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Thread: Ask an ESTJ!

  1. #831
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I burst out laughing when I heard that. There is nothing I know of that bugs the ESTJs I know as much as someone around them being in turmoil or being upset. It upsets their world, thereby making it less predictable and it also makes them feel uncomfortable emotions that they would prefer not to experience, much less process. Initially the ESTJ response is kind of reassuring that "shhh, it's going to be alright" along with the "I'm taking care of things and I'm competent" vibe. Then you realize it's more because they are so uncomfortable with your discomfort and it sometimes can feel like they'd be happy just as long as you never express any of what's bothering you.

    How would you suggest a non-ESTJ best handle this unfortunate dynamic?
    I have problems with that sort of conflict with my INFJ mom, because she'll often come home and want to vent about this horrible thing that's been happening, and she'll make it sound hopeless and tragic, and I'll get mad and I'll think "I don't want to feel powerless and upset, so stop telling me about sad things that I can't help you fix!" Sometimes I'm so emotionally affected by it that I get irrational and feel like she's intentionally "playing the victim" just to make it more difficult to solve the problem. And I think it's because of this view/mindset that ESTJs generally, from my experience, don't vent about things unless it's funny venting. Everything else will be an objective update, so there won't be emotional involvement.

    I guess, in order to deal with that, it would be helpful to either 1. hold the emotion in (if it's a minor event, like the TV thing I mentioned), or 2. help put the ESTJ in an objective position, mentally. I think the best way to do that, for me, would be to ask me for advice on something, instead of just venting. Part of why I get mad when people make me upset is because most things I get upset about, I get upset about because I feel like there's an injustice going on and there's nothing I can do to change it. Making the ESTJ feel like they can be of some help might be good - that is, if they actually CAN be of help. I'm not suggesting that you pretend anything. If they can't be of any help, maybe you could be blunt with them and say that you just want their support in your tough time, and that you're feeling upset because of a bad situation (but not going into all the gory details), and that way the ESTJ can play the safe role of protective loved one, and they don't have to, you know, FEEL anything

    I also remember my ESTJ expressing confusion over my response to a frustrating and hopeless feeling university situation over the only paper that was keeping me from getting my Master's. He could not understand sadness/dread/sick feelings as a response and said, "I get ANGRY when stuff like that happens and that fuels me to MAKE whatever needs to happen come about". Do you think that anger is perhaps a knee-jerk response to vulnerable emotions?
    I think it's more Te, i.e. seeing a problem that needs solving and immediately moving to fix it. There's kind of a mindset of "Why would you want to mope, when it would make so much more sense to just solve the problem?" So I guess, in a way, it is avoiding vulnerable emotions, but it's also that git-r-done ESTJ attitude hard at work
    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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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  2. #832
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    Being upset by the fact that you are upset? Yeah... I've known my husband saying "I'm so sorry for being emotional." - his uncle had died, but there he was worrying about upsetting me by being emotional and out of his normal doing.
    I definitely do that... I think it's out of a worry that I'll cause the uncomfortable emotions I mentioned in my above post, in other people. I don't want to be like that.
    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. #833
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Holding it in on small things is something I'm quite good at. I don't get upset easily.

    On the other hand, I have very few people that I would trust to share the things with that really bother me, so it feels extremely rejecting when the other person basically says in one way or another that they don't want to hear about it. Most people only get the generically nice version of me, so when I show more and have it turned away, it results in having to wall off bigger and bigger parts of my life which are essential to who I am, what I think about and how I spend my time. And yet, if I'm going to be authentic with someone and feel close to them, I have to share some part of who I really am, rather than just the easy nice stuff.

    INFJs mostly do their problem solving by venting off the excess and using the other person as a sounding board. It is only in expressing it out loud that we are able to clarify things and then move onto a solution. In fact, it even sparks ideas, kind of like how House uses his team to inspire his own thinking. Would it be helpful to explain to the ESTJ that they are doing a grand service just by listening and performing that function for us and that there are actually very few people we would trust to serve in that role? Or would it still mostly just be a frustrating burden that seems a lot like whining or expecting the ESTJ to accomplish the impossible?

    Over time, I found that it was the cold RESPONSE to my wish to be authentic that was creating the negative emotions in me that he found upsetting and there just didn't seem to be any workable solution. It was like a feedback loop that just kept getting worse. I'm sure if I had understood him better at the time it would have helped me look for some more solutions, but even now I'm not sure what would have been win-win.

  4. #834
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Holding it in on small things is something I'm quite good at. I don't get upset easily.

    On the other hand, I have very few people that I would trust to share the things that really to bother me with, so it feels extremely rejecting when the other person basically says in one way or another that they don't want to hear about it. Most people only get the generically nice version of me, so when I show more and have it turned away, it results in having to wall off bigger and bigger parts of my life which are essential to who I am, what I think about and how I spend my time. And yet, if I'm going to be authentic with someone and feel close to them, I have to share some part of who I really am, rather than just the easy nice stuff.
    The bold might be a good thing to share with ESTJs. When I end up as someone's emotional sounding board, I often feel like I'm being thanklessly used by them. I think a lot of my frustration with my mom doing that with me would be taken away if she acknowledged what I do for her. But that could be my enneagram talking, and not my MBTI.

