Red Flags That You’re Burning Out, Based On Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type

When we talk about burnout, it’s easy to imagine it as a blanket experience that everyone falls under uniformly – but that’s not the truth of it. As a certified MBTI® practitioner, I’ve observed how burnout shows up uniquely across different personality types. Through these findings, I’ve learned that burnout has layers and gradients that differentiate how each Myers-Briggs personality encounters, processes, and exhibits stress. In this article, we’ll be discovering how burnout shows up in what I call “the turn”—that point where stress ceases being a familiar (if unwelcome) presence and morphs into something that affects us at our core, causing us to operate in ways contrary to our innate preferences.

Want to find out what your personality type is? Take our personality questionnaire here. Or you can take the official MBTI® here.

Discover how the 16 Myers-Briggs® personality types experience burnout and increasing levels of stress. #MBTI #Personality #INFP

Red Flags That You’re Burning Out, Based On Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type

INFJ in Burnout

“I feel as if I’m acting in ways I can’t control, like I’m looking at myself from outside myself and reacting so quickly that the outside version of me can’t figure out why I’m doing what I’m doing. I regret what I’m doing as I’m doing it but I’m so consumed by frenetic energy I can’t change anything.” – Molly, an INFJ

For INFJs, burnout begins with withdrawing – attempting to escape from the demands, noise, and emotions of the outside world and get to a quiet place where they can dive into the recesses of their own mind. Over time if they can’t get to this quiet space or if they do and stress still lingers, they may experience ‘the turn’. They start to feel scattered and out of control, lose focus, act impulsively, and behave erratically. During this time they may feel alienated from their usual insight and unable to find one specific focus. As burnout escalates, INFJs’ sense of exhaustion and confusion intensifies.

An example:

As an example, let’s imagine Sarah, an INFJ, who prides herself on her organized nature and passion for her work in graphic design. When burnout begins to set in, her usual composure and focus begin to falter. Projects that would typically take a day now stretch into a week, as she finds herself unable to stay centered on the task at hand. She starts forgetting what she was supposed to be doing, opting instead for whatever catches her eye at the moment. Normally strategic and thoughtful, Sarah becomes uncharacteristically impulsive—abruptly signing up for new projects or workshops without gauging her capacity. Her desktop is cluttered with half-finished designs, and with every additional commitment, her stress multiplies, pulling her further away from her natural equilibrium.

Signs That You Need a Break:

If you notice that anxiety and restlessness are becoming constant companions, it might be a signal that you’re overdue for a break. Overindulging in sensory pleasures, feeling impatient and scattered, or an inability to look beyond immediate tasks are also strong indications. When your decisions become more impulsive and less thought-through, it’s time to acknowledge that you need to pause and recalibrate.

What can help:

  • Taking some time off to rest and recharge alone
  • Spending time in nature
  • Engaging in mindfulness activities like yoga or meditation
  • Writing in a journal to express your feelings
  • Talking things out with a trusted friend or counselor
  • Reducing sensory stimulation (turning off bright lights, loud music)
  • Doing some light problem-solving, like playing Sudoku, playing solitaire, or another game
INFJ micro-healing habit.

Find out more about INFJs: 10 Things That Terrify INFJs

INTJ in Burnout

“Everything seems to demand my attention at once, and my time for deep thinking is constantly interrupted. I tend to retreat into my own projects, but I can’t shake off the feeling that I’m not doing enough, or that I’m inefficient. It seems I am no longer the master of my own mental space.” – Alex, an INTJ

For INTJs, burnout often stems from a barrage of disruptions that get in the way of their need for concentration. They pride themselves on their strategic thinking and ability to intuit patterns. When their environment becomes too chaotic or their mental workload too burdensome, they start to retreat inwardly, focusing on personal systems and projects as a form of control.

However, this retreat can lead to ‘the turn’ for INTJs, where a departure from structured thinking and insightful planning takes a sharp detour. When this happens, they become more scattered, their meticulous planning replaced by a flurry of hastily-made reactions. The pressure to maintain high productivity can propel them to take on more tasks impulsively, leading to a reduced focus on long-term goals. Irregularity creeps into their routines, and their work, once marked by precision, begins to suffer from lack of depth. Sensory stimulation seems more intense and distractions loom everywhere as they hop from one task to another, trying to recapture their sense of control. The clarity of their vision blurs, and long-term projects may falter as immediate concerns hijack their attention and energy.

An example:

Consider Damien, an INTJ, who is well-regarded for his forward-thinking in software development. Lately, due to a surge in tight deadlines and overlapping project demands, he finds himself unable to engage in the deep, innovative work that he values. Instead of methodically breaking down tasks, he sees himself jumping from one urgent issue to another, a behavior that contradicts his systematic nature. His workspace, once a model of efficiency, is now littered with sticky notes and candy wrappers. The disconnect between his preferred method of operation and his current work habits is palpable, and the more he tries to regain control, the more overwhelmed he feels.

