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What personality types are Overthinkers?

Personality traits’ influence at developing overthinking behavior

Overthinking behavior is a habit that can develop and consequently occur in both introverted and extroverted people.

Yet, I would argue that our personality traits have an influence on developing overthinking behavior.

Could it be that certain personality types or people with certain characteristics are more vulnerable to developing overthinking behavior? Is it possible that we can accurately predict if someone is more prone to developing overthinking behavior than others?

Let’s explore the personality traits’ influence at developing overthinking behavior.

Overthinking behavior meaning

Overthinking behavior, in simple terms, is thinking too much. It can become a toxic, and hard to break habit if done frequently enough.

And while being thoughtful and calculating is not a bad thing, but in fact something to be desired, it can become detrimental if we let our mind and thoughts take control of ourselves.

We should consider that thinking is a mentally draining process and should be performed sporadically and at the right moments, instead of having our brain firing on all cylinders all the time.

Overthinking behavior can also be a symptom of mental disorders such as depression, OCD or social anxiety.

Are certain personality types more at risk for developing overthinking behavior?

Picture of the words “stop overthinking” laid down on a table with a cup of coffee next to it.

I do believe that certain personality types and people possessing certain attributes are at a larger risk of developing overthinking behavior than others.

Your personality traits are largely genetically/biologically determined. Some people are simply put more introverted, while others are more extroverted by nature. Of course, the environment plays an important role in developing new skills and expanding your personality.

We know that genetics are real and not a made up social construct like some people like to argue, and we also know that our personality traits are largely biologically determined. That’s why we can agree that people who possess traits are inherently more at risk for developing overthinking behavior.

Personality traits are remarkably stable throughout adulthood, yet are most susceptible to change when a person’s still in childhood.

What personality types and traits are more at risk for developing overthinking behavior?

Image of the risk meter saying, “high”.

Introverted personalities

Hyper aware people

People who suffer from a mental disease or disorder

Agreeable people

Non-assertive people

People high in personality trait neuroticism

Final note

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We can conclude that people who possess the above personality traits are at an increased risk for developing overthinking behavior.

But don’t despair. Just because you have these specific attributes doesn’t mean you are certainly going to develop overthinking behavior.

It just means you’ll have to be more weary of the possibility of developing overthinking behavior. Thus, you must take extra measures to protect your mental health as well as you can.

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Overthinking is also influenced by environment, culture, and your mindset.

CBT, short for Cognitive behavioral therapy, can be especially useful for developing healthy habits while simultaneously combatting harmful, negative habits in order to combat overthinking behavior.

Here’s How Much You Overthink, According to Your Personality Type

Here’s How Much You Overthink, According to Your Personality Type

While some people prefer to soak up their surroundings, others find themselves overthinking. Here is how much you overthink, based on your personality type.


INFJs are definitely over-thinkers by nature, and spend hours just analyzing and processing information. They find it somewhat impossible to stop their minds from thinking things through, sometimes over and over again. INFJs can sometimes over analyze information to a point where it creates stress, since they will second guess their original assessments. This can sometimes cause the INFJ to become inactive, since they are too busy thinking about things to actually act on them. While INFJs are deep thinkers, they do best when they can allow their intuition to take the wheel.


ENFJs can definitely overthink things, since their minds are always running through things quickly. They have so many thoughts and analysis inside of their minds all at once, it can become somewhat overwhelming. ENFJs have active inner minds, and often overthink people’s reactions since they want to be sure they are making others happy. ENFJs are very focused on their loved ones, and are constantly working hard to make them happy. Most people won’t realize how much the ENFJ overthinks, since they are skilled at keeping this to themselves.


INFPs overthink most things, and will analyze information much more than people realize. INFPs have such active inner minds, and they often spend lengths of time just overthinking things and trying to process their thoughts and feelings. INFPs can often spend so much time inside of their own minds, that they lose track of what is going on around them. They can sometimes overthink things to a point where it creates a bit of anxiety in them about whether or not they made the right decisions.


