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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Stress: INFPs and ESTJs

Let's start with INFPs.  How can you tell when an INFP is under stress, particularly at work?

Some signs include losing confidence in their self-worth or contributions to the group, having unrealistic expectations from situations or people, and seeming to be moody and hypersensitive.  Some INFPs seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, or become discouraged or lose heart.  Others appear to take on the role of martyr, acting as if no one loves or cares for them.  INFPs have reported feeling cut off from all that is important to them when they are feeling stressed.

Some things that can cause stress for INFPs are feeling like someone they care about has been victimized, feeling as if they must compromise their dearly held values to maintain harmony or peace, or if some cause they believe in has been criticized.  Another stressor might be the feeling they are being pushed around, then they decide they have had enough.  INFPs can react strongly to others who likewise have strong emotional reactions to situations or comments. 

As one would expect, ESTJs react differently to stress.  Many try to bend the facts to fit their preconceived notions or plans.  Others are a flurry of activity, being busy for the sake of being busy, without actually accomplishing much.  Some ESTJs turn their attention inward, doubting themselves, their authority, and competence.  Stress can cause ESTJs to become aggressive, demanding, and dictatorial.  Still others focus on accomplishing tasks at all costs.  Finally, ESTJs can become extremely sensitive to rejection, or ruminate about past mistakes.

What can cause this stress for ESTJs?  First and foremost, having their authority challenged.  Many ESTJs struggle to deal with emotional outbursts, particularly their own.  If an ESTJ believes someone has overlooked an obvious "fact" and is being illogical, they will likely feel stress.  Sometimes ESTJs cannot contain their anger inside and can lash out at others, becoming rather sarcastic and arrogant in an attempt to belittle others.  Other times ESTJs have trouble dealing with ambiguous situations.


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