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Thread: Ask an ESTJ!

  1. #1501
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    A few questions - apologies if these have been asked before - I actually have read through this entire thread before, but don't remember all the details

    Would ESTJs ever apologise because they sense (or get told!) that they have hurt someone's feelings (ie. "I'm sorry if I made you feel bad"), even if they personally feel that they haven't actually done something wrong - or are they much more the type to only apologise if they are clearly in the wrong? ("I'm sorry I screwed up")

    Are ESTJs eager to leave the door open in troubled or terminated friendships/relationships, or do they tend to call it day and really move on, even if regretfully? (Would it be regretfully?)

    How would an ESTJ react/feel if they sensed that they had lost the respect of someone who used to respect them?


    EDIT: One more - do ESTJs use humour to defuse tricky situations, or to try to? If so, is it more because they genuinely feel it's the way to go, or is it more "I'm not sure what to say to this obviously mad person, so I'll try to make a joke?"
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    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    We still want you to be argumentative. Because we want everyone to be on the same page. If we convince you, that's great, and we'll agree, and if you convince us, we'll be extremely embarrassed and cranky for maybe ten minutes... but then all will be forgiven, and we'll agree.

    Also, I shouldn't even be using the word "arguing"; you said it best when you called it "cold, hard Te". They're facts without emotion. Since you're INTP, you're in a position to reply perfectly, with accurate Ti. For example:

    ESTJ: Well obviously this is the case because X=Y.
    INTP: Actually, no. I read an article this morning that said that X=Z and Z=/=Y. Clear as day.
    ESTJ: No way. Where did you read that?
    INTP: ZXY Magazine.
    ESTJ (sulking): ... Huh. Okay.
    INTP: Seriously, I'll pull it up on my smartphone. Here it is.
    ESTJ (pissed off): ... Sure enough. There it is. (sulks away)

    (10 minutes later, separate conversation)
    ESTJ: So I thought that X=Y before, but it turns out there was this article in ZXY magazine before that totally refuted that...
    Other people: Hmm, interesting!

    So, in other words... As embarrassing as it is for the ESTJ initially, they'd rather gain the right opinion, than beat you in an argument with the wrong opinion. We want people to stick up for their arguments because we want wrong opinions to be eliminated.
    OK, very good. Thanks. I guess it's just about holding my ground if I really do have facts to back up what I'm saying. You mentioned that they might get grumpy for 10 minutes if what they said was refuted, and maybe I take that too personally. When they get grumpy or whatever, I tend to be thinking, "Jeez, what's his problem? I guess he doesn't want me to refute him anymore. He must just want me to keep my mouth shut and never challenge him. Sheesh!"

    What I'm saying is, it seems like a more difficult task then you make it sound. You make it sound like, "Just prove the ESTJ wrong and everything will be peachy." But, my experience is that it's much more difficult/challenging than this. It can sometimes become a very heated fight. Not always - but sometimes that happens I guess with 2 hard-nosed T's!!!

    Well, I think I've bugged you about ESTJ behavior enough in the past, so I won't keep beating a dead horse. It's just interesting to learn how different types approach things. Thanks.
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  3. #1503
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    A few questions - apologies if these have been asked before - I actually have read through this entire thread before, but don't remember all the details

    Would ESTJs ever apologise because they sense (or get told!) that they have hurt someone's feelings (ie. "I'm sorry if I made you feel bad"), even if they personally feel that they haven't actually done something wrong - or are they much more the type to only apologise if they are clearly in the wrong? ("I'm sorry I screwed up")

    Are ESTJs eager to leave the door open in troubled or terminated friendships/relationships, or do they tend to call it day and really move on, even if regretfully? (Would it be regretfully?)

    How would an ESTJ react/feel if they sensed that they had lost the respect of someone who used to respect them?


    EDIT: One more - do ESTJs use humour to defuse tricky situations, or to try to? If so, is it more because they genuinely feel it's the way to go, or is it more "I'm not sure what to say to this obviously mad person, so I'll try to make a joke?"

