User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    5

    Default ISFJ/INFP mother/daughter relationships

    Hello everyone! This is my first post, and I'm looking for some help with a family issue. I'm an INFP in my late twenties, and my mom is an ISFJ. I'm married and live in the town next to hers. I know there have been other posts about ISFJ moms, but I am really trying to understand mine better because I really feel like we just don't "get" each other sometimes.

    One example: My mom is very generous, for instance she offers to pay for things and flat-out refuses to let me to pay her back (will not deposit checks, etc.). Unfortunately, she will guilt-trip me later about how she doesn't have enough money for __, and/or she will talk to relatives behind my back about how my now-husband and I "needed" the money. I've learned to stop accepting offers from her, in fact I don't talk about money at all, but she can be quite pushy about offers to the point where I feel guilty for not accepting. I almost feel like she thinks I am rejecting her love and support. I know this is a very privileged issue to have, (poor me, my mom tries to give me money and do me favors!) but it does affect our relationship quite a bit.

    The other major issue is the criticism, which I think is a very common mother-daughter issue. And again, not all of the criticism occurs to my face, a lot of it is behind my back. I am getting a lot better at responding to the small criticisms, and it's almost like she criticizes less when I take it in stride instead of getting upset and defensive. That seems very weird to me - does she like it when I am noticeably hurt by a comment? and then gets bored and gives up when I appear unaffected? If I try to express myself in a personal and honest way: "It makes me sad when you criticize my _____ because I ___," she might act like she gets it at that moment (usually not), but it's as if she forgets the next time I see her.

    She criticizes her friends to me, and gets irritated when I try to give the benefit of the doubt to the objects of her gossip. She tells me I am too sensitive, and while I don't mind hearing interesting details about people, sometimes it gets to be too much and too unkind.

    So after almost 3 decades I've found these workarounds to help our relationship go more smoothly - I don't accept a lot of help, I stay calm in the face of criticism, I keep private things private until I am ready to share them with both her and anyone else she talks to, etc. While these changes have helped cut down on arguments, our relationship is much more superficial now. Only in recent years have I begun to flat out lie to her about things that I am insecure about, and it doesn't feel good to lie, but it does feel good to avoid gossip and criticism.

    Are these typical issues within an ISFJ/INFP relationship? Does anyone else struggle with this type of mom/daughter conflict (regardless of type?) And finally, does anyone have any advice on how I can improve my relationship with her? I really think that she is very loving and caring, and I can tell that she wants "more" from our relationship. I believe that she wants me to need her advice and help, but at the same time she blames me if I do. It's very confusing to me. I'm sorry this is so long, thank you in advance for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    MBTI
    N/A
    Enneagram
    N/A
    Posts
    6,219

    Default

    Welcome to the forum. You have two of these threads going, so they'll need to be merged into one.

    I have an ISFJ mother and although I don't have time to post now, will remind myself to come back and share some thoughts.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Welcome to the forum. You have two of these threads going, so they'll need to be merged into one.

    I have an ISFJ mother and although I don't have time to post now, will remind myself to come back and share some thoughts.
    Thank you for the welcome! I tried to delete the first post but wasn't able to. I am interested to hear about your mother!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mvika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    MBTI
    ENFP
    Enneagram
    4w3 sx/sp
    Socionics
    IEE Ne
    Posts
    186

    Default

    My experience with Fe is that they don't see privacy and loyalty the way we Fi users do. They are very loyal to your interests in that they try to help you. But not sharing information, especially that portrays what wonderful people they are, is hard for them. It is not about you and please try not to take it personally. Fe puts a lot of stock in being seen as a good person/parent/householder/neighbor etc. so in a way they are just building their resume, in the same way we would at work. This is a priority to them. They don't mean to cause hurt from what I see. It is just their way to get some benefit for themselves by taking care of others.

    Three little things you could do to deal with your mom/ others like her are (if it is feasible in your particular case):
    (A) blow their trumpet and sing their praises so that they don't have to do it themselves. When your mom comes around, display the gift she gave you prominently and tell everyone how generous she is to you. They will blush and protest, but will be warmed all over and not feel the need to bring it up themselves.
    (B) don't tell them anything that you don't want their social circle to know. They deal with problems by sharing their feelings and it is really not fair to ask them not to do it. If you would rather not have her talk about your issues to others, just don't tell her.
    (C) Her complaining about her friends or others in her life to you may not be an indicator of disloyalty. We Fi users feel so. But from what I see, Fe feels okay to express their displeasure in a setting where it won't case negative consequences/confrontations and hence, while they don't assert themselves when something hurts them, they deal with it by whining about it elsewhere. This has nothing to do with "going behind someone's back." We Fi users see it that way because we would rather be confronted head on than have to worry about what we see as backbiting. Fe is fully aware that everyone talks about everyone else behind their backs and they would rather their friends do that to them rather than confront them directly. An ugly scene ( however, authentic or emotionally cathartic) is what they fear the most!

