[ISFJ] ISFJs and Stress

ISFJs and Stress

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  • 1 Post By floryshe
  • 1 Post By kenji51590

This is a discussion on ISFJs and Stress within the ISFJ Forum - The Nurturers forums, part of the SJ's Temperament Forum- The Overseers category; ...

  1. #1
    Unknown Personality

    ISFJs and Stress

    Hello fellow ISFJs,

    I am having a problem with another of our kind.

    I have recently become close friends with a male ISFJ. At best, we get along spectacularly--we make the same jokes, think on the same level, etc. However, after a particular conversation I had with him the other day, I was left confused about some issues that I believe refer to his Fe.

    Prior to this conversation, another friend and I were discussing something in front of my ISFJ friend that he finds uncomfortable. When the other friend left, I was left alone with him. I noticed that as I would try to talk to him, he would become extremely manipulative with both his words and the feeling behind them. It started with him acting sour, but when I went along with his little "game", he instead tried to pull the "I'm just kidding" card and act like normal. I could tell during this entire conversation that he was uncomfortable--he would often shift his eyes away from me or pull out his phone and fiddle with it. After 20 minutes or so of subtly trying to reconcile with him, I eventually gave up and left him so that he could recover on his own.

    As an ISFJ myself, I felt like I had a pretty good idea of how he was feeling and what he was trying to do, but his manipulation really threw me off. When I become stressed out, I tend to worry about all the possibilities of things going wrong, which causes me to become hypercritical of whatever it is that’s stressing me out. At those times, I seclude myself from whomever or whatever that stressor is and analyze/rationalize the situation until I feel comfortable enough to return to it.

    I guess what I was wondering is, is my friend’s reaction normal amongst the ISFJ community, or is it perhaps--as I feel it is--a result of an underdeveloped or misused Fe? I can often tell that he feels uncomfortable with his emotions and probably tends to repress them quite a bit. This causes him to act more volatile towards others when he becomes frustrated (for example, he can get quite nasty with opposing teams when he plays sports). These actions make me think that he suppresses his Fe usage because of some “Be-A-Man” notion that having and/or expressing feelings will make him less manly (any other male ISFJs feel this way?).

    If this is an issue with his Fe, what can I do as a friend to help him? I know how finicky we ISFJs are about our independence and making sure that we are the ones who come to our own conclusions, but if there is any way I can provide some sort of “backstage” support, I would love to be able to do so. Unfortunately, he has no interest in my “personality typing stuff”, as he calls it, so I can’t quite be direct with him in my help or support. This, combined with the fact that his Fe seems to mask his Ti during times of stress or pressure, often places me in some sticky situations with him (he frequently likes to question the worth of our friendship when he gets upset, which really kicks my conflict-avoiding stressor into gear and makes me as antsy as he is).

    I feel as though I have almost reached my limit with him in this respect. I really don’t want to end our friendship because I do value it, and when he is fine, we get along really well. One of the most challenging parts about this issue is that often times, there doesn’t appear to be some external source for his stress or frustration; he could wake up one morning and act just as nastily as if someone had punched him in the gut and insulted him. I hate avoiding him when he is like that because my Fe wants to help him (and I’m usually around him anyways), but I have also found out that ignoring his emotional manipulation attempts only seems to make him keep trying. I guess I have just reached my wit’s end trying to figure out what I can do for him.

    Can anyone explain what it is that may be causing him to react like this and what I can do to help him (or at least make it through his mini-tantrums alive)? Sorry for the long explanation, but I’d really appreciate any feedback.



  2. #2
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    i don't really have any answers but perhaps i can provide some information

    isfjs will act like entps when stressed, making full use of Ne --> seeing negative possibilities everywhere

    isfjs with undeveloped Ti will probably lean on their Ne more so as well, and when isfjs use their inferior function it's all or nothing - which can lead to isfjs acting like.. i think typelogic described it best.. imps.

    all i could recommend is to keep things more superficial and don't try to impose yourself on him by talking about things that he finds uncomfortable.

  3. #3
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by OpaquePurity
    As an ISFJ myself, I felt like I had a pretty good idea of how he was feeling and what he was trying to do, but his manipulation really threw me off. When I become stressed out, I tend to worry about all the possibilities of things going wrong, which causes me to become hypercritical of whatever it is that’s stressing me out. At those times, I seclude myself from whomever or whatever that stressor is and analyze/rationalize the situation until I feel comfortable enough to return to it.
    As floryshe said, I think your response is definitely the "typical" ISFJ response during stress. I mentioned this in this thread, and like floryshe said, it boils down to use of inferior Ne.

