What Each Myers-Briggs Type Does In A Rut (The Rise Of The Inferior Function)


ESFP

Cognitive Functions: Extroverted Sensing – Introverted Feeling – Extroverted Thinking – Introverted Intuition

How the rut develops: When a problem first develops, the ESFP will become highly reliant on their extroverted sensing. Depending on the perceived severity of the problem, they will either attempt to solve it directly or they will distract themselves through sensory input and social interaction. If neither of these helps the ESFP deal with the issue, they will shift their focus to their introverted feeling. At this point they may withdraw from others and attempt to work through how they’re feeling independently. If they are unable to work through their feelings in a productive way, the ESFP will then turn to their extroverted thinking. At this point they will understand that they are under stress and will try to impose as much order as possible into their lives in an attempt to stop themselves from spiralling any further. If this, too, fails them, the ESFP is at risk of falling prey to their inferior function.

What the rut looks like: An ESFP in a rut will revert to their introverted intuition. This normally happy-go-lucky type will turn their vision to the future and may get lost imagining negative courses of action that could develop. They may become crippled by self-doubt and adopt a cynical viewpoint toward others. This normally warm and enthusiastic type is apt to developing a ‘short fuse’ while operating from their inferior function and may lash out at others – imagining a sinister ‘hidden meaning’ behind everything others say and do.

How to get out of it: To break out of a rut, the ESFP needs to engage their extroverted sensing. They will need a new situation, adventure or group of people to help them remember that they think best on their feet, when directly engaged with the world around them. This type requires a great deal of external stimulation to feel healthy and happy – they are the most themselves when they are constantly engaged with new people and projects.

What their return to health will look like: As their mindset improves, the ESFP will shift from over analysis to direct engagement with their external environment. They will regain their usual warmth and enthusiasm for the world around them – they will be eager to respond to invitations and opportunities. They will take a keen interest in the people around them and feel confident in themselves and others once again.

ESFJ

Cognitive Functions: Extroverted Feeling – Introverted Sensing – Extroverted Intuition – Introverted Feeling

How the rut develops: When sensing that a problem is developing, the ESFJ will first attempt to enforce whichever course of action will make the people in their lives the happiest. They will pick up on how others are feeling and attempt to impose some sort of order that works best for everyone. If this method fails them, the ESFJ will place more emphasis on their introverted sensing. They will examine which courses of action have worked best in the past, and attempt to apply a tried-and-true method from their past to the current situation. If their introverted sensing is unable to resolve the issue, the ESFJ will then move to their extroverted intuition. They will brainstorm any and all ideas that may help them out of their rut, and may ask others for their input on those ideas. At this point the ESFJ will know that they are under stress and may feel desperate for any idea that may work. If they fail to produce one, the ESFJ is at risk of falling prey to their inferior function.

What the rut looks like: An ESFJ in a rut reverts to their introverted thinking. This normally warm and practical type will become cynical and overly analytical. They may search for ‘objective truths’ about others, which are presented as harsh judgments. They may lash out as others, criticizing them for what they’re doing wrong and highlighting their negative traits. They may abandon their responsibilities and fail to live up to the commitments they’ve made – traits that are quite out of character for this highly devoted type.

How to get out of it: To break out of a rut, the ESFJ needs to reconnect with their extroverted feeling. They need to regain a sense of purpose in relation to their loved ones and society as a whole. The ESFJ thrives on feeling important to and valued by others, which they must achieve in some form if they are to make a full return to health. Connecting with loved ones who are willing to listen to and talk with the ESFJ will be crucial for pulling them out of a rut. This type needs to know that they are heard and appreciated by the people closest to them.

What their return to health will look like: As their mindset improves, the ESFJ will regain a sense of openness and connection with those around them. They will reconnect with the roles they once abandoned – as a partner or parent or professional. They will recognize the impact they can have on those around them and strive to serve their loved ones as fully as possible. The ESFJ will eventually regain a sense of value and usefulness and will renew the connections they have with those they love most.

ISFJ

Cognitive Functions: Introverted Sensing – Extroverted Feeling – Introverted Thinking – Extroverted Intuition

While falling into a rut: When sensing that a problem is developing, the ISFJ first attempts to sift through their past experiences and find one that applies to the situation at hand. If they are unable to apply a pre-conceived method of dealing with the problem, they may shift the emphasis to their extroverted feeling. In this phase, the ISFJ will speak with loved ones and attempt to come up with a solution that best serves everyone. They will aim to serve the good of the group in any decision they come to. If they are still unable to come up with a solution, the ISFJ will then turn to their introverted thinking. They may withdraw from others as they attempt to analyze the situation from all possible angles and understand the objective truths involved. If they are still unsure of how to deal with a particular situation, the ISFJ is at risk of falling prey to their inferior function.

What the rut looks like: An ISFJ in a rut reverts to extroverted intuition. This normally organized and dedicated type begins doubting themselves immensely and second guessing decisions they’ve made in the past. They may begin and then quickly abandon multiple new endeavors; unable to commit to any of them for fear that they have chosen incorrectly. They will distance themselves from loved ones, feeling unable to live up to the commitments they’ve made and will attempt to ‘go it alone’ in every aspect of their lives.

How to get out of it: To break out of a rut, the ISFJ must reconnect with their introverted sensing. They need to take the time to integrate past experiences into their present mindset in a positive way. The ISFJ needs to find a way to feel as though they’re positively contributing to the people and community around them – finding a method of doing so will likely be a crucial component of pulling themselves out of the rut.

What their return to health will look like: As their mindset improves, the ISFJ will regain a sense of meaningful duty to those around them. They will return to following through on commitments and making long-term plans. They will feel capable of integrating past experiences into their present and future lives and will trust themselves to support their loved ones and uphold their commitments.

ISFP

Cognitive Functions: Introverted Feeling – Extroverted Sensing – Introverted Intuition – Extroverted Thinking

How the rut develops: When sensing that a problem is developing, the ISFP will first attempt to deal with the situation internally – by taking time away from others to decide how they feel about it and where they stand morally. If they cannot reach a conclusion internally, the ISFP may take a trial-and-error approach to problem solving. They will attempt various methods of restoring the peace, even if it is at their own expense. Depending on the severity of the problem, the ISFP may also attempt to distract themselves at this point, through social interaction or new sensory input. If they are unable to resolve or dismiss the problem, the ISFP will then turn to their introverted intuition. They will once again withdraw from others – aiming to examine the future implications of their predicament and determine the best possible outcome. If they are unable to synthesize a solution at this point, the ISFP is at risk of falling prey to their inferior function.

What the rut looks like: An ISFP in a rut reverts to extroverted thinking. This normally artistic and fun-loving type will become fixated on making the most logical choices for their future, without reference to what they actually want or feel passionate about. They will regulate their lives in an impersonal way, failing to make time for the people or passions that usually rule their world. They may resort to intense self-criticism and convince themselves that they’ll never make anything out of their life or their art form and must therefore make choices in the most pragmatic way possible.

How to get out of it: To break out of a rut, the ISFP must reconnect with their introverted feeling. They need to regain their sense of individualism and artistic creativity. Their extroverted sensing may come into play in bringing out this part of them – engaging their senses and interacting with others will fuel their artistic side. To break out of their rut, the ISFP needs to re-connect with the most authentic version of who they are and trust that they can make decisions based on that part of themselves.

What their return to health will look like: As their mindset improves, the ISFP will become steadily more creative and devote more and more time to what they are passionate about. They will regain their sense of spontaneity and begin saying ‘yes’ to life again. This highly sensitive type will once again trust that their artistic interpretation of the world matters and will stand behind it even when others are critical. TC mark

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