When we rang in the new year, little did we know it would turn out the way it has. Months later, we’re facing a “new normal” that still doesn’t seem to be defined or give closure to the rollercoaster we’ve been through. Oxford Languages defines normal as “the usual, average or typical state or condition.” With 72% of Americans stating that their lives have been disrupted to at least some degree, it is unlikely that we can just go back to the way things were before the global health crisis. Instead of simply coming to terms with the fact that the world as we know it has changed in the face of the COVID-19, why don’t we find ways to embrace your new normal?
With every negative impact the pandemic had on our lives, there’s a positive one as well. You’ve likely experienced loneliness in self-isolation but also think about all the time you got to spend with your close ones or how many people are now able to work from home. Maybe you had to put your travel plans on hold but with everyone sheltering in place, the decrease in carbon dioxide emissions has drastically improved the air quality all over the world.
Putting things into perspective is one way of coping with your new normal but everyone handles stress and isolation differently. To brace yourself for the future, it can be helpful to develop a coping mindset that matches your personality type. We did some research so you can find out how you can embrace your new normal according to your Myers-Briggs personality type.
What Are The Myers-Briggs Personality Types
Isabel Briggs Myers believed that “It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences.” Together with her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, they created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) which consists of eight traits:
- Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)
- Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
- Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
Your personality is defined by the traits you scored higher on which leads to a total of 16 combinations or personality types according to Myers-Briggs. These 16 types can further be combined into four groups that share specific traits: Analysts, Diplomats, Sentinels and Explorers. If you’d like to find out, which of the 16 personalities matches yours, this quick free test will shed light on your character.
Having a deeper understanding of your personality type can help you build relationships, advance in your career and even overcome hardship. How you approach uncertain and difficult situations is largely influenced by your personality type, so learning more about it can offer you practical solutions on how to navigate through and embrace your new normal. Let’s dive into the different personalities, maybe you’ll find one that describes you perfectly without even taking the test.
What Are Analysts
Analysts have the traits Intuition and Thinking in common and tend to be more rational people. They use their curiosity to come up with creative solutions and innovative strategies. Individuals who fall under the category Analyst tend to be relentless self-improvers and independent minds. The four analyst personalities are:
- Architects (INTJ) are among the rarest personality types, they have to analyse everything and bleed perfectionism. These individuals are imaginative but decisive, display curiosity, ambition and rarely struggle with keeping their focus.
- Logicians (INTP) are proud of their creativity, unique outlook and intellect. They’re enthusiastic problem solvers.
- Commanders (ENTJ) are natural leaders who embody confidence and charisma. They love a good challenge and believe that they can achieve any goal.
- Debaters (ENTP) are on a constant quest for knowledge and have most fun when they can argue on a topic of choice, whether it aligns with their personal opinion doesn’t matter. All debaters want is to expand their horizons and show off their quick wit. It’s their understanding of a fun time.
The Diplomat Personality Types
Diplomats share the personality traits Intuition and Feeling. They care about helping and connecting with other people and prioritize being generous and kind over competing with others. Small talk is not one of their strong suits as they prefer a deep conversation with someone who shares their earnest insights into human nature. Diplomats tend to be altruistic, empathetic personalities and want to actively contribute to the progress and beauty of the world. The four diplomat personalities are:
- Advocates (INFJ) have a strong sense of morality and idealism but accompany it with the capability of forming concrete steps to achieve their goals. They’re a rare breed.
- Mediators (INFP) will always look for the good in their fellow humans and seek out harmony. They’re gifted communicators who are driven by their compassion.
- Protagonists (ENFJ) are full of charisma and passion which makes them excellent leaders. People with protagonist traits are not afraid to stand up for what’s right and their authenticity and genuine concern easily inspires others to follow them.
- Campaigners (ENFP) are free spirits. They love social events but less for the pleasure of the moment than the emotional connections they can make with others. Campaigners are charming and compassionate individuals.
How Sentinels Think
Observant and Judging, Sentinels are said to be practical and cooperative natures. They tend to take pride in their competence, good character and seek security, stability and order in their lives. Sentinels have no issue with keeping themselves motivated and are careful and consistent workers. People with sentinel traits take inspiration from the past, are loyal individuals and strive in clear hierarchy environments. The four sentinel personalities are:
- Logisticians (ISTJ) are among the most common personality types. They are dependable, thorough and logical. Logisticians are characters of integrity and dedication.
