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ISFJ Stress Triggers and How Do They Cope with Stress

ISFJ Stress Triggers and How Do They Cope with Stress

Updated on Nov 18, 2022 | Published on Oct 11, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD , Certified Psychiatrist

ISFJ Stress Triggers and How Do They Cope with Stress

We live in a chaotic world and thus being stressed out is normal. Knowing the ISFJ stress triggers and how they cope with stress will help you to know their overwhelming responses in a better way. You will be able to calm them down in suitable ways.

The factors that cause stress in all the 16 personality types are energy draining. It causes overwhelming emotional responses that are hard to pin down. ISFJs may feel stressed out with large gatherings and harsh criticisms. 

They also dislike hypothetical and ambiguous ideas to work with as their power of intuition is not well developed. ISFJs are soft and decent. Thus, any form of verbal and emotional abuse can make them feel unhappy and disappointed.

Let’s get into the crux of the topic now……


Factors that can cause stress in ISFJ personalities

The ISFJ type wants everything in proper order. They hate messy things and can feel overwhelmed if asked to operate in unorganized work settings.

These individuals are highly systematic and resist change. They feel bad if asked to do things all of a sudden. They fail to thrive in uncertainty and commotion, rather function well in structured settings.

ISFJs are level-headed and patient. They do not get annoyed and angry unless the situation is too troubling. These individuals feel overwhelmed if asked to communicate in large social gatherings. Being an introvert, they are shy and quiet people and thus hate too many people around them.

Armed with the skill of building strong interpersonal relationships with others, they may feel drained out in the face of too much socialization. At times, it appears that they are losing words to communicate further.

ISFJs are not good at handling personal threats and criticisms. They have fear of being judged in public places. In the face of criticism, these people break down, feel sad, and tend to take things personally. Any kind of personal criticism is seen as a threat to their emotional wellbeing.

ISFJs are sensitive to unpredictable things. If they do not know what’s coming next in line, they tend to appear anxious and start worrying like none other.

Moreover, if they taste failure of any sort, they feel disappointed and hopeless. They are unable to bounce back from their mistakes and may take time to sort out things that were bothering them in life.

If you are an ISFJ, you will allow issues to bring you down emotionally. It may take a longer time to bounce back from failures. 

ISFJs will lose their motivation if they see that too many issues are troubling them in reality. They will not be able to overcome the adversities as expected. In such a situation, they will get inside a safe space within themselves and may start to avoid and ignore all those situations that look like hell.

People with an ISFJ personality type may easily feel depressed and anxious in the face of stress. They tend to find out the things that may go wrong. This means they are overwhelmed with negative thoughts, making life more miserable.

Now, let us learn about the 10 key stressors that can burnout an ISFJ personality type in no time:

1. Crowded places

Big crowds and large public gatherings can overwhelm an ISFJ pretty soon. Being an introvert, ISFJs are shy and cannot mingle with too many people together. They prefer to interact on a one to one basis only. 

If asked to talk to too many people at a time, ISFJs feel overwhelmed. They may lose track of what to say next. Moreover, too many people mean they have fear of being judged or criticized which they cannot take in at all.

These individuals are shy and peaceful, so they try to keep away from large crowds so that they can remain poised from deep inside.

2. Workplace politics

As already mentioned, ISFJs are peace-loving individuals. They prefer to maintain calmness around them. Thus, workplaces are no different. They cannot argue with co-workers and may feel stressed out if asked to handle chaos inside an office space.

They love to create harmony wherever they go. People with ISFJ personality types are easy going in workplaces. But if they are asked to deal with people with varied perspectives, they will feel anxious and irritable. 

These individuals cannot handle conflicts and tussle in the workplace. Any sort of workplace politics and difference of opinion can make them feel unhappy and anxious.

They suffer from extreme tension and can hunt for a safe space to unwind and refresh.

3. Lack of commitment from others

The ISFJ personality type is dedicated and committed towards their assigned duties. When they see that others are not reciprocating with the same level of commitment, they feel overwhelmed and anxious. 

They will feel agitated and anxious if others are too relaxed and easygoing and are not compelled to show the same level of responsibility and devotion as expected. ISFJs are organized and love to stay responsible for their work.

They cannot accept things that are messy. Thus, people who are not committed and cannot honor their words are enough to make them feel stressed out.

4. Abstract ideas

ISFJs cannot work with hypothetical and ambiguous ideas. Since they are sensing-judging personality types, they can only work with concrete ideas that are realistic and have practical significance. They are comfortable to work with ideas that have real life relevance.

ISFJs will feel anxious if asked to solve hypothetical constructs that are not clear and precise. They struggle to think ahead of the present situation and cannot work with unclear instructions and rules. 

These individuals will overthink, feel tensed, and fall into a cycle of anxiety that is enough to drain out all their mental energy pretty easily.

5. Failures and setbacks

ISFJs are orderly and meticulous. They prefer to attain perfection in their daily endeavors. But if they fall short of their expectations and the desired goal is not realized, they may feel irritated and jittery. 

These individuals cannot handle setbacks and failures. Thus, they feel extremely anxious and unhappy at times.

They would love to remain efficient all the time but fail to realize that perfection is a myth and cannot always be achieved as expected. Whenever they fall short of what they should have achieved, they feel irritated, angry, and annoyed with themselves.

6. Looming deadlines

If too much work pressure comes to them in a short time, they feel tense and anxious. Impromptu work, sudden changes in decision making, and unexpected work schedules are not for an ISFJ. 

