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  1. #1
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    Default ISFJ and different people

    I am curious about a statement an ISFJ (my stepmother) said, not sure if it has to do with type or not. But in the interest of better improving my relationship with her, Ive been researching mbti and thought this was an interesting statement she made and one I'm not fully sure if I understood what she meant.

    For background, we have never gotten along. It was not all her fault, but I have felt (even as a small child in the relationship) Ive tried numerous ways, bending, flexibility etc. Our communication has always been strange as well as if it seems we both walk away from the conversation with a totally different impression of what the other just said. Whereas I am pretty blunt and pretty much say what I mean, for some reason she has always insisted there was a secret underlying secret and she knew what I was saying and acted accordingly. And vice versa, she wouldnt say what she meant but I was supposed to know there was a secret underlying secret. And, in the both cases chaos would ensue.

    Ok, well to this point there is not much conversation and we have just come to an uncomfortable stale mate which is very hard for me. I would either like to cut her completely from my life (there have been many toxic elements as well, too long to go into) or to at least maintain a comfortable presence with one another. Lately, instead of talking to me, she does this funny thing where she will throw out a thing or two as almost it is an apology or wanting me to understand something about her, but will not talk directly.

    Ok, ok get to the point. The latest thing she said in passing (and was completely out of the blue and foreign to the conversation) was that one of her daughters was dealing with a situation where she had to learn that other people were different from her and that is good for her (the ISFJ) to start learning too. I thought this was extremely strange at first cause I thought that was something everyone learned in elementary school, then I started thinking maybe she was wanting me to communicate with her how I was different? I'm not sure what this meant and why she said it to me. It gives me some sort of weird hope and maybe I should reach out again?

    Also, is this something that pertains to the ISFJ personality type in general? For whatever reason, any *major* problem I have had with someone, they have seemed to be ISFJ in retrospect. However, I am just now learning about mbti so I could have those types wrong. And some ISFJ's are among my best friends. Seems like a hit or miss.

  2. #2
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Sounds like you know a shitload of ISFJs then.

    I don't think I have knowledge of the situation required to help you (don't worry, there will be plenty of people that think they do). What I can say though, is that I'm and INTP and my mom is INFP, yet we've always had communication problems. The great divide of letters may not have all that much to do with it. I don't know yet what cultivates people to talk entirely in codes and signals and all of that sort of implicit dross, but I have dealt with it. They don't seem to like it when I tell them to be explicit. The only success I've had with getting them to do it is if I spend a whole lot of time assuring them that I won't bite. It seems to be an insecurity thing. *shrug*
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Clonester's Avatar
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    My mother is an ISFJ, and I can't count how many times I've said one thing and she thinks I mean something different. "Well that's not what your face is saying." Or, "I can tell by the tone of your voice..."

    I'm a fairly direct person too, yet sometimes she misreads my body language or voice tone and then proceeds to not take my words at face value.
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    "I feel there are two people inside me - me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely." -Kim Basinger

  4. #4
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Hey.

    2 cents from someone with 1 letter off (which makes some difference).
    My son (12) is ENTP and from day BIRTH, i swear to god, he was only put on the earth to test/push my limits. We have got into some awful arguments.

    It was only taking the tests that i got the opportunity to read how he works without him actually telling me. Now i know, things are so much easier.
    I talk to him minus all the feelings in a very straightforward manner which he appreciates and he talks to me by asking me if i am OK, how has my day been, that sort of stuff. It is a lot of fun communicating with him (until he starts on one of his missions about how he needs to invent something or a conspiracy he has found. I love it really )

    Things have definitely improved for the better.

    Someone else will have to answer you regarding what she said .. It can be interpreted either way so i won't speculate.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  5. #5
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Might be an indicator that she's willing to try and be more accepting in the future. No harm in testing the waters and try develop a more neutral interaction. I don't think it's a problem to do with ISFJs, but one more to do with individuals that aren't so keen on what they think is not normal. In that manner an ISTJ can completely clash with an ISFJ...