- Defenders (ISFJ) may be sensitive, reserved and conservative but they’re also receptive to new ideas, have great social skills and analytical abilities. They tend to be perfectionists and while they have a need to feel noticed, defenders will also downplay their accomplishments.
- Executives (ESTJ) can often be found in roles of community organizers as they love to bring people together to fight for a good cause. They’re honest human beings who don’t mind taking on a challenging project to build their character.
- Consuls (ESFJ) are often popular people in their community. They care about their appearance and social status but also tend to other people’s needs to ensure everyone is having a great time.
The Minds Of Explorers
Last but not least, explorers have the personality traits Observing and Prospecting in common. They tend to be quick on their feet and live for uncertain situations as they are flexible, spontaneous and impulsive by nature. Explorers are rarely perfectionists, they’d rather see a job get done than dwell on the details. Their free-form attitude can make explorers very fun people to be around. They usually have little to no reservations when it comes to trying out new things and love sharing their experiences with friends. The four explorer personalities are:
- Virtuosos (ISTP) are curious yet rational individuals who love learning on the go and taking on new projects. They tend to be friendly but also keep to themselves, their struggle to stay focused on one subject makes them unpredictable.
- Adventurers (ISFP) are happy with who they are, creative, introverted, passionate people. They’d rather create experiences and enjoy their current life than plan their future.
- Entrepreneurs (ESTP) love to entertain others with their blunt humor and are never shy to volunteer for an opportunity to stand in the spotlight. They’re energetic and intelligent but also tend to take the leap instead of planning out their every step.
- Entertainers (ESFP) will spend the majority of their time using their observant talent to encourage others. While they often struggle to keep their ducks in a row, entertainers are a true pleasure to be around.
Coping Mindset For Analysts
While the four personality types that are considered analysts display obvious differences, they share their intuitive nature and the fact that they are more thinking than feeling based in their behavior.
If you’re an Analyst during these uncertain times, you can try shifting your mindset away from the negative associations and view your new normal as an opportunity. This allows you to exercise your excellent problem-solving skills when approaching the near future. Try researching how others are responding to the changes in their lives and use your newfound resources to apply them in your own life. Remember, moving past stressful situations comes fairly easy to you so embrace this quality of yours!
When you’re struggling to navigate through an uncertain time, you can always apply the OODA Loop. This method was developed by the U.S. Air Force Colonel John R. Boyd and allows an Analyst to approach the future in a way that feels comfortable to them.
- Observe the situation: What is affecting you and how? Can you make any predictions about the future at this point and what information is necessary for you to know?
- Orient yourself: Let go of your existing biases and beliefs. Instead, focus on what you learned during the previous phase so you can create a game plan.
- Decide how you want to proceed: You’ve collected all your data, now is the time to come up with practical solutions. Make sure to remain flexible as the situation you’re facing is likely going to change again.
- Act upon your decision: Now you’re ready to apply your solutions and to start the loop all over. After you act, cycle back to observe the situation again and make adjustments to your approach.
Though it may align with your personality type to dwell on stuff you can’t control, try not to. When you find yourself stuck in a mentally bad place, distract yourself with a history book, sit with a loved one who respects your need for quiet company or listen to some classical music. Once you’re feeling better, instead of trying to solve every problem right away, apply your critical thinking abilities and organized nature to figure out how you can embrace your new normal over and over again.
Navigating Your New Normal As A Diplomat
Much like the Analysts, Diplomats are creatures of intuition. However, they share the personality trait Feeling which makes them more receptive to feelings of stress, anxiety or pressure. Diplomats will often let stress negatively affect them and can have a difficult time believing that things will get better. Facing a pandemic and having to deal with self-isolation probably had a toll on most Diplomats and was likely even more difficult for the extraverted Protagonists and Campaigners.
However, at their core, Diplomats still believe that they can change the world for the better and have a courageous heart. Their imaginative minds can lead to overthinking a negative situation. If you’re a diplomat and find yourself stuck in negative thought patterns, actively pull yourself out of it. You can do so by taking a mental health day. Spend time with your pet, go for a walk in nature, or redecorate your home. Even sprucing it up with a new plant or some fresh cut flowers can make a difference in your physical and mental space.