    Hope this helps!
    When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
    When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.


    -Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet
    Likes 21%, Novella, Amber97 liked this post

  5. #5
    Member VeniVidiVertigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    MBTI
    Entj
    Enneagram
    3w4
    Socionics
    LIE Ni
    Posts
    93

    Default

    Mother/Daughter. Father/Son.

    Alot of this is (as you said) universal and not nessesarily Type spesific. But, in using MBTI / Jungian function theory as a language to deal with it:
    You can without much effort explain the situation in typological terms, and others with the same understandig of the language can just as quickly relate and share.

    I relate to you as my mom is similar (and also used to live in the next town) One example of what my mom is like: I had money trouble for a period. When my parents wanted to give me money in the past, i always turned it down and said: "thanks, but i'm good right now. But i tell you what. when the day comes and i need money, i will ask". Then, when the time came and i got myself to ask for help. I did not mention what i said about asking when the day comes. I just mentioned that i was a little short (thinking that would carry some weight, since i always refuse help). My mother understood me. A few days later, she had bought me a half wardrobe of clothes...
    So, i just swallowed up the "irrationality" and said thank you very much.

    I used to think she did this on purpose. She also has no problems with talking about me to her friends with no filter, or using her generosity against me. But i have eventually learned to take her as she is.

    One of the effects of this type of behavior is that you start to think about what you can share with them. This in turn can lead them to exaggerate their tendensies the times when you DO share. So when you behave more "unfiltered" they will behave most naturally. But when you decide to lie or not tell them what is going on in your life, the crumbs of information they do get their hands on will be used to a greater effect.

    What @Mvika said about "blowing the trumpet" i think is a good advise to let them know that you appreciate them. in addition, when you are proactive like this, you take control over what is "leaked" to to other people
    If your mom is on facebook f.ex. you could share what she has done for you. When you do this it will not be something you have to remember to to, you will probably do this gladly when you experience the effects on her.

    As for your mom criticizing her friends (although my mom usually does this in a fun way). I really have no interest in stuff about other people, and i don't talk to my mom about that. I would just tell her to go somewhere else. But if you are ok with that and take interest in gossip (up to a point): You will have to decide whether you want to listen to her gossip or not at all. If you do then you could try to challenge yourself with adding some gossip of your own. Maybe there is some anxiety with this, as once you do, you are "fair game" from that point? Any case. This for me, is either/or (kierkegaard (infp btw)) choose to be apart of it, or not at all.

    As i grew older (i'm reaching 30 now) i realised that my mom is just not a rational person. If she would give me something, i would accept and be happy (maybe tell someone about it). If she decides to use it against me, i would be firm in my Fi: when you give someone anything, you give it without conditions. any other motive is just not valid for me and has no effect. I share my feelings with her in my actions, never talking about them. I treat her almost like a girl now.
    I kid with with her alot, pranking her and suprising her. I realised that she is just another person landing on earth, using what she got to make sense of it.

    Welcome to the forum buddy.
    “The candle is not lit to give light, but to testify to the night.”

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    ― Robert Bly

  6. #6
    The Bat Man highlander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    6w5 sx/sp
    Socionics
    ILI Ni
    Posts
    21,007

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jane4 View Post

    Are these typical issues within an ISFJ/INFP relationship? Does anyone else struggle with this type of mom/daughter conflict (regardless of type?) And finally, does anyone have any advice on how I can improve my relationship with her? I really think that she is very loving and caring, and I can tell that she wants "more" from our relationship. I believe that she wants me to need her advice and help, but at the same time she blames me if I do. It's very confusing to me. I'm sorry this is so long, thank you in advance for any thoughts.
    There is conflict between these two types because they think so differently. I think the criticism is true and ISFJs tend not to always levy that directly because they don't like conflict. As to your workarounds - I don't know. One thing you might want to think about is how you are reacting and work on that part vs. implementing strategies that as you describe serve to distance yourself from her.