    Regarding the throwing out hints thing. That is something I do occasionally if I'm not comfortable saying it. It also matches that belief I share with your stepmother that words don't necessarily reflect true intentions. If you aren't getting her messages, you'll probably have to be more direct about how you really really don't get it.

  6. #6
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    I *think* I know 5 ISFJ's. 3 are in my family and 2 are childhood friends. 2 out of the 3 in my family I have had major blow outs with.

    And thats interesting as well, Magic. Another one of her throwing out things was something about insecurity.

    I am getting her messages but Im not sure if this is something she wants me to pursue with her - getting to a better place in our relationship - or if this is just something she wants me to hear. And to be honest, it is truly mind boggling to me and feels like it is a weird game she is playing. At this point, I feel that any wrong move I make with her will be the end. If I dont reach out to her - she will eventually get mad. If I do reach out, she will get mad as that is not what she intended. It has been egg shells the past five years and there have been many times I want to walk away, throwing the relationship with my father and their children out along the way. Not just from the communication issues, there have been massive drama scenes and melt downs and it just very hard for me to deal with on an on-going basis. I feel like it is not a two way relationship, it is all one way and that one way better be the right way and if it is not, you better believe there will be payback.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    How old are you? Do you live with them or alone?
    (nothing on your profile)

    This might not of crossed your mind yet .. But have you ever considered going round, sitting at the table and just talking it out with her.

    Something on the lines of - Step mom, our relationship has been really tough over the years. I want to try and change that so we can get along better .. annnnnnd watch the conversation develop.

    (sorry for the hint of sarcasm, lol.)
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  8. #8
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Huge generalization but most of the time ISFJs want to get on with people or have a neutral relationship. Who really wants a conflict based relationship?

    As for the code speak:
    1. When you care about someones feelings.
    2. Experience teaches you that being blunt usually doesn't work so well.
    3. You might sugarcoat your own words.
    4. If you do so, it's natural to assume that other people will probably deal with underlying messages.

    I don't know... but don't many feelers focus on the idea of figuring out the underlying meaning behind someones actions and words. It works especially well when someone is saying "I'm fine" but in reality they are upset and need comforting, but it sometimes fails when a person really does mean that they are fine and don't need comforting :/

  9. #9
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    lol, I am 28 with a family and children. No I do not live with them. I moved out when I was 17 because of the drama.

    I have sat and talked with her, many times. Although it has mainly been in the past and we have come to an uncomfortable stale mate now. Maybe I did not make it clear in the original posting, but we both walk away with a completely different idea of what the other just said/wants etc. However, now she is throwing out these hints and Im not sure if this is something she wants me to pursue with her or not. And yes, in my experience ignoring or what perceives to be ignoring her is signs for trouble.

    It is uncomfortable for everyone involved and is very hard for me to maintain this facade. I would really like to clear the air, but I do feel that any wrong step I make will be the last one in this relationship.

    Maybe you need examples, but one time she emailed me and laid out something she needed to get done. I emailed back and said "ok, will do" and did do it, but then she disinvited my daughter on a vacation they were going to take her on because my tone in the email was "not enthusiastic."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Huge generalization but most of the time ISFJs want to get on with people or have a neutral relationship. Who really wants a conflict based relationship?

    As for the code speak:
    1. When you care about someones feelings.
    2. Experience teaches you that being blunt usually doesn't work so well.
    3. You might sugarcoat your own words.
    4. If you do so, it's natural to assume that other people will probably deal with underlying messages.

    I don't know... but don't many feelers focus on the idea of figuring out the underlying meaning behind someones actions and words. It works especially well when someone is saying "I'm fine" but in reality they are upset and need comforting, but it sometimes fails when a person really does mean that they are fine and don't need comforting :/
    I think that may be the whole gist of the extreme miscommunications between her and I. There is nothing more than what I said or emailed. But I guess I need to figure out how to decode her speak? How can I do that and as well, express that there is nothing more to what I say?

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