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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default ESTJs and ISTJs being busy

    I have a question about ESTJ/ISTJ "busyness".

    I understand that ESTJs and ISTJs are basically busy, hard-working types who base quite a lot of their sense of self and accomplishment on getting a lot done. So, a happy and healthy ESTJ or ISTJ would probably be hard-working. (It's hard to imagine otherwise).

    However, I also get the feeling that these types will throw themselves into hard work and general "busyness" specifically to avoid things like: uncomfortable emotional situations, people they're trying to ignore, deeper reflections on their lives, etc.

    This is really general and I'm not sure where I'm going with it but I was wondering if you guys could fill me in on how "healthy busy" and "unhealthy/avoidant busy" might show up in different xSTJs.

    Thanks!
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    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    My dad's ESTJ. From what I can tell, work is caring to him. It's tangible evidence of his responsibility, but also how he marks what's in his sphere of existence--what matters to him--and he assumes the same meaning for everyone else. He leads by example. He works his hardest to indicate how he feels things ought to be done, and takes it as a sign of disrespect if after being shown the "correct" way to do things someone choses to do otherwise.

    There are two things that come to mind when thinking of the unhealthy side of work for him. The complication goes back to the fact that work equates to caring for him. Work can show up where it's not wanted as a kind of demand. It's the INFP shadow that rears it's head and gets hurt that leads to problems, "I've done for you. I shouldn't have to ask for you to do for me, too." When dad's really stressed this goes into overdrive for him. He's a stress cleaner. It's awful for everyone when dad gets into a stress clean mode and no one pitches in. It's like he put in all the hours that he ought to, then went over and above and still no one recognizes him. For ESTJs, at least, if they're working they're not avoiding, but there can still be that desperate edge. There's something that needs to be mollified.
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    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    ^ Thank you, that is helpful. So it sounds like it has something to do with wanting to be recognized...well, that does fit with the xSTJs I have known

    My brother is ISTJ and he always had much more of a desire to be "recognized" (in a sort of fame/hard work kind of way) than I do. It is very difficult to talk to him about anything except his work, which is admittedly very interesting and absorbing, but I don't understand the degree to which it IS his life. He doesn't really do anything anymore which isn't work-related, but he's managed to find a work niche for himself which involves most of his main interests, I guess. It feels to me like he's avoiding deeper things, though (ie. emotionally.) But I'm not him, so...
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    I often say I'm busy when I'm in the middle of something. I hate interruptions.

    But other than that, busy is more like something that happens as a side effect of doing stuff. I don't try to be busy! I experience more the desire to get out of having crammed up time than I do trying to push things aside by squeezing them away.
    I don't see any invisible treasure chests.

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    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    ^ Thank you, that is helpful. So it sounds like it has something to do with wanting to be recognized...well, that does fit with the xSTJs I have known

    My brother is ISTJ and he always had much more of a desire to be "recognized" (in a sort of fame/hard work kind of way) than I do. It is very difficult to talk to him about anything except his work, which is admittedly very interesting and absorbing, but I don't understand the degree to which it IS his life. He doesn't really do anything anymore which isn't work-related, but he's managed to find a work niche for himself which involves most of his main interests, I guess. It feels to me like he's avoiding deeper things, though (ie. emotionally.) But I'm not him, so...
    What kind of things do you think he ought to be pursuing?
    And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow,
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    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wind-Up Rex View Post
    What kind of things do you think he ought to be pursuing?
    Oh, it's not that I think his work is bad or anything. He seems to find it fascinating and satisfying and it is about as interesting as work can get. But it just doesn't seem well-rounded to me. I need a lot more in my life than interesting work (and my work is fairly interesting); I also need a variety of friends, spirituality, relationships or the possibility for them, etc. It doesn't seem like he has much of that, but then, it may just be that he's very private about it all. He has a lot of no-go areas, it seems.
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  7. #7
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I understand that ESTJs and ISTJs are basically busy, hard-working types who base quite a lot of their sense of self and accomplishment on getting a lot done. So, a happy and healthy ESTJ or ISTJ would probably be hard-working. (It's hard to imagine otherwise).

    However, I also get the feeling that these types will throw themselves into hard work and general "busyness" specifically to avoid things like: uncomfortable emotional situations, people they're trying to ignore, deeper reflections on their lives, etc.

    This is really general and I'm not sure where I'm going with it but I was wondering if you guys could fill me in on how "healthy busy" and "unhealthy/avoidant busy" might show up in different xSTJs.
    I'd say that xSTJs aren't busy with the aim of avoiding things; I think the avoiding things happens as a consequence of being busy, most of the time.