Signs That You Need a Break:

For INTJs, a loss of interest in exploring new ideas or a skepticism towards projects they would typically enjoy can indicate burnout. Additionally, if you’re declining opportunities to strategize or innovate, favoring isolation over teamwork, or feeling a pervasive sense of pessimism, it might be time to step back. Signs of burnout include overwhelming mental fatigue, irritability in collaborative environments, and a detachment from long-term planning. They can also include feeling more scattered, impulsive, and pleasure-seeking.

What can help:

  • Taking some quiet time for yourself
  • Getting in touch with your body via exercise or a walk in nature
  • Mindful practices such as meditation
  • Reading a book to calm your body and mind
  • Checking in with your senses to see if you need food, rest, or hydration
  • Writing down your feelings and thoughts in a journal
  • Listening to music that resonates with how you feel
Finding calm for INTJs

Want to know more about INTJs? Read 24 Signs That You’re an INTJ, the Strategist Personality Type

INTP in Burnout

“It’s like my mind is clouded and I’m second-guessing every decision. I can’t shake the feeling that no matter what I do, I’ll be misunderstood or judged by others. It’s isolating and I’m just tired of trying to figure it all out on my own.” – Eliot, an INTP

INTPs are known for their love of logic, deep thought, and independence. They pride themselves on their ability to analyze situations and come up with dozens of innovative solutions. Yet, when an INTP hits burnout, their normally sharp mind can be clouded with insecurity and self-doubt. They can feel totally absorbed with thoughts about how they are perceived by others, leading to feelings of alienation. A spiraling cycle of questioning others’ motives and interpreting neutral scenarios as rejections exacerbates their detachment. An INTP’s desire to connect conflicts with an inability to bridge the gap, leaving them feeling misunderstood and isolated.

An example:

Let’s imagine a man named Barry, an INTP, who thrives in solving complex software problems. During burnout, Barry is riddled with insecurities about his abilities and seems obsessed with how his coworkers perceive his contributions. He suspects ulterior motives behind their feedback, feeling rejected, even when no slight is intended. Though he longs to reach out and clarify these misunderstandings, his usual communication style feels inadequate, deepening his sense of isolation.

Signs That You Need a Break:

Recognize the need for a break if you, as an INTP, find yourself feeling insecure and overwhelmed by possibilities that others are thinking negatively of you. You might find yourself misinterpreting body language as signs that others don’t want to be around you, or you may feel anxious for some sign that you belong. Normally you’re logical and able to see things in a level headed way, but you might suddenly feel like a “reject.”

What can help:

  • Taking some time off to process your thoughts and feelings in a quiet space
  • Sorting out your thoughts through means such as journaling or drawing
  • After a period alone, talking out your frustrations to someone you trust
  • Practicing mindfulness through meditation or simple breathing exercises to help gain clarity and acceptance of your emotions
  • Reaching out to a therapist or counselor if the burden feels too heavy to shoulder alone
Finding calm for INTPs

INFP in Burnout

“I find myself lashing out with words that are more cutting and less measured. Instead of seeing the good, I’m fixated on flaws and disappointments, both in myself and others.” – Taylor, an INFP

INFPs are typically sensitive, gentle, and imaginative. They’re the dreamers and creatives of the world; weaving worlds out of ideas and bringing their creative inspirations to life in powerful ways. In the throes of burnout, INFPs flip a switch and feel overwhelmed by unusual negativity, often expressing disapproval or criticism with an unusual level of bluntness. They pride themselves on their idealism and their ability to see the potential in people and situations. But as stress builds, their viewpoint can darken, leading to a heightened sense of frustration and a tendency to blame others for their predicaments. Often their criticisms leak out, even as they regret them. Creative blocks emerge; where there once was inspiration, they now face an unnerving void. This decline in their typically visionary nature causes them to feel stuck, and seeds of self-doubt grow into beliefs of personal failure.

An example:

Take Jordan, an INFP, who thrives on storytelling in their screenwriting. Burnout sneaks up on them, and the storylines they used to craft with hope and empathy begin to reflect a world of inescapable problems and grim outcomes. Dialogues in their scripts become more confrontational, characters more disillusioned. This newfound cynicism leads to conflict with collaborators, as Jordan insists on problematic points of view, unable to conceive optimistic resolutions. Their once cherished writing sessions now feel like a battleground with creativity itself.

Signs That You Need a Break:

If you’re an INFP who finds yourself persistently critical and caught up in the blame game, it might be a sign to take a breath. Feeling trapped in a view where everything seems wrong, engaging in confrontations that are out of character, or seeing the glass as not just half empty but cracked and leaking, are red flags signaling the need for self-care. When the problems in your world seem insurmountable and solutions elusive, it’s time to acknowledge the toll that stress is taking on you.

