HOW EACH MYERS-BRIGGS® TYPE REACTS TO STRESS (AND HOW TO HELP!)

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HOW EACH MYERS-BRIGGS® TYPE REACTS TO STRESS (AND HOW TO HELP!)

The Adventurers

ESTP – THE PROMOTER

 

What stresses out an ESTP:

– Rigidly enforced rules
– Having to plan far into the future
– Feeling out of control
– Being asked to complete tasks without detailed directions or processes
– Large amounts of book work, theory, or writing
– Being forced to make commitments or plans before they’re ready
– Being forced to make decisions or eliminate options before they’re ready
– Having to spend a lot of time following someone else’s rules or schedule
– Being in a situation where they have to use a lot of theoretical or intuitive concepts
– Being around people who are excessively serious

When faced with stress, ESTPs tend to feel empty or hollow inside. Their first impulse may be to seek revenge for whatever has caused them stress. They may do this by mocking other people’s values, or becoming increasingly anti-social and disdainful of others. If they are in a state of chronic stress, they may fall into the grip of their inferior function, introverted intuition, and become a “dramatizer”. When this happens, they may do things that are completely out of character for them. They may lose their naturally easy going, agreeable character and begin to have fearful fantasies of the future, ideas of impending doom swirling in their minds. They may begin to assign big meaning to small occurrences, and become preoccupied with the meaning of life and the future of mankind and the universe in a way that is usually filled with gloom and disillusionment.

 

How to help an ESTP that is experiencing stress:

– Give them space initially or directly after the event.
– Listen to them. Understand that they will likely be irrational.
– Don’t tell them how to fix it. This will only make them feel more helpless.
– Give gentle affirmations or encouragement
– Help them sort out their priorities, paying careful attention to their feelings.

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ISTP – THE MECHANIC

What stresses out an ISTP:

– Tight restrictions and a rigid structure.
– Being in controlling relationships.
– Dealing with irrational people.
– Having to use theoretical or intuitive concepts for a prolonged period.
– Being in an emotionally charged environment.
– Lack of alone time. Too much extraverting.
– Being in a non-challenging work environment.
– Doing repetitive, mundane tasks.
– Not having their personal values respected or validated.

When ISTPs experience an overload of stress, they may try to respond by lashing out against whatever is causing it. They may violate rules and regulations that they feel are controlling them; they may feel a need to “get even”. They may become emotionally obsessed with logic and proving a point, while losing track of organization and losing objects or misplacing them. In cases of chronic stress, ISTPs may fall into the grip of their inferior function, extraverted feeling, and become very emotive. They will become hypersensitive about their relationships with others and misinterpret small, insignificant details into the belief that others dislike or hate them. They may become uncharacteristically emotional and/or bitter towards others.

 

How to help an ISTP experiencing stress:

– Give them alone time and space.
– Excuse them from some of their responsibilities.
– Let them “get away” from everything.
– Don’t ask how they feel.
– Encourage them to exercise.
– Let them read a mystery novel or do something that engages light problem solving.
– Forgive their out-of-character behavior.

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ISFP – THE ARTIST

What stresses out an ISFP:

– Rigid structure and rules
– Having to violate their deeply held values
– Not enough alone time. Too much extraverting.
– Too many demands or obligations.
– Having to deal with excessive data
– Long-term planning
– Criticism
– Lack of appreciation from others
– Feeling that they are about to lose something (relationship/task, etc,..)

When under stress, ISFPs can often become passive aggressive, restless, and defiant. If stress continues to build, ISFPs may become self-destructive and careless of their own well-being in an effort to restore excitement or affirmation in their life. If an ISFP is in a state of chronic stress, they may fall into the grip of their inferior function, extraverted thinking, and become “the criticizer”. They may be harsh and critical of others, obsessing over their mistakes, and others incompetence. They may have an intense urge to fix perceived problems or right wrongs, but this can often worsen the situation.

 

How to help an ISFP experiencing stress:

– Give them some time alone to process their feelings and thoughts
– Validate their feelings, and listen to them. Female ISFPs are often ready to talk sooner about their feelings than male ISFPs
– Remind them of their strengths.
– Don’t give them advice. It won’t help when they’re stressed.
– Don’t try to reason with them or be logical. Just be patient, calm, and affirming.
– Only after they’ve calmed down from the stress ask if they’d like any help with solutions.

 —————————————————————-

ESFP – THE PERFORMER

 

What stresses out an ESFP:

– An environment of rigidly enforced rules
– Long-term planning
– Having to think far into the future
– Being forced to make commitments and plans
– Criticism or confrontation
– Feeling out of control
– Being asked to complete tasks without detailed directions or processes
– Lack of hands-on experiences
– Too much time alone
– Too much book work, theory, or writing
– Having to sit still for too long

When ESFPs experience stress, they may become passively resistant initially. They might become bored and feel empty and listless. They may try to retaliate against the people who are causing them stress by annoying them or trying to irritate them. When overwhelmed with stress, they may become self-destructive, regressing emotionally, and acting in an immature fashion. In the case of chronic stress, ESFPs may fall into the grip of their inferior function; introverted intuition. When this happens, the ESFP can become highly exaggerative, dramatically foretelling the doom that the future will hold. They may see hidden meanings and visions of despair for the future, and struggle with misinterpreting things people say. This is highly uncharacteristic for an ESFP, since they are usually very optimistic and friendly people who want to maintain harmony.

 

How to help an ESFP experiencing stress:

– Listen thoughtfully and patiently
– Give them space initially to sort out their feelings, but be ready to talk to them as ESFPs are often helped by talking things through.
– Understand that they will be irrational. Be patient with this.
– Don’t tell them how to fix it. This makes them feel more helpless.
– Encourage them to exercise or spend some time outdoors.

– Tell them what they are doing well.

 

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