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[ISTJ] ISTJ fathers...

quietgirl

New member
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
401
MBTI Type
INFJ
I noticed in the family thread that a few people had ISTJ fathers.

I'm in the process of TRYING to rebuild an estranged relationship with my ISTJ father. Personal issues aside, we simply cannot seem to see eye to eye on things. I find we are concluding to agree to disagree on just about everything. I really want to find a way to relate to him - even on an interest basis, but I continue to hit a wall with his "moral obligation" bent - and not living up to what he sees his daughter should be at this point in my life. As an INFJ, the lack of connection between the two of us is ultimately what made years of not speaking somewhat easy. I am striving for some sort of connection now.

So, ISTJs... how have you related to others, specifically INFJs? What sort of approach would you most prefer for relating? What sort of hot button issues should I avoid until our relationship is a little more stable? I really want to take this opportunity to get to know my father, but his walls just seem ridiculously high & his strongminded opinions in complete conflict with mine & my life in general. I would hate to have to retreat back into years of not speaking.
 

Totenkindly

@.~*virinaĉo*~.@
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Just a few side ideas.

Depending on how many years you've been out of the house, your father might not yet be ready to reconnect with you.

It just looks like a very tense situation: Si vs Ni, Te vs Fe, and so on. You could not really be more different, except you both happen to be introverts.

But because of that, your functions are all in competition with each other -- not complementary like an extrovert paired with an introvert would be (for example if you were ENFP).

Some ISTJ fathers are softer; it sounds like your father is very Te and/or very attached to his inner map. (And/or afraid of change, for whatever reason.)

For him to open up, he'll have to reach a point where it is more important for him to have a relationship with you than to have you agree with everything he believes. This has more chance of occurring, the more time that passes, the longer you are separated, and the longer you have spent building a successful adult life apart from him. Especially after you marry and have children, that might give him more incentive to flex.

Sometimes these things are only cured by time and realizations in him that he is not happy with the space he has put in your relationship.

I'd be interested to see what the ISTJs have to say.
 
G

GirlAmerica

Guest
The one true ISTJ father I am close to just turned 40, with a preschool aged daughter. He is absolutely crazy about her, driving himself forward in his career for her future security, investing etc. He is hands on with her, even sitting on her bed and playing with her dolls with her. She is an only child and he waited a long, long time for her. To him, there is no other.
Of course, she hasnt had a chance to rebel.
 

Recoleta

No me digas, che!
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Messages
600
MBTI Type
ISXJ
So, ISTJs... how have you related to others, specifically INFJs? What sort of approach would you most prefer for relating? What sort of hot button issues should I avoid until our relationship is a little more stable? I really want to take this opportunity to get to know my father, but his walls just seem ridiculously high & his strongminded opinions in complete conflict with mine & my life in general. I would hate to have to retreat back into years of not speaking.

Well, I am not male, nor am I a parent, but I'll try to give some suggestions on how to relate to ISTJ's in general. First off, if you haven't already, maybe you should just openly tell your father how you feel. ISTJ's value directness...so if you're open with us, it is much more likely we will be open with you. Tell him that you hate that the two of you can not seem to connect. Tell him you want to approach your differences in a mature nature, and that you'd like to get to know him better and spend time with him. By doing this, you're appealing to his desire to be a good and responsible father.

Also, find out if your dad has a certain hobby or something he is passionate about. ISTJ's aren't the giddy or excited type when it comes to most things in life, but we always have hobbies that we take a great amount of pleasure in. If it's playing a sport, ask if you can play with him. If it's auto mechanics stuff, ask him to show you how to change the oil in your car or something. Just take an ACTIVE interest in something he likes. When you're hanging out in the beginning, don't delve too deeply into his thoughts. Just keep things light and fun. Enjoy your time together and the activity...ask for his opinion or something. Doing an activity or being able to move really calms me down and allows me to be more comfortable with others. I suspect more self-disclosure will happen over time as trust is built. Tell him you enjoyed spending time with him...be positive and affirming.