    Please provide feedback on my Nohari and Johari Window by clicking here: Nohari/Johari

    Tri-type 639

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thank you everyone. We went on a family vacation last weekend, and things went very poorly. Her criticism of me was so constant that my brother even jumped in to say something about it. My mom denied it, called me sensitive, and was even worse for the rest of the weekend. She also laid a mountain of guilt on top of us for only visiting her every 2 weeks. I had a hard time dealing with it, and I made some comments that probably hurt her feelings and that ended up getting us nowhere in terms of improving our relationship. It is really very sad that we can't seem to get through to each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mvika View Post
    Fe puts a lot of stock in being seen as a good person/parent/householder/neighbor etc. so in a way they are just building their resume, in the same way we would at work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mvika View Post
    Her complaining about her friends or others in her life to you may not be an indicator of disloyalty.
    Thank you so much, Mivka! It really helped when you compared her need for appreciation to "building a resume." I am definitely going to try sing her praises more AND think about the gossip in a different way.

    Quote Originally Posted by VeniVidiVertigo View Post
    She also has no problems with talking about me to her friends with no filter, or using her generosity against me. But i have eventually learned to take her as she is.


    As i grew older (i'm reaching 30 now) i realised that my mom is just not a rational person. If she would give me something, i would accept and be happy (maybe tell someone about it). If she decides to use it against me, i would be firm in my Fi: when you give someone anything, you give it without conditions. any other motive is just not valid for me and has no effect.
    Thank you for the welcome! This sounds so much like my mom, who (jokingly?) says things like, "Let me buy dinner because you are going to let me live with you when I'm old." I am in total agreement with you about giving without conditions. That's why it surprises me so much to hear those comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    One thing you might want to think about is how you are reacting and work on that part vs. implementing strategies that as you describe serve to distance yourself from her.
    Yes, I totally agree that I need to work on how I react. Thank you!

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I'm also an INFP with an ISFJ mom, with an ENTP dad, and a lot of people would think I would have gotten a lot better with my mother then my dad. When that's not the case, my mom and I are still struggling with a relationship, it's better but sometimes it struggles, one both of us struggle with mental health, and two she very spiritual religious, and I'm an agnostic atheist, plus my enneagram is 4w5, so I'm a 4w5 INFP, which isn't usually common. Growing up and still, I wanted to wear clothes that wear bold, casual, comfy, sporty, like leather jackets, jeans, shorts, chokers, crop tops, cameo, etc.. While my mom wants to dress me up like a little lady, wearing girly colors and wearing nice natural makeup. We always had and still have different taste like from music, to tv-shows, to foods, to what I'm wearing, etc.. In fact my friends get along with her better than I do and it sucks because I can't talk about my horrible relationship with her because they have met her and think she's cool.

    2. Like I said before she's very spiritual religious and I'm not, in fact, her whole family is, which I think that has to contribute to her faith and her beliefs today. She gets very mad at the stuff that and her excuse is always something about religion, like the time I told that I wanted to try some makeup, she was so happy until I told her what I wanted which was to wear Black eyeshadow, then she flipped out and said I couldn't wear any at all. Or I bought this nice tank top with a skull but it was colorful and had that color drip effect and I asked her what she thought and she said, "evil, that's evil" or the time I bought my galaxy skirt and she hated it because it was too tacky, While everyone else loved these, my mom was the only one who hated it.

    3. She has always sheltered me, even today if she had any control of the stuff that I watch I probably still watch kids shows like Arthur. She gets flipped out easily and worries way too much. Until I spoke up, she would pick out my clothes for me, and I was 11 when I spoke about it, 11. I know I was very restricted about the stuff that I liked when I was younger unless I asked my dad who would let me, but it was things like pokemon and the looney tunes. I remember I had to beg my dad on my knees at the age of 6 if I could watch Hannah Montana because I was getting made fun at school for watching Dora, I was 6. And every time she met someone who had the same values when it comes to restricting what we would watch she would bring us over and say stuff like "See Hailey, she doesn't let her kids watch Highschool Musical," Which would annoy me every time, it was like she was doing it on purpose. She got mad at me for watching Supernatural two years ago even though my dad told me it was okay for me to watch.

    4. She worried a lot and was very overprotective of me and my brother. Like every time we got a newsletter at our school talking about something bad happening like a possible kidnapped, we showed our dad, who told us that he would take of it and not to show or talk about it to our mother because she would flip. She was to involve in everything, well so was my dad, but here's the difference, my dad knew the town and would only get involved in he knew something wasn't right and everyone was telling him about it or if he knew that this was something he wanted to change. My mom got involved because she was a worrywart and wanted to know what we were doing all the time and every time. The reason I believe up til my brother became a teen got along with my mother is because she spoiled him, she literally homeschooled him twice because he was being violent at school, while I was being bullied and becoming depressed at school. She helped him through his education and made sure he was happy, while she smothers me and became overbearing.