What can help:

  • Finding solace by setting aside time to unwind and reflect on your feelings
  • Channeling emotions into artistic endeavors, whether it’s through journaling, sketching, or crafting
  • Re-establishing peace of mind through meditation and reconnecting with your core values
  • Celebrating past victories and recounting moments of success
  • Participating in gentle physical activities like yoga or a leisurely walk
  • Experiencing a new environment, perhaps a quiet retreat into nature
  • Watching films or reading books that lift your spirits
  • Seeking the company of someone who offers an empathetic ear without giving a lot of advice
Finding calm for INFPs

Find out more about INFPs: Dealing with Emotional Overwhelm as an INFP

ISFP in Burnout

“It feels like everything’s off balance, like I’m reacting without having time to think about what I’m reacting to. Everything around me feels like a problem I need to fix, a problem I’ve let go for waaaaaaay too long.” – Casey, an ISFP

ISFPs are known for their deep connection with their values and their environment, thriving on harmony and aesthetic beauty. However, when burnout strikes, it can manifest as a harsh self-criticism and hyper-focus on imperfections. This sensitivity to disarray intensifies their impulse to make immediate changes, often leading to a feeling of urgency and pressure to “fix” everything all at once. They might also experience a persisting dread that if they don’t take action, things will spiral out of control. Anxiety and an urge to fix everything all at once overwhelms them.

An example:

Let’s look at Leah, an ISFP, who excels in interior design because of her attention to detail and love of beautifying spaces. Lately, she has been snapping at colleagues over small faults and feels helpless seeing the imperfections she used to effortlessly address. She has this unshakeable sense that if she doesn’t reorganize her entire workflow instantly, her career and personal life will crumble. Her creative flair which used to guide her through challenges has been eclipsed by a sense of urgency and fear.

Signs That You Need a Break:

Recognize the need for a break if you, as an ISFP, find yourself obsessively critiquing your work or the work of others, struggling with a sense of powerlessness over mistakes, or if you’re feeling compelled to overhaul your life overnight. The presence of an irrational fear that catastrophe is just around the corner if things stay the same also points to the necessity for some downtime.

What can help:

  • Carve out some quiet time to be alone with your thoughts and feelings.
  • Pen down your emotions and thoughts in a journal to process them more clearly.
  • Watch an engrossing mystery film or TV series that captures your imagination.
  • Engage in mindfulness practices such as meditation or guided visualization to restore a sense of calm.
  • Spend time outdoors, perhaps in a garden or by the sea, to reconnect with the natural world.
  • When feeling better, work on setting up practical systems that make managing daily tasks less overwhelming, such as tidying your living and work areas, or using apps to keep track of to-dos and appointments.
ISFP inspiration needs

Discover more about ISFPs: 10 ISFP Characters from Movies, Books, and Television

ISTP in Burnout

“I feel drained. Suddenly, everything and everyone feels like they demand too much from me emotionally, but I also want a hug. It’s confusing.” – Dan, an ISTP

ISTPs, often admired for their problem-solving abilities and self-sufficiency, hit a rough patch when burnout looms. They typically navigate life with a laid-back ease, but in the face of prolonged stress, they can become uncharacteristically emotional and unusually sensitive to the perceptions of others. What used to be water off a duck’s back now seems to weigh heavily on their shoulders. A disconnect from their characteristic coolness emerges, leading to feelings of ineptness and a strong desire for validation from others, which is a dramatic departure from their typical independence.

An example:

Let’s imagine Connor, an ISTP, known amongst friends for their cool demeanor and independent nature. As a software developer, Connor takes pride in providing logical solutions to complicated problems. However, under the weight of consecutive deadlines and an ever-growing workload, Connor begins to notice a shift in their reaction to colleagues’ offhand remarks. Where previously a critical comment would be met with indifference or a constructive response, Connor now lies awake contemplating the underlying intentions of their peers, their tone, their choice of words. The slightest frown from a teammate during a meeting sets off a spiral of self-doubt — a stark contrast to their usual disregard for other’s opinions. Their need for affirmation grows, evident in their uncharacteristic over-explaining of decisions or seeking reassurance for tasks they are well-versed in. This emotional insecurity is a clear signal that Connor’s resilience is compromised, underscoring the need to address their burnout.

Signs That You Need a Break:

You know it’s time for an ISTP to unplug when they feel atypically insecure and emotionally sensitive. If you’re the ISTP in question, you might find yourself unable to disregard minor annoyances, feeling detached from people around you, and wanting to get a sense of connection back. You might feel a pervasive sense of insecurity and feel plagued by worries about what others think of you. The drive to seek attention from others, especially when it’s out of character, signals a necessity for self-care and recalibration.

What can help:

  • Exercise to release pent up energy and give yourself a boost of stress-relieving endorphins
  • Practice mindfulness with deep breathing or yoga to center yourself.
  • Remind yourself of the people who care about you no matter what.
  • Engage your mind with a mystery novel or film to distract from stress.
  • After reducing stress, prioritize regular and meaningful social interactions to avoid future emotional turmoil.
Finding calm for ISTPs

Curious about ISTPs? Read 12 Amazing Fictional ISTPs

ISFJ in Burnout

“I feel like I’m surrounded by disaster, aware of every single detail that’s not in place, analyzing the myriad ways things could topple over, and yet feeling paralyzed to stop it.” – Candace, an ISFJ

ISFJs are gifted with a sense of empathy and nostalgia that guides them to preserve communities and traditions. Their empathetic nature is a strength; however, when stressed, that empathy can become a source of burnout. They may not know when to say “No” or may take on far too much for their introverted souls to handle. Amidst chaos, ISFJs may find themselves obsessing over worst-case scenarios, losing focus, and succumbing to the anxiety of an uncertain future, leading to a pervasive sense that nothing will unfold as it should. Doom and gloom seem to spread everywhere before them.

