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  1. #81
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    My ESFJ friend has been very depressed lately. He started seeing a counselor, which is great, but... he is still incessantly comparing himself to other people -- people who get better grades, more/better lab positions, etc. In other words, he wants to have everyone's strengths and none of their weaknesses. Icing on the cake: he faults himself for being depressed and says he "shouldn't" be this way.

    I seem to spend most of my life living by my own internal definition of who I am and how I "should" be. I don't really give a shit what other people expect me to do, what other people are doing, etc. My friend however doesn't see it this way -- I think he expects his strengths/weaknesses to align perfectly with those of the other people in our program/year (we're in university). He dismisses those strengths that lie outside this norm/standard and faults himself when he doesn't meet the standard in other areas. Honestly, he does not seem to know himself. He lives by an external standard and this is what I think has caused his depression issues.

    What causes this comparison of internal self to external standard? Is it common to ESFJs?

    More importantly: what can I do to be more, uh, sympathetic or comforting? I am a terrible empathizer. TIA
    Strychnine is all-natural,
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  2. #82
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bri View Post
    How do ESFJs cope with being in a rut?
    Look for distractions. When i'm stuck in a rut, i'll drive myself insane. For example i have a week off work now and i can't get a last minute holiday, my kids are boring so i will be staying at home with nothing to do. It's my first day of holiday, its 9am and i'm twitching, lol.
    Just got to find the funny side of it all and eventually that rut goes away. That's the idealistic side of me speaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by penny89 View Post
    My ESFJ friend has been very depressed lately. He started seeing a counselor, which is great, but... he is still incessantly comparing himself to other people -- people who get better grades, more/better lab positions, etc. In other words, he wants to have everyone's strengths and none of their weaknesses. Icing on the cake: he faults himself for being depressed and says he "shouldn't" be this way.

    I seem to spend most of my life living by my own internal definition of who I am and how I "should" be. I don't really give a shit what other people expect me to do, what other people are doing, etc. My friend however doesn't see it this way -- I think he expects his strengths/weaknesses to align perfectly with those of the other people in our program/year (we're in university). He dismisses those strengths that lie outside this norm/standard and faults himself when he doesn't meet the standard in other areas. Honestly, he does not seem to know himself. He lives by an external standard and this is what I think has caused his depression issues.

    What causes this comparison of internal self to external standard? Is it common to ESFJs?

    More importantly: what can I do to be more, uh, sympathetic or comforting? I am a terrible empathizer. TIA
    In my case yes .. I have moments where i don't give a shit about the external world. If i want to dress quirky then i will but at other times, i do get to that point of thinking where i am worried what others think of me. I care what others think when i am insecure in myself, so i look for some kind of confirmation to pick myself up but i know i can't rely on another human to do this for me. It needs to all come from me alone. As i've got older and from going through major life events, i'm doing better .. I think anyway, lol

    You can't help another persons depression .. Been there, done that .. Can't save everyone. If someone is depressed around me, i try and show them the positives but ultimately it's up to them to find ways to get better. It is also soooooo mentally draining so just make sure you give yourself some time to recharge

  3. #83
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bri View Post
    How do ESFJs cope with being in a rut?
    Research and socializing. If it's a rut where I just don't know where to go from there, then I'll research the hell out of all my options and then figure out what I need to do to get out of the rut... If it's something that I'm just stuck in a rut and there isn't really any research to get over it, I'll surround myself with friends. (This is my distraction, like saslou mentioned we like distractions)

    Quote Originally Posted by penny89 View Post
    What causes this comparison of internal self to external standard? Is it common to ESFJs?

    More importantly: what can I do to be more, uh, sympathetic or comforting? I am a terrible empathizer. TIA
    I am forever comparing myself to others. And I honestly don't give myself enough credit most of the time. I can't even explain why I do it. I guess I'm just looking for what the "norm" would be considered, and try and compare myself to it. Even though, most of the time, the norm is nowhere near what I want to be.

    Most of the time, the best thing my friends can do for me when I'm in one of my phases (like I am now) is to just let me know that they are there for me. A lot of the time I'll work my way out of the funk on my own.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    In my case yes .. I have moments where i don't give a shit about the external world. If i want to dress quirky then i will but at other times, i do get to that point of thinking where i am worried what others think of me. I care what others think when i am insecure in myself, so i look for some kind of confirmation to pick myself up but i know i can't rely on another human to do this for me. It needs to all come from me alone. As i've got older and from going through major life events, i'm doing better .. I think anyway, lol

    You can't help another persons depression .. Been there, done that .. Can't save everyone. If someone is depressed around me, i try and show them the positives but ultimately it's up to them to find ways to get better. It is also soooooo mentally draining so just make sure you give yourself some time to recharge
    Interesting... I would think my friend is very insecure at this point unfortunately. However, I agree, I can't really "fix" him nor do I want to. It's up to him. I think I am going to try and remind him of the many positive traits he does have (and there are, of course, many)... he seems to forget them. Thanks saslou.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kymbirleigh View Post
    I am forever comparing myself to others. And I honestly don't give myself enough credit most of the time. I can't even explain why I do it. I guess I'm just looking for what the "norm" would be considered, and try and compare myself to it. Even though, most of the time, the norm is nowhere near what I want to be.
    Now that I think of it, this might be common to people with strong Fe.

    Most of the time, the best thing my friends can do for me when I'm in one of my phases (like I am now) is to just let me know that they are there for me. A lot of the time I'll work my way out of the funk on my own.
    I hope your "phase" ends soon . Thanks for this response. I will be sure to let my friend know I am there... I want him to know he can "vent" to me any time and I don't mind.

    Thank you both
    Strychnine is all-natural,
    So strychnine is all good.
    It's Godly and righteous,
    So eat it, you should.
    Who are you to refuse nature's will?


