What's Your Emotional Type?

What's Your Emotional Type?

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Life has its ups and downs, but many people deal with them differently. Some believe the way we handle things is determined by how we manage our emotions — our emotional type.

There are four emotional types:

The intellectual

This person is extremely bright, often relying more on facts than feelings. Intellectuals think more logically and analytical.

In highly emotional situations, they’re able to remain calm and think clearly.

The empath

This individual is highly sensitive and attuned to feelings of others. If you’re happy, they’re happy — and if you’re sad, they’re sad.

Empaths are also very good listeners.

The rock

Just as the name implies, this person has considerable emotional resilience. They often appear as the pillar of strength in stressful situations.

While others may seem unable to manage their emotions, the rock is often cool and calm.

The gusher

Unlike the intellectual and the rock, the gusher isn’t against crying, screaming, yelling, or shouting during stressful times.

The gusher has no problem sharing how they feel in any situation.

What’s your emotional type?

Knowing your emotional type will help you know how to better interact with others and learn how to master your emotions in any situation.

So no matter what life throws at you, you’ll be ready.

This online screening is not a diagnostic tool. Only a trained medical professional, like a doctor or mental health professional, can help you determine the next best steps for you.

Disclaimer: This quiz is for entertainment purposes only. In no way is this an empirically validated test. The concepts presented by Dr. Judith Orloff are not rooted in any known research.

What Is Emotional Health? 11 Activities and Assessments to Enhance It

The subjective, human experience of emotions comprises a wide, colorful continuum of feelings.

The journey begins the day we are born and continues until the day we leave this earth. How we effectively handle the full spectrum determines our emotional health.

Some people are adept at navigating this complicated world of human emotion, and some people struggle to express their feelings in a healthy way. Disruption in the full expression of emotion is connected to ill health.

Read on to discover the science of emotional health and how you too can be a healthy emotional navigator.

Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our three Emotional Intelligence Exercises for free . These science-based exercises will not only enhance your ability to understand and work with your emotions, but also give you the tools to foster the emotional intelligence of your clients, students, or employees.

You can download the free PDF here .

What Are Emotions?

According to the book "Discovering Psychology" by Don Hockenbury and Sandra E. Hockenbury, an emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioral or expressive response.  

In addition to trying to define what emotions are, researchers have also tried to identify and classify the different types of emotions. The descriptions and insights have changed over time:

  • In 1972, psychologist Paul Eckman suggested that there are six basic emotions that are universal throughout human cultures: fear, disgust, anger, surprise, happiness, and sadness.  
  • In the 1980s, Robert Plutchik introduced another emotion classification system known as the "wheel of emotions." This model demonstrated how different emotions can be combined or mixed together, much the way an artist mixes primary colors to create other colors.  
  • In 1999, Eckman expanded his list to include a number of other basic emotions, including embarrassment, excitement, contempt, shame, pride, satisfaction, and amusement.  

Plutchik proposed eight primary emotional dimensions: happiness vs. sadness, anger vs. fear, trust vs. disgust, and surprise vs. anticipation. These emotions can then be combined to create others (such as happiness + anticipation = excitement).


ISTJs feel awkward when they have to improvise in new and unexpected situations. If they are suddenly called on to give a speech, react to new data, or “brainstorm” a solution to a problem it can make them feel put on the spot and uncomfortable. ISTJs prefer to work with what they know through experience, what is tried-and-true, and what they know to be dependable. Having to improvise spontaneously can make them feel out of their element. They also can feel embarrassed if they are called upon to express themselves emotionally in a public way. Responding to a surprise gift or a surprise party can make them feel awkward because they know people are expecting an emotional, excited reaction and they may not know how to muster that up for the occasion.

Curious what you should NEVER say to an ISTJ? Find out here.


ISFJs get embarrassed when they are presented with new information that they aren’t prepared for and have to react spontaneously. Being forced to “wing it” around other people makes them uncomfortable because they always like to have a plan of action. Things like unexpectedly having to introduce themselves in a room full of strangers or having to answer an unexpected question can all put them on edge. They can also feel embarrassed when they are expressing their feelings and someone cuts them off or interrupts them. They tend to worry that they’ve said too much or that they were boring the person who interrupted them. As a result, they may analyze what they were saying afterward and find little details they wish they hadn’t said.

