The Myers Briggs Trait Indicator (MBTI) is a tool that identifies 16 personality types. Each personality type consists of four letters indicating a person’s preference in four areas.
For example, an ISTJ tends to be introverted, senses things on a concrete level, thinks objectively and judges or makes decisions in an organized way.
Each personality type contains one letter from each of the fours pair – indicating a person’s preference in that area. Extroversion (E) or Introversion (I), Sensing (S) or iNtuition (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
The following is a brief overview of the 16 personality types and common stressors for each.
This high achieving personality type experiences stress when structure and sound methodology is not used when approaching tasks.
ISTJs do not like to be pressured by responsibilities that seem pointless. Explaining their feelings, impulsivity and spontaneity are also anxiety provoking. Failing to meet expectations, poor work ethics and loose morals cause stress for ISTJs.
If their strong beliefs and values are threatened, ISTJS become stressed but never give in or make compromises.
In addition to the stress of others not following the rules and meeting standards, ISTPs are stressed when they do not have enough alone time to think and explore ideas.
Being logical thinkers, stress accumulates when their ideas are met with resistance and when others cannot see the reasoning behind their conclusions, decisions and plans.
ESTJs are stressed when rules are not respected and their authority is challenged.
The lack of structure and organization both at home and in the work place creates causes a lot of anxiety. ESTJs have a strong work ethic and traditional morals.
Failure to meet these standards creates internal turmoil for ESTJs. Undependability and tardiness are also stressors.
This personality type is a thrill seeker and geared toward instant gratification.
Structure, conforming to the rules and detail planning are stressors. If ESTPs cannot ‘go-go-go’ and have fun during the process, nervous tension takes over.
When others fail to keep up with their energetic pursuits, especially their mates, they get anxious, frustrated and stressed.
This personality type craves personal peace. Any type of confusion or disarray causes stress for ISFJs.
There is no give and take if they are pressured to compromise their strong beliefs and values. No matter how stressed they are, ISFJs will not buckle under this type of strain.
Disloyalty, disorganization and failure of others to meet their moral standards are also common stressors for ESFJs.
Similar to ISFJs, anything that threatens their beliefs and values causes stress.
The ISFPs crave tranquility and seclusion in their personal and work life. Any type of upheaval that interferes with their required ‘alone’ time is taxing.
If something seems to be ‘off’ with their partner, temporary mistrust or jealousy may emerge causing stress in the relationship.
Another structured personality type stressed by failure to follow rules is the ESFJ. The biggest stressor for ESFJs is change.
The slightest interruption in their systematic approach to anything causes anxiety.
As ESFJs have a strong feeling side, conflict and criticism are stressors. They worry and feel nervous if they sense their partners are unhappy and when they do not feel appreciated.
Surprisingly enough this social, frank and spontaneous personality type is stressed by conflict and criticism.
ESFPs like to see issues resolved quickly and become stressed by others who resist and prolong resolution. Narrow-mindedness is another pet peeve of ESFPs.
Feelings cause the most stress for INFJs.
They get stressed when others hurt their feelings, when they cannot connect totally with their partners and when they feel disrespected or manipulated.
INFJs are also stressed when others are ill-treated, abused or forced to compromise their beliefs and values.
This quiet reflective personality type is stressed by conflict.
For INFPs conflict arises when others make decisions based entirely on logic and not in collaboration with others’ feelings and the well-being of others.
They can become so stressed in this type of situation that they act illogically. Large social gatherings and lack of alone time also causes stress for the INFP.
This strategic, structured and ingenious personality type thrives on success and expects everyone else to be driven as well.
ENTJs are stressed by individuals who give up, who are unable to explain their thoughts, feelings and ideas and by those who do not stand up for themselves.
They get agitated when other people do not understand their position on a subject.
Disrespect stresses this fast thinking goal-oriented personality type. Patience is not one of the virtues of the ENTP.
They are stressed if directions are not followed, if tasks must be repeated and tend to overreact when obstacles, big or small, interrupt their plans.
This group of perfectionists are always stressed by feelings of inadequacy. They over think everything and always feel they missed something important or excluded an option too soon when making a decision.
They are so honest and direct that they hurt other peoples’ feelings and come across as judgmental, without even knowing it, which results in stress.
Even though INTJs are articulate in their professional endeavors, it is challenging to explain their emotions.
Any type of constraint that affects this abstract logical personality type is stressful.
Freedom is paramount. The lack of a receptive venue to share ideas, the inability of others to see their point of view and the effort it takes to convey their emotions are anxiety provoking situations for INTPs.
Structure, rules and unclear communication are other stressors.
This personality type loves to always have a challenge. In fact they are stressed until they find the next one!
ENFJs highly value relationships. Any sense of disloyalty, whether it is personal or professional, is stressful until it is resolved.
ENFJs have a tendency to be moody and frequently feel they are not being acknowledged for the things they do thus creating an uneasy feeling.
Similar to the ENFJ, this group of ‘go-getter’ personality types stress out when the next challenge is not right in front of them.
Other common stressors for ENFPs include routines, boredom, criticism, conflict and overloading themselves with projects/plans.
Although they value personal relationships highly, if their partner demonstrates resistance to their plans or decisions, stressful situations can arise.
Everyone is an individual with different personality traits. Some traits are inherited and some are learned. The brief descriptions of common stressors for the different personality types above are just highlights.
The response to these common stressors, among the different personality types, is individual and affected by the maturity and experience of each person.