What Exhausts Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type


ENTP – Routine

ENTPs live to alter, adjust, and improve on the mundane. This highly inventive type loves nothing more than to try out new ways of doing things – asking them to adhere to a strict routine (without altering it) is asking them to slowly drain themselves of energy. This type needs novelty the way they need water and air.

INTP – Emotional Demands

It’s not that INTPs don’t have emotions – it’s that they have trouble accessing them on demand, and often need a great deal of time to sort through how they’re feeling. If they are asked to consistently access and act upon their emotions, the INTP will quickly become drained. They need to examine a situation from absolutely all angles before they can decide what they think or feel about it. Knee-jerk emotional responses are anything but their forte.

ENTJ – Complaining

If there’s anything that exhausts and frustrates an ENTJ, it’s people who complain without taking action. This no-nonsense type thrives on getting things done quickly and efficiently. When the process gets held up by people who want to agonize over their feelings first and act second (or not at all), the ENTJ quickly loses energy. When held back from getting things done, this type becomes quickly frustrated.

INTJ – Improvisation

INTJs are the ultimate planners – they ruthlessly map out how they’re going to behave in future situations and glean energy from determining the best of all possible approaches. Though they are capable of improvising when need be, the INTJ will rapidly lose energy if they must act without deliberating for a significant period of time. They are big-picture thinkers, and they need to put everything into perspective before they feel completely comfortable taking action.

ISTJ – Unpredictable Situations

ISTJs thrive on acting in an efficient, no-nonsense manner – which means that having a well-ordered environment is crucial to them. Being in a situation that is unpredictable or disorganized is stressful for the ISTJ as it robs them of the ability to plan in a straightforward manner. Chaos and disorder is incredibly draining for this put-together type.

ESTJ – Ambiguity

ESTJs see the world in a direct, clear-cut manner. They enjoy planning and executing plans in as efficient a fashion as possible, which means they need the most applicable, concrete information available. When that information is not available – because they are in an inherently ambiguous situation – the ESTJ becomes quickly drained trying to figure out which information they should act on. They rapidly lose energy when their ability to be efficient is infringed upon.

ISTP – Neediness

ISTPs are incredibly independent creatures who require a great deal of alone time in order to thrive and gain energy. When others place excessive demands on their time and resources, the ISTP becomes quickly drained. This type needs to do things on their own time and in their own way – constantly yielding to someone else’s needs wears them down quickly.

ESTP – Inaction

ESTPs are action-oriented to a fault. This type sees a direct course of action between themselves and whatever they want – and the inability to take it drives them crazy. If they are forced to reflect rather than act for an extended period of time, the ESTP becomes drained. They gain energy from doing – not from thinking about doing.

ENFP – Predictability

ENFPs thrive on the excitement of not knowing what comes next. This wildly imaginative type gains energy through speculating about the future and planning what could and might come next. Consequently, this type is drained by routine and predictability. When their options are limited and they don’t have a challenge to rise to, the ENFP becomes exhausted and lifeless.

INFP – Unimaginativeness

The wild imagination of the INFP is rivalled by none – this type gains energy by taking ordinary situations and turning them into something extraordinary in their minds. Consequently, when the INFP is forced to reason in a dull, impersonal and uninventive fashion, they quickly lose energy. To this imaginative type, what could be is always more exciting than what is.

INFJ – External Conflict

INFJs are natural counselors and moderators – but that doesn’t mean it is their favorite skill to practice. When this type experiences a high amount of conflict in their external environment, they feel compelled to put their energy towards resolving it. When the conflict extends for a long period of time, they will become drained by overextending themselves and will feel the intense need to withdraw. A calm, peaceful environment is what this type truly needs to thrive.

ENFJ – Impersonal Reasoning

ENFJs understand – perhaps better than any other type – that we are all connected. Asking them to take people or emotions out of a decision is borderline impossible for this type – they automatically perceive how any given situation will impact everyone involved. If they are asked to reason in an impersonal manner for an extended period of time, this type will become quickly drained. They live to help, motivate and care for those around them – not to reason them out of the picture.

ISFJ – Inconsistent People

ISFJs thrive on nurturing and caring for their loved ones. But when the people in their lives are behaving inconsistently, it makes it difficult for the ISFJ to understand how to harmonize with them. The inability to make sense of those they love is highly stressful for the ISFJ and it rapidly drains them of energy.

ISFP – Conformity

ISFPs are the ultimate free spirits. This imaginative type likes to put their own creative spin on whatever they do, and being denied the chance to do so is exhausting for them. Being forced to conform to a uniform, no-nonsense way of doing things is suffocating for the ISFP, and will rapidly drain them of energy.

ESFP – Isolation

ESFPs are all about the ‘people possibilities’ that exist in their external environment – they thrive on meeting and getting to know others. When robbed of the opportunity to do so, the ESFP loses energy quickly. They need to be social to be happy – isolation is their quickest path to energy loss.

ESFJ – Emotional Unavailability

ESFJs crave emotional connections with others. Though the ‘emotionally unavailable’ thing may look like a juicy challenge in the short-term, it bleeds them of energy in the long-term. This type thrives on taking care of the people they love and if they are unable to get past a cold exterior and determine what exactly that other person needs, they will feel emotionally unfulfilled and drained. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Heidi Priebe explains how to manage the ups, downs and inside-outs of everyday life as an ENFP in her new book available here.


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