An example:

Take Sophia, an ISFJ, who typically manages her responsibilities at work with calm efficiency. As an event planner, being detail-oriented and adept at foreseeing potential issues is part of her charm — and critical to her success. Yet, when burnout starts to creep in, those details become overwhelming. Suddenly, the possibility of the caterer being late to an event spirals into a vision of the entire gathering falling to pieces, disgruntled guests leaving in droves, and her reputation in ruins. She recognizes this isn’t rational — the caterer has been punctual for years — but she can’t seem to stop the flood of catastrophic thoughts. Feeling overpowered by these imagined scenarios, it becomes clear that Sophia’s stress levels have breached their banks and are now coloring her reality with undue pessimism.

Signs That You Need a Break:

If you’re an ISFJ who’s feeling scattered, caught in a loop of catastrophic thinking or preoccupied with the fear that every future endeavor is doomed to fail, it might be time to pause. Engage in a moment of stillness where you can listen to your inner voice without the cacophony of your daily responsibilities shouting over it.

What can help:

  • Recharge by taking a step back and reflecting on occasions when you’ve faced challenges in the past and gotten through them successfully. Allow those memories to reassure your current self.
  • Carve out meaningful solitude that grants you the bandwidth to breathe and process your thoughts in a structured way.
  • Vent your feelings with a trusted friend who understands the power of simply listening, without jumping in with solutions.
  • Write down the tangled web of your concerns and read them aloud, as if to purge them from your system. Hearing your concerns out loud can sometimes help you to process them in a more calm way.
  • Spend quality, quiet time with a pet, letting their uncomplicated companionship soothe the emotional frustration.
  • Treat your mind with puzzles like Sudoku. This can activate your introverted thinking side, helping you find a sense of reason in the storm of emotion.
ISFJ inspiration needs

Find out more about ISFJs: Are ISFJs Rare? A Look at the Protector

ISTJ in Burnout

“I’m normally pretty chill. But I suddenly start worrying that I’ve forgotten important details and because of that everything is going to fall apart in my life. I see disaster everywhere.” – Malik, an ISTJ

ISTJs are often the backbone of their communities, known for their dedication to responsibility, planning, and logic. Think Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead; he’s always focused on finding the next safe place for his cultivated family. However, when burnout strikes, ISTJs may feel overwhelmed and anxious about their ability to control outcomes. As a result, they might start second-guessing themselves, worrying that oversights are imminent with disastrous consequences. Instead, they start to lose their celebrated focus and sense of organization. They feel restless and scattered, making mistakes in areas where they usually excel, and become consumed by the fear of disaster, leading to anxiety about what the future holds. As this stress mounts, an ISTJ might notice a slipping of their typical social restraint, perhaps speaking out of turn or entertaining irrational notions they’d usually dismiss.

An example:

Take for instance, Calvin, an ISTJ, who is a responsible and cool-headed troop leader coordinating the local boy scout troop’s annual camping trip. His meticulous planning is legendary; not a single sleeping bag or marshmallow goes unaccounted for. But this year is different. He’s been feeling stress creeping up on him, and as the event approaches, every little hiccup feels like an omen of failure. When one of the scouts mentions a slight tear in a tent, Calvin’s mind races to an unlikely, yet vivid image of a sudden downpour, drenching children and ruining the trip he worked so hard to organize. He knows that it’s just a small rip and the weather forecast is clear, but he can’t shake the fear that this minor oversight could cause the entire event to unravel. Despite knowing deep down that these thoughts aren’t rational, Calvin can’t help but feel the weight of potential disaster pressing down on him.

Signs That You Need a Break:

You know it’s time to take a break if you, as an ISTJ, find yourself feeling more scattered, unfocused, or are gripped by visions of the worst possible outcomes. If you notice a growing sense of dread about future projects, an unusual loss of social filters, or a surprising interest in outlandish theories, these are signals that it’s crucial to step back and regroup.

What can help:

  • Prioritize taking uninterrupted time for yourself to simply unwind and gain clarity amidst the chaos.
  • Actively remind yourself of times from your past where you dealt with similar situations and succeeded.
  • Document what is currently overwhelming for you and arrange these issues in order of how they can be tackled, breaking down the mountain into manageable hills.
  • Listen to music that mirrors your mood, aiding you in working through your feelings rather than suppressing them.
  • Develop the habit of journaling daily to express thoughts and worries, creating an outlet for the anxiety that might otherwise be suffocating. But don’t forget to also jot down things you’re grateful for as this can dramatically improve your overall mindset!
Finding calm for ISTJs

Find out more about ISTJs: 12 Amazing Fictional ISTJ Characters

ENFJ in Burnout

“Even surrounded by people, I feel invisible and unheard. I’ve poured so much of myself into helping others that when I start to burn out, it feels like I’ve got nothing left.” – Genevieve, an ENFJ

ENFJs are often seen as the mentors and givers of the world, often putting the emotional needs of others above their own. They put their all into their relationships, offering huge amounts of support and encouragement. However, if their efforts seem to go unnoticed or if they give too much, ENFJs can spiral into burnout, feeling painfully underappreciated. This can manifest in a desire to withdraw into solitude to manage their feelings; it can also feel like a barrage of critical thoughts are overwhelming them, criticisms against themselves and others.

