INTJ stress may not be obvious to many people but only noticeable to the few that are closest to them. Their change in behavior tends to steer towards a certain objective – to numb themselves or to keep their brain occupied with familiar surroundings and routines or with overwhelming sensory stimuli until they are finally ready to look at their problems properly.
I will go into the above in-depth later on.
So, what stresses an INTJ out? Well, stress itself doesn’t get to us too much, but when you add some (or all) of the below to the equation; we can get overwhelmed, normal stress can turn into chronic stress:
- Responsibilities that we must take on our shoulders – the fight between understanding what we need to do and the reason why we need to do it as opposed to what we want to do;
- Outside influences – too much sensory stimuli, extraversion and noise around us or if we are surrounded by an unfamiliar environment (promotions, different workloads etc) can knock us out – seemingly normal and simple changes or things can plunge a normal routine for an INTJ into a rather complex and problematic situation (some of us are adaptable, but not all). When we work for people who devalues our skills or are working with incompetent people – overtime, this could get to us because we know that we can do a lot and that we deserve to be with better people;
- Not enough alone time to digest our thoughts – we will get annoyed if our thoughts keeps being repetitively distracted by outside influences (e.g when someone keeps talking to us);
- Eternal Introspection – our inner thoughts flick on everyday and night and we can get bummed down by some of the relentless thoughts. The ‘nightmare’ of not living for yourself but instead, trying to save someone else or to better someones lives because we value them. Listening and watching other people amazing life stories is great and all but when do we actually live our own life with stories to tell? Some go through the struggle of having to prove themselves to others, that is until we choose to let go of this poison;
- Too much thoughts of the future as well as the present and the past. Too much thinking about everything;
- Our projects – biting off more than we can chew (we’ll chew threw them still…just slowly). So we end up having to concentrate on a mass amount of details (deciding on the next best course of action after extensive research);
- Productivity – pressure of having to concentrate on producing something right now that consequentially can act as a brilliant catalyst for our future – basically something that could potentially save our a$$ if the world goes into sh*ts in the future hence our projects (although we would all be screwed if there was to be an apocalypse…just saying).
As stated before, our stress would not be too noticeable to the untrained eye, we’ll still be our normal selves when we are socializing or working with people etc. We don’t see the necessity or the positives of sharing our problems (or any problems) with anyone. Sure, it may feel better to get it off our chest but what then? It is not like our problems disappear – venting about our problems is not a practical solution, it yields no results. In fact, we might end up projecting this joking side or sarcastic side of ourselves when we do tell or explain to people of our problems because of how ridiculously vulnerable we feel as well as not understanding how to process our feelings inwardly or outwardly.
However, on the inside, we feel that everything is on the line – it sounds dramatic and at times, it feels dramatic. So, we then go a little crazy with our thoughts shining a light on our self-control and emotional infliction. Why can’t we just go crazy and let go of ourselves? Why can’t we just randomly dance like crazy? Why can’t we just scream till our voice goes? Why can’t we just drown ourselves in alcohol or just cry till our nose starts bleeding or until we go blind?
We just want to disintegrate into nothing and reappear years later as the phoenix that we should have been today. We just want to shine and be the best that we can be.
Despite wanting to go wild, INTJs actually end up doing 1 of 2 things that are at the opposite end of the spectrum of each other;
- INTJs may become so much more introverted to the point that we don’t talk or go out for days and we usually go about our rather unproductive (but familiar) routines. We become the hermit of all hermit crabs;
- We seek sensory stimuli purposely – socializing continuously, everyday if possible (partying, disco, pub crawl, shopping – bring on the noise and distractions).
Now, both of these actions have 1 aim (not that we know it ourselves initially) – both actions have the consequences of distracting our thoughts; we let other things fill our brain. Regardless of whether what we are doing, listening or watching is useful or not. One action brings familiarity and comfort into our lives; nothing to catch us off guard or to make us think whereas the other action fills our brain with so much stimuli and noise that our thoughts and problems are temporarily distracted.
Majority of INTJs will choose to exercise a quieter environment to collect their thoughts and to prepare a course of action when ready. So until then, any social interaction with a stressed INTJ becomes notably arduous which leaves people around them confused as to the sudden change in extreme introversion – this state of introversion can last for weeks and even months.
We are sorry, we never intend to worry you with our behavior or unleash a lifetime of problems onto you; we just don’t know what to do with ourselves and we need excessive alone time to conjure up a solution or plan – basically, we need to fix ourselves.