Find out more about ISFJs here.


ESTJs get embarrassed when they become emotional in public. They prefer to keep their emotions under wraps and they feel awkward when they cry or lose their temper around others. They usually want to show a cool, calm, and collected face to the world and they’re likely to hide their emotions unless they pertain to something vitally important. They can also feel embarrassed when they make a quick decision without spending enough time analyzing or considering the details. If the decision was a poor one and they have to publicly correct themselves they tend to feel awkward and uncomfortable.

Find out more about ESTJs here.


ESFJs get really uncomfortable when they are called on to be “brutally honest” with people. While most ESFJs value honesty, they have a hard time giving criticism that may hurt someone’s feelings or negatively impact them. As an example, many ESFJs report being embarrassed and stressed in work situations where they have to critique someone else’s performance to their face or while the individual is present. ESFJs also get embarrassed when they “lose their cool” and become especially critical. ESFJs experiencing chronic stress can become more critical than usual, but once they return to a normal healthy stage they can feel ashamed or embarrassed about what they said. ESFJs also tend to get embarrassed if people show up to their house unexpectedly and things are messy or they aren’t at their best.

Find out more about ESFJs here.


ISTPs get embarrassed when they react emotionally to situations or people. They tend to feel uncomfortable expressing themselves emotionally, and they prefer it if they can appear cool and calm. Crying is especially awkward for them, and most ISTPs will do whatever they can to avoid crying in front of other people. When they are faced with their own emotions or even the emotions of other people, they can feel awkward and uncomfortable. They may even find themselves getting embarrassed contagiously. If someone they love does something embarrassing, they might cringe or feel a pit in their stomach.

Find out more about ISTPs here.


ISFPs get embarrassed when they receive public criticism or correction. Even if the criticism is constructive and not meant to do harm they tend to take it hard and feel awkward as a result. They also tend to feel uncomfortable when they show the world something personal to them a piece of art, a song they love, or a story they wrote only to get critical feedback. Having their favorite things analyzed and picked apart tends to feel very personal to them and it can make them feel awkward to share that part of themselves.

Find out more about ISFPs here.


ESTPs are not typically easy to embarrass, but there are a few things that make them squirm. One thing that is particularly embarrassing to them is when they have an emotional outburst, particularly crying. Because they tend to suppress their emotions in favor of appearing cool and composed, their emotions can sometimes catch them by surprise. This nearly always makes them feel awkward. Another thing that can embarrass them is when they mean to do something nice for someone and it’s taken the wrong way. For example, they buy someone a humorous gift and instead of the person laughing, they are offended by it.

Find out more about ESTPs here.


ESFPs find themselves embarrassed when they make a joke that falls flat or they plan an exciting experience for people and the participants seem bored or disinterested. They also tend to get embarrassed when people mock their energy and enthusiasm and make condescending or patronizing comments to them. Certain types of people misread the ESFP’s lively nature and sense of humor and mistake it for “shallowness”. This is unfortunate because there is actually a lot more to ESFPs than meets the eye and while they enjoy showing people a good time publicly, they are also deeply caring, emotionally intelligent, and resourceful.

Find out more about ESFPs here.


INTJs tend to feel embarrassed when they have to react spontaneously to physical changes or demands and aren’t sure how to respond. Because sensing is their least-preferred mental process they can feel awkward when they have to suddenly improvise a speech, direct people in an unfamiliar environment, dance if they don’t know how, etc,. They also tend to get embarrassed when people gush over them publicly and draw a lot of attention to them. They especially hate having to conform to social norms for a long period of time. Some INTJs report getting embarrassed when they have to engage in small talk and other socially-expected rituals and accidentally say the wrong things or can’t think of anything to say at all.

Find out more about INTJs here.


