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Thread: Ask an ESTJ!

  1. #1301
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Apologies if this has been asked before. I've been reading through this thread, but it's very very long. My question (or possible future questions) is born partly of EJCC's helpfulness in a thread about being allowed to have the feelings I have and partly of a desire to understand more about ESTJs, because they do tend to get a bad rap and I'm sure I've known at least a few to several, and would like to have more of a clue.

    However, these questions are going to be a bit on the negative side sorry!

    Would you say that ESTJs generally have a hard time controlling their anger - or if they don't show it most of the time or for a long time, would it tend to be explosive and (to a casual observer) somewhat out of control when it surfaces?

    And would you say that if an ESTJ has exploded, they are likely to be somewhat oblivious as to the degree of their anger and aggressiveness? Ie. when you call them on it later, they look surprised and are either a bit irritated when you say "you were pretty angry back there", or even a bit amused? Or their later description of the incident is something like "discussion", while others observing describe it as "yelling his/her head off."

    I've seen behaviour somewhat like this, or have heard it described by others who have seen it, in a couple of people who I think may be ESTJs. But I'm not too sure...

    Thanks!
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  2. #1302
    inside the lines EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Apologies if this has been asked before. I've been reading through this thread, but it's very very long.
    +1 already, and I haven't even read the question yet!
    However, these questions are going to be a bit on the negative side sorry!
    Another +1 for apologizing in advance Usually people don't do that - because they don't realize that it can be annoying. Nothing against them, but... Sigh

    Would you say that ESTJs generally have a hard time controlling their anger - or if they don't show it most of the time or for a long time, would it tend to be explosive and (to a casual observer) somewhat out of control when it surfaces?
    Yes.

    And would you say that if an ESTJ has exploded, they are likely to be somewhat oblivious as to the degree of their anger and aggressiveness? Ie. when you call them on it later, they look surprised and are either a bit irritated when you say "you were pretty angry back there", or even a bit amused? Or their later description of the incident is something like "discussion", while others observing describe it as "yelling his/her head off."
    Kind of? Although, to be fair, I don't yell.

    I have a specific idea in my head of what an ESTJ "explosion" is, and when that happens, I always know it, always feel bad about it, and always apologize afterwards and explain that "I wasn't mad at you; I was mad at this particular situation, I was stressed out, I haven't gotten enough sleep, etc." That type of explosion is a short outburst - usually of frustration or righteous indignation. The type of situation you're talking about involves a different type of anger; i.e. frustration at a specific person's argument; I make my definition that specific because it only happens to me when I'm arguing with someone. Usually, just like you said, I find myself surprised at people's interpretations of how I act in those situations because, even though I know I'm angry, I am legitimately interested in what I'm arguing about, and I have no ulterior motives. I wonder sometimes whether it's just my body language and verbal mannerisms that get in the way, or whether my word choice is also problematic, because I always feel completely rational in that sort of situation; I feel like my anger is simmering but by no means exploding. As much as other people may misunderstand it, I know that it is not the sort of anger which could ever escalate into a fight, because I am not angry at the person; I'm angry at their argument.

    I also think (and I'm interested in other people's feedback on this) that it's a good example of detail-vs.-big-picture misunderstanding, just like what was mentioned on the previous page. I don't take that sort of interchange personally. I may be frustrated with other people's arguments, but my frustration is almost always due to a lack of understanding of why they believe what they do - and therefore a gut feeling that their argument is "stupid" - so I really want them to ease my frustration by showing me that their argument isn't stupid; or, if it is stupid, I want them to give me an opportunity to convince them of my argument's correctness.

    And if I do seem like I take it personally (especially if I've lost the debate), it isn't because I feel like they've hurt me personally, and I'm not angry at them (unless they were insulting as they debated - which, no matter how angry I am, I try not to be). I'm angry that I was wrong, and I'm embarrassed to have been proven wrong in front of everyone. But I know deep down that what matters most is that I now have the right opinion, and that reassures me in the end.

    But again, I'm thinking out loud. Not totally sure.


