How Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Behaves During the Stressful Holiday Season

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on December 09, 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! 

Or is it? 

For all the fun and comfort the holiday season can bring, it’s also a hugely stressful time for many of us. So, how does each Myers-Briggs personality type deal with all the holiday shenanigans? Here are our best guesses!

INFP – The Burned-out Elf

The human embodiment of Santa’s little helper, the ever-thoughtful INFP will do the impossible and be there for absolutely everyone—baking, shopping, wrapping, party planning and donating to their favorite charity. All while stubbornly refusing to ask for help, even as the gingerbread cookies are burning….

ENFP – The Infectious Party People Person

The cheerful ENFP could do small talk with a wall if they wanted to. You’ll find them at the center of every gathering, entertaining even the most unimpressed of kids. These types are touchy though. You can cut the risk of emotional outbursts by making sure you tell them just how much you’re looking forward to their holiday-themed theater performance.

INFJ – The Emotional Sponge

Will get completely overwhelmed in large groups and deeply uncomfortable whenever put in the spotlight. INFJs are too polite to set boundaries with energy-draining relatives, so they’ll probably spend most of their time sitting on the couch, listening to the gruesome tale of Aunt Mary’s stomach surgery for the hundredth time.

ENFJ – The Gift Perfectionist

Obsesses over finding the perfect gift for everyone on their mile-long list. Said gift needs to be equal parts practical and meaningful, and they’re going to hit up every craft fair and market in town to find it.  ENFJs would never skip a holiday-themed party, though, even if that means more gift-shopping pressure.

INTP – The ‘December’s a month like any other’

What month is it again? The reserved and logical INTP doesn’t understand all the fuss about the festive season (so superficial!). May also get into a tantrum realizing all the social gatherings they’re expected to attend.

ENTP – The Controversial Topics Starter

ENTP—the type most likely to start an intense argument about politics at the dinner table, get bored, and quietly slip out of the room leaving the others to slug it out. 

INTJ – The Efficiency Master

How silly an idea is Christmas shopping? INTJs certainly think so, and will go to great efforts to explain the advantages of gift vouchers over traditional presents to justify their complete lack of enthusiasm, only to get frustrated by their family’s overly emotional responses, of course. Later, they’ll win every board game they decide to play, giving no concessions to the children. Cue, tantrums. 

ENTJ –The Spreadsheet Boss

Spends the first week of December examining the success rate of last year’s gifts, so they can surpass it. This leads to massive overthinking on the gift-buying front and a sense of bafflement when someone tries to take over their plans, or, you know, suggests something that’s not on the ENTJ’s color-coded spreadsheet.

ISTP – The One Who Mysteriously Disappears

For the ISTP, celebration rhymes with exhaustion.  When forced to socialize, or attend large holiday gatherings, they will quickly and mysteriously disappear. Can probably be found playing video games in the basement.

ESTP – The Big Spender

Spends a ridiculous amount of money buying extravagant presents, and won’t even think about the credit card bill until January. Completely allergic to emotional family drama (though an ESTP may create some just to spice things up). Will be honking frantically when stuck in a traffic jam on the way to Grandma’s house.

ISFP –The Crafty Knitter

Spends hours creating holiday mood boards and gets anxious once they realize they haven’t bought any gifts yet. Ends up knitting adorable last-minute pairs of socks. Your ISFP won’t talk to you for the rest of the year if you don’t properly recognize the beauty of this gift.

ESFP – The Life of the Party

For ESFPs, the best part of the holidays is choosing glam outfit after glam outfit for every party they’re invited to (which is a lot). Complete with reindeer headbands and lots of glitter. Freaks out when asked to handle the logistical plans of the next holiday family vacation. Will crack a ton of inappropriate jokes to divert your attention. 

ISTJ – The Ghost of Christmas Past

The type most likely to get things done. The busy-bee ISTJ will spend a lot of time trying to recreate the memories of happy Christmases past. Internally screams into a pillow when someone doesn’t follow the rules they established for this year’s Secret Santa.

ESTJ –The ‘You’re Doing it Wrong’

Also tries to recreate the perfect image of Christmas, and won’t refrain from pointing out how you’re cooking, napkin folding, or present wrapping ‘the wrong way’. Puzzled when someone acts against their well-intended unsolicited advice. ESTJs start the month of December feeling slightly stressed over how much there is to do -- and how much money they’re spending.  

ISFJ – The Baking Veteran

The human embodiment of a warm fireplace on a cold night, the ISFJ will stress themselves out trying to make sure their loved ones are happy, and avoiding any conversation that’s remotely upsetting. Will take a lot of time to bake and decorate the house. 

ESFJ – The Party Planner

Available (and delighted) to host your holiday-themed party, considering they finished gift shopping somewhere around September. Horrified if someone shows up undressed for a fancy gathering. Your ESFJ adores Christmas. Even the part where they have to scold Grandpa for getting drunk on eggnog and falling asleep during the family movie. 

Andreia Esteves

Andreia is an INFJ who used to think she was the only person in the world terrified of answering the phone. She works as a freelance writer covering all things mental health, and psychology related. When not writing, you’ll find her cozying up with a book, or baking vegan treats. Find her at:

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.


wow man (not verified) says...

I've tested ENFJ, ENFP, and INFJ . No matter I think mood has something to do with it... I never should've mentioned the book until I read it through...the secondd half was just wrong...I was just wrong...Words that disappeared in the wind just took me to a place I've never been before...I realize however late, I entered a mid-life-crisis...never having my own biolgicial child I got carried away...said things I shouldn't...way back thats why I went with my head...I just couldn't hurt two families...didn't want the dream to fade but somethings weren't meant to be...even though I hurt you it was not the yes, I do owe you an apoligy...I had wished it would've been as I read sometime ago...two people crossed paths at an event and gave a proper aploigy...through those windy words I knew you to be beautiful in and out with great itllect, however it coud not be for me as I would've ruined your life...I just need toleave you with peace and a memory of dream once past, and a hand that touched me from above when I needed it most in that hospital bed...I jusy always felt that had to be repaid...thank you and peace always be with one special, no reply needed.

Jenna74648 (not verified) says...

Cute article! I wrote one similar about hygienists and personality types in Today's RDH. Love the content of this wholesome piece--very relevant and well-written. Will try to find the writer to follow on Instagram! I'm pretty sure we would be friends in real life ? Bravo ? 

Andreia Esteves says...

Thanks for your lovely comment, Jenna :)

Annika23 (not verified) says...

Yeah No.., this infj has better things to do then counsel people 24/7

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