It’s human to feel scared when you’ve lost the feeling of having control over your life. When fear comes creeping up, try to observe the thoughts you’re pained by in an objective way. By distancing yourself from these fears, you’re allowing yourself to gain a new, possibly better perspective on the situation.
Also remember, that everyone else is facing similar dilemmas. Nobody will expect you to make quick decisions or find immediate solutions to issues. Though you feel pressure to satisfy others’ inquiries and help them feel better, it’s on you to take a deep breath in these moments and step away for a bit. You will have it much easier to help the people around you when you’re collected and regrouped.
No matter what the world throws at you, keep hoping for the best! It’s in your nature after all and if you can imagine the worst outcome, you can also shift your attention to all the positive ways in which the world has and will continue to change because of the pandemic. Shine light on all the great things and keep spreading positivity, it will make you feel better too.
Coping Strategies For Sentinels
As a Sentinel, you seek safety and security. A pandemic or other unforeseen event can rip you out of that perceived comfort zone and make you feel uneasy. However, you have an amazing ability to remain focused under the most stressful circumstances which makes you an excellent guide during uncertain times. You’re always planning out every detail of future steps, like to rely on proven methods and look back at established wisdom before making a decision. This step-by-step approach can be super helpful in times of crisis and who knows, maybe you already have a game plan for the worst case scenario on hand.
If you prepared for everything in life but a global crisis, you can still rely on your innovative and organized mind to guide you through the storm. Logisticians more than any other Sentinel enjoy their routine. It’s likely that you’ve already had to make drastic changes to your daily schedule and that this lack of structure stresses you out. In times like these, it can be beneficial to take a mental health day to recuperate. Let’s face it, most Sentinels love writing lists. So write down your daily routine and then highlight the aspects that you deem essential. This can be anything from having a coffee before taking a shower in the morning to going for a run before dinner.
For a truly relaxing day off, you’ll want to keep those essential tasks on your agenda but make room for other things around them. Maybe you find joy in some gardening work, a bike ride around town, focusing on a sport or hobby you’ve neglected in your everyday life. If you’re an Executive or Consul and are in need of some human interaction, talk to a friend who can cheer you up and take your mind off of things.
Know that this crisis could actually result in being a valuable life lesson for a Sentinel. This uncertain time period can help you learn to differentiate between when you should stick to your plans and when it’s fine to change your course. When you master this mindset, you’ll be able to get through the most challenging times with adaptability and determination.
Embracing Uncertainty As An Explorer
There’s a good chance your initial shock upon facing quarantine and other drastic changes to your lifestyle was worse than that of your fellow personality types. Then again, explorers tend to recover from emotional distress faster than others so you may have already moved on from your trauma.
In general, you don’t mind uncertain situations. You’re pretty quick on your feet and know how to adapt even if you had little to no time preparing for the moment. This trait doesn’t just put you at a personal advantage but can also benefit the people around you. Know that while you’ve already found a new hobby to pass the time or switched your vacation plans from air to ground transportation, others are less comfortable with change and unpredictability. Try inspiring others with your spirit of action to help them adjust to their new normal.
All things considered, it’s still okay to not feel okay in times of uncertainty. Make sure that you tend to your own needs before you try helping others. Taking mental health days is already a way of life for you, however, all explorers tend to have their own ways of using them. As a virtuoso you may want to dive into your favorite hobby or grab your toolbox and fix something, adventurers regroup by changing scenery and traveling. As an entertainer, try going out to dance and wear your shiniest, best clothes. And if you’re an entrepreneur, make time to play your favorite sport or watch it on TV, whatever you’re in the mood for that will get you out of your funk. Only when you’re your best self can you be a solid support system for your friends and family.
Life has always been unpredictable. We’ve just suddenly lost the illusion that we can plan it. However you cope with your new normal, know that you are never alone. If you found that these coping strategies worked for your personality type, encourage others to take the test as well so they can develop a practical and efficient coping mindset. Whatever personality type you are, never underestimate the power of emotional support from your family, friends or community. Make sure the people around you feel your love during this time and send them a letter, a bouquet of flowers or a gift basket to lift their spirits.