Find out what drains each Myers-Briggs® personality type. #MBTI #Personality

Here’s What Makes You Feel Empty, Based on Your Personality Type

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Updated May 4th, 2021

Have you ever felt a nagging sense of emptiness or apathy creep into your life? Do you ever feel like you’re “stuck” and there’s nothing that you can do to change it? What causes this feeling to invade your life can be different for different personality types. We’re going to take a look at some of those causes today, followed by a post next week about ways to feel fulfilled.

This article might feel a little depressing; reading about feeling empty can leave you with the sensation of being a little depleted. Here are some practices and techniques that might help you:

Spend time in nature. Go hiking, fishing, canoeing. Being outdoors can improve your mood, memory, and ability to focus. (see more here).

Develop a sense of wonder. Ask questions, imagine, read, experiment, brainstorm.

Find a community. All of us do better when we have supportive relationships. If you feel like you have no “tribe,” then look for it! Find a meetup online that you can join, attend a church, go to a reading group, volunteer, take a class, join a sports team. It’s never too late!

Help others. Giving back to others gives your life a profound sense of meaning and purpose. Volunteer somewhere, donate to your local homeless shelter, spend time around animals at your local humane society!

Exercise. Not only will this keep you fit, but it will release stress-reducing endorphins in your brain!

Limit Screen Time. Being sedentary and moving from distraction to distraction will make you feel like you’re wasting your life at times. Unplug from technology every day to get in touch with the world around you. Take a hot bath, go outside, have a friend over, or cook a delicious meal you’ve never tried before! Experience the real world.

See the infographic below for more ideas!

Not sure what your personality type is? Take our new personality questionnaire!

Find out what energizes each Myers-Briggs #personality type. #MBTI #Myersbriggs

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes

Here’s What Makes You Feel Empty, Based on Your Personality Type


A feeling of emptiness envelops you when you feel like you’re stuck doing the same thing day after day after day. When you look to tomorrow and all you see is repetition you get a sense of listlessness and apathy. You crave a life that is filled with potential, where the future is unknown, where you’re free to act in alignment with your deeply-held values. Living with possibility and personal integrity are the things that give you life and meaning.

Other things that can make you feel empty:

  • Lack of autonomy
  • Having to be phony to fit in or get through the day
  • Doing work that has no human benefit
  • Having your ideas dismissed or ignored
  • Insincere relationships
  • Being alone too much
  • Not experiencing enough novelty or variety
  • Missing out or boredom


You feel apathetic and dismal when life doesn’t offer enough variety or spontaneity to you. You crave exploration, new ideas, and innovation. You also want a lot of personal autonomy and independence to pursue your passions and strengths. When you know what’s going to happen every day, and when you feel like you’re not allowed to experiment or change things, then you feel defeated.  It also bothers you when the people you care about aren’t willing to understand your perspective. If you’re trying to explain the logic behind one of your ideas or decisions, and your loved ones just dismiss it or call it wrong because it doesn’t line up with their beliefs, it makes you feel unvalued.

Other things that can make you feel empty:

  • Being inside for too long
  • Not getting enough time with other people
  • Having your ideas dismissed or ignored
  • Not being able to brainstorm or present alternatives
  • Having to conform to a rigid schedule
  • Boredom or fear of missing out
  • Dealing with emotionally over-reactive people


You feel listless and defeated when your values are dismissed, ignored, or constantly pushed aside for other things. You want to live a life that aligns with your purpose and your moral code. Doing a job that lacks meaning or being surrounded by people who don’t seem to care about what’s important to you feels hopeless.  You also feel drained when there’s no room for imagination in your life. You hate being stuck in the same routine day after day when you lack the freedom or opportunity to explore other options. Going somewhere new, reading a book, or changing up your routine in even a small way can help you to snap out of this funk.

Other things that can make you feel empty:

  • Lack of meaningful, deep relationships
  • Not getting enough alone time
  • Feeling bound by too many deadlines
  • Having too many tasks to accomplish and feeling pressured
  • Doing work that fails to benefit anyone
  • Conflict-ridden environments
  • Lack of appreciation for your creativity or imagination

Read This Next: 10 Things That Excite the INFP Personality Type


You tend to experience a feeling of emptiness when you search for truth but only find more and more questions. Certainly the quest for truth excites you – you want to know what the meaning of life is, whether a religion is true or false, whether there’s certainty in anything. But at the same time, you can feel an increasing lack of meaning as more and more belief systems come up void for you. You also tend to feel empty when you’re surrounded by people who only care about surface-level things. Focusing on celebrity gossip, fashion, or the concrete details of life tends to make you drained. Participating in these conversations can feel like swimming upstream in a hurricane.