An example:

Let’s take the example of Alexandria, an ENFJ known for her warm, affirming leadership in the non-profit she runs. Everyone relies on her keen intuition in guiding complex community projects to success. Lately, however, the endless to-do list and the pressure of upcoming grant deadlines have started to erode her usual positivity. She begins to feel that the quality of her work is slipping and starts to hone in on minor errors with a hypercritical eye. A misspelled word in a report, a slight delay in email responses—these imperfections become glaring to her, and her feedback to staff, typically constructive and gentle, grows sharp and impatient. In group meetings, she finds herself focusing more on what’s going wrong, instead of what her team has accomplished. She becomes quieter in social settings, internally criticizing others for their minor lapses in logic. The characteristic empathy of an ENFJ is overshadowed by a growing tendency to zero in on faults, unable to see the broader picture of her impactful work and meaningful connections.

Signs That You Need a Break:

If you’re an ENFJ feeling as if your care and contributions are invisible, if you’re withdrawing despite your inclination to connect, if helplessness has taken the place of your usual confidence, or if your focus starts scattering and every slight or imbalance in fairness cuts deeper, then it’s time to grant yourself permission to rest. It’s not uncommon to feel more sensitive, to indulge in self-critical thoughts, or to see nothing but logical inconsistencies in the world around you.

What can help:

  • Dedicate time for rest, allowing your body and mind the break they desperately need.
  • Practice deep breathing or meditation to cultivate a space of inner peace amidst the outer turmoil.
  • Keep a journal where you can offload your feelings and process them without judgment.
  • If your thoughts are overwhelming, share them with someone close who won’t overwhelm you with a lot of logical advice or “fixes”.
  • Acknowledge your achievements, however small, and let yourself enjoy breathers after accomplishing something on your list
  • Sometimes, laughter is a powerful medicine; watch your favorite comedy to lighten your mood.
  • Changing your scenery can also reinspire you; consider a walk in nature or a stroll through a new neighborhood to refresh your perspective.
ENFJ Inspiration needs

ENTJ in Burnout

“My laser focus is gone. I’m trying to gear up, but there’s just this scatter-brained fog. At the same time, I feel like I’m being taken for granted and there’s this massive amount of work but nobody is willing to step in and help me.” – Sara, an ENTJ

ENTJs are typically seen as assertive and proactive, naturally driven to command projects and guide themselves and others towards success. Strategic and efficient, they will objectify their feelings if they’re getting in “the way” most of the time. When burnout looms, ENTJs may find themselves grappling with feelings of underappreciation and invisibility. Their normal decisiveness is replaced by indecision and a sense of emotional sensitivity. Suddenly they feel overwhelmed by all the feelings they typically sweep under the rug. They feel undervalued, taken for granted, overburdened by work, planning, and tasks that others tend to leave up to them.

An example:

David, an ENTJ, prides himself on his role as a dedicated father and the CEO of a burgeoning tech startup. Relentlessly pushing toward his dual responsibilities, he rarely acknowledges the onset of exhaustion. Yet, as stress accumulates, it chips away at his take-charge persona. Now, when he comes home from a stressful day of back-to-back meetings, instead of his usual playtime with his children, he retreats to his study, sinking into a chair with a sigh. He’s consumed by thoughts that his hard work is going unnoticed, both at home and at the office. Ironically, his isolation only serves to exacerbate his sense of alienation, creating a self-imposed barrier between him and the very people who value and depend on him. This growing divide deepens his belief that despite doing everything to provide for his family and business, his efforts are but a drop in an unappreciative ocean.

Signs That You Need a Break:

If you’re an ENTJ who’s feeling unappreciated and unseen, wishing to withdraw to deal with your feelings, or feeling more powerless than ever, it’s crucial to step back and work on calming the torrent of stress you’re feeling. Being hypersensitive to feedback, having a scattered focus, feeling a rare sense of self-pity, or complaining more than usual are all stark departures from your norm and clear indicators that it’s time to take a breather.