    Don't use the multiquote; it was planted by the devil to deceive us.

    Social Role: Asscrack/Piece of Shit/Public Defecator/Spiteful Urinator


    A different type everyday - so no need to type me anymore. But feel free to enjoy the sound of your own asscrack.

  5. #85
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penny89 View Post
    I hope your "phase" ends soon . Thanks for this response. I will be sure to let my friend know I am there... I want him to know he can "vent" to me any time and I don't mind.

    Thank you both
    Thanks! My phase did end. I'm actually quite amazed. I guess I've grown up a lot since the last time I lost a pet. The last time I lost a pet I moped around the house for months. This time once the decision was made and we put her down, I felt a lot better. I knew it was for the best. And I saw pictures of her last night where she was at a healthy weight and her fur was perfect, and I realized she had been way too skinny and her fur wasn't as pretty as it used to be.

    I've been a lot better yesterday and today.... Then again.... I do get to go to a cake tasting tonight! Who can be sad when they have that to look forward to!?

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kymbirleigh View Post
    Thanks! My phase did end. I'm actually quite amazed. I guess I've grown up a lot since the last time I lost a pet. The last time I lost a pet I moped around the house for months. This time once the decision was made and we put her down, I felt a lot better. I knew it was for the best. And I saw pictures of her last night where she was at a healthy weight and her fur was perfect, and I realized she had been way too skinny and her fur wasn't as pretty as it used to be.

    I've been a lot better yesterday and today.... Then again.... I do get to go to a cake tasting tonight! Who can be sad when they have that to look forward to!?
    Oh my gosh...I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you are doing better though.

    I don't meant to compare situations. But I had a cat who died back in January...we ended up putting him down, he was in too much pain near the end... but I agree that it is for the better. I believe in minimizing suffering and maximizing happiness.
    Strychnine is all-natural,
    So strychnine is all good.
    It's Godly and righteous,
    So eat it, you should.
    Who are you to refuse nature's will?


    Don't use the multiquote; it was planted by the devil to deceive us.

    Social Role: Asscrack/Piece of Shit/Public Defecator/Spiteful Urinator


    A different type everyday - so no need to type me anymore. But feel free to enjoy the sound of your own asscrack.

  7. #87
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kymbirleigh View Post

    I guess I'm just looking for what the "norm" would be considered, and try and compare myself to it. Even though, most of the time, the norm is nowhere near what I want to be.
    Sorry to hear about your loss

    The above really jumped out at me as especially over the last few days i have been thinking about what you've mentioned.

    I don't want to be normal and i feel like my uniqueness has to stay inside as on the outside i have to conform to what is normal so i fit in with everyone.

    For example .. I've been on a crazy spending spree over the last 2 days and brought some amazingly odd clothes. I love them . I was trying on these clothes last night as I'm going to a barbeque later today and i'm not going to wear them now, the clothes are too out there so i am going to play it safe as usual. I don't feel like i am being true/authentic to myself and that sucks.

    How do you deal with that feeling?
    “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. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    This is the biggest difference I've noticed between my ESFJ friends and me:

    When you talk to a (nice) ESFJ for the first time, they open right up and are friendly and welcome you into their group with open arms. It's as if you've been friends for years. If you open up to them in that first meeting, they react very kindly and appropriately.

    When you talk to an ESTJ for the first time, they're not as open with you. They might talk about more shallow things. They might not try very hard to keep a conversation going if it isn't working out. In other words, no matter how friendly they are, you can tell that they're keeping their distance from you (emotionally speaking, anyways). If you open up to them on that first meeting, they get bewildered (even if they don't show it), and might react a bit too coldly.

    But that might not be true in all cases.
    I agree. As an ESTJ, when I'm first meeting someone, yes, I can be friendly but I won't start telling them about my life history. It'll be surface talk, and if I'm asked questions about myself, my answers are somewhat short and I tend to redirect the attention to them and ask them the questions. But I do love people and meeting them. I just won't open up to anyone unless I'm comfortable with them.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    Sorry to hear about your loss

    The above really jumped out at me as especially over the last few days i have been thinking about what you've mentioned.

    I don't want to be normal and i feel like my uniqueness has to stay inside as on the outside i have to conform to what is normal so i fit in with everyone.

    For example .. I've been on a crazy spending spree over the last 2 days and brought some amazingly odd clothes. I love them . I was trying on these clothes last night as I'm going to a barbeque later today and i'm not going to wear them now, the clothes are too out there so i am going to play it safe as usual. I don't feel like i am being true/authentic to myself and that sucks.

    How do you deal with that feeling?
    Sigh... I almost always cave into that feeling and just play it safe like you mentioned. I have clothes in my closet that end up going to a thrift store because after buying them a year or so ago I never wore them because I never felt right in them. I always joke that someone in a thrift store is making out like a bandit because of me. They are getting clothes that have been worn maybe once or twice and are in near perfect condition for way less than half the price I paid for them.

    Then again.... You are talking about a person who won't go to the gym in mismatched colors... So I'm even concerned with appearance in a gym setting.

  10. #90
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kymbirleigh View Post
    Then again.... You are talking about a person who won't go to the gym in mismatched colors... So I'm even concerned with appearance in a gym setting.
    Awww, lol .. What's a gym? I went to one last year and quickly got bored. Story of my life.

    I couldn't care less what i look like in a gym .. I'm going to get hot and sweaty just like everyone else.

    Another question for you (hope you don't mind ) .. How do you feel about change??

    I ask because although i know it is inevitable and can easily tell others to embrace it .. It scares me especially when i am facing change alone. I get caught up in the details and what if's that i freeze.
    I think i may of misplaced my bold, brash, go get them, fear nothing attitude, 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

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