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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another INFJ View Post
    Is it possible to ask an ESTP to make changes without just making a bigger mess of things?

    I try to leave him alone and just hope that he will figure things out for himself. But sometimes, I feel like I have to make a request of him for change. It NEVER goes well. So there are important things that I don't talk to him about because I feel that, however unhappy I am, I'd be even more unhappy if I talked to him about it.

    I feel I'm being painted into a corner because there are things I want to talk to him about, some of them quite important, but I think it will only get worse if I tell him what's bothering me and what I want from him. I am not giving ultimatums, I just want a discussion. It seems that bringing up the topic of change only results in backsliding, if anything.

    Is this a personality thing or is it just a quirk of my particular ESTP?
    If I've learned anything about my ESTP mom, it's that if the first time I ask her something she doesn't respond favorably, then I simply try again the next day & get a whole new (usually contridicting) response. This worked wonders in high school.

    As for major things that hit her to the core, I just say how I feel in the least emotional way possible (usually by presenting facts - I don't use my normal INFJ abstract way of reasoning with her). I prepare myself for her to completely disagree & probably get rather flippy with me. Once she starts getting out of hand, I simply hang up the phone or go in the other room. I'll give her a couple days to simmer and approach the subject again - while acknowledging that I may have presented my case the wrong way the first time, but this is something that means a lot to me. I'll usually pick a neutral place (such as a resturant) the second time around. She usually listens this time & we work something out.

  2. #12
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    Quietgirl, I have not tried anything like this. I will have to see how it works. Thanks so much.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another INFJ View Post
    Quietgirl, I have not tried anything like this. I will have to see how it works. Thanks so much.
    No problem! Let me know how it goes!

    I find when relating with thinking types, especially sensing thinking types, going at it with facts to "prove" your point helps tremendously. My mother (and my ISTJ father) simply won't listen to a long speech about how I feel. If I need to get out how I feel in an argument, I've learned to call my INFP brother and just vent.

    If it helps any, my mother's normal advice on how to get what you want is, "Give the person options. Just don't give them an option you won't be happy with. That way they feel as though they are making the decision and you are still getting something that makes you happy." Ahh, ESTPs! And people say INFJ's are manipulative...

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by quietgirl View Post
    As for major things that hit her to the core, I just say how I feel in the least emotional way possible (usually by presenting facts - I don't use my normal INFJ abstract way of reasoning with her). I prepare myself for her to completely disagree & probably get rather flippy with me. Once she starts getting out of hand, I simply hang up the phone or go in the other room. I'll give her a couple days to simmer and approach the subject again - while acknowledging that I may have presented my case the wrong way the first time, but this is something that means a lot to me. I'll usually pick a neutral place (such as a resturant) the second time around. She usually listens this time & we work something out.
    Excellent response.

    When I was a sergeant in the Marines, I was put in charge of a lot of different groups or teams or small units. Among my subordinates I ran into ESTPs occasionally, and it seems like they would always cause some trouble and test me a bit at the start--just to check my boundaries and see what they could get away with. (I didn't know MBTI at the time, but in retrospect it's easy to look back and type those guys in particular.)

    I would roll with their backtalk and poor attitude for a while. Since they were only one member of a group, it was easy enough to defer dealing with individual troublemakers for a bit while I got to know the group and the task better as a whole. Then, when they really crossed the line and did something particularly bad (disobeyed an order outright or simply didn't do a task assigned to them), I came down on them real hard.

    I always waited until they crossed the line massively enough that it would be plain to any outside observer that they were way out of bounds (and so they had no recourse to complain about my subsequent treatment of them). And I always chewed them out in private (never give someone an embarrassing dressing-down in front of their friends and co-workers because it's a quick way to make a permanent enemy out of someone).

    Naturally, after that they sulked for a while and if anything their work was even more half-assed and slipshod than before. But at least they were following my orders and not giving me any more lip, and that was the main thing. I wanted to get them used to accepting my orders, even if it didn't result in the best work in the world.

    In the meantime I would treat them decently, show them all the usual courtesies and respect due any subordinate, act like the problem was forgotten, and wait them out for a bit. If they came around and got over their sulkiness by themselves, then nothing more needed to be done. But if their sulky attitude and poor work persisted or worsened, then a couple days to a week after the initial confrontation I called them aside and had another chat with them. This time I was much more upbeat, affirmed their positive contributions to the group effort, and apologized if I might have come down on them a bit hard the first time. I reiterated that the original bad behavior was still way out of line and that I had no choice but to come down on them if they repeated that behavior. But I distinguished between the behavior and the person: as long as they didn't repeat the original bad behavior, then I had no problem with them as a member of my team and fully expected to get along with them just fine.