What can help:

  • Schedule time to fully rest and detach from work-related concerns.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises to reduce stress and refocus your mind.
  • Keep a journal to articulate your thoughts and frustrations in a private space.
  • Engage in meditation to regain clarity and composure.
  • Find a trusted confidant who understands your need to vent without judgement or repercussions.
  • Watch something that will make you laugh. Humor can sometimes be the most effective medicine!
  • Allow yourself a change of scenery, where you can rejuvenate and distance yourself from the stimuli contributing to your burnout.
ENTJ inspiration needs

Find out more about ENTJs: 10 Things You Should Never Say to an ENTJ

ENFP in Burnout

“Lately, I just feel foggy. I’m getting caught up in stupid details, and it’s exhausting. I feel like I’m just going through motions, losing the imagination that usually drives me.” – Asher, an ENFP

ENFPs are naturally enthusiastic, driven by a myriad of ideas and the desire for profound connections with others. They typically have a bright and optimistic outlook, buoyed by their imaginative and passionate nature. When burnout creeps in, however, ENFPs may suddenly find themselves bogged down by details they’d normally shrug off. Their expansive vision narrows, preoccupied instead by trivial tasks or busy work that generates little satisfaction. They feel distracted by aches and pains in their body, sometimes worrying that a serious threat to their health is at play.

An example:

For instance, consider Maya, an ENFP who is usually the lifeblood of her social circle and the creative force within her marketing team. These days, however, her energy is waning. She sits down to her canvas at home, which used to be her sanctuary of creativity, only to find herself fixating on a single misplaced stroke. At work, she becomes absorbed in the minutiae of schedules and email responses. This overwhelming attention to detail stifles her creativity, leading to late nights fretting over tasks she would typically not worry about at all. The joy she once found in brainstorming and connecting seems buried under a mountain of inconsequential decisions, leaving her to question whether her spark is gone forever.

Signs That You Need a Break:

If you’re an ENFP who feels that every small task is a mountain to climb, if you find yourself losing sight of your purpose and fixating on busy work, or if you notice that your usually resilient and positive outlook is waning, it may be time for a much-needed break. Obsessing over minute details or being hyper-conscious about bodily sensations are signs that your expansive energy is turning inward unhealthily.

What can help:

  • Prioritize creating space in your schedule to simply be with yourself, away from the responsibilities.
  • Actively cancel or postpone non-essential tasks that are crowding your mental space.
  • Take care of your body by eating balanced meals, staying well-hydrated, and getting plenty of rest.
  • Find someone to talk to who will listen to you vent without the compulsion to fix your problems immediately.
  • Incorporate mindfulness exercises or meditation into your daily routine to regain a sense of control and calm.
  • Get physical! exercise can often help in rekindling your inner spark and seeing beyond the fog of busyness. A massage can also help!
Calming tips for ENFPs

Find out more about ENFPs: Dealing with Emotional Overwhelm as an ENFP

ENTP in Burnout

“I just feel tired, achy, and stuck fixating about pointless, boring details I can’t seem to escape.” – Freddie, an ENTP

ENTPs are known for their inventive mindsets and their ability to see possibilities where others see obstacles. They thrive on exploring concepts and devising strategies, oftentimes with an unbridled optimism about the future. However, when burnout hits, an ENTP might plunge into a cycle of self-doubt and rumination over past missteps. Ideas that used to come to them effortlessly now seem overwhelming and hard to take seriously. They may feel weighed down by what they perceive as a lack of progress, their once-sharp wit now replaced with a sense of failure and paralysis.

An example:

Take, for example, Kate, an ENTP homeschool mother known for her out-of-the-box educational methods. She converted their dining room into a makeshift laboratory, where meal times often turned into impromptu science experiments, and the backyard shed served as a creative studio for art projects. However, in the face of burnout, Kate feels a shift in her world. Where she used to revel in breaking the mold, lately, she’s finding herself pulled into the quicksand of parental rules, the mundanity of daily chores, and the constant demands of homemaking. The creative ideas for science exploration and the elaborate storytelling sessions that used to energize her now feel like tiresome and pointless tasks she can’t evade. Kate senses that her innovative spirit is being smothered by an unending list of dull to-dos and expectations.

Signs That You Need a Break:

For ENTPs feeling trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts about past actions, experiencing a sense of defeat regarding long-term dreams, or drowning in the minutiae that typically sparks their creativity, it’s essential to acknowledge these red flags. A pessimistic outlook, a hyper-awareness of bodily functions, or an increase in anxiety are not the norm for an ENTP and signal the need for reprieve.

What can help:

  • Designate time to unplug and get some time alone, giving your mind respite from ongoing demands.
  • Take time for activities that get you firmly in the present, such as meditation or nature walks.
  • Change your environment, even if temporarily, to stimulate a shift in perspective. Go for a walk somewhere new, take a hike, or simply rearrange the furniture in your room.
  • Use deep breathing techniques to anchor your thoughts and emotions.
  • Listen to your body’s needs, whether that means napping, hydrating, or getting a healthy meal.
  • Jot down your thoughts or emotions in a journal to process your feelings without external pressures.
  • Seek out someone who can listen to your concerns without critiquing you.
  • Practice self-forgiveness for moments when you don’t feel like you are at your best.
Finding calm for ENTPs

Find out more about ENTPs: 10 Things That Terrify ENTPs

ESFJ in Burnout

“I want everyone to leave me alone. But I don’t. Theyr’e doing it all wrong, but I also don’t want to tell them, but I do. I know that makes no sense.” – Lydia, an ESFJ

Emotionally aware, friendly, and organized, ESFJs draw energy from friendships and get satisfaction from harmonious relationships and a sense of home. They are often seen as the glue that holds groups together, consistently ensuring that the emotional and social needs of others are met. Yet, when burnout begins to seep in, the ESFJ’s ordinarily warm and trusting demeanor can be overshadowed by a rising tide of skepticism and criticism. They may find themselves uncharacteristically seeking logical explanations for their own or others’ shortcomings, often dwelling on faults and obsessing over the ‘truth’ in a way that assigns blame.

