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Thread: Ask an ESTJ!

  1. #1961
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Firstly -- welcome to the forum!

    Secondly -- I laughed when I read this post, because my mother is an INFJ and we have had similar issues to this. The issue is, that for ESTJs, there can be a fine line between blunt truth-telling and harsh accusation. We are direct and honest because it's for the good of other people and the work they do -- and we claim that we can take what we give -- but if we can't tell that the other person's motives are the same, and we can't tell that the other person still thinks highly of us despite everything, then we get defensive. We see the other person's comment as an attack, and an insult, and not as something constructive.

    Some of this is inherent in ESTJ/INFJ relationships because of how Fi and Fe interact with one another; if something goes wrong, Fe-users like INFJs are more interested in accountability, making sure the other person knows what they did wrong and "don't do it again" -- whereas Fi-users like ESTJs are more interested in figuring out the thought process behind the incorrect action, so the thought process can be corrected. It's more process-oriented, than results-oriented. Which is why, when I've done something wrong, I've often had clashes after the fact, with my mom, because I'll try to explain myself (so she can correct my thought process), and she'll see it as making excuses, and will shut me down and just tell me to never make the same mistake. So, some of your ESTJ's defensiveness likely comes from situations like that, where she'd feel like you didn't care what you had to say, and were like a judge refusing to hear the defendant's evidence.

    Generally, though, I would suggest that you emphasize the good, in the direct honesty you give her. Continue to be direct, but make sure she knows that you aren't judging her, and aren't trying to make her feel guilty. If she tries to explain herself, remember that she isn't making excuses, but is instead throwing out evidence for you to judge as valid or invalid. Acknowledging her intentions as being good, but telling her where her methodology was off, strikes a nice balance.
    And this is what I like about ESTJs! I vaguely felt all of those things you said, EJCC, but could never have broken in down in such a succinct, easily understandable way. I'm so glad this thread exists.

  2. #1962
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    Hi, I'm new here and I have a question for ESTJ males out there.

    I've known quite a few ESTJs and they are not afraid of confrontation or discussion. So why is it that an ESTJ shuts people out when confronted with an emotional issue?
    I'm still dumbfounded that after a comment I made to my ESTJ boyfriend, he took it as an insult, and stopped talking to me. Altogether. He was/is under A LOT of stress, but I think that doesn't account for the fact that two months have passed without a word from him.
    By now I take the relationship of 1 yr+ to be over.
    My question is: are ESTJs really capable of being that cruel (i.e. abandoning/dumping a girlfriend just like that), and going against the usual ESTJ attitude, not troubling themselves with an explanation or even a simple goodbye??

  3. #1963
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by August View Post
    Hi, I'm new here and I have a question for ESTJ males out there.

    I've known quite a few ESTJs and they are not afraid of confrontation or discussion. So why is it that an ESTJ shuts people out when confronted with an emotional issue?
    I'm still dumbfounded that after a comment I made to my ESTJ boyfriend, he took it as an insult, and stopped talking to me. Altogether. He was/is under A LOT of stress, but I think that doesn't account for the fact that two months have passed without a word from him.
    By now I take the relationship of 1 yr+ to be over.
    My question is: are ESTJs really capable of being that cruel (i.e. abandoning/dumping a girlfriend just like that), and going against the usual ESTJ attitude, not troubling themselves with an explanation or even a simple goodbye??
    I'm not 100% sure of my type (ESTJ is a top contender), but I personally would never do anything like that. I don't think the type of behavior you're describing is type-specific; it's just a sign of immaturity. People of any type can be the "I just try to deny any issues I don't want to confront" variety.

  4. #1964
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    Quote Originally Posted by August View Post
    Hi, I'm new here and I have a question for ESTJ males out there.

