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Advice on ISFP mother needed


Well-Known Member
Local time
Today, 12:42
Mar 31, 2015
My mother tested as an ISFP using AJ Drenth's type identifier. She seems to think that's her, and it rings true to me as well.

Did a broad search online and in the forum on ISFP, but found little info...particularly interested in the role of the inferior Te in this type.

Specifically the problem is that she has been in a rut for the past 30 years. Brief life story: she was born and lived in Europe until she was 40. Her professional career was plastic surgery. She was good at it, very innovative from what she tells me, and she worked with some of the top people in the field both in the US and Europe. She met my dad in America and then emigrated here. Due to licensing requirements, she would have had to repeat a 6-7 year plastic surgery residency here in the US in order to practice. She elected to have kids (me) instead and dropped her medical career and became a homemaker.

This decision of hers to drop medicine was probably the worst thing she ever did. She has always loved helping the helpless/downtrodden. Has a very strong sense of injustice. She's not a basket case or anything, mentally she's not ill or clinically depressed or anything. But she has been really dissatisfied overall with her life for the past 30 years.

She says she wants to do something artistic (she mentions painting, making pop-up books, singing). She loves interior design and has renovated and added sections to our house countless times (when she does she's totally engaged by this and really talented at it...better than the contractors she hires).

The problem (at long last) is that she says something is "holding her back" from doing these artistic things. She's lonely and bored, and she feels a need to express herself artistically, yet can't make the leap to just going to a painting school at the local museum (her own idea btw). She says she feels like a failure and that there's no way she'll ever get good at art because "you have to start young and work, work, work." Has uber-high expectations of herself. I told her that one reason she's not doing any of these things is because she feels she "should" do them, and she said that really resonated and was the best explanation she ever heard. Anyway, if someone can provide some illumination on this, I'm sure it has to do with her Te somehow, but don't know how to explain it...
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