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  1. #11
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    He's very difficult for me to read. Sometimes he comes into work and says, "Good morning everyone. How was your weekend? It looks like we're going to have some good weather this week," etc, etc. He wants to chit-chat and be friendly. Other times it's like, "what the hell are you doing? Didn't you think about this? Don't do it that way!" Blah, blah, blah. It's all a bunch of negative crap. Like he forgot to eat his Wheaties before he left the house. Or maybe the dog threw up on his shoe as he was leaving the house. His negativity makes me want to get up and walk out.
    This is what I call the difference between an ESTJ's good days and bad days. We're not as good at disguising our bad moods as other types are. However, this ESTJ seems to have much more pronounced bad moods than others.

    As for the "difficult to read" part... I agree with PeaceBaby's ESTJ in that we're actually not so hard to read. What you see is what you get. So if you're confused by why he acts happy one moment and then acts like a d-bag the next, it's that his emotions vary that much. He's probably not putting on an act, or trying to be manipulative.

    Anyways, when he's in a good mood and wants to chit chat, he expects people to talk to him about whatever (sometimes lame) subject that he's talking about. Usually, I'm not interested in what he's talking about. I'd rather just be left alone and do my work. I wish he could see that and appreciate that. But, then later, when he doesn't look busy I might try to talk to him just so that he knows I'm sociable and somewhat friendly (not because I feel like talking to him) and then he won't want to talk.
    That's probably just bad timing. I agree with PeaceBaby's ESTJ here too, in that he wouldn't talk to you if he thought it would get in your way. In a sense, the fact that he chats with you at all means that he trusts that it won't get in the way of your work, and that you'll still be able to get it done.

    What's the best thing one of your employees/co-workers could do to at least get some of your respect? Is it OK to just shut up 90% of the time and do my work or is he going to think I'm a prude? When I stay quiet and just focus on my work, it's like he thinks I need something to talk about. I don't. I just want to work. Besides, we don't have much to talk about anyways. He doesn't want to talk about things I want to talk about and vice versa. We don't have the same interests at all. But, I don't want him to hate me for crying out loud.
    1. He doesn't hate you, I'm pretty sure. Nothing you've described sounds like hate OR disrespect, to me.
    2. If your main focus is to get the job done, and you show him that without pretending to care about him and his personal life/interests, he may think you're humorless and cold, but he will still respect you. In fact, he may respect you even more, for being so focused.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    What makes him hard to read is that he is always "on everyone's case" (he doesn't think so, but everyone else talks about it behind his back) - so you get the impression that he doesn't like the way you do things or sometimes that you aren't doing a good enough job. It's not just me, a lot of people feel this way about him. I've even told him, "Look, at some point, you just have to let people make decisions. You can't micromanage every step a person takes and every breath a person makes. Train us well and then trust us to get stuff done. We're on your side. But, you're always looking over our shoulder and making comments." I think it ticked him off. He knows I work hard, but he just doesn't let up on people. It's non-stop picking things apart because it's not EXACTLY the way he would do it.

    But, the confusing part is that just when you think he doesn't like you or your work, he starts talking about silly stuff like his kid's baseball game. I mean, I can talk about stuff like that with my friends, but he doesn't treat us like friends. He's not the nicest guy most of the time, so when he starts talking about this kind of stuff, we all just look at each other like Do you want to be friendly with us or not? It can't just be "when you feel like being friendly". Either treat us with respect or don't. But, when he disrespects people and then 5 minutes later wants to chat about baseball, I don't really want to socialize with him after that.
    Here's the thing:

    1. Nitpicking is NOT the same as disrespect, with ESTJs. I'm 99% sure that he respects you. If he's like me, he'd be very cold and completely unfriendly/distant/uncommunicative/one-word-responses with you if he didn't respect you. (It would be very obvious.) It looks like you associate friendliness with respect and vice versa, but that's not how it works for ESTJs at all. Just because they consider themselves to be right unless proven otherwise (which most people do, anyways), doesn't mean they consider themselves to be better than you, or that they consider you to be unworthy, or anything like that.
    2. The nitpicking is just his way of making sure that everything works out okay. Often when he nitpicks, and saying things like "Why are you doing _____?", he's not asking a rhetorical question, and is genuinely asking you why you're doing that. So, here's the code-breaking:
    "Why are you facing the wrong way?" = "I don't understand why you're facing that way. It doesn't make sense to me. Prove me wrong. Make your case!" So, even though I doubt that he'll stop doing that, it should at least help a little bit, if, unless you're doing this already, you make your case to him every time he nitpicks, in a cordial but firm way.

