Everyone has emotional kryptonite, the emotion we try to avoid because it’s so painful. But the feeling you dread can unlock the door to self-growth. Every Myers & Briggs personality type wishes to avoid certain emotions, but what are they? Read on to find out and learn how to confront the feelings holding you back. 

ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging): Guilt

ISTJ is known as “The Inspector” because its priority is doing things by the book. This personality loves spending time alone and follows their head instead of their heart when making decisions.

As an ISTJ, logic and organization are important to you. If you fail at your goals, uncomfortable guilt arises because you blame yourself for things that went wrong.

Helpful tips:

  • Use guilt as a game-changer. There’s a whole world outside the tried-and-tested methods, so be unafraid to change the rules sometimes.
  • Failure and mistakes aren’t a reflection on you. Remembering this can prevent you from beating yourself up.  

ISTP (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving): Empathy 

Known as “The Crafter,” ISTPs are creative and enjoy tasks where they can use their hands. They’re highly observant and use a blend of logic and spontaneity to find solutions to problems. 

When dealing with someone going through a rough time, your knee-jerk reaction is to provide solutions for them. Although helpful, this can make you lack empathy and seem insensitive, even if you’re not.

Helpful tips:

  • Listen to others instead of jumping in with solutions. Give them your full attention. Sometimes, that’s all they need.
  • Play emotional dress-up. Imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes so you can better understand them.  

ESTJ (Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging): Sadness

Known as “The Supervisor,” ESTJ is highly organized when making decisions and achieving their goals. They value logic over emotions, so they’ll avoid being derailed by uncomfortable feelings like sadness. 

When you feel hurt, you brush off your feelings, which can cause others to misunderstand you. You might lack patience with your and others’ emotions because you see emotion as a weakness.

Helpful tips:

  • Allow others to share their feelings. They’ll be more receptive to yours, fostering a nurturing environment. 
  • Be emotionally honest. Avoid appearing fine when you’re not, as it prevents healing. Being vulnerable is an opportunity to learn more about yourself. 

ESTP (Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving): Love 

You’re the life of the party and would rather avoid serious situations, like when the person you’ve been dating for two months says they love you. You're always looking for the next adventure instead of settling down, which is probably why they call you “The Dynamo.” While you might want affection, if it feels too serious this could cause you to withdraw. 

Helpful tips:

  • Slow down and take stock of your feelings. Constantly searching for the next thrill can prevent you from processing your emotions. 
  • Plan your future. Even though you live in the moment, take a longer view once in a while to think about what you want in the future and if love’s on the cards. 

ISFJ (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging): Anger 

As an ISFJ, you deeply feel emotions, making you an empathetic and supportive partner. You’re known as “The Protector,” but you risk putting others’ needs and feelings ahead of your own. 

Since you’re considerate of others’ feelings, you sometimes try to avoid confrontation. Anger is your emotional kryptonite. Beware not to hold onto it, as it can cause relationship resentment

Helpful tips:

  • Express yourself. Instead of putting your feelings on the back burner, start expressing anger in cool, calm ways.
  • Find healthy outlets for your emotions. Release anger by having a good laugh so you don't take yourself too seriously. 

ISFP (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving): Awkwardness 

ISFPs are individualistic and like to follow their own rules. Known as “The Composer,” ISFP has artistic tendencies, which influence how they express their emotions. They prefer to channel their feelings into art. 

For you, feeling inhibited is a no-no because it causes stress and discomfort, leading to feelings of awkwardness.

Helpful tips:

  • Get emotional honesty. ISFPs can get hurt easily, which causes them to shut down. Be honest about how you feel, as this encourages self-expression. 
  • Sit in the spotlight. Although you feel awkward or uncomfortable when taking the lead and expressing yourself, you deserve to put yourself first sometimes.

ESFP (Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving): Boredom

As an ESFP, you’re a warm and fun person known as “The Performer.” You want to feel the spark of life and have a great time, not watch paint dry. But this can cause you to leap from one exciting situation to another without stopping to focus on the present.  

Helpful tips:  

  • See opportunity in boredom. View boredom as a chance for reflective work or a pause in your busy schedule.
  • Poke at your feelings. Although ESFPs focus on the bright side and push away uncomfortable feelings, confronting your emotions can show you hidden aspects of yourself. 

ESFJ (Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging): Feelings of neediness 

 As an ESFJ, you’re “The Provider.” You’re generous and thrive on being praised and loved. You hate rejection. It can make you feel needy, which you want to avoid at all costs.

When you prioritize others’ needs over your own, instead of shielding you from disappointment and making you feel like a powerful provider, it can cause your self-worth to depend on others’ opinions.

Helpful tips:

  • Remember that you're not a jar of Nutella – you can't please everyone. Being less dependent on others’ opinions can help you see your worth.
  • Fill your cup, but share it. Meeting your needs is good so you don’t depend on others to make you happy, but don’t completely self-isolate. Sometimes it’s healthy to reach out.

INFJ (Introverted, INtuitive, Feeling, Judging): Helplessness

Known as “The Counselor,” INFJ personalities are intuitive and empathetic. Although idealistic, INFJs are also logical and won’t share their deepest feelings with anyone. 

As an INFJ, you want to be self-sufficient, so you tend to withdraw if you need to work through your emotions. You’re most frightened of being vulnerable and helpless. 

Helpful tips

  • Become friends with extraverts. This can help you become more comfortable with showing your vulnerability. 
  • Don’t bottle everything up. This is stressful! As an INFJ, you want to connect and share with others, but do so with a select few that you trust.

INFP (Introverted, INtuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving): Overwhelmed

INFPs are healers. They’re generous and empathetic while trying to improve the world. But, they are sensitive and can get overwhelmed by their emotions. 

When this happens to you, feeling overwhelmed could cause you to lose your creative spark and positive outlook.  

Helpful tips:

  • Avoid retreating when overwhelmed. Open up to people who love you and want to support you. 
  • Healthily release pent-up feelings, such as by journaling or painting. 

ENFP (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving): Hopelessness  

“The Champion” is dedicated to helping themselves and others achieve their dreams. Since they’re perceiving, ENFPs value freedom of expression. They want adventure and avoid anything boring.

But they can overthink things and feel emotions immensely, causing them to become stressed. If they feel stuck, they can become hopeless.

Helpful tips:

  • Deal with stress by considering your physical and emotional needs. Take a nap if you’re tired, and speak to your BFF if you’re stressed. 
  • Set some boundaries. Being empathetic can be emotionally taxing. Say “no” once in a while to preserve your resources. 

ENFJ (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging): Disappointment 

Known as “The Teacher,” ENFJs are generous and compassionate. They enjoy building healthy relationships with people, and they tend to have excellent leadership and communication skills. 

Although ENFJs usually express their emotions, their high expectations for others can lead to disappointment. This could cause them to make rash decisions, like ending a relationship on the spot. Ouch! 

Helpful tips: 

  • Deal with conflict. Instead of avoiding conflict, see it as an opportunity to grow closer to others. 
  • Don’t say “yes” to everything. Your need to please others and avoid disappointment can dump stress on your doorstep. 

INTJ (Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging): Affection 

As “The Mastermind,” INTJs are logical, thoughtful, and have perfectionist tendencies. As an INTJ, you sometimes distance yourself from your emotions in favor of choosing logic. 

In relationships, you might struggle to read others’ emotional cues, such as if your partner wants to be affectionate. This could cause you to be viewed as cold or aloof.

Healthy tips

  • Communicate with your partner about your relationship needs to find healthy ways of showing love. 
  • Find a love style that feels right. A survey found that most INTJs prefer quality time as their love style. You can take the Truity Love Styles Test to explore seven modern ways of showing and receiving love. 

INTP (Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving): Fear

INTPs are philosophical and analytical by nature. As “The Architect,” INTPs are innovative but spend a lot of time in their thoughts.

Since they’re skilled at what they do, INTPs have a fear of feeling fear – specifically, a fear of failure. When they allow fear to affect them, they lose their confidence.

Healthy tips

  • Overcome your fear of failure by not trying to be perfect – it’s a myth! 
  • Find balance. Your thoughts and work can be all-consuming, so maintain some balance by putting energy into your relationships. 

ENTP (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving): Stress

As “The Visionary,” you’re a creative person who loves challenges. Since you’re extraverted, you love social interaction. You adapt quickly to situations, which is one of your strengths, and you make the rules up as you go along.

However, trying tons of ideas and activities can put too much pressure on yourself and make you seem flighty.

Healthy tips 

  • Be careful about biting off too much you can chew, which can overwhelm you.
  • Avoid getting stuck in your thoughts. Reach out for support to gain some perspective on your situation. 

ENTJ (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging): Grief 

ENTJs love to take charge of situations, so it’s no surprise they’re called “The Commander.” With your analytical nature, you love solving problems and keeping things in order. While stress isn’t an issue, grief is your emotional kryptonite.

As an ENTJ, you feel energized to solve problems, but grief is a challenging one to solve. This frustrates you – you have to sit in your emotions to process them.

Healthy tips

  • Spend time with your emotions. You’re gifted with strong intuition, so tuning into your inner self can help you process your feelings. 
  • Listen to others’ stories. Although you do things your way, you can learn from others’ experiences.  

Final Words 

The 16 Myers & Briggs personality types handle emotions in their own ways. We can improve our relationships and gain more self-awareness by unlocking the emotions that cause us the most distress.  

Giulia Thompson

Giulia Thompson is an Italian-South African freelance writer and editor with several years of experience in print and online media. She lives in a small town in South Africa with her husband and three cats. She loves reading, writing, and watching thrillers. As an Enneagram Type 4, she’s creative and loves surrounding herself with beauty.