Podcast – Episode 0096 – ESFJ Personality Type Advice
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In this episode Joel and Antonia dive deep into the needs and desires of the ESFJ personality type.
In this podcast on the ESFJ personality type you’ll find:
ESFJ – Harmony/Memory in the Genius System.
One of the most represented types among women. 12-13% of female population. 6-8% of men are ESFJs.
Antonia’s sister was an ESFJ.
A lot of stereotypes around this type will usually have a feminine bent.
The driver process is Extraverted Feeling (Fe), which we have nicknamed “Harmony.”
Harmony has a sophisticated understanding of the dynamic relationship between people. This is what ESFJs have determined is the most important thing.
As Fe becomes sophisticated it can recognize and understand how entire societies of people create emotional dances to keep each other’s morale up.
If we always imprint each other on an emotional level and we can’t get a handle on it we will see nothing but conflict. Conflict is not ideal .
The more conflict you experience the more taxing it is on an individual.
To keep everyone okay and not be exhausted by conflict we want to reach the end game of Harmony. So we create unspoken social contracts for us to behave toward each other in order to keep that harmonious place.
An ESFJ is going to want to make sure everyone is getting along. They are generally interested in things that involve people. Teachers. Hostesses. Social engagements.
What gets everyone’s needs met? The people right now that I have an impact on?
Men who use Fe as driver aren’t necessarily feminized. They can be very masculine but be a big teddy bear inside.
If you are an ESFJ man you probably have your mind on the pulse of the culture around you.
ESFJs may find themselves doing what they think they are supposed to do, not because it is something they truly want to do. Like a man who acts interested in cars because he thinks that’s what men should be interested in. Or the woman who plays along in order to do what is expected of her.
When Fe pretends to be something they aren’t it isn’t about them, it is about other people. If they are doing something you suspect is not 100% authentic to them, it isn’t necessarily manipulative it may be done to keep the morale up. Doing what they think is interesting for those who matter to them.
It is within the zone of their genius to be able to meet people where they’re at.
Allowing other people’s needs to be important is their genius.
Other people aren’t like that. ESFJs can get frustrated by people who don’t understand the need to play along and keep the peace.
Fe can focus too much on other people’s needs and they have a tendency to forget that they need to get their own needs met.
If an ESFJ articulates a need it is because they went thru a period of time trying to get it met themselves, or ignoring it, and they couldn’t do it. So, if you hear an ESFJ express a need, take it seriously.
When you are used to focusing on other people it can be frustrating when they don’t do the same back. It is important for ESFJs to remember that not everyone has the same drive to meet the needs of others.
It is important for ESFJs to make sure that they are in relationships where people honor their needs and endeavor to fill them.
The co-pilot is Introverted Sensing (Si), which we have nicknamed “Memory.”
Si is about how you understand information. How do you come to grips with how things should be?
Si picks up info based upon your experiences and captures them in the form of a memory.
It’s about reviewing the things you have experienced and understanding what they mean to you as a person. Where have you seen this before? Safety. Security. Upholding traditions.
(Revisit this podcast for a more indepth look at Memory.)
It allows you to understand that each person has their own set of experiences which makes us all unique.
The more you get into that copilot process the more you give other people grace and chill out. Really mature ESFJs are morale boosters and they remove the judgmental component.
It gives them some alone time. A place to go when they need to re-create.
Take the time to go do something that is rejuvenating. Engage with something that is tied to the past. Si Reinforces the ESFJs identity and helps them connect with who they really are at the core of their being.
ESFJs 10-year-old process is Extraverted Intuition (Ne), which we have nicknamed “Exploration.”
When an ESFJ is healthy and they go to this process it shows up as being creative, fun, and adventurous.
If ESFJs are always going there in order to avoid their Si copilot, it can be the cause of harmful speculations. Assuming other people are “up to no good.”
It can also be something they do to avoid conflict. Spontaneous action as opposed to responsible action.
“You can usually tell when an ESFJ is in a really bad way because they get into compulsive shopping.”
If an ESFJ is in the space where they find themselves driven to novelty, or you are speculating too much about people, they are spending too much time in their 10 year old function.
The ESFJ needs to get back into their copilot where they aren’t going to make assumptions about anyone else. They aren’t going to assume people are up to no good just because they have different standards.
This is the sweet spot for personal growth.
The 3-year-old process is Introverted Thinking (Ti), which we have nicknamed “Accuracy.”
When Ti is a strength it asks, What makes sense logically? No people involved. Just data.
At the 3 yr old position it still has the desire for logic, but it becomes internally focused. It creates data, bastardizes it and turns it into a weapon to use upon oneself. Inner critic.
ESFJs may develop all kinds of logic on why they are a terrible person who can’t get things done and can’t have a good relationship. It feels awful.
Or the 3 yr old can show up as an aspiration, which means it influences us even if we can’t understand it. It shows up as challenges we have to overcome that are unique to our type because of our blind spot. We end up solving these challenges in unique ways. We want to reach for something bigger but we aren’t sure why. It whispers in our ear.
