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Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by philostam, Dec 2, 2019.

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  1. philostam

    philostam Community Member

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    So, here's the thing.

    I would say my family is pretty bad. Like, not terrible (no abuse, violence etc.), but pretty bad. I would give it 4/10. It could be higher if not for my mom.

    She is an ISTP, she is emotionally completely unavailable. She almost never hugs or ask any emotionally - related questions. She is always edgy, you never know what questions will tip her off. She won't scream or insult, but she will be annoyed. Also, she is selfish and terrible with money. She always spends it carelessly and selfishly (for her needs).

    Anyway, I am not affected by this. I moved out and simply don't have much/any contact with her. But I worry about my twin sisters.

    That's a whole different issue. My father died and later I got twin sisters (11 years younger!) Thankfully, the step dad is quite good. He is ESTJ, responsible, hardworking and a bit more loving/caring towards the family.

    I sometimes feel sorry for him as well that he came into our family, but that is kinda his issue. He decided so and he chose my mom. I would not be happy with this kind of woman at all, but perhaps he has different standards.

    I do worry about my sisters, though. I think this is no environment for a kid. Too much ST, not enough love, family time, talking etc. Sisters are mostly left alone after school to be in their rooms. There is not a lot of money being spent on them and their hobbies. While we are not super poor, my mom's money managment and selfishness sometimes makes it feel like we are.

    Anyway, this is really bothering me. At one hand I need to focus on myself and my growth (career wise). I might go back to school, even. But on the other hand, I want to help my sisters financially and in other ways. I try talking with them and engage them with a bit more NF approach, and I see they react positively to that. But at the same time I cannot dedicated 2 hours each day for that. I have my own things to worry about and focus on.

    The problem is that I can see things ending out badly for my sisters. Like, they will probably have emotional issues later on (even now) and I am not sure they will be succesful in school. It's hard to be succesful in this kind of environment.

    My gf always reminds me that I grew up in the same house and turned out good. And that's true. But I don't want my sisters to go trough the same. Also, they do not have my intelligence. They are in primary school where I got straight A's without studying much atl all, while their grades are weaker with more effort put in.

    I don't know...Perhaps it's better to be wilfully blind and pretend (hope) everything turns out well for them. But the bottom line is that life would be much easier if they were never born,

    Anyway...any advice, comments, similar experiences etc.?
     
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  2. MINFJToothFairy

    MINFJToothFairy Nope. Not a dentist.
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    I believe that the life of others is mostly out of our control but you can offer love when you can and that is all that matters. Be sure to stay in touch and let your sisters feel they can trust you and their dad. That should be a great blessing.
     
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  3. OP
    philostam

    philostam Community Member

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    Thank you! Yes, I think you are right. My girlfriend says the same, but sometimes you need more people to say it.

    But it's hard to let go and let other live their own lives, when you feel things are not right. But it's also possible that I have my own projections and do not see the complete picture, so I am over-blowing the whole situation.
     
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  4. MINFJToothFairy

    MINFJToothFairy Nope. Not a dentist.
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    That is correct. Your sisters are young now and are more like a blank slate when it comes to influence but if you listen and observe closely, you'll find that they have magic on their own. Trust that goodness. The important thing is to observe them from a distance and quietly guide them to the right decisions if and when you weigh that they are truly making wrong ones. Your girlfriend and you are doing a good job. I think it's normal for any parent to worry and in this case you are effectively a parent to your sisters so don't be too hard on yourself as well. Have faith :)
     
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  5. Ginny

    Ginny Bootstrap Gin

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    I grew up with a selfish bastard who wasted money on himself rather than investing in the future. I had talents that were never nurtured or discovered. Therefore, I was late to develop.

    I find it overly critical to say that your sisters are less intelligent. They may not have an easy time in school or with learning, but that doesn't indicate that they are any less intelligent. If anything, it makes them differently intelligent and it just hasn't been discovered in what way their talents are expressed.

    They may yet find their talents, there is still lots of time. Try to perceive them first for who they are and then try to encourage them. As soon as they have developed a self-image, they can develop on their own. But until then they are still extremely malleable from a cognitive point of view. They can even change from one extreme to the other.
    What they need is encouragement, and that can come from many sources. It needn't be all you.
     
