Everybody needs a little support from time to time. Some people simply want somebody to listen and empathize in their hour of need. Thoughtful types want to be left alone to process their emotions at their own pace. Others prefer action and problem-solving solutions.
It’s important to remember that how we show our support is not always the same way that our loved ones like to receive it. Every Myers-Briggs personality type has unique needs when it comes to support and encouragement. To offer support that will be gratefully received, learn about how each personality type finds comfort.
The ENFJ dedicates so much time to helping others, but never feels comfortable asking for assistance themselves. This can make The Giver a tricky person to support. The onus is on the people in the lives of an ENFJ to notice when they are struggling.
An ENFJ can become a little obsessed with fixing a situation when things go wrong. It’s not uncommon for The Giver to shift from one potential solution to another, determined to wrap everything up with a bow.
To help such an individual, don’t offer more possible answers and don’t nit-pick or bad-mouth suggestions. The support The Giver needs is emotional, not practical. Let the ENFJ talk themselves until they are tired of the sound of their own voice, listening all the while. In doing so, they will discover their own ideal solution.
In essence, The Giver feels supported and encouraged when they feel loved and respected. If you can offer this, without criticism or judgment, the ENFJ will be just fine.
When life is good for The Champion, it’s very, very good. Sadly, when it’s bad, it can be very difficult. The ENFP can tumble into a spiral of negativity if left to their own devices. Support becomes extremely important in such circumstances.
Support and help can come from asking questions that will challenge these beliefs. Remind the ENFP of all the times they have overcome difficulty in the past. Show them that, for every possible negative consequence, there is also the possibility of a positive outcome. Give this personality type the opportunity to think their way out of a problem.
This may involve a little tough love, but don’t push too far. The Champion may need some time alone to wrestle with an issue. If this is the case, make it clear that you’re stepping back as an act of support. If The Champion knows that they’ll be welcomed back into your life when they’re ready, they’ll be fine.
The ENTJ sometimes struggles to balance practical concerns with emotional reactions. As far as The Commander is concerned, there is always an endgame in sight. If something gets in the way of reaching this target, it can become distressing.
The best way to support The Commander in such a situation is focusing on practical elements. Asking an ENTJ to explore how they feel, or to tap into their emotional core, will not end well. In fact, The Commander may even lash out in such a scenario, which they’ll regret later.
Emotions are personal to the ENTJ. They don’t need support with them – feelings will be processed in their own time. If you want to lend a hand, keep things practical. Offer to run errands, share the burden of organizing and event, or wash the dishes. The more practical matters are under control, the more supported The Commander will feel.
The ENTP is a personality type that thrives on new ideas and new perspectives. This makes supporting The Visionary a little different to most.
Rather than simple agreement and empathy, the ENTP wants to have their thinking challenged. This is how this personality type feels valued and supported. The Visionary acknowledges people taking the time and making the effort to meet them on an intellectual level.
If you feel that an ENTP doesn’t seem themselves, draw them into a friendly debate about a subject they feel strongly about. This will soon fire up the imagination of The Visionary. If collaborating on a project, encourage the ENTP to elaborate upon their ideas.
Let the ENTP take some time out if necessary, but don’t allow them to become a hermit. This personality type thrives on human contact. If it’s been a while since you last saw The Visionary in your life, it’s time to reach out.
The Provider is usually capable of resolving a situation by themselves. They just prefer not to. This personality type does not like to face daunting tasks alone.
This makes supporting an ESFJ comparatively straightforward. You need to be there for them, physically and emotionally.
Make it obvious to an ESFJ that you are a team, and that you’ll tackle anything that life throws at you together. Point out that you are going nowhere, and that you have The Provider’s back. At the same time, be sure to thank the ESFJ for having yours in the past.
Supporting the ESFJ essentially revolves around being a personal cheerleader, and letting them know that they have a network of people always willing to pitch in.
The fact is though, you’ll rarely need to. This personality type is usually competent and efficient, more than capable of getting the job done themselves. You can just bask in reflected glory.
The ESFP does not cope with thoughts and fears that remain unspoken. The Performer needs to unburden their soul from time to time. Failing to do so leaves this personality type feeling overwhelmed, which can lead to uncharacteristic behavior.
To support The Performer, be prepared to expect the unexpected. This personality type needs to feel like anything is possible.
That means you may need to answer the phone at 3am. You may need to show up unexpectedly on their doorstep with a bottle of wine and tub of ice cream. Basically, you need to be ready to nod along and listen to the thought process of an ESFP.
Essentially, it comes down to the universal truth that every Performer needs an audience. The ESFP needs to feel heard and seen, and to be sporadically reminded of the charm and good nature they bring to the world.
The ESTJ is driven by order and routine. In the mind of The Supervisor, success is achieved by following a strict plan or structure. Any deviation from a pre-established routine or schedule is a fast track to this personality type feeling disheartened and frustrated.
It’s simple enough to offer encouragement to an ESTJ. Prove that all is not lost and that all is proceeding according to plan. Listen to what is bothering The Supervisor, and visibly and obviously react accordingly.
Most critically, the ESTJ takes comfort and support from feeling useful. To lift the spirits of The Supervisor, listen to any suggestions and instructions they may have and follow through with them.
The ESTP wants to get things resolved, no matter what. Obstacles can be thoroughly disheartening for The Doer, especially if it feels like others are willfully blocking progress.
This personality type needs somebody to stand by their side. If The Doer has an idea to resolve a situation, they don’t want to hear why it won’t work. The ESTP wants somebody to say, “OK, let’s give that a shot.”
It’s important that The Doer feels like they have somebody in their corner. If that’s the case, they’ll feel motivated to try anything. If you’re attempting to help an ESTP and action isn’t possible, you can still provide support. Just listen to, and understand, any complaints.
