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  1. #1
    Senior Member Angry Ayrab's Avatar
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    Default ESTJ Father, looking for your opinions.

    First off I would like to say that I am very new to this stuff, but would love to hear your opinions. I am an ENFP, my mother is an INFJ and my father is an ESTJ. My mother and I connect on so many levels and I can safely say that she is my best friend. My father on the other hand drives me nuts. Anytime we talk, just a simple conversation, we end up at each others necks with my mother breaking it up. He has an air of I am always right and everyone else is wrong, and so on. He loves to play the blame game, and anything that has gone wrong is always someone else's fault. The man is a genius and he is a clean cut guy, and I am very proud to have him as a father, but I just don’t get him. He is either seriously emotionally detached or has some deeply buried feelings somewhere. He is insensitive when he speaks to people and says it like it is. The only way to earn respect from him is to have achieved high social status in life. That is the one of the reasons I went to medical school. It seems like he has this recipe in his head for what a man should be but I am never good enough to fit it.

    What are your thoughts on this relationship, I love the man, but he makes me want to tear my own eyeballs out with a spoon. Oh, I am 21 by the way.

  2. #2
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    Hmmmmm.... The spoon/eyeballs things sounds tempting, but my advice is only be around him when you're in the middle of a roaring crowd.

    He actually sounds a bit like my dad, a suspected ENTJ. Reducing the times I see him to three times a year has given our relationship the bolt it needed.
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  3. #3
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Hey Angry, not really about the dad, but did you want to go med school? Is being a doctor your passion, your first choice?

    'Cause I am an ENFP who has done similar things (though it may not look it...) and oh boy, trying to live up to your parents standards or make anyone else happy will NOT work. Especially for an ENFP you will be miserable.

    You will hit the wall eventually that you are a disappointment to your dad, probably when you are in your 30s, married to a woman you chose partially because of his approval, maybe with a kid, and a career you don't want with college debt you can't wish away. It will make you resentful and angry and oh yeah, you will still be a disappointment.

    So bail out now while you have the chance!

    I know, I'm totally melodramatic, but I'm ENFP like you so I'm allowed.

    Seriously though, following parents' wishes = bad formula. Your dad will get over it eventually. And if not, he will still continue to care about you. It's like "coming out" as your own person. This is not necessarily end of the world 'disappointment' or 'disapproval'.

    Parents are also people on their own individual journeys and coming to terms with the fact their children are independent people who are not under their contol and will make life choices not approved of -- that's part of their growth too.

    It takes parents a while to fully come to terms with the adult decisions you make but when they do, a totally new and more rewarding/tolerant adult child-parent relationship deveops.

    So to summarize: It feels horrible to let down parents but it may be inevitable, it's not the end of the world, they'll also get over it, and you have to live for yourself.

    BTW, I don't mean to lecture, I'm honestly kinda talking to myself here, to be honest.

    And...I'll try to think of something for the OP as well.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

  4. #4
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Hey Angry, not really about the dad, but did you want to go med school? Is being a doctor your passion, your first choice?

    'Cause I am an ENFP who has done similar things (though it may not look it...) and oh boy, trying to live up to your parents standards or make anyone else happy will NOT work. Especially for an ENFP you will be miserable.
    I really recommend that you and everybody else will study what interests you (not your parents) and what you want to be so there are no regrets later on. And this comment is based on my own experience.

    Edit: Some of post deleted -> personal info
    Last edited by alcea rosea; 04-11-2008 at 10:55 AM.

  5. #5
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Having worked with ESTJs the only thing that seems to keep them happy seems to be demonstrating competency.

    Sure as an INTP working with them I have a natural defence against the attempts at being pithy, the undermining comments and the general overdone punch in the arm. For some reason me combining intuition with a naturally aloof manner is interpreted as being a smartass and the only defence I've found against this is by being matter of fact and trying to make sure that all the t's are crossed and all the i's dotted (if you get my drift).

    On a side note my father is an ENTJ and I think we'd still be at logger heads if he hadn't taken up the MBTI. He was the one who got me interested in it and it was he who tested me. At 18, after many years of not understanding each other, he tested me and declared "Aha. THAT's why you do that!!". Since that point it's gotten better and better.

    Now you may find that your father will think the MBTI is poppycock as if he is playing to type it'll be contrary to his thinking that there is more than one correct approach but if you can get him to look at it and apply himself then perhaps he'll be more understanding of your approach.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #6
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    He doesn't sound atypical for ESTJs. The ones I have known have always prided competence and leadership [through competence if nothing else]. And they tend to look at those who do not do as much as their lives as they could as if they were slacking off. Even the females tend to be this way.

    The one time I had to win one over (he was annoyed by my NP ways), I had to show that I was diligent, competent, and responsible... and once he figured that out despite my methods being different, he became a friend. (Of course, he used to drive ME nuts because I saw all this stuff about him from the start -- and saw his main problems as pride and an inability to flex.)

