How you Behave When You’re Angry, By Personality Type

Everyone experiences anger sometimes, but how you deal with it reveals a lot about your personality type. For example, some types feel little wrath and more emotional regret, while others feel unprecedented fury! Because every personality type handles anger differently, it can be helpful to examine how each type behaves when dealing with this complicated emotion. 

So how do you behave when you’re angry? Let’s take a look at how each personality type reacts.

INFP: Won’t Cause a Scene

If you’re an INFP, you avoid reaching a place of anger and will do your best to hold everything inside to avoid making a scene in public. But when someone challenges your core values or accuses your actions of being false or flawed, it won’t be too long before you start getting cynical and sarcastic – when pushed enough, you may eventually blow up and engage in a conflict. These sensitive types are hyper-aware of the outward persona they project into the world and are vulnerable, so criticism or sensitive questions don’t bode too well.

ENFP: The Silent Treatment

ENFPs have a powerful conscience, so an explosive reaction may occur when someone questions how they operate. Most ENFPs will avoid addressing their anger, however, and focus on activities that make them feel good. Since ENFPs are often hypersensitive, others might unknowingly step on their toes. A threatened ENFP will let their stress and anger come out upon conflict, or they won’t express their emotions, so they’ll bottle up their anger by engaging in silent treatment or avoidance tactics.

INTJ: Stays Carefully Contained

The intellectual INTJ will avoid taking their anger out on others. Rather, they’ll internalize the emotion before finding something else to focus on to divert their attention. For example, an INTJ might ignore their anger and try exercise, research, hobbies, or even sleep to deal with it in a rational way. Once an INTJ feels they have overcome their anger, they may not bring it up with the person(s) involved—they’d prefer to forget about it and move on. 

ENTJ: Cool Confrontation

ENTJ, “The Commander,” doesn’t like exposing their emotions to others or feeling vulnerable. At the same time, the ENTJ will not be afraid to confront someone or the situation which has upset them. However, they’ll avoid blowing up. Instead of appearing angry, ENTJs will face the conflict with a cool and confrontational air and won’t divulge their personal feelings about how something injured them. ENTJs also spend a lot of time analyzing their feelings, but they aren’t afraid to engage in a conflict when necessary and can erupt when pushed.

INFJ: Finds a Creative Outlet 

If you’re an INFJ, you suppress your anger. “The Counselor” type will avoid addressing their feelings of frustration because they hate conflict, and the idea of confronting someone might break them out in hives. INFJs will spend a lot of time reflecting on the situation alone, and they’ll decide whether it is worth addressing or forgetting. An INFJ will often choose to push the issue aside and leave it, releasing their anger through art, creative hobbies, or exercise. 

ENFJ: Vents (and Vents) to a Friend 

The selfless ENFJ won’t be the first to address a problem but may spend time discussing the issue with friends and venting. An angry ENFJ will pace the floor, wondering what they did to deserve the development and how they can make it change. Although they’re not confrontational people, ENFJs may react by displaying their anger if they feel overwhelmed. If they don’t, they’ll lean on others to chat about what happened. ENFJs won’t bottle up their feelings—they need to discuss things to feel better and rely on close friends to help them release their stress and anger.

INTP: Pushes Anger Away

“The Architect” type, INTP, will avoid talking to others when they’re angry. These personality types will suppress their emotions. Because INTPs aren’t great at handling their feelings or the emotions of others, it’s easier for them to forget about it, push it away, and move on. However, the most healthy version of this coping mechanism is when an INTP uses logic and problem-solving skills to analyze the situation. In most cases, the INTP still won’t talk to another person about their feelings. Instead, they’ll take a deep breath and move forward or let it remain on their internalized emotions list. At some point, the INTP might address the problem and have a good talk, but that will take a lot of effort.

ENTP: Faces It Head On

An ENTP won’t be the first person to explode in anger, but they’re not afraid of facing the problem head-on. ENTPs prefer to use logic to talk through the problems with whoever is involved and will address their fury without losing their temper. Unless a situation begins to turn sour, a calm discussion is easiest. ENTPs may also decide to pull away from others who have angered them to be alone for a while. But, in most cases, they prefer to sort out the issue right away.

