Being an ESTJ…

Why wont my mind stop thinking?

I don’t know if this is a gender thing, or a ‘I’m-just-a-little-cit-crazy’ thing but my mind just doesn’t seem to stop thinking of things.  I can’t just watch TV, knit, play piano, cook or listen to music, or anything really, and just switch off.  Whatever I’m doing, my mind is always wandering off somewhere – usually to the ‘to-do’ list, the shopping list or the ‘future holiday planning’ area of my mind.  Obviously I’m excited about future holidays but I am beginning to wonder if constantly obsessing about them is worth it.

I think that part of the ‘thinking’ is related to my need to plan and be in control.  When I did a Myers-Briggs test I was an ESTJ.  All of my responses in the last section were J responses, rather then P responses – which only served to confirm that I’m a strong judging person.  But what I did learn is that because I’m an extravert (E), my dominant function is extraverted thinking.  So, maybe the answer to my question is that I’m always thinking because that’s just who I am.

This really says it all about me – in fact it is astonishingly accurate.  I almost said apart from the very final line, “I relax when my work is done.”, but then I realised that my work is never done and therein lies my problem!

So, perhaps the question I should have asked was how can I stop thinking all the time?

At bed time I sometimes try to clear my mind and not think of anything but I can only usually manage a couple of seconds of the empty void before some annoying part of my psyche thinks “Must remember to post that card tomorrow..” which then triggers  some super-domino-esque knock on event of thoughts in my head and before I know it, Mr.J is asleep and Lyra has trapped me between the two of them, I’m really hot and it’s gone midnight.  So, then I start thinking about how tired I’ll be and how I really wanted to get to sleep before 11pm and…

I’ve done a little bit of Googling to try and find out how I can help myself as an ESTJ.  I haven’t found too much really – probably because I just skim read the pages and decide instantly it’s not helpful!!  But, one thing I did see was to spend some time alone.  I think this could help too; I get a disproportionate amount of satisfaction from walking to the library on my own on a Saturday morning or popping to the shops.  The theory is that this should help develop my intraverted side, and that for my extraverted thinking side to be kept in check then I need to balance it with more intraverted sensing.

I’ll certainly give this last idea a try though but any other suggestions would be more than welcome!  For now though, it’s time for a cup of tea, carrot cake and Sherlock Holmes.  Maybe that combo can also do the trick?



  1. Evening. An interesting post – one inspired to some extent I presume by the fact that we started talking about this yesterday evening! Actually, I’ve just got to the section in “Help!” which discusses Myers-Briggs. I think your idea of spending a bit more time alone is a good one – if it works, perhaps you’re more of an introvert than you think. I quote: “Introverts find social interaction tiring, according to the defenders of introversion, because they can’t help but engage and empathise to a degree that extroverts habitually don’t – an approach that would exhaust anybody if they did it all the time”. So, disengage for a bit, and see how you feel. So says an INTP : )

    1. It wasn’t consciously inspired by the conversation actually. The post started off asking 3 random questions but the last one got so long I thought it deserved a popost of its own. But, based on my limited psychological knowledge I presume that I stored the conversation away accurately and it pooped into my thoughts when I was writing last night.

      As for the introversion thing, I have to say I immediately dismmissed this point. Classic ESTJ!! So having realised this reaction I will try to consider it. However, my dismissal was based on what I read too. I think the reason for spending time alone is to work on introverted sensing as that’s my auxiliary function so the focus is on the way I do the sensing, not the introversion (I think).

      That said, if it helps then I don’t really mind how it’s working!

  2. I write stuff down, that helps me stop thinking about them. My problem is that I worry that I’ll forget whatever it is I’ve thought of though. I’m an ISTJ, which always surprised me as I don’t think I’m an introvert. Although this “I tend to put up with conflict rather than deal with it. I try to deal with stress, but I am not necessarily a good confronter. I would like to be more of a stress avoider.” could have been written for me.

    I hope the tea, carrot cake and Sherlock helped 🙂 that should be available on the NHS as I think it could cure many problems!

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