    I understand why it would be so infuriating - I mean, you guys are speaking completely different languages - and even though I can't think of a way that you could get him to change his behavior, it should be of at least some comfort that I'm 100% sure that he likes you and respects you AND the work you do. The mixed message he's sending are due to the fact that ESTJs have pretty much no Fe, so when he isn't in a really good mood, he's not going to pretend like he is. It's not "Be nice or mean - pick one", because ESTJs don't work that way.

    Sorry I couldn't help more.
    Last edited by EJCC; 05-06-2010 at 08:14 PM.
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  2. #12
    Carerra Lu IZthe411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    Without getting into what I do (there are reasons I don't want to discuss it online), I'll just say that he gets uptight when anyone does something in a way that is not exactly the way he would do it.

    I've told him in a respectful way, "I'm not you. I'm me. You have to give people some breathing room and trust their competency." He has backed off quite a bit since that discussion, but he still rips on other people quite a bit. I hate listening to him talk to people in the condescending way that he does (especially one ESFJ female who he just walks all over).

    It's always stuff like, "Why are you facing that way, when you should be facing the other way?"

    It's like, "dude, who cares what way I'm facing? I'm getting the job done faster than anyone else in this building. And you know that I'm extremely productive. But you still want to pick everything apart that I'm doing." I told him, "All you have to do is look at my bottom line results. If my results are sub-par, then I want to know about it. But, if my results are one of the best in this place, then why would you want to come interrupt me and tell me that I'm doing stuff wrong?" I know that if I left, he would miss my productivity. But, he's pushing me to the point to where I literally WANT to leave.

    And when I leave, he'll probably be shocked - like, "why are you leaving? what happened?" And it's basically because he's a jerk most of the time. I just won't put up with it like most people will. I'll find something else. I hate to sound like that, but that's just the truth of it. It would be SO much easier and a good working environment if he would just chill out.
    Okay. I agree with EJCC, he's not being mean. They are just very direct without a lot of Fe. As an ISTJ I can be that way too.

    But I know how it feels to be subject to that kind of attitude. My ESTJ boss is very detailed- more than he needs to be for the work we do. In the grand scheme of things the stuff that he harps on means nothing to the big picture, yet he needs to be comfortable with it. :steam:We've gone back and forth over it, but that's how he learned from his boss- to fret over everything. So if I don't follow the same path he does to get to the results, I get grief. It was a battle earlier but I think he respects my viewpoint and doesn't give me as much as a hard time as he did in the past.

    Also hope you didn't think I was telling you to fake interest in the guy's life. I just know that we can always find something in common to talk about. ESTJs can go on and on about their interests, so it's hard to sometimes endure them talking about them, but that's still taking an interest.

  3. #13
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Speaking back as myself again:

    I've been married to my hubs for 21+ years now, and I can even attest to some communication issues, especially in the first few years of our marriage. He would ask "What are you doing? Why are you doing X? Why are you doing it that way? Don't you think you should do X now? etc" - I found these kind of point-blank questions maddening - 1) because he really did think his way was the right way and 2) because it kind of made me feel like I WAS doing it wrong.

    I have since learned he needs to be able to follow my thought process and he has learned that there is often more than one way to accomplish a task.

