Want to know one of the things I love about people? We’re all different. To help me better understand others – and myself – I often turn to the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) for guidance. Like when a client asked me when decision making is difficult for him verses others.
Decision making is a critical facet of creating a life you love.
Because, of course, you want to make decisions that help you further your desires and goals. Yet, like being beautifully different, we are all human. And that means that sometimes we do have challenges with all areas of life. Including decision making.
The thing is, we are called to make more than three-hundred decisions a day. Many of those are considered small decisions: what to wear, which route to take to the office, and what to have for dinner. Yet, other decisions are more critical to your life. Like: should I change jobs, should I buy this house, or should we get married. Unfortunately, all the decision making about small stuff can leave us worn out. Which causes the big decisions to feel more challenging. Decision fatigue, my love, is real.
Like knowing your decision making process helps you make better decisions, it’s beneficial to know when decision making is difficult for your personality type.
As much as I love reading and talking about the MBTI, I’ll leave it up to you to read up on your own type. For now, I want to talk about how you can use your type to help you out when decision making is difficult. These are just some nuggets of advice for each MBTI personality type to help them gain the clarity they need when making a difficult decision.
When Decision Making is Difficult for “Analyst” Types
Analyst types are folks who are “iNtuitive Thinkers”. (The _NT_ types.) They are driven to understand every facet of an issue and love problem solving. They love to go down the rabbit hole of research to grow their knowledge. And, they also have an underlying need to create: be it relationships, writing, or a beautiful home.
This is the person you want by your side when you need cool logic. The downside of being an intuitive thinker is that the reliance upon their intellect. Which is great. Until it’s not. And that need to rely on their own knowledge can sometimes be a downfall.
Just as people vary, here are some more details dissecting when decision making is difficult for each of these iNtuitive Thinker Types.
INTJ: The Mastermind
Because INTJ’s rely upon their own personal knowledge, they sometimes forget that others hold a deep wisdom, too. If you are an INTJ, keep your spouse, partner, kids, and friends in mind when you make decisions. Yes, your life trajectory is based on what you do. However, others in your life can be affected by what you decided – even indirectly. There’s nothing wrong with your tendency to disengage from other to help you make a choice.
But it’s important to remember your loved ones may have valuable insight or wisdom, too.
INTP: The Thinker
Research, my darling, is your jam! And since an INTP likes to examine a decision from every conceivable possibility? You run the risk of being stuck permanently in this phase in lieu of making a decision. Once a decision has been made, you begin doubting it almost immediately. Should you have done more research? This is when decision making is difficult for you – on steroids! Let’s be real here: you must make decisions to move forward in life. Try to be more patient and understand you might have to deal with a level of discomfort.
When you allow things to settle in after a decision is made, you have real feedback to determine if it was a good decision for you. Or, if you need to take a different route.
ENTJ: The Commander
ENTJ’s can appear to be unfeeling and cold when times are tough. That’s because their thirst for knowledge, cool logic, and dislike of limbo is so deeply ingrained. Because you’re so used to taking control of the most challenging situations? You sometimes make a decision a little too quickly. Yes, you have a wide range of knowledge and have learned that your gut is right most of the time. The problem is that you might not be giving yourself time to think things through thoroughly. And, let’s be honest, sugarplum.
It would behoove you to confer with people whose insight you trust. As well as with anyone who might be affected by your choices
ENTP: The Visionary
Oh, ENTP, you are the person when need when the same old ways aren’t working! You are a “think outside the box” gal! And that is simply wonderful. The world needs people like you. But don’t rest on your laurels of just coming up with a unique perspective for solutions to a problem. Because, if we’re honest here, you kind of like the whole process of coming up with potential solutions more than settling on an actual decision. Make it a goal of yours to see that decision through. And when anyone suggests that aspects of your idea might be impractical? Don’t interpret this as resistance or stubbornness. Give them the chance to share their thoughts.
They might see things a little differently than you do. And that, my dear, can be valuable to the issue at hand.
When Decision Making is Difficult for “Sentinel” Types
Sentinel types are folks who are “Sensing Thinkers”. (The _S_J types.) They are grounded individuals who thrive on order and appreciate stability. Sensing Thinkers value integrity and know that supporting others allows them to live a more fulfilled life. They are the folks you want to be on your team when it comes to complex projects that need collaboration as their deep inner drive helps move things forward.
The downside of being an sending thinker is that unflinching desire to follow “the rules” and proven methods. Which makes them incredibly dependable. But also stubborn with little patience for people who don’t like to follow tried and true methods to deal with problems.
Like their iNtuitive Thinker friends, logic is great. Until it isn’t. Here’s when decision making is difficult for each of the Sensing Thinker types .
ISTJ: The Inspector
The ISTJ is the most prevalent of the personality types (around 13%). And that’s a wonderful thing as they serve as the backbone of organization. The world needs these stabilizing folks! You have a deep seated drive to see each project to completion. And you do so with integrity, patience, and accuracy. However, my dear, you prefer to know exactly the pros and cons of each decision. And that means that you tend to only choose a path that you can see all the possible outcomes.