ENFPs can certainly overthink things, since they have such vivid and active inner minds. While some people might see the ENFP as positive and lighthearted, they actually have a lot going on inside of them. They have a tendency to analyze information and situations a bit too much, and can become worried about things they shouldn’t because of this. ENFPs need to have time to process information in their own way, without feeling pressure from others. They do have a tendency to overthink things, but this is just how they operate and process information.

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INTJs are definitely the overthinking type, they enjoy being able to process as much information as possible. INTJs are logical people, who have extremely active and rich inner minds. They can spend hours just processing the thoughts inside of their heads, and find that much more interesting than interacting with people. There is often so much going on inside of the mind of the INTJ, which makes it impossible for them not to overthink. They do best when they are allotted plenty of time and space to fully analyze the information they have absorbed.


ENTJs are logical people who enjoy absorbing as much information as possible in order to assist them. They are hardworking and always strive to accomplish their goals in the most efficient way possible. While ENTJs are certainly the type to overthink, they know how to stop themselves from taking this to the point of inaction. While some people will think so much that they become fearful of taking the next step, ENTJs will not let that happen to them. They know when they have process the information enough, and will put together a positive strategic plan from what they have learned.


INTPs are major over-thinkers who spend most of their energy analyzing and processing information. They think things through and spend a lot of time inside of their own thoughts. INTPs can be extremely internal people, which makes it difficult for others to fully understand what goes on inside of their heads. INTPs will sometimes think things to death, but this is simply because they are trying to figure it out completely, and even find certain pieces that others might be missing. For INTPs overthinking is just a part of who they are, and is a big reason they are so capable of understanding things.


ENTPs are definitely active thinkers, who enjoy processing and analyzing information. They have such active and rich inner minds, that the ENTP can spend hours inside of their own thoughts. They are definitely capable of being active in the world around them, but ENTPs also think things through much more than people might realize. They can sometimes overanalyze to the point of exhaustion, and simply enjoy approaching things from as many angles as possible. ENTPs know that to fully understand something, they need to view it from a unique point of view.


ISTJs do have a tendency to overthink things, but only so that they can properly understand and process information. They will think things through so that they are fully aware and knowledgeable in the facts. ISTJs spend a lot of time analyzing information inside of their minds, even when it seems like they are simply relaxing. They are logical people, who want to find the most efficient ways to get things done and accomplish their goals.

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ESTJs can definitely overthink things, but at the same time they value action. They want to process information so that they can be efficient, and strive to accomplish their goals. ESTJs are hardworking people who don’t allow their active thoughts to prevent them from getting things done. They certainly want to be knowledgeable when it comes to certain things, but they won’t think so much that it holds them back from taking proper action.


ISFJs are more interested in getting things done, and don’t want to be held back by overthinking. They do spend a lot of time inside of their own thoughts, but ISFJs are very focused on caring for their loved ones. Instead of letting themselves become weighed down by overthinking, the ISFJ wants to be sure to take appropriate action. They are hardworking and focused people, who are focused more on the wellbeing of others than their own inner thoughts.


While ESFJs can become stressed and overthink mistakes they have made, they try to remain focused on what is important. Dwelling on their own thoughts and feelings can seem a bit selfish to the ESFJ, so they would much prefer to focus on action. They care about their loved ones and truly want to do their best to take care of them. ESFJs will prevent their thoughts from running away with them, since they would much rather ensure the happiness of those closest to them.


ISTPs are definitely the overthinking type, since they have such active inner minds. ISTPs love being able to analyze information, and will sometimes do this to the point of exhaustion for others. They are more comfortable inside of their own thoughts, than they are focusing on the feelings and thoughts of other people. ISTPs have truly analytical minds, which makes them excellent problem solvers. While ISTPs can definitely be over-thinkers, they aren’t afraid of taking action.


ESTPs are very active people, who enjoy living in the present moment. While the ESTP wants to be able to soak up their surroundings and enjoys seeking out new adventures, they can also overthink things. They have analytical inner minds, and spend a lot of time processing information. ESTPs can sometimes overthink things in a negative way, which is why they prefer to spend their time taking action and getting things done.