    Also, for the record, your post was very tactful and not offensive at all. I was somehow expecting much worse - which I shouldn't have! Your Fe has served you well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nørrsken impersonating EJCC
    It's strange. I keep banning morons, but they keep signing up? What is this?
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  3. #1303
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. So, am I right in thinking that part of what you're saying is that ESTJs may have issues with anger, and may be somewhat-to-very unaware of how angry they're coming across - but their anger tends to be with the situation, not with the person? So they might have a hard time understanding how hurt or scared the other person might be, feeling that the anger is really directed at them?

    Here's another question, though it's kind of a weird one, and maybe hard to answer:

    What does an ESTJ admire about Ni/an Ni user? And what drives them absolutely nuts about Ni and Ni users?

    The reason I wouldn't be surprised if you have a hard time answering this is because I don't think Ni is flamingly obvious. I mean, I am an Ni user but I think I have a hard time picking up on it in others.

    As for the Fe compliment, thanks I have to say, I do a good line in Fe. Sometimes too good, I think. I am known as a diplomat, but when extended too far it can be door-mattery. I am less of a doormat than I once was and am discovering the slightly vertigo-inducing and terrifying pleasures and rewards of standing up for myself and sometimes being tough and even slightly mean. It's an area where I'm really seeking a balance in my life currently.
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  4. #1304
    inside the lines EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Thanks for that. So, am I right in thinking that part of what you're saying is that ESTJs may have issues with anger, and may be somewhat-to-very unaware of how angry they're coming across - but their anger tends to be with the situation, not with the person? So they might have a hard time understand how hurt or scared the other person might be, feeling that the anger is really directed at them?
    I believe so, yes. Although the degree to which that happens - and the frequency of events like that - depends very much on the ESTJ in question. Also, I think it depends on who the ESTJ is talking to. If it weren't for debating with people who take the angry tone in stride, ESTJs would probably be more cautious. But I've had plenty of debates - mostly with ENTPs and INTPs - which other people misinterpret as fights, but we are completely fine with. Maybe NTPs share that trait - i.e. that their frustration is situational, and they don't take heated arguments personally. Maybe it's Ne vs. Ni.

    Again - not sure. Feedback?
    Here's another question, though it's kind of a weird one, and maybe hard to answer:

    What does an ESTJ admire about Ni/an Ni user? And what drives them absolutely nuts about Ni and Ni users?

    The reason I wouldn't be surprised if you have a hard time answer this is because I don't think Ni is flamingly obvious. I mean, I am an Ni user but I think I have a hard time picking up on it in others.
    Hmmmmm. I'm not sure about things that I admire about them, at the moment (and don't take that the wrong way!). I would say out-of-the-box thinking, but Ne users have that too. I guess... I admire that they get to the same place through a completely different route. I admire that because I can't relate to it at all, so it strikes me as impressive, even though it's probably second-nature to Ni users. I dunno - I'll get back to you on this.

    But I'm a lot more certain as to what bugs me about them... based on the fact that a large number of my friends are Ni users (INFJ, INTJ, ENTJ, ESFP, ENFJ) - is that they often don't strike me as very open-minded. My conversational priorities are very different from theirs sometimes; what they call a "discussion" is mob-mentality venting about an issue, whereas I'd rather gather information and weigh pros and cons; keeping the issue from becoming oversimplified. And if I'm on the other side of that equation (i.e. if I'm venting about an issue), I don't mind hearing opposing opinions most of the time, because that makes the conversation more enlightening and interesting. But if I offer up an opposing opinion on an issue when talking with these friends, it's like talking to a wall; it bounces off them, it means nothing, they hardly address my point, and pretty soon it becomes a vent-fest again - which leads to me feeling resentful and irritated. Talking to Ne types - especially xNTPs - is much more of my style.

