The party hosting, gift giving, reuniting, and joy spreading of the holiday season brings memories to cherish. But this time of celebrating can wear you down and bring on bouts of uncharacteristic stress-induced behavior, too. The truth is, every personality type responds to stress in a unique way, and it often brings out a side of our personality we wouldn’t normally associate with our cool and collected selves.
They say that every strength has its weakness, and that is certainly true in regards to our Myers-Briggs personality type when we are stressed out. “Sensing may manifest not as attention to details but rather as an obsession with them,” Myers-Briggs explains. “It can be the source of great stress, or it can be a seed for significant development.”
Here is how stress can trigger you based on your Myers-Briggs personality type, along with an antidote to bring your best self back.
If you’re an ISTJ & ISFJ, stress may cause you to withdraw further inward in an attempt to avoid dealing with others.
Antidote: Make an effort to share your time and talents with others around you.
ISTJ: Usually calm and collected, you start to feel out of control as holiday chaos heightens. Then, you may turn down invitations and commitments to stop the spiral of scattered thinking. Find a tangible way to contribute to a holiday event or cause to regain your sense of purpose.
ISFJ: Your patience, empathy, and quiet enthusiasm can shut off, and you may start to withdraw from holiday parties and plans as you fall into indecision. Volunteering for a local nonprofit can bring back your sensibilities by connecting with the community and having one-on-one interactions to remind you of the blessings you do have.
If you’re an ESFP or ESTP, stress may cause you to harshly judge yourself and the situations around you.
Antidote: Plan a holiday adventure or a big bash to refresh your critical mind.
ESFP: Your charming, chatty, and entertaining nature lights up any room. When overwhelmed, you try to distract yourself socially from negative thoughts and self-doubt that take over. Snap out of it by planning a totally new holiday adventure with an open invitation to restore your extroverted energy surrounded by a new group of people.
ESTP: Liveliness, practicality, friendliness, and boldness are some of your top traits. But when holiday stress builds, you begin overanalyzing every situation and become unusually intense and hesitant. Restore your vitality by planning a rip-roaring holiday gathering to redirect your energy and social strengths.
If you’re an INTJ or INFJ, stress can cause all-or-nothing thinking—if you can’t do something perfectly or exactly how you envision it, you can’t do it at all.
Antidote: Call a kindred and familiar spirit to help you work through your doubts or problems.
INTJ: Imagination and confidence keep you going. You’re forever an independent thinker, so stress can bring about uncharacteristic nitpicking and procrastination over holiday gifts and get-togethers. Call a close friend to chat and plan a girls’ brunch or party with friends for the new year—or next week! Your long-term vision will come back strong.
INFJ: Your creative passion and inspiring insights make you loyal and conscientious. But your typical reliance on your intuition can diminish during stressful situations, causing you to obsess over unimportant details and withdraw from meaningful relationships. Fight this reaction by calling your mom, or another loved one, to reaffirm your sense of self.
If you’re an ENTP or ENFP, stress can lead you to seek affirmation from all the wrong people and places.
Antidote: Join a book club or other special-interest group with like-minded friends or new people.
ENTP: Charismatic, quick-thinking, and open-minded, you intrigue everyone around you. Dealing with stress can make you overly cautious and seek out validation. Because you thrive on intellectual discussions and challenges, start or join a book club to expose yourself to new ideas and interesting debates.
ENFP: You are observant, contagiously enthusiastic, and great at communicating and making friends through your spontaneous spirit. If you start losing your bubbly demeanor and optimism from all the holiday activities, insert yourself in a book club setting to socialize and ideate on topics that you are passionate about.
If you’re an ESTJ or ENTJ, stress may lead you to lose patience with others when it seems like they’re unable to meet your standards.
Antidote: Use your knowledge, skills, and experience to help out a struggling friend.
ESTJ: Your reliability and dedication are admirable and make you a trusted friend and capable leader. These strengths can disappear as you endure holiday tenseness, possibly starting to judge others and act irrationally. Get grounded again by helping a friend or family member work through a problem or challenge.
ENTJ: Never one to give up, you are super-efficient and enjoy leading people and strategic projects. Stress can force you into emotional outbursts or feelings of being misunderstood. Apply your passion to lead and achieve by connecting with someone in your life who may need some extra support or attention this holiday season.
If you’re an ISTP or INTP, stress can turn you into an anxious worrywart about projects and around other people.
Antidote: Re-center with alone time to do activities that you personally enjoy.
ISTP: Spontaneous and chill, you like to take a hands-on approach to bring your ideas to life. You’re a calming presence in any crisis, but lots of stress suppresses your spontaneous side and brings out anxiety. Do something alone that involves creation, such as cooking, sewing, cleaning, or exercising.
INTP: You are a critical thinker who is honest and innovative. Though you’re normally logical and willing to analyze everything, too much stress makes you impulsive and impatient. Reconnect with your intuition by spending time alone to decompress, reflect, and process your thoughts.
If you’re an ISFP or INFP, stress can make you feel incompetent, incapable, and burned out.
Antidote: Do something crafty alone or with your closest friends.
ISFP: Your sensitivity and artistic inclinations let you relate to others with ease. Anxious situations can lead you to self-doubt and stifle your fun-loving spirit. Affirm your individuality by engaging in your favorite craft or hobby to stimulate your imagination and calm your mind.
INFP: A positive presence and creative thinker, you have a work ethic that keeps you going through thick and thin. But even your love for harmony can break down under the hassle of the holidays. Invite some close companions to join you in a creative endeavor to feel connected and inspired again.
If you’re an ESFJ or ENFJ, stress makes you pessimistic about what you can (or can’t) accomplish by yourself or with others.
Antidote: Reconnect with loved ones by intentionally spending quality time with them one-on-one or in a small group.
ESFJ: You are responsible, caring, and social in any setting. Although your personable heart usually prevails, you might start to retreat into negativity and fail to follow through when stressed. Spend time with a friend or family member who understands your strengths to bring you back to your outgoing personality.
ENFJ: Good at listening and attracting friends through your ability to understand others, you find ways to spread happiness every day. This empathy can disappear and judgmental thinking and pessimism can show up under stress. Reconnect with loved ones who know your normal self to revive your positivity.