Personality Types Under Stress - INTP, INTJ, INFP, INFJ
INTPs lack follow-through and this can isolate their ideas from practical examination. Their notions become over-intellectualized and too abstract to be of practical benefit. With their sharp critical thinking and analytical abilities, INTPs tend to nit-pick, hair-split, and generally overdo simple issues. Their desire for accuracy and precision exacerbates any error they may perceive in themselves or in others - they are, in other words, highly self-critical. Wanting to be competent and know everything, their standards grow increasingly higher. When fear of failing becomes overly pronounced, INTPs are quick to feel unintelligent, slow, and powerless.
If stress continues, the INTP's mind seems to freeze and block out the vital information it has worked so hard to accumulate. Their creative juices stop flowing and they suffer from stage fright, writers block, and a general inhibition of their ingenious thinking and fluent language skills. Preoccupied with performance failure, INTPs become self-consciously distracted in anticipation of their failure. If the stress becomes too overwhelming, the fear of blanking out prevents them from taking risks in areas they desire to succeed in. Attempting to avoid incompetence, they fail to gain the expertise and mastery they so desperately need.
INTJs' precision thinking and need for accuracy causes them to be inflexible at times. Having thought out a strategy, the INTJ may stubbornly disregard those who they think have not spent as much time reflecting on an idea as they have. This, along with their drive to produce something significant, can make them demanding and difficult. If their plans and solutions fall short of their high standards, INTJ's feel pressured - as if everything is on the line. "Everything," for an INTJ, is the competence and ability to produce something significant. Fear of not living up to this expectation will increase their stress and possibly dissuade them from risking or trying out their ideas. They may then find themselves thinking about ideas that do not have a meaningful or productive end.
When stress increases, the INTJ can become argumentative and disagreeable. Social interaction, which is not their strength, becomes increasingly difficult for them. Not trusting their own abilities, they become preoccupied with obsessive notions. The INTJ may then find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time fighting horrible thoughts, tempting absurdities, and feelings of worthlessness. Fearful of others recognizing their perceived failure, the INTJ incessantly ruminates about mistakes, inadequacies, weaknesses, ineptness, and incompetence. Because this distracts them from risking what little confidence they may have left in themselves, it therefore keeps them from obtaining the success and achievement they so desperately need.
INFPs feel internal turmoil when they find themselves in situations in which there is conflict between their inner code of ethics and their relationships with others. They feel caught between pleasing others and maintaining their own integrity. Their natural tendency to identify with others, compounded with their self-sacrificial dispositions, tends to leave them confused as to who they really are. Their quiet personalities further feeds their feelings of depersonalization. The INFP's quest for self-identity then seems even more alluring - but increasingly impossible to attain.
As with all NFs, the INFP will feel lost and perplexed at stressful times. As stress builds, INFPs become disconnected from their own personality and perceived place in life. They will lose sight of who they are in relation to time and place. They may not make basic observations, while instead they will focus on the more abstract and symbolic meanings of a particular interaction. This can sometimes baffle those who expect more direct communication and a fairly concrete relationship.
The agreeable nature and quiet personality of INFJs makes them particularly vulnerable to hurt feelings. Distress within close relationships can shatter the INFJ. Like all NFs under stress, INFJs feel fragmented and lost - as if they are acting out a part rather than simply being themselves. This disassociation can be related to physical symptoms for the INFJ, whether real or imagined. Feeling split off from their physical natures, INFJs may become virtually immobilized by repressed feelings.
Although INFJs may feel like remaining still and stationary until the chaos and confusion of a stressful situation dissipates, it would be best for them to actively sort out their needs from others. Being excessively cooperative and agreeable, the INFJ has a tendency to adopt values and beliefs of others as their own. When external conflicts grow, so does the INFJ's sense of personal disharmony. Disassociating themselves from others takes a great deal of effort for the INFJ.