The holidays are a much anticipated time for many of us; some love the hustle and bustle of parties and family gatherings, others enjoy quiet wintry walks while gazing at colorful lights. Some people dread the holidays though, and it’s not hard to see why. Holiday gatherings and traditions can be draining and awkward for personality types that are highly introverted or who are surrounded by people who share no common interests. If you have a variety of people joining you for your holiday, here are some things to keep in mind.
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
What Each Personality Type Needs on a Busy Holiday
The ESFJ in your life will want harmony above all else this holiday. They will go above and beyond to plan special gatherings, take care of family needs, and try to ensure everyone feels involved. More than anything, they want to know that everyone is enjoying being together and, although they won’t ask for it, they’d love some gratitude or appreciation for the hard work they put into it. Just try to make sure that the ESFJ doesn’t wear out by trying to make everything perfect for everyone else. Encourage them to relax and enjoy things for themselves.
The ISFJ will enjoy special one-on-one conversations with beloved family members. They will often be in the background on holidays; preparing meals, listening to more talkative members, or finding some way to practically help out. These generous personality types will need a combination of intimate conversation and alone time so they don’t drain their energy. They also would appreciate having some acknowledgement for any of the work they put into helping make things special. If you have a gift for photography, ISFJs especially love to have photos of family gatherings that they can treasure and look at for years to come.
The ESTJ will want to have a certain order and routine for the day so that they know what to expect and be prepared for. They are great at organizing people to make sure gatherings and parties are efficiently run. They’ll enjoy catching up with family members and friends and trying out new holiday foods. They don’t tend to get overly-sentimental about the holidays, but they’ll enjoy knowing that everyone’s having a good time. Just try not to overstay your welcome; ESTJs like things to stay on schedule and even these extroverts can tire of prolonged socialization with no defined ending.
The ISTJ would rather stay in the background and quietly enjoy the holiday. They generally don’t prefer parties or crowded gatherings, so loved ones should be careful to not overplan their day. They may enjoy a nice meal with family, or spending a few hours among very close friends, but then they’d rather retreat to a quiet place where they can read, watch a football game, or spend some time in peace and quiet.
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Much like the ESFJ, the ENFJ will want to promote and enjoy a harmonious atmosphere. They will do their best to make sure everyone feels involved and is having a good time. They may get in touch with their sensing side by creating some decadent treats, or they might plan a game that gets everyone involved and conversing. The holidays can be stressful for ENFJs though, because they put a lot of pressure on themselves to make sure everyone is having a good time. They can feel crushed by discord among family members or unfriendly rivalries. Friends and loved ones should remember to thank them for their efforts and keep differences at bay during gatherings. They also need to be reminded to take some time to relax and not stress too much about making everything “perfect.”
While INFJs can enjoy the warm, harmonious feeling of the holiday season, they tend to have a love/hate relationship with holiday gatherings. INFJs greatly dislike anything that seems shallow, and they are sometimes turned off by the materialistic aspect of the holidays. Gatherings with the sole purpose of eating, drinking, and “being merry” may turn off the INFJ and make them feel bored or empty. The INFJ is unlikely to show their feelings though, because they won’t want to ruin the day for anyone else. INFJs also tire quickly from crowded gatherings and social events, and will need to get away to recharge after a few hours of socializing. Exceptions can occur when the INFJ finds someone to have a meaningful conversation with; if this happens, the INFJ can be happy in hours of deep conversation.
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ENFPs need to be inspired and find possibilities and meaning in the holidays. They love the festivities and getting to spend time with their loved ones. They will enjoy a celebration that is full of conversations about exciting new ideas, creative opportunities, and chances to get to know people on a more intimate level. They will feel bored if everyone involved is talking about practical, day-to-day matters, but once conversation gets past small talk they light up! ENFPs can often tire of the planning aspect of parties, but they add a merriness and brightness to a party that is contagious. Charles Dickens, the author of “A Christmas Carol” was an ENFP, so just like he appreciated the meaning of the holidays, so can an ENFP.
INFPs enjoy the quiet meaningful aspects of the holiday season. They may reminisce about past holidays, or they may enjoy helping out in a soup kitchen or finding random acts of kindness to fill their month. INFPs are extremely turned off by the commercialization of the holidays, and the overall sense of materialism that can ensue. They may avoid parties and family gatherings if they feel that everyone is self-focused or only after buying and spending. If you have an INFP at your gathering try to spend some time in meaningful conversation, get away for a quiet walk together, or give them a little place to hide away and enjoy a good book with a cup of hot chocolate!