    Some of the stuff has to happen on his end, so I won't talk about that. As far as you go, you're 21 and nigh time to make a clean break from your father and become your own person. Right now, you still live under his shadow even when he's not present.

    - Your ways and style are valid measures of a person and a man.
    - When your father's gone, you'll still have to live with yourself and the path you've chosen.
    - Your father is not you, he's different. And his core traits won't change. So you need to love him for what he is and accept the negative aspects as an actual part of him. Right now you seem to accept the good parts but really REALLY are hoping the bad stuff will change. It probably won't, and you'll need to love/accept him even for that stuff.
    - You will have to draw sharp boundaries. He will almost guaranteed encroach on them, so you'll have to defend them with quiet gentle confidence and not give him anything to react against or fight with you about. If you get into a heated match with him, it'll just reinforce things. Deny him without fighting with him.
    - Do you really want to be in med school? Is there something you'd like better you can pursue with the education you have so far? Is it worth it to finish med school and then take advantage of the career(s) open to you even if they don't match your father's ideas? Obviously if they are investing money in you, you won't have complete freedom, but these are things to consider.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
    Senior Member Angry Ayrab's Avatar
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    In regards to the medical school thing:

    I personally started on this path to please him, but eventually found out I really love this thing. I really want to become a family practice physician specializing in psychiatry. I am so good with patients already, and it has only been my first year of realy patient interaction. I am not sure what it is, but every time the doctor that is incharge of me leaves me alone with the patient, I can get them to say things to me that they didn't offer to their physicians. I can read people so well, it scares me.

    Now my only problem with medical school has been the fact that I have pushed my stress factor to the limit. I will admit, I probably did not put in as much effort as my counterparts, but to them, study and busy work comes naturally. I work great under severe terrofying deadlines and usually end up doing better than the students that study 3 weeks in advance. I am just not sure how long I can keep this emotional-stress rollercoaster running. I am 2nd in my class as of right now but I feel despised because I don't conform to the communitties mentality. These guys are so full of themselves too, so what if you are a doctor or in medical school, get over yourselves your not special. It is this air of superiority that seems to drag me down the most.

    In short, the only thing I would rather do other than be a family practice physician specializing in psychiatry is teach chemistry. I plan on doing that as a fall back plan and made sure to finish all my undergraduate education classes incase I ever needed teacher certification, all i would have to do is take the exam. My undergraduate degree was biochemistry with minors in math and education.

    All this stuff I have done, and I am still seen as an immature prick, that has no orientation in his life. The only time we get along is when I shut out my opinions and just start to agree with him about everything. I also realize that he loves to have his ego stroked everyonce in a while, but when i do it in my genuine enfp way, he tells me to quit being such a kiss ass. The only time when I get a hint that somewhere inside he is proud of me is when he introduces me to all his high powered friends. It seems like I am just used as a tool to increase his social status which I don't mind, anything that makes him happy is good for me. When he introduces me, he will start telling his friends about what I am doing and my grades and my job etc... If he knows these things, why can't he just come out and say them to me while we are driving alone or just watching tv.

    BASICALLY, WHAT THE FUCK IS HIS PROBLEM.

    If it was not for my mom, I think I would just went crazy. I remember the night I told them I was applying to medical school. We were eating dinner and she got up and pretended to have forgotten something. My dad made some snide remark about only real men could become doctors (notice the hint of sexism), not slackers. I finished eating and didn't think about it. Five minutes later, I get a text from my mom saying that she is outside, and to meet her in the car and not tell my dad. We went to our special hang out place getting my mom some coffee, and she told me:

    Please look me strait in the eyes and tell me that you personally want to become a doctor for yourself and not for anyone else. I admitted it was kind of to please my dad, because she can read me like an open book, lying wasn't an option. She told me that she would rather see me drop out and enjoy my life than have me miserable forever. I told her to not worry and I would think about it. She then told me she trusted me to figure out for myself what I needed to do. Man I love her so much, she is so much wiser than my dad, and I so much nicer, and I think she is the only reason that we are accepted in the communitty as non stuck up jerks. The only issue with her is that you can tell a piece of her is constantly being hurt by my dad, but she is tough and doesn't let him get away with the shit I let him get away with. I just wish he would be more understanding of us as a whole and nurture our feeling sides.

    Jennifer, you hit it right on the spot with the love everything good about him comment yet hate everything bad about him and wish it would change.

    Guys, sorry to rant, but to me, this is like therapy, and I will respond to each of you personally thank you so much, I just have to go to school right now so some time later tonight.

    It would be nice to have an ESTJ come in here and give us the other side of the coin. Also, I actually had to fight with him to get him to take the test, and then when he finished it, he wouldn't even read his description and called it voo doo mumbo jumbo and a waste of time bullshit. Holy crap ======>

    E = 67%
    S = 87%
    T = 96%
    J = 87%

    I think we can all agree, that this man is a nut job.

  8. #8
    Wild Card Atomic Fiend's Avatar
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    You have my sympathy.

