When experiencing stress overload, which may come from a gross or frequent violation of their deeply held values, spending time in an emotionally toxic and/or excessively critical environment, or worrying that they are about to lose someone or something (relationship, task, etc.) close to them, INFPs may find themselves “in the grip” of their inferior function, Extraverted Thinking. During this experience, the individual is likely to do things that are typically completely out of character.
INFPs usually dislike conflict and are prone to acting in a passive-aggressive way when they experience frustration or dissatisfaction. They are deeply dedicated to being their ‘true selves’, to the extent that they will avoid any people or situations that do not fit in with their inner value system, tending to become rather intolerant and hard to please. As stress increases, they may become extremely whimsical and stubborn, insisting on acting as they feel but ignoring the logical consequences and implications of their actions.
- Inflexible schedules and routines
- Violations of their values
- Being in rowdy boisterous environments
- Extraverting themselves too much
- small talk and glib exchanges
- disingenuous people
- restrictions to their creativity
- being tied down and working on highly detailed tasks
- Withdraw, become preoccupied; begin noticing difficulty sleeping and increased eating
- Become hypersensitive to imagined slights
- Avoid or put off actions that might create discomfort or conflict
- Become extremely critical of others
- May find self or others to be terribly incompetent
- Exaggerated and impulsive directing or organizing of environment or others
- Hopelessness, sadness
- Martyr-like attitude
- Loss of confidence and motivation
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.