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  6. JustPhil

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    I've found kids are resilient little buggers. I can understand your fears, but don't under estimate your siblings' intelligence and ability to learn to cope and adjust. Remember too, that you feel you had a bad time of it, but you may be a different type to them.

    You have a similar situation to me except mine it with my son. I think my ex was ISTP. Same thing as you mentioned. Emotionally unavailable. Not great with money but she's OK with it. Problem for me was that I think she thinks looking after a child is just that, you oversee them and make sure they don't hurt themselves. Job done! Interaction is optional. My son spends most of his days watching TV and gaming at her place. Sometimes she will take him out to school friends houses (in this she is better than I), but in the main he is alone to amuse himself.

    So I take the opposite approach. I spend time chatting, interacting, playing sports, playing video games, etc. I suppose what I am saying is that I try to let him see another side of the coin. I try to be there and let him know that I am there for him.

    So I think resilience of children and their ability to cope even in adverse situations, and knowing that there is someone there that cares and they can turn to in the event they do feel a little lost - if that is what you can offer, will probably suffice.

    Remember we all have our problems. Some have come from abusive families. Who says that this will not make them a stronger, better human beings. My father was a tyrant. I made SURE I wasn't going to end up the same. To me it ended up being an advantage for me to strive to be a better person.

    Things have a way of working out in the end most of the times. Love them, let them know they are loved.
     
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  7. OP
    philostam

    philostam Community Member

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    Thanks, Phil. That is some good advice and perspective.

    I want to believe everything will turn out OK for them. I cannot know that, of course, but I also cannot know that things will end up badly. So it's better to go with optimistic version, to have more peace of mind.

    And it's true. They know they can rely on me when times will be dark. I didn't have that when I was growing up.
     
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  8. OP
    philostam

    philostam Community Member

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    Yes, this is terrible.

    I was in a same situation, but it's not money I needed to develop (since university is free in my country anyway), but guidance, support etc. Eventually I did it, but it took more time then it should have.

    On the other hand I have friends of highly educated parents who bought them apartments in the center of the city, where all important colleges are. They could study until they are 40, if they wanted do, and parents would support them.
     
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  9. Bird

    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    Have you tried therapy to discuss your issues with your mother?

    Your sisters will be fine.
    People grow up in way worse situations and are fine.

    I think it's really ridiculous of you to try to clock your mom about her
    parenting skills when you've never had to be a parent and furthermore
    you came out just fine. I know you want to think that's because your
    good grades when you were 8 but I am sure there is a lot more to
    it than that.

    I grew up in a home where there was no money for even heat or
    hot water or gas half the time let alone hobbies. My mother is also
    not of the affectionate sort. I'm thriving. In large part, I think it's because
    of the environment I grew up in.
     
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  10. OP
    philostam

    philostam Community Member

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    Yes, I have been to therapy. My mom doesn't want to go. Like I said, I made my peace with mom, but now I worry mostly about my sisters.

    I am aware parents can fuck up in many ways. For example, my mom could be too emotional and overprotective, which would lead to totally different issues (I could be too over-dependent, spoiled etc.)

    But still, I believe that kids should be able to express their anger towards their mother. It's helpful. Just because she is your mom and you never tried being a parent, it doesn't mean you cannot have an opinion. Also, I am sure I will be a better parent, there is no doubt in my mind.

    And no, I don't think I was a genius at age of 8. But like I already expressed in different threads, I believe that IQ is a reliable predictor of life satisfaction and success down the line.

    I do not mind your harsh tone, sometimes it's what I need to hear to bring me out of self pity.
     
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  11. OP
    philostam

    philostam Community Member

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    Also, I am sorry to hear about your situation, but not really, because you are thriving now because of it.

    This is a great feeling and it gives me hope for my sisters as well.
     
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  12. Impact Character

    Impact Character But is it Lethani?

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    @philostam It sounds very much so that you love and care for your sisters. That is a wonderful thing, and it is very understandable to feel worry sometimes.