ISFPs spend a lot of time inside of their own thoughts, and are certainly rather imaginative people. While ISFPs often process a lot of information, they are capable of stepping outside of that bubble. They want to be able to focus on what is in front of them, and try hard not to let their thoughts hold them hostage. ISFPs have rather tense inner emotions, which can be even more of an issue than analyzing facts and information that they process.

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While most people view the ESFP as simply the fun-loving and laid back party person, they have many other sides to them. ESFPs prefer to focus on the present moment, since their inner thoughts can sometimes cause them to obsess over things. ESFPs can overthink to a point where it stresses them out and creates a sense of paranoia in their lives. For the ESFP is best if they focus on the positive things in life, and simply enjoy the present moment.

Overthinking Disorder: Is It a Mental Illness?

An illustration of a person overthinking

Do your thoughts keep you up at night? Do you second-guess every decision you make? Do you imagine worst-case scenarios?

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If so, you might be an overthinker.

While you may believe that continuing to think and rethink about things that bother you is problem-solving, this habit of overthinking doesn’t usually provide any resolution.

In fact, overthinking creates more stress by focusing on the negative, dwelling on the past and worrying about your future.

Registered psychotherapist Natacha Duke, MA, RP, talks about whether overthinking is a mental illness and steps you can take to stop overthinking.

Is overthinking a mental illness?

No, overthinking isn’t a recognized mental health condition, but it can be a symptom of depression or anxiety.

Overthinking is commonly associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), says Duke. GAD is characterized by the tendency to worry excessively about several things.

“Someone can develop GAD due to their genes. Or it could be personality factors like the inability to tolerate uncertainty in life. And it could be life experiences,” says Duke. “Normally, it’s a combination of all three.”

Those with GAD may experience:

  • Worrying excessively about several things for at least six months.
  • Difficulty controlling anxiety, which can interfere with the ability to function.

Physical symptoms of GAD can include restlessness, difficulty concentrating and sleep problems.

What does overthinking look like?

If you tend to overthink, you might experience the following:

  • Worrying that jumps from one topic to the next.
  • Thinking of the worst-case scenario.
  • Struggling to make decisions, including second-guessing.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Feeling on edge.
  • Seeking repeated reassurance from others.
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“What happens is a chain effect,” explains Duke. “You’ll start worrying about one thing, and then you’ll be worried about something completely different. You might start worrying about work and then you’ll start worrying about money. And that leads to worrying about losing your job.”

Overthinking vs. problem-solving

Problem-solving is a great skill to have and can be very productive. It can be easy to believe that all of your worrying and overthinking is actually problem-solving. But there’s a key difference.

“When a problem presents itself, brainstorming possible solutions is a positive coping strategy,” says Duke. “With overthinking, what happens is that you ruminate, which is where you go over and over a problem again and again. But there’s no real resolution. You get caught up in the thinking loop and you end up where you started. In some cases, you may even end up with more worry and anxiety.”

You want to focus on problem-solving what is within your control and practice letting the rest go. Whether you spend 20 minutes or two hours ruminating on a problem, it won’t provide the relief and satisfaction you hope for. So, do your best to recognize when you’re overthinking and distract yourself until you’re ready to tackle the problem in a helpful way.

What can you do to overcome your overthinking?

If you notice yourself overthinking, there are steps you can take to limit your worrying and cope in a healthier way, says Duke.

If you struggle to turn off your thoughts at night or your overthinking is interfering with or affecting your daily life, talking to your doctor or a therapist can help.

“The most effective treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy,” says Duke. Your therapist will work with you to challenge your negative thoughts and develop coping skills that can help alleviate your worrying.

Duke also says that positive coping strategies like meditation, reading or writing down your worries can help lessen your anxiety.

It’s also important to make sure you have adequate social support and that you’re resisting the urge to keep things inside. And don’t forget about engaging in healthy habits like eating a well-balanced diet and exercising.

“Pay attention to how much caffeine or alcohol you consume, as these can increase anxiety,” cautions Duke. “Also, try to avoid having too little or too much downtime and engaging in a lot of social media or news consumption, as these things are also going to feed anxiety.”


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

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