INFJs feel embarrassed when they are put on the spot and have to react to their environment spontaneously. This could involve things like being asked to dance in a club when they don’t know how to dance, being asked to improvise a speech, or having to drive with a guest in an unfamiliar environment. Because sensing is their least-favored function they tend to have difficulty navigating smoothly in the physical world (unless they’ve made a conscious effort to work on this). INFJs also feel embarrassed when they cry in front of others or react emotionally to criticism. They also experience “second-hand embarrassment”. This occurs when they empathize too strongly with someone who has done something awkward or is embarrassing themselves.

Find out more about INFJs here.


ENTJs are typically difficult to embarrass, but one thing that really makes them feel awkward is demonstrations of emotion. If they find themselves getting emotional, especially crying, they tend to feel extremely uncomfortable. They want to show the world a calm, determined face and tend to see their own emotional demonstrations as a weakness. They can also get embarrassed when someone they care about is having an emotional breakdown. They don’t usually know how to handle these situations well or how to console someone. They may try to awkwardly comfort them, but they inevitably wind up feeling unsure of themselves.

Find out more about ENTJs here.


ENFJs get very embarrassed when they make a social faux pas. These types are extremely aware of what’s tactful, expected, and proper. They care a lot about the impressions they make and how comfortable everyone is feeling. When they inadvertently say the wrong thing it can make them feel horribly ashamed. For example, if someone told them a secret but they didn’t know it was a secret so they mentioned it later in a group only to be met with awkward discomfort. ENFJs also tend to feel embarrassed when they have to give or receive criticism. They hate letting people down and they especially hate pointing out other people’s mistakes (unless they’re very angry). They tend to imagine how the other person would feel who is receiving the criticism and get embarrassed for them.

Find out more about ENFJs here.


INTPs get embarrassed when they receive compliments or when they get publicly emotional. They tend to be guarded about their feelings, but during times of high-stress, they can become uncharacteristically emotional. This makes them feel awkward or bad about themselves because they tend to look down on their emotions and see them as a weakness. They also get embarrassed when they have to comfort someone who is having an emotional outburst. They tend to be unsure of what to say or do and, even though they really want to help. As INTPs get older they usually develop more comfort with their emotions and start to recognize their positive qualities.

Find out more about INTPs here.


INFPs get embarrassed when they are put on the spot and are expected to react emotionally to something. This could involve something like being given a really exorbitant gift or having a surprise party thrown for them. The pressure of having everyone looking at them waiting for a reaction can make them feel shy or awkward. Many INFPs also experience “second-hand embarrassment”. For example, they might feel embarrassed when someone is trying to make jokes but they are all falling flat. They tend to empathize so well that they can feel the shame and awkwardness other people are feeling, even if they don’t want to. INFPs also tend to feel embarrassed when they are given criticism over work that is personal to them. For example, if they wrote a short story and it was analyzed in a classroom setting. Their work is all very personal to them, so it feels like they are putting a very private part of themselves on display for other people to scrutinize.

Find out more about INFPs here.


ENTPs are usually more difficult to embarrass than other types. They tend to improvise and react to awkward situations quickly and turn it around in their favor. However, they do tend to get embarrassed when they make awkward physical blunders. For example, trying to look in a window and accidentally banging their head on the glass. They also can get embarrassed when they look over an important detail in their work and are publicly corrected for it later. Because they are more focused on theories, big-picture ideas, and concepts, they can lose sight of nitty-gritty details and regret it later.


ENFPs tend to get embarrassed when they are speaking passionately about something only to realize they have some of their details wrong. ENFPs are big picture, conceptually-focused people who see things in impressions and can lose sight of the small details. When little flaws or loopholes in their speech are pointed out they can feel awkward about it. They can also feel embarrassed after a social event where they were especially talkative. Many ENFPs have the habit of re-analyzing what they said later and during this time they might find awkward moments in the conversation or regret saying more than they meant to.

Find out more about ENFPs here.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do these things embarrass you? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

Find out more about your personality type in our eBook, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type.

