How Each Myers-Briggs® Type Reacts to Stress (and How to Help!)

How Myers Briggs Type Reacts to Stress and How to Help

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.


What stresses out an INTP:

– Being in an environment where they feel controlled by others.
– Not being allowed to go with the flow of the moment.
– Being required to do simple and repetitive tasks.
– Being surrounded by individuals they see as incompetent.
– A lack of autonomy.
– Being in charge of the quality of another person’s work.
– Not enough alone time. Too much extraverting.
– Being immersed in emotionally charged environments.
– Being in a place where their expertise is not appreciated.
– People “barging in” on their space.
– Not having their strongly held values validated.

When an INTP begins to experience stress, they often feel highly self-critical and powerless. If stress continues, the INTP feels as if their mind is blocked and they can’t access all the vital information they’ve stored there. Their creativity comes to a halt and they may suffer from stage fright, writer’s block, and a general inhibition of their usual ingenious thinking. The INTP may become self-conscious and distracted in anticipation of failure. If they become too overwhelmed with stress, they may stop taking any risks and fail to gain the expertise and mastery they need. In the case of chronic stress, the INTP may fall into the grip of their inferior function, extroverted feeling. This may cause them to have uncharacteristic emotional outbursts, and become edgy, illogical, inefficient and obsessed with details.

How to help an INTP experiencing stress:

– Give them alone time and space
– Excuse them from some of their responsibilities
– Let them get away from everything
– Don’t ask them how they feel or if they’re okay
– Encourage them to have some alone time exercising
– Let them know it’s okay to feel unreasonable sometimes
– Stay out of the way and forgive out-of-characteristic behavior

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Tony Huynh

Vylet Doan

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