ESFJs and stress


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Your personality type affects the way that you react to stress. There are three main stages.

When you have little or no stress, you find it easy to use the most appropriate behaviours for the situation. Very often, these are behaviours you may have learned at school, on training courses, etc.

As stress increases, 'learned behaviour' tends to give way to the natural style, so the ESFJ will behave more according to type when under greater stress. For example, in a crisis, the ESFJ might work hard to complete pre-defined tasks, express appreciation for everyone else's efforts, and see the positive contribution that others are making. However, you may also fail to recognise the need for change, or the negative impact of the people you admire, and you may neglect your own needs whilst being concerned for others.

Under extreme stress, fatigue or illness, the ESFJ's shadow may appear - a negative form of INTP. Example characteristics are being very critical and finding fault with almost everything, ignoring others' feelings, having a pessimistic view of the future, and suggesting ideas that are quite impractical.

The shadow is part of the unconscious that is often visible to others, onto whom the shadow is projected. An ESFJ may therefore readily see these faults in others without recognising it in him/her self.

Next: ESFJ careers

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