    My 2 cents, although I may be wrong -
    Most of the ESTJs I know aren't big apologizers about stuff that really matters. If they realize they messed up, they are more likely to amend their behaviour in whatever way they think is right and try to do something nice for you (as opposed to an out and out apology). I don't think that means they are insensible to having messed up (and may even be embarrassed by it once they are really convinced they were in the wrong), but they tend to be more action oriented.

    They probably would want you to know that it wasn't intentional, so sometimes there is a tendancy to explain why they did what they did if it comes up which could feel to some other types like justifying themselves instead of apologizing (which would be more effective to those people). In their minds, they don't want their intentions misunderstood and they also would be comforted by knowing that there was no actual need to feel hurt once the actions were explained. For them, they need clear ways of cleaning up problems and were they in your position, someone explaining themselves would then eliminate the need for the problem as it stood at the time.

    In the circumstance where they are not convinced they did anything wrong, I don't think you'd see them apologizing just to make you feel better.

    I think most ESTJs hate being in limbo. Therefore if a relationship/friendship is not going well, they will either look for how it can be amended or move on if they can't see a clear way to fix things. They may even sometimes be a bit hasty in making that decision (rather than discussing it together) just because it is very uncomfortable to have things up in the air. Once they move on, I don't think they spend a lot of time looking back.

    Don't know about the last one, but in my experience, ESTJs are much more observant of others than they are given credit for. I think it would be a very uncomfortable feeling for them to lose the respect of someone they themselves respect or love, since respect and being seen as capable, competent etc is important to them. I think they would take it as a deep personal failure and try to figure out what they could do to fix the situation. However, the behavior they would respond with probably would depend on the closeness of the relationship, maturity level, if they can see some way to earn back your regard, or if they would need to find some way to cope with the loss of the relationship if they felt that regard could not be regained.

    The ESTJs I know do use humour sometimes when they know the other person is upset, not to minimize the other person's problem, but either out of discomfort about impending emotional messiness or else because they want to actually make the other person feel better. As long as it is used judiciously, I've found that their matter-of-factness and some joking can help me get over little things that otherwise would bother me. It doesn't work well if it becomes a long term pattern to avoid addressing the underlying issue. I think someone else being upset is a very uncomfortable feeling for them though. They want to either be able to fix the problem or explain why it really isn't a problem. Any of the in between scenarios make them feel kind of helpless and they seem to avoid them.

    I'm not an ESTJ though, so I'll be interested to see why EJCC and sui have to say.

  4. #1504
    inside the lines EJCC's Avatar
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    SilkRoad, I'm responding to your post without having read Fidelia's response, just so my reply doesn't change. We'll see how similar they are
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Would ESTJs ever apologise because they sense (or get told!) that they have hurt someone's feelings (ie. "I'm sorry if I made you feel bad"), even if they personally feel that they haven't actually done something wrong - or are they much more the type to only apologise if they are clearly in the wrong? ("I'm sorry I screwed up")
    I'm usually pretty resentful about apologizing when I don't feel like I did anything wrong. I'll wait for a while, in the hopes that they'll own up to what I perceive as "their" wrong, and then if a long enough time goes by, I'll make myself apologize just to diffuse the situation.

