Every personality type needs different things when they are stressed, overwhelmed, or just plain grouchy. What are some things that can pull each personality type out of a slump? Find out!
Here’s What You Need On a Bad Day, Based On Your Personality Type
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Estimated reading time: 16 minutes
On a bad day, ENFPs need a little space to breathe. Even though they are extroverts, they tend to feel overwhelmed by other people when they are in a really bad mood. A little space and time in a new environment helps them to clear their head. One of the best things partners can do is give them a chance to “escape” from their everyday duties. Many ENFPs report that spending time in nature or in a new environment they’ve never been in before helps them.
If an ENFP seem like they want to talk, be sure to listen without giving advice. Stressed or anxious ENFPs don’t want someone to give them solutions until they are feeling calmer and able to think more clearly. During stress, solutions and advice will only add to their stress. Wait till they seem calm or they ask for advice personally.
On a bad day, the normal enthusiastic nature of the ENTP can evade them. They can feel like brainstorming is exhausting rather than energizing. They’ll try to think of options and get some perspective, but this will only help if they’re experiencing mild stress. If they are experiencing severe stress, then they’ll want a break from other people. Getting some time alone and some space to breathe is often one of the best things for them. Many ENTPs find that exercising helps them to de-stress and clear their head. In fact, according to the MBTI® Manual, ENTPs were one of the four types most likely to use exercise as a coping mechanism for stress.
If you’re the partner of an ENTP, try to give them some space, and offer to listen if they need it. Ask if they want help. Notice chores and detail-work that usually annoys them and see if you can help them in this area so that they have less to overwhelm them.
Related: 10 Surprising Truths About ENTPs
When INFPs are having a bad day, they need to be able to get away from it all and get some time alone. Noise, commotion, and people will only make it worse. After some time of peace and quiet, they enjoy talking to someone they trust and venting to them. If they don’t have someone like this, writing down their thoughts and feelings in a journal can also help. According to the MBTI® Manual, INFPs are one of the four types most likely to seek professional help when dealing with stress and overwhelm. Having their experience validated and getting the frustration out of their system is always helpful.
If you’re the partner of an INFP, make sure you don’t try to “fix” their problems when they are overwhelmed. This will only make them feel worse. Wait till they are in a more calm, composed mood and then ask them if they’d like to try to find solutions with you. One of the best things you can do is give them a chance to work on projects they might have been too busy for in the past. INFPs hate feeling over-scheduled, so having a break just to do whatever they want is always a good thing.
The most important thing for INTPs who are overwhelmed or stressed is to get some alone time to sort out their thoughts. Noise, people, and non-essential responsibilities will only make them feel more irritated or anxious. If they can cancel some duties and work out some free time that will be tremendously helpful for them. Being able to read a book, listen to music, work on a project, all these things can help them recharge if they are able to be alone and not worry about deadlines or plans.
If you’re the partner of an INTP, be especially attentive. According to the MBTI® Manual, INTPs are one of the four types most likely to not show it when they are angry. They may try to keep all their frustration tucked away inside for as long as possible. Pay attention to how distracted they seem. If they appear unable to think clearly, try to give them a break. Try to tone down any emotions in the room because this can escalate the problem. Give them some peace and quiet and don’t intrude unless absolutely necessary.
One of the best ways for ENFJs to find relief from stress, frustration, and anxiety is to seek out a friend to talk to. ENFJs often need to externalize their emotions to grasp and sort them out. Getting their feelings validated, connecting with someone who truly cares, and having support is important for them. They also tend to feel better when they get into a new environment. Going out to somewhere beautiful or inspiring can give them a fresh perspective. ENFJs are also one of four types who are most likely to cope with stress by exercising and relying on religious beliefs.
If you’re the partner of an ENFJ, it’s extremely important to acknowledge how they feel, listen without interrupting, and remind them of their strengths and contributions. If they seem irrational or overly-emotional, don’t point it out or nit-pick any flaws in what they are saying. Just listen fully and try to empathize with where they are coming from. The worst thing you can do is patronize them or dismiss their concerns as unimportant. Give them a change of scenery or go on a walk with them while they talk things out.
When ENTJs are stressed or frustrated one of the best things you can do is take some work off of their shoulders. Don’t pepper them with questions to figure out what they need, just look around and SEE what needs doing. Let them know by actions that they are supported and not alone in all they have to do. Give them some space to sort out their frustrations without having to worry about anyone else being around or judging them. Many ENTJs report that just going outside and getting a change of scenery can help. In fact, ENTJs are one of four personality types who list “exercise” as one of their most effective means for coping with stress.