Avoid your problematic issues if possible. Don't allow the conversation to turn into a win-lose situation. ISTJ's strive for peacful living with others, and it probably bothers him a lot already that he knows there is some strife in your relationship.

Anyway, good luck! Hope it works out for ya.
 

quietgirl

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Sep 29, 2007
Messages
401
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INFJ
Thanks for your advice!

Jennifer - He initiated contact, first through calling (I initially didn't return the call) & then through talking to my brother. I know he wants to work on the father-daughter relationship, but he just seems so set in his ways. I feel he expects ME to change to fit his model. My father is also heavily Si - any idea I have, he immediately knocks down for either it's impracticality or because of something that happened in the past (which Si dictates must happen again in the future). He often uses the past as his map for what's to come. I realize we are almost polar opposites, but I keep thinking if there's one thing I can find to relate about then I can make a breakthrough... (that's the INFJ in me, heh)

Recoleta - I've been direct with him already. I'm sure he appreciates it after he tells me exactly what is wrong with my point of view/argument/feelings/reasoning. However, I have been working at the common interest thing. Actually, that's the only way we've ever bonded. He's an avid hiker and for as long as I can remember, he's taken me under his wing so I can become the next great hiker/mountaineer in our family. We've hiked extensively in a few mountain ranges, bagged a few high peaks, and initally set out to do a thru hike of the Appalachain Trail before we had a falling out. I suppose once the weather breaks, we could try that again. Thanks. :)
 

OctaviaCaesar

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Oct 18, 2007
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211
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I Know How You Feel

I am one of the members with an ISTJ father! :party2: It's a challenge, living with someone whose preferences are opposite, sometimes heartbreaking. I was such a Daddy's-Girl when I was little, and as I grew older I tried to "be" exactly what I thought he thought I should be, which for some reason was hard for me, especially as I got older. I am not estranged from my father, and I still live at home, but as I make decisions for myself that do not make "sense" from an STJ point of view, I feel tension from him on our relationship. It seems that rejection of one of his ideas/methods is understood as a rejection (lower-case r) of him. I do not mean this at all, as I suppose by his advice-giving he is not trying to control me, only to help me. It is so easy for me to misunderstand his motives. Most importantly, keep an open mind and trust that you and he can have a healthy relationship. That is what is keeping me trying.:hug:
 

runvardh

にゃん
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ISTJs, I find, also need the difference baked into the cake and work out before they can accept it. I find this with my friend every once in a while; he trusts me enough to try things, but he's really tense about it until it works out with a positive outcome.
 

gretch

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Nov 27, 2007
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111
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You got me quiet girl, I'm still trying to figure out how to connect with my ISTJ Mother (my husband insists she's an F, but I have sources.)

On the other hand my very very best friend in the entire world is an ISTJ. And I seriously think no type could be cooler. We get along seriosuly like peas and carrots. Like a yin and a yang. I think it's different when they're your parent. My mom practically cringes every time I speak. It's very exhausting for us to be around one another. I think just because for me, I would love a close relationship where we share eveything, and she sees me not put shoes on my kid and freaks.

It's kinda funny when you step back and look at it.

Man, sometimes I wish I were an SJ
 

Valiant

Courage is immortality
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I know a couple of ISTJ's... Since they are the exact opposite of who I am, i'm having a real hard time figuring out how they work. One of them was always downright mean, the other one is also a bastard, but I still like him because he's funny. :) Few cases ever gives me the same feeling of helplessness as being around ISTJ's.
I can't really offer any help, but I know exactly how you feel, quietgirl.
 

Yomama99

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Jul 8, 2007
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51
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I really can't tell the difference between an ISTJ and a Mechanical Robot.

