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Thread: Ask an ESTJ!

  1. #1641
    No moss growing on me Array Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    Thanks, Giggly. I'm working on that mind reading thing. Not always successful, though. Especially when I'm stressed.
    To be clear, I don't express every thought or feeling I have either and this is probably different than an ESFJ who might sort of think out loud. I sometimes will assume that other people just know what I'm thinking but I've seen much worse than me from other Ni users. I think it would be blissful to be around someone who can read your mind and not have to talk so much.

  2. #1642

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    Hi silkroad ,

    I have ejcc's thread on subscribe and, as an enfp, many of the things you described below are familiar. It was interesting to see EJCC's perspective of how this plays out for an estj.

    One thing I note-and the reason I subscribe to this thread-is that as an older enfp (35), I find my Te and Si are very active. However rather than be like an ISTJ as standard jungian theory dictates-I actually can act much more like an immature ESTJ with runaway, still developing Te. Only when very stressed do I fall into a heavy Si mode. Seeing how estjs mature helps me understand how to more productively embrace and utilize my little Te hammer. I call this my "baby estj".

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Basically I mean: saying something like a statement of fact and it still being true 5 minutes later, or 10, or a few days, weeks, months or years.

    I operate more on the basis that if I say something aloud, I've probably given it at least some thought (maybe an awful lot) and it's probably a fairly established opinion (though obviously this depends on circumstances.) If I'm still mulling something over I'll make that fairly clear. I'll say things like "I'm thinking about doing this and this, but I'm really not sure...here are some pros and cons." Or "The situation looks like this to me, but I just don't know for sure yet." So I tend to not take it that well if people say something that sounds extremely definite (ie. "this is how it is", "this is what I am doing, I have made a decision") and then a few days later you follow up with them about it, and they sort of...look at you like you're crazy and they never said that; or they say something that contradicts the first statement completely, and subsequently continue to flip-flop back and forth; etc. I do understand that circumstances change and life changes and things aren't always set in stone. But if everything a person says or "decides" is like writing on water or whistling in the wind, how do you ever know where you stand with them?
    I have seen a number of very awesome infjs, including Zbuck and cascadco describe looking for emotional reliability in others much as you describe it-sort of seeking predictive stability?? I think zbuck used the example of post it notes, that over time, allowed her to assemble an accurate picture of the other. If the post it notes keep changing, it appears almost like the person is unreliable???

    Probelmatically, as an enfp, the stuff you see my externalize is a bit like waves on the surface of the ocean, whipped around kinda frantically and ever changing from second to second. The "real" me is very deep and is like bedrock.

    A temporary emotional upheavel can trigger a variety of defensive mechanisms or temporary emotional responses that will pass in a few days as I return to that bedrock. If I speak to those emotional responses-I will be telling the truth about what I feel right then-but since it changes quickly, I may say something different later. Right now my 15 yo enfp son is dating a girl. My advice to him is that if he feels any extremely strong emotion or makes any decision that seems absolute-like dumping her-wait 3 days. Does he feel the same? Wait five days. Does he still feel the same? If so, then it is real and he should act upon it. Otherwise-if it dissipates-it was a momentary upheavel which should be paid attention to, but not necessarily acted upon.

    Additionally- I totally get what you describe about saying one thing then contridictiing other thing in the next sentence-think of this as what you may do as you consider different perspectives in your mind. You may swirl through them and from moment to moment you see different views. Since we are extroverted we say these things outloud. With our tert Te, we have a bad habit of saying them in a VERY definite way and being generalistic about the phrasing at times. Additionally, we will remain consistent to Fi-but since what that actually is isnt obvious to another person, especially one who uses Ti-it can look like contridictory nonsense at times.

