If you’re an “NF,” you are all too familiar with the stress negative emotions cause. (Are you an NF? Find out below.) And though it may seem odd to some, it doesn’t even have to be your own emotions, right? Stress from the out-of-control emotions of others can also affect you deeply. In fact, NFs are so sensitive to the emotional current running through any situation, it becomes difficult to discern whether it’s coming from within or outside of themselves. “It’s Complicated!” could easily be the meme that best describes daily life. Stress control is critical to any NF who wants to be on top of their game and successfully manage NF stress by managing their powerful emotions.
Take this quick InnerKinetics® assessment. Record your four-letter result. Then come back to discover the best way to “ref” your own stress.
“Ref” Your Own NF Stress
Last week, we talked about the sensitive, intuitive, and influential ways of the NF. And as an NF, you have an important choice to make. Being hypersensitive to emotions can either become your greatest asset or your greatest liability. That is especially true in the crazy times we’re experiencing now, where constant stress is created from the disharmony and disconnection we are all experiencing.
The toll on an NF can be immeasurable. But it’s also manageable if you want to be a proactive victor and not a victim.
Start here to begin ref-ing NF stress
Take a look at your InnerKinetics assessment result. Did you have an “N” and an “F” among your letters? Now, read the general description provided of the Real You “NF” in the follow-up email you received. Can you identify with the intense desire all NFs have for meaningful connections and successful relationships? You may even find it a huge relief to know there’s nothing “wrong” with being this way. It’s by design and you have important things to accomplish with your sophisticated, people-problem-solving ways.
But first, you must deal with a common obstacle: stress from negative emotions.
FOLLOW THIS “REF YOUR OWN STRESS” PROTOCOL FOR INFLUENTIAL NF’S
- Are you are feeling hopeless?
- Do you feel you just could not care less about what other, less fortunate people are going through?
- Or if you feel angry and acts of kindness are the last things you’d be willing to do…
These thoughts and feelings aren’t “The Real You.” When thoughts of this type occur, it’s time to take control of the stress and negative emotions standing in the way of your becoming everything you’re designed to become. Follow these easy steps to reclaim your greatest potential and your positive influence on others:
KNOW YOUR NF STRENGTHS
You must know your NF strengths so intimately that you readily recognize when you’re NOT using them. Consider the ways your design-driven strengths have helped you create meaningful connections and healthy relationships of all kinds. Just as importantly, consider the negative effects you’ve had when you didn’t use these strengths properly. Here’s a quick reference to your NF strengths that you can download and save for future use.
IDENTIFY THE EMOTIONS AFFECTING YOU.
Your effective stress control starts by recognizing which emotions are bad actors in your current circumstances. For the NF, self-control and stress management means emotional control. It’s the powerful forces of both positive and negative emotions that will either protect optimistic future plans or thwart them immediately. And not surprisingly, no one but you can serve as the emotional referee in this high-stakes game of life, where damaging emotions (like hurt, anger, frustration, and bitterness) must be thrown out and replaced with positive emotions (like kindness, love, care, and encouragement). Many times, simple acts of practical kindness toward others are enough to restore the emotional fuel you need to beat your stress.
PROTECT YOUR HOPE & IMAGINATION.
Without hope, an NF quickly descends into depression and a stress-filled focus on failed relationships in their past. However, NFs are designed to live IN and FOR the future. Therefore, an NF must protect their hope and their imagination, focusing both of these powerful inner strengths on the target of reaching their very highest potential and bringing everyone else along with them.
What else about NF stress?
Here’s more about ref-ing your own stress in each of the NF types:
Like all NFs, an ENFP stresses when feeling disconnected in their important relationships. Being all about people, disharmony, isolation or rejection can send an ENFP into a tailspin of self-doubt and loss of motivation. Equally negative in its effects is a loss of focus on a future full of possibilities. To manage their stress, an ENFP must rationally upgrade negative emotions, choose an optimistic focus on every silver lining, and learn to introspect the right way. (Yes, there is a wrong way to do it that has you relentlessly beating yourself up over all your relationship mistakes and failed attempts at being significant in the lives of others.) Ask yourself, “Did I do the very best I could do, knowing what I knew at the time?” If yes…, LEARN, MOVE ON, and TRY AGAIN.
Feedback is the key element that stabilizes or stresses an ENFJ’s world. Without meaningful approval and recognition of their labors to create harmony and peace, the ENFJ will plunge into self-doubt and gloom. For them, life is friends, family, and community. So, they take anything that causes disagreement or disharmony quite personally. A focused sense of direction is also critical to an ENFJ. Lack of direction and personal fulfillment causes them to lose touch with their world and the ability to influence it positively. This is a doom loop every ENFJ must avoid by re-focusing on all those who make up their inner circle and by being all they can be to them (mentors, educators, coaches, etc.)
When all their focused efforts at bringing healing and harmony to their environment are ignored or rejected, INFPs fall into critical and demanding ways. This results in great stress in their relationships, and guilt mounts within them when they resort to anger. INFPs endure a lot before they explode or implode. The stress is at a high level for a long time before they show their upset or, sometimes, before they attempt to heal broken relationships. What’s more, being an idealist can also be a major source of stress. To stress less, all NFs — especially INFPs — must aim at the ideal, expect the ideal, and be content with a reality that often falls short. To aim at the ideal result is good! It means a greater chance of coming nearer to and/or hitting the bull’s eye.
INFJs are subject to intense stress and anxiety when they feel their life has no meaning and significance in this world. Stress occurs when they’ve failed in persuading others to see their point of view or when they’re experiencing disharmony in their relationships. It also occurs when they’ve lost their focus on creative ideas. In other words, INFJs tend to punish themselves more than most because of their strong drive to succeed in powers of influence and achievement. Writing, an active imagination, and a connection with nature — anything that returns them to their creativity — put them in the position of refereeing their own stress.
Know and Be the Real You
We all know that stress is a fact of life. These complicated times are no exception. So, intentional stress control is an essential skill we all must master. The good news is, the Real You already knows just what to do. It’s written in your blueprint. The Real You is a literal target you’ve been uniquely designed to hit. And when we hit that target, it reduces stress and generates the sense of fulfillment we each need. Learn how to not just know the Real You. Instead, become the Real You. Understand your InnerKinetics, and you’ll have the details you need to see the target of your best life accurately.
Here’s a look back at the 4 core temperaments
In case you haven’t caught previous posts on all four core inner designs, here they are for your convenience:
- InnerKinetics of Being “SP”
- InnerKinetics of Being “SJ”
- The InnerKinetics of Being “NT”
- The InnerKinetics of Being “NF”
We have resources to guide you
These InnerKinetics resources offer far more detail and the help you need to hit your mark: