All About: ESFP

ESFP Myers Briggs

ESFP Shadow: The Dark Side of the ESFP

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ESFP SHADOW

Each of the 16 Myers Briggs personality types represent a package of cognitive functions that together form a portrait of a conscious ego identity. The functions that constitute our MBTI type encapsulate the conscious preferences and perspectives that help explain and inform our behavior and tendencies. There is also an unconscious side of our personality that is repressed. This theoretical side of ourselves is known as the shadow and encompasses the things we reject and disassociate from our ego identity.

Carl Jung originally conceptualized the shadow as a feature of the inferior function. He believed the inferior function was the gateway to the shadow. Jungian analyst John Beebe, later described the shadow in terms of cognitive function archetypes. By inverting the attitude (the introverted or extraverted preference) of each cognitive function of a particular type, you get the shadow version of that type. For the ESFP, their shadow would therefore be the ISFJ. The shadow type represents perspectives that are ego-dystonic which is to say, they clash with or obstruct the ego identity.

The important thing to understand is that the shadow is a part of us and can manifest as negative projections we unduly impose on others. Being aware of the shadow can help us manage disruptive and destructive parts of our psyche that we may not even realize are happening. Here now is a look at the ESFP shadow functions and how they manifest in their personality.

ESFP 5th Function: Si Opposing

The ESFPs 1st shadow function is Si Opposing. The opposing function emerges in response to the dominant function being obstructed or opposed. Extraverted Sensing is the ESFPs dominant preference. This means they approach life with an openness to new and stimulating experiences. Se is all about living in the moment and engaging with their environment. Introverted Sensing on the other hand is focused on experience stored in memory. It relies heavily on past precedent and favors things of historical and traditional significance. Si prefers that which is familiar and routine over the risky and unpredictable.

When the ESFP’s dominant Se perspective feels obstructed or opposed by Si-related perspectives, ESFPs may become oppositional. Their preference for freedom to improvise and operate on instinct can feel encumbered and heavily restricted by an Si emphasis on rote memorization and adherence to procedure. They may become frustrated and impatient when they feel such rules and step-by-step procedures are slowing them down or holding them back in some way. ESFP’s shadow Si is used to defend and justify their dominant Se perspective while projecting an antagonistic Si persona onto the person obstructing them. They may argue against them for being “old fashioned”, “boring” or “narrow-minded”. Additionally, they may bring up things about the past that undermine the other person and support ESFP’s Se viewpoint about the present.

ESFP 6th Function: Fe Critical Parent

ESFP’s 2nd shadow function and 6th function overall, is Fe Critical Parent. The critical parent function represents how we sometimes defend the authority of our auxiliary function also referred as the “good parent”. The auxiliary function supports and affirms the dominant function and for extraverted types like ESFP, it describes the nature of their introverted side. ESFP’s auxiliary introverted feeling signifies their humane and personal sense of values. ESFPs use their introverted feeling to nurture and mentor both themselves and others. They have a sense of idealism and self belief that has the power to encourage and inspire.

Fe critical parent on the other hand, describes the way in which ESFP may tear down or demoralize others when they feel cranky or disgruntled. Typically in response to having the authority of their Fi personal values being undermined or taken for granted by what they perceive as standardized group values that don’t represent them as an individual. Under such conditions, ESFPs may use their shadow Fe to assert their moral authority upon others. They may also chastise others for disrupting social harmony while ironically disrupting it themselves. Fe critical parent manifests as a bit of defensive moral grandstanding and shaming others when they feel guilty about disobeying group standards and values.

ESFP 7th Function: Ti Trickster

ESFP’s 3rd shadow function and 7th function overall is Introverted Thinking. This is the shadow side of their tertiary Extraverted Thinking. The tertiary function is described as a “relief role” and backup to the auxiliary function with which it works in tandem. The tertiary function also describes alternative ways in which we like to be creative and have fun. Thus, when they have time for it, ESFPs derive some fun and ego gratification from organizing their environment and doing technical planning. As with other types, ESFPs may sometimes overestimate or “inflate” the strength of their tertiary Te function as being equal to the dominant or auxiliary Te function of other types.

Ti Trickster is a response to feeling “double-bound” and threatened by another person’s Ti logic. When another person finds flaws or pokes holes in the way ESFP organizes or structures things, it can arouse ESFP’s shadow Ti. ESFPs may feel confused or emotionally wounded when someone essentially points out the stupidity of how or why they organized things the way they did. ESFPs will therefore attempt to use individual reference to invalidate the other person’s logic and turn the tables on them. ESFPs may use specious logic just to trap and make the other person appear stupid.

ESFP 8th Function: Ne Demon

Finally, we have ESFP’s 4th shadow function, Ne Demon. The Demon function is the most suppressed area of consciousness. It is referred to as an “internal saboteur” and manifests as an exaltation of one’s own integrity via the cognitive function that inhabits it. In the case of the ESFP, creativity and openness to new ideas becomes a narcissistic basis for their own ego worth. At the same time, they impute evil intent behind others’ words and deeds. In response to feeling befuddled by other’s abstract observations and conceptualizations, it is suspected that the other person is deliberately taking advantage of this. ESFPs may then overread between the lines, so to speak, and attribute negative intent where none was intended.

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  • ESFP Myers Briggs

    ESFP Explained: What it Means to be the ESFP Personality Type.

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    ESFP PERSONALITY

    The ESFP personality is described as the “tactical Performer” by MBTI analyst David Keirsey. Spontaneous, playful, enthusiastic and highly expressive, the ESFP male or female is an extrovert who is full of vitality and passion for life. They prize freedom and seek to live life according to their terms and values. For them, rules, commitments and schedules can often feel like an infringement on the more spontaneous manner in which they like to operate. 

