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  1. #1
    Senior Member wildmoon's Avatar
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    Default INFP struggling with ESFJ family member

    I’m an INFP. My youngest sister is an ESFJ and has fully entered her entitled teenage phase – I’m talking shoplifting, graffiti, alcohol, truanting, trying to pierce her own ears and all that kind of stuff. Up until recently I used to be her confidant because I don’t take most of her misbehaviour too seriously. I find it kind of funny, but simultaneously am able to give helpful advice.

    But recently she’s started giving me the silent treatment for days at a time and starting fights over literally nothing. Seriously, she started a fight with me because I hesitated for a moment before agreeing to buy her something that she asked me to buy. I agreed without any hassle, I bought the thing, but she didn’t talk to me for two days afterwards. And she kept storming out of rooms whenever I entered them. Like, because I hesitated. Today when I tried to confront her about the silent treatment she launched into denial and accusations that I was making it all up.

    Also, most of the fights with her seem to be about food. That's the weirdest thing about it. She constantly expects me to buy her junk food, even when we have plenty of food available. (Just for the record, I do agree to buy it for her 85% of the time. Even though I'm not her caregiver or anything like that.) She often asks me how much food I've eaten. She accuses me of taking more than my fair share, which I don't. (It’s generally her that does that. I actually eat very little. Of course, I wouldn’t bother pointing those things out to her, because live and let live, yo.) And when she believes there's been some sort of unfairness in the distribution of food, it becomes a huge drama.

    It’s obviously kind of confusing. So I’m wondering – is it all just a teenage thing? Is it an ESFJ thing? I’ve read that they’re manipulative and like to have control over people, and my sister even verbally confirmed that when she took the MBTI. Are SJ types more sensitive about material needs? Maybe that would explain the food thing.

    So what should I do? Withdraw from trying with her for a while, and just wait it out until she gets more mature? Try to repair the friendship, even though I know that she’ll still be like this and that I can’t keep dishing out unwarranted apologies? Or just leave it up to her to make amends, which I know she won’t do? What would you do? I’m so tired, man, people can be so blah. I don’t want to go along with the whole silent treatment thing and just respond in kind. It feels so contrived, and it's also just an awful thing to do. I don't want to stoop to that level. So I have to speak up about it. But people hate that.

    Edit: Thanks everyone for the information and advice! Things are still a bit weird and I ended up 'apologising' yesterday lol, but I'll take this stuff on board in the future. I'd like to close this thread now!
    Last edited by wildmoon; 12-14-2017 at 10:18 PM.

  2. #2
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    omg if that's the entitled teenage phase i don't think i ever had one i never did any of those things lol!

    deffffinitely not an esfj thing.

    at all.

    if she's acting like a brat then treat her the way she earns it. if she acts like a brat then don't enable her. if she's being 'good' then use positive reinforcement.

    and i'm not typing her because i don't know her but i think what you've said about her sounds more stereotypically 'immature sp' than esfj
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  3. #3
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    sounds like an ESFP

    Have you considered being an Fe user yourself?

    i would imagine a typical ESFJ teenager as either someone who is a super popular girl who never has time for you, or is overly bossy/controlling in the family especially the family morals of what goes on.


    haha my parents had it easy with me. I hardly left home unless it was school related and my problem was just playing video games way too much and being emotional once in a great while.

    I think ixfj’s tend to be the good and/or easy children of the family
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  4. #4
    Senior Member wildmoon's Avatar
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    I submitted this thread yesterday but I kind of want to close it now because I'm having doubts that it's type-related at all, lol.

    @yama Yeah, she's the first one in my family to have that phase to that extent! It's a bit extreme, ha. And thanks, I'll take those tips on board. It's become a habit for me to just enable people LOL. I feel guilty when I try to stand my ground...?
    She actually tested as an ESFP a while ago but related more to the descriptions of Fe and Si, so idk.

    @Forever Haha, that's awesome for your parents. And yeah, about the Fe thing, I've wondered if I'm actually an INTP. But I don't have the usual temperament of an INTP. They seem to really not give a heck about things, lol.
    What makes you ask, though?
    Almost too Ti to function.
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  5. #5
    self murderer Norrsken's Avatar
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    PMS transcends MBTI.

    Serious answer: Just do your own thing and let her be. She's going through changes and life is becoming scary for her because she's in that awkward in-between realm of childhood and adulthood. It's murky waters and she's walking with hooded demons dubbed body shame and sexual confusion and of course, acne.

    ...

    That still wasn't a really serious answer, wasn't it? My bad. But yeah, teenagers be going through things.
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  6. #6

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    I pierced my own ear when I was a teenager. With a giant sewing needle. Punk rock forever!

    Anyway she’s a teenager you’re not too far removed from that time yourself. It’s a storm of emotions and chemicals and figuring out who the hell you are and if that’s who you want to be. Give her some time to try and sort that out. You may not know where she’s coming from right now because she doesn’t either. Keep an eye on her and just be ready to be there for her.
    ”The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses.”

  7. #7
    Renovating Hermit of the Forest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildmoon View Post
    And yeah, about the Fe thing, I've wondered if I'm actually an INTP. But I don't have the usual temperament of an INTP. They seem to really not give a heck about things, lol.
    I'm a INTP 9w1. I assure you many hecks are given. Perhaps too many.
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  8. #8
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    I would call it an ESFJ thing specifically. Honestly, it sounds like behavior anyone could in theory emulate. It might have to do with how crazy puberty is.

    I would make sure she has space and time to cool down when angry. That helps a lot of people.

    When she is calm, be honest with her. Tell her how her behavior makes you feel and that you would really like a better relationship with her. Do this calmly at a good time. Let her know that you are there for her.

    And ESFJs being manipulative is just a stereotype. You have manipulative ESFJs and plenty of non-manipulative ones.

    I have noticed that unhealthy Fe can lead to absolute chaos though. I mean any function can when it is unhealthy. I guess I just tend to notice Fe induced chaos more because it's the kind of chaos I can't stand.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by yama View Post
    omg if that's the entitled teenage phase i don't think i ever had one i never did any of those things lol! deffffinitely not an esfj thing. at all. if she's acting like a brat then treat her the way she earns it. if she acts like a brat then don't enable her. if she's being 'good' then use positive reinforcement. and i'm not typing her because i don't know her but i think what you've said about her sounds more stereotypically 'immature sp' than esfj
    Thinking about it, I do agree with you that the description seems seem more stereotypically sp.
    Of course, I do not think type is the root cause of the conflict here. That can be attributed to how frankly awful adolescence can be.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member wildmoon's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I'll take all that on board. Conflict just freaks me out so I was concerned about it, ha.
    Almost too Ti to function.

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