Your Most TOXIC Personality Trait and How to Change It

Hey, Psych2Goers! Have you ever taken a Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test? It’s that weird four-letter combo that tells you your personality type and different tendencies or interests you may have. Now, most everyone thinks that they have a winning personality, me included, BUT we all have a personality trait or two that can be a bit… well… toxic. Now, no one wants to be told or believe that they’re toxic, but we’ve got you covered! Let’s take a look at your most toxic trait based on your MBTI personality type AND what you can do to change it. Let’s go!

Side note: This article isn’t meant to attack anyone who may show these traits or to say they’re a bad person. This article is meant to help spread awareness of our WHOLE personality and how some qualities can come off to others.

ISTP – The Virtuoso

The Virtuoso is someone who is optimistic, creative yet practical, are great prioritizing, and they’re the person you want in a major crisis. Because of their spontaneity, they can get easily bored, not be one to commit to something, and engage in risky behavior to spike their interest. This can lead to a lot of unfinished things or even failed friendship and relationships. If this sounds like you, try starting small. Is there a book, a hobby, or even a DIY project that you’ve been wanting to complete? Schedule an hour for every weekend where you’ll keep working on that thing – whatever it is – until you finish it. After a few weeks, try two hours or longer. You can even practice making a small promise to a friend and following through. This can help you practice committing.

ISFP – The Adventurer

The Adventurer may sound like an Indiana Jones copy, but they’re actually the passionate, imaginative, artistic person who adventures in their mind. The problem with this is that an Adventurer they can be wayyy too independent and become stressed. They can also become easily overwhelmed by their emotions. If this is you, try hanging out with one or two friends at once instead of a group. If you’re in a relationship, maybe ask your partner if they can help with the chores around the house or to take charge of dinner one night. If your emotions are your kryptonite, try journaling! If a really strong emotion comes up, grab your phone and type it out. What do you feel, why, and what can you do about it? This can help you feel not as overwhelmed.

ESTP – The Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneur is a bold, direct, and practical kind of person. They’re very perceptive and sociable, as well. However, since they’re so rooted in their practicality, they can sometimes forget that people have emotions and be a little impatient with others. They can also become so focused with solving the problem at hand that they miss the big picture. Does this sound a bit like you? If so, it’s cheesy, but try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How might the other person feel or what might they think? This can help bring the Entrepreneur back and remember everyone has feelings.

ESFP – The Entertainer

The Entertainer is someone who defies tradition and opts for more original things, loves aesthetics, loves putting on a show (literally or figuratively), and has excellent people skills! Unlike some of the personalities we’ve mentioned already, the Entertainer is actually really emotional and can be more sensitive than others to conflict. In a study centered around people-pleasing, it was discovered that this main reason for this is self-preservation. “If I do what others’ want, there can’t be any conflict.” So, how do you fix this one? Start small. Let’s say you and a friend go to Starbucks for a quick pick-me-up. Your friend says “I’m getting an iced coffee! You want the same?” The typical Entertainer response is “Sure, sounds good,” but not this time. Politely let them know that their option sounds good, but you have your eye on a chai tea. Start politely bringing up your opinion in conversations to see how it’s received!

ESTJ – The Executive

The Executive. This person is dedicated with a strong will. They’re direct, fantastic with organization, and are reliable. Because they’re so rigid and logical, this can make them closed off to more alternative or unconventional methods. They can also be somewhat stubborn which makes them a bit uptight, unable to relax, and even unable to express emotions. For this one, it’s very important the Executive remembers that they can have their own methods and beliefs, but that doesn’t mean someone else’s method or belief isn’t valuable or equally as correct. Next time someone offers a suggestion on how to do something, instead of immediately rejecting it, try it out. If you don’t like it, that’s cool. Thank the person for showing you another way of doing something, and move on. This can help open you up to new ideas and understanding that agreement doesn’t have to be present for respect.

ISFJ – The Defender

The Defender is another reliable, observant personality. They’re supportive, enthusiastic, and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Since they’re always so eager to help others, sometimes they can put themselves second or third… or seventh, never bringing their feelings up. They can also be way too humble, not even taking credit or praise for their own accomplishments. If you’re a Defender and are a bit too modest, the next time someone tells you what a great job you did, give them a quick “Thank you!” Then you can go on to say who else helped you. The important part is making sure you acknowledged that you took part in that thing.

ISTJ – The Logistician

The Logistician is the leader of the pack. Think of the stereotype of the eldest child – responsible, organized, practical, and good at pretty much everything. Because they’re another super rigid personality, they can sometimes be too rigid and not want to try new things, meet new people, or really do anything outside of the routine. Expansion is the only want to reverse this, but again, the key is baby steps. Say the Logistician has eaten the same thing for breakfast for 20 years straight, a bowl of cereal and half of a grapefruit.  Maybe one day, they can try some scrambled eggs and toast! If they don’t like it, that’s okay! There’s always tomorrow! Push your boundaries little by little. Maybe make it a game! What’s something you can change up about your day? Let us know down below!

ESFJ – The Consul

The Consul is a nice mix of dutiful and practical, plus they’re loyal, warm, and are great with people and social cues. They couldn’t have a toxic trait, right? Let’s ask the audience! Ding, ding! The audience got it right! Yes, they do! The Consul can be preoccupied with their social status and how others perceive them. This can cause them to be overly needy for validation and be overly selfless to be perceived as “good.” If this sounds like you, try this to help boost your self-confidence. When you wake up, say out loud or write down at least three positive things about yourself or your life and take a moment to appreciate that thing. This is called gratitude which, according to some studies on the effects of gratitude, can lead to a stronger sense of community and stronger relationships.

