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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Stress: ISFJs and ENTPs


Let’s start with our friends the ISFJs.  How can you tell when an ISFJ is under stress, particularly at work?

Some things to watch for include being overly cautious, getting angry at people who are late or unprepared, pessimism, and frustration when others fail to follow the rules.  Some ISFJs turn into martyrs, complaining they do all the work for others and no one helps or cares about the ISFJ.  Others can become rather unrealistic in their expectations about what can be done.  Usually, they are quite the opposite in this regard. 

Events that can cause stress to surface can include a lack of balance between home and work, being teased or ridiculed by others, and disruption of their routines, which often give ISFJs a sense of belonging, comfort, and stability.  When the ISFJ's version of common sense is ignored, particularly in favor of wild ideas, many of them will experience stress.  Many ISFJs are people pleasers, and they feel stress when they believe they are unable to please everyone all the time.  ISFJs tend to want to avoid conflict, which itself can lead to stress.  Just thinking about conflict can make them feel ill.  Harmony is so important to them, that they want to do whatever’s possible to restore it.

In contrast, when ENTPs are under stress, they can turn very sarcastic and make biting comments, appear completely disorganized, become unproductive, or become very competitive.  Some isolate themselves and become lethargic.  Other ENTPs develop tunnel vision, or fall into passive-aggressive behavior.  Still others jump from one idea to another without taking action on any of them.

ENTPs might feel stress when they are supervised too closely, their abilities are questioned, or if others suggest the ENTP is not to be trusted.  Many ENTPs dislike being pressured into making a decision, especially if they are not ready.  Others have a hard time just listening to people, instead of trying to solve their problems.  Some ENTPs have a difficult time coming to a decision because they want to explore more options.  Other group members might not appreciate the delay, causing stress.  Still other ENTPs feel stress when they have to work within the "system," whatever it might be, especially when the system makes little sense to them.


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