INTJ Stress Triggers & How To Handle Them

No matter how well put together we might appear, even INTJs stress over certain things.

In fact, there are actually quite a few things that can trouble an INTJ.

And I must admit, it took me a while to learn how to deal with them.

Today, I’ll share that with you. From INTJ stress triggers to ways to relieve them, we’ll cover every detail.

So let’s dive in!

7 Stress Triggers for INTJs

So, what makes an INTJ stressed?

In short, it’s situations that go against their personality traits. Basically, when they’re required or expected to do that’s not normal for them.

Let’s address each stress trigger individually.

Situations that require expressing one’s feelings

It’s no secret that INTJs are often perceived as ice kings and queens by other MBTI types. Of course, those who are close to an INTJ know that there are true feelings behind that reserved facade.

But INTJs don’t like showing that, especially to people they don’t know well. Well, they have a problem with emotional expression in general, which stems from their overly rational mind.

You see, INTJs look at things in a logical and objective way. They try rationalizing everything they do and also everything they feel. 

But as it usually goes, feelings aren’t rational. And that already makes them troubled.

So when you ask an INTJ to express how they feel, that’s something they’ll stress about. How do you put into words something you don’t understand? 

Interaction with a group of people

Introverts are drained by social interaction. This is especially true for INTJs, as that drained feeling comes from having a different way of communication.

INTJs perceive communication like any other action – with efficiency in mind. Whatever you do drains your energy, and talking with other people is no different.

And for INTJs, what drains them the most is communication with no purpose.

Small talk? One does it for the sake of starting the conversation and testing the mood. But the information shared during a small talk is something they probably don’t really care about. So, for an INTJ, there’s no purpose in doing such pleasantries.

It’s also worth noting that INTJs have a rather different way of communicating compared to many other MBTI types. This causes a lot of misunderstanding, and having to explain themselves is something that saps INTJs’ energy.

Disorganized and boring work environment

woman feeling stressed in office

INTJs are, hands down, the biggest fans of plans among all MBTI types. People with this personality type live their lives planning for the future. 

And it makes sense – they always see the bigger picture, and their strategic mind allows them to plan for it.

Plus, being as logical and rational as they are, INTJs know that plans fail. That’s why they also have backup plans for that.

But imagine being so strategic and efficient but working in a disorganized workplace. This is one of the biggest INTJ pet peeves. Spending eight hours at work and not utilizing their full potential? What a waste of time and a source of stress for an INTJ.

They also feel the same way when their creativity is being suppressed. INTJs are very innovative, always striving to achieve effectiveness. So, when they find a better way to do something, INTJs will gladly share their solutions with their managers.

Unfortunately, not everyone will share their out-of-the-box thinking. So while their idea might be brilliant, it will often be rejected because it’s simply too revolutionary. And well, we can definitely see why this would be so stressful for INTJs.

Being micromanaged

A micromanaging boss is yet another source of stress in the workplace for an INTJ. 

As you know, INTJs are very motivated and determined, especially in the workplace. So having someone watching and dictating their every move is downright offensive to them. Basically, it makes an INTJ feel like the boss doesn’t trust them with the job they hired them for.

Things are even worse if micromanaging is also hindering their efficiency in the workplace. So, not only are they required to follow imposed rules, but those same rules are slowing them down in their job? That’s something an INTJ will surely lose their temper about. 

Being required to follow useless and traditional rules

To make one thing perfectly clear – INTJs are by no means against the rules. 

It’s just those ineffective, useless, absurd traditional rules that they have a problem with. 

So, if there’s one thing that INTJs hate, it’s when they’re required to do something simply because they’re told so.

Washing hands before and after meals? That’s quite boring, alright. But there’s a logical, scientific explanation for why that’s important for health. So naturally, INTJs won’t mind doing that, even though there’s nothing fun about washing hands.

But INTJs won’t do the same when it comes to rules without any logic to them. Here’s an example.

Did you know that it’s illegal for an unmarried woman to skydive on a Sunday in Florida

Pretty ridiculous, right? Especially since the law doesn’t mention unmarried men. 

Well, rest assured that an unmarried INTJ woman would not blindly comply with this. Unfortunately, given it’s a law, she probably wouldn’t be able to find a place in Florida to skydive on Sunday. 

