate cooking but enjoy eating. I agree with what you've said about trying new foods (though my experience is somewhat limited by my vegetarianism)... I'll try most anything once. I recently tried seaweed salad for the first time. I had a reaction when I first saw it BECAUSE IT IS BRIGHT GREEN AND VINEY, but it's delicious and I now eat it whenever I can.

    PART TWO!

    I like task lists! Though for me it's more helpful to write them out on paper because I find it gratifying to cross things off.

    OOOH, I do that too, daydreaming about alternate scenarios! Usually I'm imagining how a conversation could have gone differently, or future conversations. I don't daydream about, like, other worlds or fantasy or anything, just alternate versions of the here and now, if that makes any sense.

    What you're saying about intution is interesting. I am in the process of learning how to trust my intuition MORE, because more often than not it tends to be right, but my habit is to filter it through my logic before believing it.

    *waits for moar*

    Thanks for posting this! It's interesting.
    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.

    approx 55% ES, 90% TJ

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