    1. Nitpicking is NOT the same as disrespect, with ESTJs. I'm 99% sure that he respects you. If he's like me, he'd be very cold and completely unfriendly/distant/uncommunicative/one-word-responses with you if he didn't respect you. (It would be very obvious.) It looks like you associate friendliness with respect and vice versa, but that's not how it works for ESTJs at all. Just because they consider themselves to be right unless proven otherwise (which most people do, anyways), doesn't mean they consider themselves to be better than you, or that they consider you to be unworthy, or anything like that.
    2. The nitpicking is just his way of making sure that everything works out okay. Often when he nitpicks, and saying things like "Why are you doing _____?", he's not asking a rhetorical question, and is genuinely asking you why you're doing that. So, here's the code-breaking:
    "Why are you facing the wrong way?" = "I don't understand why you're facing that way. It doesn't make sense to me. Prove me wrong. Make your case!" So, even though I doubt that he'll stop doing that, it should at least help a little bit, if, unless you're doing this already, you make your case to him every time he nitpicks, in a cordial but firm way.

    I understand why it would be so infuriating - I mean, you guys are speaking completely different languages - and even though I can't think of a way that you could get him to change his behavior, it should be of at least some comfort that I'm 100% sure that he likes you and respects you AND the work you do. The mixed message he's sending are due to the fact that ESTJs have pretty much no Fe, so when he isn't in a really good mood, he's not going to pretend like he is. It's not "Be nice or mean - pick one", because ESTJs don't work that way.
    EJCC's post is very good, and @bold totally fits in with my experience.

    ESTJ's really are "what you see is what you get" - there are no hidden agendas, no secrets or surprises, but they just don't always say things in a candy-coated way. Just respond calmly and cordially and let the lack of Fe response slide off your back.

    And one more thought: if you boss really is hugely nit-picky right now, are they under a lot of pressure from their boss? My hubs always wants to do a great job, and when there are big problems at his employment, or he's feeling pressure from above to get results, it can tend to roll down-hill, if you know what I mean. How he feels is no secret to anyone who's half-good at reading others.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Thanks again to all who posted. It's been very insightful and your advice does ring true of the ESTJ's in my family. A few things:

    1) Stuff definitely is rolling down hill. His bosses are all over him. And we try to keep that in mind.

    2) IzThe411 hit the nail on the head about his nitpicking about things "that don't really have a huge impact on the final results." It's little stuff. That's what's maddening to me. INTP's are really good at seeing how everything is working together - we see how it all comes together. While he is spending 10 minutes arguing with someone about "how long their method takes", I'm just listening to it all and thinking to myself, "Are you forgetting that you're wasting 10 minutes RIGHT NOW of your own time and of that person's time - that's actually 20 minutes. And what's even more maddening is that sometimes he'll be arguing with one of the most productive workers that he has - the person who gets stuff done the fastest. It's like he's so focused on trying to tell people that they're wrong, that he's getting in his own way - stepping on his own feet. He ends up being the one who is wasting everyone's time. The person is already EXTREMELY fast and good - why change a good thing?

    3) As for his questions meaning "State your case. Show me I'm wrong." This is what drives an INTP nuts. Because we've already analyzed (probably 10 times more than he has) what is the ABSOLUTE most efficient way to do it. We're INTP's - that's what we do. I know that he doesn't know that, but it's like he's challenging me on things like "why I'm using the wrong brand of tissue" (I'm exaggerating), when I've already got it worked out - my bottom line results are good.

    If I have a productive worker who gets things done quickly and efficiently, I'm leaving that person alone and letting them "do what they do". It's like if you peek into your kid's bedroom and he's cleaning his bedroom all by himself. He's putting things in their right place, being very productive. You're not going to interrupt him. Let him keep doing it - and then when he's all done, maybe you tell him "good job" or you reward him in some way. You wouldn't say, "You put that toy in the left side of the toy box. I want it on the right side from now on."

    Just the way I see it. But, thanks again for the ESTJ insight.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
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  5. #15
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    Thanks again to all who posted. It's been very insightful and your advice does ring true of the ESTJ's in my family.
    Glad we could help!

    And what's even more maddening is that sometimes he'll be arguing with one of the most productive workers that he has - the person who gets stuff done the fastest. It's like he's so focused on trying to tell people that they're wrong, that he's getting in his own way - stepping on his own feet. He ends up being the one who is wasting everyone's time. The person is already EXTREMELY fast and good - why change a good thing?
    For the first bolded part: Like I said before, he wouldn't talk to people like that if he didn't trust them to get the job on time. It actually makes perfect sense that it's the efficient workers that he wastes the time of, because he know that they can spare it without their work quality suffering. It means that he's not worried about the job getting done.
    For the second bolded part: It's not about telling people they're wrong. It's about asking people why they're doing things a certain way. It's genuine, unfeigned interest. Even though you're reading his questions that way, they are nonetheless questions, and not statements.

