Saturday, June 26, 2010

Getting Into Character: The ESFJ (Extrovert, Sensor, Feeler, Judger)

Today we continue our specific look at the sixteen types in the MBTI line-up. This is going to be so fun, because even if this is not your particular label, more than likely you will recognize someone you know and love revealed on the page. I need to let you know that this is NOT a professional opinion or blog—I’m just teaching you what I've learned over more than ten years of studying personality.
I’m not going to repeat my description of the dominant preferences and such, but if you haven’t been following along, go back and read the beginning of the first week’s post, which you will find under the April archives (The ESTP). I’ve highlighted the part you need to read in green, so you can easily catch up.

Last week we looked at the INTP's; those one-man or one-woman truth finders. This week we will change it up once more and look at the letter-opposite, the ESFJ.  Read on to hear about those ESFJs and their Welcome Wagon approach to life.

Living Life with an ESFJ: If you live with or work with an ESFJ, you already know how they make you, and everyone else they encounter, feel welcome. ESFJs work toward harmony in every facet of their influence. They are known for being thorough and loyal. If an ESFJ tells you s/he will do something, you can consider it done. They follow through on promises and projects and they keep their word, or die trying. ESFJs are also proactive servers. They not only see needs that others sometimes miss, but they also respond, always helping out. They are also keenly aware of the needs of people and can be found working toward harmony on all fronts by taking into account how their decisions will affect those around them. ESFJs make people feel welcome, help keep people organized, and set priorities for bot people and organizations. Proponents of tradition, ESFJs have been called "faith preservers" for the rest of the personalities. Unlike some of the other types, ESFJs will accept the structure imposed by the culture--unless it goes against compassion or kindness.

Career/Service Area Choices for an ESFJ: Because of their organizational skills, ESFJs excel in jobs or volunteer positions where they are called on to develop a plan to get things done. They also tend to know the priorities of the organization, company, and people involved and can work to meet them. ESFJs make people feel welcomed so they will enjoy and find success at jobs/ministries dealing with hospitality or working with people facing life issues such as sickness, infirmity, incarceration, advanced age, and new circumstances such as a move or a new baby. ESFJs enjoy working in environments where people are conscientious, sensitive, and appreciative. They are warm and caring servers, able to make the people around them feel valued and welcomed. ESFJs enjoy passing traditions from one generation to the next, so often they are drawn to working with youth ministries or social organizations. Some occupations that often appeal to ESFJs include secretary/assistant, researcher, teacher, homemaker, career/occupational therapist, nurse, trainer, lawyer, or owning their own business.

Free Time for an ESFJ: ESFJs like to play only after work is completed. Often they enjoy activities that include other people. However, they will steal away to recharge and renew after many days of meeting the needs of others. Typically they don't enjoy doing things alone, so once they recharge, they will try to connect the activity to someone else. ESFJs enjoy the value-oriented aspects of living life and frequently get with others to discuss movies, books, community or family needs. ESFJs tend to participate in events, sports, or hobbies that are regularly scheduled. ESFJs enjoy spending their free time helping to keep tradition alive. They may host the family holiday dinners or plan the annual egg hunt, the visit to the Christmas light display, or the Fourth of July horseshoe match. ESFJs participate in community or church volunteer opportunities when they can.

Warnings for the ESFJ: Too much of any good thing can be a bad thing, so here are some things ESFJs need to beware of: One of the favorite phrases in the ESFJs vocabulary is "You should/ought to do...". ESFJs need to learn to let others talk and only give their opinion when asked for it. The constant giving of ESFJs can wear them out. They need to learn to recognize and take care of their own needs before they burn themselves out. This same tendency also affects their ability to get things done. Often ESFJs spend so much time focused on people that they fail to accomplish necessary tasks in their own life. ESFJs need to be careful not to caretaker so much that the other person becomes dependent on them. ESFJs are people-oriented, but sometimes have a tendency to share too much. Learn to keep some things to yourself. And ESFJs need to give themselves permission to question traditions and to let them go when they no longer meet a need of fulfill a purpose.

Spiritual Helps for the ESFJ: For ESFJs, tradition is king, so they often enjoy very traditional spiritual lives. But their desire to keep harmony and meet the needs of those around them can cause problems. ESFJs tend to ignore conflicts and to pour themselves out to the point of exhaustion. ESFJs sometimes have a skewed vision of God as judge and forget His other qualities. This can lead to feelings of shame and guilt. Their people-pleasing nature also opens them up to spiritual manipulation. However, often when they have been the victim of this, they learn to recognize it and won't let it happen again to themselves or others. ESFJs generally enjoy traditional Bible studies with a focus on practical applications. Their people-focus lends itself to ministries of evangelism and outreach. ESFJs typically enjoy retreats, especially those with a strong fellowship component and love ministries that allow them to infuse grace into the lives of others.

What Others Say about the ESFJ: If you are seeing a person emerge from this description, you know that they are warm, caring, and oriented toward people. ESFJs are adept at recalling facts and details. ESFJs are known to be sociable, sympathetic, tactful, and responsive to the needs of others. They can be described as harmonious and cooperative. They are deeply involved in the day-to-day struggles and triumphs of the people in their life. They are at their best in dealing with people in structured and organized ways, getting things done and doing it in a way that keeps the peace keeps tradition alive.
Okay, who do you know that is an ESFJ? Let me hear from you if you are!

Next week, we will change just the last letter and take a look at our friend the ESFP.

1 comment:

  1. i love esfjs, my best friend is one :). thanks for sharing this information.