    This can cause significant communication issues at times-an area I am working to imporve in myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I think so far I've tended to have this problem the most with ESFPs and ENFPs, as a general thing. I've known a few, or more than a few, who throw things out there but they make it sound like it's basically a done deal. Then a few days later it means absolutely nothing. I admit it drives me crazy, especially if it's something that affects me and I start sort of...working around them and what they've said, to that end. There have been a few unusual and notable occasions where because of the way things have played out, it has been very nearly as though the person lied to me. It can really affect my trust. On this site a few ENFPs in particular have tried to explain to me how/why this happens, and I do understand it better but it still gets to me. (Especially if it has to do with the person's feelings about or perspective on me.) Because from my perspective it means that if you do this a great deal, what you say is untrustworthy. (On the other hand, I'm pretty sure some of them think I'm some sort of...robot.)

    Obviously the thing to do is to observe people's behaviour very closely, rather than paying much attention to what they say. But I don't like the feeling of having to ignore what people say and consider it meaningless, and just watch them like a hawk. When you get to the point with someone where you're just nodding along, almost tuning them out and thinking "well, there's no point in taking any of this seriously, I'll just wait and see what you actually do" - it's not very good for the friendship, I don't think.
    I think the part above in red- "what they do" may be very, very important. My emotions may flutter endlessly, like waves on the water, but where you can really judge my commitment is in what I do to follow up on promises. I do fail at times, that is how one knows I am really devoted is if I try to finish and follow up.

    I dont mean to bash my own type a bit-but I do note a distinct trend towards rationalization ie "I didnt really want to be in a relationship anyways". By that point in time, we REALLY dont-We mean exactly what we are saying-but that doesnt mean we didnt want the relationship back then. I also do exactly what EJCC described-I may totally upset in the moment about an event, but later look back and say "oh that wasnt so bad, I learned a great deal, I just need to be tougher and move on"-because I now feel differently about the same set of events. This, I think, is a positive way to retroactively recall the event for growth-a learning process. It perhaps has something to do with building an Si library to compare the event to??? I dunno.

    I hope some of this was helpful and additive to comments from the other enfps and ejcc-it represents my personal understanding, which could always be improved and corrected by new info or new perspectives. (Also, sorry to butt into the convo, I hope that is okay!)


  3. #1643
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    I dont mean to bash my own type a bit-but I do note a distinct trend towards rationalization ie "I didnt really want to be in a relationship anyways". By that point in time, we REALLY dont-We mean exactly what we are saying-but that doesnt mean we didnt want the relationship back then. I also do exactly what EJCC described-I may totally upset in the moment about an event, but later look back and say "oh that wasnt so bad, I learned a great deal, I just need to be tougher and move on"-because I now feel differently about the same set of events. This, I think, is a positive way to retroactively recall the event for growth-a learning process. It perhaps has something to do with building an Si library to compare the event to??? I dunno.
    @Orobas - thank you VERY much for all of the above - I do feel better equipped to approach some communication issues with xNFPs, with the assistance I've had from some of you guys I particularly appreciated you bringing out the above, because I've definitely noticed that tendency in some cases at least - and I admit it is the kind of thing that can drive me insane. That said, I'm sure we drive you guys nuts sometimes too with apparent rigidity and that sort of thing (I think INFJs particularly can be a really strange combination of super-flexy and rigid like a brick wall.)

    This is an awesome post, very useful for me to keep in mind. It is really too bad that I seem to run up against communication issues with xNFPs. You would think that things would be a bit more straightforward with us NFs but... I have noticed both on the forum and IRL that even if it's someone who's a great friend, or someone on the forum who I genuinely like a good deal - we seem to rub each other up the wrong way all the time, or misunderstand - in a way that I don't with IxxJs (who make up my immediate family and a lot of my closest friends.) And it really is something I want to mitigate the effect of where possible. I'm no expert on the functions, but there certainly seems to be a massive gulf between Fe and Fi particularly.

    Also very interesting to see some similarities between ESTJs and ENFPs, really not what I'd have expected.
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  4. #1644
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    Hi EJCC. Been a while. I'm still with my ESTJ - going good - but there's something that keeps coming up where we both don't understand the other. Here's an example of a situation that actually happened.

    We are bringing in groceries to his apartment. We just picked up a couple items, not a big shopping day. I set my two item bag down (milk and coffee creamer) on the counter while he is in front of the fridge unloading his bag. I leave and turn on the TV and begin watching. He sits down and I can tell he's miffed. He tells me that he put the milk away but my coffee creamer is still out on the counter.

