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The (wordy) title says it all. I think one of the most common INFJ responses is to withdraw. I also know that some INFJs (including myself) test out to be ISTx under stress. I think this has to do with with our shadow type (ESTP). Here's an interesting excerpt:

As stress increases, 'learned behaviour' tends to give way to the natural style, so the INFJ will behave more according to type when under greater stress. For example, in a crisis, the INFJ might:

  • find a place of solitude in which to think and work
  • tell everyone else how well they are coping
  • try to solve the long term problem, and neglect the short term
  • make errors of fact, or ignore routine matters that might nevertheless be essential
Under extreme stress, fatigue or illness, the INFJ's shadow may appear - a negative form of ESTP. Example characteristics are:
  • acting very impulsively, making decisions without thinking them through
  • doing things to excess - e.g.: eating, drinking or exercising
  • being critical of others, and finding fault with almost everything
  • being preoccupied about unimportant details and doing things that have no meaning
  • acting in a very materialistic and selfish way
  • cutting corners, breaking the rules, and even contradicting the INFJ's own values
  • Link: INFJ Personality Types
Just wondering if any of you guys have been noticing any patterns about yourselves when it comes to stress?
 

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It depends on what type of stress, withdrawal is my go to coping mechanism, and I have always been great at deflecting questions about my state by 'telling everyone else how well I am coping'.

Other kinds of stress have seen me starving myself (doing things to excess?) and having panic attacks.
 

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The (wordy) title says it all. I think one of the most common INFJ responses is to withdraw. I also know that some INFJs (including myself) test out to be ISTx under stress. I think this has to do with with our shadow type (ESTP). Here's an interesting excerpt:

As stress increases, 'learned behaviour' tends to give way to the natural style, so the INFJ will behave more according to type when under greater stress. For example, in a crisis, the INFJ might:

  • find a place of solitude in which to think and work
  • tell everyone else how well they are coping
  • try to solve the long term problem, and neglect the short term
  • make errors of fact, or ignore routine matters that might nevertheless be essential
Under extreme stress, fatigue or illness, the INFJ's shadow may appear - a negative form of ESTP. Example characteristics are:
  • acting very impulsively, making decisions without thinking them through
  • doing things to excess - e.g.: eating, drinking or exercising
  • being critical of others, and finding fault with almost everything
  • being preoccupied about unimportant details and doing things that have no meaning
  • acting in a very materialistic and selfish way
  • cutting corners, breaking the rules, and even contradicting the INFJ's own values
  • Link: INFJ Personality Types
Just wondering if any of you guys have been noticing any patterns about yourselves when it comes to stress?

omg is that a NEGATIVE ExTP??? I thought they were all like that :p (no offense)

when im under big stress, I usually find search a place of solitude, or start acting agressively
 

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My knee-jerk response to this was "Actually, I perform better under stress", but reading over the list again changed my mind.
If the stress is self induced, like social situations where I am uncomfortable or me beating myself up when I feel like I've failed, then both lists are very accurate.

The first list is more of my normal handling of life. Maybe because I am so shy. Once I reach the end of my social energy reserves I withdraw until I can recharge.

The second list usually takes over when I don't notice depression sneaking in on me, or if I am unable to retreat to recharge. Also, I am always more critical of myself when I am in that mood. I judge myself pretty harshly when I am stressed.

Also, when I am hungry I am more likely to do any of those things. :p

When it comes to outside stress though, it gives me a calm determined feeling. I think clearly, I have complete control over myself. I am a force to be reckoned with in those times. But it takes something serious to pull it out of me. If only I could learn how to become so calm and collected on command... :O

Is this really an INFJ thing? I always thought most people were like this. Some people are just stressed all the time.
 

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How I react to stress depends on the circumstance over what I'm frustrated about. If I'm frustrated about a person or over some little thing that's just not ever working out I'll drink and get into an all out quirky mood that I describe as being like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's when she's drunkenly coping with her ex-husband leaving town after trying to get her to go back home. She's just in a quirky goofy drunken state and that's about how I seem to get during mild stress... or just stress that I'm handling relatively well by letting it out in a more humorous to others way.