A lot of ESFJs are teachers and this is one way Ti shows up for ESFJs. It is a desire to want to share info w/ other people.
To get out of a bad space, focus on data and info. Teach. Share info with others. Or do something completely antisocial like crossword puzzles or Sudoku.
ESFJs teach us beautiful lessons with their generosity of spirit.
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Thank the two of you! What a gift to society you share. You have given me answers I have been desperately searching for. It has been years and finally…the answer. May you have peace and richly blessed!
Thank you. My friend is 67 and still is being dampend by a sexual trauma at 7. His parents were no support. This helped me better balance kindness and the challenge he must face tonlet go. He refuses to go to a doctor or outside sources. You have given me ideas how to be supportive.
After listening to the podcast, I felt you were talking about me honestly, but I have a question though, you said our career path is teaching being a teacher… but me as an ESFJ, why is it that I’m always shy to face crowd that are not my friends or close to me?, I don’t see myself talking in public but when it comes to helping people I’m always happy to volunteer myself, see when people are happy..please I would be so glad if you can reply me.Thank you
Hi Joel and Antonia! This has been incredibly life-giving to me; your language and tonality of hope is profound. As an ESFJ, I often feel like people perceive me as a “mom” type of friend/spouse, and poke fun at being “a Monica” or “my mom” when really, I see needs that they don’t, or before the needs actually arise, and I’ve grown to resent it and push away from it, trying to prove I’m not responsible, emotionally intuitive or sensitive, etc. Your language of “superpower” and “there is a need for people like you” and “there is a lot to learn and be offered from an ESFJ” is deeply moving in my soul and the identification process of my personality. I am encouraged by your podcast. Thank you for creating a resource like this.
Thanks for sharing your experience Nikki. It initiated a train of thought in me where I’ve remembered a period in my past that had an effect on my extraverted feeling function. I’m an INFJ, so developing my harmony function requires exercising and practice. When you mentioned that you felt people perceive you as the ‘mum’ type, I remembered myself as a mid to late teenager being teased by my friends in the same manner. Like you, I also resented and pushed away from that part of my identity. Remembering that situation makes me a little sad because, as someone now middle-aged, I wonder if friendships/relationships I had over the years would have developed differently if I hadn’t quashed that aspect of my personality.
Thank you so much! Have learned a lot about myself (yes to the if we are mentioning a need of ours, that means we’ve really reached our limit. so true!). Please keep making these podcasts or youtube videos (so fun to see you both interact with each other!). Definitely find myself thinking about what you both have said throughout the day and am working to apply it to myself and other relationships in my life. Would love to hear an ESFJ podcast about how to deal with conflict, especially in friendships (for instance if one friend is really not good for you (toxic / manipulative) but is part of a friend group you feel you can’t / don’t want to get out of because everyone else is great and there’s a long history there…it’s very hard to know how to handle those situations especially when you put the group over your own needs). Thank you for all you do! – ESFJ
Listening to this podcast I am understanding myself as I never had.
Sharing it with my INTJ boyfriend and hearing his was relationship-saving.
Can you comment on INTJ male/ ESFJ female relationship. Communication had never been so challenging to me until we started to understand our personality types.
This is a great podcast on the ESFJ personality type, but additionally, I feel like your analysis of harmony in this podcast is an awesome supplement to your descriptions of harmony in the past.
I’m still trying to figure out my oldest sons type. I think he is an EFJ, I’m not certain if he is an N or S yet though. A lot of the things he does feels very ambiguous at this point, but I am leaning towards ESFJ.
This podcast has helped reinforce that EFJ speculation; He definitely does some of the things. He’s extremely personable, and I can potentially see him being in an Fe-Ne loop with his love of getting “surprises” from the store every time either my wife and I go to the store. That might just be because he is a child. Heavily leaning towards ESFJ though, I’ll keep an open mind about it as he grows older though.
Thanks again you guys!
So I’m an infj dating an esfj. I’m curious as to what may be some of the possible relationship speed bumps between our two personalities that there might be. Like, I’ve noticed that if we weren’t bolth in a healthy state that we may become to enmeshed. Also curious as to how I might help our relationship grow? if there are any pointers in the general sense relating mbti.
I’m an INFP who had an unhealthy ESFJ co-worker at my summer job. Although I loved spending time with my co-workers (especially at lunch and break times), I listened much more than I talked during conversation which I suppose looked detached to the newly hired ESFJ. He wrote me off as a broken loner and immediately started trying to cure my introversion. He saw me as stoic and unfeeling just because I have subtle facial expressions and he thought there must be something psychologically wrong with me. I know this because he made rude comments and assumptions of the kind directed at me, sometimes (to my humiliation) in front of my peers. I sensed that he was actually trying to help me, but dismissed this instinct because he was doing such a bad job of it. After listening to this podcast, I realize I was right. He was trying to help me, but because he hadn’t developed his introverted sensing (Memory) function, he didn’t understand that I was perfectly fine and that I was just being myself.
I love it, thank you so much! Your descriptions of the cognitive functions are amazing!