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ENTJs enjoy socializing with friends and family members, although they’ll quickly tire if the conversation revolves around small talk or day-to-day routines. The important thing for an ENTJ is that they not feel forced or coerced into participating in every single festivity. They need to have control over their schedule and feel that they can come and go as they please. Two ENTJs I spoke with said they enjoy getting into friendly debates or heated discussions about controversial topics at family gatherings. So feeling types be prepared for a little good-natured arguing!
INTJs have mixed feelings about the holidays. Some enjoy a few hours of socializing with friends and family, while others hated the tradition and routine of the holiday season. INTJs are generally turned off by the obligations holidays involve; going to parties, buying gifts, sending cards, hearing or being involved in all the family drama. INTJs also can find these types of obligations empty, meaningless, and a waste of time (or money). INTJs aren’t Scrooges, though, they do care very deeply for their loved ones. They may enjoy reflecting on what’s important to them about the holiday season or what they can do to make it worthwhile. INTJs need to have freedom to choose which parts of the holiday they want to participate in, and should not be judged if they don’t get involved in every aspect (or any). It’s also important to give them the chance to get away and have some solitude as over-socializing tends to wear them down.
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ENTPs can enjoy the commotion and excitement of the holidays if they feel that it isn’t just a repetitive yearly ritual with no real meaning. They enjoy trying all the different holiday foods, taking part in games, and sparking interesting debates or conversations with people. They also really enjoy the time off work and having a free schedule. For this reason, they may not RSVP to a lot of gatherings because a full schedule might make them feel that they’re missing out on the free time they love so much. They don’t like the shallow, materialistic aspect of many holidays and can feel bored if it becomes a tradition all about gifts and materialism. If you have an ENTP at your gathering try to engage them in some interesting conversation (steer clear of small talk and gossip).
INTPs can enjoy some of the nostalgic aspects of Christmas. Their tertiary cognitive function (Introverted Sensing) can play a part in this. If they have had pleasant memories of Christmas in the past, they may enjoy re-visiting some of their favorite pastimes – watching a favorite movie or visiting with old friends. However, for the most part, INTPs enjoy being given freedom on the holidays to have zero plans and just do what they feel like in the moment. They don’t like feeling pressured to find the perfect gift or attend every family function. They enjoy having some quiet time to play a favorite game, read a book, or relax in whatever way they see fit. It’s best to give them their freedom to enjoy the holiday in their own way. Invite them to gatherings, but don’t make a big deal if they skip out on them.
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ESFPs love the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the holiday season. They immerse themselves in all the new foods, the parties, the sparkling lights. They will usually enjoy social events and family gatherings and enjoy taking center stage and showing everyone a good time by telling stories, leading songs, or coming up with lively games for everyone to play. They want to feel involved and wanted. They aren’t always the best planners because they prefer to keep things spontaneous and open-ended, but they’ll enjoy helping out the day of the party in any way that’s needed as long as they can stay part of the action and be around their friends.
ISFPs love the beauty and warmth of the holiday season. They are the ones most likely to enjoy all the lights, the decorations, and the music. They will love the deeper meaning behind the holidays and try to find some personal significance to each special day. They dislike the commercialization aspect, and will feel conflicted between enjoying the many delights of the season and feeling bewildered by the materialism and emptiness that can be prevalent at certain gatherings. As introverts, they’d rather spend time one-on-one with close friends than pushed into a large crowd of people. They need a combination of meaningful conversation, a chance to partake in all the beauty, sights, and tastes of the holidays, and some time alone to quietly enjoy what the day means to them personally.
ESTPs enjoy being part of the action at all the holiday gatherings and parties. They are usually great at engaging with visitors and guests because they have a natural charm and ease around people. They need the holidays to be lively and full of sensory treats; good food, good music, good friends. The ESTP will also enjoy a challenging game, whether it’s a board game or a family game of football. Their competitive, fun-loving nature is perfect for livening up the party games. They want things to be active; they will bore at gatherings that revolve around hours of conversation. Keep them happy by planning games and/or recreational activities.
ISTPs see the holidays as being an opportunity for free time and an open schedule. They don’t want to have an agenda jam-packed with social functions, and they don’t particularly like feeling pressured into buying gifts or taking part in traditions. They can be amazing gift-givers to especially significant people in their lives, but dislike feeling like they have to buy things for people outside of that “inner circle”. When it comes to gatherings, ISTPs can enjoy spending some time with close friends and family members, or they may love a delicious holiday meal, but it’s best not to plan their schedule for them. If you do have an ISTP at your gathering, try to have opportunities for them to get away and do their own thing. They can also enjoy a competitive game or a recreational activity as long as they don’t feel forced into it. Many ISTPs I spoke with said they’d rather be at home playing video games or reading a good book than stuck at a party having to talk with people they hardly know.
What Do You Think?
Do you agree or disagree with this article? Let me know what you think in the comments!
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