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  1. #1
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Default ESTJ confused by ESFP friend

    I have a good ESFP friend who I've known for at least five years. She's a cool person - very fun, nerdy, smart, entertaining, etc. - but I've been confused by her recently. Here's how it all started:

    There's an application on Facebook where you pick your "top five" things, e.g. favorite foods. I went to her facebook page, and she had done one of those things: "Top 5 Things That Remind You of Your Best Friend". Those five things all described me, meaning that I'm her best friend, which I had no idea of until then. I asked her if she was really talking about me (because I didn't want to assume anything like that - best friends are serious bizness), and her response was "I don't know whether to laugh or cry...", i.e. of COURSE I'm her best friend! What was I thinking??

    I thought about why I was so surprised that she would say that I'm her best friend, and I realized that there were two reasons. Firstly, we mostly talk about superficial things, e.g. mutual interests, random jokes, etc, and even then, we have so few mutual interests that sometimes there are silences in our conversations that I find awkward (though I don't know if she does too). Secondly, and most importantly, I've never felt like she cared about me, because she never seems to want to talk about me.

    ^That second thing is the reason why I'm making this thread. I'm sure she cares about me, since she wouldn't consider me to be her best friend otherwise, but there's no way that I'm ever going to want our friendship to be closer unless she starts talking to me about me. I am not exaggerating when I say that she has NEVER asked me how I'm doing, or what's been going on in my life, and whenever I say something about myself, she'll use it to turn the conversation in a direction that leads to another story about her life. In other words, every conversation we have, if it isn't about someone or something unrelated to us, is about HER, and her alone. And that's starting to piss me off.

    Lol, isn't it ironic that in this case, it's the ESTJ in the friendship that's thinking "I give and give and give, so why do I get nothing in return???"

    I know she means well, and I know that she's socially awkward (e.g. she spent at least half of our high school prom sitting at a table, drinking sparkling cider, and wallowing in thoughts like "I'm so awkward. No one likes me. Why do I even go to these things?"), so she presumably has very good excuses for acting the way she does, but I still really, really, really want this problem to be solved one way or another. But I don't want to hurt her feelings, so I can't use my preferred method of problem solving (i.e. getting the job done quickly and directly).

    Do any of you ESFPs (who are obviously much healthier than her) have any insights as to why she acts like this, and/or what I can do about it?
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  2. #2
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    What were the 5 things?
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  3. #3
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    I don't remember - it was a long time ago. Just stuff like "Singing along to West Side Story" - you know, memories, inside jokes, etc.

    Why do you ask?
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  4. #4
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I don't remember - it was a long time ago. Just stuff like "Singing along to West Side Story" - you know, memories, inside jokes, etc.

    Why do you ask?
    Because it seems like she would have to talk about you in order to talk about being reminded of you.

    I share things about me because I don't know what else to say. Maybe she doesn't either. Why is it important to you that she ask you how you're doing? What would be the benefit of your relationship being "closer?"

    Also, have you ever talked to her about this? I mean, said to her directly "How come you never ask how I'm doing?" or flat out tell her you'd like her to? I dunno, I'm just throwing out ideas to maybe help. Everybody's different, so I can just say how I would be.

    I do ask people how they're doing, but not very often. It seems like filler to me. Most people tend to indicate how they're doing, especially extroverts. I do try to listen to people talk about themselves. But it does usually make me think of something about myself to say. To me, that's just normal conversation flow. I don't really understand why it would be a problem. But for all I know, I've annoyed people the same way and no one told me.
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  5. #5
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    Because it seems like she would have to talk about you in order to talk about being reminded of you.
    The impression I've received from her is that she'll see something and be reminded of me. e.g. a strawberry (since one of our inside jokes involves strawberries). I've never gotten the impression that she would talk about me. But you're right - maybe she does.

    I share things about me because I don't know what else to say. Maybe she doesn't either. Why is it important to you that she ask you how you're doing? What would be the benefit of your relationship being "closer?"
    I just feel really bad about the fact that I'm her best friend and she's hardly even a good friend to me. It would make it less awkward, I think, if I felt at least a little bit closer to the same thing that she feels about me.