    It is estimated that over 10% of the population is ESFP. These individuals tend to be the life of any occasion they are a part of. They love attention and when they have it, can put on quite a performance. ESFPs are treasured for their sanguine and cheerful spirit which can often brighten the mood of everyone around them. Of course, not everyone may appreciate their ebullient and effusive qualities. Some people may just find them loud and annoying. ESFPs radiate warmth and heart and they show more interest in the arts and humanities than in impersonal technical systems and theories. 

    They however, are noted as often developing artful proficiency in their use of tools and equipment. Like other extraverted sensors, ESFPs are very tactile and respond best to hands-on styles of learning. While ESFPs can thrive in many different occupations, those that are physical and craft-based are more likely to appeal to them than anything else. As skillful operators, ESFPs will often work hard to master and perfect their use of techniques. They want to be seen as artistic, bold and flexible, and they aspire to make an impact in the world. ESFPs trust their impulses and ability to improvise under pressure. Dealing with uncertainties and adapting to new situations is often more exciting than stressful. 

    Friendly and engaging, ESFPs like to be around people, and pleasing people is their pleasure. They don’t like being alone and can become restless and depressed when they are deprived of human interaction. Witty and humorous, ESFPs can be very fun conversationalists and being in their company is usually a delight. They love to tell stories and jokes and to playfully tease or show off for their companions. ESFPs prefer not to take life too seriously and display more of a YOLO attitude. They like to live fast, and live large if possible and tend to avoid thinking about things that can ruin their positive mood. 

    Surveys of the 16 MBTI types show ESFPs to have the lowest tolerance for anxiety of all. They will often try to ignore the things that cause them unhappiness and worry for as long as possible. Although they along with other sensors are “realists” by definition, ESFP’s focus on the bright side is a coping mechanism that can sometimes lead to a denial of reality and the postponement of dealing with problems that need to be addressed. They tend to be hip to what’s in fashion or popular at the moment but they themselves can often be something of a trendsetter. 

    Although their joy devivre is generally a good thing, it can also lead to a sometimes overindulgent and excessive pursuit of excitement and consumption of sensory pleasures. They can also be prone to reckless behaviors and mishaps due to a lack of forethought or planning. Although they are usually well-intentioned, ESFPs can sometimes get into trouble for not thinking before they speak. Delaying gratification is not their strong suit and this weakness can make them susceptible to various temptations that are not good for them. Because of their preoccupation with the “here and now”, ESFPs can often fail to consider the long term consequences of their present actions and decisions. Short term benefits tend to weigh more heavily for them than the long term. 

    On a more positive note, ESFPs are very generous and kind. They show a great tolerance and acceptance of others that is admirable. As much as they like to enjoy life’s pleasures, they also enjoy sharing them with others. They are known for giving and loving freely without expecting much of anything in return. They show themselves to be very genuine and scarcely resist expressing what they truly feel. They find it difficult to conceal their feelings and so whether they are happy or hurt, it will likely show very clearly on their face and in their behavior. They divulge to their friends all their joys and pains as part of their desire to share and feel close to them. 

    When it comes to romance, ESFPs fall into love easily. People of this type are often very attractive thanks in part to the attention and concern they have for their physical appearance. By extension, they have a knack for beautifying their surroundings with tasteful furnishings and decor. ESFPs can often get stereotyped as shallow, superficial, vapid and materialistic. This may be true for some, but for most ESFPs, it’s about really living and loving life and loving the people in their life because when life is over, its over.

    ESFPs may sometimes struggle to be taken seriously. Their fun-loving disposition and hyperactive nature can make them seem less than reliable. Although routines and rituals can be such a drag for them, ESFPs have the capacity to fulfill obligations and perform responsibly when needed to. Like other perceiving types, they tend to start more things than they finish. They like to have a lot of irons in the fire even though they can often get side tracked by welcome distractions. ESFPs have a penchant for pulling off small miracles at the last minute and making the most of what they have to work with. Although this can cause a lot of consternation and stress for other people involved, the conclusion is usually a happy ending. 

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    ESFP Weaknesses – 7 Struggles of Being ESFP

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    esfp weaknesses

    The ESFP is one of the 16 MBTI personality types and is grouped along with the ESTP, ISTP, and ISFP as part of the “Artisan” temperament group. ESFPs have been referred to as such things as “the performers”, “the Tactical performer”, and “the Entertainer”. Among their positive traits is their light and carefree attitude, humor and spontaneity, and ability to get along well with others. Like with the other MBTI types, there are also areas of difficulty that the ESFP contends with. Here is a look at 7 weaknesses associated with the ESFP personality type. Continue reading

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    35 signs you are an ESFP Personality

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    esfp personality signs

    ESFPs are one of the 16 MBTI personality types. This personality type constitutes roughly 10% of the general population and is more commonly found among females. ESFP belongs to the temperament group known as the “artisans” alongside ISTP, ISFP and ESTP. Like them, ESFP are more grounded in the here and now and place higher regard for the material world and sensory stimulation. Here are 35 signs you or someone you know is an ESFP. Continue reading

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  • ESFP Myers Briggs

    12 Shades of ESFP: MBTI & the Zodiac

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    12 shades of esfp

    ESFP and the Zodiac

    The difference between astrology and the MBTI is that where astrology prescribes your personality traits, the Myers-Briggs defines your personality type by your self-reported preferences. Many people feel they do, more or less, identify with their zodiac sign, but if they don’t, astrologers can almost always find a convenient rationalization for ‘why’ by examining the natal chart. You are more likely to categorically identify with your MBTI type since it is derived from actual characteristics of real people who share the same preferences as you. At any rate, here is an assessment of how the ESFP personality may vary by zodiac sign. Continue reading

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