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The ESFJ Personality: What It Means to be the “Consul” MBTI Type


Warm, cheerful, conscientious and social, the ESFJ is an extravert who seeks to help others and be a valuable contributor. Estimated at around 10% of the population, ESFJs are relatively common but more so among women than men. They promote harmony, inclusion and cooperation between people. For them, the preservation of harmony and goodwill is paramount. Generally, ESFJs are better at managing interpersonal problems than technical problems. They focus on tending to people’s needs and ensuring that they feel comfortable and supported.

Community and human connection is vital to the ESFJ and they try to establish connections with people by identifying with them and appearing very relatable. In some cases, ESFJs can appear glib and insincere as though they are just saying what they think people want to hear rather than speaking from a place of authenticity. It may not be their intention at all to come across this way, but it is just part of their way of relating with others and trying to make them feel understood and appreciated. ESFJs make a point of expressing appreciation of other people and try to give frequent praise and positive reinforcement to them. Because they themselves want to be valued and appreciated, ESFJs in turn feel it is important to show such recognition to others.

They tend to be sensitive to criticism and feeling left out or alienated. ESFJs can get insecure at times and would generally appreciate having their value and efforts acknowledged now and again. For them, exclusion from a group can be devastating and harmful to their self esteem. A lot of their self worth is predicated on how appreciated they feel. When people criticize them despite their efforts, it is difficult not to take it personally. ESFJs are more focused with managing the feelings of others than that of their own but their personal feelings are largely influenced by their peers and associates. They want to fit in and often adjust themselves to the energy and vibe of the people they happen to be around. To some extent, ESFJs tend to be more conformist and willing to adapt themselves to their environment rather than adapt their environment to them. However, they would like to position themselves as someone who knows and understands what is best for the group and demonstrate their commitment to serving their best interests.

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Because ESFJs are more “other” oriented, their sense of identity and personal values are largely tied up in their dealings with others. ESFJs do not present themselves as intellectual mavericks and independent thinkers. They tend to focus on the common good and rely on the existing conventions, institutions and structures to serve that purpose. As a result, they are not inclined to challenge the system or deviate far from conventional wisdom. They tend to concern themselves with what is practical and pertinent to their physical existence such as security, resources, and good health. Furthermore, ESFJs value and respect most forms of tradition and social ritual. They typically enjoy festive celebrations and playing an active role in their orchestration. 

Whatever values and customs they are brought up with, ESFJ is likely to cling to them throughout their lives. ESFJs hold onto memories and find it important to honor things like heritage and legacy. They often rely on their recollection of the past to guide their judgement, and they may often recite sayings and adages spoken to them in their childhood. ESFJs are generally neat and orderly and they take a lot of care in managing their appearance. Keeping themselves and their environment clean and presentable is for them, just another aspect of social courtesy. They enjoy having company and are very hospitable and eager to make others feel comfortable and at home.

ESFJs enjoy casual banter and light discussions about the news of the day and what’s going on in people’s lives. The focus of their discussions typically revolve around people rather than ideas or concepts. They are fascinated with gossip and can fill you in with loads of details about sports, food or prices. They seem to know a lot about what’s going on in their community, school or church. Because ESFJ’s care more about human interests and practical matters, they tend to find impersonal subject matter like computer science and technology to be less interesting. ESFJs are inclined to practice logistics scheduling time, personnel and resources. At the same time, they like playing the role of provider and facilitator who ensures that the needs of all their helpers and associates are being met. 

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ESFJs tend to be attracted to service-oriented careers. Their people skills engender a capacity to thrive as salespeople. They have an ability to personalize and connect with others in a compelling and convivial manner. Because of their dutiful nature and people pleasing personality, ESFJs are typically a delight to their superiors. They follow rules and comply with regulations and display a great deal of loyalty and orderliness. Whatever role they play, whether in family life, their career or community, ESFJs take their responsibilities seriously. When it comes to morality, they have strong values about what should and shouldn’t be allowed. They seek to resolve disputes quickly and with as little fuss as possible.

ESFJs are loyal mates willing to sacrifice a great deal in order to stand by partner’s side in both good times and bad times. They’re able to maintain the appearance of happiness even when things are on the rocks. They are sentimental and have a knack for saying the right thing for a given occasion. Furthermore, they are very devoted to their children and will give everything to ensure their well-being and success. ESFJs tend to see their children as a direct reflection of themselves such that when their children thrive and succeed it is a reflection of them as a parent. ESFJs do everything they can to help their children become the respected and valued members of society that they seek to be themselves.

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Jetta Moon

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