    I've known quite a few ESTJs and they are not afraid of confrontation or discussion. So why is it that an ESTJ shuts people out when confronted with an emotional issue?
    I'm still dumbfounded that after a comment I made to my ESTJ boyfriend, he took it as an insult, and stopped talking to me. Altogether. He was/is under A LOT of stress, but I think that doesn't account for the fact that two months have passed without a word from him.
    By now I take the relationship of 1 yr+ to be over.
    My question is: are ESTJs really capable of being that cruel (i.e. abandoning/dumping a girlfriend just like that), and going against the usual ESTJ attitude, not troubling themselves with an explanation or even a simple goodbye??
    That sucks, and I'm sorry that happened.

    I'm not a guy, but I think I have a few insights into this.

    Firstly: the gut instinct for ESTJs, when confronted with overwhelming and confusing feelings, is to ignore them and hope that they go away, i.e. to hope that when feelings are deemed "irrelevant", "illogical", and "useless", that the feelings will somehow listen, and leave. Like @Honor said, immature people of all types can behave like that, but the place it comes from -- i.e. an inability to sort through inferior Fi (which can come on so strong and chaotic that it feels like you're going crazy) -- is more Te-dom specific.

    Secondly: I'm not sure why this is, but xSTJs, when confronted with a relationship issue that involves someone they care about being angry with them for something, or someone they care about making a strong, negative comment about them, will sometimes take that to a near apocalyptic level and assume that those negative feelings can never be overcome. I didn't realize this was type-related until I talked to a few people on the forum with ESTJ relationship knowledge; I think @fidelia and @PeaceBaby were the ones I'm thinking of.

    Thirdly: I relate on a less theoretical and more anecdotal level. The times that I've broken up with people under upsetting or uncomfortable situations, I've completely shut the door behind me, avoiding all contact with the ex. Of course, I at least have the courtesy to make the breakup official, first. The ESTJ you're talking about was horrendously rude and his behavior was inexcusable.
    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"

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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  5. #1965
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    What makes you feel productive?

  6. #1966
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    Thank you Honor and EJCC for your responses. Indeed, his behaviour was unbelievable and wanted to get some explanation in this forum... but I see that there's none that will ease my broken heart Oh well... c'est la vie...

  7. #1967
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    Quote Originally Posted by August View Post
    Thank you Honor and EJCC for your responses. Indeed, his behaviour was unbelievable and wanted to get some explanation in this forum... but I see that there's none that will ease my broken heart Oh well... c'est la vie...


    I doubt that this will make you feel better in the short run, but if he's the sort of person who thinks that's okay, then you probably wouldn't have wanted to be with him anyway. It hurts now, but imagine the drama if the two of you had remained together and he continued to act like that! You deserve better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleda View Post
    What makes you feel productive?
    Finishing tasks. I feel more productive if I split a big task into smaller sub-tasks because it's easier to measure my own productivity that way; it feels better to say "I got 7 out of 10 tasks done today", than to say "I didn't finish my only task today".

    I'm also one of those people that loves crossing things off of to-do lists, for the same reason. It feels good to see my productivity in that form, i.e. what's been crossed off and what hasn't been.
    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"

    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
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    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw + wampus (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

  8. #1968
    Expensive Handbasket Redbone's Avatar
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    Have you ever experienced Te-Ne loops? If so, what happened?

    What's the best way to approach an ESTJ if they are wrong about something but insist they are right? My ESTJ insists that I am doing X because I am feeling Y and then gives me this list of "how to fix this". He's wrong but says he knows me and I am in denial and should just listen to him. Should I just beat him up?

    Edit: Okay, beating him up worked!

    I didn't do that. He assumed I was feeling a particular way because he felt that way. He didn't want me to run into trouble with denial like he has. He heard me out and apologized in such a lovely manner (even though he fussed and said, "Why didn't you say that in the first place?!" )

    An apologetic ESTJ is a thing of beauty! hehe I don't want to see it too often so I'm going to have to remember to tell him to shut up so I can talk.

