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  1. #1
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Default Motivating an ESFP - is it possible?

    My son is 20 and ESFP (E to the maximum). Intelligent, and has no plans or direction for his life yet. Has spent the last year working part-time and playing video games. Is procrastinating about even getting his driver's licence. (I'm basically going to have to set a deadline now, saying that I won't drive him anywhere save for emergencies. We paid for driving lessons but he hasn't got around to taking the test.)

    He's not motivated by material gain, how people view him or social status (which is cool.) Likes to have fun (basically.) But at some point he needs to go to school and do ... something with his life. Is there anything that I can do to help facilitate his decision-making? Ummm, I ask this even though nothing I have ever tried historically (all through high school, positive or negative) made much difference.

    SP's, would appreciate your advice here. What did you need from your Mom & Dad to help you focus on planning? I often think I in particular facilitate his procrastination by being too "nice" and helpful.

  2. #2
    Senior Member defragmybrain's Avatar
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    sounds exactly like me.
    i'm 20, and 100% unmotivated in life despite my tremendous potential and talent.
    - From your fun-loving ESFP.
    Se/Fi/Te/Ni, 44% E / 88% S / 62% F / 67% P

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  3. #3
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    If I knew the answer to that I wouldn't be living under a bridge!

    Hmm but seriously that's a tough one, maybe give him lots of positive encouragement about how great he would be in suchandsuch and at the same time cut off any financial support you might be giving? Sometimes we SPs need to actually hit a barrier before we change course.
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  4. #4
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    Yup, pull out the funding. Once your kid figures out that work will lead to the freedom to have fun again, there will be plenty of motivation. Can't promise that they'll suddenly want to go to Harvard, but it's a start, right?

  5. #5
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    SP's, would appreciate your advice here. What did you need from your Mom & Dad to help you focus on planning? I often think I in particular facilitate his procrastination by being too "nice" and helpful.
    When I was 20, my main motivation was hot women. If I showed up at school and work, I had the opportunity to see a lot of them and often talk to them. By the time I was 21, I had rediscovered my love of roads, and my motivation to go to my job was to get a paycheck to buy gas to take road trips and food on the trips...and some places I went I could see hot women.

    What motivates an SP is always gonna change I think, depending on what they're into. But there's nothing anyone could have done that would make me focus on planning. I never did that. I still don't.

    Why do you feel like he needs to go to school? If he's happy with his life, that should be the important thing. If the problem is that you are supporting him financially, then bottom-line it for him and tell him you can't do that anymore. (like your driving deadline idea. ) In my life, the only way I ever dealt with anything was when I had to. I would have mooched off my mom for all eternity if she hadn't eventually told me straight up "I can't give you any more money." When she said that, I knew I had to do something else. But SPs are opportunists. If you give us the safety net, we will keep gloriously falling back into it. We will adapt when we have to, or when we feel like a change, but you never know when that's gonna happen.

    P.S. I still mooch off my mom, but I do it more sporadically now, so she's more inclined to help me out when I need it. And I've done a lot of things to help her out in return. And nowadays, I keep my job and don't quit and expect her to take care of me like I used to do.
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  6. #6
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Thanks all for your comments above. It's helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    When I was 20, my main motivation was hot women.
    Yes, that is definitely a high priority focus - I think it's one of the reasons he does go to work!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    Why do you feel like he needs to go to school? If he's happy with his life, that should be the important thing.
    Oh absolutely, and trust me I don't necessarily think school is the answer - I too just want him to be happy, my husband too. I just feel that he needs to become more self-sufficient, because I am starting to recognize I'm being taken advantage of (even though he's so charming at it.) And I am starting to resent it. Just this morning I picked him up from work (he worked a night shift) then drove him home, then drove myself back to work. This is typical of what we do to help support him (and my ESTJ husband minds the driving etc less but definitely hates the lack of a plan more.)

    (Another issue with school is the fact we have an education savings plan that will expire when he is 21. We get the funds back but with no accumulated interest in this plan. The other plans we have can roll to a retirement plan, but not this one.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    In my life, the only way I ever dealt with anything was when I had to. I would have mooched off my mom for all eternity if she hadn't eventually told me straight up "I can't give you any more money." When she said that, I knew I had to do something else. But SPs are opportunists. If you give us the safety net, we will keep gloriously falling back into it. We will adapt when we have to, or when we feel like a change, but you never know when that's gonna happen.
    Indeed; thanks for this. Shall reflect on it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I think you need to be really strict, unfortunately.
    I had some strict parenting by my mom. She respected my need for fun and relaxation, but had to put her foot down A LOT. We also didn't have a lot of money, so I started working early to afford my funs. We got into a lot of fights all the time, but in the end I ended up being a motivated, hard worker. She had to weed out what was helpful for me and what was enabling, I think.

    I don't know how you would do this with a 20 year old adult, but it wouldn't hurt to start saying "no" once in a while.

  8. #8
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    As long as he pays his way (at that age he should) and shows respect thats all I would expect as a parent

    Is going to school going to make him happy or you as a parent happy?

    Is he happy at the moment?

    You'll find that SPs are indeed opportunists and he will in the next few years most likely all of a sudden on impulse say that he is moving out, and doing this that and the other

    The reasoning for that would most likely be that he doesn't want to be seen as someone who still lives with his mother

    We don't look too far into the future and don't worry about it, this enables us to enjoy the current moment to its fullest which to me is the most important thing in life

    SPs find motivation from within, if we are talking money then a lot of the time SPs are motivated by that amazing car or the freedom and time they get to spend doing whatever the hell they want

    If we can't see gains for our efforts we become bored with whatever work it is

    Anyway thats all for now, good luck

  9. #9
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    I don't know how you would do this with a 20 year old adult, but it wouldn't hurt to start saying "no" once in a while.
    Thanks sweet - the issue with saying "no" has always been he doesn't seem too impacted by it. When he was younger, we would take away priviledges (never super-strict admittedly) and he would shrug it off. No computer for a month - whatever. Grounded - whatever. No allowance - whatever.

    And you would think my hubs would be the stricter of us, but I can be the one who finally says "That's it." We're both enabling him I know.

    But we've never been heavy-handed so it would be out of character to just kick him out or anything drastic. Point being that just saying "no" has never really been ... enough?

  10. #10
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Maybe it will be different now that the stakes are higher?
    Mr. Charming should be able to find a ride to work with one of his friends, I spose- or else get his liscence. He'll need to find some way to afford his video games, right?

    Also, maybe charge him a small rent to stay there.

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