– An overload of sensory stimulation or noise
– Interruptions
– Distress within a close relationship
– Having their values violated
– Not enough alone time. Too much extraverting.
– Working with closed-minded people
– Lack of appreciation or understanding
– Unfamiliar environments with overwhelming amounts of details
– Having plans disrupted
– Not having a clear direction
– Lack of harmony
– Criticism and conflict
– Not being able to use their intuition or envision the future
– Having to focus too much on the present

When under stress, the INFJ feels fragmented or lost. They feel like they can’t be themselves, and feel an urge to act a part to “survive” or fit in. This disassociation can cause physical symptoms for the INFJ, like headaches, IBS, or nausea. The repressed feelings they’re holding onto can cause them to become immobilized. If they are under chronic extreme stress, they may fall into the grip of their inferior function, extraverted sensing. When this happens, they may engage in indulgent, self-destructive habits like binge-eating, cutting, over-exercising, alcoholism, or excessive pornography use. This often feels like an out-of-body experience to them. What they do provides no pleasure, but feels somewhat robotic and out of control. After this occurs, they dwell in self-hatred, falling even more into guilt over what they’ve done. They may become uncharacteristically angry and quick-tempered, unreasonable, and irrational. They may become obsessed with details in their outer world; obsessively cleaning or doing housework. They stumble over their words, and their intense feelings eventually lead them to a state of complete exhaustion.

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How to help an INFJ experiencing stress:

– Give them space.
– Reduce sensory stimulation; music, interruptions, TV, etc,..
– Let them express their thoughts and feelings.
– Understand that they may be irrational. Don’t judge them.
– Don’t give advice. This will only stress them out further.
– Let them take a break from some of their responsibilities
– Encourage them to spend some time in nature, walking or reading a book.
– Take a walk with them if they want company.
– Encourage their less serious side, and let them relieve emotional tension by letting them cry through a sappy movie or novel of some sort.
– Be forgiving if they’ve been overly harsh or critical while under stress. Chances are, they will feel very guilty about it.



What stresses out an ENFJ:

– Being in critical or confrontational environments
– Lack of appreciation or affirmation
– Lack of harmony
– Unexpected change
– Inadequate time to complete work to their standards
– Tense relationships or environments
– Having to do mundane, repetitive tasks
– Having to conform with something that goes against their values
– Over-empathizing with others to the point of losing track of their own needs
– Being misunderstood or not trusted
– People not living up to their idealized expectations

When an ENFJ experiences stress, they often disassociate themselves from the situation in an effort to protect their sense of well-being and togetherness. They may repress the unpleasant side of life for so long, that it gradually intensifies until the ENFJ explodes with emotion and/or charged anger. Often the ENFJ’s body will reflect pent-up stress by manifesting various physical symptoms, like headaches, shoulder tension or an upset stomach. In the case of chronic stress, the ENFJ may fall into the grip of their inferior function, introverted thinking. When this happens, the ENFJ may uncharacteristically lash out at others, obsess over their mistakes, lack of competence and flaws. Eventually, these criticisms will turn inward and the ENFJ will withdraw from others to self-criticize. He or she may become obsessive about  analyzing irrelevant data to find some ultimate truth or reason for their stress.

How to help an ENFJ experiencing stress:
– Acknowledge how they feel.

– Let them talk it out.
– Remind them of their strengths and contributions.
– Don’t use logic to talk them out of their stress.
– Don’t ignore them, even if they seem irrational.
– Give them a change of scenery to get away from the situation.
– Go outdoors. Do some type of exercise with them.
– Watch a lighthearted movie or comedy with them.
– Do not patronize or dismiss their concerns.

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The Investigators (NT Types)


What stresses out an INTJ:

Being in an environment that doesn’t appreciate their skills, visions, or ideas.
– Not enough alone time. Too much extraverting.
– Too much noise or sensory input.
– Working with those they see as lazy, incompetent, or ignorant.
– Having to pay attention to too many details at once.
– Being in unfamiliar environments.
– Having their well-settled plans disrupted.
– Too much focus on the here-and-now.
– Not being able to use their intuition to envision the future.

When in a state of stress, the INTJ can feel an immense amount of pressure – as if everything is on the line. To an INTJ, this often means the ability to produce something significant is somehow stifled. They may find themselves overwhelmed, and thinking about ideas and options that don’t have a productive end. As stress increases, the INTJ can become argumentative and disagreeable. Social interaction becomes increasingly difficult; and they may become preoccupied with obsessive ideas and plans. They may start to spend a massive amount of time fighting horrible thoughts, and feelings of worthlessness. They will ruminate about their mistakes, inadequacies and weaknesses, and stop progress on a project for fear of failure. In a case of chronic stress, the INTJ may fall into the grip of their inferior function; extraverted sensing. When this happens, they may give into self-destructive indulgences, like over-eating, over-exercising, alcoholism, or buying lots of useless items. They may obsessively clean or re-organize files.


How to help an INTJ experiencing stress:

– Give them space, and time alone to process their thoughts and feelings.
– Reduce sensory stimulation like noise, TV, radio, or bright lights.
– Let them express their thoughts and feelings without judgment. Understand that they may be irrational.
– Don’t give them advice. This will only make them feel worse.
– Give them a break from responsibilities.
– Encourage them to get enough sleep at night.
– Help them lighten their schedule, or cancel unnecessary activities.
– After some time of solitude, encourage them to get a change of scenery by going outdoors.



What stresses out an ENTJ:

– Being in an environment that lacks vision or ideas for the future.
– Being in an environment where others don’t appreciate their vision.
– Being interrupted.
– Being surrounded by (or guilty of) incompetence.
– Poorly managed change.
– Laziness.
– Having to be a follower instead of a leader.
– Not being able to make their goals come to fruition.
– Having to deal with intense emotions from others.
– Feeling guilt over being critical towards others.
– Not having their strongly held values validated or respected.
– Small talk or frivolous conversations.

When experiencing stress, ENTJs may at first become argumentative and combative with anyone who is causing it. They may feel that they are losing control, and feel an urgent need to complete a task. If the stress continues, they become distracted by the urgency and need to get something done. They may engage in compulsive, misdirected activities like cleaning, counting, or inspecting. They will feel a growing sense of failure, and a rising sense of anger and frustration. If they are in a state of chronic stress, they may fall into the grip of their inferior function, introverted feeling. When this happens they may become uncharacteristically emotional and furious and withdraw from others to prevent anyone seeing their lack of emotional stability. They may become hypersensitive about their relationships, misinterpreting tiny, insignificant details and believing that others hate or dislike them.


How to help an ENTJ experiencing stress:

– Give them some space and time alone to sort out their feelings.
– Listen and let them talk it out when they’re ready.
– Discuss information or ideas that could lead to solutions.
– Don’t be overly sympathetic or emotional.
– Give them a change of scenery by getting outdoors with them.
– Encourage them to vent their frustration without fear of judgment.
– Remind them that they are OK, and it is perfectly fine to feel the way they do and that you won’t judge them.


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Vylet Doan

Susan Storm
Susan Storm is an MBTI, Certified Practitioner, freelance writer, and psychology enthusiast. She has been avidly studying psychology for over ten years and loves to engage with a variety of people and personalities to understand them better. Her major areas of interest are personality psychology, child psychology, and developmental psychology.
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