    INFJs mostly do their problem solving by venting off the excess and using the other person as a sounding board. It is only in expressing it out loud that we are able to clarify things and then move onto a solution. In fact, it even sparks ideas, kind of like how House uses his team to inspire his own thinking. Would it be helpful to explain to the ESTJ that they are doing a grand service just by listening and performing that function for us and that there are actually very few people we would trust to serve in that role? Or would it still mostly just be a frustrating burden that seems a lot like whining or expecting the ESTJ to accomplish the impossible?
    This is what my mom did with my INTP dad. She told him, every single time she would vent as problem solving, that she wasn't asking for his advice and she just needed someone to listen and be sympathetic. It's still hard for him sometimes, but he's a lot better at that now. I think she assumes that I don't need that comment since I don't try to give her advice when she vents, but I think I do. So, that probably would be a good idea - that is, saying exactly what you just posted. Also, as I mentioned before, it helps the ESTJ if you tell them that you appreciate what they're doing, in being a sounding board and a supportive ear.

    Over time, I found that it was the cold RESPONSE to my wish to be authentic that was creating the negative emotions that he found upsetting and there just didn't seem to be any workable solution. It was like a feedback loop that just kept getting worse. I'm sure if I had understood him better at the time it would have helped me look for some more solutions, but even now I'm not sure what would have been win-win.
    Based on what you've told me in the past about your relationship with him, it sounds like that wasn't the only factor in the split. So, even if that particular communication breakdown was solved, I wouldn't beat yourself up about 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!

  5. #835
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    That is most helpful! So it's not only understanding that nothing is being expected of them, or explaining the function that they are performign, but also that you appreciate the help they are giving that makes it a little more palatable (as long as it is not excessive)?

    Is there any kind of type equivalent reciprocal action that we can do when you are upset other than leaving you alone, which would make you feel supported and happier?

    Hey, when did you become a 1w2? If that's the case, I think we share the same enneagram type. What instinctual variants do you have?

  6. #836
    [bento boxed] EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    That is most helpful! So it's not only understanding that nothing is being expected of them, or explaining the function that they are performign, but also that you appreciate the help they are giving that makes it a little more palatable (as long as it is not excessive)?
    Well, that's how it is with me, anyways. A lot of people don't know that I appreciate affirmation. That's why I thought it was a 1 thing - one of my favorite 1 type descriptions emphasizes that ones need someone to help them not take things so seriously, and tell them that their advice/help is appreciated. So, with ESTJ eights (who I don't even remotely understand, btw), it might be totally different.

    Is there any kind of type equivalent reciprocal action that we can do when you are upset other than leaving you alone, which would make you feel supported and happier?
    It depends on what kind of upset you're talking about. If it's anger, then leaving me alone is definitely the best option. If it's sadness or frustration, then it helps to do something fun with me, or find something distracting to do, or, if it's frustration about a problem I need to solve, helping me to solve the problem and being a grounded source of objectivity. But sometimes, when accompanying a distraction/etc, hugs are nice too

    Hey, when did you become a 1w2? If that's the case, I think we share the same enneagram type. What instinctual variants do you have?
    Technically, I've been one the whole time and I didn't know it. But I think I figured out that I'm not a 6 about a month ago. All thanks to some fancy internet workin' and the help of Speed Gavroche and also the fact that I realized "Hey, to a degree, EVERYONE'S driven to either avoid their fears or confront them to get rid of them! Whoa!"

    Also, I'm pretty sure I'm so/sp/sx, though I relate to sp/so/sx a bit too.
    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!

  7. #837
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Those were great questions! Thanks!
    Awesome answers! Thanks m'dear!

    another question-when you prioritize your day-do things on your list get moved around by how important they are or do they just stay in the order they are listed?

  8. #838
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    Dear ESTJ,

    Why so serious?

  9. #839
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    Awesome answers! Thanks m'dear!
    No problem!

    another question-when you prioritize your day-do things on your list get moved around by how important they are or do they just stay in the order they are listed?
    I don't always prioritize my day very strictly. Sometimes there'll be a big list of things that all need to get done on a particular day, in which case it generally doesn't matter what order I do them in. But besides that, I almost always prioritize based on how urgent something is, and if a thing is less urgent, it'll be pushed back. Pretty basic, really.

    Quote Originally Posted by JTG1984 View Post
    Dear ESTJ,

    Why so serious?
    I'll answer with a question: why so silly?
    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. #840
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    EJCC,

    Do you ever find yourself rushing to finish a task-just to have completed it and removed it from your list?

    Also-Very young ESTJs-and even myself when in Te mode-can be a bit blunt, and well, sometimes appear rude. Did you face this when very young and if so, how long did it take to learn to be more smooth in delivery? Do you find certain communication techniques to be more useful when dealing with sensitive individuals?

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