An example:

Consider Roberto, a dedicated ESFJ teacher, who is renowned for his empathetic approach in the classroom and his ability to maintain a positive, structured learning environment. Recently, he catches himself feeling unusually disconnected from his students, focusing more on their mistakes than their successes. He scrutinizes his teaching methods, trying to logically justify why certain lessons didn’t land as expected, and finds himself frequently irritated by minor disruptions. Roberto’s natural inclination to support and uplift his students is eclipsed by a cloud of criticism directed both at himself and at others, leaving him questioning if his contributions have ever truly made a difference.

Signs That You Need a Break:

If as an ESFJ, you notice you’re growing increasingly critical of yourself and others, if you’re constantly analyzing behaviors for underlying faults, or if you’re obsessively seeking truth in an attempt to blame, be aware that these could be indicators of burnout. These behaviors are a far cry from the typical empathetic and supportive nature of ESFJs and suggest that a step back is necessary to recenter and recharge.

What can help:

  • Schedule deliberate time for self-care and to indulge in hobbies that bring you joy, such as cooking or gardening.
  • Reach out to talk things through with someone who understands you and won’t judge you.
  • Remind yourself of the times you’ve helped others or made a positive impact on the world.
  • Steer clear of individuals or situations that consistently lead to stress, as they can exacerbate feelings of burnout.
  • Watch a light-hearted comedy or show to lift your spirits and interrupt the cycle of negativity.
  • Change your regular scenery, perhaps by visiting a new place, spending time in nature, or even watching a new movie.
ESFJ inspiration needs

Discover more about ESFJs: 24 Signs That You’re an ESFJ, the Defender Personality Type

ESTJ in Burnout

“I find myself snapping over trivial things, which isn’t like me at all. I just want to be alone and I feel like a lot of feelings are cropping up that I normally wouldn’t pay attention to.” – Mei, an ESTJ

Characteristically practical, straightforward, and dependable, ESTJs thrive on order and a sense of accomplishment. Their natural leadership abilities stem from a dedication to efficiency and a strong sense of responsibility. They gain satisfaction from setting goals and achieving them through well-structured plans. However, when burnout encroaches, these usually take-charge individuals can become unusually emotional and sensitive. A rising tide of unexpected feelings may take them by surprise, as they find themselves responding viscerally to criticism or perceived slights. In an uncharacteristic turn, ESTJs, who are normally perceived as rock solid, may begin to show cracks, feeling unappreciated and questioning their value to those around them.

An example:

Vincent, an ESTJ project manager, has always been respected for his ability to steer his team towards meeting tight deadlines with precision. Yet, grappling with burnout, he senses a shift — minor setbacks now seem catastrophic. He misconstrues team feedback as personal criticism and agonizes over perceived inequities within the workflow. At his lowest, isolation feels like the only refuge, accompanied by frustration and self-pity that further sap his once formidable morale.

Signs That You Need a Break:

If you’re an ESTJ who is feeling easily overwhelmed by emotions, sensing a lack of appreciation for your work, or feeling unjustly targeted by critiques, these can be signs that you’re on the brink of burnout. A preoccupation with fairness and an uncharacteristic desire to seclude yourself from others are indications that it’s time to step back and seek restoration.

What can help:

  • Make a commitment to incorporate regular exercise into your routine to aid in handling stress.
  • Confide in someone empathetic who will listen without being overly reactive or taking your venting to heart.
  • Delegate practical tasks or use services to lighten your workload and grant you mental space.
  • Allocate time to pause and introspect, allowing yourself to acknowledge and process your feelings.
  • Talk about your frustrations with confidant who can constructively break down issues after you have vented.
  • Create a list of aspirations or personal interests that you’ve neglected due to a busy schedule, and carve out time to engage in these so you’re not constantly your own personal wants on the backburner.
Finding calm for ESTJs

Discover more about ESTJs: 24 Signs That You’re an ESTJ Personality Type

ESFP in Burnout

“Usually I’m an optimist, but now everything seems bleak, and I can’t shake this feeling that tomorrow will be just as bad as today.” – Jayden, an ESFP

Realistic, spontaneous, and compassionate, ESFPs are known for their zest for life and ability to lift others’ spirits. They dive into life headfirst, often catalyzing people towards action and excitement and making the most of every moment. However, when faced with burnout, the once sunny and spontaneous ESFP may start to view the world through grey-tinted glasses. A sense of doom and gloom can take over, and their characteristic optimism is replaced with an unusual sense of pessimism. Minor details become ominous signs, and the ESFP might withdraw, turning sullen and suspicious, an unusual shift for these typically light-hearted explorers.