    As @MINFJToothFairy pointed it out very clearly you can offer them alot. You know: be what you needed when you were a child for example, but do that as a brother. Don't overdo anything or deplete you by crossing into parenting roles or crossing your limits. That is not what they need from you anyhow. You can talk to your mother, step-father and sisters if an issue comes up. You're a family after all.

    On another matter:
    I understand that your intelligence has given you some inner stability to deal with your life, but I also read a bit between the lines that you may want to watch out for thoughts that go along these lines:
    "Growing up without my intelligence in that very environment would have been bad for me, so my sisters must be in a bad place. There is reason to worry."

    Don't listen to anything similar to this. Rather be aware if this happens.

    Remind yourself, there is only one person like you in the world (and that is okay), and that other people find other ways and gain even from the worst places of their lives the most magnificent strengths.
    Your sisters might even find good things in that environment that were nothing for you personally.

    We are all a little fucked up because no parent is perfect. It's about how we learn to ask for help or find other additional great people for social needs, it's about learning how to take responsibilities for ourselves and have faith in overcoming our fuckedupness that make all the difference.

    Yes, there is hope, and hope is what you could share with them if you wish to do so.
     
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  13. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I agree with @Ginny that it's important to get to really know your sisters for who they are--their unique talents and interests rather than comparing them to yourself. Comparing them to yourself to find deficiencies is harmful as well.
    They have everything they need to cope and thrive, what's already there just needs to be nurtured. I think spending quality time with them will have a big positive impact. I've heard it takes one stable adult attachment to build a child's resilience.
     
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    #13 acd, Dec 2, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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  14. acd

    acd Well-known member

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  15. OP
    philostam

    philostam Community Member

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    Yes, I am aware that they are different personalities. Obviously they are not fully developed yet, but I sense one has ESFJ traits and the other is more of an ISXP. She is a bit more masculine. I kinda joked about this, but they are like Sansa and Arya from GoT a bit.

    It's also true that my situation was a bit different. I feel I was more isolated and had certain afflictions that made me disconnect more. I think my sisters have more of natural social skills, especially the ESFJ one, of course.

    But at the same time I feel my mom was a bit more cheerful/optimistic when I was young, and there was also a bit more money (single child etc.). Also, we were still living with my ISFJ grandma at the time, so I had more warm people around. My grandma is far from perfect (as discussed elsewhere), but I cannot blame her for being cold or uncaring.

    So yeah, I am hoping for the best and doing my bit. But I cannot help but feel that things are not going in the right direction. One thing I worry is them entering high school next year. In a way, it could be good, because you spend more time in school, have more to study, socialize more etc. This could help (not being at home so much).

    But on the other hand I feel that emotional issues will start to show more in those years. Also, they will need more money, which will cause additional problems.

    I don't know. Some people are just strange. Why have kids if you are not willing to give them time, affection or money?
     
    #15 philostam, Dec 2, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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  16. OP
    philostam

    philostam Community Member

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    It's just one of those days. I have weeks/months where I completely forget about all the underlying family issues and focus on my own things, but then then they creep up again.

    But thanks everyone for replying!
     
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  17. Impact Character

    Impact Character But is it Lethani?

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    May I ask? What do you feel is the right direction (in life)?

    Sometimes pieces of ourselves focus alot on the outside to avoid something internal. If this creeps up on you like you said, this could be something for your personal development to check up on..maybe you hit some sort of inner resistance towards something that concerns you but you are not consciously ready to deal with it? Just wondering..
     
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  18. OP
    philostam

    philostam Community Member

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    Well, I feel like first 0-12 years should be about forming good basis in social skills, emotional bonds and attachment with others (mostly family), explore, play etc. After that (by the time of 15, let's say), you should probably already have some ideas of what fields interest you and where you can excel (is the role of parents or mentors to help guide you here). It's important to understand yourself a bit by then. Then it's highshool years, where sexuality also enters the picture...who knows what's best then.

    But good question. I haven't really thought about it that much. Maybe my biases can show now. :grinning:
     
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  19. Impact Character

    Impact Character But is it Lethani?

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    ;)

    You will all be fine!
     
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  20. Daustus

    Daustus Probably Real.

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    I'd suggest making a weekly hang out session with your sisters. Give them some quality time and just love them.
     
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