First of all, this is my version of The INFP Potato’s Living with an ISTJ Dad as an INFP. She’s my best friend and you can also check out her blog. Anyways, yes, again, this is my version of her blog and I’m going to try to be as close as I could, as in copy some of her words, but with my version. Like a parody! Haha~! Thanks a lot for your time! 🙂
To give you a mini introduction to this article, here is a not-so-rare photograph of my ISTJ wacky baby sister copying a signature pose of one of the characters of the current Filipinos’ favorite TV couple, who in my always amazed and always curious ENFP opinion, can see why they are people’s favorite, and yep, since it’s popular my sister took a picture with me (just cropped) as she posed as Lola Nidora:
To those asking why I had to show this picture, let me answer your question. It is to make a point. It is an objective caught on camera proof that ISTJs aren’t always prim, proper, serious, and strict. They can be dorky and I strongly believe that they put a lot of effort to make people laugh – for my sister, it’s so natural for her to have a wacky picture, I guess because she grew up in a wacky environment. And just in case there are some skeptics out there, no, that photo is not staged. When she’s taking a photo of herself, usually it’s serious. But it isn’t unnatural for her to pose wackily especially when she’s with somebody.
Now let’s go straight to the point.
INFP Potato said: “A lot of people on the MBTI online community have been wondering what it is like for an INFP to have an ISTJ dad. In a lot of forums I read online, I saw this repetitive reference to INFP-ISTJ relationship as the ‘worst possible combination’ and ‘road to hell’-ish kind of team up. But not a lot of things were written about an INFP-ISTJ child-parent relationship” , and so I am also assuming that not a lot of articles have been talking about ENFP-ISTJ sibling relationship, so I am here to write one for you by talking about my own experience as an ENFP.
CAREER CHOICES AND LIFE DECISIONS (I guess I can’t copy her blog on this)
Career Choices, hmmm… Well if it’s about career, she supports what I want. Not like she’s serious about it. My ISTJ sister doesn’t have her own passion. She does have things she likes: such as games, singing, musicals, watching movies, etc. But it isn’t really a passion. It’s more of what she likes. Whereas I, those are the things I’m passionate about. She even told me that she can’t even remember what she was doing when she was little, however she does remember what I was doing. Since we were kids, she liked what I liked, she did what I did, but it all had to start with me and what my passion was. In other words, a lot of the things she liked now started with me liking it. So… now, we both like games, we both like singing, we both like musicals, we both like watching movies, we both like a lot of things we can call our hobby. So, though it’s a big dream, she supports me being an interpreter, being “famous” (lol) in the internet for the song covers, dubsmash, and other projects that we do. So, she’s supportive to pursue the things that we like.
However, on the serious side, she actually wants to have a business. From the start, she has been saving to start one. Though her salary is the smallest in the whole family, her savings is the largest (although it’s not that much. It’s largest in terms of we don’t have our own savings haha). To be honest, she’s our family bank who can lend us money without interest. Honestly, I’m currently writing this with a big debt that I owe to her. My parents also owes her. So yep, she’s actually devastated that she can’t see her savings (it’s like it’s not moving at all and it’s decreasing) because of people who keep borrowing money. Haha!
When I asked her what is her dream career path, it is to be a CEO! I thought she was joking but noooo. She really wants to be a boss! She wants to have her own business, she wants her own company. She was actually imagining to own her company with me as the co-owner and the spokesperson (coz she don’t like speaking to people).
Speaking of her game plan to start the business, I was obliged (or let’s just say I signed an imaginary contract) to give P1,000 a month to save up for the business. Honestly, that plan was blown by the wind because I owe her money now, and I’m focused on paying what I owe first. And because of that, she had been reminding me (almost everyday if you were to exaggerate things) to pay up. Sometimes, I just paid her and 3 minutes had not yet passed, she will remind me to pay again. She’ll even remind you to save your money or don’t spend too much or else I can’t pay her back, which is suffocating for an ENFP who likes freedom. Me as an ENFP, would like freedom and non-tight budget to spend for whatever happens. But if you think about it, she’s right. I really appreciate her forceful ways of reminding me to pay up. Haha! Just lecturing her to not remind somebody who just recently paid, coz it’s so stressful and irritating!