In our moments of darkness, like everyone, we too have thoughts of our inadequacies, fear of our projects failing (or failure in general), fear of not doing enough of anything of everything, problems after problems seen to arise. We have a whole empire of unhealthy thoughts and in our moments of weakness, we turn to mind-numbing behaviors and self-destructive behaviors:
- Some INTJs may throw their routines out of whack – getting up late, sleeping late, randomly sitting somewhere (for example; on a swing in a park from morning till night), reading random magazines or doing really random things;
- Drawing, painting, knitting, exercising like crazy;
- Socializing like crazy – asking all our friends to see if anyone wants to hang out (which could be confusing for INTJ friends purely on the basis that the INTJ have not spoken to them in ages);
- Some INTJs will throw their soul into their normal routine – they don’t want to be disturbed or interact with anything or anyone that makes them think, they don’t want to talk to no-one (not even their family, spouses, kids, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, colleagues, managers). We know that we won’t hear anything being said, we will zone out fast or just ignore you. Also, we get agitated just by acknowledging how stressed and pi$$ed off we are and with the inability to switch off our negativity; we can become argumentative…not because of you but because of ourselves (yes, we get pi$$ed off at ourselves for being pi$$ed off). Basically, eff everyone until we see the light (we will lock ourselves in our caves if we have to);
- Playing games;
- Shopping for pointless items;
- Binge-watch TV;
- Reads continuously;
- Attempt to start on a project only to find that we over-researched and end up doing NOTHING;
- Consolidating ourselves by searching relatable comments/ experiences on Google, Bing, Forums, Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media out there;
- Sleeping all day and night if we can.
Yes, we will do anything and everything in excess. We don’t care too much if what we do has no positive or negative results, we just NEED to do SOMETHING. Physically and mentally, we will be detached and block people out.
Stress makes INTJs exhausted which can cause a need for severe down time. It doesn’t help when they come home from a day of socializing to be greeted with more stimuli at home (people).
INTJs do truly want to find a solution to their problems FAST, it is just the difficulty of knowing and qualifying where to begin that makes us self-destructive because there is not just one problem (otherwise we wouldn’t be this stressed) and our problems can have a breadth of solutions whereby we have to decide on the “best” one. Here, we’ll think about possible problems that could arise from the solutions additionally to thinking about the future and the now.
Before we know it, 1 day, 2 weeks, 2 months have gone by and we won’t have noticed how weird or abnormal we have been acting in the eyes of our loved ones or friends. Other times though, we can be hyper-aware of our actions but cannot stop ourselves from exuding these manifestations no matter how much we want to. It’s an unfair move on our side but it is not intentional (to an extent), we just need distance and peace to control ourselves again (as stated earlier, we can become argumentative and we know this…so technically, we are doing ourselves and everyone a favor); sometimes we don’t take other people’s’ feelings into account if we think that they would not care to begin with OR if we don’t want to burden them. However, what we think we need is not necessarily good for us or the people around us.
A tip for stressed out INTJs who care about not disrupting connections with close friends and families etc is to actually tell these individuals that you will be disappearing for a few days or so. You’ll save yourself the pressure of having to explain things later on AND you’ll prevent any confusion that your friends etc may have as to the sudden distance that you projected.
The above can go either way, that these people either understands you and respects your needs OR get offended; hopefully though, since these people managed to crawl into your BFF category then your alone will more often than not, be respected. So just tell them…that is if you have someone you constantly talk to.
If you intend to help a stressed INTJ, some of the below may help:
- Give INTJ their unfair space but feel free to draw the line at when they act too abnormal for too long according to what you are used to (providing that you know the INTJ long enough – otherwise it is none of your business) – you have the permission to pull us out of our rut and hug us (in silent please);
- Avoid bringing too much sensory stimuli that pulls us away from our thought process or avoid giving advice (even if you mean well) because we have most probably thought of almost everything and hearing the same stuff doesn’t help. Bringing new advice that we didn’t know may annoy us as now there is more to think about (personally, I like to hear new advice, even if there is more to think about; I do like options). Nonetheless, if you offer advice and sensory stimuli then you can potentially annoy us or even make us hide from you;
- ALTHOUGH, if you reassure us enough (gently) with what you think about this whole situation and how you feel and how you want to help then we may just crumble and talk to you (a little bit) and show you our real emotions. We may feel grateful and warm knowing that you care and on rare occasions (very very rare occasions), we may show you our actual sad/ pained face mixed with gratitude for you (it’s a weird face, I for one will admit that);
- Pull us away from our responsibilities;
- A change of scenery may help – a simple stroll or something to make us think that life isn’t or shouldn’t be all this complicated anyway will help us focus on what is important again;
- Just let us be wild if we choose to become severely extroverted – we will be mindful of our actions but maybe not as strict on ourselves.
So in conclusion, a stressed INTJ will numb themselves with almost anything that they can get their hands on, any options within a close proximity that has the potential to distract our thoughts will have us going straight for it.
We will be our normal self again overtime – we will always come out of this (or any) negative state with hope or clarity because we will always try to find a solution.
There is no need to worry about us too much; we don’t need you to care for us, we just need someone to care about us with sincerity.
Geomeun Goyangi =^-^=
***Please note that these blogs should NOT influence you to generalize that all INTJs, as a niche group, are all the same – because we are not; a lot of other factors shapes and individualizes a person.***
Dear Fellow Readers and Bloggers.
I have been living by 3 quotes this past year that have helped me through times of stress. May they bring you a sense of control and empowerment for when you are feeling uncontrollable.
“Perspective is KING“
“I Promise You That We Won’t Live Forever“
“You Only Fail When You Don’t Try“
– By Yours Truly =^-^=