ENFP – The Campaigner

The Advocate is a perceptive, curious person who can be enthusiastic, know how to have fun, and be in the moment! Because of their happy outlook on life, it can be said that they’re wearing rose-colored glasses which causes them to make naïve decisions although with good intentions. For example, an Advocate might meet up with someone on a first date then meet back up at the date’s house. This isn’t to assume something is wrong with the Advocate’s date. It’s can be hard to fully trust someone after just a few hours. Advocates can benefit from weighing pros and cons when in a situation where the Advocate wants to believe the best of someone. You can write it, type it in a note on your phone, or even just say it aloud. Once you’ve done so, make your decision based on your list and which decision is in your best interest NOT your emotions.

INFP – The Mediator

The Mediator is open-minded, generous, creative, and passionate person. However, these traits can cause them to self-isolate and become far too introverted. They’re also really critical of themselves which makes them people-please for acceptance which can be a toxic trait. Coming in hot with another list suggestion. Instead of pros and cons, the Mediator can make a list of things they truly like or love about themselves to enhance their self-confidence. When it comes to that self-isolation, the Mediator should schedule one social event every 1-2 weeks (depending on your social battery). This can be a FaceTime, phone call, or a good old-fashioned meet-up (of course, be safe out there). This can help to break up the need to withdraw and help keep a good balance.

ENFJ – The Protagonist

The Protagonist is a passionate person with strong opinions, but they’re open to others’, too. They’re usually the leader of the group, and they want to see positive change. Because of that deep seeded need for correct everything wrong they see, they can become overly idealistic and a tad unrealistic. They can also come off a bit condescending, especially if they believe they’re always right. For the Protagonist, remembering to ask little questions to include others can really be a game changer. Let’s say someone asks the Protagonist for advice on buying a car. Instead of launching into your dissertation, ask “What was your plan?” Another option is explaining your tips and tricks, then the Protagonist can ask “What do you think?” It helps remind the Protagonist they’re not the main character.

INFJ – The Advocate

The Advocate is always looking outside the box, incredibly insightful, and not interested in materialistic or superficial things. Because of the Advocate’s want to avoid the mundane, they’re always searching for the next big thing. This can cause toxic perfectionism which can lead to emotional burnout. Self-care and rest are the Advocate’s friends. The Advocate needs to be sure to schedule time for themselves at least once per week. This can be a bath, a journal session, a nap, a massage, time to play your favorite video game, read, whatever fills your cup! It’s okay to take time to rest, Advocate. This will help you give back as you love to do!

INTJ – The Architect

The Architect likes to break things down rationally due to their curious nature, and they rarely base things off of anything other than fact. Because of this affinity to facts, Architects can completely dismiss emotion and be a bit arrogant thinking they’re always right. This can be a lotta bit toxic. If you’re an Architect and are in a situation where you may not understand someone’s emotions or haven’t acknowledged them at all, pretend you’re a TV therapist and ask the ever-so-popular question “And how does that make you feel?” When you ask that open question, it allows the other person to explain their stance for you to factor into your response.

INTP – The Logistician

The Logistician is just what it sounds like. They’re the logical, analytical, curious type, but they are also open-minded to collaboration and others’ views. Because the Logistician is able to analyze multiple options at once, this can also lead to toxic perfectionism and hyper-focusing on how things can be improved (even when they’re not broken). They can also take rejection pretty rough if their idea isn’t chosen. How can we detoxify this? The Logistician can practice gratitude to give thanks for the good things in your life can help to stop the search to always improve what doesn’t need improvement. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to say “thank you” three times before your feet touch the ground in the morning. If you want to get fancy with it, you can say thank you for three specific things each day! Try it, and let us know how it felt! What did you say thank you for?

ENTJ – The Commander

The Commander is another classic leader type, a good ol’ Steve Rogers. If you know, you know, and who doesn’t know Captain America?! The Commander is an efficient, confident, strategic, and strong-willed personality who loves good, hard work and is charming to boot. The toxic side of their strong-will is being stubborn or even showing dominance over those who oppose them. This can be incredibly toxic and off-putting. As a leader-type, it’s important to remember all opinions on the team are valuable. To reduce this toxic trait, the Commander can practice using checks and balances. Whether it’s a partner, a friend, family member, or just someone who you trust, you can always ask them what they think of your idea. This way you can get real feedback and adjust as needed!

ENTP – The Debater

The Debater is that person who can create a well-thought-out speech and deliver it while charming a crowd. They love learning new things, and they’re especially quick witted. Because the Debater is… well… a debater, they love challenging ideas. Once in a while, this is a healthy trait, but the Debater likes to challenge almost everything. This flows into the toxic category. To reduce this toxic trait, the Debater can ask themselves whether their opinion has been asked for. In some situations, especially emotionally charged ones, someone may want you just to listen rather than give advice. If the Debater is unsure, they can straight up ask “Would you like my opinion?” If the answer is no, the Debater should respond along the lines of “Okay, I’m here to listen.” This reduces that toxic trait.

There are a lot of different personalities out there, and you might even be a mix of a few of these. Do you know your MBTI personality? If not, jump over to 16Personalities to take a free MBTI quiz. What personality are YOU? Do you have any other tips to minimize your toxic trait? Let us know down below, and as always, keep an eye on Psi for more Psych2Go content!

The references used in and to compose this article are listed below:

16Personalities. (2011). 16Personalities Website. 16Personalities. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://www.16personalities.com/

Baumeister, R. F., & Hutton, D. G. (1987). Self-presentation theory: Self-construction and audience pleasing. Theories of Group Behavior, 71–87. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-4634-3_4

Layous, K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2019). Benefits, mechanisms, and New Directions for teaching gratitude to children. School Psychology Review, 43(2), 153–159. https://doi.org/10.1080/02796015.2014.12087441

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