Now that I mentioned that she is strict when it comes to budget and members of the family owing her, she gets mad (not that mad) and lectures when we have excessive stuff in the house. For example, my ISFJ mother buys snacks for the family, she’ll be like “Where did you get the budget? You keep on spending and you’ll not have money again!”, later on she’ll still eat. She doesn’t consider that it’s for family happiness. Another example is when my mom asks her for additional food budget and in that moment, we were in a tight budget, though not so tight for her not to approve the request. She’ll be like “We have sardines there! We have egg!”, when Mama wanted to cook something special for the family.
That people, is just one of the many things that frustrates me as an ENFP to have an ISTJ sister. They can be controlling and demanding, and a lot of times they wont even consider how you feel. I therefore conclude, that MBTI descriptions of ISTJs on how they are strict and ‘practical’ minded without regard for people’s feelings, can be true for a lot of cases.
What I like about what my sister did though is that, again, they are the balancing factor in the family who saves money for practical things. My ISFP dad spends a lot on things he likes, my ISFJ mom though practical spends a lot to help other people pay the bills, for house repairs and home improvements, and for family snacks and happiness, and me and as an ENFP also spends a lot for food and stuff depending on what I want. So, she who can save, is the family treasurer. Everything goes through her. The family income and family contribution goes to her and she budgets it all. If you need to ask her for money, it’s like it’s for approval. You need to state a good reason why you need it.
And I do appreciate that her strong practical skills balances all three of us’ out of control budget. For that, I think it is good to have an ISTJ around to ground us and help us manage especially with financial responsibilities.
CLEANING THE HOUSE
As an ENFP, I rarely clean. And guess what, as an ISTJ, my sister rarely cleans the house either. Haha! I clean more than she does! Maybe it’s because we have a do-it-all ISFJ mom in the house who magically cleans the house effectively and efficiently in such little time. And when I say magically, think of Elsa as she sings “My powers flurry through the air into the ground” and then boom! this side and that side of the room is clean.
Anyways, my ISTJ sister said that she cleans before, (which is true) but then eveything changed when she realized that it’s suuuuper easy for the house to become messy again. So she’s like “What’s the point?”, hence what she is today.
She is clean and orderly though on her personal things, for example: her bag, her stuff, her cabinet (which is like a safe) where she keeps the family budget, her office desk, and etc. I guess it depends. I read in one article that ISTJs are dutiful in things they consider their duty. Maybe she does not consider this one as her duty inside? Haha! I guess that might be one of the reason. Another is, like I said, we have an ISFJ mom who magically cleans. But yep, not all ISTJs clean the house.
She does help me with school works. But most of the time, it’s the other way around. If INFP Potato’s dad help her somewhat with school works, I help my ISTJ sister on hers. Let me discuss some of the reasons why this is the case.
- She isn’t good at writing while I kind of am. So, she needs my help.
- If she isn’t the group leader in school, she is like the group leader. You know how your classmates slack off in a group project? She takes the responsibilities of unfinished work. And because of that, again, she needs help.
- She wants her school project to be perfect. Another reason why she just take other people’s task. But yeah, again, the consequence is, we have to help her.