Other things that can make you feel empty:

  • Lack of close, authentic friendships
  • Not getting enough alone time
  • Too much predictability in your life
  • Having your ideas dismissed
  • Having to live with a decision you were rushed into making

Read This Next: 10 Things That Excite the INTP Personality Type


You tend to feel empty and defeated when you lack open, authentic relationships. You crave deep, honest conversation and companionship so that you can transform the world and make it a better place. Not having a sense of community and especially not having one very intimate friendship can make you feel stifled and unable to use your gifts as much as you’d like to. You also tend to feel empty when you lack meaningful work. You want to see a real human impact in what you are doing and you crave a clear vision of how you can improve things. If you’re stuck doing routine tasks day-to-day without room for creativity or growth you will feel restless.

Other things that can make you feel empty:

  • Lack of emotional support
  • Lack of independence
  • Prolonged surface-level conversation
  • Dealing for prolonged periods with unpredictable, disorganized surroundings
  • Dealing with passive-aggressiveness or the silent treatment

Read This Next: A Look Inside the ENFJ Mind


You tend to feel empty when you’re subjected to someone else’s rules and ideas for long periods of time. As a highly independent thinker, you enjoy venturing out on your own, advancing, and making things happen. If you’re stuck doing menial tasks day after day without freedom for progress or innovation you will feel restless and irritable. This is why many ENTJs tend to pursue entrepreneurship or positions where they’re given a lot of freedom and personal control. Another thing that tends to make you feel empty is being stuck in relationships or conversations that are focused on the shallow things in life. As an ENTJ you have a deep, philosophical nature that many people may not realize at first glance. You like thought-provoking, intellectual discussions about the meaning of life, death, and everything in-between. Without this life can feel boring and meaningless.

Other things that can make you feel empty:

  • Being in a disorganized place that you don’t have the freedom to “fix”
  • Being around inefficient or lazy people
  • Lack of autonomy
  • Too much time alone
  • Being misunderstood as being mean when you’re just trying to get things done


You tend to feel empty when you lack independence and/or a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. As someone who spends a lot of time imagining and thinking about the future, if that future is taken away from you then you will feel defeated. Limits, micro-management, being stuck in controlling relationships – these kinds of things can make you feel like the future is already pre-destined. When you try to look ahead all you may see are negative possibilities. You also feel empty when your relationships are shallow or one-sided. If conversation constantly revolves around surface-level details, or if your relationships revolve around you listening without having a chance to speak, then you tend to feel lonely and restless.

Other things that can make you feel empty:

  • Not getting enough alone time
  • Lack of intimate, authentic friendships
  • Not being able to discuss your feelings
  • Lack of independence
  • Not being free to create or innovate

Read This Next: A Look Inside the INFJ Mind

INFJ Understanding the Mystic


Your life feels empty when you lose your signature vision and clarity about the future. As someone who is always looking forward, being stuck in the present or past can make you feel out of sorts or anxious. Controlling relationships, health restrictions, and/or a job that forces you to focus on repetitive, mundane tasks can make you feel defeated. It’s important for you to have time alone during phases like this! In your quiet time, when your mind is allowed to wander without restrictions, you may have revelations and epiphanies that can alter your current situation and improve it. Another thing that makes you feel empty is when you do have a vision but it is constantly dismissed. When people don’t take your predictions and insights seriously it’s extremely frustrating for you.

Other things that can make you feel empty:

  • Being stuck in a disorganized, inefficient environment
  • Lack of genuine, loyal friendships
  • Not getting enough alone time
  • Being forced to act inauthentically

Read This Next: What It Means to be an INTJ Personality Type


As someone who craves variety and action, you feel empty when your life is controlled, slow, or sedentary. When you lack freedom, or you feel “stuck” because of controlling relationships or a job that isn’t fit for you then you feel listless. You want to be able to get up, move around, see new places, try new things. You want variety and fresh experiences. Jobs that allow you to be creative, active, and hands-on are the ones that fulfill you. You also feel empty when you lack meaningful, quality relationships. You crave intimacy with people, and a sense of true understanding. Without a feeling of connection you can feel more anxious and depressed than usual.

Other things that can make you feel empty:

  • Not getting outdoors enough
  • Being around unrealistic, impractical people
  • Being micro-managed
  • Sitting still for too long
  • Lack of meaningful work
  • Being alone for too long


When you’re stuck in a lifestyle that leaves you sedentary or restricted you tend to feel empty. You like having a lot of independence and variety – you want a life that lets you act on your impulses, experience risks and problem-solve. You have a strong sense of adventure and a sharp mind – you want to use these qualities to improve your surroundings, earn a living, or help people. Being stuck in a stagnant 9-5 job with no room for innovation will make you feel drained. Controlling relationships leave you restless, and lack of outside stimulation and variety makes you bored.

Other things that can make you feel empty:

  • Too much time alone
  • Lack of loyal, quality friendships
  • Having a rigid, routine schedule
  • Being around impractical people

Read This Next: Here’s What You Need on a Bad Day, Based on Your Personality Type


You crave a life of meaning, experience, and freedom. When you feel like your job or relationship doesn’t align with your values in life then you tend to feel empty. You want your lifestyle to be in harmony with what you feel really matters and with your personal code of ethics. Needless rules, corruption, and micro-management make you feel drained and de-motivated. You also tend to feel defeated when there isn’t enough variety in your life. You want to be able to spend time outdoors, be spontaneous, follow your intuition and passion wherever it takes you. Financial stress, rigid deadlines, or controlling relationships feel like they are pulling those possibilities away from you.