These individuals find it hard to keep their commitments if deadlines are close and they do not have much time to prove their worth perfectly. 

Since, they do not like messy work; short deadlines make them think more about perfection in performance. They feel anxious if they can sense that things will be awry in no time. 

They feel out of control in such times. Insufficient time to prepare can make them extremely anxious and angry.

7. Unfamiliar things and uncertain times

ISFJs cannot handle unfamiliar things because they always want to remain stable and secure in their daily life. If they do not know anything in advance, they become extremely anxious and keep ruminating about what can go wrong in the situation.

Moreover, Uncertain times and too many unpredictable things coming into their life all of a sudden can stress them out in no time. ISFJs prefer to stay informed and prepared in every situation but in reality this seems to be difficult.

8. Dismissal of feelings

If others try to dismiss ISFJs feelings, they start feeling insecure, as if losing control over the situation. 

Being an introvert, they are not good at expressing feelings but whatever expressions they show to the world, they want it to be recognized and acknowledged by others.

Dismissal of their opinions, views, and feelings makes them feel inferior and lesser than others. They might become sensitive and unhappy in such situations.

9. Last minute rush

If ISFJs are asked to do anything in the last hour without prior preparation, they feel stressed out. These people are highly organized and prefer to prepare things in advance. They do not like last minute rush and feel anxious if they are unable to accomplish their task on time.

People with this personality type want to stay aware of what to expect in future. They cannot handle last minute work and feel helpless and nervous if faced with impromptu situations.

10. An unhealthy relationship

When ISFJs fall into the trap of an unhealthy relationship, they feel stressed out soon. ISFJs are sensitive souls and they care deeply about their partner. These individuals cannot manage disagreements and squabbling with their partner.

If their partner does not reciprocate their love in the same manner as they do, they feel nervous about the future of the relationship. ISFJs may suffer from relationship anxiety. They feel insecure about the plight of the relationship.

People with this personality type avoid conflict and try to maintain peace but if they fail to do so, they become highly stressed and may start showing signs of anxiety as well.


Ways to cope with stress in ISFJ personalities

Under stressful circumstances, ISFJs shadow self may emerge. It means they start behaving in odd ways than usual. 

They become less tolerant and start externalizing their bad feelings. In such a situation, more anxiety generates that takes them to a state of burnout.

In a state of burnout, ISFJs can argue a lot. They tend to show their annoyance and start blaming others for things going wrong in their life. They may take drastic steps like breaking up from a partner, quitting a job, etc.

ISFJs should learn some self-help strategies to remain conscious of their feelings and at the same time try to control the situation they are in.

Some of the coping skills are as follows:

1. Keep yourself engaged

ISFJs should start with some hobbies that they love doing so that the mental agitation that they are in subsides soon. Instead of shutting themselves in a closed psychological space, they should become more vocal about their needs and let people know about their expectations. 

Blaming others is not the solution. The right approach is to make oneself do things that they love doing. This process will help to vent out negative feelings. Positive energy will flow in and they will feel much better about themselves.

2. Practice tolerance

ISFJs cannot tolerate procrastination and inconsistency in work. If they find that others are not playing their part in the situation, they may become quite furious. 

As this is unhealthy, they should try to stay calm and remain tolerant of others’ varied nature. Otherwise, anxiety will take a toll on their fragile mindset.

3. Talk to a confidant

If stress feels like too much, ISFJs should express their feelings through words. They should share their deepest feelings with a close friend and relative. As said, sharing your agonies with someone actually lessens it to a great extent.

4. Have enough ‘me time’

ISFJs are introverts. Thus, they find pleasure to stay busy in an inner world of deep thinking and poise. 

Enough of ‘me time’ will enable them to see through the details of the stressful situation and find the best solution possible. 

It helps them to unwind and relax, lessens the anxious upsurge slowly by helping them develop a varied perspective about the situation.

5. Use self-affirmations

When feeling down, ISFJs should remind themselves that they have handled these kinds of stressful situations in the past and resolved them successfully. 

This will motivate them to stay stronger and boost the confidence level. ISFJs should know that setbacks are not the ultimate ones. They can be overcome with the right kind of attitude.

6. Stop overthinking

In the face of stress, ISFJs may overthink and make things worse. They tend to ruminate about what can go wrong in the situation. This negative mental state takes away their confidence and inner peace. They should learn to stop overthinking about worst case scenarios. Slowly, the overwhelming feelings will slow down and make them feel better.

7. Break down tasks in small parts

When ISFJs cannot accomplish their preferred task on time, they may feel irritated and anxious. To stop this, they can break their assigned task into small parts. Finishing each small part separately also gives them confidence and reassurance that they can do it successfully.

Some other coping skills

We have a list of some other stress controlling mechanisms. You can take a note of it:

  • Give ISFJs some small compliments and see the change they go through.
  • Stop criticizing them even if they are wrong. Explain in other subtle ways.
  • Appreciate the hard work they are putting in, so that they feel energized from deep inside.
  • Help them get a daily dose of fun and laughter
  • Meditation and other calming exercise will help to reduce stress

To Sum Up

So far we have discussed in detail the various stress triggers of ISFJ personality type and ways to cope. It can be concluded that ISFJs should try to become more flexible and spontaneous in their approach towards life.

They should learn to overcome adversities by working out on practical solutions. ISFJs can feel better if they become more tolerant and learn to accept the daily life changes as simply as possible.

After all, change is constant and it is worthy at times to start thinking in others’ ways instead of giving too much preference to one’s own thoughts and feelings.