ISFJ: Gets Resentful

ISFJs tend to take things personally—and this can lead to pent-up anger and resentment when others don’t recognize their sensitive nature. Most ISFJs will stay away from conflict, preferring to keep their feelings to themselves. They won’t talk to someone who has hurt them, but they might decide to confide in another close friend or relative. If they don’t choose to confide in someone, they may deal with anger through prayer, meditation, hobbies, or alone time. Since ISFJs often work too hard, they may decide to take some vacation time to cope with their negative feelings.

ESFJ: Calm on the Surface But…

“The Provider” personality type is hyper-aware of how they present themselves, so they will keep their behavior in check when they're angry. Rather than exploding, they prefer to remain calm—although they aren’t afraid to let someone know they’re upset. An ESFJ will withdraw to prevent the situation from escalating, but if someone pushes them too far, they may release their pent-up aggression on whoever is involved. These caring personalities will try to calm themselves by engaging in activities such as reading or relaxation, or they may call a close confidant to vent.

ISFP: Highly Unpredictable

Because of the ISFP’s bold and spontaneous nature, the personality type is somewhat unpredictable when it comes to anger. The ISFP may switch between suppressing their emotions and showing they’re mad, unwilling to curb their attitude toward someone who is either the inciting party or the bystander. ISFPs like to relieve stress through their artistic passions, but their reactions depend on the situation.

ESFP: Quick to Blow Off Steam

Dynamic ESFPs let their passions and whims rule them, so it isn’t too surprising they’re reactive when it comes to anger. ESFPs are quick to react to anger and other emotions, even if they regret it later. But after their initial release of frustration, ESFPs will not dwell on the problem that incited their ire. If they don’t react right away, they may call a close friend to talk about it or seek out adrenaline-raising activities to get their mind off of it.

ISTJ: Keeps Themself in Check

The ISTJ personality type isn’t quick to anger (at least not visibly). An ISTJ will try to think through the event with logical thinking instead of springing to the defense or exhibiting frustration. They’ll keep to themselves before talking out the scenario because they prefer to expend their energy remaining calm, dissecting the event, and coming to a conclusion about what happened. 

ESTJ: Frank and Confrontational

ESTJs prefer efficiency and understanding. When their actions are misunderstood, they feel terrible. Common misinterpretations of their attitude make ESTJs appear confrontational or aggressive when they want to talk it out and move on. But when an ESTJ feels defeated or disrespected, they are quicker to react to anger, even if they want to pull away and keep the peace.

ISTP: Long Fuse with Big Explosions

The insensitive and impatient “Craftsman” personality type struggles to refrain from reacting when someone angers them. The ISTP doesn’t enjoy talking about feelings or emotions, and they’ll feel attacked if someone tries to make them have a heart-to-heart about something. Because of this, the ultra-reactive ISTP can suddenly explode and come off as rude and intolerant when facing someone who has angered them.

ESTP: Keeps Their Distance

“The Dynamo” ESTP prefers to keep their distance from uncomfortable feelings and enjoy all the thrills life offers. An ESTP isn’t quick to anger unless they feel like people are wasting time or being disrespectful. Although ESTPs have a habit of being judgmental of others, they don’t enjoy it when others judge them. This type will leave an uncomfortable or unhealthy situation, preferring to seek out recreational fun to relieve their frustration.

The takeaway

Each of the 16 personality types deals with anger differently, and how a person behaves may be a clue as to what type they are. Although everyone processes anger in their own way, each type can learn to improve and communicate better to avoid future conflicts. Frustration is a part of life, and there’s something to learn for every personality type, whether you tend to bottle up your anger or let it out.

Cianna Garrison

Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.

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Comments

Whitney Brown (not verified) says...

Familiarity breed contempt. My husband, who loves me very much, drives me nuts. I try to keep in check but I rarely do. I make it easy him to "poke the bear" and end up shouting at him. I hate this about myself. Our biggest issue is politics and I have asked him over and over again to quit talking about it. Never works. Any suggestions? I have tried, "Yes, I see your point." But the comments continue.

Cianna Garrison says...

Hi Whitney,

I'm not sure what the best approach is here. I would try to have a heart to heart with him and ask if you can both agree to disagree over politics. It's tough to keep up with, but maybe if you can both reach some sort of agreement it will lessen the tension?

 

Take care!

Cianna

 

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