Other things that make you feel empty:

  • Lack of deep, authentic friendships
  • Not getting enough alone time
  • Dealing with unrealistic people
  • Feeling incompetent or confused about a task you’ve been given

Read This Next: Here’s What It’s Like Inside the Mind of an ISFP, ISTP, ESFP or ESTP


When you lack an overarching sense of purpose for your life then you tend to feel bored and defeated. You crave a singular purpose – something that you can master completely. Sure, you enjoy having other hobbies and activities on the side, but being able to pursue one goal with determination drives you. Without that you tend to feel restless, always looking for that “one thing.” You also feel drained when you are not given enough autonomy to experiment, explore, and think. Being stuck in open-offices or around a lot of people for prolonged periods tends to make you restless and agitated. You need to re-energize by getting some space to yourself on a regular basis.

Other things that make you feel empty:

  • Being in controlling relationships
  • Being around unrealistic or impractical people
  • Not being able to be active
  • Being micro-managed
  • Feeling unable to navigate a relationship with someone important to you

Read This Next: The Unique Intelligence of ISTPs, ISFPs, ESTPs and ESFPs


If your life is filled with conflict, needless arguments, or disharmony then you will almost inevitably feel empty or frustrated. As someone who craves harmony and will work hard to achieve it, feeling helpless to alter the emotional environment feels oppressive. Being around people who seem to pick fights over needless topics, or feeling taken for granted and undervalued is overwhelming to you. You crave an environment where everyone is doing their part, where everyone is willing to give the other person the “benefit of the doubt.” It’s essential for your well-being to have a peaceful, reliable environment that isn’t constantly flaring up with arguments, conflicts, and hurtful words.

Other things that make you feel empty:

  • Not having intimate, authentic friendships
  • Being alone for too long
  • Feeling like life is unpredictable
  • Being around impractical people
  • Feeling out-of-control

Read This Next: The Unexpected Desire of Every Myers-Briggs® Personality Type


You’re someone who craves efficiency, order, and dependability. You show love by making the world easier to navigate, more effective, more reliable. When your environment feels messy and haphazard you feel stressed. When you’re unable to do anything about it, that’s when emptiness sets in. You crave a certain amount of control in your life and if relationships or rules make that impossible then you feel like your talents are going to waste. If there’s a problem with someone you love and none of your usual “tools” can fix it (i.e. someone is in emotional distress, and there’s no practical solution) then you also tend to feel defeated.

Other things that make you feel empty:

  • Spending excessive time alone
  • Having your values violated in some way
  • Having your ideas dismissed
  • Being around lazy or procrastinating people
  • Lacking meaning or direction in your life


As an ISFJ you appreciate having a sense of continuity and stability in your life. You probably have rituals and daily routines that give you a sense of peace and focus. When your world feels unstable, unpredictable, and chaotic you tend to feel anxious and defeated. It only makes it worse when people act like you’re getting worked up over “nothing.” You’re also someone who values close, authentic friendships. Having free expression, appreciation, and companionship with someone gives you profound meaning. You don’t need a lot of friends – but at least one close friendship tends to give you peace of mind and comfort during hard times.

Other things that make you feel empty:

  • Being in conflict-ridden environments
  • Lack of solidarity with friends or loved ones
  • Prolonged meaningless or shallow conversation
  • Not getting enough alone time
  • Lack of sleep or proper nutrition

Read This Next: Here’s What it Means to be an ISFJ Personality Type


As an ISTJ you appreciate a peaceful, stable environment. A sense of familiarity and continuity gives you the freedom to analyze, accomplish, and understand your purpose in life. You enjoy having a routine, a sense of order and control. Having that taken out of your hands leaves you feeling agitated and defeated. When life seems chaotic, unpredictable, or haphazard then inside you feel lost. It’s important for you to have some semblance of control, structure, and preparedness. If you spend the majority of your life in settings that don’t give you that then you may feel very listless and anxious.

Other things that make you feel empty:

  • Being in emotionally-charged environments for long
  • Lack of meaningful, loyal relationships
  • Not getting enough alone time
  • Lack of sleep or proper nutrition
  • Having inconsistent, undependable relationships
  • Dealing with illogical people

Read This Next: 10 Things That Excite the ISTJ

What Are Your Thoughts?

Does this article resonate with you? Do you have any other insights or experiences to share? Let us (and other readers) 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, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

Find out what drains each Myers-Briggs® personality type. #MBTI #Personality

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  1. I related to the ISTJ for the longest time. Now I can see how the ISTP can be closely related also. I tend to read both since I can relate to each of the two personalities.

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