11 Signs You&rsquore Being Emotionally Triggered

So how can we tell when we&rsquore being triggered? There are a few physical and emotional experiences you might have which may include:

  • Trembling
  • Palpitations/racing heart
  • Choking feeling or trouble breathing/swallowing
  • Hot flushes
  • Chills
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain/discomfort /unreality (known as dissociation)
  • Sweating

and of course a few seconds afterward&hellip

Intense emotions, i.e. hatred, disgust, anger, fear, terror, grief resulting in self-protective behavior such as shouting, arguing, insulting, hiding, crying, or otherwise emotionally reacting.

What Are Emotional Triggers and How They Could Be Secretly Influencing Your Life

At the same time, you feel like the rug has been whipped away from under your feet? Chances are you have certain emotional triggers and have experienced one of those.

Most of us will undergo negative experiences in our life, and emotional triggers stem from these. They are sudden and painful reminders of a negative incident in the past that stirs up powerful emotions. They come to the surface when you are faced with a similar position and if not dealt with can overwhelm and control you.

My own emotional triggers stemmed from an abusive partner, who took his anger at me out on our dog at the time. Even 20 years after we split up, and despite the fact that my dog has passed away, if anyone is even the slightest bit derogatory about my two dogs, I feel that lack of control and sense of desperation.

Now when that situation arises, I understand that the person knows nothing of my past, they are not trying to upset me. They might just have simply said something rude about my dog and I am not instantly transported back to that time with my ex-partner.

How are emotional triggers formed?

How emotional triggers are formed is not fully understood, but it is thought that the senses play a huge part. Smells, sights, sounds and tastes are powerful elements when it comes to forming memories, particularly when associated with negative ones.

When a sense is linked to a traumatic experience, just the repetition of this sense is enough to produce the same reaction in the present as experienced in the past. The reaction, in this case, the emotional trigger, will start to happen before the person is even aware of what has upset them.

Knowing what emotional triggers you have and how they affect you is the first step into conquering them and taking back control over your life.

Here are some typical emotional triggers, see which one you most identify with:

  • You feel anxious when someone leaves you.
  • You think that a person is not listening to you.
  • You feel helpless over situations where you have no control.
  • You do not feel valued or appreciated.
  • You feel that you are not good enough.
  • You think that you are being judged all the time.
  • You feel belittled and worthless.
  • You feel controlled by someone.
  • Someone is making you feel guilty about leaving them.
  • Someone is never happy to see you.
  • Someone is harassing you sexually.
  • Someone is being too needy and wants to cling to you.

If you can identify your emotional triggers, you can then try and work out where these negative feelings came from. Look back to your childhood and see whether some of the feelings you are experiencing now can be related back to events when you were younger.

The worst thing you can do is to avoid the things that trigger emotional outbursts, you have to deal with them head-on.

So just how do emotional triggers secretly influence our life?

Someone who was attacked whilst a certain song was playing in the background could immediately feel panicky whenever they hear that song again. A child who was punished by a parent who always wore a particular scent would have an aversion to that perfume. Someone suffering from bulimia might feel compelled to start making themselves sick again if they viewed pictures of overly skinny models.

Emotions, of course, are not bad per se, but recognizing what they are for and how we use them in everyday life will help to resolve emotional triggers.

For instance, we use emotions to communicate, whether it be through love, anger, happiness or fear. Think about how your body reacts to each emotion and learn to spot the signs that it is gearing up in order to produce an emotional response.

So when we get angry we often tense up and feel hot, if we feel fear we typically experience a faster heartbeat and sweaty palms. Learn to recognize your body’s emotions and you can stop the emotional trigger progressing.

When you experience an emotional trigger, think of the following:

  1. Recognize that this is an emotional trigger and do not overreact.
  2. Try and think what caused the emotional trigger before reacting.
  3. Decide how you are going to feel, instead of your usual response to this trigger.
  4. Concentrate on changing your emotional state into the one you want to feel.

Instead of reacting and trying to manage your emotional triggers, getting ahead of them and choosing how you are going to feel is how you can stop them exerting a secret influence on your life.