    But if I feel like I did something wrong, I will ALWAYS apologize, because I feel so incredibly bad about it. I will apologize in an overly eloquent and profuse manner, a lot of the time, without meaning to. Back in the day, I would always apologize in writing, because 1) it was less awkward and 2) I'm more well-written than I am well-spoken. Now I don't but I still think it's a lot easier to do.
    Are ESTJs eager to leave the door open in troubled or terminated friendships/relationships, or do they tend to call it day and really move on, even if regretfully? (Would it be regretfully?)
    What do you mean by "leave the door open"? You mean, leave the possibility that we'll become friends again?
    How would an ESTJ react/feel if they sensed that they had lost the respect of someone who used to respect them?
    Oh my god I'd be MORTIFIED. And after wallowing in self-pity for a while (and maybe crying about it!), I would go to insane lengths to gain that respect back. I'm one of those people who would rather be respected than liked (although the choice is really hard!), so I even get uncomfortable just THINKING about that situation. And it would be so much worse if it was someone I had high respect for, like a professor/mentor.
    EDIT: One more - do ESTJs use humour to defuse tricky situations, or to try to? If so, is it more because they genuinely feel it's the way to go, or is it more "I'm not sure what to say to this obviously mad person, so I'll try to make a joke?"
    When I'm trying to explain a sad situation (be it mine or someone else's), I might try to make it a little more light-hearted. When it involves me, I might try to make it sound like it isn't as big a deal as it is, because I don't want people to dwell on it, because if they dwelled on it, it would kill the mood. But if someone is angry at me, I never, ever do that -- mostly because I get really pissed off when people do that to me. It feels to me like they're ignoring the severity of the situation and are therefore disrespecting me. You can pretty much guarantee that, if I'm angry about a situation and someone makes a joke about it, I'll snap at them and say something like "Come on! This is serious!"
    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    OK, very good. Thanks. I guess it's just about holding my ground if I really do have facts to back up what I'm saying.
    Indeed! That is exactly, perfectly right.
    You mentioned that they might get grumpy for 10 minutes if what they said was refuted, and maybe I take that too personally. When they get grumpy or whatever, I tend to be thinking, "Jeez, what's his problem? I guess he doesn't want me to refute him anymore. He must just want me to keep my mouth shut and never challenge him. Sheesh!"

    What I'm saying is, it seems like a more difficult task then you make it sound. You make it sound like, "Just prove the ESTJ wrong and everything will be peachy." But, my experience is that it's much more difficult/challenging than this. It can sometimes become a very heated fight. Not always - but sometimes that happens I guess with 2 hard-nosed T's!!!
    Well, some of it depends on what you're arguing about. If it's something related to morals, or deep personal beliefs that would rile up their Fi, then it's very different and I would recommend trying as hard as you can to not critique them. That's one difference between xNTP and xSTJ objectivity, is that you guys are great at distancing yourself from philosophical ideas, and xSTJs have a hard time not taking them personally and overly seriously (if they believe in them; otherwise it's no big deal). I'll bet it confuses the hell out of xNTPs when that happens, too. "Wow, I thought you were a rational and analytical person! What the hell happened?!?" Well, what happened was that Fi stepped in and ruined everything.

    But I'll bet you're thinking of more factual matters -- and yes, I know I'm making it sound easier than it is, mostly because the process of proving them wrong can be tricky. Once you prove them wrong, it's no big deal, and (unless you're really snooty about it) they will not associate their bad experience with you -- they'll just think "I was proven wrong and it was SO embarrassing because I HATE being wrong and how could I have EVER had such a ridiculous opinion on something???" But if your opinion is the total opposite of theirs, then you need as much evidence as possible to back up what you're saying. Either that, or you need to find other people to agree with you -- that functions just as well, as evidence, for ESTJs, because it shows that you don't have a crazy opinion, and that other people share it, which gives you some credibility.
    Well, I think I've bugged you about ESTJ behavior enough in the past, so I won't keep beating a dead horse. It's just interesting to learn how different types approach things. Thanks.
    You aren't beating a dead horse! You're learning.
    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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  5. #1505
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks both EJCC and Fid for the responses. EJCC: re the "leaving the door open" thing, yes I mean leaving open the possibility of continuing to be friends or rekindling/fixing the friendship/relationship. I know there are an awful lot of variables because there are an awful lot of different kinds of friendships and relationships and a lot of reasons why they can be damaged, but I'm interested in any comments.
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  6. #1506
    inside the lines EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    They probably would want you to know that it wasn't intentional, so sometimes there is a tendancy to explain why they did what they did if it comes up which could feel to some other types like justifying themselves instead of apologizing (which would be more effective to those people). In their minds, they don't want their intentions misunderstood and they also would be comforted by knowing that there was no actual need to feel hurt once the actions were explained. For them, they need clear ways of cleaning up problems and were they in your position, someone explaining themselves would then eliminate the need for the problem as it stood at the time.
    !!! Exactly! Very well put!