    I roll my eyes, don't say anything, but get up to put the creamer away. He tells me to sit back down that he was teaching me a lesson. I tell him matter of fact that no, he's being a jerk. He's kind of shocked that I said that and says that he "doesn't understand me" and "what's going to happen when we live together? Am I going to do this kind of thing then?"

    This is sort of a common thing. The "what's going to happen when I do *generic thing* in *some future time*" It happens when he gets upset about something but I really hate it. I don't know how to answer that sort of thing and I told him it wasn't fair to even ask it. Like, IDK! I also told him that the things he complains about are really small things (he says he realizes that) and you know, pick your battles. I wouldn't be bothered by any of the stuff that bothers him but I realize we are different.

    I tell him that in the future, if he needs any assistance from me, he only needs to ask for it. But I get that he wants me to like, read his mind and just *do* it but IDK. What bothers him doesn't make sense to me. I also think this is something more than what he's telling me. Maybe you can help me out here.
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  5. #1645
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    Hi EJCC. Been a while. I'm still with my ESTJ - going good -
    Yay!!! Good to see you back. Have the other communication issues been worked out? Is he still overprotective?

    I am SO glad it's been going well for you -- not just for the obvious reasons, but also considering all the issues we talked about years ago, with your previous ESTJ.

    How are things otherwise?
    but there's something that keeps coming up where we both don't understand the other. Here's an example of a situation that actually happened.

    We are bringing in groceries to his apartment. We just picked up a couple items, not a big shopping day. I set my two item bag down (milk and coffee creamer) on the counter while he is in front of the fridge unloading his bag. I leave and turn on the TV and begin watching. He sits down and I can tell he's miffed. He tells me that he put the milk away but my coffee creamer is still out on the counter.

    I roll my eyes, don't say anything, but get up to put the creamer away. He tells me to sit back down that he was teaching me a lesson. I tell him matter of fact that no, he's being a jerk. He's kind of shocked that I said that and says that he "doesn't understand me" and "what's going to happen when we live together? Am I going to do this kind of thing then?"

    This is sort of a common thing. The "what's going to happen when I do *generic thing* in *some future time*" It happens when he gets upset about something but I really hate it. I don't know how to answer that sort of thing and I told him it wasn't fair to even ask it. Like, IDK! I also told him that the things he complains about are really small things (he says he realizes that) and you know, pick your battles. I wouldn't be bothered by any of the stuff that bothers him but I realize we are different.

    I tell him that in the future, if he needs any assistance from me, he only needs to ask for it. But I get that he wants me to like, read his mind and just *do* it but IDK. What bothers him doesn't make sense to me. I also think this is something more than what he's telling me. Maybe you can help me out here.
    I don't understand his wanting to "teach you a lesson", and I don't understand his expecting you to do things without him being direct about it (how un-ESTJ of him!!), but I definitely DEFINITELY understand his reaction to the interchange. I actually relate to it on a deep and personal level -- which makes me uncertain as to how representative of ESTJs it is, but I'll tell you anyway because it's the only insight I have.

    My perspective is: any self-aware ESTJ knows that they're going to be the insensitive one in a relationship. Many ESTJs, if they're like me, have had numerous experiences in their lives when friendships (or relationships) have fallen apart because their friend/partner was so persistently irritated by something insensitive they tended to do, that they broke it off in an angry and unhealthy way, leaving the ESTJ scarred and permanently paranoid -- i.e. paranoid because they didn't see it coming before (due to oblivious Te and lack of Fe), so how could they see it coming again? Therefore, any little resentment could build and become something huge -- any little conflict could become a massive one that could entirely wreck the relationship. He doesn't want his little habits to annoy you to the point that you won't want to be with him anymore -- and it's an entirely rational fear.