Enneagram Fives and Emotions

Basic Fear: Of being helpless, useless, or incompetent
Basic Desire: To be capable and competent

Fives are often far more emotionally sensitive than people realize on the surface. While they may present a stoic or detached face to the outside world, there’s a flurry of emotions beneath the exterior. That said, Fives try to intellectualize their feelings as much as possible so that they won’t be overwhelmed by them. In childhood, most Fives turned their attention away from their emotional needs so that they could rely on something “objective.” They don’t like to be impeded by others’ emotional needs and can feel stifled and anxious when other people seem emotionally reactive or hypersensitive. If asked how they feel, many Fives struggle to express an answer because it’s difficult for them to differentiate between their thoughts and feelings.

As Fives become healthier and more balanced, they learn to reconnect to the emotional world and sense their feelings, heart, and sensitivity. They become more grounded in their bodies and more compassionate and connected to others.


Imaginative and perceptive, these Fives are more emotionally sensitive than their 5w6 counterparts. Because they experience more intense emotions, they may try to hide away from the world more severely in order to avoid getting overwhelmed. Though they struggle to verbalize and understand their emotions, they still experience them deeply.


Detail-oriented and cautious, these Fives are more purely intellectual than any of the other Enneatypes. They are extremely restrained and guarded about their feelings, directing their attention to objects or theories more than people. While 5w4s tend to rebel against structure, rules, or authorities, 5w6s engage more readily with teams and are deeply loyal to their chosen communities.

Detached Personality

We all know people in our lives who are detached. They tend to have trouble accessing or experiencing emotions. Some of the character traits present in a person like this are emphasis on independence, the fear of joining or being a part of groups, and aversion towards intimate relationships where opening up is so important.

Someone who is emotionally detached will usually bounce from one relationship to the next, invariably distancing himself when threatened with increasing emotional closeness from his partner. Although we usually tend to think of males as those who have trouble accessing their emotions, the underlying character structure that leads to psychological detachment can manifest itself just as easily in females.

The goal in this article is to summarize some of the factors that go into the creation of a neurotic personality structure, specifically the emotionally detached type, and to provide a few useful analogies to help flesh out the ideas.

Let’s discuss the neurotic character traits present in a person who is emotionally detached. What can we surmise about his early childhood experiences? In my work with clients several salient features emerge. He will almost certainly have grown up in a restrictive environment where absolute control was important to the caregiver. He will have been alternately showered with praise (sometimes more than he deserved given the circumstances) and punished for his shortcomings (also more than the situation warranted). In other words, his relationship towards his primary caregiver will have been characterized by emotions that alternated between the poles of security and emotional abandonment. Threats of abandonment or being disowned are quite common. There were probably not clearly defined rules, meaning that the caretaker was in a position to find fault with almost any behavior, seemingly at random. A behavior that on one day elicited no response whatsoever would on a subsequent day be grounds for punishment and verbal or physical abuse.

The child learns, among other things, that his emotions are dangerous since he cannot predict when his feelings of comfort, security, and love will be shattered and replaced by ones of fear, despair, and worthlessness. One solution available to a child in such a situation is to distance himself from his emotions. If we look at the child’s conflict at the deepest level, I believe the central component is the gap between his caregiver’s profession of love towards him and the child’s secret, usually unspoken belief that his caregiver does not love him. And so the child solves this conflict with the only means available to him. He refuses to engage in the harmful cycle of emotional abuse, and in the process stops feeling any of his emotions deeply.

Upon this foundation the neurotic detached personality structure is built. He experiences everything in his life from a distance. His idealized self-image will probably be one of the rational philosopher who has little need for what he sees as trifling emotions. He will value his freedom and independence and use all manner of arguments to prove their necessity in anyone’s life. He will scorn others for their inability to control their emotions while secretly admiring them for their ability to feel deeply. When the emotional thermostat begins to turn up in romantic or friendly relationships he will distance himself, often to the frustration and confusion of his partners. Many of course get married or stay in long term relationships but an emotional chasm always exists between them and their partners. They might be able to feel emotions during a song, or viewing a piece of artwork, or watching a movie, or being out in nature. But they prefer to keep these feelings private and maintain an inner sanctum for themselves. It is as if they have constructed a castle where inside emotions can be accessed in peace because they are completely safe. Of course, this means not being able to share emotions with another person or connect with that person in a meaningful way.