  9. #9
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Ayrab View Post
    In regards to the medical school thing:
    I personally started on this path to please him, but eventually found out I really love this thing.
    Very cool, then. It sounds like you found something you like, regardless of his opinions about it. So make sure you never cut your nose off to spite his face (or something like that)... no kneejerk reactions to his bullying.

    Now my only problem with medical school has been the fact that I have pushed my stress factor to the limit. I will admit, I probably did not put in as much effort as my counterparts, but to them, study and busy work comes naturally. I work great under severe terrofying deadlines and usually end up doing better than the students that study 3 weeks in advance.
    I can only imagine how hard it is, based on your personality, to deal with all that. I guess it really is a plan, though: Tough it out as best as you can and find ways to cope, and if you think you can't make it, then drop to the fallback position you have picked for yourself.

    It sounds like there is no "right answer" -- but you definitely know that you WANT this. It's a matter of just surviving the endurance race. If you want it bad enough, then work the problem. Figure out what helps you relieve stress. And don't take more pressure from others than is warranted. Some of that pressure is just their expectations for you; figure out what you have to do to pass/succeed, then dump the rest.

    All this stuff I have done, and I am still seen as an immature prick, that has no orientation in his life. The only time we get along is when I shut out my opinions and just start to agree with him about everything. I also realize that he loves to have his ego stroked everyonce in a while, but when i do it in my genuine enfp way, he tells me to quit being such a kiss ass. The only time when I get a hint that somewhere inside he is proud of me is when he introduces me to all his high powered friends. It seems like I am just used as a tool to increase his social status which I don't mind, anything that makes him happy is good for me. When he introduces me, he will start telling his friends about what I am doing and my grades and my job etc... If he knows these things, why can't he just come out and say them to me while we are driving alone or just watching tv. BASICALLY, WHAT THE FUCK IS HIS PROBLEM.
    He is what he is.

    It's really funny: My dad is an ESTP but I see a lot of him in your dad, except my dad pulled himself back more.

    I think your dad SHOWS his pride in you by showing you off to his friends. He's basically inviting you into those settings as a reward for your competence, you've earned the privilege. He probably thinks he is doing you a favor. But to you, it's like he's showing you off as HIS trophy, and you'd rather have him (in NFP fashion) connect with you directly, talk about you as a person, deal with the relationship directly rather than through this impersonal competence framework.

    So his problem is: His personality, his upbringing (most likely), his lack of understanding or giving validity to the way YOU feel and perceive things, etc.

    You might have to suck it up and recalibrate yourself to perceive how he works, rather than expecting him to give you what you want. And that sucks. But I think it is what happens with every parent/child relationship. You have expectations for your parents, and your dad's not meeting them because he works very differently than you... and you need to let your dad go. Release him from your expectations. It doesn't mean you can't tell him what you need and want, as part of negotiating, but expecting/demanding certain behavior from him isn't going to work.

    he's the type that you probably have to become a success before he'd realize you knew what you were talking about.


    Please look me strait in the eyes and tell me that you personally want to become a doctor for yourself and not for anyone else. I admitted it was kind of to please my dad, because she can read me like an open book, lying wasn't an option. She told me that she would rather see me drop out and enjoy my life than have me miserable forever. I told her to not worry and I would think about it. She then told me she trusted me to figure out for myself what I needed to do. Man I love her so much, she is so much wiser than my dad, and I so much nicer, and I think she is the only reason that we are accepted in the community as non stuck up jerks. The only issue with her is that you can tell a piece of her is constantly being hurt by my dad, but she is tough and doesn't let him get away with the shit I let him get away with. I just wish he would be more understanding of us as a whole and nurture our feeling sides.
    Everything you say here is honest and true... but I think you do connect more with your mom because you're more like her. I'm very glad you have her in your life, as some sort of support (because you need it!), and that she is tough enough to challenge you privately and also put up with any of the pain your dad inflicts on her. She's not in a fun position, although she married him for SOME reason.

    (Have you ever talked to her about that? Found out what she loves in your father? Maybe that could help you find some love for him too, if you could see it through her eyes.)

    Just ideas. It's funny for me to read all this. My dad wasn't such an intrusive prick, and my mom wasn't nearly as strong as your mom, but many of the dynamics were still very similar. And what I learned is that I think my father does love me... but he's so dysfunctional and insensitive and raised so poorly himself that he just doesn't know how to express it directly in a way that would leave him emotionally vulnerable. And most of his criticism what I've done with my life comes because he's afraid I will make a mistake and fail at life like he has.

    He just can't say it. I'd like to slap him silly sometimes ("Just say the words!!! Why is it so damn hard for you just to SAY it???") but... well, that's where he is.

    No rush in responding to everyone, you have a lot on your plate. And people respond as a gift to you, not because they expect an investment back. So... take care of yourself first here.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #10
    Senior Member mlittrell's Avatar
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    You respect him as your father he'll respect you as an individual...Thats my way of handling SJ's. It works very well.

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