infj relationship with esfp parent: a struggle


As an infj I have never had a good relationship with my esfp mother. She has a horrible tendency to get stuck in the moment too much (extraverted sensing), feels her convictions are a one size fits all to life for everyone in our family (introverted feeling) and she is so afraid of new options popping up over time just because its different that what she knows works (extraverted thinking).

When applied to me, the child, this translates into me waiting for a ride home for a ridiculously long time. It also translates to me thinking that I should believe that working hard is the only important virtue in life (when in the real world, results are rewarded much more). Flipside to this, she also taught me to surpress my desires, because apparently having desires is superficial and its bad to be materialistic. It took me 21 years to realize there’s more to life than just having food, water, and shelter, the bare minimum (Not saying this is bad per se, but if you have a chance to give your kids more than just the bare minimum in life then you should).

The list goes on and on. And I hate to say that I know another esfp who is exactly like this. Whenever we hang out it’s like “I’ll be there in 10 minutes I swear!” Shows up 30 minutes later. I’ve also seen his bedroom, it is absolutely disgusting. And it pisses me off even more that me, my group of friends, our whole dorm hall, and every single woman he’s brought in has commented on this and it’s almost as if he doesn’t care even though the smell is horrendous. Or let’s say he’s just used to his own smell, he didn’t even care enough to change for his roommates.

That’s what pisses me off the most about our relationship. It’s the fact that ever since I was a kid, I could kick, scream, whine, complain, get pissed, logically tear an argument apart, give constructive criticism, or even just say the cooking needs a touch of salt, and there’s literally just no response. In her younger days I’d just get lashed back at with yelling you could hear across the country. Fast forward to present day and the response I get is literally just ignoring the problem or running away from it. In the end as a kid I rationalized I was better off just not even saying anything or showing any emotions, because I didn’t know any better. It was the same for my brother. He is an istp, and you know how they get when people aren’t doing their job. The introverted thinking in them fumes like no other. How are the kids supposed to feel when their esfp parent gets lost in the moment or takes too long to fulfill their childs needs or just ices out their needs altogether?

The most annoying thing about my relationship with the esfps in my life, particularly my mother, is the whole world could be shouting that something is wrong or something needs fixing or something needs to be improved or just something needs to be done, and they will do absolutely nothing about it to change. Because by consensus reality, if you care about something, then you will do something about it.


Yeah, family sure can push our buttons. Mine were too over Easter. Dumb ESFJ sister, no matter how many screw-ups and bad choices my parents bail her out from somehow she’s the sweet little golden child. I got out on my own at 18 and basically never asked them for much and simply go through the motions of occasional family stuff. I highly recommend it. Some people just don’t do self reflection, and some things never seem to change. Next year, I think I’ll be traveling far away to relax on a beach round this time of year.