If you’re the partner of an ENTJ, it’s very important not to get very emotional and badgering when they are upset. If they are angry and venting, don’t take everything they say 100% seriously. Try not to get offended and just allow them to get their frustrations out. Remind them that they’re okay and tell them the things that they are doing well. Being in a disorganized, chaotic environment will make things worse for them, so if you have the time, try to give them a quiet, clean space to refuel.
When INFJs are stressed or overwhelmed they need to be able to get away and separate themselves from the noise, commotion and hubbub of daily life. Getting out in nature, meditating, closing themselves in their room and shutting off the lights are all good ways for them to re-focus their energy and find inner peace. After some time alone in a peaceful environment, many INFJs report that they feel better if they can talk to someone about what’s bothering them. Because they use a mental process called extraverted feeling they tend to process their emotions better out-loud or through journaling. Keeping emotions trapped inside tends to confuse them and make them feel stifled.
Partners of INFJs need to know that they may initially try not to show how they feel. If they start seeming overwhelmed by noise or more critical and impatient than usual, it’s good to give them some space and a little time alone to breathe. It’s also important to mute excessive noise. Because INFJs have inferior extraverted sensing they can feel overwhelmed by a lot of bright lights, noise, and sensory overwhelm.
When INTJs are overwhelmed and frustrated they need to be given space and time alone. They need things to be quiet, the lights to be dimmed, and they need to be able to process without interruptions. According to the MBTI® Manual, INTJs are also one of the top four types who use exercise as a coping mechanism for stress. Reading, listening to music, and being in nature are also frequently mentioned as de-stressors for INTJs.
Partners of INTJs need to know that they won’t always want to talk about their feelings when they are stressed. Asking them repeatedly how they are feeling only makes things worse. Let them know you are there, try to provide a peaceful space for them, but don’t insist on getting to the bottom of their emotions when they are upset. Wait till things have calmed down and then bring it up in a non-intrusive way, giving them the option to talk about how they’re feeling or not to.
Related: The Childhood Struggles of INTJs
When ESFPs are frustrated or stressed they need to be able to vent and express their frustration without judgment. They may not immediately open up to anyone, especially about deeper emotional issues, unless there has been a great deal of trust established. They tend to need an initial segment of alone time before addressing their frustrations. After some time alone they want to express what’s bothering them. According to the MBTI® Manual, ESFPs are one of four types who value talking to someone close and watching television as a coping mechanism for stress. Dancing, exercising, and listening to music are more de-stressors that ESFPs frequently mention.
Partners of ESFPs should be careful to try not to rationalize or argue with them when they are over-stressed. Don’t try to tell them how to fix their situation because when they’re in a state of charged stress or frustration that will only make them feel more overwhelmed than before. It’s important to just listen without judgment and let them feel what they feel without trying to control it or make them feel bad about it. Remind them of what they are doing well and be as patient as possible.
ESTPs who are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated need to be given a break from some non-essential responsibilities. If their time is over-planned and over-structured they will feel stifled and trapped. Going out for a run, a drive, or some recreational activity can change that for them. Listening to music or channeling their energy into an exciting video game can also help. ESTPs tend to need a physical release for their energy when they are stressed and a little space and alone time to process what’s going on.
Partners of ESTPs need to know that if they feel like venting their frustrations it’s important not to try to rationalize how they are feeling. When any type is in a state of extreme frustration they lose their sense of rationality and one of the worst things you can do is call attention to this. They need someone to listen, provide encouragement, and give them a brief reprieve from non-essential responsibilities.
ISFPs who are feeling frustrated and stressed need to be given a break from their normal day-to-day responsibilities. Getting away from their routine, getting out in nature, and taking a break from it all helps them to recharge. It can be as simple sometimes as taking a 15-minute walk in a new location. They also tend to recharge by having a segment of time to be alone and just relax without having to take care of anyone else. According to the MBTI® Manual, ISFPs are the most likely type to cope with stress by watching TV. They also tend to recharge by sleeping and listening to music.
Partners of ISFPs need to know that trying to make decisions when stressed is really difficult for them. Try not to pressure them into deciding anything until they’ve regained calm. Having to multi-task, decide, or “fix” things can be overwhelming and push them into a state of grip stress. Allow them to talk about their frustrations and encourage them to vent. Listen attentively and don’t interrupt or offer solutions to them. Just be present with them and acknowledge their frustrations.
