Help communicating with an ESFJ | INFJ Forum

Help communicating with an ESFJ

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by goldfinch, Apr 12, 2010.

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  1. goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    My therapist is an ESFJ. He seems to have trouble understanding me and I think this is due to my inability to communicate properly with him. If anyone has any tips on how to communicate with an ESFJ so that they understand what we're saying and how we feel and what we ARE, I would greatly appreciate it.

    He is a very nice person and very patient, but I'm not sure this is going to work out.

    I'm thinking of also giving him some tips on how to communicate with me.

    Thank you.
     
  2. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    You can try and work things out with him, but to me it doesn't seem like it would be worth the effort. If your therapist is not working out with you, you have a right to look for another. They are all trained to understand that not all therapist/client relationships are going to work out. They all (or should) their clients to be happier with themselves and life, so if you explain that things aren't working, he should at the very least listen.
     
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  3. OP
    goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    Oh I know that. But I've been with him for a year and a half or so and have a lot invested. The thought of starting over with someone new is daunting. I thought if I could just communicate on his level things would go smoother. He is very open to what I have to say, I just need to know how to say it so he understands.
     
  4. Entyqua

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    it is interesting to me that he has such a hard time communicating with you...It was my understanding that therapists were well taught in the MBTI/Cognative/Enegram functions. That they would learn specific tools to communicate with each type...As that is the case, you could take a session to talk about cognitive functions and where you stand...are you ruled by FE? or Ni? this could help him understand how you communicate.

    So he is ESFJ...you should have some very basic communication types that are the same...he is still an FJ...as are you...He still has Fi and FE like you do...You will have to decide if he uses introverted Feeling or Extroverted Feeling to see how emotions are better discussed for him to understand...

    Now you are an Intuitive, while he is a sensor...You still have some Si, and Se...you just need to tap into it...Read up on the way this function behaves, and how you can use it.


    E and I are simple There is no real communication barrier between E's and I's.
     
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  5. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    I agree with what Indigo said. You don't have to be with a therapist with whom you are having communication issues. Find another therapist. Or, talk to your current one and tell him flat out that he's not understanding what you mean. Therapists are just people; they listen, and they give you feedback based on what you've already told them, but not all of them are intuitive. Not all of them are sensors. And everyone is unique.

    It does take time to warm up to a therapist, but the more honest you are the better they can help you.

    Good luck!
     
  6. OP
    goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    I feel like I'm not communicating very well here either! Thanks for the advice, everyone. I know I don't have to stay with him, and I do talk to him about not understanding. I also write to him and that helps, but I am trying to improve my communication skills with him and therefore with others in general. As you can see I don't do very well with it.

    I am honest with him as well, I didn't mean to imply that I am not.

    Well, if I figure anything out I'll be sure to write about it in case anyone else needs any tips for communicating with an ESFJ.
     
  7. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    He's a therapist though, so I would venture to guess that mbti type wouldn't matter--he should be trained to communicate effectively with his clients.


    What tips do you have in mind to help him communicate with you better?
     
  8. Adymus

    Adymus Community Member

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    Nah, personality type always matters, it is how we experience reality, no amount of training will change this.


    The OP: I'd recommend using concrete examples explained in the context of interpersonal relationships.
     
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  9. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I would just think that a therapist would be well enough educated and trained to be able to communicate effectively with a variety of personality types--because that is their job, to communicate with all sorts of different people. Therapists specialize in understanding personalities, it's how they diagnose and treat and help..
     
    #9 acd, Apr 13, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  10. Matariki

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    Cor Blimey! A ESFJ therapist?

    [​IMG]
     
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    #10 Matariki, Apr 13, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  11. GaiaGraha

    GaiaGraha Community Member

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    Seriously: GET A NEW THERAPIST
    I know SO MANY ESFJs (my life is polluted with them) and while there are some on rare occasion that are able to communicate, most of 'em are stubborn people who really have a hard time listening and seeing something out of their own small frame of mind. They just become too forcefully attached to things based on their own feelings, and don't look at the big picture or logic or even think things through.
    (No offense to any ESFJs here, I'm sure you aren't part of this group if you are here in the first place, but honestly, on average, ESFJs fit that description.)

    BUT if ya wanna stick with em: I'd get "The Art of SpeedReading People" by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. It tells you how to communicate effectively with every type. I'd read you that section because I do own it...however....it's been missing for months now.... :/
     
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    #11 GaiaGraha, Apr 13, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  12. OP
    goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    I'm sure he is, but training can only do so much, you know?

    Some tips I would give him to communicate better with me would be:

    - If I am silent it doesn't mean I have nothing to say

    - Also if I am silent it doesn't mean I necessarily agree with you

    - I don't think out loud (yes, I know you do)

    - I feel criticized very easily, so if I give you my point of view and you immediately respond with your point of view I feel as though you are telling my view is wrong. Give me a little empathy for my feelings before you launch into your perspective.

    - If I give you a visual aid, such as a collage, I would like you to look at the big picture, the overall theme, not look at each picture individually and try to figure out what each one is saying. You're missing the point.

    - I communicate in ways other than speaking. Try to notice that and ask me about it.

    - When I withdraw it is because you said or did something that hurt me or reminded me of something from the past or something someone else once did. Maybe you should stop talking at that point and try to figure out what happened.
     
  13. OP
    goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    Yes you are right - he does like that. I don't like to talk about day to day things, but the first time I did that he told me he felt it was the first "normal" therapy session that we had had. That was after about 9 months of seeing him.

    Why didn't he just tell me that is how he wants me to communicate?
     
  14. OP
    goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    He doesn't look at the big picture, but he is into logic. In a big way! I know that my intuition trumps logic and that it is not always right and he tries to make everything logical. Sometimes I am not ready to hear it though.

    Thanks for the book rec, I'll check it out.
     
  15. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    i agree, give him something tangible to work with.
     
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  16. myst

    myst Community Member

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    I think NFs are likely to be better therapists, though it always depends on the individual therapist.... the stuff you said you want to explain to him is exactly what I would expect a decent therapist to already know.... I think some therapists really aren't very good at what they do and many aren't very well trained either... but, of course, the OP knows the situation a lot better than anyone else, so if he(?) thinks it's best to stay with the therapist, I respect that.
     
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  17. OP
    goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    Thanks Myst. Don't INFJs have trouble ending relationships? I know somewhere in my heart that this isn't working well. And I'm trying to make it work because of various reasons, like fear of starting over with someone else. I'm sorry I ever started therapy frankly.
     
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