You know the movie Terminator 2? THe T-800 (arnold swartzeneggar) is like the ISTJ and the T-1000 is like the ISTP. Even their movie behavior is very relevant to typical behaviors of ISTJ or ISTP. In fact that movie is a great example of the differences between our types for those that assume that one letter doesn't make a whole difference.
 

meanlittlechimp

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Apr 29, 2007
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I have had an estranged relationship with my ISTJ father my entire life. He always provided for us, but he wasn't exactly the kind of parent that tried to understand his kids or partake in their lives (or even seemed interested). His way of showing his affection was by working his ass off and providing for his family. I didn't care all that much about the lack of affection (it was the controlling aspect without any rational explanation for why I had to do things his way that drove me nuts).

To be fair, I was kind of trouble maker and would openly defy him constantly to the point where he just gave up speaking to me most of the time. Some of the time the defiance was just immature petulance on my part but more often than not I had a real reason. I was always jealous of friends and cousins who had "cool" parents but looking back a lot of those parents, fucked their kids over in other ways - so I don't think I got a raw deal in the end and wouldn't trade him.

He recently became much more laid back and relaxed in his old age (late 50's) so we get along better than we ever had, but I really believe there was nothing I could have done to make the relationship "work". The only thing that worked for me was waiting for his age to mellow him out.
 

Nocapszy

no clinkz 'til brooklyn
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I have had an estranged relationship with my ISTJ father my entire life. He always provided for us, but he wasn't exactly the kind of parent that tried to understand his kids or partake in their lives (or even seemed interested). His way of showing his affection was by working his ass off and providing for his family. I didn't care all that much about the lack of affection (it was the controlling aspect without any rational explanation for why I had to do things his way that drove me nuts).

To be fair, I was kind of trouble maker and would openly defy him constantly to the point where he just gave up speaking to me most of the time. Some of the time the defiance was just immature petulance on my part but more often than not I had a real reason. I was always jealous of friends and cousins who had "cool" parents but looking back a lot of those parents, fucked their kids over in other ways - so I don't think I got a raw deal in the end and wouldn't trade him.

He recently became much more laid back and relaxed in his old age (late 50's) so we get along better than we ever had, but I really believe there was nothing I could have done to make the relationship "work". The only thing that worked for me was waiting for his age to mellow him out.

This is like a carbon copy of my relationship with my ESTJ father. The only detail I'll point out as difference is that he doesn't give up trying to take control. Not surprising for an extravert. A lot of the time I have to just give in or keep fighting, until I have to give in. Often enough though I get my way, so it works. Hopefully he'll do what yours did, but I somehow doubt it. Seems like there's no light at the end of the tunnel - he's set in his ways, and does everything in his power to see that I'm set in his ways as well.

Moving out soon though :D
 

quietgirl

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Sep 29, 2007
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401
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INFJ
I have had an estranged relationship with my ISTJ father my entire life. He always provided for us, but he wasn't exactly the kind of parent that tried to understand his kids or partake in their lives (or even seemed interested). His way of showing his affection was by working his ass off and providing for his family. I didn't care all that much about the lack of affection (it was the controlling aspect without any rational explanation for why I had to do things his way that drove me nuts).

To be fair, I was kind of trouble maker and would openly defy him constantly to the point where he just gave up speaking to me most of the time. Some of the time the defiance was just immature petulance on my part but more often than not I had a real reason. I was always jealous of friends and cousins who had "cool" parents but looking back a lot of those parents, fucked their kids over in other ways - so I don't think I got a raw deal in the end and wouldn't trade him.

He recently became much more laid back and relaxed in his old age (late 50's) so we get along better than we ever had, but I really believe there was nothing I could have done to make the relationship "work". The only thing that worked for me was waiting for his age to mellow him out.

I do notice a slight mellowing in him now as compared to when I was younger (he is also in his late 50's).

As an update, my father and I are still working on our relationship. I've found that setting boundaries is working fairly well. It's similiar to how I deal with my mother, but I seem to have to do it more frequently with my father. The second he starts getting hardheaded about his "right way to do things" & insulting me for not living up to these standards, I just get off the phone (or if we're in person, I say that I want to talk about something else). The more I do it, the more he seems to learn that I'm not going to deal with it. It also opens the field up for different sorts of conversation - surprisingly enough, we do have a LOT of interests in common & I've been enjoying our discussions (and learning a lot! He is SO fact oriented and I am the complete opposite, so no matter what I'm getting a new perspective on many issues).

