Do you ever feel like when you’re stressed you “flip a switch” and start behaving in a way that is totally unlike you? Do you ever feel that there’s a point where the mounting pressure just explodes and you’re out of control? Well, according to Myers-Briggs theory there’s a reason for these uncharacteristic episodes! Every personality type can behave uncharacteristically and explode when they’re faced with chronic or extreme stress.
In daily life, as an ISTJ, you tend to rely most frequently on your top two functions: Introverted Sensing (Si) and Extraverted Thinking (Te). When stress builds, you put even more pressure on Si to try to solve the problem. As pressure increases and builds eventually you “wear out” Si, and the inferior function takes over. In the case of the ISTJ, this would be Extraverted Intuition (Ne). When this happens, ISTJs can start catastrophizing about all the things that might go wrong and see nothing but a bleak future ahead of them. This is a very frustrating and overwhelming phase of life for them because they are normally very down-to-earth and steady-headed with plenty of logical solutions to get out of any problem.
How can you help an ISTJ who is experiencing stress? A few things that help include getting some space to be alone. It’s important to give yourself some peace and quiet to try to calm your nerves. Breaking tasks down into manageable pieces is also a helpful way to not feel so overwhelmed. Don’t brainstorm! This will push you further into the grip of Extraverted Intuition. If you’re friends with an ISTJ, try to give them specific compliments or remind them of times in the past when they’ve faced similar situations and prevailed. You can find more details about that here.
This infographic should give you an idea of how your cognitive functions react to stress so you can understand yourself better when you’re experiencing those “grip” stress episodes.
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