    As for his question about how you'll react to it in the future -- maybe this is type related (i.e. Se vs. Si), because I could easily answer that question if he had asked me about it. ESTJs are so incredibly consistent in terms of how they react to things, that if you asked him a similar question, he could say "This isn't a big deal now, but it'll drive me up the wall if you keep doing it", or "it bugs me, but not all that much, so it's cool if you continue even though it annoys me a little" -- so he probably expects the same thing out of you. He wants to know where he stands on particular behaviors, and he wants to know how he can improve in terms of being a good/acceptable partner.
    Last edited by EJCC; 11-24-2011 at 02:08 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nørrsken impersonating EJCC
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  6. #1646
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    My perspective is: any self-aware ESTJ knows that they're going to be the insensitive one in a relationship. Many ESTJs, if they're like me, have had numerous experiences in their lives when friendships (or relationships) have fallen apart because their friend/partner was so persistently irritated by something insensitive they tended to do, that they broke it off in an angry and unhealthy way, leaving the ESTJ scarred and permanently paranoid -- i.e. paranoid because they didn't see it coming before (due to oblivious Te and lack of Fe), so how could they see it coming again? Therefore, any little resentment could build and become something huge -- any little conflict could become a massive one that could entirely wreck the relationship. He doesn't want his little habits to annoy you to the point that you won't want to be with him anymore -- and it's an entirely rational fear.
    When I was younger (like 16/17), I used to be really insensitive and downright mean with my words and thoughts and opinions on things. I would tell anyone and everyone exactly what I thought when I thought it. At that point in my life, I honestly did not see it as mean and I could really never understand why I was always made out to be a heartless bitch, because I really didn't have that intent in mind when I dealt with people, but somehow I always ended up being the stone-cold ice queen who told gave her opinion whether you wanted it or not.

    I usually just chalked it up to them needing to get thicker skin like me, and I was honestly even a little more than mildly annoyed with people who took offense to me, which seemed to happen more and more frequently (with certain personality types that tend to take things to heart and internalize things more than the average bear). But this was happening so much, eventually spreading to people who knew me well and weren't so soft hearted that I was forced to take a good look at myself and how I dealt with others, or else I wasn't going to have any friends or a boyfriend left. I had been living in this mind set of "this is how I am, and if they don't like it, they can suck a dick!" but unfortunately, that's just not the way to win friends and influence people, and for once I had to humble myself a bit and actively work on either restraining my thoughts in certain situations, or employing the use of tact and diplomacy.

    That's not to say I'm not still the same feisty ass woman I've always been. I don't often do well with people who get their feelings hurt easily, because they make me feel as though I've done it on purpose to hurt them... something I would never think about doing with at least a level-head (can't promise anything when I'm riled up). But while I admit that I can definitely be too insensitive for my own good, a lot of what is perceived as my "insensitivity," is simply cold hard truth. Or saying the thing that EVERYONE is thinking but no one has the balls to speak up about. People don't want to hear truth. They want to hear their feelings confirmed by those they love, whether they're right or wrong. I, however, have no qualms about telling you how I feel about a situation, whether you're my best friend or my worst enemy. If you're doing some shady scrupulous shit (and you most likely know you are deep down), I'mma tell you you're doing some shady back alley nonsense and you need to quit it. If you're absolutely in the right about something, in my eyes, I will wholeheartedly take your side. Not that I'm disloyal by any means, because I'll always have your back, but I won't always just agree with you because we're bff. Some people have trouble with that, and thus label me an "insensitive" bitch. Truth hurts, homie.
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  7. #1647
    Rainy Day Woman Array MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post

    I don't understand his wanting to "teach you a lesson", and I don't understand his expecting you to do things without him being direct about it (how un-ESTJ of him!!)
    Well. When I stay at his house he calls it my bed and breakfast. Even though I've cleaned his entire kitchen a few times while over there. I've bought him cleaning supplies and detailed his car, etc. (just being nice). I'm actually a cleaner person than he is but I'd say he is more organized - if that makes sense. He will be more inclined to sort of concentrate on my leaving a water glass on the coffee table and bitch about it. So I guess typical J (he is very high in his E and J categories) and P issues. Sometimes I just think he needs to complain about something to feel like he's accomplishing something lol. The whole thing doesn't bother me a bit but seeing him talk about the future worries me. Is this a bigger issue for him than I realize? I just don't get his thought process.

