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    Nov 07, 2017    |   Aidan Brass

Who Was That?!

Originally posted by Patrick Kerwin, MBTI® Master Practitioner
Reprinted with permission from CPP, Inc.

It’s inevitable. No matter how hard we try to avoid it, occasionally we’re going to flip into full-on stress mode. And as you may have noticed, when you go there you become a radically different person! There’s a good reason for that, and it’s related to type.

stressWhen you’re not stressed, you’re humming along using your four natural MBTI® preferences in their best way and using the opposite four preferences as you need to or want to. As you get stressed, however, a common first step is to start exaggerating your dominant function. And often that’s where it ends – you recognize it, self-correct, and get back to usual. But what happens sometimes is that the demands of the stressful situation exceed our coping mechanisms for dealing with it, and you charge head-first into stress.

What occurs next typologically is that you have an eruption of your least preferred part of your personality, known as your inferior function. And when that part of yourself erupts, it often comes out in a twisted and ineffective way – which is why you start acting like a very different version of yourself! Different types have different inferior functions, so every type reacts differently to stress.

Find your type below and you’ll see what your inferior function is, a description of it (often your least favourite things to do), and what it looks like as a stress reaction (when you become a different person).

TYPE INFERIOR FUNCTION DESCRIPTION OF INFERIOR FUNCTION DESCRIPTION WHEN ERUPTING UNDER STRESS
ISTJ & ISFJ Intuition Brainstorming and seeing new possibilities Catastrophizing about what’s happening. Can erupt as, “EVERYTHING is a disaster!”
INTJ & INFJ Sensing Experiencing the present and being in the moment Overindulging in sensory activities such as eating, cleaning, or exercising. Can erupt as, “I need MORE!”
ISTP & INTP Feeling Creating outer harmony and supporting others Being overly sensitive or emotional. Can erupt as, “This is what I’m FEELING!”
ISFP & INFP Thinking Bringing logical order to the world around you Being negative about others and yourself. Can erupt as, “Everyone’s an IDIOT, including me!”
ESTP & ESFP Intuition Generating patterns and possibilities internally Worrying about doom-and-gloom scenarios. Can erupt as, “Everything is going to go WRONG!”
ENFP & ENTP Sensing Being precise, accurate, and careful Obsessing about facts and details. Can erupt as, “This ONE THING is absolutely important!”
ESTJ & ENTJ Feeling Being guided by deeply held inner values Feeling unloved and unappreciated. Can erupt as, “NO ONE appreciates me!”
ESFJ & ENFJ Thinking Analyzing internally in a completely objective way Being extremely critical and condemning of others and yourself. Can erupt as, “I am SO DONE with everyone!”

 

 

For the different techniques each type can use to alleviate stress and return to normal, read the second part of this blog series: Getting It Back