ISTPs who are having a bad day need to get away from people, commotion, and responsibilities for a little while. The mere act of canceling a non-essential obligation can de-stress them instantly. Being able to be in nature, exercise, or drive alone can all help them to feel less trapped or overwhelmed. Listening to music and playing video games are also frequently mentioned as stress relievers by ISTPs.
Partners of ISTPs need to know that they may become uncharacteristically angry and/or emotional when they are stressed. If they seem edgy or especially frustrated, one of the worst things you can do is repeatedly ask them how they are feeling. They won’t want to talk about how they are feeling unless they are venting, and at that point, they don’t want anyone trying to rationalize their feelings for them. Give them some freedom, some space, and forgive out-of-character behavior.
When ESFJs are having a bad day they will feel a need to talk about their frustrations and feelings with someone close. According to the MBTI® Manual, ESFJs are the type most likely to seek out a confidante when stressed. They are also the type most likely to rely on religious beliefs. It’s important for them to express how they feel because, as extraverted feeling types, they can struggle to sort out their emotions internally. They often feel alone and without support when stressed. Having the loyalty and validation of a trusted friend can turn everything around for them. Prayer and spiritual guidance can also be a major relief for them.
Partners of ESFJs need to know that it’s important to let them talk out how they are feeling. Some types can sort out their feelings internally or compartmentalize them, but ESFJs need to have an external outlet for them. Whether it’s writing their frustrations out or verbally expressing them, they need to be able to “vent”. Let them do this without judging, interrupting, or trying to “fix it” for them. Try to remind them of times in the past when they’ve dealt with similar situations and overcome them. Remind them of their strengths and abilities and acknowledge the things they’ve done that have benefited you. Let them know that you are there for them no matter what.
When ESTJs are having a bad day they need to be given some time alone to process what’s going on. Interruptions, noise, and appeals need to be kept to a minimum. They tend to feel without support when they are stressed, so a loved one taking care of practical matters is a big help to them. If you are close to an ESTJ and you notice that they are stressed, look around for responsibilities you can handle; whether it’s washing the dishes, getting gas in the car, or taking care of the budget. Try to show them in practical ways that you are supporting them and they don’t have to take care of everything on their own. ESTJs tend to feel emotionally exhausted on bad days and after some time alone they tend to feel better if they can vent their frustrations to someone they trust. Being able to do this without being judged is important.
Partners of ESTJs need to know that it’s important to not “coddle” them or get overly emotional or sympathetic when they are stressed. ESTJs hate this. They don’t want anyone fawning over them or getting really emotional about what’s happening. They want real actions to show that they are supported or else they want someone to just listen to them vent and let them talk things out. Sometimes what helps the most is breaking down a big, overwhelming project into manageable pieces. .
When ISFJs are having a bad day they need to feel like they can take a break from being responsible and just relax for a little while. Getting some time alone with a good book, a favorite movie, or a hot drink can all be recharging for them. They tend to overwork themselves and feel like they need to take care of all the practical details of life most of the time. Getting affirmation for their efforts, but being given a reprieve can work wonders for their mood and stress levels. According to the MBTI® Manual, ISFJs are one of four types most likely to rely on religious beliefs and/or sleep to cope with stress. Prayer, spiritual support, and rest can help them to feel more capable of dealing with whatever life throws at them.
Partners of ISFJs need to know that they are very hard-working and tend to overwork themselves on a regular basis. Look for signs that they aren’t giving themselves enough time alone, or enough time to do things they enjoy for themselves. Make sure they are getting regular breaks, and make sure you are affirming the compassionate things they do. When they are especially stressed they can feel overwhelmed by the future and imagine all kinds of negative possibilities. Don’t judge them for this or try to rationalize their feelings. Just listen attentively and take them seriously. The worst thing you can do is patronize them. Remind them of times in the past when they’ve experienced similar circumstances and succeeded.
When ISTJs are having a bad day they tend to feel like everything is out of control and they are the only ones who can fix things. They need some space and time alone to sort out what’s happening and how they feel about it. Exercising, listening to music, and being in nature can all help them to find focus and re-center themselves. Getting away from noise, disarray, and emotionally charged environments is also essential.
Partners of ISTJs need to know that they don’t appreciate generalized compliments or platitudes when they are upset. Be specific when giving encouragement or compliments. Talk about specific times in the past when they’ve overcome similar situations. Ask them if they need help breaking down a project into manageable pieces. Look around to see if there is any way you can make the environment less overwhelming. Sometimes simply tidying up the house can make a big difference. ISTJs tend to think more clearly when their environment is organized and neat.
Related: Understanding ISTJ Sensing
What Are Your Thoughts?
What do you need on a bad day? Let us know in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
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