  9. #1969
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    Have you ever experienced Te-Ne loops? If so, what happened?
    Oh yeah. Someone asked me about that earlier in the thread, and I was familiar enough with it that I had the internal script memorized:
    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Here is a revised version that is very, very similar to Tamske's, but with weaker, more guilty Te (which is how mine is in these situations, but might not be how every ESTJ's is):

    Te: "I should be doing something productive."
    Ne: "Hey, let's draw a pretty picture, to put on the wall! "
    Te: "I guess I don't have that many decorations up there... so it's technically productive... Let's do it."
    Si:"WTF PEOPLE I have a LONG LIST of things you could be doing that are WAY more productive."
    Te: "Crap, you're right. I should be doing that... "
    Ne: "But it's boring and we hate it! And wouldn't it be better to do something interesting and creative?? "
    Te: "Well..."
    Ne: "Seriously - we hate this task, we don't like it - so let's do something interesting instead."
    Te: "... Fine. But I feel bad about this."
    Ne: "Feel bad about it later! NOW is about CREATIVITY!"
    *hours pass by*
    Ne: "The picture's done! And it's so pretty!!!"
    Te: "I guess... but I still feel really, really bad about this. The deadline is approaching. I should be doing my productive task. I really, really should."
    Ne: "You could do that OTHER work you have planned - you know, the project that's due later on in the week but isn't deathly boring!"
    Te: "I guess that's technically productive..."

    ... And the cycle repeats, and the spiral goes down, until the ESTJ has to resort to what most other people wouldn't have an issue with, but the ESTJ has issues with because of high standards - i.e. finishing the project within hours - or minutes - of when it's due. Because obviously there's an inevitable moment when it goes like this:

    Ne: "Fourteenth project: completed! Let's do another fun thing!"
    Te: "LET'S NOT! WHY DON'T YOU SHUT UP SO I CAN GET SOME WORK DONE!!!!!"
    Ne: ""
    Fi: "Sorry Ne, but it had to be said."
    Si: "Glad to see you've figured out what's REALLY important, Te. Now here's that priority list I was telling you about..."
    ... Yep.
    What's the best way to approach an ESTJ if they are wrong about something but insist they are right? My ESTJ insists that I am doing X because I am feeling Y and then gives me this list of "how to fix this". He's wrong but says he knows me and I am in denial and should just listen to him. Should I just beat him up?
    Oh jeez. My first instinct would have been to say that you should prove it to him logically and with evidence, but if he's presuming to know your own feelings better than you do... hmm.

    Well, here's a possibility. Because of their Fi, ESTJs are used to trying to reduce their feelings into something that's easy to explain rationally, if they know that they'll have to explain their feelings to someone. (For example, if something huge and intense happened, and you know that everyone in your social circle is going to want to know, concisely and without a lot of drama, "how it went", the ESTJ will have to have an answer ready. Plus the ESTJ would want that summary anyway, in order to take their chaotic feelings and be able to reflect on them and move on from them in a concise and logical way.) So, maybe if you were to make like an Fi-user and explain, in detail, the logic of your feelings?

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    Edit: Okay, beating him up worked!
    Nice.
    I didn't do that. He assumed I was feeling a particular way because he felt that way. He didn't want me to run into trouble with denial like he has. He heard me out and apologized in such a lovely manner (even though he fussed and said, "Why didn't you say that in the first place?!" )

    An apologetic ESTJ is a thing of beauty! hehe I don't want to see it too often so I'm going to have to remember to tell him to shut up so I can talk.
    Wow, sounds like that worked out pretty much perfectly! How'd he get beaten up/How'd he figure out that he was projecting?
    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. #1970
    girl with a pretty smile Honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by August View Post
    Thank you Honor and EJCC for your responses. Indeed, his behaviour was unbelievable and wanted to get some explanation in this forum... but I see that there's none that will ease my broken heart Oh well... c'est la vie...
    I'm not sure if any explanation of his reckless and hurtful behavior will ease the pain of your broken heart, but it does mean that he is not the kind of guy that would have been worth it and something much better will come along. Hang in there.

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