    And the reason why I said the thing about her not asking me how I'm doing, ever, is that, literally, all of our conversations are about her. We talk all the time about her various issues. I help her through tough-ish times! I give her advice on how to deal with guys! And when I try to mention something about myself, in the hopes that she'll show some interest, she shrugs it off. Also, one of the ways that I show people that I care is by showing that I remember what's going on in their lives - e.g. "Hey, you were really concerned about that exam. How did it go?" And she has never asked me ANYTHING about myself before, so I always get these vibes from her, like she's just using me as someone to talk at (not talk with).

    Also, have you ever talked to her about this? I mean, said to her directly "How come you never ask how I'm doing?" or flat out tell her you'd like her to?
    I'm scared of being that direct with her, which is why I'm asking here...

    I do ask people how they're doing, but not very often. It seems like filler to me. Most people tend to indicate how they're doing, especially extroverts. I do try to listen to people talk about themselves. But it does usually make me think of something about myself to say. To me, that's just normal conversation flow. I don't really understand why it would be a problem. But for all I know, I've annoyed people the same way and no one told me.
    I know what you mean about asking people how they're doing. I probably shouldn't have phrased it that way. I meant, asking me about anything that's going on in my life. You know, "How's school?" or something. At the very least, transitioning from herself to me once and a while, e.g. "I love this class I'm taking! blah blah blah. How about your classes? Do you like any of them that much?" <--- 'cause I try to do that with her, and there's no reciprocation.

    As to the conversation flow thing, you're right - that's how it is with everyone, I think. But with my friend, it's kind of to an extreme.

    Maybe I should ask you - how do you show someone that you care, when you talk to them?
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  6. #6
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    My son is ESFP and seldom seems to ask others about specifics either. He'll go out with friends, and we'll ask him - "So how is school going for X?" - he never asks though, so never knows. Perhaps there's some similarity there.

    He loves hanging around these guys, they are all his friends, but the details don't seem a priority.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
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    When people see some things as good,
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  7. #7
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I'm scared of being that direct with her, which is why I'm asking here...
    SCARED? SCARED? AN ESTJ SCARED OF BEING DIRECT? SUCK IT UP YA PANSY!!

    Seriously, though, if it's important enough to you, then you should ask. If she's ESFP, she probably won't even be offended. And even if she was, she'd get over it quickly probably. Just start talking about her again.

    Some people are just selfish. She might be. But then, she might just be doing what she knows to do, and it hasn't really occurred to her to ask stuff.

    It occurs to me now that the ESTJ friend that I know the best, I don't know if I ever really asked her about her life either. But the thing is, she always volunteers stuff, so I never have felt like I had to ask. If you're anything like her, you probably project an air of total self-assurance. That you always have everything together and don't need anybody to be concerned about you. That's the way my friend is. And if so, she might have wondered stuff about you, but didn't want to bother you by asking. She might figure if it was important for you to tell her then you would.

    All of this is speculation of course. I don't know this girl and can't be inside her head.


    I know what you mean about asking people how they're doing. I probably shouldn't have phrased it that way. I meant, asking me about anything that's going on in my life. You know, "How's school?" or something. At the very least, transitioning from herself to me once and a while, e.g. "I love this class I'm taking! blah blah blah. How about your classes? Do you like any of them that much?" <--- 'cause I try to do that with her, and there's no reciprocation.

    As to the conversation flow thing, you're right - that's how it is with everyone, I think. But with my friend, it's kind of to an extreme.
    You could also try some humor, too. Next time she does this, interrupt her and say "hey! I was talking about me here!" and then laugh. Chances are she'll laugh too and then maybe listen better. Or she could just be like "That reminds me of this other thing I did..." but hey, it's worth a try.

    Maybe I should ask you - how do you show someone that you care, when you talk to them?
    That's a darn good question. I don't know if anyone knows that I care, which sounds kinda sad, but honestly I don't get a lot of feedback from people on that. I give people things - sometimes stuff I make or take them out to movies or meals and stuff, I figure those things show that I care, but maybe not. Maybe I should ask people more often. I try to be polite but maybe people think that's just an act, I dunno. Now I'm starting to doubt myself. Thanks a lot!

