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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Stress: ISTJs and ENFPs


We'll start with our friends the ISTJs. How can you tell when an ISTJ is under stress, particularly at work?

Some things to watch for include being very pessimistic, thoughtless and impulsive, and withdrawing from interaction with others. Other ISTJs might lack focus and appear confused about what to do next, or they might constantly present fact after fact, overwhelming others. Still others might lose their ability to set priorities, or begin to ruminate about problems.

Events that can cause this stress to appear can include people who are wasting their time talking too much, especially about personal matters. If there is no follow through on decisions that have been made, some ISTJs can get frustrated. Many of them dislike having to do things on the spur of the moment, without preparation or time to reflect on the best course of action. Few appreciate those who challenge their authority. Once they can resolve the outstanding issues, most can return to their normal style.

In contrast, when ENFPs are under stress, they can become overwhelmed by details and turn very picky. Tunnel vision is another common reaction, as are extreme swings in emotions and activity. They might become extremely concerned with health issues, or take on too much work, losing balance between home and work. Instead of actively pursuing goals, they can fall into passivity, lose their lust for life, or become depressed. ENFPs can lose perspective on their problems, believing them to be insurmountable.

ENFPs might feel stress when they have to deal with what they consider to be excessive bureaucracy or rules, particularly if it conflicts with a closely held value or belief. They can feel strong emotions if someone they care about or a cause they firmly believe in has suffered some disadvantage. When others overreact emotionally to a situation, ENFPs are likely to respond in kind. Similarly, when ENFPs’ core values are disrespected, ignored, ridiculed, or abused, they are sure to experience great stress. If these values can be included in the discussion and respected, ENFPs will likely feel better quite soon.


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