Stress occurs when our adaptive resources break down and we feel an emotional discomfort. In such times, our performance lowers and relationships fall apart. Anxiety and hopeless feelings rob inner happiness and peace.
Each of the 16 personality type described in the Myers Briggs Type Inventory has its own share of internal and external stressors. They may use various coping mechanisms to reduce the impact of such stressors.
In this article, we will highlight the details of ESFJ stress triggers and how do they cope with stress.
Factors that can cause stress in ESFJ Personalities
Sometimes lives throw endless struggles on your way and makes you feel overwhelmed and stuck. You may feel out of control. This mental state symbolizes stress that breaks down your innate resources to fight with mental restlessness and irritability.
Stress is the current buzzword in our daily life and we all are affected by this energy draining negative experiences of our life. ESFJs are not super beings. They also get affected by various stress triggers.
Let’s see what can irritate the well-organized, no-nonsense, and sensitive personality type.
1. Lack of organized setups around them
ESFJs like to be a part of an organized world. They expect the same level of organization and neatness from others. But if they do not get what they expect in reality, they just freak out in annoyance and irritation.
They hate messy actions and do not like haphazard and unorganized work. Even if you tell them to do certain things at the last moment, they will be stressed out.
ESFJs prefer things that they know so that they are aware of what to expect out of a given situation. Thus, without proper structure and organization in place, ESFJs feel an extra mental pressure on them.
2. Conflicts and squabbling irritates them badly
ESFJs are conflict-aversive people. They hate pinpointing faults of others or getting into some kind of relationship hassle with them.
Any small or big conflict can cause stress in them because they do not know how to handle differences of opinion with others. In the face of such a situation, they may feel emotional and a personal threat to their self-image.
Though they try hard to maintain peace in the situation, they fail and can exhaust themselves very badly.
Being a gentle and sensitive personality type, ESFJs cannot take criticisms in healthy ways. They tend to take things personally and as a personal threat to their mental well-being.
In the face of stress, they may either self-isolate themselves or reduce their social interaction to a great extent. In both ways, ESFJs feel an extreme level of anxiousness and mental trauma.
3. Sudden changes that they weren’t expecting at all
People with ESFJ personality type never like change and sudden alterations in their routine lifestyle. They prefer doing things only according to prior plans and agendas, without which they will dislike putting plans into actions.
Any kind of unexpected change in their work setups, or at home or in the relationship pattern that looks different makes them behave like a worrywart.
They would just dislike facing such a situation. It makes them emotionally overwhelmed and restless. If they do not know what the future has in store, they become apprehensive and doubtful of their abilities to fight the unknown.
4. Last minute rush can make them jittery
ESFJs dislike doing things at the last hour. They are methodical and systematic. Thus, if you tell them to do things quickly, they will find it extremely hard to accomplish the task. They prefer to do things slowly.
They will never keep things to the last minute, otherwise they feel emotionally overwhelmed. Since they do not like to make mistakes, they avoid being under pressure to do things hurriedly.
In the face of stress, ESFJs may become restless, annoyed, and show extreme levels of frustration on their incapability to accomplish the task on time.
5. Values being threatened
Values are dear to ESFJs. They are morally strong and believe in society conventions strictly. Thus, they do not like anyone challenging their values or what they hold as right.
Since they believe in doing the right thing always, they feel emotionally restless if forced to give up or abandon their values in some way. They will always stand up for justice and ethical practices.
6. Mistrust and cheating
ESFJs are value-oriented people. Thus, if anyone mistrusts their intentions or cheats them in some way, they feel the mental pressure that is hard to overcome.
At the same time, they held strong faith in humanity. People with ESFJ personalities believe in innate goodness that humans possess. Thus, they never mistrust anyone without a valid proof.
Sometimes, if they are forced not to trust someone blindly, they feel stressed out and this can become a reason for their stress.
7. Working with abstract concepts
Being a judging personality type, ESFJs like realistic ideas and practical concepts. Too much of abstract theory irritates them because they find it boring and stressful.
ESFJs do not like to live in their minds. They prefer to deal with realistic ideas only that have some significance in their daily lives. Thus, any abstract ideas are totally discarded or not attended to avoid being stressed out.
8. Feeling unappreciated
ESFJs feel great when others appreciate their kind actions. But if they face criticism or do not receive the desired appreciation, they feel stressed out. Their self-esteem suffers a heavy blow and they try to analyze their behavior thoroughly.
ESFJs feel emotional when others criticize them. They tend to take things personally and may start self-blaming as well.
IF ESFJs only give and do not receive any affirmation or gratitude for their kind actions, they will feel insecure and hurt from deep inside.
9. Dismissal of their feelings
In the face of stress, ESFJs can become people-pleasers. They will try to meet everyone’s request without a question so that others praise them.