An example:

Lila, an ESFP drama teacher, once the lifeblood of the theater department, finds herself dragging her feet through the hallways, dreading her daily routine that used to thrill her. The spotlight, applause, and the rush of opening night no longer spark joy within her; instead, they feel like burdensome chores. Lila’s rehearsals, once filled with laughter and impromptu dance sessions, have become monotonous and drained of passion. She notices her creativity waning and a growing sense of fear and doom towards the future. Her passions seem trivial in comparison to the big picture, and that is filled with anxiety and negativity.

Signs That You Need a Break:

If you’re an ESFP who’s feeling worn down and troubled by negative predictions about the future, if you notice signs of doom in everyday situations, if you’re over-analyzing ordinary interactions, if suspicion is creeping into your usually trustful view of people, or if you find yourself pulling away from the social scene, these could be signs that you need to address potential burnout.

What can help:

  • Seek out a friend or counselor who can listen as you express your worries, someone who understands the importance of just being heard.
  • Try journaling to articulate your thoughts and emotions, which can be a cathartic process and help in sorting through complex feelings.
  • Give yourself permission to retreat for a while, using that time for introspection and personal space.
  • Create some order in your environment, which can help bring a sense of control and calm amidst internal chaos.
  • Return to the activities that once brought you joy, whether it’s dancing, painting, or spending a night out with friends, to naturally elevate your mood.
  • Engage in mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga, focusing on your breathing to stay grounded in the present moment.
  • Immerse yourself in natural surroundings, letting the tranquility of nature be a balm to your weary soul and help you to rediscover your innate optimism.

ESFP inspiration needs

ESTP in Burnout

“Sometimes I feel so much compulsion to punch something, to break down something, to release a tidal wave of energy. And I can’t. Then I just feel overwhelmed by pessimistic thoughts about how my entire life is a failure and everything will turn out badly.” – Marco, an ESTP

Action-oriented and pragmatic, ESTPs thrive on living in the moment, taking risks, and immersing themselves fully in the experience of life. They are usually the embodiment of confidence, with a keen awareness of their physical presence and the world around them. However, burnout for ESTPs can manifest as a disconnection from their own bodies and usual pursuits. With their natural enthusiasm dampened, they may view the world through a lens of pessimism and sense a loss of meaning in activities that once provided joy and fulfillment. Small setbacks might be mistakenly interpreted as foreboding omens, contributing to anxiety about the future.

An example:

Clara, an ESTP and professional athlete, was once renowned for her keen reflexes and vibrant spirit on the track. However, facing burnout, she now feels eerily detached from the sport that was her world. Winning or losing seems inconsequential, and the adrenaline that used to push her to the limit has given way to intrusive thoughts of failure and insignificance. She’s begun to analyze every muscle twinge as a sign of a career-ending injury, haunted by the idea that nothing she does can prevent the downfall she feels is coming.

Signs That You Need a Break:

If you’re an ESTP who feels out of touch with your physical self, engulfed in gloominess, or plagued by negative foresight that seems to stem from trivial occurrences; if you’re wrestling with feelings that life is devoid of meaning, or if panic driven by a sense of impending doom is becoming familiar, it’s likely time to address your burnout.

What can help:

  • Prioritize creating personal space and time away from your usual routine to decompress and process your thoughts.
  • Find someone who can listen to your concerns without judgment or misinterpretation—a sounding board for your frustrations.
  • Regular physical activity can help you regain your connection with your body and alleviate stress.
  • Consider receiving a massage or engaging in other relaxation techniques to provide physical relief and mental relaxation.
  • Remind yourself of your support network and the people who care about you.
  • When stress eases, dedicate time to activities that you find deeply meaningful, even if they are unrelated to your usual day-to-day routine, to combat feelings of emptiness and to enrich your life with purpose beyond immediate pressures.
ESTP inspiration needs

What Do You Think?

Do these descriptions resonate with what you experience when you’re burned out? Do these tips help? Let us know your thoughts, stories, and experiences in the comments!

Discover even 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 FacebookInstagram, or Twitter!


MBTI® Manual – A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Instrument by Isabel Briggs -Myers, Mary H. McCaulley, Naomi L. Quenk, and Allen L. Hammer (CPP, Inc. 2003)

Was That Really Me?: How Everyday Stress Brings Out Our Hidden Personality by Naomi Quenk (Nicholas Brealey; Revised ed. edition (August 13, 2002)

Psychological Types by C.G. Jung (1971, Princeton University Press)

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Want to discover more about personality type? Get the inside scoop with Susan Storm on all things typological, along with special subscriber freebies, and discounts on new eBooks and courses! Join our newsletter today!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar Posts


  1. Susan, thanks for your articles. I read them quite often. But I’m afraid that you missed the INTP burnout this week (yes, I am an INTP myself)

  2. Hi Susan,
    I have been a regular reader for years, thank you so much for your blogs. The Infj burn out was right on I just did what Molly described at the beginning of a relationship and I didn’t understand why. I read her comment and yeah that’s exactly how I would describe it and how it feels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *