The Ways in Which Each Myers-Briggs Type Handles Grief
Grief- whether it be on a broad spectrum or on a very personal level- is always a challenge to deal with. Everyone grieves in their own ways, here is how we believe each personality type handles their grief.
INFJs are very deep feelers and care very intensely for humanity. They want to make a difference in the world and in people’s lives. Because of this warm heart, the INFJ has to learn to cope with a lot of grief. Sometimes this is simply grieving over the heartbreak and cruelty in the world, which affects them deeply. At first when experiencing loss or grief, the INFJ often questions “why” something like this would happen. They ponder the reasoning behind it and struggle to figure out exactly why. After the INFJ has pondered this question, they often attempt to figure out what they can do about the situation. Every INFJ has a different pattern for how they grieve, but most INFJs find themselves capable of breaking down with emotion. If they fight this need to let it all out, it will only make it worse later one. The INFJ needs to allow themselves to fully feel what it going on, so that they can properly heal. Being so connected to the world is a burden that often forces the INFJ to withdraw.
ENFJs often struggle with grief immensely, and attempt to keep busy to distract themselves. They are extremely caring individuals and focus most of their lives on helping others. They want to see the people around them happy, they find it very important to do their best to minimize the pain of others. ENFJs are warm and loving individuals, who strive to avoid causing anyone heartache of any kind. When they suffer from grief, whether that be a personal loss or viewing sadness on a broader spectrum, the ENFJ struggles deeply. The hardest part for the ENFJ is not being able to change things and often feeling guilty for what has happened. They want to make the world a better place for the people they love, which is a heavy burden. It is important for the ENFJ to share their pain with others, instead of keeping it bottled up. They are social creatures and do best if they can share what is going on with them. They may be hesitant to do this, since the ENFJ often attempts to hide their pain from others.
INFPs are very caring individuals, who feel things very deeply. They are very internal about their emotions, and often process how they feel by themselves. The INFP will often withdraw from others when they are feeling immense grief, which happens often. They care about others and find themselves saddened by how much pain there is in the world. When they see someone else hurting the INFP often finds themselves connecting to that pain. When they experience loss or pain of their own the INFP needs to handle it in their own way. INFPs are well equipped to handle their emotions and often need time alone to process how they are feeling. They can appreciate that grief is an important part of life and often realize that they need to go through this process to come out the other side. INFPs often use their passions to pull themselves out of their grief. Things like diving into their favorite reading, music, or even creating writing of their own to process the pain.
ENFPs often find themselves facing their grief head on. Many people attempt to avoid their pain, while ENFPs find it helpful to plunge into it. They want to allow themselves the proper time to feel their sadness and to deal with the grieving process appropriately. The ENFP needs to allow themselves to fully accept what is going on without trying to avoid it. Often they come to terms with their pain best, when by themselves. Once they have done their best to process though, the ENFP may seek out the comfort of others. Like anyone, ENFPs do struggle with grief, but they are rather good at accepting it and allowing themselves the chance to heal. Their lack of denial often helps the ENFP to fully grieve over what is happening and move on with their lives. Once they have processed their emotions, the ENFP does best if they can find people who fully understand what they are going through. When they can connect with others who understand their pain, it helps them to feel better.
INTJs often need space to process their thoughts and emotions when they are going through any kind of grief. They are equipped to sort out how to deal with their grief, but need space and time to do so. They often do not want to be around others, finding that they need to withdraw to handle it. The best thing to do for an INTJ who is grieving, is simply expressing that you are there if they need and then let them be. Knowing that people are supporting them is enough, and they will likely not call upon you for help. Sometimes writing it out is good for the the INTJ to process their pain, it can help them understand it better. INTJs are logic minded and often want to process the reasoning behind their grief and what occurred to make them feel this way. Coming to a logical conclusion and solution, often comforts the INTJ.
