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  1. #11
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buds of May View Post
    I appreciate the suggestions. I have no idea how to implement some of them, but they're food for thought.

    As for doing chores against protest, I'm afraid she might take it as an insult to her domestic hygeine. Sounds like an excuse, but I'm told that when I scold her kids about some dangerous antic, she takes it as a judgement against her parenting, as though someone else is having to discipline them. I don't know if she thinks other people are having to clean her house because she's not doing it to their standards.
    I would react very differently to someone scolding my children than I would to someone pitching in and doing something domestic for me. I make VERY sure never to discipline anyone else's children unless they've expressly put me in charge of them (babysitting or whatever) and then only VERY gently and positively. If I think they're about to break something or hurt themselves or someone else I would rather try to give them something else to do than directly call attention to what they're doing. People, and especially ISFJs probably, are very sensitive about their parenting. And it does feel kind of lousy when someone scolds my kids, mostly because I have a problem sometimes with knowing where they end and I begin. So I tend to internalize criticism of them as criticism of me.

    But helping out around the house- that stuff is cyclical and something always needs to be done, no matter how on-top you are. I don't think you need to clean her bathroom or anything but if you have dinner at her house you can hop up and clear the table/do the dishes before she has a chance to. In terms of the "love languages," ISFJs tend to speak in "gifts of service." It's how they show their love and they consider it an act of love from others. But you're right that it's important not to do it in such a way that it weakens her, in her own eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buds of May View Post
    I never thought of this. Other relatives say that she's worried about her impressions on guests. Of course she has more important interests, so it makes sense that she wouldn't devote herself so much to these tasks if she didn't have another level of motives. Good point.

    She'll probably take it with the same air of demure dispassion she takes other compliments, but it certainly sounds more satisfying.
    I think it'll resonate with her, even if she doesn't react differently outwardly.

    Again I want to say how sweet it is of you to be thinking in these terms. And I really get the impression that you're more interested in being a comfort and a relief to her, rather than getting positive strokes for yourself for being so helpful. She's very likely to see that.

    Oh, one more thing-- it feels great to be praised for things like how I parent or run a household, but it also feels great to be praised for being intelligent or clever or funny, things people don't always expect from Martha Stewart-types. (Not that I am in ANY WAY a Martha type, but I think sometimes people IRL think I begin and end with my parenting and homemaking, and I wish they knew there was more to me than that. Which is probably why I spend so much time here.)
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  2. #12
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    I think one of MY great advantages in this life is that I dont care shit. My whole life the depression of my ISFJ mum and the constant worry about the future of my ISTP father should have been a weight on my shoulders.

    I stood up in the morning and asked my mum, how can I help today. There is always something, the something is sometimes encryptically transmitted, but you get it naturally.

    I was reliable, constant and I was allowed to freak out, due to being overall constant.

    My mum herself went to a psychological health institute for half a year. My father, even more ressourceful as I am and me managed together with my sister the daily work.

    There was no emotional break in our family, when my mother went to the hospital. We were all hoping for her to get well and we supported her and we would have supported her until the ghost we were fighting would have ripped our fucking heads off.

    I myself was never aware of the fact that my mother is, what she is. Recently I got to know an INFJ girlfriend and she made me aware of the fact that my depression possibly could come from my mothers. I never thought of me being depressive. Now, I dont trust my so called girlfriend and now I dont trust myself either.

    I love my mum and I appreciate her. I try to show it to her every day in doing those things she likes and to confuse her with my university engineering knowledge.

    And most of all, I do one thing ! I be me. She can have any depression she likes, it is not me who must have it too. It is me who can try to change it.

    And in the end, when any effort of trying to change her mood or view of life has failed. I have to face the consequence that she might be happy with the way things are... on a of level of security, I barely can dream of.
    When I started reading this post I was ready to hate it- but I think it is actually a really sweet post. You clearly love your mom and want her to be happy but you're right-- it's not necessary for you to internalize her depression or make yourself responsible for it. At the same time you do what you can to support the people you love.

    I loved the line about "doing those things she likes and to confuse her with my university engineering knowledge." I think when my children are grown, that kind of thing will please me very much. I'll be proud to have raised smart children but even prouder if they still care about making the life of another human being more pleasant and bearable.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  3. #13
    Member Buds of May's Avatar
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    How embarrassing. FWIW, I don't discipline or criticize her kids, of course. That would be rude. I do enjoy spending time with them, and if they start playing with doors or banging each other's heads on the floor, or trying to stab me in the leg with a pencil, and I am the only adult in the room, I have a duty to admonish them to stop, and I tell them why.

    That's true about shifting the attention and giving them something else to do, though. Seems like it would work better. They never seem to understand when I tell them why not to do something.

  4. #14
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Yeah, we struggle with this in my family--my nephew, especially, is a little daredevil. But if you admonish him directly not to do something it's almost like it becomes a dare. AND, he gets his feewings hurt.

    BTW I didn't mean to imply you were a sourpuss who lives to discipline other people's kids. FWIW I've tried to explain this to my INTP husband, that not everyone welcomes directness like he does. His family is very T and they handle the collective kids like you do, but my family is very F and you have to dance around and do little maneuvers to keep from stepping on toes. I only mention it to mark the difference between stepping in with the kids, and helping around the house. The latter is more likely to be welcomed IME.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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