    I think most ESTJs hate being in limbo. Therefore if a relationship/friendship is not going well, they will either look for how it can be amended or move on if they can't see a clear way to fix things. They may even sometimes be a bit hasty in making that decision (rather than discussing it together) just because it is very uncomfortable to have things up in the air. Once they move on, I don't think they spend a lot of time looking back.
    We definitely hate being in limbo. But in situations like that, I find myself stuck in limbo, because I don't really know how to fix things. There was a conversation somewhere on this forum, where MDP was talking about ESTJs seeing a relationship gone wrong and immediately despairing and thinking that it's unfixable. Not sure where that discussion was, but I related to it. If/when I get into a big fight with someone, I may apologize, and they may say that it's fine, but if the fight was severe enough that it made long-held resentments rise to the surface, it would make me question our compatibility. It might make me hesitant to trust them, if they had held that in for so long. It might make me feel like they hate me, since they can come up with so many character-trait-related reasons to be angry with me. And that makes me so uncomfortable that I'll find myself avoiding the person, because all that emotional discomfort confuses and bewilders me and I don't know how to deal with it.
    I think someone else being upset is a very uncomfortable feeling for them though. They want to either be able to fix the problem or explain why it really isn't a problem. Any of the in between scenarios make them feel kind of helpless and they seem to avoid them.
    !
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Hey, thanks both EJCC and Fid for the responses. EJCC: re the "leaving the door open" thing, yes I mean leaving open the possibility of continuing to be friends or rekindling/fixing the friendship/relationship. I know there are an awful lot of variables because there are an awful lot of different kinds of friendships and relationships and a lot of reasons why they can be damaged, but I'm interested in any comments.
    I'll always try to leave the door open for friendly-acquaintanceship, but never with any hope that things will be the way they were. I think, if things were going to be fixed between the two of us, the other person would have to initiate most of it, because if they waited for me to do everything, I would just avoid them, and if I saw them around, I would act towards them with the same neutral friendliness that I use with friendly acquaintances and people I don't know very well. I'd be too scared to initiate The Talk with them, i.e. figuring out where things are going from here, sorting out all the misunderstandings, admitting some bottled-up feelings for the sake of full disclosure and elimination of resentment.
    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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  7. #1507
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    All of that rings very true with my experiences! I sure wish I had known you a few years ago, my dear!

  8. #1508
    don't fence me in sui generis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Would ESTJs ever apologise because they sense (or get told!) that they have hurt someone's feelings (ie. "I'm sorry if I made you feel bad"), even if they personally feel that they haven't actually done something wrong - or are they much more the type to only apologise if they are clearly in the wrong? ("I'm sorry I screwed up")
    Since I've gotten more in touch with my F-skills, I'm definitely more likely to realize that I've hurt someone's feelings. Once I'm AWARE that I've fucked up (either by realizing it or being told) I'll apologize profusely. We have overactive consciences. It's a very rare occasion when I am told that I need to apologize and I don't understand WHY.

    Are ESTJs eager to leave the door open in troubled or terminated friendships/relationships, or do they tend to call it day and really move on, even if regretfully? (Would it be regretfully?)
    It would depend on why the relationship was troubled. It's hard for me to think of an example. I think in general I'm motivated by my loyalty and want to do everything I can to salvage a relationship, if it's a person I respect and genuinely care about. If it's a person I've lost respect for, it's easier to let it end. And yeah, it could be regretfully... again, it depends on the circumstances.

    How would an ESTJ react/feel if they sensed that they had lost the respect of someone who used to respect them?
    My first answer is that I'd be gutted. I'd be seriously re-evaluating my actions and seeing if a serious apology was in order.
    I'd be less gutted if it wasn't someone I held in high esteem, but I'd still be upset (with myself) that I did something unrespectable.

    EDIT: One more - do ESTJs use humour to defuse tricky situations, or to try to? If so, is it more because they genuinely feel it's the way to go, or is it more "I'm not sure what to say to this obviously mad person, so I'll try to make a joke?"
    I don't think I do this? I don't know. Again, I've gotten in touch with my F-side, so I'm more comfortable dealing with my own emotions and others' than I was when I was younger.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    But, my experience is that it's much more difficult/challenging than this. It can sometimes become a very heated fight. Not always - but sometimes that happens I guess with 2 hard-nosed T's!!!
    Fights with my INTP are, um, challenging but at the same time I love our discussions.

