Our Latest Blogs

16 MBTI Personality Types Under Stress

young woman with emotion signs

MBTI, which stands for Myers Briggs Type Indicator, is a personality assessment tool that explains our individual psychological preferences. If you’ve ever wondered what makes you unique in your perceptions and relationships, this tool can help you understand. The core concept of MBTI personality types revolves around the idea that we all have distinct preferences in how we think, feel, and interact with others.

So, how can knowing your MBTI Type help you deal with stress in your life and relationships? Understanding your personality type can provide you with a powerful framework for self-awareness. It can help you uncover your strengths, weaknesses, and natural inclinations, empowering you to make better decisions and pursue paths that align with your true nature. Moreover, it can enhance your relationships by giving you insights into how you communicate, make decisions, and manage stress and conflicts, allowing you to better understand and appreciate the differences in others.

You might be wondering how you can find out your MBTI type. One convenient option is to take an online test. There are several reliable websites that offer free assessments to learn your MBTI type. However, if you prefer a more comprehensive and personalized experience, you can consult a certified MBTI professional. They are trained to administer the assessment, interpret the results, and provide you with a deeper understanding of your personality type, including its nuances and implications for your life.

In an MBTI personality assessment, each type is explained as a combination of four basic qualities:

Based on which of these qualities are more pronounced and how they are distributed, 16 distinct personality types have been defined.

In this article, we will see how the four fundamental components of each of the 16 personality types come together to produce a unique reaction to stress.


Personality types whose dominant functions are intuition and thinking are called Analysts. They see the world through the lenses of their highly investigative and analytical minds.


If you did the personality test and found that you’re an INTP, chances are your first reaction to stress is overwhelming anxiety, which paralyzes your ability to think creatively. If the stressful circumstances persist, INTPs may become impulsive and prone to mood swings.


The bold ENTJs will fight fiercely against whatever and whoever is causing them stress. This means confronting people they find responsible or engaging in activities that they believe put them more in control of the situation. When the anger leaves them, they may begin to feel emotionally vulnerable and withdraw to hide their fragility from others.


Hardworking and resolute, INTJs respond to stress by becoming even more diligent. They throw themselves into work and become obsessive about specific ideas they believe could help them. If the stressful situation persists, they may become hostile, competitive, and argumentative for no obvious reason.


Focus is the first thing to go when ENTPs hit a stressful patch. They become scattered, distracted, and anxious, which may lead them to feel incompetent. They may lose their creative spark and become overwhelmed with the urge to escape the situation. Moreover, they may become unusually withdrawn.


Sentinels are the personality types whose dominant functions are sensing and judging, so they are very observant and organized. Compared to all 16 personalities under stress, Sentinels are the most prone to feeling personally responsible for stress.


Under stress, ISTJs become too self-critical and obsess about what they failed to do that led to the issue at hand. They can lose their calm and become overwhelmed with dark visions of the lost future. Dramatic behavior and a pessimistic attitude can dominate their personalities, and they may easily become depressed.


Stressed ISFJs are irritable and angry and see everything in black-and-white terms. Irrational thought patterns may dominate their mental processes, and they begin to feel that everything is doomed to failure, no matter how hard they try to prevent it. 


ESTJs may assume the role of the martyr when faced with stress and tend to feel irrational guilt and inadequacy, even when they have nothing to do with the stress sources. It is hard for them to express their feelings, so they tend to isolate and wallow in self-loathing.


Under stress, ESFJs’ inherent insecurity becomes more obvious, and they succumb to people-pleasing behaviors. They may become clingy and needy, unconsciously hoping someone else will solve the problem for them. If this tactic fails, they may become resentful and critical of others and eventually withdraw from social life.


Diplomats’ dominant functions are intuition and feeling, so they are very compassionate and altruistic people. In comparison to all 16 personalities under stress, Diplomats tend to react in the most emotional way.


When under stress, INFJs dissociate as a reaction to the overwhelming fear and guilt they feel. They may try to manage their intense emotions by resorting to self-destructive habits such as binge eating, substance abuse, alcoholism, and the like, doing anything to suppress their emotions.


Because INFPs are prone to self-sacrifice, they may feel especially strained when they are in stressful situations. They try to juggle their need to please others and preserve their personal boundaries simultaneously but eventually become exhausted by constantly dancing on the edge.


To deal with stress, ENFJs often ignore reality, hoping the situation will solve itself. Since that rarely happens, their pent-up emotions cause them various problems—from psychosomatic symptoms to unusual, erratic behavior.


Under stress, ENFPs become champions of procrastination. They become irritable and try to avoid problems for as long as possible, which inevitably backfires. Eventually, they become exhausted and perhaps a bit delusional as they stick to their irrational perception of the situation and their role in it.


Explorers dominantly rely on their sensing and perceiving functions. They have curious and upbeat personalities.


Under stress, ISTPs may become vindictive and feel the need to lash out and vent at other people. They may also become very resistant to the rules they had no problem with previously. Eventually, they may develop paranoid ideas about how others perceive them.


ISFPs do not confront stressful situations directly but resort to passive-aggressive strategies and become arrogant and defensive. They may ignore their physical and emotional needs and engage in self-destructive, risky behaviors or start being critical of others.


When stress overloads, ESTPs try to regain control of their lives by belittling and criticizing others. They will be more dramatic than usual and may act in a completely atypical manner. Deep down, they suffer because they feel unable to confront the causes of their stress.


Visions of a horrid future, worst-case scenarios, and an exaggerated sense of danger completely overwhelm ESFPs as they try to navigate stressful situations. They may become irritable and moody and passively resist directly facing the issue while plotting against the people they believe caused the stress.

Key Takeaways

As you can see, Analysts have a tendency to feel confused and angry, Sentinels’ feelings of insecurity surface, Diplomats may become overly dramatic, and Explorers feel deeply disturbed under prolonged stress. Whatever their initial reaction, all personality types can use stressful situations as a chance to learn, improve, and overcome their weaknesses.


About the Author

Lisa Sparrow is a psychology expert who has specialized in the 16 personality types. Her years of research experience have made her an authority on this topic, and she shares her insights through engaging blog articles. Her deep understanding of the human mind allows her to provide readers with valuable insights into their own personalities.

rtor.org and Our Sponsor Laurel House, Inc. Celebrate Pride in June

On June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay nightclub in Greenwich Village, sparking a riot and six days of protests. This incident, known as the Stonewall Uprising, marks a turning point in the gay rights movement, now celebrated as Pride Month in June.

This Pride Month, www.rtor.org and Laurel House affirm their commitment to supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community in their quest for equity and justice, especially in their fight for accessible, safe, health and mental health care.

www.rtor.org and Laurel House are committed to the advancement of racial equity and social justice, and to making mental health services available to all.

Photo by rosario janza on Unsplash

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.

Recommended for You

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

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

Stay Up to Date

Fill out the form to get Close to Home in your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.