    This depends on the Ni user too, though - after all, I can have really interesting pro/con discussions with my ENFJ friend.
    As for the Fe compliment, thanks I have to say, I do a good line in Fe. Sometimes too good, I think. I am known as a diplomat, but when extended too far it can be door-mattery. I am less of a doormat than I once was and am discovering the slightly vertigo-inducing and terrifying pleasures and rewards of standing up for myself and sometimes being tough and even slightly mean. It's an area where I'm really seeking a balance in my life currently.
    That's the eternal struggle, with our extraverted functions; In my case, I always need to strike a balance between being assertive and being an asshole. Usually I err on the side of caution, but that's because I have a fear of being disliked, which a lot of ESTJs don't have.


    EDIT: I just figured it out! But I have to divide it up:

    1. I admire Ni and Fe in conjunction because I wish I could figure out how people are feeling and what they need etc as efficiently as Ni/Fe users do. That would be so useful!! Jealousy
    2. I admire Ni and Te in conjunction because Ni/Te users are better with making BIG changes; I tend to operate within the pre-existing system, and I'm impressed by people who don't need to do that. (Ne users may be like this too, but Ni/Te users can be a lot more organized about it. I can't imagine living in the chaotic world of an NTP )

    Although, recently, I've started to get annoyed by needless entrepreneurship; i.e. people who want to make their own new things regardless of whether it's already been done, and regardless of whether that thing is necessary at all. I suppose it's a balance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nørrsken impersonating EJCC
    It's strange. I keep banning morons, but they keep signing up? What is this?
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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  5. #1305
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    1. I admire Ni and Fe in conjunction because I wish I could figure out how people are feeling and what they need etc as efficiently as Ni/Fe users do. That would be so useful!! Jealousy
    I don't think you need to be jealous. Even great Ni/Fe users get it wrong sometimes. Ni tends to make elaborate plans where a simpler solution would work as well or even better. Of worry about unrealistic things. Needs a reality check sometimes.
    Don't want to imply the Ni/Fe is always doing such things. But people tend to see both strenghts and weaknesses from their own dominant way and only the strengths of the other.
    As long as you don't get into the "failing Ni/Fe mode" too often, I'm happy
    2. I admire Ni and Te in conjunction because Ni/Te users are better with making BIG changes; I tend to operate within the pre-existing system, and I'm impressed by people who don't need to do that.
    And then they'll need you for maintenance
    (Ne users may be like this too, but Ni/Te users can be a lot more organized about it. I can't imagine living in the chaotic world of an NTP )
    Chaotic? What do you mean, chaotic? We aren't more chaotic than the universe. Sometimes reality says to my Ne "you can do better!"
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  6. #1306
    Member Anna intuitive's Avatar
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    Hi EJCC, I haven't got a question, but I have been reading your thread, up to 64 so far, in order to try to sort myself out concerning my difficult relationship with an colleague/supervisor/trainer who I am fairly sure is an ESTJ. And reading your thread has been extremely helpful, to see what in her is ESTJ, what in me is INFP reacting, what in both of us is our other issues, and so on.

    For the next six days, I get to test out my new understanding. I am going to be training in five and a half day workshop with my ESTJ trainer. During the day I participate in the workshop, while also filling out quite a complicated form about how I understand the questions, the progression of the workshop and the facilitation. We then spend an hour after the workshop where I report on what I wrote and we discuss it. Up until now this has all been terribly stressful for me.

    Now after reading your thread this is my theory: my problem is all about communication. I try to communicate my understanding of the workshop in my natural way, which is through intuitions and feelings. Then she does not understand this and I get confused and start to babble. Bad.

    So this is what I am going to try. I am going to try and communicate my understanding of the workshop through sensory data (what I actually observed that happened during the workshop) and thinking. In other words I am going to try to express myself in a way that will be clear to my ESTJ trainer. This is not easy for me, but it is good for me - good type development for me to develop my inferior thinking function. It doesn't matter if I don't do it that well, because she is very accepting of me if I'm trying to fulfil the requirements in a way that makes sense to her.

    I am also going to try to not start babbling, but just keep quiet when I have reported the simple observations as I wrote them.

    Right! This is my task for this week. I will report to you if it went well next week when I get back.