    My perspective is: any self-aware ESTJ knows that they're going to be the insensitive one in a relationship. Many ESTJs, if they're like me, have had numerous experiences in their lives when friendships (or relationships) have fallen apart because their friend/partner was so persistently irritated by something insensitive they tended to do, that they broke it off in an angry and unhealthy way, leaving the ESTJ scarred and permanently paranoid -- i.e. paranoid because they didn't see it coming before (due to oblivious Te and lack of Fe), so how could they see it coming again? Therefore, any little resentment could build and become something huge -- any little conflict could become a massive one that could entirely wreck the relationship. He doesn't want his little habits to annoy you to the point that you won't want to be with him anymore -- and it's an entirely rational fear.
    Yeah. Great insight. I've heard him say something very similar to the bold print.

    As for his question about how you'll react to it in the future -- maybe this is type related (i.e. Se vs. Si), because I could easily answer that question if he had asked me about it. ESTJs are so incredibly consistent in terms of how they react to things, that if you asked him a similar answer, he could say "This isn't a big deal now, but it'll drive me up the wall if you keep doing it", or "it bugs me, but not all that much, so it's cool if you continue even though it annoys me a little" -- so he probably expects the same thing out of you. He wants to know where he stands on particular behaviors, and he wants to know how he can improve in terms of being a good/acceptable partner.
    Interesting. Yeah, I have a real difficult time answering those questions. It's as if he wants a verbal contract to secure the future. I just thought of something. ESTJ's have Ne. I really think that my ESTJ's Ne is in overdrive. Since he's been hurt before he wants to know all possibilities to not be hurt or annoyed in the future? Something like that. lol. Thanks EJCC. I appreciate your insight!
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  8. #1648
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    Quote Originally Posted by feisty View Post
    When I was younger (like 16/17), I used to be really insensitive and downright mean with my words and thoughts and opinions on things. I would tell anyone and everyone exactly what I thought when I thought it. At that point in my life, I honestly did not see it as mean and I could really never understand why I was always made out to be a heartless bitch, because I really didn't have that intent in mind when I dealt with people, but somehow I always ended up being the stone-cold ice queen who told gave her opinion whether you wanted it or not.

    I usually just chalked it up to them needing to get thicker skin like me, and I was honestly even a little more than mildly annoyed with people who took offense to me, which seemed to happen more and more frequently (with certain personality types that tend to take things to heart and internalize things more than the average bear). But this was happening so much, eventually spreading to people who knew me well and weren't so soft hearted that I was forced to take a good look at myself and how I dealt with others, or else I wasn't going to have any friends or a boyfriend left. I had been living in this mind set of "this is how I am, and if they don't like it, they can suck a dick!" but unfortunately, that's just not the way to win friends and influence people, and for once I had to humble myself a bit and actively work on either restraining my thoughts in certain situations, or employing the use of tact and diplomacy.
    Interesting. I went through a very, very similar process at about that age. I think it was more gradual, though. I always remember it as being one instant where I went "Oh, I need to stop being a closed-minded, overbearing asshole!", but that memory is totally wrong -- I think it started at about age 13 (when the event I described to MDP occurred, i.e. a horrendous friendship breakup (it felt like being dumped)), and ended at age 17-ish.

    ... Oh, who am I kidding. I'm still in the process of becoming nicer. It never really ends, does it?
    That's not to say I'm not still the same feisty ass woman I've always been. I don't often do well with people who get their feelings hurt easily, because they make me feel as though I've done it on purpose to hurt them... something I would never think about doing with at least a level-head (can't promise anything when I'm riled up). But while I admit that I can definitely be too insensitive for my own good, a lot of what is perceived as my "insensitivity," is simply cold hard truth. Or saying the thing that EVERYONE is thinking but no one has the balls to speak up about. People don't want to hear truth. They want to hear their feelings confirmed by those they love, whether they're right or wrong. I, however, have no qualms about telling you how I feel about a situation, whether you're my best friend or my worst enemy. If you're doing some shady scrupulous shit (and you most likely know you are deep down), I'mma tell you you're doing some shady back alley nonsense and you need to quit it. If you're absolutely in the right about something, in my eyes, I will wholeheartedly take your side. Not that I'm disloyal by any means, because I'll always have your back, but I won't always just agree with you because we're bff. Some people have trouble with that, and thus label me an "insensitive" bitch. Truth hurts, homie.
    You may be more Te than I am. I'll bet it's enneagram-related, actually. Are you an 8?