When ENTJs are grieving they often find themselves diving into their responsibilities. They keep their minds focused on their goals and attempt to bury themselves in distractions. They are truly caring individuals, but struggle with processing their emotions. ENTJs often do not understand emotions on a deeper level and favor logical choices over emotional ones. Their feelings of grieving are often easier to push aside than they are to cope with. The best thing for the ENTJ to do when they are grieving is to find people who will not judge them or make them feel odd for feeling the way that they do. Allowing someone to listen to them and show their support, will help the ENTJ to accept their emotions better. Ultimately, the ENTJ doesn’t like keeping the negative thoughts or feelings and will strive to move on from whatever is causing them to feel grief.
INTPs often find themselves burying their sorrow, in an attempt to get over it. INTPs often do not process their grief at first and want to find ways of ignoring it. They may take quite some time before this pain resurfaces and they are forced to deal with it. INTPs may refuse to show emotion in front of others, making it look like they are perfectly fine. Eventually though the INTP does best if they are allowed to fully feel their grief. They often are not capable of handling this pain in the presence of others and do best processing it alone. Hearing other people express their own sadness to the INTP and listening to that person explain why they are hurting, may help the INTP to process it later on. When the INTP realizes that these emotions are perfectly normal and that it is necessary to accept this emotion to move on, they will be able to let go and fully grieve. Reading about the grieving process can be oddly comforting to the INTP, this way they can tie logical practices and reasoning to what they are feeling.
ENTPs often avoid their grief, attempting to shadow it with humor and distractions. ENTPs often find it challenging to deal with their pain when it first occurs. They will attempt to ignore it and find other way of keeping their minds distracted. Keeping distracted is something that the ENTP is very good at. They will often find themselves taking on new projects or keeping close to their friends, when they are saddened by something. It is often easier for them to bury the sadness and attempt to revisit it later on when it is no longer fresh. When they are forced to grieve the ENTP often attempts to apply logical reasoning to what is happening. They try to understand why they are upset and what they can do to overcome it. Applying logic to whatever happened to upset the ENTP, helps them to move on and cope with the situation. Once they analyze the root of what is going on, the ENTP can find ways to let go and move on from the grief.
At first the ISTJ may attempt to distract themselves from what is going on, in order to cope. They may need to handle their grief slowly, rather than all at once. To an ISTJ their grief is a very private thing. They do not want to grieve in front of others, or be seen expressing their emotion. They feel too bare when people are watching them, which can hinder their grieving process. The ISTJ may do well talking to someone that they trust about their pain, in a one-on-one situation. Being able to listen to someone else who understands their pain, will help the ISTJ to accept what is going on. They often need time alone to process their grief, being around too many people will not allow them to do this. They do not show emotions easily but they definitely feel them deeply. Their grief is a personal thing for the ISTJ, something that they handle best on their own. They need to deal with their sadness on their own time and in their own way, without pressure from others.
Although ESTJs are very pragmatic and logical people, they have a strong sense of loyalty to others. Dealing with grief is very challenging and powerful for the ESTJ. They often shield their daily emotions from others and keep their feelings hiden. When an ESTJ suffers intense grief, they often are incapable of bottling these emotions. They may find themselves letting their sadness out, especially when it initially hits them. The ESTJ has a hard time opening up, but do best when they are able to do so. Being around people that they trust and who understand their pain, helps them to express what they are feeling. The ESTJ will not feel comfortable discussing their sadness with someone who cannot fully understand what they are going through. They may feel fearful that this person will judge them, so instead they will keep their pain bottled up. When the ESTJ is around someone they know understand their pain they will be able to share it with them, which will help them move on.
