ISFJ Mom - INFJ Daughter Troubles | INFJ Forum

ISFJ Mom - INFJ Daughter Troubles

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by isfj_mom, Oct 17, 2016.

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  1. isfj_mom

    isfj_mom Newbie

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    I'm an ISFJ Mom with an INFJ adult daughter, living at home temporarily while she finishes grad school - Social Work. I have been on the receiving end of her anger and viciousness - tearing me down with hurtful attacks on me after we start arguing about something. I have never understood how she could be this way. I'm so terribly hurt by it - I'm not like that and never treated my mother that way.

    Reading here about INFJ personalities has helped me understand her better and not get so offended by her words and behavior. She gets fed up with me asking her the typical, practical, ISFJ Mom questions. She stays holed up in her room for days, only coming to the kitchen to grab food to take back; rarely speaks to me or my husband. When she appears, I naturally want to hug her, see how she's doing (I'm always worried about her mental state being alone for so long, even though I enjoy my alone time too.) and she treats me like the plague, snapping at me, being rude.

    She admits that she refuses to do anything that I remind her about life responsibilities, (typical ISFJ, right?) like car registration, bills, oil changes, bringing her dirty dishes and garbage down to the kitchen etc., even if she knows I'm right and the reminders are helpful. Why? Is that the tension between our personality types or just mom/daughter dynamic - especially with her having to live with us temporarily.

    As an ISFJ, I'm very sensitive, want others to be happy and worry when I see what appear to me as behaviors of unhappiness. She shuts me down when I ask and/or try to help. I'm trying to back off ...walking that fine line between showing I care about her/want connection and not caring/worrying about her, giving her alone time. It's like walking on eggshells.

    Suggestions for how I help create more harmony at home till she's moved out?
     
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  2. ruji

    ruji Well-known weirdo

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    She's an intuitive. These people cannot be fixed.
     
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  3. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Tell her to move out. Honestly. She will make it.
    Maybe it's time for the little bird to fly. My relationship with my mother and step father improved drastically after I moved out as a young adult. Grown kids aren't meant to live with parents if they can help it. I had to work 2 jobs to put myself through school, but it wasn't impossible.
     
    #3 acd, Oct 17, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  4. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    That is personality. We really really don't like having to deal with mundane things like this, and if she's under any kind of stress, experiencing depression or anything like that those things will fall by the wayside first. I suggest letting her get her oil changed, pay her bills, and get her car registered when she wants to and letting her deal with the consequences of it on her own.

    If you think she's overworked (honestly), stressed, or clinically depressed you could just offer to do these things for her instead of reminding her to do them. Ask her if she wants you to change the oil in the car and get it registered. She'd probably really appreciate it. I would!

    I don't have a suggestion for the cups/dishes. I have been doing that for years. ;)
     
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  5. OP
    isfj_mom

    isfj_mom Newbie

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    Thank you CindyLou - your perspective really help me come to some resolution over the issues. I've left her alone more, not reminded her about anything and when I couldn't help my ISFJ self and needed a status on something, I simply asked her to think about the situation and let me know what she had decided - no pressure. Then in my own mind, let that situation go - whatever happens, it will all work out. It doesn't have to work out exactly the way I think it should.

    She is bringing her dishes to the kitchen now without me asking. I promised I wouldn't invade her space or remind her about it again. Yay!

    Still several things outstanding that are driving me crazy but I'm keeping the "one day at a time" motto at the fore front of my mind. Don't bug her today, don't get emotional on her, don't explode. But also, check in on her, tell her I love her and then BREATHE.
     
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  6. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    I'm so glad it helped! YAY!

    Your daughter sounds a lot like me, almost exactly. I've had to move back in with my parents as an adult twice; both times because I sold a house before I bought the next one. Maybe I should ask my mom what she did with me? Lol. That woman is a saint! I feel for you right now. Even on my own I tend to leave cups laying around everywhere until there are none left and then I have to walk around collecting them all to go in the dishwasher. I'm surrounded by 10 cups in my "office" right now. LOL I'm afraid this might not ever change lol. I'm 35. I'm so sorry. It's one of those things that my family laughs at as a cute quirk of mine at this point. Does she leave all the kitchen cabinet doors open too? I don't even want to get into oil changes or registering my vehicle. When there is a man in my life, it gets done on time. If not, it is done on my time. :) I know it doesn't sound the most responsible, but we prioritize some of those things lower than others might when we have big projects happening, or under a lot of stress. We think big picture and lose the details sometimes.

    It's not ideal, but there are worse things that could happen and it usually only happens during times of stress or big projects, etc. When/if she has a partner in life it will be a lot easier too. Automatic bill pay is our friend! In any case, she won't hate you for letting her be free to make her own choices and also free to suffer the consequences. It shows you trust her to know what is best for herself and that she is capable on her own. Plus, she will have no one to blame but herself if she makes a bad choice.

    She shouldn't snap at you or be rude, though. That isn't okay at all.

    I can tell you love her, and I know that this will all work out fine. x

    If you want to PM me anytime, please feel free.

    *hug*
     
  7. Hoodie

    Hoodie Community Member

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    This sounds very much like my own situation! Only I'm the INFJ daughter! XD

    What CindyLou said is brilliant; as INFJs I think we tend to want to be in charge of ourselves- the good, the bad, and everything inbetween. For instance, (and this is something probably no one wants to know about me) my mum will come remind me every once in awhile to floss my teeth- upon her doing this I KNOW I won't be flossing my teeth that night. I know that sounds hopelessly ridiculous, but that's what I do. I'm generally quite averted to anyone else's... suggestions. Or, maybe not everyone's suggestions... just things that are mundane that my parents and or sister tell me I should do. It's not a brilliant way to go about life at all.

    Another thing though I wanted to mention, although it is great to just let your INFJ (we're pets now) do things on their own time, because they'll tend to actually do it if so... but you also have to be aware that your daughter might end up feeling slightly abandoned. For me, when people neg me, I'm adamant my way. However, when they stop negging me, I start to wonder if my way is so smart after all, and then I start to wonder if the person that was negging me has given up on me altogether. So if your daughter is like me, some space will probably do her well, but don't forget to make sure she knows you're there for her. It's hard to explain how exactly to do that.

    Also I know I can be a real jerk to people as well- it's generally because they're interrupting me (not that that's an excuse). And it's generally when I'm in my room trying to... be me. It's really hard when people ask me to do things when I'm in the middle of something, it breaks up my thought process and stresses me out. It tends to go over better if I'm given some time to think about the thing that I'm being asked to do. For instance, if someone were to barge into my room and ask me to wash the dishes, I would not be a happy camper at all. But if they barge into my room and ask me to do the dishes sometime today, it goes over a lot better because I can plan and my whole day isn't quite as ruined as it would be if someone suddenly expected me to drop my own priorities for something else. I think that kinda boils down to me thinking other people don't care about my time- which is something that is extremely valuable to me (even though it might seem like I'm wasting it all in my room on the internet or reading). But if your daughter snaps at you, call her out on it. Be like "I know you're frustrated but it doesn't make me feel good when you take it out on me." or something to that effect. She might get more snappy, but hopefully if that happens it will bring the frustration all the way out and you guys can actually talk about this underlying dragon. Sometimes it's actually good when people start yelling their feelings, even though it's not fun- and it doesn't have to be yelling, it can just be a conversation. If you really want there to be peace, peace is possible- I'm currently starting to build a healthier relationship with my family myself, so don't worry <3 there's definitely hope. It just takes some work and a bit of stepping out of your comfort zone. I hope everything goes well!
     
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  8. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    I think it's always difficult the change from young person to adulthood. I am 46 but I am still working on it. It sounds like you already have a handle on it now, with some help from @CindyLou (kudos Cindy) but I think a useful way to access any INFJ is to explain your problem, make no judgement and ask them for help. We are almost genetically programmed to try to help people.

    I think young people are also pre-programmed to challenge their parents, they need to assert their new adult status. No matter how nice they are, they will likely do this. It's not nice, but it's a good sign to an extent. They are getting ready to fly the nest etc. It's hard to let go, but trust yourself and the job you did as a parent. My son left for university recently. I want to call him everyday, but I don't. I wait and message every other day, and he replies quickly. His mom (now sadly and recently my ex) calls and msg's every day. He gets annoyed and only replies some times. I'm not judging my ex, it is very difficult.

