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How Each MBTI Type Responds To Criticism

How Each MBTI Type Handles Criticism

Criticism can be tough to handle especially if it is delivered harshly. It can be a bitter pill to swallow when our shortcomings are articulated to us but it can also be a medicine we need to take. Here is a brief look at how each Myers Briggs type is likely to handle criticism.


INFJs may often feel as though they know what’s best for others but are probably not so open to other’s idea of what’s best for them. INFJ are often perfectionistic which means they already place a lot of pressure on themselves to get things right, so getting shade from other people is likely to put them over the edge and stress them out. They may get defensive in response and feel the need to give others a better understanding of INFJ’s situation and what INFJ meant or why they did what they did. In any case, a valid criticism against them will likely motivate INFJ to improve and make necessary changes because ultimately they hate the feeling of disappointing others or being judged for their mistakes.


For INFP, criticism can cut through their soul like an axe through a birthday cake. INFPs are typically not very judgmental and have a very open mindset that is very tolerant and accepting of other’s faults or flaws to the extent that their personal values would allow. INFPs want to be authentic without fear of being judged for their imperfections, many of which they are likely aware of. It can be hard for INFPs not to take criticism personally as it can often feel like an attack on their value as a person. INFPs are willing to take to heart any well intentioned constructive critique but if it is foisted upon them rudely, they will likely rebel and assert their individuality.


INTJs freely give criticism but how well can they take it? INTJs are bound to reflexively dispute most criticisms since they have a tendency to think they are right on most issues and that it is most likely everyone else who needs to get with the program -not them. INTJs can be very tenacious in defense of their views and so anyone who attempts to dissuade them had better prepare for an uphill battle. However, INTJs are sensible and will likely acknowledge criticisms that have objective merit but any type of personal or ad hominem attack against them will surely fail to persuade them.


Criticism directed at INTPs is often in regards to their underperformance, negligence and lack of social grace. Because of this, INTPs are likely to be criticized about things they don’t care enough about and so they may be less responsive than they could be. For the most part, INTPs are very reasonable and willing make an effort to make corrections in response to criticisms if they find sufficient reason to do so. But old habits die hard and with INTP, whatever changes they implement may only be temporary and they will likely revert back to their normal behaviors before long. In regards to the things they do care about such as their ideas and creations, INTPs may actually be more sensitive but they do try to give fair consideration to any objective criticism in order to absorb whatever value it may hold.


Criticism is like a punch in the gut for ENFJ who, much like the INFJ, tries hard to live up to their own lofty personal standards. They want people to like them and see them in their best light and keep their flaws and improprieties (whatever they might be) away from public view. If they could, they would like to be seen as being above reproach as much as possible. When they are criticized, ENFJs may turn on the charm and smile and joke their way back into good standing with people while assuring them that they will make it better or persuading others that things aren’t as bad as they think them to be.


ENFPs are typically tactful and avoid dispensing harsh criticism to others. They are able to put things mildly taking into consideration people’s feelings. When they are on the receiving end of criticism, ENFPs may struggle not to take it personally and may deflect with some self-effacing humor. They are often able to keep a smile on their face and be good natured about it, but privately, criticism may be a drain on their spirit. They are likely to take to heart and possibly internalize a lot of criticism both constructive and negative. As long as it doesn’t drive them into depression, ENFPs may often keep an open mind and use criticism as a learning tool.


ENTJs are not threatened by criticism and may be open to it in the interest of making improvement and optimizing things. For the most part though, ENTJs may be very difficult to persuade as their thinking is heavily influenced by their personal intuitions which can often trump what other people think. Like the INTJ, ENTJs tend to think they are right and may display a bit of confirmation bias and air towards anything that positively affirms their reasoning and motives. ENTJs may be inclined to be dismissive of criticism that is based on feelings and subjective values without a legitimate empirical, data-supported basis.


