Personality Types Under Stress - ENTP, ENTJ, ENFP, ENFJ
ENTPs value their ability to use imagination and innovation to deal with problems. Trusting in their ingenuity to get them out of trouble, they often neglect to prepare sufficiently for any given situation. This characteristic, combined with their tendency to underestimate the time needed to complete a project, may cause the ENTP to become over-extended, and to work frequently beyond expected time limits. Complicating this situation is their predisposition to experiment with new solutions. This makes them eager to move on to the next challenge when things get boring. ENTPs become stressed when their improvisational abilities are ineffective and they will avoid circumstances where they might fail.
If stress continues, ENTPs become distracted and their "can do" attitude is threatened. Feelings of incompetence, ineptness, and inadequacy take over. They need to escape situations that are associated with anxiety is more prominent for the ENTP than for any other personality type. Doubtful of whether they will have what it takes to accomplish a task, they displace their fears onto situations they can elude. Panic, fear, and anxiety then block the expression of their creativity. Defensive phobic reactions cause the ENTP to circumvent achievement in other areas and prevent the success they strive on.
ENTJs can get ahead of themselves and jump to conclusions in their effort to get things done. They may need to be reminded to take the time to listen to other points of view. Being tough-minded, ENTJs have a tendency to ignore their own and others' feelings. With a burning desire to achieve - and a constant eye on how current decision will effect end results - ENTJs may become overly argumentative when obstacles get in their way. Small talk and casual conversations appear frivolous and without merit when projects are at hand. This, along with the NT's nature of being impervious to social conventions and customs, can cause others to feel affronted.
When ENTJs sense that they are losing control, they feel an increasing need for completion. If stress continues, they become distracted by a compelling "got to" and "have to" state of mind. Their need to master a situation then becomes misdirected and they engage in compulsive behaviors that preoccupy their attention and time. Feeling helpless, and lacking confidence, they resort to completing simple, meaningless, repetitive tasks (i.e. cleaning, counting, inspecting ) in an effort to avoid a growing sense of failure. By avoiding ineptitude at all costs, their competence and ability are never fully tested. Ironically, these all-consuming distractions are the very behaviors that prevent ENTJs from fulfilling their basic need for achievement and improvement.
ENFPs have a tendency to overextend themselves in both their physical and emotional commitments. Their proclivity to procrastinate and to overlook details complicates their circumstances. ENFPs often move on to new ventures without completing those they have already started. Their charming personalities can show signs of irritability and over-sensitivity when their desires to please different people come into conflict. During times of stress, ENFPs feel alienated. They then engage in deceptions that serve to obscure what is occurring within themselves.
The ENFP finds symbolic meanings behind the immediate circumstances. These meanings are construed as foreboding problems when ENFPs are under stress. Having a pervasive feeling of losing control over their own independent identities, ENFPs will feel virtually split apart by intruding circumstances. They will be "besides themselves" and "just not all there" - as if something, or someone, has taken away the essence of who they are. Not feeling like themselves, the ENFP will become subject to their own feelings of shame for being a phony, a fake or an impostor. If stress continues to grow, they may attribute malevolent schemes to others in order to explain away their fears.
The ENFJs optimistic outlook toward social relationships is a burden to them at times. When external conflicts affect a group, the ENFJ is likely to assume responsibility. Their ability to empathize then turns into a liability. ENFJs, when over-identifying with the pain of others, will loose sight of their own concerns and interests. Their idealism can also be the cause of some distress when their assumptions are unable to weather the winds of reality. Fantasized relationships rarely translate into reality and even the best charismatic leader encounters unexpected resistance.
Like all NFs, ENFJs will disassociate themselves from stressful situations in an effort to protect their sense of well-being and togetherness. The ENFJ, however, will repress the unpleasant side of life only to have to face it later in an intensified form when it explodes from its hiding place. It can manifest itself as fits of anger, sudden outbursts, or emotional explosions. Often the ENFJ's body will reflect pent-up stress by manifesting various physical symptoms that will erupt unexpectedly.