    I miss him every day. But he must never know lol.. At least he is no longer stealing my chocolate.. lol
     
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  9. OP
    isfj_mom

    isfj_mom Newbie

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    Thank you Hoodia -I just got back to this forum after a couple of rough months. I suffer from depression and have been having marriage issues (not caused by my daughter being home but certainly exacerbated by it!) And just now feeling better.

    I've learned a lot the past couple months on how to approach her.....let her do her own thing, pick my battles so when I do ask her to do something mundane...like bringing dishes to the kitchen, It has to be a top priority. .... like....we have no clean cereal bowls! Lol! No more yelling at me because I don't nag her or ask her to do much. I hate conflict - especially with those I love - so I don't challenge her on anything she might get mad at. I just live with it knowing her living with me is short term. Codependent, I know, but I can't help it.

    I do check in with her, ask her about her days, school, etc., so I think I'm riding that fine line between nagging and caring pretty well. Soon I have to sit her down to talk about when she is moving out.....

    Her relationship with my husband is like a cold war. She will not respond to him when he says hi or asks her to pick up her stuff in the living room. Hes angry with her treatment of him because he does so much for her - fixes her car, has moved her multiple times, grocery shops for her, picks up carry out for her...etc. As an isfj, that situation kills me. They say "hell" for an isfj is when those you love are fighting and blaming it on you. I'm burning up....:(

    So some things are better and some I'm just waiting out.

    Appreciate the input from both sides of the situation!
    Mary
     
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  10. OP
    isfj_mom

    isfj_mom Newbie

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    Thank you James -you make a good point about asking for help with no judgement. It's not a nag, it's a request for help and I could see her responding more positively to that. As an isfj, I respond well to request a for help so I think she is similar. Now just how to word my request to NOT sound like an order or nag or reminder....lol!

    I know that adult children revert to their younger selves when they move back home so I'm trying to be patient with her. But dealing with her as a teenager once was enough! I'm tired of her now and want her out. A couple more months .....
    Mary
     
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  11. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    Lol. My 19 year old son left earlier today after spending 3 weeks home from university. So I think I'm 'feeling your pain' a little more. He's great and I am already missing him, but the mess he made in his room ? I spent the last 3 weeks cleaning up after him, so he did not get into a clash with my ex. (we are still living in the same house until it's sold).

    It's just easy being a parent isn't it lol ? I wish my parents had told me, they probably did and I just didn't listen. That's probably what actually happened. :)

    Push on the 'fair play button' if things get difficult. Every INFJ is compelled to try to be fair. It's our achillies heel but in a good way.
     
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  12. the

    the Si master race.
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    Yep, Only the strong survive. Send her out on her own so she will have to make it or die trying. Give her the adversity she craves.
     
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  13. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Strong enough to bully your parents, strong enough to make it on your own.

    *Doesnt apply to minors obviously, but OP said daughter is an adult living with parents.
     
    #13 acd, Jan 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  14. Gaze

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    I am an INFP but I have an ISFJ mom who is almost a saint. Very giving, and loving as you are. One thing that was a struggle for us, is realizing we don't think the same and that this wasn't necessarily a bad thing. As an adult, we've come to appreciate each other more because we talk and share quite a bit. As a teen, your daughter may not be able to have this kind of relationship with you yet, as she still needs to feel some ownership of her decisions and life to reach a point where she can interact with you as an adult. Sounds like she's not yet learned to take responsibility of her own feelings and emotions, and likely still blames her environment for her unhappiness. It would help if she was a part of something where she has to contribute or show up regularly.

    Each parent approaches things a little differently, and no one size fits all. First, see your daughter as an individual, not just a wayward teen who is not doing what you think she is supposed to be doing, "should be doing a, b, c" and whose job is to follow preset instructions for how to be a good child. That will only leave you with a resentful young adult, who feels like she's simply there to fulfill an ideal of a perfect child, which she likely feels she'll never live up to. When a child or teen feels they can't live up to expectations, they tend to give up, and just not try at all. They may think, "Why try, whatever I do will never be good enough anyway".