If anyone dismisses the way they feel, they try convincing them of their goodness by simply pleasing them obsessively.
The intention is to avoid conflict and receive positive opinions from others. People with ESFJ personalities feel bad if others do not appreciate them the way they want. Thus, they try to gain maximum recognition as possible from their social connections.
10. Disruption of harmony
ESFJs are peace-loving people. If they get stuck in conflicts and issues and cannot come out of it, they feel stressed out and anxious. They prefer harmony and any disruption in their routine life can make them feel extremely anxious and nervous.
10 ways to cope with stress in ESFJ Personalities
Some of the stress busting coping mechanisms that ESFJs can use in their daily life is as follows:
1. Move away from the source of stress
Sometimes moving away from the source of stress helps them to unwind and stay calm. They will be able to think clearly and develop a fresh perspective to the situation.
Moving away from the stressful situation for some time allows slowing down of the overwhelming emotions. The suffering that is irksome slowly lessens and the ESFJ feels in control of the situation.
2. Seek support from loved ones
We know sharing is a form of caring. Thus, ESFJs can always share their deepest concerns and agonies with family and friends.
Sharing your feelings with a close relative or a confidant helps to reduce stress by setting a feel good factor around you. You will feel relaxed and flexible than ever before.
3. Meditation and exercise
These two techniques are the best self-help techniques for reducing stress and anxiety in an ESFJ personality type.
A brisk walk in the morning, or biking, trekking can make you feel energized. Meditation reduces racing thoughts and develops clarity and rational thinking.
It improves concentration and helps in developing new perspectives. Moreover, it improves your ability to control the emotional surge that occurs during stressful times.
4. Use humor to de-stress
Humor and laughter makes a person feel lighter from within. In stressful times, a little dose of humor can make a person feel better. It brings positivity in thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Moreover, it takes off the burden of carrying emotional baggage and helps with distress as well.
ESFJs can watch light-hearted movies, or listen to soft music to reduce stress and anxiety.
At times, they can also share moments of joy with friends by chit-chatting and gossiping over many known and unknown topics. These techniques help to bust stress by diverting the person’s attention to more positive activities.
ESFJs can write down their stressful thoughts and feelings in a diary so that they become aware of their stress triggers. They can pen down the feelings about a particular situation as clearly as possible so that fresh perspectives can be developed later on.
Journaling also reduces the overwhelming feelings of agitation, anger, and mental restlessness.
7. Spend time with pets
ESFJs also love to spend time with their fury friends. This reduces their stress to a great extent and makes their life with laughter and positivity.
They can divert their attention to more positive things in life and not ruminate over thoughts that are creepy and disturbing.
8. Declutter yourself by cleaning the house
ESFJs can also reduce their overwhelming feelings of tension and anxiety by cleaning the house. Take one corner of the house and start cleaning till you realize that your racing thoughts have reduced and your feelings are in a better grip now.
They prefer neat and organized homes, so will not mind doing something that will make their house look even more beautiful. At the same time, an organized outer world also puts them in control of their restless inner world.
9. Nurturing hobbies
ESFJs can nurture hobbies that they like doing in order to reduce stress and anxiety. Some craft activities such as knitting, paper quilling, or origami can be beneficial in this regard.
They may also try out certain exciting adventures, or do stitching and sewing to improve their focus on the present moment and reduce the wandering thoughts that cause more stress.
10. Set small goals
ESFJs may feel stressed out if the path they are walking on is not organized and planned. They are not comfortable delivering long term projects.
For this, they should set small goals, accomplish them and then move on to the next one. This will help them to see clear progress in their work and boosts their confidence and morale, thereby reducing the stress.
To Sum Up
When ESFJs experience stress and emotional suffering, they tend to feel lonely and helpless. Sometimes, if stress seems to overpower their mental peace, they may start making many mistakes in their regular work.
They dislike spending time in anxiety and nervousness, thus trying out several self-help strategies to solve the problem and reduce the mental pressure as early as possible.
They avoid doing tasks that make them stressful, and can also escape from the stress triggering situations to retain their inner peace. ESFJs should always try to do things that keep them motivated and energized in their daily life to combat stress.
Chandrani is a former school psychologist and teacher by profession. She is a post graduate in Applied psychology with focus in clinical and health domains. Her passion for writing, kindled during school days have now become a full time freelancing endeavor. For her, writing is cathartic and keeps her mentally agile. Her lovable niches includes psychology, parenting, spirituality, lifestyle, and love and relationships. Her work depicts her perspectives about various experiences that she came across; unleashed a richer and deeper meaning of life. "Let me leave an aftertaste in the minds of few, if not many who need to find a path of absolute bliss, happiness, and inner peace."