Now... if I'm really stressed at work and can't really escape or am just really frustrated about whatever else I will have tendencies to act ESTP...
For instance, an ESTP friend of mine I know at work always seems to be in this work mode of "lets get it done now!" without really treating the employees he is managing as people. I've noticed that I'll do this with co-workers or kids I'm supervising when I'm really stressed simply because at that point is seems that I loose my patience and just want to get shit done as quickly as possible so I can get out of there. So I guess doing that would include acting impulsively, being critical of others, and cutting corners.
 
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Stress --> Sleep --> More stress from not taking action --> Work frantically --> Sleep --> Repeat

I try not to do this so much anymore.
 

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How I react to stress depends on the circumstance over what I'm frustrated about. If I'm frustrated about a person or over some little thing that's just not ever working out I'll drink and get into an all out quirky mood that I describe as being like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's when she's drunkenly coping with her ex-husband leaving town after trying to get her to go back home. She's just in a quirky goofy drunken state and that's about how I seem to get during mild stress... or just stress that I'm handling relatively well by letting it out in a more humorous to others way.

Now... if I'm really stressed at work and can't really escape or am just really frustrated about whatever else I will have tendencies to act ESTP...
For instance, an ESTP friend of mine I know at work always seems to be in this work mode of "lets get it done now!" without really treating the employees he is managing as people. I've noticed that I'll do this with co-workers or kids I'm supervising when I'm really stressed simply because at that point is seems that I loose my patience and just want to get shit done as quickly as possible so I can get out of there. So I guess doing that would include acting impulsively, being critical of others, and cutting corners.

I would agree with the stress leading to just barking orders lacking any personal connection or consideration. It's actually pretty shocking when it happens not only for others, but me as well. I hate it when it comes to that. It's pretty much not what I want to be seen as.
 

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Yeap, like all INFJs I withdraw to brood over the situation. I need my quiet time to think. If I cannot find a solution, the thinking will wear me out and then I go to sleep. I'm amazed at how much sleep I need after brooding. After I've recovered my energies I continue to work on my problem. At times like these I usually divine to get some sense of what's happening and possible actions to take next so that I don't get lost in my tunnel vision. This has definitely cut down my brooding and sleeping time. That aside, my motto is to always focus on the solution and not the problem. This helps to keep me moving forward to eliminate the source of the stress.
 
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Isolate myself emotionally and mentally even if there are people around me.

I don't identify with the second negative aspects.
 

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Okay... well I get really bitter.
I either eat a whole bunch... like constantly or eat nothing.
I avoid all simple tasks and fill my time with distraction after distraction.
I will isolate myself and think too much, never getting out with people and driving myself insane with thoughts of failure and how I can not acomplish anything in my life.

I tend to slip quite easily in and out of stress which can be a good and a bad thing.
 

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I withdraw into my world

I will listen to music, and use the scenes I make in my head to play my emotions out

If I am not given this option, I become a loose cannon, and nothing is safe

This has sent me to the mental hospital on more than one occasion
 

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I stop traffic....yep that was me all the way in the left lane of the NJ turnpike and I was determined to get out through my exit so I could bring my friend back to her home in Brooklyn. Little by little I got my way despite the consternation of those behind me and amid loudly muttered Our Fathers and Hail Marys in Italian by my friend. If only we would all cooperate in this life I wouldn't be stressing out and breaking down in the first place. So I think that real life story is a metaphor for what I go through. When I break down and get "stuck in traffic" I just inch my way back to a healthy balance amid a lot of frustrated people behind me and surrounded by prayers from my friends and family.
 

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I stop traffic....yep that was me all the way in the left lane of the NJ turnpike and I was determined to get out through my exit so I could bring my friend back to her home in Brooklyn. Little by little I got my way despite the consternation of those behind me and amid loudly muttered Our Fathers and Hail Marys in Italian by my friend. If only we would all cooperate in this life I wouldn't be stressing out and breaking down in the first place. So I think that real life story is a metaphor for what I go through. When I break down and get "stuck in traffic" I just inch my way back to a healthy balance amid a lot of frustrated people behind me and surrounded by prayers from my friends and family.
I do tend to hide myself away, but I find that love from my family and friends, and prayer helps me, a lot. Recently, a good friend, who practices a different faith than I do, told me that she had prayed for me during a rough time I had, and hoped that was okay...well, of course it is!!! I need all the prayer I can get when I'm in a stressful situation. It shows me that I am loved, and that helps me more than all the best advice in the world.
 