Let’s use the analogy of a blackjack game to present why detachment seems like a good solution. Imagine that you sit down at the table and are given a stack of chips. Each of these chips represents an emotional unit. The more you have, the more safe, content, happy, and fulfilled you will feel. Then you find out that although the chips are yours, you have no control over whether to play them or not. Someone you are told you can trust is given absolute control over when and how much you will bet. He or she decides to bet all your chips even though you do not want to. You lose the hand. Imagine this cycle repeating itself over and over. The moment you stockpile chips using whatever means available to you they are bet without your consent and you lose. At some point you will realize that they are your chips, and that only you have the ability to bet them. But you have lost every big hand you have played up to this point. What would you do with your chips? The obvious answer is not play the game. So we see that emotional detachment is a viable solution in that it guarantees not getting hurt because you are not risking anything.

Of course, such a strategy ends in monumental failure. It solves inner conflicts by not having to deal with them, but at a terrible price. Imagine the world in shades of gray. Nothing really gets you up or down. You can view just about everything objectively, but take no passionate interest in anything. You do not have any close friendships or intimate relationships. Any time you do start to get close to someone you feel a sense of unease and break it off or distance yourself. The sad paradox is that in order to avoid getting hurt the emotionally detached person hurts himself more deeply than anyone else possibly could.

Another way to think about emotions is to consider your sense of smell. Imagine the worst smells you can think of, like those emanating from sewage or a dump. If these odors were all you have ever known then your sense of smell would not seem all that desirable. However, if you could get some perspective and realize that you do not have to live next to a garbage dump, you could begin to search out and enjoy pleasant aromas too. There is no middle ground. You can either destroy your sense of smell completely, or accept that having it entails experiencing both pleasant and unpleasant odors.

So it is with human connections and their resulting emotions. Connecting with another always constitutes risk since we cannot predict how it will play out. However, staying on the sidelines constitutes an even greater risk.

Side Effects of Stress

Emotional stress can adversely impact your spine, which can also trigger or exacerbate numerous other health problems. Emotional stress can manifest in different ways , including anxiety, depression, and hostility.

Research shows women and men handle stress differently. Women have a greater risk for depression and anxiety , whereas men have a greater risk for alcohol-use disorders. For both genders, that’s bad news.

Emotional stress can also adversely impact many hormones including glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone, insulin, and prolactin. Some of that impact gears you up for the fight-or-flight response, but research shows these hormonal imbalances can negatively impact problems including obesity as well as your adrenal and thyroid glands.

Can You Treat Emotional Dysregulation?

Children should ideally develop the tools and skills to manage their emotions before they become an adult. Can adults who have been affected by trauma also learn the tools and skills to manage their emotions? Can someone treat emotional dysregulation?

It’s certainly possible, but requires the help of a professional. Nowadays, emotional dysregulation is treated through one of two therapies:

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a more general type of behavioral therapy. It aims to examine why a patient is experiencing negative emotions. Often, negative emotions and behaviors are tied to negative thought patterns. Through CBT, a patient can adjust these thought patterns, therefore changing their emotions and behaviors. If a person feels more positively about themselves or their ability to handle their emotions, they can begin to experience emotional regulation more often. If you visit a therapist today, you are most likely to go through CBT.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a form of CBT that is used specifically to treat BPD and emotional dysregulation. (Some therapists use it to treat disorders like disordered eating and PTSD.) DBT, which was developed in the late 1980s, focuses on a set of skills that patients can use to build healthier relationships and manage emotions more effectively.

These skills include mindfulness, self-soothing, expressing your needs, and creating healthy boundaries.

It is possible for many people to learn how to handle their emotions. Instead of throwing a fit, they will decide to distract themselves in a healthy way. Instead of yelling at someone, they will sit down and have a productive conversation with them. If you feel as though your emotions are out of control or that you frequently cannot handle your emotions, it might be time to reach out to a therapist and learn these skills.