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    My son is ESFP and seldom seems to ask others about specifics either. He'll go out with friends, and we'll ask him - "So how is school going for X?" - he never asks though, so never knows. Perhaps there's some similarity there.

    He loves hanging around these guys, they are all his friends, but the details don't seem a priority.
    Yeah, my first reaction on reading EJCC's topic here was "Do you like hanging out with her? Yes/No? If yes, then everything is cool. Anything else is just needless complication."
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  8. #8
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post

    Do any of you ESFPs (who are obviously much healthier than her) have any insights as to why she acts like this, and/or what I can do about it?
    No, I can't relate at all. She sounds really lonely though
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  9. #9
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    SCARED? SCARED? AN ESTJ SCARED OF BEING DIRECT? SUCK IT UP YA PANSY!!
    I know, it sounds contradictory and ridiculous. But it's my Enneagram's fault (I'm a 1w2)... frickin' 2 wing...

    Seriously, though, if it's important enough to you, then you should ask. If she's ESFP, she probably won't even be offended. And even if she was, she'd get over it quickly probably. Just start talking about her again.
    But she seems like such a sensitive type to me - you know, as if, were I to say that to her up front, she'd wallow in self-pity for days about it. But maybe not...

    Some people are just selfish. She might be. But then, she might just be doing what she knows to do, and it hasn't really occurred to her to ask stuff.

    It occurs to me now that the ESTJ friend that I know the best, I don't know if I ever really asked her about her life either. But the thing is, she always volunteers stuff, so I never have felt like I had to ask. If you're anything like her, you probably project an air of total self-assurance. That you always have everything together and don't need anybody to be concerned about you. That's the way my friend is. And if so, she might have wondered stuff about you, but didn't want to bother you by asking. She might figure if it was important for you to tell her then you would.
    That's quite possible. She's a lot more openly silly/hugging/etc. with other friends than with me. She could be acting like that for the same reason that, every time I'm down, my ENFJ friend feels the need to ask me whether it's okay to hug me, instead of just doing it. I guess I just have that sort of vibe...


    You could also try some humor, too. Next time she does this, interrupt her and say "hey! I was talking about me here!" and then laugh. Chances are she'll laugh too and then maybe listen better. Or she could just be like "That reminds me of this other thing I did..." but hey, it's worth a try.
    That's a good idea. I may just try that next time I chat with her, if I'm in that sort of silly mood

    That's a darn good question. I don't know if anyone knows that I care, which sounds kinda sad, but honestly I don't get a lot of feedback from people on that. I give people things - sometimes stuff I make or take them out to movies or meals and stuff, I figure those things show that I care, but maybe not. Maybe I should ask people more often. I try to be polite but maybe people think that's just an act, I dunno. Now I'm starting to doubt myself. Thanks a lot!
    Sorry about that. Don't worry about it. I'm sure it's very different with ESFPs anyway. I mean, think about the differences between INFJs and ENFJs in how they express affection for people! It's insane. For example, my INFJ mom is very indirect about that with me, and makes her loving comments seem funny/silly to disguise the depth of her feeling, whereas my ENFJ best friend is so open about his appreciation for people that he'll just go up to them and say things like "I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you. You're wonderful and sweet and I'm grateful to have you as a friend."

    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    She sounds really lonely though
    I think you're right. Because she's nerdy and socially awkward, she doesn't make friends very easily. And that's part of the reason why I want to be better friends with her - because if our friendship (which is not deep at all, and has tons of awkward silences and such) is her best one, then I feel sorry for her, and I want her to have more than that.

    So, since you said before that you don't relate at all, does that mean that everything I was bitching about in the first post is just specific to her? In which case, how do normal, healthy ESFPs express how they care for someone in their everyday life?
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  10. #10
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    My son is ESFP and seldom seems to ask others about specifics either. He'll go out with friends, and we'll ask him - "So how is school going for X?" - he never asks though, so never knows. Perhaps there's some similarity there.

    He loves hanging around these guys, they are all his friends, but the details don't seem a priority.
    He's also a guy. Men don't generally talk about the specifics in their lives when socializing.

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