    Question for ISFJ's and ISTJ's



    Quote Originally Posted by OpaquePurity View Post
    Prior to this conversation, another friend and I were discussing something in front of my ISFJ friend that he finds uncomfortable. When the other friend left, I was left alone with him. I noticed that as I would try to talk to him, he would become extremely manipulative with both his words and the feeling behind them. It started with him acting sour, but when I went along with his little "game", he instead tried to pull the "I'm just kidding" card and act like normal. I could tell during this entire conversation that he was uncomfortable--he would often shift his eyes away from me or pull out his phone and fiddle with it. After 20 minutes or so of subtly trying to reconcile with him, I eventually gave up and left him so that he could recover on his own.

    I guess what I was wondering is, is my friend’s reaction normal amongst the ISFJ community, or is it perhaps--as I feel it is--a result of an underdeveloped or misused Fe? I can often tell that he feels uncomfortable with his emotions and probably tends to repress them quite a bit. This causes him to act more volatile towards others when he becomes frustrated (for example, he can get quite nasty with opposing teams when he plays sports). These actions make me think that he suppresses his Fe usage because of some “Be-A-Man” notion that having and/or expressing feelings will make him less manly (any other male ISFJs feel this way?).
    I think I've read in one MBTI about ISFJ males doing this kind of thing sometimes...because society doesn't support a male ISFJ embracing their natural attributes, sometimes they will overcompensate and act way more "masculine" than they truly feel. I myself don't really do this, though I've felt the temptation in certain situations.


    Whether it's Fe related or not, I'm not sure, but I guess that makes sense. I've heard other types talk about ISFJ's having this kind of behavior, though they've talked about it with both males and females. We all just kind of agreed that it was "unhealthy" behavior, but we couldn't really come up with any solutions to improve upon it.




    It's one of those things that eventually he'll just have to figure out on his own. I think sometimes the best thing you can do is just try to support him for who he is, especially the typical ISFJ qualities that he might express. But it sounds like the situation is much bigger than you, and it probably has a lot to do with things that he's felt or had to deal with his whole life. There's really only so much you can do.

  4. #4
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by floryshe View Post
    i don't really have any answers but perhaps i can provide some information

    isfjs will act like entps when stressed, making full use of Ne --> seeing negative possibilities everywhere

    isfjs with undeveloped Ti will probably lean on their Ne more so as well, and when isfjs use their inferior function it's all or nothing - which can lead to isfjs acting like.. i think typelogic described it best.. imps.

    all i could recommend is to keep things more superficial and don't try to impose yourself on him by talking about things that he finds uncomfortable.
    This sounds exactly like me when i am stressed.I do tend to focus on the negative things and self pitying behaviour.I get stressed very easily when things go the wrong way,and have suffered from depression and anxiety for many years.

  5. #5
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by OpaquePurity View Post
    I guess what I was wondering is, is my friend’s reaction normal amongst the ISFJ community, or is it perhaps--as I feel it is--a result of an underdeveloped or misused Fe? I can often tell that he feels uncomfortable with his emotions and probably tends to repress them quite a bit. This causes him to act more volatile towards others when he becomes frustrated (for example, he can get quite nasty with opposing teams when he plays sports). These actions make me think that he suppresses his Fe usage because of some “Be-A-Man” notion that having and/or expressing feelings will make him less manly (any other male ISFJs feel this way?).
    Yea this is how I was during high school the most, showing emotions isn't all that manly so I had to adapt to the masculine characteristics and eventually act just like he did in your description of him.
    teddy564339 thanked this post.

  6. #6
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Urmm... It'd help me to have a bit more details. What kind of thing were you and your friend talking about that made your male ISFJ friend uncomfortable?

    And in what way was he being manipulative? Like, was he trying to guilt-trip you or something?

    If I can get more info on those two things, I'll (and I think others as well) be able to better understand and better give you advice.

  7. #7
    Unknown Personality

    Wow, I almost forgot about this thread... Haha.

    For the record, things have been improving between the two of us, but his fits still happen now and again. I'll continue discussing these issues though if people are still interested in knowing. :]

    Quote Originally Posted by kenji51590 View Post
    Yea this is how I was during high school the most, showing emotions isn't all that manly so I had to adapt to the masculine characteristics and eventually act just like he did in your description of him.
    Interesting. How did this make you feel? Did you "grow out" of it, or do you still find yourself acting like that? Did you want other people to help you or be around you? I'd like to hear more on this (my friend just doesn't care enough about MBTI to cooperate too well with me).

    Well, I think we were discussing prior relationships, and my ISFJ friend has never had a girlfriend before and had some feelings for me (but I wasn't interested), so I think the combination of that struck a wrong nerve with him.

    I don't precisely remember the conversation anymore, but he would say things with the intent of drawing a particular response out of me (mainly ones of pity). I would catch on to what he was trying to do and would intentionally not give him the answer he wanted because I didn't feel like I had any reason to service him (and especially when it was trying to be forced from me).

    We have had subsequent talks since that event and gotten to know more of how we feel in certain situations, but I still feel like he may be keeping some information from me. I think teddy was right in saying that his issues are probably far beyond me.


     

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