ISFJs often find themselves searching eagerly for distractions when they suffer from grief. They attempt to uphold their duties and keep distracted by the people around them. Grief often makes an ISFJ shut down and go into a very internal mode of feeling. They do not handle loss or pain well, and find it easiest to put off opening up for a while. They may seem more depressed than their usual happy selves and will not easily express their sadness to others. ISFJs often want to shield people from pain, which can cause them to pretend they are fine when in fact that are not. They may find themselves attempting to help others that are suffering from similar grief, instead of processing their own sadness. Eventually the ISFJ will have to process their grief, which is often best done alone. They are very private individuals, which makes openly expressing their feelings somewhat difficult. Eventually the ISFJ may find themselves capable of opening up to someone very close to them in order to move on.
ESFJs are often one of the types to struggle the most with processing grief. They may find themselves ignoring their pain all-together and attempting to distract themselves by helping others deal with their grief. ESFJs are well equipped to handle the emotions of others, which often makes them less capable of handling their own personal pain. They spend so much of their energy assisting other people that the ESFJ often forgets to take the time to help themselves. Because of this ESFJs may ignore their grief in an attempt to cope and move on. They do not want others to see them in pain and hate feeling like they are a burden to anyone. They will often shut down and seem much more closed off from emotion than usual. Eventually this grief will catch up with the ESFJ if they do not allow themselves to process it fully. Being around the people they love often helps them to open up and cope with what is going on. When the ESFJ finds someone who they can trust to open up to, they will finally be able to accept their sadness and attempt to make peace with it. This definitely isn’t easy for the ESFJ, and they may struggle with fully accepting what occurred.
ISTPs often have to work through their grief alone and do best when they are given the space to do so. Treating the ISTP like they are fragile is very frustrating for them, they would much rather people appreciate that they are capable of handling this. They need to be given space to process what is going on and do not appreciate people continuously asking if they are okay. ISTPs often find it easier to move on by keeping themselves busy doing practical things. Taking on projects that helps them to clear their minds and process their emotions, is actually very helpful for the ISTP. Doing what comes natural for them and logically attempting to figure out how to problem solve, helps them to come to accept their grief on their own terms. Being forced to feel emotions by others is not helpful, the ISTP needs to do this their own way without pressure from others. They will be ok, and truly just need to deal with things their own way.
ESTPS often deal with grief by keeping themselves constantly distracted. They often attempt to keep busy as a way of ignoring what is going on with them. The ESTP attempts to drown themselves in fun and exciting activities that will keep their minds off of the pain. They dislike sitting still for too long and allowing their thoughts to get the better of them. Eventually when the ESTPs needs to cope with their grief, they do best by surrounding themselves with others. Being around people who are supporting and caring, helps the ESTP to deal with what is going on. They have a hard time dealing with their own emotions and often do not want to express them to others. When they are around people who care about them the ESTP is better suited to let go of their emotions. When they can express their sadness appropriately they are better at dealing with it. Ultimately, the ESTP needs to keep their eyes on the future and the positives in their lives to move on.
Although the ISFP is introverted and needs to process their emotions on their own, they do best if they have someone close to them present. They need to sort out their feelings internally, and come to terms with their grief. They feel things very deeply being that they are very sensitive and caring individuals. It is important that they are allowed to grieve in an open and accepting environment. ISFPs do not do well if they feel like people are going to judge them, which makes opening up challenging. If they have someone very close to them who they can trust fully, they will feel the need to vent their pain to this person. Allowing someone caring to help them cope with what is going on, helps the ISFP immensely. Being able to feel that support and love is a way of helping them realize everything is going to be okay. ISFPs need to be around the things and people that they love, and attempt to look on the bright side of everything that has happened.
ESFPs do best when they are surrounded by their loved ones during their grieving process. They need to be able to talk about what is bothering them, without being silenced. They have to express what is hurting them and openly communicate this to others. Being able to lean on their loved ones for comfort helps the ESFP immensely. Once the ESFP has been allowed to let their emotions out, they will often find themselves in need of distractions. Doing the things that they enjoy with the people they care about, helps the ESFP to see the positives in life. They need people who can show them the bright side of their grief, and help them to process what they are feeling. Dwelling for too long is not good for the ESFP, once they have accepted their pain they need to be allowed to move on.