    Then I went back to treating them decently and showing them the usual courtesies and respect. And most times that solved the problem. Usually they were happy to lay the issue to rest at that point. Their original misconduct had left them without any real recourse anyway (other than some passive-aggressive sulking), and they didn't really want to make a permanent enemy of a senior sergeant. So they were usually pretty relieved to be offered an "out" that allowed them to save some face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Another INFJ View Post
    I feel I'm being painted into a corner because there are things I want to talk to him about, some of them quite important, but I think it will only get worse if I tell him what's bothering me and what I want from him. I am not giving ultimatums, I just want a discussion. It seems that bringing up the topic of change only results in backsliding, if anything.
    We all have our "little lies" that are important to us and that generally hold us back in life. We generally have at least an inkling that our "little lies" probably aren't good for us; they cause us to do things counter to the popular or usual way of doing things, and sooner or later we hit instances where even we ourselves can see that they are sabotaging our relations with others and putting friends or spouses in untenable positions.

    I think this is true for all personality types. Each personality type is prone to its own types of "little lies." But I think they can all be handled pretty much the same way in the end. IOW, I think what I've described above can be used for all types.

    So nowadays, when a friend or coworker or spouse is putting me in a bind with their behavior, I'll do much as I did with my subordinates in the Marines. I'll try to pick a situation where they've clearly crossed a line ("pick your battles"), I'll get a little "tough love" on them and tell them that they've putting me in a bind and I'm not going to put up with it anymore, I'll give them a few days or a week to sulk about it while I continue to treat them normally and with the usual respect and friendship, and then I'll sit down and discuss the manner in a more upbeat fashion: clarify that I still intend to hold them accountable for their bad behavior when it occurs, but also reaffirm that I still value them and the relationship.

    A couple important points:

    1) Don't deliver "or else" ultimatums. You want to change their behavior, but you don't want to break up the relationship for good. So chew them out a bit; but when it comes down to the bottom line, give them a real choice of some sort: "If you won't take care of the problem yourself within a reasonable period of time, then I'm stepping in and taking care of it my way."

    2) In the interim, send lots of positive signals that you're still invested in the relationship overall. Be normal and friendly and keep up the usual routines while the other person is going through their sulking phase. Again, you want to change their behavior, not break up the relationship for good.

    3) If they continue to screw up, be firm and follow up on your promise to "take care of it my way." If you've picked your battles properly and chosen an occasion where they clearly crossed a line for the initial confrontation, then it shouldn't be necessary to refight the battle. Instead, just remind them that they've already abused their privileges one time too many and that it's already been resolved that you are part of the solution from now on. You want to get them used to giving you a say in the situation, and you do that by holding the line. Don't take it amiss if they're ungracious and sulky about it. Give them time and opportunity to mourn the loss of control, and just take it as a win that they've allowed you to gain some say in the situation. Later, reaffirm that you like them as a person and thank them for sharing with you some control over the situation.

    4) Remember that we all have our "little lies" that give us comfort but put others in a bind. Don't get too zealous about changing the people around you, or you may invite retaliation. Wait for obvious abuses before insisting on change. And be open to the possibility that you may have your own "little lies" that occasionally turn into abuse of the other person. If you're going to dictate that others change their way, then be open to demands for change from others in return.

  5. #15
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    I don't think this can apply to ESTPs alone, but all types who prefer the "In Charge" interaction style that includes ENTJ, ENFJ and ESTJ. These types hate having to redo. Here is an excerpt:
    The theme is getting things accomplished through people. People of this style are focused on results, often taking action quickly. They often have a driving energy with an intention to lead a group to the goal. They make decisions quickly to keep themselves and others on task, on target, and on time. They hate wasting time and having to back track. Mentoring, executing actions, supervising, and mobilizing resources are all ways they get things accomplished. They notice right away what is not working in a situation and become painfully aware of what needs to be fixed, healed, or corrected.
    As for changing the person, as a fellow SP, I would say trying to make him be something that he is not will have repercussions and dull the person in other areas that you will eventually find is much needed. It irks me that people can't leave well enough alone and work on themselves instead of thinking they need to change other people. The best way to change the person is change your view of how you see the person.

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