This is when decision making is difficult for you. Because it can prevent you from making the choice that might be best for you. It’s okay for life to have a little mystery to it.
ISFJ: The Nurturer
My darling, ISFJ, you thrive on unflinching stability. You want everything to run smoothly – and just like it always has. However, you may be feeling stuck because you hate change. That often means that you choose to make as few changes to your life as possible. Which can lead to realizing you’re not moving your life in the direction you want to go. This is when decision making is difficult. Because you don’t want things to change, even when they need to. It might be time to get out of that comfort zone.
Remember that for every major change you make, there will be at least three things that will remain the same. For example, you might move and your home will be in a different place. But your possessions will still be there. And you will still be fabulously you.
ESTJ: The Supervisor
For my ESTJ friends, know that you are valued for your ability to lead, bring folks together, and the way you powerfully lead the way when times are challenging. You naturally make objective observations that are followed up with a solution based on logic. Yet, you can also stubbornly believe that you are always right. This is when decision making can be difficult for you. You want proven results rather than unproven theory.
Give yourself the gift of trusting new ways and ideas from others. Especially when you can see the logic in the solution.
ESFJ: The Provider
ESFJ’s are known as the life of the party. Your bubbly spirit and deep desire to avoid conflict enables you to smooth ruffled feathers. You follow a strong moral compass and expect others to think the same you you do about everything. When you’re caught up in needing to make a decision about something that you may not have experienced before? This is when decision making is difficult because your lack of experience feels frustrating. Instead of giving into frustration? Use your natural tendency to want to see data on results by consulting someone else who’s been faced with a similar decision before them. Especially if they think differently about life.
Based on their outcome, you can formulate the next step towards a great decision for your own life.
When Decision Making is Difficult for “Explorer” Types
Explorer types are folks who are “Sensing Perceivers”. (The _S_P types.) They like to dive deeply into a subject until they get bored with it. Though this can make them seem like a bit of a dilettante, the truth is, they are multi-passionate. More than any other group, Explorer types are comfortable with uncertainty. And if truth me known, they are often more about going with the flow of life rather than making hard, striving choices.
A Sensing Perceiver has the tendency to make snap decisions without really thinking about the long-term future. And don’t get me wrong, sometimes snap decisions are all about listening to your gut. Sometimes, though, that can backfire.
When you wonder when decision making is difficult for Sensing Perceivers, here’s a break down by the four types that fall into this category.
ISTP: The Craftsman
ISTPs are known for being friendly, extremely curious, and calm. But don’t think you project steadfastness. There’s a well of impulsive energy within that can suddenly erupt unpredictably. You are a big fan of taking shortcuts. Your big, brilliant mind is able to look at the entire problem, process it very rapidly, and come up with a decision based on your current experiences. If you want to go in a bold new direction, this is when decision making is difficult as your ability to live with uncertainty often dismisses what the longer term future holds.
It isn’t that a bold move is wrong in all cases. However, it would be smart to take a little longer to think things through. Give yourself that opportunity to make sure you really have made the RIGHT decision for your long-term happiness.
ISFP: The Composer
ISFP friends are inspired by people and ideas. Of all sixteen personality types, the ISFP is the one most comfortable with big risks. You are incredibly sensitive and take criticism to heart. Even though you get over anger and hurt feelings quickly? You so dislike conflict this can be when decision making is difficult. Your tendency to just let people live their lives can affect how you make decisions for your own life. Because you try to make your decisions based on how it will effect others at a sacrifice to how it will effect you.
Unfortunately, you may have to ruffle a few feathers. Show compassion to the people who are having trouble with your choice, but remember that it’s your life and ultimately your choice.
ESTP: The Doer
ESTP folks are full of passion and energy while also blessed with rational mind. You are also known to look before you leap. Preferring to deal with challenges or mistakes as you go. Because preparing contingency plans and patiently waiting to take action is BORING! Unfortunately, this leap into action can negatively affect others. It isn’t that you don’t care about other people, it’s just that in your enthusiasm, you forget to factor them into the equation. Because you are a very logical person who needs facts rather than feelings, you often see emotions as a weakness.
Just remember that you don’t have to be cold when it comes to the feelings of others. Find the best balance between the decisions you need to make while considering how other people might feel about your decision.
ESFP: The Performer
You are a shining beam of light to the world, my ESFP friends. You are also sensitive, and the person a friend can go to when they are in crisis. Just because you enjoy the spotlight doesn’t keep you from providing supportive kindness and good advice. That’s because you are very driven by how other people are feeling. Or, how you perceive they may be feeling. Unfortunately, when decision making is difficult for you, it’s often because you are worrying about other’s immediate unhappiness. This can cause you to make a decision that’s like a bandage on a wound. Just for the sake of the comfort of someone else.
Remember to keep your needs in mind as well as the future. Not just the present moment.
