Podcast – Episode 0094 – ESFP Personality Type Advice
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In this episode Joel and Antonia dive deep into the needs and desires of the ESFP personality type.
In this podcast on the ESFP personality type you’ll find:
ESFP – Sensation/Authenticity in the genius system
ESFPs get a bad rap in Myers-Briggs communities because it is easy to dismiss them as two-dimensional or flighty.
The driver process is Extraverted Sensing (Se), which we have nicknamed “Sensation.”
Sensation is a perceiving or learning process and it is how they take in information.
Sensation is a real time interactive experience with the world around you using your senses.
All of us have this capacity, but as a driver it means it is super charged. All senses are heightened.
ESFPs don’t miss a thing. Crazy observant.
Very sensual. Athletic. Indulgent.
They like to be entertained and they like to be entertaining.
They may not get taken seriously because they show up so playfully.
The co-pilot is Introverted Feeling (Fi), which we have nicknamed “Authenticity.”
Fi is incredibly deep, highly introspective and more in touch with the emotional state.
The more an ESFP develops self and learns to understand who they are and what their convictions are the deeper they become as people.
There is a part of them that wants to go inside and be introspective.
ESFPs are very in touch with their bodies and they use their bodies as an instrument to determine what feels right or wrong.
They have a superpower for helping the world get in touch with the kinesthetic abilities of our bodies.
Fearless. Effortless physically.
We get a lot of benefit from ESFPs – lots of performers, comedians, athletes, etc. They help us understand what is possible in regards to the physical pursuits.
Not a lot of narrative to their learning initially, they are just interested in experiencing something fully, in the present. Initially it is just about the experience.
People can superimpose their stories upon why an ESFP is doing something and that can be hurtful to the ESFP because their intent wasn’t based upon any narrative. They are just eager to experience.
Their copilot of Authenticity (Fi) asks what feels right to the individual. What feels good – kinesthetically, personally, emotionally? What feels ethically right, or morally right?
Fi helps them ask if they are showing up the way they want. If they are giving the impression they want.
ESFPs say they love the feeling of falling in love, but once the relationship begins things become humdrum and they get bored and want to find that initial thrill again.
So they need to shift the question from what feels good to what feels right. This will extend the timeline to move past the humdrum spots and find the potential in the future.
ESFPs have a weird relationship with approval, so they often outsource their values to other people and get stuck adhering to values that aren’t authentic to them.
ESFPs need to ask themselves:
- What is it in your life that you are doing that is unacceptable to you?
- What is the life you want to be living?
- What are you not giving yourself permission to do that is having you ignore other values that are much closer to who you are?
Make sure that all of your decisions in your life (job, paradigm, relationships, etc) are resonating with the core of your being, or you will find yourself doing things that you aren’t proud of just to survive.
ESFPs 10-year-old process is Extraverted Thinking (Te), which we have nicknamed “Effectiveness.”
ESFPs have a tendency to skip their copilot and go to their 10 year old, another extraverted process.
Fi is a slow process. It is introverted. It takes meditative thought to know what feels right.
Te gives the ability to make quick decisions on info. But the decisions aren’t going to be very sophisticated because Te has the maturity of a 10 year old.
The true growth for ESFPs is getting in touch w/ authenticity. Turn off video games, media, sensory experiences and get in touch with how you resonate with things.
The world loves Te, so there’s a lot of encouragement to go to that process.
ESFPs have to fight that if they are neglecting Fi in behalf of Te.
If you aren’t neglecting Fi, then Te can be a very effective helper.
One of the stereotypes around ESFPs is their playful nature, yet they are hard workers. Se married to Te will work till they collapse. Physical work. An ESFP desk jockey will be miserable.
ESFPs have more stamina than most people.
One challenge they have is in saving and planning for the future
The 3-year-old process is Introverted Intuition (Ni), which we have nicknamed “Perspectives.”
Ni is about future pacing – the very opposite of Se.
A lot of survey results indicated that future pacing was a struggle. Planning more than 3 weeks ahead. Saving money.
When we are talking about an area that is a blind spot we need to outsource what we are struggling with. Call in other people to help.
We are influenced by the three year old in ways we can’t see. For ESFPs the Ni can be a source of fear. Paranoia. Conspiracy. Fears of Betrayal. Not necessarily legitimate fears.
Get out of that paranoid space and get back into sensation. Verify the legitimacy. If there’s no reason to fear the future then don’t worry about it.
Give your 3 yr old some attention by doing meditation. Some body builder ESFPs will actually enter a meditative state while working out.
