October 19, 2021

ENTJ under stress

If we look at research describing people with the ENTJ personality type, we could conclude that this type is almost immune to stress. Here are some of the things that the MBTI Manual says about ENTJs:

  • With ESTJ, had the second-highest mean level of coping resources
  • In national sample, lowest in reporting stress associated with “Work” and “Finances”
  • In national sample, ranked lowest on “Emotional exhaustion” burnout scale
  • Ranked first of all 16 types in using physical coping resources
  • In national sample “Leisure activities”, overrepresented in “Working out/exercising”
  • In national sample, one of two types most satisfied with work, where they work and future work opportunities, unlikely to leave job and among those with highest income

The only bad thing related to stress that the MBTI manual mentions about ENTJs is that they are overrepresented among new college students referred for a substance abuse workshop. This is probably the case with some younger ENTJs having problems adapting to a new social environment.

While it’s true that ENTJs are some of the most stress resistant people, the modern world is getting more and more stressful and nobody is immune. If you skim over any ENTJ profile you will notice that it resembles the well known “type A personality”, often mentioned in pop culture. These are people who are status and career driven, workaholics, competitive, impatient and aggressive. This type of person might do well for years under pressure but then suffer from burnout syndrome. According to the WHO this occupational phenomenon is characterized by feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from your job, feelings of negativism and cynicism related to your job and reduced professional efficacy.

What causes an ENTJ to feel stressed

  • having no clear structure on the job
  • being a part of a company with no vision for the future
  • working alone
  • stagnation
  • indecision in others
  • feeling incompetent or being surrounded by incompetent people
  • having an incompetent boss or being forced to do things that don’t make sense

entj stress pressure anxiety

How do ENTJs act under stress?

When under stress people with the ENTJ personality type might exhibit these behaviors:

  • Becoming worse at listening to people
  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Being impatient
  • Ignoring their feelings and the emotional needs of those close to them
  • Avoiding small talk because they find it meaningless and time-wasting
  • When they’re losing control they feel the need for closure and completion
  • They may resort to completing simple, meaningless, repetitive tasks (i.e. cleaning, counting, inspecting) to relieve stress
  • Might start seriously doubting themselves
  • Might start avoiding their abilities ever being tested out of fear of failure or negative evaluation
  • Become overly critical of others and stubborn
  • If under extreme stress they may explode with terrible tempers
  • May shut down other areas of life, which causes an imbalance that can lead to further feelings of stress
  • After prolonged extreme stress they may become hypersensitive about their relationships and hyper-vigilant about the smallest signs of rejection

An ENTJ that is feeling stressed will have their Extraverted Thinking (Te) function dominate over other functions to the extreme. They may become obsessed with organizing, sorting, cleaning, working past the point of exhaustion. Feelings will be completely set aside, perception of the physical reality (Se) will be reduced and only the auxiliary introverted intuition will be there, barely as a part of conscious experience, to offer some ideas and options.

If the stress gets really severe, the ENTJ will go into shadow mode, flipping all their functions over, becoming overpowered by Introverted Feeling (Fi). This will cause hypersensitivity in relationships, withdrawing and wanting to be alone, being very sensitive to criticism, misinterpreting tiny acts as possible signs of rejection or being flooded with feelings that they can’t process or interpret in a healthy way.

Advice on handling stress

Even though ENTJs have some of the best coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, like exercising regularly, which is scientifically proven to make you more stress resistant, or thinking of options; additional advice won’t hurt:

  • Read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
  • Schedule relaxation activities, because ENTJs can forget to relax and have fun.
  • Organize your tasks into manageable chunks.
  • Focus on one task at a time. Studies show that multitasking is unproductive and stressful.

exercise

Often enough, your ability to deal with stress is tied to your current biochemistry and no strategy will fix it unless you fix the underlying biological problem, whether it is messed up hormones, or a deficiency of some nutrient or something else. That’s why you should consider these natural, scientifically proven ways to become more stress resistant:

  • Magnesium. Studies show that magnesium status is highly associated with stress levels and a deficiency can impair your ability to deal with stress [1]
  • Green tea contains a mix of caffeine (which improves performance on demanding long-duration cognitive tasks and self-reported alertness) and L-theanine (which improves relaxation, tension, and calmness). [2] This is a perfect combination for a person experiencing stress.
  • Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen herb beneficial against stress and chronic fatigue. [3]
  • Melatonin. Good uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep every day is probably the best thing you can do to become more resistant to stress. [4] You don’t need melatonin for this. You just need a consistent sleep schedule. But if you’re having trouble falling asleep, melatonin will definitely help. [5]
  • Ashwagandha is another adaptogenic herb with proven stress-relieving effects. [6]
  • Good old vitamin B complex. B vitamins play are huge role in our mood, resistance to stress, cognition and energy. [7]