    I feel the same way, for the most part, regarding the truth. But the thing is, I have so many sensitive friends, and I grew up with a sensitive parent (INFJ), and I have a 2 wing... so I think since I had that realization in early high school, I've started worrying too much about it. I mean, don't get me wrong -- I still don't BS people, I still don't confirm people's feelings to make them feel better. If you ask me if your dress makes you look fat, and it does, then I will tell you that it does -- because that's what friends do.

    But I do have an overactive filter. I should specify that it's less of a filter than it is an on/off switch. If I deem you "unable to take it", then I will cushion the truth to make it sound better. If I deem you "able", then I will say exactly what I think, when I think it. And if it's harsh, nbd, because you can take it and therefore won't get offended.

    Also, I have a question: How are you at taking criticism? I ask because there's an expectation, with blunt people, that they can take what they can give, but the thing is, I am way, way better at giving criticism, than taking it. It's probably Enneagram-related -- and it's also really, really embarrassing, but there isn't much I can do about it, because my reaction to criticism is completely a gut reaction. I used to be HORRIBLE about it when I was a kid, but now I'm better about it. After my immediate reaction of "OMG HOW DARE THEY HURT ME LIKE THAT I AM PERFECTLY IN THE RIGHT!!", I make myself calm down, hide my humiliation, and then I see that they were right all along, and even though I'm embarrassed, I correct my behavior.
    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    seeing him talk about the future worries me. Is this a bigger issue for him than I realize? I just don't get his thought process.
    ESTJs worry about the future a lot, in general. Comes from fear of the unknown. Si/Ne can be an especially bad combination regarding that because it gives itself credibility -- i.e. the Ne comes up with the worst-case scenarios and the Si backs those scenarios up with past experience. It's rational worry, and it sucks! The only good thing about it is that it's relatively easy to assuage, since if you remind the ESTJ of times when the same situation came up and nothing bad happened, or if you remind them of how capable they were in similar situations, they will immediately feel worlds better.
    Interesting. Yeah, I have a real difficult time answering those questions. It's as if he wants a verbal contract to secure the future. I just thought of something. ESTJ's have Ne. I really think that my ESTJ's Ne is in overdrive. Since he's been hurt before he wants to know all possibilities to not be hurt or annoyed in the future?
    Pretty much. More like, his Si is trying to calm his Ne down, by figuring out his statistical chances of not being hurt/annoyed in the future. He wants to know whether his worrying is justified, and if it's not, he'll stop. It's like this awesome chart I found a while ago:

    Thanks EJCC. I appreciate your insight!
    No problem! Stop by again!
    (Also, I'll stop by your blog in the near future. <-- hopefully that doesn't sound creepy)
    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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  9. #1649
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    He needs to see that chart. I have to admit, I usually am the one to "loosen up" my SO's. I'm pretty good at it but this one is very resistant to giving up the worry. He is a very high J. I'm also pretty sure he is an enneagram 8. It's challenging.

    My ex was ESTj enneagram 3w2. Such a big difference between the two even though type is the same. I'm beginning to think enneagram is more similar than MBTI.
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    I'm chuckling at reading these last posts, seeing you all trying to get some Si-algorithm that'll take care of "basic Fe things". And thinking about how I'm trying to concoct something that would vaguely resemble a Te (er, if the work is done on time, it's all right, isn't it?). Sometimes I've got the impression we're all focussing on what we're doing wrong... It's okay to try and improve weak points but it's not okay to think you're not all right unless you achieve this or that.
    You are all right.
    Really.
    Please think of the things you are good at. And don't think "but THESE things are EASY!" They are not. For lots of people those things are hard as hell. That's the sign that you're good at something: it seems easy to you.
    Got questions? Ask an ENTP!
    I'm female. I just can't draw women

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