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Thread: Ask an ESTJ!

  1. #521
    lords of summer EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    Would you say it's a matter of "health" as to whether you guys listen to other people's opinions and other people's sides of things? This sort of thing has really frustrated me with my step mom (ESTJ) over the years... I'm aware that you guys think you're correct in your judgment and employ that until proven wrong, but for some of you guys nothing can prove you wrong and you are the center of the world. I suppose it is a matter of health eh?
    It's either a matter of health or it's just a matter of deciding that the goal is more important than your pride. I'm inclined to think that it's the latter, because almost every ESTJ has... moments... you know? Pretty much every ESTJ, at some point, could benefit from breathing deeply, taking a step back and viewing the opinions of others from an objective perspective. This includes me (big time), and I'm, imho, healthy.

    But I'm going into too much detail. When an ESTJ thinks they're always right all the time, regardless of logic, that's not normal. In theory, dominant Te shouldn't allow for that sort of behavior. So, when that rule of Te is transcended... they've got issues.
    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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  2. #522
    lords of summer EJCC's Avatar
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    Got any other questions?
    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!

  3. #523
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Hello EJCC!

    How does an ESTJ respond to an inconsistency in her belief/value system? What does it take to make her change a deeply-rooted opinion?

    Case in question: the ESTJ main character (M) of my fantasy novel. She believes there are three good gods and one evil god. The evil god has a country full of demons. Those demons have a black skin, black hair, totally black eyes, black teeth, even black blood. They have horns on their head. They don't have a free will, they just obey the will of the evil god, like robots. They are all merciless soldiers aiming to destroy the good lands.

    Follow me?

    Now, M joins the army and is off to fight the demons. She realises (mostly: observes :-)) these facts, in this order:
    - the demons' skins are dark brown, not black.
    - the demons' blood is red.
    - their horns are fake, they are ornaments on their helmets.
    - their army can be in disorder and they can flee
    - they have a working class with lots of peasants, merchants,...
    - some of them take mercy even on white-skinned heathens, trying to convert rather than to kill
    - one of the good gods has a dark brown skin

    As the author of the story, I know the 'demons' are really humans, believing in one good god and three evil gods. M doesn't know this. She's raised to be a racist. So, how much does it take to undermine her views and make her really uncertain of her values? What does it take to make her rebel against the army authority?

  4. #524
    Perfect Gentleman! =D d@v3's Avatar
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    Can you infer on what an ISTJ/ESTJ romantic relationship would be like?
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  5. #525
    lords of summer EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    Hello EJCC!

    How does an ESTJ respond to an inconsistency in her belief/value system? What does it take to make her change a deeply-rooted opinion?

    Case in question: the ESTJ main character (M) of my fantasy novel.

    etc...

    So, how much does it take to undermine her views and make her really uncertain of her values? What does it take to make her rebel against the army authority?
    In the case of the character in your story, I think that, if she's a healthy ESTJ, after seeing those facts about them, she'd realize right away that she was being lied to. ESTJs can be quite observant - if nothing she saw really fit in with what she knew about them, she'd connect the dots, no matter how racist she was... that is, unless her racism was based on fear, or hatred, and then she might not be so rational. But if she's in the army for a reason unrelated to anger at the "demons", and if she's a rational, objective person (much depends on the type of ESTJ here!), then she'll know.

    The question of what would make her rebel is a whole different thing. She might see that she was being lied to, and yet still fight them, thinking to herself "Well, even if they aren't really demons, I'm sure we were sent here to fight them for a good, valid reason." (Yay, trust in authority. ) It would take a blatant violation of her code of honor/ethics. For example, if she saw members of her own army commit brutal war violence towards innocent "demon" civilians. That kind of thing. She would need to see/hear/sense something that would make her go "This is unjust, unwarranted and morally wrong, and something MUST be done about it!"

    Or you could just go about it like in "District 9". Similar things happen there, with the main character and the "prawns", and it's done very, very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by d@v3 View Post
    Can you infer on what an ISTJ/ESTJ romantic relationship would be like?
    If both the ISTJ and the ESTJ were healthy, and either one or both of them were friendly, warm and emotionally aware, and most importantly, if both of them agreed on (almost) every issue important to them, then it would work. From my experience, ESTJs and ISTJs generally get along very well in friendship, but it's 1. the emotional aspect (STJs aren't so good about that...) and 2. differing values (e.g. one being a liberal and one being a conservative, politically), that would worry me a bit.