In all fairness, her school projects are always above average. That’s why she’s a dean lister. In the defense where she had to defend and discuss her website project (coz she’s an I.T.), she can answer any questions and any critics on her work, proving that her work is the best on there is. It’s really impressive and you can’t criticize anything in that project. Proud to say, I helped out. Hehe~
Speaking of helping out, it’s not only me. Let me tell you a view of how she manages those hectic school works. Think of an office, yeah, a business office. She’s the boss, while me, mama, and a friend of ours are workers. In a room, where we have low volume music, all of us are working on her project, working on our assigned tasks. We literally looked like an office. Another bossish moment was when she was asking mama to help her and mama promised to do so. My sister went to school and when she came back, mama has not started anything yet. She was like “You just watched T.V. that’s why you haven’t started anything yet!”. My friend who also helps calls her “Commander Aierrah”. ‘Coz she really was such a commander haha!
Anyways, copying INFP potato’s blog, she also discussed about how ISTJs give their opinions and the stuff you do. I agree with her. An ISTJ will just give maybe one compliment and 9 criticisms, like you didn’t do really well. My blog post, Dear Diary: Losing my Self-Esteem talks about how I felt when she criticized my performance. Anyways, with me talking about it with my ISTJ, I told her that she should learn to give compliments because, really, it’s like she’s allergic to giving compliments (especially if she’s giving her opinion on someone she’s close with. Maybe because it’s cheesy? I don’t know). However, in return, my ISTJ sister said that she thinks that’s what ISTJs feel: they feel like they’ve already complimented enough and doesn’t realize that 90% of it is criticism. For them, it’s okay, and they’re just giving “a few” opportunities to work with. That’s really hurtful and alien especially to an ENFP who is a personality type that is super generous in giving compliments to encourage people. ISTJs “compliments” are really discouraging that you’ll really feel down.
It’s a good thing that we stumbled upon MBTI, coz now we can appreciate personality types and learn to accept the differences. Without MBTI, tendency is to think “If I’m like this, why can’t you be like me? Why are you like that???”. With MBTI, you’ll just laugh it off like “Oh she’s like that coz she’s ISTJ Hahahahahaha!”, and the ISTJ laughs with you. So, you’ll learn to accept the differences that there are things you are but other people aren’t and there are things that other people are and you aren’t. The good thing about MBTI is that it gives a platform and a blueprint of how another type acts, and people who know their MBTI type can focus on fixing the negatives they have.
It is very important therefore for people with ENFP-ISTJ sibling relationship to study each others profile. MBTI is a tool to bridge gaps and create understanding. It isn’t a tool to decide that “Hey, these two types suck together so they might as well live on opposite sides of the Earth!” ENFPs like me must learn to appreciate the realism ISTJ offers. They should see the good in ISTJs step by step realistic approach to life. They must learn to recognize their duties and fulfill them like responsible beings. For ISTJs like my sister, they should learn how to understand and be lenient to the freedom and interests ENFP likes. Don’t harass her in paying up the debt when she just paid. Don’t tell her to be super duper thrifty when she doesn’t want to – by the way, my sister is so thrifty that she budgets her fare going to and from work in a super duper tight budget (it really irritates me when she’s using her calculator and keeps calculating stuff, as in sometimes she wakes up and the first thing she does is calculate something) that any unplanned moment that she has to spend money will result her to need to ask somebody for money or at least to work for her money (like giving me a massage), whereas I would like the freedom to have abundant budget, as in if someone wants to ask money from me or ask me to buy food, I would have the money to do so. If an ENFP wants to be thrifty, she would (but as for me, I can’t haha). Learn to focus on the positives of a person sometimes and not just the negative parts of them that needs improvement. Don’t be too stuck up on tight budget and schedules, and learn to let loose just like how my sister supports my ENFP projects and even bonds with the wacky me.
As my last word I am going to say, that an ENFP-ISTJ sibling relationship isn’t that bad, especially if you have the same hobbies. It is actually a good pairing since ENFP and ISTJ have the same functions, though virtually different in order. ENFPs’ strength is ISTJs’ weakness and vice versa. They balance each other out. All the work left is to learn how to find that balance.
(Yep, tried my best to be as close as how INFP Potato did it. But we really just had different experiences)
Thanks for reading!