Biggest Challenges Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Faces During A Divorce (And How To Use Your Specific Traits To Move On)

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Biggest Challenges In Getting Over A Divorce For All Myers Briggs Personality Types & How To Get Over A Breakup Using Your Personality Traits
Self, Heartbreak

No matter how you look at it, getting over a divorce sucks. All divorcing couples battle with the drama and trauma of ending their marriage — even if they do it very differently as individuals.

Despite the same basic struggle, we each suffer through healing after divorce differently because as individuals, our experience and understanding of the world is different, thanks in large part to our Myers-Briggs personality types.

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Social scientists, philosophers, therapists, astrologers, and researchers have striven over the centuries to categorize people in an effort to provide tools for understanding both others and ourselves.

Each of the tools developed has its pros and cons along with its adherents and detractors. In other words, none of the tools have been globally accepted as 100 percent scientifically accurate.

Despite the imperfections, one of the tools that have been in common use for more than 50 years is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is a self-assessment tool that categorizes people into one of 16 different personality types. Each of the personality types has specific personality traits that make up their strengths and weaknesses.

What does the MBTI have to do with getting over divorce? Well, lots! Maybe.

By knowing the specific strengths and weaknesses of your personality type you can prepare for and mitigate what will be the most difficult parts of getting over a breakup for you.

Yes, the MBTI has the potential to help you predict what will be most difficult for you in healing after divorce, but remember it’s not 100 percent accurate.

If you already know your MBTI personality type, all you need to do is find your type in the list below. You’ll see your strengths, general weaknesses and the most likely ways you’ll experience difficulty in healing after divorce.

Here are each of the Meyers-Briggs personality types and how identifying yours can help you heal after divorce:

ENFJ: The Teacher

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Move past the hurt feelings of divorce or run the risk of becoming bitter.
  • Avoid the urge to manipulate ex (and kids) to get what you want.
  • Avoid the urge to smother children now that you’re a single parent.

Find a support group, divorced friend, counselor, therapist or divorce coach to help you process the emotional turmoil of divorce. Develop the skills you need to become more independent to help you avoid the urge to manipulate your ex.

Know when to ask for help and then accept it graciously when it’s given.

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ENFP: The Champion

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will avoid conflict and instead try to manipulate their ex (and kids) to get what they want

Use your communication skills and explore being direct with your ex and kids instead of beating around the bush or manipulating them. Work with an attorney who will be efficient and finish the legalities of your divorce as quickly as possible so you can move forward with your life.

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ENTJ: The Field Marshall

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will attempt to control the divorce process and co-parenting relationship after divorce.
  • Will have difficulty focusing on the long-term impact of their decisions because of the need to win.

Pay attention to both the long-term and short-term impacts of your decisions and actions because no one ever truly wins a divorce. Divorce is an opportunity for long-term growth. Use the knowledge gained from your failed marriage to improve your life.

Set yourself the goal of pausing before making decisions and taking actions that impact others during your divorce recovery.

RELATED: The Dark Side Of The ENTJ Myers Briggs Personality Type

ENTP: The Inventor

Specific divorce challenges:

  • The tendency to argue with an ex instead of resolving the issues that come up.
  • Will have a difficult time finishing the tasks required to get divorced.

Hire an attorney who is as quick and communicative as you are or who can at least keep up with you. Use your resourceful nature to overcome your tendency to procrastinate and get what needs to be done so you can complete the divorce and move on with your life.

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ESFJ: The Provider

Specific divorce challenges:

  • May take a disproportionate amount of blame for the end of the marriage.
  • Will avoid conflict and may choose to follow the rules rather than stand up for themselves – even if the rules are being made by their ex.

Instead of automatically taking the blame for the divorce, know that it takes two to make a marriage work and two to allow it to fail. Get clear about what’s important to you without input from your ex and then work with your attorney to make sure your divorce agreement allows you to take care of you and your kids.

Make your needs a priority so you can have the strength and resources to continue focusing on providing for your loved ones.

RELATED: What Is The Dark Side Of An ESFJ Myers Briggs Personality Type?

ESFP: The Performer

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will take the divorce personally and tend to think of themselves as a failure instead of realizing it’s the marriage that broke down.
  • Will back down from standing up for themselves during the divorce negotiations.

Accept that you are not a failure because the marriage failed. It takes two to make a marriage work and two for it to fail. Work with a helping professional to support you in moving on from your divorce especially if you have a difficult time shaking the belief that you’re a failure because your marriage failed.

Work closely with your attorney during the negotiations so they can support you in standing firm in the face of any demands your ex makes that would be detrimental to you and/or your kids.

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ESTJ: The Supervisor

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will be especially frustrated with your ex for not seeing things your way and be blunt about your frustration.
  • Believe that your view of the divorce and what needs to be done is the only correct way to view it.