Allow yourself to enjoy harmless intuitive pursuits, like daily horoscopes, crystal healing.
Interpreting people’s body language is a great combo of Se and Ni.
ESFPs are often labeled shallow, but the world will see their depth if they get into the Authenticity process.
All of us have a vetting process to determine whether or not we want to be intimate with people. ESFPs are looking for playmates. Then they will allow people to see their depth.
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Finally, an in-depth analysis of ESFP that goes beyond the stereotypes. As an ESFP, I have been craving this depth of insight because I always knew there was more to me than just the fun-loving, playful side that is so often described on just about every MBTI website. Thank you for such a wonderful analysis.
I can’t thank you enough for this real representation of what it is to be an ESFP. As an INFP who is both married to an ESFP and whose sister is an ESFP, I get so tired of the stereotypes that are put out there about them- that they’re superficial, flighty, vacuous. My personal experience has been that yes, they are fun, but they are also extremely caring and hardworking. They work hard and they play hard. They get me out of my head and my shell and get me out there doing things I never would otherwise. They help me to lighten up and see the joy in life. (I see the INFP-ESFP dynamic being like that of Calvin and Hobbes.) Also, something that is rarely mentioned about them, they will put in the hard work that others are unwilling to do to help those they love. People need to be more open-minded about ESFPs. Inside they are sensitive, emotionally vulnerable souls with steadfast hearts. They have a lot going for them.
Wow! This describes me so well! Really helpful! I wish I’d had this understanding and encouragement much earlier in my Life, because sadly I have wasted so much of it “adhering to values that aren’t authentic” to me and “doing things that you aren’t proud of just to survive” … So that part really stood out to me, and also the part about “People can superimpose their stories upon why an ESFP is doing something and that can be hurtful to the ESFP because their intent wasn’t based upon any narrative” – YES! Thank you so much for this! <3
Thank you for the episode, Joel & Antonia! Insightful and empathetic as always!
@Ellie, it’s so heartening to read your comment! As an ESFP, I’ve learned to connect with INFPs and other NF types through deep conversations or debates (I learned to enjoy them as my dad’s a scholar). I throw in banter once familiarity is established because I know that playfulness can be a little out of some people’s comfort zones right off the bat. I only recently realised that I’ve somehow reverse-engineered connection in that sense, because I really enjoy their company and I can do that without sacrificing Authenticity (up to a certain point. I can’t help cracking a joke when things get too heavy.) Maybe all that work on my co-pilot is helping…
I thought it was very interesting how you brought up how we as ESFPs look for Play mates as a vetting process. I am currently in a relationship where we have opposite personality types and she has even pointed out to me how I am very carefree, laid-back, and always in a playful mood. But one thing she looks for in a relationship is being able to have those deep serious conversations and I feel like she doesn’t think she can have that with me because I always appear to be lighthearted. I think you hit the nail on the head by stating that this is our way of feeling somebody out before we can actually have those types of conversations or feelings, Especially when we’re looking for that intimate relationship with somebody. I thought those last five minutes of your podcast were very intriguing and put a lot of things into perspective
I am a ESFP and recently got in major problems due to completely ignoring the perspective, 3 year old. Being the hands on person (i am a Facilities Management professional, so i believe i am in the perfect profession) however, i do fear confrontations and have absolutely ignored to get in touch with my client with regards to issues they should have been informed on, they asked my employer to be removed. Now i know and recognize this I try to figure out how no longer ignore this and i feel your site can be of a good direction for me.
Thank you for giving me words regarding the vetting process. I have definitely faced judgment from some in my life for being shallow, but in the end these people have not proven themselves worthy of my vulnerability. I can go very deep with my closer friends, but they all pass my vetting, so to speak. I do value the ability to have fun and laugh in my relationships and this helped me understand why. Thanks for the great podcast, I’m glad I’m doscovering your work!
Just FYI, the audio in Stitcher for this episode is about ESFJs, not ESFPs.
No clue why the audio is different on Stitcher. They pull from our main iTunes feed and it should be ESFP. Weird. Anyway – thanks for letting us know. I guess that episode is not showing up correctly. My guess is it is a glitch with Stitcher.
After listening to this, I am realized that my best friend is an ESFP (I’m an ENTP)! Whenever I go somewhere with him, there is almost always at least one person who knows him, and he really is like a walking party haha. I also know at least a couple of other female ESFPs who are really great people. This type really is one of my favorites (I’m personally biased towards EPs haha) because they have a tendency to balance me out by keeping me grounded in reality and inspiring inward warmth. They aren’t shallow at all. It’s interesting how we struggle with similar issues of intense dislike of the daily grind of life and things like planning ahead (though not really to the same degree).
Thanks for your comment Stephen! You’re right. All ExxPs have a need for unfettered freedom. Their greatest fear is being stuck.
I’m an INFP writing an ESFP main character at the moment. I love ESFPs and I really want to do justice to that type by creating an accurate character. This really helped! I was also very intrigued by the concept of first points of entry/vetting processes and how we each have a way of testing the people around us. I was wondering if you could maybe talk about what these are for all the types.
Thanks for your comment Sarah! I think it would be hard to guess at every types vetting process because, I imagine, it is fairly subjective in most cases.
Maybe we can address this in the Intuitive Awakening group on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1066580883382024/
INTJ here. I was about to request one of these on ESFPs- though its quite unlikely they’d be online long enough to find it. Apart from the Socionics duality and the MBTI hierarchy, why do INTJs become obsessed with ESFPs? Is it necessarily a short term attraction? Do you think(of course everyone is different but better probabilities can exist) they can keep up with the INTJ Ni and be a good foil?
That aside, thanks a ton for all the material.
Hey now RC I am an ESFP and I eat up this kind of info. I am online looking it up A LOT. I am constantly on the search to understand myself and others including INTJ’s especially. I have a best friend who is one and a had a crush on one so I researched them heavily. I think there is a difference between evolved ESFP’s who are seeking growth in their inner world. Maybe you would do well with one of those. I think the INTJ thing could work if both were in that mindset. I am fascinated myself with INTJ’s there is some sort of polarity thing going on.
Holy smokes – Personality Hacker knocked it out of the park! One of my best friends is a retired ESFP. We have a blast together despite me being younger and his complete opposite, an INTJ. And our occasional head bumping is almost always on the field of planning-budgeting or pleasure excesses and their consequences. But it doesn’t matter where we go, somebody knows him and that’s where the social party begins … everywhere! He’s like the local warm but fast talking-and-walking comedic celebrity. Slowing down and using authenticity are definitely uncomfortable places for him to visit. But if you wanna let loose, be entertained and party hardy, I dare anyone to step inside his arena. Because nobody owns it like he, LOL!
Ha! Thanks Randy! It sounds like all of us need such a friend.
I think you have an interesting question on compatibility but I also think you’ve got a few inherently typist assumptions in the language you are using, particularly in the dig towards their attention span and the question as to whether esfps, as a type, could ‘keep up’ with intjs. Perhaps you thought it would be funny, but it is important to understand not just the concepts you communicate but also the way you which you communicate them, especially because a large part of this podcast was talking about how a lot of people seem not to take esfps seriously.
Word LW! Amen!!!!
INTJ weakest functions, Se, Fi, are ESFP strongest ones. The more INTJ spend around ESFP the more they get to know and understand those weaker functions and in a way better understand themselves.
ESFPs and INTJs use the same exact cognitive functions, but in reverse order!
Thank you!!!! I loved this! I resonated with so much of it. I’m thankful I have been forced to face my authenticity co-poliet on more than one occasion when I had to stop caring what people think of me and really be the real me. It’s scary and hard but so much freedom comes from it. I was wondering what type you recommend that has an easier time in relationships with esfp. Obviously the playmate thing is huge but in your opinion what other type would compliment an esfp in a healthy way but naturally meet each others needs.
I am in a relationship now with an infj and I realize that my 3 year old makes for his biggest strength. Which is why we have so much conflict. We are speaking different languages. Obviously this can compliment each other if we allow it too but unfortunately it’s not turning out that way. As an esfp my biggest goal in life is love. It is what I desire the most. I think that’s why it’s frustrating I feel I keep failing at it even though I try to show up authentically with my partners. But it feels like they just want to change everything about me and I used to allow them too because I wanted to please them but now I am stepping into knowing more who I am and what I have to offer authentically. Thanks for all you do you guys xo
Thanks for the comment Authentic! We notice relationships run into conflict when they don’t share the N/S and P/J dichotomies. N/S impacts our communication style. P/J impacts our organization style. They are better shared. Although relationships do succeed when they are not shared if both partners are set upon growth and mutual understanding.
Since most relationships need some sort of polarity, we find the E/I and T/F dichotomies can be opposed with little difficulty.
So, with this basic model in mind, the ideal relationship for you would be an ISTP. But, this in no way takes in consideration individuals and their levels of growth. We each need to answer for our own needs and desires.