    This doesn't mean, there should be no expectations of her, or that her feelings should be accommodated at every turn. She needs to learn that some things she's asked to do are non-negotiable if she is to live at home. But it's also important as someone else already mentioned, that she feels there's choice in making decisions. She'll likely respond more positively if requests are not always or mostly framed as commands or demands.

    Don't let conversations always feel as if they're about answering to someone for something that's not being done or done properly. Best thing is to find common ground. Share experiences or thoughts about general interests with her, and let her share her opinion with you. Avoid letting things always be about a right way or wrong way to view things. Find out more about the things she likes to do or finds interesting and ask her feelings or opinions about them, specifically about what she finds great about them. Find areas of agreement that both of you can share.

    However, you also have set boundaries for yourself as a parent, so they know there are certain behaviors or actions that are not acceptable, and you're not going to tolerate it. Trying to be too understanding of her moods, may allow her to think she can be dismissive or non-responsive, which is not good. They may have learned to see you as someone who is there to take care of them in ways that they should be doing themselves.Your situation sounds like why many moms go on strike. Mothers are too often taken for granted, and expected to take care and clean up after everyone, often neglecting themselves, with expectations of self sacrifice, without the reciprocation from their loved ones. That gets old.

    Your loved-ones should be able to return that love so freely given, to show appreciation for that love or respect that was given unconditionally since birth. You have every right to be expected to be treated respectfully as a parent, and as an adult with your own needs beyond those of a parent. If children are taught to see parents as simply caregivers there to meet their needs, they don't learn to respect their parents as people who have their own needs.

    Yes, you may want her to leave, but you also want there to be foundation there for a good mother/daughter adult relationship for the future.

    Sorry, if I've overstepped in any of my comments. Best wishes to you and your family.
     
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  15. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    simply beautiful post. I would start an ISFJ appreciation society apart from one thing.. THEY need to do it !! lol
     
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  16. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    I think some people just have a better relationship when there is some distance between them.

    I think if you, as a feeling/caring type make quality of relationship(s) a priority, it will be a good guide for how you work out a better situation, where people can enjoy/appreciate each others company, instead of resenting it.

    If your daughter is anything like the INFJs here, she will understand and constructively contribute to a "less, but better" relationship.

    I think you probably need to explicitly address that your relationship with both her and your husband are important to you; and that it isn't right for you to be put into situations where this isn't taken seriously.
     
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  17. invisible

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    The pressure at grad school was intense. It is important to have rest time and I couldn't seem to get it. Whenever I had a spare moment to rest, my mother needed help with something, almost every day. I really needed her to not pounce on me about stuff every time I had any spare time.

    Having said that, it sounds like your daughter is going through some kind of brat phase. You sound like a good mother and it's cool that you are letting her stay with you while she studies. It will be better when she moves out.
     
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  18. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    Are the main issues her leaving things out and being messy? Can you have a large decorative basket in the living room to collect her stuff that she leaves out? It might seem like cleaning up after her but it's not putting her things away but more getting them out of the way so you guys can have a non-cluttered sensory experience at home - something she might not have have high on her priority list right now but something I can understand being important. I can imagine it's frustrating looking around and seeing all her crap laying around and you can begin to feel resentful, like she's taking advantage of you. I'm just trying to think of ways that you can avoid these feelings on your own. Things you can do to control your environment without her having to do anything, since she's an adult you have little control over her. Paper plates, cups and bowls might help for the next month as well. You could ask her to use the paper plates, cups and bowls that way she can just throw them away when she's done with them or they can all collect in her room, whatever. Even if she just uses them half the time that leaves you a couple clean cereal bowls a little more often. ;)

    Again, not ideal but possible solutions that might avoid conflict temporarily for the next couple months.
     
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  19. AnnaC13

    AnnaC13 Newbie

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    I think CindyLou's ideas are great. Personally, I'm an INFJ teen with an ISFJ mom. I have many conflicts with my mom, often once a week. She doesn't get what I think and I don't get what she thinks either. I try to be as understanding as possible, but sometimes when my parents get mad at me, I can be rude and mean. My parents also get mad at me for leaving clothes out. I prioritize what is important to get done, and what is not important. 99% of the time, picking up my clothes/ cleaning my room is at the bottom.
     
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