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I lock myself up in my room and I could just stay there for like more than 5 hours by myself. I try my best to run away from the problem, My breakdowns usually come after Ive thrown every single visible item Lool then i just breakdown. And when I am angry I dont want anyone in my presence.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think my response to stress depends on the length of stress. For example, if it's something bound by time (something short-term, and something I can see a solution for in the near future), I act as many people mentioned. First I tend to withdraw, sleep (at first), and tell everyone how well I have everything under control.

Second, when this stress is prolongated for a bit, I become extremely private; in real life, I could stay in my room pretty much for days, except for going out for the basic necessities. Online (facebook, email, etc), I deactivate or disable my wall, delete most recent comments, I go through "purging," where I start deleting emails by the bulk. I do a lot of irrational things at this time, that I'm not quite sure how to explain. By this stage, I am still functioning really well, due to my defense mechanisms and withdrawing to conserve energy, etc; I will also need a lot of space during this time, and anyone that I feel steps into my space will be met with a lot of resentment.

Third: when I get burned out from long-term, ongoing, continuous stress, I completely shut down. I get so overwhelmed, I don't know how to function. I can't even explain what goes on during this time, because it's like I turned off or something. In trying to cope, I completely suppress my "NF" and rely on my "ST" -- I think this happens because I realize I need to get back up on my feet, get my life together, make decisions without using my NF functions. I turn into a really unhealthy ISTJ around this time -- I get really rigid and i'm not quite sure how to describe everything. I try making schedules down to the minute on what I will spend my time doing. I will reread things a dozen times over, and make sure everything is perfect. It's weird - I still feel like an INFJ, but I'm suppressing everything, and functioning like an ISTJ without weeks of sleep. It usually stops here

After this phase (which I think I'm going through right now), I need tons and tons and tons of time to "unwind." I used to think this time was a waste of resources, however I recognize my need to unwind. I need this to refresh me and de-stress me. However, it takes me a really long time to adjust back to my normal self. I've had stressful times, where I go back between phase 2 and 3, or there's a short period of unwind time.... and that... was not a pretty picture.

Ok, sorry for this way long post, but does anyone relate to this? or am I just an INFJ under wayyyyyyyy too much stress?:mellow:
 

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I think my response to stress depends on the length of stress. For example, if it's something bound by time (something short-term, and something I can see a solution for in the near future), I act as many people mentioned. First I tend to withdraw, sleep (at first), and tell everyone how well I have everything under control.

Second, when this stress is prolongated for a bit, I become extremely private; in real life, I could stay in my room pretty much for days, except for going out for the basic necessities. Online (facebook, email, etc), I deactivate or disable my wall, delete most recent comments, I go through "purging," where I start deleting emails by the bulk. I do a lot of irrational things at this time, that I'm not quite sure how to explain. By this stage, I am still functioning really well, due to my defense mechanisms and withdrawing to conserve energy, etc; I will also need a lot of space during this time, and anyone that I feel steps into my space will be met with a lot of resentment.

Third: when I get burned out from long-term, ongoing, continuous stress, I completely shut down. I get so overwhelmed, I don't know how to function. I can't even explain what goes on during this time, because it's like I turned off or something. In trying to cope, I completely suppress my "NF" and rely on my "ST" -- I think this happens because I realize I need to get back up on my feet, get my life together, make decisions without using my NF functions. I turn into a really unhealthy ISTJ around this time -- I get really rigid and i'm not quite sure how to describe everything. I try making schedules down to the minute on what I will spend my time doing. I will reread things a dozen times over, and make sure everything is perfect. It's weird - I still feel like an INFJ, but I'm suppressing everything, and functioning like an ISTJ without weeks of sleep. It usually stops here

After this phase (which I think I'm going through right now), I need tons and tons and tons of time to "unwind." I used to think this time was a waste of resources, however I recognize my need to unwind. I need this to refresh me and de-stress me. However, it takes me a really long time to adjust back to my normal self. I've had stressful times, where I go back between phase 2 and 3, or there's a short period of unwind time.... and that... was not a pretty picture.

Ok, sorry for this way long post, but does anyone relate to this? or am I just an INFJ under wayyyyyyyy too much stress?:mellow:

Wow, that sounds pretty spot on to me! Thanks for writing that all out.
 
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