    3) As for his questions meaning "State your case. Show me I'm wrong." This is what drives an INTP nuts. Because we've already analyzed (probably 10 times more than he has) what is the ABSOLUTE most efficient way to do it. We're INTP's - that's what we do. I know that he doesn't know that, but it's like he's challenging me on things like "why I'm using the wrong brand of tissue" (I'm exaggerating), when I've already got it worked out - my bottom line results are good.
    I hate to tell you, but that behavior will not change. Ever. For example, I even do that with people I would trust with anything, only instead of meaning "Huh. Interesting. Make your case", it means "I trust you implicitly, but because I don't understand what you're doing, and it's not part of precedent, I need reassurance that what you're doing is the best option. Make me feel better plz?" So, I understand how maddening it must be, and I sympathize, but if one of you is going to change, I think it'll have to be you, because I doubt that your ESTJ boss is capable of change in that behavioral area.

    If I have a productive worker who gets things done quickly and efficiently, I'm leaving that person alone and letting them "do what they do". It's like if you peek into your kid's bedroom and he's cleaning his bedroom all by himself. He's putting things in their right place, being very productive. You're not going to interrupt him. Let him keep doing it - and then when he's all done, maybe you tell him "good job" or you reward him in some way. You wouldn't say, "You put that toy in the left side of the toy box. I want it on the right side from now on."
    ... the difference being that there's not a whole lot at stake in a kid's bedroom being cleaned "right". Imagine that there was a competition as to whose bedroom was the most clean. An ESTJ parent, if they REALLY wanted their kid to win, and if the rules of the competition allowed for parents to help, might do the same thing that your boss is doing.
    Just the way I see it. But, thanks again for the ESTJ insight.
    I totally understand. And no problem
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    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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  6. #16
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    I have an ESTJ dad and an ESTJ boss

    Tried for years on end to get along, with a billion different approaches

    IMO nothing will create complete harmony, but if you can get into a situation where the contact is limited between you and them then its bearable

    Even if they give up their control etc towards you, I've still never had a satisfying conversation with an ESTJ

    I can seem a little nasty towards them but there's nothing I can do, I'm just so bored by them it drives me insane

    I don't personally buy the whole "any healthy two types can be happy together"

    My father and I for the most part get along but its not a very interesting relationship

    I pretty much just "uhhuh" and nod while he is talking about how he went at golf or how something out the car window is somehow interesting

    Then he completely zones out when I go deep into a topic and get the "why do you try to dissect things so much" stance

  7. #17
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I hate to tell you, but that behavior will not change. Ever. For example, I even do that with people I would trust with anything, only instead of meaning "Huh. Interesting. Make your case", it means "I trust you implicitly, but because I don't understand what you're doing, and it's not part of precedent, I need reassurance that what you're doing is the best option. Make me feel better plz?"
    This is very helpful. Perhaps a lot of times he's just wanting to understand more and I'm taking it as nitpicking. I'll keep this in mind going forward.

    What's also hard is when I try to answer his questions or explain my stance, he always pops back with some other question and before long it ends up with him basically forcing me to do things exactly his way. I want to say, "no dude, i'm not going to do EVERYTHING your way. You're my boss and I respect you, but I'm not going to change the way I do everything. Just leave me alone and watch my results. You won't be disappointed. I promise."

    But, since you say he won't be able to change, I'll definitely try to keep that in mind - that he's just trying to "understand my method".


    Quote Originally Posted by Unique View Post
    I have an ESTJ dad and an ESTJ boss

    Tried for years on end to get along, with a billion different approaches

    IMO nothing will create complete harmony, but if you can get into a situation where the contact is limited between you and them then its bearable

    Even if they give up their control etc towards you, I've still never had a satisfying conversation with an ESTJ

    I can seem a little nasty towards them but there's nothing I can do, I'm just so bored by them it drives me insane

    I don't personally buy the whole "any healthy two types can be happy together"

    My father and I for the most part get along but its not a very interesting relationship

    I pretty much just "uhhuh" and nod while he is talking about how he went at golf or how something out the car window is somehow interesting

    Then he completely zones out when I go deep into a topic and get the "why do you try to dissect things so much" stance
    Yeah, it's difficult because the 2 types are almost polar opposites. The only common meeting point that I find that I have with them is the "T" function. I understand their logic "most of the time." For instance, I have ESFJ and ESFP co-workers who don't always get his reasoning - but I get it. There are times when I hear him arguing with them and I agree with him and his logic.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
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  8. #18
    Senior Member mcmartinez84's Avatar
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    Show him you're smart and not just another drone... That's how I've made friends with 1 or 2. Also, don't be afraid to contradict them given that you have a valid argument for doing so. "Hey, you're reasoning/fact/whatever is wrong because of x/y/z logic I have for you right here." Bam!

    Basically, be able to explain yourself clearly so your conclusion is naturally, logically and absolutely the right/best answer.

    As an ISTP, I don't really trust answers that are just given to me. It's like with math problems in school - Show your work or you don't get credit even if it's the right answer. I need to really know that *you* know what you're doing. It's just how I believe things. I'm into the scientific method and proving things with logic (in case I hadn't said that word enough times already, lol).

    I really am genuinely interested in the reasoning. I also know I come off as a jerk when I question people altho I don't mean to. I've gotten a liiiittle better about saying something like "ok, I know you think X Answer, but I'm still not clear on how you came to this because these are the facts I have and I can't piece it together to end up in the same place you did. Help a sister out plz."

    Idk that I've had an ESTJ boss. The one(s) I'm thinking of are all folks around my age and just friends.



    I think the "there's always room to improve efficiency" mentality is a huge part of why he wants explanations for everything. It's possible that each step of the way you took to do something could have been drastically improved upon, but since he doesn't know what steps you took, he doesn't know where the flaws might be.

    And yes, he knows you're capable and smart...but remember that there are a lot of idiots out there that outnumber the smart people. You've gotta be on top of everything with the idiots and kinda stay in that mode when a smart person comes along. It's not really an excuse, but maybe an explanation.
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  9. #19
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    they're hard to get along with? I've never had a problem with ESTJs... make them laugh... laughter softens almost all types (except for INTJs, who don't fully appreciate penis jokes )
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  10. #20
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    they're hard to get along with? I've never had a problem with ESTJs... make them laugh... laughter softens almost all types (except for INTJs, who don't fully appreciate penis jokes )
    Funny you say this. The ESTP that I work with absolutely hates the ESTJ.

    The ESTP makes up new ways to do things. He does it whatever way he feels like doing it on that day. And the fact that he doesn't do it the same way every day drives the ESTJ nuts. The ESTJ is always trying to keep tabs on the ESTP, but he can't keep logical tabs because the ESTP is always "off schedule". The ESTJ expects everyone to do A, then B, then C, then D, then E, then go home.

    The ESTP does A, then E, then C, then D, then B, then goes home. ESTJ system malfunction. He always accuses the ESTP of "marching to the beat of his own drum". He hates the "free thinking" - there are different ways to get the job done - mentality. The ESTP says the same thing I do: I'm going to do it the way that makes sense to me, not the way that makes sense to him. And I'll still get the job done equally as well. Just look at my results.

    The difference that I notice between the ESTP and myself is that I come up with my "best methods" because those are the methods that I truly believe are the most efficient way of doing my job. There's really no other reason behind my method. I analyze things and come up with what I feel is the absolute very best way do to things - for me. If someone else wants to use a different method (as long as their results are good), then go for it. I won't knock you for it. But, I believe my way is the best - because I've thought about it and analyzed it in ridiculous detail. I've thought about every other possible way to do it (even if there's 100 different ways), and I've determined this is the best way.

    The ESTP, on the other hand, seems to include an element of "having fun" into his strategy. If he thinks it will be more fun/enjoyable to do things different today than he did yesterday, then he will. He has to have fun in what he's doing. But, somehow he does still get the job done very well (and the ESTJ disagrees).
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

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