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  1. #1
    Senior Member chatoyer's Avatar
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    Question ISFJ Personality Traits - What does an unhealthy ISFJ look like?

    Are they particularly skilled at guilt trips? Underhanded manipulation?

    What are their defenses and tactics of choice when they want attention, control, etc.?

    thanks!

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chatoyer View Post
    Are they particularly skilled at guilt trips? Underhanded manipulation?

    What are their defenses and tactics of choice when they want attention, control, etc.? thanks!
    • Subtle guilt trips through self-victimization
    • Actively being a paragon of virtue, to use as leverage later ("If I'm perfect, then you have no excuse to be upset with me.")
    • Generally passive-aggressive (occasionally downright aggressive if they feel justified or people they love are threatened)
    • Self-pity/withdrawal/self-castigation
    • Mentally able to block out things they don't want to address (denial and repression)
    • Can keep record of wrongs easily
    • Prone to wild speculation when things are forced outside the box (i.e., weak N abilities)


    Those are the things I generally have experienced.
    "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

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    Senior Member chatoyer's Avatar
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    Example of a subtle guilt trip? Is it verbal? Or are they more busy, showing how industrious they are despite their fatigue, like a nonverbal complaint? Do they seem negative and overwhelmed?

    Are they more prone to codependency?

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chatoyer View Post
    Example of a subtle guilt trip? Is it verbal? Or are they more busy, showing how industrious they are despite their fatigue, like a nonverbal complaint? Do they seem negative and overwhelmed?

    Are they more prone to codependency?
    Well, remember everyone is different, even within a particular MBTI type. Different strategies sometimes are favored based on past experience(s).

    Well, for example, they tend to go for comments or actions that insinuate the other person isn't doing their share or is irresponsible (while the ISFJ is responsible). Sometimes it's even a little more direct: "It would be nice sometimes if I didn't have to always do everything around here."

    I think one thing to keep in mind is that usually the ISFJ is trying to be perfect and trying NOT to have relational needs (they like to give, give, give, without directly asking, because they don't want to be a burden or impose); but inside they will feel a lot of resentment if they feel like the other person is taking advantage of them and they are doing. There is a lot of guilt if they are not able to perfectly carry out their self-assigned responsibilities.

    So usually it's not that they are trying to be cruel or manipulative (although anyone can be), often it seems to be the "I'm trying so hard to do everything right and be responsible, but it's not working and I'm really upset inside... yet the perfect person does not complain about their responsibilities so i can't say anything.")

    There does tend to be some codependency things, depending on the relational expectations they were brought up with. And the more introverted the ISFJ is, the more their world tends to revolve around just a few people... which often isn't fair to those people, since the ISFJ might get clingy or want a lot of their time and energy, more than they have to give. If it's someone like a spouse or a child or some other relationship with predefined expectations, it's very easy to judge the other partner as deficient if they are not following the "rules" as the ISFJ has learned them: "You are my spouse, therefore you should be making me feel loved or <whatever else>."

    I'd say that the tendency to give based on the ISFJ's scrupulous need to be responsible (rather than what the partner deserves/reciprocates), plus the ISFJ's tendency to have just a few really really close relationships, can lead them to be codependent more than some other types. They want the closeness, and they can easily be taken advantage of.
    "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

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    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    *overwhelmed by emotions they refuse to admit even exist (Fe does not help out Si in self-preservation mode, meaning Si gets all distorted)

    *the world is against them (it's not that they don't trust you, it's that they don't trust the world, so the world is going to pwn you no matter what you do). xSxJ doomsday beliefs at their worst.

    *works self day in and day out with no breaks for incredibly unreasonable amounts of time, until their bodies give out and they get sick. Then, the unhealthy ISFJ puts on guilt trips that everyone else didn't kick in to try to fight the world as hard as they did while the ISFJ was out of commission.

    *never asks for help, and takes it very personally that you didn't rescue them and join in their crusade against the world
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    You and I actually share a similar sense of humor.

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    Senior Member chatoyer's Avatar
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    @ photo

    I forget I'm talking to a bunch of NTs, precision in my question!!!

    (How does an unhealthy ISFJ behave??!!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    • Subtle guilt trips through self-victimization
    • Actively being a paragon of virtue, to use as leverage later ("If I'm perfect, then you have no excuse to be upset with me.")
    • Generally passive-aggressive (occasionally downright aggressive if they feel justified or people they love are threatened)
    • Self-pity/withdrawal/self-castigation
    • Mentally able to block out things they don't want to address (denial and repression)
    • Can keep record of wrongs easily
    • Prone to wild speculation when things are forced outside the box (i.e., weak N abilities)


    Those are the things I generally have experienced.
    Very true. They also can get VERY stubborn and generally uncooperative. Also, they can get very critical of others when the criticism should be pointed inwards. I can tell my boyfriend's starting to do this when I bring up a problem I have with something he did or said and he immediately starts reciting a list of every single thing I've ever done to hurt him. He's also quick to point out anything he can think of that would shift the blame to me. When it gets to that point, I just leave the room or the apartment until he calms down - and when I get back, he always apologizes and feels terrible about his behavior.

    I've found the best way to deal with these behaviors is simply by giving the ISFJ some space to calm the heck down. There are issues in my relationship with an ISFJ that have had to be settled weeks after the fact because my boyfriend's stress/depression level was so high that he started exhibiting these behaviors.

    My boyfriend responds positively when I distance myself because he's acting out of line. It's how I demand respect and works a lot better than going on an emotional rant about how I deserve respect. Simply talking to him when he's depressed or stressed doesn't get much accomplished. He needs to see consequences of his actions when he's all caught up in his "stubborn martyr mode". Usually once the consequences are laid out in front of him, he will not cross the line again. Since both of us stopped putting up with destructive behavior from each other (I have my own set of unhealthy behaviors), our relationship's gotten a million times better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

    I think one thing to keep in mind is that usually the ISFJ is trying to be perfect and trying NOT to have relational needs (they like to give, give, give, without directly asking, because they don't want to be a burden or impose); but inside they will feel a lot of resentment if they feel like the other person is taking advantage of them and they are doing. There is a lot of guilt if they are not able to perfectly carry out their self-assigned responsibilities.

    So usually it's not that they are trying to be cruel or manipulative (although anyone can be), often it seems to be the "I'm trying so hard to do everything right and be responsible, but it's not working and I'm really upset inside... yet the perfect person does not complain about their responsibilities so i can't say anything.")
    Jennifer's commented reminded me of an example...

    There was a situation in my relationship where my ISFJ boyfriend had an ex girlfriend who tried to interfere with our relationship. He dealt with the situation in his own way, but in my eyes, that way was not very effective as she still continued to call us often. He ended up getting very upset with ME because he was not responding to her whatsoever and felt as though the way he handled the situation was the right way. He very much resented my opinion that more needed to be done because he honestly felt he had done everything he can and that he had done it with the utmost respect for me & the relationship. He kept a lot of this inside and it ultimately surfaced in unhealthy ISFJ behaviors directed towards me because in his mind, I didn't see that he had done everything he possibly could do and that made him feel unappreciated.

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