One of the most useful benefits of understanding Myers-Briggs® theory is finding out how to have better communication with a wide variety of people. When you’re dealing with people different from yourself it may be confusing to know how to communicate effectively. Different people enjoy different topics of conversation and different types find certain phrases annoying or frustrating that other types wouldn’t mind. I’ve been going through each type to find out what words bother them the most, and now I’m onto ISTJs. I had the pleasure of speaking with over 100 ISTJs to get their opinions about communication and what words instantly make them cringe. Take a look!
10 Things You Should Never Say to an ISTJ
“I Can’t Help It. It’s Just How I Am!”
If there’s one thing that ISTJs can’t stand, it’s irresponsibility. Making excuses for having bad behavior or not getting things done is an instant way to get on an ISTJ’s nerves. Honesty, hard work, and following through on commitments are all a big deal if you want to get on an ISTJ’s good side.
“You Should Smile More!”
ISTJs will smile if they feel the authentic urge to smile. Otherwise, it feels phony and awkward to them. It’s better to just appreciate them for who they really are in a genuine way instead of implying they should exude more outward cheerfulness.
“You just didn’t try hard enough.”
ISTJs tend to be very detail-oriented and perfectionistic in their work, especially if that work involves providing for loved ones or ensuring the security of people they care about. Telling them they didn’t try hard enough is a major slap in the face for a type that focuses so much on responsibility.
“Are you sure?”
ISTJs take time to reflect on the details and facts before they make a decision or speak out loud. As a result, they are usually pretty careful about what they say and are very decisive when they do actually speak up. Questioning their certainty can get tiring to them really quick.
I don’t think any type likes to hear these words, but I think they’re especially irritating to ISTJs. They think through scenarios, come up with contingency plans, and do what they can to maintain security and avoid disasters. Their detail-oriented vigilance can make them seem overly-cautious to more “go with the flow” types, but they don’t like being undermined or patronized when they’re trying to solve a problem.
“I’m An (Personality Type/Astrological Sign) So That’s Why I Do X”
Personal responsibility without excuses is a big deal to ISTJs. Don’t blame your problems and weaknesses on your type, your sign, birth order, or anything else if you want to make a good impression.
“What’s Wrong? Talk to Me!”
When ISTJs are feeling emotionally overwhelmed or stressed they usually don’t want to open up right away and share their deepest feelings. Pressuring them to talk when they’re sad, depressed, or angry often just adds to their tension. A better option would be to leave them a note saying “something seemed to be bothering you, if you ever feel like talking I’m here.” This shows them that you’re available and you care but it doesn’t put the pressure on them to respond right away or at all.
(At the Last Minute) “Sorry I Can’t Make It!”
If an ISTJ has made plans with you, chances are they’ve given you a priority and rearranged their schedule to make it work. Last-minute changes in plans tend to annoy them. They like their alone time, and they understand if something serious comes up, but if you’re flippant or wishy-washy about your plans eventually they may just give up on spending time with you.
“What’s Your Opinion On X? Wait, That’s Not Nice!”
If you’re going to ask an ISTJ’s opinion about something you can agree to disagree, but don’t argue with them about their answer or get offended when they’re honest with you. ISTJs tend to be careful with their words, but if asked for advice or an opinion they’ll tell you what they really think without sugarcoating it.
Passive-aggressive anger or snide, dismissive remarks will drive an ISTJ crazy. Try to be upfront and direct if you’ve got a problem with them, don’t give the silent treatment or be sarcastic or manipulative to get a response from them or punish them.
What Do You Think?
Are there any statements you would add or that you disagree with? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBook, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type.
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