Your Portrait of an ESFJ
Extraverted Sensing Feeling Judging
(Extraverted Feeling with Introverted Sensing)
As an ESFJ, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit in with your personal value system. Your secondary mode is internal, where you take things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion.
ESFJs are people persons – they love people. They are warmly interested in others. They use their Sensing and Judging characteristics to gather specific, detailed information about others, and turn this information into supportive judgments. They want to like people, and have a special skill at bringing out the best in others. They are extremely good at reading others, and understanding their point of view. The ESFJ’s strong desire to be liked and for everything to be pleasant makes them highly supportive of others. People like to be around ESFJs, because the ESFJ has a special gift of invariably making people feel good about themselves.
The ESFJ takes their responsibilities very seriously, and is very dependable. They value security and stability, and have a strong focus on the details of life. They see before others do what needs to be done, and do whatever it takes to make sure that it gets done. They enjoy these types of tasks, and are extremely good at them.
ESFJs are warm and energetic. They need approval from others to feel good about themselves. They are hurt by indifference and don’t understand unkindness. They are very giving people, who get a lot of their personal satisfaction from the happiness of others. They want to be appreciated for who they are, and what they give. They’re very sensitive to others, and freely give practical care. ESFJs are such caring individuals, that they sometimes have a hard time seeing or accepting a difficult truth about someone they care about.
With Extraverted Feeling dominating their personality, ESFJs are focused on reading other people. They have a strong need to be liked, and to be in control. They are extremely good at reading others, and often change their own manner to be more pleasing to whoever they’re with at the moment.
The ESFJ’s value system is defined externally. They usually have very well-formed ideas about the way things should be, and are not shy about expressing these opinions. However, they weigh their values and morals against the world around them, rather than against an internal value system. They may have a strong moral code, but it is defined by the community that they live in, rather than by any strongly felt internal values.
ESFJs who have had the benefit of being raised and surrounded by a strong value system that is ethical and centered around genuine goodness will most likely be the kindest, most generous souls who will gladly give you the shirt off of their back without a second thought. For these individuals, the selfless quality of their personality type is genuine and pure. ESFJs who have not had the advantage of developing their own values by weighing them against a good external value system may develop very questionable values. In such cases, the ESFJ most often genuinely believes in the integrity of their skewed value system. They have no internal understanding of values to set them straight. In weighing their values against our society, they find plenty of support for whatever moral transgression they wish to justify. This type of
ESFJ is a dangerous person indeed. Extraverted Feeling drives them to control and manipulate, and their lack of Intuition prevents them from seeing the big picture. They’re usually quite popular and good with people, and good at manipulating them. Unlike their ENFJ cousin, they don’t have Intuition to help them understand the real consequences of their actions. They are driven to manipulate other to achieve their own ends, yet they believe that they are following a solid moral code of conduct.
All ESFJs have a natural tendency to want to control their environment. Their dominant function demands structure and organization, and seeks closure. ESFJs are most comfortable with structured environments. They’re not likely to enjoy having to do things which involve abstract, theoretical concepts, or impersonal analysis. They do enjoy creating order and structure, and are very good at tasks which require these kinds of skills. ESFJs should be careful about controlling people in their lives who do not wish to be controlled.
ESFJs respect and believe in the laws and rules of authority, and believe that others should do so as well. They’re traditional, and prefer to do things in the established way, rather than venturing into unchartered territory. Their need for security drives their ready acceptance and adherence to the policies of the established system. This tendency may cause them to sometimes blindly accept rules without questioning or understanding them.
An ESFJ who has developed in a less than ideal way may be prone to being quite insecure, and focus all of their attention on pleasing others. He or she might also be very controlling, or overly sensitive, imagining bad intentions when there weren’t any.
ESFJs incorporate many of the traits that are associated with women in our society. However, male ESFJs will usually not appear feminine at all. On the contrary, ESFJs are typically quite conscious about gender roles and will be most comfortable playing a role that suits their gender in our society. Male ESFJs will be quite masculine (albeit sensitive when you get to know them), and female ESFJs will be very feminine.
ESFJs at their best are warm, sympathetic, helpful, cooperative, tactful, down-to-earth, practical, thorough, consistent, organized, enthusiastic, and energetic. They enjoy tradition and security, and will seek stable lives that are rich in contact with friends and family.
Jungian functional preference ordering:
Dominant: Extraverted Feeling
Auxiliary: Introverted Sensing
Tertiary: Extraverted Intuition
Inferior: Introverted Thinking
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ESFJ and Stress
The social status of successful people can be quite alluring to ESFJs and many marry prosperous mates and encourage them to accumulate the material signs of prosperity. Other ESFJs seem to fit in with the poor and the needy. In either case their dependability, dedication, and commitment to providing for the needs of others is, at times, overlooked. This can lead to the ESFJ feeling unappreciated and neglected. They can harbor uncomfortable feelings, which they then feel guilty and shameful about, and then they find themselves suffering from emotional denial.
ESFJs usually keep their distress and inner conflicts away from public eye. They are terrified of being judged and criticized by others while on the other hand they can be highly intolerant of what they perceive as inappropriate behaviors. They begin to feel used and unappreciated by others and as their resentment grows, they are prone to rash and thoughtless actions that may end up damaging the relationships they care so much for. As frustration grows, they become complaining, manipulative and go behind people’s backs to make decisions for them that would more likely benefit themselves than those involved. They rationalize their insensitive behavior by considering their actions are the right ones for solving the problem.
If stress continues, the ESFJ will begin to feel dejected and despondent. A sense of gloom seems to be attached to their memories and the ESFJ fosters feelings of self-blame and guilt about certain past experiences. Always conscious of a sense of indebtedness, the ESFJ feels generally remorseful and may regret imagined woes. If stress becomes overwhelming, ESFJs will complain of their burdens, suspect dreadful things about their health, become critical of others who have “betrayed” them, and become generally melancholic. The ESFJ feels forsaken after all they have put up with and done for others. Their complaints immobilize so they are unable to nurture others or fulfill their demanding obligations.
What to do?
ESFJs can help themselves by realizing that they can be loved for who they are, and not for what they do for others, and that they do not have an obligation to fulfill everyone’s needs. They need to define who they are and what they want, separately from how others view them or want them to be.
-Desperate search for the “absolute truth”
-Feeling taken for granted
-“All or nothing” state of mind
ESFJ: Under stress, become “The Condemner,” being extremely critical and condemning of others and themselves. Flip Side Motto: “I am SO done with you!”
Famous people/icons sharing your type
- Danny Glover – Actor
- Desi Arnaz – Actor / Comedian / Musician
- Dixie Carter – Actress
- Nancy Kerrigan – Olympic Figure Skater
- Sally Field – Actress
- William Mckinley – American President
Possible ESFJ career choices…
- Home economics
- Family Practice Physician
- Clergy or other Religious work
- Office Managers
- Counsellors/Social Work
- Administrative Assistant
All rights acknowledged: Original source here
Acknowledgement to Patrick L. Kerwin, MBTI® Master Practitioner