    I think I've bugged you about ESTJ behavior enough in the past, so I won't keep beating a dead horse. It's just interesting to learn how different types approach things. Thanks.
    I agree. And I like reading the questions even when I'm not sure how to answer them. It's interesting to think about.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I don't think that means they are insensible to having messed up (and may even be embarrassed by it once they are really convinced they were in the wrong)
    [. . .]
    They probably would want you to know that it wasn't intentional, so sometimes there is a tendancy to explain why they did what they did if it comes up which could feel to some other types like justifying themselves instead of apologizing (which would be more effective to those people). In their minds, they don't want their intentions misunderstood and they also would be comforted by knowing that there was no actual need to feel hurt once the actions were explained. For them, they need clear ways of cleaning up problems and were they in your position, someone explaining themselves would then eliminate the need for the problem as it stood at the time.

    [...]

    I think most ESTJs hate being in limbo. Therefore if a relationship/friendship is not going well, they will either look for how it can be amended or move on if they can't see a clear way to fix things.
    From my experience, the quoted bits are totally accurate, for me at least.

    Once they move on, I don't think they spend a lot of time looking back.
    I get nostalgic, occasionally, but generally once I've cut a person out of my life, they're dead to me. I'll google them once every couple of years, but I'd never, say, follow an ex-friend's Twitter account or blog or something. I like having a clean break.

    Don't know about the last one, but in my experience, ESTJs are much more observant of others than they are given credit for.
    Thanks for this. Now, find a way to spread this message to the rest of the forum.
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  9. #1509
    Aquaria mrcockburn's Avatar
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    Do you guys ever get cranky/grouchy after exercising willpower?

    That sounds like a really off-the-wall question, so let me explain:

    ESTJs are all incredibly self-disciplined. But by nature that means forcing yourself to do/not do certain things.

    After exercising willpower, do you ever feel deprived or punished? For me, when I force myself to eat something healthy instead of fast food, I feel deprived of pleasure, for 10minutes or so. If I force myself not to procrastinate something, I'll be extra bitchy while doing it.

    Does this happen to you, or is self-discipline totally effortless for you?
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  10. #1510
    inside the lines EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcockburn View Post
    Do you guys ever get cranky/grouchy after exercising willpower?

    That sounds like a really off-the-wall question, so let me explain:

    ESTJs are all incredibly self-disciplined. But by nature that means forcing yourself to do/not do certain things.

    After exercising willpower, do you ever feel deprived or punished? For me, when I force myself to eat something healthy instead of fast food, I feel deprived of pleasure, for 10minutes or so. If I force myself not to procrastinate something, I'll be extra bitchy while doing it.

    Does this happen to you, or is self-discipline totally effortless for you?
    Self-discipline, for me, can either be effortful or not depending on how much I can put things in perspective. If I know for certain that what I'm doing is the right/just/correct/honest/best/etc. thing to do, then I won't resent it that much -- or at least, I'll be a lot better about shutting out any hedonistic tendencies that I might have somewhere, deep down. But if I can't give myself a very good reason to do that thing, I'll be kind of cranky about it; "Why do I have to eat this healthy food? Fast food is better and this healthy food sucks." I'll probably do a little research, in the hopes of reassuring myself and boosting my morale -- or giving myself a good reason to quit.

    But an important thing to note is that there is almost always a motivating factor that is significant enough to get us through tough and frustrating self-inflicted things without being resentful about them -- and that is the fact that we would feel guilty if we didn't do those things. And we want to avoid guilt, so we do what we feel is the right thing, assuming that even though there is no instant gratification like there would be with the easier route, there will be greater satisfaction gained from it in the long run.

    It's like the Murphy Brown dialogue from sui generis' signature.

    One last thing: I tend to not feel punished. That's not usually where my mind goes, in that situation.
    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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