Good day!
I am a ENTP and my daughter is a INFJ. I am having a hard time with understanding her and I believe she has misunderstood me. I try not to show when I am upset to my children who are both adults now. I have always been very strong with emotions however my daughter thinks I am a narcissist . I am not sure she really knows me very well as her and her brother mean so much to me? I have wrote her a apology letter just basically asking forgiveness for not understanding her point of view but I am not sure that this will help. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Comments

Bard says...

This is a tough one. It is really painful when parents and children seem temperamentally incompatible or unable to understand each other. The letter is a good start, I think. Even if you don't immediately get a favorable response, your daughter will have it, and it will be a reminder that you think of her, care about her, and want to get your relationship on a better footing.

I only know one person well whom I know to be an INFJ, so I don't want to be too quick to generalize. But my sense of people of this type is that they tend to be highly ethical and idealistic, and feel their commitments to their ideals very deeply and strongly. And if someone they have admired does wrong in their estimation, they experience it almost as a betrayal. They will forgive, but it may take a while. I think there may be a streak of black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking that goes along with that too. So, I don't know, but apropos of all this I'm wondering why your daughter says you're a narcissist. Do you think she has been disappointed in you because of something you've done? Or something she thinks you've done? I've raised kids myself, and God knows, it is probably impossible to be a parent without at some point disappointing your children or doing something that will cause disapproval and resentment. If you can get her to be more specific about why she thinks this, conceivably it could start a fruitful conversation.

One thing about the bond between parents and children is that it is strong and enduring. It may not always be evident, but deep down they want to feel connected to you. And, again, I think the introverted, intuitive, feeling parts of the INFJ personality only strengthen that deep pull toward connection. So that might be something to keep in mind when it feels as if your daughter is pulling away from you.

INFJ1961 says...

I wonder if, before writing your post, you did any research on the 16 MBTI types, or at least, your own, and those of your family. If not, you're probably not alone. However, it is one of the things that MBTI is so incredibly useful for: to communicate better through a better understanding of not only yourself, but those around you (literally or figuratively).

This site has great summaries of the types, and after reading your post, I immediately went and read up on your type. I didn't read up on INFJ, because I am one (besides, I just read through it again earlier this week). I think if you read through the summary of your type, and then through the INFJ, you might have a better understanding of why your daughter referred to you as a narcissist.

NOT saying you are one!

But if she too isn't that versed in MBTI, that might explain her feelings. INFJ's are very intuitive people. We can usually gauge someone's emotions, especially when they're not okay. To try to hide it is often useless. To outright deny it can be hurtful and perhaps insulting, depending on how much emotional trust they've already invested in you. Once you've been given the INFJ door slam, it will take considerable effort to get it retracted. A blanket apology won't help, and might make things worse. It will probably need to be specific to the cause (ex: "I'm sorry for...," not "if I hurt you, I'm sorry..." You already know an offense has been taken). And, "I'm sorry you feel that I..." is not an apology. That cheap tactic is overused by CEOs, politicians, celebrities, and the people who follow them.

Me Too (not verified) says...

I am an ENTP borderline INTP/INTJ depending on the situation. My daughter, age 28, is either an INFJ or ISFJ. So I sympathize with your dilemma. The FJ part of this is difficult for those who are in the 'TP' mindset. The judge function is alien to us.
Depending on your child's age, she may grow out of it - mine has largely done so. Beyond that, it sounds like a cry for emotional support that is unspoken, or approached indirectly. This can take the form of a small, thoughtful gift or just time spent together where you aren't 'entertaining' her but just quietly sharing an activity that she enjoys. My daughter and I get on best when she drops by without warning, and I just let her be the focus. She is very private so I have to just let her slowly review her emotional state and what is bothering her. I also don't judge her when she is being judgmental, although I have to bite my tongue!

mven7 says...

Personally for me, as an INFJ, sometimes with my mom I just need space. Like honestly, I don't always tell her about my personal things going on just because I'm just a private person. Don't get me wrong, me and my mom are as close as can be, sometimes I just want to reflect on my own. Defiantly reading about INFJ's will help a lot. Also, I definitely have a high ethnical and moralistic personality. I feel that I know what is right and no ones getting in the way of that. For me, just want my mom to listen to me but not always tell me what to do, just give me advice and support. Something to remember is that INFJ's need time of healing also, and it takes time for us to open up again and build that trust. We are known to hold grudges for forever>>>> Try and be patient and don't rush an INFJ back to the unbroken relationship before the conflict. Hope this helps.

best of luck (not verified) says...

Its understandable that you'd want to be close to your daughter, most parents want that. The INFJ are often misunderstood, and being an ENTP means that you two are very different people. I really feel for your dilemma, because my husband is a ENTP and I am an INFJ.

I think sometimes that we live in totally two different worlds, and I often catch myself saying (or on good days thinking) "You can't do that that way!" When he tries to solve a problem the way an ENTP would. I am totally taken aback by how he tackles problems and gets results I never thought possible. It is amazing and anxiety inducing to watch him work and take down issues.

Like your daughter i am an INFJ. The thing that I long for most with my partner are deep conversations that allow me to see into his soul, brain, or whatever you want to call the "ness" of his being. I don't know if you are a spiritual person, I am, and my husband is not. Sometimes both of us have to just 'eat it' and not express aggressively a clashing view. when I say not expressing something aggressively I don't mean not vocalizing your opinions, that is how you can have dialogue and open free expression of thoughts ideas and feelings. Because those are all important to an INFJ. Its how we connect to others.

You mentioned that you try not to show your children that you are upset, my husband does the same thing. It drives me crazy, partly because I can't tell if I am the cause of his emotional discomfort- and i react defensively or by isolating myself from him out of guilt and shame. Have you tried talking to her about your feelings? Because it sounds like you are experiencing emotional distress over your two relationship not being as close as you'd like it to be. Have you told her how important she is to you, and that you want a relationship with her? Be authentic and honest. Its something INFJs tend to respect.

Best of luck

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