    To summarise: my ESTJ colleague/trainer is not out to get me. She just does not understand the way I express myself because it is so different from her way. So to solve the problem I will try to express myself in something closer to her way, so that there is communication.

    EJCC, you have no idea how helpful it is that you consistently put yourself out there on this thread ready to patiently answer questions and communicate, from an ESTJ perspective. I want to acknowledge your good job, and now, particularly from me, that you didn't get bored and drop it some time down the line. Very ESTJ in all its strength to be so thorough and consistent, right?! I'm grateful...

  7. #1307
    inside the lines EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna intuitive View Post
    Hi EJCC, I haven't got a question, but I have been reading your thread, up to 64 so far, in order to try to sort myself out concerning my difficult relationship with an colleague/supervisor/trainer who I am fairly sure is an ESTJ.
    I'm so impressed! I've gotten to the point that I don't expect people to read the entire thread, since it's so old and so long. (Also, I'd like to think I've grown up a little in the year it's been since I started it.) So, props to you

    And reading your thread has been extremely helpful, to see what in her is ESTJ, what in me is INFP reacting, what in both of us is our other issues, and so on.

    For the next six days, I get to test out my new understanding. I am going to be training in five and a half day workshop with my ESTJ trainer. During the day I participate in the workshop, while also filling out quite a complicated form about how I understand the questions, the progression of the workshop and the facilitation. We then spend an hour after the workshop where I report on what I wrote and we discuss it. Up until now this has all been terribly stressful for me.

    Now after reading your thread this is my theory: my problem is all about communication. I try to communicate my understanding of the workshop in my natural way, which is through intuitions and feelings. Then she does not understand this and I get confused and start to babble. Bad.

    So this is what I am going to try. I am going to try and communicate my understanding of the workshop through sensory data (what I actually observed that happened during the workshop) and thinking. In other words I am going to try to express myself in a way that will be clear to my ESTJ trainer. This is not easy for me, but it is good for me - good type development for me to develop my inferior thinking function. It doesn't matter if I don't do it that well, because she is very accepting of me if I'm trying to fulfil the requirements in a way that makes sense to her.

    I am also going to try to not start babbling, but just keep quiet when I have reported the simple observations as I wrote them.

    Right! This is my task for this week. I will report to you if it went well next week when I get back.

    To summarise: my ESTJ colleague/trainer is not out to get me. She just does not understand the way I express myself because it is so different from her way. So to solve the problem I will try to express myself in something closer to her way, so that there is communication.
    You're such a good student! I'm so proud of you You are doing exactly what you should be doing - speaking directly, matter-of-factly, precisely, and in a linear fashion, about everything you've seen and surmised. I know it's hard, but it will minimize conflict and you'll have a much better relationship with the ESTJ as a result.

    I'm excited to hear back from you once the week is done

    EJCC, you have no idea how helpful it is that you consistently put yourself out there on this thread ready to patiently answer questions and communicate, from an ESTJ perspective. I want to acknowledge your good job, and now, particularly from me, that you didn't get bored and drop it some time down the line. Very ESTJ in all its strength to be so thorough and consistent, right?! I'm grateful...
    I'm glad! It's been as helpful to me as it's been to the people I've talked to, because you know how ESTJs are with thinking out loud I've learned a lot about myself through this, so it's been more of an intellectual exercise. You know, self-improvement, in a quiet way - i.e. the only way that ESTJs are comfortable partaking in self-improvement. (We're all about settling our personal issues inconspicuously.) So, because that's been how I've thought about this, and because most people don't follow up with me about whether they've taken my advice or not, I'm always surprised by the fact that this thread has been useful in a practical sense. It gives me warm fuzzy feelings and makes me feel like I'm doing a good deed, by maintaining this thread.

    I feel like it should be published somewhere, you know? I mean, so much work has gone into it. It should be somewhere besides this forum. Or that could just be me being vain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nørrsken impersonating EJCC
    It's strange. I keep banning morons, but they keep signing up? What is this?
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    want to ask me something? go for it!

