When faced with stress overload, which may come from being expected to conform with something that goes against their values, spending time in an emotionally toxic, combative, and/or excessively critical environment, or being in an environment where there is a basic lack of trust between individuals, ESFJs may find themselves “in the grip” of their inferior function, Introverted Thinking. During this experience, the individual is likely to do things that are typically completely out of character such as over-analyzing problems and exhibiting indecision. They may also become highly critical of others logic and thus lash out at them, focusing on their mistakes and perceived lack of competence, and flaws.
ESFJs usually keep their distress and inner conflicts away from public eye. They are terrified of being judged and criticized by others while on the other hand they can be highly intolerant of what they perceive as inappropriate behaviors. They begin to feel used and unappreciated by others and as their resentment grows, they are prone to rash and thoughtless actions that may end up damaging the relationships they care so much for.
- lack of structure in the workplace
- dealing with abstract concepts
- interpersonal conflict
- sudden changes to their plans
- tight dealines
- disharmony in their relationships
- conflicts and violations of their values
- feeling unappreciated and unsupported by others
- Over attentive to others’ feelings; trying to make things “right” with others or trying to fix others’ perceived difficulties
- Inflexibility and increasing difficulty seeing or trying new approaches
- Begin noticing physical symptoms of stress;appetite disturbances
- Extreme criticism, even condemnation, of others based on small events
- Black-and-white thinking, difficulty thinking clearly, confusion
- Withdrawal, criticism of self, feeling inadequate
- Feeling unappreciated, taken for granted
- General sadness, withdrawal
- Frequent mood swings
Mounting stress and pressure can lead to a complete and epic unraveling of our psychological fabric that gives way to a side of ourselves that others despise. How we respond to that stress and the types of stress we are sensitive to will vary from person to person. In the Myers Briggs type theory, each personality type manifests signs of stress in ways particular to them and the sources and causes of it will differ as well. Although there are life conditions that everyone finds to be stressful, the stress responses of some types can be triggered by events and circumstances that a different type may experience as desirable and energizing.