So, I think it's coming along. I have had to let go of the idea of any sort of emotional, father/daughter sort of connection (in a way I envision one to be, anyway), but I am finding some sort of connection and that is satisfying to me.
 

chippinchunk

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Nov 10, 2007
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112
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I noticed in the family thread that a few people had ISTJ fathers.

I'm in the process of TRYING to rebuild an estranged relationship with my ISTJ father. Personal issues aside, we simply cannot seem to see eye to eye on things. I find we are concluding to agree to disagree on just about everything. I really want to find a way to relate to him - even on an interest basis, but I continue to hit a wall with his "moral obligation" bent - and not living up to what he sees his daughter should be at this point in my life. As an INFJ, the lack of connection between the two of us is ultimately what made years of not speaking somewhat easy. I am striving for some sort of connection now.

So, ISTJs... how have you related to others, specifically INFJs? What sort of approach would you most prefer for relating? What sort of hot button issues should I avoid until our relationship is a little more stable? I really want to take this opportunity to get to know my father, but his walls just seem ridiculously high & his strongminded opinions in complete conflict with mine & my life in general. I would hate to have to retreat back into years of not speaking.

Another from your point of view, my father is ISTJ and relating to him, is something I don't do. For some reason I can't really see what he sees and at the moment it doesn't really hit me so hard as it does you. I will agree with the "years of not speaking" it's not that I dont talk to him, it's more like I- I don't know. (...I dont want to:huh: )

I speak to my dad like he's just someone that's there (Not really a daughter/father relationship). I don't ask him for much (I dont ask my mom for much either) and he never converses with me, so there's not much talking going on. Only when he's into something and wants to share his strange joy/fascination for it, is when he speaks. I dont get much from him and it goes both ways. :sorry:

I'm not much help.
 

niki

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Sep 16, 2007
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210
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INFP
ISTJ parents...sigh.
when I was a little kid, I was probably a very "good boy" to my ISTJ father (ie: i'm cute, 'weird', goofy & funny, nice, kind, and generally being a "good kid"!),
..but now that I'm already 25-yrs old (an adult with his own mind & interest & dreams) , it's sad to know that we're sometimes (actually often) on the verge of losing our cool-talks & becoming more distanced each time I grew!

it's the same.
I'm having so much troubles with my ISTJ father (not to mention my ISFJ mother); heck, even with my ISTJ girlfriend often.
These people are soo detail-oriented, straightforward, fact-oriented BUT often can't see things past-behind the "traditional or common" ways of doing things!
I've argued with my ISTJ dad in almost everything now!
...and what could be the worst, other than talks about my choice of career & future!
he always, and always want me to have secure job, and ah, has to be BIG, and I mean really BIG - money-making career! he's very very traditionalist, and can only see success = have lots of money, have 2 cars, have a house, can provide for my family later-on, and period.
While I appreciate his very fact-of-the-matter approach on life, I always hate how he always NEVER want to be so open-minded or imaginative or intuitive that there are MANY more (or MANY OTHER) path to succesful life!

and when we're arguing about this 'success' term, .......it's like each of us is hitting a hard brick-wall.
he always called me "dreamy, childish, immature" ,
and I always called him "very narrow-minded, robot-like" !

it's sad,
but yeah,..it'd be really really great if I could work on the relationship, to heal the relationship,...though i'm afraid that it'll just getting harder from this point forward :(
it's just soo much different when I'm already such an adult like this.
now I am probably the least favorite kid in his family, compared to my other ISFJ brother, for example!
my parents are never proud of me anymore,...and that hurts! :(
and god, how i hate conflict a lot, and how i hate if I someday have to resort to slamming the dinner table & confront him directly & unleash & pour-out all my 'hidden emotions/feelings' and correct all his 'rigid' perceptions.
but i even don't know if THAT would also make him realize & accept me fully...as I am! not to become like other kid he's proud of! :/
 
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