Obviously, this would piss an INTJ off. And not merely because she can’t skydive on a desired day. Instead, it’s the fact that there’s no logical explanation for why she needs to comply with this ridiculous law that would stress her out.

Sensory overstimulation

a stressed businesswoman surrounded by colleagues

For INTJs, extroverted sensing is the least developed cognitive function. What this means is they easily lose focus on what’s happening around them. With their heads in clouds, thinking about patterns and plans, they tend to disconnect from their surroundings. 

But of course, the surroundings can be too overstimulating to an INTJ’s senses. In other words, it disturbs the inner thinking process, which can be quite stressful for INTJs.

This is part of the reason why INTJs don’t like big groups of people. It’s not just the fact that they need to like someone in order to enjoy talking to them. Big groups are loud, and that’s overly stimulating INTJs’ senses.

Having their plans disrupted

No matter how great of a planner INTJs might be, not everything works out the way they thought it would. And sometimes, not even their backup plans work.

This is the kind of situation that catches them off-guard. When your backup plan for backup plan fails, what do you do? Stress about it, apparently.

Well, that’s what an INTJ would do for sure. People with this personality type are not good improvisers. They need to put all options into perspective before they feel comfortable acting. And that requires time, which they don’t have in these situations.

So naturally, whatever new plan they come up with won’t be as detailed and strategic as they’d like it to be. 

6 Ways to Deal With Stress If You Are an INTJ

relaxed man in office

As someone with an INTJ personality type, what can you do to relieve that stress? 

Well, there are a few things that are proven to help in these stressful situations.

Enjoy some time alone

As an introvert, it’s in your nature to need solitary time to recharge. And this is especially useful when you’re dealing with a stressful situation. 

Whatever the problem might be, it’s so much easier to solve it when you’re alone. That’s when you can put your introverted intuition to use to process your thoughts without external distractions.

Lower sensory triggers

As INTJs, in order to function properly, we need to be able to block other stimulants around us. 

Of course, we can’t control everything in our surroundings, but there are things we can do to lower sensory triggers.

Turning off your ringtone, dimming the lights, and even just closing your eyes can help you get disconnected from the things around you. When everything is dark and silent, you can be completely at peace with your own thoughts.

Light up your workload

Even with a detailed plan, we INTJs tend to put too much on our plates. This is probably related to our perfectionism and constant need for improvement.

However, we’re not machines, even if our brains tend to work that way sometimes. 

And one way you can reduce that built-up stress is to light up your workload. See if there are tasks in your schedule that aren’t absolutely essential to be done at this point. This is especially important for those things you don’t look forward to, like group activities.

Go out

woman reading book in nature

I know this sounds so cliché. But I don’t mean having a walk down Fifth Avenue. Instead, go out where you can enjoy nature.

Depending on where you live, that might be a forest or a small park in the middle of the town. It doesn’t matter, as long as you can have some quiet time for yourself.

Here’s the thing.

Even though you’re outside, nature should be very calming for your extraverted sensing function. You can be present and enjoy the things around you without being overly stimulated by everything.

Enjoy a hobby

INTJs’ hobbies can be somewhat different compared to those most people enjoy. 

But the common thing all those hobbies have is that they don’t need the presence of other people. What’s more, INTJs tend to choose hobbies they can slowly improve at. 

So, from gaming and cooking to playing golf and weightlifting, find something that you can enjoy. 

Vent out to someone

I know, this doesn’t sound like an INTJ type. 

But one thing even INTJs must agree on is that getting things off your chest can be relieving.

So, find someone to vent out to. But not just someone that will listen.

As an INTJ, it can be really helpful to actually get input from other people on a situation. Their perspective can help you get a better understanding of what might be going on. 

To Sum Things Up

There are a lot of things that can be stressful to an INTJ. These are usually situations that go against their nature. From overstimulating surroundings to understimulated jobs, these are all stress triggers for INTJs.

When that happens, the best way for an INTJ to relieve stress is to enjoy time alone doing what they like. 

Wonder how an overly stressed INTJ acts? Here’s our article on the dark sides of INTJ personality.