    4. While we are very emotional people we are quite different, I have always been independence prefer to do things by myself and learn things by myself, I hate it when people do stuff for me, to I hate being treated as fragile, I somehow bring this vibe around me and I hate it. I've always been a chill and a curious person like I was always someone who wanted to learn things, I couldn't leave things and still can't leave things as because I said so, I have and still have always need to know things before I make a decision or do what a person has asked me to do something. My mom would get easily frustrated and annoyed every time I would ask why because she someone who doesn't need a reason to do things and plus her mental health. My dad however when he was younger would explain things in a way where I could make of sense like he would make stuff up to the point it was plausible, nowadays he explains it an in a way where it makes sense to me. To be honest, if she wasn't so overprotective I would have turned into
    someone who is emo

    f you have any advice for how to handle my mother or show me in my mother's perspective that would be nice or if anyone knows what enneagram my mom is that would help a lot.

  9. #9
    Member wildmoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    92

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jane4 View Post
    Hello everyone! This is my first post, and I'm looking for some help with a family issue. I'm an INFP in my late twenties, and my mom is an ISFJ. I'm married and live in the town next to hers. I know there have been other posts about ISFJ moms, but I am really trying to understand mine better because I really feel like we just don't "get" each other sometimes.

    One example: My mom is very generous, for instance she offers to pay for things and flat-out refuses to let me to pay her back (will not deposit checks, etc.). Unfortunately, she will guilt-trip me later about how she doesn't have enough money for __, and/or she will talk to relatives behind my back about how my now-husband and I "needed" the money. I've learned to stop accepting offers from her, in fact I don't talk about money at all, but she can be quite pushy about offers to the point where I feel guilty for not accepting. I almost feel like she thinks I am rejecting her love and support. I know this is a very privileged issue to have, (poor me, my mom tries to give me money and do me favors!) but it does affect our relationship quite a bit.

    The other major issue is the criticism, which I think is a very common mother-daughter issue. And again, not all of the criticism occurs to my face, a lot of it is behind my back. I am getting a lot better at responding to the small criticisms, and it's almost like she criticizes less when I take it in stride instead of getting upset and defensive. That seems very weird to me - does she like it when I am noticeably hurt by a comment? and then gets bored and gives up when I appear unaffected? If I try to express myself in a personal and honest way: "It makes me sad when you criticize my _____ because I ___," she might act like she gets it at that moment (usually not), but it's as if she forgets the next time I see her.

    She criticizes her friends to me, and gets irritated when I try to give the benefit of the doubt to the objects of her gossip. She tells me I am too sensitive, and while I don't mind hearing interesting details about people, sometimes it gets to be too much and too unkind.

    So after almost 3 decades I've found these workarounds to help our relationship go more smoothly - I don't accept a lot of help, I stay calm in the face of criticism, I keep private things private until I am ready to share them with both her and anyone else she talks to, etc. While these changes have helped cut down on arguments, our relationship is much more superficial now. Only in recent years have I begun to flat out lie to her about things that I am insecure about, and it doesn't feel good to lie, but it does feel good to avoid gossip and criticism.

    Are these typical issues within an ISFJ/INFP relationship? Does anyone else struggle with this type of mom/daughter conflict (regardless of type?) And finally, does anyone have any advice on how I can improve my relationship with her? I really think that she is very loving and caring, and I can tell that she wants "more" from our relationship. I believe that she wants me to need her advice and help, but at the same time she blames me if I do. It's very confusing to me. I'm sorry this is so long, thank you in advance for any thoughts.
    I think just keep doing what you're doing. 'Workarounds' is a perfect word for it and describes how I've learned to deal with my mother too. It's okay to have a more superficial relationship with her if that's what keeps you emotionally safe. I'm an INTP and have had a very strained relationship with my INFJ mother in the past. She was hypercritical and abusive on a regular basis. This might sound cold, but it really only got better when I stopped thinking of her as a parent. I think of her as a friend now - a friend that I have firm boundaries with. Of course I don't tell her any of that. She doesn't need to know. But our relationship is so much better now that I understand that she has limitations.
    Almost too Ti to function.

Similar Threads

  1. [INFP] INFP Mother & Daughter's Dating Nightmare
    By alakazam in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 05-22-2013, 10:45 PM
  2. [INFP] INFP and ISTP relationship
    By cooliogirly1000 in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-31-2009, 09:10 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO