(Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judgment...the Control Freak)
ESFJs focus on the outside world and assess their experiences subjectively. They largely base their judgments on their belief system and on the effects of actions on people. ESFJs are literal and concrete, trusting the specific, factual information gathered through their physiological senses.
ESFJs project warmth through a genuine interest in the well-being of others. They are often skilled at bringing out the best in people, and they want to understand other points of view. They are serious about their responsibilities, seeing what needs to be done and then doing it. Generally proficient at detailed tasks, they enjoy doing little things that make life easier for others. They value tradition and the security it offers.
Easily hurt, ESFJs seek approval. They take pleasure in other people's happiness. They give generously but expect appreciation in return. Sensitive to the physical needs of others, they respond by offering practical care. As expert people readers, ESFJs often adapt their manner to meet the expectations of others. However, they may have difficulty recognizing the shortcomings of loved ones.
ESFJs tend to be vocal in expressing their sense of right and wrong. Their value system derives from the external standards defined by their community, as opposed to a personal set of ethics. (This is one of the traits that distinguishes them from their ENFJ counterparts.) ESFJs raised in an environment of high ethical standards tend to display true generosity and kindness. However, those who grow up surrounded by a skewed set of values may develop a false sense of integrity and use their people skills to selfishly manipulate others—particularly if their intuition is poorly developed, leaving them unable to foresee the consequences of their actions.
ESFJs seek structured, controlled environments, and tend to be good at creating a sense of order. They generally feel insecure in an atmosphere of uncertainty. They value the rule of law and expect the same of others. ESFJs may be less interested in understanding the concepts behind the rules, tending to shy away from the abstract and impersonal.
In RelationshipsESFJs are warm-hearted individuals who highly value their close personal relationships. They are very service-oriented, and their own happiness is closely tied into the happiness and comfort of those around them. They are valued for their genuine warm and caring natures, and their special ability to bring out the best in others. They usually do not handle conflict well, and may tend to be very controlling or manipulative. Relationships are central to their lives, and they put forth a great amount of energy into developing and maintaining their close interpersonal relationships. They expect the same from others.
Ten Rules to Live By to Achieve ESFJ Success
- Feed Your Strengths! Let your talent for caring and giving spill out into the world around you, show your gifts to the world. Allow yourself to take opportunities to nurture and develop situations in your home and work environments which bring value for yourself and others. Find work or a hobby which allows you to realise these strengths.
- Face Your Weaknesses! Realize and accept that some things are never going to be how you would like them to be. Understand that other peoples need to deal with the world regardless of how it seems. Facing and dealing with discord or differences in others doesn't mean that you have to change who you are; it means that you are giving yourself opportunities to grow. By facing your weaknesses, you honour your true self and that of others.
- Discover the World of Others. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of thinking you always know what is right for others. Open your heart to the possibility of understanding that their true needs are something that must be discovered through a recognition that their view of the world might be very different, yet just as valid as your own.
- Don’t be too hasty. Try to let things settle before you make a judgement, allowing others to discover the best for themselves while you try to see all the variables and contingencies in a situation
- Look Carefully at the World. Remember, things are not always what they seem on the surface. You might need to look deeper to discover the truth, particularly when it seems you are sure of your first quick judgement. There are layers of meaning and truth beneath everything
- Try to Let Others Take Some of the Load. By letting others make their own judgements, you are not letting things get out of control, but are validating their own need to be a part of your life. Remember, it is better to guide another to see your point of view than keeping them out of the picture.
- Be Accountable to Others. Remember that they need to understand you and your needs too. Express your doubts and difficulties as well as your reasons and let them become partners to your goals.
- Don’t Hem Yourself in. Staying in your comfort zone is self defeating in the end. Try to make every day one where you get out and discover a little something different about the world and others. This will broaden your horizons and bring new ideas and opportunities into focus.
- Assume the Best and Seek for it. Don't wait for others to live up to your expectations. Every person has a goldmine of worth in them, just as every situation can be turned to some good. If you let yourself believe this, you will find yourself discovering ways to make it true for you.
- When in Doubt, Ask For Help! Don't let your fears leave you on the horns of a dilemma or lead you into disaster. If you are uncertain of something or someone then get input from others who have greater experience in dealing with this difficulty.