    But if it did work, and if it were like a romantic version of ESTJ-ISTJ friendships I've seen, then it would be a very friendly relationship. Not a lot of PDA, comparatively speaking, but lots of joking (both types share an... interesting... sense of humor )*, and lots of good discussion.


    *Random note: The humor difference between STJs and SFJs blows my mind sometimes! STJs (especially ISTJs), from my experience, are great with semi-dark, dry humor, and SFJs (especially ESFJs) just don't get it!
    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"

    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    lawful good (D&D) / ravenclaw + wampus (HP) / boros legion (M:TG)
    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

  6. #526
    Perfect Gentleman! =D d@v3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    If both the ISTJ and the ESTJ were healthy, and either one or both of them were friendly, warm and emotionally aware, and most importantly, if both of them agreed on (almost) every issue important to them, then it would work. From my experience, ESTJs and ISTJs generally get along very well in friendship, but it's 1. the emotional aspect (STJs aren't so good about that...) and 2. differing values (e.g. one being a liberal and one being a conservative, politically), that would worry me a bit.

    But if it did work, and if it were like a romantic version of ESTJ-ISTJ friendships I've seen, then it would be a very friendly relationship. Not a lot of PDA, comparatively speaking, but lots of joking (both types share an... interesting... sense of humor )*, and lots of good discussion.
    LOL! I agree completely on the same values thing. LOL! A liberal ESTJ and conservative ISTJ. The ISTJ would probably be a doormat.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    *Random note: The humor difference between STJs and SFJs blows my mind sometimes! STJs (especially ISTJs), from my experience, are great with semi-dark, dry humor, and SFJs (especially ESFJs) just don't get it!
    This is so true! Not many people get my sense of humor in real life.
    Freedom Isn't Free. [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #527
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    So, I'm just catching up on this thread, and I've found this whole thread really fascinating. Thanks, EJCC (and other contributors)! It's like having an ambassador from the ESTJ world who speaks fluent MBTI. Not to over-stereotype (I hope) but most ESTJs aren't terribly interested in type theory nor do they tend to invest as heavily into online communities as some other types do.

    I tried to get my XSTJ father interested in the MBTI back when I in high school (20+ years ago). We were both very puzzled by one another, since we were largely one another's shadow sides. While he was willing to do a little reading about the MBTI and intellectually understand parts of it, it seems like it didn't break through this fundamental assumptions (which struck me as being fairly STJ at the time).

    He fundamentally assumed that all people were really, REALLY the same inside. Any differences of opinion and approach were caused by a lack of experience and/or maturity on the part of the person who was incorrect. Also, he didn't at heart believe that two people could hold conflicting ideas without at least one of them being absolutely mistaken. There was always a right way and wrong way (and his way was right until proven otherwise). So at the time it was frustrating that I could see his point of view (even when I didn't agree), but he could never wrap his mind around my perspective.

    So, do you think it was your Ne streak that led to your interest in the MBTI? Were you having some practical conflicts where it was immediately applicable on a practical level? Did you feel more sane and in a community afterward, or more like you were suddenly realized you were surrounded by aliens, but at least the aliens made a little more sense?

    Also, I've never entirely understood the relationship between the value that an ESTJ puts on authority and authority figures and the ESTJ's thinking functions. My XSTJ father believes in authority and laws and that those laws should be enforced, but somehow he doesn't feel as compelled to obey the letter of the law personally as one would think from talking to him. It's almost as those he thinks himself an exception to the rule, even though he's categorically against exceptions. Is that just an ISTJ-like ability to dismiss stupid rules?

    He also seem to take things more seriously coming from authority figures, although he has his own idea about who really qualifies as one. Are those things true for you? Are authority figures granted more weight since they are representatives of time-testing societal structures?

    Finally, he has no idea of his emotional state in the moment. Later on he may reflect and figure out that he was upset. This leads, in his case, to a certain blindness of how his emotional state is affecting his thinking. Is that semi-typical, or just a sign that his feeling functions are underdeveloped (at least comparatively)?

  8. #528
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Thanks EJCC!

    That's exactly what I needed :-) I don't know if M is really 'healthy ESTJ' but I defined her first as being M, not as being 'an' ESTJ. In fact she existed almost for two years in my mind, living her adventures in her world, before I even heard of those types.
    After I determined her type, I was really glad... This was the sort of character I was aiming for.

  9. #529
    lords of summer EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    He fundamentally assumed that all people were really, REALLY the same inside. Any differences of opinion and approach were caused by a lack of experience and/or maturity on the part of the person who was incorrect. Also, he didn't at heart believe that two people could hold conflicting ideas without at least one of them being absolutely mistaken. There was always a right way and wrong way (and his way was right until proven otherwise). So at the time it was frustrating that I could see his point of view (even when I didn't agree), but he could never wrap his mind around my perspective.

    So, do you think it was your Ne streak that led to your interest in the MBTI? Were you having some practical conflicts where it was immediately applicable on a practical level? Did you feel more sane and in a community afterward, or more like you were suddenly realized you were surrounded by aliens, but at least the aliens made a little more sense?
    I will tell you exactly why I became interested in MBTI, and you can decide what function caused it; I liked that it explained almost everything that I could never figure out about people. I was often plagued with the question "Why are they being so IRRATIONAL?" before I found out about MBTI. And after I found out about MBTI, I became aware of the fact that some people who I was very close to, I really didn't know at all, and that MBTI helped me to know them better. So, I guess the reason why I like MBTI so much is that it... humanized other people for me? If that makes sense? I still think a lot like your dad (which is why I bolded that section of your post - that part really strikes me); I still think there's a right way to do things, and a wrong way, and I still tend to think that my way is right until proven otherwise - that is, except in emotional matters, which is when I turn to an NF friend and ask them for advice, e.g. "I want to write a letter to this person, but I know that if I wrote it on my own, it would be too harsh, and you're good about that sort of thing, so..." But yeah - thinking that way is part of the ESTJ personality type. After we find out about MBTI, we aren't going to change in that regard. But the fact that he could never understand your perspective... yeah, that's his problem, not the type's problem.

    Also, I've never entirely understood the relationship between the value that an ESTJ puts on authority and authority figures and the ESTJ's thinking functions. My XSTJ father believes in authority and laws and that those laws should be enforced, but somehow he doesn't feel as compelled to obey the letter of the law personally as one would think from talking to him. It's almost as those he thinks himself an exception to the rule, even though he's categorically against exceptions. Is that just an ISTJ-like ability to dismiss stupid rules?
    Well, firstly, everyone dismisses SOME rules. It's probably just more obvious with your dad than with other people because he's such a believer in "the rules" that he seems like a hypocrite for not following all of them.

    Secondly, I recommend this thread:
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ing-rules.html
    Because SJs have such belief in the law, and because you can't follow the law all of the time, they have to rationalize. And this thread shows how they do it.

    He also seem to take things more seriously coming from authority figures, although he has his own idea about who really qualifies as one. Are those things true for you? Are authority figures granted more weight since they are representatives of time-testing societal structures?
    We believe (generally) in the legitimacy of authority figures, i.e. we believe that they're in positions of authority for a reason, and that they're qualified overall - and even if they're not, they have more information than we do about the issues, so we shouldn't automatically assume that we're more knowledgeable than they are.

    Finally, he has no idea of his emotional state in the moment. Later on he may reflect and figure out that he was upset. This leads, in his case, to a certain blindness of how his emotional state is affecting his thinking. Is that semi-typical, or just a sign that his feeling functions are underdeveloped (at least comparatively)?
    I don't understand... Are you saying that he'll be angry, and acting angry, and not realize he's angry? Because I don't relate to that at all, and, frankly, I don't understand how it's possible. Maybe you could elaborate?

