7 Major ISTJ Weaknesses & How to Manage Them (2024)

We need to be conscious of our weaknesses because our weaknesses can hold us back in life, and if we are not aware of them, we may never reach our full potential.

No matter how perfect an individual may seem, everybody has their fair share of shortcomings and two of the major ISTJ weaknesses are that they lack compassion and are stubborn.

ISTJ Weaknesses

1. Stubborn

ISTJs are inflexible individuals who are set in their ways and are unwilling to change their opinion, habits and behavior.

Since people with the ISTJ personality have a preference of the Judging (J) trait over the Perceiving counterpart, they tend to pre-plan and may come off as rigid or stubborn.

They may be admired for their devotion and commitment but it becomes one of the major ISTJ problems when things start going downhill and they are not willing to give it up.

How to Deal With it

  • This ISTJ flaw can be dealt with by learning to let go of your need to be right all the time, accepting that you won’t always get your way and being more open to new ideas.
  • There is room for improvement if ISTJs should stop taking stances just for the sake of having a stance and resist making up their mind until they have all the information.
  • When the viewpoint of someone is different from yours, remember that it is probably based on different experiences.

2. Rude

ISTJs are rational and straightforward individuals who do not like the idea of small talk or idle chatter and prefer to get straight to the point. 

The potential problem area is that they are not always aware of how their words or actions might affect the other people around them.

Even when ISTJs are aware that their words might be hurtful, they go ahead and speak their mind because they believe that telling the truth is more essential than making others feel good.

How to Deal With it

  • The best possible way to deal with this ISTJ personality weakness is to think before speaking. It may be one of the hardest things to do, but it is also one of the most important.
  • ISTJs should avoid snapping out at people for no reason at all when they are stressed out or not in their best mood.
  • Lastly, ISTJs need to show themselves some love because they need to stop being rude to themselves before anybody else.

3. Judgemental

People with the ISTJ personality are often quick to form opinions about people and situations which may not always be correct.

It is a major ISTJ problem that they are not just quick to form opinions but they tend to stick to their opinions and beliefs even when they are faulty or inappropriate.

Even though they form opinions based on the early impressions but ISTJs under stress can be excessively judgemental which is why it is hard to make them believe in a concept that is new to them.

How to Deal With it

  • To deal with this ISTJ weakness, firstly they need to understand that everyone is different whether it is their way of thinking or their dressing sense.
  • Another way to tackle this personality weakness is to stop making assumptions about other people’s lives because nobody has any idea what the other person is going through.
  • ISTJs can also try to write down their judgemental thoughts and then work on reframing them.

4. Self-Criticism

People with the ISTJ personality type are known for being serious, dedicated, and duty-bound. They tend to be responsible individuals who value security and stability above everything else.

They are people who plan ahead, keeping in mind all requirements, but when things do not go as planned, they go on a guilt trip and criticize themselves for anything and everything.

A negative ISTJ characteristic is that they have a strong dislike of failure because it is a concept that goes against everything they stand for as individuals.

How to Deal With it

  • The best way to deal with this ISTJ weakness is to eliminate the mindset that failing at something means that they are not doing their job as responsible human being.
  • ISTJs should always be honest with themselves and own the mistakes they make but they should not feel ashamed or guilty about them.
  • They need to tackle self-criticism by challenging their critical voice and acknowledging their achievements.

5. People of Principles

ISTJs are people of principles who strive to uphold their morals or traditions even when these traditions hold them back from performing better.

It is an ISTJ negative trait because they are always doubtful of trying the newer alternatives and stick to the old traditional ways, which are not as efficient as the modern courses of action.

Sticking to their principles might be applauded in places but it may hinder their opportunity to achieve personal growth, limit their potential and make them seem conservative to their coworkers.

How to Deal With it

  • ISTJs should switch their principles to guidelines because, unlike principles, guidelines provide the blueprint only and offer room to work around them.
  • Realizing that rigidness is not always helpful, having a more open mind and discussing alternatives to outdated principles or traditions is significant in overcoming this weakness for ISTJs.
  • They should also try stepping out of their comfort zones more often and amend their traditions gradually and steadily.

6. Lost in Details

People with the ISTJ personality are detail-oriented individuals which may benefit them in certain aspects of life but they seem to be so lost in the details that they miss out on the bigger picture of life.

Since they have a preference of the Sensing (S) trait over the Intuitive counterpart, they tend to pay attention to specificities and be fixated on concrete information.

ISTJs are so concerned with trivial things that they often overanalyze situations and plans, which causes stress to them. 

How to Deal With it

  • ISTJs can tackle this problematic characteristic by changing their point of view and trying to see things from a different perspective
  • Another great way to deal with this weakness is to start reflecting on your actions, ditch perfectionism and understand that everything does not go how you plan it.
  • This may turn out to be an ISTJ weakness in relationships if they stay obsessed with the petty things and fail to see that their relationship needs to be worked on.

7. Overcommitment

ISTJs frequently find themselves so overburdened with obligations to their families, communities, and jobs that they have little to no time for themselves.

They are so conscientious that they commit to more tasks or projects than they can handle, which drains them and eventually causes burnout.

The habit of committing to more responsibilities than they can manage forces ISTJs to abandon their hobbies, and if not regulated, they reach a stage where they do not even get time to think about the issues they face.

How to Deal With it

  • To deal with this negative trait, ISTJs need to have a clear understanding of what their priorities are and they should avoid committing to anything that is not on that list.
  • ISTJs may have trouble in refusing or declining a task because they are so dutiful but if they want to overcome this weakness, they must learn to say no.
  • They need to be aware of their limits and should always reflect whether what they are committing to is conveniently possible.


What is ISTJs weakest function?

The weakest ISTJ function that they need to overcome is Extraverted Intuition (Ne) as it is responsible for being open minded and not developing it may make them more rigid.

What do ISTJs struggle with?

The negative quality that the ISTJs struggle with is that they are inflexible, stick to what they think is right and are not open to new experiences.

What do ISTJs fear the most?

ISTJs have the fear of not being able to live up to their own high standards as they have the negative personality trait to be their own worst critics and they can be too harsh to themselves. 

What annoys the ISTJs the most?

ISTJs are practical and detail oriented people and it is an ISTJ weakness at work to be annoyed by disruptions because they like things to be running smoothly and efficiently.

What is the dark side of ISTJs?

ISTJs are often seen as the reliable and dependable types but there is a dark side to them when their perfectionism causes lack of pliability and their need for control gets the better of them.

What annoys people about ISTJs?

The ISTJ quality that annoys people and may cause conflicts is that ISTJs are too responsible which can be overbearing for people, especially when they want to talk about something more personal or fun.

What are ISTJs misunderstood as?

ISTJs are often misunderstood as being cold, unemotional, or even heartless but in actuality they are very loyal and reliable people who are just not as expressive as others.

What stresses out ISTJs the most?

There are a few things that cause stress to the ISTJs like not being able to help when someone needs it and having their values trampled on by people who do not appreciate them.

How to improve ISTJ weaknesses?

ISTJs can improve their weaknesses by avoiding overcommitment, having an open mind, considering different perspectives and setting aside some spare time for their own self to loosen up.

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