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    Saponi Redbone's Avatar
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    ESTJs, do you ever put people on your "to do" list? Has anyone ever complained that they feel like they are on a list of "to do's" with you?

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    Another ESTJ question -- what are your favorite ways to express love? To show support? And, the one I see least from the xSTJs in my life, show empathy? Are there ways that these are being shown that don't feel like empathy to me? What I notice is that all the xSTJs can rush to deal with concrete, visible things in an incredibly knowledgeable and efficient manner (e.g., the right tool for the right job, the perfect medicine when you're sick), but I could really use your perspective on how xSTJs, and ESTJs in particular, navigate the intangible issues that periodically happen in life.

  10. #1310
    inside the lines EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    ESTJs, do you ever put people on your "to do" list? Has anyone ever complained that they feel like they are on a list of "to do's" with you?
    I suppose I do put people on my to-do list. But the way that I operate involves everything in my life being on a to-do list so it's not something demeaning to anyone. If it is, then that means I demean everything in my life.

    Also, no one has ever said that to me - thank god! I understand that negative connotation as much as anyone would, and that would hurt, if someone told me that
    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    What I notice is that all the xSTJs can rush to deal with concrete, visible things in an incredibly knowledgeable and efficient manner (e.g., the right tool for the right job, the perfect medicine when you're sick), but I could really use your perspective on how xSTJs, and ESTJs in particular, navigate the intangible issues that periodically happen in life.
    Well, we handle the "intangible issues" exactly the same way - by finding the right tool for the right job. We do our best to make the intangibles tangible, because that's how we operate, and dealing with it any other way would confuse the hell out of us. We need standard operating procedure! We need to know what to do, and when to do it. Examples:
    Another ESTJ question -- what are your favorite ways to express love? To show support?
    Thoughtfulness. We show that we care by showing that we listen. One of my friends (an xNTP) is always surprised by how I follow up on things; there may have been a small moment in a conversation when she wished that she knew a certain fact, and then as soon as I get to Facebook I post an appropriate article on her wall. In terms of support - I can really only be straightforward and matter-of-fact. I'll do some thoughtful things to show that I'm there for the person (e.g. surprise them with a box of their favorite candy, or suggest something fun and distracting to go out and do to cheer them up), and then, knowing that those comforts are just a surface-level thing and can only do so much, I ask if there's anything I can do to ease the burden.

    Beyond that - if you're trying to get me to do something through some Ni-related secret code thing, don't expect me to have any idea what you're talking about. As the daughter of an INTP and an INFJ, I know that my Ni mom has had to learn to be direct to help us Ne Thinking-dominants (i.e. my dad and I) in knowing what to do to make her feel better if she's upset.

    And, the one I see least from the xSTJs in my life, show empathy? Are there ways that these are being shown that don't feel like empathy to me?
    I'm not sure what empathy feels like to an INFJ, but I know that I show empathy in the same way that other Te/Fi types do. I was talking to a bunch of ENFPs about this on TypeC, a few months ago, and it seemed like all of us used the samed nice formula for it:

    1. "I know how you're feeling, because I've been through something similar.
    2. Here's what that similar thing was -
    3. and here's how I dealt with it."

    It's practical and goal-oriented, so it isn't Fe-ish or touchy-feely, but it comforts us and therefore we figure that it will comfort others. In my case, if I'm really upset about something, I want to know how to fix it, so I won't be upset anymore - and therefore I don't just want to hear "Aw, that's so sad, I feel your pain" and get a hug. Although that's very nice it is still best served with good advising.

    Side note: #1 may be skipped altogether. Often the comforting process begins with "I had a similar thing happen to me once." Honestly, I only added step 1 because if an ESTJ has been well-trained in the art of adding fluff phrases (i.e. in attempting to fake Fe in order to function well in society), then they'll add that fluff phrase at the beginning.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nørrsken impersonating EJCC
    It's strange. I keep banning morons, but they keep signing up? What is this?
    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!

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