Your ex is not your spouse any longer, so stop judging them for having an opinion that’s different from yours. You may be 100 percent right, but that doesn’t mean your ex has to agree with you. Learning to compromise with your ex will be an extremely valuable skill if you’re co-parents.

RELATED: The Dark Side Of ESTJ Myers Briggs Personality Type

ESTP: The Promoter

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will tend to not want to think about the details of the divorce agreement and therefore agree quickly to a settlement instead of choosing what’s in their (and their children’s) best interest.
  • May inflame the situation because of insensitivity.

Temper your ability to make decisions quickly by examining the long-term impact of your decisions when it comes to forging your divorce agreement.

Look for an attorney who is efficient and who explains to you the long-term impact of your decisions. This is one agreement you want to reach with a full understanding of the long-term consequences.

RELATED: The Dark Side Of The ESTP Myers Briggs Personality Type

INFJ: The Counselor

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will be uncomfortable with the conflict of divorce.
  • Will search for the perfect solution and have difficulty compromising to reach a divorce agreement.

Agree to ideal little wins instead of looking for the perfect solution for your entire divorce settlement. Avoid manipulating your ex and kids as a way to avoid conflict. Be direct and compassionate in requesting what you want, be willing to compromise.

Be careful about second-guessing yourself after an agreement has been reached because it will only cause you torment.

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INFP: The Healer

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will blame themselves for the divorce.
  • Will find the emotional upheavals of divorce especially difficult.

Know that it takes two to make a marriage work and two to make one fail. Find a divorce support group, a friend who's been through a divorce, a counselor or a divorce coach to help you navigate the emotional turmoil.

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INTJ: The Mastermind

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will blame their ex for the divorce and not accept any responsibility for their own part in the demise of the marriage.
  • Will blaze their own trail through the divorce and on with the rest of their life without much concern for others along the way.

It takes two to make a marriage work and to make one fail. You're both culpable for the failure of the marriage. Your divorce impacts your entire family and not just you. So take this fact into consideration as you progress through your healing.

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INTP: The Architect

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will blame their ex for the divorce.
  • Will tend to explosive anger when things get tough during the divorce process.
  • Runs the risk of getting stuck instead of completely healing from their divorce.

Know that it takes two to make a marriage work and two to make one fail. Channel your anger about your divorce into positive action. Find a book, a divorce support group or a helping professional to assist you in moving through your divorce so you can move on with your life.

RELATED: The Dark Side Of The INTP Myers Briggs Personality Type

ISFJ: The Protector

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Very difficult to make the decision to divorce.
  • Will feel the guilt especially if ex blames them at all.
  • Will have difficulty adjusting to all of the change that divorce brings and may neglect their own needs as a result.
  • May attempt to help their ex solve all their problems post-divorce.

Know that it takes two to make a marriage work and two to make it fail. Be careful about helping your ex post-divorce and make sure that you're not hurting yourself by doing so.

Take time daily to take care of yourself because if you don’t take care of yourself, you'll burn out and won’t have the capacity to continue caring for others.

RELATED: The 5 Negative Personality Traits Of An ISFJ Myers Briggs Personality Type

ISFP: The Composer

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will withdraw even further when marriage ends.
  • Will avoid conflict and criticism which will make the divorce process even more difficult and draining.
  • Will remain in an unhappy marriage out of loyalty and commitment.

Find a divorce support group, a friend who has been through a divorce, a counselor or coach to help you navigate the changes your divorce is bringing with it. Know that the conflict and criticism levied at you by your ex is more about them than you and develop the skills to not take it all personally.

RELATED: The Dark Side Of The ISFP Myers Briggs Personality Type

ISTJ: The Inspector

Specific divorce challenges:

  • They want to follow the best path for getting divorced.
  • Will fight bitterly to have things their way because they need to be right more than they need to move on with their lives.

Divorce is about learning to compromise and moving on with your life. Keep your focus on being responsible for reaching a workable divorce settlement and parenting plan so you can put your life into a new and improved order.

Admit that you had a part in the failure of the marriage — even if that part was only agreeing to marry your ex.

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ISTP: The Crafter

Specific divorce challenges:

  • Will avoid emotional processing of their divorce.
  • Will plan more for the short-term than for the long-term.

Find a divorce support group, divorced friend, counselor or divorce coach who will help you process the normal emotions of divorce. You need to process these emotions so you don't become bitter or even physically ill.

Choose an attorney who will help you plan the long-term impact of your divorce agreement for both you and your children.

No matter what your personality type, moving on from the end of your marriage and healing after divorce is difficult. Use the information here as a starting point to help you anticipate the pitfalls you might encounter along the way, but don’t be surprised if other challenges show up, too.

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Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce coach and divorce survivor herself who works with clients to help with their healing after divorce. You can join her anonymous newsletter group for free advice or email her for a free consultation.

This article was originally published at Dr. Karen Finn. Reprinted with permission from the author.