Empty platitudes such as, “ah well, things could be worse” are infuriating to this personality type. The Doer takes comfort from a problem shared, and acknowledgment that their frustrations are valid and understandable.
The Counselor loves to solve problems for others. Unfortunately, this personality type sometimes lacks the capacity to process their own thoughts and feelings alone. The INFJ is no stranger to an existential crisis.
Most of the time, a change of scenery is the ideal support mechanism for The Counselor. Spending some time out of their usual environment – and, critically, out of their own head – can make all the difference.
What’s more, the INFJ takes comfort in feeling cared for. By making the effort to spend time with The Counselor, you are showing that you care. This is worth more than diamonds to the INFJ and will lift their spirits immeasurably.
The INFP feels things deeply. This makes times of joy something to celebrate. Unfortunately, it also means that The Idealist can be prone to periods of depression and anxiety. When things go wrong, this personality type often blames themselves.
There will be little that you can do to change this, so don’t try. The INFP doesn’t want to hear about how things will get better soon, or that there was nothing they can do. Instead of trying to change the mood of The Idealist, change your own. You need to empathize with this personality type to support them.
That does not mean spiraling into your own depression. That would be unhelpful. However, acknowledge how and what the INFP is feeling. Make it clear that they can process their feelings in their own time.
Also be prepared to listen to anything they have to say. Just accept that this may be nothing. That’s fine too. Never force The Idealist to talk things through before they’re ready.
The INTJ’s idea of support is simple. Trust their judgment and agree with them wherever possible! The Mastermind does not enjoy being questioned.
If facing a difficult situation, this personality wants to think their way out of it. Make it obvious that you trust an INTJ. Speak when spoken to, and don’t try to force yourself into their affairs.
You certainly shouldn’t try to solve an INTJ’s problems for them. Even offering unsolicited advice may be taken as an insult.
Give the INTJ space if it’s requested, making it clear that you are willing to play as small or large a role in their situation as they are comfortable with. Also clarify that, the moment the issue is resolved, you are waiting to bring them back into your life.
The best way to support The Thinker is to stay away. That may sound harsh, but it’s exactly what the INTP wants and needs. This personality type needs time alone to consider and mull over a problem, question or concern.
You can still do your part to help and support The Thinker from afar. Wherever possible, ensure that this personality type is not interrupted.
Offer to remove external distractions from their life. Just taking the dog for a walk or doing the dishes will free up time for the INTP, and they’ll be eternally grateful to you for it.
If you must interact with the INTP while supporting them, stick to the topic at hand. Don’t make frivolous small talk about the weather. Ask The Thinker questions about what ails them, and strive to help them find an answer.
This is one of the more insecure personality types. The ISFJ spends so much time worrying about others that they can sometimes become neurotic about their own self-worth. It’s not uncommon for The Nurturer to experience dark moods and isolate themselves.
Finding the right balance to support an ISFJ can sometimes be difficult. On the one hand, this personality type needs space from time to time. Excessive social contact becomes exhausting and even frightening. However, The Nurturer also needs to know that people care.
The best way to support an ISFJ is to schedule check-ins. Let them know that, come hell or high water, you’ll be popping by to see them at 3pm on a Tuesday. While you’re doing so, make a fuss of The Nurturer. Before you leave, schedule your next social call – and stick to it.
This personality type draws comfort from such scheduled, reliable support. Effort and order are the love language of the ISFJ. If The Nurturer feels that somebody cares, they’ll feel supported in their ventures.
The ISFP just wants to be understood. When The Composer is feeling sad or gloomy, respect this. Don’t force this personality type to talk about something that makes them feel uncomfortable. Don’t drag them out of the house, kicking and screaming. Don’t ask a barrage of questions.
The Composer will work things out for themselves eventually. In the meantime, show support by acknowledging that any feelings or concerns are valid. Don’t compare the ISFP to anybody else. Don’t show any signs of judgment, regardless of how ill-conceived an idea may appear. Just be there, in the moment. If the ISFP complains, nod your head and say, “you’re right, that’s terrible.”
Eventually, The Composer may ask for help with actioning a plan. This the kind of tangible, physical support that can be provided. The ISFP may have a great idea, but no idea how to turn it into a reality. If you’re providing support, this is your time to shine.
The ISTJ may frequently require external support and encouragement. The Inspector is prone to feelings of gloominess and despair when things do not go according to plan, or when feeling overworked and underappreciated.
This personality type tends to retreat into themselves when this happens, imagining a wide range of possible pessimistic outcomes. The Inspector needs solitude and space more than most personality types, but should not be left alone with their thoughts for too long.
To provide support, keep things logical and plain-speaking. Telling an ISTJ to cheer up is pointless. Reminding an ISTJ that they have conquered similar issues in the past, however, will lift their spirits.
Above all, The Inspector draws comfort and support from feeling valued. Emotions are less important than practical value. Take the opportunity to tell the ISTJ in your life that you appreciate all they do for you and others. It will mean the world to them.
If The Craftsperson doesn’t want to talk about a problem, being forced to do so will not help. In fact, it’s counterproductive. The ISTP needs time and space away from what’s bothering them, not to wallow further in it.
This personality type will often hide themselves away when the going gets rough. That may be beneficial. If The Craftsperson spends this time disconnecting from a problem at hand, it can give them some much-needed mental space.
If you are spending time with an ISTP that needs some encouragement, pay attention to them and let them make the running. Don’t offer empty platitudes, like, “you can do this!” – they mean nothing to The Craftsperson.
Let the ISTP work out a solution at their own speed and be prepared to help when asked. In the meantime, make the environment as comfortable as possible. The more relaxed The Craftsperson is, the more encouraged and supported they’ll feel.