    Here's how it is with me: I'll be incredibly emotional about something, but I'll have no idea why I'm feeling that way. I'll have to ask other people, or I'll have to methodically go through, in my head, what's been going on with me that would make me feel that way. For example: "Let's see, I checked the calendar and it's not PMS... I've been getting enough sleep recently, so it can't be fatigue..." and so on and so forth.
    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. #530
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    First of all thanks for replying. I really appreciate you investing the time and energy into a detailed response. Some of these personal issues are mostly water under the bridge, since I've come to accept my father as he is, but it's still great to get a greater understanding. Wish I'd had access to a community like this 20 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I will tell you exactly why I became interested in MBTI, and you can decide what function caused it; I liked that it explained almost everything that I could never figure out about people. I was often plagued with the question "Why are they being so IRRATIONAL?" before I found out about MBTI. And after I found out about MBTI, I became aware of the fact that some people who I was very close to, I really didn't know at all, and that MBTI helped me to know them better. So, I guess the reason why I like MBTI so much is that it... humanized other people for me? If that makes sense? I still think a lot like your dad (which is why I bolded that section of your post - that part really strikes me); I still think there's a right way to do things, and a wrong way, and I still tend to think that my way is right until proven otherwise ...
    Well, of course it does make total sense to think your way is the right way. After all, why would you do it if you honestly thought it was the wrong way? That whole line of reasoning makes sense, but is so different from my own tendency to second (and third and forth) guess myself. It also seems as if it can become kind of a hermetically sealed tautology if one doesn't continue taking in new information that might change one's opinion.

    Well, firstly, everyone dismisses SOME rules. It's probably just more obvious with your dad than with other people because he's such a believer in "the rules" that he seems like a hypocrite for not following all of them.

    Secondly, I recommend this thread:
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ing-rules.html
    Because SJs have such belief in the law, and because you can't follow the law all of the time, they have to rationalize. And this thread shows how they do it.
    Thanks muchly! I'll read up on that. I know SJs (and all other types) aren't perfect, but would be nice to have greater insight into how they make allowances for that. We're all hypocrites sometimes, and one's type doesn't change that.

    We believe (generally) in the legitimacy of authority figures, i.e. we believe that they're in positions of authority for a reason, and that they're qualified overall - and even if they're not, they have more information than we do about the issues, so we shouldn't automatically assume that we're more knowledgeable than they are.
    That makes sense, too, from a certain perspective... and is certainly true much of time. I think as an INFP I tend to immediately identify more with the underdog and to worry about abuse of authority. Of course, getting stuck in that perspective is no more valid than always siding with the authority figure.

    I don't understand... Are you saying that he'll be angry, and acting angry, and not realize he's angry? Because I don't relate to that at all, and, frankly, I don't understand how it's possible. Maybe you could elaborate?
    Sorry I was unclear. I meant to say that at times he would be visibly stiff, tense and irritated, but would have no idea that he was. The denotations of what he said would not be angry, nor would he be verbally lashing out, but it was still clear there was restrained anger and irritation there. It was also clear that emotion still tilted his reasoning a bit.

    In the moment he wouldn't know he was upset. I think in his case he was just that out of touch with his emotions. I certainly doubt all ESTJs are that cut off from that side of themselves.

    When I was younger I found his mixed messages very confusing, because I knew he was angry but he was saying that he was not. My intuition and feeling were telling me that both things were true (both the he was angry, and that he thought he was telling the truth). It was very confusing at the time.

    Only years later, after he had gotten slightly more in touch with his feelings, did he admit that he had been angry in those situations but hadn't acknowledged it, even to himself. I wouldn't hold my dad up to be a model of a healthy ESTJ even today, but he's become more flexible and open than he once was.

    Here's how it is with me: I'll be incredibly emotional about something, but I'll have no idea why I'm feeling that way. I'll have to ask other people, or I'll have to methodically go through, in my head, what's been going on with me that would make me feel that way. For example: "Let's see, I checked the calendar and it's not PMS... I've been getting enough sleep recently, so it can't be fatigue..." and so on and so forth.
    I think even those of us heavy on the Fi sometimes have to go through that process. It's always possible to have a hard time attributing emotions to the correct cause. When I'm really puzzled by my emotional reaction to something, i still, every now and ago, have to go through a process where I make different suggestions internally about what the cause might be and wait until one resonates emotionally and intensifies the emotion. It's a little like dropping stones down a well and waiting until one makes a splash. It's a very internal process, so feels a little odd to try to verbalize it. Typically, though, I know in the moment what I'm feeling and why I'm feeling it and can move to manage those reactions in real time. It seems like I have to go through the conscious process less and less as I get older.

    There have been some clever studies done where they put people in (subjectively) dangerous situations and then had them meet someone attractive. People who weren't in stressful situation (control group) reported being less attracted to the new person than those who had just been through something stressful. It was as though they had mistakenly attributed some of the excitement to the new person, rather than the situation.

    Anyway, thanks one again for the dialog; it's been very helpful. I'm off to take a look at that "Breaking Rules" thread.

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