    But there are a lot of instances, both with healthy and unhealthy ESTJs, when they use business to avoid things. e.g. When xSTJs are stressed, they can get caught up in their Ne, and start avoiding more important things by doing busy-work, i.e. things that still have to be done but just aren't as high priority (like what Wind-Up Rex said about stress cleaning). Also, one common xSTJ coping mechanism in the face of tough times or a personal trauma is to push the emotion away and just Deal With Everything Else. You might see an xSTJ whose family member has just died, being the one person in the family who isn't a wreck about it, because someone has to deal with the funeral arrangements, and plan out the estate sale, and deal with everything calmly and objectively when obviously no one else is being calm or objective. (Later, their emotions might blow up out of nowhere, or if they're an ISTJ they might be able to hold it all in until they're in private)
    Quote Originally Posted by Wind-Up Rex View Post
    My dad's ESTJ. From what I can tell, work is caring to him. It's tangible evidence of his responsibility, but also how he marks what's in his sphere of existence--what matters to him--and he assumes the same meaning for everyone else. He leads by example. He works his hardest to indicate how he feels things ought to be done, and takes it as a sign of disrespect if after being shown the "correct" way to do things someone choses to do otherwise.

    There are two things that come to mind when thinking of the unhealthy side of work for him. The complication goes back to the fact that work equates to caring for him. Work can show up where it's not wanted as a kind of demand. It's the INFP shadow that rears it's head and gets hurt that leads to problems, "I've done for you. I shouldn't have to ask for you to do for me, too." When dad's really stressed this goes into overdrive for him. He's a stress cleaner. It's awful for everyone when dad gets into a stress clean mode and no one pitches in. It's like he put in all the hours that he ought to, then went over and above and still no one recognizes him. For ESTJs, at least, if they're working they're not avoiding, but there can still be that desperate edge. There's something that needs to be mollified.
    Boy, does all of this ring true! The bolded is something that annoys the shit out of me in other people, but sometimes I slip into and I have to force myself out of. I need to remind myself sometimes: If I want something done, I shouldn't passive-aggressively wait for someone to do it if they don't know that they're supposed to. The concept of reminding people of things exists for a reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Oh, it's not that I think his work is bad or anything. He seems to find it fascinating and satisfying and it is about as interesting as work can get. But it just doesn't seem well-rounded to me. I need a lot more in my life than interesting work (and my work is fairly interesting); I also need a variety of friends, spirituality, relationships or the possibility for them, etc. It doesn't seem like he has much of that, but then, it may just be that he's very private about it all. He has a lot of no-go areas, it seems.
    ^ I get where you're coming from, more than where he's coming from, in a lot of ways. But then again I have so many interests that I would be sad without -- and I am so intensely territorial about maintaining what little free time I have, that some people in my life used to think that I cared more about having fun than doing well in school etc but the thing is, if I don't guard that time with my life, then I won't have it, and life would suck.

    Privacy must have a lot to do with it; my dad is an INTP and he used to do the same thing, i.e. work, dinner/chatting, TV, bed, every day. But I think he gets a lot of satisfaction from time on the computer, and he finds 5w4 privacy and creative outlet in various places throughout the day, at work and at home. I wonder if that's the case with your ISTJ brother, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post

    However, I also get the feeling that these types will throw themselves into hard work and general "busyness" specifically to avoid things like: uncomfortable emotional situations, people they're trying to ignore, deeper reflections on their lives, etc.

    This is really general and I'm not sure where I'm going with it but I was wondering if you guys could fill me in on how "healthy busy" and "unhealthy/avoidant busy" might show up in different xSTJs.

    Thanks!
    Yes. And if nothing is readily available they will invent something mechanical, laborious, and time-consuming to do as if their lives and everyone else's depended on it..... like Farmville on Facebook.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I have a question about ESTJ/ISTJ "busyness".

    I understand that ESTJs and ISTJs are basically busy, hard-working types who base quite a lot of their sense of self and accomplishment on getting a lot done. So, a happy and healthy ESTJ or ISTJ would probably be hard-working. (It's hard to imagine otherwise).

    However, I also get the feeling that these types will throw themselves into hard work and general "busyness" specifically to avoid things like: uncomfortable emotional situations, people they're trying to ignore, deeper reflections on their lives, etc.

    This is really general and I'm not sure where I'm going with it but I was wondering if you guys could fill me in on how "healthy busy" and "unhealthy/avoidant busy" might show up in different xSTJs.

    Thanks!
    I wonder though if this is better/more productive than what I do in such situations: utterly withdrawal from everyone and cry for hours on end
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
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  10. #10
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    I wonder though if this is better/more productive than what I do in such situations: utterly withdrawal from everyone and cry for hours on end
    Perhaps "more productive", but likely to make the xSTJ run themselves into the ground and implode, I'd say...
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