When Decision Making is Difficult for “Diplomat” Types
Diplomat types are folks who are “iNtuitive Feelers”. (The _NF_ types.) They generous folks who pursue harmony in most situations. They are typically kind and do practically anything to avoid causing discomfort to others. Their almost empathetic sensitivities to other people’s feelings combined with your ability to go deeper often helps you see insights into the motivations and behaviors of others. Often before others understand their own behaviors and reactions.
The downside of not wanting to be the cause of the distress of others is they often put the needs of others before their own needs. This can lead to them overextending themselves emotionally, mentally, and financially. And they share a tendency to become combative when someone acts against what seems to be right in their opinion.
These folks need beauty and gentleness. Yet, the need for the world to feel fair and just can contribute to when decision making is difficult for each of these intuitive feelers. Because, if provoked, these folks can be combative and overly aggressive to push their beliefs. Being in-tune with their emotions can temper the combativeness sometimes. And these folks make a great ally to have. However, when they get their feathers ruffled, they act without considering how others may truly think or feel.
Just as people vary, here are some more details dissecting when decision making is difficult for each of these the iNtuitive Feelers
INFJ: The Counselor
When it comes to connecting with others in a warm and sensitive way, the INFJ shines. With an inborn sense of morality and idealism, you have strong opinions and are willing to fight for what you believe in. Because you are sensitive to other’s feelings, you try to take the feelings and values of everyone else into your decision making process. However, as an introvert, you may be doing this entirely on your own without actually consulting others.
That’s when decision making is difficult because you (a) assume what others are feeling and (b) others can become frustrated because you don’t share what you’re thinking. To make better decisions, especially those that affect others, try to be more collaborative.
INFP: The Idealist
INFP folks are driven to make things better for everyone around them. Aptly called an idealist, you seek traces of good in even the worst people they encounter. This can lead you to trying to rescue others. And, ff you aren’t careful, however, you can lose yourself in this quest for good. At the neglect of your own self-care and the demands of everyday life. Driven by a purity of intent, you seek a perfect solution to problems. And this is when decision making is difficult because nothing is perfect. To add fuel to the challenging fire, you try to understand the motivation behind the choices of others. And that, my dear, can lead to you feeling isolated.
Because you seek a perfect choice and then become emotionally exhausted and despondent when you feel isolated, you often just don’t make a decision at all. Don’t doubt yourself when this happens, just stay true to yourself and have a little faith in the fact that you have a good head on your shoulders. And remember, even the best solutions may have some kinks that need to be worked out over time.
ENFJ: The Giver
The ENFJ is the perfect boss, colleague, or friend to have. A natural and charismatic leader, you have the ability to admit that you don’t have all the answers. And that means you are great at considering the input and opinions of others. Even if their opinions are contrary to yours. This is one of your greatest strengths. However, it can also contribute to situations when decision making is difficult because taking into account the opinions of others? That can make it more challenging to find a solution that everyone is 100% pleased about. When you are willing to incorporate logic into your decision making process, that allows you to step out of the emotions of everyone and consider all the input from a intellectual space.
This might result in some people not being happy initially, but they are probably going to be pretty pleased with how things turned out in the end.
ENFP: The Champion
ENFP folks are imaginative, curious, and enthusiastic communicators. You are charming and compassionate. Unfortunately, you are also very impulsive person. This can add to your charm as a friend, yet this is when decision making is difficult for your future. Because you impulsivity can lead you to make a snap decision without really processing all the facts. If you want to make better decisions for the overall trajectory of your life, give yourself the space to take a big breath before you jump into the next step towards solving a problem.
Allowing yourself to be patient and a little bored isn’t always a bad thing, especially when it comes to making better decisions.
Knowing when decision making is difficult for each of the Myers-Briggs Personality Types allows you to understand not just your own barriers to decision making. It can help you understand your colleagues and loved ones, too.
I understand why we can all feel stressed, overwhelmed, or confused when it comes to decision making. When you are able to better understand your own strengths and pitfalls to making great decisions. And, honestly, darling, I don’t see those pitfalls as bad. Simply soft spots when it comes to choosing your best path. And, no matter what your Meyers-Briggs type is, you can also find inspiration to approach any challenge you face from a different perspective.
Because, darling, to live a life you love. And in order to do that, it demands that the decisions you make propel you towards your deepest desires.
(Side note: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is my all-time favorite personality test when it comes to self-development. By knowing our type (and the type of others in our lives), it can help us understand how we process information and react to life around us. If you don’t know your type, there are many quick online quizzes than can help you find out. (Or, of course, the official assessment .)
Are you seeking practical advice? Someone to talk through potential pitfalls and solutions? Do you desperately need support around your crazy-busy life?
Would you like to explore the options by talking to someone that’s been there? Get some support for your over-scheduled life?
Hiring a life coach can help. You can find details about packages and pricing here.
Get in touch or drop me an email at: debra AT debrasmouse.com and we’ll schedule a call to see if we’re a good fit.