ENTPs may have a special ability at disputing a criticism to the point of casting doubt in their critic’s mind. ENTPs may often sidestep criticism by using plausible excuses or specious rhetoric that effectively poke holes in the basis of other people’s judgements. As far as they’re concerned, anything is up for debate, especially when it comes to the opinions and criticisms of other people. An ENTP will likely make a sport of either turning the tables and pointing the finger back at the other person or artfully deconstructing their truth and relevance.


ISTJs are typically good at taking criticism without taking it personal. They are interested in doing things correctly and efficiently and so any criticism that highlights a detail or error that they have overlooked, ISTJ will likely appreciate it and try to redress the issue right away. This is not to say that they won’t sometimes get frustrated by having their mistakes pointed out to them, but ultimately they will respond to critical feedback objectively. When it comes to criticism of their personality or appearance however, ISTJs may be markedly more sensitive and uncomfortable and may sometimes resort to self-deprecation as a defense mechanism.

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ISFJ’s hate criticism. It is like a knife in their buttery heart. They are very service-oriented and take their duty and responsibility to others very seriously. ISFJs may often take criticism personally and feel as though their sense of self value and value to others is on the line. Fulfilling certain standards is very important to the ISFJ and they can be hard on themselves if it comes to their attention that they are not doing so. Furthermore, it can be especially hurtful when others are displeased or disapproving of what ISFJ often invests much effort and care into.


The ESTJ is likely to be less receptive to criticism than say their ISTJ counterparts. ESTJs tend to think they know best and so they can be stubborn and combative when they are confronted with criticism. Because their reputations are very important to them, they will likely deny and dispute negative claims against them perhaps in a dismissive and patronizing way. They can be rigid but will ultimately bend to the auspices of the institution, group or community whose esteem they value. ESTJs will try to orient themselves so as to be in concordance with the standards and ethics expected of them.


ESFJs are likely to be sensitive to criticism since they depend so heavily on external validation and acceptance from others. They themselves tend to use tact and diplomacy when discussing other people’s shortfalls which is the same consideration they would appreciate in kind. ESFJs may take criticism personally and often feel easily beleaguered by it. Criticism may often catch them by surprise and feel like a form of rejection. In response, ESFJs may seek a sympathetic ear to counteract the criticism and reassure them and may also overcompensate by trying extra hard to step up their game.


ISTPs don’t care much for criticism and much of it may be viewed as little more than an attack on their character and self worth. ISTPs may respond defensively to most criticism of the skills and abilities they likely stake a lot of their pride on. Criticism of their work can be crushing to an ISTP’s ego and if taken as an insult, it can potentially send them into fit of rage. ISTPs prefer to be their own critic and rely on their own judgement although the way in which others value them and what they do may have more impact on their psyche than they’d like to admit.


On the surface, ISFPs can seem calm and detached but negative words about them can sting. ISFPs are likely to be sensitive to judgement from others. This is especially so with regards to anything they create or put a lot of effort and passion into. ISFPs may sometimes be criticized for their lifestyle and habits and such criticisms will almost categorically illicit a defensive response from the ISFP. They want to be accepted and allowed to be what they are and sometimes criticism can seem like an affront to that. They ultimately want to live up to the standards that they create and not those imposed on them by others.

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In response to criticism, an ESTP is likely to instantly go on the offensive and volley criticisms of their own right back at their naysayer. Criticisms are likely to be taken as fighting words and ESTPs are typically good with insulting and humorous reprisals that draw attention to other people’s weak points. ESTPs may be resistant to criticism due to their strong desire to do things on their terms regardless of what others may feel about it. This can make them appear arrogant, but are open to suggestions and input from others they deem as credible and knowledgeable. It’s just that personal attacks against them are likely to have an adverse effect and will likely get a critic nowhere unless there is force behind it.


Criticism can be hard for an ESFP to take and they may reflexively fight back in response to it to defend their integrity and justify themselves. It is likely that ESFPs will vent about it to their friends and allies as part of their coping mechanism and maybe get some outside perspective on the issue. ESFPs tend to be sensitive to criticism as they often seek validation and love from people through their theatrics and fun personality. In many cases, ESFPs may view critics as nothing more than haters who are secretly jealous of them and their talents.



Jetta Moon

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